What’s the FORCE Behind Your Work? Part 1, by Team EPA SCBWI


As we started planning this year’s Pocono Mountain Retreat, the opening date– May 4th resonated with us. For those who don’t know Yoda or Luke or Leia or Obi-Wan, the date may not appear as serendipitous. For those who do know STAR WARS, you know May 4th has a special meaning.

STAR WARS fans chose to celebrate “May the Force be with you” as “May the Fourth be with you.” (And who here doesn’t love a clever play-on-words?)

Now we are just a few days away from our own May the Fourth Be With You celebration. We will gather in the woods May 4th, 5th, and 6th to talk about craft and the effort, strength, and yes the FORCE it takes to write and illustrate.

So, the “fourth” didn’t seem like the best fit for our gathering, but FORCE sure did. Isn’t FORCE what energizes us? Isn’t FORCE the powerful current that pushes us forward and pulls us to gather as writers and illustrators?

We want the FORCE to be with you at the 2018 Pocono Retreat and always.
We know the FORCE is mighty in each of you.
We hope you’ll share with us the FORCE that brings you to writing or illustration, or even to this year’s event.

By way of an introduction on Friday, May 4th, please tell us briefly (500 words or less) about your FORCE. Over the next few days, you will read examples from our Regional Team. Go forth and read. Then summon the FORCE to draft your own statements. We can’t wait to hear them at our 2018 Pocono Retreat!

31369500_10155904492825379_7723295938739264232_n(2)Getting to That True Place

by Lindsay Bandy, ARA and Regional Blog-master

So, full disclosure, I’m not much of a Star Wars girl (your puns will go over my head next weekend, but I’ll smile and nod!). However, I definitely feel an invisible, powerful FORCE behind my writing! Not writing has never been an option for me, ever since my angsty tween years, filling a diary with musings on how to make Jonathan Taylor Thomas fall madly in love with me. My writing has (hopefully) improved and (definitely) changed since then, but the force is the same – a deep need to express my emotions, bare my secrets, and untangle my struggles and inner conflicts. It takes a whole lot of writing to get to a point of honesty with yourself (okay, okay, JTT is out of my league), and then a whole lot of courageous re-writing to put that honesty out there for the world to see. It takes FORCE!

Though I’m not a collector of Star Wars memorabilia, I am a collector of quotes. So I’ll be a pioneer and put Hemingway and Obe-Wan Kenobi in the same paragraph! Hemingway first, because, obviously: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” I imagine Hemingway, gruff and half-drunk, leaning over my shoulder and telling me to hit backspace and try again. So I do. And then, a very sober and wise Obe-Wan is on my other shoulder, and this is what he tells me: “You’ll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” So I hit backspace and try again. And again. And again. Because I need to get to that true place. Into my own head and then out of it, into my own heart and then into someone else’s.


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1 Response to What’s the FORCE Behind Your Work? Part 1, by Team EPA SCBWI

  1. Chrissa Pedersen says:

    Hemmingway and Obe-Wan brilliant Lindsay 🙂

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