Scribblers’ Den

We do have an armory

I am a member of the Scribblers’ Den. This might not seem like something to brag about. After all, until just this very moment, you’ve probably never heard of Scribblers’ Den. Still, when I say “I’m a member of Scribblers’ Den,” I am bragging, and I should. It’s something worth bragging about.

The internet is a strange place, fraught with more dangers than Winterfell. A quick trip to the comments section of any random YouTube video should be enough to inform you of the trolls that lurk in the dark corners of the web. And let’s not get started on internet dating sites! Yikes. As the old maps used to say, here be dragons. And yet, across the cold, distant deserts of cyberspace, there exist havens where conversation is polite and faces are friendly. Scribblers’ Den is just one of those places.

Recently, we celebrated the Den’s one-year anniversary. How did we celebrate? With a tea party, of course! Members were encouraged to have a cup of tea throughout the day, posting photos on the comment wall, which we use as if it’s a chat messaging board, and to participate in tea dueling. We were also tasked with writing a 250-word short story.

We do have an armory, but denizens (as we call ourselves) are not quick to draw arms. Some of us have likened the den to an airship with a comfortable den, with a fireplace, comfy leather chairs, and an (aforementioned) armory. The airship travels the globe as we discuss subjects like steampunk, writing, and tea. We have members from across the globe. Australia, America, the UK, Canada.

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve been in writing groups before. None of them have been as active, or as friendly, as the Den. Not only that, but I have been incredibly impressed with the level of talent within our ranks. Sure, there may be some bias there, but I know I have a tendency to be more judgmental than praising when it comes to reading the works of fellow writers. And I have been nothing but impressed.

There is a definite focus on indie writers, but this is hardly a rule. We just haven’t had bestselling writers banging at our door, asking to be let aboard; we’d be happy to have them, but it hasn’t happened. There has been a shift, however, in the past several years. The culture of publishing has been undergoing a change that’s seen more and more indie publishers using self-pub services like create space and lulu. Of course this means there are a lot more poorly written books out there (there are simply more books available and fewer people screening these books for quality). On the other hand, there are a lot of brilliant books, waiting to be discovered. If you’re looking for one of these, you might try reading something penned by one of my fellow denizens. I’m confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Why not check out Jack Tyler’s Beyond The Rails series? Or how about Mark Lingane’s Tesla? Ichabod Temperance has a whole series, Steve Moore has an alternate American history novel, William J Jackson mashes up superheroes with steampunk, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find a more complete list of denizen-created books on the Empire Booksellers page, here.

If you’re still wondering why I’m proud to be a member of the Scribblers’ Den, there’s still more. We’ll have an announcement to make later this month, and I’m pretty excited about it. Stay tuned!

I’m blogging

Me? Blogging? Since when?

Well, hypothetical reader, since you hypothetically asked, since now. Since just this very moment. But don’t act so surprised. Really, the only thing odd about the fact that I’m blogging is that until now, I hadn’t been. The real question then is why now? Why wasn’t I blogging when I visited London and Paris to conduct research for my debut novel? Why didn’t I blog when I was writing for Sins of a Dark Age? Why start now when in the past two weeks I’ve been too busy to actually get any work done on my writing?

To be entirely honest, I don’t know the answer to that question. I suppose, in a way, I’m blogging because I want to be accountable to my readers. My hypothetical readers. They (and if you’re reading this, then by they I mean you) are hypothetical, because to have readers, you need to have written something. And I have. It’s just not ready yet. It needs to be revised. And in order for me to get revisions done, I need to have this handy little thing that I like to call “free time.”

Free time? What’s that?

It may seem contradictory to speak about a lack of free time, when, after all, this blog didn’t just write itself. I’ve taken precious time out of my day to start blogging. Rather than complaining about not having time to write, I could have been actually writing. But then again, perhaps not.

Because the truth is, free time is not the only prerequisite to productivity. You may be surprised to learn that writers, among other human beings, are notorious procrastinators. We require inspiration, motivation, and above all, caffeination.

It is my hope that talking about writing and interacting with those aforementioned hypothetical readers will help provide some amount of motivation. At the very least, it should help me get in the habit of putting words on paper without the added pressure of calling it “writing.” After all, this isn’t writing…it’s blogging.

So, be on the lookout, faithful reader, for upcoming posts. I’ll be blogging about writing, reading, and all things steampunk. Heck, I might even post pictures of my cats! Hmm…I guess I’ll need to acquire some cats.