Writers Chatting: Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that there will be a writing group thread on Sunday (Dec 4) at 12:30 EST/9:30 PST. For now we are going to talk process, resources and support. We’ll revisit sharing pieces after the new year.

See you there!

Also: There will be no recipe threads for a while, but I’ll probably put together some holiday stuff later in the month. My focus is usually around Christmas stuff, but if anyone wants to send me recipes and info on different holiday celebrations, please do. I would love to post about that – include photos!



Writers Chatting: Prologue

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Let’s talk. First things first – are you still up for a writers group? I thought it would be important to move forward with something that let’s us focus on good things again.

Next, how do you want to approach this? Do you want to use it as a place to share journeys, ideas and ask questions of each other? Would you like me to bring in some people to offer their experiences in the post and possibly hang out in the comments to chat? I have a couple of people who are willing – one is Hillary Rettig – and I think she can provide some good insights.

Do you want to share works to get opinions from your fellow writers? If so, we’d need to discuss how best to do that. I’m thinking a dropbox-type link – as long as you realized there is no way to secure it – it would be available to anyone who clicks on the link (although with dropbox you can put an expiration on it – I don’t know about the other services). If anyone knows a better way, let me know.

Now, let’s talk about the rules here. I taught for years – many of my classes were for adults who needed a safe, accepting place to explore their creativity in a way their careers didn’t allow. That’s how I’m approaching this. I’m going to monitor the comments closely – this is not the place to be snarky, criticize your fellow writers or decide to unload personal cynicism.

While in all my other posts, including my recipe threads, I let you say whatever, here I will delete your comment. If you feel that’s unfair, you can email me and protest. Or, hey, John loves getting your complaints (in all CAPS if you really want his attention) and he can let me know I’m out of  line. But this will be a place where people feel safe exploring their creativity. Period.

Okay, lets’ get started. Let me know how you want this to take shape.

ETA: Next Writers Chat is set for Dec 4th at 12est/10mst/9pst

ETA2: Okay, I’m going to read through this thread tonight and come up with a good plan for our next post. So keep posting comments…..



Calling All Writers: UPDATE

These are my concord grape vines – the grapes were delicious and the fall colors awesome (you can read about my grape jelly escapades here )

There seems to be enough  interest to pursue this. What I’d like to know next is when is a good time? I’d like to do it twice a month (at least to start) and find a time that works for most. We won’t start until after the election. What works best for you – weekend afternoon, weekend evening or week night? I’ll try and find what works for most. Of course we won’t be able to make everyone happy, but I’ll do my best to find a good time.

Hillary and I are still discussing format and how to approach it all. Stay tuned.

Here is the original post:

I have been toying with an idea since Authors in Our Midst.  I really enjoyed the comments on those threads and it seemed like we had a lot of people who were in progress on some writing project or another. Do we have enough interest to start a writing support group here?

I was thinking we could “meet” a couple times a month and encourage each other, offer advice and suggestions. Maybe a secure drop box to share work to critique. I can see if our published authors would be wiling to pop in and offer their experiences and answer questions.

Hillary Rettig has offered her support/expertise with this, too! So if you’re interested, leave a comment in this post and I’ll take it from there if we have enough interest.

 








Calling All Writers

The view from my office:

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I have been toying with an idea since Authors in Our Midst.  I really enjoyed the comments on those threads and it seemed like we had a lot of people who were in progress on some writing project or another. Do we have enough interest to start a writing support group here?

I was thinking we could “meet” a couple times a month and encourage each other, offer advice and suggestions. Maybe a secure drop box to share work to critique. I can see if our published authors would be wiling to pop in and offer their experiences and answer questions.

Hillary Rettig has offered her support/expertise with this, too! So if you’re interested, leave a comment in this post and I’ll take it from there if we have enough interest.








More Things in Heaven and Earth

So the most shocking news of the year may turn out (for me, at least) to have nothing to do with the election. It’s that Christopher Marlowe has been officially credited as coauthor of some of Shakespeare’s plays:

Shakespeare may have had a little more help than previously suspected.

The New Oxford Shakespeare edition of the playwright’s works — which will be published by Oxford University Press online ahead of a worldwide print release — lists Christopher Marlowe as Shakespeare’s co-author on the three “Henry VI” plays, parts 1, 2 and 3.

