does not describe me fully
it is where to start

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Variations on a Theme Anthology is Available!

The Literary Lab's Variations on a Theme Anthology includes my short story "The Barcelona Chairs." The anthology is now available on Here is an excerpt from The Literary Lab’s full announcement:

Get it while it's hot! Literally hot! Variations on a Theme has gone live on Amazon.

Sorry, but the anthology is not available for Kindle or any other ebook format. We've decided to take the Kindle version down for Notes From Underground as well. Why? Mainly because the Kindle versions never really sold and it's a lot of work to format those manuscripts just for a few sales. So print only! Makes them more special if you ask me!

And trust me, if you're a fan of The Literary Lab, you want this anthology, and probably all three of them. I won't say why yet, but you do!

Go purchase your copies now. It's a beautiful, exciting, and entertaining anthology. I can't wait to get my final copy!

Also, it should be noted that Notes From Underground has been reformatted. We fixed a name spelling and made the text a bit bigger (it was just a bit small before). It's still the same price as it was before. All three anthologies are $8.56 each. We feel this is a pretty reasonable price for a nice print book.

THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF THE LITERARY LAB. None of these anthologies would have been possible without you!

Variations on a Theme is our third anthology. This year, we asked writers to create work inspired by one of two stories: "The Tinderbox," a classic fairy tale, or "The Huntsman," by Anton Chekhov. The result is a wonderful, tight collection of magical stories.

Purchase Variations on a Theme PAPERBACK COPIES through Amazon
$8.56 each.
click here

As for me, I just ordered the anthology and can’t wait to read it. I am sure my story “The Barcelona Chairs” will be in great company.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Are Those Characters Real?

What is it that happens when characters become like real people to a writer? Is it a worrisome sign of psychological disorder?

I don’t know. All I know is that I generally don’t feel that I’m writing effectively until a character starts “talking” to me. I’ll be about to fall asleep, and I’ll “hear” a voice that says, “You forgot to mention how I felt when Agnes died.” “Or Juana eloped.” Or some other character detail which had never occurred to me but which turns out to be critical for understanding my character’s emotional and psychological makeup; if not, his timeline.

Now I could go all spooky on you and talk about how my grandmother was a medium and maybe all I’m doing is channeling dead spirits. Okay, guffaw, all you want. The point is that this is a mysterious process. We are all readers, as well as writers. As readers, some of us develop strong bonds with fictional characters which defy rational explanation. I wonder if that could happen if the author herself had not developed a lifelike bond with her character.

Do any of my fellow writers have this experience?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Today I Purged

Today I purged nearly twenty years of background notes, drafts, and other miscellanea for my unpublished writing. At first, I tried to be highly selective, but faced with leaning piles of files, I became merciless.

It occurred to me as I was shredding that I was releasing early dreams of publishing glory. Of course, my manuscripts in final draft still exist, both in electronic and in paper form. But the fancies I had woven as I wrote my fictional “masterpieces” lay collapsed under mounds of shredded paper.

Ironically, with the advent of electronic media, publishing has never been more accessible. After a modest amount of polishing, I could simply upload all my manuscripts and they would be instantly available to all. And I may still do that. I just do not seem to be moved to do that right now.

Today may, in the end, prove to be inconsequential. Years hence, I may scarcely be moved by the memory of releasing so much of me, as expressed through my writing. I don’t know. I just know that today I purged and while I feel lightened I also feel saddened.