Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Shiny Stuff – As Promised

I finally received it! (Amazing how something can come clear across the United States to me in only a few days!) Here’s a scan of my Honorable Mention certificate from Writers of the Future for my story, Lucky Clover.

The scan really does it no justice. It’s much shinier than this in real life.


Writers of the Future Honorable Mention Certificate

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Extremes

On one end of the spectrum…

I finished the edits today for Blood Soup….hundreds of edits and comments and commas (mostly commas)…most of which I agreed to; and some, I’m not adverse to changing…but I’d like more info from the editor. I just didn’t understand the changes she made.

This means I’ll probably have “round 2” edits to work through. No worries.

This editor has caught a number of issues that both my beta reader, my critique group, and a different editor all missed. She’s good. And everything she’s pointing out is going to make the piece tighter and stronger.

At the other end of the spectrum…

I received an email late tonight from the editor of the Triangulation: Dark Glass  anthology in which my story, On the Path,  is being published July 26. This was my editing document: an email. His changes: two sentences. That’s it.

And he complemented me for doing all the hard work already. Pete Butler, you’re one classy editor.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Another Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future!

My short story Lucky Clover  earned an Honorable Mention in the 2nd Quarter of the Writers of the Future Contest. If I remember correctly, this means it placed in the top 5 – 15% of all stories entered. You can see my name up in lights here (Edit: No you can’t. They removed the entry.), or visit the main contest page for rules.

If you write any sort of speculative fiction, you should investigate WotF. If you win, you’ll be flown to California for a week’s retreat to learn from some really famous authors  (the list changes) and your story will be published in the yearly anthology. (Plus, you win cash!)

There’s no entry fee, but your story is judged against the bazillion  others entered during the quarter. (Okay, bazillion  might be just a tad inflated, but WotF doesn’t publish the real number of entries because they don’t want to scare people away from entering.)

I’ll post a scan of my nice, shiny certificate once I receive it…

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The Baltimore Chapter of the Maryland Writers Association is Very Cool…

Mr. Boh - Copyright Pabst Brewing Company…they invited me to speak about my writers conference experiences and they didn’t act at all bored with my suggestions for getting the most out of a workshop (my biggest worry).

In fact, questions were asked, business cards were disbursed, and I think most attendees left knowing more about how to evaluate what conferences and workshops will work for them.

I got to chat informally with the fascinating folk who make up the group both before and after the event. Had there been time, I think the many of us (25 or so?) could have stayed another hour or two and discussed All Things Writing. It’s a comfortable group and I could feel quite at home in it.

And besides all that, they have this really kewl logo.

The venue was the Cyclops Independent Bookstore, a place so new and shiny that books don’t line the walls yet. I can tell tell it’s going to have just the right amount of glitz and trend married to Traditional Bookstore Goodness to make it a winner. Look for lots more events — music, as well as writing — at the Cyclops.

If you’re a local writer, check out the Baltimore Chapter of the Maryland Writers Association, or look to the main Maryland Writers Association if you’re a little father away.

Many thanks to Paul Lagasse, Gary Lester, Nancy O. Greene, Ally E. Peltier and the rest of MWAB for inviting me.

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Contract in Hand!

I received via email today my contract for Triangulation: Dark Glass. I’ll be signing it post-haste and winging it back to the Editor via snail mail Monday.

“On the Path” will appear in July. Very exciting!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

At the Crossroads

I was at George Washington University in Washington, DC, last night to see a performance of “The Crossroads,” written by L. Ron Hubbard. (GW is L. Ron’s alma mater.)

The Crossroads was first published in Unknown Magazine in 1941. I mention this because I thought I was going to see a play…and what I experienced was more like a radio show: five actors standing in front of microphones, reading from dense text.

John Goodwin, President of Galaxy Press, and last night’s MC, introduced The Crossroads by telling the audience the performance would be “a very unique experience.”

I agree.

