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April 20, 2017 - 7:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, batavia, writing, authors, Announcements, GCC.

Press release:

Noted author Stephen Schottenfeld will present a reading on Wednesday, May 3, at 12:30 p.m. in the Roz Steiner Art Gallery at the Batavia Campus of Genesee Community College.

"Bluff City Pawn" is Schottenfeld's most recent work, published in 2014 by Bloomsbury USA. The story follows a Memphis, Tenn., pawnshop owner as he enlists his brother's help in a scheme to acquire a valuable gun collection. Through the lives of three brothers, the book explores themes of class, family, race, ownership and loyalty during tough economic times where desperation and the drive to get ahead dominate.

He also completed a story collection, "Miss Ellen Jameson Is Not Deceased," and he is currently at work on his next novel. His stories have been published in various publications, including The Gettysburg Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and New England Review.

His work has garnered a grant from the Michener/Copernicus Society of America, a Halls Fiction Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Shane Stevens Fellowship in the Novel from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and special mentions in both the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Stories anthologies.

Schottenfeld holds a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University and earned an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, where he is also a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He currently is the James P. Wilmot assistant professor of English at the University of Rochester.

JoNelle Toriseva, Creative Writing Club co-advisor and director of English, Communications & Media Arts, invited Schottenfeld to campus to share his work and creative process with students and the local community.

March 27, 2010 - 7:43am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, success, projects.

 

Writeing

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you yesterday.
JOE: Alas I had no energy left by the time I completed everything yesterday.
CALLIOPE: Did you finish all your projects?
JOE: Yes. My column/ newsletter went out as planned. I will share it with you on Monday.
CALLIOPE: What about the other projects.
JOE: You saw the book review on Monday. Yesterday I finished my article on Crime Victims and Spirituality.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a challenge.
JOE: Indeed it was. The hardest part was condensing it into 500 words. I kept wanting to explain more but realized there wasn’t room.
CALLIOPE: At least you finished it. When will I see it?
JOE: I’d be glad to post it here for you. However contractually, I have to wait until it is published in the newspaper. First serial rights, you know. See you Monday.

March 22, 2010 - 3:58pm
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, recovery, smoking.

Clotheslines

Clotheslines

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good Morning Joe. Sounds like you have been busy.
JOE: I have been. Over the weekend I wrote a book review and today I wrote my column which I will share with you on Saturday. I didn’t get to the spirituality and victim article yet. Would you like to read the book review?
CALLIOPE: I would.
JOE: Okay, Here it is:

Review of Positively Quit, by Cassius Cheong, published by Positively Quit $14.95.

If you want to quite smoking, do you begin cold turkey, gradually, or with nicotine replacement? Cassius Cheong’s Positively Quit Manual suggests starting in your head. What do you think about smoking and more importantly about yourself and your relationship with cigarettes? The approach is logical and detailed but easy to follow. It starts with how you view yourself and the process of quitting. Next you will consider assumptions about smoking, reasons people start smoking and justifications for smoking. Then it debunks common false beliefs about the benefits of smoking.

The manual provides a step by step approach to preparing to quit, managing smoking triggers, handling the first day and then maintaining progress. The guide is comprehensive yet succinct. The steps are clearly laid out in order and accompanied by checklists to keep you organized.

The author supports his opinions with research conclusions. You don’t have to wade through endless pages to find the conclusions. Research findings are laid out clearly and cited with references for those interested in a more detailed account. Cheong also includes a list of twenty-three books to help round out your self improvement quest.

This approach is designed for “smokers who are rational, independent-minded and determined to quite for good.” It is a complete but concise guide to success with smoking cessation even if your previous efforts have left a bad taste in your mouth.

JOE: That’s it. Talk with you on Friday.

March 19, 2010 - 11:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, spirituality, victims.

 

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Nice to hear from you.
JOE: It’s nice to have some time for myself.
CALLIOPE: What’s going on?
JOE: I was asked to write an article about crime victims and spirituality.
CALLIOPE: I didn’t know you were an expert in this area.
JOE: I’m not, but then no one else seems to be either and the spirituality dimension is missing from the other considerations.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: I’ve started to research the topic and found some useful information. Now it is a matter of making it coherent.
CALLIOPE: Will you share it when it is finished?
JOE: I will have to wait until it is published first. Then I’d be glad to. Talk with you on Monday.

