Through the detailed explications of his own poems and stories based upon events from his own life, he immerses his reader deep into the intricate "mechanisms" of poems and stories, explaining the complex elements and terms of artistic craft so clearly in his examples that they hardly seem "complex" at all. - Larry D. Thomas, Member, Texas Institute of Letters, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate
Colliding with Orion proves ingenious in its structure, tone, and content. It is not an easy guide to follow or a comfortable dialogue to have. The questions Wise poses are difficult (What does morality feel like? How does one shoulder the burden of remorse?) and the techniques he recommends are increasingly exacting. The bottom line, to his credit, is the belief that "every reader lives a life worth writing." And writing elevates those lives. - Janis Haswell, Professor Emerita of English, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Colliding with Orion Writing from Life is not your typical sanitized writing text with dusty examples from the “masters.” This work is fierce—Wise tells it like it is, warts and all. Writing from Life means exactly that, real life, written by real people with real flaws and problems. So in the spirit of shared risk, he offers authentic writing examples with anecdotes which share their autobiographical connections in a section he calls THE WRITER. Wise then gives a close reading of the piece (or group of pieces) to teach techniques which are mechanically in action within the work in a section called THE CRAFT. Each discussion closes with THE INVITATION where he hopes to have triggered recollections of moments and situations from a reader’s own life, so that he/she may address the blank page because, as Wise says, from one writer to another, everyone lives a life worth writing about.
Colliding with Orion addresses various ways to enter poetry (both form and free verse) as well as short stories with frequent notes in sections called CONSIDER THIS which offer tips on such topics as performance, revision, characterization, and much more!