Writers are Readers Rebellion Supply Chain

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“In a society that promotes conformity; novel-reading – one person experiencing both the mind of another person and her own mind experiencing – is a subversive force.” ~ Jane Smiley, from “13 Ways of Looking at the Novel.”

The above is a passage I’ve been ruminating about for about 13 days now. Ms. Smiley’s book is my bathroom book. What? You don’t’ have a bathroom book? Heck, I’ve got a book in every room in my home, another in my car, always one in my purse, and both my desks host a book of their own, as well.

Regardless, I’ve been reading 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel” for more than a year now. I repeatedly reread sections and focus meditation on the ideas within it. The idea in the quote above really has penetrated me as not only a reader, but as a writer, too.  In short, being a novel reader is being a rebel. As a writer, I am the supply chain for these intellectual societal rebels.

That is so effing cool! I just can’t stop thinking about it. It makes me think back to when I was in the Army and I was assigned to the United Nations Protection Force in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Part of our mission was simply monitoring the border, reporting on activity and looking out for smugglers along the border between FYROM and Serbia. Those of us watching saw a lot of barrels of oil and probably bullets go over that border on the backs of donkeys. It was the rebels supply chain. My writing is just like those oil barrels. I just need a donkey to take the supplies to the rebel bases.

When I switch my hat to reader-only, I have to smile still at that statement by Ms. Smiley. Imagine an army of authors feeding into your rebellion. Such thoughts are complete enablers to my bibliophile tendencies.

Is it any wonder that the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword” (or RPG, for that matter) is so elegantly true?

Course that begs the question, why aren’t’ more teenagers reading books? I think I need a bumper sticker:  “Be A Rebel! Read A Book!”

But first I need to figure out where my donkey is.


Share and share alike

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I read a lot of blogs about writing.  I share what I learn with my writing group, but I haven’t been too good about sharing it with my readers here.  Noting it here is a great way for me to reference them when I need them and give props where props are deserved.

What I’m reading this week:

Receiving Critiques (really good advice — and like I said above, some of the same I have given my own writing group)

Creative Everyday (Life is about creating yourself. Again, what I tell my fellow writers all the time).

Writer Diversions (When I’m taking myself way to seriously and should remember why I love what I do).

Getting Personal (Because Neil teaches all us writers to not be afraid to share our personal process and life with our readers)

I need some inspiration (This author who goes by various pen names has 47 books in 5 genres, I find her very inspirational).

Freelancers Must Read (aka – Non-Fiction Paychecks. Because Ms. Goodman helped put in perspective all the things I already knew about what I should be doing).

Because I love the weird and wild (Mr. Sterling epitomizes why science fiction and fantasy is so engaging).

My fav of all time (Ms. Kiernan details her life as an author and her writing process in such an intimate way you are smitten immediately).

So, tell me, what is your favorite writing-centered or creative-centered blog?

Those who do also provide teaching link soup…

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I am very excited about the upcoming months. I am teaching a slew of workshops in my little community.  See here – Memoirs, Muse Cooking and Just For Teens. If you know anyone who is in the Greater Seattle Area that might be interested, please do spread the word. I thank you in advance. 😀

I haven’t heard yet if I have any students. I hope so. If not, I won’t give up.

I’m going to do some non-fiction stuff for SnoValley Writes! work session this Sunday.

And I am going to completely rewrite a short story and submit it to Glimmer Train by Jan. 31.

There’s something about homework that is necessary, too.

I must also not forget to work on the next episode of Martius Catalyst.

Why this busy beaver writing work all in one weekend?  Because as of July, I will be at minimum going to part-time on The Soul-Sucking Day Job (aka TSSDJ). If the agency does not allow me to job share with the other specialist that works part-time. Then I will be making a huge jump to full-time freelance. My doctor even said, “You must reduce your stress.” She also said I needed to reduce my waistline. That’s a different post. But I’m working on that, too.  Yuki is making me.

I have been boosted by so many folks giving me encouragement from my writing group, to my college classmates, or my Detroit brothers and  sisters and even my new found Seattle family.

All of this and its my beloved’s 43rd birthday today. We do the big celebration with the family tomorrow; but, we did go for a nice long walk today with Yuki and get a nice cup of coffee — just the two of us. Simple things. It all makes it worth while.

Do note the change in the title of the Blog. You can all thank my newfound and very supportive friend, Janaya for it.  Thank you my friend. You are an artist and a scholar. Thanks for shining a light in a corner of my mind that needed illumination.

I  must also give thanks to the gentleman Logan Lo for his kudos and encouragement. I am sending apps for writer-in-residence. I will keep everyone updated.