All the actors gave superb performances, but John Mariano, in the roll of Eban, kept me on the edge of my seat. Mariano has acted in The Sopranos, West Wing and ER, but I’m more familiar with his work on Steven Spielberg’s: The Animaniacs. (Sadly, I realize in afterthought, what that statement must infer about my television habits…)

And I have to mention that listening to Dion Graham, in the roll of Narrator, was just as exciting. He owns quite a mellifluous voice…

Prior to the performance we were treated with a biography of L. Ron Hubbard by Gunhild Jacobs, Senior Vice President of Author Services, Inc., and an interesting view of L. Ron Hubbard’s life on the GW Campus by the Campus Archivist, G. David Anderson. Anderson put together quite a few fascinating tidbits from the GW archives. My favorite was a poignant exchange between L. Ron and a former professor.

The event began with hors d’oeuvres and concluded with dessert, and all attendees received the gift of an L. Ron Hubbard reprint and some other goodies. (An obvious marketing ploy, as Galaxy Press is busy reprinting all of L. Ron’s “Golden Age” stories.)

In all, it was classy and fun – if a bit disorganized. (Speakers rehearsed until a few moments after the performance was to begin; my name was not found on the attendance list, despite RSVP’ing; and, other writers I know who live in the area were not invited. Still, these are minor, and didn’t detract from the show.)

It would have been nice to have the event coupled with the Writer’s of the Future Contest (since this year is the 25th Anniversary of the contest)…and Galaxy Press and Author’s Services, Inc. are closely related. It’s not often an opportunity presents itself to publicize the contest on the East Coast. I would have loved to pick the brains of some of the judges.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Balticon, Here I Come…

It’s official! Today I received my final scheduling update for Balticon. I’m participating in four events:

  • A Rapid-Fire-Reading with Some Other Members of Broad Universe
  • “High Noon in Fantasyland” Panel (Did Fantasy Kill the Western?)
  • What is Social Media? Panel
  • Developing One-Liners to Pitch Your Book to Media Panel
  • I’m really looking forward to the Rapid Fire Reading. This is where I, and several other members of Broad Universe, get to read from something we’ve published or from works-in-progress. Because it’s “rapid fire,” the audience will hear only 5-7 minutes from each author. It gives several of us an opportunity to showcase our work and keeps listeners attentive because the subject matter changes frequently. All of the RFRs I’ve attended or participated in have played to packed rooms.

    At first I was leery about participated in the “High Noon” panel…but after doing a little research and giving myself a chance to think about it…I’ve decided I do have an opinion on the matter. I’m really looking forward to the discussion.

    I work with Social Media a lot with my day job — especially lately…but there are some very talented people on the panel who live and breathe by social media. It should be very informative for all who attend.

    The One-Liners panel should be very good, too. I’m hoping to learn as much during the panel as I’m able to contribute.

    Here’s my Balticon schedule. Click on the Index to poke around for more information….or go to the Balticon Home Page.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Eternal Press is Great

I signed a contract for my novella Blood Soup with Eternal Press about three weeks ago, but haven’t received a return copy from EP. I’m not worried…It’s coming a long way via snail mail and I live in a location some would deem “rural.” (Others might call it “the sticks.”)

It so happens that on occasion, mail goes astray.

I sent a note off to my contact and had a response almost immediately! I think they’re going to be terrific to work with.

Monday, March 30th, 2009

So Here It Is…

I’ve signed a contract with Eternal Press for my novella, Blood Soup, a dark fantasy about a king who sacrifices his twin daughter so that his twin son might live.  Technically, Blood Soup is a reprint since it won a contest in July last year, but I’m not complaining.

Eternal Press suggests that their authors create their own Web site.  I had one at www.sff.net, but nothing really speaks “professional” like buying your own domain.  So here it is.

It feels a little strange, not unlike having your name up in lights…but with some permanency. I’m certain it will feel as comfortable as a worn pair of Levis after my 50th post or so.

Do you like the layout? I hope so. I agonized over it.

The big question is: Do I port all the old stuff over or just start fresh?  Inquiring minds want to know. Or, at least, this one does. I’ll think about it.

For now, it’s a blank slate: sort of like that fresh notebook in September when you’re starting the new school year. I’ve always liked that newness…