Forcing Drama on a Story

Glimpse has re-published my first piece that was earlier featured on Matador.  Day to day in Riempi: Life in a South African township.  Same essay, different name.

Additionally, my editor from Glimpse has chosen that essay about living in Riemvasmaak for her column detailing the editorial process.

Check out the Glimpse Editorial Blog.

It’s a bit embarrassing to have a first draft published with mistakes highlighted and discussed, but it is indicative of the struggle I went through with this piece, and Sarah’s perspective on the other side.  She has invited me to post a response, which I hope to do in the near future…

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Glimpse Photo Essay

First things first: my photo essay has been published over at Glimpse.  Find it here.

I enjoyed the process of writing for Glimpse.  I have spent years of my life writing academic papers (usually hurriedly, with little sleep and not a little beer)  to be submitted for a grade and never thought of again.  I used to joke that once I hit the prescribed word count, I would stop mid-sentence, press print and elatedly (if not belatedly) turn it in.  This was no exaggeration.  Most of my papers in graduate school really did go straight from screen to submission, without even a hint of revision.

“Creative Writing” (for that’s what they call it, it turns out) was never required, nor was it attempted in my normal life, for the most part.  I began to write “creatively” as a means of expression, to give critical thought and voice to my experience as I traveled and encountered new things.  I never really thought about the difference between this and how I had written in school, except that this was more fun and more fulfilling.

Nothing I had done in school had prepared me for the experience of submitting a piece of my creative writing for the editorial process.  I had become used to the red ink on a critical essay for class; I had not anticipated the emotions I would feel when I received my creative writing, basically my journal, with pages of feedback and critique.  My travel journal was a place of freedom.  I hid my embarrassment, fuming about my editor at Glimpse: “These are my thoughts.  If you don’t like them, too bad.”

Whereas I really wasn’t that concerned with how well I expressed my analysis of theological typologies, my creative writing was much closer to my heart.

After the initial shock, I began to appreciate the feedback from my editor.  After several months of the editorial process, I emerged a better writer.

I initially applied to Glimpse as a photographer.  It turns out that words definitely form the core of the program.  While I do enjoy that form of expression, photography is my passion.  I was allowed one photo essay of the four pieces that will eventually be published.  Where writing was sometimes a struggle, the photo essay was pure joy.

My photo essay is now live on Glimpse.  In pictures, it tells the story of a mass public protest action in Riemvasmaak.  I wrote this about the experience at the time.

You can find the photo essay at Glimpse here.

Special thanks to Erica for feedback on the original round of photos.  Thanks to everybody for your support!

First Glimpse Article Posted

Some you may remember a post I made several months ago about becoming an international correspondent for an online magazine called Glimpse. For the last six months, I’ve been writing, editing, and revising essays for publication on their website.

Well, the day has come.  My first article, In the Shadow of Table Mountain, has “gone live” (do they say that?).  It is about my decision to leave Cape Town and move to the Eastern Cape.  They give me a twizzler for every comment, so if you leave me one on their website, I’ll give you half.

Several more articles will be published on their site in the near future.  Thanks for reading!

For those interested, this is the Mission Statement from Glimpse’s website:

Glimpse believes that independent travelers, particularly those who spend significant time abroad, have a unique and often overlooked opportunity to effect positive change around the world. This begins with bearing witness to place, people, culture, and especially the stories and struggles that might otherwise go unrecorded.

Our goal is to build a worldwide community of “Correspondents,” travelers with strong creative visions for storytelling through words and images, and to provide them with a professional platform–including stipends, community support, and one-on-one editorial training–for publishing high-profile journalistic work based on their travels abroad.