Can it REALLY be two months since my last blog post? I can barely believe it. So much has happened in such little time and I've let this blog lie idle for too long. It's time for an update!
The Education Scene:
Since the end of my I've completed my third residency in the MFA program (Writing Popular Fiction) at Seton Hill University in Greensburg PA. It was an amazing week seeing my fellow classmates again.
In addition, I've attained a new mentor (Timons Esaias) who is renowned for his thoroughness in a manuscript critique and I hope I survive him. If I do, I know he will help me to be the best writer I can be. Aside from that, I have a huge amount of respect for him.
Soon my "Readings in the Genre" course will start up with horror writer Scott Johnson, a man who tells an excellent tale both orally and on paper. This semester his course will focus on Psychos, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to read some novels I've never read before. (Stay tuned, because you'll see the reviews unfold right at this blog site!)
I continue to work on my dissertation for my PhD through Walden University and the analysis of data is going slow. Such is the work of qualitative research. I hope to have all of the analysis completed by the end of August, and the dissertation ready to go out for its first hard edit.
I submitted one short story (Green Waters) to Rymfire's State of Horror: North Carolina anthology and had it accepted.
Another short story of mine titled "Center Mass" was accepted into an anthology (my thanks to Will Horner for the edit) as a donation to help raise money for a friend suffering from breast cancer. My own mother battled breast cancer, and it's particularly poignant for me to have a hand in this work.
My novel "Sapien Farm" is still in progress and approximately 75% complete. The goal is to have the first draft completed by the end of July and edited by the end of August. It's a hefty plan, but editor R.J. Cavender believes in it and so my own belief is fortified with his positive comments and suggestions. In addition, my Ventura Writer's Group has assisted me with editing Sapien Farm at various chapter points, and my sincere gratitude goes out to editor Broos Campbell, Mark Juris and Kim Wild & Crazy Woman for their thought comments on my work. And my dearest crit partners Gina Greenway and Joe Borrelli...not only do I get to keep them for the next go round of the MFA program, but they have been instrumental in my novel getting to where it is now.
My other novel, "The Flatulent Adventures of Dr Stench and the DC Underground," is currently on hold but not forgotten. I will soon be getting Mario Zucarello back to doing some scenes and Tarot cards for me to help with the book. I'm still on the fence about self publishing this one versus finding a publisher. It's my literary baby, and sometimes the self publishing route is just what needs to be. I want the images to go into the book in color and while a book with color pages is expensive to print, it is not expensive to "e-book." I'm still thinking on this one.
This year has been one of challenges for many wonderful writers I love and consider dear friends. If any of you read this, you know who you are. Some of these people have family members enduring serious illness or they themselves are suffering poor health. Some have lost loved ones who've passed from this life to the next on the continuing journey. My endless prayers and affection pour out to you all with deep sincerity. You are all my heros.
Each and every one of you take care. If you're a writer, keep writing. If you are a reader, please keep reading and share a book, a short story or a poem with those around you. Lets keep "reading" alive and well in the U.S. and across the world. Good stories are an art form that should never die, and all of you are the ones who help keep it alive.