Thursday, December 31, 2009

EDF's January Calendar

Happy New Year. I'm working on my resolutions, but in the meantime, I want to share Every Day Fiction's lineup of stories for the month of January 2010.

January’s Table of Contents
Jan 1 Anthony Cowin Golden Sparks
Jan 2 A P Charman Truce
Jan 3 Michael D. Turner Djinni Beach
Jan 4 Debbie Cowens The Death Meter
Jan 5 Deborah Winter-Blood Fireword
Jan 6 Dominik J. Parisien Snowparent
Jan 7 Ramon Rozas III Micro-Transactions
Jan 8 Anna Sykora The Meatball of Fate
Jan 9 Paul Graham Fodder
Jan 10 J F Taylor Trophy
Jan 11 Gaius Coffey The Mortician and Mr Grimley
Jan 12 Harry Steven Lazerus The Man Who Executed Socrates
Jan 13 Fred Warren Half
Jan 14 Jay Faulkner The Way Not to Wish
Jan 15 Joy V. Smith Mooving Out
Jan 16 Oonah V Joslin Take v, t, & i (took, taken,-kable)
Jan 17 Ruth Schiffmann Do-si-do
Jan 18 Nathaniel Johnson The Basset and the Hare
Jan 19 G.P. Ching Replacement Parts
Jan 20 Miriam Hall Woken
Jan 21 Matthias R. Gollackner Nothing
Jan 22 Christie Isler The First Burial
Jan 23 Stephanie Scarborough An Undead Day at the Spa
Jan 24 Magen Toole The Mermaid of Warsaw
Jan 25 JB Smith Cleansings
Jan 26 JR Hume Differences
Jan 27 Guy Anthony De Marco Member of the Herd
Jan 28 Townsend Walker An Incident at Golden Gate Bridge
Jan 29 J.C. Towler Bad Smile
Jan 30 Kelly Swimmer The Warrior and the Stone
Jan 31 Mark Robinson Calls From Other Networks May Vary

Monday, December 21, 2009

Storm the Gates Michael Sherlock Reads The London Eye

My buddy Michael Sherlock of the London metal band, Storm the Gates, has done me the honor or reading "The London Eye."

Here's the link to the podcast : The London Eye as read by M Sherlock.

And here's the link to the story itself at Every Day Fiction.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pomegranate now available

My freshly minted collection of mother/daughter stories is now available through LULU.COM and will soon be available--autographed by me--on my blog and over at

I just have to figure out how to make the paypal link work properly. LOL. Since I don't think you can get it before Christmas for gifts anyway and since my ordered box of books is still on the way, I'm not going to worry about the paypal until after the holidays. BUT if you want to email me about it and I know you, I'll gladly take a personal check. If I don't know you, money order? And the shipping is on me. Oh and there might be a little discount thrown in. The box is due today or Monday.

My email address is

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10Flash Interview Today

I know I'm tooting my own horn a lot lately but think of the months years you never heard a peep from me. A confluence is happening for some reason. Maybe Vermont and Banff had a part in it. Maybe I should blame Emily and Toby for the editing skills and encouragement. Or Hillary for being an amazing reader. Whatever is going on, I'm enjoying it while it lasts. Yesterday "Flash Flood" at Every Day Fiction and today an interview at K. C. Ball's 10FLASH.

Here's the link to the interview: A Look at Pomegranate

So has anyone seen the recent commercial for Kahlua?

It features a man and woman stumbling onto Montezuma's throne room. Being the king of the Aztecs, Monte demands to know how dare they intrude.

He asks "Are you kings?"

The girl starts to tell the truth, "NO we---" but she's hastily interrupted by her friend.

He shouts, all full of confidence, "Yes! Yes we are kings!"

And the crowd in the throne room explodes with cheering and demands for more Kahlua!

Now where can the genesis of this scene be found???? Who you gonna call?

You guess it. At least I think so.

On the roof of Dana Barrett's building, our guys with proton-packs stumble into Gozar. Here's the scene:

Gozer: [after Ray orders her to re-locate] Are you a God?

[Ray looks at Peter, who nods] Dr Ray Stantz: No.

Gozer: Then... DIE! [Lightning flies from her fingers, driving the Ghostbusters to the edge of the roof and almost off; people below scream]

Winston Zeddemore: Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!

