And writing communities generally...
[fabulous Deb Ohi comic ----- > ]
superstar Twitterer (and personally responsible any time I've gotten anywhere with a Tweet). Her post? There is not just #amwriting, but also amwriting.org.
For those of you uninitiated on Twitter (and it is with great irony I say that, as I am a Twittering TWIT), hash tags [the # mark followed by your favorite topic, eg: #nakedworlddominationtour] gives people who want to find out MORE on a topic a way to find all the conversation on that particular topic. You can create your own... last year when we did my writer's group sponsored WriMo I created #BuNoWriMo and had a handful of conversants—oh sure, I was about 2/3 of the entries... but still...
Anyway, I learned early that if I wanted to reach WRITERS and not limit myself to followers, that I should include #amwriting on what I had to say...
So this WEBSITE for the #amwriting types was pretty darned cool!
There are a BUNCH of writers there... and there is a system whereby anyone can be a MEMBER but if you have a book number and stuff you can register as an AUTHOR (with a bio and such) and if you START as a member but publish, you can update...
There are bios, and communities and help... it is set up very well, I think.
But as with ALL these things, I think it is as useful as who participates. I signed up for 5 groups (the genres I write, plus a social networking one and... maybe it was two social networking ones...).
There are forums for conversation...
I guess what I think is... wouldn't this be FABULOUS if all my FRIENDS were here?! If, say... all of YOU signed up... because then, instead of a day by day blog (which is fabulous, but VERY temporary) there could be conversations by TOPIC that go back and forth and remain there to browse later...
What say you? Sounds cool, eh?
Do you all know of other forums like this? Are they friendly, or filled with annoying people (I have been to others, but have found them full of sycophants. I hope that doesn't offend anyone... I'm sure there are a bizillion I've never found... but say... the site run by hot former agent guy...)
Any you recommend? Or should we take over? And by take over, I mean respectfully join (but also add some life to)
I am officially ABNA entered... that is not to say I am READY, but I learned yesterday that I can REload up until they close, so better to load, then update as I have them, instead of being budged out because I am too late. Once they are closed, I am stuck with the version I have, but that is better than not being IN there...
FYI I thought you may be curious about before (which you've seen), and AFTER on my pitch)
In the high desert of Eastern Washington, miles from anything other than a few farms, grain silos and a small cluster of modest houses, sits the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Mentally Retarded and Insane. The doors to the hospital have been officially closed since 1953 when the suicide of a resident spurred an investigation and found serious abuses in care.
Helen has been alone since then, in the abandoned institution that caused her such pain, but thankfully, her death ended the seizures and the death of the hospital ended the screams. There is other sadness, but she believes the worst is over.
When the noticed is nailed to the heavy front door Helen is shocked to realize she's been dead sixty years. When trucks and workmen show up several days later; however, she realizes her death is going to change drastically. The damaged young people assigned to the Kahlotus Project have not entirely bought into the idea of a reform school. They bring with them tragic pasts, mental illness, and a vast deficiency in coping skills. They posture for dominance, manipulate each other, and, when official backs are turned, cause each other, and themselves, harm. Helen can't work out what to make of these people, but is drawn to them like a circus show.
Only a handful of the new residents can see Helen, and in the case of a schizophrenic girl, she is taken as evidence of psychosis. But the girl who really touches her is the one who seems just as surprised as Helen to be seen. Serena has spent her life alternately trying to be invisible and be seen, always visible to those who would hurt her, unseen by the rest, unbelieved by those who should help. Perhaps this unlikely friendship can heal more hearts than just their own.
In 1953 teen resident Helen Bixby's suicide spurred an investigation that closed down the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Mentally Retarded and Insane. Helen has been alone since then, in the abandoned institution that caused her such pain. Thankfully, her death ended the seizures and the hospital closure ended the screams. She thought the worst was over.
When a notice is nailed to the heavy front doors Helen is shocked to realize she's been dead sixty years. Work on the building brings fear of what will come, but the building is meant to be a opened as a school. Unfortunately, the damaged young people assigned to the Kahlotus Project have not entirely bought into the idea of reform school. They bring with them tragic pasts, mental illness, and a vast deficiency in coping skills. They posture for dominance, manipulate each other, and, when official backs are turned, harm each other and themselves.
Helen can barely cope, but that isn't the worst of it. Neglect and new abuses by the adults in charge trigger painful memories of life at the hospital in her own time. She decides she must do whatever she can to change its course.
Only a handful of the new residents can see Helen, and for those, admitting it is taken as evidence of psychosis, only making matters worse. But the girl who really touches her seems almost as invisible as Helen. When it seems Serena is going to fall victim to the abuses of those in charge, Helen forms a partnership with Allan, teacher and counselor, to protect the students, so the horrors that so adversely affected her life, don't destroy the lives of another generation.
Kahlotus Disposal Site, at 65,000 words, is a Young Adult novel along the lines of The Lovely Bones meets Girl, Interrupted.
All Content Watery Tart Generated (Hart Johnson) and seen first at Confessions of a Watery Tart.