March 19, 2010 - 11:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, spirituality, victims.

 

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Nice to hear from you.
JOE: It’s nice to have some time for myself.
CALLIOPE: What’s going on?
JOE: I was asked to write an article about crime victims and spirituality.
CALLIOPE: I didn’t know you were an expert in this area.
JOE: I’m not, but then no one else seems to be either and the spirituality dimension is missing from the other considerations.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: I’ve started to research the topic and found some useful information. Now it is a matter of making it coherent.
CALLIOPE: Will you share it when it is finished?
JOE: I will have to wait until it is published first. Then I’d be glad to. Talk with you on Monday.

March 15, 2010 - 10:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in arts, writing, fiction.

Bird Feeders

Bird Feeders

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE:  Good morning Joe. How is this week going so far?
JOE: For the first time in a while last Monday, I woke up feeling some stress with all I had to work on during the week.
CALLIOPE: And this morning?
JOE: No stress. I accomplished all I set out to do last week and feel quite relaxed today.
CALLIOPE: What’s going on in your writing world?
JOE: I finished reading two of Nancy Kress’s novels and got a good sense of how she puts into practice what she writes about construction and characters in fiction.
CALLIOPE: And next?
JOE: I found three of her books on the craft of writing and will start delving into them in more detail.
CALLIOPE: Sounds good. And GO ART?
JOE: All is well. My first program with Sybil Reisch is in order and I have started working on a poetry program for April, National Poetry Month. Talk with you on Friday.

March 12, 2010 - 9:07am
posted by Joseph Langen in arts, writing, characters.

Characters

March 12, 2010 at 8:02 am (Uncategorized) · Edit

Nineteenth Century Letterpress

Nineteenth Century Press

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Is it Friday already?
JOE: It is. It’s nice to have some leisure this morning.
CALLIOPE: What have you been doing all week?
JOE: I am in the midst of developing four programs. The first is a conversation with Sybil Reisch, whom I mentioned before. Everything is finalized including publicity distribution.
CALLIOPE: What about your column?
JOE: The one on characters in our lives? That’s ready too.  I combined two meanings of character.
CALLIOPE: You mean an unusual person and the quality of stability?
JOE: Yes. I had no trouble writing it after the topic inspired me last Sunday.
CALLIOPE: When do I get to see it?
JOE: I’ll post it for you tomorrow. Until then.

March 8, 2010 - 9:14am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, characters, living.

Joe: Good morning Calliope.
Calliope: Good morning Joe. What's up today.
Joe: Getting organized. My first job is to write this week's column.
Calliope: About what?

Cavorting with Carol at Mardi Gras World
Cavorting with Carol at Mardi Gras World

Joe: Characters.
Calliope: Tell me more.
Joe: I have been reading Nancy Kress's book, Characters, Emotion and Viewpoint to sharpen up characters in my stories.
Calliope: How does this apply to your column?
Joe: It occurred to me that our lives are populated by characters which we often overlook in our search for stuff with which to fill our lives.
Calliope: Sounds like an interesting column.
Joe: Ill tell you more about it on Friday after I write it.

January 29, 2010 - 10:49am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, feedback, winter.


 

 

(Winter Post)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I trust you had a good week at GO ART!
JOE: I did. I was quite busy working on revisions to their website. I had to dust off my Dreamweaver skills.
CALLIOPE: Are you making progress?
JOE: I am but it's nice to have a break today.
CALLIOPE: You haven't said anything about your writing lately.
JOE: I finished my review of Marital Property and have my three readers at work.
CALLIOPE: Then what?
JOE: They are proofing as well as commenting on the manuscript. After I get their input I will decide how to proceed.
CALLIOPE: Are you considering a run at traditional publishing this time?
JOE: I am considering it. We shall see.
CALLIOPE: What are you doing while you wait for their input?
JOE: Today I will continuing work on another project. Talk with you Monday.

