Category Archives: Writer’s Corner

He Said, She Said

By Virginia Parker Staat

Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe. Tom Hyde, the tinker, standing on the gallows, was asked if he had anything to say. “Tell the tailors,” said he, “to remember to make a knot in their thread before they take their first stitch.” His companion’s prayer is forgotten.

~ Henry David Thoreau from Walden


Denali Moose © Virginia Parker Staat

Being a native Texan in Alaska in August has distinct disadvantages. We would have been in shorts and sweating at home. Instead we braved 38 degrees and misty rain. Within ten minutes of setting up on Denali’s park road, David and I were wearing every available piece of clothing, wistfully hoping slender tripods might block at least the brunt of the brutal wind. No such luck. We stood on hard pavement, toes numbing in our boots, watching a tangle of velveted antlers visible just above the alders. We waited for the great beast to rise…. and waited. Continue reading

The Storyboard Process

by Virginia Parker Staat

“Storyboarding can be likened to taking your thoughts
and the thoughts of others and making them visible by
spreading them on a wall as you work on your problems.”
~ Michael Michalko

Whether you are a photo essayist, a videographer, or a writer with illustrations, using the storyboard technique can enhance your story process. Continue reading

Fearful Symmetry

by Virginia Parker Staat

TYGER, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
~ William Blake, from The Tyger, 1794

 The tiger… known for his symmetrical stripes…. stripes capable of illusionary camouflage.

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Confessions of a Failed Monomaniac

by  Virginia Parker Staat

“Beware of advice — even this.”  ~ Carl Sandburg

Captain Ahab had his whale. Quixote his windmills. Edward Abbey advocated for environmental issues. Galvin has his Snowy Range. Whether protagonist or nature writer, each could easily be considered a monomaniac with a mission.

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Checking on Your Homework

by Virginia Parker Staat

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.
I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.
I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.      ~ John Muir (journal fragment, c. 1871)

During the 2014 RMOWP conference, Continue reading

Like Candy on My Tongue

by Virginia Parker Staat

“What crazies we writers are, our heads full of language like buckets of minnows standing in the moonlight on a dock.”

 ~ Flannery O’Connor

Last week, while rummaging for adjectives in my word box, I came across a list that I had written when we lived in Mexico. The list was titled, Words Like Candy on My Tongue. It contained words like palomino, chrysanthemum, and soliloquy. Continue reading

Murdering Lola

By Virginia Parker Staat

“The way human beings describe and explain the behavior of other animals is limited by the language they use to talk about things in general. By engaging in anthropomorphism – using human terms to explain animals’ emotions or feelings – humans make other animals’ worlds accessible to themselves.”

     ~ Michael Bekof, Animal Consiousness and Science Matter

 We have recently become beekeepers. Last month we purchased a colony of bees and placed the hive in our friends’ pasture. The four of us plan to work the bees together and share the harvest of honey.An Italian queen, christened Lola by my dear friend, leads our bee colony. Why an Italian queen? We are told that Italian queens are less aggressive and more productive, making them perfect queens for new beekeepers. My beekeeping instructor at the apiary where we purchased the hive, however, insists that we need to re-queen with a mite-resistant Russian queen within the next six months. Of course, that means murdering Lola. Continue reading

When Creativity Goes Flat

Article and photo by Virginia Parker Staat

“Writer’s block doesn’t exist… lack of imagination does.”      ~ Cyrese Covelli

Last month a first-grade friend of mine in Colorado sent me her version of Flat Stanley. For those of you who don’t know Flat Stanley, he is a children’s book character who was squashed by a bulletin board and lived to tell the tale. When he wanted to go on a trip, his parents folded him up, stuffed him in an envelope, and mailed him to California. Jeff Brown was the creative genius behind Flat Stanley. In the words of today’s culture, the experiment went viral. Continue reading