Two crucial skills for the writing life.

November 13th, 2013

Each day, we are bombarded by the tasks we must do, by the things we want to accomplish, and by the demands of tasks and people upon our time. There is only so much time, and so often too many things to do. We necessarily must master the skill of multitasking, of doing more than one thing at a time: answering the phone and emails, scheduling meetings and signings, managing children and pets, managing a household, making time for love, tracking our books and our word count.

Writing & publishing have become a multi-skill career, especially for writers, where we must write, have a business plan, set goals, design covers, write a blog, maintain a website, and market our books. Some of us do all of these things, some of us out-source some of it. And most of us do have other demands placed on our time, like family, friends, favorite past-times, other jobs.

And all of this demands that we multitask, and that is necessary. It’s almost a survival skill.

Lost in all of this multitasking, all of this busyness, is the equally crucial skill of … focus. Being able to focus fully, for long periods, is very important. Lost too is perhaps our best work, our richest and most engaging writing, and our real potential as writers. Without focus, our work suffers, our creativity isn’t as great or as deep. The constant interruptions and distractions mean we not only do not get as much done of what is really important for our dreams (writing, for example), but what we do during those crucial hours isn’t of the quality that we could want.

What can we do to more fully apply that skill of mental focus to our work, our writing. On my blog post about writer’s block (filed under Writer’s Life), I recommend using a timer and freeing up the mind from other things that might intrude. It’s kind of like beginning to practice meditation, where other thoughts and distractions must be kept to a minimum, and where mental discipline must be continually exercised. Once you’ve decided that it is more important that you become more deeply focused when you write, then you will probably think of other ways to accomplish this.

Here are some tips on focusing from that previous blogpost:

1) Before ending the day’s writing time, write a few lines of the next scene or a few ideas for that scene, so that it’s easier to pick up at the next session.

2) As you sit there, take the first 10 to 15 minutes to read a section of a book on craft or articles on craft, to switch your mind from the daily grind to writing and craft.

3) Set up your writing time so that all you have to think about is writing. Since you have other pressing things to do in your day, perhaps schedule your day on the evening before, so that when you begin to write, all of those other things are settled, done, and you’re not thinking about all the other things you have to do that day. Instead you’re thinking about and focused on writing. (see No. 5 & 6)

4) Write in a Journal before you begin your writing time, to dump all the things that are bothering you or distracting you. Assign a maximum time for this (5 minutes), otherwise it could take over much of your writing time.

5) Set a timer for the length of time you want to write and then think of nothing else during that time–that is the time you have for writing–until the timer goes off. This allows you to fully focus on your writing, and to set everything else aside for that hour or for whatever time you’ve allocated.

6) When you sit down to write, if other things occur to you that must be done or that are competing with focusing on writing, then quickly create a list of those things you need to do or think about. And then put it aside, so that they’re all written down and will be less likely to distract you.

7) Plan–an outline or variation of one, but at least a general idea of where you’re going with the novel, whether it’s a general statement, a synopsis with the main plot points, or an outline.

And a quote on the subject:  “…when you are completely open, when on all levels you are in complete communication, completely integrated, then there is joy and you begin to create … creativeness is a sense of total self-forgetfulness, when there is no turmoil, when one is wholly unaware of the movement of thought.” — Krishnamurti.

How do you see yourself applying & balancing these skills in your life?

 

 

Review: BLOWBACK, an espionage thriller

September 30th, 2013

BLOWBACK <><><><>

An exciting new espionage thriller, with insider detail and the realism that only a former spy could provide, by former CIA ops officer Valerie Plame Wilson and thriller writer Sarah Lovett.

Covert CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson pits herself against Bhoot, alias The Ghost, the world’s most dangerous international nuclear arms dealer. The fast-paced action takes the reader from Europe to Washington D.C. to the Near East.

Be inside the head of a CIA ops officer, a heroine to admire—courage, stamina, intelligence, determination—as she risks her cover, her career and her life to hunt for and take down not only arms dealer Bhoot, but also another man, a talented elusive assassin who kills a highly valued contact.

