This publication is the exclusive property of cj Schlottman, and is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this blog may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, cj Schlottman. All rights reserved.
Monday, September 27, 2010
After referring to Zona Rosa in my last post, I decided I have more to say about it. We are a sisterhood in creativity - all forms, not just writing. Our members are talented visual artists and musicians as well as writers. We are a sundry and heterogeneous group of wide-ranging interests and strengths. We are woman at her finest, and I am proud to be a part of it.
At our last meeting, I asked members of the group who follow my blogs to leave comments when they read my posts. For some reason, I rarely have input from them in that forum. I asked for constructive criticism, not just attaboys. These women have keen eyes for good work - and for work that can be improved. I can learn from them, have been learning from them for years.
So, a week later, when I got a e-mail from Ujjvala, with some suggestions about a post I published on September 14, I was delighted. I must confess that I am only now rereading the post and making the suggested changes she so thoughtfully sent me. They are spot-on (pardon the cliché). I have made the changes - and a few others - with many thanks to Ujjvala.
When I attended my first meeting of Zona Rosa, I did so at the urging of my then best friend, Mary Ellen Coleman. She was an editor and gave me an uncorrected reading copy of Rosemary’s landmark memoir, Fatal Flowers - On Sin, Sex, and Suicide in the Deep South, written in 1980. I read it in one sitting. It’s raw honesty tilted the Deep South on its ear and drew unwarranted criticism and wrong judgment down on Rosemary. She had already published a volume of poems entitled A Sexual Tour of the Deep South. Since then, she has published many work - poetry, fiction, volumes about our group - just a few examples.
Rosemary’s example of writing down her truths, no matter how raw or uncomfortable, made me the writer I am today. I don’t know how to sugarcoat my feelings or the things I see around me. She taught me to distill my work to its most dense and powerful form. I owe her a great debt.
There is no way to measure the atmosphere of trust and safety at Zona Rosa. It is my writing home.