Posted on

Winding Down The Year

Lioness looking pensive

It’s halfway through October, and creeping ever closer to the day on which I will close the doors on The Scribbling Lion for good. I still have several excellent books in stock, and I’ve set the prices as low as I can afford to drop them; there’s even a coupon on a couple of them, for folks who watch my new YouTube channel or subscribe to my newsletter.

(Haven’t done that yet? Here you go!)

Since I won’t be going out of state to any conventions at this point, I’ve closed out my sales tax accounts in Maryland, South Carolina, and North Carolina. All that’s left is Virginia. I’ll shut that door at the end of December, after Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, this is an excellent time to clear out my inventory with orders. How about SISTERS OF THE WILD SAGE, a magical collection of stories by Nicole Givens Kurtz? Or CITY OF WEIRD, a fantastical anthology of weird Portland tales? I still have cookbooks, one copy each of THE HEARTHSTONE INNKEEPER’S COOKBOOK and STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE. If you’re more interested in epic fantasy, I have all seven books of the CHILDREN OF THE DESERT series — five main, two side novellas — in stock and ready to ship. I have the second and third books of Angela P Wade’s EDWARD RED MAGE series in stock — if you want the first book, just contact me. It’ll be a bit of a wait, given holiday printing demands, along with shipping mayhem, so order that sooner than later!

Wander through the shop, as there are many more titles to be had than what I can reasonably list here. I’d planned on a busy convention season in 2020!

By the way, if you’re missing convention companionship, take a look at ConTinual, an ongoing virtual convention that’s running over on Facebook. There are panels, and seminars, and meet & greets, and a vendor room, and live performances, just like an in person convention. I’ll be presenting on at least one panel in November, so keep an eye out for that!

In person conventions coming back in 2021 is dubious, in my opinion; the economic reality of many conventions is that they run on such a thin margin that this year has completely destroyed their savings buffer. If they’re lucky, their host hotel released them from the contract and they have a chance at starting up again next year; if not, the funds to run a convention just aren’t there. Also, a high proportion of the vendors, writers, and artists that draw attendance in the first place are just as desperately dry, and are, like The Scribbling Lion, effectively out of business.

So virtual meetings, or much smaller meetings in person, are going to be the way forward at least through 2021, I think. It’s going to be an interesting year….

Posted on

Writing Group Invitation

I’ve been running a small writer’s group called The Ink Stained Fellowship, based out of Williamsburg, VA. With the pandemic, we’ve moved to online meetings, which means I can throw open membership to a wider geographical area. Here’s what you need to know about the group:

  • Members are all seeking publication
  • The focus of the group is on science fiction, fantasy, and horror
  • Members need to be familiar with editing using Microsoft Word Track Changes
  • Members should be working on at least one project (slowly is fine, and given current chaos, this is largely a goal more than a requirement.)
  • Meetings are once a week, on Zoom, usually Sunday evenings at 7:30
  • Meetings are for catching up, reporting progress, and setting goals, not critiques
  • Projects for critique are generally loaded to our FB group, or sent to individuals who express interest in critiquing that particular project. Critiques are sent individually via email. If I get a pro Zoom account we may start doing video critiques, but the time restriction right now makes that impossible.
  • There is a penalty for not meeting your self-selected goal each week, so choose with care! The penalty is: whatever money you can spare goes into a group kitty. If five dollars is painful for you, then that’s the amount to choose. If you only say ouch when you lose fifty dollars, then that’s the penalty. It’s entirely subjective. Every few months we vote on how to use the kitty. Given that we’re not meeting in person anymore, funds can be sent via Paypal (A specific account for the group is on my To Do List.)
  • Members (theoretically) submit presentations roughly once a month, written or spoken, on the intersection of one of our areas of interest and how to write about it. For example, I’ve presented on how to use plants and gardening to fill out your backdrop; another member has spoken on period clothing; another on ball jointed dolls. (Again, this is more of a goal than a requirement. Once stress levels drop across the board, we’ll get more serious on this and other points.)
  • Life is chaotic and time moves fast; you’re not going to get scolded for not living up to a set standard. This is a group focused on support and community and pushing each other to do more and do better, but NOT faster.
  • I’m not going to put a hard limit on membership numbers right now, but I’d rather grow slowly, so I may only take one new person a week and see how that works out.
  • Sorry not sorry, no Trump supporters. My tolerance for that mindset has burned to the ground.

If that sounds appealing, contact me at writer@leonawisoker.com, or DM me via Twitter (@leonawisoker) and ask about joining the group!

See ya soon!