Monday, December 20, 2010

20 Heroes: Yelena (part two)

The nineteenth of my "20 Heroes in 2010" is now up at This is the conclusion of "Love & Winter," my story that placed in the finals of the Writers of the Future Contest. (Dmitri and Ivanir should be counted with Yelena as heroes in this tale, so there are actually three heroes in the last two postings.)


Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 - retrospective

As we get older, time acquires the illusion of acceleration. A single year is 12-1/2% of an 8-year-old's life, but only 2-1/2% of a 40-year-old's. (I have a couple more years before turning forty, but it's an easier number for an English major to manipulate.)

2010 was one of the fastest years yet from my perspective. And while it was a challenging one in terms of my day job as a government attorney, it was a productive one for my nascent writing career. The highlights:

* In April, I had the honor of interviewing my favorite author, Guy Gavriel Kay, in conjunction with the release of his magnificent new novel, Under Heaven.

* In July, my essay "Servants of the Secret Fire: Why Fantasy & Science Fiction Matter" won second-place in Pyr's 5th anniversary essay contest.

* Also in July, I again had the pleasure of presenting at Wofford College's Shared Worlds creative writing camp for high school students.

* In October, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly published my story "The Sea Wasp."

* And throughout the year,, which has become a go-to source for spot-on book reviews and other hot, buttery goodness, published my original character sketches in the ongoing series "20 Heroes in 2010."

As for the works of art I most enjoyed this year:

* Book: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I didn't read quite as many books this year as I usually do, but this one stands alone. My review is HERE.

* Album: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

* Film: Up and The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)

* TV Series: Burn Notice, Nikita, and the new Sherlock Holmes series on PBS. All three are secretly sword-and-sorcery tales in that they feature talented rogues who, with only a handful of allies, match weapons and wits against mysterious or (in theory) superior forces.

Looking ahead to 2011, I have two projects planned: (1) a short story set in my hometown of New Orleans--let me give one more shout-out to the 2010 Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints! Who dat!--and (2) a novel. Our children are (usually) sleeping through the night now; the time has finally come to realize a long-deferred dream and write a great novel ... one word at a time.

In the year to come, may you realize all of your good and beautiful dreams.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

20 Heroes: Yelena

The eighteenth of my "20 Heroes in 2010" is now up at This is part one of "Love & Winter," my story that placed in the finals of the Writers of the Future Contest.