Thursday, June 28, 2007


I'm a huge believer in doing research. And I love it. The problem tends to be that I'll be writing along and think, "Hmmm. What river would he be near?" or "Would 'Whole Lotta Love' have been released by then?". So then I stop and look up whatever I'm pondering about. Which would be okay if I stopped at the one thing. But inevitably, a comment on the page I'm looking at brings up another question and off I go again. Three hours later, I haven't written another word.

Lately, I've tried to put in brackets where the missing info is and make a note to myself in my handy-dandy notebook to look up whatever it is I need at that point. Seems to work okay, although I still feel the pull to go look, right now.

Today I had some free time at work which wasn't long enough to do any real writing so I did some research on a book that may be the one after TNN or it may be the one after the one after TNN. In either case, I found some great stuff that I'll already have at hand when I get ready to write. One less interruption during the process.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New AL Submission Trend

For almost a year, the number of submissions to Apollo's Lyre was low. And so was the quality of most of those submissions. I went to The Group on more than one occasion to beg for stories.

Within the last six weeks, I've received several really good submissions. A lovely trend to be sure. But there's a trend within the trend. Many of them are from overseas, particularly Israel. Which raises an interesting question: Why?

Bret, if you're out there, can you answer? Are we targeting this market?

And why is the writing so good? Or is it? Am I just impressed because the style is different from what I receive from 'local' writers? Or is there really a quality difference?

I'll leave that to you to decide when the next issue of Apollo's Lyre is published.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bad Groups

I know Ali just posted on her blog about groups, but I'm going to piggyback on that.

I've mentioned before how much I appreciate The Group. My admiration is even stronger today after an encounter I had last night. Several people met at a restaurant in town. Most did not know each other. There was no real structure to the gathering--on purpose. For me it fell flat.

Most of the writers there are experienced, a few multi-published. Yet they seemed unable to maintain a conversation about writing without continued references to themselves. "In MY book, I...." They seemed to take it as an opportunity to promote themselves and their work. Now, that's okay to an extent, but not what I'm looking for.

Further, they seemed fairly clueless about what's in the marketplace right now and how the publishing industry works. And these were the published ones. They all have gone through small presses, which may explain why the promos. I don't believe that a writer needs to have the NYT bestseller list memorized, but at least have an idea of who's big at any given moment. And read something, for pity sake. In your genre and outside of it.

Okay, I feel a little better now. I did write and thank The Group for being the way they are.