Friday, November 27, 2009

Thank You

I meant to post this on Wednesday night, but time got away from me.

I'm thankful for everyone who has submitted a poem or short story to Emerald Tales or Crystal Codices.

I'm thankful for all the contributors to Emerald Tales and the authors of Crystal Codices.

I'm thankful for the contributor's to Copper Wire and to Mette Pesonen for giving in when I twisted her arm to publish The Annals of Hypnosia.

And I am most thankful for everyone who has encouraged and supported me these past seven months, particularly Heather Gregson who keeps on eye on the forum when I have my head buried in submissions and edits.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Next Installment of Faegotten is posted


The next installment in the Faegotten series, "Godmother," by Jude Tulli has been posted!

This month the wish-fulfilling fairy takes a turn as a fairy Godmother. Go here to read it:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just in Time for Holiday Shopping

I have two new titles for Crystal Codices!

Crime Rhymes - A Collection of Mystery Verse by Guy Belleranti. You may recognize the name, he sends me funny poetry for every issue of Emerald Tales that I can't resist including in either the print version or on Copper Wire. Last month, I twisted his arm real hard (You probably heard the screams. I did, and I live across the country from Guy.) and he sent me a collection of witty verse about criminals and criminal investigations. Some of them are limericks, some are plain verse. They're all amusing.

Looking-Glass Milk by Kristin Janz: Science Fiction fans will love this story. Tanais and Xichen, scientists, are on a mission to Alpha Centauri to analyze the biochemistry of the Centaurians. The results of the analysis will determine the fate of a group of Humans held prisoner for the death of a Centaurian.

Go here to check out all the titles in Crystal Codices.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It was a Bright and Sunny Day

That's the theme for the April edition. Your story should begin with the line "It was a bright and sunny day." and then take off from there. It will be interesting to see in what direction this takes you all.

So, how did I come up with this? There's a first line or first paragraph contest, I can't remember the name of it, based on that cliche story beginning "It was a dark and stormy night." And then there is Snoopy sitting on the top of his dog house typing his novel and beginning with "It was a dark and stormy night." And I thought about using that as the theme, but it's so cliche, so overused, so bleh. Then the lightbulb went off in my head and we'll do the opposite.

I can't wait to see what you people who write dark stories do with that.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Insanity of Evil - Annals of Hypnosia

Woot! The next installment in The Annals of Hypnosia by Mette Pesonen, "The Insanity of Evil", is now up for your reading enjoyment.

The main page for The Annals of Hypnosia can be found here:

Let me know what you think of this series.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A new story on Copper Wire

I posted a new story on Copper Wire. "Blood Wedding" by Stephanie Hamrick is an epistolatory short story about a young woman's encounter with La Llorona.

Let me know what you think. :)

And in other news, I now have a proofreader! Woot! Someone to catch the mistakes my diseased brain makes. Sorry, loyal blog followers, I'm not paying her to proofread my posts here. You'll just have to be compassionate and understanding. :p

Yes, she's already caught the it's/its mistake I made on the website. Homonyms are the worst things for me to catch. And I DO know the correct one to use, the glitch in the brain synapses chooses the wrong one. The only solution is to hire a proofreader for my work.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day in the US. While I acknowledge and honor all those men and women who have served and fought for the US, I want to particularly say. "Thank You!" to the veterans of the Vietnam war.

When a soldier takes the oath of enlistment or the oath for commissioned officers they are swearing to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Constitution, not the President or Congress, The Constitution. They obey the orders of the President, but their oath is to the Constitution. Something to keep in mind next time you see a person in uniform.

We didn't treat the Vietnam War veterans very well when they returned home from that hell that they had served in. I don't think there is anything that we, as a country, can ever do to make up for that.

Thank you, Vietnam War Veterans, we should have treated you better when you returned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Winter Solstice Submissions Stats

I didn't receive as many submissions for the Winter Solstice issue as I did for the previous two issues. I'm not sure if it was the theme or people preparing for NaNoWriMo.
34 stories were submitted, I accepted 17.
25 plus poems were submitted and I accepted ten.

The poetry submissions were the most difficult for me to decide on. My first pass through the batch of submissions and I only had six poems that definitely didn't work for the theme. I think I went through the poetry six or seven times before I settled on the ten that I accepted.

The stories submissions were also a problem. A lot of fantasy stories. A lot of myth-based stories. Choosing which ones to accept and which ones to pass on was difficult. It came down to which ones fit the theme the best.

I'll only have two poems for Copper Wire next month, but that's the way the ball bounces.

Two patterns are emerging from all of the submissions that I receive, not just for Emerald Tales, but for Crystal Codices as well.

First, in general, the fantasy writers are submitting stories that are much more compelling to read than the other genres. I think that may be because the competition to get a fantasy short story published is a lot stiffer than for the other genres, so they have to work very hard on crafting their shorts to get them accepted anywhere. And no, that isn't because I like Fantasy. There are several stories that I have accepted that are not my personal cup of tea. That doesn't stop me from recognizing the skill behind the stories. In fact, those writers who can hold my attention for a story that I wouldn't normally want to read are, to me, very skilled in the craft of writing.

