Schedule of Write-Ins at Lynne’s House2016

Happy New Year!
As usual I’m scheduling them 2nd and 4th Tuesdays. Looks like I don’t need to change any of the dates this year. Here it is.

January: 12th and 26th
February: 9th and 23rd
March: 8th and 22nd
April: 12th and 26th
May: 10th and 24th
June: 14th and 28th
July: 12th and 26th
August: 9th and 23rd
September: 13 and 27th
October: 11th and 25th
November: See NaNoWrIMo Scheduled Write-ins
December: None Scheduled.

NaNoWriMo 2015

Oops, we did it again!

Can you believe we have another year of NaNoWriMo under our belts? This is the 6th for me, 7th for Sara, and 12th or so for Sara-with-an-h.

What keeps us coming back?

Each other. At least for me, more than the writing itself, the company I keep has become the greatest compelling force (at least until I finish something).

Seriously, you guys keep me going-kept me going this year. After my sister’s death I did not think I would be up for this. Once we got going though I couldn’t help but find my voice, my story and once again, my writing friends.

I’m grateful for your support and ears and words. The readings at the TGIO Party rocked ! So much talent, so many different stories, so diverse a community-though the commonality of quite a lot of us seeming to have no trouble killing the innocent-that’s slightly disturbing.

To the newbies who joined us this year, I hope we lived up to your expectations. Let us know if there is anything that you would have changed, or if you have suggestions for next year-you will be back-we welcome your input.

Thank you to all the regulars, those stalwarts who continue meeting all year at my house or Plum Island Coffee Roasters.

As usual, we’re taking a break in December but I’ll be posting the 2016 schedule in the coming weeks.

Enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate, but keep writing.

See you in the New Year!





WriNo Camp 2015

“Sometimes me think ‘what is friend?’ and then me say ‘Friend is someone to share last cookie with.'” Cookie Monster

For the second year in a row a few us WriNoShores headed to Maine to spend a long weekend with Sara Leahy at her tiny cabin in the woods.

Rather than give a detailed account of the events, which basically consisted of laughing, writing, imbibing, eating, singing, dancing, and laughing a whole lot more, another aspect of our gathering emerged. An activity that struck me as greatly important–conversation.

We spent much of our time talking, and questioning one another on all manner of life’s little complexities. So much so, it stood out to me as being something rather extraordinary that I needed to reflect on.

I’ve know these women for a few years now, several for five or more and Sara and I are as close as women get to being sisters without sharing DNA. Over this time we’ve built a circle of trust through the shared terror of reading our work aloud. But this weekend there seemed to be a yearning for connection and significant dialogue that was deeper and more palpable and unrelated to writing.

Though we have exposure and access to one another through social media, email, Skype, texting, etc, there is seemed to be a wholehearted desire for one-on-one conversation. To be present and able to react and respond in the moment. Too see the tears, the grimaces, and the hand gestures that accompany retold tales.

Perhaps, the connection through electronics isn’t as sincere as face-to-face, where editing ourselves has become a reflex. We need to sputter and spit and sigh and groan our way through a story to get real in the moment feedback and challenges to our thoughts.

There’s nothing like making each other laugh. I loved the ease with which we spoke, the faith in one another obvious. I held back nothing. I’m sure others were just as candid. Am I the only one who sensed this momentous shift? The deepening of bonds?

I stopped myself several times during the weekend to write about it. Because that’s what we do, write. We examine life through language, through words on paper. We interpret, filter and assimilate into new narratives everything our senses consume. It’s a solo endeavor even when we are together.

That might be why these gatherings–where we are able to spend time talking without our usual distractions–have become so necessary and coveted. We are uniquely ourselves here. Not mother, daughter, wife, employee, just us– friends me share last cookie with.

Wednesday Woo: Are You A Hack?

Seth Godin’s blog post this morning struck a nerve for me (it’s only four lines–go read it)

The critic as an amateur hack

Not only is it super easy for us to think of ourselves as critics worth listening to, but writers worth reading.

Let’s never mind the critics since they are so unreliable. How do we determine whether our efforts deserve the reader’s time and money? Or even our own time and resources?

Do you care about the quality of your work? By whose standards do you measure it?

Do you even question the works value? Or is producing it the payback? What makes a work so self-serving merit readers attention?

If you haven’t considered whether the work you are producing is worthy of what you are asking for it (a reader’s time and money) then you are a hack.

But, that’s just my opinion, take it for it’s worth.

EVENT: Newburyport Literary Festival 2015

An amazing local event the Newburyport Literary Festival 2015 kicks-off Friday, April 24th with opening ceremony conversation between Michael Blanding, bestselling author of The Map Thief, and Boston-based investigative journalist Dyke Hendrickson, followed by dinner with the authors. While the dinner cost 50.00, the event is free. Crazy I know, but what an accomplishment by the festival organizers!

Saturday, April 25th begins with an informal breakfast and conversation with poets at 8:30 am, and closes at 7 pm, this year honoring Jean Doyle, teacher, historian, and author. What comes between those two is no less than 50 scheduled events.

The plethora of writers across genre, and forms is quite astounding. See the full schedule here. I don’t know how I’m going to chose from the many talented, interesting and compelling authors.

If you’ve never been to this event, here’s what happens. First marvel at the schedule. Choose your favorites though have back up choices as some events fill quickly and occasionally there has been a cancellation. Set out for the venue which is, for most people, an easy stroll around the town. They are held in bookstores, the arts center, many churches, the library, and The Firehouse Center. It is busy but pleasantly so. Even a rainy day doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd. Go sit, listen, ask questions, engage with your seat mates. Talk to everybody and anybody they are all there for the same reason you are-their love of literature, reading, writing and authors.

