Saturday, April 30, 2016

PBW's Book of the Month

I didn't have a chance to read much during April, as work kept me pretty busy. That said, once I got my hands on Mary Balogh's Only Beloved it enchanted me so much I know it would have beat out anything else for book of the month.

The seventh and final novel in the Survivors' Club series is one of the best romances I've read in a long time. It tells the story of the George Crabbe, the Duke of Stanhope, who turned his country estate into a hospital and convalescent home for wounded veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. He also founded the Survivors Club by extending care to six terribly damaged patients, all of whom eventually became his friends, confidantes, and fellow club members. What's always interested me about George is what motivated him to do all that (he is, after all, a Duke), and this book reveals his own, heart-wrenching tragedy that led to his son being killed in battle, and his first wife's subsequent suicide.

Now that all the other members of the club have married, settled down and started families, George feels a little lonely and left out. Yet when he considers remarrying, there's only one lady who comes to mind -- spinster music teacher Dora Dobbins, the sister-in-law of one of the other survivors. Although George feels a bit old to be contemplating a second marriage, Dora is a woman he admires and believes would make him an excellent companion for the rest of his years. Once George does make up his mind, he goes directly to make an offer to Dora, who is understandably shocked (after all, he's a Duke) but after some honest discussion accepts his proposal. And from this point they should have lived happily ever after, but they both have issues they're hiding from each other. In fact, George's happens to come out right in the middle of their high-society weeding.

What I loved about this story is that the main characters are not young people (he's 48; she's 39), and that's pretty rare in this genre. Much as I adore you youngsters, it's a nice change to read about a mature couple's love story. Yes, believe it or not, older people like me still fall in love, all the time. The dynamics are very different from young love or first love, and not easy to pull off, either. I also admire the skill with which the author begins the story like the perfect fairy tale and gradually transforms it to something very different. There's as much hope as heartache, but the underlying suspense just keeps building and building; by the last couple of chapters I was mostly holding my breath between pages. When you do discover the depth and breadth of the secret George has been hiding for so long everything makes sense, but whew. It changes everything you think know about him and what he survived.

If you haven't read some or any of the Survivors' Club series you don't have to go back; Mary makes this final novel an excellent standalone while providing the necessary backstory to understand the gist of the other books and characters (although the whole series is pretty amazing, so it wouldn't waste your time to invest in any or all of them.) I highly recommend Only Beloved as a terrific novel that will keep you absorbed from start to finish.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A to Z

I never imagined so much work could go into recreating, printing and binding an old dictionary (narration, background music):


Pictorial Webster's: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Unplugging



I'm taking off today so I can catch up on some work and help my kid get through her finals. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Springy

Spring has delivered a lot of surprises this year. The cardinals are now both occupying my little maple by the porch to feed and watch over their triplets, which means if I'm very quiet I can snap pics like these through the screen:





The new parents will have plenty to feed this kids, too, as April is our month for plagues of moth catepillars. Usually we only have to deal with buck and tussock moths catepillars (they both sting), but I'm seeing some new varieties, like this one in the the yard right where I walk the dogs every day:



My best guess by comparing my pic to photos on the web is that it's a salt marsh catepillar, which isn't supposed to sting. My personal policy is not to touch anything with spines, so I scooped him up with a spade to relocate him.

In the mail I got my latest ARC from Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program:



So now I have something new to read in between stalking cardinals and ferrying catepillars.

What has spring delivered to your doorstep? Let us know in comments.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vet Contest

Here's a short story/poetry/creative nonfiction contest for veteran writers:

"The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans

This creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. The contest is open to veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.

Judge: Phil Klay

Prizes: First place: $1,000 plus publication in the Spring 2017 issue of The Iowa Review. Second place: $750. Three runners-up: $500 each.
Submit between May 1 and June 1, 2016. No entry fee.

2016 Contest Rules

Submit a manuscript in any genre (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction) of up to 20 pages. Prose submissions must be double-spaced. Work must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are fine, assuming you inform us of acceptance elsewhere.

The judge will select winners from a group of finalists chosen by Iowa Review editors. All manuscripts, whether selected as finalists or not, are considered for publication.

