Monday, September 26, 2011

Education Encore and Others

Nick May speaking to my class.
It has been a good month for writing, reading, and talking about writing and reading.

My Education Encore class began Friday, and I think it was a success. I had 13 women in the class (no men) and a visit from Nick May, author of Megabelt and the upcoming Minutemen. We talked about the elements of story, wrote character descriptions of ourselves (I encouraged them to make things up so the reader wouldn't know what was actual and what was virtual), and had a drawing for a writing book (I picked some up at the Borders slash-and-burn sale).

This Friday, we define "plots" (where characters are buried when they die), have another book drawing and a visit from author Mark Boss, who recently reviewed my novel "The Book of Gabriel" on his blog. I think it will be another productive and fun day. (I made the mistake of promising to try to write a story based on a few of the odd topics in the news that day. I'll share it here later this week.)

Writers Gallery
Last Tuesday was the first anniversary of Writers Gallery, a gathering I've been attending lately where we read samples of our work. It's open to all ages, genres, genders, and ability; there's no judgment passed, just sharing. This month, we met at Purple Grape, a wine bar in St. Andrews.

Writers Gallery
I took a few pictures, read the opening chapter of TBoG, had a glass of wine with my friends Sean and Stephanie, talked with people I don't get to see often enough, and heard some interesting poetry and stories. Lou and I discussed briefly the ongoing plan. I also met Shelby Vick, an editor of the online pulp magazine Planetary Stories. (I plan to send him some tales soon.)

Michael Lister, Olivia Cooley
A week ago Saturday, I sat in on two sessions at the annual Gulf Coast Writers Conference at Gulf Coast State College. The event, organized by author Michael Lister, brings readers and writers from across the region together. I participated in a panel on Short Story and one on "Other" types of writing (memoir, essay, review, etc.). In addition, the author John Dufresne gave the keynote address at lunch. John is a terrifically talented short story writer and novelist, and university professor. He stayed in town for the week, leading sessions at the nearby Rosemary Beach Conference for Writers; I had planned to get out there during the week for the evening readings, but could never swing the free time. (Here's something I wrote last time I went to the Rosemary conference; I was in a weird mood.)

Aside: The mail just arrived, including 13 more "New 52" first issues from DC. I'll have brief reviews in the next couple of days.

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