Showing posts from February, 2013

Songs of the Earth: A Book Worth a Second Chance

Beaten to a pulp, only able to stand by sheer will power, Gair faces his accuser, the church, the very institution he had served as a Knight for the last ten years.  His crime?  Witchcraft.  The problem?  He didn't plan to use magic, the song of the earth found him at age eleven.  Once he experienced the thrill of the song, he couldn't ignore it even though his upbringing taught him of its evil.  And The  Book of Eador leaves no doubt to his penalty:  Suffer ye not the life of a witch. Forces beyond Gair's understanding are at work, though, and the Preceptor sentences him to branding as a witch and orders him to leave the city gates before sundown never to return . Did I mention he was beaten to a pulp and unable to stand?  Then, of course, there's the branding that came next.  Sundown approaches, and a mysterious stranger takes Gair under wing.  As an angry Elder pursues Gair determined to carry out a sentence of death, the stranger helps Gair escape the city. Wh

Confessions of a Slush Pile Reader

I read slush. For some of you, my statement makes complete sense, but I imagine several of my readers are scratching their heads right now. What is slush?  So, if my writing friends will allow me a moment to explain to the non-writers: The slush pile consists of unsolicited materials submitted to agents, editors, publishers, journals, etc.  Someone has to wade through this never-ending stack to weed out the junk. Yep, that's right the first reader of a submission is rarely the person it's sent to.  Someone else evaluates it and decides whether to recommend it to the decision-maker or reject it. I'm one of those readers for an online short story magazine, Stupefying Stories . For the most part, I get to read stories that have some value or promise in them, so what usually makes me reject one? The first lines of a story can make or break you. Maybe it's because I'm a writer, but I tend to be a little forgiving in this regard. That said, I do rejoice whe