San Jose Metro on Wayne Jiang’s cityscapes


Feature in a major Bay Area city’s alternative weekly on one of our summer featured artists, painter Wayne Jiang.

Canvas Noir

Local artist Wayne Jiang captures the solitude of San Jose by night in his evocative paintings

ROUND MIDNIGHT:Wayne Jiang’s 2009 acrylic ‘Babyland’ is as much an exploration of the idea of ‘the other’ as it is an urban landscape.

FROM INSIDE the main corridor at Alameda Artworks Studios, artist Wayne Jiang is pointing toward the open doorway, through which we can see the setting sun. Outside, across the narrow parking lot and behind a squat chain-link fence, sits Park Avenue Preschool, which isn’t actually located on Park Avenue.

Both the preschool and Alameda Artworks Studios sit on The Alameda, just off Race Street, separated by this parking lot we’re gazing across from the studio hallway. Next to the preschool are a playhouse, a jungle gym and a toy sports car popular with the kids.

Read the rest of the article here:

Absolute X-Press Publishing’s Quarterly Flash Fiction Challenge

– The Quarter One Flash Fiction Challenge is Open –

See below for details.

Are you up for a challenge?

Homer was able to write about the Trojan War in ten epic novels, The Iliad being one of them. He covered it all: religion, love, war, fantasy, myth, and horror. Now it’s your turn to carry on the tradition and create your own epic story; but there’s a catch… It must be done in 1,000 words or less. That’s roughly 2 pages, which is 3/1000 of the size of the entire Homeric collection!

All the entries will be reviewed blind (no author names are on the review copies) by a panel of reviewers and the very best will be selected for publication in the next Flash Fiction Challenge anthology. Multiple entries are allowed.


The Current Challenge: Thieves and Scoundrels

Would your characters try to swindle a dragon out of his treasure? Perhaps they’d try to steal the fastest spaceship in the galaxy? Or are they after something a little more sinister that’s in need of taking? Where ever and when ever they take place, the stories of these Thieves and Scoundrels will take hold of your imagination and ransom it back to you.

NOTE: all stories submitted to the Flash Fiction Challenge must fit within the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror.


The Schedule:

Submissions will be accepted up to midnight PST on the closing date of the challenge.

  • Quarter One opens on December 1st  and closes on January 15 (for a late-February release).
  • Quarter Two opens on March 1st and closes on April 15 (for a late-May release).
  • Quarter Three opens on June 1st and closes on July 15 (for a late-August release).
  • Quarter Four opens on September 1st and closes on October 15 (for a late-November release).

Link, and information on how to submit work, here:

Another writers’ conference, in Southern California

From the conference organizers – I’ve never attended this one, but a member of an offshoot writers’ group I host forwarded me the announcement.
We are pleased to announce that the fifth annual Antelope Valley Christian Writers’ Conference has been scheduled for May 14-15, 2010. The word is getting out, and our springtime gathering is quickly becoming the destination of choice for aspiring writers in Southern California. Whether you’re an absolute beginner – a seasoned professional – or somewhere in-between, this may be for you.

What is it that inspires you to write? Is it history, or romance, or theology, or mystery? Do you enjoy writing sci-fi, or fantasy? Don’t be misled by the name of our conference: We are believers who write, but most of us don’t write about religious themes. If you’d like to learn how the publishing business works, you are welcome to attend.Our instructors are among the finest and most experienced in the business. You can attend workshops in a wide array of creative categories. Meet fellow writers who share your calling – your zeal – and perhaps your frustrations as well. Together, we can help you take your storytelling to the next level, the best it can be.

Pitch your ideas to our literary agents, or to editors from major publishing houses. Enter a contest with cash prizes. Receive a personalized professional critique on your latest writing project. Bring your laptop computer and take advantage of our wireless Internet connection.

Still not convinced? A special reduced price is offered for teens, age 12-18. Volume discounts are available for any church or school sending ten or more. A handful of partial scholarships will be available. If you have a special need, let us know.

We hope you will seize this opportunity to gain fresh inspiration for your writing, and perhaps a little encouragement for yourself as well.

Please check out our website, at


Call for visual art submissions, from Rebecca Feind of San Jose’s Works Gallery


Show your art in Works’ first ever “Anti-Valentine” exhibition and auction!

Show your love for Works, your community art and performance center,
by placing your art in our Valentine event opening First Friday
February 5

How it Works:
We ask that artwork be accessible in size and price: please keep art
within 12×12 inches for wall pieces or a 12×12 inch footprint for
sculptural work. All work should be ready to hang or stand. Multiple
pieces are acceptable.

Themes: What inspires you about Valentine’s Day: hearts and flowers,
broken hearts and dead flowers? Works wants to show a full range of
feelings about Valentine’s Day.

All artwork will be available for bid at the silent auction at a
starting bid of 20 dollars with minimum bid increments of 5 dollars.
Bidders who want to buy a piece outright must meet the “Buy It Now”
(retail) price set by the artist—recommended between $50 and $300.
Artists can elect to receive up to 50 percent of the purchase price or
can donate all proceeds to Works. Artists whose artwork generates
proceeds for Works at or above the basic membership price of $35 will
be rewarded with a complimentary membership.

Please bring your artwork to Works, 451 South 1st Street, San José, CA
, on one of the following dates:

Thursday, January 28, 12-4 p.m.
Friday, January 29,  12-7 p.m.
Saturday, January 30, 12-4 p.m.

Please also provide:
Your Name
Your mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address
Title of Artwork
Description of piece (media, size, date)
“Buy It Now” price

Remember to join us on Friday, February 5th to see your art in the
exhibition and take part in the Silent Auction!

