Thursday, August 6th, 2009

I Got My Copy…Do You Have Yours?

Cover of Triangulation: Dark Glass Anthology
I got it!

I received my contributor copy of Triangulation: Dark Glass  in the mail yesterday. The cover is even more powerful up close and in person. It’s smooth and slick and the colors are a rich, deep, gorgeous darkness…I feel like I could step right into it and ask the guy if I can have a look-see through his spyglass.

Just so you know, Triangulation: Dark Glass  is the 2009 edition of PARSEC Ink’s internationally acclaimed anthology series… I’m thrilled to have snagged a place in the line-up: only sixteen tales were chosen out of more than 500.

I’ve been reading the stories, right from the beginning…and I have to say…they’re really good.

(I haven’t gotten to my own yet…so I’m not bragging. Mom taught me not to brag.) But the rest of these tales? Really good so far.

Had you been at Confluence last weekend, you could have picked up a copy (they were printed especially for the Conference). But you can order yourself a copy on line if you’re still interested.



In Other Writing News…
I heard from my editor about a non-fiction piece I wrote on critique groups for a “how to write” book. The book is ready for print. A bio from me and the other contributors, some links to on-line resources for the chapters, and they’re ready to go… I’m excited about that one, too. I’ll put up the cover when it’s available.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Cover Story!

I received the final artwork for my novella, Blood Soup today! It will be available September 7, 2009 – just in time to start thinking about the Halloween rush. (I think that’s why the cover is a tad more “horror” looking than “dark fantasy”… Still, isn’t it fabulous?


Cover Art for Novella: Blood Soup

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Preditors & EditorsTM Needs Your Help

Preditors and Editors LogoFor 12 years, the people behind Preditors and EditorsTM have made the world a little safer for authors, composers, game designers and artists by pointing out scam publishers, agents, and others who seek to make money off of them.

The Preditors & EditorsTM Web site is jammed with information about “not recommended” agents and publishing houses and warnings of other kinds.

It’s also replete with information on agents and attorneys, book publishers and stores, conventions and workshops and all kinds of resources for creative types.

And it’s all FREE.

Often, when an agent or publishing house is reported by P&E as “not recommended” or outright scamming, the offender slinks away in the middle of the night. Not this time, and P&E is being sued.

I’ve donated. Buddy, if you can spare some change, please donateTM to the cause. And if you haven’t looked over the resources at the Preditors & EditorsTM Web site, you really should.

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Cover Story

I would have posted this last night when I received it, but it just got to be too late. Check out this awesome cover for the Triangulation: Dark Glass  anthology, coming out July 26, in which my story On the Path,  appears.


Cover of the Triangulation: Dark Class Anthology

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.

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Yeah, This About Sums It Up For Me

Comma Abuse

This comic brought to you by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, at Inkygirl.com.

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.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

How Do You Perfect Your Craft?

I write.

I write, write, write. Then I edit, delete, and write some more*.

American author Henry Miller once said that you have to write a million words before you produce anything good. That’s probably true. (This gave me a laugh, by the way: how to get a leg up on writing a million words of crap, the Million Words of Crap Generator v1.0.)

I also attend conferences and workshops for writers. (More on this in a later post…)

The other thing I do is read books on writing. I go through phases: I’ll read several in a row and then ignore them for quite a while. Many I borrow. But it struck me recently that I’ve enjoyed a few so much I’ve kept them and occasionally refer to them.

With that in mind, I thought I’d begin reviewing them here on the blog. Are you interested? What books would you like to see me review? (And if you’ve written a book on writing, drop me a line. I might be interested in taking a peek and reviewing it here.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Actually, it’s more like: write, write, edit, delete, edit, write, delete, write, write, edit, write, delete, edit, edit, write, write, write.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Woe Unto Me

When I was a sophomore in college, my best friend Amy and I ate a lot of Chinese food. Amy would take the fortunes from her fortune cookie and tape them to the back of a spiral notepad. By the end of the semester, the reverse cover of her notebook would be plastered with little white slips in neat rows from top to bottom.

I was fascinated by the practice, and started doing the same. (Disclaimer: as much as I enjoyed Chinese food (and still do), my notebooks never achieved the same coverage Amy’s did.)

To this day, I retain my fortunes (often lamenting that fortune cookies have stopped dispensing predictions and starting meting out platitudes). But every once in while, one comes along that is particularly fitting to my writing life.

My favorite, taped to my computer monitor:

All your hard work will soon be paid off. 🙂

Yes, it even contains the smiley, albeit in black and white. Now, as far as I’m concerned, this prediction hasn’t come true yet – no novel published so far, right?  “Soon” is definitely a time span defined by the writer-gods. Or, on the other hand, fortunes could be a lot of bunk…which is what I’m hoping because…

Woe unto me, here is my latest:


You never suffer from a money problem, you always suffer from an idea problem.

Folks, for a writer, it doesn’t get any worse than this.

Or does it? I’d love to hear from anyone else who’s been cookie-cursed! Please share in the comments.