Archive for December, 2009

READERS AND WRITERS CORNER

READERS AND WRITERS CORNER

PROJECT GUTENBERG

This is a website for readers, and since writers are also readers, all bases are covered.
I PRESENT TO YOU A FANTASTIC SELECTION OF BOOKS – ALL FREE!!!
Here is a holiday present from me and my writer’s group, Wordwrights. The gift is Project Gutenberg. Here, you will find 30,000 free books, all off copyright. Some of the best works that history has to offer can be found here for free. You will also discover free audio books that you can either download or have a free CD sent to you.
I wish you all the best of holidays. As you know, the vast majority of writers make little or no money, but we keep plugging away; we have no choice. And readers, we are doing it all for you.

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

December 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm Leave a comment

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?

This story was prompted by a Christmas gathering, but in no way is it a Christmas story.

Published by Bewildering Stories.

Do You Hear What I Hear?
by Walt Trizna

W** was known for his stories of murder and mayhem. Tales of ghosts and monsters were his claim to meager fame. A member of a writers’ group, he enjoyed sharing his twisted stories with the group and the support they provided. But how could they know, imagine, they were not all stories. W** carried demons of his own. Even his wife did not know the visions, the “truths” that journeyed through his muddled brain.
It was during the November writers’ meeting that the group leader, S**, announced, “In place of our December meeting, I suggest we meet for a holiday dinner. It will be a chance to relax and prepare for the year’s writing ahead.” The approval of the group was unanimous.
Reservations were made and the day of the dinner arrived. It was a rainy evening when W** set out for the restaurant. The back and forth motion of the windshield wipers gave him a slight headache. He was one of the last to arrive, greeted his fellow writers and took his seat next to S**.
The room was large with a single circular table at its center. A curious aspect was the room’s ceiling. It was domed with a most unsettling feature. From one side of the room conversations, even in the softest whisper, were conveyed to the opposite side of this domed affair.
As the meal was served, W** looked across the table to C** and G**, deep in conversation, discussing light matters. Suddenly, the conversation changed. To his disbelief, W** heard them plotting his murder. He clearly heard their voices discussing every detail. W** sat in disbelief while those about him laughed and shared stories. His friends asked if there was anything wrong, for he was visibly shaken. “I’m fine,” he replied and left the restaurant to make plans of his own.
January arrived and it was time for another meeting. S** was the last to arrive. “I have terrible news. C** and G** have met with horrible accidents. They are both dead.”
The group sat there in shock. Disbelief was soon followed by sounds of sorrow and grief.
The year swiftly went by. It was a good year with many of the members being published. Once again, at the November meeting, S** announced the plans for a Christmas dinner. The site would be the same as last year.
W** once again made his way to the restaurant, this time during a light and peaceful snow. He greeted his friends and took his place. Once again, he could hear the whispered conversations from across the room. And once again he heard his murder being plotted: this time it was T** and B** who made the fiendish plot. Once again two members of the group were visited with horrible and fatal accidents.
January found the group deep in sorrow once more. That was five years ago. And for each of those years, a Christmas dinner was held and shortly after, two more members met their demise.
Christmas neared once again, but there would be no Christmas dinner, for the only member remaining was W**. A creature of tradition, W** reserved the domed room for his private dinner. There he sat, alone with no whispering conversations to fill his head.
He gazed around at the empty seats, and his ears perked up. There were voices plotting his murder. Looking out at the overflowing restaurant, he saw a young family that he was sure was plotting his end. A fiendish smile crossed his lips. His work was not yet done.

December 20, 2009 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment

THE ANNIVERSARY

THE ANNIVERSARY

Life is full of milestones. There are dates that mark events in our lives. Some events that are happy and some we’d rather forget. We remember the date of our birth, of our marriage, but we also remember 9/11.
The following story marks both types in a woman’s life. The first was tragic, the second of unbelievable joy.
This story was published in Bewildering Stories.

http://www.bewilderingstories.com/issue267/anniversary.html

December 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm Leave a comment

GARDENING

MEMOIR

GARDENING

I have always been amazed at the resilience of plants. There are those you can abuse and they come back stronger than ever. My small garden in Newark, New Jersey did not endure the harsh treatment I unknowingly subjected it to. But I enjoyed that patch of green and my small connection to nature.