Dr. Peter Venkman: All right! This chick is TOAST!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Flash Flood out at Every Day Fiction Today

My story "Flash Flood" is up at Every Day Fiction today. If you get a chance, check it out.

Also I just read in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section that this is the 25th anniversary of Ghostbusters!!!


I have a couple things planned: quotes of course and maybe tomorrow I'll have time to write a bit about the influence on movies that Ghostbusters has had. Yes, the rhythm, the humor, is rife in film since the first days the boys arrived in the five boroughs with nuclear accelerators on their backs.

Meanwhile, be satisfied with these clues: Die Hard and the most recent Kahlua commercial. I got your back, Dr. Venkman.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Victory in Bed... or should I say EMBED

I've been going nuts trying to solve a problem at LULU, and I finally did it.

If you read my previous post you know I was over the edge. And no one seemed to be able to help me exactly, but the suggestions evenutally led me into new areas of exploration so thank you Trish, Hillary, Sylvia, Dave Fujioka, and Madeline.

My goal was/is to create a collection of my stories to give as Christmas presents, to take with me to Vancouver when I go up for Every Day Fiction's Best of Every Day Fiction Two Launch in January, and to have available on my website. While I have a couple stories in anthologies, I don't have anything with just MY stories. My friend Angela Carlton had create a book Between the Clouds using Lulu so I thought, "I'd like to do that too."

If you want to be blasted with my frustration, check out the previous post, but here is the solution that worked for me.

My difficulties came from never ever having a bit of trouble with a PDF before and suddenly having trouble. I was hindered by the fact that I'd never really explored the Adobe site with PATIENCE.

By last night, after a long nap and several deep breaths, that's what I did.

1) I opened my Adobe Acrobat Profession 7 as a program. I did not open one of the many PDF documents I'd created during this project but OPENED THE ACTUAL PROGRAM FIRST.
2) I explored and after a while, under the EDIT menu, when I highlighted PREFERENCES I hoped maybe I would find something. There is a category list on the left-hand side and it doesn't look as if it has a thing in it to help. I'd retreated from here before because of that but this time, I studied every category carefully.

3) Eventually, again eventually, I clicked on "Convert to PDF." I didn't think it would work, but....
4) Converting to PDF opened a new window just to the right of the category window. I studied that . Clicked on--what else--MSWindows. Then on edit settings.
5) Remember that "ensure embedding" instruction" you downloaded if you too have had embedding problems???? Well the screen comes up looking just like that. Who knew? Not me.
6)I clicked on fonts. (When I did this in the Lulu version, nothing happened because obviously it's just a picture of what it looks like, not an actual linking program or if it is linking to help, I couldn't figure out how to make it work) BUT here in this newly opened screen of my on Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro, All my fonts were listed and all of them were in the "do not embed" box!!!! No wonder!!! I highlighted all the garamonds and all the timesnewromans and added them to the embed box. And Clicked OKAY.
7)I then opened my Word document that I'd been trying to upload into this particular window of Acrobat. And I made a PDF.

AND returned to Lulu fingers crossed. At Lulu

1) I uploading my new PDF document...or I tried to, but it wouldn't go. I guess it gets sleepy if it's open too long or if like me you've uploaded thirty times in the last 48 hours.
2) I closed it and restarted my computer. The best solution I have when something doesn't work.
3) I tried again with my new PDF doc. And miracle of miracles it worked. Hooray. Nervously, I opened the print ready doc....
4) It was... wasn't my new document!!!!! Had I messed up?? I studied the mess. Realized it was my very first document that I'd uploaded before I knew what I was doing. Crap. What to do?
5) I looked down where my files were listed on that Lulu upload page and deleted both my new PDF and my old word document.
6) Restarted my computer again, re-uploading my brand new PDF and...IT FINALLY WORKED. I checked it out. It was gorgeous and I was finally ready after 48 hours to move on to the cover....

So here I am ready to do the cover.

I started it last night and of course, I have a big warning sign that my 6x9 photo cover (I did the cover in photo shop so I could choose my fonts) probably wouldn't be clear!!! Today I'm going to first try making the whole cover a pdf and if that doesn't work I suppose I'll take my cover apart and fit it into one of their templates.

