Mark your calendars: Long Hidden, the anthology, is on its way

LongHidden-frontcover-smThe anthology “Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History,” which includes one of my short stories (“Angela and the Scar”), has a release date: May 9, 2014.

Where can you buy the book? Check out the publisher’s page, Crossed Genres. The trade paperback edition is $19.95, and it is 363 pages. In addition to my story, it includes stories by some big-name writers such as Tananarive Due, Sofia Samatar, Ken Liu, Victor LaValle, Nnedi Okorafor, and Sabrina Vourvoulias. For a complete list of authors, check out my earlier post.

And while you’re at it, you may also want to kick in some bucks for the Crossed Genres Magazine’s current Kickstarter Campaign.

But wait, there’s more!

A book release party will be held at 9 pm Saturday, May 10, at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 E. 3rd St., New York, New York. Here’s the event page on Facebook. So if you’re in NYC, please go to the event and buy a copy. (Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, as my day job is taking me to a conference at Yale.)

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Moss Hart, Act One and the persistence of You Can’t Take It With You

Tony Shalhoub as George S. Kaufman and Santino Fontana as Moss Hart in "Act One" at Lincoln Center (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Tony Shalhoub as George S. Kaufman and Santino Fontana as Moss Hart in “Act One” at Lincoln Center (Photo by Joan Marcus)

“Act One” officially opens at Lincoln Center later this week, but this weekend I saw a preview showing of it. It’s good. Not great — the story of the life of Moss Hart, the playwright who grew up poor in the Bronx and had only a eighth-grade education (he had to go to work) but who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

The production is magnificent — a rotating set, great period costumes, top-notch acting from Tony Shalhoub (as an older Moss Hart, narrating Our Town-style; as the father of the 11-year-old Moss Hart; and as George S. Kaufman, who works with the young adult Moss Hart); the young adult Hart is strongly played by Santino Fontana, who may be best known as the voice of the evil prince Hans in the movie musical “Frozen”; and Andrea Martin, nailing multiple roles.

The play (written and directed by James Lapine), though, moves a bit slowly in, yes, Act 1, and feels very much like a less madcap Moss Hart play — a little dated in trying to stay true to the source material, Hart’s 1959 autobiography about his Dickensian early 20th-century life. What also seems dated is the ease of access Hart had to some of the brightest minds of his day, despite his lack of education. Perhaps a 21st century analogy would be talented computer coders and programmers who drop out of college and gain access to the best and brightest in that field.

What was most interesting to me though was what happened before I saw the show. I wanted to see the play in no small part because I had acted in Hart and Kaufman’s “You Can’t Take it With You” in high school, back in the 1980s.

At work, one of my coworkers, when I told her I was going to see the play, said, “I performed in ‘You Can’t Take it With You’ in high school.” She’s in her 60s, which means her high school days were in the 1960s. And also at work, another colleague said, “I was in ‘You Can’t Take it With You’ in high school!” That colleague, however, is an intern, a college senior, and her high school days were in the 2000s.

There it was, three generations of people all working at the same place all having been in the same play, which was first performed 1936 and won the Pulitzer in 1937.

So if you love the theater, and if you’ve been in any of Hart’s plays (such as “The Man Who Came to Dinner”), then this play is highly recommended.





The writing game is a waiting game

When I was in college, my friends and I often joked about the life of being of writer, especially the low pay, imagining a scenario in which a publisher would say something like  … “Great story. Here’s a dollar. What else ya got?”

What we didn’t talk about was all the waiting that goes along after sending stories out, and the sometimes in-between emails that can come it.

So on March 17, I got an email from a writers contest telling me of my status in the contest. I was told my story wasn’t lost, that others had been told they hadn’t won, and some had gotten Honorable mentions, but that I was in the “hold” category — which I had never knew existed. The thing is, in one of the write-ups announcing the contest, it had said that winners would be notified around the end of March, so I wasn’t expecting to hear anything — certainly not as soon as March 17. Continue reading

Thank you,

So this is next on my reading list, thanks to a random drawing on Tor. com.

