a weblog for readers and writers

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Towson Times: Rodgers Forge Writer in Residence

Recently, I was thumbing through some issues of Towson Times that had collected on our porch. To my surprise, I found yet another article about Tracks: A Novel in Stories!

“With the publication of “Tracks,” a gold medal and a second book completed, Eric D. Goodman is certainly Rodgers Forge's ‘writer in residence,’” wrote columnist Sheila S. Peter.

Read the column at the Baltimore Sun’s website below.


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Friday, July 27, 2012

CBS Highlights Lit & Art Reading Series

Last year, when CBS highlighted the top five free reading series in Baltimore, guess who made the list?

The Lit & Art series at the Watermark Gallery!

Find out why this Sunday, July 29 from 2 to 5 at 100 S. Charles Street, right across from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Featured readers include Susi Wyss, Debra Leigh Scott, Patti Kim, Meg Adams, Patricia Schulthesis, Sam J. Schmidt, and Sid Gold. The event features the musical talents of singer/songwriter Goodloe Byron and the original artwork of Manzar.

Find out what writer Caryn Coyle had to say about Lit & Art on the CBS Baltimore website.


Join the Lit & Art Facebook page!


See you Sunday!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Writing Advice Published in Sacramento Book Review

Earlier this year, I shared my first story to be published in 2012. It was a work of non-fiction published in the San Francisco Book Review called “Let Them Change Your Ending.”

I’m happy to say that the same article has been republished by sister publication the Sacramento Book Review.

The article tackles a question writers often struggle with: “what do I do if my agent or publisher likes my work, but wants me to make changes. Or, more drastically, wants me to … change my ending?”

It’s not a simple answer, unless you have a good sense of your novel and your characters as well as a good agent and publisher who understands what you’re intent is.

In my case, my agent loved Tracks, but offered some advice that didn’t only change the book—it improved it.

The dreaded editorial changes are easy to embrace if you can truthfully examine them and come to the conclusion that they are true to your story and your characters.

As I say in the article, “When I cut old stories, wrote new ones, and came up with an entirely new conclusion to the book, I saw that my agent understood the truth of my book even better than I did.”

Go ahead and let them change your ending. Learn how by reading my article published on the Sacramento Book Review’s “Back Page.” Check out the two-page spread at page 65.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Lit & Art Returns This Sunday

Beat the heat at the next Lit & Art at the Watermark! It's on for Sunday, July 29 from 2 to 5 p.m.

This time, the featured readers include Susi Wyss, Debra Leigh Scott, Patti Kim, Meg Adams, Patricia Schulthesis, Sam J. Schmidt and Sid Gold.

Musical interludes are being provided by singer/songwriter talents of Goodloe Byron!

If that's not enough talent for one room, the artwork of Manzar Rassouli will be on display for your viewing pleasure. Books and artwork will be available for purchase. Nitin Jagdish and I host.

Fill yourself with wine and refreshments as well as art, poetry, and prose this Sunday, July 29 from 2 to 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public—but get there early as it may be standing room only!

The Watermark Gallery is located in the Bank of America building at 100 South Charles Street, Second Floor, across from Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Learn more (and chime in) at the Lit & Art Facebook Page.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Farley’s Bookshop Spotlights Tracks

In their most recent monthly newsletter, Farely’s Bookshop spotlighted a few notable books. One of them is Tracks: A Novel in Stories.

“Goodman interweaves the stories and lives of a group of passengers on a train headed from Baltimore to Chicago. The book is full of tension, insight and tight, great writing. It is a wonderful look into the human soul and an absolute pleasure to read. Fine work.”

Farley’s Bookshop, located in New Hope, Pennsylvania, has been independent and family owned and operated since 1967.

Novelist James Michener and Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) helped Jim and Nancy Farley open the shop in 1967.

Farley’s Bookshop has a reputation for discovering and spotlighting indie presses and books.

Visit the bookshop online at http://www.farleysbookshop.com/.

Or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/farleys.bookshop.5

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Great Gadfly

My book review for Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller was published in the most recent issue of Switchback, the literary journal of the University of San Francisco’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program.

