Letter from the Editor
For the Love of Words: Creative Writing Comes to the Creative Pinellas Magazine
by DANNY OLDA
“I write about art.”
That’s my standby answer to the small-talk, standby question, “What do you do?” In short, I love aiming words at art and seeing how true I can train that aim. Honestly, though, nearly every time my fingertips take to the keyboard it’s for the slog of combining words to form Facebook posts, Tweets, press releases, emails, copy. And nearly every time my eyes take to the screen it’s to read words severely bound by short attention spans and shorter character limits. It’s easy to lose sight of the art in the words, but it’s there. It’s always there.
Maybe like many people, I’m fairly certain that I read fiction and poetry obsessively in part to remind myself of that fact, to endear myself nightly to words and what they can do. I hardly need to outline to an arts-loving audience the benefits of reading. There are the pragmatic blessings bestowed with regular reading: communication, comprehension, critical thinking and just general ease of “adulting.” Additionally, there are more nebulous social side effects: learning about lives and ways of living that are new to us, laughing and weeping for people who, not only we have never met, but have never even existed, helps develop a more robust ability to empathize.
Perhaps it may be taken as a good sign, then, that Pinellas county and Tampa Bay are home to a lively literary scene. Though maybe not as visually flashy as other disciplines, one shouldn’t be fooled by appearances: our lit scenes don’t lack for power, talent or sheer number of writers, authors and poets. Pinellas county is home to past legends, current best sellers, staggering emerging talent, all sorts of hardworking writers that deserve your attention.
Thus far, the Creative Pinellas Magazine has featured journalism telling the rich and compelling stories found throughout our arts communities, from Tarpon Springs to Fort DeSoto and every place in between. In addition to telling the stories about our county’s artists, we’re excited to begin presenting stories by our county’s writers.
We’re proud to be working with Maureen McDole to bring you the creative writing of authors and poets from Pinellas County and beyond in the Creative Pinellas Magazine. Maureen is a poet as well as the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Keep St. Pete Lit. With Keep St. Pete Lit, she’s worked hard to nurture the richness of the literary scene of our community, help audiences engage with it and make the literary arts a vital part of our larger arts and culture communities. Each quarter, Maureen will curate creative writing—poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction—to be featured in the Creative Pinellas Magazine. We look forward to connecting our writers to larger audiences while delivering fresh new writing to readers looking for great fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
Enjoy the work of these talented artists this month and keep up with more creative writing each week thereafter.