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Archive for October, 2007

Halloween is officially here. Like most holidays, consumer celebration of it starts a few weeks before and extends to a few weeks after. Here are a few suggestions to keep you entertained and in the Halloween spirit long after the parties are over and the trick-or-treaters have ransacked your candy stash:

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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson: A timeless tale of isolation and strange evolution, it’s been adapted several times. The latest movie will be released in December, starring Will Smith. As with any adaptation, it takes certain liberties with the book; it remains to be seen how good the newest film will be. In the meantime, read the book.

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Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe: Halloween just isn’t complete without mention of Poe. While he wrote in a wide range of genres and literary styles, he is legendary for short stories such as “The Fall of the House of Usher” and poems like “The Raven.” Edgar Allan Poe was a master of atmospheric and psychological horror, and every year his grave here in Maryland is visited by fans and curious tourists to get them into the holiday spirit.

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Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler: This book weaves together a thoughtful, well-paced tale of genetics, family, and mystery with a fairly different take on vampire folklore. It is the last book written by the highly admired author.

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30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith: I have not seen this movie, but it’s on my list and so is the graphic novel. Based on reviews by both critics and audiences, the film is utterly terrifying, and the vampires are a far cry from the sympathetic, lovelorn bloodsuckers portrayed in books/movies like Interview with the Vampire.

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(November 4, 2007) The SimpsonsTreehouse of Horror XVIII“: Of course, Halloween really isn’t over until Homer says D’ oh!

Lastly, check out http://www.monsterlibrarian.com/halloween07.htm for reviews of Halloween based books.

Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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There’s something about the sky and the light in October…the retreating days…the cooling ground…the twilight that seems to last forever…the falling leaves.

It makes one contemplative and thinking about taking inventory.

Here I have made a list of my favorite novels of all time:

10.  The Prince of Whales, R. L. Fisher (1986)

9.  An Accidental Man, Iris Murdoch (1971)

8.  In the Hand of Dante, Nick Tosches (2002)

7.  A Gun for Sale, Graham Greene (1936)

6.  To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (1960)

5.  Jazz, Toni Morrison (1992)

4.  Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky (2004-French edition, 2006-English Translation)

3.  Dracula, Bram Stoker (1897)

2.  The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene (1940)

1.  Light in August, William Faulkner (1932)

What books would make your list? 

Follow the link to my blog for further explanations of the choices and the reason for the list:

http://davethenovelist.wordpress.com/2007/10/27/the-greatest-novels-of-all-time/

-D. H. Schleicher, Author of The Thief Maker

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Are you going to be in the Barnes&Noble at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD tomorrow? Why not give to a good cause while you’re at it. When you make your purchases, present a special voucher and a portion will go to The CityLit Project, a non-profit organization that helps to expand the culture of literature in Maryland.

To find out more information, visit the website at http://www.citylitproject.org/?q=node/190. And to get the voucher, send and e-mail to INFO@CITYLITPROJECT.ORG.

Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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It’s a tired saying, but so true. I’ve been mulling things over today that have been occupying my psyche since I was a child. I began tracing in my mind how actions, phrases, parental and non-parental guidance all plays a part in our development. And, a lack thereof, whichever might be the case.

Today must be a day of self-reflection, as evidenced by the previous post! Only, I know why I am trying to understand my “id”. I hope to have a better grip on this philosophical challenge. My new book, “Invisible Fences” is forcing me to finally address some issues in my life that has alluded me to this day. Hopefully, those invisible fences won’t be so elusive or invisible anymore.

Sometimes it’s hell to be a writer…

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Life is full of dreams and expectations, nobody knows for sure what their meaning in life is. Most of the time I know when I’m on the right track when I feel at peace with what’s going on around and inside me.

We go through life and encounter new paths and stages, and every time we do so we need to make adjustments. What changes do we need to make in order to continue growing? What new things do we need to learn? What have we learned from past experiences or failures?

I’m constantly looking to learn at all levels; mentally, spiritually and in business. Looking for knowledge is my way to stay alive and motivated, optimistic about the future and the world. I find satisfaction in self-challenge in order to grow and then by achieving my goals.

I have no idea why I’m writing this today, perhaps because I’m evaluating what I have accomplished so far compare to where I was a year ago. I’ve learned to stay motivated and inspired. I’m glad I have a group of friends and associates to share my joy with. Most of all I’m glad to help others any way I can.

Clary Lopez, author
Simplicity – Richness of Life
Official Blog

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This review came out last month, but I think it’s perfect to post closer to Halloween! Enjoy.

Sept. 2007. Bookgasm: Reading Material To Get Excited About
Bookgasm is a review site of speculative fiction, including comic books and magazines. Edited by Rodd Lott.

portraits in dark review
Perhaps Nancy O. Greene’s PORTRAITS IN THE DARK is about what you don’t see in the darkness. Her short vignettes try to shine some light on what we’re quick to dismiss, ignore, or avoid, and her slim collection of short stories provides a wonderful road map to the damaged psyche.

Greene is a writer in bloom. Crisp and vivid – like old black-and-white photographs you find in a drawer you were never meant to look into – each story sets up an interesting scenario, often leaving you with more questions than answers … and wanting more. The only drawback with her stories is that they’re too short. If the fascinating tales in PORTRAITS IN THE DARK are any indication what we can expect, her full-length work will be something to read.

Greene’s PORTRAITS IN THE DARK proves she’s a budding talent. Anything that has me thinking after I read it stays in my library. –Matt Adder

Buy it at Amazon.

*Read the rest at Bookgasm.com.

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My flash fiction story “Beyond the Horizon” was recently published by edificeWRECKED. If you like, you can check it out here: http://www.edificewrecked.com/.

Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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If a Book Festival comes to your town this weekend, GO. If ever a time was more important to support your fellow writers, poets, screenwriters, authors etc. Now is the time. I had a chance to check out the Southern Festival of Books in beautiful downtown Nashville, TN. The weather cooperated beautifully and hundreds upon hundreds of vendors and writers of all kinds and from all over the world were there in force.

I got to see the C-SPAN bookmobile parked at the entrance, talk to some fellow writers on publishing, self-publishing and other issues that are important to wordsmiths. And, made some good contacts and some good ideas to try myself.

So, do yourself a favor. Support your fellow writer!

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Passing along this press release for what is sure to be an excellent event!

Celebrate 800 years of Persian poet, teacher, and philosopher Rumi at “A Rumi-esque Reading.”

The event takes place at the Watermark Gallery in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Sunday, October 21 at 2 p.m. and includes readings of Rumi’s work as well as Rumi-inspired fiction, poetry, artwork, and music. Wine and refreshments will be served.

The Maryland Writers Association (MWA) will be well represented at the event; all three fiction-readers and one of the two poetry-readers are members of the MWA.

Hightlights of “A Rumi-esque Reading” include readings of Rumi’s work as well as Rumi-inspired work from poets Deanna Nikaido and Cliff Lynn.

Three local fiction writers will share their work.

Caryn Coyle will read her story, “She Walks in Beauty,” about a Native American ancestor guiding a twentieth century woman on a spiritual journey

Nitin Jagdish will read “Lines: A Portrait Contemplates Its Audience” and “Fragments from a Backyard Melodrama.”

Eric D. Goodman will read excerpts from Womb, a novel written from the point of view of an unborn child.

Diverse Expressions,” a collection of surreal artwork by Manza Rassouli-Taylorr, will be on display.

Eastern, Rumi-inspired music will be performed to enhance the mood.

During the intermission as well as after the readings, members will have the opportunity to mingle with the authors, artists, and each other to talk about Rumi’s work and how his spirit lives on in the works of new artists today.

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.

http://www.manzar.net/

Learn more about “A Rumi-esque Reading” at Writeful.

www.Writeful.blogspot.com

Brush up on your Rumi here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalal_ad-Din_Muhammad_Rumi

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On September 30th, 2007, I woke up from a very relaxing sleep to realize that I was late for the start of the last day of this year’s BBF. I had planned to make an early start of things in order to enjoy the readings of some of my friends and colleagues.

So I quickly got myself together and headed down to the festival. Fortunately, I was in time to hear most of the readings of Works in Progress, sponsored by Gregg Wilhelm’s CityLit Project and moderated by Paul Lagasse, MWAB’s President. Unfortunately, I missed the first reading by Edith Goldman of her work “Pan-delerium,” though I’m sure it was excellent.

Michael M. Hughes, a local horror writer, read an entertaining and funny piece called “Lunch Meeting.” Barabara Friedland read an excerpt from her upcoming novel A Member of the Force, based on the true story of a local murder case. Having heard and read earlier excerpts from the novel, it was wonderful to see that it is coming along so well. I think it could possibly become a Baltimore staple, one of those novels that people mention when they talk about Baltimore’s literary scene. Jen Michalsk’s reading of “The Movie Version of My Life,” from her short story collection Close Encounters, was another interesting read. It was, if memory serves correctly, my first introduction to her work.

Mathew Lee Gill’s novel excerpt “Broken Charm” was a telling piece about a shady characters. Lalita Noronha also read an excerpt from her novel in progress. Afterwards, I purchased a copy of her short story collection Where Monsoons Cry. The last time I heard her read at one of the MWA meetings, her writing stuck in my mind and I knew before she finished that I would be purchasing a copy. Lauren Eisenberg Davis read a selection from her memoir-in-progress. Eric D. Goodman read “The Silences” from Tracks, his novel of interconnected stories. It’s always good to hear Eric read; in fact, a few months ago he read “A Good Beer Needs a Good Stein,” one of my favorite pieces from the novel, on NPR. It’s an excellent example of how authors should read their work, and a first-person version of the story is available at To Be Read Aloud.

Last, but not least, Ian Hochberg read several of his poems. I was reminded of the beat poets, he just had an energy about him that was so fun to watch and his pieces were engaging.

I enjoyed the readings so much (despite having to take a seat outside of the tent because of my late arrival, and therefore baking in the hot, hot, too hot sun), and afterwards I chatted briefly with some of the other writers before heading off to find some food. Even though hadn’t had breakfast, I ended up waiting several hours to buy something to eat–a soda sustained me while I walked around and decided on what books to devour.

Last year I didn’t have much time to purchase. This year was different. Thanks to huge discounts, I walked away with two bags full of books, magazines, and miscellaneous items.

Raw Dog Screaming Press (publisher of the wonderful book Vacation by Jeremy C. Shipp) was on hand, and we talked and I browsed and on my second time around—after deciding on what I would and wouldn’t purchase—I bought The Bizarro Starter Kit: An Introduction to the Bizarro Genre. It turned out that one of the men I chatted with, John Edward Lawson, was also featured in the collection and he signed it for me.

I also purchased several copies of the literary journal Mosaic. It was a surprise to find out that such a professional publication was no longer stocked in bookstores. The publisher and I talked a bit about their attempts to get it back into stores now that the magazine is non-profit. I personally prefer to buy literary magazines from the stores, whether a big chain like B&N or a local independent, simply because of problems with receiving subscriptions in the past, but maybe I should re-evaluate that policy. Maintaining a lit mag is undoubtedly a difficult job.

There were many other events that I enjoyed, including a staged reading of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, musical performances, and I bought several more books. But eventually my legs wore out and I was nearly past my spending limit, so after a quick stop at the Walters Art Museum and a local aromatherapy shop, I grabbed my bags and headed home. Good times.
Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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