The non-stop suspense, action, and intrigue will likely have readers wanting to finish the novel in one sitting, while the emotional connections between characters, including a forbidden love affair with handsome as hell David Khoury, give the story and characters depth, and a sense of real community in a dangerous profession. An exceptional thriller, and a great read!! I can’t wait until their next book.

This is the first installment of the Vanessa Pierson series.
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Valerie Plame Wilson also wrote Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent was Betrayed by Her Own Government (with Laura Rozen). Her career in the CIA included assignments in Counterproliferation operations, ensuring that enemies of the United States could not threaten the country with weapons of mass destruction.

Sarah Lovett’s five suspense novels–Dark Alchemy, Dantes’ Inferno, Acquired Motives, Dangerous Attachments, and A Desperate Silence—feature forensic psychologist Dr. Sylvia Strange, and have been published in the United States and around the world.
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Blue Rider Press / A member of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc. / New York.
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Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blowback-Vanessa-Pierson-Novel-Valerie/dp/0399158200/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380595871&sr=1-1&keywords=blowback+by+valerie+plame

 

The Craft Warehouse in Your Head

February 14th, 2013

How or where do writers get their ideas? If you asked our loved ones, they might feel like they could swear the ideas were found somewhere just outside a window, or that somehow the idea stork drops another package for us after the appropriate incubation period, or as in The Hunger Games, some avid beneficiary will parachute it down to us in our hour of need. A gift from “your sponsors.”

So, really, where do we get our ideas? In case your loved ones didn’t know, the raw materials of fiction are available at your very own local craft warehouse. Yes, the craft warehouse…of fiction writing. The one in your mind. So, next time you’re found staring out the window, your friends and family can now picture you parking outside that “store,” and perusing for those fiction gems, up and down those mental aisles, pushing your “shopping cart,” checking the shelves for that perfect plot or hero or setting. There we’ll be, filling that “shopping cart” full of ideas, realizing that we might have to come back later for more, that we might have to in fact exchange some things. Or sometimes just wandering around looking and comparing. Now where was I stocking that one thriller plot?

That warehouse is an accumulation of all those things we’ve been exposed to, all our ideas, divided into two not-so-neat departments, nature and nurture. Not to say that we’re using “stock” characters or “stock” anything. For me—for any writer—that warehouse “stores” all the experiences I’ve had personally, all the people I’ve met and known, all the stories I’ve read, characters I’ve met, and more importantly, all the wonderful spaces and possibilities in-between where my ideas or the fragments of ideas to come may be found. And those departments are divided, of course, into other departments, other sections. Everyone’s is the same; yet everyone’s is so different.

So, there we are, trundling our shopping carts through those aisles, row upon row, shelves stacked. Signs overhead pointing to Department of  Plots & Subplots, and Department of Psychology (Character arcs) or Human Resources (heroes, heroines, secondary characters, villains). The World Market (world-building, settings).  Starter Kits (openings, themes, genres).  Department of Communications (dialogue, non-verbals). Research & Development. And in the back corner or perhaps the basement—isn’t it always—there’s… Bed Bath & Be-Erotic (with directions. Insert A into B—in infinitely (we hope) different ways). And so on. Oh, and don’t forget the Open Bin section, for those miscellaneous things—ideas returned or those we might use someday.

Obviously, some writers have more shelves stacked with particular things (in, for example, HR), like vampires and werewolves; others with action figures or hunky romance heroes, or hard-nosed detectives; and still others with female helicopter pilots and CIA operatives; beautiful suspense heroines, duchesses, teachers, wives and girlfriends.

But while you’re cruising those mental aisles, don’t forget about restocking those shelves. Yes, restocking. (Picturing myself struggling with a large box of dialogue, shelving it in Communications after a trip to the University? Or to uh…Craft Warehouse?) But restocking is the other fun part of writing. It’s refreshing your supply of …everything. Getting out and experiencing. Reading, researching. Then reorganizing. Sifting through. And restocking. And it’s all on the conveyor belt of Life.

Then it’s ready for you, the writer, to create something…with those elements of fiction. And like DNA—Recombinant. In this case, Dialogue, Narrative, Action and everything in-between.

The elements or molecules of fiction are the [writing sequences] that result from the use of the craft to bring together the writing material from multiple sources, creating sequences that would not otherwise be found in written “organisms.” Like Recombinant DNA, it is possible because those craft molecules share the same basic structure; they differ only in the sequence of elements within that “identical” overall structure. And of course, the writer’s creativity.

