Tag Archives: writing

Incoming and VAMP Contributor Tenley Lozano in O-Dark-Thirty

We are so proud to see Incoming and VAMP contributor Tenley Lozano‘s non-fiction work featured in the women-only issue of O-Dark-Thirty, O-Dark-Thirty is a publication of the Washington, D.C.-based Veteran’s Writing Project.

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[O-Dark-Thirty cover image by Magdalena Green]

From Tenley’s story:

I am not an average-sized man, but rather a short woman. The sail is luffing at my eye line, bulging out and snapping in the wind. BM1 barks orders to his crew of willing participants. The rain falls on my hands and is so cold that it stings. The metal handrail I’m grasping tightly chills my fingers and as I reach for a handful of sail, I realize that my fingers are already stiffening up. I flex them again and again, trying to restore blood flow. I can barely reach the sail and I realize that I’ll be useless while standing on the foot line. I check the clip on my harness, yanking it against the handrail and hearing the clink of metal against metal, the clip holding.

Taking a deep breath to steady my nerves, I pull with my arms on the handrail and reach for the sail on the forward side of 43 the beam, launching my body upward to lay my midsection over the cold painted metal as my feet lift off of the line and dangle one hundred feet over the deck of the ship. Christie turns to me with a look of horror, her dark curly hair flattened against her face on one side by the wind and rain. She is much taller, her long cross-country runner’s legs placed firmly where they’re supposed to be on the black rope.

Check out the full story, and the entire issue here.  Rock on, Tenley! We love her work and we fully expect to see stories from every slice of the Pacific Crest Trail as she hikes it with her VAMP-famous pup, Elu.

January’s VAMP: Face The Music Storytelling Showcase

It’s almost time for our first VAMP storytelling showcase of 2016!

face the music (idiom)
1. to be confronted with the unpleasantness of one’s actions
2. to turn towards the audience

Yeah. That. Face the facts, face the truth, face that fine music. Stay tuned (ba da bam) for our January VAMP Showcase: stories of our soundtracks and our truths.

Featuring:
Anastasia Zadeik
Becca Karpinski
Chris Onderdonk
Emily Burke
Lauren Cusick
Tenley Lozano
Vanessa Wilde

Co-producers: Suzanne Hoyem and Emily Price

VAMP Showcase: “Face The Music.”
Thursday, January 28th
8:30pm – 10:00pm
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation
http://www.sosayweallonline.com/

Event page: http://www.sosayweallonline.com/event/vamp-face-the-music/

Let your friends know you’ll be there on our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1696253310608101/

 

Behold. Our 2016 VAMP Themes.

VAMP themes are the butter to our bread, the Cher to our Sonny, the Barack to our Biden.

We toiled endlessly. We laughed, we cried. We consumed endless cans of La Croix. But we’ve done it! We have finally come up with our VAMP storytelling showcase themes for 2016. Behold:

VAMP: 2016

January 28th, 2016
“Face the Music”
Submission deadline: January 3rd

February 25th, 2016
“Dirty Talk: Seven Year Itch” (happy 7th anniversary, So Say We All!)
Submission deadline: January 31st

March 24th, 2016 ***note: this is not the last Thursday***
“Sports!”
Submission deadline: February 28th

April 28th, 2016
“Minimum Wage”
Submission deadline: April 3rd

May 26th, 2016
“In Real Life (irl)”
Submission deadline: May 1st

June 30th, 2016
“Animal Control”
Submission deadline: June 5th

July 28th, 2016
“Villains”
Submission deadline: July 3rd

August 25th, 2016
“Token”
Submission deadline: July 31st

September 29th, 2016
“When I’m 64”
Submission deadline: September 4th

October 27th, 2016
“Skeletons in the Closet”
Submission deadline: October 2nd

December 29th, 2016
“To Grandmother’s House We Go”
Submission deadline: December 4th

And, if you love VAMP, please consider donating as a part of our annual year-end fundraiser. So Say We All could not exist without your help, in both financial support and your tireless support as an audience member, a volunteer, an advocate (i.e. that person who tells her coworkers the next day about the killer storytelling thing they missed) or as a performer yourself.

We are here to help you tell your stories, and to help you tell them well. Throughout 2016, we’ll have many opportunities to help you develop your stories. The month before each theme’s submission deadline, there’ll be a Greenroom writing workshop catering to the theme, where you can start writing your story, as well as a Long Story Short with a complementary theme, where you can test the waters and try out a portion of your story.

