Archive for January, 2009

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A brief note and apology

January 30, 2009

Wow. Okay, so there’s a lot left to do.

Really, I’ve always been bad about doing my homework. Ask my mother.

Still to come are some important names we haven’t yet heard about. The workshop leaders we’ve already introduced here comprise merely that portion that are the writers. We have yet to get into agents and editors. Hang tight; I’m on it.

Then again, if I’m not embarrassed by my own buffoonery, I’ll make up a reason to be. Ask Mike Thompkins.

And I also have yet to tell you about our guest speakers.

Once all that’s done, I’ll put together something of an overview, with names, workshop titles, and links to each of our workshop leaders. In the meantime, if I’ve already posted something about you, and I’ve somehow screwed it up, do let me know. If you would like your workshop participants to contact you with questions or for advance materials, let me know.

In the meantime, I’ve made the note about reading ahead so that I don’t think I’m coming to the end when I’m only approaching the halfway mark. Apologies all around.

-bd

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KYSL SD23: Maralys Wills

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Marlys Wills has something like a dozen titles to her name, including Scatterpath, A Circus Without Elephants, Clown in the Trunk, Higher Than Eagles: The Tragedy and Triumph of an American Family, and Damn the Rejections: Full Speed Ahead.

Additionally, Ms. Wills has over two decades’ experience teaching students about writing, and even received a Teacher of the Year award in 2000. She has presented many seminars, including a gaggle of colleges and universities around southern California, and has served as president of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

She will be presenting for us two workshops, “Masculizing Your Book for the Male Market” and “Tweaking: Making the Difference Between Good and Published“.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Lynn Vannucci

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Lynn Vannucci will conduct a workshop called “Narrative Triage: The Practice of Applying Emotional Logic“. You don’t want to miss this one.

I’m so tempted to leave it at that, just to see what happens. But now isn’t the time to experiment for the benefit of my amusement. Her first novel, Coyote, arrived in 1987 via Bantnam, and the time since has seen her writing a weekly newspaper column, articles for various publications, and romantic fiction. She has lectured at Lock Haven University and the Pennsylvania State University College of Technology. At one point she managed to adapt Barbara Woodhouse’s No Bad Dogs for video production, and picked up credit as a biographer as a co-writer of Dell Williams’ autobiography, Revolution in the Garden. Ms. Vannucci is a principle partner of Albbara Editorial Services, and is presently working with Dr. Alice Ladas on a book about female human sexuality.

Now, then, like I said: You don’t want to miss this one.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Michael Thompkins (insert joke here)

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

As I go through the list, I see we’re down to Michael Thompkins, and this is where it isn’t really fair. I could spend all day regaling you with stories of Michael’s wit and wisdom. Since he lives twenty minutes away (even less if our roads were reasonably planned) I get to see him on a regular basis. Meanwhile … oh, never mind.

(Sorry, I’ve got a really crappy song that I’ve neither heard nor thought of in ages stuck in my head, and it’s really distracting. I’ll blame Decker, not because he has anything to do with it, but because it’s fun to blame stuff on him.)

Okay … Mike is a retired psychologist, and the author of Gun Play, the first volume of the Shooting Shrink series, in which he calls upon his years of experience that include counseling local police departments to tell us the story of how a Palm Springs police shrink manages to get himself mixed up in the messy intrigues of murder, greed, and international hit-men suffering delusional psychoses. And he wants to teach you how to have that kind of fun while transforming the blank page into the a novel.

Shrinking Fiction: Using Psychology to Write Great Characters” is a two-part workshop in which you get to watch some entertaining television and movie clips, read from your own stories, and discuss, quite literally, thousands of years of traditional and academic knowledge and insight in relation to character development. This is always a popular workshop, and while no advance reservations are required, Mike suggests that those who want to get a head start should send him an email to request a syllabus.

It is also important to note that participants are not obliged to attend both sessions of Shrinking Fiction. Naturally, Mike thinks it helps to do so, but he recognizes that people’s needs and schedules aren’t always so accommodating, so he’s always working to make each part of the workshop accessible in its own right.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Julie Ann Shapiro

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Julie Ann Shapiro is loads of fun. That much I can say personally, as she’s one of our workshop leaders I’ve spent some time talking to. And she’s also a leading voice for modern flash fiction, a genre that claims for itself an impressive historical roster.

Her short stories have appeared in many, many magazines, reviews, and journals; MSG counted thirty-eight before he stopped counting, so pardon me, please, if I don’t recite them all. Suffice to say, it’s an impressive list. (The complete list, or something close, is available at her website.) And she’s also the author of Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries, a novel published in 2007. And, hey, she even popped up in USA Today last year, talking about Amazon’s Kindle.

Ms. Shapiro will lead a workshop on “Flash Fiction: The Ultra-Quick Story Market“.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Michele Scott

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

I would write a joke here about wine snobs nitpicking details of Michele Scott’s Wine Lover’s Mysteries, but I haven’t encountered any, and I’m not enough of a wine aficionado to write one myself. That’s not to say I’m not a snob—I don’t drink white wine—but this isn’t about me. Like many, her path to writing novels began at an early age, in her case all of nine. But it wasn’t until 2004, after graduating from USC, and ten years of hard work that Michele finally got the call. Her second series, the Equine Mysteries, appeared on bookshelves in 2006.

