September 2015 archive

SF:SE 2015!

SF:SE 2015 (SPECULATIVE FICTION: SOUTHEAST) is a convention for writers —and lovers—of horror, scifi, fantasy, and weird fiction, to be held September 25th-27th, in Orlando, FL.sfseposter copy, with osc Con director Rachel Litt says, “At SF:SE, expect a marriage of con cultures, including conference standards like workshops, panels, and editor consultations, as well as convention devilry and a masquerade ball!”

You can also get query-ready with help from renowned guests such as Orson Scott Card, Jacqueline Carey, Peter V. Brett, and Kelley Armstrong! Visit, for more info—then get writing, get costuming, and get weird!

The Urban Legion

FIRST, A HOSTILE VOICE INVADES the (pretty) head of restaurant critic Lynn Grady. Then a (sort of handsome) stranger appears, blocks the voice with an improvised tin-foil hat, and recruits Lynn for a hydroponic-farm-to-fork tasting gig. 51K7minh0lL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_In the fun-house logic that rules Dave Agans’ THE URBAN LEGION, this leads naturally to a vicious attack by French waiters, a high-tech underground war, and the discovery of a consumer-products conspiracy. You’ll never feel the same about food courts or airport restrooms, once you’ve read THE URBAN LEGION!

Congrats, Dave! And thanks for your note: Hi, Jamie. It’s been a while since you did a comprehensive analysis of THE URBAN LEGION. You’re mentioned in the acknowledgments. Thanks for all the help!

Tarot Writing Prompt: Impressionists Tarot

A. Read on!

I liked the IMPRESSIONISTS TAROT so much, I let my inner fan girl loose to write the Amazon review, below.

Wonderful, moody, readable deck 883dd73f9256945937fe89e99c5e36da

I just got a new Lo Scarabeo deck, the IMPRESSIONISTS TAROT, by Corrine Kenner, art by Arturo Picca. I loved the images I saw, so despite having been disappointed in several recent Lo Scarabeo purchases, I went ahead and bought the IMPRESSIONIST TAROT KIT.

OMG! I really love it! The images are not appropriated directly from Impressionist paintings. That is to say, they are not prints of original paintings. Rather, Picca has either painted copies of the originals, adding minor adjustments to make them tarot-appropriate, or he’s used the artists’ styles and borrowed aspects of specific paintings as inspiration for his original work.

The KIT (not the deck-only option, as it was first released) includes a WONDERFUL companion book by Corrine Kenner, in which she discusses the artists whose particular works/styles the card images are based upon.

Overall, it feels like a moody, emotional deck to me. One Amazon reviewer complained about the card stock, but while it is thin, it doesn’t seem problematic to me (and I’m quick to hate bad stock). Another reviewer mentioned the colors, saying they seemed muddier than they associate with Impressionism. And I have to say, there is a less-than-bright quality to the colors, notable, since the Impressionists were known for being “painters of light.” (However, since originally writing this review, I got a second copy of this kit, and the printing was distinctly brighter and sharper in the newer version. Hmm.)

As always, my aging eyes wish the images were larger. And while the borders are quite visually impactful (they’re created to look like museum frames), I think they serve the artwork well, rather than distracting from the card art, too much. Finally, the card backs, which look like the back of a framed painting, are fabulous!

Tarot writing prompt

But what about you? Is there a book you love (or loathe)? A film? A writing product (lap desk, editing program, particularly awesome pen)? If so, shout out your appreciation (or criticism) in a good, old-fashioned, online review. It’s a fine way to hone your persuasive writing skills. Plus, it’s always fun to see your name in—well—pixels.

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