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IN THIS ISSUE:

MAIN PAGE

ARTICLES

  "Cracking the Code:"
      An aging editor/publisher looks back
      by Ty Drago

  "The Writer's Toolbox"
      Laundry Lists and Info Dumps
      by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

FICTION

  "Centaur"
      by Melissa Crandall

  "Broken Glass"
      by Skeeter Enright

  "The Isomorphosis"
       by James Hanson

  "Acting"
      by R. Rozakis


  "The Pepsi-Cola Crater 708-Hour Visitor
      Center and Gift Shop"
      by Megan Fahey


  "Ain't Human"
      by Laura DeHaan


  "Secret of the Sun "
      by Don Katnik

  "Meteorology for Beginners "
      by Simon Kewin

STAFF SHOWCASE

  "Novel Preview: THE UNDERTAKERS:
      SECRET OF THE CORPSE EATER"
      by Ty Drago

  "Novelette Preview: THE UNDERTAKERS:
      NIGHT OF MONSTERS"
      by Ty Drago

  "Novelette Preview: THE WRITING
      CLASS"
      by Kelly Ferjutz


  "Novel Preview: CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS"
      by J.E. Taylor

 "Novel Preview: DOME WARRIORS"
      by J.E. Taylor

  "Novel Preview: WAGERED KISS"
      by Hetty St. James

HONORABLE MENTIONS

LINKS
  Resources for Writers
  Associations for Writers
  Writers' Sites
SPONSORS

COVER ART
THE WRITINGS OF TY DRAGO
NAME IN LIGHTS AWARD

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VISIT THE EDITOR ON FACEBOOK!
Ty Drago's Facebook Profile

COVER ART:

On our cover this issue, may I present the galaxy Andromeda. This royalty-free image was uploaded onto Wikimedia by NotFromUtrecht. I decided to use it as part of our universe series because this classic spiral galaxy is generally accepted to mirror the approximate size and structure of our own. Sadly, we have never seen Milky Way its entirety in this way. We can’t as – well – we’re in it!

There are estimated to be more than one trillion individual stars in Andromeda, all of them orbiting a massive black hole in its center.

It is roughly 2,538,000 light years from Earth. That means, if you left today and traveled at the speed of light (good luck with that), you wouldn’t reach Andromeda for two-and-a-half million years.

Wow.


THE WRITINGS OF TY DRAGO:

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Secret of the Corpse Eater"
Month9Books, March, 2014

Trouble brews in DC as a mysterious monster haunts the Capitol, killing Corpses. Can the enemy of his enemy be Will's friend?.

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Night of Monsters"
Smashwords, April, 2013

Will and the Undertakers spend a single night trying to thwart a terrifying new Corpse plot involving twins, maggots, and menace.

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Queen of the Dead"
Jabberwocky, October 2012

Will and the Undertakers face a new and terrible enemy is this, the second book in the Undertakers series.

"THE UNDERTAKERS:
Rise of the Corpses"
Jabberwocky, April 2011

Will Ritter becomes relucantly involved in a war between children and an invasion of animated corpses.

"THE LITERARY HANDYMAN" by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
I was honored to write the introduction to this collection of valuable essays on writing.
"Yesterday, I Will"
Fortress Publishing, 2010

Anthology Grandmaster
My story, "Yesterday I Will Remember Tomorrow" tells the tale of a young man who finds himself living his life backwards

"PHOBOS"
Tor Books, 2003/2004

Novel
A critically-acclaimed SF "whodunit" about murder, mayhem, and a mysterious monster on Mars' largest moon.

"THE FRANKLIN AFFAIR"
Regency Press, 2001

Novel
An historical mystery centered around Ben Franklin's 1776 visit to Paris - a tale of intrique, betrayal and friendship.


NAME IN LIGHTS:

This issue’s name in lights goes out to James A. Miller, the author of the wonderfully clever article on this page dealing with rejection letters.

I happened upon Jim when Kelly Ferjutz, a mutual friend and Allegory staffer, pointed me to a blog entry he’d made some years ago that included his poignant (and very humorous) dissection of a rejection letter he’d received from Allegory. The entry was so entertaining, and so indicative of a new writer’s insecurity and uncertainty, that I reached out to Jim and offered to publish it.

Since then, Jim has proven himself to be creative, professional, and very easy to work with. I even offered him a spot on our staff, which he has accepted. So now, Jim can be the one writing, or at least contributing to, the content of Allegory rejection letters.

Welcome to my world, Mr. Miller!

