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This week, the final lines of Lease's poem (opening line"Try saying wren.") have replaced my usual mantra of  "No matter. Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better."  (Famous quote from Waiting for Godot)
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"The thing about damage is that if you can lead someone right to it, like
a sleeping bear, point to it, say, shhhh, don
ʼt wake him, then it likely is already
toothless. At least for the winter months. Come spring everyone is damaged, all
over again, whether they talk about it or not. It
ʼs just the world waking up. Itʼs the
sap running through the trees, it
ʼs the ice starting to thaw. Whatever damage has

been sleeping is now awake, once more. True damage is not merely a
reenactment of past turmoil, but part of nature, embodied somehow. That
ʼs why
it
ʼs a good idea to stretch out each morning, if just to be aware of where in your
body the damage is lurking today."

From Nick Flynn's essay What is the Wind (the allure of the damaged man)
He's a marvelous writer and poet, and it's a terrific essay, especially if you've had a baby, or are afraid of having a baby, or were afraid of having a baby, or even if you just like good writing discussing damage, and believe in the possibility of healing or the impossibility of healing but nonetheless the beauty and danger of Spring resonate for you.

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If you're an aspiring or journeyman poet or fantasy writer, and looking for a little mentorship, I highly recommend my friend saladinahmed.  He's an award-winning writer, and a marvelous human being.  Whip-smart, funny, nurturing, wildly creative--really, I can't say enough good things about him.  Check out the details of his offer (and his qualifications) here:  http://www.saladinahmed.com/
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John Joseph Adams is doing a giveaway of his anthology The Way of the Wizard.  So if you want to read some amazing stories by authors such as George R. R. Martin, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Genevieve Valentine, Desirina Boskovich, Orson Scott Card, and many others others, enter now!
And if you've ever wanted to read a Leahy story...and this one about pigs, no less!...I managed to sneak a story into that anthology, too!
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If you like to think about language, and also about the exigencies of being human, I highly recommend reading Michael J. Deluca's (boonofdoom ) story "The Eater" and blog post over at Apex. 
Compelling and haunting.  Well worth your time.  And imagination.
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If you haven't read Cat Rambo's "Close Your Eyes," Peter M. Ball's "The Birdcage Heart" or Gavin Grant's "Widows in the World", what are you waiting for?  They're free, online, and each, in their own way, extraordinary.
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I love cooking.  But I don't always have a lot of time.
If those two sentences ring true for you as well, check out The Minimalist, Mark Bittman--well worth your time, if you don't know him already.
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Earlier this week, Shimmer officially released Issue 12.  Huzzah huzzah!

It's a beautiful issue, full of stories of transformation, and I feel terrifically lucky (gulp) and proud to be in the company of such talented authors.

Heartfelt thanks to Beth Wodzinski and all of the marvelous and dedicated Shimmer staff--who work with such love to make Shimmer the remarkable and lovely magazine that it is-- and with a special thank you to Editor Joy Marchand, whose extraordinary sensitivity and rigor made "No Place Like Home, or Building the Yellow Brick Road" a far better story than when we started.

My story had its origins in a Codex contest, and I'm very grateful to that community for inspiring "No Place Like Home . . ."

And I still can't get over the fact that sometimes, when I'm lucky, I sell a story, and then wonder of wonders, someone illustrates my story!  Many thanks to Kristina Stipetic, who did such a fabulous job illustrating my story, and whose art blog can be found here

And for a lovely sample from the issue, check out Monica Byrne's epistolary story, which she's graciously provided for free.






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In case you haven't already heard, KGB Fantastic Fiction is holding their annual raffle.
A worthy cause, and some truly fabulous prizes to be had.  Check it out here.
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I've announced this elsewhere, but a few months ago I sold my story "Too Fatal a Poison" to The Way of the Wizard.  About a month away from launch, and I can finally stop holding my breath--it's really going to happen!

 

It's a tremendously exciting sale for me.  I've always loved wizard stories and this anthology is a marvelous mix of superstars and newer writers--and I feel awfully lucky to be in such esteemed company.   Every time I look at the TOC, I have to find the nearest fainting couch, while I recover my wits.    

 

Many thanks to all of you who gave me invaluable feedback, making "Too Fatal" a far, far better story than it was--especially you old crotchety Salooners (yes, this means you, Mr. Cody, Mr. Newman, and Mr. justinhowe ), Jeanne Cavelos, and Michael J. Deluca, aka boonofdoom .   Thank you!

 

Beyond my joy in "Too Fatal" finding such an extraordinary home, I would be very remiss if I didn't acknowledge the special debt this story owes to John Joseph Adams. 

 

Here's what happened.  A while back, I sent an early version of "Too Fatal" to F&SF.  John picked it out of the slush, contacted me, offered excellent editorial input--both gentle and incisive--and worked with me on the resulting rewrite. 

 

While F&SF ultimately passed on the story, John stayed in touch with me, followed what was happening with that particular story and then, when he was putting together The Way of the Wizard anthology, encouraged me to submit "Too Fatal".   Luckily, he still believed in the story and was able to find a slot for it in his anthology. 

All of which makes him kind of a godfather for "Too Fatal," and one to whom I am very grateful.

Makes you believe in editors everywhere, doesn't it?  And even the merits of the slush pile! 

 

For those of you who have an interest, the anthology should be available in November, at bricks-n-mortar locales.  Or, at Prime Books, or, of course, here. 

And, to whet your wizard's wand, cover art and TOC.

 

 

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