One of my favorite events and always impressive is Annual Youth Poetry Slam happening at 2:30 at the Greek Orthodox Church. If you’re looking for me, you can catch-up with me there.

I hope everyone can attend, you needn’t be there for the whole day. There’s no check-ins, or tickets (except the dinner) no pressure, it’s just an enjoyable day spent immersed in the writer’s world.

Afterwards: Did you love it? Please consider a donation to support this exceptionally well run and captivating event.

Wednesday Woo: Editing

Looking to start the editing process? I am too. I’ve started with Shawn Coyne’s site The Story Grid and am still working my way through it.

I’ve linked to this before but haven’t elaborated on its content. And because I think your time is precious and you should be writing or reading what is most relevant to you I’m only going to briefly say this…I find this site to be the clearest and most effective resource for clarifying your plot, getting down to the very basics of what your story is, and needs to be. Go.

Wednesday Woo: Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel

Woot! Wednesday Woo is back for 2015!

I considered changing the title and focusing on something other than linking to information I find helpful or interesting, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
A reminder of the topics cover in 2014: Research, Criticism, Advice From Writers, Process, Resistance, Structure, Book Covers, Professionals, Procrastination, The End?, Beta Readers, Success, Business of Writing, More Business of Being a Writer, Plotting, Writing Communities, Writing Communities-Online, Music to Write By. I’ll start this year off with a few questions.What can I do to help you? Is there a topic you’d like to suggest for the Wednesday Woo? Is there a topic I already covered that you’d like to see expanded on?I personally would like to find out more about the editing process, so look for that post soon.

Happy New Year! 2015 Scheduled Meetings and Write-Ins

Hello WriNoShores!

I hope the new year finds you well and writing. We’ll be having our usual Plum Island Coffee Roaster meetings 1pm-5pm on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month. I will hold Write-Ins at my house 6pm-9pm (generally) on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays (please note: a few days have been adjusted to avoid running meetings too close together). Here is the schedule as of today.
PICR: 4th and 18th
Write-In: 13th and 27th
PICR: 1st and 15th
Write-In: 10th and 24th
PICR: 1st and 15th
Write-In: 10th and 24th
PICR: 5th and 19th
Write-In: 14th and 28th
PICR: 3rd and 17th
Write-In: 12th and 26th
PICR: 7th and 21st
Write-In: 16th and 30th
PICR: 5th and 19th
Write-In: 14th and 28th
PICR: 2nd and 16th
Write-In: 11th and 25th
PICR: 13th
Write-In: 15th and 29th
Write-In: 13th and 27th
NaNo Kick-Off Party: 25th
Full Steam Ahead!
See Calendar on NaNoWriMo Website
for Times and Dates of Write-Ins and Special Events
TGIO Party: Dec 5th

If you have any questions you can email Sara through this website, or catch me on our Facebook page.

This schedule can also be found on our Facebook page and NaNoWriMo Calendar.

Wednesday Woo: NaNoWriMo with the WriNoShores

Writers of the North Shore developed from the idle minds of Sara and I. We’d lost our ML to a cross country move and I wisely talked Sara into applying for the position. It didn’t take much persuading (read our ABOUT page to get her side of the story). We were already familiar with many of whom we now consider the “regulars” and have had a very positive experience with all who have crossed our paths on the NaNoWriMo journey.

Though Sara sometimes conveys to us the horror stories the other NaNoWriMo MLs experience, we have no such tales to tell. Kindness, consideration, and support are what you’ll find here with us. The desire to keep that going all year round prompted us to keep meeting twice-a-month at Plum Island Coffee Roasters for an informal social write-in, and twice-a-month for a more stringent write-in at my house.

This year-round group are who the WriNoShores are. A dedicated, smart, funny group of women, and men who love to read, write, and talk about writing, and occasionally indulge in sweets. We encourage one another, empathize, educated, and considerately, bring each other sweets.

Our genres, styles, voices, and skills are as varied as our confections, and all are welcome. We are a community bound together through the shared struggles, and triumphs of writing. We understand each other. We never underestimate the importance sweets have to the well-being of a writer and the creative process.

Writing can be a lonely endeavor, having this local group has been a reassuring reminder that we are not alone. Some where nearby are our fellow writers who are looking out their own windows wishing they had a dark-chocolate butter cream from Sanborn’s same as us.

NaNoWriMo may have bought us together, but kinship, caffeine and sugary substances sustains our connection the rest of the year.

Seriously, if you are participating in NaNoWriMo come to one of the write-ins. They are super productive, surprisingly so as many will attest-even the doubtful have been converted. We run our write-ins with a mixture of military precision and joviality.

A new event for the year 2014 was our version of NaNoWriMo’s “Night of Writing Dangerously” an all-night writing extravaganza. You can read about it…ah hell, I guess I never wrote about it!

Briefly, we held “A Swashbuckling Evening of Writing” between our usual Saturday 10-4 at Hamilton-Wenham Library write-in and Sunday’s PICR 1-5pm write-in. We ate, wrote, read, laughed, had cocktails, many noshes, sang, danced and took a sunrise walk to the lake in freezing cold weather. It was a blast. And again, I stress, it was productive.

We truly believe none of these events serve you if you are not getting your writing done. I think next year we will have a leader board to calculate how many words we wrote collectively and individually. Anyway, it was a lot of fun even if most of us didn’t make it to PICR the next morning but opted to stay comfy and cozy at my house writing.

That’s who we are, and what it’s like to write with us during NaNoWriMo. It’s only 268 days from today (01.19.2015).