May 25, 2010

There’s A New Addition At The Artrip Household

  The mind of the fiction writer is sometimes an unsettled thing. It conjures up snippets of whimsy, touches of chicanery, shadows in dark corners. Gears shift and wheels turn with midnight musings. Brain boogers at three a.m. whisper, “What if…?”

“Parsnips & Princes” A Short Story Collection  is my memorial to such an  exquisite madness. 

  Available at www.maryannartrip.com


Next AAG&A Board Meeting

May 25, 2010

The Appalachian Authors Guild & Associates next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 1 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Cumberland Plateau Planning Commission office in Lebanon, VA. All members are encouraged to attend.


April 22, 2010

I’m soliciting opinions: Jack, you, and I think, Mary Ann and Sylvia have read my story, “A Place of Belonging” – – I know the Epilogue was an attempt at a “feel-good” ending, but I’m wondering if you think the book would lose any of its impact were I to leave off the Epilogue. Also I’m thinking of changing the title, which I’ve never liked. My working title during the writing process was “The Good Road.” Do any of you think that would be an appropriate title?

The Epilogue ties up loose ends and continues Banks’ habit of helping and/or rescuing women and girls, but I’m thinking it shouldn’t be tied up so neatly. The working title emphasizes the road trip, which takes up about half the book, and serves as a metaphor for Banks, Ginger, and Mattie and their attempts to make something good of their difficult lives. But I’m undecided on whether that reference would properly encapsulate the book – – or does it matter?

Anyway, those are my thoughts as I re-write. Comments?

Proposed AAGA Creative Activities For The Future

April 17, 2010

This is a list of proposed future activities for AAGA, intended both to attract new members and to improve members’ writing skills and self-editing capabilities. If you have any questions or comments, please contact one of your board members

Writing Contests:

  • Listing of contests to sponsor/times held
  • Submittal formats
  • Screening Committees
  • Judging
  • Awards and Presentations

Writing Workshops:

  • Categories and Combinations (Poetry, Fiction, N/F separate or together?)
  • General Creative Writing Workshop
    • Grammar
    • Sentence/paragraph structure
    • Other creative writing aspects
    • Essay, Poem, Story, Novel structure and components
    • How-To-Critique Workshop
      • How noted writers write
      • Peer Critiques
        • How to comment in groups
        • Successes
        • Aspects to improve

Critique Groups:

  • Putting critique skills into use
  • Group dynamics
    • Size of critique groups
    • Preparation for critique meetings
    • Effective locales for AAGA members

Book Reviews:

  • What reviews are for
  • How to accomplish a review
    • Theory
    • Components

Others –Publishing in books and Magazines/Agents/Editors/Marketing/Editorial Services

Next AAG&A Board Meeting

April 14, 2010

The Appalachian Authors Guild & Associates next scheduled board meeting is Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Cumberland Plateau Planning Commission office in Lebanon, VA. All members are encouraged to attend.

A New Novella

March 30, 2010

This is part experiment, part announcement. I have a novella up on Kindle, The Blue Bicycle. Novellas are hard to market to the industry – particularly ones written from differing points of view. So I’m hoping you’ll check it out- you can download a sample for free, and if you like that, the rest is yours for $6.95.

You may not have a Kindle – I’m betting most who read this haven’t yet taken the plunge – but you can download the Kindle software for free to your desktop or laptop.
Any comments on the text, or on Kindle as a format for fiction, would be appreciated

A Novella

The Blue Bike

Have you written a book?

March 17, 2010

The Appalachian Authors Guild wants to reach out to young authors – Zach Arrington, son of Guild Member Richard Arrington wrote the following to us:
“I am 8 years old, I wrote a book called My School. My daddy also wrote 7 books and I like reading them.”
Way to go, Zach.

Blowing my own horn!

March 16, 2010

Just received my copies of The Mystery of the Green Mist, an anthology of short mystery stories published by L&L Dreamspell Publishers. My own mystery story, Reservoir of Death is included in the volume. Both paperback and Kindle editions of The Mystery of the Green Mist are available from Amazon. It may also be ordered from your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore.

Sylvia Nickels, the ramblinscribe

Have you written a book? Tell us about it.

March 16, 2010

Amazon has a forum for folks to shamelessly promote themselves and their writing. Since I truly believe that imitation is the truest form of flattery, let’s try this and see how it works.

I’ve written several books, but I’d like to tell you about what I consider my best work – Looking Down on the Moon.
Looking has been called a “love story,” but it’s more than that. Yes there are elements of love in the book – nothing gratuitous, I assure you. There are many different kinds of love in addition to romantic love. They’re all included in this story: romantic, brotherly love, love of fellowman, love of God.
I say Looking Down on the Moon is a multi-generational family saga spanning the time period from pre-World War II to the present. The story takes place in Houston, Northern New Mexico and in the country of Mexico. The main character Dolores is a person born to a family of wealth and privilege, but grows up in a home without love. She also learns about prejudice at a very early age – when she is too young to understand why the color of her skin makes her different. Life’s lessons can be hard on young sensitive children.
One internet reviewer says this book will make you laugh, make you cry, could break your heart and it could even make you a little mad… (I’m not sure about that one.)
Looking Down is available at Amazon.com for $27.00 (Retail Price). However, you can get an autographed copy from me for $14.95 plus $2.50 shipping.
J Russell Rose


Review Of In Search Of Himself by J. Russell Rose

March 2, 2010

Review Of In Search Of Himself by J. Russell Rose

Let me first note that I am not a reader of fiction ordinarily, and that I find most criticism of any kind to be, as Rilke noted, either “partisan views or clever quibblings”. J. Russell Rose has written a fine book. In Search Of Himself is the story of new beginnings- of a second chance for a writer to rediscover his Appalachian roots and his own spirit after years of self abuse and madness. Rose paints characters that are engaging and sticks to straight forward story telling (reminiscent of the inspired fiction of Sherwood Anderson).
In Search Of Himself also explores Appalachia as a lost culture. It may be a book best read slowly; much like the old time radio installments of the 1940’s that I remember my Father speaking about listening to in a West Virginia hollow, one should enjoy a chapter or two at a time.

-T. Byron Kelly
Appalachian Authors Guild Member
Author of Project End of Days-Selected Poems
& New Selected Poems