PEN&INKee^POSSIBILITIESee^: The power of the written word

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By Kirsten Laskey

Writers are a great breed of artists. Not only do they create something that can become immortal, but writers can inspire many other forms of art.

When I attended the Colorado Press Association’s awards conference a few years ago in Denver, I remember one of the speakers who mentioned Mark Bowden. Bowden wrote a newspaper article about soldiers who had gone to Somalia. Not only did his article lead to a book, but it also inspired a movie and, marvels upon marvels, a video game.

This is just one example of the power the written word has on the art world.

While hearing about a writer’s accomplishments is great, talking to an author is even better.

The first professional writer I met was Kent Haruf. Haruf, a resident of Salida, Colo., wrote several books, including “Plainsong” and its sequel, “Eventide.” Not only is Haruf a published writer, but he has won awards and written bestsellers.

While working at the local newspaper in Salida, I had the chance to interview Haruf. I have never been more eager to talk to someone.

I’ve interviewed published writers since then and my admiration has turned into mild envy. I’ve daydreamed about writing my own literary masterpiece, but exactly what would be written between the book’s covers still remains blank in my mind.

Writing a column or even reporting on an event or a person is tough enough. There have been countless times when I have stared at a flashing cursor, wondering what in the world it should usher onto the computer screen.

So to meet people who have actually filled up all the empty pages is impressive because to me it is the hardest step.

Recently, another writer took steps to make literary daydreams a reality. Rather than a book, it was a play that was created, and to continue its development, the playwright held a reading.  Reading this play out loud, it is amazing to me what this person accomplished. By simply punching  on a keyboard, the author created something completely original that makes a reader laugh and think.

But the creative process does not stop at this point. This isn’t a play in an English textbook that is set in stone and is permanent.

No, this script is still young – it is growing and maturing as its author takes notes and makes edits. And to be included in the reading made me feel like I was part of the creative process; even though it was an extremely minor role, I still felt one step closer to achieving my own literary fantasies.