Monday, August 24, 2009

I’ve been published in the Aurora Wolf online magazine.

I’m thrilled to announce that one of my stories,

Amber Profits

has been published in the new online magazine,


Aurora Wolf is a new publication dedicated to showcasing upcoming writing talent.

The magazine in beautifully laid out, with bright, appealing graphics. I’m pleased and proud to be published in the first issue. --

Some snippets from the magazine and guidelines:

Aurora Wolf is a bi-monthly journal of speculative fiction and fantasy. Our mission is to inspire our readers to dream of faraway places, conquer evil, bring hope to the down trodden and explore worlds where our stories jump start the imagination. We will feature exciting stories set in awe-inspiring places that are told with all the skill and impact of modern literary writers.

We are seeking stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy, including Sword and Sorcery, Post Apocalyptic, Speculative and Paranormal short stories. No Horror, extreme violence, excessive foul language or abusive stories. Any such stories will be deleted without reply. We are a PG-13 Journal.

PS. I'd like to give credit for the photo, but I don't know where it came from. If you know, please tell me in comments.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Query Letter Advice

I've been researching the most effective ways to write a query letter. I thought I'd share with you the posts that caught my attention. In no particular order:

101 Things in Queries That Catch My Eye (Or At Least As Many As I Can Think Of)

How do I format emailed pages in a query?

How to Query an Agent

How to write a query letter

Writing A Simple, Compelling Query

Query Letter Mad Lib

Query Shark - A blog devoted to queries

Pitch Parlour - A UK blog largely devoted to queries

Check out the links on my side bar. Many agents offer query advice on their blogs.

Do you have other posts about queries to recommend? Please post them in comments!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Creating a Web Presence - a Blog Review

Are you a writer trying to create a web presence?

Jordan McCollum has posted a review of an existing blog by writer Livia Blackburne. This very useful review discusses the strengths of the blog and suggests improvements.

Jordan has been running a series of posts on creating a web presence - specifically aimed at writers. Two of my favorites are four goals of an author’s website and The Top 7 Things Every Aspiring Author's Website Must Have. The later was a guest post on Nathan Bransford's blog.

Do you have suggestions for writers to improve their blogs and websites?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A book is like a peach tree

Books are like the ancient, twisted peach tree in the field behind my house.

In the spring, hard green buds open into soft pink flowers, scenting the air with an intoxicating perfume that lasts a day or two before the fierce west wind blasts the honeyed scent - and all the petals - into a forlorn memory.

In the early summer, fuzzy green nubbins hide amongst curled dull leaves, peeping out shyly, avoiding birds and over-eager children.

Ah, but in late summer, golden rose fruit plucked under the hot grinning sun melt in my mouth like liquid amber, pure nectar, peach-flavored, unlike the tasteless perfect lumps found in the stores.

By autumn the fruit is gone, eaten by birds or children - or me. Some lays rotting on the ground, to the delight of butterflies, who treat each stinking corpse like a late-blooming rose.

In winter even the leaves are gone, blown away by the harsh Texas wind. Twisted branches creak and moan, dead as the stones at the tree's roots.

But the stones are peach pits, not rocks. Some will sprout. The branches are not dead, only sleeping, and if I touch my nose to the twigs I can see tiny buds, ready for the first warmth of spring.

A book is like a peach tree, offering differing delights each time it is read. Fresh and exciting the first time through, it will offer something new with a second read. It can be comforting and familiar on the third. Old and trite after too many readings done too soon, it may be put away in the cold, in contempt.

Ah, but after a time, when you open that book again, sometimes late summer sunshine pours from the pages, familiar and sweet and surprisingly wise.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wind in the Willows

Late last night I remembered the first fantasy book I ever read - well, almost read. My dad came home from a business trip with a present for me. A book! I was nine years old and completely in love with books. I started Wind in the Willows that night.

I've never finished it. I remember stopping because it made me sad. I don't remember why. I think one of the characters had died, or was about to die. I remember more about the rare occurance of not finishing a book than I do about the novel. It's been 44 years, and I still haven't finished that book. I think it's time I found a copy.

I think my first Science Fiction novel was A Wrinkle in Time. I still own that book, and reread it every 20 years. I keep meaning to get the sequels, but for some reason I've never remembered to pick them up.

Memory is a tricky beast.