We love you, and we can’t wait to see you at these shows and, better yet, hear your stories. Write us a little something. Tell us a story, won’t you?

High Tech High Chula Vista project: final week of shows!

Just three shows remain for “The Power Within,” our education partnership with 11th graders at High Tech High Chula Vista. Come hear some stories!

The two shows last week featured incredible writing, brave and powerful storytelling, lots of laughter, lots of tears, and lots of pride. We are so proud of the intense amount of work and courage put into these stories. Come see! Three more nights!

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“Insecurities,” by Destinie Rose Mendeola

Also featured at each show are pieces of art the students created to illustrate where their power comes from, using elements of biology. The art is incredibly powerful.

Come on down to Novo Brazil Brewery in Chula Vista, grab a beer, sit with us, and be inspired.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 – door: 6 PM
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 – door: 6 PM
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 – door: 6 PM

Shows start at 6:30 PM each night.

Novo Brazil Brewery
901 Lane Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91914

To support this and other education and storytelling outreach work So Say We All does, visit our winter fundraiser drive to learn more and donate.

T H E PO W E R W I T H I N - wp-new

Black Candies 2016: WOMEN. Gross and Unlikeable.

We are so excited to announce the theme for our next, special women-identifying only edition of Black Candies, our journal of literary horror: GROSS AND UNLIKEABLE.

Here at Black Candies, we’re always striving to create a better platform for women writers, who are often underrepresented in horror, genre, and speculative outlets. For this special issue of Black Candies, guest-edited by Natanya Ann Pulley, we will exclusively feature work from those who identify as women.

In a recent interview, founding editor Ryan Bradford said:

I’ve found that women are often underrepresented in horror, and wanted to create a platform where they could not only have a voice, but be as gross, dark and unlikeable as they want. I still think there’s an attitude, even among the liberal literati, that can’t abide a woman writing ugly stories.

So please, send us your ugly stories. We can’t wait to be grossed out.

Deadline for submissions: April 30th, 2016.

Our submission guidelines and instructions can be found here: https://sosayweallonline.submittable.com/submit/49172

Check out this Entropy review to see how much people love Black Candies.

Read more about Black Candies.
Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance.

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So Say We All featured in San Diego Magazine

So Say We All is featured in this month’s San Diego Magazine story,  “The Age of Podcasting.”

Justin Hudnall’s voice is smooth and calm as he introduces San Diego war veterans telling deeply personal stories of their figurative and literal homecomings in the podcast series Incoming. The stories were recorded on stage and in the studio, but they have the closeness and clarity of two friends engaged in a tough conversation.

An outgrowth of a veterans’ writing workshop by Hudnall’s So Say We All literacy and performing arts collective, the podcasts were repackaged for the modern masses by public broadcaster KPBS.

Check out the whole story, which covers the KPBS Explore project and other local podcasting ventures, and be sure to listen to So Say We All’s Incoming here.

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Incoming is a collection of non-fiction stories told by local veterans, in their own words. Created around the theme of coming home, the stories will feature veterans sharing their experiences on transitioning back to civilian life. Each story is performed by the author, and followed by an interview.

“It’s like the antidote to overstimulation. Someone talking directly into your ear? There’s nothing more intimate.”

-Justin Hudnall

 

VAMP Showcase: Red Flags

Join So Say We All this Thursday, August 27th at 8:30 pm for our August VAMP Showcase, featuring curated stories on the theme of “Red Flags.”

Red flags, red lights, red tape. These things are supposed to warn us but sometimes we don’t pay attention. Join us for an evening of stories about gut instincts, warning lights, and that one time we just.didn’t.listen.

Our blind submission process featured more brave and wonderful submissions than we’ve ever seen before. Here’s who got caught in the net this month:

Featuring VAMP first-timers:

  • Becca Karpinski, with an inspiring and, at times, difficult story of travel, risk-taking, and mothering
  • Michelle Franke, PEN USA’s Executive Director, regales us with a tale of class, privilege, period wear
  • Jean Guerrero, from the KPBS Fronteras Desk, with a heartbreaking tale about the past, family, and, naturally, about VHS
  • Rachel Peschman, another VAMP first-timer, with a story of two troubled people navigating a troubled love.