And if that’s not enough, with eight titles split between two series, she’s undertaking a third project, with a book for young readers, Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge slated for release in February under the name M.K. Scott. She’s also active in the blogosphere, which point I’ve utterly neglected for our other workshop leaders, so I suppose an apology should go here, there, or somewhere.

In addition to reading some of your advance submissions, Michele Scott will be conducting a workshop called, “Writing Niche Mystery: The Broad Based Target Market“. (I have a note suggesting a second workshop, but no title. I’ll get back to you on that.)

–bd

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KYSL SD23: Caitlin Rother

January 30, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders ….

Nothing personal toward Caitlin Rother; I’m just slow out of the gate today. (It took me three tries, even with her web page right in front of me, to spell her name right.)

So, yeah, awkward moments aside …. Caitlin Rother was born in Canada, but we won’t hold that against her. (My brother was, too, so anyone who wants to make an issue of it has gotta go through me, first.) She began her writing career at age six, “dabbled in journalism in high school and college”, and then finally picked up a master’s degree in the field from Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School. Twenty years as a journalist saw her diversely published in newspapers and magazines, and shortly after the release of her first book, Poisoned Love, dropped the newspaper gig to write books. Her first novel, Naked Addiction, arrived in book stores in November, 2007, and her latest work of nonfiction is Twisted Triangle, which seems as apt a title as you’re going to come by. Body Parts, the story of serial killer Wayne Adam Ford, is slated for release in March.

In addition to her presentation as Sunday morning’s Guest Speaker, she brings the sum of her journalistic prowess to a workshop titled, “The Art of Interviewing“.

Well, okay, I might be promising a bit much, since a career like that would be hard to pack into a single workshop, but you understand, right?

–bd

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Oh, yeah … there’s a game this weekend, isn’t there?

January 30, 2009

Rob Rogers on Super Bowl Media DayJust trying to clear my head before the next batch of KYSL. I came across an interesting story told by Rob Rogers, cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

During Media Day I ran into Don Hasselbeck, father of Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks. You may remember the Steelers beat them in Super Bowl XL. He predicted the Cardinals were going to win. I asked if that was because the Steelers beat his son’s team in the big game. He said no, that it was about Arizona’s momentum. Don works for Reebok as their director of NFL Sports marketing. He recalled how during the last Super Bowl his team was waiting in the wings with huge bins of Patriots Super Bowl champs T-shirts and they had to switch them out at the last minute when the Giants won. I asked what happens to all the shirts they print for the losing team. “They go to World Vision and they distribute them to poor countries who need clothing.” He smiled and said, “there’s a poor child in Nicaragua wearing a triple XL T-shirt that says Patriots: 19-0.”

I don’t know why I find that quote so amusing. At first I thought irony, but then I tried to calculate how that worked, and it would be incredibly sublimated, entirely personal, and at least a little bit sick if it was.

Anyway … back to business.

(A tip of the hat, if I wore one, to Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe.)

-bd

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KYSL SD23: Karen Ronney

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

Karen Ronney recently received top honors at the Parent to Parent Adding Wisdom Awards, taking home five nods for her book Proud Parents’ Guide to Raising Athletic, Balanced, and Coordinated Kids.

Karen has been a professional tennis player, and works as a tennis coach for Patrick Henry High School. Her student-athletes clinched the Eastern League last month, and saw a school record for players awarded all-league honors. Congratulations, Lady Pats, and if anyone needs a testament to her expertise on this count, well, I’d say it’s right there for you. What’s that? You need more? What’s the matter with you? Fine, fine. How about being an expert invited to give her perspective for FOX News?

Adding to her credentials is her work as an award=winning journalist, including time with the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, San Diego Union, and Chicago Tribune.

Writers of nonfiction will find her knowledge and wisdom essential in her workshop “Selling Practical Nonfiction: The Package, The Pitch“.

–bd

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KYSL SD23: (Saint?) Judy Reeves

January 29, 2009

Know Your Session Leaders …

Judy Reeves, a beloved mainstay of our SCWC community always finds time to bring us the benefits of her wisdom. The author of A Writer’s Book of Days and Writing Alone, Writing Together, among other instructional materials for writers, Judy brings a more than quarter-century worth of practical writing experience (newspapers, television, PR, books, and more) to San Diego this year for a Read & Critique.

Apparently, she also acts, but that should not come as a surprise. She’s quite comfortable in front of an audience, having taught at UCSD, CSU Fullerton, The Writing Center, The Writers’ Room, and various conferences. So why should a camera bother her?

Her dedication to educating writers won her recognition in 1999 as San Diego Writer’s Monthly Woman of the Year, and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild bestowed upon her the 2001 Odin Award for Community Service.

–bd