Sunday, December 26, 2010

Indigo Rising Press--Two Poems

Just a quick post to announce that my poems "For the Professor Whose Name I Share" and "Speechless" have been accepted for publication at Indigo Rising Press. You can access the pieces here.

If you like my writing and want to keep in touch, you can "follow" me by clicking the button on the right toolbar. You can sign in with a google, youtube, or twitter account, or create a new profile in seconds. You can also subscribe to my blog via RSS and comment with your email to be added to my update mailing list. Thanks to everyone for your support.

Monday, December 20, 2010

FREE BOOKS! And acceptance updates

Two things:

First, hop over to Outside Writers and consider joining a book club where you get free books mailed to you--for free! I talked to an author who's working on the project and it's legitimate. Check it out and let them know I sent you!

Second, I wanted to post new info about a few pieces.

My poem "No Country" has been accepted at Heavy Hands Ink. Look for it in February.

My short story "Waiting for the Rain" will be featured in The Legendary volume appearing this Monday (today!).

LITSNACK has accepted "Burning" with a publication date of a few months from now.

My poem "Release Me" has been accepted at vox poetica with a tentitive publication date in April.

Also: My good friend Keri from Write Turn Here had a poem published in one of my favorite web based literary magazines. You can read "We met in a Van Gogh Painting" here

Finally, get writing! Take five minutes to describe something odd that recently happened to you. Write it down. Time yourself. Pick a moment that was random or competely unrelated. Now tuck that away somewhere safe (leave it here as a comment!) and you can come back to it later to develop.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Food for the Soul...and the Body

     I love to cook, and my approach to cooking is very like my approach to writing. I don't really follow recipes. I read a lot of cookbooks, and eat a lot of different foods. After thinking it over, there are a lot of similarities between the two art forms (because, yes, cooking is an art. You'll see if I can convince my favorite food blogger to do an interview for me.) Does that sound odd? Consider the following examples.

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 Baltimore Writer's Conference: Notes and Remarks

On November the 20th, I attended the Baltimore Writer's Conference at Towson University with a few friends. The keynote speaker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, gave an inspring speech on the art of writing and her personal journey as a writer. The workshops included topics on freelancing, how to write a good opening, and how to write about sex. Attendees also had a chance to have their work critiqued by several presenters. The experiance was amazing and I'm even more excited for the AWP Conference. Below are my notes from the workshops I attended, I hope they will help you as well.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Can't Get Published if You Don't SUBMIT! And other things you should know about the writing game.

My first month of college at a four year university has flown past, and I'm left with an overwhelming sense of regression. The one thing that strikes me more than any other change is that it seems like being published in the college's literary magazine is the most advanced most students have achieved: and not through any fault of their own. Now, I may be wrong! I haven't taken any writing classes yet, I'm just basing this off of what I've been told by other students in my English classes. At my community college, I had a dedicated professor who challenges her students to submit their work not only to the campus literary magazine, but also to other magazines. Not only does she require her creative writing students to submit work to several different publications, but she prompts her literature students to do the same. Our English Club is full of writers of all different genres and skill levels, but we share our knowledge, spend our time to critique each others works, and encourage each other towards higher standards. I don't think this is because Hagerstown, MD is such a fertile ground for writers, but because the talent that was naturally present was coaxed into being active by a professor who encourages all her students to join her in the ranks of published authors.

That doesn't mean that Towson is full of less able writers or that the school has less of a draw on artistic types, but that campus writers need the information. What I'd like to do is to provide the information that students need. Getting published is a lot easier than it seems to's all about submitting. Just like finding a job, you have to fill out a lot of applications before you get hired (at least nowadays you do!). This blog post will cover the basics on how to submit, as well as link to some handy information posted by various magazines.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Characters, Pseudonyms, and Metafiction

     When I started my Creative Writing class this summer, I set two goals for myself: to write more, and to experiment with different styles. I began the course primarily as a poet, but I am enjoying the freedom fiction allows me. For my second major assignment in the class, I decided to toy around with metafiction ( The piece I ended up with was a far cry from my usual writing; it employed stream of consciousness, postmodernism, and metafiction. It also contained language I wouldn't be comfortable using in front of my family or many of my teachers. I've been struggling with where to place the piece, or if I could submit it for publication at all. I could hardly brag about the publication while simultaneously keeping it secret from my ultra conservative family. My Creative Writing teacher suggested a pseudonym, and that idea has been growing on me for several reasons.

     The anonymity of the internet has made it easy for people to assume alternate identities and develop relationships that wouldn't progress in a real time situation. But writers have been creating characters to tell their stories for them long before the technological revolution. Samuel Clemens is a classic example: he crafted Mark Twain to be a character, who then created the likes of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Similarly, Robert Frost cultivated a very specific image of himself. Taking metafiction, then, which is fiction discussing the art of fiction, and adding another layer by creating a character to become the author, seems to lead to a stronger metafictional piece and almost another literary device altogether. The author becomes a character, and behind that character is me, the "man behind the curtain" or more appropriately, the woman typing on the keyboard. While I could just use a pseudonym, and publish my work under a different name, I am considering turning that pseudonym into a fully blown character a la King's Richard Bachman or Clemens' Mark Twain. The definition of "being a writer" has changed considerably with technology and developing literary techniques. As media and entertainment become more interactive, I imagine that an imaginary author, with publications under her imaginary belt, could well blog about her imaginary life and her imaginary experiences, creating more art in the process.

     This is hardly a new idea. Artists from several different genres are toying about with interactive entertainment: check out Nine Inch Nail's Year Zero album, for instance, or the interactive sites NBC put up for Lost. As technology changes, and as consumers become jaded by their many options, writers have mainly kept to the same traditions they've used for thousands of years. The average fiction reader wants to be immersed in the art they're experiencing: but it's important to let the reader control the level of immersion. One of the major reasons for the success of NIN's Year Zero album is that it catered to all levels of interest. Fans can choose just to access the music, or to explore the ARG (Alternate Reality Game) to its fullest extent. I feel that, as writers in a technological age, authors need to be more flexible to new formats and new types of writing while striving to keep that writing accessible to readers seeking varying degrees of experience.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jumping on the Bandwagon...

I sometimes feel like a bumbling giant around my friends. They are fluent in all the latest trends in writing, know all the best magazines, and can give you detailed information on how to submit writing. They give themselves deadlines and word limits for daily writing, create blogs to "get their name out there" and network like literary socialites. I submit things here and there, get a nice balance of acceptances vs. rejections, and consider myself content. This is not, apparently, acceptable for SOME friends, and I know I have family and friends who would like to follow my "budding literary career" somewhere more professional than Facebook. So here I am, and hopefully I won't bore the world with my prattling. Enjoy!