Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why the Lion?

Lion Dance

Happy New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year!

The lion dance brings good luck for the year to all who observe it.  But why a lion?

The lion is that it is not a lion per se, but the idea of a lion. This is a great example of unreliable narrator, in this case the Emperor Qianlong.  The emperor dreamt of an auspicious animal with colorful hair. The term “Lion” seemed close enough, since what he wanted was the idea of this animal, rather than the exact copy. The result is charming and recognized internationally as one of the enduring symbols of the new year.

We don’t necessarily need to be accurate to be interesting and effective.Lion Dance 2

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Day of the Book Featured Speakers

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

April 20, 2013

JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

Time: 10-4

Banned & Recovered: Artists Intervention is a collective response by 37 artists to the conspicuous success of book challenges and bannings in U.S. schools and libraries and the real threats to the U.S. Constitution posed by the 2003 U.S. Patriot Act.

Artists created new works of art inspired by titles from the long list of banned and challenged books. The result is a spectacular collection of witty, whimsical, angry, and thought-provoking statements about the ramifications of censorship and the importance of free speech. Together, the works shed new light on problematic issues and engage visitors in a lively dialog about the power of art in the face of censorship.

Panel artists:

Adrienne McGraw  is the Executive Director of Exhibit Envoy  She received her MA in Museum Studies with an emphasis in public programming from John F. Kennedy University and an MS Ed with an emphasis in Environmental Education from CSU East Bay and holds a BA in Environmental Studies. Adrienne is a founding member of the California Association of Museums’ Green Museums Initiative Committee and is currently adjunct faculty at JFK University Museum Studies where she teaches a course on museum history and contemporary issues and advises students in the thesis seminar.

Mary V. Marsh has been making art and working in libraries in the Bay Area since 1982. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. She has exhibited in many venues in the Bay Area with solo shows at, San Francisco Art Commission at Grove Street, San Jose Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Center,  SFPL Skylight Gallery, and Mercury 20. Currently an Artist in Resident at Kala Art Institute, she makes prints and artist’s books under Quite Contrary Press.

Hanna Regev has an M.A. in Museum Studies and M.A. in Modern European History from San Francisco State University. She works with numerous cultural organizations and art galleries in San Francisco and the Bay Area, producing and developing cultural public that appeal to art lovers, collectors, and museum practitioners.

Milton Bowen  is an artist  and  inspirational public speaker. Milton continues to work with communities to keep art a vital part of public education and a tool to help build self-esteem in youth.  Milton works tirelessly to create through-provoking exhibitions that will help restore a level of hope in communities desperately in need of inspiration.

Jan Wurm teaches for University of California Berkeley Extension and has lectured extensively as a guest artist. Wurm organizes and facilitates a Guest Artist Lecture Series for the Berkeley Art Center and is actively engaged in expanding the community forum for contemporary art dialogue. Through paintings, drawings, and artists books, Wurm examines daily life and close encounters to reveal aspects of contemporary culture which inform our relationships.

http://www.exhibitenvoy.org/OurExhibits/tabid/110/ID/1/Banned__Recovered_Artists_Intervention.aspx

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Day of the Book

inkwell

Day of the Book

April 20, 2013

JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

Time: 10-4

 Come and celebrate the Day of the Book!  We are putting together a fantastic group of speakers/authors just for you!  So if you’re in the East Bay on Saturday, April 20th, Come by!

Featuring the artists who created

Banned & Recovered: Artists Intervention is a collective response by 37 artists to the conspicuous success of book challenges and bannings in U.S. schools and libraries and the real threats to the U.S. Constitution posed by the 2003 U.S. Patriot Act.

Artists created new works of art inspired by titles from the long list of banned and challenged books. The result is a spectacular collection of witty, whimsical, angry, and thought-provoking statements about the ramifications of censorship and the importance of free speech. Together, the works shed new light on problematic issues and engage visitors in a lively dialog about the power of art in the face of censorship.

Also

What Is Your Big Idea? –   Beth Barany

Write your Book Now –  Catharine Bramkamp

Build Your Audience On-Line  – Stephanie Chandler

Women in the Air – Jeane Slone

GALACTIC EXODUS: A Science Fiction Documentary or History of the Future  – Michael Somers

Inheriting Identity: Fiction as Emotional Autobiography –  Elizabeth Rosner

Writing and Self-Publishing as Personal Expressions of Liberation and Autonomy.   – K. Tutashinda

Building a Vibrant Fictional World  – Tanya Egan Gibson

The Art of Spiritual Writing   Charles Burack, Ph.D

What’s Your Story? The Heart and Craft of Memoir Writing – Linda Joy Meyers

 

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

 

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

Oh, and look for information and tips here from the featured authors.

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The After Conference Fall Out

Do you feel brilliant and accomplished after a weekend writing conference?
I never do.  I walk out of the sessions thinking that I will never, ever be as:

  • Popular
  • Accomplished
  • Rich
  • Thin
  • Young

As the speakers.   Sometimes the above list makes me really, really depressed.  I ruminate over issues like:

  • I haven’t followed any of the information presented so I must be some kind of idiot.
  • What do I know about writing, I’ve only been doing it for 40 years (since I was very young)
  • What am I even doing here;  I should have taken up dentistry.

