Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interview - Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman

Today's "5Q&A" is with Donna George Storey, author of Amorous Woman

1.) Who are you?

Hmm, I’ve been trying to figure this out for about forty years now, but I seem to be getting closer to an answer every day!

I was born in 1961 in tiny Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three daughters. We moved around a bit for my father’s job, but finally settled in Washington, D.C. where my friends were the children of Congressional aides, Vietnamese “farmers” who somehow got important jobs at the State Department, and a lot of Korean and Taiwanese immigrants. That was my first taste of Asian culture. When I was a junior Princeton, I happened to see a bulletin board outside of my
Renaissance Poetry class advertising opportunities to teach English in Japan. As an English and creative writing major, I didn’t feel particularly employable, so I thought this might be a chance to see the world and support myself, at least temporarily.

I’d always been a rather timid, teacher-pleasing child, but my hidden adventurer came out after graduation when I bought a one-way ticket to Tokyo and set off with nothing but a year’s Japanese study and a wallet full of traveler’s checks. However, I think the Japanese gods were watching out for me, because I quickly found work at a small language school in Kyoto, started taking lessons in traditional Japanese dance with a wonderful sensei and made lots of friends of all ages. My “still waters run deep” personality seemed to suit the culture very well. I stayed for two wonderful years, then returned to the States to study Japanese literature at Stanford. I met my (American) husband in Japanese class there—sometimes we still speak to each other in Japanese when we don’t want the kids to understand!

My priorities shifted a bit when my first child was born. By then I had a Ph.D. and a translation of the work of an obscure Japanese writer under my belt, but the academic life didn’t seem as appealing as it once had. I started trying my hand at essays and short stories during my son’s naps and quickly discovered that writing was the most compelling work I’d ever done. Also the most challenging! Sending out
work and collecting rejections is hard on the ego, but eventually it paid off. I’ve been writing for ten years now and have about sixty publications. My first novel came out this fall. I’m finally allowing myself to say I’m a writer—for many years I felt unworthy to claim that title. I hope this is an inspiration for writer soccer moms everywhere. It can be done with persistence.

2.) Were you hesitant to write erotica, or did you jump in with both feet?

I’d have to say that I walked gingerly to the pool, but once I got there I plunged right in. I’ve always been interested in what happens after the love scene fades to the burning candle. That’s when the really good part of the story begins, right? When I started writing fiction, erotic themes seemed to creep into every story in spite of myself. I really did try to resist. I wanted to write “literature”
not dirty stories. But even my literary stories tended to focus on sexual relationships and many of those did get published in serious journals. So eventually I began to look at my natural tendencies in a different way. There’s much debate about the distinction between erotica and pornography—some insist there is none. I’d argue that just as literary fiction encourages readers to question the status quo and
genre fiction soothingly confirms expectations, erotica tends to make us think about sexuality on a deeper level, while porn offers consequence-free escape. If we take a look at some of the most meaningful, dramatic, and exciting moments in our lives, sex is involved in many of those experiences. Yet it’s not something we can yet talk about freely in our society. Fiction is a place where we can slip inside someone else’s skin and work through our own issues through the character’s choices and conflicts. So, telling my “truth” about the female sexual experience through fiction isn’t something to be ashamed of—quite the contrary, it’s what literature is all about. I’m glad that more mainstream writers are tackling that theme—Barbara Kingsolver and Jane Smiley both recently published novels that deal more openly with sexuality and I hope there will be many more.

3.) What do you enjoy most about being an author?

For the first ten years of my writing life I’d say the part I loved most was bringing new characters and scenes to life in my head. I’d snatch a bit of dialogue from a conversation I overheard at a coffee shop, get back at an old boyfriend with an embarrassing (and untraceable) detail, convince my husband to act out a portion of a scene to make sure it was physically possible--the background research was fun, too. Eventually my creations would take on a life of their own and refuse to follow my plot and insist the story had to end a different way. But I’ll admit I liked ‘em feisty. Several of the characters in AMOROUS WOMAN refused to follow my plot outline and they earned my respect for it!

