Why #HoldOnToTheLight Matters


You’ve heard the story about the boy throwing starfish back into the ocean at low tide. A man chides him that the boy can’t save them all, and what difference does such a futile gesture make? “It makes a difference to this one,” the boy replies, tossing another starfish into the sea.

Light one candle. Scare away the dark. Use your voice every time they try to shut your mouth.

The power of one. Refusing to go gently into the dark night.

Defiance is one of the human race’s better attributes.

#HoldOnToTheLight is about throwing starfish and lighting candles. And giving a one-finger salute to the darkness.

As my friend John Hartness likes to say, there is ‘famous’ and then there’s ‘writer famous’. ‘Writer famous’ is when you walk into a con and people recognize you. ‘Famous’ is when you walk into a Starbucks anywhere in the world […]

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Some of Magical Words Folks

A bunch of us will be the Cabarrus County Library, in NC, today–Saturday, 9-25.


Come see us!


Taking a Moment to Look Back and Say Thanks

Nearly six years ago, on January 24, 2008, Misty posted the very first essay to the Magical Words blogsite. It was called “Where’d Everybody Go?” and it was a response to a show she had seen the night before on the History Channel about what Earth might be like if all human life vanished from the planet. The following day, I put up my first post — “Doing as I Say” — which was about writing short fiction to help flesh out elements of worldbuilding or character development for larger projects.

Faith’s first post followed mine, and Catie’s first came after Faith’s. By the end of that first week of Magical Words, we had all posted something; the site was up and running, and to be honest, we were all pretty excited about it. We didn’t know where the site would take us, but we knew it was something we […]

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ConCarolinas 2013.

Was amazing. Fun. Harder than any ConCaro before. Less relaxing than any before. More emotional than any before (and that part for reasons I can’t quite articulate). Too many panels. Wow. They really worked us! The three MW seminars were *great,* but were held in rooms that were waaaay too small — standing room/sitting room-on-the-floor only. But David and Misty and I shared what we knew and the Q&As were terrific. (Someone got a pic of me snarling at David. I think he probably deserved it. LOL)

We had a fantastic MW lunch on Saturday at Boardwalk Billy’s. 52 people attended! There were several parties. And for me, Mom and her bestie and my bestie were there, which means responsibility that always goes beyond the usual Con responsibilities . David B Coe had his daughter there. Schlomo came to visit for a good one liner. (Inside joke.) Misty had her […]

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Goodbye MW

Yes, this is true. The time has come to say goodbye.

For those of you who have followed along over the last few years, you know my writing career has taken some strange turns. In part, those turns have led me into the world of self/indie-publishing. Although I’ve tried hard to make my actions clear — that I don’t recommend new writers do as I do — at MW, we feel that this new path I’m choosing is muddying the waters for what MW teaches: namely, that all writers should seek out a traditional writing path.

Quite frankly, you new writers are at the beginning of a long road. For me, though, I’ve already traveled this road extensively (I’ve been writing for twenty years). Hopefully, I’ve got a long road still to come. But regardless, I’ve gained the publishing experience, I’ve got the networked connections, and I understand the realities […]

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Publishing — A Self-Publishing Adventure Part 5

As promised, I am going to give an update on my self-publishing experience with the short story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain.

It’s been about two months and I’ve sold…drum roll, please……….around 40 copies.

Now, whether or not you see that as good or bad has a lot to do with where you are in your publishing career and what your hopes/expectations for indie-publishing are. So, let’s begin with expectations.

Many self-published authors get it in their heads that they are going to be the next Amanda Hocking. After all, everybody is making a killing selling ebooks, right? No. Obviously, not. And, frankly, my numbers are quite above average because I came into this with a small, built-in audience (that would be you guys). See, despite all the massive changes happening in publishing, nothing much has really changed in terms of the odds of getting a bestseller. Amanda Hocking […]

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Writing — Dissecting Cowboys & Aliens

I’ve decided today to rip apart the movie Cowboys & Aliens, and I mean that in both good and bad terms. There’s a lot to learn from dissecting a movie or a book or any form of storytelling you come across. I chose this particular film for today’s talk because it straddles two genres and in doing so, shows the great weaknesses of failing to understand the genre(s) you’re working in.

Cowboys & Aliens stars Daniel Craig as a cowboy/stranger waking in the middle of the desert with a strange bracelet locked to his arm. He doesn’t know who he is or how he got there. Harrison Ford is the rancher who controls the local town. When Craig arrives in the town, Ford’s bratty son is bullying the nice townsfolk, so Craig beats up the young man. Thus, Ford and Craig are destined to clash. But just before they can […]

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