Second, the quality of submissions for Emerald Tales is a lot higher than for Crystal Codices. I think that has something to do with the length. It seems that the higher word length restriction gives writers who like to write put a lot of unnecessary exposition in their stories room to expound on their world. I reject a lot of the novellas that I receive. I figure if my attention starts wandering while I am reading the submission, then other reader's attention will wander as well. That's not what I want to publish.

My experience with the novella submissions is more in line with what agents and other publishers report. The lesson that can be learned here for novel writers: learn to write powerful short stories, I bet it would improve your novels and thus increase your chances of finding an agent and getting published.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Who Dares Wins

Who Dares Wins - The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear and Succeed by Bob Mayer. I came across Bob Mayer's website and this book while I was cruising around the internet.

Now, the last thing I thought I needed was another self-help book or another writing book. I've read a lot of both, absorbed as much information from them as I could and integrated what I had learned into my life. But, I found myself clicking the "add to cart" button and wondering why I felt compelled to do that.

I received it last week. While there was nothing "new" in it for me in terms of concepts, he does come at the topic from a different angle. And here's the kicker that is different from the rest of the books that I've read, he admits that change isn't easy and that it will take time. He doesn't blow smoke and say, "All you have to do is this and you're life will be better." It's hard, and it takes work to become successful.

What he has noticed is that only 5% of the people who attend his writing workshops will succeed and that this is true of almost any field of endeavor. Only 30% of the soldiers going through Special Forces training make it through the training. eg succeed in becoming Green Berets. Among other characteristics, what successful people have that others don't is a willingness to learn, change, and grow.

If you're one of those people who is willing to learn, change, and grow as a person, as a writer, as whatever it is you want to be, then this book is for you.

I think I'm going to purchase The Novel Writer's Toolkit.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three New Titles added to Crystal Codices


I've added three new titles to the Crystal Codices line.

The City of Ferrid by Nyki Blatchley - A fantasy set in an industrialized culture. Demolin, a young man, visits the city and meets an unusual woman who needs his help.

Lena the Huntress by Savyn Carden - A humorous dark fantasy. Lena must find the orb which will lead her to Jelene and fulfill her destiny.

The Typewriter Poetry Collection by Lisa Rusczyk - a collection of 18 poems written when Lisa only had a typewriter to work with.

I have two other titles for Crystal Codices which will be released in a few days. One is Science Fiction and the other is a poetry collection.

Note: While I have published a lot of fantasy, it's because that is mostly what I get for submissions. I am interested in publishing the other genres.

And now I must go deal with the Winter Solstice submissions. I'm sure the submitters are biting their nails.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vampires and Werewolves and Zombies Oh My!

So, I'm in the grocery store today and as usual, I stop by the book rack to check on the latest offerings. (Okay, to see if they had put anything else out in the past three days since my last diet Mt. Dew run.) What is up with the Romance genre? Almost every single Romance title available (okay there were only a few) involved either werewolves or vampires. (No zombies, I just threw that in the title to riff on The Wizard of Oz.)

One of them, the MC has half vampire, half werewolf. Seriously, how does that work? On the full moon you turn into a werevamp and bite people's necks? How does one become half vampire half werewolf? Did a vampire bite the neck of a werewolf? Wouldn't that be dangerous even for a vampire? I'm all for creativity and putting a twist on things, but I read "half vampire half werewolf" and I tossed the book back on the shelf and didn't read anymore.

Let us think for a minute about the vampire as male love interest. He needs blood for nurishment. How do you take someone like this out to dinner? How do you cook dinner for him? And what about family barbecues, holidays, and other get togethers? And let's not forget that he can't go out in the sun. There goes that romantic cruise in the Caribbean.

Hello, big time publishers of romance novels, there are some of us who are not interested in reading about vampires or werewolves or zombies as romantic leads.

Sigh. I picked up the thriller "Deadlock" by Iris Johansen instead.

Stories that Stick in the Mind

I've talked before about stories that are so compelling to read that you remember them long after you've read them. So, Saturday night everytime the trick-or-treaters knocked on the door and I reached for the door handle to open the door, I hesitated as Guy Bellerantis' Tricked You Good in the regular edition of Emerald Tales flashed through my mind.

Thanks, Guy, for creeping me out on Halloween night.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Special Edition of Masks or Appearances Can be Deceiving

Woot! The Special Edition of Emerald Tales Masks or Appearances can be Deceiving is now available!

This month we have a shadow drake and a mortal woman, a sea witch, flexi-cubes, a banshee, an incubus with gender identity issues, a robot so real a man would want to marry her, becoming a knight, and what really happens to your children during puberty.

Contributors: J. N. Bower, Effie Collins, Marie Croke, K. S. Dearsley, Aubrie Dionne, Bruce Golden, Denise Golinowski, Scott E. Green, Richard S. Levine, Laura Jeanne Sanger, Troy Seate, Grady Yandell, and Hugh Wilson.

I finally figured out the subscription rates for Emerald Tales. You can order through the order form available here: or through the shopping cart. Subscriptions for the print version are only available to the US and Canada.