 

And storytellers who have been on our stage once before, or maybe a dozen times before:

  • Anastasia Zadeik, with a stunning story about loss, memory, and family
  • Long-time VAMP performer and producer Ed Farragut will tell a story about a particularly gnarly work environment
  • So Say We All’s co-founder Jake Arky rolls back into town with an unsettling story about someone he was crazy for
  • and Jennifer Stiff, who has graced our stage several times with her incredibly funny yet intimate stories, with a harrowing tale of preventive measures.

Our Red Flags showcase is produced by Whitney Roux and Matt Lewis.

VAMP Showcase: “Red Flags”
Thursday, August 27th
8:30pm – 10:00pm
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation
http://www.sosayweallonline.com/

Working with Samuel Abel for INCOMING Radio

As a part of our fundraising campaign to support Incoming,  we’ve been asking our veteran writers to say a few words about their work with So Say We All. This week, however, we wanted to hear a little from one of our steadfast volunteers and teaching artists who has worked extensively with these veterans. Today’s entry is from Kym Pappas (who is so much more to us than simply a performance coach) about her work with Samuel Abel (you can hear Sam’s story today on episode 4 of Incoming on KPBS radio at 12:30). Here’s Kym:

A few sentences about working with Sam… or a lesson in showing up and staying present, even when you’re scared.

I agreed to work with Sam before I read his story. I felt honored to be asked to be a part of So Say We All’s latest adventure and any time my schedule allows me to get in the room with people brave enough to speak their truth, I am down. On January 26th, I read Sam’s story… and I almost backed out because I was afraid.

I am an actor, a director, a teaching artist, and sometimes I write things. In my own work, I am all about asking big uncomfortable questions and digging into personal histories in order to get to the emotional core of things. We all need a space to get honest… to get ugly… and I do what I can to create a safe place for people to do that. When I was entrusted with Sam’s story my fear was that I could not make a space safe enough. Here is a man telling us the reality of life during and after war. How do I ask someone who is living with PTSD to dive into the details with me, knowing full well that this could be triggering? What kind of safety is there in that?

Upon meeting Sam (and after initial pleasantries) my only choice was to be as honest with him as I was about to ask him to be with me.

I think it went something like… “I cannot say that I know your experience… I cannot even imagine… but, I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was 12 and I know what it is to live haunted. If at any point this gets to be too much or if I say something stupid, just let me know.”

Once that was on the table we jumped into who we are and where we come from. I was gifted stories about the infamous pool parties with the margarita machine.  Then we dove into the piece at hand. The conversation began with, “Why this story?”… “Why now?”… We talked about splitting the self… We talked about the air, the light, the weight… We created a scale, 1-5, “Where are you now?”

The word “moist” happened. I hate that word. Sam loved that… and he took every opportunity to use it against me. We laughed a lot. Sam has a really great laugh.

Sam and I talked about living; about the things we take for granted… or no longer take for granted. I thanked him for showing up honest, for letting us in… because although this is Sam’s story, there are many men and women… they are our friends and family… who understand this story all too well. Sam and I shared some of the things we carry in this life… we talked about how we hope the sharing helps others feel less alone.

And then he let me take a picture of his hands.

Thank you, Sam.
–Kym Pappas

To support So Say We All in continuing this work with veterans and other groups in our community, and so that we can keep making new episodes of Incoming, please visit our Fundrazr and donate.

Listen for Sam’s story on KPBS today: the episode featuring Samuel Abel and Liam Corley airs on Friday, 6/5, at 12:30pm on 89.5 FM or stream at KPBS.org, wherever you get your podcasts, or as a standalone episode on KPBS’s website.

OUTSPOKEN: LGBTQ Green Room Writer’s Workshop

Come join our LGBTQ Green Room Writer’s Workshop to generate, brainstorm, or work on stories for our spring OUTSPOKEN showcase: “The Mamas and The Papas.” (https://www.facebook.com/events/406630036175869/)

This workshop will be led by Jessica Hilt and Sarah Hultquist.

So Say We All’s free, open, generative creative writing workshop provides writers of all experience levels a kind, supportive, and challenging community in which to meet, write, and better one another. All Greenrooms are structured around a topic (“The Mamas and The Papas” this month) and include periods for discussion, generative free-writing, and opportunities to share aloud.

OUTSPOKEN Green Room
Sunday, March 29th at 6:00 PM
CyberHive
1855 1st Ave #103
San Diego, CA