Events coming up in June

The InkStone

Early June Novel Workshop on June 5th. It’ll be at 4PM at the Giant Eagle Kingsdale Market(3061 Kingsdale Center, Columbus, Ohio 43221). For more information, check out the facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/634559700028919/

Craft book club on June 19 at 3PM. The meeting place will be determined soon. The club will be discussing Stephen King’s “On Writing.” For more information, check out the facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1742417916045303/

Late June Novel Workshop on June 26. It’ll be at 4PM at the Giant Eagle Kingsdale Market(3061 Kingsdale Center, Columbus, Ohio 43221). For more information, check out the facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1007344046017171/

There’s also a Nautre Outing to get our creative juices flowing on May 15 at 3PM. We’ll be meeting at Chadwick Arboretum (2001 Fyffe Ct, Columbus, OH 43210). For more information, check out the facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1014234528671360/

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Happy birthday, Inkstone!

The InkStone

Over two years ago in March, amongst coffee and pie on a lonely table in Sassafras Bakery, Gigi and I came up with an idea to start Inkstone. It didn’t come because the world needed another writer’s group or workshop, but out of necessity, since we were both working on novels, and there were no workshops around that were focused on novels or long-term writing.

Inkstone is and always will be about the needs of writers, because that’s where our seed originated from. I’m glad to be part of this literary community with all you talented writers, and here’s looking forward to many more bountiful years with you.

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Finding your storytelling voice seminar

The InkStone

Hey, it’s been a while, how’s everybody? Why haven’t you joined Inkstone’s Facebook group yet? It’s where you’ll catch up on all the events that’s been going on with the group.

Either way, let me announce that we’ll be starting the first of our monthly seminar classes next Saturday, March 26, 2016, at the Kingsdale Giant Eagle Market Place at 3061 Kingsdale Ctr, Columbus, OH 43221, at 1PM. We’ll be discussing regarding developing your storytelling voice, and discovering the reason why you make the choices that you do as you structure your story to be read by an audience. For more information regarding this event, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1792081941019612/

The reason why I picked this topic as this month’s class is because Inkstone is readying itself for the return of our monthly novel workshop, which is the main reason why Inkstone was created two years ago in the first place, and…

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On new starts

When we first started Inkstone, there was a need for it. Kate was starting her debut novel after a writing contest win, and I was deep into starting my first mystery novel on the winds of finishing a Nanowrimo novel. While Prosa and other workshops around town worked well, there wasn’t anything that was dedicated to writers of longer forms, and trying to work chapters biweekly through workshops designed for short stories just wasn’t working for the both of us. That was the necessity that started Inkstone.

Yet it didn’t end there. We talked about what we wanted it to be. I had a dilemma. I can’t write outside of writing classes. I seem to lose myself whenever I was given free reins to write what I want. There’s something in classes that compelled me to write. The structure, the grades, the deadlines are among the little details that pushed me to productivity, but when I thought back on it, it was the community of writers that pushed me to better myself.

This is something that I’m sure anybody who has been to a really good creative writing class can attest to, and when I say really good, I mean that all the details fell into place at that class. The students who were in the class were brilliant, the teacher brought material that inspired and showed a form of writing that the students have never seen before, and overall, the work that were produced there were great. There’s something about being inspired by what others were writing, that moment of awe when you tell yourself, “I want to write like that,” and, at same time, “I want to write better than that.” There’s this little competitiveness that makes you want to better the other writers, and it’s this kind of energy that seems to be missing in workshops, this awe/competitiveness that pushed us to do better, to inspire and push other to improve farther than we thought possible.

When we started Inkstone, we set out to create a community for writers to be writers, for them to be surrounded and immersed in the culture that made them put pen to paper in the first place. And even though we didn’t succeed upon that goal in our first year, it’s that passion that pushes us to return and restart our community again, and it’s once again that passion for learning that pulls us back, that want to immerse ourselves into what we are passionate about.

We are Inkstone. We’re a community of writers for writers.

On grief

I thought he would be okay when he died.

Although I had been prepared for it, said my good-byes, told my family about his cancer so that they can say good-byes, it still ended up as hurt. The sadness hit me like a slap to my face, as if I was a child again chided for doing something wrong, as if I was the one who was in the wrong.

And maybe I was. It felt like I did something wrong. It felt as if I could have done more. It all felt like it was my fault.

When my friend Joseph died last year, I felt guilty. The last time I’ve spoken to him before his funeral was a few months ago, when he called me up to catch up, see how I was doing, how my life was going along.

