Writing

“Thlush-a-lum” to be published in PULP Literature!

I’ve been sitting on this news all summer! But that’s my own fault, because I insist on signing a contract before I announce any of my fiction publications. Which means the contract is signed, and I have a new short story coming out at the end of the year!

“Thlush-a-lum” will be published in the Winter 2015 issue of PULP Literature, a newish speculative fiction magazine that came to be through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013.

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Issue #5 will be released electronically and in paperback form, and you bet I’ll update you once buy links become available. In addition to four yearly issues of the magazine, PULP Literature runs a number of contests that often feature publication as a prize. Their editors’ blog is also a fount of useful information for writers. Peruse away!

What’s “Thlush-a-lum” about, you wonder? It’s pure horror that would qualify as flash fiction in most markets. The story came about when I challenged myself to write something more focused on the sense of sound than the other four I more commonly use in my writing. Many of those sounds are inspired by what I could hear from my own Southern bedroom window…and a few sounds that I swear I’ve been able to hear no matter where I’ve lived.

The first few lines? Certainly.

Markella’s earliest memories are of the sounds outside her window. At hours when no men moved, rustling branches and shuffling grass woke her. A beating pulse like slower, fleshier helicopter blades banished sleep: thlush-a-lum thlush-a-lum. In summers, the heat in her attic bedroom hot enough to incubate, Markella pushed the window open and dozed to the endless static drone of cicadas. In winters, choking radiator warmth wrapped tight around her, she cracked the window and the low, deep hoots of an owl drifted in with the freezing breeze.

The sounds crept in no matter the season.

And you know I like to include a photo to set the mood when I can…

thlush a lum photo

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The General Hospital Fan Club Weekend – 2014, Available now!

Another photography credit for me, another chance for the unabashed soap opera lovers among us to pick up a nifty photobook! Once again, Katrina Rasbold, my fearless leader at All My Writers for the last, oh, almost decade, has released a Yearbook of this year’s General Hospital Fan Club Weekend. She writes the reports; I take the photos.

This 180-page book is jam-packed with full-color photos of General Hospital‘s past and present-day stars from 4 days of events. There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes gossip to boot. What’ll you learn about in the Yearbook? As Katrina writes,

New couples, new babies, famous spouses, Hollywood royalty, a bit of a smack-down from Executive Producer, Frank Valentini, a “Blast From the Past” actor with some very unconventional claims and advice to fans, two Rabbis, plenty of selfies, a double-helping of Michael Corinthos, a male heart-throb who broke all of our hearts on screen, a current GH couple who ditched us, graphic novels straight from ComiCon, impossible schedules, careers made and broken, dogs and cats living together… this year had it all! 

Our print copies of last year’s yearbook sold out as soon as the doors to the main cast event opened, so you know these are beautiful keepsakes for the GH fans among us. Both full-color and black and white paperback versions are available from Amazon.

Color:                      Black and White:
         

I couldn’t leave you without sharing my favorite photos from the event, could I? I was so delighted to see Scott Clifton at the Past Cast Event. Him and Michael Sutton appearing made my weekend.

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I hope you enjoy the 2014 Yearbook!

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WBC14: My Thoughts on the Wine Bloggers Conference

It’s been a little over a week since I returned home from the Wine Bloggers Conference in Buellton (WBC14), and I’ve had enough time to form some opinions on the experience. Overwhelmingly, those opinions are good, and they come from the perspective of a first-time attendee who didn’t entirely know what to expect from the event.

Did not expect ultrasound oxidation!

Did not expect ultrasound oxidation!

Did expect plenty of this.

Did expect plenty of this.

I wouldn’t qualify my experience as negative in any way. My thinky thoughts are more about defining what sort of wine writer I am and considering whether that fits into the WBC’s intended audience or not.

1. Value

The conference was run by Zephyr Adventures, which as their website rightfully claims, “specialize[s] in providing our travelers with big experiences from a small company at a fair price.” That company description exactly sums up my overall opinion of the conference. If nothing else, WBC14 offered two and a half days’ worth of unending wine tastings, two meals a day–

Fare at the Wine Blogger Awards dinner.

Fare at the Wine Blogger Awards dinner.

–the chance to get to know other wine writers and a bevy of industry professionals, and an afternoon spent at the Sanford Winery nestled in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA all for $100 for citizen bloggers like myself.

Next, add in the amazing value of the multiple excursions the conference put together. I attended the Bridlewood excursion for only $15, and we enjoyed a large picnic lunch at the winery’s immensely scenic grounds—

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–tastings of their wines with the meal, and a panel of local food producers that resulted in yes, more food and wine.

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