Last Saturday, Nov 14, I attended A Celebration of Stories at The Huntington in San Marino. There were activities around the garden such as a talk with Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder and three actors performing Let Them Eat Books, a collection of classic literature & poems by Sandburg, Carroll and Twain presented by The Music Center's We Tell Stories, a community of story-telling artists. They performed The Jabberwocky with audience participation.
I had as much fun as the kids. My boyfriend, Shunji, who didn't know who Louisa May Alcott was or that she was being portrayed by an actress, was shocked when she said she was a nurse in the Civil War!!!
The Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America is celebrating its Annual Birthday Bash today in Brea at the Embassy Suites. Festivities kicked off Friday night, with a write-in, then doors opened at 9 this morning with keynote speakers bestselling author Lauren Dane and Deb Werksman, editorial director at Sourcebook, an independent publisher. Today attendees enjoyed book awards, raffle prizes and a multi-author book signing. Tonight will close with pajama parties in the form of panel discussions and talks designed to hone writing skills, build business acumen and fuel creative fires.
Attendees were encouraged to dress like their favorite fairytale character. Three of WCW's members, Kathleen Harrington. Angela Myron and Sherry Novak, were in attendance – and in costume!
This has been a good month for Rose Anna Hines. Two of her haiku have been included in Spectrum, a compilation of short works by Southern California poets edited by Don Kingfisher Campbell. There will be a reading of poems from the anthology on September 28th, from 7 to 9 p.m., in the Donald Wright Auditorium at the Pasadena Central Library on 285 E. Walnut St. Copies will be available for purchase at the reading or you may order directly from Campbell. More information here.
Here's one of Rose's haiku:
One of Hines' lengthier poems, The List, is included in the Summer 2015 edition of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly.
Last night about thirty writers attended a panel discussion on the Pleasures and Perils of Indie Publishing presented by the Publishers Association of Los Angeles at this month's general meeting in the Veterans Memorial Building in Culver City.
The panelists were:
Robin Quinn, lead writer and editor at Quinn's Word for Word, was an excellent moderator.
A few memorable quotes:
I didn't find the evening as informative as I'd hoped and it lagged a bit at times, but I'd go hear Maggie Marr again any time, and I won a book in a raffle, my first ARC (advance reading copy).
~Report filed by Cindy Cotter.
On Saturday, August 22, Mary Terzian was one of two speakers who addressed a capacity audience at a discussion of globalization and the challenges it presents to Armenian women. The event was hosted by the Armenian General Benevolent Union Hye Geen in Pasadena.
Although Armenian, Mary grew up Egypt and then traveled extensively while employed by the World Health Organization before finally settling in the United States. She is the author of two books, The Immigrant's Daughter (2005) and Politically Homeless, just published in June.
WCW's Hong-My Basrai, who is Vietnamese, attended the event and wrote about the experience in a post titled, Globalization and Women. She felt somewhat out of place, but not for the first time: "I had been among Vietnamese and felt totally lost... I had taken meal in a group of Indians and was left invisible because I did not look and talk the same way as the majority. I had been to writers' conference and struggled to participate because I was definitely an odd sample among Caucasians and veteran writers. ... Globalization. It will be a steep climb uphill. But it is here to stay."
Here is a summary of Mary's speech...
"It was incredibly inspiring! Mem Fox, renowned children's book author was the first key note speaker. I also went to Deborah Halverson's Intensive (author of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies) and listened to many other authors, agents and publishers share and explain their craft and the publishing business.
"This is a great conference to attend for those writing children's books, MG and YA. I'll definitely be attending next year and hope some of you will join me."
Two WCW members, Naomi Voorhees and Kathleen Harrington, attended Romance Writers of America's thirty-fifth annual conference in New York City at the Marriott Marquis, July 22–25. It was the first RWA convention for Naomi, busy at work on the second draft of her first novel. Kathleen's a veteran, with several conferences under her belt and several published books. (Check her out on Amazon)
Naomi said, "I enjoyed most the morning speakers. Hearing their trials and tribulations and then success was inspiring. Also being with 2000 mostly women, some men, with the same goals was somehow confirming in that we are in this all together and can make our mark in the publishing world."
(For an account of Naomi's adventures while in New York to attend the convention, read her post here in the WCW blog.)
