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Archive for November, 2011

 Hooray! The 2011 issue of The Gunpowder Review arrived in 2 large boxes on my doorstep today. I opened the first box, heart thumping, and examined the newest edition of the women’s literary magazine that I’ve edited for the last 3 years.

I think the front and back covers look stunning. Front butterfly photo is from Katie Hartlove. Back cover photos are from Jean Voxakis, Danuta Kosk-Kosicka, Patti Kinlock, Kristin Stephens Crist, and Robin Bayne. And the poems, prose, photography, and artwork on the inside of the magazine are just as wonderful. I feel priviledged to publish the work of so many creative women, and look forward to hosting a publication reading on November 13th at 1 PM at the Bel Air, Maryland, Barnes & Noble. The public is not only invited, but encouraged to attend – so if you’re in the area, why not stop by?

 And the weather was so balmy today, that husband, Sandy the Black-Mouthed Cur, and I took a hike on the North Central Railroad Trail. We walked beneath deciduous trees that had few leaves remaining on their branches, over bridges spanning a creek that had enough momentum to turn many a mill wheel in the olden days, and beside farmland, woodland, and flood plain. Though there were exposed roots aplenty, fern gullies, and mossy rocks – I didn’t spy any Fairyfolk. Still, I believe that they were there peering at us from rabbit holes and birds’ nests.

There was a feeling of timelessness in the names of the tiny roads we crossed. I must research the history of the NCR Trail and the little towns we walked through. History holds so many secrets and endless inspiration for writers. I’ve used a bit of personal history to YA Urban Fantasy already, and I’ll surely use more.

So hurrah for hikes on sunny days, history, creative women, and the arrival of The Gunpowder Review 2011. Now, back to typing…

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 Today, before I begin working on my November novel, YA Urban Fantasy, I glance out the window. I expect the arrival of this year’s Gunpowder Review any day now, and I don’t want to miss the delivery person. I pick up last year’s issue with a water lily photo on the front cover from writer, photographer, and 2012 Balticon chair, Patti Kinlock. I flip through the pages, pausing every now and again to glance at a favorite piece of work.

As the editor, I know every word between these covers. And a year after the 2010 issue appeared, every error that I didn’t catch when proof-reading jumps off the page at me. I sigh, and hope that our wonderful designer, Katie, or I have spotted and corrected all errors in the 2011 issue. But there are gremlins hiding everywhere – so mistakes do happen.

 I turn The Gunpowder Review 2010 face down, determined to write another 2,000 words on my November novel today. But can’t help admiring one last time, the fabulous artwork & photos from Mary Lou Lanci, Mary Stevens, Wendy Stevens, and Kristin Stephens Crist that grace the magazine’s back cover. As impatient as I am for the 2011 Review to arrive, I’m also a little sad to see this fine collection of women’s work put on the “back issue” shelf.

Now (if the gremlins will stay away from my computer), back to the rats, pigeons, and goblins of my YA Urban Fantasy.  Now, where was I? Oh, yes: “A hand grabbed Roni from behind as she walked past an alley on her way from Casa Rosa to the subway entrance…”

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November is officially here – which means it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

This year, I’m going to see how many words I can complete on a YA novel I’ve been planning for some time. In addition to keeping you up to date on the progress of YA Urban Fantasy, as the novel will be known until I’m certain of a title, I’ll be blogging about other tidbits in this writer’s life.

Firstly, I needed to take a few deep breaths, relax, and get in the novel-writing mood. To read more about what I find stressful in my writing life and how I deal with that stress, check out my guest blog at Amber Polo’s Relaxing the Writerhttp://tinyurl.com/relaxing-interview  And I’ll give you a hint – the recent pre- Halloween snow hasn’t helped with my outside gardening time!

Once I was a little more relaxed, it was time to put fingers to keyboard, and begin to write my YA Urban Fantasy. My report on Day 1’s results: I managed to get 2,000 words down in reasonably good shape. It’s a long way from my goal of 60,000 or more words – but it’s a start!

Secondly, and this has nothing to do with writing, but it sure was fun & relaxing – I baked a double batch of chocolate chip cookies in preparation for hosting a pre-Thanksgiving family gathering at Woods’ Edge.  Of course, some cookies were consumed, but a plastic container of the treats were popped into the freezer. Now, if only I can ignore them for 3 weeks!

And lastly, I submitted a poem to a “ship” themed issue of an online magazine. We’ll see if the editor likes Penelope well-enough to publish the poem.

So wish me luck – and I send good wishes out into the ether for all those other brave writers who’ve decided to write a novel this November.

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