Writing

Green Lake Play Series – The Staged Reading!

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I will get back to my regularly scheduled Hugo Award Voting reviews next week, when I will hopefully have finished all the novels (or given up on them, there’s a couple…) but I have some fun news to share with you for the moment.

I have been working with a fantastic group of people on a series of short plays called the Green Lake Play Series. It is a group of plays written by current and former Seattle residents, about Green Lake Park, and will be staged in said park in the near future. However, we’re currently in the midst of preparing for a staged reading (so we can hear what our lines actually sound like and get feedback from actors and an audience), so if you happen to be in the Seattle neighborhood on July 27th, and want to see a little free theater in the making, please stop on by!

Indiegogo

Also, if you’d like to snag a copy of the plays, or a poster, or get to sit in the best seats in the house without having to show up super early, we’re running an Indiegogo campaign to help us defray the cost of renting the facilities and all the printing. So come check it out!

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep abreast of the project and find out when we are going to get to a full staged production of the plays! We plan to get to that sometime within the next six months.

Music and Writing

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I’m not sure about you all, but I can’t write without music. I just thought I’d share my Pandora stations with you that I turn on to write to…

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The Ozite Cycle – It doesn’t matter which of Thea’s novella’s I’m working on, the order of the day is Chambermaid Swing. This station is full of electric swing and puts me in the modernized, yet retro mood I need to create this noirish, yet futuristic Oz saga.

Less Than Charming/The Mark of the Storyteller – Turing Machine Radio all the way on this one. The softer, consistent, electronic beats sans vocals allows me to concentrate on maintaining the squirrely rules of this universe, but still provides me the musical fix I need to keep writing.

Benny’s Story – As you know, I gave in to all of you and am writing a companion story to Undeliverable which is the story of what happened to Benny. What most of you don’t know yet is it actually takes place a bit in the future, after Benny has gone to college, and he finds out that his family is not actually his family. So, to put myself into the angsty, younger, unsure of myself mood, I turn up the 90’s grunge/alternative genre station. It reminds me of all the awkward school dances, the struggle to find your individuality as a teenager, and all that crap. So glad I’m past it myself…well…kinda…

Cindy’s Shoes (I know its an awful title, its a working title, leave me alone) – I decided to try and take a foray into the more lascivious forms of writing cause, hey, that’s where the money is, right? Well, for these, I’m turning on the 80’s Pop Radio genre station. I think this music does it for me for this form because most of the romantic comedies I saw at a formative age came from the late 80’s/early 90’s, so it was my first introduction to romance. Like Romancing the Stone was all that romantic, but whatever works, right?

Books as Actors

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The artist Terry Border created an intriguing series of pieces wherein the pulp fiction versions of famous books were acting out bits of their own plot.

 

Flash Gordon was probably my favorite, but there is a whole set of them, and they raised an interesting string of thoughts. Here, the books finally got to be what they were written as, their potential being brought to actual fruition. Are our books happy sitting on shelves unending for those few brief moments that they are taken down, read, abused, enjoyed and then tossed haphazardly back onto the shelf? How do we treat these wonderful portals to new worlds? Not well, in most cases. And will that ever come back to haunt us?

Anyway, shaking off the maudlin thoughts, enjoy a few more of the book art pieces, and check out the rest of his site for entertaining and unique pieces.

 

 

 

Chekov’s Gun

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I’m not normally one to post videos and the like, but this is the most hilarious exploitation of Chekov’s Gun that I have ever seen. Wondering what that trope is about? Well, for those of you who don’t know, its the rule that once a gun is introduced to a story, it must go off.

To see Boat Comedy turn this on its head, check out this video. You won’t be disappointed…

Indiegogo Update

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Thanks to those of you who have donated already, you’ve pushed me past the halfway mark! As of right now, I am at $625 and that means I only have to raise another $375 before everyone gets a digital copy of Undeliverable along with the swag from their pre-order level.

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To this end, don’t forget to send the campaign to your friends and family! Anyone you think might enjoy a good read or support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Also, the more of your friends, coworkers, family, and pets that donate, the greater your chances of winning the signed prints from Thea of Oz!

 

 

 

A Unique Journal

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Today I want to tell you guys about one of my new favorite journals: One-Story. I had found that however much journal publishing is good for building a writer’s reputation, I struggled to read through an entire journal myself. It was tiresome to me to have all these tiny encapsulated worlds and I would never get to the stories at the end of the volume. Then came along One Story and my life got much happier.

