Thursday night we threw open our doors for a craft talk with Joanna Clapps Herman, author of the recently released collection of short stories, No Longer and Not Yet. The sneak preview of our beautiful space drew a crowd of new and veteran authors who gleaned insights and contributed to a lively discussion about the art and practicalities of writing.
“Where do you start? How do you find the conviction to create? What if your idea is really big? How do you protect yourself and others when you write about real experience?” Herman addressed these queries and counseled participants in strengthening their relationship to their craft.
“You have to dig a tunnel for yourself,” Herman said “Create a structure that you believe in, for no good reason… where you say ‘I am in this and nothing is going to stop me.’
“Go to the microcosm, the glimmer of thought, the half sentence. Don’t undervalue your tiniest idea.”
A Manhattanville College MFA professor, Herman also read from “Questa È La Vita (This Is the Life),” one of the stories in No Longer and Not Yet. Her writing, as Pam Katz says,”discovers the human connections that warm the asphalt and brick of New York, delivering benediction along with a healthy dose of humor.” Herman stressed the importance of building an artistic community and applauded Donna and Ken for founding CILK119. The sense of excitement was palpable and we can see that CILK119 is going to be fertile ground for growing great ideas and fruitful relationships.
Herman has published both fiction and nonfiction, creatively exploring the day-to-day lives of families and communities.
Check out her website at: http://joannaclappsherman.com