Monthly Archives: October 2009

Publishing Opportunity for Young Writers

Are you a young writer looking for publishing opportunities? Writers 25 and under with unpublished short pieces should check out Survival By Storytelling Magazine, a small publication by blogger Shaun Duke and Young Writers

SBS publishes short work of any genre by young authors. Fiction, plays, poetry and nonfiction articles are all accepted. Submission guidelines and other information can be found at the website.

SBS has no set print schedule as yet, but the first issue is currently available in print or electronic format.

Thanks to Tia Nevitt’s Debuts and Reviews for spreading the word online about this new publishing opportunity.

Boy, now I’m wishing that I hadn’t turned 26 eleven days ago! 🙂



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Following my October vacation to the Sirens conference, I’ve fallen behind with my usual life schedule. Sadly, all of my best habits (writing regularly, exercising, cooking healthy food, blogging) have gone by the wayside.

With October nearly over and NaNoWriMo upon us, I realize it’s time to get back in shape (figuratively and, okay, maybe literally too!).

Some goals. Ahem.

This blog now has a regular posting schedule–new posts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. T, Th and Sa feel like the “even” days of the week to me, with MWF being the “odd” days. That may sound strange, but anyway, I like the even days better, and that’s when I’m going to post.

Once NaNo starts, I’ll work on the sequel to FLYNN, which should motivate me to complete my research on medieval warfare. Also, once I’m back in FLYNN mode, I can go back for that final revision of the final chapter in book I–a task which has been nagging me for two months now.

As I have a lead on my graphic novel, I’ll also spend some time each day working on that.

Those are my main goals. I’m thinking that exercise and eating right will fall in line again once I get back on a regular schedule.

October was fun, but it’s time to buckle down and hit the work (as soon as the madness that is Halloween ends).


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Filed under General Writing

Readalong With The Seasons–Halloween ’09

“Readalong With the Seasons” is a new series of posts offering suggestions for quality books to get you and your family “in the mood” for upcoming holidays! As Halloween approaches, I’ve hand-picked a short list of my favorite spooky tales.

Full-length novel: DRACULA by Bram Stoker

Written more than one hundred years ago, this classic horror novel became the foundation of much pop-culture vampire lore. It continues to thrill and chill modern readers. Dracula, an age-old vampire, comes to England for fresh victims, and an unlikely team of ordinary citizens fights to save the country (and one of their own members) from Dracula’s appetite.

For the kids: THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING by Linda Williams and Megan Lloyd

This classic has been around for twenty years–I had it read to me at school in second grade! A little old lady who is not afraid of anything gets chased home by a full set of clothes and an enormous pumpkin head. Will she overcome her fears and put these miscreants to good use?


When the librarian leaves the library window open at night, bats take their opportunity to fly inside and have their turn at reading books. Cunningly illustrated with a particular attention to detail, this book will delight little ones with its rhymes and adorable presentation of friendly bats.

Short story: THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by Washington Irving

Looking for a  mood piece to read the day of, before Trick-or-Treaters show up? You have all Saturday for reading this year, so crack open Washington Irving’s classic story. Despite its old-school style and lack of gore, it creates a creepy atmosphere equal to that of any 1980’s slasher fest.

Happy reading, and Happy Halloween,



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For the first time–ever–I’m going to participate in NaNoWriMo. I wanted to last year, but urgent revisions on my novel prevented me from starting any new rough drafts. You can’t churn out revisions on a quick schedule the way you can with fresh material.

However, before NaNo, I have a few housekeeping matters with my writing. The first being to send out the two short stories I’ve been meaning to submit to Glimmer Train. They both need to go in the October publication categories, which gives me a deadline of–eleven days. Yikes. Not long.

Furthermore, before I can start the sequel to FLYNN (which is my NaNo project) I must acquire a reasonable amount of knowledge about medieval warfare. Hopefully, this rather enormous task can bleed over into the month of November a bit, as I don’t have to write all the battle scenes right at the start of the month. And if they suck, who cares–it’s a rough draft for crying out loud!

So this is my agreement with myself. I will post regular updates every day until NaNo to keep myself accountable online for everything I have to do. We’ll see how far I get. Hopefully during NaNo I will update much more frequently because I’ll be on the computer all the time anyway.



Filed under General Writing

Trekking Through the Rockies

I just finished up my long trek to Colorado for the inaugural year of the Sirens conference, and boy oh boy was it a week of adventure! It was an exercise in socializing, networking, intellectualizing…and survival.

The altitude alone took some endurance. Crammed into the car with my husband and parents (our luggage practically spring-loaded the trunk), we made the ear-popping climb to Vail, CO, to be hit with thin air, altitude headaches, scaly lips and aching noses (from the dry air). The town roundabout nearly got the best of our online directions, but at last we found our lodge and settled in.

The conference itself was amazing. Everyone had one big thing in common–our love of female fantasy lit. We found a library book table to tempt us with fresh fantasy releases, and a myriad of classes, presentations and keynote speeches. The danger of the conference lay in the sheer enormity of the “To Be Read” list that every attendee inevitably went home with.  And don’t forget the Night and Court Ball, at which everyone busted a move on the dance floor at least once. (Think a whole roomful of girls dancing to “Love Shack.” And singing it. Even the weird-voice-guy’s lines).

The highlight of my weekend was, of course, getting personal advice from author Sherwood Smith on writing war scenes in fantasy novels. I mean, how often do you get personal tips from a successful writer about the very thing you’re working on?

The rest of my trip has been…interesting. After the conference, we came to Estes Park for two days. Estes Park did not get the memo about fall lasting through October, so it skipped to winter instead. We did our hiking through snowstorms, narrowly avoiding hypothermia and starvation at every turn (we were on a trail for two hours with only granola bars. Oh the horror!). I have to admit, it was an incredible feeling to be literally in the middle of the wilderness during a snowstorm. Puts a whole new perspective on respecting mother nature.

I made it through the week without adding TOO many books to my ever-growing “to be read” pile. Not too many. I think.

The Prophecy of the Sisters

Mad Ship

Ship of Destiny



Song of the Lioness (and following volumes)

This is my last night in Colorado. Tomorrow, we’ll do horseback riding and then head home. I love the mountains, but somehow I can’t wait to see flatlands again.



Filed under YA lit

Another silly rat obit–rest in peace, Ziggy

by Rachel Heston Davis

Ziggy Rat
Ziggy the Rat (aka Ziggurat), two-and-a-half, of Edwardsville, IL, died Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 at Hawthorne Animal Hospital from complications of mammary cancer and old age.

Born in early 2007, Ziggy spent the first part of his life in Petco of Rockford, IL before being purchased by the Davis family and taken to Oregon, IL.

Ziggy was a quiet, unassuming rat. He served as second in command under his cagemate Krycek, and bore many months of being turned on his back and groomed against his will on Krycek’s whims. Later in life, Ziggy became co-dictator of the cage when Krycek’s aging body put them on equal footing, and the brother rats lived out their retirement as friends.

Ziggy’s favorite hobbies were eating; jumping from the chair to the couch; hopping; weaving his head at sharp noises; begging for Yogies; and climbing up his owners to reach whatever food they were eating.

Ziggy is survived by a mamma rat Rachel; a dadda rat Jaron; four grandparent rats; aunt rats Holly and Christy; many friends; his favorite plastic igloo; and a bucket of Yogies. He was preceded in death by his cagemate Krycek.

A private ceremony was held late Sept. 29 at The Pasture cemetary, Heston Residence, IL.  The family has requested that all memorials be made in the form of spreading the word about the evils of feeding live rodents to snakes.


Filed under life, Satire