Monday, February 28, 2011

Ghost Story

Publication: Strange Horizons

Why I chose it: I really like the feel of the magazine. They've got a variety of genres, including cool art like Zach McCain's, and groovy fiction like "The Yew's Embrace," a fairy tale by Francesca Forrest.

Submission process: Very user-friendly. They have a submission form that automatically formats your submission to their preferences. Neat, huh?

Submitted: "Charlie's Ghost" a story about a haunted ranch.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Go Ahead

Yesterday I went to the director's meeting at work and told them my idea to bring Tom Pomeranz to the center. After I told them who he is, what he does, and why I think it'd be fantastic to get him, the unanimous response was, "Make it happen."

Now I'm working on sorting out some logistics, like finding an off-site venue where we can have him speak, then comes the advertising and arranging the event.

I'm very, very excited.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cozy Homework

This month, I have CWC homework. D.B. brought some books in so we could get a feel for cozies. The one she picked out for me is Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement.

"Let me know what you think," D.B. said. "Think about what you see as conventions of the genre, what you like, what you don't. Tell me if something makes you just chuck the book across the room."

I think those are pretty fair guidelines. I'm not usually much of a mystery reader, but I cracked that sucker open and got to it. First thing that hit me? Loads, and loads of cat information. Yeah, I know, it's a cat book. But still. It's a little silly when it gets to the point of, "Hey look, a dead body! By the way, let me tell you this thing about cats." I mean, honestly, it's irritating.

Then I asked myself, "Why is she doing it?" and "Why is it bugging me?"

My best guess on the first one is that her intention was to prolong scenes. If the same scenes had less cat stuff, they'd all be super short. When you're doing the big reveal of the dead body, a super short scene doesn't work so well. Then it'd read more like, "She walked into the kitchen and saw the dead body." End chapter. That'd be lame. So, we get encyclopedic info on cats.

It bugs me because it's a total tension breaker. The timing of the "cozy" part tends to wreck the flow of the scene. Just as she gets building up to something interesting, she breaks away for pet related information. It's bad rhythm.

There are some redeeming qualities, like some snark and some fair character development. Overall, I've got some definite concerns, but I haven't tossed it across the room yet. I'm thinking I'm perhaps not the ideal reader for cozies.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I found myself in an Office Depot during a sale. I walked out of there with two 20-packs of pens plus two loners. Around the same time I bought a new spiral-bound notebook. It made me feel nostalgic. I used to do all my writings with lots of different colored pens in spiral-bound notebooks.

I spent last weekend in Denver, goofing around and eating at restaurants that aren't connected to gas stations. Last weekend, the mousepad on my laptop crapped out on me.

Sometimes, the universe tries to tell you something. Usually, you're wise to pay attention. I think it's time to do some words long hand.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I've had a lot of heroes so far in my life. Many of them are writers. A few of them are even people I know.

I found my latest hero through doing some research for work. The cool folks in my trainer network recommended a video series by a guy named Tom Pomeranz. The ultra-quick summary of the series is that it's a set of videos that focus on principles of how staff providing services to individuals with DD should interact with their clients. It seems like a simple enough idea, but as with many "simple enough" ideas, there are some complex sub-layers. Pomeranz explains them beautifully.

This past week and a half, I've been getting information about what it'd take to have Pomeranz come out to our agency. Last week, I even talked to him on the phone, which, obviously, was way cool. Today, I talked with the executive director of the agency about getting Pomeranz out here. There are still some logistical and budgetary details to work out, but it's looking like it's going to work out. I'm way excited.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Two for the Money

Publication: The Drabblecast

Why I chose it: Drabblecast publishes in audio format, which is fun. I like the editor/host's tone in the podcast I listened to, and the feature story was a zombie story. What's not to like?

Submission process: Very easy. Subs are taken in the body of your e-mail. No formatting, font, etc. requirements.

Submitted: "An Ocean Kind of Blue" a painterly ghost story of sorts.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In the Nick of Time

Last night I submitted my first piece, a poem titled "Postage." It wasn't my plan to submit poetry, but then I realized I had at least one or two poems gathering dust that I considered good enough to give a swipe with a duster and send off.

Anyhow, on to the vital stats:

Publication: The Shine Journal

Why I chose it: I liked the blurb in duotrope, and the tagline about all the authors who'd gotten their start through the journal. Also, when I looked at some of the pieces in the journal, I liked them. Like this triptych from Shannon Deep.

Submission process: Pretty easy. They have a submission form that's pretty straight-forward.

Submitted: "Postage" a poem about the post office.