Wake up, Polly Parrot.

 











Plain Banter

Along with my first fiction sale came an invitation to write a non-fiction piece for that magazine. I sent in something and the editor accepted it and asked for more. Just the kind of encouragement a beginning writer needs. That market didn't last very long, but after that I wrote a monthly column for the Garden State Horror Writers' newsletter for three years. And now I'm writing my monthly essays just for here. Lucky you, huh?


It's New!A Writer's Bookshelf (November '04) Well, this writer's bookshelf, anyway. Actually, it's more like a bunch of dusty piles scattered around the room, but you get the idea.

It's All Happening At The Library (October '04) More ranting on the subject of public libraries.

Last Chance To Read (August '04) Lamenting the impermanence of books.

Jason's Rocket (July '04) A pleasant little slice-of-life vignette.

On Professional Courtesy (May '04) Why are those writers always so polite on the online forums?

Biography (April '04) If you liked the bio when it had 20 stupid things you didn't know, now it has 100.

I Got A Name (March '04) But not a very interesting name, so maybe I should jazz it up a bit.

Attack Of The 50-Foot Blog (January '04) As if I don't have enough things to waste time on, now I'm starting a daily blog.

Our Little Experiment, Part 1 (December '03) Psssst, I need your help for an experiment I'm running. But don't tell anybody.

What Writers Mean (October '03) Those newbie writers sure sound like they know what they're talking about, but what do they really mean?

Places To Hang (Or Be Hanged) (September '03) Writing is a lonely business. Here's a few digital water-coolers where you can discuss it with your fellow travelers.

The American Way (August '03) Can anyone who wants become a writer? It's hard to say (but I'll try).

Creed Of The Modest God (May '03) God doesn't want us to fight over him, and he doesn't want his pronouns capitalized. He told me so.

Too Old To Rock And Roll? (Apr '03) Some writers lose it as they get older. Will I be one of them?

The March Of Time (Mar '03) Some March Madness -- how to simplify your life so you'll have more time for your art.

Whatever Happened To The Class of '93? (Feb '03) A stroll down memory lane with my fellow travelers from those first couple of sales.

What's This Web Page For? (Jan '03) Help me redesign this web site.

Gifts For Writers (Dec '02) What to get your literary spouse or friend for the holidays.

TLA's (Nov '02) Your cheat sheet to all the alphabet soup served up by the science fiction biz.

Sticks and Stones (Oct '02) The politics of fiction reviews.

Chronicles Of The Garden Variety Writers (Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep '02) An undercover look at the inner workings of a genre writing group. A weekly series. It's a blog!

Spousal Support (May '02) You'd think my wife would be a big fan of my writing, right? Well, think again.

What's The Idea? (Apr '02) Where do writers get their ideas? Here's a bunch you can use.

The Galaxy Of Hair (Mar '02) My strategy for breaking out big time. Hey, it worked for Dean Koontz!

SF: Where To Start (Feb '02) Are you new to Science Fiction? Have I got a list for you. Here's what to read first.

The Lord Has No Clothes (Jan '02) Perhaps I'm swimming upstream, but I did not like the Lord Of The Rings movie.

I'll Have A Blue Christmas (Dec '01) This year it's a sad Christmas. I like melancholy music for the holidays.

Closing Time (Nov '01) Closing lines are important. You gotta know how to stop!

For Openers (Oct '01) It's the opening line that gets your foot in the door. Guess which ones of mine worked.

New York, What Used To Be, And What Follows (Sep '01) Some thoughts on the World Trade Center destruction.

Pirates (Aug '01) Napster, Gnutella, software piracy? Minor league stuff! Here's intellectual property theft on a huge scale.

Small Victories (Jul '01) What keeps a beginning writer going? Maybe it's the little things like this.

Am I There Yet? (Jun '01) Am I really a "professional" writer?

Meet The Author (May '01) Ever want to meet your favorite author? Maybe you shouldn't.

Science Fiction & Fantasy -- A Kid's Eye View (Apr '01) My ten-year-old daughter gives her perspective on SF & F.

Writer's Blues Haiku (Mar '01) Poetry, sorta, about those early days as a writer. If you are a writer, some of these may make you smile.

How I Read (Feb '01) Unless you're weird, I don't read exactly like you do. Maybe I read better, maybe not. But definitely different.

Reintroducing The Antho-Matic (Jan '01) The legendary Antho-Matic has been updated for the new millennium. Now you can make anthology titles just like the professionals.

Oh We Get Letters (Dec '00) Fan mail? For me? What the heck are these people thinking?

Share A Memory (Dec '00) My ten-year-old daughter Mandy wrote this essay of a holiday memory for the local newspaper and won a prize. A bit off-topic? Sure. So sue me.

Why Science Fiction? (Nov '00) Okay, so you gotta write, but why this stuff ?

Why Write? (Oct '00) What am I, some kind of masochist or something? Why do I keep doing this?

Music To Write By -- An Oxymoron (Sep '00) Some writers like to discuss what type of music is best to write by. Some writers are funny people, you know?

This Little Piggy (Aug '00) To Infinity & Beyond ? Steaming Entrails ? Where do you find out about these obscure genre magazines, anyway?

Warranty Registration (Jul '00) Register your Brian Plante stories right here.

How I Write (Jun '00) A peek behind the curtain.

No Contest (May '00) My very biased opinion of writing contests.

Being A Writer (Apr '00) What it's like to be a writer -- to a kid.

Stupid Editor Tricks (Mar '00) In which Brian bites the hand that feeds him.

The Incredible Shrinking Genre (Feb '00) Hard times ahead for the Science Fiction Field?

What The Editors Mean, Part 2 -- Rejection (Jan '00) What the vague phrases mean in your rejection letters.

What The Editors Mean, Part 1 -- Guideline Buzzwords (Dec '99) What the secret phrases really mean in those market guidelines.

I Say (Apr '98) Voice recognition software -- an April Fool's joke.

The Ice Man's Horse (Mar '98) Should I tell the folks at my day job that I'm a writer?

The Greatest Story Ever Told Never Sold (Apr '97) What's wrong with this story? Another April Fool's joke.

Rock, Jazz and Literary Values (Mar '97) The debate over commercial vs literary.

Defending The Hamburger (Jan '97) Stop reading that trash literature!

All I Want For Christmas (Dec '96) My writer's wish list.

Horror In God's Country (Oct '96) Reconciling horror with Christian values.

Counting Chickens (Sep '96) How many stories have you sold?

Not Easy Being Green (Aug '96) On professional jealousy.

What You Don't Know (Jul '96) A rebuttal to the "write what you know" crowd.

Tips For My Writing Friends (Apr '96) An April Fools joke.

Introducing The Antho-Matic (Nov '95) My system for naming genre anthologies.

The Death Of Horror (Apr '95) An April Fools joke -- a phony cover for the NJ Graveline.

The Good Ten Percent (Jan '95) Ninety percent of everything is crap, but which ninety percent?

What Happened to The Future? (Winter '94) Lamenting the space program.

Count= 17259


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