However, since my novel was released in September, I’ve discovered a new aspect of the writing life I really enjoy—connecting with my readers. I’ve occasionally received a note of appreciation for one of my stories in a journal or anthology, and that’s been wonderful. But AMOROUS WOMAN is all mine. When a reader tells me s/he enjoys and says s/he’s learned things about Japan, I am thrilled beyond words. I
realize now that before I was mainly focused on gaining an editor’s approval. What happened afterwards was beyond my control and I didn’t let myself worry too much about it. Now I’m very aware of my relationship with my readers. They’ve given me hours of their time in their busy lives and I’m very grateful for that.

4.) What do you like to do in your spare time?

With two young kids and several stories to attend to at any given moment, it doesn’t feel like I have much spare time! I do make time to take a brisk walk almost every morning before dawn. It’s really a form of walking meditation. I work out some of my life’s dilemmas and as well particular problems with my stories. That’s when I often get flashes of inspiration—a good ending line comes floating up in my head
or I realize a certain scene needs fleshing out and I figure out how to do that. I also enjoy cooking—my way of transforming drudgery into pleasure, perhaps. I recently signed up to get a weekly box of organic vegetables from a local farm and I’m really enjoying figuring out how to use each week’s goodies in our menu. It’s encouraged me to make up my own recipes, which is a lot like writing: scary, but when it works out, it’s pretty cool. My real specialty is cookies. In December I
make six different kinds—most of them multi-layered with almond paste and apricot jam or Dutch speculaas spices and brown sugar—and give oxes to my kids’ teachers and friends. They usually get good reviews but it takes three full days of baking! Absurdly time-consuming for what you get, but that’s rather like writing, too.

5.) What's next?

I’m brewing an erotic romance novel tentatively titled THE SECRET HISTORY OF LUST about a woman who meets a charming antique dealer with a mysterious room in the back of his shop that is open only to special customers. Her initiation into his secret vintage erotica club leads to a different kind of journey from AMOROUS WOMAN. This time it’s a trip to the past in America--Bettie Page photo clubs, Hollywood sex
scandals, the super-heated forbidden sex of a more repressed age. I’m having fun with the research and I hope that passion comes through in the novel. I think the author’s enthusiasm for her work does show.

Thank you so much, Donna!

If you'd like to know more about Donna and her book, Amorous Woman, please visit her website.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

55 Days 'til Christmas...

My husband and I have been discussing the Holidays. And that got me to thinking, books are a fantastic gift. Which then had me pondering what books would I get for my kids if they weren't already avid readers?

I made a list of the books I loved when I was a kid, and I thought I'd share it here.

In no particular order...

The Great Brain - a series of 8 books by John D. Fitzgerald.

My fifth grade teacher read aloud to us from this series of books. As soon as she started reading, everyone in the room paid attention.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery and Jennifer Lee Carroll - there are 8 in this series, as well.

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - 9 books in the series.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis - a series of 7 books.

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper - 5 book series.

Other books you might want to consider...
Junie B. Jones
Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys
The Babysitter's Club
Lemony Snicket

There's some terrific new YA fiction out now and coming soon. Keep your eyes open. If you're not sure what your kids, grandkids, nieces and/or nephews or your friends' kids would like to read, buy them a gift card to or Barnes and Noble. Check out the book club fliers that come home from school. You can find some amazing deals on books through Scholastic. I know there's another company that sells through school book clubs, but I can't think of it just now.

Let's raise some readers.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Book Review - Amorous Woman by Donna George Storey

Amorous Woman
Donna George Storey
ISBN # 978-1905619177

'The day I left Japan, I stared at my reflection in the mirror in the airport ladies' room and made the following vows: I would never tell another lie, especially to myself. I would never let desire overwhelm common sense. I would never sleep with a man who was married to someone else, mime fellatio with a complete stranger on a stage, or take money for sex again. In fact, to cover all bases, I would never have sex again with anyone, man or woman, for the rest of my life.'

Amorous Woman is a lush, sensual, raw, vibrant and yes, erotic book. It is the story of an American woman who ate, slept and breathed Japan, as told to two of her Japanese Business Practices students. Part memoir, part erotica, part tour book - Amorous Woman is alive with the sounds, scents and scenes of Japan.

Donna George Storey is a storyteller, as well as a writer. I had a difficult time stepping away from this book, because I felt transported while reading it. I also didn't want it to end. I wanted to know more!
(August 2007, pp 352, $12.00)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When it rains, it pours. Opportunity pounding on the door.

This blog post is going to cover a lot of ground in very few words, so bear with me.