What’s on your list today?

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Note: (For the last paragraph on Recombinant DNA, I was paraphrasing from Wikipadia’s text on Recombinant DNA, but changing text to apply to writing, so I could “recombine” some metaphors.)

 

TOUCH & GO, by Lisa Gardner — Review

February 3rd, 2013

Cast:

Main character, the lovely and talented Libby Denbe.
Her husband, Justin Denbe.
Their beautiful 15-year-old daughter Ashlyn.
Investigator Tessa Leoni.
Wyatt Foster, sexy New Hampshire detective.
Ex-military and Special Forces.
With appearances by D.D. Warren.

Pain has a flavor. The question is, what does it taste like to you.

Boston’s exclusive Back Bay neighborhood, a gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street. A great marriage. A family who seemed to be admired and loved by all.

In the first chapter, three masked men attack and abduct them. When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives on the crime scene, the family has vanished without a trace—no witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive. Just a million tiny pieces of Taser confetti. Racing against the clock to locate the family, Tessa and Detective Wyatt team up, with the FBI, to uncover the family’s deepest secrets and a complex web of betrayal and big business. Who did it? Why did they do it? What happened to the family?

This is the truth: Love, safety, family…it’s all touch and go.

Gardner’s brilliant novel is a thriller as thrillers should be written. Tense and highly suspenseful, her latest features a delightfully fresh plot, a variety of unexpected twists and some great surprises. With the search to save this family and a family under immense pressure–this story is also definitely emotionally charged and compelling. Very engaging writing and wonderful, intriguing characters. (Loved the dynamic between Tessa and Wyatt.) Gardner is a suspense maestro. Unputdownable, fast-paced, utterly riveting. And a spectacular conclusion!

Lisa Gardner is the New York Times best-selling author of fourteen novels, including the D.D. Warren series: Catch Me, Love You More, Live to Tell, The Neighbor, Hide, and Alone. Her latest book, TOUCH & GO,  comes out February 5th, 2013, bringing back Tessa Leoni, a character who was first introduced in the book, Love You More.

 

Marketing for authors…and readers

January 19th, 2013

Marketing means ensuring your own “discoverability.” Or how readers on the internet can find you, can learn about you and your books, and maybe receive some free books or books at sale prices. It provides connection.

There are a number of sites that provide this, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads.

But there are some others that do this and they could be worth your time to check out.

The first is Bublish.com. (@Bublishme on Twitter). The site offers something for both readers and writers. There is an easily navigated author’s page, with the author’s picture, cover, synopsis, blurb(s), excerpt, link to the author’s website, and a buy link. This is great for both writers and readers, as readers can sign up and access the genres they love to read and enjoy new authors and books.

The second is Story Cartel (storycartel.com). This is a new site. Currently there are over 1,900 readers, who get notifications about free books and other cool stuff.  There is an author signup and dashboard. Readers sign up with name & email address. They notify readers when there are new book giveaways, and if  the book sounds interesting, then readers can sign up to review it. After reading and posting a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads or their blog, readers can submit the link to that review(s) and then get entered into raffles for more free stuff (such as gift cards from Amazon or B&N).

The third is BookBlast (BookBlast.co (note: it’s not .com, which is another website) ). It’s a Digital Media Revolutions site. Advertising for authors is free right now, in exchange for sharing their service with readers. When you plan to have a book on sale for less than $3, you can contact them for inclusion in their email blasts to readers. And readers can sign up to receive free and best-selling books at sale prices. Sign-up is easy.

The fourth is Criminal Element, a community website from Macmillan that features content for fans of crime fiction, mysteries, and thrillers, with excerpts, blurbs and blog highlights. Authors like John Connolly, Karen Robards and Joseph Finder have been featured in the past. Categories at Criminal Element are: Detective and police procedurals, traditional mysteries and cozy mysteries, thrillers and noir, historical mysteries and Westerns, and true crime and nonfiction. Readers can sign up to receive current info on their favorite genre and authors, enter book giveaways, and participate in book discussions on the site’s community forum.

The fifth one is Omnimystery Books (Omnimystery.com). They provide current information about everything about mysteries: books, authors, characters, movies, T.V series, and so on. Their emails contain links to free books on kindle, to books for less than $2.99, and so on. Authors can sign up for promotions, book reviews, guest blogging. and so on.  They also offer contests and author events.

Other sites to check out are First Glance Books, Tor.com, and Heroes and Heartbreakers.

What’s on your reading list? Are there other sites that you enjoy that I haven’t mentioned here?

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas & Character Arc

December 25th, 2012

In one of my Twitter posts, I commented that if you believe in grace, then God must have believed in Character arc. That’s probably true. This post is about character, but also about people and how fiction and the real mirror each other.

Regardless, it’s struck me again today how all humans are basically the same, wherever you go, whatever you do, whoever you meet. And the same is true for characters in novels. The truth of character and character traits is valid for life and vice versa. We all have the same spectrum of emotions, of agendas or goals, of desires and wants, of ways of thinking that are valid and not so valid. What we are is human, and there’s a lesson or at least food for thought in the way that those same character traits that are assigned to fiction characters are analogous to real people in real life.

One of the keys in real life or real fiction is that we don’t comprehend why the character or person does what they do, without reading the whole novel, and sometimes not even then. How could we? But we can try to understand, both  our similarities and our differences, by applying what we know about ourselves and other people’s stories to any story that we are exposed to–not that this means we will fully comprehend but that we have a better chance of doing so.

What I’m saying is that you take a basic proposed character for a story, and you give that character traits, usually traits that will most effectively resonant with the theme that you want to “illustrate” or give breath to, in your story, from a grouping of possible character traits. Those traits are simply traits, tacked on to the essential character, a cardboard representation of a person, until that stereotype or archetype gets filled out with those good AND bad character traits which make the character more real to us.

Those traits could be anything, from race to religion to hair color to skin color. From occupation to favorite pasttimes to ways of dealing with conflict. Some of those things, like ways of dealing with conflict, are keys to who we are, to the essential person. Some are just window dressing. But it does just come down to the fact the we ARE all the same, regardless of whether we are blonde or red-haired or black or Asian or white or Christian, Jewish or Muslim.

And because we are basically all the same, that means our civilizations and countries and organizations–all are basically the same too. Each has done good and bad. Each has had some kind of Group Think that leads to some kind of wrong-doing or some kind of real and lasting good. Each has similar faults, which is why people can write books that speak of how, in general, this (whatever it is) is how it is, and this is why such and such should be done instead. But each culture or country has done something not so good, each has been guilty of some kind of genicide, of some kind of terrorism, of some kind of greed or irresponsibility–some more, some less, some now, some in the past, and some most likely in the future.

What is good is that we, like the characters in our novels, can grow and change, become more, in order to deal with the obstacles that are presented to us, obstacles to our goals. But we are still essentially the same. Some people like to emphasize the differences, for good and bad. Some like to emphasize the similarities, for good or bad. Some people get caught up in thinking a group is either all bad or that they must be all good…otherwise it’s prejudice, but that’s just another form of prejudice.  No group–or person–is either all bad or all good.

I think we should emphasize and value both our similarities and our differences–as we do with any fictional character, hero, heroine or villain. That’s why we don’t write unsympathetic protagonists, because no one wants to read about them, and because they really don’t exist. Not that we should value badness. But only our perceptions of them exist or change, depending on what we know about them, how they are presented to us–or come presented to us or how those created preconceptions have blinded us sometimes to who people are, either a character or a real person. Our differences are tests, they are our obstacles to our potential–as both ourselves, and our countries and our world, could be thought of as the hero in our story.

Because we have those basic similarities and differences, we are mirrors of each other–all of us. Some recent readings come to mind here, when I think of mirrors. I’ve been reading “Wired for Story” by Lisa Cron, that one section about how we have “mirror neurons” that allow us to “experience” what other people experience, either by empathizing or by reading about other people/characters in story. [There is much more to it than that, but you’ll have to read the book.] So perhaps our basic wiring should give us hope, that in writing or reading our stories, especially the ones that most resonate with our most inner selves, we grow in both our understanding of others but also of ourselves, and perhaps that will lead us–all of us–to valuing both our differences and our similarities. It is only in those differences and similarities–what we are–that we will find the way as humans, as a country, as readers and writers and thus, as heroes or heroines in our own stories.

