a weblog for readers and writers

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas in Moscow

I'm off to Russia this weekend and will be in Moscow for Christmas. I'll spend Christmas Day with my family in Red Square. It may seem somewhat sacrilegious to spend the holiday at the Kremlin, or to visit Lenin instead of Santa. But remember that beautiful St. Basil's Cathedral is there, too!

During my two weeks in Russia, I intend to do some research for a new novel. And I'll gather information and experience for a travel story to follow up on my last one. I plan to call it Vodka in the Snow: Russian Winter.

While I'm away living Russia, I invite you to read about it. Check out my original Russian travel story as published in Travel Insights back in 2003 -- Vodka in the Sun: One Russian Summer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Last Fiction of 2006 Published

The latest monthly installment of "Freedom" has been published in Coloquio. Not exactly holiday reading, this is a battle scene from hot, dusty Afghanistan. The story continues in January as Coloquio continues to serialize this story from TRACKS, my novel in stories.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Out of Tune Tuesday

Who says you have to be in tune to be good? Not Baltimore writer Rafael Alvarez. Come meet the author this Tuesday night at the release party of the new fiction anthology, Out of Tune. The book features stories by Rafael Alvarez, Rosalia Scalia, Jason Tinney, and more.

The event -- Tuesday, December 19 at 7 p.m. -- is housed at Playbook Sports Bar, at the corner of Dundalk Ave. and German Hill Road in Dundalk.

See the CityLit page for more information.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Author Appearance in Highlandtown

Paul Lagasse's first solo book signing is tomorrow, Saturday, December 16 at Higher Grounds Books. He'll be signing his novel, Seeing Through Clouds -- the perfect holiday gift for the young reader on your list. While you're there, chat with the author over coffee and desserts and browse the terrific selection of new and used books in Highlandtown's favorite coffee and book bar.

The event is from 2 to 4 at 3201 Eastern Ave., right across from the Patterson Theater. Visit the Seeing Through Clouds website for more information.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More From the Fiction Front

On the heels of learning that my fiction will appear in the next issue of The Baltimore Review came more good news from the fiction front. The editor of To Be Read Aloud contacted me to congratulate me -- another of my stories will appear in their next volume!

To Be Read Aloud is a community resource for oral interpreters and their coaches. They specialize in publishing first person narrative intended to be read aloud, and the selections in their books and DVDs are used by high schools and colleges for voice coaching and competition.

"The Stein Between Us" is a modified version of "A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein" from TRACKS, my novel in stories. Originally in third person, I read from it at the Baltimore Book Festival.

Look for the next volume in spring 2007. To learn more about To Be Read Aloud, visit their website.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Big News on the Fiction Front

My short fiction will appear in the next issue of The Baltimore Review! The editors selected "Out for a Walk," to be published in the winter-spring 2007 issue.

The Baltimore Review receives 200 submissions a week and only publishes a dozen stories each year. Learn more about The Baltimore Review at their website.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Bustamante Gets the Royal Treatment

The editor and publisher of Coloquio, Javier Bustamante, has been appointed to the North American Academy of the Spanish Language -- a branch of the Royal Academy of Language in Spain. The academy has been active since 1717.

Born in Seville, Spain, Bustamante has spent most of his life in Baltimore. He's founder of the Hispanic Cultural Association, the Spanish Center, the Baltimore Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is President of the Hispanic Round Table. He's also a Commissioner of Planning for the City of Baltimore and was president of the mayor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs. In 1986 he founded the magazine Coliquio --now online -- which is considered one of the best magazines of its kind.

To learn more, visit Coloquio and scroll down to his headline -- currently the fifth. (While you’re there, go down one more headline to see a bit on yours truly.)

Bustamante is one of 35 members appointed to the North American branch of the royal academy and will travel to Medellin, Columbia to meet the King and Queen of Spain in March.

Read Coloquio: http://coloquio.com/coloquioonline/last.htm

Go directly to the Spanish press release in PDF:

Friday, December 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo Ends Just Short of a Billion!

National Novel Writing Month has ended -- and collectively, 79,813 novelists from around the world have written 982,564,701words -- nearly a billion! That translates to 4 million pages.

Of the 80,000 novelists, a fraction of the world's most prolific novelists keystroked to the finish line by reaching the goal of 50,000 words, or about 200 pages each.

For the fourth year in a row, I’m proud to count myself among the winners: my novel, Dead Ends, weighs in at 70,127 words, or 280 pages. And this year I can say that an excerpt from it was published even before I finished the first draft -- in The Washington Post!

Celebrate with us -- check out my NaNoWriMo page, where you can see the stats and take a look at an excerpt from my newest novel, Dead Ends.