To submit online, please visit https://iowareview.submittable.com/submit beginning May 1, 2016, and follow the instructions.

To submit via mail, please follow these guidelines:

Manuscripts must include a cover page listing your name, address, e-mail address and/or telephone number, and the title of each work, but your name should not appear on the manuscript itself.

Label your envelope as a contest entry and note its genre. For example: “Veterans’ Contest: Fiction.” One entry per envelope. (Note: multiple poems or prose pieces can comprise a single entry if the total number of pages does not exceed 20. For instance, you may submit two short stories of ten pages each in a single envelope, with a single entry fee.)

Enclose a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) for final word on your work. Manuscripts will not be returned.

Postmark submissions by June 1, 2016, and mail to the address below.

The Iowa Review
308 EPB
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242"

For more information, and to read some winning entries from past years, go to the contest page here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Triplets

On Sunday the cardinals nesting by our porch hatched their eggs, and here is the first glimpse we had of the newborns:



They're really tiny, adorable things; no bigger than the end of my guy's thumb. We waited until Mom and Dad left for dinner to snap our pics, and this next one was the best one we could get in the low light (we're not touching the nest or the babies, naturally):



Zooming in, we got a better look:



This is likely the last pictures we'll take, too, unless I can get some through the porch screen. We want to keep our distance so Mom and Dad can feel safe and look after them without freaking out.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Just Write



Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.

My link: More on Twenty-One (click on the title to go to the .pdf), with new material beginning on page 88.

For more details on Just Write, click here to go to the original post.

Image credit: My kid. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Off Again



I finished a big work project last night, so I'm taking the day off to recoop. See you tomorrow.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Off

No video today; just a tribute.



He had different names, and even once used a symbol instead of one. He wasn't like anyone else I'd ever seen or heard, and I really didn't understand him all of the time. But Prince Rogers Nelson was a magical musician and, for me and so many others, a fountain of endless inspiration. My heart and prayers go out to his friends and family for their loss.

Safe journey, Prince. You will be always missed, and ever remembered.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Progressing

This year I decided to take on two personal projects that I've successfully kept secret since January. One is nearing the finish line, so I'm ready to share that one: lose 30 pounds by summer. So far I've lost 22 pounds, primarily by making better food choices, not snacking, and exercising more often. 8 more pounds to go and I'll nail that one. I'm going to keep up with my diet and exercise changes for the rest of the year and see how much more I can trim down; I need to lose 50 pounds altogether to be at my healthiest weight (but losing 30 will be just fine with me.)

It's harder for me to lose weight now that I'm older. I've become more sedentary, I tire more easily and I've been making too many food bargains with myself. Since I can't have sugar, and I've trained myself to abstain entirely now, my body always craves fatty things. For example, I love cheese and crackers, and would tell myself I was being healthy by eating them instead of a piece of cake or some cookies. Which as any nutritionist can tell you is just not true. Giving up fat-laden snacks and switching to raw veggies or fruit was really hard, but I did it. Part of my goal was also to stop snacking between meals, and get those extra calories out of my daily diet, and I've managed that for the most part. Now when I want something to snack on I usually drink a big glass of water, tea or juice . . . but I still give the cracker box a wistful look. So while I'm confident I'll lose the last 8 pounds, I still need to work on my food attitudes.

There are some downsides with every success. I'm currently a size right in between the big girl clothes and skinny girl clothes in my wardrobe, so I have only a couple of outfits that actually fit me right now. Like all dieters in progress I don't want to buy any new clothes until my weight is where I want it. My guy liked to take me out to eat once a week, which was a nice break for me, but restaurant food is not on my plan. Diets are really boring, too; sometimes I think if I see another skinless chicken breast or spinach salad I think I'll take a sledge hammer to them. But all this goes with the territory, and when I weigh myself on Fridays and see that I've shed another pound or two, it still seems worth it.

The other thing I decided to do is something I'll keep under wraps until the end of the year (unless someone else blows the whistle on me), and that's been a lot of fun. With this project I've been able to step out of my comfort zone and try some new things. I've also acquired a new space in my creative life where I can retreat to and just be myself without any fanfare or expectations. I didn't realize how much I needed that until I gave this a whirl.