 

January 22, 2010 - 9:23am
posted by Joseph Langen in energy, writing.

 

 


(Winter Tree)

Why do you try to understand art? Do you try to understand the song of a bird? ~Pablo Picasso

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I missed you.
JOE: I'm beginning to realize that I have limited energy.
CALLIOPE: So what's your point?
JOE: I need to start setting some priorities and making choices.
CALLIOPE: You're not going to talk with me any more?
JOE: I didn't say that. I think I might just have to do it less often, say Monday and Friday.
CALLIOPE: I guess I can live with that. Is your new job keeping you that busy?
JOE: Quite a bit goes on in the background of the art scene. The challenges of working at GO ART have demanded all the energy I have left after my morning visit to the gym.
CALLIOPE: So you need some balance in your life?
JOE: I do.
CALLIOPE: What about your writing?
JOE: So far I am keeping up with my columns and newsletters.
CALLIOPE: What about Marital Property?
JOE: Sadly I have neglected it. I don't have that much left to review and plan to finish it this weekend. Talk with you on Monday.

 

 

January 15, 2010 - 3:11pm
posted by Joseph Langen in energy, writing, aging.

 

 New Orleans Moss(New Orleans Moss)

 

It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.~ Mark Twain

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Out of bed a bit late aren't we?
JOE: I've been up but not functioning on all cylinders.
CALLIOPE: Are you ailing?
JOE: I don't think so. Perhaps it is the change in my routine. I got back to the gym on a regular basis this week and worked three days in a row.
CALLIOPE: So you are still adjusting to being back in the real world?
JOE: I suppose I am. I didn't think it would be that much of a change.
CALLIOPE: You're not getting any younger.
JOE: The old gray mare and all that.
CALLIOPE: Well said.
JOE: I also have my column, blogs and a new writing project to fit in. Maybe it's time to consolidate.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps so.
JOE: Talk with you tomorrow.

 

January 15, 2010 - 3:11pm
posted by Joseph Langen in energy, writing, aging.

 

 New Orleans Moss(New Orleans Moss)

 

It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.~ Mark Twain

JOE: Good afternoon Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Out of bed a bit late aren't we?
JOE: I've been up but not functioning on all cylinders.
CALLIOPE: Are you ailing?
JOE: I don't think so. Perhaps it is the change in my routine. I got back to the gym on a regular basis this week and worked three days in a row.
CALLIOPE: So you are still adjusting to being back in the real world?
JOE: I suppose I am. I didn't think it would be that much of a change.
CALLIOPE: You're not getting any younger.
JOE: The old gray mare and all that.
CALLIOPE: Well said.
JOE: I also have my column, blogs and a new writing project to fit in. Maybe it's time to consolidate.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps so.
JOE: Talk with you tomorrow.

 

January 11, 2010 - 9:24am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, ideas, projects.

 

 Cable Car- San Francisco

(Cable Car- San Francisco)

It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.
~ Mary O'Connor

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you up to today?
JOE: I just finished my journal and wrote about how much I have to do this week. It's a new feeling for me after so many years.
CALLIOPE: Better than being idle. What's on your plate?
JOE: At noon, I have a meeting to discuss a book project for a non-profit organization. I also want to contact a book printer for quotes on this project, Marital Property and two books I have had listed for POD sales.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a lot for one day.
JOE: Then there is my column due Saturday but which I would like to at least start today.
CALLIOPE: You said something about writing on the topic of waste.
JOE: I did. I just haven't decided just how to approach it.
CALLIOPE: Any ideas for it?
JOE: When I least expected it, I think in the middle of the night, it occurred to me to use nature as a guide for how to dispose of waste.
CALLIOPE: I've never heard that idea before.
JOE: Neither have I. That's what excited me about it.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a challenge.
JOE: I'm ready for it and everything else in my mind. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

 

January 8, 2010 - 11:07am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, novel, waste.