The review was published by this San Francisco lit journal while I was in San Francisco for a reading of Tracks: A Novel in Stories. Was that the power of proximity or just a curious coincidence?

Serendipity, I suppose.

A bit of the review: “Part coming-of-age story, part secret society mystery, Year of the Gadfly follows the exploits of Iris Dupont, a teenage reporter whose family is moving from their home in Boston to the remote New England town of Nye. Moving to a new place can be difficult for any 14-year old child. Add to that Iris’s personality as a “gadfly,” someone who does not quite fit in, and Miller offers us an intriguing protagonist. Her best friend, for example, is the imaginary ghost of Edward R. Murrow.”

Check out my review of this fun novel at the link below.


And check it out on the front page!


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Atticus Gold Winners Profiled in Independent Publisher

It’s not every day that a publisher has an author win a gold medal for fiction. So imagine how amazing it was when indie publisher Atticus Books learned it swept four regional gold medals this year!

That’s the subject of an article in the most recent issue of Independent Publisher. Jillian Bergsma interviewed Atticus Books CEO and founder Dan Cafaro and 2012 fiction gold medalists John Minichillo, JM Tohline, and Tommy Zurhellen … and yours truly.

“My goal with Atticus Books is to create a new publishing paradigm that elevates great literature far beyond the classroom and outside the pages of a static book,” Dan Cafaro said. “There's a thrill in knowing that the writers whose works we support are creating a legacy that will outlast all of us!”

JM Tohline: “The Great Lenore came to me the same way any other story ideas had come to me in the preceding years, and have come to me since: it just sort of showed up. First, it was the seed of an idea. Then, it began to grow. And soon, I held a whole story in my hands.”

Tommy Zurhellen: “The Badlands are a desolate but magical place, and after visiting them over and over it became clear to me that this book really couldn't be set anyplace else.”

John Minichillo: “Moby-Dick was a wealth of inspiration and the story I got out of it was a joy to write and a gift. So the idea to do a retelling of Moby-Dick came first, something I'd kicked around for years without a good ‘way in’ to the story.”

Eric D. Goodman: “A local on the literary scene made the case that all good fiction begins as regional fiction. I took his advice to heart and began setting my stories and books in concrete places—the real sights and restaurants and cafes in Baltimore and Chicago. I think that helped ground the stories.”

Dan Cafaro: “The authors we sign have a knack for writing visual, compelling narratives whose characters and story lines are quirky and timeless. I'm elated to have our books connected with the IPPY awards. Publishing needs the IPPYs as much as the film industry needs Sundance.”

Read the entire story and find out what these Atticus Authors are doing next at


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Friday, July 06, 2012

California, a Trip in Tweets

Want a free California vacation? Here’s my two weeks along the coast of California, one tweet /post at a time!

Packing for California with a little help from the family.

In the misty morning in LA, I spotted two Coyotes roaming across Mulholland Drive ... so begins my tour of California.

So everyone's right: the weather IS perfect in San Diego.

Enjoying the pool tides and high peaks of Cabrillo National Park.

After curling over the Coronado Bridge, I grabbed a taco and burrito at Coronado's best take out place: "Mexican Take Out." Now I am sitting at Hotel Del Coronado before strolling onto their beach.

In Baltimore: 98 and humid. In San Diego's Balboa Park: 68 and sunny.

At the San Diego Museum of Man, there's an exhibit on childbirth. It made me think of WOMB, currently with my literary midwife (agent) on the other coast.

Balance: Balboa's Botanical and Alcatraz gardens are just the thing after the Museum of Man and Timken Art Museum.

There is a model railroad museum in San Diego's Balboa Park. Perfect place to leave some swag for TRACKS: A Novel in Stories ...

I'm off to see the wizard ... the wonderful Wizard of Oz House on Coronado.

Yes, the Marston House is more lavish than the Oz House. But L. Frank Baum wrote several Oz books in his simple Coronado home, so it kinda evens out.

Wanna relocate to San Diego? The Gaslight Quarter's famous Yuma Building is for sale. I'll consider over coffee @ Cafe Luna.

Back to Balboa: the San Diego Museum of Art was closed yesterday. It rested well and is performing perfectly today.

Mexican lunch in San Diego's Old Town before plotting the next attack ...

