2018 Year-End Reflection – Menu Style – Let’s Start Celebrating!

Pixabay Free Images First, thank you for visiting! 🙂 It's good to be back! Lately, I've been spending more time with my family, settling myself in a new-ish job, polishing a YA novel I've been working on for months (getting ready for #PitchWars), and writing the first draft of an adult fantasy with an erotic … Continue reading 2018 Year-End Reflection – Menu Style – Let’s Start Celebrating!

My 2018 recommended reading list

Woo hoo! One of my short stories made it to this list! 😀

Maria Haskins

First of all, a disclaimer. This list, like all my roundups and lists and reading recommendations here and elsewhere, is a selection of what I had time to read. It’s just a slice of what’s available, and no doubt I have missed stories that are awesome, because nobody can read everything.

Second, if you want to see all the stories I read and loved in 2018, check out my roundups and blog posts from this past year. This list is a selection drawn from those roundups and other things I’ve read, and the most complete account of the short fiction that impressed me this year is in all of those roundups and reviews.


(Note: I will add stories to this through December…

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How Cancer Cells Communicate — And How We Can Slow Them Down


Cancer cells communicate with each other and coordinate their movement throughout the body. But this process can be interrupted. In this TED Talk, Hasini Jayatilaka, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, shares her work on an innovative method to stop cancer cells from communicating — and halt their fatal ability to spread.


Video via – TED Talks

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My 2018 Awards Eligibility Post

Clark is an amazing writer and dominated 2018. I look forward to see what he does in 2019. Check him out!

Phenderson Djèlí Clark


Have I really hemmed and hawed and procrastinated until the waning days of 2018 to do one of those SF/F award-y list-y things for the Hugos, Nebulas, and what-not? Absolutely and of course! Hopefully I caught ya’ll at a good time….

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Is Fire A Solid, A Liquid, Or A Gas?


Fire is not a solid, a liquid, a gas, or even a plasma. It is our sensory experience of a chemical reaction called combustion. Fire engages a lot of our senses at the same time, creating the kind of vivid experience we expect to come from a physical thing. Combustion creates that sensory experience using fuel, heat, and oxygen.


Video via – TED-Ed
Further Readings And References @ Sparkonit, MIT, and Britannica

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How to Write a Graphic Novel

A new short story every day.

Have you ever dreamed of becoming the next Alan Moore, Frank Miller or Will Eisner?

If you’re like, me I’m sure you have.

And you probably also thought that making graphic novels, or comic books, is a slow and difficult task that you won’t be able to do alone. Especially if you can’t draw.

You have to find someone who will illustrate it (and that sometimes includes someone else who will color and letter it), you will need an editor, and most important, a publisher. It’s a lot of work, but you can’t take care of any of those things if you can’t write a proper comic book script.

So, first things first: in this post, I’ll cover everything related to the writing of a comic book script. I hope I can show you a clear, easy to follow structure you can use if you never wrote a graphic novel…

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Graphic Novel Script Format

Tim Stout

Last summer, I worked as an Editorial Intern at First Second Books. One of my responsibilities was to read spec script submissions and I was floored by how many different formats were used for graphic novel scripts: screenplay format from a screenwriting software, stage play format written in Microsoft Word, prose outlines with sample pages of finished work…

I love reading scripts but sometimes the writer seemed to be making up the format as they went. I often found it difficult to make out what information was describing the action, what was a line of dialogue, who was saying which lines, what was background information unnecessary for the reader but potentially interesting for the artist, what was direction for the artist, etcetera.

Needless to say, reading those scripts was not fun.

A script is not just words on paper. A script is a visual experience for the reader.


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Hazel Campbell (1940-2018)

Repeating Islands

Hazel CampbellWe were very saddened to about Jamaican author Hazel Campbell’s death on December 12, 2019. Here is an obituary piece by Peepal Tree Press.

Hazel Campbell was born in Jamaica in 1940, and passed away on 12 December 2018. One of Jamaica’s leading short story writers, her writing career spanned 50 years.

She attended Merl Grove High School and obtained a BA in English & Spanish at UWI, Mona, followed by Diplomas in Mass Communications and Management Studies. She worked as a teacher, as a public relations worker, editor, features writer and video producer for the Jamaican Information Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Creative Production and Training Centre. From 1987 she has worked as a freelance Communications Consultant.

Her first publication was The Rag Doll & Other Stories (Savacou, 1978), followed by Women’s Tongue: a collection of eight short stories, (Savacou, 1985). Her stories have…

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I was once a star athlete.

“You’ve accomplished so much”.

“You must be proud”.

24-7, I’d hear this.

If not heard, inferred:

Changes in body language, vocal tone.

Subtle adjustments in physical

proximity .

”Well, kinda,” I’d reply.

Changing my body language, speaking out

of the side of a mouth, half-hidden

by a diffident, slightly puzzled


“But then again,

not really.

I mean, it’s fun and all.

Free beer.

Good times.

Fast metabolism.

Everybody reminding you

who they are

and where they ran into you.

But its nothing I want to take home with me.

Nothing I want stomping through my


Tracking asphalt and

dog shit up my walls. Crumpling my mags and Ish Reed novels and X-Men comics into asphalty

dog-shitty mache.

Ruining Sun Ra’s day with

“Rosalita” or “Heartbeat” or “Mama Used to Say” or “My Sharona”.

Dragging me away, away into a beer-ponged, Rambo’d


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