The Start of a Central Information Source for Writers in Second Life

by Joan Kremer on December 31, 2008 · 17 comments

in Events,Opportunities,Places for writers,Virtual tools

Joan Kremer is a professional business/nonfiction writer, cystitis cardiologist novelist, short story writer, literary journal editor, blogger, and co-owner of the Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life®, where she goes by the avatar name Alas Zerbino (shown in picture below — writing on the grounds of Story Mountain!).
Alas Zerbino at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life

More about Alas Zerbino:

More about Joan Kremer:

  • Co-founder/editor of Cezanne’s Carrot, an online literary journal that publishes short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art that celebrates the universe and the human experience in uplifting, revolutionary ways

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” ~ Paul Cezanne

A few samples of my fiction writing online:

Short fiction published under my First Life name (Joan Kremer):

Poetry and fiction published under my Second Life name (Alas Zerbino):

And even more (than you probably ever wanted to know) about me:

Joan Kremer is a professional business/nonfiction writer, cystitis novelist, anaemia short story writer, literary journal editor, blogger, and co-owner of the Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life®, where she goes by the avatar name Alas Zerbino (shown in picture below — writing on the grounds of Story Mountain!).

More about Alas Zerbino:

Alas Zerbino at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life

More about Joan Kremer:

  • Co-founder/editor of Cezanne’s Carrot, an online literary journal that publishes short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art that celebrates the universe and the human experience in uplifting, revolutionary ways

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” ~ Paul Cezanne

A few samples of my fiction writing online:

Short fiction published under my First Life name (Joan Kremer):

Poetry and fiction published under my Second Life name (Alas Zerbino):

And even more (than you probably ever wanted to know) about me:

Joan Kremer is a professional business/nonfiction writer, this web novelist, prostate short story writer, disease literary journal editor, blogger, and co-owner of the Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life®, where she goes by the avatar name Alas Zerbino (shown in picture below — writing on the grounds of Story Mountain!).
Alas Zerbino at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life

More about Alas Zerbino:

More about Joan Kremer:

  • Co-founder/editor of Cezanne’s Carrot, an online literary journal that publishes short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art that celebrates the universe and the human experience in uplifting, revolutionary ways

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” ~ Paul Cezanne


A few samples of my fiction writing online:

Short fiction published under my First Life name (Joan Kremer):

Poetry and fiction published under my Second Life name (Alas Zerbino):

And even more (than you probably ever wanted to know) about me:

Joan Kremer is a professional business/nonfiction writer, caries novelist, treat short story writer, literary journal editor, blogger, and co-owner of the Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life®, where she goes by the avatar name Alas Zerbino (shown in picture below — writing on the grounds of Story Mountain!).

More about Alas Zerbino:

Alas Zerbino at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life

More about Joan Kremer:

  • Co-founder/editor of Cezanne’s Carrot, an online literary journal that publishes short fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art that celebrates the universe and the human experience in uplifting, revolutionary ways

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.” ~ Paul Cezanne


A few samples of my fiction writing online:

Short fiction published under my First Life name (Joan Kremer):

Poetry and fiction published under my Second Life name (Alas Zerbino):


And even more (than you probably ever wanted to know) about me:

I confess: When I first saw the news item about Second Life in The Writer magazine’s most recent issue, discount I was a bit ticked off — and then my holier-than-thou self-righteousness took over and quickly sparked a full-blown exodus of all life forms from the room. (OK, recipe that’s exaggerating a bit, but it still wasn’t a pretty sight, believe me!)  Why?  Because, as I wrote in an earlier post, I’d pitched a story about Second Life to The Writer in early 2008, and after lengthy consideration, they finally decided it didn’t meet their editorial needs.

As editor of a literary journal myself, I don’t get terribly bothered by rejections; I know how subjective, and sometimes downright irrational, editors’ choices can be.  (I’ve made more than a few crazy decisions myself!)  But I knew back in March, and even more so now, that writers of all genres should have the chance to find out about Second Life’s writing resources and community.  So when The Writer said an article about Second Life didn’t fit their editorial needs, I knew they were behind the curve of the 21st century.

richmond_storymtnA group of writers meeting recently at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life with novelist Michelle Richmond (The Year of Fog and No One You Know)

In fact, I felt so strongly about spreading the word to other writers, that when the article was rejected, I decided to try a different approach — and this blog was born.  I also kept a keen eye on The Writer to see how long it would take them to catch up.

