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MinnSpec -- Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Message Board MinnSpec -- Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Discussion Forum › Introduce Yourself, and tell us what you write!

Introduce Yourself, and tell us what you write!

Hilary Moon M.
Group Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 6,689
Dan --

Welcome to the group! We have several artists in the group, including several graphic artists. Maybe you want to start a new discussion on the message board about this?

A former member
Post #: 17
Hi all!

I guess I should Re: Introduce myself:

My name's Fang Langford (legally, but middle). I've lived in these Twin Cities for 18 years...a continuous struggle to bring thoughts to paper (and recently web). A while back I attended a meetup of this group only to be confronted on my writer's block (that rather set me back on my heels). But now I'm back and I Assistant Organize the Writer's Block Meetup. (Maybe it'll help...who knows?)

My current - dead in the water - projects are:

  • A webcomic about the 'World Behind the Seams' of superhero spandex...their private lives
  • A web-forum where designers of untraditional role-playing situations can discuss ideas beyond the current fads (You'd be amazed how much writing there is with starting a non-profit.)
  • A web-based enhancement for a commercial MMORPG to facilitate cooperative role-play and participatory story creation
  • A tabletop role-playing game with serialized microfiction by way of examples Scattershot presents: The Unseen
  • A web-based MMORPG where interaction with the computer-driven characters drives forward an automated story, generated on the fly, inspired by the works of Lajos Egri and Georges Polti
  • An animated short about a trio of good guys set in a magical cyberpunk world

With any luck we may actually see some progress based on the other Meetup.

Michael M.
Hopkins, MN
Post #: 305
I just want to give a quick welcome to all the new members!
A former member
Post #: 9
Thanks for the invitation.

I'm a therapist in a children's mental health program in West Virginia. I wrote a science fiction novel: "Rarity from the Hollow." Author proceeds are donated to prevent child abuse.

"Rarity" was published as an ebook: A satirical essay about its self-promotion was also published in July by Wingspan Quarterly: Jag Lall, English comic book artist, did the cover pro bono. A related short story is supposed to be out soon in the next The Angry Poet (horror).

I can't afford to advertise the novel, so I post anyplace I find that will let me after I get home from work. I'm not complaining because I knew I'd never make much of a salary in the child welfare field. And besides, my work is what inspires me to write.

Here's a joke that the protagonist approved. She an adolescent victim who saves the universe:
Three women -- a German, a Japanese, and a Hillbilly -- were sitting in a sauna.

Suddenly, there was a beeping sound. The German pressed her forearm and the beep stopped. The others looked at her questioningly. "That was my pager," she said. "I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later, a phone rings. The Japanese woman lifted her palm to her ear. When she finished, she explained, "That was my mobile phone. I have a microchip in my hand."

The Hillbilly woman felt low tech. Not to be outdone, she decided that she had to do something impressive. She stepped out of the sauna and went to the bathroom. She returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from her butt. The others raised their eybrows and stared at her.

The Hillbilly said, "Well, will you look there...I'm getting a FAX.

"Rarity" has received several blurbs, some of which are on the publisher's site. Others are available, including one by Piers Anthony. A review is in Baryon Online: http://www.baryon-onl...­


Robert Eggleton
Rarity from the Hollow, A Lacy Dawn Adventure
Robert Eggleton, $6.95, 411 pages, ISBN: 0977644839 reviewed by Barry Hunter

Lacy Dawn is the last person you would pick to be the savior of the universe. She?s in the fifth grade in the backwoods of West Virginia. Her best friend ? Faith, is the ghost of a school mate that was beaten to death and lives in a tree. During recess she gives advice to her schoolmates about their future. Her boyfriend ? DotCom, is an android that has lived in a cave for thousands of years keeping watch over her lineage from the first days of humankind.

Her dad - Dewayne is a disabled vet and her family is on welfare. Tom, the next door neighbor, grows "buds". Jenny, her mom does the best she can. Lacy and DotCom do some "reprogramming" on the parents to make them smarter and stronger and Lacy is up to college level in her studies with DotCom.

