Skip to content

Tag: association of rhode island authors

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – K. H. Vaughan #riauthors

halfleader-01

nov-6-kenneth

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – K. H. Vaughan

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
Everyone writes, just as everyone does art. The difference is that some of us don’t stop. Most people are storytellers at heart, and I’m no different than anyone else in that sense. Even during periods when I wasn’t writing fiction, I spent a lot of time playing and running role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, and Champions. There’s a strong collaborative storytelling aspect to that form of gaming, and I was always drawn to that.
After many years of writing without success, I finally made some decisions about my goals and the process. The thing that led to creating publishable work in my case was switching from novels to short stories. I had two complete novels, some aborted attempts, and a screenplay, but the fiction wasn’t good enough to take to a publisher or an agent. I think the screenplay is adequate, but the novels are flawed. When I decided to focus on short fiction it was really a revelation. In a year I was able to go through the process of down-draft, revision, and polishing on about twenty-five pieces. I had over a hundred rejections, but I got some great feedback and made sales. I think that, had I continued to wrestle with the long form, I would still be struggling with down-drafts and structural problems. Instead, I have a growing number of anthology appearances and work as an assistant editor for Dark Discoveries magazine. I needed that experience, and think a finished novel is now more viable. I do enjoy the short form though, and will continue to write in that range. I may put out a collection, but I think that the pieces I have are too diverse in tone and genre to merit that just yet. Right now, I publish horror and some science fiction. No matter the genre, I tend towards darker themes. I’m interested in the horror of existence, human pain, and alienation.
As a kid, I enjoyed a steady diet of Creature Double Feature and Kung Fu Theater on WLVI-TV Channel 56 in Boston. Most of those films don’t hold up well when you go back and see them with adult eyes, but many of them did have elements of good storytelling or compelling moments. I think my more pulp sensibilities can be traced back to those influences, although I don’t think that often shows in my writing. There were also some wonderful films in the theaters, like Jaws, Star Wars, Alien, and Excalibur, that really stretched my imagination. My sense of myth is strongly colored by that period. I remember sitting in the front row of the theater the first time I saw Star Wars, and the sense of awe and excitement as the star destroyer emerged from the top of the screen and just seemed to keep going forever. What an amazing sense of scale. Despite that, I think that my writing influences are more in literature, philosophy, and non-fiction. I read a ton of science writing, history, and geopolitics. I love the research process, even though most of it doesn’t make the final draft. It’s part of how I process information. Hopefully that translates into stories that people enjoy.
K. H. Vaughan has a doctorate in clinical psychology and teaches at colleges in Rhode Island. He is a member of the New England Horror Writers and the Association of Rhode Island Authors. He can be found on Facebook and at http://www.khvaughan.com.

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Bob Sendling #riauthors

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Bob Sendling

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
nov-5-bob
Compassion
There are lines of perception that flow freely through the meditative mind which need space to expand and be fully realized. I had a social discussion recently that confused me. I sat up most of the night trying to understand…here are my thoughts:
Someone was saying that there are so many poor people who take advantage of “the kindness of strangers.” Actually, the statement was not nearly that gentle. The assumption is that most of the people on welfare or government assistance of any type are just ripping off the hard-working taxpayers. You know the stuff…free cell phones, free food, subsidized rent, free medical care.
As I heard these words, I found myself tuning out of the conversational flow. I thought of the pygmy tribes in Africa who cannot get medicine because the government considers them ‘sub-human’ and will not ‘waste’ medicine on them. I read of a kind missionary who buried a two-year-old boy because he was denied treatment at a hospital…the boy was a pygmy.
Where do we draw the line that determines who gets help and why? How can we decide that people who test positive for drug abuse do not get welfare? This is actually happening in several states in America right now.
Some people who have material wealth seem to be erecting a wall around those trinkets. Thich Nhat Hanh tells the story of a farmer who was so obsessed with losing a cow that he spent all day, dawn to dusk, counting them. He lived in constant fear of ever losing one and lived a tortured life in the process. Do you count your cows? Are you a victim of the relentless efforts of big business to engage you in consumerism?
Do you wonder how your email inbox just knows what new trinket might interest you? My computer is being data-mined as I write these words. That’s why I get so many emails and ads about spirituality and blues music.
We are all members of the human species, we are all born into this world and by that birthright should share in the available resources. Why do many of us, who find a small piece of that wealth, turn with such bitterness against those less fortunate? I think if you consider this question with clear perception you will come to the conclusion that those who covet the resources of this wonderful planet are constantly finding ways to widen the gap. Peace and love.
Visit Bob online here.
halfleader-01