What progress have you made on any goals or projects you planned for 2016? Let us know in comments.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Well Versed

I had a young reader contact me a few weeks back for a school assignment interview, and one of the questions she asked is one I never get: What's your favorite Bible verse?

Mine happens to be Deuteronomy 32:2 – “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”

One reason I think it's the loveliest verse from the Scriptures because it speaks directly to the writer in me. The other is that it harmonizes perfectly with how I feel about sharing my work (and myself) with the world. There's rain in it, and rain has a particular personal meaning for me and my guy. I like everything about it, and I should probably embroider it on something so I can see it every day, and be reminded of all it's taught me.

You don't have to go Biblical to find verses, quotations, or other phrases that inspire you. Consider what most moves you from what you enjoy reading. If you're a romantic, you can find plenty to inspire you in romances or love poetry. If the wisdom of our forefathers is more your thing, the words of a historical figure might motivate you to make some of your own history. My mother likes to clip comics from the newspaper; my daughter harvests electronic jewels from the Tumblr blogs she follows. All any inspirational words really have to do is move you in a positive direction.

There is so much hate in the world right now that anything that inspires you to go in the opposite direction is a powerful blessing. You can spend your day wallowing in the muck being thrown at us from all directions, or you can remember a favorite verse to help you out of it. Being inspired means you're not adding to the woes of the world; you're fighting them -- and isn't that worth the battle?

What's your favorite inspirational line, phrase or verse? Share them with us in comments.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sub Op

Blueberry Lane Books has an open call for their upcoming In The Spaces Between antho: "Theme: Science Fiction Mysteries, a mix of two genres. Equal parts science fiction and mystery exemplified by Nebula-nominated tales by Jack McDevitt and Stanley Schmidt, and Fantasy & Science Fiction author Ken Altabef. We’re looking for classic-style, timeless work, though of course, not cliche. For a general idea of what kind of writing we prefer, read our previous anthologies Drastic Measures and Wash the Spider Out." Length: 1,750 – 5,000 words; Payment: "Pay for unsolicited submissions: Half cent per published word. $12 minimum; $20 maximum." Query on reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details. Deadline: May 31st, 2016.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rush



Last night I got completely absorbed in a story I'm ghost writing. After I posted my Just Write pages, I thought I'd just work another hour on my ghostie before hitting the sack myself. The next time I looked at the clock it was 6:21 a.m. and I had written five thousand new words. At my age staying up for forty-eight hours straight isn't an option anymore, so I went to bed and woke up five hours later. A cup of tea later I went straight back to the story. I finally wrote the muse into a snooze about ten minutes ago, which is when I realized I hadn't scheduled anything to post in my absence this morning. Sorry, everyone.

I'm tired, but also elated. I haven't pulled an all-nighter in a while, and I'll definitely pay for it with my sleep schedule being completely flipped now, but it was worth it. I really don't do this that often, but when I do I treasure it. This week if I feel hesitant about the work, or start second-guessing myself, I'll remember last night, when everything just poured out of me like a waterfall. It helps me trust myself to recall that I can put words on the page without my doubts or worries getting between them, and work way past my bedtime without even be aware of it.

Now if only I could stay in the zone for another week . . . no, honestly, I'd collapse. That's the other side of this. As we age our bodies won't tolerate what they did when we were youngsters. So I will be a good girl and get my sleep schedule back on track, and smile every once in a while when I think about last night.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Just Write



Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.

My link: More on Twenty-One (click on the title to go to the .pdf), with new material beginning on page 84.

For more details on Just Write, click here to go to the original post.

