March 27, 2013 at 11:28 am , by Alyce Wilson
Thanks to all the generous donors to our Indiegogo campaign, “Get the Ringbearer to Illinois,” we made nearly half of the money we needed to travel to a wedding in Illinois, where my son is supposed to be the ringbearer. This morning, before he left for work, my husband and I put our heads together and did some number crunching. After plenty of debate (and a few tears), we realized that the only way way to make the trip possible will be for my husband to stay home and for me and our little ringbearer, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, to fly out by ourselves.
It will still be costly, and while we have the airfare covered, we could still use some help with the hotel room, food, and a car rental. With that in mind, I’m offering a special one-time ebook, which be available as a PDF in May, following the April 20 wedding. The book, tentatively titled, “Now with Kung-Fu Action Grip,” will feature the following:
* Poetry written during my pregnancy with KFP
* Selected blog entries, essays, and humor pieces and poetry about KFP
* Several essays about parenting
* The story of our adventures traveling to the wedding, complete with photos from the trip and from the wedding
There is no set donation amount needed to receive “Now with Kung-Fu Action Grip.” We’re grateful for any amount you wish to contribute. Help us make this the best trip to date of his young life!
To donate by check or money order, please make it payable to “Alyce Wilson,” include a note giving your e-mail address, and mail it to:
P.O. Box 39706
You can donate via Paypal (using a credit card if you prefer) using the button below.
March 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm , by Alyce Wilson
Please boost the signal:
These are the final 8 days of our Indiegogo campaign to raise traveling expenses for our son to be the ringbearer in the wedding of a couple we regard as family:
We’ve got fantastic perks at all levels that should appeal to gamers, readers, writers, art lovers, and anyone who might require editing or Web services. In addition, there are some truly unique perks, such as a personalized poem and a personalized story from writer Kevin Saito. Check it out! Help us Get the Ringbearer to Illinois!
December 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm , by Alyce Wilson
How does one summarize an entire life of more than 60 years? When faced with this ominous task, too many self-published writers produce rambling, episodic narratives that fail to capture the true drama and beauty of their lives. Fortunately for author Mathias B. Freese, he is a gifted essayist who has been writing essays for decades. By collecting his favorite pieces, he gives readers insights into both his personal life (which is, sadly, full of tragedy) and his views on such topics as education, psychotherapy, blogging, and, of course, writing. The book, as a result, is one part personal memoir and one part intellectual analysis.
This combination elevates the book, but it also means it is a book best read slowly. Readers are likely to find themselves pausing to contemplate the message behind each essay. Freese is direct and opinionated, and he often takes an opinion counter to popular thinking. Take, for example, the essay “Teachers Have No Chance to Give Their Best,” where he begins by railing against students for their “puerile minds” and “vacuity.” But while these words are harsh, he lays the blame squarely on teachers. As a former teacher himself, he strongly suggests that schools need to do more to encourage creativity and self-reliance.
Just when it seems he has given up, labeling the educational system as “a great Arctic mammoth wandering aimlessly,” he offers up a glimmer of hope: “Take any five decent, well-intended, creative and committed teachers and administrators, people who care, people in passion, free men and women, and one could wreak a reformation in weeks.”
Such is the power of these essays: he sets up problems in stark language, but he also points to the possible positives that we, as a society, could reach for. Whether writing about the challenges of the current publishing scene or the historical record of the Holocaust, he shows readers both the ugliness and the beauty of each topic. He shares valuable insights from his time as a psychotherapist, and he waxes eloquent on some of his favorite movies and classic film actors.
The personal essays in the back of the book provide a look at his family’s trials and grief. From the tragic loss of both his first wife and his daughter, to coping with memories of a neglected childhood, he writes powerfully when he is at his most personal. In many ways, these essays might have been a better way to begin this collection, since it would have helped to provide a real sense of the writer, in a personal way, before the denser, academic pieces.
This is a book that will stay with the reader, that will occasionally pop up as an undercurrent to conversations. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of his fiction masterpiece, The i Tetralogy, it is a thoughtful, compelling read.
View all my reviews
November 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm , by Alyce Wilson
Welcome to the 2012 Holiday Bazaar! I did something like this on my personal blog a few years ago, and it went fairly well. You are welcome to participate and list your books, games, crafts, and other handmade gifts, as long as you follow the rules below.
1) If you aren’t already following me, either follow my Twitter account (@alycewilson), or “like” my Facebook author’s page, or friend my personal blog on LiveJournal, or subscribe to this blog by typing your e-mail into the “subscribe” box on the right-hand sidebar.
