Liars Club

It is again a new year for writing and I find myself vacillating between feeling good about projects that I’ve finished this past year and chastising myself for missing my own deadlines for a number of other projects. I’m of course my own worst taskmaster willing to throw my gains under the bus to beat myself up about my shortcomings. It’s a fruitless game to be sure! The good news for me and bad news for my evil twin taskmaster is that I’ve spent today making really good progress on my middle grade book and have found an interesting bit of unexpected advice in my research.

The two paragraphs I share with you are from THE AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST-TABLE. It’s a book of essays written in the late 1850’s by Oliver Wendell Holmes. While finding a piece of information for my book, I stumbled upon a bit of wisdom from a writer for a writer. I found it remarkably salient to our times. Perhaps it will stir up some discussion at our next Writer’s Coffeehouse at either The New Leaf Café in Rosemont, PA from 12-2 on January 18, 2015 or at the Willow Grove Barnes and Noble on January 25, 2015 from 12-3. I’ll be at the Willow Grove Coffeehouse this month so you can challenge my assumptions there if you wish!

From THE AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST-TABLE by Oliver Wendell Holmes, page 290:

You long to “leap at a single bound into celebrity.” Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable. Fame usually comes to those who are thinking about something else, – very rarely to those who say to themselves, “Go to, now, let us be a celebrated individual!” The struggle for fame, as such, commonly ends in notoriety; – that ladder is easy to climb, but it leads to the pillory which is crowded with fools who could not hold their tongues and rogues who could not hide their tricks.

If you have the consciousness of genius, do something to show it. The world is pretty quick, nowadays, to catch the flavor of true originality; if you write anything remarkable, the magazines and newspapers will find you out, as the school-boys find out where the ripe apples and pears are. Produce anything really good, and an intelligent editor will jump at it. Don’t flatter yourself that any article of yours is rejected because you are unknown to fame. Nothing pleases an editor more than to get anything worth having from a new hand. There is always a dearth of really fine articles for a first-rate journal; for, of a hundred pieces received, ninety are at or below the sea-level; some have water enough, but no head; some head enough, but no water; only two or three are from full reservoirs, high up that hill which is so hard to climb.

I would agree with Mr. Holmes that it’s a hard hill to climb. . .but climb it we must. Time to throw my evil twin taskmaster under the bus and keep writing.


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Come to a free Liars Club Writer’s Coffeehouse!
Open to all writers. Ask questions or just listen.

MAIN LINE — SUNDAY JANUARY 19 — 12-2, New Leaf Cafe, Rosemont, PA
WILLOW GROVE — SUNDAY JANUARY 26– 12-3, Barnes & Noble, Wilow Grove, PA

Every third Sunday, there is a coffeehouse in Rosemont — and every fourth Sunday, the original grandpappy of them all, in Willow Grove. Each is hosted by Liars Club authors, who are there to help you succeed! For more helpful tips, follow us on Facebook or Twitter!



philadelphia writer party 2013The annual holiday gathering of Philadelphia writers (as well as editors, photographers, designers and others who eke out a living in the world of words and images, or the teaching thereof) will be held on Monday, December 9th from 5:30-8:00 at Bliss Restaurant, 220 Broad Street

There is no need to RSVP, and please feel free to bring spouses or significant others. Also, please forward this invitation to anybody else you think should be there. The more the merrier.

Thanks again to Bliss owner Christ Dhimitri, whose annual hospitality and nibbly bits are deeply appreciated.

Your hosts (and I use that term cautiously, since “hosting” this party involves nothing more than picking the date, sending out this initial communique to be forwarded around, posting on Facebook and reminding you it’s a cash bar) are Stephen Fried and Diane Ayres.

Be there. Let’s party.lyn-charles-farewell-philadelphia



Join us for a FREE 3-hour networking and discussion about writing and publishing at the Writers Coffeehouse.

Location:  BARNES & NOBLE WILLOW GROVE (102 Park Avenue, Willow Grove, PA 19090).

Takes place the last Sunday of each month (unless otherwise noted*) noon to 3pm

(visit us on Facebook to check for cancellations)

The Writers Coffeehouse is open to everyone.

It’s a bunch of writers sitting around talking about writing…with coffee.  No agenda…just chat about the latest trends in the industry, about markets, about pitching and selling, about frustration, about keeping the inner fires alight, about dealing with our families, about how damn tough it is to make it as a writer at the best of times and what writers can do to stay afloat in these troubled economic waters.

No previous publishing experience necessary…the Writers Coffeehouse attracts everyone from absolute beginner to award-winners and bestsellers.  We’re all writers.

The Coffeehouse is a regular event which meets on the last Sunday of every month from noon to 3pm. Grab a cup of coffee and join us in the meeting room in the left rear corner of the store (next to the music section).

For more information, drop me a line at

And join us online at

The LIARS CLUB ( is a group of professional writers from the Philadelphia area who give talks, workshops, signings and events in support of bookstores, libraries, literacy and the love of books.

The Liars Club lineup includes Jonathan Maberry (New York Times bestseller and multiple Bram Stoker Award winning author and Marvel Comics writer);  L. A. Banks (New York Times best-selling author of paranormal thrillers and spooky romances); Gregory Frost (best-selling fantasy author); Solomon Jones (Daily News columnist and crime novelist); Jon McGoran (author of the ecological thriller Drift, coming out July 2013, as well as the D.H. Dublin forensic thrillers); Kelly Simmons (women’s contemporary fiction author); Dennis Tafoya (celebrated crime writer); Don Lafferty (publicist, social media guru, crime fiction and non fiction magazine feature writer), Marie Lamba (author of Young Adult novels); Merry Jones (mystery novelist and humorist), Keith Strunk (actor, playwright, historian and children’s storyteller) and Keith DeCandido (author of dozens of science fiction, fantasy and media tie-in novels).

Hope to see you there!
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