I believe this kind of doubt and anguish is fairly normal. You may feel the same way. Or you may be perfect and good for you, drop me a line and tell me how that feels.

But after a few days wallowing in my own, er, stuff, I snap out of it and think, okay, I’m going to act on all the good   advice:

  • fix the character arc in the novel
  • make a plan for  for social media (no, I am still not taking up twitter, I’ll leave that to Damien)
  • curate information to build my platform.

Like most adult learners, I needed to do everything wrong in my first draft so I could really hear and  understand the messages delivered by the more-famous-than-me-authors and maybe apply them to the third draft of my book.

In the end, I think, maybe I can improve, it just takes a few days for all of it to sink in.
I’m still working on getting younger.

Mark Hopkins, home of the SF Writers Conference

Mark Hopkins, home of the SF Writers Conference

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Where social media and real life collide

Home | The Social Media MonthlyThe Social Media Monthly | Where social media and real life collide.

We had a great conversation with Bob Fine, the editor and publisher of The Social Media Monthly –  He had some great tips for the Newbie Writer.  One big tip is to start writing for blogs to start up your own portfolio.  It’s easier to start with blogs, Bob himself often “tries out” a writer on his blog and then graduates the writer to the hard copy magazine.

Check out blogs that reflect your own interests and passions, then give it a try!

And check out the interview on NewbieWriters.com

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10 Books That Rewrite History

Check this article out – the descriptions will give you an idea of what these books are all about, and if you’re like me, the descriptions are quite enough, thank you.

I’ve read two of these, understood one.  What’s your score?

10 Books That Rewrite History.

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Helping Authors Create Successful and Sustainable Careers

Author Entrepreneurship Magazine | Helping Authors Create Successful and Sustainable Careers.

I was just talking with Beth, the editor of Author Entrepreneurship and she encourages submissions, and I encourage down loading and reading the magazine.  It’s all about authors and how to become more successful.  Conference season is almost here, so check this issue out!

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Ideas to Raise Your SEO

Here are a few of the suggestions of how to raise your  SEO  courtesy of  the speakers at the SF Writer’s Conference:

  • Place an ad for your website on Craig’s list.  You do need to renew every seven days, but it’s free.
  • Create an app  (this is quick, not free.  The free apps will display far less of you and far more of the paid ads, so you may need to spend in the neighborhood of $1,000 for the app)
  • Be a guest blogger in your field.  Some larger, popular blogs will take 500 word articles on topic relevant to their theme.  Check them out, figure out their style, submit.  You have an opportunity to post your bio and a link to your web site (just one link).
  • Conduct Free teleseminars and webinars relevant to your field and expertise.  Don’t have enough to say to fill in a few hours?  Recruit your friends, host a panel of experts.   Even if the webinar is free, require a sign up so you can capture names and emails for your own mailing list.
  • Give away an e-book, capture names and emails for your mailing list.  (Please, we’ve discussed this, don’t just throw together some crappy e-book filled with recycled material, or worse, a thinly disguised infomercial,  make it valuable, give something real away.)
  • SF Writers Conference

    Stephanie Chandler – speaker at the SF Writer’s Conference, Newbie Writers Podcast guest

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Tips from Guy Kawasaki

I met wonderful authors during my two days volunteering at the SF Writers Conference.  If you couldn’t attend, I’ll send along a few things I learned:

Guy Kawasaki

 

Guy Kawasaki  author of APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish Your Book had this to say:

Build your platform while writing your book through curating

Curate in your field. Reach out through social media

What does that mean?

If you are writing a science fiction thriller, as you discover interesting research, photos, prototypes, post them to your blog, pin them, Facebook them.  You aren’t really mentioning your book at all during this activity. What you are doing is sharing your world and your knowledge with your readers, even if they aren’t yet your readers.

I found this an easier way to consider that dreaded platform requirement.

Instead of laboring to build a platform, shop for cool things to share.

Sounds better?  It is!

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Acetone words

nail polish remover

Go for the hard stuff

To remove nail polish I have found  nothing does a better job  than real acetone.

I tried the non- acetone polish removers – and spent five to six minutes rubbing and rubbing  as the safe, natural  product gradually and rather ineffectively removed  my nail polish. After about two nails, I  had it and pulled out the real stuff  which took  care of the project in record time.

This is the same in writing.  Don’t rub and rub at a subject or problem with non- acetone words.  Don’t try to cloak the meaning, or dance around a subject in an effort to be nice, accommodating or politically correct.   Just pull out those hard words:  effective but potent  and say what you mean, describe what you see, explain what you remember.

Those 100% acetone words can be scary and even toxic, and they should probably come with a warning sticker (for instance, some are inflammatory . But they are potent a reason. These words will  drive to the heart of your work faster and with more certainty than a weak pleasing, committee approved word.  You take a risk of course, but the writing will end up stronger and get the job done.

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