Tag Archives: Arts


View on Critics – Maya Angelou

Of course, there are those critics – New York critics as a rule – who say, ‘Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it’s good but then she’s a natural writer.’ Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Author Profession: Poet
Nationality: American
Born: April 4, 1928
Died: May 28, 2014



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Witchcanery…now LIVE on Kindle

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

Yup, it’s true.  My first novel, Witchcanery, is now available on Amazon’s Kindle as an e-book.  As I understand it, you need a Kindle reader (or similar device) in order to read it.  The good news is if you don’t have a Kindle reader you can download one from Amazon.com for free.  Or you can buy one that you can hold in your hand for a reasonable price (new from Amazon, around $130).

If you would like to have a look at the ad for e-book Witchcanery, you can go here.  That’s also where you can purchase it ($2.99).  If you have read Witchcanery before, it would be a great help if you would give your review of it at the Amazon link, same as above.  The more favorable reviews the book gets, the higher it goes on the Amazon listings.  Thank you in advance.

If you haven’t read it, I’ve been told by independent readers that you are in for a treat.

Witchcanery is a fantasy adventure about Shelley Kesinkowsky, a modern-day witch with a technological advantage that other witches in the past have not had…a computer…and the internet.  Much tidier than getting messages from ravens…and no droppings to clean up, although she has observed that you don’t usually have to reboot a raven.

She also has an unusual talent that even she doesn’t know how it works.  However, she is going to need that talent to help save the planet from utter destruction by Mother Earth’s bad-hair-day golems.  And she is also going to need help from her former enemy, High Wizard Jason Jeph, whose deadly incantation might just get them both killed.

In the course of this adventure, you get to meet memorable characters, such as Jason’s familiar, Byching, the brilliant blue hyacinthine macaw; Blue Eyes, the amazingly caring golem that Shelley creates for the adventure; Mother Earth, the lovely but fiery demi-goddess put in charge of the welfare of the planet by the Maker; and many others.

Containing a mixture of adventure, romance, humor, suspense, and, surprisingly, ecology and the preservation of planet Earth, this novel is something that some readers have said they couldn’t put down…even those who previously maintained they didn’t care for fantasy.

Welcome to Raya’s Dungeon

When I was just starting out as the editor for a gaming news website, I discovered that the young writers were enthusiastic, knew the games inside out, and were great players themselves.  I also discovered that they and the English language were minimally on speaking terms.  Article after article became my personal penance as I corrected the same misconceptions over and over.  I wracked my brains trying to come up with a “nice” way to tell them they needed to actually read my notes when they got my redraft, but they never did.  Then it dawned on me – these were young guys, passionate about playing games, enamored of Middle Ages fantasies, and not interested in much of anything outside of that.  So I invented “Raya’s Dungeon.”  (Raya is my online name.)  To my surprise, the guys loved it, and it even seemed to work to a certain extent.  I thought you might get a laugh out of it.  Following is the introductory page of the site.  In the next few days, I will bring you the rooms of the dungeon 🙂


Welcome to Raya’s Dungeon

Don’t be fooled by outward appearances. This is not your usual glimpse into the convolutions of the English language. This is, as the name implies, a dungeon. And Raya is the cruel dungeon mistress. If you enter these depths, you will be stretched on the rack of nouns and adverbs, pierced by the darts of exclamation marks and *shudder* commas. You will be impaled upon the prongs of teasers and *gasp* voice. You will be tortured by allusions to redundancy and possession…yes, possession. I have warned you. Enter these halls at your own peril. If you survive, you may emerge, pale and shaken (by laughter), possessed by a new knowledge that might, just might, limber your tongue and jumpstart your pen.

The chambers of the dungeon

Chamber 01 – Raya’s Pleasure Palace of Perfect Punctuation
Chamber 02 – Raya’s Terrible Cauldron of Traumatized Commas
Chamber 03 – Mutilating Modifers and Damaging Dirty Dangling Participles
Chamber 04 – Being Beheaded on the Writer’s Block

If you have any questions on any of the foregoing, please write me at raya@fantasyfic.com