I read Laurell K. Hamilton's new book, A Lick of Frost, last evening. FANTASTIC! The plot moved along at a good clip, character development was spectacular and many questions set in motion with the first book were answered. I want to crow about what happens to Merry and her men, but that would truly spoil it for so many fans.
I'm not doing a "typical" book review for it, because I read her books for pleasure and entertainment.

The good news is there will be no shortage of book reviews in the very near future. I've been approached by someone to do at least 4 book reviews a month, more if I have time to devote to reading and reviewing. This opens up avenues to me that I didn't even consider when I started this blog back in July. There will also be more interviews with the authors and I may extend the 5 Q&A format to 10 or 20 questions, depending on my and the author's time. I'll share more information in the future.

I am also working on a query letter that has to be good. I am so excited about my idea for a feature article that I'm bouncy.

I have a review and interview scheduled for posting Monday and Wednesday of next week. And I'm in the middle of reading Owen King's, We're All in This Together.

Busy, busy, busy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A call for books to review

I started a new blog last week, Family in a Blender. It's about Blended Families. I wanted to provide a place for people to find information, books and articles about how to blend families. I also wanted to create a forum for people to ask questions and/or share their own stories.

So, now, I'm looking for books to review that are about divorce/blended families. I'll be heading to my local library later today to see what's available, but if you have written a book about this particular topic, please feel free to email me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brave New World

It was a busy weekend here, but I did manage to read. I feel like an ignoramus admitting this, but I had never read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. My daughter was reading it, and mentioned it to me. When she was finished with it, I devoured it.

For those of you who may not have read it, Brave New World is about a futuristic society where people are produced with a preconceived notion of what their position in the world will be. There is no God, no mothers or fathers, as people are conceived and developed in "bottles" and raised to adulthood by caretakers, not parents. Free thinking has been abandoned, and "everyone belongs to everyone".

The book was published in 1932. As I read it, I was amazed at Huxley's creativity. The story is something I would have expected from a 1970's author.

Today, I will be reading a new book for review. Look for it next Monday.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Irons in the Fire

I have a lot of irons in the fire today. Kids home from school, research for a new project, and household stuff that's got to get done.

But, think not that I'm leaving my loyal readers (royal leaders?) in a lurch. I came across this article, 5 Great Ways To Make An Agent At A Writer’s Conference Dislike You by Wendy Keller at the Women on Writing eZine. It's worth a read.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mr. Media interview with Jim Melvin, author of The Death Wizard Chronicles

Check out this interview with Jim Melvin. You can listen to it or read it. Sweet!

Mr. Media

MEA - Minnesota Education Association

My kids have today and tomorrow off from school because of MEA. I've heard about MEA for years now, but today took it upon myself to find out what it is the teachers do for the next two days. Here's the link, if you're interested.

The 2007 Education Minnesota Professional Conference

From what I read, MEA seems to me not much different than a Writer's Conference. A large group of education professionals get together to share information and network (and probably do a bit of kvetching about the little darlings they are trying to educate).

The interesting thing I discovered is that the conference is open to the public. I'm seriously thinking about going next year. I'd love to know what is happening regarding my children's education in this kind of forum. Who knows, I might learn something.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Print format - hardcopy or digital?

Over at Publisher's Weekly, I discovered this article, 'Print is Dead' book: Must-read for the New York publishing establishment from Holtzbrinck Internet marketer Jeff Gomez . I've been reading anything I can find regarding the demise of print.

I have to confess, I really enjoy reading books in book form. You know, a bunch of words contained within a cover, usually with an attractive image on the front. I've tried reading using an e-reader, and I don't like it. Crawling into bed, snuggling into my blankets and holding a cold, metallic box with a screen just doesn't do it for me. It seems akin to making love with a robot.

I am hopeful that my great-grand-children will recognize a book when they see it. Although I suspect the only books they'll own will be from Great-Granny Lynn's collection.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Working from home...

Multi-tasking is something I'm usually good at. Apparently, usually isn't today.

I put together some homemade Spaghetti sauce and left it to simmer on the stove. I then proceeded to sit down at the computer - at the other end of the house - and begin working on a query letter. I became so engrossed that I forgot about the sauce, until I started to smell something faintly reminiscent of burning tomato sauce.

Yep, I burned the sauce. Luckily, I knew better than to stir it. I grabbed another pan, carefully poured the sauce into it, and put the pan with the burned on gook in the bottom into my sink and filled it with hot-hot-hot water.

