Saturday, June 29, 2013

What's the password?

Living in the cloud era has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantage for me is having to remember countless user names and passwords to access my various accounts and devices. Just this week I was locked out of my online bank account, my Apple account and my iPhone account because my passwords were not recognized. Even worse, Apple didn't accept the answers to my security questions.

My wife tells me not remembering passwords is a sign of creeping senility, but I'm sure it's all part of a government conspiracy to drive me bonkers. There must be a story here, and I'll write it as soon as I find the password for my Word software. In the meantime, here's what's happening for July and in the coming months for area writers. You're invited to join us ... and you don't need a password.

  • River City Writers meets Tuesday, July 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the S.E. Branch Library. Group leader Gregg Golson has secured noted "Book Buzz" specialist Sandra Beckwith to deliver a talk via Skype on how best to market your book before and after publication. Contact Gregg via email for more information.
  • Nassau County Youth Writers assemble at Books Plus in Fernandina Beach, Tuesday, July 16 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Amelia Island Writers will meet immediately after the Nassau County Youth group at Books Plus. Contact Maggie deVries with questions at 904-321-6180.
  • Guest speaker Robert Lucas, VP of Florida Authors & Publishers Association, presents "Capitalize on Your Writing Strategies for Recognition and Making Money," at the July 17 meeting of Clay County Writers. The meeting takes place at 6:15 p.m. at the Orange Park Library, 2054 Plainfield Avenue in Orange Park.
  • The Ancient City Writers continue this month's marketing theme on Saturday, July 20, 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine Main Library when they hear from marketing and PR specialist Holly Feist. Holly's talk, "How to Guarantee Your Book Won't Sell," enumerates the seven deadly sins authors should avoid when marketing their books.
  • Not to be outdone on the marketing front, the Ponte Vedra Writers, meeting Saturday, July 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Library, welcomes Matt Bracken to discuss his
    • success as an independent author. Matt is a former Navy Seal who has written a series of what he calls "semi-dystopian" novels set in the near future. The books have caught the eye of many readers to the tune of selling 100,000 books. And Matt's done it all himself as an independent publisher. He'll track his 100,000 book journey from print to e-books to audiobooks. Among the things we'll learn from Matt are these three things: 1) Why this is the golden age for independent publishers; 2) Nuts & Bolts: What works and what doesn't— some tricks of the trade and some insights, and 3) Niche marketing in the digital age.
  • Also this month, Jax Youth Writers will meet on Thursday, July 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the S. E. Branch Library. Kimberly Smith has more information.
  • And finally, FWA affiliate First Coast Christian Writers meets each Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at the Webb-Wesconnett Library.
In other happenings:
  • The Clay County Writers and Black Horse Winery present another in the "Meet the Author" series on Tuesday, July 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Black Horse Winery, 420 Kingsley Avenue in Orange Park. The featured authors include Rodney Hurst, It was Never About a Hot Dog and a Coke: A Personal Account of the 1960 Sit-In Demonstrations and Axe-Handle Saturday. And Robert W. Lucas, Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit-Making Strategies for Authors.
  • First Coast Romance Writers prepare for the annual RWA National Conference with two workshops at its Saturday, July 13 meeting, beginning at 10:15 a.m. at the Chafee Road Library. The morning workshop will deal with the conference itself, networking suggestions, choosing the proper workshops, etc., while the afternoon workshop covers the art of the pitch.
  • North Florida Writers meets Saturday, July 13 at 2:00 p..m. at the Webb-Wesconett Library.
  • Take advantage of the early-bird discount fees and register now for September's Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference. The day-and-a-half conference is packed with workshops by
    seasoned pros and award-winning authors. Starting Thursday, afternoon, September 26 at the St. Johns County Convention Center at Renaissance World Golf Center with two three-hour workshops by Philip Deaver and Lezlie Laws followed by a panel discussion about "This Writing Life" and a reception and keynote talk by New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross. Friday's workshops follow two tracks, one on the craft of writing, the other track on marketing. The Friday luncheon promises to be most entertaining with a keynote talk by Tim Dorsey. Register for either day individually, or both days or a complete package which includes the Friday evening Literary Legends Banquet honoring John Jakes, pictured above. Here's the link to the registration page.
  • Short fiction and novel writing are the topics of the full-day "Lake Annie Workshop" presented by Laura Lee Smith and Kim Bradley in Hawthorne, Florida on Saturday, September 14. Visit the website for details.
  • The Jim Henson Company and Grosset & Dunlap of the Penguin Young Readers Group will be accepting submissions to find the author of a new novel set in the world of Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal. Click here for details.
  • The Florida Author's & Publishers Association holds its Fall Conference September 20 and 21 in Daytona Beach. The conference theme is "Money Making Strategies for Authors and Publishers.  Details at the FAPA website.
  • And while we're talking conferences, let's not forget the annual FWA Conference is right around the corner, October 18 - 20. Billed as "The Greatest Writers Conference on Earth," it will be held once again at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary and feature agents, publishers, editors and great workshops of all kinds. Prior to the conference, bestselling romance/suspense celebrity author Mary Burton will give a daylong workshop to benefit the Florida Writer Foundation.
Until next time, I'll leave you with one final word about passwords from Clifford Stoll, The Cuckoo's Egg, who said, "Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don't let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months."

Victor DiGenti
FWA Regional Director