So it's September already. Tomorrow classes start for the Fall semester. Back in the Spring when we were getting ready to put the schedule together, I chose to go all online. I figured that's where we would be anyway, so why not just get real and plan for it for the get-go. And, here we are. I'm teaching two sections of Introduction to Creative Writing and I think I've got a good plan to make this a doable opportunity for students to dive into the world of writing poetry, essays, and short fiction. Wish me luck (and my students, too).
Here also are a couple of stories from this month's issue of the Charlotte Writers Club newsletter. I'm the "Meet a Member" this month, and my poem "Little Birds" is a part of the ekphrastic exhibit at Mooresville Arts.
Meet-a-Member - Christine Arvidson
I live in Charlotte, again, after being gone for 20+ years to Pittsburgh, northern Michigan, and the mountains of NC. I teach in the English Department at UNC Charlotte. I've co-edited and have writings in three anthologies:
Mountain Memoirs: An Ashe County Anthology,
Reflections on the New River, and most recently
The Love of Baseball: Essays by Lifelong Fans.
My poem "Little Birds" is part of CWC's and Mooresville Art'sBeyond Poems and Paintings, and, I'll have an essay in the journal "Nines: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture" later this year. I earned a BA from Olivet College, an MA from UNC Charlotte, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. I've got some letters and some miles on me.
When and where do I write the best?
I write mostly in the morning. Early. First thing. At a desk. The habit became really ingrained with my MFA program because I was also working a demanding day job.
Favorite writing tool?
It's weird. I always write poetry with a pen or pencil, in one notebook at a time. Fiction or essays, I'm strictly a computer banger. I think it has to do with speed. I'm a fast typist and can get words down quickly in prose. Poetry is more of a word-by-word thing.
Favorite advice about writing?
That's easy. Butt-in-seat. Just get down words. I'm a big fan of Nanowrimo for that reason.
A favorite writing resource (book, website, etc.)
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Charlotte Lit have been invaluable for me since I moved back to Charlotte last year. I religiously attend their programs. The Main Library has "Write Like You Mean It" once a week (now via Zoom) and it draws a fascinating group of people of all colors, ages, backgrounds, and interests. Likewise, Charlotte Lit has "Pen to Paper" once a week (in better times). I'd say 75% of what I'm working on right now had beginnings in one of the prompts used in these writing sessions.
Best writing advice you've received and actually taken?
Definitely butt-in-seat. Or another way to put it, just get words on the page, don't fear the vomit draft.
One thing I would like help with?
I think we all need to have spaces to freely share our work publicly. The more opportunities we have to stand up and read our work to people, the better.
Beyond Poems and Paintings: An Ekphrastic Exhibit
Co-sponsored by CWC North & Mooresville Arts
Although the coronavirus derailed plans for an in-person celebration, our partner Mooresville Arts has provided a virtual tour on the Mooresville Arts Facebook page. You can hear our poets read and see how each Mooresville Arts artist interpreted those words.
It is a truly special event for this exciting, first time collaboration between CWC North and Mooresville Arts. To learn more about the project and the eight poems selected for artists to interpret, visit the CWC North Calendar of Events page.
Poems and paintings will also be on display in the gallery housed in the historic Mooresville Train Depot, from August 15 to September 24. If you plan to go to the gallery to view the exhibit please call ahead to ensure the gallery is open since it is staffed by volunteers. For that information and/or more about the exhibit contact the
Mooresville Arts Homepage.