Writing Workshops Offered at Si View Community Center

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Give yourself permission to pursue your passions in 2011. Try on a writing workshop for size. Yours truly will be offering these work shops at the Si View Community Center. Register Here. Many of the workshops are offered more than once to give you the greatest ability to attend despite hectic schedules!

1.  Memoir Writing Workshop — Bring Your Story to Life:  Everyone has a story to tell. This workshop helps students  tell their story with the finesse of fiction and create a contemporary memoir worthy of publication.  (Offered  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Two separate workshop offerings:  Jan. 29/March 12.  $75.00 (Adults & Seniors, Male or Female), Min. 3/Max 13.

2. Teen Creative Writing:  Awaken your imagination, broaden your powers of observation and put them on exhibit through fiction, personal essays and blogging. For the teen writer who wants to push themselves further. (Includes interactive discussion on being a writer, craft and releasing your creative genius). Two separate workshop offerings Feb. 12 & Apr. 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. $50 (Teens) Min. 3, Max 13

3.  Creative Writing — Kick Your Muse Up a Notch:  You want to write and write you will, but what to write, escapse you still! Students spend the workshop time cooking up a new creative recipe. Will help all levels of writers with spicing up imagination, stirring up the creative process and enjoying the fruits of their new recipe for writing success. One offering, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $40 (Teens/Adults/Seniors) May 14.

If you have any questions, problems with registration or need additional details, please feel free to comment here for a response.

The full-time dream job…

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I’m to the point where there is so much energy around my writing that it’s a second full-time job for me. But, I’m not getting a whole lot of coin for it yet. But, I can feel it coming. It’s swimming down in the depths of my literary life trying to pass the murky deeps like a leviathan rising to the surface during a stormy gale.

I’m still busy trying to care and nurture my writing group — SnoValley Writes!If you live in Twin Peaks and are a writer, you really should come and join us. We have lots going on…a) putting together our second annual publication, which we are turning into a real literary journal, b) entertaining our community with literary fabulousness at Word Jazz – Fall Into Story on Oct. 26 at Boxley’s in North Bend. It’s an evening of poetry, prose and music and last time (in March) we packed the house. So, get your reservations today if you plan to attend, and c) we’re trying to accumulate the paperwork for our 503c status so we can do our first writing conference!

In addition, I’ve volunteered to help a great literary cause:  The Novel: Live!  and helping with outreach in the greater Seattle area. It’s been like a full-time job. Trying to figure out what will get people excited about supporting Seattle7Writers and their efforts to get writers in schools. I mean, for me, it’s all about watching successful nationally published authors sweat through their writing process with literary voyeurs waiting to bite off the energy from their favorite author(s) as they sip wine and cocktails at Hugo House. Personally, I’m already excited because I’m working with Jennie Shortridge in the whole process of outreach/promotion. I first met Jennie back in 2007 when she was at the Whidbey Island Writers Conference. She was on her promotional push for Riding with Queenie. And because she’s local, I keep running into her in a variety of venues. I love that she’s involved with young writers — another of my passions. That’s why, as I said in my last post, I decided to make my September and October a little crazy and get involved with The Novel:  Live! Also, can I just say I’m so nervous about meeting Garth Stein.

I’m also spending lots of energy to get Martius Catalystbeefed up so that I can build up the amount of followers, readers and fans. It’s free fiction. It’s speculative, paranormal, fantasy with a Steampunk bent, obviously. Sam and I are having a ton of fun. And Jackie’s art just adds more depth to it. I need to finish the proof for the bookmark that I plan to hand out at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival (although I know that Martius Catalyst is much tamer than most Lovecraft fans prefer, yet there’s enough elements of darkness, they may be interested, especially if they stick around. But hey, maybe. Shrug. Right?) and SteamCon.  The HPLFF is going to be in Portland the first weekend in October and I’m a bundle of stupid fangirl nerves to meet Caitlin R. Kiernan. Anyone who knows me knows that her writing is some of my favorite.

I also have decided that I’m going to start doing regular blog entries on book reviews. So stay tuned for that.

And something about National Novel Writing Month coming up, in which I serve as the municipal liaison for my community. There’s this pretty scary — scariest yet for me — story percolating in my head for this year’s attempt. I will finish this year.

Then there’s the actually writing. I have three manuscripts I need to clean up one last time and re-exert some efforts on trying to get an agent to get excited about them. I have at least three contest deadlines coming up. Yet, I’ve spent the last 30 minutes trying to make this blog entry make sense. Honestly, I really should be focused more on the whole creation part. Yet, all of the above feeds into the creation part. It’s what creates a well-round full-time writer. Truly. This I do believe.  As I also believe one day people will be happy to plop down their disposable (or not so disposable) income for my book.

Dreams, it makes me get up in the morning to get it all done.