Tag Archives: Community

Photos of the Burnside Writers Collective at FFW

26 Apr

front, right: Jordan Green, Editor in Chief.

middle row, left to right:  Kim Gottschild, managing editor; Diane Nienhuis contributer (and personal website)

back row, left to right: Stephanie Nikolopoulos, visual arts editor; Larry Shallenberger, contributor (and personal website)

left to right: Larry Shallenberger, contributor; Kim Gottschild, managing editor; me.

 

Left to right: Me, Diane Nienhuis contributer;  and Larry Shallenberger, contributer

 

I had such a fun time hanging out with the Burnside Writers Collective at the Festival of Faith & Writing!  Some of them I hadn’t seen in years, some I saw at the last Festival, some I saw when they last came through New York, and some I met only for the first time at the Festival even though I’d been working with them for years. Allof them are amazingly talented writers with huge hearts and are loads of fun.

While I was “working the booth” (fancy speak for chatting with all the cool writers and editors that stopped by our table at the Festival of Faith & Writing), I talked with a lot of people who were intrigued by the concept of a collective.  Burnside Writers Collective is not just a website.  We’re not just individual writers posting articles.  We’re a collective.  A team.  Our work is collaborative, both in the sense that there are a lot of people dedicated to behind-the-scenes work to make it possible for the website to exist and exist well, and in the sense that all of our individual work and varied opinions adds up to something bigger than just ourselves.  We’re also a community.  Writers, editors, and readers share with each other, get to know each other, meet each other.

Writing is such a solitary endeavor.  It suits many of us because we’re introverted.  Almost everyone I spoke to claimed to be an introvert, meaning we get our energy from alone time rather than in the public.  It does not mean that everyone is shy, though.  A festival full of introverts is still boisterous, is still loud, is still frenetic.  Maybe it’s because we’ve finally lifted our faces from our books, and our eyes are no longer glazed over from the glare of a computer screen.  We’ve emerged to find kindred spirits in other writers–and it feels good!  Since so many of us spend our days and nights writing, alone, we are oftentimes looking for community.  That’s what makes Burnside Writers Collective so attractive.  The people who write for and read Burnside tend to come back again and again, to stick around and join the conversation, to share their dissenting opinions, their encouragement, their feelings.  That said, we’re always looking for new writers!  As the visual arts editor, I’m looking for people who can write about arts trends, review new exhibits at galleries, interview artists, and share their art.  Email me at snikolop {@} alumna.scrippscollege.edu if you’re interested.

I miss the Burnsiders already….  Looking forward to seeing you all at the next Festival of Faith & Writing!

 

Here’s Larry’s “Brain Dump” on FFW.

 

Note: This article was edited to include names of people and Larry’s Brain Dump post.

My Culture Diary

20 Feb

Ran across literary editor Sadie Stein’s amusing Culture Diary on the Paris Review Daily via Poets & Writers.  Love her quips.  People are sometimes ask me about what exactly it is I do, so taking a cue from Sadie Stein, here’s an inside look into my day.

MONDAY*

7:00 AM:  My cell phone alarm goes off, and I blindly fumble for the phone and shut the stupid ringer off.  Ten minutes later the second alarm goes off.  Forty minutes after that I finally roll out of bed, toward the coffee maker.

8:30 AM:  Ooh, such nice comments on last night’s status update from writer friends on Faceback.  Maybe I do have something to say that resonates with people.  Listen to Mates of State.

10:00 AM:  Got to work and found out I had left my card key inside, on my desk.  Finally got in and restart my computer at work three times.  Ugh, ugh, ugh!!  Why isn’t it working?  It finally works but then I’m locked out of the server and have to call the home office.  It’s definitely a Monday.  I feel like Garfield.  Complete editing on a book project I’m excited to be working on.  Slice my finger open on a stack of paper.  Oh the hazards of the publishing business.

12:00 PM:  Forgot my homework for my writing workshop at home and now have to use lunch break to run back and get it.  Accidentally get off one stop too early, but enjoy the beautiful weather.  I love the smell of autumn leaves.  Someone follows me into my apartment building.  Oh good, he’s just my neighbor.  On the subway ride back to the office, I offer my seat to an older woman.  Her husband says, “That just got you two points.  You’re two steps closer to getting into heaven.  The woman sizes me up, “I don’t know about that!”

