a weblog for readers and writers

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick! Visit RunGoose.com!

If you thought my former neighbor Michael Phelps was quick as he racked up Olympic Gold, you’ll be blown away by the Flightless Goose. If you blink, you may miss him. So hurry and check him out at www.RunGoose.com!

Flightless Goose is a new childrens’ book being published this fall by Writers’ Lair Books. I wrote the book and my wife, Nataliya, painted the beautiful watercolor illustrations.

The website is live and the online pond is open for your enjoyment. Jump right in at www.RunGoose.com.

Or, take a gander at the publisher’s page devoted to Flightless Goose at www.writerslairbooks.com/goodman1.html

Monday, August 25, 2008

Enjoy Lit & Art This Labor Day Weekend

Come celebrate Labor Day in high bohemian style! On Sunday, August 31 at 2 p.m., the Watermark Gallery in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor continues its Lit and Art series. You’ll find that Lit and Art is a labor of love.

Returning writers include Lauren Beth Eisenberg, Eric D. Goodman, Nitin Jagdish, and Cliff Lynn.

In what hopes to be a permanent feature of the series, there will be live music. Lit and Art perennial Erik Kestler and his band will perform.

A collection of surreal artwork by Manzar Rassouli-Taylorr will be on display.

Started in October 2007, the Lit and Art series provides a unique opportunity to sample a variety of artistic sensibilities. Like previous events in this series, it is free and open to the public. Complimentary wine and refreshments will be served, and audience members will have a chance to share their own work during the open mic session.

The Watermark Gallery is located in the Bank of America Center Skywalk Level, right across from the Inner Harbor, at 100 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The phone number is (410) 547-0452.

Learn more about the Watermark at their online gallery.


Learn more about the “Lit and Art” reading event at Writeful.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Maryland's Literary Legacy Lives in New Anthology

A new anthology, due out on September 15, celebrates the rich and diverse literary scene in the state of Maryland.

New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers features 36 pieces of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by 29 Maryland authors.

The authors of New Lines have been featured in publications such as Potomac Review, the Baltimore Review, Christian Science Monitor, Chattahoochee Review, Slow Trains, the Arabesques Review, Poetry Online, Chesapeake Life magazine, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, Writers Weekly, and have been winners of the Maryland Literary Arts Award, the Maryland Individual Artist Award, and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, among others.

A Maryland author is unique, just like the state itself. A person needs to spend a day in Maryland (or read an anthology of its writers) to understand what “Mid-Atlantic” means. There is an indefinable “something” in Maryland that makes it different than Northeast or South; it straddles both regions but can be claimed by neither. Each city and county has its own distinct character that further flavors the language and imagery of its artists. Lush, early springs to hot, sauna-like summers to long, beautiful autumns and mild winters. Harbors filled with boats. Rolling hills dotted with farms. Cicadas. Cherry blossoms.

Maryland’s cities and shores have inspired such literary greats as Edgar Allan Poe and Gertrude Stein, as well as more contemporary writers such as Madison Smartt Bell and Laura Lippman. The bombardment of Maryland’s Fort McHenry was even Francis Scott Key’s inspiration for America’s national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

You’ll enjoy and celebrate the artistic vision of Maryland authors as they take you on a tour of the state and beyond. With seven essays, fourteen poems, and fifteen short stories in genres ranging from mystery to fantasy to literary fiction, New Lines from the Old Line State has it all.

Edited by Allyson E. Peltier, the anthology is $15.95. You can find it at your local bookstore or via the Maryland Writers’ Association’s website: www.marylandwriters.org

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cicadas in Print

My fiction is being published in the anthology New Lines from the Old Line State!

New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers features fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by 29 Maryland authors. It is edited by Allyson E. Peltier.

My story, "Cicadas," follows a man returning to Virginia for the first time in seventeen years to be the best man in his friend’s wedding. The cicadas have returned for the first time in seventeen years as well. Stu believes his friend’s newfound romance is doomed to a cicada cycle — a brief buzz of excitement to be followed by years of mundane monotony.

The new anthology Marylanders have been waiting for is premiering in September at the Baltimore Book Festival — the mid-Atlantic’s largest celebration of the literary arts. It will also be available in bookstores and online.

Be on the lookout for more news on the anthology, the book festival, and more coming down the line soon!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

McDermott on Drafts

We've all heard it: writing is rewriting. A first draft should never be considered complete. In order to be successful as a writer, it's important not to fall in love with your own first draft.

Alice McDermott knows a thing or two about the various stages of a successful novel. Here's her take.

"The first draft is spillage." A writer should just let the words and story flow from you without regard to rules, structure, plot, character development, what makes sense, what doesn't jive. Write the first draft from your heart, as it comes to you. Hey, it's only a first draft.

"Then," McDermott suggests, "write at least three drafts. In rewrites, spend the time, don't try to save time. Hone the prose, shape it, redo it. Don't just re-copy with minor edits-that's the easy way out."

With the soul of your first draft already on paper, the second, third, and any additional drafts should be where the true craftsmanship comes in. Sculpt your clay into something wonderful and unique, something others will want to read as well as yourself.

"A Novel should evolve from its own predictable themes," McDermott suggests. And those themes will be present in your first draft. "