Publisher’s Weekly says of Eileen Gunn’s collection of short stories, “Questionable Practices”: “Nebula-winner Gunn combines humor and compassion in 17 short, intricate gems that showcase her many talents.”

Can’t wait.


(Note the buttons, too)

Photos: Travels in Guatemala: Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlán as seen from the road in the hills above the town of Panajachel, Guatemala.

Lake Atitlán as seen from the road in the hills above the town of Panajachel, Guatemala.

One of the biggest tourist draws in Guatemala is in the highlands, Lake Atitlán, and the many towns that surround it. We stayed over night in Panajachel and then, led by a tour guide from Guatemala City, we took a boat to visit three towns: Santa Catarina, San Antonio and Santiago.

A view of Lake Atitlán, with the Atitlán Volcano to the left and the San Pedro Volcano to the right.

A view of Lake Atitlán, with the Atitlán Volcano to the left and the San Pedro Volcano to the right.

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A few words to a young writer about arts journalism

I was recently interviewed via email by a high school student interested in arts and entertainment journalism. Here are some of the questions and answers:

Q: What different professions have you held in order to get where you are now?
A: I had a journalism internship at the Bellingham Herald in Bellingham, Wash., when I was still a college student majoring in journalism, but I also taught English in Japan, edited a phone book, worked as a copy writer for an advertising agency, and worked as a copy editor at a newspaper before becoming the arts and entertainment editor, all the while I wrote freelance reviews of books, plays and concerts.

Q: What classes did you take, throughout high school and college, to put you in a place to get the job you wanted?
A: In my high school, I was on the honors track, meaning I got to take AP classes (history, chemistry, English, calculus), as well as other advanced-level class, but I also took theater courses throughout high school. In college, I was a journalism major, but also took many courses in political science, philosophy and English. In graduate school, I earned a master’s of fine arts in creative writing, but also studied Japanese language and culture.
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In which I get interviewed about my short story ‘The Advanced Ward’

Veterans of the Future Wars book coverI have a short story in a new anthology of military sci-fi called “Veterans of the Future Wars.”

In conjunction with the release of this new book, I was interviewed by the publisher about myself, books, writing and the story behind the story, among other things. After years of being a journalist, it was fun to be on the other side — answering questions instead of asking them.

Read the full interview (it is a little long) at


Broad Universe Wikipedia Project

Michael Janairo:

What a great idea!

Originally posted on K. A. Laity:

Hey kids! Want to help raise the visibility of women writers of the fantastic? With trumpet’s blare, let me unveil:

broadspectrumA Broad Universe Project for Women’s History Month: Women Authors on Wikipedia!

Women artists made a concerted effort recently to get more of them written into history.  More people turn to Wikipedia than to any other source. Women are still largely missing unless they are the few really big names in history. Here’s Mary Shelley’s page. It’s fairly comprehensive, but there aren’t enough 20th C women with the same detail. Comprehensive is great, but every little bit helps.

Only 2% of the users edit Wikipedia. A huge percentage of them are male. And as time goes on fewer people are doing any editing, so diversity is bound to be an issue.

This is a great way for members who want to be more active in promoting ALL…

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February 2014 Story of the Month

Michael Janairo:

Vote for The Duck! Do so before the poll closes on March 2, 2014.

Originally posted on Bartleby Snopes Story of the Month:

The voting for the February 2014 Story of the Month is now open. Read all of the February stories and then vote for your favorite. Voting will close on March 2nd. Please only vote once.

The winning story will earn an automatic spot in the 12th Issue of our semi-annual magazine due out in July 2014.

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Early reviews of ‘The Duck’ are in

“Really enjoyed it!”

– Professor Gina Occhiogrosso

“It’s a great short story.”

— Amy Biancolli, arts and culture writer

“It’s got my vote.”

– Tracy Ormsbee, senior editor for features at the Times Union

“It’s a good story.”

– my dad

Read “The Duck” here:

Vote for “The Duck” as the Story of the Month by March 2, 2014, here: