a weblog for readers and writers

Monday, October 30, 2006

Stephen King Knows Scary

Last week I got an email from bestselling horror writer Stephen King prompting me to "end the nightmare." In the email, he encouraged me to vote. Not that I needed the push. "If I know anything, I know scary. And giving this president and this out-of-control Congress two more years to screw up our future is downright terrifying."

Just a week after Halloween is Election Day. The citizens of some countries dream of having the right to vote. Here in the states, not voting can be a nightmare. Whether you consider the current leadership a dream team, or a nightmare, be sure to get to the polls next Tuesday.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Get Lit This Fall

Stop by Patrick's of Pratt Street tonight to get lit -- in more ways than one. The CityLit Benefit runs from 5:30 to 7:30. Your donation of $20 gets you all the beer and wine you can drink, and a hearty helping of celtic rock music and literature too. The entire $20 goes directly to the CityLit Project. See CityLit's website for more.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Got a Novel Out?

Perhaps you have a novel in you, and you plan to exorcise it during National Novel Writing Month in November. But do you already have a novel out?

Washington Writers' Publishing House (WWPH) is looking for novelists and poets from the Washington DC-Baltimore area to submit their work to their annual contests. There are cash prizes, but the best part is that the winning book of poetry and winning novel will be published by WWPH, and the winning authors become members of the WWPH family.

The deadline is approaching -- November 1. Get two copies of your manuscript in the mail now! Visit their site for more information.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Wanna Write a Novel?

Now's the time to get to it! If a novel has been mulling around in the back of your mind and you've been waiting for the right moment to spill it out, the time has come. November 1 begins National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Thousands of writers -- from aspiring first-timers to seasoned winners -- will participate in "thirty days and nights of literary abandon."

NaNoWriMo is a great way to get out a rough draft. The goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. It's not easy, but thousands of fellow writers will be at your side to help you along. To learn more, visit the NaNoWriMo site.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Old Hag Hocks Books

Looking for another literary blog to read? How about one that boasts book reviews? Check out Old Hag, the literary blog of Elizabeth Skurnick. Recent reviews on her site cover such novels as Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, Phillip Roth's The Plot Against America, Anne Tyler's Digging to America T.C.Boyle's Talk Talk, Julia Glass's The Whole World Over and Alice Munro's Runaway.

But when Lizzie isn't hocking or hacking other books, she's trying to sell her own. In fact, she's close to selling out the first run of Check In. She has a dinner riding on whether she can sell out the initial print run within a year -- so help her sell out!

Visit Elizabeth Skurnick's book site.
Read her book reviews and literary banter at Old Hag.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Orhan Pamuk Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

The 2006 Nobel Prizes have been announced. Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, of Istanbul, is winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The citation for the award refers Pamuk's "quest for the melancholic soul of his native city."

Been meaning to check out Orhan Pamuk but haven't gotten around to him yet? The writer himself has a suggestion. "The reader who buys books because the writer has received the Nobel Prize should start with My Name is Red."

To learn more, visit the offical Nobel website.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fiction for Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th -- and only a couple weeks before Halloween. Can you think of a better time than now for frightening fiction?

The latest installment of "Freedom" has been published in Coloquio. While there aren't any ghosts or goblins, what you'll find here is even more frightening. Joe is at war in Afghanistan -- and at war with his best friend from China. Check it out at the link below.

And, if you're feeling extra unlucky, link back to the first installment of "Freedom" and read up! What could be more frightening than that?


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Crash Course in Form

If you're scared of sonnets or vexed by villanelles, join National Book Award nominated poet Moira Egan tonight as she offers a crash course in form to the Maryland Writer's Association. Members may attend free; the event is $5 for the general public.

Moira Egan's first book, Cleave, was published by Washington Writers Publishing House in 2004 and was a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year. She has published a number of poems and won this year's City Paper Poetry Contest.

To learn more about tonight's crash course, visit the MWA website.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Writing Interview Published

I've been interviewed by an online magazine on the subject of writing and getting published. Sid Smith, the magazine's editor and publisher, interviewed me for the latest edition of Write and Publish Your Book.

In the interview, we discuss creativity, the writing process, finding literary agents, getting published, and the business of writing. Check out the cover story, "Eric D. Goodman on Getting Published," at the link below.


Friday, October 06, 2006

More Books than Burgers

Do you ever get depressed about literacy in decline? There's a steady trend, year after year, that fewer people read for pleasure -- especially fiction and poetry.

When I saw David McCullough last year in DC, he had some reassuring news.

"If you ever find yourself worried about the state of our country, remember this: we still have more public libraries than we have McDonald's. Our country has the best library system of the world."

Now there's something to chew on! Visit David McCullough at his online library.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Literary New Year

One weekend, two major literary festivals, hundreds of events -- and lots of lit! I could write a book on this weekend's Baltimore Book Festival and National Book Festival -- but I'll stick to few brief highlights.

Friday night, the action was at the CityLit and Creative Cafe tents with readings by lots of local (and semi-local) authors, including Nathan Leslie, Lizzie Skurnick, Justin Sirois and Christine Stewart -- not to mention music, wine and beer.

In DC, on Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting such decorated writers as Julia Glass, Scott Turow, Michael Connelly, Vince Flynn, and Alexander McCall Smith and even got to chat for awhile with Alice McDermott. I attended their craft lectures, and those of Khaled Hosseini, Geraldine Brooks, Spider & Jeanne Robinson, and Bob Woodward.

Finally, Sunday's Write Here Write Now reading was standing-tent only and is the subject of a story in today's Examiner. It was the first public reading from my novel in stories, TRACKS.

I had an unexpected lunch with former Governer James McGreevey in the author's lounge and a drink with children's author and artist Kevin O'Malley.

It's always a pleasure to see old literary friends and new at these festivals -- fellow writers, local literary agents, presidents of publishing houses, and editors of magazines and journals. Not to mention those who run the events, like Gregg Wilhelm of the CityLit Project. That, perhaps, is the biggest thrill of all. Paul Lagasse said it well in today's papercast, calling the weekend his "literary New Year's Day."

See Paul Lagasse's papercast here.

And check out Sara Michael's story on our reading in The Examiner.