6:00 PM:  The cleaning lady tells me she didn’t throw out the bread in the ‘fridge because she knows it’s mine.  Hints that it’s wasteful to throw out food.  Oops, I’m one of those people that forgets about the food crammed in the ‘fridge.

8:00 PM:  Writing workshop gets emotional.  People lay their lives out for us to read.  It’s hard to critique work that’s so sensitive.  I feel like a jerk afterwards for doing it anyway.  Ride the subway home with a classmate, thankful to debrief.

11:00 PM:  I don’t care if it’s late; I’m eating a second dinner.  And I’m taking a second shower.  Watch Prime Suspect.  Man, I wish I was as tough as Maria Bello.  Watch Community.  This show has jumped the shark.

1:00 AM:  Conk out.

*November 14

“I Shared My Flags with Him!”

12 Nov

“I Shared My Flags with Him!”

 

Okay, so did anyone else catch the prevalence of the Greek flag in this week’s Model UN episode (actual title: “The Treaty”) of Parks & Rec?  Even after the camera panned away from the mini flags, where Greece’s blue-and-white-striped flag was decidedly present, Galanolefki was one of the few larger flags in the background of another scene.  I couldn’t help but think it was a cheeky way of commenting on the recent UN bailout of Greece.

The episode itself was had so many great, quotable lines:::

Ben: You know, I didn’t really do Model United Nations in high school, so– oh wait, I SUPER did!

Ben: Leslie and I aren’t dating anymore, but we’re friends so it’s fun… It’s just fun.  It’s fun.. It’s… fun. It is fun.

Ron: And teach kids that not only is government good but there should be a worldwide supergovernment?  I’d rather sand down my toenails.

Andy: I just traded Finland’s military to Kenya for 50 lions. That’s pretty good, right?

Leslie: Madame Ambassador, pourquoi?

At first I was a bit annoyed that Parks & Rec was doing a Model UN episode since Community just did one.  I mean, is Model UN something people are really into?  I’ve never heard of any high schooler doing Model UN outside of on sitcoms.  It turned out to be one of the best episodes in a while, though.  It’s fun.

Gripster: Community’s Starburns Is “Creepy, Seems Greek”

7 Mar

Greendale Community College held an impromptu election for student government on the last episode of Community, “Intro to Political Science.”  As usual, Jeff scoffed at the idea and then, wearing a leather jacket and tight black jeans, used his lawyerly tricks to prove votes aren’t based on anything of substance.

Troy and Abed gave a rundown of the candidates, which included Starburns.  Describing him, Troy said, “creepy, seems Greek, possible drug dealer.”  The ethnicity on the screen shot shows: Cambodian.  This is right after they said another candidate changed his last name to get the Hispanic vote and right before they mentioned Jeff, whose ethnicity was listed as Northern European.  Mind you, the ethnicity of the ever-perky Annie is listed as “hot.”

Starburns’ given name, we find out via Troy and Abed’s campaign coverage, is Alex Osbourne.  So what gives with the “creepy, seems Greek” comment?  Well, in case you didn’t know, Alex “Starburns” Osbourne is played by Greek-American actor Dino Stamatopoulos.

Stamatopoulos was born in Norridge, Illinois, on December 14, 1964.  He attended Columbia College Chicago before becoming a writer for such shows as The Ben Stiller Show (for which he won an Emmy), The Dana Carvey Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, MADtv, and Important Things with Demetri Martin (another fellow Greek-American).  He also wrote the claymation episode of Community that everyone raved about: “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.”

Pretty good for a guy whose Myspace page humbly says, “He’s also written and produced many of show business’ least-watched shows, but he doesn’t care.”  Oh, and according to said Myspace page, he’s got great taste in music.  He likes The Mountain Goats, Nick Cave, John Lennon, and The Magnetic Fields.

If you’re looking to get into screenwriting or comedy writing, you may want to study Stamatopoulos’ Emmy-Award-winning writing.

The next episode of Community will air March 17 and is entitled “Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy.”