For more information, please contact Works/San José at 408-256-6250 or

A copy of this announcement is attached.  Please forward to your community!

Next semiannual reception, evening of Friday January 22nd, Caffe Trieste North Beach


Everyone’s invited to the second semiannual Synchronized Chaos contributor’s and reader’s reception – Friday, January 22nd. Five to nine in the evening, drop-in as you like.

San Francisco’s Caffe Trieste North Beach, 601 Vallejo Street. Trieste stays open till midnight and is near the Beat Museum, which is open till seven and which we may also visit while we’re there.
Come on out and network and meet our contributors! Trieste’s accessible via BART to Montgomery Station, then the 8X Muni to Columbus St/North Beach. Come on out and honor the memory of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Hunter S. Thompson, Diane di Prima, etc. European style cafe with sandwiches, pastries, wine/beer, sparkling cider, and plenty of coffee drinks!

Please email to RSVP (nice, but not necessary) or for more info/directions.

San Francisco Writers’ Conference: The Business of Creativity


Many of you found Synchronized Chaos Magazine along the journey towards publication of your book or articles. We kicked off this virtual publication intending to create a virtual writers’ conference, a place where people can network and mentor each other concerning the craft of writing and the ins and outs of publication. Where people can put in good words for each other and locate other writers to endorse and talk up their work.

So far, that’s happened here and there in spurts and trickles – which excites us, since flesh and blood, bricks and mortar conferences, classes, degree programs, etc are out of reach for many talented authors due to cost, time and distance. We at Synchronized Chaos seek to make that experience possible for all interested writers, to strengthen and promote the future of these art forms.

However, if you can attend one offline writers’ conference this coming year, as your Creative Facilitator, I strongly encourage you to choose the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, once again hosted over President’s Day Weekend (February 12-14) in the historic Mark Hopkins Hotel.

Last year, when I attended, the variety of personalities and workshop offerings most impressed me. One can choose among intellectual discussions of world cultural history, high-minded talks about the nature and future of writing, workshops on aspects of craft (character development, pacing, sentence craft, etc), specific marketing and proposal-writing/editor and publisher-finding advice from businesspeople in the writing field.

There’s something for everyone, fiction and nonfiction writers, book and article authors, beginners and more experienced people, the old and the young, the well-connected and those just learning their way around. And there are the presenters who offer information which many other folks don’t realize writers need…for example, last year I heard a woman speak on nonverbal communication in networking – how to project confidence and friendliness through body language and better connect with others. Other speakers shared wisdom on interviewing from their years of journalistic experience covering the Chinese Cultural Revolution, tracking down serendipitously discovered Indonesian painters, and explaining the rest of the world to the United States. Interview skills can prove useful to novelists seeking authentic material, as well as journalists…and the seminar attracted a diverse crowd.

This phrase has become cliche for writers’ conferences – but for the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, the best and most professionally important moments likely will be the connections you make with others. Not just editors and agents and famous published writers, although plenty plan to attend and share expertise, including Kevin Smokler, Frances Dinkelspiel, Jerry Cimino of the SF Beat Museum, and a large assortment of representatives from major agencies in New York and elsewhere.

The conference offers ‘Speed Dating’ with literary agents – a session where for an extra $50 you can share your book idea with a whole variety of agents of your choice, and become inspired by everyone else’s book ideas around your table.

But you’ll likely benefit most from the random connections – ordinary people similar to yourself, who might take an interest in your project and write a foreword, coach you on your proposal, direct you to a writers’ group in your area or add you on LinkedIn and introduce you to contacts at publications where you might want to work. The conference includes a cocktail reception, book signings, and sometimes special discussions hosted by conference founders and agents Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen. Last year we discussed what any professional writers can learn from Greg Mortenson’s memoir of climbing mountains and building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan…courage, creativity, resilience, determination, finding a cause greater than oneself around which to focus one’s life. 

The founders and speakers worked to take the conference’s emphasis off of simply promoting oneself for fame and success and to encourage us to invest time and thought into how best to competently communicate worthwhile messages, and to preserve and continue our world literary and cultural heritage. The SFWC resolutely remains educational, cultural, and professional – never a personality-cult or namedropping event. As a journalist, reviewer, and art writer, the experience challenged me to develop my skills and also to locate people and stories worth describing to a larger audience, such as Mortenson’s community-based efforts to help educate poor Central Asian children. Larsen and Pomada also collected donations for the school-building foundation, allowing our community of writers to reach out to those possibly learning to read and write for the first time.

Everyone at the SFWC, famous or not, has a story, and one could write a novel synthesized from the experiences of the attendees. I remember meeting a lady writing a memoir of her experiences as a Vietnam War nurse, an aspiring Egyptian scholar and poet who thought perhaps she knew one of Synchronized Chaos’ contributors, an Australian herpetologist creating a virtual library of natural history, and a couple of professors from my alma mater (UC Davis) creating formal poetry based on their past lives as rock musicians. And the people’s stories stayed with me even longer than some of the educational material – although I purchased CD’s of the workshops I couldn’t attend, along with some I participated in but wanted to review. I still have, and still occasionally listen to, the speakers from the San Francisco Writers’ Conference, and strongly believe the material has improved my craft.

In many ways, which many people don’t realize until they take their craft to a professional level, writing for publication is a team sport. And the San Francisco Writers’ Conference presents an incredible opportunity to strategize, prepare, and hone craft and marketing skills with your teammates!

You may sign up for the San Francisco Writers’ Conference through their website, – the event takes place in San Francisco’s Mark Hopkins Hotel February 12-14th, with a theme of “Building Bridges to Better Tomorrows.”