Writing Space
(Writing Space)

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.~ E. L. Doctorow

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. I trust you survived your first days at GO ART.
JOE: I did and enjoyed working with other people after all my time writing alone.
CALLIOPE: What about today?
JOE: Today I'm back to my writing.
CALLIOPE: What's on your agenda?
JOE: First our conversation which is progressing nicely.
CALLIOPE: And then?
JOE: I have my novel, Marital Property, to finish and a newsletter to write by next Saturday.
CALLIOPE: Where will you start?
JOE: Since I have only a vague idea what to write about next week, I will let the newsletter idea percolate for a while and work on the novel.
CALLIOPE: What is your idea for the newsletter?
JOE: My girlfriend Carol suggested that I write about waste in our society, a particular annoyance of hers.
CALLIOPE: I see. How about the novel?
JOE: I'm wading through the final edit and have one reader reader ready to go. I will need to find a couple others too. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

January 5, 2010 - 8:27pm
posted by Joseph Langen in arts, writing, Americorps.

 Tio Pepe Cellars


(Tio Pepe Cellars)

It is well to be prepared for life as it is, but it is better to be prepared to make life better than it is.~ Sargent Shriver

JOE: Good evening Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good evening Joe. I wasn't expecting to hear from you at this late hour.
JOE: I started my new schedule today with AmeriCorps. I had to recover from a whole day of first aid, CPR and defibrilator training.
CALLIOPE: I thought you were working for the arts council.
JOE: I am but they have a series of trainings as part of the experience.
CALLIOPE: I see. So you haven't exactly started at the arts council.
JOE: No. That's up for tomorrow.
CALLIOPE: So I have to wait for another day for my first report.
JOE: You do. I am looking forward to it and will be prepared for any eventuality, even a medical emergency which I hope I won't have to face.
CALLIOPE: You can't be too prepared. What about your writing?
JOE: Somewhat of a mystery. I'm not sure how much time or energy I will have with my new duties.
CALLIOPE: Will any writing be involved?
JOE: I have some work to do on the GoArt website and have discussed the possibility of writing a blog for them. That's not finalized. If I do go in that direction I will have to see how much blog energy I have.
CALLIOPE: Maneat videri.
JOE: I see you are working on your Latin. I remember that as "It remains to be seen." I'll get back to you in the next day or so.

 

December 30, 2009 - 1:57pm
posted by Joseph Langen in reading, writing, understanding.

 

 Just Stuff


(Just Stuff)

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.~Robert McCloskey

JOE: Good afternoon, Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good afternoon Joe. Did you sleep in?
JOE: Not this long. I was busy getting some exercise and ordering a new computer.
CALLIOPE: I see. Sounds like you have communication on your mind.
JOE: Here's a little story. My girlfriend received an MP3 player for Christmas. She asked me to load some songs on it for her.
CALLIOPE: Sounds simple enough.
JOE: I thought so too. In order to load songs, the device must be synchronized with Windows Media Player (WMP). Although the computer recognize the device as attached, WMP did not.
CALLIOPE: A problem.
JOE: Indeed. The directions referenced a website URL where all was to be explained. Of course there was no such site attached to the URL.
CALLIOPE: Still stuck.
JOE: Well, I found the site eventually and downloaded a PDF manual for the device. The first instruction advised opening a file which does not seem to exist.
CALLIOPE: Customer Service?
JOE: There was no number to call but I did find an e-mail address. My post was acknowledged but no help has been forthcoming. After much ado I discovered that the files I wished to download had indeed ended up on the device along with quite a few other files I did not wish to download. They were a mishmash instead of being in any particular order.
CALLIOPE: So now what?
JOE: I'm done. We agreed that it is going back to the store in favor of something with directions which make some sense. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

 

December 29, 2009 - 9:57am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, ideas, prompts.


 

 Zamboni at Sea


(Zamboni at Sea)

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
~ Unknown

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Is your mind still resting?
JOE: It is but I had a new strategy. I looked at prompts on my Firefox start page for inspiration but did not fine either prompt inspiring. Stuck, I found the above quote and decided to use it as a theme for today.
CALLIOPE: I'm glad you found something. I wouldn't want to just sit here and stare at each other. It's even less interesting in cyberspace.
JOE: Agreed. In any case, the quote led me to think back over my life to stupid things I have done, some embarrassing and some to my detriment.
CALLIOPE: Want to talk about them?
JOE: I already have in my memoir, Young Man of the Cloth. No need to drag them out again.
CALLIOPE: I suppose not. Have you ever repeated these stupid actions?
JOE: I must say I learned from each of them and went on to make new stupid mistakes. Fortunately I leaned how to make good decisions in the process.
CALLIOPE: So you are generally happy with the course your life has taken?
JOE: I am. For the most part I set me own course but did remain open to opportunities I could not have anticipated.
CALLIOPE: Perhaps new opportunities will await you in the next year.
JOE: I certainly hope so and plan to make the most of them. Talk with you tomorrow.