Cracking the Code:

One Writer's "In-Depth" Look at Rejection Letters

by James A. Miller

Rejection slips abound in modern publishing. Every writer who submits his or her work invariably ends up with a slew of them – a grim collection. Even for the experienced author, these slips of correspondence are frustrating at best.

But, for the newbie, those first rejection letters can seem particularly cryptic and confusing. Often, one can’t help “reading between the lines” and, sometimes, one can take it a little – far?

Let’s consider the rejections I received for two of my stories.

One rejection was for my story “The Closet”, which is about a mysterious black void that changes people/objects for both better and worse after they are placed inside it. The rejection came from Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine editor Gordon Van Gelder who wrote:

“Many thanks for Submitting “The Closet,” but I’m going to pass on this one. I’m afraid this Twilight Zone-ish story didn’t quite grab me, alas. Thanks anyway for sending it my way and best luck to you with this one.”

At first glance the rejection seems soft and nice, but after getting a few of these you can read between the lines. Let’s break it down:

“Many thanks for Submitting “The Closet,” but I’m going to pass on this one”

First off, I never realized that you put the comma within the quotes, before the conjunction. I assume he is correct in doing this;(he is!)the man is an editor after all, so I am going to tuck that grammar tip away for later.

I also like his fun, loose tone in the rejection letter. There is no “Dear sir” from this guy, just a “Many thanks,” like he’s wearing sandals and chewing on a beef jerky while responding.

Breaking it down to what this sentence really means we get:

“I am not going to buy your story.”

Then he goes on to say:

“I’m afraid this Twilight Zone-ish story didn’t quite grab me, alas.”

Translation:

“You ripped off of the Twilight Zone. It was obvious, and I didn’t like it.”

He did use the word ‘alas,’ and when I first read that I pictured him in a regretful whimsical sigh, but I then realized I am not even sure what “alas” means. I always kind of thought it was like the conjunction “but” except Gordon used it at the end of a sentence. So I looked it up by typing “Define: alas” into my favorite search engine.

This is what Google had to say:

Alas: Unfortunately: by bad luck; “unfortunately it rained all day”; “alas, I cannot stay”

So the full sentence really translates to:

“You ripped off of the Twilight Zone. It was obvious, and unfortunately I didn’t like it.”

Editor Gordon then ends with:

“Thanks anyway for sending it my way and best luck to you with this one.”

Translation:

“Please don’t send this to me again or anything like it.”

I also stumbled on “best luck” as I have always heard that phrased as “best of luck”. I wonder if Gordon missed a word there, or if that’s actually the proper way we should be using the phrase. Maybe the addition of the word “of” is just an idiom we all picked up over time?

I wonder if I should start saying ‘Best luck” from here on out and think: What am I the Queen of England? What do I care if I’m not proper?

I decide that I am still going to use it my way, with the “of” tucked neatly in between “best” and “luck”.

To drop the “of” would be like calling this guy “Gordon Gelder” I am pretty sure that “van” translates to “of” and that his last name, Van Gelder at one time literally meant “of Gelder” or “of Gold” or something like that.

I find a certain degree of pleasurable irony in all of that.

Translating the whole thing we get:

“I am not going to buy your story. You ripped off Twilight Zone; it was obvious, and unfortunately, I didn’t like it. Please don’t send this to me again or anything like it”

I would love to get a note so full of refreshing candor like that, but editors have to maintain tact so as not to drive the other unqualified, and much less stable, writers into a gun-toting rage.

The second rejection came from Ty Drago, Editor of Allegory E-zine.

OK, is it just me, or is “Ty Drago” absolutely the coolest name ever? I mean that name could pass for either a superhero, or a super villain. The Ty part makes him sound warm and friendly, like that guy on the home makeover show, and “Drago” just sounds like if you did some genealogy research, you may be able to trace his bloodline right back to Satan.

This is what Mr. Coolest-name-ever wrote:

“Thanks for letting us ‘Things Remembered.” I regret to say that it’s just not right for Allegory.

Here’s what our editor had to say:

> What I liked: The imaginative plot

> Reason for rejection: Could benefit from some editing. Punctuation errors (dialogue tags, lack of commas); spelling errors, repetitive use of the word ‘it’ and ‘that’. Small stuff, but distracting.

I’m sorry. Best of luck with this one in other markets.

- Ty Drago
- Editor
- Allegory

Let’s still break it down and see what Ty really meant:

“Thanks for letting us “Things Remembered.” I regret to say that it’s just not right for Allegory.”

Once again I stumbled while reading. This time it was on the disconnect between “us” and “’Things Remembered’”. It looks like I am supposed to infer the word “see” in between, but I am guessing it’s just an oversight/typo on his part.

It’s also kind of a slap in the face when they go on to rip about my grammar problems.

Translation:

“I am not going to buy your story”

Next line:

“Here’s what our editor had to say”

What? I thought your title was Editor? Wait, are you are a slush pile reader, or a maybe just a guy who knows how to run the e-mail a lot better than the editor? Because I can see the “>” symbols showing me that the editor forwarded an e-mail back to you…. I guess a filter is the best term I can think of to describe what function this guy holds.

But I realize that may also mean my story made it through one reader and onto the big chief before getting the final rejection. That seems kind of cool.

And then I get all “conspiracy theory” and wonder if Ty Drago didn’t just add the >’s himself.

It would work so well; making it look like my story made its way through to the editor, and was seriously considered. Plus there is the whole “power of the third party” thing where I can’t really get mad at Drago for things the editor had commented about, and apparently there is no name assigned to this higher up Editor, so there is no way for me to go ballistic on him/her.

I then think that maybe Ty is the Editor and someone else runs the e-mail on his behalf, using his name.

I decide that’s what I am going to believe. It’s probably healthier than conspiracy.

I continue to read between the lines.

“> What I liked: The imaginative plot”

At first glance, this comment makes me feel really good about the story, like there is some hope since I at least have an imaginative plot. But I then realize if you were going to pick one thing that could generically apply to, and flatter, all writers, commenting about how creative the plot is, would be that thing.

No writer who submits a story thinks “I hope my Star Wars rip off goes over well.” Everyone thinks that they have some unique and original twist in their own story. Even though there is a whole Joseph Campbell-ish mindset out there that there is really only one story and all other stories are spin offs.

Translation:

“There was nothing positive about this story.”

Next lines:

> Reason for rejection: Could benefit from some editing. Punctuation errors (dialogue tags, lack of commas); spelling errors, repetitive use of the word ‘it’ and ‘that’. Small stuff, but distracting.

Jeez, slow down on using three lines to reject it. I get it already – I are bad at grammar.

Although I was surprised on the “it” and “that” comment. I didn’t realize I had such a problem with it/that.

Translation:

“You fail to grasp English.”

Next Line:

I’m sorry. Best of luck with this one in other markets.

(~See~ this guy said “Best of luck”)

Mr. Best-name-ever actually spelled out “other” markets to me. So not only does he not want to see this story again, but maybe I should also try to hit the minor leagues with it and the rest of whatever I have to offer him.

Translation:

“I’m laughing at you. Don’t send anything to me again. You are in way over your head.“

When we put it all together this is what (I think) Ty really had to say: “I am not going to buy your story. There was nothing positive about this story. You fail to grasp English. I’m laughing at you. Don’t send anything to me again. You are in way over your head.”


It seems harsh, but I think, pretty accurate. It’s just too bad that Editors don’t feel like they are able to write that candidly.

And don’t think for a minute any of this has gotten me down, nor should it you. My plan is to polish up another batch of crap and send it off to annoy yet another league of editors.

(Editor’s Note – This piece, with some changes, originated as a blog entry on Jim’s part. It was brought to my attention and, frankly, it made me laugh out loud. It has to be the single best illustration of new writer angst I’ve ever read. So, in what I admit is a dazzling bit of comic irony, I had to publish it!)

***

James A. Miller is an Electrical Engineer who lives in a small town west of Madison Wisconsin. Much of his day is spent programming machines to do the things people want them to do. Much of his night is spent with his family. In the tiny times in between, he reads or writes, and thinks about possibility.

THE WRITER'S TOOLBOX
Laundry Lists and Info Dumps

by Danielle Ackley-McPhail

In gaming there is a rule…

(Hey, pay attention. I am going somewhere here.)

In gaming there is a rule: If the GM didn’t hear it, it didn’t happen. This works pretty good in gaming. It keeps the players honest, makes them precise, and failing that, gives the GM something to work with to add a little excitement to a campaign as things tend to go not as expected when players are sloppy with their declarations.

Unfortunately, the same rule, while applicable, doesn’t work as well in writing all the time. Writers need to remember that when conveying information to the reader, it needs to be fluid, dynamic, and interesting to hold the reader’s attention. Unlike gaming, where it is infinitely preferable to give a concise list of steps involved in an action.

