Friday, November 30, 2007

Five Things I've Learned About Writing

Here is the beginning of the series posts I promised regarding things I've learned about writing. As I mentioned earlier, after writing a series of excellent essays on this subject himself, James Maxey has issued a challenge to a handful of other writers to do the same.

The topics I've decided to cover are:

Write Because You Love To

Metaphors, Similes, And Analogies, Oh My

The Devil Is In The Details

Always Say Yes

The Best Way To Learn To Write

I'm not promising that I'll deliver them in that order, as this is a rough draft of my plan. But then, isn't the real work of writing in the rewriting. Hmm, maybe that should be on my list, too.

Oh, great. Now you've got me thinking, and that never turns out well...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Freak Added To The Show

I’m very pleased to announce that starting in January of 2008,
IGMS’s monthly book reviews will be written by Tobias S.
Buckell. Tobias is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction
writer and
professional blogger who grew up in Grenada, the
British Virgin Islands
, and the U.S.
Virgin Islands. He has
published over 30 short
stories in various magazines and
anthologies. His first two novels are out from
Tor in book-
stores near you, and his third, Sly Mongoose, is
due out in
2008. You can find him at
Highly qualified, Tobias had previously written book reviews
for Kirkus and his grandmother on his father’s side. He
underwent a rigorous interview process, wherein I said, “Hey,
want to write some book reviews for us?” He replied with a
cagey, “Well…” I countered, saying, “We pay in fame, fortune,
and a player to be named later, but not much cash.” I knew I
had his attention. So we thumbwrestled for it (best of seven,
I took him in six tightly fought matches) and the rest is,
as they say, history.
Welcome, Tobias. We’ll be expecting freakishly great things
from you.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole month since I last posted anything on this blog. I was off-line for about a week because of my harddrive crash, and once I got back onto my computer I was so far behind, in so many areas, that I never got close to this blog. The good news is that I did manage to recover nearly everything. The bad news is that "nearly everything" isn't quite the same as "everything," and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason that what got lost and what did not.

I now have a new laptop and a new external harddrive and have become, at least for the moment, the mayor of Backup Town. Hopefully I won't ever need to be prepared for such an event again, but in case I do I now have a 250 GB insurance policy.

Issue seven of IGMS will be out in about four weeks and I'm pretty excited. I think it's one of the best issues we've ever published. If the cover story, "Silent As Dust," by James Maxey doesn't end up in a bunch of Year's Best anthologies, there's something wrong with the anthologists of the world. It's a ghost story unlike any you've ever read before. We also have "Unrhymed Couplets of the Universe," by Sharon Shinn, author of the mega-popular series of books, The Alleluia Chronicles, as well as the conclusion of the novelette begun last issue, "The Price of Love," by Alan Schoolcraft. Add in "The Braiding," by Pat Esden, "The Smell of the Earth," by Joan Savage, "After This Life," by Janna Silverstein, and "Lost Soul," by Marie Brennan, and you've got one heck of a pile of great stories.

Speaking of James Maxey, James has been writing some excellent posts over on his blog, Whateverville, about things he's learned about writing over the years. If you're a writer, or even someone with an interest in the writing process, do yourself a favor and pop over there to check them out. When you're done reading them, you'll notice that James has tagged me to write a series of my own essays on the same subject. In a brief but all-to-common flash of insanity I accepted his challenge and plan to have the first one posted here on Side-Show Freaks by the end of this week. Tune in then for some of my wisdom for the ages (and whole lot of other fertilizer that smells suspiciously like cow manure...)