Stop. Novel Time.

ImageIt’s been awhile.

Yes, I’ve been away from the keyboard for a bit since my last post. No excuses, no explanations  other than the unavoidable fact that life often intervenes when least expected.

What matters is, I’m back. With a vengeance.

I’m kick off my return to the word by joining up with the National Novel Writing Month challenge, during which I will be converting my short story A Little Hike into a full-length novel. Continue reading


Franzen Hates E-books and Oprah, Yet Still Uses Both to Sell Books

Deutsch: Ortsende von Franzen in Niederösterreich

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Speaking of saying stupid things in public, it seems that Jonathan Franzen recently jumped on the anti-eBook bandwagon during a recent speaking engagement:

“The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it’s pretty good technology. And what’s more, it will work great 10 years from now… I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change…” Continue reading

Hot for Teacher(‘s Romance Novels)

Timken Roller Bearing Co., calendar, September...

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

While browsing through the news this morning (a daily ritual that is quickly becoming a strain on my sanity and peace of mind), I came across an article about Judy Buranich, an English teacher in Middleburg, Pennsylvania that is also a published romance novelist.

On the surface, this shouldn’t seem like such an odd concept. It is only natural that someone who loves the English language enough to dedicate themselves to teaching it to others should use it in their non-educational life as well. In fact, you could almost consider it a plus to have your child being taught how to read and write by a successful author.

Unfortunately, it turns out that not everyone is of the same mind (a predicament I have become accustomed to over the years). Continue reading

Rejection Junction

Classical ideal feedback model. The feedback i...

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I received a rejection notice this morning for a short story I’ve been shopping around. It’s the sixth rejection for this piece, and I have been fortunate to receive personal feedback with all of them. Unfortunately, the feedback has not been unanimous.

Why do I say unfortunately? It all comes down to the problem of deciding which feedback to consider, and which feedback to ignore. This topic came up a couple of time in the creative nonfiction workshop I was involved with last fall, as many of the younger students were facing this dilemma for the first time. Primarily used to receiving critical analysis from one or two authority figures (teachers, professors) and general encouragement from less critical audiences (friends, family members), they now found themselves on the receiving end of often contradictory opinions and advice from a room full of people not only intimately familiar with the written word, but the creative process as well. It’s one thing to have your friends read your work and either “like” it or “not get” it, but something completely different to be receiving in-depth critiques from a dozen or so fellow writers. Continue reading

James Frey Cashes In Again

Sweatshop project
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I won’t bother paraphrasing the entire Guardian article linked below, as I urge you to read the full piece. James Frey has come under fire for starting up his own author-mill publishing company featuring young adult novel series collaborated on by young adult writers. The main argument against Frey’s new company, Full Fathom Five, is that he is basically exploiting young writers, desperate to break into the field and quite possibly too inexperienced to realize how much they are being used by him. Other authors and publishers have pointed to his contracts with the young writers, calling them draconian and (I love this, considering Frey is an author himself) Dickensian, with Frey retaining creative control and full copyright over all work produced by his young, eager staff of writers. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Bela!

Bela Lugosi circa 1920 Source http://www.docto...
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It is very fitting that my new book, Performed by Lugosi, should be released in October. Not only is October the center of the halloween celebration, a period during which a majority of Lugosi’s films gain a resurgence of attention, but it also happens to be the month of Lugosi’s birth. Bela Lugosi was born on October 20th in Lugos, Hungary as Bela Blasko, roughly fifty miles from the original Dracula‘s Castle. Considering the vast amount of hours I spent watching and researching some of Lugosi’s best and worst performances, I think it only fair that I take a moment to extend my most grateful and appreciative birthday wishes to the late, great actor.

Happy Birthday, Bela.

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Avatar Revisited: Opening Pandora’s Box

Rita, il mio Avatar preferito!!!

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I’ve been talking about James Cameron’s Avatar quite a bit recently.

Not completely by choice, mind you. MovieSucktastic co-host Joey and I did indeed see Avatar opening weekend, 3D and all, mainly so we could review it and get it out of the way. Our Podcast and Blog reviews were rather tepid and dispassionate: the story was bland and uninspiring, and while the effects were great, they didn’t push the envelope of 3D or CGI as far as the hype implied. Not completely bad, but nothing mind blowing, with a few good moments and enough eye-candy to make it worth watching. I personally filed my unimpressed opinion and moved on.

The all sorts of Hell broke loose. Continue reading