Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Room With a View

Some tone deaf children are singing the Sound of Music outside my door. I live in a church converted to a performance studio.

My motto in life, live somewhere interesting.

It's nice when the International Club does its blow out Halloween party at this place. I can leave, lay down in my room, check my email, take a nap, go on the internet (sometimes all at the same time), and return to the party refreshed, revived, with a new sense of joive de vere, or whatever that is. Whatever it is, at those moments, I have it in spades.

They used to do dance benefits here, and the basement/kitchen area was a changing room. I was down there eating toast once when a semi-dressed young woman ordered me out. I considered stating my right to eat toast in the dressing room of my choice, but I skeedaddled when she looked at me cross-eyed.

I'm now off to a Willamette Writers meeting. A month ago a young man arrived at the Old Church where the meeting is held (that's the name of the place, and it also happens TO BE an old church) and asked a book seller in the basement if he could help the young man find a literary agent. When the old guy said selling used books had nothing to do with literary agents, the kid whaled on him, bloodying his face and head. The police caught the kid and I'm told his trial is today, so my hope is to get through the meeting without a need to call in some muscle.

When I was young in a bad neighborhood, I was never been beaten up by a single person. I was always beaten up by gangs when I went in to rescue friends who by the time I arrived to help them had usually grown wings and flown away. Small wings, not big enough to take me with them.

Ah, well, being hit on the back of the head isn't too bad, compared to being hit in the nose. That hurts.

I'm all over here, so I should leave and be all over somewhere else.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Copyrighting Characters

I sat in on a workshop at Write on the Sound offered by literary attorney Gary Marshall (http://www.marshallcomputer.com/publications.htm). I didn't know that a character in a novel can also be copyrighted. If I understood this story correctly, when Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October became a huge success and he went with a bigger publisher, the original publisher 'owned' the copyright to the characters from Hunt. The larger publisher had to buy those rights.

Something for people who want to do a series to consider when going with a publisher.

My Narrative Tension workshop was well-attended and well-received. The book seller sold 22 of my books and ran out. I violated my own rules of always have plenty of extra books, always have more handouts than I expect to need, and always have fliers. I came up with Elizabeth Lyon in her car, so I didn't pack as much stuff.

But still...


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Deep Characterization

Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise, speaks about a process he calls Deep Characterization, where someone writing a novel makes the main character an extension of themself without understanding the pitfalls.

Oregon Writers Speak

Bill Johnson introduces his series of videos featuring Oregon authors speaking about their novels, plays, and writing.