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A Word about Haiti

Recently, I did some research on Haitian ethnomusicology. (Don’t ask!)  If you are interested in Haiti, you might like to read the following short excerpt from an essay I wrote about music’s impact on Haitian culture and history.  This portion is about Haiti’s newest president who came to power in 2011. (Full documentation available on request.)

“In a remarkable turn of recent events, the masses have finally elected one of their own as president.  In the aftermath of last year’s deadly earthquake which flattened the capital and killed in excess of 250,000, Haiti has perhaps experienced the most vivid example yet of how much music means to their cultural identity by electing as President a former carnival singer named Michel Martelly.  As movie or sports stars find traction in political elections in the United States, their cultural counterpart in Haiti would be the musicians who have been piercing the political landscape with social criticism for decades.  Martelly was an extremely popular Carnival singer who was known for outrageous outfits and obscene language during his shows, and he won the presidency in a run-off election in April 2011 by receiving a resounding 68% of the vote (Archibold).   Even more recently, with the approval of the new Prime Minister, Martelly has set the stage for one of the most significant presidencies in Haiti for some time.  He has the unenviable task of trying to jump-start economic growth in the midst of the daunting earthquake recovery effort which continues.

Of course, it is much too early to tell what a Martelly presidency will ultimately look like, but perhaps it will have the look and feel of a rara processional.   Musicians have for decades used their rara Carnival songs to poke fun at the obscene to make people laugh.   They have sung their songs as a way to raise their voice in subtle protest to the injustices around them.  Perhaps no one knows the plight of the poor urban masses better than a Carnival singer.   This may be Martelly’s greatest strength – identifying with the people that he represents. . . .   And so now Martelly stands at the crossroads in Haiti, with a wealth of heart knowledge behind him, and the hope of the nation supporting him.” 

2012 Writing Plans

Here’s a run-down of some different writing projects I currently have on my plate for 2012.

My first novel Beauty Rising remains unpublished as I continue to search for a publisher for it.  I have no plans to self-publish it at this time.  More on this later.

My most recent play Life with Stewart which I wrote in collaboration with five young writers is just about ready to be released.  Should be out soon.  I’ll post a synopsis and excerpt later. It’s going to be a blast to produce. This one deserves the novel treatment, too.   Hmmmm . . .

Also, I will be releasing my RLT Players dramatic sketches in eBook format sometime in January.  It will be entitled: “The Road Less Traveled: Dramatic Sketches for Performance & Ponder.”   Keep an eye out for it.

I’ve started my second novel quite unexpectedly about a recluse storyteller. It’s a complicated maze of four stories intersecting with a fifth which holds it all together (I hope!). I have a third novel which has been hanging out on the sidelines of my writing life for the past few years.  It’s ready to go as soon as I have time.

Finally, I’ll be working on another set of dramatic sketches for the RLT Players.  I already have many fun ideas.  This is my summer project for 2012.

Lots to do!  However, I’m always open to new ideas and fresh collaboration.  Anyone?


Writing Excerpts

I will post some writing excerpts from time to time.  They will be listed under PAGES to the right.  I would very much appreciate your comments concerning these.

Check out “Almighty Might”  and “A Highway More Taken” which are both original RLT Players dramatic sketches.  I’ve also posted the first three chapters of “Spy Blue: A Novella.”  Thanks.

Thank the Artists

Before anything else can be said on this blog, I must thank the amazing artists who have used their talents to adorn the covers of much of my writing.

Ji-Hyun Park – Spy Blue

Wan-Leen Siow & K. Wiebe – Take Two

Sophie Shin – A Tad of Trouble

Jacqueline Ashkin – The RLT Players logo

And I just received the artwork draft from Jennifer Park for our new play “Life with Stewart.”  Wow!  It’s amazing.  I’ll post it soon.

Thank you!  I’d be lost without your talents.

Create not Consume

We consume a lot.  Around the holidays, too much.

But we were also made to create.

And that is what this blog is about.  Creativity. Writing. Good-storytelling.

I hope to use this to keep everyone up to date on my most current writing projects and I will also be posting writing excerpts for your feedback.

I hope this blog leads to collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and the continuation of creative inspiration.

May we all step back from our consumer-driven world – to create.