07/06/2015 - 07/31/2015
Regency Weapons with Merien Grey
This class covers the culture of war, weapons and violence just prior to and during the Regency. This workshop covers classes of weapons and various individual weapons for the purpose of representing them and their use accurately. To cover a weapon without covering how, why and to what degree of ferocity it was employed provides only a small portion of the story. I will cover how people who lived during the Regency looked at violence, how they came to feel that way, which weapons they might use for any number of confrontations and why. Each week will have two lessons and a smaller bonus post, a reference spotlight with photos showing the best references available on the specific subject matter and photo presentations totaling hundreds of graphics over the four week course. At the end of the class, suggested reading and source material lists will be provided with pages of links to videos demonstrating specific weapons and relevant social and cultural information. At the conclusion of the class, each participant will be given a chance to ask a question or submit a scene from there work in progress for review at their convenience, off loop, to round out the subject matter and make sure every student takes something useful away from the class.
Merien Grey spent over a decade
traveling the world as a military intelligence analyst observing all manner of people and their behavior. During her exploits, she was forced to develop a working knowledge of what many consider historical weapons since many third world countries still use them. This line of study took on a life of its own and became a hobby she has enjoyed and built on over the years. When she began writing Regency romance, it was a natural progression to make Regency weapons her main period of interest. It has been her favorite recreational study subject for over a decade now. Merien has degrees in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. She can be found under her name on Twitter, Facebook and at www.meriengrey.com
. Merien currently lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier in Washington state with her husband, two dogs and a kindergartner who rules the land with an iron hand, at least until bedtime.
08/10/2015 - 08/23/2015
Anti-plotting: Take seat of your pants writing to the next level
Your imagination and your characters can show you the way to a better manuscript if you know how to let them. Learn how to free your mind from the demands of pre-plotting and the dreaded synopsis, come up with more ideas quickly, go deeper into POV, strategies to avoid author intrusion and more via lecture, exercises and discussion.
Ruth Kaufman is a Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent and freelance editor and speaker with a J.D. and a Master’s in Radio/TV who loves chocolate peanut butter milkshakes and singing in a chorus.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART, the standalone second book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, released in April. Writing accolades include Romance Writers of America® 2011 Golden Heart® winner and runner up in RT Book Reviews’ national American Title II contest. Learn more at www.ruthkaufman.com and www.ruthtalks.com. Follow her on Twitter: @RuthKaufman or Facebook: Ruth Kaufman Author & Actress
09/01/2015 - 09/30/2015
Be Your Own Fiction Editor: A Revision Clinic
Are you frustrated that your fiction is not captivating agents? If you’ve revised and revised, but still no bites, then you might need the help of a good fiction editor. In this workshop, experienced freelance fiction editor Alice Osborn will offer tips and techniques for overcoming “revision fatigue.” She’ll discuss timelines, character motivation, dialogue, point of view, setting and more. Everyone will feel more comfortable with the publishing process and with using style guides. For those wanting to go into the fiction editing business, we’ll also discuss time management, communication, and other smart business practices. Come with questions and problems from your work-in-progress and Alice will help you help yourself.
Alice Osborn, M.A. is the author of three books of poetry, After the Steaming Stops (Main Street Rag, 2012), Unfinished Projects (Main Street Rag, 2010) and Right Lane Ends (Catawba, 2006) and is the editor of the anthology, Tattoos (Main Street Rag, 2012); her past educational and work experience is unusually varied and now it feeds her strengths as an editor who makes good writers great authors. Alice teaches creative writing all over the country where she uses sensory images and road-tested prompts to stimulate her students’ best work. Her pieces have appeared in the News and Observer, The Broad River Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Soundings Review and in numerous journals and anthologies. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and two children. Visit her website at www.aliceosborn.com.
10/18/2015 - 11/30/2015
Medieval Ireland AD 1000-1600
The course will concentrate on Ireland ‘beyond the Pale’, the areas where lived the Gaels, barbarous and uncouth in English eyes. The people who lived in ‘the Pale’, that is, the stockade or boundary of ‘civilisation’, were the English whose chief city was Dublin.
Six weeks to cover six hundred years of history seems a short space of time. However, Gaelic society in this period was one of the most conservative in Europe; there were differences as in landholding, marriage customs, holidays, belief in the supernatural, etc. When one king per country was the norm, Ireland was still ruled by three levels of kings. It annoyed the Elizabethan administration greatly when Irish leaders ‘pretended’ to be kings. At a time when mainstream Europeans found it difficult to divorce a wife–Henry VIII of England springs to mind–Irish kings and chiefs blithely ‘put aside’ wives and contracted secular marriages with other women. The second Earl of Clanrickard (died 1582) was married six times with five wives living at the same time.
You’ll learn about the ‘clan system’, the kindreds who ruled Gaelic Ireland (which was similar to Gaelic Scotland) and the end of it after the defeat of Hugh O’ Neill, king of Ulster. You will find out about the influence of various invaders: vikings, Anglo-Normans and the Tudors.
What you learn may not agree in all aspects with what you have read in novels and seen in films. But your knowledge of this special country will be greatly enriched, and the use you make of the material is entirely up to you.
Instructor: Sheila Currie
While living over eight years in Europe, Sheila studied the languages and history of Scotland, Ireland and France. She learned Gaelic at Xavier College in Nova Scotia (now UCB) then received a MA (honours) in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of Glasgow. She received a bursary to study the older forms of the Gaelic language at the Dublin Institute of Advance Studies for a summer.
She now lives in British Columbia, Canada and teaches medieval, Scottish and Irish history part-time at university. She is currently writing an historical fantasy.
11/01/2015 - 11/30/2015
Military 101 with Merien Grey
One of the many new markets for contemporary romance is military romance. The United States Military is like a small country. It has its own culture, customs and laws. This workshop touches on branch structure, culture in and out of uniform, the lexicon and slang, tradition and various other details of what it is really like beyond the gates and guns. It will also touch on common myths and misnomers. We will cover why in certain cases, soldiers who work together and get involved romantically can be prosecuted, as can adulterers in any case and why there is really no such thing as off duty. We will talk about special operations and why females being allowed to enter those fields has generated strong kickback within the services. Hint: It has far more to do with logistics, standards and administration than social acceptability. This class is designed to give writers with little to no experience enough military knowledge to know where to begin their research and how to find what they need to write a credible military novel.
Merien is an eleven year US Air Force veteran. She spent her tours of duty traveling the world as an intelligence analyst working various multi-service and multi-national assignments. She has worked in twenty-two countries and lived in four of them. She has worked missions in the Middle East, South America and throughout Asia. She has degrees in Anthropology, Sociology, English and Communications Technology. Before becoming an author and speaker, her occupations ranged from soldier (obviously) and bartender to infrared security system instructor and developer. She even spent a few years as a 911 operator working police, fire and medical emergency dispatch. She currently lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier with her retired Ranger husband, Baghdad pup and a kindergartner who rules the land with an iron hand at least until bedtime.