Oh, and did we mention we have childcare and children's programming. ... See More
Monday, August 29, 2016
Each event features three authors who read from their latest work, interpreting and explaining their concepts and vision. In addition, space is provided for networking and conversation. The Q3 2016 event in the Seattle area (Kirkland, WA) will be held on Tuesday, August 30th. Set in the festive atmosphere of the Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant in Kirkland, WA, events begin at 7:00 pm, and end by 8:30 pm.
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world. Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers' organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 1,800 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.
More information and online registration: SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series -- Seattle (Kirkland)
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Occasionally a movie comes out that serves as a great example of a particular technique in storytelling. In the movie Don't Breath, the technique is developing and sustaining suspense.
The movie opens at a great height over a residential neighborhood in Detroit. Something is happening on a street below. As the camera slowly moves down, it becomes apparent that an older man is dragging a young woman along the middle of a street.
The way this moment is created suggests a metaphor for the story. As we move in on an event, our perception of what we are seeing and our understanding can change.
This may seem like a simple point, but consider the opening scene in the movie The Lovely Bones, loosely based on the novel. The movie opens with a father explaining the life of a penguin trapped in a snow globe to his daughter. But the explanation doesn't speak to what the book is about, and the problem is, the movie uses narration directly taken from the book in the opening scenes.
What the movie The Lovely Bones is about is slightly out of focus (to be generous). What Don't Breathe is about is clearly suggested by the first shot of the film.
With inexperienced writers, often the first lines of action in a screenplay are used to introduce characters or locations.
In a weakly written novel, the opening lines aren't used to convey a story, but to introduce characters, locations, and plot. But without a context, the details don't convey a storyt. They convey a writer isn't sure how to tell a particular story.
The movie The Lovely Bones could have used that opening image to suggest a story different from the book, but that would have meant re-imagining the story being told as a movie that is not the same as the book.
Returning to Don't Breathe, we meet three young people robbing a house in Detroit. For two of the teens, the robberies are about getting out of Detroit and having street cred. For one teen, it's helping his father financially, and he's also smitten with the girl in the group.
Yes, we could use the word 'introduction' to convey the purpose of these scenes. But they also introduce character whose lives are in flux.
That sets up the major thrust of the plot, that they will break into the house of a blind man who has won a court settlement and rob him.
They get inside, the girl even finds the money, but getting out of the house, and why the basement door has a huge lock, will involve a steadily escalating tension.
What explains the actions of all the characters, including the blind man, are those quick, brief details in the opening scenes.
These is violence in the movie, so it's not for everyone. And when people get hurt in this film, we're allowed to share their pain and desperation. And up until the final shot of the movie, we can't be sure how this movie will end.
Recommended for folks who like both a clever plot and strong characterization.
A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling, available on Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Northwest Branch Library
2300 NW Thurman Street
An open mic will precede featured poets.
Sign up at 6:15 pm. Reading 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm.
Leanne Grabel is a poet, memoirist, illustrator and semi-retired special ed teacher and language arts teacher. In love with mixing genres and media, Grabel has written and produced numerous spokenword shows, including “The Lighter Side of Chronic Depression”; “Anger: The Musical”; “Badgirls”; and “The Little Poet.” Grabel's books include Brontosaurus; Lonesome & Very Quarrelsome Heroes; Flirtations; Short Poems by a Short Person; and most recently, Assisted Living, a collection of rectangular illustrated prose poems. Grabel has just completed an anthology of 35 years of graphic prose poems, The Circus of Anguish & Mirth that will be published in 2017. The summer project is turning Brontosaurus into a graphic novel.
Barbara LaMorticella watches the clouds from a cabin outside Portland. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies, including the Pacific Northwestern Spiritual Poetry Anthology; Intimate Kisses; Not a Muse; and most recently (2015) Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace, and She Holds the Face of the World, the 10th anniversary anthology of the journal VoiceCatchers. She won the Holbrook Award for Outstanding Contributions to Oregon Liberary Arts and the first Oregon Literary Arts fellowship for Women Writers. Her second collection of poems, Rain on Waterless Mountain, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
MF McAuliffe has worked formally and informally as a house-cleaner, political pollster, teacher and librarian in schools and colleges in South Australia, Melbourne, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon. She also co-authored the poetry collection Fighting Monsters, the limited-edition artist's book Golems Waiting Redux, and the novella, Seattle. The Crucifixes and Other Friday Poems will be published this fall. In 2002 she and R. V. Branham co-founded the Portland-based, multilingual magazine Gobshite Quarterly. In 2008 they co-founded Reprobate / GobQ Books, where she continues as commissioning editor.