There are two ways that writers do their work a disservice when it comes to adding detail to their story. (Okay, there’s probably way more than two, but these are the ones I’m concerned with today.)

LAUNDRY LISTS

Don’t leave out steps. We’ve all been told that at one point or another, right? If you leave out steps you end up with characters that put down a coffee cup they never picked up to begin with, or some other confusing stumbling block to the logic and flow of your story. Of course, in their eagerness to not miss a step, some authors fall into the trap of the Laundry List. As far as I know, this is my term, so don’t look at me cross-eyed if it’s not familiar to you. Now, let me explain. A Laundry List is when, in a paragraph or even one sentence, a writer gives a point-by-point account of the steps a character goes through in completing an action. Think of it as a bullet list.

For example:

Katy reached for the knob, turned it, and pulled the door open.

There is nothing wrong with this sentence, per se, but it is dry, slow reading, particularly if the author makes a habit of using this style throughout their work. Not only that, but it can create an uncomfortable pattern in the pacing. In this particular instance it certainly makes more sense to say simply that Katie opened the door.

Now this was just an example of a simple action. There are times when you want to expand on a series of related actions instead of contracting them. For example:

Devin opened the car door, slipped inside, put his key in the ignition, and started the car.

In an instance like this you could just contract:

Devin got into the car and started the engine.

See, all the other steps are implicit in the two actions you condensed to. Simple, not very interesting, but it gets the point across so you can move on to more important things. However, what if this is a pivotal point in the action. That is when you want to invoke an emotional response; you want to build the tension. In instances like that you want to go for more, not less.

Devin hurried for the car. His gut clenched as he attempted to slide his key into the lock. It took three tries with the way his hand shook. He stopped and took a deep breath, then forced his hand to still. This time the key slid into the lock. As he got into the car and started the engine his mind already raced ahead to Cooper General, where they had taken Kara.

In this example I have added more steps, but I also peppered it with physical and emotional responses and added details that made the excerpt a point of interest, which moves the plot forward.

INFO-DUMPS

Now I know everyone has heard of these. Heck, everyone is guilty of these! But do you know how to recognize one? For me, an info dump is when the author steps back from the story itself to provide a load of details or information. It can be about the setting or the society or pretty much anything, but it is provided in a solid block and generally in a generic perspective, rather than from your POV character’s perspective. Generally it is detail that is relevant to the story and that the reader needs to know, but it is presented in such a way that it interrupts the story instead of flowing with it. That means it’s taking the reader out of the story as well. They lose the thread of the action to partake in a mini (or not so mini) lecture. You don’t want that. When you break the pacing like that you are increasing your chances of losing the reader. Info dumps are boring. They are like the commercial that interrupts the action scene in a television show.

Simon galloped across the fields aiming for the secret pass leading through the hills. His gelding screamed defiantly at their pursuers. In response the mounted archers loosed a volley of arrows.

One creased Simon’s shoulder and he crouched lower, giving Duro the signal to run faster. The horse leveled out with a clatter of hooves until the distance between them and the king’s men lengthened. They crested the hill well in advance of the enemy.

On the far side of the crest spread the land of Trinnon. An independent state with only an uneasy neutrality with King Grant’s realm. Deceptively peaceful, the land had all manner of protections woven into the very landscape. What appeared now as peaceful, windswept wheat fields could very well drain an intruder of every ounce of blood simply with the lashing of those stalks against unprotected skin. Even the ground itself, gently rolling as it seemed, was known to rise up and crush a man beneath its folds, where he not there with honest intent.

Okay…a pretty long example, but what can I say…hazard of being a writer.

The first two paragraphs are active and full of tension. Something is happening and we really want to know if he gets safely away. Then BOOM! Info Dump. See, we need to know this information, but this really isn’t the way to do it. The third paragraph just kills all the lovely tension we built up and it takes the reader out of the action. Not good.

There are two ways you can handle this. One, introduce this information sooner in the story, then just allude to what the reader already knows here. As so:

Simon had to reach Trinnon, where the enchanted land itself would rise against the intruders following him.

This assumes the reader already knows what the land is capable of. If that hasn’t been set up yet in the story you could handle it this way as well.

They crested the hill well in advance of the enemy.

