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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Goose Review in The Potomac

Flightless Goose got a glowing review in the most recent issue of The Potomac.

The Potomac is a popular literary journal of “poetry and politics” that regularly features short fiction and book reviews. The summer 2009 issue features a positive review from YA author Paul Lagasse.

The review says, “… Flightless Goose is appropriately simple without being simplistic, and its lessons -- that challenges can be overcome, that being different doesn’t mean being less of a person, and that everyone has something they are good at -- are important ones for the intended audience of children 4 to 8 years old. The story is told in a way that is likely to be appealing and exciting to younger children without being condescending to older ones.”

Paul Lagasse and The Potomac have good things to say about Nataliya’s artwork …

“Natalya's watercolors of the lightly anthropomorphized geese (they play ball, skip rope, and wear clothes and shoes) are vibrant and detailed, and her style evokes the illustrations from the classic editions of fairy tales and nursery rhymes that many parents will remember from when they were children.”

… and my writing …

“Eric’s words are well-chosen and presented in a friendly font that frequently undulates and trickles in time with the ups and downs of the story. The word choice and presentation will encourage younger readers to expand their vocabularies without missing the key meanings, and will also satisfy older and more skilled readers.”

See the full review in the current issue of The Potomac at the link below.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lit & Art is Made in the Shade

Need a unique way to observe Sir Mick Jagger’s 66th birthday? On Sunday, July 26 at 2 p.m., the Watermark Gallery in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor continues its Lit and Art series. Lit and Art is a series that will start you up and leave you shattered.

Returning writers include Caryn Coyle, Eric D. Goodman, Deanna Nikaido, and Fernando Quijano III. Making her Lit and Art debut will be Christine Stewart.

Fresh off her successful German exhibition, Manzar Rassouli-Taylorr will present some of her artwork.

Red Tractor Factory, the Lit and Art house band, will provide live music. An open mic session will follow, and an intermission and wrap-up social will include refreshments. That's right, free wine.

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.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When Research Finds the Writer

As novelist E.L. Doctorow will tell you, sometimes the best kind of research is the kind that comes to you without effort. I experienced that sort of research recently.

I was out for a walk with my son in our neighborhood, full of large, old trees. One of them had a sign posted on it. “Scheduled for elimination by Division of Forestry.” The reasons checked off were “Dying” and “Diseased.”

Just days earlier, I happened to pull out a story I wrote a couple years ago and was putting some polish on it. The story, “Leaving,” is about a woman infatuated with her yard. In the end, the government tends to her dying tree when she refuses to.

Some readers asked me, can this really happen? I told them that I knew of a person whose tree had been felled by the government. But their questions planted a seed of doubt.

Seeing the sign nailed to a tree was more than just validation — it was the perfect detail to add to my story. I copied the sign verbatim and have added it to "Leaving."

It reminds me of the method of research Doctorow shared when he spoke at the National Book Festival. He explained that he once bumped a library shelf, a book fell out, and the open page led him to write Ragtime.

Not to say that “Leaving” is my Ragtime, but at least I seem to have the “stumble upon research” bit down.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Lines at The Writer's Center

You’re invited to a reading event this Sunday at The Writer’s Center. Authors published in New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers will read from their published work.

I’ve been invited to read an excerpt from my own story, which opens up the anthology. “Cicadas” has been featured in the past on NPR’s The Signal, at the Baltimore Book Festival, Patterson Theater, libraries, book stores, art galleries, and more.

The Writer’s Center is America's premier independent literary center, founded in 1976. It is also the publisher of Poet Lore, the oldest continuously published poetry magazine in the United States, having started in 1889.

The New Lines anthology reading at The Writer’s Center runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 12. The Writer’s Center is located at 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. Parking is free. You can find directions and more information at their website, http://www.writer.org/.

Can’t make it or want a preview? Listen to a reading of “Cicadas” from NPR’s The Signal at the link below — music and sound effects included!


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

WHATEVER Has Chemistry

My story, “Chemistry,” has been published in WHATEVER Literary Journal.

WHATEVER Literary Journal is described as “a collection of the Northeast's finest writers and poets with a few international names to round it out.”

Chemistry” is a story from Tracks, my novel in stories set on a train traveling from Baltimore to Chicago. “Chemistry” is a story of teenage angst, about a young man hungry for attention from parents and peers who don’t seem to notice him. It’s about how a person can end up speeding down the wrong track and not realize it until it’s too late to slam on the brakes.

Learn more about WHATEVER at their online store.