Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

A Call to Action – Update #2

“Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

I have been mentoring students in the Creative Writing Program at Simon Fraser University since the fall. We meet every couple of weeks to review their work and discuss writing.

This past week we talked about the struggle of starting a new project. In these early stages of creation you don’t know what your story is about, who your characters are or what their goals, desires and motivations are. You’ve got a blank page you know you want to fill, but have no idea how. In short, it’s a painful slog.

And this happens to all writers, from the emerging to the experienced. I tell my students this, to reassure them.

It also helps me to hear these words of encouragement.

I urge them to write every day. Even 15 minutes a day will help, I say. It keeps you in the story and close to your characters.

I try to follow my own advice. At the beginning of a project, I simply type words. My only motivation is to keep my fingers moving on the keyboard. Yes, it feels very mechanical until something changes and it (the story) begins to feel natural, real. That something is hard to define. All I know is that the doing and the practice eventually brings me to the story I want to tell.

I don’t really know how this revelation relates to my other passion, the festival and the current fundraising campaign we’ve initiated, but I find myself here nonetheless. It’s sort of like writing, you never know where you’re going to end up, but you know you have to keep moving in order to get there.

So more donations came in this week, along with more lovely notes of support, some from old time friends, others from perfect strangers. Again, I am very grateful and humbled. Our donation drive continues until mid January so you’ll get my updates until then. I’m sorry if I’m being a pest, but moving and doing, is my new mantra these days.

Thanks again to those of you who have already donated to our cause. We have now received some $5400 in donations.

Our goal is $30,000. We’ve got a little bit further to go.

Any amount helps. And donations over $25 will receive an electronic tax receipt in the name of the donor. You can donate on our gofundmesite. If you’d like to watch a very quick video of the 2016 festival, check out this video. Or watch videos of our other programs here.

I wish I could find better words than, thank you, to express how much your generosity and kind words have meant to me. For a writer and a person who naturally likes to talk (stop laughing out there) I’m uncharacteristically bereft of any other words, so thank you.

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