WHAT? ME? SUBMIT TO THE JOURNAL? YES!

None of Us is in this Thing Alone

by Sue Wurster

A great many of our BOLLI members have been exploring new avenues of expression since arriving at 60 Turner Street.  Writing and photography classes have been fully subscribed, and our Special Interest Groups in these areas have offered additional venues for creative endeavor as well.  Wonderful work has come from these sources which has, in some cases, actually been something of a surprise to the artists and writers themselves!

I know that’s true–because that’s what  happened to me.

When I first joined BOLLI, I signed up to take Betsy Campbell’s “Five Short Stories in Five Weeks” writing course and got really nervous.  While I had always toyed with writing and had always dreamed of being published one day, I had never actually finished anything.  So, I figured this was going to be one last shot–if I couldn’t finish one story, much less five, I was going to just bag the whole thing.

To my delight, when the course ended, I found that I had actually finished not one but five short pieces.  I was thrilled!  But what had made the difference, I wondered.  Why had I finally been able to actually finish something after decades of not having been able to do so.  The answer was actually an easy one:  the class.  And I don’t mean the class content (although that was fun).  I mean the class members and instructor.

You see, in that class, we read our work out loud.  Every week.  And the class and instructor made comments.   The group made excellent observations and suggestions.  The strengths that we noted in each other’s pieces helped each of us to strengthen our own.  None of us, I realized, was in this thing alone.

But when it comes to the Journal,  we don’t have that kind of support, do we?  Well, actually, yes, we do.

This year, we have decided to operate in a somewhat different way.  Our editors will be reading and viewing work all along the way.  They will offer suggestions that they feel will strengthen the work and provide you with an opportunity to revise and resubmit it if you choose to do so.  Clearly, this applies more to literary work than visual art–but when it comes to images of your paintings, mosaics, furniture, sculpture, and the like, they may be able to help you show off those pieces in an even more positive light.

We hope that, by working with our writers and artists in this way, more of our BOLLI members will experience the satisfaction of seeing their items in print.

After all, none of us is in this thing alone!

“BOLLI Matters” webmaster Sue Wurster

It’s hard to believe that this is already my fourth year at BOLLI–it’s been quite a ride! 

 

LINES FROM LYDIA: THINKING ABOUT HEROES AND IDOLS

Thinking about Heroes and Idols

by Lydia Bogar

With the clarity of 20-20 vision, the Police Action in Vietnam was my first war. I was too young to know anything about the earlier Police Action north of the DMZ.  M*A*S*H provided me with an education about both fronts.

Daddy was in the Army before I was even thought of;  uniforms, photographs, souvenirs, and tangible memories were stored down cellar.  At the age of eight, I watched and learned about Cossacks who were murdering students in my father’s homeland. When the cousins arrived in late December, I practiced my Hungarian phrases on them.

Here’s where the 20-20 gets a little foggy. There was a man on television—a sailor, a soldier, a cowboy.  A super hero.  Our parents told us that John Wayne was the real deal.

But he wasn’t.

His films taught us to hate and fear Indians. And Japanese people.  And German people.  And then, in real life, Communists.

And while Duke was considered a patriot, appearing on posters for savings bonds, seeming to live a life of True Grit, he never served in the military, in any capacity, in any war.

At the end of the day, the man never wore a uniform of his own.

BOLLI Matters co-editor Lydia Bogar

Our own “Renaissance Woman,” Lydia has done everything from teaching English to doing volunteer emergency service.  She says she “hails from Woosta–and is educated at BOLLI.”  Lydia co-chairs BOLLI’s Writers Guild and takes writing courses every term.