Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
I hope I’ll be seeing you at Balticon this weekend!
I drew the short stick when it comes to panels, but I’ll be at several events over the weekend:
Saturday – 2:00 PM Autographing!
The Gimungous Autograph Session
Signing my name, along with: Diana Bastine, Walt Boyes, Alessia Brio, Val Griswold-Ford, Tom Doyle, Scott Edelman, Phil Giunta, Kelly Harmon, Starla Huchton, Mur Lafferty, Grig Larson, Chris Lester, Gail Z. Martin, Mark MacDicken, Christine Norris, Ada Palmer, TJ Perkins, Jennifer R. Povey, Izolda Trakhtenberg, Linda Swann, Lawrence Watt-Evans, S. L. Wideman, Robyn Wyrick (Room: Kent)
Saturday – 5:00 PM – Reading!
Readings with Paul Ellis, Kelly A. Harmon, Emily Leverett, Izolda Trakhtenberg (Room: Parlor 8029)
Sunday – 3:30 PM – More Reading!
Readings with: Broad Universe Members: Randdee Dawn (M), Gail Z. Martin, Jean Marie Ward, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Kelly A. Harmon, Jody Lynn Nye, Vonnie Winslow Crist (Room: Pride of Baltimore)
Sunday – 3:30 PM – Party!
Gaslight and Grimm Launch Party!
If you do nothing else this weekend, join us at this launch party! There will be AWESOME food, entertainment, readings, a lottery and more! (Room: MD Salon B)
When I’m not autographing or reading, I’ll probably be in the Dealer’s Room at the Broad Universe Table. Please stop by and say hello!
Sunday, May 1st, 2016
Here’s the cover! Guess what that means?
Friday, April 15th, 2016
According to the artist who took this photo, (Nikos Koravos | @Dreamstime):
“A lot of deserted houses can be found in the island of Kythera, Greece, most of them in a very bad condition.”
In Washington, DC in a really bad snow storm, people have been known to abandon their cars on the Beltway and just walk away from them.
Similarly to the people of Greece, I’d guess, are the accounts I’ve seen (in the news) of people—who are so ‘upside down’ on their mortgages—they simply walk away from their homes without telling anyone.
I’ve always wondered how bad a situation has to be before it’s better to walk away than fix things.
Here’s Your Prompt:
- Write about someone who walks away from something– a house, a car, a marriage, a job, a pet, a family. What are the reasons for doing so? What happens to everyone involved?
- You (or a character in your WIP) come across a deserted house. What do you find there?
- Similarly, it’s a late summer evening and you decide to go for a ride. Top down, or windows open—music blaring—you take to the road. Without realizing how you did it, it’s later than you think, and darker than it should have been, and you find yourself on a deserted stretch of road. You run out of gas. What happens?
- No discussion of deserted is complete without thinking about a deserted island. Here’s the twist: you knew it was deserted, that was the whole reason for you packing up and moving there. (Hey, peace and solitude to write that Great American Novel!) But now you realize, it’s not deserted. And whatever is there, won’t rest until it gets you.
- Do you journal? Or, are you writing stories for family history? Write about the time you were deserted, or you deserted someone. For example, did you ever forget to pick your child at school? (Or were you the one forgotten?) Did you ever bail on a family gathering? Did anyone ever storm out after an argument?
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
I’ll be at the Horse You Came In On this Friday with a bunch of other authors from Hallowread. There will be door prizes and swag giveaways, and of course, we’ll have books for sale. The “Buy a Book, Get a Beer” program will be up and running.
Time: 4 – 8 pm
Place: 1626 Thames Street, Fells Point, Baltimore
More info at the Horse You Came In On Web site.
Friday, March 18th, 2016
There are a ja-billion™ ways to say hello—and its equivalent—in a ja-billion™ different languages.
Greetings are a mixed bag. Formal situations call for formal greetings. (How do you do?) Early morning salutations differ between chipper folks (Good Morning!) and those who need a few more cups of coffee (unintelligible grunt). Greetings between good friends ride the scale between none at all, and hopping right into conversation (Did you see what Jenny was wearing last night? I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!) to downright insulting. (You look like shit. What happened to you?)
Here’s Your Prompt:
- Write a short story which begins with a single word of dialogue: “Hello.” The greeting can be in any language. What happens?
- Write a poem about greetings, salutations or beginnings.
- We have certain expectations for greetings. What if you were greeted differently than expected? For example, your coach shook your hand, but your pastor slapped your butt? Write what might happen if this happened to you.