"San Diego's best Mexican restaurant" was good. Coronado's “Mexican Take Out” was better. Now, strolling Old Town.

A railroad crossing near San Diego's Santa Fe Station says “Tracks 5.” Hey, I haven't even started Tracks 2 yet!

And finally: San Diego's contemporary art museums ...

Watched the sun set from the top of the Hyatt, but no flashing green lights. Bring on the scotch flight!

Visit to Torrey Pines State Reserve before leaving San Diego for LA.

Watching the waves @ Torrey Pines reminds me of Ten Thousand Waves @ the San Diego Contemporary Art Museum. Nine screens displayed an artsy film from different perspectives. One extended scene took place on a commuter train, the people watching each other watch each other. An interpretation of TRACKS?

Hello sunny Santa Monica. Suddenly all I wanna do is have some fun. I have a feeling I'm not the only one.

Hundreds of people crowded Santa Monica Pier as I read from TRACKS. Not that many of them were listening, I'm just saying ...

It was fun connecting last night with friends who went to school with me in Sasebo, Japan. Appropriately, we had the house margaritas with sake.

If you had one full Saturday to do LA, where would you go go first?

Great suggestions—keep them coming while I slip into this tar pit.

Out of the tar pits, into the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).

The impressionism and soap bubbles were great. But I think the best find at the LACMA was the Japanese art pavilion (given our Japanese reunion).

Got to LA's Museum of Tolerance to find it's closed on Saturdays. Guess it's only fair to tolerate that.

Saturday night on Hollywood Blvd.

Even the wax museum figures in Hollywood appear to be plastic!

Last night I had an unexpected encounter with Angelina Jolie. Brad wasn't there.

Traded in the clunky old Versa for a brand new, candy apple red Focus SE. Much nicer rental for the cruise up the west coast.

Is the traffic on 101 going to average 15 mph all the way from LA to SD, or just these first few hours?

HWY 101: 4 1/2 hours, 130 miles. Have to skip the Hearst Castle today and head directly to San Francisco.

Stopped in King City for fuel. I must be east of Eden.

Finally made it to San Francisco (a few hours and an old friend ago).

If you had a free day in San Francisco, how would you spend it?

Morning sun reflecting off the shore, Golden Gate Bridge glistening in the sun. Cup of coffee and a walk along the piers. Cool, salty breeze. Ahh, San Francisco.

Everyone said to buy Alcatraz tickets early. I figured it's Monday morning, no need. Everyone was right; next available ticket is for JULY 7! I'll just look at the island from here on the end of Pier 39.

If you say "wish you were here" when at Alcatraz, is that an insult or a compliment?

The sea lions are barking, “hello.”

Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl for lunch in Fisherman's Wharf. Then a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge. The view from Vista Point is great.

Two years ago, I was in San Francisco when my agent called with the good news of a publishing contract for TRACKS. I'm in San Francisco now for a few days and just got an email that my agent is following up with publishers about WOMB. Perhaps I should extend my stay?

The view from Telegraph Hill isn't bad either. Now, back to the roller coaster. (That is, the streets of San Francisco.)

When the sign said "park at 90 degrees," I didn't realize it meant park the car on its side!

Ah, Golden Gate Park ... Last time I visited I spent an entire day here. It could happen again.

It did.

C'mon, San Francisco, let's get lit tonight! Meet me in the Makeout Room tonight, 7 to 5. Bring your friends and we’ll have a good time!

That's 7 to 9. Unless the readings are REALLY good.

Tonight in San Francisco: Inside Story Time: TRACKS in The Makeout Room, 7 to 9.

Had a California scrambler in Redwood with my friend before heading to San Jose. Goodbye San Francisco, for now ...

Ah, San Jose, place of my birth. Good to see you.

San Jose to Monterey with Salinas in between. I grew up here, so I know the way.

Having pie and coffee at The Steinbeck House, where John Steinbeck grew up and wrote such early works as THE RED PONY and TORTILLA FLAT. For dessert, the tour.

Getting ready to visit the National Steinbeck Center. And what's cool is that they're expecting me!