It took until the January 2009 issue, in which they published about 10 inches of copy titled “Second Life Explores Books Virtually,” as part of the monthly “Take Note” column.

But even though I’m glad this most-hallowed of writers’ magazine has finally revamped its “editorial needs” regarding Second Life, I’m still a bit disappointed in its lukewarm assessment: Book promotions in Second Life “are still infrequent,” the column concludes, and in the future, “writers may find themselves touring a virtual world.” (Emphases are mine.)

Hah!! There are so many author and writing events in Second Life each day, you’d have to retire from work and all other pursuits to attend them all!  Just the nickel tour of the writing landscape in Second Life reveals these activities:

  • Second Life Cable Network (SLCN.TV) carries two regular shows (broadcast inworld and on the Internet) in which authors (including New York Times bestselling authors) are interviewed in front of a live audience in Second Life:  Authors in Your Pocket (with authors like Emily Giffin, Kristin Hannah, Tasha Alexander, Mary B. Morrison, Robert Gregory Browne) and Meet an Author  (with authors such as Paddy O’Reilly, Isabel Losada, David Boop, Michelle Richmond).
  • Athena Isle Writers group meets regularly for informal discussions with published authors such as L.A. Banks, Michelle Richmond, Sarah Susanka,  Roberta Isleib, Michelle Gagnon.
  • Novelists Michael A. Stackpole (Secret Atlas, Cartomancy, Star Trek novelizations), Paul Levinson (The Plot to Save Socrates, The Silk Code), and Jane Watson (Hindustan Contessa) are just a few authors who have established offices/bookstores in Second Life where they have regular office hours.
  • Warren Adler (author of War of the Roses and many other novels) and Amazon.com teamed up in Second Life this year to provide a series of talks about the future of literary short fiction.  Adler announced the winners of his short story contest at one of those talks.
  • Novelist and comic book author Warren Ellis, the award-winning creator of graphic novels such as Planetary, Transmetropolitan, and Fell, and author of the “underground classic” Crooked Little Vein, has just been hired by Reuters to write a weekly column for the Reuters Second Life News Center, starting in January.

Now that’s just the teeniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg of what I know — and I’m still discovering new people and activities in the Second Life writing community all the time.

I have personally met and had one-on-one chats with more published authors since entering SL in February 2008 than in the previous five decades of my life combined!

The one thing I haven’t yet discovered in Second Life (if you know about it, please tell me!!) is a central information source for writer-related events.  So I’m starting one right now!  I’ve collected all of the ongoing events I know about and put them on this Google calendar, which is freely available to the public:

The calendar will appear as a permanent sidebar on this blog, so you can always see it no matter what page of my blog you’re viewing.  You’ll also find the calendar on the Internet at this link.

Now for the fine-print (but in regular-size font):

  • This calendar is nowhere near complete!!!  I’m extending an invitation to anyone who hosts or sponsors an event to add it to this calendar by emailing me or giving me a notecard inworld (my SL name is Alas Zerbino).
  • If you host or sponsor regular writers’ activities, write to me about getting direct access to the calendar so you can add your events yourself!
  • This is a totally unofficial calendar unconnected with any of the people, organizations, or places listed.  If something’s incorrect, if you don’t want your events to be included on it, etc., etc., just let me know!  My goal is to serve the writing community in Second Life, not to piss anyone off!!
  • This calendar is not connected in any way, shape, or form with Second Life© or Linden Lab, the company that owns SL.

Within a short time, I will also create a feed from this Google calendar into a display at my homebase in SL, Story Mountain Center for Writers, where anyone can view it inworld at any time.

I also invite all of those interested in writing resources and opportunities in Second Life to spread the word about this calendar and let me know of other resources like this!

Oh — one last thing:  Despite their somewhat Luddite-like (“luddistic”?) approach to Second Life, The Writer magazine has always been, and remains, the one trade journal I read religiously — and will continue to!  I highly recommend it to all writers.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Crap Mariner (1 comments.) January 2, 2009 at 8:11 am

I will eventually create an in-world resource for my writing podcast, 100 Word Stories.

It has a weekly challenge where writers try to come up with a 100 word story based on a topic, then they record their efforts.

Crap Mariners last blog post..Stuffed

2 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) January 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

Hi Crap!

Great to hear that your 100 Word Stories are going inworld as well — I love what you’re doing with that. Let me know as soon as you do so I can add it to the calendar.

Joan/Alas

3 Warren Adler (1 comments.) January 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm

It was a very interesting experience to announce the winners of my previous short story contest in Second Life.