You guys recognize how this adventure follows a three-act structure? The act one goal set out, the optimism, the catalyst, then the BIG PROBLEM, the long second act of figuring out how to defeat the enemy (sorry, lulu) and then giving up (my marathon nap yesterday) and then the breakthrough. I'm embarking now on act 3. I'm on the edge of my seat.

Monday, December 07, 2009


LULU, my story collection called "Pomegranate," the frustrations of the last week, and especially my inability to grasp any instructions written online that are supposed to solve my problems, all of these make the list of what is pissing me off today.

What do I want to vent about today? (There's always something: grocery store bag boys/girls who think lettuce is made of steel and will survive the gallon bottle of milk dropped in on top; friends who call and hang up as soon as they hear my voice mail message and then later tell me"I called and you didn't pick up!" WTF! And everybody who is more interested in talking than listening. People who ask me a question, but before I can get the second word out of my mouth have cut me off. If you want to talk without having to listen to someone else respond, get yourself a blog!)

O, yeah. Venting. Today is generally about technology and what it offers, those who offer it but make it crazy-making, and aging. Specifically, my aging or rather me being too old to figure out all the nuances of technology.

I am competent when it comes to everyday technology. Not great, no hacker abilities whatsoever, but I can do a lot of photoshop things, I can build a website, I understand basic html, and I'm not stupid. However, whenever I'm trying to do something new, whatever the "site," the download, the program is, I usually struggle because it isn't clear what it is I'm supposed to do.

I had this crazy idea the last couple weeks that since I'd pulled together eight short stories to enter into a chapbook contest, I should at the very least print them up at since give them to my family and friends for the holidays. The more I thought about this, the more I wanted to do it. I've given away books with my stories before but they've been anthologies and suddenly I had the desire to put something out there that was just mine.

So I started about a week before Thanksgiving. I'd gotten it pulled together in September to send out to win something, so it had to be in great shape, right? Wrong. It is amazing to me how a piece can be proofed by me three or four times, by an editor at least once or twice, and then still have problems. But it's true. I'm talking typos, where I've deleted something or copied and pasted and left extra letters and words behind. I'm talking punctuation. And my fault completely, unclear or awkward sentences.

Great I thought. Maybe not as polished as I would of wanted, these six pieces published elsewhere and two not published. It's okay. I'll just be more thorough so my collection will be in much better shape. No problem. And it wasn't. As a matter of fact, I loved doing it and was surprised at how exhilerating it was for me to realize how "professional" I felt when I saw a problem and knew it wasn't right and how to fix it.

After I went through my stories, I gave them first to a friend to proofread and edit and then with her notes, I fixed what I agreed with and gave them to my daughter. That girl is amazing. She is 99% right with her suggestions, especially in the areas of logic and clarity. So I worked to get this done and planned to upload to lulu in what I'd hoped would be plenty of time to have gifts.

But formatting is a bitch. And I just realized I've blogged for a half hour and haven't even gotten to the part that is sending me over the edge.


If anyone out there knows why I can have a whole document in garamond (double checked for stray fonts page by page by highlighting and looking at the font box: garamond only) and be told by lulu that they can't take it because I haven't embedded a timesnewroman STP (I can't remember the real letters) when I don't even have that font on my list in my computer, then please help!

  • I've tried uploading the word doc with my 6x9 printer settings (document layout), but lulu says the doc is still 8 1/2 by 11 and after they adjust it, it comes out ugly like an ape.
  • I made a pdf and it's gorgeous, but then I can't upload because I can't embed that stupid timesnewroman stp shit. which I don't have! My print drivers don't have the options someone suggested or at least I can't find them for embedding.
  • The little tool document that lulu offers to ensure embedding is obscure about how to use it. I've put it on my desk top, in the doc folder with the docs I want to publish, and rubbed it on my ass.
  • Nothing works.
  • I went to Adobe help and it offers no comprehensible (layperson's) explanation re embedding in a PDF.
  • I went to the community board at lulu. Several other people can't do it and the advice suggested there (doing a universal replace in the word document to make certain everything is garamond and changing a setting on a driver didn't help. My drivers don't seem to have that setting choice) so dang me.
  • I am STUCK.