Happy Holidays, See You in 2007

The next meeting of the South Sound Algonquins will be on January 8th at Cafe Pegasso in DuPont. Hope to see you all there.


Update: The Last Two Meetings

Hey all. Wanted to bring you up to date on the last two meetings. Yes, three months now and we're still meeting. Although much less of us. I'm thinking we may want to put the word out for a few more members.

It has been posited that we take a break over the holidays, I seconded. Although, if anyone would like to meet on Monday, the 18th, I'd be happy to. Otherwise, the next meeting of the South Sound Algonquins will be on January 8th at 6:30 pm @ Cafe Pegasso.

The writing is going well. We could all probably benefit from a boost of enthusiasm. The holidays really seem to sap the energy.


Last Night's Meeting

I'm not sure if anyone reads this, including the members (no one leaves comments). At last night's meeting I brought an editing checklist which fits onto the front and back of a single sheet, if you'd like one e-mail me.

Megan, Sherylle and I braved the weather. Megan introduced her new untitled YA fantasy which sounds really interesting, the first five pages hook! Sherylle brought a short story about an incident with a dove (she could use some help finding a rescue mission for the bird, in all reality). I brought a quick rewrite on my manuscript, which needs some work and a humor injection.

I hope that others can join us next week.

See you. Be careful in this crazy weather.


Some Writing Advice

I recieved this in an email:

As you know, my happiest writing is done at night when everyone (but you, me, and the other night owls)is asleep, especially husbands, children, and telemarketers. I think I need to renew my Do Not Call request. LOL. I don't do enough PR. It's the writing I really like.
My advice to novice writers is that you read a lot of what you want to write before you start, when you have something to sell attend conferences where you'll meet editors and agents to whom you can pitch your work; exploit connections you might have in the publishing world, never submit a book that hasn't been thoroughly proofed, start the next book as soon as the first one is in the mail, continue doing that until you get an acceptance, file the refusals and never think about them again, and don't quit your day job, divorce your husband, or in any way give up your means of support until you're making enough writing to eat and pay your bills. LOL.

Her website is HERE.

I have no clue who this Nancy Fairbanks is, but the advice is sound.


The First Draft Is Done!!!

I have great news to share. At 5:30 today, I typed the last words into the first draft of The Undead Socialites Guide to Nightlife. I'm so excited to begin another process not yet tackled in earnest, editing.

Now I'm really going to need the group's help.

Thanks for all your support.

Thanksgiving Week Meeting

Our meeting was small but productive. Sherylle was sick, and Megan had family obligations. Monica and I discussed marketing to a variety of genres based on themes that pop out from the material. We discussed the editing process and what publishers might be looking for.

Hope to see everyone at the next meeting.


November 13th Meeting

The creativity is flowing like gas through a pump nozzle, ready to ignite. The work being presented is looking great. The more cleaning we do in critique, the better the writing comes out the other end (so to speak).

Goals for the week:
  • Mark: 90 more pages by next meeting.
  • Megan: A start for her new fantasy novel.
  • Monica: three more chapters of revisions.
  • Sherylle: A short story with supernatural undertones.
See you next time.


Site Review: Bookslut

Looking for interesting book reviews, interviews and insights into literature? Look no further than Bookslut, a literate exploration of the authors craft.

Check it out!

Meeting Update

The writing group is a success. We have all made progress toward the goal of completing our manuscripts.

This week, we discussed becoming bored with your work and delving into the whys, and hows to alleviate the situation.

We didn't have time, but I brought an exercise that we agreed to start at home (I list), for character exploration. If you weren't at the meeting on Monday, and would like a copy. Email me.


Stephen King Lecture Notes

Okay, so, I didn't actually take any notes. But I was entertained. Last night, My wife, two friends and me went to see Stephen King at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The man can scat. Two hours and only a brief reading from his new book, Lisey's Story.

Some thoughts:
  • King likened writing to a tennis match, bouncing ideas off reality and writing down what comes back. This statement was in regards to how much of our 'selves' are in our characters.
  • He discussed some of his favorite adaptations to film (Shawshank, Misery, The Green Mile) and some that he thought were shit (Sometimes They Come Back Again). He reported that Eyes of the Dragon was being made into an Animated Film, and John Cusak had just wrapped a film, called 1408, from the short story of the same name.
  • On the popularity of Horror, King offered that people like to explore their darker thoughts, films and books are an easier way to do that than writing and filmmaking (stuck in the dark thoughts). He suggested that when people have to deal with extreme violence in reality, that is reflected in popular culture outlets (Saw, Texas Chainsaw).
An interesting night, full of anecdotes from his family life and medical issues (his recent pneumonia and subsequent infection, directly influenced the new book). He even conjured up a scare for the audience, bringing up reports that 1 in 50 people leave their cars unlocked and 1 in 100 leave their houses unsecured. That there would be someone waiting for those people in the rearview mirror or in a dark closet was assured. The only question: would they be carrying a kitchen knife or power tools?

