Tag Archives: television

Writing Wednesday: MediaBistro Book Club’s August ’11 Reading

31 Aug

I’m becoming a regular at MediaBistro Book Club.  It’s one of my favorite reading series, essentially because it’s targeted toward people specifically in book publishing, so I get an opportunity to hear some great literature and chat with fellow book publishing professionals.

Usually when I attend publishing networking events it’s just other editors there, and when I attend readings it’s just bibliophiles and aspiring writers there.   MediaBistro Book Club is one of the rare readings that’s actually geared towards those who work in the publishing industry.

This time around the MediaBistro Book Club was held at the Union Square Lounge, which provided an intimate set-up and good drink specials.  I attended with one of my co-leaders from the Redeemer Writers Group and Burnside Writers Collective’s new fiction editor Mihaela Georgescu, and met some other creative writers, editors, designers, and production editors while mingling.  Here’s a photo of me at the event.

Everyone always talks about how small the industry is, and the more I attend readings and connect with people through social media the more I see this to be the case.  I spied David Goodwillie, whom I heard read at the reading The Shrinks Are Away, chatting it up with MediaBistro Book Club reader Andrew Foster Altschul.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all that they’re friends, given their cultural critiques.

Altschul’s Deus Ex Machina is a scathing look at reality tv.  He’s also the author of Lady Lazarus.

 

 

Nelson Aspen is the Ryan Seacrest of Down Under.  He dished on being an exercise trainer to Princess Diana and meeting the official voice of Fred Flinstone (he even sang the Flinstones theme song!), as he told us about his celebrity cookbook Dinner at Nelson’s.

 

 

Margaret Floyd took the food talk in a more nutritional direction when she talked about her discovery of just how much food influences health and well-being.  She tells all in Eat Naked Now.

 

 

Ben H. Winters claims he never had bedbugs even though he says 1 out of 3 New Yorkers have had them—even though no one will admit to it.  He wrote a whole fright-fest called Bedbugs.

 


After the readings there was a spirited Q&A, where Aspen said he believes self-publishing is the way to go and Winters said he hatched Bedbugs with his publisher, one of my favorite book publishers Quirk Books, and therefore never even had to submit a book proposal.  Interestingly, the fiction writers, Altschul and Winters, knew they wanted to be writers (instead of lawyers, which their parents’ wanted them to be), while the nonfiction writers, Aspen and Floyd, said that getting published was something that happened organically because of their other passions.  I think the lesson for nonfiction writers is that in addition to a desire to write you should have a passion for another subject.

See you at the next reading on November 17?

Christian Resolutions

20 Jan

Part 2 of my look at New Year’s resolutions was published on Burnside Writers Collective yesterday.  In part 1, I asked “Does God Laugh at Our Resolutions?”  Now in part 2, I look at “Christian Resolutions.”  It starts:

I’m tempted to write a satire called Christian New Year’s Resolutions.  It would go something like this:

  1. Pray without ceasing.  Ever.
  2. Don’t watch secular television.
  3. Become a physically fit Proverbs 31 woman.
  4. Read the bible every day and nothing besides it.
  5. Go to church every Sunday.

Is there such a thing as Christian New Year’s Resolutions?

You can read the rest on Burnside.

I started to have some self-doubt about my writing–this piece included but writing in general–and I’m so encouraged by the comments I received on this article.

Larry Shallenberger, author of the books Divine Intention: How God’s Work in the Early Church Empowers Us Today and Lead the Way God Made You, said, “If there were a “like” button, I’d have pushed it.”

Diane Nienhuis, a Burnside writer and food blogger whom I met at the Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin College (she picked me up at the airport, she’s so sweet!), wrote, “Well said, Stephanie! Beautiful!”  She also shared some of her own resolutions.

Michael D. Bobo, who tackles a highly controversial work of art in his thought-provoking piece “Ants on a Crucifix,” currently featured on Burnside, and as it turns out writes the Claremont Christianity Examiner, which is in the California town where I went to undergrad (small world!), said, “Thanks Steph for getting us back to the basics in 2011.”

And, my editor, Jordan Green, said, “This is tremendous, as if that would be a surprise coming from Stephanie.”  Wow.  Jordan recently cowrote the book Besides the Bible: 100 Books that Have, Should, or Will Create Christian Culture and just wrote what is probably the most thorough review of the new IFC show Portlandia there is.  Incidentally, I once met Jordan in Portland.  (We did not Kombucha tea.) (PS. Check back here tomorrow for a bit of trivia on the Greek influence on Portlandia.)

Anyway, the reason I mention all this is two-fold:::

1.  To show my appreciate for the comments I received, I wanted to promote what all these other talented writers are doing.  Check out their links.  Buy their books.  Leave nice comments for them.  They deserve it.

2.  To encourage writers who struggle with self-doubt.  As I mentioned, I was plagued by insecurity and almost deleted the article.  Sometimes my writing is bad.  That’s the way it goes some days.  But sometimes, and I suspect this is true for other writers as well, my writing isn’t as horrible as I imagine it to be.  Sometimes, it might even resonate with someone.  And that’s why I write.