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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life's a Hoot Column for ISSUE 10

Greetings Ooky Readers! 

Before anything else, I want to wish you the ookiest Halloween ever!  I trust that everything Issue 10 has to offer will put you in the mood for ghoulish festivities. 

First of all, I know your reading time for Issue 9 was cut in half thanks to my big fat computer crash last month, so my deal is this:  I am publishing Issue 10 like normal, but all the articles, stories and the novel installment from Issue 9 are still on the site, just below those of Issue 10. 

Personal life events have been that Rosie received an ‘Eagle Winner’ medal from her school, she began taking swimming lessons, and her recently pierced ears are healed and she can change her earrings.  She is delighted with her life these days, and I am proud as punch of her.  Joey is coming up on his fourth birthday, and is growing up much faster than I would like, though he is a terrific helper when I’m puttering around, reaching things I can’t bend and stretch for.  And he loves watching Food Network in the afternoon.  We are good buddies. 

I FINALLY got the computer fixed, and so far so good, though I don’t want to get cocky because when I think everything is going smoothly…yeah….that’s when it says “screw you I’m gonna rock your world now!”  : /

I have a couple of ideas in the works to publish Owl's Eye View as a series of ebooks.  It’s in the very beginning stages right now, so I will keep you posted on whatever progress I make.  

Getting over a head cold…I’m hoping this column isn’t too weird because I’m punchy from cold meds.   But then, it’s a weird magazine, so my bizarreness should fit right in. 

So on to the ookiness inside this issue: 

In “From the Perch” this issue, Meredith Alden tells us about a straggler Oneida who wants into the Oneida Dimension.  Is Meredith’s power strong enough to get through to Lucy? 

Nathan Williams continues his interviews with the “Mist Kids,” this issue talking with talented artist and museum curator Josh Reynolds over subs and beers.  “Swooping Through the Years” gets meaty this issue. 

Lisa Galloway ponders in ‘Visceral Verse’ what happens when a guardian angel fails…

Melanie Mirth gives a whole new perspective on the old what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation story in “Macabre Mirth.” 

Larry Nunn chills us with a story of ooky souvenirs brought home from a concert in “Screech On!” 

All kinds of pirates are on the water these days—some small—some big—some massive—some just want a “Warm Meal.” 

The imagination is a powerful thing…but reality one-ups it in my story, “Monster Out.”

And there’s a real zinger in store for you in the fourth installment of “True Crime Shelf” this issue. 

So curl up with your back to the wall, and prepare yourself for a sleepless night. 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Life's a Hoot for Issue 9

As my granddaughter Rosie shops for school supplies and gears up to return to school, I too am gearing up to return to the hustle and bustle of my Owl's Eye View responsibilities. 

As a self-publisher I can make little deals with myself about maintaining my somewhat brutal writing schedule.  Like, I wanted to be less pressured this year, during Rosie’s summer vacation, so I came up with the plan that if Owl's Eye View articles and short stories were complete for the year by June first, then I could suspense my column and short story writing during her vacation time, mid-June to the first week of September, and only work on the current novel project in the evenings and on the week-ends. 

That might not seem like a vacation to you, but let me remind you that I pen 6 columns, two short stories, and a thirty page novel installment each month, and give myself a hard deadline of the 10th so that I can publish on the 11th
That means that I must write a column or a short story during the day, every day, six days a week and work on the novel project in the evenings.  On Sundays I spend all day on editing chores like keying in anything hand-written, writing Life’s a Hoot, editing the material I’ve completed during the week and pasting it into the appropriate volumes of the magazine to await being posted into the actual site issue. 

So even though I work every evening and all week-ends on a novel project during the summer, you can see that it’s incredibly relaxed compared to the pressurized schedule I maintain all winter. 

And though I sometimes get a little frazzled with the heavy-duty schedule, I have to say that the last year and a half here in my son’s house has been incredibly rewarding, both personally and professionally.  I doubt that there are many able-bodied magazine editors or writers working a full time professional schedule in a formal office who wear as many hats as I do, sitting in a medical recliner with a laptop desk over my legs, writing well through the shank of every evening into its meat. 

And that self discipline pays off for me:  In the span of fifteen months I completed two and a half novels, thirty short stories and ninety magazine columns (written in character for my fictitious columnists, Meredith Alden, Larry Nunn, Nathan Williams, Lisa Galloway, Melanie Mirth, and Lucy Bernelli).  That’s a serious chunk of work for any writer, and then I filter in the editing and self-publishing duties which entailed learning how to build a website, which I did three years ago, and publicizing on social pages and in my blogs as well. 

I may spend ninety five percent of my time with my legs elevated in a medical recliner, but dear readers, I am by no means idle—and never, EVER bored. 

Why?  Because I adore writing; every facet of the writing jewel fascinates me from the first glimmer of a story idea, to the made typed rants of the first creative roll, to the fine-tooth-comb editing and rewrites, to the pasting in of each column, short story, and novel installment onto the website each month, to flooding Twitter, Facebook, emails, and my blogs with the announcement that the issue is ‘online now!’, on time each and every month in spite of the chronically painful obstacle course that is my personal life. 

Now if I could just find a sponsor or agent as passionate about Owl's Eye View as I am, perhaps I could even support myself and tell Social Security Disability to blow me, as I moved my son and family into my gated (haunted of course!) mansion—oh, the dreams I have. 

My almost four year old (next month) grandson Joey amazes and amuses me.  He ignores kid TV—however, when I sit down in the afternoon with my throbbing ankle and watch Anne Burrell and Rachel Ray on the Food Network, he’s riveted.  And he’s learning!  The other day he and his sister Rosie were playing cooking and I heard him say, “You need some EVOO in that pan.” (Rachel Ray’s shorthand for Extra Virgin Olive Oil.) 

Gotta love little kids that sponge up knowledge.  And I’ve spent mucho time with my grandmunchkins this summer.  I’m glad I made it easy on myself with time off from the magazine. 

But alas, all good things must come to an end, and make room for better things on the horizon.    

My columnists are chomping at the bit to get back to their stories, so we all got together in my head today and chatted about Owl's Eye View 2013, and I’m here to tell you there’s lots of ooky in your reading future.  So brace yourself! 

As for Issue 9: 

Larry Nunn reports on Rae Aidos blindingly bright gifts in this issue’s “Screech On!” 

Meredith Alden discusses with Danny O’Toole his life’s mission to rid the world of pedophiles as an Owl Sentry in “From the Perch” this month. 

Nathan Williams interviews Carrie Fitzwater, Lydia Jagger and her son Simon in a series of articles about their past lives with Dan Wynthrop, and the future without him.  Don’t miss “Swooping Through the Years.” 

When Lisa Galloway read Stephen King’s book “On Writing,” she was intrigued by the concept, ‘kill your darlings.’  I know this, because her “Visceral Verse” this issue is all about just that. 

Melanie Mirth shares her quirky little rendition of “The Gingerbread Man” in “Macabre Mirth.” 

Sucker for a tear-jerker?  Here ya go.  My short story, “Who Mourns the Gods” is just that.  Sniff-sniff. 

“Exotic Menu” my second short story this issue will persuade you to be careful going to exotic restaurants until you are sure what’s on the menu….

And of course there’s the third installment of my novel “True Crime Shelf” if you’re itch or ooky has yet to be satisfied. 

Take that!