In a time when access to the written word is reserved for men, Andra Betscrivener’s ability to read and write must remain a secret, or she could lose her hands, her eyes, or her life. At 17, Andra discovers that her abilities extend beyond reading: she can write events to life. Desperate to keep her powers hidden from both the government and a rebel group, she learns her words have the power to kill, threatening her father’s life and her own freedom. Andra’s fight empowers others to stop governmental oppression, but in a society ruled by lies, cruelty, and inequality, her journey will not be easy or safe.
P.O.W.ER was named to the 2014-15 Sarton Literary Award shortlist for contemporary fiction!
Call for Submissions!
Hello Creative Collaborators!
Spark Collaborative Media is pleased to invite you to submit your work for our first anthology!
Reclaiming Goddesses: Bringing the World into Balance
We are looking for short stories, poetry, artwork, personal essays, creative non-fiction that explore a world where the goddesses of the past (from all cultures) reclaim their voices and their purposes.
- Submission Deadline: December 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
- Tentative Publication Date: December 2024
Living Values in Creative Ways
Where is creativity? It was one of the options that I chose in comparison to other things. For a moment, I thought: Have I been fooling myself all this time? Who am I to write a book about creativity and collaboration, if its not even one of my top values?
Those doubts only sat with me for a few moments, however, as the list of values truly resonated. After reflecting on them for a while, I understood.
For you see, I do value creativity as a tool and as an innate ability (or superpower) that too many of us have forgotten we have. I value collaboration as a crucial aspect of solving problems in the world--if we do not learn how to work together, and recognize that we are all connected, then we become a world full of narcissistic assholes who focus only on money and power for themselves. Our current times reflect the danger of allowing that to happen.
However, creativity and collaboration are not the core of me, rather they are the foundation that supports my core. The things that I truly value. Allow me to explain.
So You Created Something: Now What???
I posted this article on Substack yesterday. Different people find me in different ways, but I wanted to share here. Feel free to follow Sparks of Creative Rebellion on substack for interesting articles on creative journeys.
The Clash of Collaborative Creativity and Capitalism
I know, I know . . . crazy or too close to socialism or something like that.
But seriously, I wish that we could simply exchange goods or labor, rather than be ruled by this fictitious thing called money. Money is not real. I mean, yes, there is physical money, and at one point it somehow connected to the weight of precious metals. But, its getting more and more unreal, as things like cryptocurrency and the stock market thrive on the idea that imaginary money builds more money. In some, since money is now mostly associated with plastic cards and apps, some peole don't even know what money looks like.
Money is simply this thing that people (wealthy people in particular) cling too, when it really means nothing.
I admit, I am not an expert when it comes to economics. I don't understand money, and I never will. What I do understand, though, is that in our broken late-capitalist society, money breeds money, and everyone else gets screwed. The exchange of money for true labor (the workers, the artists, the writers, the actors) is never equal to the money exchanged for so-called ownership (the producers, the CEOs, the 1%) of people who don't really understand the work.
Creative Teachers can Change the World
Okay, maybe I'm being a tad dramatic. But one of my favorite high school teachers challenged my social studies class with a creative approach that influenced who I am 40 years later.
What is a living chess tournament? There are different examples of what it could be, like this example of a historical event used to decide who would win the hand of the fair maiden:
To avoid losing them in a duel, the father forbade the encounter. He declared that the two rivals would play a chess game, and human actors representing the pieces would show the moves as they were made. Lionora would take the winner as her husband. The loser would also join the family but marry instead the younger daughter, Oldrada. (Bringing Chess To Life With Human Players In Marostica)
They reenact this event every year. Time for a trip to Italy!
Anyway, the chess tournament I'm talking about is a little different. It involved the merging of historical research, collaboration, and creativity. Little did I know how much of an impact this one event would be on everything I did later in life. I always held this example up as one that shows what can be done when we combine theatre, creativity, collaboration together with a touch of courage.