Sauce is now simmering on LOW, and I didn't ruin my copper bottom pan.

Note to self, pay more attention to the tasks you're multi-ing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Books to movies

I am not a movie buff. Sitting in a movie theatre for 2 hours gives me the willies. Sitting still for 2 hours would probably kill me. I'm a multitasker and a fidgeter.

The reason I mention this is I was reading Laurell K. Hamilton's blog this morning and she went to see the movie based on the book The Dark Is Rising this weekend. If you'd like to read her comments, go here. She wasn't impressed.

I try not so see movies based off of books I love. I know the movie will never compare to my imagination. I so want to believe my own pictures of the characters I read about. Seeing them brought to life by an actor skews my own treasured perception.

Do you like to see movies based on books you've read?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Letters and words...

I spent much of yesterday being a beta-reader. Remember in High School, when the teacher gave a writing assignment, and upon completion, asked you to trade with the person next to you? The person next to you read it and then shared their thoughts about what you'd written. That's kinda what beta reading is.

I had about fifty pages to go when the kids got home. My Kindergarten Boy stood beside me and started pointing to letters on the page and saying "Look Mummy! That's an S. And that's a C, like in my name!" The beta-book became a lesson in letters and words.

So not only will I get paid for beta reading, but it provided a terrific teaching moment for my son. I couldn't get this boy to spend one minute on letters before he started school. Now, I can't get him to stop talking about them. WOOT!!!

I finished the book after dinner and emailed my comments to the author. I probably should have thanked her for the above mentioned opportunity, but I was too busy listening to my son point out letters on the computer screen.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Writing Strengths

Elrena tagged me with a writing meme. I'm supposed to write about my writing strengths.
So, here we go....

I can write about just about anything, if I can find the information. Essays, articles, stories, blurbs, press releases - you name it, I can write it.

I'm a fast writer. I compose most of the piece in my head, and when I'm ready, I sit down and blast it out.

I edit as I write, so it's rare for me to have more than one rough draft. I suspect this comes from the fact that during my high school years, I took a full course load (all four years), held down a job, babysat when I wasn't at that job and read everything I could get my hands on. That didn't leave a lot of time for third and fourth drafts.

Now as everyone knows every strength can be a weakness, too. I can write just about anything, which sometimes leaves me feeling like a kid in a candy store. I can't choose just one.

I am a fast writer, but that leaves people perceiving my ability, now and then, as something to take for granted.

Editing as I write can sometimes stifle my creativity.

That's all folks.

I'm tagging...

The Death Wizard Chronicles
Not Afraid of the "F" Word
The Wicked Flower Girl Thinks Outloud
Side Dish
April Aragam

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Interview - Jim Melvin author of The Pit, Book One of The Death Wizard Chronicles

Today's "5 Q&A" is with Jim Melvin, author of The Pit, Book One of The Death Wizard Chronicles.

1.) Who are you?

I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1957 but spent more than forty years of my life in St. Petersburg, Fla. I now live in Clemson, S.C.

I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) with a B.A. in Journalism in 1979. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and retired in 2004 to become a full-time novelist. At the Times, I specialized in science, nature, health and fitness, and I wrote about everything from childhood drowning to erupting volcanoes. But I spent the majority of my career as a designer, editor, and supervisor.

I am a student of Eastern philosophy and mindfulness meditation, both of which I weave extensively into my work. Meditation helps to clear my mind for long bouts of writing.

I am married and have five daughters, ranging in age from 8 to 24. The Death Wizard Chronicles, a six-book epic fantasy series, marks my debut as a published novelist. Book One, entitled The Pit, was released in early September. Book Two (Moon Goddess) was released just a couple of days ago. Books Three-Six will be released one per month from November-February. They are available on,, and soon will be available via Barnes and Noble.

2.) When was The Death Wizard Chronicles born?

I wrote the first page of Book One about three years ago, but I conceived the opening scene back in the late 1970s when I was just out of college. At age 20, I wrote a horror novel entitled Sarah's Curse that was pretty good but never published. At the time, I wasn't worried because writers always hear that it's their second or third novel that really hits it big. However, I began working 50-hour weeks as a journalist and raising a family -- and 25 years later there never was a second novel. But all that time, The Death Wizard Chronicles was a part of my life. During my private moments -- falling asleep at night, driving alone in the car, showering, whatever -- I thought about this series, including plot, scenes, locations, and characters.

