The New Magical Words!

Hey beloveds!

Some of you are just dropping by for the first time, and others have been with us from the beginning. Those of you who’ve been around for a while know that we’ve gone through a few changes over the years. Well, we’re making a big change now.

Instead of a scheduled rote of blog posts, we’re going to move to a more open-ended style. Your favorite writers are still going to post here, but in addition to their posts, we’ll be including a daily round-up of links to articles that might be interesting to you, our readers. Over the next few weeks, we’ll also be including posts by guests of the site, opportunities for in-person visits at cons and book signings, interviews, links to podcasts and book reviews, too. We’ll be changing the look of the site a little, with a new banner. But don’t panic – we […]

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Explaining the No

Back in June, we opened submissions for the upcoming Weird West anthology, Lawless Lands, from Falstaff Books. We’ve had a lot of stories roll in, some of them great, some of them okay, and some of them pretty terrible. Yeah, I said ‘terrible’. Despite all the advice we here on Magical Words (as well as lots of other writing sites all over the net) have offered over the years, there are some writers who are just NOT. GETTING. IT. And that breaks my heart. As an editor, what I hope to find every time I open a story file is that incredible story, the one that makes me race through to the end and then read it again because it was that good. The one that leaves me in tears because it touched me so deeply. THAT story. But sometimes writers send in pieces that make me stare at the […]

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Who Am I?

Late last week, I received the edits for a short story I wrote for an upcoming anthology. The editor began by apologizing for it taking so long, and said, “I tried to concentrate on the stories that looked like they need the most editing first. So I guess the delay is a good sign.” Sounds like a compliment, yes? That’s because it is. So you’d probably laugh at me when I say that my first thought was He’s just saying that because I’m friends with the editor who invited me to write for the project.

Which is stupid. But that’s what imposter syndrome makes you do – think stupidly.

Diana Pharoah Francis talked last week about Imposter Syndrome, and how crippling it can be. When I sold Mad Kestrel, every time I got an email from my editor about this rewrite or that suggestion, there was a tiny voice in […]

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Write Us A Story!

Howdy, folks! I’m thrilled to announce that Emily Leverett, Margaret McGraw and I will be editing another anthology of stories from the dusty alleys of the weird west, this time for Falstaff Press! It’s called Lawless Lands: Tales From the Weird Frontier, and we have a fabulous lineup of anchor authors, including:

David B Coe Laura Anne Gilman Barb Hendee Faith Hunter Nicole Givens Kurtz Margaret McGraw Seanan McGuire Devon Monk Edmund Schubert and now, Jake Bible!

But nine stories isn’t enough, and that’s where you come in… we’re opening the submissions right now! Lawless Lands will be funded with a Kickstarter, which will run in December of 2016, so we want to have our stories in hand in order to guarantee an amazing campaign. We’re looking for stories that embody the frontier spirit of the American West, but with a weird twist. Gunslingers with laser pistols, cattle drives through […]

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Hobbit Tomatoes

There’s a scene in “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” in which the hobbits are camping on Weathertop, waiting for Aragorn to do some scouting. Frodo falls asleep, but Merry, Pippin and Sam decide to start a little fire and cook some food. When Frodo wakes, his friends offer him “tomatoes, sausages and nice crispy bacon.”

A number of filmgoers became upset with this, because they felt that tomatoes, being a New World food item, didn’t belong in the setting. You read that correctly – the story is about four little humanoids carrying a magical ring to destroy in a volcano, being escorted by a 90 year old ranger who rode and fought as if he was in his thirties, under the direction of a wizard, but somehow tomatoes didn’t make sense.

I read about this in the afterword of a novel* I just finished, and it […]

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What Day Is It Again?

 

It’s con time again! ConCarolinas is looming large in my sight, and I’ve been caught up in the throes of finishing the schedule for the last week. Let me tell you, scheduling 50 writers into 56 panels so that everyone has a reasonable number and at least one or two of their “I’ll just die if I can’t be on this one” panels is not the easy task it might appear to be. I finished the schedule for the first time on Sunday. Since then, I’ve rearranged it at least four times, dropped panelists either because I screwed up or because they asked me to, and inserted new panelists into the suddenly open spots. Fortunately Sched.org is a brilliantly easy site to work within, so I didn’t have to buy another white board. (The first one was full of names and numbers already.) Want to see what we’ve put […]

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It’s Supposed To Be A Living

“Why should we have to pay for the stories in your head?”

Last week, Facebook was buzzing over an incident with a romance author who received a horrible message from a “fan”. The woman had purchased ebooks by the author, read them, returned them for a refund, then complained that while she enjoyed the stories just fine, the author should make all her books free because paying for them was too difficult for the “fan”. The author blocked her (because duh) so the “fan” created a new account and messaged the author again, calling her names and telling her that she could have been a bestseller if only she’d make her books free for everyone, then ended her message with the line above.

First off, I’m at a loss as to how one becomes a bestseller by giving away all the books. I didn’t get any further than Algebra II/Trigonometry […]

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