Saturday, October 31, 2009


Please do not eat, ingest, chow down on, feast upon, gobble, masticate, munch, nibble, nosh, devour, dine on, gorge on, pig out on, scarf down, snack on, sup, swallow, or wolf down your thesaurus and then gag, hurl, eject, spew, heave, puke, retch, throw up, upchuck, or regurgitate it into your story, anecdote, apologue, book, chronicle, epic, fable, fairy tale, fiction, folklore, memoir, myth, narrative, novel, parable, potboiler, saga, tale, or yarn.

Thank you, danke, gracias, merci boucoup, much obliged.

A visual story about courage and not giving up

I saw this on Janet Reid's blog. I had to share it:

Never give up on your dreams.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Short Story Writers: Keep Track of the Rights You Sell

Most magazines do not accept reprints. I do. It didn't make sense to me, not to. Well, I came across the reason that magazines don't accept reprints. Authors that don't keep track of the rights that they have sold for a story and submit previously published work that they no longer have the print or electronic rights to.

First let me say that the vast majority of my submissions are poems and stories that have not been printed before, so it only comes up when I want to include a story or poem that has been previously published. If you sold the print rights or the electronic rights to someone else and they haven't been returned to you, then you don't have them to sell to me or any other publisher. Think of it this way, if you loan a book to a friend, you don't have it to loan to someone else until the first friend returns the book to you.

I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of copyright and the rights that you can sell. There are several good books on the subject out there. Three of them are:
Copyright Plain and Simple by Cheryl Besenjak published by The Career Press
The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook by Lloyd J. Jassin and Steven G. Schechter published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Literary Law Guide for Authors by Tonya Marie Evans and Susan Borden Evans published by FYOS Entertainment, LLC
Get them. Read them. Memorize them.

For each short story or poem that you send out on submission, keep track of what rights you have sold to whom and for how long.

If I have any more trouble with this, then I may have to rethink my stand on accepting reprints.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Faegotten - A New Serial in Copper Wire

I have another six part serial that I have added to Copper Wire: Faegotten by Jude Tulli. In the first episode "Wish", the wish-fulfilling fairy pays us a visit and boy, does she have an attitude. The direct link to the story is here:

For the next six months around the 22nd of the month, we'll follow the adventures of this feisty fairy from the land of the Fae. Next month she takes a turn as the Fairy Godmother...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beta-reading vs. Editing vs. reading submissions

I am about caught up with all the submissions for Crystal Codices that have been glaring at me for a very long time now. I've taken a bit of a break on working on things. My brain got a little bit fried during August and September with all that I had to do to get Emerald Tales, Crystal Codices, and everything else up and running. So, in the past week I have been beta-reading novels for a few friends. Which leads to the title of this blog post.

See, I had one of my friends say thanks for the editing. Except that when I beta-read my brain is in a different gear from when I am editing and when I am reading submissions my brain is in a different space from either of those.

When I read submissions, I read them as a reader would. I don't see the typos, grammatical mistakes, etc. As long as the story holds my attention, I continue reading. If it doesn't hold my attention for any reason, then I pass on it. This leads me to a huge stack of stories that do hold my attention that I have to then go through again when considering submissions for Emerald Tales.

When I beta-read for a friend, I don't see the punctuation and grammar mistakes. If I notice one, then I mark it, otherwise, I am reading for flow, for plot holes, at characters and their reactions, looking for things that don't make sense.

When I am editing a story, my teacher's brain is fully engaged looking for the typos, punctuation, and grammar mistakes.

I don't know if agents and other editors are the same way. It would be interesting to find out.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Handling feedback from Others

In my personal life, I provide feedback to writers who are also friends of mine. I do it for free and as a courtesy to them. It bothers me though, when they treat my words like gospel. Think about what I say? Yes. Accept it like the tablets on the mountain just because I am a publisher and editor? No. Please, no. I am human and I make mistakes.

This is true for anyone who gives you feedback on your writing. If it doesn't seem right, then question it or disregard it. If the person giving you feedback tells you that there is only one way of doing something, then take two steps back. Because there is more than one way to write a story.

Regardless of the source, it is best to treat all feedback that you get on your writing as suggestions.

If you belong to a writing forum and someone starts spouting what seems to you like a lot of blahblah malarkey, then ignore it. Seriously, there are so many ways to approach writing a novel and actually writing that novel that you need to do what works best for you. However, listening to how others approach something, thinking about it, trying it, those are all valuable actions to take. But, accepting it just because So and So said S0 and they are an editor/agent/publisher, no. That goes for me, too. Don't accept everything I say as gospel.

Note, I am specifically talking about the writing process and everything you do before you query your novel to an agent or submit your story to a magazine publisher. The editing process for publication requires dialogue and conversation. If you ignore what your editor tells you, you're going to have difficulty selling anything to them again. ;)

One Confusing Disappearance

This month's installment in the Annals of Hypnosia, story and artwork by Mette Pesonen, has been uploaded. You all can go read it now. :)

The direct link to The Annals of Hypnosia page:

Coming next week: A new serial story "Faegotten" by Jude Tulli.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two New Stories for Copper Wire!

