Friday, December 9, 2011

Geeky and literary booty and writers' dens

GeekChicDaily is hosting a geeky swag contest that includes lots of Dr. Who stuff and is valued at $1,000. See their contest page for the details. And if you win, and don't want the Dr. Who Series Six DVD, remember who sent you. :)

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University now has the first installment of author Fred Saberhagen's papers. Saberhagen, best known for his Berserker novels, died in 2007 in New Mexico, but was born in Chicago. View the press release on the NIU Today website.

Canadian author Terence Green’s “Blue Limbo” is Phoenix Pick’s free ebook for December.

The coupon code for December is 9991437 and will be good from December 2
through December 31. Download available at

Mitch Helwig is a cop on the edge, “a man who’s gone through the valley of the shadow and hasn’t quite made it out the other side” (Toronto Globe & Mail). Vengeance and heroism, the subtleties of family woven into the metaphysics of life and death, all come together here in a page-turner, “a near-future tech-noir thriller” (SF Site) that moves at breakneck speed.

"A chilling picture of Toronto in the not too distant future."—The Toronto Star

I had such a fabulous time at OryCon that I wanted the party to continue. Toward that end, I searched for a local writer's hangout. Santa Rosa doesn't have one, so I'm trying to create one. I got a lot of great response from folks, but most wanted to hear about it after it formed, rather than help form it. The hardest thing of all is that people are so accustomed to set dates and times for meetings and structured settings, that the whole concept seems quite foreign to them. Maybe I'm just dreaming.

What I have in mind is a place - it can be a pub, a café, a corner of a book store, a restaurant - where writes and readers hang out for literary discussion, or just to chew the fat with other folks seeking intelligent conversation. I named it (Santa Rosa Writer's Den), started a yahoo group and gave it one rule: no promotion. I'm sick to death of writers marketing to other writers. I'm sick to death of hearing about promotion. I want to talk about writing and books I've read. If you just had a book published, fantastic, just don't try to sell it to me at my hangout where I'm coming to escape all that commercialism. It's scary how much writers have to focus on promotion these days. But, above all, we're writers. My aim is to create a refuge where we can hang out and not be bothered by the dark side of the biz.

We're still building critical mass and then will have to pick a spot or try several until we find the right one. I'll set it up to meet on maybe two specific nights (with a wide window of time to just drop in) and one or two days per week until it gets more established.

If only I had a time machine, I'd go hang out with the Inklings (whose members included CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien). They surely would turn me out because of my gender and dislike of pipe smoke. But they had the right idea. C.S. Lewis' older brother, Warren, who was also a member, wrote, "Properly speaking, the Inklings was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections." Of course, there's was more of a critique group and they did meet once a week.

I'd be interested to hear how many of my readers have found such a place where they live. Is there such a thing as a "Cheers" for writers and readers? Would it be too boring? Should we invite bull-fighters and race-car drivers to liven things up? Am I missing something here?

No comments: