a weblog for readers and writers

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Take the Mystery out of Mastery

The next Write Here Write Now workshop in the Baltimore area is set to begin on February 8 and will run through March 29, every Thursday from 7-9.

The new session is called “Mastery and Mystery: Poetry Workshop. In the sessions, Chris Stewart will introduce you to the lost art form of poetry -- a mix of beauty, brutality and basics. Together, you can balance your voice with your vision and learn to master the delicate web of technical elements that make up the craft of poetry.

To learn more, visit the workshop website.

Or take a plunge and go right to the registration page!


Monday, January 29, 2007

My Story Published in Writers Weekly

My story, "From Hermit to Hero", has been published in the current issue of Writers Weekly -- the highest circulation freelance writing ezine in the world!

In the story, I encourage writers to get involved with their local literary communities. I use myself as an example. For years I wrote in solitude, but my fiction remained unpublished. When I reached out and became a part of the local literary scene, I began to see changes: publication in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Review, To Be Read Aloud, Write Here Write Now, public readings at the Patterson Theater and even an invitation to be a featured author at the Baltimore Book Festival -- the Mid Atlantic region's largest celebration of the literary arts.

All this -- and much more -- happened in the course of a year. And all after joining together with like-minded writers and organizations in the area, which in itself is an invaluable experience.

If you're looking for a way to become more successful at getting an audience for your work, consider looking in your own back yard. Help others with their writing and you're helping yourself at the same time. For more, read my story, "From Hero to Hermit," in the current issue of Writers Weekly!


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

Ian McEwan, one of Britian's most popular authors, has a story to tell. It may seem like a plot right out of one of his novels -- but it's actually from his real life.

In 1942, before Ian was even born, his father went to war. During that time, his mother had an affair with another officer -- Ian's future father. They had a baby. To hide any sign of the affair, she gave the baby up, handing it over to strangers on railroad station platform. Later, her husband died in Normandy and she married Ian’s father.

Five years ago, Ian and his brother David reunited. Up until then, Ian had no clue there was another brother in the family. David offered the famous author the opportunity to write the interesting story -- but Ian declined, telling him it was his story to tell. Now there are two writers in the family.

For the whole story, see Alan Cowell’s article in The New York Times.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Gatherer of the Day

To follow up on the last post, here's what's happened: I've found Gather to be a better, more involved site than I’d expected. Within five minutes of posting my first article on Gather -- essentially just a mock press release stating that I was joining -- I found encouraging comments coming my way.

I've been on Gather for only a week and I'm already connected to more than 65 active readers ... and at this rate I expect to close in on 100 by the week's end.

Icing on the cake: today I visited Gather's home page and discovered that I'm the featured person of the day!

Check out the front page.

Or go directly to my gathering place.

Goodman Joins Gather

Eric D. Goodman announced he has joined Gather.com, an Internet networking community.

"I've joined Gather," Goodman said. "It seems to be a good website."

Now that he's joined, he's posting articles and waiting to see what happens.

"I'm waiting to see what happens," Goodman stated. "I'm going to write an 'article' about joining Gather just to see how it works. Will people read it? Will it be buried beneath a heap of established Gather-ers? I'm just waiting to see what happens."

Take a look at what’s happening. Visit Eric's gathering place at http://www.edgewriter.gather.com/.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Write, Revise, Edit!

With the Golden Globes behind and Oscar peeking around the corner, some aspiring writers may be taking another look at the new years resolution to work on a screenplay.

But before "lights, camera, action!" must come "write, revise, edit!" That's where Write Here Write Now’s Operation Screenplay can help.

A follow-up to the Build a Screenplay workshop, this intensive workshop is designed to guide writers from page one to "the end." Participants will create a first draft screenplay and workshop it. Learn to critique work with an eye towards form and technique. Instructor Aaron Cullers (Pasquinade Films) leads this interactive peer workshop, beginning Saturday, January 27 and ending March 31. For more, go to the Write Here Write Now workshop page.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Doctorow Method of Research

Do you ever find yourself questioning just how much research you need before starting out on the adventure of beginning a new novel or story? E.L. Doctorow doesn't. He already knows how much to do.

"Just enough research," he explained when I met him at the National Book Festival. He expressed that many writers research and research and research until they know too much and can't write a decent fiction. Many writers, in an effort to get things right, get caught up and research and never get to the writing.

Case and point: his research for perhaps his best novel. "My knee fell into a shelf at the library, a book fell out." That book led him to write Ragtime. "That’s my idea of research."

The New York Times makes it easy to do all the research you'd like on Doctorow.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Belated Holiday Issue

It's not too late to enjoy the holidays -- or at least not the holiday issue of Write and Publish Your Book. The online magazine features stories about the nuts and bolts of writing, discusses the merits of self publishing, and offers tips on book marketing. Scroll down and you'll even find a headline on my writing in the mix.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Other Side of the Ocean

I'm back from the (former) USSR! After a couple weeks of romping in Russia, a new year begins for Writeful!

Like much of the rest of the world, it was unusually warm in central Russia. The first snow in Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod fell only a few days before our arrival, and while we were there, the fresh coat of snow was replenished only a few times. Where we're used to seeing crisp, clean snow, dirty slush prevailed.

I'll have to put off my follow-up story, "Vodka in the Snow: Russian Winter," for another visit. I think "The Russian Winter that Nearly Wasn't" makes a more fitting title for an account of this adventure.

From the Kremlin in Moscow to the Kremlin in Nizhniy Novgorod, I met with old friends and new, Russian Priests and government officials, went from café to monestary, traveled by plane, train and automobile. Plenty of fodder for future writings -- fiction and non.

Want to visit Nizhniy Novgorod yourself? If you’ve already read my travel story, Vodka in the Sun, then visit the city’s official site below.