Note: Another film currently in the works, The Mist, one of my favorite of King's short stories, is being directed by Frank Darabont (The Green Mile).


Willamette Writer's Conference Dates

I know it's a drive to get there but the Willamette Writer's Conference is massive. Last year 50 agents and editors were on hand to mingle with, or schedule one on one or group pitches (these are always a small fee to arrange).

The conference is scheduled for August 3-5. But will usually start the evening prior with pitch rehearsal.

We should plan on attending as a group.

Challenge: PNWA Literary Contest

I hope I have figured this out! I have a link to the Pacific Northwest Writers Assoc Literary Contest.

Click HERE.

We have until February to submit something!



4th Meeting Update

After brief debate, the decision was made to change the meeting start time to 6:30 pm. 6:00 has been a hardship for the majority of members.

At tonight's meeting, we revisited Megan's mystery and loved the direction of spirited humor that has been injected into the piece. Sherylle's Detective Waterbury continues to create a feeling of nostalgia and her prose flows like lyrical poetry.

Next week: Lets do a free write!!!

Mark's Great News

I'm ecstatic to announce that I sold the rights to my first short story, An Acquired Taste. The small publishing house, From the Asylum Books and Press, has plans to go to print in November and set for release, shortly thereafter.

The story will appear in the anthology book (that's right, book - I'm dying), Loving the Undead, an Anthology of Romance, Sort of.

Here's hoping that this is the first of many. I'll keep the group updated as to the actual publication date and will provide a link to Amazon, after its release.

Thanks to the group for much support.


6 Word Stories

The magazine Wired, put out a request to scifi, fantasy and horror authors for very short stories - no more than 6 words. For example, Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and the new Son of a Witch, came up with this gem:

From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.

I challenge the group to come up with their own 6 word stories. Here's mine:

Binding laces, coaxing favors. Harlot's work.


Ha! I did it. Although that is an awfully l o n g something to type in.

Any way, am enjoying the Monday night gathering. It gets a little noisy in the shop at times, but oh well, it IS comfortable.
Will be working hard to meet my goals. This group helps me do it.

New Stuff...

Check out Miss Snark, the Literary Agent. Her blog is pull no punches stuff. Very informative.

I've added links to the Book Reporter and Booksense. I think it's really important to keep up with the trends in genre fiction.

In addition, I've been updating my own blog, Burlesque of the Damned, with weekly book reviews, some freewriting and weird stuff I find on the internet.

So, pull up a chair and stay a while.

Another Resource

This one came from an agent, at Full Circle Literary, along with a pretty fair rejection of my children's novel.

Meeting 3 Recap

Monica joined in for the third meeting of the South Sound Algonquins. Submissions and rejections seemed to be the theme of discussion. We also discussed going to a conference as a group. If anyone is aware of upcoming area conferences please feel free to post to this blog. Invitations have been resent.

We each shared from our work and the critique was helpful and constructive. Particular focus was given to showing in scene rather than telling the reader.

Goals for the week included: finishing chapters and editing past work.

Good Luck, all. Remember, writing as little as thirty minutes a day can turn out a novel in a year.


Second Meeting!

The South Sound Algonquins met again last night. Decided to go ahead with this name for the group, as there was not a lot of interest in a vote.

We reviewed goal accomplishments set last week and proceeded right into the critique. Our group is producing a variety of interesting writing, literary, genre and memoir.

I encourage everyone to attend, next Monday's group. It looks like we'll start around 6:00 pm.

See you there.


Campaign for the American Reader

I have, sort of, become enamored of this blog, of late. Particularly the "Page 69 test," described here.


Two Great Resources

For those unaware, Stephen King will be in Seattle for the Seattle Arts and Lectures Series, on November 1st at Benaroya Hall (cheap seats $25).

Additional lectures this year by Frank McCourt (11/21), Edwidge Danticat (1/8), and Jonathan Lethem (4/18).

Tickets through www.lectures.org.

Writing Group Parameters

At our first meeting (October 9), we made the following decisions.

  1. Frequency: Meetings will be held weekly on Mondays @ 6:30 p.m.
  2. Location: Cafe Pegasso, in DuPont, offers us the most flexibility, as it is owned by group member Megan.
  3. Goals: At each meeting we will set and review individual and group goals, to stress progress and accountability to our writing.
  4. Critique readings: Limited to three double spaced pages (supply copies for readers).
  5. Group Name Suggestions: Pegasus Writing Group, The Vicious Circle, South Sound Algonquins.
Members in attendance (weekly goal)
  1. Mark: 1 Chapter complete in each novel (2).
  2. Sherylle: 1 Chapter complete in novel, and completed "snapshot."
  3. Megan: Wrap up scene from novel.
  4. Katherine: Review previous chapters and write 1 new.
We discussed our reading preferences and current projects. New members should be prepared to do the same.



The South Sound Algonquins are a writer's critique group. Our goals are to challenge each other to better writing and publication.