Kathleen attended with her sister Carol Persinger. Kathy's experience wasn't dampened by having attended previous events: "As always, the experience was filled with exciting and memorable events. As an Avon author, I participated in the Readers for Life Literacy Signing, in which over 2000 authors signed their latest books. The public was invited to this yearly affair, and avid romance readers came hours early to meet and chat with their favorite authors. So many fans came that another ballroom was set up with rows and rows of chairs, just to provide a place to sit down, rather than having them stand in line for such a long time.
"The sight of the enormous ballroom in the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Times Square–filled with so many book-lovers mingling with writers, agents, editors, publicists, reviewers, bloggers, news reporters and photographers–was breathtaking. The books were donated by the publishers and all the proceeds went to the local and national literacy foundations.
Click the image below to see Tom Smarch's video.
"My next signing took place the following day at Spotlight on Avon. This session was for the conference attendees exclusively; Avon authors signed their past releases, which were given away free. The Avon editors and publicity staff were there, visiting with authors and guests.
"I also attended the Avon Cocktail Party at a trendy nightspot one evening, gossiping with the Avon staff and other authors, many of whom I see only once a year.
"During the conference, we attended breakfast buffets with speakers who are New York Times top-selling authors. Naomi Voorhees, another WCW member joined my sister and me, along with several writer friends from the Orange County Chapter of RWA, listening to such words of wisdom from Barbara Freethy: 'The power is in the writer.' (Amen to that!) And of course, there were many, many workshops offering advice, encouragement, and current information on the craft of writing.
"Being in New York, I took advantage of the opportunity to meet with my agent, Robin Rue of Writers’ House. We had a long chat and discussed my next project, along with catching up on our personal news.
"Carol and I also did some sightseeing. We went to the 9-11 Memorial, which is somber and uplifting at the same time. We also visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and tried to see as much as we could in one afternoon. Then in the evening, we attended a Broadway play, The Book of Mormon.
"On the last evening of the conference, we attended the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony–all dolled up in our fancy best. Awards are presented to the winners of the contests in many different genres, such as Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, and Inspirational. Lifetime Award Recipient Nora Roberts presented the award for Best First Book. The Golden Heart contest is for unpublished authors. One of the goals of RWA is to encourage and mentor new romance writers.
"I honestly can’t remember how many RWA Annual Conferences I’ve attended–probably about twelve or so. But no matter how often I go, I’m always filled with excitement. I love being around other writers, and I come home renewed and ready to start writing that next book. For those interested, the next annual conference will be held in San Diego in July 2016. For more information, visit the RWA Website."
If you missed the conference you can get a taste of it here: RWA 2015 Conference Wrap-up.
•Kathleen Harrington for her historical romance, Black Raven’s Lady, the third in her Highland Lairds Trilogy.
•Rubin Johnson, for Well-Oiled, Cyberbully Blues and Dark and Cold, the first books in his futuristic series set in Mayberry.
•Hilda Lassalette for Fishing for Love, a romance with a touch of the paranormal.
•Angela Myron, for Ennara and the Fallen Druid, the second of her young-adult science fantasies about a young girl learning to master her powers.
•Raquel Reyes-Lopez for Born to Electrify, a collection of poetry.
Kathleen Harrington, author of numerous romance novels, spoke at Half Off Books in Whittier on February 13, right on time for Valentine's Day. She has just published the final book in the Highland Laird's Trilogy, her most recent series. All three books--The MacLean Groom, Lachlan's Bride, and Black Raven's Lady -- are available at Amazon.
You can read more about Kathleen and "her sparkling tales of high adventure and unending love" on her website:
Mary Terzian spoke about her memoir, The Immigrant's Daughter, at a club sponsored event at Half Off Books in Whittier on September 26, 2014. Born to immigrant Armenian parents in Egypt, Mary worked in five cities abroad and visited twenty-four countries before her legal entry into the United States. Her first book is a coming-of-age story describing an inspiring journey through adolescence against the background of Egyptian history during and after World War II. It won a Best Books 2006 Award, reached finalist stage in the Indie Excellence 2007 Book Awards, and won Dan Poynter's 2012 Global E-Book Award, all three in the multi-cultural nonfiction genre.
The Immigrant's Daughter is available on Amazon, and Mary's second book, tentatively titled Politically Homeless, is in its final stages.