Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: At Play

Write what comes to you: fiction, non-fiction, short or long. Share it with us! Leave your work as a comment or email it to us at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: Viva Voice

You may have heard these lines before: It will take some time for you to discover your voice, or, Let me read the first fifty or so pages and see if I like the voice. Earlier this year, authors at the Festival of Books were all over voice—to the point that a writer at the Huffington Post decided to take a jab back. What is this elusive "voice" that's always being talked about?

Generally, voice is referring to one of two things:
  1. The author's voice, their style, that makes their writing unique in some respect and has been crafted over time.
  2. Or, voice as the speech and thought process of the narrator of a story.

Both types of voice are very important to writers and their work. The first, the voice (or stlye) of an author, being something that is developed as a writer develops. It is unique to you, and it is bound to evolve continually over time. Your writing should have as much personality as your own. The voice of your narrator, similarly, is crucial to carrying out your story. Without a cohesive and engaging voice, you may lose the structure, and even the impact, of your story before the reader even reaches the end.

Voice as an author's style is an interesting topic: can it be learned or must it be nurtured only to develop with use? This is one thing that is argued over in the Huffington Post article. You can answer that for yourself, if you wish. But one thing is certain—voice has an effect on your writing mechanics, your word choice, even your structure. Becoming aware of your own voice will allow you a lot of room to play in your writing. Give it a shot.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Friday, September 24th
Celebrate the 20th birthday of the Portland micro-press, Future Tense, at this free event featuring short readings and toasts from an array of authors that Kevin Sampsell's press has published throughout the years. Appearances by Richard Meltzer, Zachary Schomburg, Emily Kendal Frey, Chelsea Martin, Zoe Trope, and more. Plus, of course, there will be drinking and a whole bunch of books for sale.
Where: Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate
When: 8:00 pm
Cost: Free

Sunday, September 26th
Inflectionsim is a poetic movement grown out of discussions among three Portland poets: John Sibley Williams, A. Molotkov, and Shawn Austin. They sought more organic poetry that respected both poet and reader, both words and interpretation. The founders don't seek to control the definition of Inflectionism but encourage other poets to discover their own definitions.
Where: St. John's Booksellers, 8622 N Lombard
When: 2:00 pm
Cost: Free

Tuesday, September 28th
Join us tonight for a reading by Tao Lin to celebrate the release of his second novel, Richard Yates (Melville House, 2010). Richard Yates is named after real life writer Richard Yates, but has little to do with him. Instead, it tracks the relationship between writer Haley Joel Osment, a New Yorker in his early twenties, and Dakota Fanning, his 16-year-old lover. Tao Lin is an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and artist. He is the author of five books of fiction and poetry.
Where: Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free (and so is the beer!)

Wednesday, September 29th

Guillermo del Toro, one of Hollywood's most popular and imaginative storytellers and the creator of the Oscar-winning Pan's Labyrinth, presents The Fall, the new book in his vampire epic. The event is co-sponsored by the Northwest Film Center's School of Film.
Where: Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: $26.99, includes admission and a copy of The Fall

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: The Lion Tamer

A lion tamer at Bertram Mills Touring Circus. Edward G. Malindine.

Write whatever comes to you! Fiction, non-fiction, long or short. Share what you come up with with us. Either leave it as a comment, or email it to us at

Monday, September 20, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: The Square Bracket

The square bracket is a common sight among parentheses, but it remains one of the less frequently used types of punctuation. Square brackets, or usually just brackets (in the United States), are defined by the Chicago Manual of Style as "used mainly to enclose material—usually added by someone other than the original writer—that does not belong to the surrounding text. In quoted matter, reprints, anthologies, and other non-original material, square brackets enclose editorial interpolations, explanations, translations of foreign terms, or corrections. Sometimes the bracketed material replaces rather than amplifies the original word or words."

That's a lot to handle at once. Aside from their most common use, brackets have a few other places where they would show up. Let's take a look at each with an example sentence.

1. In quoted material, brackets are used to include matter not written by the original author and not belonging to the surrounding text. Example: They [the student body] were against the new schedule changes.

2. In translations, brackets are used to include a phrase or word in the original language. Example: They studied society [Gesellschaft] and community [Gemeinde] in their class.

