I loved this essay, "When Writers Speak", by Arthur Krystal because it speaks to me on so many levels. I love writing but the thoughts of having to step out and actually talk to people scares the hell out of me. If you find me in a crowd, I'll be the one sitting with my head down pretending I don't exist and I expect that for many writers, this is the norm, not because we're anti-social but because we tend to live in our heads instead of in public. Or maybe I'm just the shy type. Anyway, here's the link http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/books/review/Krystal-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3
I'm forever killing dogs in my stories and its a bad habit, I suppose. But the truth is, I'm a country person and the death of an animal, be it for protection, food, or humane euthanasia, is just part of the cycle of life. Death happens and you have to deal with it. Joe Schreiber writes an interesting essay which asks the question, "Does the Dog Die" here http://www.suvudu.com/2009/09/does-the-dog-die.html
I've mentioned writer's platforms on the blog before but this essay by Monica Valentinelli has some of the best advice about creating your online platform that I've read yet. http://www.sfwa.org/2009/09/writers-platform-online-reputation/
I also mentioned Fantasy Magazine's Halloween flash contest and they've now updated their contest rules guidelines. First prize is $50 here's the link http://www.raebryant.com/2009/09/26/fantasy-magazines-halloween-flash-fiction-contest/
The third issue of Sex and Murder is now up. This monthly seems to be making a go of it with new content every month. You'll find the url in the zine column to the left.
Harper Perennial has a short story website if you're looking for something new to read. They publish one new story each week from both new and familiar writers. You can find the stories and guidelines here http://www.fiftytwostories.com/
And if your desk is a chaotic jumble of paper, pens and books and you keep missing all those deadlines that you so carefully wrote down then lost in the paper avalanche take some advice from Michael Bracken on how to clean up that mess http://crimefictionwriter.blogspot.com/2009/09/organizing-for-anthology-success.html