It’s the first time that a major edition of Shakespeare’s works has listed Shakespeare’s colleague and rival as a co-author on these works, the volume’s general editor, Gary Taylor, said in a phone interview.

There’s been literally centuries of dispute on this, with the Shakespeareans accusing the Marlovians of all kinds of bad faith. But it was Big Data that validated Marlow’s authorship:

For the New Oxford Shakespeare scholars ran tests to determine whether authors like Marlowe could be reliably identified by the ways they used language — like frequent use of certain articles, and certain words commonly occurring in a row, or being close to each other in the text. Once this was determined, researchers applied these patterns back to texts, to see if they suggested an author other than Shakespeare. If results came out positive, further tests were run.

Mr. Taylor said that the exact nature of the playwrights’ collaboration cannot be certain, but that they did not necessarily work together in person. Scriptwriting at Shakespeare’s time was often structured similarly to how movie writing happens now: One author would earn an advance for writing a plot outline, and theaters would hire other authors to write other scenes, according to their strengths.

It’s possible that this is how the “Henry” plays were written, Mr. Taylor said, noting that some playwrights also collaborated by hashing through ideas in pubs.

Personally, I find the Big Data angle a bit creepy. I’m happy Marlowe is finally getting his due, and am all for the use of scientific techniques in the humanities. But if Shakespeare’s not “safe,” no one is. What other time-travel toppling of literary and historical edifices awaits us?

PS – someone at Wikipedia needs to get cracking:

The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him….Although the idea has attracted much public interest, all but a few Shakespeare scholars and literary historians consider it a fringe belief and for the most part acknowledge it only to rebut or disparage the claims.

Also, PPS – for those who are interested, a reminder. I know some Juicers are planning to participate in NaNoWriMo or AcWriMo, so here’s my resource center for those. Also my SavvyAuthors online class starts Monday (10/31) and will provide great support for all writers in November, and there’s a $5 discount for Juicers. (Happy to answer questions on any of these; email me.)

Christopher Marlowe

Someone’s looking smug!








Writing Productivity Class and Meet Ups (NY & NJ) Comin’ Atcha!

Hey Everyone – I’m going to bigfoot myself to announce that I’m teaching an online writing-productivity class starting 10/31. It’s great for any writer (creative, academic, business, etc.) trying to boost his or her output, overcome procrastination and perfectionism, and/or finish a project. (Actually for anyone with those goals, in any crazed-turquoise-bowl-6afield, but the examples and discussions will all be writing-focused.) The classes are four weeks long, and the format is bloggish, so you can be located anywhere. Normally $50, but the host, SavvyAuthors, is offering a discount of $5 just for Juicers—so $45. Click here to register. (Note: the class dates are wrong on that link but rest assured you will be registering for my class.)

More info below the fold. Another perk, btw, is that we typically get many romance writers in the class, and they are interesting people who tend to occupy the sweet spot at the intersection of “kind and supportive” and “publication focused.” (Oh, and in case you’re interested, here’s a piece I did a few years back on romance fiction and social justice.)

In other news, JT and I are hitting the road again and I’d love to meet up with any Juicers in either New York City (Nov 21 – 23) or Montclair, NJ (Nov 25-26). (Pre- and post-Thanksgiving.) Please email me at hillaryrettig@yahoo.com. (Also email me if questions about the class.)

Illustration: gorgeous Kintsugi pottery by Lakeside Pottery Studio in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Per Wikipedia: “Kintsugi (“golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (“golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum… As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.” Hillary’s note: in other words, Kinsugi exemplifies the virtues of nonperfectionism, one of the main topics we’ll discuss in class. (Image reproduced with kind permission of Morty Bachar and Patty Storms.)

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Congrats to Tom! (Open Thread)

Our own Tom Levenson’s “The Hunt for Vulcan” has been short-listed for the Royal Society prize for science books. As Joe Biden might say, that’s a big fucking deal!

Tom, to say you class up this joint is an understatement on the order of calling Donald Trump “mildly disagreeable.” Congratulations, man!

H/T: Valued commenter Scav.