Have you ever stopped for a red light while driving and gazed over at the concrete median and there, against all odds, growing through a tiny flaw in the concrete is a plant? I am amazed to see how life persists even under the most adverse conditions. As a child in Newark I simulated those exact conditions, although I called it gardening.
The yard we had on Christie Street was actually quite large. Large enough to have kickball and baseball games, but then again, we were quite small. Once I was older, we would have barbecues on our charcoal grill, summer nights spent sitting on beach chairs on the hard-packed soil, enjoying burgers and hot dogs as we listening to the sound of the city as night closed the day.
Next to our house was the landlord’s house, which was a small two story one family dwelling with and alley running between the two houses. Behind the landlord’s house was a garden, fenced in. On the opposite side of this small house was a driveway, which was actually quite long, and when I was old enough to shovel snow, it seemed to become longer still.
Our yard was large enough to hold a couple of cars, with some scraggly patches of grass growing defiantly, despite the conditions. To the rear of the yard was a three-car garage, one of which my father rented, and this was the reason I was given the opportunity to shovel the driveway. Next to the garages, and beyond the area of the yard where we were permitted to play, was another fenced area where the residents were not allowed. An old glider swing back there, but nothing much more. At the edge of this restricted area was another small fenced space, about six feet by six feet, sheltering a small garden belonging to the old woman across the hall. She had mostly zinnias and marigolds and it was a great place to catch whatever butterflies found their way into our yard. I admired her garden. She was always out there tending her flowers, pulling weeds, tying up plants with wooden stake and old stockings, the traditional way of supporting tall plants back then.
One day the fence bordering the back of the yard came down and that area of the yard was no longer restricted. I’m not sure why the fence came down. The glider swing came down about the same time. Now a whole new area of the yard was available, an area perfect for a garden. With our landlady’s permission, my sisters and I started construction
The ground was as hard as concrete; there was a total lack of anything that resembled topsoil. So off we went in the old Chevy for some rich loam. We traveled a short distance to where my grandparents lived in Hillside. There was a little-used park along a stream not far from their house, and that is where we headed for our soil. We parked as close as we could and, armed with a shovel and several large containers, started digging up the bank of the stream.
Once our topsoil was obtained, my sisters and I framed out small areas. We each had an area about twenty to twenty-five square feet backing up to the fence separating our yard from the neighbor’s yard. We made a feeble attempt to turn the soil before adding the topsoil, but the product of our digging was only reddish soil and rock, so we dumped our topsoil on top of our little garden areas and started planting.
I was rather ambitious when I planted my garden. I bought tomato and pepper plants, planted carrot, beet and parsley seeds all in neat little rows. These poor plants and seeds did less than thrive. I grew everything in miniature. My beefsteak tomatoes were more like their cherry cousins, the plants barely needing any support at all. My peppers were the size of plums. And my carrots – I grew those tiny carrots that they feature in seed catalogs, ones as big as your pinky, but I in fact was going for the full-sized edition. Why I attempted to grow root crops in concrete-like soil is a mystery to me now. But I was proud of my little garden. When my sisters lost interest, the size of my garden grew. I watered and weeded the few limp weeds that dare take up residence amongst my crops and generally enjoyed the little area of green I had created out back.
Then one summer it happened, a true sign that I had truly established a growing zone in Newark, I was infested with insects. The leaves on my plants were full of holes. This phenomenon amazes me to this day. How you can grow a plant that is unknown to the area, yet an insect that specifically attacks that plant will find and destroy it. And so it went for my little plot in Newark. I purchased a powder that I thought might remedy the situation, and after a heavy dusting that left my plants white under the strong mid afternoon sun I read the directions. This pesticide was to be applied lightly and only during the cool of the evening, always avoiding exposing the plants to this killer during the heat of the afternoon. By nightfall, my whole garden was withered and dead. I eliminated my insect infestation and in the process eliminated my garden.
The next year I planted again with a new knowledge of pesticide use. I branched out to flowers, planting some morning glories in a corner of the yard near my garden, another small square of the yard taken over for horticulture.
I have my own yard now, much larger than the yard of my youth. I enjoy my vegetable garden and the flowers planted around the property, but there are days when I think back to my little plot in Newark where I teased life from the concrete soil.

December 4, 2009 at 7:02 pm 1 comment

READERS AND WRITERS CORNER

READERS AND WRITERS CORNER

FINDING AN AGENT

ABSOLUTE WRITER WATER COOLER

After you have done your homework, examined the various sites mentioned in this blog and read up on writing a good query letter and synopsis, there is yet another website that must be checked.
ABSOLUTE WRITER WATER COOLER is where you can find other writers’ experiences with agents and publishers. Before you submit that fruit of your labor and all the dreams that go along with finishing a novel, check out this site. Here, you can find out first hand, how the people you are about to deal with have dealt with others.
Once you have written your novel, some of the hardest work is still ahead of you. Share your work with others. Join a writer’s group if at all possible. I have been a member of the Wordwrights for some years now and found them to be a constant source of editing and insight into my pieces, and support.
Now that the fires of your inspiration have given you this work, although it is difficult, you must edit, edit and edit. Most of all, you must believe in yourself and your work. Do not let rejection get you down. I truly feel the difference between a published writer and one that publishes nothing is the willingness to persevere.

Good luck.
http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151221&postcount=2

December 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment


Calendar

December 2009
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Posts by Month

Posts by Category