Good to see that this year the Edge Hill Short Story Prize has published a long list. It seems to me that if the aim of a prize is to draw attention to and indeed to promote a burgeoning short-story culture, then giving publicity to as many as possible of the high-calibre collections entered is a very good idea.Congratulations to all on the long list, which includes A L Kennedy, previous shortlister Robert Shearman, and two of my fellow Salt authors, Nuala ni Chonchuir and Mark Illis....
We've been receiving quite a bit of mail meant for the former tenants of our apartment. First some mail from a local church addressed to one "Mary Braden*" arrived. Shortly thereafter, we got a copy of "Whiskey Advocate," addressed to a "Chase McCollum." I commented to Scott that clearly, Mary was praying for Chase's pickled soul. I had their sad, doomed relationship all figured out. No wonder they moved!
But then the next week our mailbox included a Coupon Valu-Pak for "Tiffany Nashimoro." Then it occurred to me: a prematurely aborted season of Real World: Brooklyn took place in this apartment.
It would have been the saddest season ever. Those poor kids, cramming themselves into a mere two-bedroom, nary a jacuzzi nor sex swing in sight (they have sex swings in the Real World, right?). Trapped together on a quiet, family-oriented block. Why weren't they in Williamsburg? Who did this to them?
Obviously Mary was the awkward, sheltered Catholic girl, living away from her parents for the first time--and in New York City, no less! And we all know that Chase was the womanizer with a burgeoning drinking problem and a deep-seated anger even he couldn't fathom. Then of course there's shopaholic Tiffany, whose compulsive spending masked an insecurity borne from her slight but noticeable difference in leg length.
A few days after Tiffany's mail showed up, we received health-insurance correspondence for yet another former resident: Erick Ramirez.
Now I just think someone's toying with me.
Next I predict we'll be receiving mail addressed to Ntozake Hoyes-Zimmerman (talented spoken-word performer of African-Jamaican-German descent, haunted by childhood kidnapping) and of course Brock Dodgson (wealthy Southern boy whose family can't accept his bisexual identity). I'll let you know what happens.
*(I changed the names, but only slightly. Only slightly!)
Spent yesterday talking about the nature of expectations with a friend.Often when thinking about expectations people focus on the future: how we "expect" something to be.Also remember expectations can trip you up from the past. If you measure yourself to past expectations (of capability) at a time when you are now changing, chances are you will trip up and your expectations will cuase you to be unhappy with the present state of being. Since when living in change / transformation you are starting fresh and often rebuilding up the capacity towards a new skill set.Just something to ponder if you are working to transform your life now.Namaste
Always Dream Even When Awake
It Creates a New World and Lets You Defy Gravity
Time to announce the winner of the Weight Watchers: Eat! Move! Play! Book Giveaway!
Here's the number that Random.org selected:
That means our lucky winner is.......
Congratulations! I've already sent an email your way. Please respond by Monday at noon EST with your information, or a new winner will be selected.
I've decided to go back to using my cheesy cover rather than the LOL Cats. It was a fun experiment to see if the cats would draw more eyeballs to my chapters. They didn't seem to have much influence one way or another.
If Devil to Pay were a film, Chapter Twenty would be the start of the third act. The war is gaining momentum with both Aurora and Xarth willing to risk everything to win. They are blinded by their own personal agendas and vendettas that they have stopped seeing the big picture.
Zak meanwhile has been cornered and knows he has to make a decision. If he were a little older he would make his move for the throne now. But he's not. His indecision further breaks something inside that will take years to repair.
Although Lance finally gives into his attraction, he knows the relation can't last. For the moment though both men need each other.
Download Chapter 20 now.
books | scifi | Sarah Sammis | 2010
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The last few days I've been crazy busy with my son finishing second grade, the census closing out and the MLIS program gearing up.
