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It's not a planet anymore, and hasn't been since August of 2006, when a bunch of astronomers took a vote. Imagine, humanity has evolved to the point where we can "un-planet" a entire world!
That said, Pluto (now technically named "134340") remains the 10th largest body orbiting our sun. It's actually smaller than our moon, though it does have a thin atmosphere: mostly methane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It even has three moons, the largest of which is Charon, which is more than half the size of the "un-planeted" world it orbits.
I put it on this issue's cover - well, mainly because the last issue featured Mercury and I liked the symmetry. But, planet or not, Pluto remains a world that has always fascinated me. So far away. So cold. The Earth's unloved cousin, living at the very edge of town, so to speak.
This issue's Name in Lights goes to Lynette Eckland who, for the past four years, served as one of the Allegory's senior editors.
Lynette did amazing work for us, sifting though countless submissions and replying - either favorably or otherwise - to hundreds of eager authors. Like all staff members, myself included, Lynette's efforts were strictly on a volunteer basis. She did what she did because she loved it.
Lynette leaves us with this issue. We wish her the best with all her endeavors and thank her, deeply and sincerely, for her time and effort on behalf of this e-zine.
Book Expo America '13:
The Good and The Sad
by Ty Drago
The annual Book Expo America, or BEA, was once again held at the Javitz Center in New York City from Thursday, May 30th through Saturday, June 1st. It's an enormous publishing trade show that brings big name authors, publishers, media specialists, etc all under one extremely high roof. I've been going every year for a while now, and it's an event that I always look forward to eagerly.
Except this year. You see, my mom died.
She passed away on Saturday, May 25th and, to be honest, I probably should've skipped BEA, even for the one day (Thursday) during which I'd planned to go. But I'd already arranged to meet up with Allegory staff member and fellow writer, Jackie Kessler, and I hate letting friends down. So, against the advice of my ever-wise wife Helene, I took the train into New York.
BEA was BEA, full of people, color and sound. All around me were pavilions belonging to virtually every publisher, major and minor, in the American publishing industry, including Month9Books, who is publishing the third Undertakers novel next year. I enjoyed the opportunity to shake hands with Georgia McBride, my new publisher, a lady of vision and keen business saavy.
I also had the chance to meet with one of my favorite authors, Sue Grafton, author of the Kinsey Mulhone Alphabet Mysteries. If you're not familiar with her work, look her up! She was at BEA signing advanced reading copies of her latest: "W is for Wasted", which I actually had her sign for Helene, whose an even bigger fan of Ms. Grafton's than I am.
Jackie, on the other hand, who'd never read Ms. Grafton, took the time to also get a signed book, and was so charmed by the author's easy and welcoming manner that I think she became a fan!
I visited with the good people at Sourcebooks, who published the first two Undertakers novels, even grabbing a hug from Leigh Hultenschmidt. She's the senior editor who first introduced film producer Andrew van den Houten to the Undertakers! I owe that lady more than just a thank you.
The entire day was exciting and fascinating and wonderful. The energy of the event just sort of sweeps you along, past stacks of books, posters and trinkets, all of which are offered free to BEA participants. Needless to say, I came home with a nice bag of swag.
Unfortunately, my own grief ended up overshadowing my enjoyment. I felt tired and strangely guilty to be winding my way through the throngs of people in the wake of my own family's loss. I finally left earlier than I'd intended, in the middle of the afternoon, completely spent.
Am I glad I went? To this day, I'm not sure.
But I can tell you this: I will be going in 2014. And, hopefully, that time I'll be able to fully embrace what really is an astonishing and rewarding event.
Hope to you see you all there!
Mama Thibedeaux’s eyes never left Annie; she listened
and nodded as Annie laid out each charge against Ricky.
I Became a Murderer"
“Mrs. Damina Maidek?” a guy with three
shiny stars on his lapel asked.
Ben shoved one of the smaller jugs into my hands, and
why...even as bad as I knew it would be, it would have been rude not
to drink it.
Try not to think about it.
wife was in the bag, well, what was left of her. Vincent had been able
to get rid of one of the hands when he’d stopped for gas, providing
a very hungry and very scrawny dog with a decent meal, and he knew that
if he could just make it to Forester City, he’d be in the clear.
His brother, Trevor, an undertaker, would burn up the leftovers in the
crematorium oven, and then he’d be home free. Being the close
brother that he was, Trevor was more than willing to help, especially
knowing what that wretched wife had done to little Timmy.
His wife was in the bag, well, what was left of her. Vincent had been able to get rid of one of the hands when he’d stopped for gas, providing a very hungry and very scrawny dog with a decent meal, and he knew that if he could just make it to Forester City, he’d be in the clear. His brother, Trevor, an undertaker, would burn up the leftovers in the crematorium oven, and then he’d be home free. Being the close brother that he was, Trevor was more than willing to help, especially knowing what that wretched wife had done to little Timmy.
I reached out to her from above. Even though my mouth
was open, the only sound was that of my stale breath leaking out in
drips. And then, just as I was close enough to touch the back of her
swim cap and pull her head free of the water that had killed her, I
blinked. When I opened my eyes, she was gone.
The woman in the street, who he recognized as Dawn Bradley,
the divorcee from two doors down, was likely worrying about friends
in the city who were now just smoke particles billowing into the sky
or maybe puddles of melted fat in the middle of 5th Avenue and still
did not see the creature sauntering in the street light.
"Marigolds," he says as he points to the flowers hanging upside down in my hand. "How very apt."
"The flowers in the field," I say with the breath of a laugh as I deposit the small bouquet in an empty vase on the dresser by the door. "Yeah, I remember."
Now it's Paul's turn to laugh and although it develops into a cough, it still manages to carry more humour than mine.
"No, I was more thinking about marigolds symbolising death."
this issue we're doing things a little differently. Instead of short
Allegory deals with submissions in the way that, as far as I know, remains fairly unique in the publishing world. Each story is individually reviewed and, if considered publishable, is placed in our "Maybe" pile. At the end of each submission period, these "Maybes" are reviewed, and the best eight chosen to appear in the next issue. This final cut is made on the basis of issue balance, and does NOT reflect the overall quality of these stories.
That said, here - in no particular order - are the "Maybes" who just missed publication in Allegory. Each one is a fine tale that we would have been proud to publish. Remember these names, friends and fellows. You'll be hearing from them in the future. I guarantee it!
A Strike at the Heart of the Cannon Lord by
Editor for Hire!!!
Allegory's own Kelly Ferjutz, who has lent her editorial talents to this ezine since its inception in 1998, is now offering her expertise to writers out there looking for professional editing services.
Kelly is a veteran editor, a published author in her own right, as well as a "blogsman".
Click HERE to discover more about Kelly's offered services.
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