“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” — From: “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” (1949), Joseph Campbell
The hero’s journey has always fascinated me. The call to adventure. The wise mentor. The return with new knowledge or insight that changes the ordinary world. In the past, these stories have featured men in battle, using their cunning and strength to find their way in the world.
Today, we acknowledge these protagonists can come in many non-traditional forms. In this issue of “Eye To The Telescope”, I hope as editor to capture the idea that being a hero is not all about swords and dragons, although certainly these have their place, but can also form from different viewpoints and experiences of cultures all over the world. Welcome to the Quest!
Last April I had the honor of becoming Anaheim’s Poet Laureate. I have entered a world filled with poetry readings, open-mics, editing anthologies, and organizing events. The Canyon Hills Branch in the Anaheim Library system is the first to feature me in an event in my city. I am honored to make my debut there.
Speculative Poetry is my poetry specialty. It all began at a workshop at a local science fiction convention. I was introduce to science fiction themed haiku. I discovered a real love for micro-poetry. As the years went by, I steadily published this form and developed my own poetic voice. I hope you’ll come to hear about my journey, ask questions about the speculative poetry community, and hear a few poems from my Elgin nominated poetry collection, “The Planets”.
Canyon Hills Branch Library 400 S. Scout Trail, Anaheim, CA 92807
After a long hiatus, I have returned to writing articles for “Writing Cooperative”, a magazine hosted on Medium with a good half million or so followers. This is my ninth article with them.
Nanowrimo is getting ready to start. The kickoff is November 1st every year. I was a municipal liaison for Nanowrimo for seven years. These are the volunteers that plan and host the public write-ins, host the writing parties, and help new writers gain useful habits in their writing process. One of the habits I always spoke about was to back up your work. At Nanowrimo, we recommend to do a full backup of your novel project at least once a week and to do it in more than one location.
My article “Back It Up! A Good Habit For Authors” is about the various ways you might backup your novel project. I hope you find it useful in your own writing process even if you are not participating in Nanowrimo.
Please join me as I begin my journey as a Literary Cleveland instructor. I will be teaching my “Scifaiku: A Speculative Poetry Workshop” via Zoom.
Scifaiku is science fiction themed haiku, but it follows slightly different rules than its parent form. I will touch on these rules, the history of the form, and my own methods of brainstorming and creating this style of poetry. This is similar to the scifaiku workshops that I teach at the major science fiction conventions around the United States.
The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection is a literary journey through our solar system featuring poems inspired by the nine planets. All the scifaiku and astropoetry is meant to inspire you to seek out and learn more about the history of human’s exploration and the physical characteristics of the these fascinating worlds.
The inspiration for this poetry collection was born from my love of the NASA space program.
Wendy Van Camp is both the poet and the interior illustrator for the collection. The book was a finalist for the Elgin Award for Best Speculative Poetry Book of the Year for 2020 and 2021.
Currently, Wendy Van Camp is composing a new astropoetry scifaiku book called Time and Space. Look for it and for The Planets on Amazon.