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Kelly Kittel #riauthors

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Kelly Kittel

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
Kelly-author
What Goes Up…
If you Google the phrase “What goes up, must come down,” you’ll learn that it’s attributed to Isaac Newton. You’ll also find the following explanation. “Things that are launched into the air will return back down to the ground. Why? Because of gravity, that’s why.” As a resident of the Ocean State, I can be found on the beach almost every day, often humming the song, Spinning Wheel, which begins with Newton’s quotation. Because almost every single time I walk the beach I see the crumpled remains of balloons along the high tideline. One sunny spring weekend marked by both Mother’s Day and local school graduations, my son and I picked up over a hundred balloons in a one-mile-stretch of our favorite beach. It’s no surprise that balloon debris in beach litter surveys has tripled over the past 10 years.
Balloons litter our shorelines. Their colorful ribbons once clenched by sweaty toddler fists unfurl across the sand like jellyfish tentacles. And this is one of the biggest problems with balloons—they look like jellyfish to the critters that eat them by mistake. Whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and birds have all been found dead on the beach with balloons inside of them blocking their digestive systems, slowly starving them. Which isn’t the festive image we typically associate with a party balloon tied to someone’s mailbox. Or released en masse to mark a special occasion or memorialize a loved one.
As a bereaved parent, I have been cringing for years as folks gather in cemeteries and on soccer fields to release balloons by the handfuls. It’s a nice symbol, sending something up into the heavens where we picture our loved ones waiting to receive them. Especially our children, who will never delight in birthday balloons again. But none of us truly believes that our dearly departed will be the happy recipients of anything we launch into space. Remember the song? Other creatures will, but not in the way we’ve intended. Balloons are usually made of natural latex, which is biodegradable, but the decomposition takes many months, the ribbons even longer. Others are made of foil, Mylar, and these can float for hundreds of miles before descending. A whale calf recently washed ashore in California, dead from choking on a Mylar balloon. Killing sea creatures in the name of our loved ones is not the sort of myth we should be perpetrating. Dead sea birds entangled in pink and blue grosgrain ribbon is not how we’d intentionally choose to honor our babies.
After we’ve watched them float up, up, and away, balloons either burst or slowly deflate. Gravity ensures their return to earth and that is true for Chinese Lanterns as well. Once the flame burns out, their metal and bamboo frames can entangle birds and choke livestock. A handful of cities and states have enacted laws banning the release of balloons and lanterns, along with the White House, Park Service, and Disney World. But the Balloon Council spends millions of dollars lobbying to keep balloon releases legal, encouraging us to litter with their products. Balloon releases should be included in existing litter laws because, after all, that’s what it is.
If you want to memorialize your loved ones or mark a special occasion with something lofty, there are alternatives. For streams of color high in the air, why not fly kites? How about a mass bubble release? Or releasing monarch butterflies? Homing pigeons? Or my favorite—plant a tree. You can watch it grow and it will provide years of habitat for animals and birds instead of killing them.
Kelly-book
Kelly Kittel is a mom, an author, and, in her own words, part fish. Her first book, Breathe, A Memoir of Motherhood, Grief, and Family Conflict, is the winner of  IPNE’s Best Book of the Year and Best Narrative Nonfiction, and was an Honorable Finalist in the Readers’ Choice International Book Awards. Link to her  website, follow her on Twitter, and like her on Facebook.

halfleader-01
 

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Anita Greene #riauthors

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Anita Greene

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.

nov-2-anita

Thanksgiving Traditions 

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday. No pressure to find the perfect gift. No guilt that the Christmas cards are still in the box. Thanksgiving revolves around family, food, and fun. Our traditions tie all these elements together.
There is comfort in knowing I belong with this group of people I call ‘family’. We have a shared history that connects us to the generations that came before us. Thanksgiving Day is a time to remember the past as we create new memories. It’s a time to appreciate the ones we love and to celebrate the values we share.
Our Thanksgiving feast is the same menu my Grandma Dinwoodie served when I was a child, and the table ran from one end of the dining room/living room to the other. I had to crawl underneath to get to my seat on the itchy horsehair sofa. The turkey is served with an old-fashioned bread stuffing. The winter vegetables—mashed potatoes, butternut squash, turnips, and creamed onions—are abundant. To fill in around the edges there are brown and serve rolls, cranberry sauce and pickles. (My mouth is watering as I write this!)
With each generation, traditions evolve. Our family grew and changed, so we no longer have young people coming in cold and hungry from the Bulldogs vs Bears high school football game. We have also added an after-dinner-but-before-pie walk to the day.
Many years ago a table of appetizers became a part of our celebration. My cheese ball recipe is now another one of our traditions. If you are looking for something new to serve, this cheese ball has a robust flavor.
Bacon-Cheddar Cheese Ball
2 packages (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated*
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons pimento, diced
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
Blend all ingredients. Form into a ball. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend.
* The store-bought packages of shredded cheese do not blend very well with the cream cheese. Better to grate a block of cheese.
What traditions do you treasure? What new traditions have you added to your celebration?
Anita K. Greene writes “inspirational novels filled with romance and adventure.” Learn more about Anita and find links to her books and blog here.
halfleader-01

