Rainbows. Where do they come from and what are they made of? Are they real or just an illusion, something never to be grasped? The scientific definition of a rainbow is a breakage of light into particles through water vapor similar to a prism. A rainbow can also be described as an optical and meteorological phenomenon that is caused by both reflection and refraction of light in water droplets in the Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky.
Recently, successful alumni and community members in the field of writing, realizing that there is no place like home, clicked their heels together and came back from that other side of the Rainbow. These famous alumni and community members returned to share with current HMHS students advice about writing careers, pathways to success, and positive strategies on how to deal with life and reach their dreams- their pot of gold on the other side.
This Rainbow Connection was The First Annual HMHS Writers Symposium titled, Oh the Places We Go. Alumni and Friends not only educated students on how to make it in the field of writing, but also life. Those in attendance included best selling novelists and non-fiction writers, screenwriters, children’s authors, poets, and journalists.
The day began with the Keynote Speaker, Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights, delivering a speech in the high school auditorium before a few hundred high school students. Mr. Bissinger described in an elegant manner how to utilize the creative process to express a passion through writing and how to give a voice to one’s inner self-expression. Mr. Bissinger shared with the students his own writing process and how he approaches writing both his books and films.
Mr. Bissinger emphasized that once he charted a course and found the essence of his message, his books, such as Friday Nights Lights, flowed and, in a way, wrote themselves. Mr. Bissiner ended his address by reading aloud to the students excerpts from The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald which resonated with the audience:
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
He said that this was one of his favorite books. He finally emphasized to write, write daily, and aim for 1,000 words a day.
Another New York Times best-selling author and famous alumnus, Mr. Jeffrey Gitomer, who wrote, among many others, the all-time #1 best-selling book on sales titled The Little Red Book of Selling, which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 14 languages, also shared his knowledge and experiences with HMHS students.
Other successful authors who shared with students how writing can be used in a variety of ways for expression, reflection, and success included-
Matt Fried, Patricia Perry, Tom Belton, Robert Strauss, Dan Ljoka, Christine Castorino, Lauren Belski, Geeta Heble, Kathleen Pierce, Abigail Sparrow, Carlton Chin, Terry Willis, Debra Nussbaum, Christian Guidice, Denise Sellers, Susan Weaver, Molly Nussbaum, Buzz Bissinger, David Hunter, Griffin Kidd, Ali Lavecchia, Daniel Picker, and Dr. Richard Perry.
To learn more about these writers please click on their names.
Thank you to all for returning to HMHS to share your success. This event was much appreciated by our students, staff, and community.
You can always come home again from over the rainbow…
Over the rainbow: