A-D, Writers Anonymous, Writers Conventions

Writers Anonymous II

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Wow! What a great conference. Pacific Northwest Writers Conference http://www.pnwa.org/

Information overload, terrific people and NONE of us want to be ANONYMOUS.

Some of the fun, besides fantastic speakers and great panels, was writers watching writers. We are often odd creatures. I thought this conference would be a tremendous opportunity to start a project called “A Field Guide to Writers: How to Spot and Identify the Elusive Writers among Us”.Notebook and daytimers

I found out my observation skills are not skilled enough. Without squinting at the fine print of a name tag, I couldn’t tell what genre a writer wrote. I couldn’t even discern which ones were the agents and editors. At least not until the panel where they introduced themselves.

Guess the field guide will have to wait.

I attended a panel by Kiffer Brown. Her scary statistics included such facts as there will be two million books published this year in the English language alone. Fortunately her talk allayed the rising fear in the audience as she told us all the ways out of the anonymous ocean. Visit her information packed “Chanticleer Book Reviews” site. Thank you, Kiffer.

What I learned above all else is that writing and writers have come full circle.

We started as storytellers connecting people and place. First around campfires and now we have moved to the “Interverse”.

IMG_2494Forgive my hubris, but we are once again storytellers. We are the twist of the unexpected that makes you laugh, the sigh of inner discovery that connects your soul to you or another, the information, the help, the dreams, the reality. We are and always will be there for you.

Each one of us to each one of you. Gladly.

Forget anonymity. It’s overrated. Reach out to us. Tell us what you need and one of us, one of the millions of us, will make sure you get it.



Bengal Cat Pictures, Conventions, Writing

Writers Anonymous

brass dragon

Writers are known as solitary and elusive, but they exist among us. You’ve probably seen one or two of them without even realizing it.

Writers, otherwise known as those who write, live in more diverse habitats than the ubiquitous crow.130427-scan070

While a secluded ivory tower without any distractions or restrictions on their time haunts their dreams, most writers live out in the social sphere. Many are happily disguised as normal “non-writer” people.

These writers among us, who work and play next to us, also go to parties, play sports, watch television, and sometimes even own animals other than cats (or owls).

Overall most keep up a good façade that hides their inner nature. Most writers don’t want you to know how much they study you. They mine their daily social interactions looking for nervous ticks, rhythms of speech and the archetypes into which you fit. The world, outside of the ivory tower they crave, is their playground.

Another secret (& I know I must be breaking some secret code in telling you this) is that writers congregate. They join critique groups, writing clubs, support groups and type furiously at speed writing tables.

Even more than that, writers by the hundreds will go to writing conventions. They seek each other out, springboard off of each other’s energy and somehow bring a little more magic into the world.

This week is the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Conference. http://www.pnwa.org/

And I am going in…





F is for FangsongF is for French Script
I love the name of this font, Fangsong. For me it evokes all sorts of images that I doubt have anything at all to do with the font. It comes from a Chinese company by the name of C & C Joint Printing Co., (HK) Ltd.

My research into this company, trying unsuccessfully to find the creator of the font, lead me to this very interesting site about Chinese fonts in the computer world: http://epeuthutebetes.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/chinese-serif-italics/. I especially like the discussion of how one tackles the problem of trying to italicize Chinese characters.

French Script by Stephenson Blake, 1905. I simply adore the look of this font.
Finally on fonts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_typefaces, a place that lists a great many typefaces by type.

You would think this would be an easy subject. I write fantasy, I read fantasy, and my imagination runs wild along fantastic lines of thought. This is one of my favorite subjects, but where to start in defining and explaining it?

Fantasy is something produced by imagination that is somehow removed from a semblance of known realities. It is fiction and often features strange settings, rules that fly in the face of traditional science or concrete beliefs and yet are made real enough that when the reader immerses themselves in the story they believe every word.

WizardFantasy is child’s play

It is also advanced visions, social commentary, satire, and almost assuredly something that has very little chance of every happening. If you prefer the things that have the illusion of possibility then reading science fiction will plunge you more into worlds where it is easier to suspend disbelief. Fantasy is an impractical or unrealistic idea made real.

While it’s true that by definition all fiction is made-up, in fantasy there is an extra step out of the realm of believability. Unicorn

A very good site that dissects the elements of fantasy in today’s mediums: http://www.k12.hi.us/~mkunimit/MKt3/fantasy3.htm..

Originally fantasy sprung from themes found in myth and folklore, but the genre now includes all variations of imagination. Today’s fantasy makes its own rules. There can be magic, talking animals, themes and creatures from myth & folklore, other worlds, science, speculative, dystopian, cross-overs into other realms such as romance and horror, and many more. The limit is the imagination of the writer.

We will revisit fantasy many times over the life of this blog. I can tell you the bare-bones of what the genre is, but to fully comprehend the joy, the life, the child’s play that so many of us have forgotten, is to take a dip in the pool, run with someone else’s dreams and visions, and then to make your own.

Green Dragon
My hope on sparking even more creativity is to once again visit the World Fantasy Convention. I’ve only done so once, and would love to do so again.

There are many smaller, more accessible conventions and these too are well worth the immersion into fantastical worlds and the people who dream them, draw them, discuss them, map them, and can explain the joys they’ve found in particular worlds.

http://worldfantasy2014.org/. This year the convention is in Washington DC, November 6 to November 9.

This one also looks like fun: http://www.fantasycon2014.org/ City of York in England, September 5 through September 11.

If these are too soon for adequate planning, prep and reading, then you can find some of the next ones in the queue or closer to your region at these sites:

http://www.conventionscene.com/schedules/scifiandfantasyconventions/ One stop shopping for a convention near you.

Where do you go for creativity?  Where are the best conventions and places to share your love and enthusiasm for the fantastical arts? What inspires you?