Thursday, June 21, 2007

Call for submissions

Please inform your SinC members and other writers in your area of the following market:

Red Coyote Press (, P.O. Box 60582, Phoenix, AZ 85082, publisher of MEDLEY OF MURDER (2005) and MAP OF MURDER (2007), is seeking submissions of original, unpublished short stories of 5,000 words or less in the mystery/suspense genre for a trade paperback anthology, tentatively titled MEDIUM OF MURDER.

The theme of the collection will be a play on the various meanings of the word "medium" and the connection with murder. The central theme or a key element of each story must utilize a valid meaning of the word "medium." Examples include, but are not limited to: 1) a means for storing or communicating information; 2) transmissions that are disseminated widely to the public; 3) someone who serves as an intermediary between the living and the dead; 4) (bacteriology) a nutrient substance used to cultivate micro-organisms; 5) (biology) a substance in which specimens are preserved or displayed; 6) (art) a liquid with which pigment is mixed by a painter.

Any sub-genre will be considered, including amateur sleuth, cozy, hard-boiled, police procedural, suspense, romantic intrigue, and psychological thriller.


Please submit complete manuscript with cover letter including the definition of "medium" used, a brief bio and publishing credits. Standard manuscript formatting required (double-spaced, 12-point font, header with last name/title, pages numbered consecutively.)

Send by mail to Red Coyote Press, submissions @, P.O. Box 60582, Phoenix, AZ 85082. Include contact information (phone number, snail mail and email address) and SASE. Payment consists of a flat fee, one free book and scaled discounts on additional books. For further information, call 602-454-7815 or email submissions @

Thank you.

Suzanne Flaig
Red Coyote Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We’re a foster family

The kids have been hounding us with their wish for a puppy or a kitten. I tried talking them into a bunny or a guinea pig or a rat, to no avail. So we’ve signed up to become a foster family for cats and kitten that aren’t quite ready to be adopted out and/or need socialization.

This weekend we’ve received our first charges: a sibling pair of kittens, a white and orange boy and a grey and brown girl. They are very cute, very skittish, and very energetic (unless you ask our cat who thinks they are imposters and interlopers).

Their names vary. First it was Sam and Sammy, then Sally and Melvin, then Star, Magic, Spot and Angel. I’ve since given up on keeping them straight. I just call them “the white one” and “the girl.”

They are great.

The kids, rather than having this fuzzy, cuddly, uber-cute picture of a kitten or puppy in their minds, have realized that these little creatures have their own minds, don’t want to be toted around all day, and that they come with itty-bitty sharp claws (and know how to use them). They require care and patience. They are not toys.

Unfortunately, they are also not ours, and we’ll have to give them back soon (probably in about two weeks), but I think the (learning) experience will be worth the sadness when we have to let them go.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I’m in court today

HPD officers arrested someone in possession of my cancelled driver’s license. Unfortunately, none of my other stolen belongings were among the things the police recovered (I had to go to HPD headquarters to look through the stuff they found). Bummer.

Then yesterday, I received my subpoena, and today I’m going to testify at a preliminary hearing.

In a way, this is very exciting. Just a few weeks ago, at the SinC HI meeting, I met Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson. He was a great guest speaker (very approachable and very informative). At the time I thought I might go to a court hearing one day just to see how it’s done.

Well, today, I’m going to court. Not only do I get to see how it’s done, but I am part of it (a very small part, I assure you).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Army Wives

You might have heard of this new show on Lifetime called “Army Wives.” It premiered last weekend. I haven’t seen it. I was mildly tempted to have the DVR record it, but in the end decided against it.

If I’ve read the commentaries correctly, the TV show opened with the teary good-bye of an officer’s wife whose husband left on a three-month tour of duty. Oh, please. Here’s the thing: by the time you are a high-ranking officer’s wife a three-month absence from your husband is like an extended weekend alone.

I have friends whose husbands are on their second deployment to the Middle East. They were gone for 12 months the first time around, and they are gone for 15 months this time around. Many of these men will come back home for less than a year before deploying again. And during that time they will be gone for weeks on end to train.

It is quite possible that your husband returns from Iraq in April. You all move to your new duty station in June (because you’ve just finished three years at your most recent post), and he’s in Afghanistan by July. You guys won’t have a year between deployments, because everything starts from scratch at the new assignment.

Many of us cannot rely on our husbands. This isn’t a criticism, but a fact of life. It’s not that my husband doesn’t want to be there for me or his children, it’s just that the Army and the mission come first [it’s the same for firefighters, police officers or E.R. doctors]. He works nights, and he works weekends. He works on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. His schedule changes from week to week. Making plans is difficult, because I have no clue what’s going on two weeks from now.

I don’t mind. It’s a royal pain sometimes, but I enjoy my life. I like moving. I like making new friends. I don’t particularly care about loosing those newly made friends again months down the road, but hey, more friends are arriving at the airport as we speak.

So when I read about teary wives at send-off ceremonies [a major unwritten no-no, btw] or wives who know more about weapons than their Special Forces husbands … I shake my head and program the DVR to record something else, something I know little about so I can’t tell how unrealistic it is (CSI anyone?!)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

week in review

I haven’t done a thing this week and I feel so guilty I don’t even want to set foot in my office. I even mopped my floors this week to avoid writing.

I am convinced life would be easier if I had a laptop.

I am totally convinced life would be easier if I didn’t have insomnia and thus had some energy during the day.

BUT in the back of my head I know that laptop and insomnia have nothing to do with me showing up for work (after all, I show up for regular employment).

I think I need to get back on a regular every day/every night schedule (rather than only writing on my days off from sub teaching). That seemed to work for me and book 1. So my goal for this coming week:

  1. to be in the office and in front of my (husband’s) computer between 7 and 10 p.m.
  2. to not read e-mail or blogs or websites or do any research during this time
  3. to work on book 2, the new chapter 1

Just in case you are wondering why I am still on chapter 1 … I figured out what gave me such a big problem with book 2. I started too late. I had a good beginning, solid stuff, but I spent too much time setting up and explaining. It was a lot of telling rather than showing. A major no-no.

In hindsight, starting earlier should have been obvious … but I really liked what I had done and was looking for the problem in the wrong place. I should have remembered the quote on top of this page:

To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again and once more, and over and over... John Hersey

Friday, June 01, 2007

It’s official

It’s official. We’ve been extended an additional year in Hawaii. Aloha!

Before you rejoice on our behalf, let me tell you that the promotion lists come out in September. If Patrick is selected to become a Sergeant Major, he will have to attend the Sergeant Majors Academy in Texas. Since this course/class takes about 9 to 10 months (not sure exactly, sorry), the Army considers it necessary to move the entire family. So we’d all be moving to the Lone Star state (and then a few months later to our new permanent duty station).

In other words: despite our extension until August 2008, we could be out of here much earlier than that.

Things I want to do before we leave:

  1. buy kayak and/or surfboard and learn how to properly use it
  2. take diving classes with the husband (there’s nothing like the fear of drowning to bond over)
  3. see Manoa Falls and swim under it
  4. visit Maui (for only $9!; I love this airline price war)
  5. visit Kaui again
  6. go horseback riding on the beach
  7. finish book 2
  8. make new friends, since all of the old ones moved on this week (the downside of being an Army-family with Army-family friends)
  9. take chance of the beautiful weather and join an al fresco yoga class or a swim club
  10. save money to buy an original, made-in Hawaii Hawaiian quilt

Bonus: celebrate 14 years of marriage with a date at Sam Choy's restaurant