Friday, May 1, 2015

Mama said there'd be links like this

"...alligators have the right idea. They eat their young."
Newtown Literary's Queens Writes Weekend went well for me. Friday night was the author reading at Astoria Bookshop. I was one of five featured authors, and once I got past my trepidation over reading a work of mine in public, I got through it okay. The host said he liked my speaking voice! 

I was also the only non-poet. In fact, this one woman preceded her reading with a tongue-in-cheek rant about this article in The Washington Post that asserted that poetry is somehow on the wane. It even has the charts and graphs to prove it! She gave it the mocking it deserved.

On Sunday, I hosted a write-in at Forest Park. I had seen tweets from other write-in sites that looked somewhat big, or at the very least, festive and lively, and I wasn't sure what to expect with my own. My hope was to attract five people. I got six! Well, one of them was NL editor Tim Frederick, but he still counts. NL staff were at every location. 

There was this profane loudmouth sitting on the other side of the square before everyone arrived. He wasn't a bad guy necessarily; he was just talking loudly to his friend, and every other word out of his mouth was a four-letter one. His friend left by the time we got started, and he left not long afterwards. Also, I bought donuts, thinking it would be a nice enticement. It kinda was, but not much. And the weather was good!

I talked a little bit about my recent experiences in writing and I tried to start a conversation about what constitutes good writing. Maybe I was doing it wrong, though; the feedback was minimal. Still, everyone there did want to participate in writing, which was good, and most of them talked with each other, which was better. I emphasized the need to find some time in the day to write and to guard that time from any and all outside interference. 

I think that message came through loud and clear, at least with this one middle-aged woman I talked to afterward. I invited her to my writing group, which was later in the day, because she seemed to really appreciate being around other writers, but she didn't want to go all the way out to Astoria.

So that was last weekend for me. I also went to a party on Saturday night (unrelated to QWW), thought it took me forever to get there on account of a massive traffic jam which slowed the bus to a crawl. I couldn't even tell what the cause of it was, either. It was worth the trip, though. We played party games all night long.

Your links for this month:

Le ranks the Disney animated villains. (Google Translate required.)

Courtney looks at how autism has been depicted in recent film history.

Aurora loves the suspense classic M, creepy as it is.

Becky explores how Freaks went from cinematic bomb to cult classic.

Leah wonders what happens when good actors make bad movies (and vice versa).

This Seattle movie theater has preserved one of the last Mighty Wurlitzer organs.

Ghostbusters is an even better movie than you remember.

Somebody made a movie about veteran character actor Dick Miller!


  1. Sorry I'm so tardy with this comment, Rich. I'm tardy with everything these days, it seems! Your writing network is rich, Rich (bad joke), and I admire you for doing the reading. I wish I was involved in writing groups, but I'm kind of an introvert and never really looked around. I should -- you make it sound fun. Hey, thanks for the shout-out for Freaks. And I know I said it before, but I really enjoyed doing the blogathon with you!

  2. I don't always agree with the feedback my writing group gives me, but the very fact that they give me any feedback at all has been of immense value. I'm more aware of my strengths and weaknesses now, and while this has led to days of waah-waah-my-writing-sucks-I'm-no-good (which I went through last week, in fact), they don't last long. My group likes my writing overall, which certainly helps.


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