[#riauthors] Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Tabitha Lord

Rhode Island Author Expo Spotlight – Tabitha Lord

This post was originally posted on Martha Reynold’s blog and has been reposted here with author permission, minor revisions have been made.
nov-1-tabitha
Because Star Wars, Of Course! 
“Why do you write science fiction?” I’ve been asked that question more times than I can count. My quick and dirty answer is, “Because Star Wars, of course!” And there’s more than a little truth to this. I saw the movie when I was seven, at a time when special effects were, well, special, and a story like this one had never been seen on the big screen. Spaceships, aliens, evil villains, reluctant heroes, and a bad-ass princess – everything a girl could ask for!
I was obsessed. Every night I fell asleep to Jon Williams’ music playing on my record player (I still feel warm and fuzzy when I hear that theme song). Model x-wing fighters hung from my bedroom ceiling, the Millennium Falcon I built with my dad had a light-up cockpit, my Empire Strikes Back lunchbox still had its thermos, and my Princess Leia action figure was the one with the real buns (you know – fake hair instead of plastic, and you could never fix it after you’d messed with it). When I attended my first ComicCon many years later, I realized I should have saved those toys. My collection would have rivaled any I’ve seen.
When your work touches the collective consciousness of millions of people, then you are a true artist, a masterful storyteller. In my opinion, George Lucas told one of the most epic stories of all time. So, is Star Wars the only reason I write sci-fi? Of course not. But, did it awaken the storyteller in me? Absolutely.
My works-in-progress are varied and span across genres. Likewise, my taste in reading is eclectic and my bookshelves diverse. I belong to two book clubs, write a parenting blog, and contribute to a book review blog. But sci-fi is like the default setting for my imagination. It’s where I go when I want to be inspired; to play with possibilities; to ask what if, and then create brand new worlds where I can explore the answers. For me, the sci-fi genre is also a place to consider serious, meaningful issues in a different context, slightly removed from the real world.
At a writing conference I attended, one of the speakers suggested that, through our work, we artist types like to contend with themes that are important to us. I know what kinds of questions I like my characters to struggle with: What does a hero look like? Who stands and fights, and who turns away? What decisions do we make, large and small, that come to define us when it matters? What is redemption and who finds it? I want to encounter these questions as a reader and a writer. During a most impressionable time in my life, Star Wars set the bar for the archetypal battle between good and evil, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
People have regrets in life. Besides giving away my Star Wars stuff, here’s one of mine: My husband and I were invited to a fundraiser at the Boston Museum of Science several years ago. Wolfgang Puck prepared the meal, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) served as the evening’s auctioneer, guests enjoyed a private tour of the museum’s visiting Star Wars exhibit, and we were to have dinner with none other than George Lucas himself. It was expensive. My husband said we should do it (Editor’s comment: husband adores wife – he had my vote). I said no. We didn’t go. My regret is that I didn’t get to tell George Lucas how much he inspired a little girl with a big imagination.
Tabitha currently lives in Rhode Island, a few towns away from where she grew up. She is married, has four great kids, a spoiled Ragdoll cat, and lovable black lab. The house is noisy and the dinner table full! She holds a degree in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and taught Latin for years at a small, independent Waldorf school. She also worked in the admissions office there before turning her attention to full-time writing.
You can visit her blog at Tabitha Lord Author where she posts author interviews, hosts guest bloggers, and discusses some favorite topics including parenting and her writing journey. You can also follow her on twitter @tlordauthorPinterest, and connect on Facebook.
horizon-cover

Horizon, her first novel is available for pre-order and will be released on December 1, 2015 and is scheduled to appear at the Rhode Island Author Expo in Lincoln, Rhode Island on 12/5/15.

halfleader-01

[#riauthors] Rhode Island Author Expo 12/5/15

expo flyer-02

You want to meet a local author?

How about a 100?
Then you’re in luck!
The 3rd Annual Rhode Island Author Expo is happening on 12/5/15 from 11am-5pm at Lincoln Mall between Marshall’s and 5 Below.
A 100 local Rhode Island authors from the Association of Rhode Island Authors will be selling their books at the event and would make great stocking stuffers.
All genres from fiction, non-fiction, horror, children and more will be on sale!
RSVP via the Facebook Event page.