Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Lottery

Just got my computer back after the replacing of a power unit. Hence the silence.

And I really wanted to post on the anniversary (yesterday) of the publication of the most famous story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. It appeared in 1948, and still carries as much punch today.

We read it in school when I was young. And it slammed me. You mean they?... Holy crap, how subversive can you get? Had never heard anything like it.

Made me want to read more, to find other cool things like this. And I found them, and read so much that I grew up wanting to create stories that knocked readers' socks off.

Still the best story ever. What are your favorites?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

I've been tagged for a One Lovely Blog Award by Debbi Mack, the NY Times Best-selling mystery writer. Debbi certainly knows blogs, as she writes 5 of her own!

This is a nice "attaboy" from bloggers to those who inspire and entertain.
I do loves me some encouragement. And I needed it today, which was extra-sucky in many ways.

So here are my responses, as part of the award:
1. What is your favorite colour? Blue
2. What is your favorite animal? Tiger
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Mt. Dew!
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
5. What is your favorite pattern? Black Watch tartan
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents? Love both
7. What is your favorite number? 7
8. What is your favorite day of the week? Saturday. I wish every day could be Saturday.
9. What is your favorite flower? Sunflower
10. What’s your passion? Writing, telling stories.

And now to link to the blogs I nominate for their own One Lovely Blog Award.
Oddly enough, they all have to do with writing and writers. Go figure...

Debbi Mack: My Life on the Mid-List (with many thanks!)
The Writings and Opinions of Dean Wesley Smith

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Chuck Wendig

Joe Konrath: A Newbie's Guide to Publishing

The Passive Voice:

Jane Haddam: Hildegarde

Mysteries and Margaritas

Catherine Dougherty, author

Do Some Damage

Keith Rawson's Bloody Knuckles, Callused Fingertips

Monday, June 18, 2012

Writers With Day Jobs

Great post about writers with day jobs.

One of the most frequent questions I get about writing is:
"If you've got a day job and are doing all this promoting, when on earth do you find time to write?"

Truth to tell is that sometimes I don't. And when I do, it's at the expense of something else. Like relaxing at night after a hard day's work. Instead, I get to work until bedtime. Consequently, I watch a lot less television than most people.

Because I've got goals in mind. I've got good stories to tell, a lot of them, and I don't know how much more time I've got. So it's a race to get out as many as I can.

It's been a good year, this last one, for my publishing. In one year, I published two good novels and a number of story collections, while writing other books and stories and poems. Better than some writers do in a number of years.

Takes a lot out of you, though. I had a busy weekend, and am still recovering. I'd rather kick back tonight and watch some boob tube while letting my brain slide into a vegetative state. Or read a good book, one of the many on my to-be-read pile.

But the stories await...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Latest Interview

I'm featured on the site of Van Heerling, author of Malaika.

He asks 3 questions, and I provide some thought-provoking answers.

And Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Publishing Neighborhood

Lots of people commenting on the publishing world. I'll let them say it...

BookExpo America ends. Changes in publishing begins.

A Call To Arms  (this reinforces my blogging posts on the Revolution!

Comments on the totally misnamed Authors Guild, which should henceforth be called the Publisher Profit Protection Guild.

Aaaannnndddd another writer joins the revolution, after years of beatings from the traditional publishing world.

Fast Weekend

Well that weekend went by in a blur.

After work Friday, I drove the twisted, one-way streets of Lowell to attend the book launch party for the anthology River Muse, a collection of tales about Lowell by talented writers-- some local, and some rather more widely-known and famous. It was a terrific event-- how many book events can fill a hotel ballroom on a nice June Friday night? We had min-readings by a number of the authors, and the proceeds from the book go to a good charity.

Then on Saturday, we had the Chelmsford Local Author Day, where I was one of the 6 writers talking about our work and then signing books for a big crowd. Click the link for writeup and pictures from the event. Great day, and thank you to everyone who helped make it a smash success.

Yesterday was different, as I had to drive to Maine to attend funeral services for a long-time dear friend, who left ths world way too early. Adam Williams was a man who had helped so many others and touched their lives. We're still in a bit of shock at his premature departure from us, but his work and deeds will live on.

So now back to work.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Big Post on Publishing

Kristine Kathryn Rusch at The Business Rusch: The End of The World as We Know It.

Great post, with cogent material about the current state of publishing.

My favorite quote: 
"These people have no clue what they’re doing. But they think you should be reading something you don’t like, published at prices you don’t want to pay, sold to you by stores that don’t care about your reading experience.

The fact that all of that is going away threatens their business."

Wow. Want some aloe for that burn?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

We've lost one of the truly great, all-time masters. Ray Bradbury has left this world to travel to the other reaches.

This note about his work has been on my Writing Masters page.

He's one of the world icons of literature, whose work is enduring and powerful. One of the earliest short stories I remember is an excerpt from Dandelion Wine, about a teenage boy getting new sneakers at the start of Summer. The description of the feeling, of the endless possibilities, of the dreams of freedom and yearning was amazing, and made me see things in a whole new light.

Of course there are the classics, and quite an array of them. The story "A Sound of Thunder," where one time-travelling misstep has major consequences, and which sets the bar for time travel stories. Fahrenheit 451, a chilling comment on one potential (and ever-more likely) future. Something Wicked This Way Comes, the ultimate Halloween classic. The Martian Chronicles and what hapens when we venture there, for he assumed it was inevitable, as it should have been. Now it looks like we'll stay on this planet until we're gone. Sad, somehow, when we could have had the stars.

Ray Bradbury was always a dreamer of what could be, good and bad. His stories are pure magic, tales that delight, instruct, and entertain. If you haven't read him for awhile, seek out some of his work.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Odd phrase, you say, and you're correct. But I heard it, and it instantly was mine. So there.

I won a copy of Kari Lee Townsend's latest book, Corpse in the Crytal Ball, in a contest on the blog of NoraAdrienne's Reviews.

Woo-hoo! Kari's a pro, and her books are a lot of fun. Can't wait to read the latest-- out tomorrow, for all you readers.

Also bought a copy of Josh Bazell's Beat the Reaper. Because I won Josh's Wild Thing in another blog contest, and loved it so much, wrote reviews and bought his other work.

Writers, take note. Give it away-- preferably to me.
If it's good, you'll get great reviews, and a lot of free promo. Just sayin'...