Write Around Portland is a terrific nonprofit that provides free writing workshops for underserved populations, giving them a chance to acquire new skills and new self-awareness. They’ve done workshops with people in prison, folks living in low income housing communities, people in treatment centers–all kinds of people in all walks of life. They do tremendous good in my community!
In October, I’ll be teaching a class at Write Around Portland’s offices. It’s actually a fundraiser for the organization–I’m donating my time so the class fees can go to help needier folks. It’ll be two hours of writing exercises and discussion that I think will be fun and rewarding.
Here are the details:
BUILDING WORLDS AND PEOPLE: USING SCI-FI TECHNIQUES IN ANY GENRE WITH WENDY N. WAGNER
Spend Saturday, October 15 from 2-4pm writing with author and Hugo award-winning editor Wendy N. Wagner!
Science fiction is at its best when the ideas are fantastical—but the settings are gritty and the characters multi-dimensional. The same techniques science fiction writers use to make you believe in their wild worlds and adventurers are just as useful for those writing romance, historical fiction, or anything else. Prepare for lots of hands-on writing time as you learn how to deepen your characters and make their environments unforgettable.
This is a special, two-hour workshop to benefit Write Around Portland.
Location: 133 SW 2nd Ave. Suite 304, Downtown Portland
Holy bonjoes! Next Tuesday is Starspawn‘s release day! To say I’m excited is an understatement.
If you want to learn a little more about the book, I’ll be at Reddit Fantasy on Tuesday (8/9) for an AMA. Stop by and fire away! That’s also a good time to learn how to make my world* famous cucumber lemonade, should you be interested.
If you’re in the Portland area, I’ll be doing a reading at the Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills on Tuesday, August 16th, at 7 pm. For more details about the event, check out the Facebook event page.
* And by “world,” I mean “famous to me and a handful of friends, but dang this stuff is really tasty.”
Next month the anthology Swords v Cthulhu will be released. It looks like it’s chock full o’ fighting, tentacles, and all around fun!
My story in the anthology, “Ordo Virtutum,” is inspired by the life of Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th century Christian mystic. If you like Lovecraftian adventures packed full of adorable nuns, this is for you! And if you’re the impatient type, right now you can read a tiny teaser from the story on the publisher’s website.
If you’re a Pacific Northwesterner looking for some extra nerdy fun this weekend, be sure to check out Westercon, held here in Portland this year (at the Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd Center). Westercon is hosted by the annual summer steampunk convention, GearCon, so think of the weekend as a big, delicious sundae of steampunk, SF, and fantasy fun.
As a giant nerd, of course I’ll be there. I never miss a chance for fun. Who can forget the time I saw Totoro and totally freaked out?
Here’s my schedule for the weekend:
More Than Just Black and White: Humanizing Heroes and Villians
12 pm , Roosevelt room
Heroes and villains can’t be all good or evil. Join the panelists for a lively discussion of favorite heroes and villians and what makes them so interesting and learn how to craft complex and relatable characters to give your stories emotional impact. with Carol Berg, David Boop, and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff.
Violence in Fantasy
2 pm, Jackson room
Battles, torture, swordfights . . . why do we see so much violence in fantasy literature? Is it a requirement? How much is too much? Do you as a writer have limits? Does every epic have to end in a battle? with Anthony Pryor, Jim Doty, and John Shirley.
10 am, Multnomah room
Come hang out and drink hot beverages with me! I’ll be joined by writers A.M. Brosius, Erica Satifka, and Sharon Joss.
Wendy N. Wagner: solo reading
12 pm, Madison room
Before you grab lunch, spend half an hour having your ears tickled by my melodious voice. Nothing whets your appetite like a story!
If you’ve read Skinwalkers, you’ll know Jendara and Vorrin spend a lot of time traveling on board Vorrin’s ship, the Milady. Here’s a photo of the real-life tall ship I modeled her after:
The Lady Washington sails out of the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. This photo was captured at the Port of Coos Bay—the closest “big town” to where I grew up.
Milady is about 80% the size of the ship in the photo: just right for a small family business. The real ship is a replica of the Lady Washington built in 1787. She was the first tall ship to make landfall on the west coast of North America.
And never fear: the beautiful Milady will be appearing in Starspawn as well!
As a horror reader (okay: horror lifestyle enthusiast), I feel like horror is always in season, but some flavors are more tastier at different times of the year.
Summer? It’s for slashers and serial killers.
Winter? Supernatural monsters.
But spring is for Lovecraft.
There’s nothing like sitting on your couch while it’s drizzling outside, the flowers starting to bud, the birds chirping cheerfully, and reading about some loathsome New England horror, preferably with tentacles. I’ve done most of my Lovecraftian reading and writing in the spring, too–it just feels right!
If you’re looking for a good spring read, I hear that the anthology Autumn Cthulhu—which includes my short story “The Black Azalea”–has started going out to Kickstarter backers. “The Black Azalea” is one of my favorite pieces, so I can’t wait for people to start reading it. And while it’s set in October, I feel it’s a delightful spring read.
I hope you’re all reading good things, creepy or not!