3. Brackets function as parentheses inside of parentheses. If you need to put something in parentheses, but you are already working inside parentheses, just use brackets. Example: (She didn't know how [or even when] it had all happened.)

4. Brackets can be used to include the phonetic transcription of something. Example: He used the phonetic [fənɛtɪk] transcription in his paper.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Saturday, September 18th
Q Poetry Night with Elaina M. Ellis: Join us for another night of some of the best queer poetry in the Northwest with one of Seattle's favorite queer poets. Elaina is a teacher at Bent Writing Institute and is the founder of TumbleMe Productions. The Q Poetry Night will also feature an open mic for everyone who would like to get up on the stage and share their work.
Where: The Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Ave
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: $5 suggested donation

Sunday, September 19th
Please come out to see the renowned poet Eileen Myles read from her new poet's novel, Inferno. Part of the Smorg Reading Series. Food, beer, wine, and espresso are all available at The Waypost.
Where: The Waypost, 3120 N. Williams Ave
When: 7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Tuesday, September 21st
Zinesters Talking: Zines Go To School. Educators Bobi Blue of Fir Ridge High School, Julie Hoffer of Open Meadow High School, and Leanne Grabel of the Rosemont school share tips about how they integrate zines into their classrooms. Learn how making, reading, and sharing zines can change students lives!
Where: Belmont Library, 1038 SE 39th Ave
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, September 22nd
Kim Fay, joined by her sister and best Vietnamese girlfriend, set off to taste as much as possible while exploring the rituals and traditions, street cafes, and haute cuisine of her favorite country. The three women discovered a society shaped by its ever-changing relationship with food. The result of their journey is a new book: Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam. Tonight's event will include a talk by Kim, a slide presentation, and food!
Where: Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: Hop in...

Write whatever you are inspired to, be it fiction or truth. Tell us what you come up with! Post it as a comment here, or email it to us at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Editorial Tip of the Week: For example, that is...

I.e., e.g., what's the difference? How do you know when to use one as opposed to the other? The quick trick is this: e.g. offers examples of things, i.e. indicates further clarification. The long story is, i.e. and e.g. originate from Latin terms, id est ("that is") and exempli gratia ("for example"), respectively. Or, to put it more simply, just remember that e.g., which starts with an E, gives an example. I.e., which begins with I, is more like saying "in other words."

Let's take it into context. If I were to say, "I like eating seafood, i.e., salmon and scallops," the use of i.e. indicates that I only like salmon and scallops. But if I were to say, "I like eating seafood, e.g., salmon and scallops," the use of e.g. just provides an example. I could also like eating crab and shrimp, and salmon and scallops were just an example of some of the seafood I like.

There are some general rules to remember about using i.e. and e.g.:

- Don't italicize them! Even though they are abbreviations, they are
considered a standard in the English language.

- Always use a period after each letter. They are abbreviations, after

- Use a comma following the use of either abbreviation. Seriously, five out of six style guides recommend it.

In the end, just remember to have fun. If remembering when to use i.e. and when to use e.g. hurts your brain a little too much, or you find yourself constantly doubting and double checking, you can always skimp on the fancy abbreviations and just say "in other words" and "for example."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Sunday, September 12th
At this collective reading, we'll reflect on the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and discuss the ways people were moved to restore the beauty and bring healing in the face of community tragedy. Local authors Tom Spanbauer, Tami Lynn Kent, Jessica Maxwell, Sara Guest, and Jennifer Lauck will read from their work.
Where: Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne
When: 4:00 pm
Cost: Free

Sunday, September 12th
Portland Poetry Slam with Tara Brenner. We're back kiddies with another big badass show. We've got an open slam where eight poets slug it out for fifty bucks and the adoration of the crowd as well as the last two spots in our semi-final on 9/26. Also an open mic. 7:30 sign ups, all ages.
Where: Backspace, 115 NW 5th
When: 8:00 pm
Cost: Free, $5 suggested donation

Tuesday, September 14th
The library welcomes women of color making zines! Whether you currently publish a zine or have always dreamed of making one, learn, share, and network with Tonya Jones to create a presence of women of color in the zine world. Tonya Jones is a zinestar who has taught workshops for women of color at the Portland Zine Symposium and Portland State University.
Where: North Portland Library, 512 N Killingsworth
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: Free