About four years ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to step out of the rat race with the goal of becoming a full-time novelist. In September 2004, I started Book One. Six books and seven-hundred-thousand words later, here I am.

This is my time.

3.) Meditation is interwoven throughout The Pit. I know that you practice meditation. How did you get started and how long have you been practicing?

I'd like to say that it was my own ingenuity that led to my practice of meditation, but the credit actually goes to my second wife, Jeanne. She and I married fourteen years ago, but Jeanne has been a Buddhist in the Theravada tradition for more than twenty-five years. She introduced me to Buddhism and meditation. Her teacher, Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, is world-renowned -- and through Jeanne, I was able to meet him, listen to his brilliant talks, meditate with him, and even spend time with him on an individual basis, which is a high honor in the Buddhist world. I have been meditating since early on in our marriage.

I do need to make one point clear: Though my series is steeped in Asian spiritual philosophy, it is by no means a work of Buddhism, which is an extremely passive religion that disdains violence and sexual misconduct. My series contains both. All I can say is that Asian spiritual philosophy has helped to shape my world view, which of course then drives my writing.

4.) What benefits do you derive from meditation?

Ha! How long do you have? A genius could spend a lifetime meditating and barely scratch the surface of the practice, and I'm no genius and also got a late start.

Look at it this way: If you're physically out of shape, just starting a very simple walking program -- once around the block three times a week -- will do amazing things for your health and appearance. Then, of course, you can ramp it up to walking several miles five times a week, running, swimming, cycling, lifting weights, marathons, triathlons, etc. You even can become a world-class athlete. In the mental sense, meditation is similar. Just five minutes of meditation three times a week will work wonders for your mind. And the more seriously you take it, the more benefits you'll derive.

As a meditator, I'm equivalent to someone who walks two miles four days a week. I'm in decent shape but could go a lot further, if I had more discipline. As far as my knowledge of the ritualistic aspects of Buddhism, I'm pretty low on the scale But as far as having a grasp of the intellectual aspects of Buddhist philosophy, I'm a natural.

As I mentioned, meditation is like exercise for the mind. The more you do it, the healthier, stronger, and more peaceful your mind becomes. And this is true for people of all beliefs. You don't have to be a Buddhist to benefit from the practice. For instance, there are many Christians who meditate.

5.) What's next?

I have been so obsessed with The DW Chronicles for so long that it's difficult for me to look ahead. I am entirely finished through Book Five and have written the first draft of Book Six, but I still have at least two months' worth of revisions on Six before the project is completed.

After that, I'll probably take a couple of months off just to rejuice my batteries, and then write some kind of standalone novel, most likely in the horror genre. I'm not a big fan of standalone fantasy. In my opinion, it takes too long to create a world to do it all in one book.

Thank you so much, Jim!

The Pit is available at Amazon. If you'd like to know more about Jim Melvin, please visit The Death Wizard Chronicles

Monday, October 8, 2007

Book Review - The Pit by Jim Melvin

The Pit
Book One of The Death Wizard Chronicles
Jim Melvin
Rain Publishing
ISBN # 978-1897381472

The Pit is the first of a six-book epic fantasy series called The Death Wizard Chronicles. It is an incredibly dark, yet inspiring book that turns the typical good versus evil parable right on its ear.

After reading the first five pages of The Pit, I wasn't sure I was going to get through it. By page six, Jim Melvin was off and running, creating a new world, new theories, new perspectives - a new twist on the age old story of good versus evil. I was hooked!

I should probably, in the interest of full disclosure, tell you I'm not a huge fan of the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre. Sure, I've read Tolkien, McCaffrey and Robert Jordan, but the only reason I stayed with them was the amazing writing, the vivid descriptions and the sheer entertainment value of each. And, oh yeah, the fact that those particular authors have always left me thinking long after I closed the books.

The Pit is beautiful - gorgeous, even - yet it is also dark and deep and vibrant. There is a fine line between love and hate. The distinction can be a bit foggy at times. Jim has illustrated that fine line. It is possible to feel sympathy for someone you hate, as well as despise someone you love.

I fell into this book. Time disappeared, as well as the chores that needed to be done, the bills that needed to be paid, and virtually everything else that had been chasing itself around in my head. This book is inspiring, entertaining, and I want to say absolute escapism, but after I finished reading I found myself pondering what I had just read. Escapism doesn't typically elicit that reaction in me.