2) Begin the comment by giving your real name and/or screen name and telling me how you’re connected to me (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.). This is one of the ways I’m screening out spammers and will also help other visitors to connect to you. Feel free to list your home page in this section.
3) Give a brief description of what it is that you’re selling, i.e. book, hand-made crafts, artwork, CD, photography, etc. In order to qualify for the bazaar, it must be something you have a direct connection to. You can promote your friend’s book, if you like, but be certain to mention your connection.
4) Include one or, at most, two links to the place where your gifts can be bought. If you have an Etsy store, it’s best to include the link to the entire store than to link to multiple items. If your items are all in different locations, it would be best for you to create one blog post that has all the links, and then link to that post. That’s because my spam detection programming automatically flags posts with too many links.
5) Promote this post so that other people can shop, join and share! I’ve created a TinyURL you can use: http://tinyurl.com/cyonxb6
And that’s it! If you have any questions or if you think your post has accidentally been culled by the spam filters, e-mail me. I’ll post a sample comment below.
In other news, this is the final week (ending the close of Monday, December 3) of the America’s Next Author contest. I’m trying to at least break into the Top 10 this week, and hopefully grab the judges’ attention to be a possible Wild Card. I’m guaranteed a spot in the semifinals if I place 1st this week. Please read and vote for my story: http://www.ebookmall.com/author/alyce-wilson
The vote totals were zeroed out for the beginning of Round 8, so even if you already voted, please stop in and vote again. Voting for me is NOT a condition of being included in the Holiday Bazaar! In fact, I won’t even know whether or not you voted for me unless you tell me.
November 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm , by Alyce Wilson
I was tagged by P.J. Bayliss in the ‘Next Big Thing’ Authors Tagging Authors… also known as the WIP Blog Hop.
Here are the rules:
- Give credit to the person/blog that tagged you
- Post the rules for this hop
- Answer these ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress) on your blog
- Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them
- What is the working title of your book?
1) Belated Mommy 2) Felix and the Dreamworld Bandits
- What genre does the book fall under?
1) Parenting/humor 2) Children (ages 3-8)
- Which actors would you choose to play your characters for the movie rendition?
1) I would love to see Amy Poehler as a 30-something mom trying to find her way as a parent 2) Jared Gilmore, who plays Henry on “Once Upon a Time”
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
1) A collection of humorous and insightful personal essays about the challenges and rewards of being an older parent. 2) A collection of short stories about a boy who explores the dreamworld with his best friends, a robot and a dinosaur.
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I will likely seek an agent to represent both books; hopefully, I can find someone who will handle both nonfiction and children’s books.
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
1) My goal is to blog the book and complete it in roughly a year. 2) Felix is my current NaNoWriMo project, and I hope to have a pretty decent draft by the end of the month.
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
1) Anything by Erma Bombeck, one of my earliest inspirations 2) The Winnie the Pooh stories
- Who or what inspired you to write this book?
1) As an older mom — I had my son at age 39 — I often feel left out of the parenting advice market, and I wanted to fill that gap for other moms, dads and guardians. 2) I’ve been telling my son rambling bedtime stories to put him to sleep, and I wanted to write a book that would appeal to kids and parents alike.
- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest
1) I’m seeking input from other parents in the 35+ age bracket, so please e-mail me if you’d like to contribute ideas! 2) I’m hoping that one of several talented artist friends of mine will add illustrations.
In addition, I’d appreciate it if you’d read and vote for my story at America’s Next Author: http://www.ebookmall.com/author/alyce-wilson
I wish to tag the following authors:
November 13, 2012 at 10:21 am , by Alyce Wilson
Round 6 is beginning for America’s Next Author. Please stop by my author page at America’s Next Author to read and vote! If you’ve already voted, you can now vote again. Very importantly, I appreciate all the retweets and shares. I’m hoping this may be the week!
November 11, 2012 at 11:00 am , by Alyce Wilson
I’m scheduled to speak on the Philcon “Fantastic Poetry” panel. Here are some of the poets and resources I hope to mention.
A friend of mine recommended “If I Should Have a Daughter” by spoken word poet Sarah Kay. In that YouTube video, she first recites the roughly 4-minute poem, which draws on images such as Superman and science, and then talks about her career in poetry and her work with young people. Strictly speaking, her work is not firmly in the realm of fantasy, but I recommend going to Sarah Kay’s site and reading “Peacocks,” a short short that has mythic overtones.
I found a wonderful resource in the site Poems of the Fantastic and the Macabre, which traces the history of the fantastic poems from Medieval times to the Modern era.
If you’d like to hear work performed by one of the best-known fantastic poets, Edgar Allan Poe, consider going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire’s “Poe Evermore” performances, held annually in November.