- If you journal, write about a time when someone greeted you in an unusual way. What happened?
Friday, March 11th, 2016
Do you dream?
I almost never dream. I’m always excited when I do.
I had a dream about two weeks ago where I was walking across the landscape and there were black snakes all over the ground as far as I could see. I couldn’t take a step without watching closely so that I wouldn’t step on one. They weren’t stationary, but moving sinuously in all directions. The entire landscape undulated with movement.
Seriously cool. I love snakes.
(I know a bunch of you are probably creeped out about now. Sorry.)
Author Judy Reeves refers to dreams as “Gifts of the Night.” Lately, I’ve been seeing a Chinese doctor who disagrees. He says it’s bad for your health to dream. I used to agree with Ms. Reeves, but my doctor is starting to win me over…maybe dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
What do you think?
Here’s Your Prompt:
Friday, February 26th, 2016
It’s cold and windy here today, and I should have expected it, because we had some icy precipitation late last night and that never bodes well for the morning.
But last weekend it was warm enough outside to wash the car and do some painting. So it had me hoping for an early spring.
No such luck.
But here I am anticipating it.
I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty in the garden and uncovering the fig trees. I’m ready to sweep winter’s grime off the garage floor, and do a bit of spring cleaning. Hell, I’m ready for shorts and flip flops.
How about you?
Here’s Your Prompt:
- In a letter to Paulinus, Pliny the Younger said, “…the happiest man, in my opinion, is he who lives in the conscious anticipation of an honest and enduring name, and secure of future glory in the eyes of posterity.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- Remember Heinz Ketchup Commercial about anticipation? “So Good It’s Worth the Wait” ? Write about a time that anticipation was worth the wait. (This could be about you, or about a character in your story…)
- Conversely, write about a time when anticipation wasn’t worth the wait. How did that make you (or your character) feel? How did you (or your character) react?
- Write a scene in which the main character is anticipating good news, and received bad news instead. Or, write a scene where your character is anticipating bad news, and receives good news instead.
- Make a list of things you’re anticipating right now. Choose one or two and write predictions of what you anticipate will happen. Next, write how you’ll feel once these anticipated events will occur. Now, write and essay about your future. If you’re moved, write a poem instead.
Thursday, February 25th, 2016
I’ve just made an official offer for Stoned in Charm City to be produced as an audio book!
I’ll be sending the paper files to the narrator later this week, and receiving an audio file of the first several chapters for review by the end of March.
Color me excited!
Barring any complications, the narration should be complete by the end of May—just in time for Balticon!
Friday, February 19th, 2016
Here’s a prompt that will make you think. Take your time and be honest with yourself.
First, make a list of ten-to-fifteen words that describe you as a child.
Next, make a list of ten-to-fifteen words that describe you as you are now.
Here’s Your Prompt:
- Write about how the lists are the same. What child-like qualities have you maintained? (Or what adult-like qualities did you possess as a child?) How does it make you feel to know that in some ways, you’ve not changed? Do you wish you were more mature?
- Write about how the lists are different. At what point did you mature? What word was the beginning of the turning point in your life? How do you feel to have lost those child-like qualities? What do you enjoy about being more adult?
- Think about the first word on the list describing your child-self. Why did this word come to mind first? What are some things you said or did that characterize this word?
- Similarly, think about the first word on the list describing your more mature self. Why did this word come to mind first? What are some things you say or do that characterize this word?
- Write a poem, Ode to Yourself. Write it in three parts: the first stanza should describe your child-self and use some of the words on your first list. The last stanza should be about your adult self, and use some of the words on that list. The middle stanza should be a bridge between the two—or a transition—and use words from both lists.
Friday, February 12th, 2016
I’ll bet you thought, when you saw the title of this prompt, that we’d be talking about two people.
It’s that close to Valentine’s Day, after all.
And I admit, I thought about it—but what fun is that? So, today’s prompt is about two of something—but not people.
Here’s Your Prompt:
Pick an idiom, write about it – a poem, character sketch, story sketch, scene—whatever. Mind the rules: no people as principal “players” in the prompt…
- two of a kind
- of two minds
- one step forward, two steps back
- two birds with one stone
- two shakes of a lamb’s tail
- it cuts two ways
- lesser of two evils
- no two ways about it
- can’t serve two masters
- knocked down a peg, or two…
- two bricks shy of a load
- eating for two
- terrible twos