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Archive for October, 2009

Bees & FairyI’m going to FaerieCon 2009 on Sunday, Nov. 8th with a couple of writer friends. Faerie Con will be held at Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn, Maryland, November 6 thru 8 — and I can’t wait to go. The writer guest of honor is Charles de Lint. He’s a wonderful word-smith, and an inspiration to all of us who love fantasy literature.

Years ago, I spent a delightful day in May at Spoutwood Farm’s Faerie Festival in Glenrock, PA. The music, vendors, performers, speakers, fun, and people made for a magical day. I’m hoping Sunday the 8th is half as inspirational.

And, I hope you enjoy my watercolor painting: “Bees & Fairy.”  www.FaerieCon.com

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 The editor from an eShort publisher just requested an edit on a science fiction short story, Assassins, I submitted to her earlier this fall.

This is good news!  Writers need to remember when an editor likes your story (or poem or article or book) enough to spend her time editing your words, it’s a compliment. I know it’s difficult to change or shorten your story, but good editors know what a reader needs. And a good editor is always editing for the reader.

 “But it’s my story,” many writers say. “I should decide what stays and what goes.”  And you’re right — but be flexible. Often if a writer refuses all editorial suggestions, they come across as “difficult” and their piece of writing isn’t accepted for publication.

Therefore, every writer needs to remove their emotions from the decision-making process when it comes to editing. Both you and the editor want the same thing: readers to have access to the best possible version of your story.

 So let’s hope I correctly applied those editorial suggestions and “fixed” a few problem areas in Assassins well enough that you’ll get to read the story soon.  🙂

As for the 3 pictures in this post — they’re possible cover photos I sent to the publisher. It will be up to her which of these, if any, she’ll use. The editors might decide to use a different cover entirely — but they’re the experts, and as an author I need to rely on their expertise. By the way — which do you prefer?

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Thanks to editor & author, W.H. Stevens, for her review:

     “Ms. Crist’s first eBook short story  will take you to a land of seaside delights and carnival excitement.  Bordering on a dreamy current of fantasy and reality, the story of Dusana, the 17 year old side show mermaid will keep your attention for a fast, easy read.
     The characters, so real you can see them, the sights of the neon lights and the sound of the calliope will transport you to Dusana’s world where she dreams of being a normal person.  And the poetic, smooth language will engage you and seep into you like the ocean itself.  The charm of the merfolk, candied apples and sideshow barkers will draw you to a touching and unexpected conclusion.
     Welcome to the fantasy world of Vonnie Crist.  This is her moment and it is a fine one, indeed.”
   Whew-whoo! If that review doesn’t make a few readers want to download the story, nothing will! My advice to writers — ask someone whose opinion you value to review your story. They just might say, “Yes,” and then you can post the review so readers can see what others think of your writing. (A newer version of Sideshow by the Sea will appear in my new book to be published in 2012).

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 I’ve been lucky enough to receive notification that 4 of my poems will be appearing in print next year. According to editor Terri Santitoro, a scifaiku (that’s a haiku written about a science fiction subject) of mine will be appearing in the February 2010 print edition of Scifaikuest. Editor Angela Craig emailed me that 2 poems: a fantasy free verse piece about Florida titled “On the Edge” and a rhymed piece called “Mars Rising” will be appearing in the March 2010 issue of Paper Crow. And finally, I heard from editors Karen L. Newman & Tyree Campbell that my poem about Wales using Welsh myth, “Flower Face,” will be in the Spring 2010 print edition of Illumen.

Although I like the easy access of online publication, I still love the feel of a magazine or book in my hands. So I’m really looking forward to holding a copy of each of these fine magazines. And even though I’m having the time of my life writing fiction, poetry will always have a special place in my heart.

My challenge to the poets out there: write a story. And to the fiction writers: write a poem. As writers we should be willing to step outside our comfort zone every now & again.

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 Review News: My eShort “Sideshow by the Sea,” was reviewed by author, Robin Bayne: “I really enjoyed this lovely tale. The story was short but conveyed an interesting world and characters you could care about.” Yeah! One reader has given “Sideshow” her stamp of approval.

For readers, writers & illustrators: At the October 17th Arts Day in Bel Air, a number of editors spoke about their publications and what they look for in submissions. Kim Cross, editor of both Faerie Magazine and Pirates Magazine,  brought along samples of the summer issues.

Wow! If you want to see some beautiful artwork, pick up a copy of Faerie Magazine. The issue also contained fun articles, crafts, photos of Faerie Festivals, and even a paper doll fairy. By taking a look at what Kim has chosen to publish, those writers & illustrators interested in submitting work should be able to see what she’s looking for. I have a soft spot in my heart for all the creatures of Faerie, and highly recommend this magazine.

www.faeriemagazine.com  and check out www.piratesmagazine.com

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vwc-sbts-high[1] My first short story to be published as an eBook was Sideshow by the Sea.  The mermaid on the cover is from one of my paintings. (To see the original, check an earlier blog). I wonder if eShorts will replace stories in magazines – I hope not. I like to hold a magazine, and leaf through its pages.

I’m crazy-busy getting everything done for a Celebrate the Arts Day I’m in charge of in Bel Air, Maryland on Saturday, but not too busy to celebrate by dancing with the cat in front of the computer screen. The cat, officially labeled “fractious” by our vet, is now certain she is a member of the superior species.  After I put Sam back on the floor, her meows had a “scolding” tone to them, and I swear she stomped across the room to her bed.

Well, the cat might not appreciate a story about a mermaid girl in a sideshow, but you might!

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 In addition to writing and illustrating, I edit. My latest editorial project, The Gunpowder Review, is finally in-hand. This new literary magazine (with a Maryland focus) contains the work of 60 women. I’m delighted that the contributors are from different walks of life and different backgrounds. Some of these women have had dozens (perhaps even hundreds) of poems published. For some of these writers and artists, the poem or story or drawing in The Gunpowder Review is their first published work.

For me, there is a joy in bringing the creative work of others to readers. It’s different than seeing one’s own work in print (though I do have a poem in the magazine), but no less wonderful. Congratulations to the women in The Gunpowder Review 2009. Good job! And I hope many of you (and maybe a few of you readers) will submit work in 2010 when the magazine opens for submissions on March 1.

The Gunpowder Review is a project sponsored by the Gunpowder Pen Women. Information on their programs and updates on the magazine can be found at: http://gunpowderpenwomen.wordpress.com

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