One-Story Cover

One Story is a publication that comes out every three weeks and is exactly what it sounds like: a single story in a small volume. As their website states: Each issue of One Story is artfully designed, lightweight, easy to carry, and ready to entertain on buses, in bed, in subways, in cars, in the park, in the bath, in the waiting rooms of doctors, on the couch in the afternoon or on line at the supermarket. And its so true. I actually read these, and they are wonderful. It presents a broad range of writing, from magically real, borderline fairy tales, and even a graphic novella last time. I began my subscription back during AWP and I was reserving judgement on them until I had gotten to read a few of them. I can now say, I enjoy their selections and it is a form of literary journal that I can actually stand to read.

So, if you’re like me and find the larger journals tiresome, take a look at this one. I think you’ll find yourself pleasantly entertained every three weeks.

Critiquing Site

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I’m taking a break from my usual Monday morning book review to talk about something a little bit different: Scribophile.

Scribophile Logo

Scribophile is a writing community website where you can post your work for feedback, critique others’ work, participate in forum discussions about writing, publishing, and random life things, and generally just connect with other writers from around the globe. The site operates on a karma mechanic, wherein you earn karma by critiquing others work (I average about 1.5 karma points a critique) and then you spend your karma to post your own work (5 points to post a work). There are also occasional competitions to earn additional karma, and you can gift your karma out as you see fit.

I have been an active member of the site for about three months now, and I love it. Enough so that I purchased the $9.99 monthly membership that allows me to post more work at a one time, announce publications, and not have to clean out my personal message box every few weeks when it filled up. It also got rid of ads, but those weren’t much of a concern to begin with.

The problem with a lot of these kinds of sites is the mechanic they have in place to help balance people critiquing with posting their writing just don’t work. Scribophile finally found a good balance that requires and even encourages participation in the critiquing process and your work will never get buried and ignored thanks to the Spotlight functions. Each of your works goes in line to be put in the main spotlight on the front page of the posted writing section and there is a bonus amount of karma supplied for those critiquing spotlight works. And it works.

I have never had to wait long for my work to be critiqued—well, at least once I figured out that the suggested word count limit is really there for a reason. People tend to shy away from pieces much longer than the suggested 3k limit, though you eventually WILL get critiqued, it takes a lot longer to get those. But the way you get around that is to chop up your work and post it in segments. A little jarring, but something the critique writers on here get used to fast. Its easy enough to go read the other portions before going back to the end if someone is interested enough in the piece.

Also, the attitudes of the people on the site are open, welcoming, and helpful, and they are quite good at what they do. Out of nearly three months on the site, I have only ever received one not so great critique (out of 8 works posted averaging 4 critiques a piece) and for that critique, he really tried, but english was not his native language and he had never read a science fiction piece before he picked up mine so he struggled with a lot of it.

It does have one little odd quirk, however. I suggest that whatever name you chose when you sign up be something you can live with because you can’t change it after a little while to prevent confusion between authors. Most authors use whatever name they plan to be publishing under so they can announce their publications and start to build a community around their work.

Overall, I think this site is fantastic and I will be here for a long time. If you’d like to read my work in progress, come on over and sign up for a free account! I’d love to get your feedback, and I’d love to see some of your writing as well. You can find me there under Rebecca A. Demarest.

Amazon’s New Fan-fic Program

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Most of you at this point have heard about Amazon Worlds. At least, you have if you connect with any kind of social writing media. For those of you who wisely avoid this cess-pit, let me inform you as to what is happening. Amazon has optioned rights for a bunch of worlds/character sets and is about to open the floodgates on those worlds to fan fiction authors to sell their work on Amazon.

My initial reaction was, “Oh HELL no.” This stems from a sense of ownership over my characters and worlds. If anyone is making money off of it, I should be. But then we look at bit closer at what Amazon is doing. They will only publish fan fiction that is optioned by them, so nothing that the authors/writers/producers haven’t already given the go ahead for (and been paid for). And on top of that, the original content creators will get a cut of anything that’s published.

Well then, that’s alright, isn’t it? You get paid for something you didn’t have to write and your characters and world get more air time which equates to more exposure and better sales of your original work. Or it should, at least in theory.

But here’s where I get hung up and I’m not sure I could ever bring myself to license saleable fan fiction until after my death or the onset of dementia…you have no control over what these people are making your characters do.

Have you READ some of the fan fiction out there? It’d make the sado-masochistic lead of 50 Shades blush. I mean…the things they make Harry and Malfoy do…and then they add in the basilisk…Emma’s face says it all:

 

So, I’m left with this uneasy feeling that this is going to get away from Amazon, particularly since they just tightened their restriction on adult content in their bookstore. Half the fan fiction they are about to receive will be so absurdly smutty, bizarre, gross, and just unsaleable that I hope they’ve hired the sexual crimes division of the local prisons to scan them because those are the only humans who are going to be able to stomach it.