An Interview with Me

I was interviewed by Tony Roberts today on his blog, A Way With Words.

Tony contacted me via my bio page on Today’s Author to ask if I would be willing to participate in the interview and I agreed.  He sent me a few questions about the Today’s Author site and my wishes for it, about the writing that has impacted my life and about my feelings relating to script production and story publication.  You can read the interview here, on Tony’s blog:  Interview with Author and Playwright Rob Diaz II

Check it out!

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My 2013 Anti-Resolutions

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on January 1, 2013, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year. Of course, for obvious reasons I need to stick with a nice, round number like thirteen…

  1. I will not pay $1000 for a Twinkie, whether it is in its original packaging or not, even though I have always wanted to try Weird Al Yankovic’s vegetarian Twinkie-Weiner sandwich.
  2. I will not ask my doctor for a prescription for my daily Starbucks coffee just so that I can submit it to my insurance company for reimbursement.
  3. I will not take all the silly, little sweaters we have for the dog and put them up for sale on eBay… even though the neighborhood dogs, cats and squirrels make fun of him whenever he goes outside wearing one.
  4. I will not tell visitors to my home that the boxes, bags, candy wrappers, shoes and laundry baskets full of intermixed clean and dirty clothes are there so that the cats and the dog who thinks he’s a cat can have a cheap, no-fuss and varyingly-complicated obstacle course to play in.
  5. Likewise, I will not tell visitors to my home that the boxes, bags, candy wrappers, shoes and laundry baskets full of intermixed clean and dirty clothes are there so that my children can learn about what life in college will be like. Well, I probably won’t…
  6. I will not proclaim that I have a five point plan to solve every issue I face in 2013.
  7. I will not ask the police to protect the driving public by blocking off the streets in our neighborhood before I take the teenaged neighbor girl out for a driving lesson in my manual shift car; I may, however, wear a helmet, safety goggles and/or wrap the car in bubble wrap before we go, though…
  8. I will not be a contestant on The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. I have not yet decided about the possibility of appearing on “Married to Jonas”, though.
  9. I will not be a Spice Girl.
  10. I will not be in the running to be the person Jenny McCarthy kisses for New Years 2014.
  11. I will not give up on my quest to ensure that everyone knows that the Mayans were not actually wrong.
  12. I will not include a chapter about my stint as the backup third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies in my unauthorized autobiography. I will also edit out the chapter about how I was screwed out of my gig to be Fergie in The Black-Eyed Peas.
  13. I will not spend much more time making plans to introduce as many types of insects and fruits to the little neighbor girl as I possibly can.
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My New Writing Gig

As most people who have followed my writing are aware, I have been involved with the Write Anything website for several years – first as a participant in the Fiction Friday writing prompts and subsequently as a contributor and deputy editor.

Write Anything is closing up shop this month and its departure left me and several others looking for a new gig.  What we decided to do was create our own little writing corner of the internet:  Today’s Author.  At Today’s Author, our goal is to inspire creativity.  We hope to provide insights, tools, tips and tricks for writing through regular posts, but we also hope to provide inspiration through our writing prompts and the interaction between us and our readers.  The goal, of course, is to be writing and in many ways each of us involved with Today’s Author has been inspired, sought inspiration or needed the inspiration of a solid, supportive writing community.

We want Today’s Author to be that community.

Our official launch is this coming Tuesday, January 1, 2013. It seemed fitting to start the new site along with the New Year.  That said, we did a soft launch this week to get some of the kinks out, work out some issues with the technology involved and figure out what we liked or didn’t like about our chosen theme. These kinks are further evidenced by my accidental publication of a post… supposed to be scheduled for January 2, 2013 but instead I published it on January 2, 2012. Sigh. There really isn’t all that much difference between 2012 and 2013 before the first cup of coffee of the day, is there? Anyway, my first post for the new site went live on December 24 and describes a little bit of where I am as a writer, where I have been and where I want to go.

So pop on over to Today’s Author.  Read the posts we have up already. Check out the author bio pages for our team.  Interact with the writers and readers of the site.  Click through on the writing prompt submissions to check out some neat new fiction that was written in response to the prompts.  And follow us.  You’ll be getting involved at the ground floor of something I hope will become really big!

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Release Announcment: Deck the Halls

I am pleased to announce that Emergent Publishing will release Deck the Halls: festive tales of fear and cheer worldwide on December 6, 2012. My story, “Yuletide Treasure” is included in this anthology.

front-cover-dthDeck the Halls: festive tales of fear and cheer
Editor: Jodi Cleghorn

Original Artwork: Andrew McKiernan

Cover Design: eMergent Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9871126-4-­4 (paperback)
978-0-­9871126-­5-1 (eBook)

Pages: 226

DECK THE HALLS traverses the joy and jeopardy of the festive season, from Yule to Mōdraniht, Summer Solstice to Years’ End. The stories journey through consternations and celebrations, past, present and future, which might be or never were.

Along the way you’ll meet troll hunters, consumer dissidents, corset-bound adventurers, a joint-­toking spirit, big-­hearted gangbangers, an outcast hybrid spaceship, petrol-toting politicians, mythical swingers and a boy who unwittingly controls the weather.

Heart-warming and horrifying, the collection is a merry measure of cross-genre, short fiction subverting traditional notions of the holiday season.

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The Iliad (in about a Page)

I have ranted about my hatred of summer reading programs many times in the past, specifically zeroing in on how they focus solely on “The Classics”, a term which is defined as “The Stuff Most People Would Never Read If They Had a Choice.” A friend of mine recently lamented needing to write a one-page summary of “The Iliad” and how hard it was to condense everything down to just one page. It has been a long, long time since I read The Iliad but I decided to take a stab at it.  The following is what I came up with — it fits on one letter-sized Microsoft Word page (.5 inch margins on all sides). My daughter enjoyed it and thought I should share it with the world.  Since I live only to make her happy, I’ve posted this, the first in what looks like will be a series of approximately one-page summaries of The Classics (and other things).  Enjoy!

This one time, at Battle Camp, there were these beautiful maidens. The maidens, Chryseis and Briseis, had been captured from the town of Chryse by the Greek army because that’s what armies are meant to do when they finish sacking their enemies. Chryseis of Chryse, cried out to her daddy. Her dad, Chryses, was all too familiar with his daughter’s many crises, but she had him wrapped around her finger so he knew he had to help. Seeing as he was a two-faced priest of Apollo (the god, not the lunar mission) he kindly offered a huge ransom for his daughter’s safe return while also viciously praying for Apollo to destroy the Greek army. Apollo, being a compassionate god, complied and sent a terrible plague into the camp. When Agamemnon, a more important Greek army dude than I am, learned that the plague decimating his people was due to the beautiful maiden, he reluctantly agreed to send Chryseis back to her daddy.

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