Writer’s Center Bethesda, MD Open House Today

That’s right, today is the open house at the Bethesda, Md., Writer’s Center.

What: Writer’s Center Open House

When: Sept. 6 12-3PM

Where: Writer’s Center
4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815

Why should you go? Well, not only is it a great opportunity to get to know the instructors, writers, and other creative people in the area, but there are also PRIZES!

Here’s a list from the Writer’s Center of the goodies:

-Every attendee will get one $50 off coupon on any multi-session workshop

-One-on-one conferences with participating instructors

-A room for kids’ activities featuring Writer’s Center instructors Ellen Cole,

Sally Canzoneri, and Adele Steiner. So bring the kids!

-A raffle with a grand prize of one FREE multi-session workshop

-A silent auction. Participants can bid on the following:

Dinner for two at one of three fabulous restaurants on Wisconsin Avenue

A book basket

A one-hour manuscript consultation

In spite of the Tropical Storm Hanna remnants, I plan to be there, and so should you!

Help Wanted at My Friend Amy for BBAW

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is just around the corner, and My Friend Amy is seeking help.

Here’s her post:

BBAW Help Wanted

Ok, I’m just going to go for it. Once again will you help me spread the word?

I need the following things:

1) A Graphic Designer

2) A Children’s author

3) A horror and/or sci-fi and/or fantasy author

If you are one of these things, please contact me ASAP! bookbloggerappreciationweekATgmailDOTcom

***Please get in contact with her if you can fulfill or know someone who can fulfill one of these needs.

Contest for Maryland, D.C., and Virginia Area Residents

***Sticky Post***

Hello all:

The local Writer’s Center has its very own blog, and they are running a caption contest. If you live in the area and could pick up the prize at the Center in Bethesda, MD, this coming weekend. Enter the contest, which ends on Sept. 5 at 5PM.

I’ve already won the first caption contest, and now, I am hoping to entice other area readers to enter as well.

It’s a fun little contest and won’t take you too much time.

Also, as a reminder, Please make sure you register your blog (if you have one) with My Friend Amy for Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW). Nominations are now open.

Have fun, and don’t forget to nominate my blog! Ok, that was a shameless plug.

What BBAW Helped Me Discover…

BBAW Nominations were due yesterday, Aug. 31. As a result of this fantastic process, I discovered some blogs that earned some nominations from me. I wanted to share these blogs with you because I only discovered them because of BBAW.

So here it goes:

1. Dark Phantom Review: Mayra offers even-handed reviews and interviews with a variety of authors on her site. And one of her current posts is about her own book, “The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.” I recommend all book reviewers check out her site and her book when they have a chance; it sounds like it has a great deal of advice to share.

2. The Lair of the Undead Rat: Gregory offers his insights on the latest suspense, horror, and thriller novels on the market. If you are looking for the next good read in this genre, his site is the best place to start looking. He earned my nomination for the BBAW category of Suspense and Thriller reviews.

3. Letters on Pages: This site offers a variety of non-fiction reviews for books dealing with historical events in World War II to the rise and fall of the pro-wrestling industry. Very insightful and well-written. If you are looking for a non-fiction recommendation, I suggest you try this site, which earned my nomination for the BBAW Nonfiction Blog category.

Those are just some of the great blogs I found this past week while searching the Web for nominees. For the evolving list of blogs engaged in BBAW, click here.

HELP!!! Updated at 4PM

OK, It’s the BBAW Nominations Deadline! And I wanted to get at least one blog nominated for each category, but I unfortunately do not read blogs in some of these categories.

If you have time to help me out, please send me some suggestions for these categories:


Thanks everyone!

CALL FOR Nominations: Book Blogger Appreciation Week

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Calling all readers and bloggers, it’s time for you to get your nominations in for Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2008, which runs Sept. 15-19 with the sponsorship of My Friend Amy. Here’s her post about the nominations.

Here are the 2008 BBAW Categories:

Best General Book Blog
Best Kidlit Blog
Best Christian/Inspirational Fiction Blog
Best Literary Fiction Blog
Best Book Club Blog
Best Romance Blog
Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog
Best Non-fiction Blog
Best Young Adult Lit Blog
Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog
Best Challenge Host
Best Community Builder
Best Cookbook Blog
Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
Best Design
Most Chatty
Most Concise
Most Eclectic Taste
Best Name for a Blog
Best Published Author Blog
Best Book published in 2008
Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Most Extravagant Giveaways
Best Book Community site
Most Altruistic Blog
Funniest/Most Humorous Blog
Best Sci-fi/fantasy/horror/spec-fic blog
Best Commenter/commentator
Write In (contact Amy if you think there is a category missing)

Nominate up to 2 blogs per category and nominations must be sent to this email: BbawawardsATgmailDOTcom

Deadline is Aug. 31, 2008.

Feel free to nominate Savvy Verse & Wit.

Have fun. I’m excited. Guess what I’ll be working on? If you have any suggestions for the categories, please feel free to email me your nominations for that category and I may just jump on your little bandwagon.

Our New Poet Laureate

Kay Ryan is the latest Poet Laureate announced by the Library of Congress. She is the 16th Poet Laureate, and I am thrilled that our new poet laureate has experienced a calm and quiet career. It’s time for her to come out into the light and inspire budding poets and bring poetry to the forefront of the literary world.