On the far side of the crest spread the land of Trinnon. Simon did not relax as he entered the enchanted land from which his mother had come. He watched closely for the signs she had warned him of. Signs that the land prepared to attack. With care, he guided Duro around the fields of wheat, not out of care for the farmer’s bounty, but knowing that should Trinnon decide he trespassed, those sheaves would slice his skin to the bone. Though their pace continued slow, Simon’s gut clenched tighter as he watched the ground for signs it would rise up and swallow them whole, all the while wishing he could gallop clear before the soldiers drew near enough to spy them. His shoulders tightened at the thought. His mother never said what Trinnon would do against an arrow.

He tightened his grip on Duro’s sides and risked a bit more speed, praying to be out of bow range before the enemy caught up.

So…it took me more time and words to convey the same information, but I did it in such a way that the reader learned what I wanted them to know while still maintaining the tension of the scene and moving the plot forward. To me the best way to both spot and avoid an info dump is to stay in your character’s head. Once you leave that place it's like hitting the pause button on the story. Find a way to integrate the necessary information into the action. If a paragraph is nothing but information you know you’ve lost the thread. Your POV character should be the filter through which all information is fed.


SUMMARY

Fiction should be a tapestry; emotion, action, details, dialogue…all woven together to create a whole (hopefully pleasing) picture. To accomplish that you need to integrate things seamlessly and maintain the proper tension and flow for the type of scene you are writing. This is why you need to be aware of any Laundry Lists or Info Dumps and work toward transforming them, integrating the details they convey into the story instead of letting them act as interruptions. Now there will be times when you just want to acknowledge an action has taken place, and move on, but always remember to keep it interesting for the reader, keep them immersed in the story, and keep the details integrated. And, most important of all, everything that takes place or that the reader learns about should be filtered through a character’s point of view. This immerses the reader in the story in a way random exposition cannot accomplish.

Fiction

 

"Centaur"
by Melissa Crandall

There must have been thirty of them; horses, caught in a moment of exuberance, manes streaming from arched necks, tails flagged high. Hooves drumming thunder, they burst through the early morning mist, churning it like foam, an ancient dream made flesh.

You see? That’s the sort of talk that gets you into trouble.

Joel Conrad coasted the rattling pickup onto the dirt road’s narrow shoulder and stopped. Easing the gearshift into park, he let the engine idle, gently working the accelerator to keep from stalling out as he watched the horses run.



"Broken Glass "
by Skeeter Enright

The easiest item to find for the spell was the big glass mirror. It had been in the basement ever since he could remember. With all his supplies laid out, he started the spell’s incantation feeling a bit foolish. In the required sequence, he burned the various items he’d collected. The final steps would be the worst. He winced as he made a cut in his palm. The blood pooled in his hand. He used the blood to copy the symbols from the book to the mirror. He chanted the complex phrases, each time more clearly and with more confidence. Just as the book said, the blood symbols started to smoke. It was working! Still chanting he stuffed bay leaves in his nose and laid his hand on the mirror between the symbols. The mirror started to flow up his arm. As it flowed, his arm disappeared. He didn’t even feel it on his skin. The mirror covered him completely except for the leaves in his nose. He pulled the leaves out and took a breath. He looked down and couldn’t see anything. Pete ran up the stairs and stood between his mom and the TV. She didn’t react at all, just kept watching her stories. Pete giggled and she looked up blearily. “Wha,” she slurred.

Pete patted her on the cheek and said, “Take a nap mom, you’re hallucinating.”

She hiccupped, and settled back on the couch mumbling incoherently.



"The Isomorphosis "
by James Hanson

“Who’s going down the ladder first? Who’s going to be the first human to set foot on an exosolar planet?” she said somewhat playfully.

I said, “Uhhh.” It hadn’t occurred to me that we hadn’t actually decided who was going to. It seemed like an important thing for them to forget to plan in advance. But on the other hand maybe it wasn’t so important. People only cared about firsts in space exploration for so long. Armstrong was famous for the Moon, and Daniels was somewhat famous for Mars, but most people couldn’t tell you who was the first person on Venus.

“I don’t know,” I said finally, “I guess you can--”

“Here,” she said, putting her tray on the ground next to the table, “I’ll arm wrestle you for it.”



"Acting"
by R. Rozakis

The director shook his head. “I like the way it flies out when you spin. Nice and dramatic. Look, we're not going to shoot today after all, not with this light. I'm sure the wind tomorrow–”

Mark waited. The man stood with his mouth open, a parody of the classic double-take. Mark’s own nose itched at a smell long grown unfamiliar.

It was that smell that did it, a musty, rotting sort of scent with a hint of sickly sweetness. Not the hiss, not the odd shadow already fading in the suddenly flat light, not even the director's face. The smell hit some long-unused part of his brain, and he dropped automatically. He whirled at full speed, his sword cutting through the opponent behind him at knee height.

