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October 2012 Online Class

September 26, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , ,

Conquering National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

with Alison Diem

October 15 – November 11, 2012
COST: $20 for OCCRWA members, $30 for non-members
If you have specific questions, email occrwaonlineclass@yahoo.com
Conquering National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a course designed to help both new and veteran participants understand the NaNoWriMo program and use it to push their careers forward.
The first two weeks of class will prepare participants for the month of November.  Students create accounts on the NaNoWriMo website, learn how to post their word counts, how to find other participants in their area, and how to get started when the clock strikes midnight on November 1st.  They also will be provided with methods of how to break free of writer’s block, how to get the words on the page, and what to do if you get behind.
The last two weeks of class coincide with the first two weeks of NaNoWriMo.  Students will be encouraged to post daily word counts, discuss challenges while writing, and participate in writing sprints and brainstorming.
The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days and this is the class that will help you get those words on the page.
Alison Diem has been a NaNoWriMo participant for the past 10 years, “winning” four times.  She is a writer of intricate stories involving history, the paranormal, adventure, magic, mystery, murder, fantasy, steampunk, creatures that may (or may not) be real and any combination thereof. Also, dragons.
Alison admires the work of many and has learned much from every book she’s ever read, even the really, really bad ones. Especially the really, really bad ones. She does not like Twilight. At all.
She recently moved back to Ann Arbor, MI with her husband, Bear, and her kitty Harvey.
She is also very, very tall. You know, for a girl.  You can find her at http://www.alisondiem.com
Enrollment Information
COST: $20 for OCCRWA members, $30 for non-members
Coming in November 2012
Submission: Writing a Short Story for Anthology Call-Out
with Louisa Bacio
This class deals with catering a short story specifically to a publisher’s request for submissions. Regularly, editors and publishers list upcoming anthologies and the types of stories they’re looking to include. 
Check out our full list of workshop at http://www.occrwa.org/onlineclasses.html
Want to be notified personally two weeks before each class? Be sure you’re signed up for our Online Class Notices Yahoo Group! Sign up at the bottom of http://www.occrwa.org/onlineclasses.htmlor send a blank email to OCCRWAOnlineClassNotices-subscribe@yahoogroups.com 
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e-maginings: Steampunk: The Next Big Thing?

November 16, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as ,

I know some of you are wondering, what in the heck is steampunk? Simply put, it’s Victorian-era science fiction, often inspired by the novels of Jules Verne. The graphic novel & movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, is probably the most obvious example.

Wikipedia defines Steampunk as:

…a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc.

Not all Steampunk technology runs on steam power, there are also ray guns, dirigibles, clockwork mechanisms and mechanical computers based on Charles Babbage’s designs.

I’ve been hearing about steampunk for a couple of years now, so I jumped at the chance to take Suzanne Lazear’s online class through the LARA Chapter and I’m learning a lot. Suzanne wrote a great steampunk post at Castles & Guns that will explain it better than I can.

Like steam itself, steampunk is impossible to contain. Authors are using their imaginations to add fantasy and paranormal elements, to re-write history, and to heat up the Victorian era with erotic tales. There is steampunk romance, steamypunk (erotica) and gaslamp romance (Victorian-era romance with steampunk or fantasy elements, but without elaborate worldbuilding). And it’s not just books and short stories, movies & videogames. There are steampunk RPG’s (role playing games), steampunk conventions, steampunk fashion, and steampunk sex toys. Some people have even steampunked their homes!

But why steampunk and why now? Some think it’s a reaction to our economic recession. In the foreword to Steampunk Tales Free, publisher John H. Sondericker III writes: “With many of us feeling the stresses and strains of a world economy in decline, the time is right for the resurgence of escapism into the magnificent and fantastic worlds of classic pulp.”

There’s a nostalgia about steampunk, a longing for an era when technology wasn’t just useful, but often elegantly designed and built to last. I grew up around antique cars since that was my dad’s hobby. Those old cars were beautiful, with tufted leather seats and brass headlamps. And who can resist the charm of a steam locomotive like the one used for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies?

Personally, I’m looking forward to exploring this fascinating genre a little more. What about you?

Linda McLaughlin
w/a Lyndi Lamont

Steampunk Resources:

Steamed! Writing steampunk fiction blog

Steampunk Writers Guild

Steampunk Links

Free The Princess: A practical literary guide to Steampunk and the Victorian Era

Article on Worldbuilding in Steampunk by author G. D. Falksen

Steampunk Emporium
: Authentic Period Clothing for a Better Tomorrow

article in Boston Globe on Steampunk, Nov. 4, 2010

And last but not least, Lady Clankington’s Cabinet of Carnal Curiosities (This is a hoot, but may not be safe for work)

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