Chapter Two of DinoLand is live at Geek Eccentric today!

Picture 1It’s the first Sunday of April and that means that DinoLand’s second chapter is online today at Geek Eccentric.

This month’s chapter features a new point of view character, a brachiosaurus with a problem and a possible business deal that could cause even more problems for the people at the park who love the dinosaurs. Oh, and a child disappears.

Head on over and check it out, sci-fi and dinosaur lovers.

 

DinoLand news and even bigger news.

Just a brief post to tell you that the second chapter of DinoLand goes live at Geek Eccentric tomorrow. (Update: Click here to read it.)

Quite frankly, I’m proud as can be to be posting the chapter as scheduled, especially because of my second piece of news: On Tuesday, my husband and I became parents to T.W., a little boy.

We know next to nothing about babies, so there’s been a big learning curve here. Fortunately, the baby knows nothing about human society, so for all he knows, we’re doing everything right. And bonus: he speaks no English, so he doesn’t understand us when we say things like “He’s been quiet for a long time. Is he still breathing?” or “Oh no. I just realized the last time I changed a diaper was in 1994.”

Not that I mind any of this.
As terrified as I’ve been of motherhood my whole life (and that terror is not entirely gone), T.W. is the most excellent, most natural addition to our household. I’m just really happy he’s here.

Mommy's little writers block.

Mommy’s little writer’s block.

 

 

Undertow: the first piece in my short story experiment.

undertowSome things take me a while.

More than a year ago, I decided to release some of my previously-published short stories electronically on Amazon. So I waited for an evening when my husband was out, then climbed into the bathtub with a handful of seashells, a tube of red food coloring and a camera, because that’s what committed authors do.

Then I asked people to vote on the bloody seashell photos on my Facebook page. And then I started working on the short story itself, which was published in 2003 by a journal, but which I wanted to tweak.

I ended up tweaking it a lot. It took me a good year, and I didn’t post much about it, but I’m happy to announce that it’s done, the cover art is complete and the story itself is finally posted on Amazon.

Thank you to everyone who voted on the images last year. I look forward to my next project, which will probably involve me taking photos of rusty tools in a dark basement with just a flashlight as a light source.

 

The “what are you reading” survey so far: no one wants to admit to reading erotica.

It’s been two weeks since I asked readers to tell me all sorts of things about who they are, what they’re reading, and — most distressing for many of them — what their favorite books are.

I am nowhere near where I’d like to be with this survey; so far I have only 32 respondents. I’m renewing my plea for people to take the survey (you can click the link to the left or start the survey by scrolling to the bottom of this post) and share it.

That said, I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far from the survey:

  • 41 percent of respondents are between 20 and 30, and therefore could be extras on Girls.
  • The top three genres respondents read Literary Fiction (12 percent), Historical Fiction (8 percent), and Mystery (8 percent).
  • One brave soul admits to reading Erotica. (Come on! It’s an anonymous survey. I know there are more of you out there.)
  • While 47 percent of respondents prefer physical books, 47 percent read both physical books and ebooks interchangably.
  • Lots of people get their books at the library.

My favorite answers for Who Is Your Favorite Author so far:

  • John Irving, Wally Lamb, Truman Capote (I think this might be cheating)
  • Impossible to pick one.
  • A. J. O’Connell, then Salman Rushdie.(Thanks, Mom!)

My favorite answers to What Is Your Favorite Book of All Time so far:

  • Also a very difficult question to answer, but if I could only read one book over and over again for the rest of my life, I would pick A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.
  • You have to be kidding!

Thank you to the 32 people who took the survey so far, and once again, I beg you all to take the survey below and share, share, share. I want to get as much data as possible so I can keep sharing it with you all.

Chapter 1 of DinoLand debuts today!

Chapter 1 of DinoLand is live over at Geek Eccentric right now. DinoLand, Ch. 1I’ve just run around the house yelling “Ahhhhh, it’s alive” and now that I’m settled down, I’m posting here while I can sit still.

If you like dinosaurs, sci-fi, or thrillers head over to Geek Eccentric and check out Chapter 1. If you really like it, return on the first Sunday of each month for a new chapter.

(FYI: I’m going to be changing this page today so that you’ll be able to access the latest DinoLand chapters right from the menu at the top.)

I really, really, hope you enjoy this. Rawr.

 

Writing after the MFA: The Book

Now What MFA Guide

Yeah. Now what?

After I graduated from my MFA program in 2011, I wrote about how it can be a struggle to keep writing after getting a Masters of Fine Arts degree in fiction: you leave a ready-made community of writers and a system of built-in deadlines and head back out into the world, where life is waiting in the shadows, twirling its proverbial mustache and rubbing its hands together with wicked glee, just waiting to get in the way of your good writing habits.

So what do you do? I’ve tried to answer that question for myself on this blog a few times, but now I can share a project I’ve been working on with several other writers, which answers the question in much greater depth.

Allow me to introduce Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success after the MFA. It’s a non-fiction book containing essays by 46 contributors who all attempt to answer that very question: Now what?

The book’s electronic edition is being launched this very evening at the AWP conference, so if you’re out in Seattle right now, you should definitely head to the swanky launch party at the Seattle Art Museum tonight at 6:30 p.m. I won’t be there — I’m too close to my due date for travel —  but all sorts of fun people who are still allowed to drink will in attendance.

I worked as a chapter editor on this book for a little more than a year, so I can say with authority (because I’ve read my two chapters over and over and discussed other chapters with other editors) that although the book is aimed at MFA grads, you don’t need to be one to benefit from the book.

There are essays about finding agents, about the publishing industry, about working with writing groups and there’s one chapter, which I think will be very popular because it addresses the question of how to make ends meet while working on your masterpiece.

Definitely check it out if you’re at AWP this week. (I mean, there’s a party and you’re right there – why wouldn’t you go?) If you’re not there, check it out on Amazon, and if you’re more interested in a physical book, no worries; the paperback edition will be released in July. (Did I mention that the book also includes an article about e-books vs. physical books? Guess who contributed that one.)