Or it would have, if the edge had been remotely sharp.


"The Pepsi-Cola Crater 708-Hour Visitor Center and Gift Shop"
by Megan Fahey

“Do you know what a balloon is, Sunflower?” he would ask.

“‘Course I do, Granddaddy. They got ‘em at the museum.”

“Eck! Museum balloons just aren’t the same as real-life Earth balloons. The balloons up here just don’t bounce right. I … eh … I don’t know. I sure do wish I could show you a real balloon, Sunflower,” and he’d twitch his lip, just a little bit, just like Pa does.

I would always ask Granddaddy why he ever bothered coming up here in the first place anyway if it made him so sad to leave all that old real-life Earth stuff behind.

“Because, angel,” he would say, “It’s no better down there. It’s no better anywhere. Best to just be happy here.” He called me angel sometimes even though he didn’t believe in angels anymore. He told me it was because when I was a little girl, my favorite stories were about the angels because I wanted so badly for there to be a big man in the sky, but I never saw one. There was just us, just bein’ happy.


"Ain't Human "
by Laura DeHaan

A gil ain't human. That was what kept his belly from shriveling and his sleep from turning torturous. A gil wasn't human, no more than the horse he rode or the cow he had for supper. When civilization was two weeks away and the game wasn't cooperating, when his boots started looking like they'd been dipped in gravy, Hunter Down repeated it to himself: a gil ain't human. The only delivery needed was the head. What happened to the rest of the body was so much…gravy.


"Secret of the Sun"
by Don Katnik

Throughout our childhood, I protected Izzy from the sun. I kept the garage clean so our car could be parked inside and Izzy could get in without exposing herself. Shopping downtown, Izzy and I would leap-frog through every store–regardless of what it sold–to limit her exposure outside. It drove Mom crazy. Most weekend afternoons, if it wasn’t pouring rain, they’d force us out to play. “The fresh air will do you good,” Dad would say, although he’d seldom joined us. We’d hide under the canopy of the piñata-hanging oak tree until he let us back in.

“You’re a pair of moles,” had been Mom’s line. “You could both use some sun!”

When Izzy and I walked together, I carried a large black umbrella that curved down around us creating a protective dome. When we were alone, I asked her all kinds of questions. “When do you hunt? I watch your door some nights but never see you go out.”


"Meteorology for Beginners"
by Simon Kewin

What makes the wind blow, daddy?”

I sit with Jade in a clearing, eating the crisps and red apples I’ve packed for the walk. Tree-trunks pillar around us, dark green and grey. Higher up, where the slanting sunlight catches them, their leaves glow bright orange. The forest roars in the breeze that blows up there. Jade looks up at me, crunching her apple.

“Well, see, it’s caused by all the trees flapping their branches together at the same time.”

“Really?”

“Oh yes. Watch them and see. Sometimes just one shakes its branches and you get a little breeze. But sometimes it sets the rest off. When they all start lashing their branches together, you get the really strong winds.”

“Oh.”

Staff Showcase

In this issue we're doing things a little differently. Instead of short stories,
a number of ALLEGORY staff members are highlighting their published
or soon-to-be-published novels. We hope you'll take a moment to see
what we've been up to -- besides this e-zine!


"Novel Preview:
"THE UNDERTAKERS: SECRET OF THE CORPSE EATER"

by Ty Drago

"Novelette Preview:
"THE UNDERTAKERS: NIGHT OF MONSTERS"

by Ty Drago

"Novelette Preview:
"THE WRITING CLASS"

by Kelly Ferjutz


"Novel Preview:
"CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS"

by J.E. Taylor


"Novel Preview:
"WAGERED KISS"

by Hetty St. James

Honorable Mentions

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!

Look the Other Way by Mike Walsh
Contrails by Jenefer Breitigan
Ruining the House by Michael Koenig
Idle Feet Do the Devil's Work by Ray Carbonneau
The First Question Is the Easy One by Tim W. Burke
The Moth and the Flame by Kevin Gordon
The Lion Keeper's Daughter by Sandra Unerman
Dionaea Muscipula by Arthur Davis
They Came by Matt Walker
What the Boy Brings by John Moore Walker
Year One by Andre L. Roberts
Aria by Anselmo Alliegro
The Secret by Mary-Jean Harris
Limits by Robert Spielman
The Skip by Tim Ferraro
Scent of Violets by E.M. Sole

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".

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