So this is my Christmas blog. Grace and character arc…birth, beginnings, potential, growth, conflict, resolution. Maybe I’ve said too little about too much or not enough. I certainly haven’t said everything I could say, or everything there is to say. Thoughts?

How is your Publishing sonar? Or Size matters?

November 24th, 2012

Publishing and the future. Change is, of course the key word here. We’ve been seeing change, but not much of a response from the big 6 publishers.

Now some of the big publishers are merging or considering a merger–Random House & Penguin and possibly now Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. One wonders if this is the best direction for them to go, but it certainly makes sense to want to combine resources to survive.  I enjoyed the November 3rd article on TechCrunch.com, the “Quick, Tie the Rafts Together” by Devin Coldewey (the link is here:  http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/03/quick-tie-the-rafts-together/ ) where he discusses the Random House/Penguin merger.

But with so many authors self-publishing and thus becoming entities that are both more nimble and faster in the new market–publishing in 2 months, thru ebooks, rather than in 2 years, thru print–I have to question this trend with publishers to want to go bigger. Normally, in the past, this would be the way to go in any industry that faces such change–to find ways to strengthen your company and maybe diversify a little.

It’s great that they’re finally really perceiving the need for change. As best-selling author and Cool Gus Publishing’s copublisher Bob Mayer said, back in April 2011 (and actually before that), the big publishers response to the epublishing trend was basically to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic–mostly they have been just protecting their turf (see his Write It Forward blog post, “I Don’t Know; I’m Guessing; I Know–the future of publishing for authors”). And in the industry itself, the rearranging has been in the percentage of books that are Indie vs Traditionally published, ebook vs print. Personally I like the combination–ebooks & print–and see the necessity for a combination of them in our society, but that’s another story.

I’ll take the analogy of the Titanic just a little further. The Titanic itself was so huge that it could not be turned in time to avoid that collision with the iceberg. And it didn’t help that it was also going too fast for the dangerous terrain.

So, while it’s good that these publishing houses are no longer just rearranging the deck chairs, are they becoming like the big ship itself? That is, a ship that’s too big to navigate through today’s uncertain waters, where the normal sonar may not register the shifting undercurrents and icebergs of change..or at least signal that a change of course could be needed quickly to avoid a disaster. And about the number of lifeboats…

As an aside, our government is facing the same issue. In the form of the Fiscal Cliff. Can we change course in time to avoid disaster? Congress seems to have its head in the sand.

On one final note, in the movie TITANIC directed by James Cameron, in the scene where most of the major characters are gathered around a table discussing the building of the huge ship, the heroine makes the comment about Freud’s theory on the male preoccupation with size. (In the context, it was funny.)

But it’s also interesting to note that one of the causes of the Titanic disaster was that the ship’s rudder…was built too small. A little irony.

In this case, maybe smaller would be better. The raft…

 

Halloween: spooky inspiration for writers

October 20th, 2012

First, some background. Halloween comes to us from ancient New Year festivals. The church, in A.D. 800’s, established All Saints’ Day–continuing a festival that was pre-Christian–and the evening before was All Hallow e’en.

Storytelling Traditions have included tales of ghosts, fortunetelling, and jack-o’-lanterns, turning the paranoia of past times into the paranormal of current times.

According to Irish legend, jack-o’-lanterns were named for a miser called Jack who couldn’t enter heaven or hell, and had to roam the earth, carrying a lantern, until Judgment Day. In the past, people in England and Ireland have carved beets, potatoes and turnips as the lanterns, but when the custom reached the U.S., pumpkins became the norm. Inspired by this, Ray Bradbury wrote The Halloween Tree.

Fortunetelling was popular, using coins, cards, and yarrow stalks (I Ching). It also often took the form of hiding objects in a cake: a ring, coin and thimble. The person who “found” the coin would become rich. The one who found the ring would marry soon, but the one who found the thimble would not.

People once believed that ghosts roamed the earth on Halloween, as though a chink in the netherworld opened briefly to let them all come out to play or wreak havoc. They also thought that witches gathered on that night to worship the devil.

