Groups I've Joined
Ah, mi familia! I am a proud user of the fruits of the Internet--by that I mean I join the mailing lists of groups with which I have an affinity. Especially for writers, coordinating and networking by email can be so useful! Some groups have no mailing lists, so we use old-fashioned mail or phone.
- The Austin SlugTribe - the local science fiction & fantasy study group. We meet twice a month to critique and network, but we're online as well. Earl Cooley has hosted us on his bbs and now on his own listserver for years & years. What a prince! We've got a website up and we continue to meet 2x a month more than 25 years after creating ourselves. Check out the SlugTribe.org website to see the MANY publishing successes!
- The Austin Screenwriters Group - this high-energy and very directed group of local writers critiques scripts and keeps up with Hollywood and anywhere films are made. I'm also the webmistress for the website and designed the logo, plus usually coordinate the writers workshops and Hollywood networking events we offer. ASG is also very tied in with the Austin Heart of Film competition. For several years I was a reader/judge for the Heart of Film screenplay and TV contest also. I know it's helped me learn screenwriting craft; my contest successes prove it!
- The Austin Cats - a local group of folks who've taken the Blake Snyder screenwriting workshop. I took the one Blake offered here in Austin in June 2008, before his untimely death. We have on/offf meetings to keep networking, doing "15 beat" analysis, etc. It's also grown to include Blake Snyder advocates.
- The Austin Writergrrls - local women networking, supporting each other, sharing fears and joys about writing, wanting to write, and life. We get together a couple of times a month for meals and networking, also create our own workshops and brainstorming sessions. We call them (respectively) Chat'n'Chew, Lounge'n'Learn and Think'n'Ink. This includes many readings at our local BookWoman bookstore.
- The Fort List - what a crazy, international group of super-smart and cool people! We share a common fascination with the weird things in life, much as our namesake, the eccentric Charles Fort, did in his books on rains of frogs, mysterious voices from the air, etc. The Fortean Society prints a very cool monthly magazine also.
- HerDomain.org - the women-only group built mostly around the Austin area. Our focus high-tech, and in particular, use of the Internet for fun & profit. Some of the women with progressive politics also formed another, by invitation list, that I'm on as well.
- The Jung Society of Austin - the JSA has presentations on myths and archetypes, which they even extrapolate into modern day, cyberspace, etc. Even though my JSA membership lapsed, I have attended the two Mythic Journeys events in Atlanta on the anniversary of Joseph Campbell's birthday. They were only offered twice (sigh).
- RussCon - Alas, though it's gone as of Fall 2005, Russ Williams used to host a weekly Wednesday night game fest at his home (which originally was our home before we split). We played card games and German-style board games mostly. I started going to do research for the strategy card game I co-designed.
- SFWA - the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It's a professional association so I had to have three professional short story sales to join. (One novel sold would've done it too, but I have written no novels yet!)
- Turkey City & Tryptophan - even more groups of SF/F related fiction and critique that I hang out with occasionally. The Turkey City group was revived by one of its original founders, the internationally famous author Bruce Sterling, and he drew upon his many contacts in the publishing world to bring in people like: John Shirley, Ellen Datlow, John Kessel, Connie Willis, Cory Doctorow, Andy Duncan.
Friends of Wendy - Websites to Visit
Dan Becker - Dan seems to have unlimited energy and interests. You'll see from his site that he's into gaming, miniatures, triathlons, beer brewing and drinking, and more. He's also got detailed instructions on how to make tiny trebuchets, cast your own game pieces, create dice towers, and all kinds of info.
Shad Chancey - Shad was a senior designer with me at CSC (we were both laid off 2013), but he and his crazily photogenic wife Jentri and their group of extrovert musicians and friends created a ghost busting team! Aether Paranormal is no longer, but watch their web series on the places they investigated. I introduced them to people in Hollywood and they came this close to having a show on cable TV! I myself appear in a video: Click on the team members, choose "Shad Chancey" and then watch his video bio for the co-worker who whines about designing in purple!
Mark Gardner - He's living his dream of making film/videos full-time with his company, Lovable Varmint Productions! He was a sports consultant and screenwriter when we met in ASG. Now he's got some international webby awards for his webseries Cell and is getting his new series Weird Girls going!
Michelle Grant - She's another Writergrrl friend, living a deeply felt life on the coast of California now with her knitting and beautiful, award-winning pastels and a beautiful home with her neat husband.
Tom Konrad - Tom was a SlugTriber back when he lived in Austin. Then he moved to be nearer to mountains, ending up in the Hudson River Valley. No more fiction writing for him, but he writes about ecology oriented investing on his Clean Energy Wonk blog and for Forbes magazine. When he talks about how he became an investment counselor because a friend asked him to give her advice, that's me!
Jennifer Newcomb Marine - She first created a really inspiring blog about overcoming the complications of step mother/ex-wife relationships, then co-wrote the book on it, No One's the Bitch, with her children's stepmom (!!), Carol. Now she's working on her second book in the series, and, oh yeah, they were on Dr. Phil talking about their book and he said it was a useful workbook with good stuff in it!
This all started when she lived in Austin and was a Writergrrl, but now she's living with her new husband in Oregon... Miss her!
Debra Winegarten - she has a website and publishing company called SocioSight Press. Another Writergrrl friend, she's had more booksignings and presented more speeches than you can count for her book on Texas aviatrix, Katharine Stinson, and on the woman who saved the Alamo, Oveta Culp Hobby. Plus now she's got her series of poetry books, and published a friend's new children's book that's winning awards called Almost a Minyan.