Anyway in Devil to Pay, Zak's out of hospital and in Lance's care. They are continuing the language lessons tango but aren't willing to admit their mutual attraction. Lance meanwhile wants to know the truth behind Zak's claim to the throne and Aurora's current position as regent.
Download Chapter 19 now!
books | scifi | Sarah Sammis | 2010
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It looks as if Brontëland is awaiting with bated breath the outcome of tomorrow's auction in New York as there's not much to report today.Singer Emily Jane White's Brontëiteness is mentioned again today by Paste Magazine: And her literary influences—Cormac McCarthy, Emily Brontë, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Edgar Allan Poe—are clearly present throughout; [...]“I read stuff by people who grew up in different time periods than I,” White says. “And it’s obviously sort of very Gothic, dark fiction and poetry. It’s stuff I’ve been attracted to exploring and to reading for many years. It’s all made an impression.” (Cam Archer)On his Headingley LitFest blog, Richard Wilcocks (of Brontë Parsonage Blog fame around these parts) encourages aspiring writers to submit their work to the Brontë Society Literary Competition.Les Brontë à Paris wrote a post in French to commemorate Elizabeth Brontë's death on a day like yesterday in 1825. The Anne Brontë Blog discusses 'realism in the work of Anne Brontë'.And it's the final installment of Wuthering Heights Wednesday at
69. The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno by Ellen Bryson (2010)
Length: 388 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 14 June 2010
Finished: 20 June 2010
Where did it come from? From the publishers.
Why do I have it? The blurb for it caught my eye.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 24 March 2010.
The World’s Thinnest Man
must find somewhere to put his
heart, lest it gets lost.
Summary: Before P. T. Barnum started his famous traveling circus, in 1865 he ran the American Museum in New York City, which was was part natural history museum, part theater, and part sideshow. Bartholomew Fortuno works as a Living Curiosity – the Living Skeleton, due to his extreme thinness – in the museum, a post he feels lucky to have: instead of being trapped with a traveling carnival, he’s able to live in comfort and display his unique gifts for the edification as well as the entertainment of the crowds that pour in. When Barnum brings in a mysterious new act – Iell Adams, a bearded lady – Bartholomew becomes intoxicated by her charms, and cannot resist becoming entangled in a complicated web of secrets, schemes, and deceit.
Review: The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno had a lot going for it, and only one real strike against it… but in the end, that strike won out for me. First the good things: Ellen Bryson is a very talented writer, both on the macro and the micro scale. She’s excellent at description and setting; her depiction of the Museum, its inhabitants, and Gilded Age New York City was astonishingly vivid, enough so that when I looked at the historical photos of the Museum once I’d finished, I recognized them easily. She’s also able to turn a perfect phrase, and to construct a wonderful metaphor wit...
Genre: Memoir/Non-FictionCopyright: 2006Pages: 340Rating: 5 CrownsSynopsis: Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls "Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister") is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.Review: I wasn't expecting to love this book - I'd heard a LOT of hype and being the skeptic that I am I had prepared myself for some mediocre results. But by God I was wrong. To those of you who have read it, I'm interested in hearing what your thoughts are but in the review that follows, I'm really going to try hard to convey the depth of what this book has meant to me.I've always believed that certain books will find you at times in your life when you really need them most - like we have our own little book guardian angels who whisper in our ears when we're perusing the shelves and say 'Here, read THIS one.' Eat, Pray, Love surprisingly turned out to be one of these books and has firmly cemented itself on the dusty little bookcase of my most secret heart. Am I making too much of a little book? I don't know. But I'm a passionate believer that a book has the power to impart on you the wisdom and lessons of an...
Eric Hammel commented on the blog post Self-Publishing Has Arrived Mike -- I hang out with =a lot= of professional writers--most of them solid, middle-aged mid-list writers--who are either seeing doors closing or are at least facing deep reductions in advances, on which they depend for running their lives. Of these, I know roughly two who are equipped--emotionally and technically--to transition to taking responsibility for [...]