Ohio Watercolors 2022

This exhibit at the Riffe Gallery in Columbus only goes on another week, so if you’re local it’s worth stopping in. Especially if you want to see some paintings from Ohio artists that are bright, detailed, and in some ways atypical of what I expected from watercolors. Here are a few examples:

Geronimo, by Fran Mangino, 2022
Lady with a Pink Hat, by Thomas Mayer, 2021
Springtime in the Flats by Mike McEnroe, 2022

Here’s a link to the gallery page, including some additional images and info on the (rather restricted) gallery hours. The exhibit has paintings from members of the Ohio Watercolor Society and is a juried exhibition.

Merion Village Festival 2022

The last time I was at this festival was in 2019. I remember it was a pleasant afternoon of talking to readers (and a few aspiring writers) and enjoying yummy food. I’m hoping for the same this coming Sunday September 11 at Merion Village’s Moeller Park here in Columbus.

Looks like they’re expecting quite a few vendors as well as food trucks and live music. I’ll have my books available including the Blood on the Blade sword & sorcery anthology, winner of the 2022 Imadjinn Award for best anthology, which among other great stories has my story “The Sorceress Maiz”.

If you’re nearby, come and say hi!

National Read a Book Day 2022

Photo by Javier Martinez on Unsplash

September 6 is National Read a Book Day 2022. Just like last year, I thought I’d offer some suggestions for readers who love science fiction and fantasy — and maybe a little horror.

Something Powerful: Station Eleven, by Emily St John Mandel, published in 2014. Although the author considers this literary fiction, science fiction readers will appreciate it. It’s set after a pandemic has ravaged the world, killing most of the global population. It follows a few key characters who are interconnected by relationships and by a graphic novel titled Station Eleven treasured by Kristen, a member of a traveling theater group in the Great Lakes area. It’s a magnificent novel, one I’d recommend to anyone.

Something New: The Last Stand of Mary Good Crow by Rachel Aaron. This is a fantasy alternate-history Western set in a world where there is a mining rush — not for gold but for crystal, a dangerous and powerful substance with magical properties. A good adventure story with three interesting main characters.

Something in a Great Series: Turns out this isn’t the newest book in the series, but it was new to me! The Queen’s Bargain by Anne Bishop is tenth in the Black Jewels series. If you’ve read any of these you know they are dark, with rich characterizations and complex relationships. (They are also erotic and sometimes violent, definitely not for young readers.) In this one, Warlord Prince Daemon Sadi’s marriage is crumbling, and possibly his mind as well. This one is a little lighter than the original three books in the series, but still intense and a good read for series fans.

Something Recommended by my Daughter: Just like last year, I’m including a recommendation from my daughter! Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas is a New York Times bestseller and a LGBTQIA+ ghost story. In the story, a trans boy with a very traditional Latinx family summons the ghost of his murdered cousin to prove something — and can’t get the ghost to leave. Here’s a link to a review from Kirkus.

Something on my To-Be-Read List: The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber and David Wengrow. This is an actual tome — 526 pages not including notes — and it is nonfiction. The book looks at human history from a different perspective, arguing that early civilizations had a variety of social and economic structures and reexamining what we think we know about the past. It comes highly recommended (check out the editorial reviews on Amazon), and I can’t help but think it might be a good read especially for writers who engage in world building as part of their work.

Something … by Me! Yes, I’m doing this again, including something by me. In this case it’s an anthology that includes stories by ten different authors. Blood on the Blade is a sword & sorcery anthology (edited by Jim Beard and and John C. Breuning) and winner of the 2022 Imadjinn Award for Best Anthology. My story is “The Sorceress Maiz”, but check out all the stories — there are a number of different takes on the sword & sorcery genre, and it’s a good read.

Whatever you choose to read, it’s a great day to start a new book! Feel free to comment if you have recommendations of your own.

Book Lovers’ Day Sale

Today is National Book Lovers’ Day. Celebrated every year on August 9, today is all about books.

We all have beloved books that have entertained us or had an impact in our lives. But today is about trying something new!

In honor of that, the ebook editions of all three of my fantasy novels are on sale today on Amazon. Black Tide (Color Mage Book One), Sword of Jashan (Color Mage Book Two), and the standalone fantasy novel Taylenor are all on sale. Click the title above to buy!

If you think you’d like a good fantasy read, give one of them a try! Otherwise, today’s a good day to choose something new — something you don’t ordinarily read. Maybe a mystery, some good nonfiction, something by an author you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to. Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Taylenor is a stand-alone fantasy.

News about Blood on the Blade

The Blood on the Blade sword & sorcery anthology, published by Flinch Books in late 2021, was awarded an Imadjinn Award for Best Anthology at the Imaginarium Convention last weekend.

The anthology contains ten stories, including my short story “The Sorceress Maiz”. Also in the anthology is the Best Short Story Imadjinn winner by Steven Shrewsbury, “Knock the Hell Out of You”.

In short, it’s a great anthology! I’m delighted to have been a small part of it.

Art: “I Hear America Singing”

Visited the Pizzuti Collection today to see their photography exhibition, “I Hear America Singing: Contemporary Photography from America”. It’s a small exhibit but worthwhile if you’re in the area. The images that particularly struck me related to humans and our impact on the environment and nature, particularly in the American West.

Fascinating to me was that this exhibit was originally created and presented at the national fine art gallery in Amman, Jordan, where it would have explored the themes of diversity within America and our relationship with the land. Here is a link to a description of the exhibition from Ashley Lumb, curator.

Also, it’s such a pleasure to be able to go to art galleries and exhibitions again!

Desert Housing Block, Las Vegas, Nevada by Alex MacLean
The Wall, by Griselda San Martin

I was really impressed by the work of Alex MacLean, Griselda San Martin and Michael Lundgren. Also enjoyed Lucas Foglia’s “Frontcountry” series. I’ve included links to their websites below.

Michael Lundgren

Alex MacLean

Griselda San Martin

Lucas Foglia

Views from the Arts Festival

Just a couple of images, things I saw from a slightly different angle during last weekend’s Columbus Arts Festival.

A corner of the Cultural Arts Center. Flowers in jewel-colored vases, reflected in a piano.
Main Street Bridge on a blue-sky gorgeous day, 6/11/2022

Columbus Arts Festival 2022

The Columbus Arts Festival is back in person on the Columbus riverfront! I love this festival, so that’s good news for me. In addition I’ll be joining several other authors on the Cultural Arts stage at the festival to read from our work. If you’re in the area for this wonderful arts festival, hope you can join us from 3-4 pm on June 11.

Here’s a link to the arts festival website with a lot of information on artists, performances, etc: https://www.columbusartsfestival.org

Hoping for good weather for the weekend!