“Everything is good,” was my generic answer to him, and to this day, I wondered if I should have said more, if I should have shared about better examples to make him feel more at ease, make him feel like I was going to be okay.

When we ended the call, I told him we should see each other, that we should catch up.

I never did.

Regret is the word that fills me at each death. Regret that I could have done more, that I could have spent more time with those who passed, that I could have been a better friend, a better family member, a better self.

But it never seems enough. Nothing ever seems enough when it’s gone. When it’s all a loss.

Grief hooks fast and never lets go, and even when it does, the wound from it never heals. It bleeds on and on, little by little, until you bleed no more.

The day before his death, he felt cold. He laid where the sun shone on the carpet, and slept with eyes closed as the warmth seeped through the floor.

I was cold too, and my girlfriend and friend Amie wondered why I was wearing a hoodie inside the house.

We were both dying slowly.

As a writer, this is what I do. I write after every death, I write as if I want to recount over and over again their life and death, as If I want to remember over and over again how the sadness feels. The grief is addictive, it feels right when I wallow myself into it, because in those moments, I don’t have to remember anything but the pain, the suffering. Just like whipping myself for my sins, I cry and recount the ways I couldn’t be, I couldn’t do.

To dig a grave is hard. The shovel only goes so deep before giving up, and all that ends up is you cursing as you place one foot into the grave, as you jump into it and bargain with the soil to give you one more inch. You ask it to not take this away from you, because digging is the only way you can find out how deep your grief goes, and to bury it helps you bury along your shame, your regrets.

But they don’t last. They will bloom like flowers in spring. And all that ends up being is you. You staring at the mound of dirt that rises from ground, the bump on the surface like a zit ready to burst. And then you cry. You say your last good-byes. Because you know you’ll never be able to let it go. That it was always an illusion to be able to bury it away. To reach a closure that would ever be satisfying.

I loved him for what he was. I loved him for being who he wasn’t. But love has never been enough. We were only brave enough to believe that something could ever surpass death.

Grief is a requirement for all of us who survive.

Inkstone April Monthly Meeting

The Inkstone: A Greater Columbus Novel Writing Group, will have their April meeting on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014, at 7PM. The meeting place will be at the Kingsdale Giant Eagle Cafe (3061 Kingsdale Center Columbus, OH 43221).

I can’t wait to meet all you inspiring novelists there!

On writer’s block

When I felt depressed, sad, angry, or just completely confused, I would always turn to writing. It’s the ability to take something that you have completely no control over, like reality and life itself, to something that makes more sense, that makes you feel as if you still know what’s going on, because in fiction you’re the one who comes up with the conflict, because in your own stories you’re the one who knows the limits and ending to it all. Writing was second nature because it was my nature to feel, and to delve in fiction as a way to make me feel back in power again has always worked before.

Tonight, I have no outlet.

My words have been blocked, and all that comes out feels wrong, lost, pointless.

Yet the words are not the ones who are that. I am. And that fact that I can’t escape makes me wonder if it’s time for me to face whatever is causing the block.

The fact that this is happening during camp nano doesn’t help. The fact that this is clogging me up while I have writing classes doesn’t help either.

Maybe these words will help me clear myself up, help myself write what I need to write, what I need to do.

Creation can happen when creation doesn’t exist anymore.

These words trail and makes no sense.

The Ink Stone: A Greater Columbus Novel Writing Group

For writers out there who are writing or thinking about writing novels, I present to you Ink Stone, a newly formed critique and workshop group aimed at servicing writers who are writing a longer form fiction or non-fiction. 

As a writer who works mainly on novels, I had found it difficult to find critique groups aimed at people with long form writing, mainly because most critique groups (Including the ones I encounter in schools) are aimed at short stories. Ink Stone is a group that aims at servicing this missing area.

Ink Stone is not only aimed at workshops and critiquing, but also at providing an atmosphere and support for novel writers of Columbus, be it in monthly informational classes taught by members, going to experiences in groups to stimulate writing, chats to work on plot and writer’s blocks, and also a forum to be used when a quick question is needed. It’s a group that members gets to expand as much as they want, and it’s an exciting new starting point.

So come join us, I’d love to see you all there, and the world is waiting for your next masterpiece.

Edit: Inkstone’s blog page (For news) it’s at: http://inkstonecbus.wordpress.com/

Inkstone’s forum is at reddit at: http://www.reddit.com/r/InkStone/

Nanowrimo 2013

Good luck to all who are taking this challenge next month. I know lots of you are doing this, so just friend me up if you want and we can support each other through this ardous, yet fun, ordeal. My username is Eijishinrow at Nano, so tag me up