It turns out that in order for Lacy to save the universe; she must raise the prestige of Earth by becoming the greatest shopper of all time and negotiate the best deals for her services and those of her family on the planet Shptiludrp.

Eggleton has crafted a novel that deals with social commentary mixed with some eerie science fiction and a strange problem that Lacy has to solve to save the universe with the help of her family and her dog, Brownie. I can almost hear a blue grass version of Metallica while reading this. I expect to see more from Eggleton and Lacy Dawn. Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.

Depending on a schedule, from ten to fifty percent will be donated to prevent child abuse: Children's Home Society of West Virginia (CHS, Dennis Sutton, Executive Director).

All of the above info is verifiable and I'll provide any additional info on your request. I'm writing to ask that you check it out and tell others, mention it to your friends, post this email on a wall or your newsletter, or whatever you think would help promote this project. Advertising is too expensive and ebook publishers don't promote the way that traditional publishers have in the past. Unless one has name recognition, actually, few paper publishers today invest much in promotion.

Anything that you can do to pass the word would be appreciated. I'm a novice on the internet and have been stumbling around trying to let people know. Sometimes I've gotten myself called spam, which is especially discouraging. I hope that I have not written to you before about this project. However, since it's an ebook, please caution folks not to share the actual novel because it would be like ripping off the kids.


Robert Eggleton
A former member
Post #: 1
Hello everyone! My name is Brad Svenson. I'm so glad to have found this place and look forward to participating in the events. I write fantasy short stories and now my first novel. I've been a test-reader for many writers across the country and can't wait to get involved with the workshops locally. To see those that are reading and being read. Well, that's all really. Can't wait to meet everyone.


Hilary Moon M.
Group Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 7,319
Robert --

You should take a look at this discussion, What to do after you get that contract, and this file of promotional items that Mike Blumer used for his book.

Brad --

You are totally welcome. Have you RSVPed for our workshop­ yet? If you like, you can submit a manuscript for critique using our files section. Here is our files FAQ for more information.

A hearty welcome to both of you!

A former member
Post #: 10
Wow! What a marketing plan. Thanks.

A former member
Post #: 1
Hello group!

I am a long-distance member (from sunny Daytona Beach, Florida) that runs my own Fantasy and Horror small-press company called Carnifex Press ( and love meeting new readers and writers and networking with them. It's fun to have so many people share my interests.

I doubt I'll be coming up for many meetings, but you never know, lol... I'm slowly expanding my convention schedule each year and moving steadily northward.

Check out my website and if you have questions feel free to e-mail me, or if you just want to say hi as well.

I will be the lurker member who can't make the meetings but will live vicariously through the message boards here.

I wish everyone well with their writing careers and hope to someday say, 'hey, I was in a meetup group with them, and now they're famous and won't return my calls'.

Armand Rosamilia
A former member
Post #: 13
I'm not for sure, but I think I contacted you before about my novel -- author proceeds are donated to prevent child abuse. This project is 100% manual and I've gotten messed up and mixed up about who I contacted and who responded. I used to keep a log and notes about contacts, but it didn't work, so I put it in the burn pile.

I'm a therapist in a children's mental health program in West Virginia -- the state with the highest rate of child maltreatment deaths in the country. This is a good project, at least worth ten minutes of your time to check it out and maybe to decide to help abused kids in my state. We don't have a BACA chapter here, or I would have asked its members to volunteer to email other chapters.

Following is the most recent review of my novel. An earlier review is on the site by a famous science fiction reviewer (it was a great review too). Several blurbs written by authors are on the publishers site listed below. This project has also been mentioned a lot of other places on the internet. I can't afford to buy advertising, but SpecFicWorld did give one year free. It's also mentioned on child abuse survivor sites if you visit those. The most recent gift that the project received is here if you have the time: http://www.okalrel.or...­

Frankly, I've been working my butt off on this thing. All I'm asking for is ten minutes of your time doing anything that you think would help out. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks. Robert


I Owe One to Robert Eggleton
By Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review

Earlier this year I was contacted by a first-time novelist asking if I would review his forthcoming e-book. If people knew how many requests of this kind editors get, they would understand that out of self-preservation we sometimes . . . well, I ignored it.

