Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I've had the Transient excerpt on my webpage since time immemorial, so decided to switch it to a story of different tone. This is a fairly significant chunk of "Shared World," a rather brief story that examines what happens when you write yourself into your fantasy world as a god ...

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Added a review for "This Is My Funniest" to my Reading Recommendations.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wow. Just ... wow

In the interests of providing a balanced view of reviewers (and of bragging), I just discovered this, which includes a review of "Hour By Hour" In Abyss and Apex #22 (keep scrolling down!):


Actual review starts, "I first read Lindsey Duncan at Alienskin magazine, and was very impressed with her skill and inventiveness."

Thursday, May 24, 2007


When I read short stories, my preferred venue is anthologies. While some magazines are fantastic - the now-deceased Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine was one of the best publications ever; I have an abiding love from Andromeda Spaceways, I recently picked up Talebones and was pleasantly surprised that I actually *liked* dark fantasy ... - I find anthologies more appealing. The unified theme, the opportunity to see several authors' take on the same topic (another reason I like the fantasy-writers.org monthly challenges), plus the fact that anthologies seem to avoid the bizarre and experimental, the surreal stories that seem predominantly designed to make the reader realize that the author is far more profound than they are.

A quick sampling of the anthologies on my shelf:

Murder By Magic - a melding of the supernatural and sleuthing, written by both speculative and mystery authors
Twice Told Tales - fairy tales told from the perspective of the losers
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding - fantasy stories involving marriages and weddings
Sword & Sorceress XIV and XXI - sword and sorcery stories with strong female protagonists
Cosmic Cocktails - science fiction stories set around/involving ... bars and taverns
Thou Shalt Not Kill - mystery collection involving priests, either as suspects or investigators

Monday, May 21, 2007

BASH now available!

After patient waiting - and it was worth the wait! - the very first story I ever sold, "But Before I Kill You ..." a send-up of evil overlords everywhere, is now available in Fantasist Enterprises' Bash Down The Door And Slice Open The Badguy.

You can find details here:


In which newly-crowned Velarre determines to take on the role of evil overlady while avoiding the mistakes of her predecessors. Featuring a puzzling priest, a lumbering lord and formidable fashions.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Last Word

This is officially the final sentence(s) in my novel Flow:

Chailyn nodded. “I am sure I will need your help in the future, my friends.”

Thursday, May 17, 2007


This one is for "Hour By Hour" in the current issue of Abyss and Apex. This is the first fantasy mystery story I managed to sell, and I'm fairly pleased with the review.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I recently saw this movie in the comfort and privacy of my own home. The music instantly had me hooked. It's bright, energetic and infectious, and expertly woven into all levels of the story: stage performances of the group, "story songs" ala the tunes in a musical, and some pieces that were straight opera, with the dialogue and conflict sung. (I believe the term is "rock opera" here.) Many of these clips stemmed from or wove into rehearsal scenes, stage reprises, progress montages, radio announcements ... skillful integration of awesome music.

As far as the story itself, the last part of the movie slowed almost to the point of drifting interest and could have been truncated without losing any of the impact, but it was otherwise an engrossing storyline. What struck me the most was the fact that no character was completely in the right throughout. A series of partway wrong decisions created all the misfortunes, and you still sympathized with (most of) the characters despite them.

The performances were fantastic. I can definitely see both supporting act(or/ess) Oscar nominations (I'm indecisive about Hudson's win still), though this is definitely a movie where main and supporting blurs. Hudson's voice is shatteringly powerful, but what really impressed me was Beyonce's range. She managed to "tone down" when singing the stage-sets a character who was supposed to have a fairly unexceptional voice, and then ripped out for a few of the opera/story songs mentioned above.

(Mild spoilers below.)

Dreamgirls' story arc is best summed up by the two songs that are both, at pivotal points in the story, repackaged by another singer. These songs represent taking something raw and vibrant and commercializing it. It's particularly striking in the second set of songs, where one simple word-choice completely alters the meaning of the song. In the original (this song is performed, not story), the singer expresses her wish to love a man, but "you really don't have the time." In the recap, it becomes, "I really don't have the time." One little pronoun and a very striking expression of regret becomes bubbly, and the rest of the song thematics follow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day

My clever plan to conceal my Mother's Day gift in my mother's keyboard tray went horribly awry.

I knew I had to act fast, because she was talking about going out and purchasing the book I left for her. So I asked her to check something for me.

Turns out she only needed the mouse. Never pulled the tray out.

So I, thinking frantically, suggested she go on Borders.com and look for a coupon. She tells me to do it. I pull out the tray.

Mother talks blithely, looking up, looking down, never once at the keyboard. "What do you want me to do?" says she.

And I reply, finally at my wit's end, "Will you LOOK at the left side of your keyboard?"

Yep, that finally did it.

Friday, May 11, 2007


Second review I've ever received - mixed opinion, mostly bad on Winged Words:


Feeling a bit shell-shocked. Don't they know authors read these?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ambivalence in Fiction

Sorry I've been quiet ... life is insane. Here's a bit of a quote from an essay I just submitted. The theme is Poe, and I claimed that his story served to create a sense of ambivalence in readers - and uses claustrophobia to enhance it. To support why the heck you'd want to do that anyway:

Ambivalence is a powerful force in fiction because it leaves the reader unsettled. If a writer leaves clear signposts that a character is the hero – and portrays them with sufficient skill – then the reader feels frightened when the character is in jeopardy and relieved when they escape. The emotion is generally resolved in the mind of the reader and then forgotten. If a writer manages to create a sense of ambivalence, however, the reader may find himself in a state of emotional suspension. He cannot simply resolve the issue and move on. Many of the best stories cause these uncertainties to linger in the minds of readers. Claustrophobia can enhance this ambivalence because it metaphorically traps the reader. If the sense of being shut in is conveyed vividly enough, it transfers to the reader, just as reading about a frightening situation can cause his heart to race.

In reading Poe, what I was really impressed with was the flow of the language. It's very rhythmic, including the use of punctuational tricks you couldn't get printed nowadays. (So many good things have been thrown out with the bathwater of advances in literature! But I digress.)

Thursday, May 03, 2007


"The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is." -- Nadine Gordimer

"My mother said, 'You won't amount to anything because you procrastinate.' I said, 'Just wait."" -- Judy Tenuta

And in honor of the Stargates being back in season, a bit of SG-Atlantis snark:

Maj. John Sheppard: How's it coming, Rodney?
Dr. Rodney McKay: Slower than I expected, but faster than humanly possible.