Thursday, September 23, 2010

Holidays - character inspiration everywhere

The holidays are coming! The holidays can bring a sense of enjoyment or a feeling of dread, and sometimes a little of both. For me, it’s excitement. I can sit for hours outside a busy location filled with rambling people just to watch them; the Holidays bring out the most interesting people. For some this activity would be quite boring, but for me, it’s filled with excitement and anticipation. For each minute I sit in my chair enjoying my cocoa from Starbucks, Panera or any local sit-n-sip, I see potential characters; characters that I can play with.

In other words, my restful sit down becomes a game of “I wonder, what if.” For example, I wonder if the Goth girl drinking a Grande coffee with extra sugar is actually a student from the local university, or if she’s just checking out the locals looking for someone suitable to provide a snack for her vampire master. Or, how bout the suit clad guy in the back corner nursing his extra strong black Columbian coffee? His back is against the wall, his eyes darting around the room. Hmm…could he be waiting for a government contact? Was he an assassin? The later looks good to me; let’s write that down. And my personal favorite, the beautiful girl sitting next to the window enjoying her lemon poppy seed muffin just a little too much…she must be Fae; because faeries drunk on poppy seeds act exactly the same way (Personal writing group joke.).

My point? When out and about, take the time to look around you. There’s always more there than meets the eye the first look around. :D

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dragon Con 2010 My kick in the pants

The fall is such a kick in the pants for me, especially in regards to writing. Dragon Con (One of the biggest Science Fiction & Fantasy multi-genre conventions held annually in Atlanta, Georgia.) is my reset time. The Con, as a whole, emits an atmosphere that is electrified with imagination, energy, and goodwill. A feeling that is so intense that a writer could not help but be inspired. I am inspired each and every time that I attend. I’m also energized with energy, spirit, and an aggressive need to put my stories on paper.

The convention is the catalyst for my writing reset. I’m able to attend writing panels, meet authors, editors, and publishers, not to mention it’s the perfect time to catch up with old friends from Con’s past and spend time with my Dragonwriter friends.

This year was no exception. It was wonderful, although a little crowded (30,000 +). The costumes are getting more creative and the panels more interesting. More authors in the genre I prefer, as well as newly published authors, were available to the attendees. And the Art Show! I have to mention the Art Show! The exhibit displayed art from an abundance of talented artist, both professional and amateur. The Anime, the comics, the painters, the sculptors, the jewelry makers…(OH MY!) My bank account definitely took a nosedive in the Artist Gallery.
Overall, I had a blast. My battery is recharged and I’m ready to get back on track. I would suggest to every writer to find a Convention and attend, participate and enjoy. It's amazing how many characters you can find for your work at a Con, and how many new friends.
Life is short, so enjoy every second you can. Get out there! And write!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Writer Beware

In "The Writer's Toolbox" section we're collecting links or pointers to useful sites and books. First off: Writer Beware.

Aspiring writers trying to get published for the first time are vulnerable to a variety of scams. The Writer Beware site run by A. C. Crispin and friends and published on the SFWA site, is an invaluable resource for cutting through the BS and telling the opportunities from the scams. However, without knocking the amazing amount of content on this site, Ann nonetheless summarized it to me once thusly:
Money flows from reader to publisher to author and never the other way around.
Of course you could say "Money flows from reader to bookseller to distributor to publisher to agent to author and never the other way around except for paying for extra review copies so you can do a booksigning in case the bookstore forgets to order them oh and then the publisher may pay the bookseller for shelf space and then don't forget there is the issue of royalties versus advances..." but that would dilute the point that your prospective publisher should NOT be asking money from you.


Dragon Writers T Shirt

dragon writers logo

In addition to reading this group blog about our writing experiences, you can also get the DragonWriter's logo on a t-shirt. Check it out...


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Writing Groups

Trish reported in about her writing groups ... I should as well, briefly, as I am convalescing with Campbell's chicken soup and classic Doctor Who while recuperating from a bug that has me working from home and sadly, not writing from home as there's too much work to do. :-(

Ann Crispin's Writer's Workshop was a big help for me writing, but the cameraderie of the other DragonWriters from the 2002 class has helped even more. Our Yahoo Group, our yearly (and now more frequent) meetings, and occasional (for me) critique rotation have been very helpful.

The best, however, is the Writing Group at Barnes and Noble at Steven's Creek. It's a writing group, not a critique group, and the two 20-minute writing sessions are where much of my latest novels were written. The group has had spinoffs - a pizza night for cameraderie and a brief Publish-and-Perish group with a critique rotation - but the core group itself has been the most helpful because of its consistent no-critique, just-write, now-you-have-to-read-it philosophy of the current group leader, Keiko.

There's also a writing group at my company, the Search Engine That Starts With a G. We meet occasionally but mostly discuss things relevant to our writing lives.

Not all writers need writing groups, but almost all writers need a writing circle, a group of friends or colleagues they can bounce ideas off of.

Where's yours?



Look! :) Mundania Press has the cover for the 3rd BAD-ASS FAERIES out! :)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not quite posting yet, but wanting to see if I can figure all this out. Thanks again, Anthony, for setting us up.