Tag Archives: library

August 8 – It’s Here! It’s Here!

Today I came home to find a terrific surprise. I received my check and author copy of the Big Book of Bizarro, for the short story I sold (“Losing Control”, on page 392). It’s official. I’m a published author!

OMG. I’m still a bit freaked.

Okay. Deep breaths. Relax. It’s just a book, right? Ommmm….

All right, that didn’t work. I guess I’m just going to have to gush. I guess we’ll start with the acknowledgements. That’s what writers do, right. They thank all the little people who helped make it all happen. And by little people, I mean all the people who are so much cooler than I am that inspired me to be more like them. So where do I start?

I think I’ll start with Zombie Joe. He got me started. Last year he inspired me to finally start writing again. He got me into NaNoWriMo and hooked me up with a lot of local author types. And he kept me writing by providing a sounding board for me to talk about my stories and ideas, and by telling me cool stories about other authors he knows personally, like Jim Butcher, Mark Henry, and Alex Bledsoe. Thanks Joe!

I also want to thank one of my co-contributors to the anthology that my short story is appearing in, Mercy Loomis. She is also a member of my critique group, and gave me vital feedback that helped me make the story good enough to submit. Not only that, but she was the one that told me about the submission call in the first place. And then, if it wasn’t for her I might have backed out of submitting the story. Just before the deadline I started second-guessing myself and my story, thinking that it probably didn’t fit what they wanted. But she told me to submit it anyway, and she was right! And to top it all off, she gave me crucial advice when it came to signing my first contract. Thanks Mercy! (Her story is called “Succor the Child” on page 355, and it’s awesome!)

I also want to thank the rest of the critique group, Jesilea Ryan and Jenny Lowe. They also gave me a lot of help working out the issues with the story. It got stronger and better with each pass.

Next on my list are my family and friends that have been reading my stuff and giving me feedback. Their comments usually aren’t as focused or as helpful as my critique group, but it is nice to know I have their support.

I also want to thank my local librarians. They have also been really helpful and supportive as I have been working on my writing career. And they even promised to order a copy of the book so that everybody in Madison will be able to read our stories!

And last but not least, I want to thank the editors Rich Bottles Jr and Gary Lee Vincent for accepting my story and marking my debut into the world of publishing.

Now, who’s next?










The Big Book of Bizarro


I just killed off my co-worker in my current short story/novella project, “The Hunt”. I’m still working on the ending, and I have already burned through three drafts of the beginning. Hopefully this will all coalesce into something worthwhile soon. I’ll see you all back here on Thursday for another update.


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Filed under Fiction, Networking, Submissions, The Writing Experience

ROW80 Check-in


  1. Spend at least half an hour every day on writing or editing, an hour on weekends
  2. Finish rewrite of Dragons At Dawn
  3. Post to my blog on the ROW80 update days (Sunday and Wednesday)
  4. Read at least one of my books on writing every week

I have been concentrating on editing this week, getting ready to submit Finding Valhalla for the WisCon Writer’s Workshop. I’ve got it about half-way done, but I’ll really need to hit it hard if I’m going to have 10,000 words edited by Friday. I haven’t done anything with Dragons At Dawn yet, but that will be next on the list starting Saturday.

I have been reading Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell this week. A very good book, but so far it isn’t telling me a lot about editing, just about how the book should be written in the first place. I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish it this week, but at least I am reading it. I also picked up another dozen writing books, including Save the Cat, Make a Scene, Stein on Writing, and Writing the Breakout Novel. I will probably post an updated list of my writing library next week.

And now, back to my edits! Come back on Sunday and I’ll give you a report on OddCon. It should be fun!


Filed under ROW80

My Writing Library

It has taken me a long time to finally get started on my writing. I always wanted to write, but never thought I had a good enough story to tell. That didn’t stop me from learning more about writing though. Over the course of many years I have assembled a library of books that I thought would help me to be a better writer when the time came. And since I recently ordered more to fill in some gaps in my tools I thought now would be a good time to share a list of what I have on my shelf with my faithful readers.

A lot of these books are no longer in print. The Writer’s Handbook is so old (1988) it doesn’t even have an ISBN. But then, I would encourage you to look for newer editions anyway. If you are interested in these books, my advice is to check your local library or search the Internet. Amazon.com can probably help you find most of them through their used book stores associates.

What books do you have on your bookshelf that have helped you become a better writer? Please leave a comment with the title and author (and a link if you can). As I mentioned, I recently figured out I had some gaps in my writing education and I would love it if someone could help me fill them. Thanks!


Filed under About Me, The Writing Experience