Robert tried again. There was something in the tone of his e-mail. Clearly this mattered to him. So I said yes, I?d take a look, though I didn?t think we could review Rarity From the Hollow. This is all fogged somewhat in memory: in the months since then our magazine moved its office, I was hospitalized for a cat bite (yes, they?re dangerous!), we?ve published several issues, read hundreds of manuscripts, I went to Africa, etc., etc. But as I recall, Robert sent me the first chapter, which begins with two impoverished schoolgirls (from the Hollow of the title) studying together and spelling the word for an adult sex toy. It was quirky, profane, disturbing. I said I?d look at the book, not entirely sure what I could do to help.

He sent me the whole thing. I read portions of the book, which is subtitled ?A Lacy Dawn Adventure,? after the girl protagonist, Lacy Dawn. I liked Lacy, who lives in a world of poverty, classmates with precocious sexual knowledge and/or experience, unemployed men, worn-down women and cruelty so casual that it?s more knee-jerk than intentional. Maybe I was just too bothered by the content, but at a certain point I knew I just couldn?t do anything. Time was nonexistent.

So I deleted the book.

Robert contacted me again, and I got soft. You see, there was something about the whole project in general. Robert is a social worker who has spent at least a portion of his career working with child-abuse victims in Appalachia. The book was partly about that, and mostly very strange. In the Hollow, Lacy takes up with an android named DotCom, from ?out of state,? which really means out of this world. Under DotCom?s wing, she decides that she will ?save? her family. Little does she know she will end up saving the universe. Robert was donating the proceeds from sales to help child-abuse victims.

Robert is not a kid; he?s maybe my age, maybe older. This wasn?t about youthful ambition, vanity and reputation. It was about some kind of personal calling. I believe in those. I also believe in people who are driven to get their writing out there to an audience, through whatever venue. The e-book idea intrigued me. The earnestness of the appeal got to me. Send the book again, I said. He did. It?s still on my hard drive. (I suppose I should delete it, since I haven?t paid for it.)

Robert kept after me. If I liked it, could I write a blurb? Yeah, of course. I was fund-raising for my African trip (a Habitat build), teaching, editing, raising three kids. But who isn?t busy? We set our own priorities. I put Robert and his book lower than some other things, which really wasn?t fair because I said I would do something, and I didn?t.

And it has bothered me. Here?s another thing people don?t know about editors. They sometimes have consciences about books/stories/poems/whatever that they?ve allowed to get lost or neglected in the shuffle of what amounts to thousands of pages.

So I?m belatedly giving Rarity From the Hollow a plug. Among its strengths are an ultra-convincing depiction of the lives, especially the inner lives, of the Appalachian protagonists. The grim details of their existence are delivered with such flat understatement that at times they almost become comic. And just when you think enough is enough, this world is just too ugly, Lacy?s father (who is being ?fixed? with DotCom?s help) gets a job and Lacy, her mother and her dog take off for a trip to the mall ?out of state? with Lacy?s android friend, now her ?fiancé? (though as Lacy?s mother points out, he doesn?t have any private parts, not even ?a bump.?) In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It?s quite a trip.

Rarity is published by FatCat Press, which has other e-books for sale as well. You can find it at The blurb on the website says in part:

Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her mom, her Vietnam Vet dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber-optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save Earth, and they must get a boatload of shopping done at the mall along the way. Saving Earth is important, but shopping ? well, priorities are priorities.

Yes, priorities are. I should have had mine in order. Robert Eggleton?s book deserves your attention. Check it out.
Hilary Moon M.
Group Organizer
Minneapolis, MN
Post #: 7,413
Armand --

You are totally welcome. It's to see a publisher joining this group. Is there anything special that you want me to say about you on our about page?

Robert --

Yes, you've posted about your novel before­. Congratulations on a great review.

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