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Archive for August, 2011

 After a long wait, I finally have in hand my copy of While The Morning Stars Sing – An Anthology of Spiritually Infused Speculative Fiction. Congratulations to editor Lyndon Perry for this big (over 250 pages), beautiful book. The cover art, Transcendence, by Lance Red is even more powerful in-person than on-line. I can’t wait to sit quietly tonight and begin to read the stories and poems that others have written.

But wait — isn’t the 1st thing I should do is re-read my story, Blood of the Swan? Actually, no! I’ve already spent hours writing the dark fantasy story, then hours editing it after in-put from my writing group’s comments (thanks Katie & Michelle). I re-read it, scanning for typos, before I sent Blood of the Swan to the Writers of the Future Contest where it earned an Honorable Mention. Next, I made a few more revisions before sending it out to prospective publishers. ResAliens Press was the 2nd place I sent the tale to, and upon seeing this anthology — I know it is where the story was meant to find a home.

And isn’t finding the right publication for your story the trick? First, you need to find that editor who connects with your characters, recognizes the merit in the tale, and has the space for your 5,000 words or so. Then, the book or magazine has to make it through the publication process. Sadly, many wonderful small presses fall by the wayside, their projects incomplete and unpublished. And finally, you hope that readers will not only enjoy your story, but remember it once they’ve closed the book.

For memorable stories that stir an emotional response, stay with the reader, and maybe even cause him or her to think about their views on a part of life are the goal of most writers. Not an early bird, I suspect as I stay up late this evening reading the work of my co-contributors in While The Morning Stars Sing, I might witness the song of morning stars and summer moon as the bats wing, the owls call, and the grandfather clock chimes midnight.

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Yes, I know the title of this blog is cheesy. But some days are cheddar & gouda days. I decided to add a couple of fun links that are related to The Greener Forest to my blog.

First, I’d mentioned earlier that I’d drawn a maze which was included in the Balticon 2011 BSFAN book. For those of you who weren’t at that convention, my publisher has kindly scanned the maze, and it can be downloaded for FREE at the Cold Moon Press website: http://www.coldmoonpress.com/forreaders.html

 Second, I participated in a Broad Universe podcast. I must admit to being very intimidated as I stared at the microphone on my computer and tried to confidently read an excerpt of “Birdling.” I had to keep my reading, including intro & sign-off, to about 5 minutes. I “motor-mouthed” through a chunk of the text, then realized that if I wanted listeners to understand what I was saying, I needed to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. After editing the story and stumbling through multiple read-throughs, I finally managed an agreeable reading of a snippet of the 1st story in The Greener Forest (which also appears in Faerie Magazine Issue 22).

If you’d like to take a listen, I start reading a portion of “Birdling” about 1 minute & 51 seconds into this podcast: http://broadpod.posterous.com/may-2011-celebrating-motherhood

If you’d like to meet me & hear what I have to say about submissions to The Gunpowder Review 2011, I’ll be participating on the editors panel on Weds., Aug. 17, 2011 at 6:30 PM in room 205, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD. This event is sponsored by the Annapolis/Anne Arundel County Chapter of the Maryland Writers Association: http://www.marylandwriters.org  I’ll also have copies of my book & the literary magazine available for purchase that evening.

And finally, take a few moments this week to step outside one night and listen to the cacophony (gosh, I love that word!). Summer is drawing to a close at Wood’s Edge (and in many other parts of the USA & elsewhere). The cicada, katydids, crickets, frogs, night birds, and a few unidentified critters are making quite a racket beneath the blanket of stars.

My advice for today: Do something fun (a maze perhaps?), do something outside your comfort zone, get out and meet people with similar interests, and enjoy the magic of a summer night.

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I’m back from a week in the mountains of West Virginia, and I’m filled with both longing for the quiet of the deep forest and eagerness to resume my “normal” life. Coming home after a trip is always like that. I miss the excitement of adventure and travel, but relish the familiarity of Wood’s Edge.

 I think my writing is like that, too. As a writer, I was first a poet. This spring/summer, I worked hard on an essay, “Fairies, Magic & Monsters,” that appears in the latest issue of “Little Patuxent Review,” and on a number of short stories for various magazines and anthologies. By tomorrow noontime, I need to finish my next column for “Harford’s Heart Magazine” and get it emailed to my editor. And before next weekend, I really need to complete an article promised to an editor ages ago. Then, I suppose I’ll write a poem or two. You see, poetry for me is like a faded, well-worn pair of jeans — comfortable and easy to slip into.

 For those who might like to read a couple of my poems, the fabulous new anthology from Maryland Writer’s Association, “Life in Me like Grass on Fire,” contains “Harpers Ferry” and “Venus.” Per usual, I used myth, folklore, and legend in both poems. As a bonus for being part of the book, I got a chance to share “Harpers Ferry” and chat about contributing to anthologies at a meeting of the Howard County Branch of MWA in July. It was lovely to spend an evening with a group of enthusiastic readers & writers.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? Sharing the love of words with like-minded individuals. So thanks, MWA for including my poems and inviting me to participate in several special presentations based on “Life in Me like Grass on Fire.”

Now, back to my column…

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