I often wondered what the purpose of the Poet Laureate is, but according to Wikipedia, the poet laureate is called upon to write poems for state occasions and attend government-sponsored functions, like the Washington D.C. Book Festival this September.

Some familiar names will be at this year’s book festival: Tiki Barber from the NFL, Dionne Warwick, Bob Schieffer, Cokie Roberts, and Neil Gaiman.

I hope that with each new poet laureate, poetry garners greater standing in the literary community. Unfortunately, it does not look like any other poets will be attending the D.C. Book Festival except Kay Ryan.

Read-A-Thon Plug

Here’s my attempt at plugging the Read-A-Thon! This is a different kind of challenge that takes place over several days this coming weekend. They are looking for more participants, so head on over. The mini-challenges could be loads of fun, plus book bloggers are spending their days doing what they love best–reading.

While you are not required to stay up all day and all night reading and blogging and competing in challenges, the organizers believe it would be more fun to do so. Give it a try!

Did I forget to mention there are PRIZES? Go Check them out.

If you sign up, just let them know you saw my plug here. It will help me gain more entries into this contest, where you can win 14 books.

Last Chance and Book Sale in Bethesda, MD

Today, midnight EST, is your last opportunity to enter my blogiversary contest. Those without blogs, I hope you will leave me your email address so I can contact you for mailing information.

Also, this weekend is the last weekend for the book sale at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Md. Books are in their reading room, and are $1 per pound. If you are in the area, I am likely to be there at some point on Saturday, June 21. Hope to see you there with arm-loads of books.

Summer Book Sale June 3-22

The Writer’s Center’s First Annual Summer Reading Sale!
When: June 3-June 22 (Every day except Sundays and Mondays)
Where: The Reading Room (We’ll have tables set up to make book browsing easier.)

Choose from our wide variety of used books: $1 per pound

Or selected New titles 30% off the cover price (40% for members)

Come to our Open House June 7th. Get some great books, learn more about The Writer’s Center, and see what’s in store for summer workshops.

Quick Contest Information

Hello dear readers,

I wanted to let you know about a contest at She Reads Books for a celebration of her 62nd post on her blog. There are five books that will be doles out as prizes and all you have to do is comment on her blog, and if you would like to, link to her contest in your own blog. So here I am increasing my odds of winning….posting the contest on my blog, which by the way runs through June 3, so hurry and get your entry in.

Also please check out this year’s Read-a-Thon! Unfortunately, I cannot participate because I will be traveling the weekend of June 27-29, but I encourage anyone else reading this blog to participate. Sounds like great fun!

FYI, I learned about both of these items from Nymeth at Things Mean a Lot.

The Sound of Words


Featuring The Caribbean and 32 Poems Magazine
DATE: Friday, May 9
COSTS: Nothing
LOCATION: The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD

Sponsored by 32 Poems

Come join in the fun this Friday!

Darkness With a Pinch of Sugar Sweetness

Human Dark With Sugar by Brenda Shaughnessy arrived in the mail from the American Academy of Poets and I was pleased because I haven’t read a book of poetry in some time. I think that it is only fair that I review this book on this, the last day of National Poetry Month. This second book of poetry from Shaughnessy won the James Laughlin Award.

The first section of the book is Anodyne, also known as a pain-killer. This section of the book is not euphoric by any means. It is almost as if she is attempting to kill the pain with the sharpness of her words. For instance in “I’m Over the Moon:”
“How long do I try to get water from a stone?/It’s like having a bad boyfriend in a good band.// Better off alone. I’m going to write hard/and fast into you, moon, face-f**king.//”

The second section of the book is Ambrosia, from the Greek mean of food or drink of the gods that confers immortality on the consumer. Is the narrator of Shaughnessy’s poems interested in immortality? One of my favorite poems from this section is “Three Sorries,” particularly the “1. I’m Sorry” section of the poem:

“Soon 1. born 1970
2. Cried: all along
3. Loved: you really so very much and no others

blurred into: 1. begging off for the dog-years behavior
2. extra heart hidden in sock drawer
3. undetected slept with others”

It seems as though she really is not sorry for her actions or the events leading up to the incident. It’s amazing how many of these poems appear apologetic and wistful on the surface, but then turn to sarcasm and bleakness.

The third section is Astrolabe or astronomical instrument to surveying, locating, and predicting the positions of the sun, moon, and stars. I think the best illustration of this concept is Shaughnessy’s “A Poet’s Poem.”

“I will get the word freshened out of this poem.// I put it in the first line, then moved it to the second./ and now it won’t come out.// It’s stuck. I’m so frustrated,/ so I went out to my little porch all covered in snow// and watched the icicles drip, as I smoked/a cigarette.//” The poem ends quizzically: “I can’t stand myself.”

“No Such Thing as One Bee” is another poem that illustrates this need to pinpoint a location. Shaughnessy uses a narrator that is unsure of where they are in life and how they fit into the greater scheme. Where it is a busy worker bee or a bee that goes out to collect pollen. I guess you could almost equate it to the Bee movie with Jerry Seinfeld.

Overall, this is one of the better poetry books I have read in some time. I love the sarcastic and bleak language used by Shaughnessy in her poems. It’s the darkest side of humanity she examines, and she tries not to sugarcoat it, but sometimes, she just can’t help herself.