Image credit: My kid. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

New Neighbors

One thing I love about sitting on the porch is seeing my favorite tree, a miniature Japanese maple we inherited from the previous owners. It's a lovely, delicate tree that hasn't grown much in the last eleven years, but always blooms every spring with lots of little, pretty leaves. The leaves also start turning a blazing scarlet red in the fall before they fall and the tree goes to sleep for the winter. The other day I noticed something in the branches that on closer inspection turned out to be a tiny nest:



I thought it might be a hummingbird nest (we have a silvery blue variety in the neighborhood), but as I got closer I saw it was a little too big for that:



The nest was situated over my head, so I had my guy get the ladder so we could see what was inside:



The nest was quite skillfully made from oak twigs, spanish moss and some pine needles, and the eggs are really small:



I sat and waited to see who would come back to sit on them, and heard a very familiar cheeping when Mama arrived:



I got my confirmation that it was her nest when she settled down in it:



Then Papa arrived to scold me for being too close (and I have only been able to photograph him once before this):



So the nest belongs to the neighborhood's cardinals, who are regular visitors to our feeders, but have never nested near us before now. I love cardinals, and we all feel immensely flattered that they'd set up their nursery so close to the house. In about eleven to thirteen days I hope to show you what baby cardinals look like.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Way Back Machine

Here's a delightful animated video that will whisk you back to 1931 via a steampunk photo album (background music):


"The Old New World" (Photo-based animation project) from seccovan on Vimeo.


(video link nicked from Gerard at The Presurfer)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Revisits



Last weekend my guy took me to the races at a regional short track speedway, which is the first time I've been since I was like ten years old. He loves fast cars, and I was willing to revisit one of the few fond memories of my childhood.

It may surprise you to know that I was quite a racing fan when I was a child. I often went to Hialeah Speedway with my family in the late sixties and early seventies (back before all the NASCAR hoopla), and I loved it every time. The cars looked big and tough and yet beautiful. You picked a driver and cheered him on as if you were one of his personal sponsors. As the cars passed by the stands you could feel the roar of the engines in your bones. They also had demolition derbies, which went on until only one car was left running. I think all the kids especially liked watching those old bombers smash into each other because it was something you never saw adults do on purpose.

Forty years later, the races really haven't changed all that much. No doubt the cars are better and faster, but but the races are still just as exciting as they used to be. All the changes I noticed were pretty positive: drivers wear better safety helmets and clothing now, and the track officials are more careful when there's a crash (a very good improvement) and make sure to inspect the track carefully before letting a race resume. I did have to pay three bucks for a cup of coffee, but they let you bring in your own drinks and snacks if you want to be thrifty. They ran all the scheduled races, so we were there for about three and a half hours; more than that would have been a bit too much for me. And of course my guy was in heaven, which I like to see very much.

I don't see myself becoming a racing enthusiast at my age; it's a lot louder than quilting. I think I also saw too many very real car wrecks when I was in the medical field to feel totally comfortable with racing now. That said, I wouldn't mind going back again. It was fun, and I really liked seeing my guy so happy.

Have you ever tried something you haven't done since your childhood? How did your revisit go? Let us know in comments.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Flea Market Finds

I haven't done a flea market slideshow in a while, so here are some very neat things I spotted last weekend when my guy and I walked around ours (the two old cars are going to make you turn envy green):

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Four Freebies

Bibisco is a "free and open source software for writing novels. With Bibisco you can organize chapters and scenes, manage revisions, export novel in pdf or rtf, and write with a fully featured text editor. You can create a novel structure, define premise, fabula, narrative strands and settings: geographic, temporal and social context. And, most of all, with Bibisco you can know everything about your characters" (OS: Windows, Linux)

CreaWriter is a Windows program designed to boost your productivity and creativity. Its full screen, minimalistic interface provides a distraction-free environment. Indulge yourself in a relaxed and calm atmosphere and achieve a whole new level of concentration!
Inspired by OmmWriter, a Mac OS X only application, CreaWriter allows you to customize both background image and ambient sound" (OS: Windows)

Quip is a "free, communal online office suite with word processing and spreadsheets. It shines as a collaborative tool—great for anyone doing some kind of group novel. Quip offers free apps for iOS and Android, so you get full online, mobile writing options. Quip stores all your files on its own servers" (OS: Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android devices)

Write Monkey is a "Windows zenware writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. With an array of innovative tools under the hood and full Markdown* support, it helps you write better" (OS: Windows)

All of these links were found while rifling through the articles at PC Mag.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sub Op

Lillicat Publishers has an open call for their upcomingVisions V: Milky Way antho: "Humankind has forded the immense stream of space between stars and reached our neighbors. The Milky Way Galaxy lies waiting to be explored. What will we discover on hospitable planets circling new stars? Will we find almost familiar moons, asteroids, planetary rings, and, possibly, never before seen astronomical formations? The sky is no longer the limit for soaring imaginations.