All this is great foddor for stories. Many stories have opened with someone telling a story that was related to ghosts. Excellent examples are Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, or The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill.

Fortunetelling has been used in novels as well, such as A Wild Ride, by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, or  The Stockholm Octavo, by Karen Engelmann.

Other books with ghosts and witches, etc. would be Regarding Avalon, by Dom Ossiah, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and Touched by Cyn Balog, and books by Gregory Maguire, Wicked, and Out of Oz. There is also, of course, the very famous Harry Potter series about witches and warlocks by J.K. Rowling.

And Halloween can’t pass by without mentioning Vampires, those mythological and folkloric beings that were popularized in the early 18th century, coming to Western Europe from the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Books about vampires, of course, have become very popular, but some unique tomes that come to mind are Dracula, by Bram Stoker, The Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer, Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice, and the series beginning with Soulless by Gail Carriger.

And isn’t it interesting that the NANOWRIMO starts the day after Halloween.

So much to read. So much that could be written…

 

Interior Book Design — Ebooks

September 30th, 2012

I love ebooks. I buy them, borrow them. For my Kindle Fire.

But as a publishing professional, who has some training in interior book design and a love of books, I’ve noticed that ebooks don’t usually have a lot of interior design elements. I’d love to see the art of bookmaking restored, in epublishing. And maybe it will be. I’ve noticed a gradual change from the first ebooks, toward a certain standard, geared toward making the reading experience better, and for navigating through a book. Not that I wouldn’t buy an ebook that is basic in style or presentation. It’s not the wrapping but the substance that counts. It’s the writing, and writing a great book–writing great books–that gets reader to return to an author’s novels again and again.

And of course, there is always the cost consideration–costs for cover design, for formatting, and so on. And now add interior design?

But there is a part of me that would like to see a bit of a renaissance of the art of bookmaking, applied to ebooks. Certainly, there are parts of interior design that aren’t really needed in ebooks. Page numbers, or folios,  for example.

Interior design can add a little style, flavor, beauty and personality to books. An aesthetic appeal. There are typographical ornaments called Dingbats, and Drop caps. Running heads and running feet, chapters openings with design elements, front matter, back matter and epigraphs–all of these things are part of the art of bookmaking.

And certainly, ebooks have their own special interior attributes: links, dictionaries, and so on. I can’t complain–I’m still really appreciating them.

Epublishing is still changing, growing. Cover design still has its place. Maybe interior design will gradually emerge in ebooks too.

 

Writing Process en Plein Air

September 8th, 2012

The 2012 Plein-Air Write-Out took place this last weekend. I love this time spent outdoors in the country, brainstorming for ideas and writing, but also talking with all the artists and writers who participate every year, and who share their creative process and talents. The Write-Out jumpstarts my writing and creativity for the upcoming months.

The Pacific Northwest Plein Air in the Columbia River Gorge is a series of art events featuring the art and literary works of accomplished painters and writers. It’s now in its 8th year.

The center of the event is a five-day Paint-Out and Write-Out where works of art and writing are created at outdoor locations around the Columbia River Gorge—a National Scenic Area and one of the most beautiful areas in the Pacific Northwest. The locations and atmosphere provide inspiration to the artists and writers. The works created during these 5 days are then displayed (including the written works) at the Columbia Center for the Arts, in Hood River, Oregon. The framed artwork is available for purchase. The writing becomes part of an annual online Anthology.

One of the other things I like about this event is talking with other writers and artists about their perceptions–of the location, the event and their work–and their creative process.

More information about the event can be found at www.columbiaarts.org, plus the anthologies for past years. The 2010 anthology, which features my essay, “The Harvest from Earth’s Palette” can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3atorqg ; and the link for the 2011 anthology, which features my short, short story, “Ghost of a Chance” is here: http://tinyurl.com/3mdl99q .

There are usually about 41 artists and about 15 writers each year who partipicate. Some of the artists’ beautiful work is featured on the Columbia Arts website. The writers who share their talents with us in the anthologies, produce some marvelous, imaginative, fresh writing: poetry, prose, essays, stories.

This years anthology will be available in early October, I believe. I’ve written another short story–my own writing challenge.