The site Fantastic Poems not only includes some entertaining poetry by Adam Rulli-Gibbs but also provides his definiton of fantastic poetry: “Science fiction or fantasy poetry, as each of the above, should, whatever appears within it, be about people and their perceptions. So you will find poems about love, goals, good vs evil, wonder, Christmas, frustration, exploitation, preconceptions and the rest.”
If you’d like a list of poets to check out, Wikipedia’s Speculative Poetry article has a substantial list of speculative poets.
The Poetry Foundation site is a great resource. If you go to the Mythology and Folklore category, there is a sampling of fantastic poems. Some even are accompanied by audio recordings.
The Science Fiction Poetry Association provides both a guide to speculative poetry (with examples from back issues) as well as benefits for speculative poets.
If you want to either read or submit fantastic poetry, you can search the guide to magazines offered by the Speculative Literature Foundation.
My fellow panelist, Catherynne M. Valente, who is herself a respected speculative poet, suggested seeking out the following.
- Goblin Fruit, online publication
- Stone Telling, online quarterly
- Amal El-Mohtar
- Shwetana Narayan
- Mike Allen
- CSE Cooney
- Nicole Kornher-Stace
- Diane Wakoski
- Tor.com (Features a poet each April for National Poetry Month)
- Mike Ford (John M. Ford), “Winter Solstice, Camelot Station” and “Against Entropy“
- Tim Seibles
- Anna Akhmatova
November 9, 2012 at 11:27 am , by Alyce Wilson
I’ve received my Philcon schedule, and while it is light, it’s actually exactly what I wanted:
Fri 11:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)
GRIMM AND ONCE UPON A TIME (1080)
[Panelists: Patricia M. Cryan (mod), Kathy Sands, Patricia Wake,
Alyce Wilson, Wayne Zimmerman]
There are currently two TV programs which treat fairy tale
characters and their stories very differently. Explore the
differences in the two shows and the ways in which they use fairy
tales as their basis.
Sun 12:00 PM in Executive Suite 623 (1 hour)
FANTASTIC POETRY (1129)
[Panelists: Darrell Schweitzer (mod), Catherynne M. Valente, Alyce
Wilson, Catherine Faber, Robert C Roman]
A survey of the field of fantastic poetry. Where would be a good
place to start?
I’m very excited! If anyone watches “Grimm” and/or “Once Upon a Time” and cares to share insights about them, either in the comments or through a personal message, I’d be happy to hear them. Also, if you happen to have any favorite poets who write fantastic poetry. That’s the one that’s going to take more research for me.
As always, if you intend to be at Philcon, please message me so that we can set up a time to meet!
October 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm , by Alyce Wilson
I’ve put together a short video on how to help me win America’s Next Author. Since the ratings for Round 2 first appeared this morning, I’ve jumped up from #133 (out of 244) to currently #93, but that’s nowhere near where I need to be. The top-ranked author for each round will make it into the semifinals, along with four Wild Card selections chosen by the jury.
Watch this brief video and find out how you can help me.
So that you don’t have to cut and paste it, here’s a quick link: Alyce Wilson author page
October 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm , by Alyce Wilson
The voting for Round 2 of America’s Next Author will begin soon, and my story will be eligible for votes.
In the meantime, I’ve done some research into how voting works, and here’s what I’ve learned. According to a guide on how to vote for America’s Next Author, there are three ways:
1. Quickvote: This is the box on the right side of the page where you can select your impression of a story and then click VOTE.
2. Share stories on Facebook and Twitter. This also counts towards an author’s ranking.
3. Leave reviews. This counts towards an author’s ranking as well. Plus, leaving four or more reviews might win you an iPad!
From reading other information on the site, however, they are looking for reviews of at least a few sentences. If you leave a review of just a couple words or a short sentence, such as “Good job, Alyce!” it could wind up being thrown out. In their FAQ on author ranking, the contest organizers state:
Low quality reviews will not be taken into account for the final results. For example, if someone were to quickly write four 5-star reviews with one line of text, or four 1-star reviews with short complaints, those would not count towards rankings or win an eReader.
The takeaway: please write reviews that actually mention aspects of the writing, and make them at least two sentences long. It will help me, and if you also review three other writers’ works, you could win an iPad.
The more that you can share the link to my story on Facebook and Twitter — and encourage your friends to do the same — the better off I should be in the rankings.
Top prize for this contest is $5,000, which if I win it, will go towards a four-door family-sized vehicle to replace our hatchback. No more hitting my head while putting my little Kung Fu Panda in his car seat!
ETA: Voting is now open! Visit the Alyce Wilson author’s page to vote.