Visions V stories take place somewhere…anywhere…in the Milky Way Galaxy. Anything to do with planets, stars, and aliens is fair game. No limitations, as long as the subject and action take place outside our Solar System and within the Milky Way.

Originality is paramount. If you are using an old Star Trek-like concept, it better have a new twist or something that makes it stand out. We get lots of similar stories with a standard theme, so if yours is like one we already have, we will think twice before accepting yours. Impress us."

Length: 3-8K; Payment: $25.00; reprints okay, electronic submissions only. Deadline: May 15th, 2016.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Just Write



Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.

My link: More on Twenty-One (click on the title to go to the .pdf), with new material beginning on page 80.

For more details on Just Write, click here to go to the original post.

Image credit: My kid. :)

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Color Me Inspired

Now that I've gotten into the adult coloring book trend, I thought I'd try to make my finished pages into something pretty and/or useful. Inspiration came along with an order of water filters for the house, which the company packed with five and a half feet of this lovely, thick, pale orange paper:



I ironed the paper flat and cut it up into pages, and took one of my colored pages and the guide page from the Barcelona coloring book to use for the cover:



I made my cover by sewing together my colored page to the color guide page I'd printed out (backsides together on the inside):



After I sewed a signature of three pages to the cover I'd made, I had a nifty little notebook:



To make a larger version you can sew the pages between to colored and guide pages, like I did here:



I got three new notebooks out of the packing paper and my Barcelona colored pages:



Or, if you'd rather not get into any sewing or book-making, you can use your colored pages as view-binder cover inserts:



I purchased this gorgeous spider/write page from Kawanish, and used it as the cover for my writing schedule binder. What's cool about buying individual pages from Etsy artists is that they come as a download, and you can usually print out as many copies as you like for personal use.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Kindness

This film is beautiful and sad and full of hope and wonder (background music, narration, and you will probably tear up):

The Gnomist: A Great Big Beautiful Act Of Kindness from Great Big Story on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Artistic

I spotted this way cool cover art while visiting author Anne Frasier's blog:



I really like this cover, and as picky as I am, that's pretty unusual. This particular book is coming out in June, exclusively through Amazon, if anyone wants to pre-order (I did.)

On the online fraud front, I've had some folks e-mail me about the charity scam, and here's the latest: The host site e-mailed me back and claimed that it was all a big mistake (without releasing any real details, but then, I'm just the victim.) I've searched the site and the fraudster's account has disappeared, so at least I can be reasonably be sure they shut it down. In the meantime, please do be careful with your donations online. Check out the details, and make sure you're giving to a legitimate cause. And again, I promise you, I won't ever be one of them.

What books are you all pre-ordering for the months ahead? Let us know in comments.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Stealing PBW

This week someone evidently used my name and business e-mail address to start a charity crowd-sourced campaign. I have no idea why someone would be that idiotic, or why the campaign information was not verified, but I notified the host site in question as soon as I started receiving suspicious e-mails. The site is now investigating those involved in this fraud. I hope they will put a stop to it immediately, but due to privacy policies protecting their users they will not notify me of what they find, who is doing this, or what action they take against the identity thief.

Since I can't do anything more about the identity thief right now, let me state this for the record here:

I do not belong to any charity sites.

I do not hold fund-raisers of any kind on the internet.

I do not allow any fund-raisers to use my identity for any reason whatsoever. This includes fans who want to raise money for me for whatever reason.

I do not expect my readers to fund any of my writing other than buying a finished book for sale through an online retailer.

If you ever are contacted by someone claiming to be me, or representing me, and asking you for money, I can guarantee you it's not me, or I didn't authorize it. This person is trying to swindle you.

Please understand that I'm not anti-charity. Over the years I have donated many signed books, gift baskets and quilts for various charity auctions and drives. When I can afford to, I also make private donations or buy charity auction items to help worthy causes. But that is the sum total of my involvement with online charities and fund-raisers. If I'm ever in financial trouble, I would go to my family for help -- not my readers and friends on the internet.

If you happen to spot anyone online soliciting for a charity or fund-raiser, and who is claiming to be me, or to be acting on my behalf, please contact me at LynnViehl@aol.com with a link or the pertinent information. Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Incoming

I just got a heads up from Library Thing that I've won a copy of Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent from the Early Reviewers March batch, which was one I was really hoping to get. Here's the copy:

"When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter--who lives far away and asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York--Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflĂ© will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Dinner with Edward is a book about sorrow and joy, love and nourishment, and about how dinner with a friend can, in the words of M. F. K. Fisher, 'sustain us against the hungers of the world.'”


I used to read a lot of books about food or with food themes, mainly nonfiction and memoir, then somehow I got away from it. Ruth Reichl's excellent novel Delicious was the last really good food-themed fiction book I read, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Monday, April 04, 2016

PBW's Book of the Month

My pick for book of the month for March is Margaret Peot's Alternative Art Journals, which is an excellent how-to on making journals in a variety of book and non-book forms.

Ms. Peot really works outside (and inside) the box with the projects she teaches in this book; she shows you how to make journals in very different ways. There are projects for journal makers at every level, too, from shoe box journals to a fun faux family photo album. I liked that the different journals could work for artists as well as writers, and that not every project was deadly serious (I think my favorite is the tiny tin journal made of painted eyeballs.)

Galleries of finished projects in every chapter offer a look at not just one but multiple examples of each technique. The box journal chapter is especially interesting, as it shows you ways to preserve any assemblages or collections you might have made or keep. I have a habit of saving all my Chinese take-out fortune cookie slips, as I think they're funny, and it would be neat to come up with a box journal to not only store but showcase my little collection.

You scrapbookers will probably love the chapter on tag and charm journals; that one features some interesting bundled and bound journals to try. I've never made my own scroll journal, but I think I might give that project a go. I felt an immediate, strong connection to the images in that chapter, and I think it's because to me scrolls were the first evolution of writer materials (I know clay tablets are older, but they're not paper.) It would also be interesting to see how I could tell a story with a scroll journal.

The project instructions are clear, easy to follow, and come with lots of photo examples and work-along examples. Some of the projects are also easy enough that supervised kids could make them. I think if you love to make your own books and journals, this is a great source of inspiration and direction to test-drive.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Just Write



Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.

My link: More on Twenty-One (click on the title to go to the .pdf), with new material beginning on page 76.

For more details on Just Write, click here to go to the original post.

Image credit: My kid. :)

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Sub Op

Here's an open call from World Weaver Press for a Krampus-themed antho that is not yet open for submissions but I thought I'd post it to give a heads up to anyone wanting to submit (which also gives you lots of time to write your story): Krampus, Santa's dark companion, is in the spotlight these days. Thousands of people across the globe celebrate Krampusnacht on December 5th of each year. And the movie, Krampus, was a hit during the 2015 holiday season. Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, which I anthologized and World Weaver Press published, was a hit as well. So, World Weaver Press and Enchanted Conversation are publishing another volume. For now, it's just called Krampusnacht Two.

Remember, Krampus is the "corrective" to Saint Nick or Santa's indulgence and generosity. He carries a switch and chains, and sometimes throws very rotten children in a basket he carries on his back. He has horns, hooves, and a creepy, long tongue. He's horrible and fascinating at the same time. You can learn a lot about him from this site , and you should read Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus as well, to see what we like. But we are interested in new, fresh stories, not retreads of what we have already published. We’re looking for short stories that explore every possible Krampus angle. He’s a nasty old dude, and we hope your imaginations will get the better of you."

Length: 1-10K; Payment: "$10 from Enchanted Conversation and paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press." No reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details. Submissions period opens May 15th, 2016 (again, do NOT submit before this date.) Deadline: August 15th, 2016.

Friday, April 01, 2016

My Next Shop Stop

I think I've run out of ways to torment you all for April Fool's Day, so instead here's one of my favorite prank videos (narrated, background music):


American Beagle from Animal on Vimeo.