Woot! I've just published on Copper Wire two new stories.

Lado and the Butterfly by Raymond Koonce - a farmer encounters a giant butterfly while he is out working in his fields.


Soap and Bother or the World by Bryant Alexander - a prophecy sends a young man to the laundry room of the castle.

My history with Bryant's story is particularly interesting and I'm very pleased to have snatched it up. I first read his story about three and half years ago in the reviewing area of the writer's forum we belonged to. The story stuck in my mind. It's not very long, a little over a thousand words. But, it's funny and it stays with you. Stories that stick in the mind are the ones that I am looking to publish. All of the stories that I select for publication have that one quality, I remember them after I read them.

You, go read and enjoy them.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hazardous to your health

Who knew that becoming a publisher would become hazardous to my health. I'm not typing as much as I do when I write, so I don't have to worry about carpal tunnel or repetive motion injury or whatever they're calling it nowadays. Or so I thought. My right index finger is sore from clicking my mouse button. Coincidentally, the brand new mouse that came with the computer started acting wonky last week and I had to replace it.

I've also reached level nine hundred on Fishdom, an item matching game similar to Bejeweled. But, I'm sure that doesn't have anything to do with it. :P

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Clarification on February's Theme

Well, I thought I was clear in my previous post, but apparently not.

I'm looking for stories set in any type of carnival environment: roadside carnival, Mardi Gras, Carnivale di Venezia, Medieval carnival, Brazil's Carnival, A carnival in the caribbean, a fantasy carnival ... Hell, put one in outer space that would be interesting. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Carnivale - February's theme

So, I finally decided on Carnivale for February's theme. No, not the TV show. That's the Italian spelling of the word carnival. The Carnivale di Venezia or Carnival of Venice is a big two week festival similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and held for the same purpose. There are similar Carnivals held in South America and the Caribbean Islands.

So, what I am looking for are stories set at a carnival. This could also be the roadside carnival, the kind that used to come through town, set up rides and games for a weekend, then move on to the next town. Whatever.

A carnival, isn't that the perfect setting for a romance, a thriller, a horror story, a fantasy story, science fiction, a western, a mystery ...? :)

I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

And if that doesn't grab you, then I am still open to stories about "The purification of a love-struck groundhog suffering from cabin fever at Mardi Gras". :)

Now, I am going to go work on the Special Edition of Masks or Appearances Can Be Deceiving.

EDITED TO ADD: CLARIFICATION - Any kind of carnival; Roadside carnival, the Carnivale of Venice, Mardi Gras, The Carnival in Brazil, A Carnival in the Caribbean , A fantasy carnival, etc.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wow! I did a lot last month

It didn't seem like it at the time, but I sure did a lot in September:

I launched The Annals of Hypnosia
I launched Crystal Codices
Did contracts, edits, and published Emerald Tales - Masks or Appearances Can Be Deceiving
I launched Copper Wire.

It's no wonder I've been feeling a bit tired and frazzled the past few days.

And now I am filling orders for Emerald Tales and Crystal Codices. Woot! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Copper Wire - Internet Journal of Poetry and Short Stories

Because I haven't been busy enough in the past month, I've launched a new publication, "Copper Wire." This is an internet journal of poetry and short stories that I have garnered from submissions to Emerald Tales, requested an author to write for me, or read on a writing forum somewhere and asked the author if I could have it for the website.

Copper Wire is free. There's no registration, log in, or what not. It's there for your reading enjoyment.

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Emerald Tales - Masks or Appearances Can be Deceiving


Emerald Tales Volume One Number Two - Masks or Appearances Can Be Deceiving is done!
And online!
And on time!

Story Contributions:
Ashley by Lisa Rusczyk is about a very interesting blind date.
In Tricked you Good by Guy Belleranti, a thief masquerades as a clown on Halloween and gets a rather nasty surprise.
Promoting a Good Image by Ragna Brent is about two coworkers up for promotion. Which one will get it?
In The Honor System by Paula J. Stiles, a pregnant woman gets a little help from a stranger.
In The Black Swan by Darla J. Bowen, a masquerade ball is the perfect cover for an operative.
In A Steady Life by Jason Flum, two adult grandchildren learn more about the grandfather who raised them.
Barbecue by James Hartley, vegan aliens attend a neighborhood barbecue.
Operation: Totally Ducked Up by Lori T. Strongin, two very unlikely babysitters of a sweet little toddler. What could possibly happen?

Poetry Contributions:
A Versatile Visage by Lindsey Duncan
A Deck of Cards Tells All by Hal Sirowitz
This Mask I Wear by N. L. LeBlanc
Heart and Soul by Teresa Tunaley

Coming later today or tomorrow: Copper Wire, an online selection of free sample stories and poetry associated with Emerald Tales.