Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What I'm Doing...

I was reading this article on Writer's Digest and I thought it interesting. I have to admit that when I'm dragging with my writing, I am a complete social media addict. It is my ideal to be hooked in all the time. But, when I am busy, and when I get the hard bits smoothed out to the point that I am really writing, then I am in communication while on the go. I don't drive, so the time I spend walking to the grocery store, back from grocery store, to the farmer's market and meet people or whatever is on my schedule...I spend the travel time calling, texting and so forth.

But this was part of the point for a 'New Writers Group' as I see it. The critique group is the heart as it focuses on the writing and offers connections to other writers. But stuff a bunch of people in a room, all from different critique groups, and they become a Writers' Group. A network of groups is stronger than a single group. The amount of knowledge, and the less work it requires to meet goals. Then there is the fact that those of us who cannot be full-time writers just yet have times when life intrudes so far that it squeezes writing-time into nothing. Other writers, plus a workshop environment without a class is certainly motivational.

Then there is the little fact that the nature of publishing is turning on its head right now. Yes, the traditional way still works. For now. And the agent-query process might not change too dramatically, but the information revolution has hit the industry. Advice for writers is changing and I think the nature of support in our local writing communities needs to change.

The women got it. And I think we'll see younger men holding blogs soon, and updating more frequently, though theirs might be shorter. Communication is a requirement of this new generation, and textual communication is sidling up to spoken communication in level of importance.

There are many male bloggers at sites like endgaget, but this "type" of site is not the same as the "personal blog." Do women still outnumber men in the more standard journalistic blogs? And women outnumber men in the Personal blogs (like this one, which if it were in a newspaper would likely be an op ed)? If so, is this a digital representation of report/ rapport speech?

Whatever the case, facilitating an online presence in some fashion is likely to be second nature to the next generation of writers. I will certainly believe that they will find ways to utilize this space in ways far different than we do now. I think doing so will be necessary to keep pace with whatever changes occur.

That said, their is a duality to our culture right now. It is something I've mentioned before and which I don't feel that the marketers are using to full effect. Publishers are focusing on digital space, as our writers. But there has to be a real-life component. There has to be a group that mirrors the web of intricate social connections that take place online in the real world. i know a lot of established authors find themselves enmeshed in such a network, but those of aspiring to something...well, we need it to get our feet on the first step up. Going to Conventions and Conferences is part of this, but it isn't the whole. Some of us don't live in vibrant literary cities, and we can't up and move to some place that is. We need to create community in our backyards. We need to become visible in our communities, as we are online. We need real-world visibility to create internet-visibility. This is what Sylvanopolis Writers' Society is doing. Slowly but firmly we are carving out a spot for ourselves in Sacramento.

Monday, April 26, 2010

SWS Today

Today I made a Twitter account for SWS (Sylvanopolis Writers' Society) and worked on our fan page. I've been poking around for news and interesting stuff, and feeling like a lot is quite dry right now. I think it's because it's Monday.

I'm finding cool blogs and writers through groups on Facebook, but not too much in the way of news. I'm going to start poking around Twitter seeking to establish connections. I haven't been advertising this blog very well. I think sometimes I have to wade in the pool awhile before I decide to swim. But there's nothing like Leafkin to get me in the water! So, I'm working on it.

Join me for the ride.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Helpful Links

Leafkin is coming. I am starting to write to-do lists and devise calendars to coordinate all the things that need doing. Then I get to ask people to achieve particular things, and then see if we can pull this all together. Talking to our members, the stories are coming together, and I can't wait to read them.

That said, I have helpful links, today.

Query help

guide to literaryagents

There's a lot more where things came from! I'll share what I can find...when I can find it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Reading and Stuff

I finally am catching up on my Google Reader subscriptions. For awhile they were merely collecting while I focused on job hunting and writing. Now, I'm in training for a cafe position that may or may not pan out. The economy not only hit Sacramento, but has kept pounding it into the ground. My old college's career center evidences this fact as it keeps trying to convince me I need to move across the country (as is Monster) when they e-mail me details on really cool jobs in New York, Pennsylvania, or wherever.

Sorry, still have stuff to do in Sactown.

Technology is the big distraction in my house. My guy and I read a bazillion blog posts about the iPad when it came out(not really, but y'know...). Then there is his not-so-subtle love for the HTC Evo 4G... and provided that the TV is also the main PC monitor...the news is right there, in front of my face. Distracting, made even more so because it is so fascinating. I do half of my blogging sitting on the couch in the living room, anyway.

Then there was the release of Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs. I've been following her since I stumbled over her second book, over ten years ago. She was a new author back then, and a bit obscure because of that. When I discovered my friend Lucille also followed Briggs while we were both in High School, we became fast friends. We have bought each other Briggs' books for birthdays and such for the past few years now that adulthood has found us.

I'm still collecting Chinese myths for my new project, and am trying to develop the courage to call a few friends I haven't spoken too in a looonngg time because they might have helpful knowledge in this area. Ok, it's one person. But still, we're no longer terribly close and hanging out is just, well, awkward. I'll do it for the story though. I might need a translator and said person is fluent in Mandarin and fully Chinese-literate last I knew. That's kind of a rarity here in Sacramento, from what I've seen of my age group.

Lucille, actually, has been the biggest help, running things by her mother. But Lucille is in the last stretch of dental school, so I'm trying to avoid from calling her with inane Jing/Lara questions.

That said, the story is building in the back of my mind. I think on it a little, and there are more characters, firmer settings and structures. I have to write it soon, and I'm aching too, but I also don't want to ruin this one. I know that if I research just a bit more, plan just a bit more, before I get too attached to anything I'll have a far better product for the first write through. Then...I get to address the other story trying to rattle around in my head. After Lara has had her say.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bad, Bad, Bad

Sorry...I've been bad and not updated in a bit. I don't want to make excuses, so I'll just post an update about what's been going on...

I've been looking for work. I started out a year ago optimistic that my shiny BA would get me an office job, I'm now submitting resumes to cafe and thinking of returning to the Barista life. Anything would be good.

That said, I've also shifted gears completely with my writing. I have switched and caved, researching the City (San Fransisco) to place a story there. Yes, Urban fantasy. If the character were not so loud, I'd have ignored the whole concept. Lara will be a suitable culmination of my interest in Chinese and Celtic (Irish) cultures/mythology, Northern California history and geography.

Erica, Lily and I are discussing (very preliminary stages) opening a bookstore. Like with Lara I am in the research phase of this endeavor. So there is a long way to go, but it has been a bit consuming.

I have followed iPad news, and I will discuss that tomorrow :D

Until then!