Inside story: I've been corresponding with someone at the Steinbeck Center for a few weeks and we were trying to set up an event, but couldn't in the time I'm in the area. So I arranged to donate a copy and hope to read next time I'm in town.

John Steinbeck: I nearly always write—just as I nearly always breathe.

I'm happy to report The National Steinbeck Center now has a copy of TRACKS: A Novel in Stories.

Glad to report that the John Steinbeck Public Library in Salinas now has a copy of TRACKS: A Novel in Stories.

Enjoying "Monterey County's Best Coffee" on Main Street in Salinas. The coffee is good. But the atmosphere at Steinbeck's boyhood home was better.

The liquor store between the Steinbeck House and Steinbeck Center is called Cal's liquors. Named after the surviving son in EAST OF EDEN, or coincidence?

Made it to Monterey.

Sly McFly's was voted best blues joint in Monterey. And it's right next to Cannery Row's Steinbeck monument. I'm going in.

Good music, drinks, and atmosphere. But what would you expect—it’s Monterey!

It's 55 and sunny in Monterey. That's practically half of Baltimore’s temperature!

News as it happens: Supreme Court: Health care law upheld! Health care for all!

John Steinbeck isn't the only literary legend associated with Monterey. Robert Louis Stevenson lived and wrote here too. Maybe that's why Steinbeck quoted him?

“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.” And here I am.

I really must do something nice for Doc.

I am parked in the carport in front of my childhood friend's place in Monterey. If I knock, will a 14 year old come out to play?

My old place is gone, new houses built. But the community center where I spent Friday nights watching movies, listening to music, and playing video games is here. So is the convenience center.

When I lived here, I babysat for Mike Mullins, recent Joint Chief of Staff. I had an ad to babysit and mow lawns on the La Mesa community bulletin board. Now, the same board has an ad for TRACKS, by a former resident.

Driving through Steinbeck Country listening to a Steinbeck audiobook. How perfect is that?

On my way to Santa Barbara for tonight's TRACKS party!

Hey Santa Barbara! Join me tonight for a TRACKS party @ Cominichi's with live music by Nate Lane! Tonight, 6 to 9!

Had a great time last night at Cominichi’s!

Montecito, Santa Barbara, and vicinity: join me tonight for TRACKS AT TECOLOTE BOOK SHOP at 5 p.m!

Jewel-blue lake, dust-brown mountains flowered with green trees, a hawk gliding in a cloudless sky. Vista Point next to Santa Barbara is a great place to rest.

I'm excited about my TRACKS reading tonight at Tecolote Books. I'm even more excited about meeting some of the expected guests!

Tonight's book event was absolutely marvelous. More on it later. Now the PCH ...

One last California sunset along the PCH ...

I'm back in LA where I started. One last day before flying over the wildfire on my way to Baltimore where the power is out after the storm and it's in the humid hundreds.

It may only reach 99 in Baltimore today.

Doing the entire Hollywood walk of fame. In the first few minutes, surprises like Dr. Seuss, Pee Wee Herman, Edward Murrow, Ray Bradbury, and Gene Autry.

Did you know Ray Bradbury and Gene Autry are directly next to one another on the Hollywood walk of fame?

The freaks come out at night? On Hollywood Blvd, they come out during the day, too!

Worst part of the trip: LAX!

Back to Baltimore, hot, humid, hundred degree weather, storms, no electricity ... there's no place like home.

The TRACKS reading at Tecolote in Montecito may have been in a valley, but it was the high point to my California book tour. Thank you to Thomas Steinbeck and Gail Knight Steinbeck for helping to set it up, promote it, and support it.

It was a thrill to meet Mr. Steinbeck at Tecolote Books and to talk with him about writing. Great storytelling runs in his family, and it was such a compliment to have him speak highly of TRACKS. Sincere Thanks to an author I admire.

Another surprise: old friend and fellow writer Manisha Gadia Bewtra showed up at my TRACKS event in Montecito! She read early versions of TRACKS stories when we were in a workshop together a good seven years ago! Nice to see her and her family there.

The power is back on after severe storms. The AC is working. Take that, hot humidity!

The sun has set on my California book tour. I’m back in Baltimore with the family, electricity is working, AC is on, the office is in operation. Still California Dreaming, but things are back to normal.