 


 

December 28, 2009 - 9:48am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, break, doldrums.


 

 Nantucket Dawn


(Nantucket Dawn)

A doldrum is a period of inactivity or failure to make headway. ~Reference.com

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you up to this morning?
JOE: Sitting at my computer this morning, I tried to decide what to write. Nothing came to mind except the word "doldrum."
CALLIOPE: Doesn't sound good.
JOE: That was my first reaction.
CALLIOPE: Are you dead in the water?
JOE: In the sense of not making progress, yes. However the other part of the definition (a period of inactivity) isn't necessarily bad.
CALLIOPE: You mean like taking a break.
JOE: Precisely. At least for me, pushing myself all the time leads to burnout.
CALLIOPE: Good point. How long will your break be?
JOE: Until next Tuesday when I start my AmeriCorps project.
CALLIOPE: So you plan to do nothing over the next week?
JOE: I didn't say that. I will just stop pushing myself to get things done. My brother is coming to town tomorrow from Hawaii and I plan to enjoy some time with him.
CALLIOPE: I hope he doesn't go home frozen.
JOE: It will help him appreciate the tropics. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

 

December 24, 2009 - 12:41pm
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, meaning, clarity.

 Oak Bluffs Sunrise


(Oak Bluffs Sunrise)

I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it
~ William Faulkner

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Merry Christmas. There you go with your Latin again.
JOE: Sorry I couldn't resist after reading what Faulkner said.
CALLIOPE: Translation please.
JOE: It means,"What I have written, I have written." For the whole story, see John 19:22.
CALLIOPE: So share your thoughts on Faulkner.
JOE: Okay. What he said resonated with me, especially in keeping my journal.
CALLIOPE: How so?
JOE: I often write to myself about issues, concerns or possibilities I don't quite understand. Writing about them helps clarify my thinking.
CALLIOPE: Why do you suppose this happens?
JOE: I often shared my understanding of the process with clients during the course of my psychology career. The way I see it, my mind often swirls with partially formed ideas sending me in many directions. In contrast, I can only write one thing at a time, focusing my thinking and clarifying it.
CALLIOPE: Interesting perspective. Are you ready to let the wheels rest for a couple days?
JOE: I am. I'm looking forward to Christmas with those I love and care for.
CALLIOPE: I hope you find it joyful and peaceful.
JOE: Peace and joy to you as well and to all my readers.

 

December 23, 2009 - 9:26am
posted by Joseph Langen in peace, writing, stewardship.

 

 Nantucket Sunrise
(Nantucket Sunrise)

Life is all about stewardship. It all belongs to God - he just loans it to us for a short period of time. The first command God gave to man was to take care of the Earth, which includes managing and protecting the environment.~Rick Warren

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What's on your mind today?
JOE: I've been thinking about the newsletter I published this weekend about peace and how we can achieve it.
CALLIOPE: Yes?
JOE: My focus was on how we approach each other. I neglected to say anything about how we approach the earth itself.
CALLIOPE: Tell me.
JOE: It's like I'm suggesting people treat each other with respect and then go trash their homes.
CALLIOPE: You think it's that bad?
JOE: When we allow the earth to poison its inhabitants due to the way we treat it, I think it is that bad.
CALLIOPE: What can you do about it?
JOE: I think of John the Baptist, the voice of one crying in the desert.
CALLIOPE: That's how you feel?
JOE: Sometimes I do. Many people are beginning to take environmental concerns seriously while others poo-poo them.
CALLIOPE: Getting upset won't help.
JOE: I realize that. I guess I can just keep doing my part. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

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