4 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) January 9, 2009 at 9:31 am

Hi Warren,

Your talks and the contest announcement were some of my first experiences in Second Life and convinced me that it was definitely worth my time. I really enjoyed meeting you there and am glad to see the contests continuing — that’s a wonderful thing you’re doing to promote short fiction!

Thanks for reading and commenting on my post!

Joan

P.S. Have you read any Bobbie Ann Mason stories yet?

5 Debbie (8 comments.) January 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm

This is an -excellent- idea. I’ve been on SL for a month now and one challenge I’m finding is trying to remember where and when all the different writing events are.

Debbies last blog post..Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction

6 Debbie (8 comments.) January 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm

p.s. A question: are the times mentioned in your calendar in the Linden timezone (which I believe is PST)?

Debbies last blog post..Cory Doctorow: Writing in the Age of Distraction

7 Joan Kremer (6 comments.) January 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Hi Debbie,

I’m glad you think the calendar will be useful. I had the same problem of keeping up with the writing event schedules!

Yes, all times listed are Second Life Time (SLT), which is the same as Pacific Time. (I should have made that clear — so thanks for asking!)

Joan

Joan Kremers last blog post..The Start of a Central Information Source for Writers in Second Life

8 Diana Hunter (4 comments.) January 21, 2009 at 6:44 pm

This is very cool! I’m still giving readings of my works inworld as well as the occasional writing workshop. Looking forward to visiting your place, Alas!

And RL has a way of working out. If The Writer hadn’t been so blind, you never would have begun this site and the writers of SL would be without a great resource. 🙂
Diana

9 Rae Lori (1 comments.) January 21, 2009 at 7:53 pm

This is great, Joan! I’m going to copy this calendar to my google one to keep up with events in-world when I can make them. Your article was away ahead of its time and they missed out on some good info about Second Life. Although, I agree with Diana! On the flip side I’m glad you created this blog! Great information. 😀

Rae Loris last blog post..Out from under the pile

10 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) January 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Diana,

Thanks so much for your supportive comments! Very true about life having a way of working out! I would love to have your events for the calendar, too — I still remember how blown away I was when I attended my first writing workshop in SL and found it as good or better than ones I’ve attended in RL! (The teacher was, of course, Diana Allendale!!)

Joan

11 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) January 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Rae,

Thank you so much for your awesome support! I’m glad you’ll find the calendar useful. It’s funny — I started the calendar for me, so I could keep track, and then realized that it was precisely what we wanted to show at Story Mountain! Please let me know about anything going on for writers that isn’t on the calendar so I can add it.

Joan/Alas

12 ItsNaughtKnotty Cannned (1 comments.) January 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Hi Alas, er, Joan 🙂
Love the idea of a central location to find everything. Keep after Writer’s Market! I’ve published three short stories in the last year in so-called reputable publications all featuring the theme of living in virtual worlds. The paper-and-pen literary world thinks we’re playing video games, but eventually they’ll catch up with us. Would love for your calendar to include a mention everyday at midnight that an INKsters contest entry is due. Thanks for doing this! Hugs.

13 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) January 21, 2009 at 11:13 pm

Hey, INK! Thanks for the comment. I’m so glad to hear about your publications — very encouraging. I agree that eventually the print world will get it.

The INKsters daily contest is now added to the calendar. I wanted to include it, but didn’t know exactly how. Well you’ve solved that problem — just make it a “midnight” event. (Duh — sometimes I worry about myself!)

For any readers who are wondering about this contest, check out the INKsters blog or this post on my blog: One Writing Competition in Second Life You Can’t Lose. Oh, and by the way, INK has raised the prize from L$25 to L$100 — awesome!

Alas/Joan

14 Joanna (1 comments.) January 22, 2009 at 4:44 am

Thank you so much for this! When you’re a writer of any sort, it always helps to get your name out there. Along with blogging, I’m hoping to do my satirical writing in e-book format. SL is a terrific way for people to bring their creative talents into the future, and hopefully into the mainstream. *crosses fingers*

Joannas last blog post..Negative Emotion Outlawed on Day of Obama Inauguration

15 Joan Kremer (71 comments.) February 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Excellent point about SL, Joanna! Thanks for the comment. I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed, too. Best wishes on your project. (I love your satire, by the way!)
Joan

16 morison dony (1 comments.) March 8, 2009 at 1:48 am

Haha. Funny pictures are great for lifting up moods 😀

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