Writing and Imagination

a-game-of-thrones-book-1-of-a-song-of-ice-and-firePerusing the mighty universe of the internet one evening, I stumbled across a parody music video of the popular (and amazing) HBO show Game of Thrones. Snared by the catchy tune and the spectacle of a male queen of dragons, I wasn’t prepared for this interesting quote that ended the performance:

“Hollywood Cannot Live Up to the Power of Your Imagination”

At that point, I remembered that, although made nationally popular by television, Game of Thrones originated in the imagination of George R. R. Martin. And then I started thinking more about popular culture nowadays: The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, the highly anticipated The Great Gatsby—all of these cinematic blockbusters share the common ancestor of the written word and, consequently, the minds of authors. In a world where reading seems to have fallen to the wayside, writers and the imaginations they obsess over unveiling to us appear just as relevant and public as ever.

Anita Diamant, beloved author of The Red Tent and keynote speaker at the Twain House’s Writer’s Weekend

As a former English Major in college and an aspiring writer myself, I’ve always held a soft spot in my heart for the novel. As such, I feel privileged to live in Greater Hartford and to enjoy a heritage filled with American literary masters like Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe. At the same time, I’m excited that we honor that past by holding so many events and resources for writers to unravel, brainstorm and explore the depths of their ideas with their peers. For example, at the end of April, the Mark Twain House holds its 2nd Annual Writers’ Weekend. This celebration of authors includes workshops, courses and talks with award-winning writers and playwrights from all over the country. For younger writers, the Twain House also holds the Write to the Point!: Nonfiction Writing studio in our nationally-recognized Neighborhood Studios teen arts apprenticeship program this summer. For a smaller, more engaging writing experience, there’s Syllable, a reading series for aspiring writers organized by theme, and Edgings & Inchings at Real Art Ways, a monthly poetry reading and open mic night.

If you’ve ever wanted to give writing a chance—to wield the difficult power of the pen (well, keyboard I guess, nowadays)—these events may be the kick-start you need to get your prose or verse pumping. Although the consumption of novels has expanded into more vehicles than just printed pages in today’s culture, their heart has remained the same—to bring us to different worlds, to bare human essence and emotion in front of our eyes and to challenge us to think differently about…well, everything really. And, in the end, isn’t that the objective of every form of art?

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