Tuesday, September 14th
Reconciling queerness with religion is an enormous challenge—especially when the religion is Orthodox Judaism. In the groundbreaking new anthology Keep Your Wives Away From Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires, Miryam Kabakov brings together the first-person accounts of fourteen lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women as they shed new light on the experiences of individuals and communities who live at the intersection of conflicting sexual and religious identities.
Where: In Other Words, 8 B NE Killingsworth
When: 7 - 9:00 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Photo Story Prompy: One Foggy Night

Write whatever you think of: fiction or non, poetry or prose. Let us know what you come up with! Post it below as a comment, or email it to us at

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Circus Wagon

Andrew S. Fuller, one of our Ink-Filled Page authors, has just published a novella! In The Circus Wagon, Christopher Epstein grapples with uneasy nightmares of the old antique carnival wagon from his grandmother's backyard, and the helpless certainty that something more terrible has followed him out of the past.

Published by Damnation Books, The Circus Wagon is also available for purchase on Amazon as a Kindle Edition.

Editorial Tip of the Week: Well Versus Good

When was the last time someone asked how you were, then corrected one of your "I'm good!" responses by telling you it should be "I'm well!"? I know it has happened to me often enough that even when someone else gives a "good" response, that little corner of my mind is triggered. The idea is that well is an adverb (so it modifies a verb) and good is an adjective (and modifies nouns). But not so fast! Saying "I'm good!" isn't always wrong. The key to sorting all this out is in understanding linking verbs versus action verbs.

Action verbs are easy: they describe actions (run, jump, dive). To describe an action verb, you use an adverb, such as well. Linking verbs, on the other hand, are less about action and more about connecting words together. Hence the linking. Got it? Let's look at a couple linking verbs just in case: to be, is, look, am, appear, become, and sense related verbs like smell and feel. There are occasions where you will run into linking verbs that can also function as action verbs; in this case, try replacing the verb with to be or is. If the sentence still makes sense, you have a linking verb on your hands.

Now why did you just learn all that? The trick to why saying "I am good" is correct is right there in the linking verb. It's common, and standard, to use adjectives (such as good) after linking verbs. In that case, they become predicate adjectives, referring back to the noun that comes before the linking verb (the I in "I am good"). Saying "I am well" is using well as a predicate adjective also. In this sense, well more often refers to your health and feeling well. Therefore, on a general happy day, it is absolutely appropriate to respond with "I'm good."

Friday, September 03, 2010

Spotlighted Literary Events

Tuesday, September 7th
Zinesters Talking: Le Cheap, C'est Chic. Talk and interact with independent publishers sharing their work with you. Chelsea Baker (Olympia) presents Cheap Cookin': A Beginners Guide to Affordable Cooking, and Raleigh Briggs (Seattle) shows how to Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills.
Where: Central Library, US Bank Room, 801 SW 10th Ave
When: 6:30 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, September 8th
Star E Rose Open Poetry Jam! Come on down to the Star E Rose and bring those words you have hidden in the back of your closet, your journal you write in while sipping chamomile. The Star E Rose Cafe is a safe and cozy place and we welcome all walks of life as long as you do not use words or actions that may hurt others. Be respectful and be respected. We look forward to hearing you all speak!
Where: Star E Rose, 2403 NE Alberta
When: 6:00 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, September 8th
Come celebrate the Death Magazine No. 2 release with Forrest Martin and friends! Loud music + free beer + your first opportunity to peruse and purchase the print version in person. Life is a relationship with fleetingness, and Death Magazine is a tri-annual magazine that speaks to this; a curated journal which asks writers and visual artists to address the topic however they wish, in whatever tone.
Where: Reading Frenzy, 912 SW Oak
When: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free

Thursday, September 9th
Smalldoggies Reading Series PDX001: one musical guest, three writers performing and reading poetry, fiction, and more. Featured readers include Donald Dunbar, Eirean Bradley, Kathleen Lane, and special guests. Music by Sassparilla.
Where: Cafe Magnolia, 1522 SE 32nd Ave
When: 8:00 pm
Cost: Free

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Photo Story Prompt: Beauce Carnaval Carousel

Write what comes to you! Let us know what you come up with. Post it below as a comment or send it to us via email at