I am purposely not sharing much about the story or the plot, because anything I say could quite possibly take away from the pleasure of discovering this book on your own. The Pit is fabulous, but don't take my word for it. Go get a copy, set aside some time and fall in love the way you did with the first book that truly grabbed you!(September 2007, pp 290, $18.00)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Working, Writing

I spent the morning working on a book review that will be posted tomorrow morning. Be sure to stop by and check it out.

This afternoon I'll be working on a piece I hope will be published as a guest blog. Then, I'll be un-installing and re-installing my printer, as something's gone wonky with it.

Just thought I'd do a short update. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Gifts from the universe

Every couple of years, about this time, my gardens have a surprise for me. Three years ago, after most of the gardens were killed off by frost, I found a white morning glory blooming in our pumpkin patch. No rhyme or reason to it being there, it just was.

Monday morning I looked out our back door and I thought I was seeing things. A clematis bloom was peeking out from our raspberry canes. Nothing really unusual about our clematis plant blooming, we planted them years ago. The thing is, clematis plants bloom in late May, early June, not October 1st.

Yesterday I glanced out back, and there were two more flowers. I had to get pictures, just to prove it was true. Expect the unexpected and take time to smell the roses, erm, clematises.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Five years

Five years ago today I got married, for the third time.

I figured "3rd time's the charm" or "3 strikes and y'ur out". It was a small wedding, 15 people in attendance, 6 of them being my husband and our 4 children. I wore black and red. He wore black khakis, a white button down shirt and a black blazer. My daugher and his son stood up for us (they were 12 and 11 years old). As I recall, there were face splitting grins all around as we said "I do."

The odds were stacked against us. My third marriage, his first marriage, 4 children to raise born of 4 different sets of parents, a small house and a small income. We committed to each other, committed to raising our 4 children together, committed to building a real life.

I won't lie, it hasn't been easy, there have been nights we've gone to bed royally pissed off at each other. There have been days when there were no words to be spoken - only quiet breathing and searching looks and palms turned up to the heavens.

There have also been days of absolute elation, peaceful calm and immense gratitude. We have built a family, grown gardens, cooked together and laughed together. He has taught me to be more gracious and accepting. I have taught him the joy of following things through to the end, and shared my love of reading with him.

We're best friends. We are each other's soft place to fall. He wakes me up when he leaves for work to tell me he loves me. I always say "I love you, too, and drive safe." I have never been happier.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Perfect Candidate by Tricia Ballad

Speaking of short stories, I was offered the chance to review one.

The Perfect Candidate
Tricia Ballad
Wild Rose Press

Caroline Lakehurst is prepared for more challenging work and longer hours when she accepts an executive position. What she isn’t ready for is the time spent away from the man she loves. As her work quickly absorbs and overwhelms her, she grows concerned about her relationship. Little does she know a make it or break it interview is coming her way.

Tricia Ballad’s last name is perfect for her. This short story flows like a love song. The cadence is lovely and tempo builds, leading the reader toward the sweet last notes of the melody.

Coming soon to Wild Rose Press

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The State of the Short Story Address

Stephen King reported in on the state of the short story yesterday in The New York Times. He says it's alive but not necessarily well. Put his comments together with the report that 1 in 4 Americans didn't read a single book last year, and you might have an answer as to why.

Some of the best short stories I've read have been written by 6th graders. Twelve year olds aren't jaded. Creativity is something that comes naturally to kids. The teacher requests a short story about a blade of grass, and the kids come back with amazing tales. The online editor in their brain exists at that age, but they tend to ignore it.

Imagination and creativity used to be the backbone of our country. It would seem that imitation and regurgitation are the prevailing methods of production these days. When my kids are excited about an experience they've had, my immediate response to them lately is "Write it down! Spew it forth! Do not edit!" I want them to know the joy of stream of consciousness writing. Clean it up later - for now, just write!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Banned Books Week

ThursdayBram designed this banner and offered it up to everyone and anyone who wants to use it. Thanks!

I'm sure I've read books classified as "banned", but I don't know that I could name one. And even if I found a banned book that I haven't read, it would only cause me to get a copy, post haste.

If you create it, and then ban it, people will go out of their way to GET IT!