Writers beware

As I shared with ShadowDancer and through Twitter and Facebook, I was pretty excited about the possibility of my first short novel being published in the english language through an enterprise called, among several things, Strategic Book Marketing. My skepticism said: “Not so fast, Duff!”. I asked Romi Moondi, a fantastic writer/blogger and overall positive soul, if she could shed more light on an email I received from SBM. I share with you some of her insights regarding the “joint venture” they were proposing. Hope this serves as a proper cautionary tale:

You mentioned this literary agency/publisher. Are they one in the same? They should be separate and distinct, otherwise it is a conflict of interest (i.e. a literary agent will target the publishers that work with them, so that they all make money except you). The truth is, you should not have to pay a dime to publish your book, unless you specifically take the route of self-publishing and doing all the work yourself. But if a publisher is working with you, you should not be paying, otherwise it is a vanity publisher (i.e. fees, but they won’t actually sell a lot of your book).

And I noticed that they mentioned if your book sells 1,000 copies with them, they will “almost certainly” publish your next book at no cost..well what does “almost certainly” mean? Continue reading


The Dreamy MagpieMagic

Sybille, otherwise known as MagpieMagic, is a very prolific artist. She churns out fantastic art pieces, one after the other, hosts her own blog, writes, creates magnificent jewelry, knitting, and wire crocheting, just to name a few. I’m excited to announce she has joined the ranks of a TBF Host & Blogger to help spread the flames of touched by fire.

Here are a few of my favorite things created by this dreamy and oh-so-talented artist:

The Secret Keeper

He stood in the dark wood, doubtfully looking at the moon through the trees. He shivered in the cold air. Before he had time to consider his choices and give in to his fears she stood before him.

Her hair was long and shimmered blue in the light of the moon. Ribbons were tied in it, each with a key at the end of it.

“You are the Secret Keeper?” he asks her.

She nods.

He pulls a blue silk ribbon and a key out of his pocket and shows them to her.

“Any questions before we proceed?” she says with a low, soft voice.

He thinks for a moment, “Will my secret be safe with you? A lot of lives depend on it.”

“Of course”, she replies with certainty, “I am the Secret Keeper.”

He pointedly looks at the discoloured and scarred flesh of her shoulder. “Are you sure? Even under torture?”

She smiles and a soft green glow appears in her eyes, “Yes, I am sure. Even under torture, maybe especially under torture. This”, she looks at her shoulder, “happened a long time ago, when I was a new keeper and didn’t know my power yet. Do you want to change your mind?”

He shakes his head. “What happens now?”

click here to read the full story

Nymph by MagpieMagicSoulscape by MagpieMagicBlossom by MagpieMagic

Please visit her site on redbubble, her blog, and her etsy shop for more of her fabulous stuff. I’m excited for everyone to get to know her as she contributes to our fun group.

Duffboy – New Contributing Blogger

I’m very excited to announce some more changes for Touched By Fire. We are adding additional hosts and bloggers as we continue to grow and I’m SUPER pleased to introduce our latest addition.

Duffboy is photographer and writer that hails from Guatemala City. He has a background in photojournalism and communication arts and has a diverse portfolio of work: portraits, landscapes, nude photography, and poetry, to name a few. Oh, and don’t forget he’s an avid blogger and tweeter.

Please enjoy a few of my favorite pieces of his as an introduction to the man behind the latest TBF blogs.


I’m your alternate ending
the button you
should’ve pushed
21 flavors in a single

I’m the passerby
who dialed 911
mystery man, scape goat
a bomb.

I’m the right words
to say when you need
to seduce, snake charmer,
whenever you must perform
spread legs forgery.

I’m the echo, the real deal
a surface just cleaned.

No one’s dying anytime soon

Footsteps, misteps, falling


I seek shelter from gospel


The politics of truth

gang up on me,

they’re not my truths

not my policies.

Bullets stray, voices are raised

guilty parties whose names

are named.

You speak of mortality, joy and I listen.

Yet, I’m afraid.

TBF welcomes MsDebbie

Touched By Fire’s Latest Blogger!

I’m so excited to see Touched By Fire growing exponentially. In order to keep up the pace I’m excited to announce we have another blogger joining us. MsDebbie, as she is known on the bubble, has been a member of RedBubble for nearly a year and has made herself quite cozy. She’s a highly motivated and emotive writer who shares her inspirations with everyone that she comes across. My first impressions of Deb were her sincerely supportive and sweet comments that she would leave for others writings. She always leaves an artist feeling worthy, like what they shared was truly valued.

Deb is definitely a woman on the prowl for inspiration in everything around her. She is a lover of poetry, music, art, books, thinking, challenges, conversations, and so much more. She will be sharing with us commentary on poetry, art, motivational thoughts, and whatever else floats through her dreamy beautiful mind.

And to use a quote that she uses “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware” – Henry Miller. So here’s to having our joyous, aware, and divine Debbie join us – welcome Deb, we already love you!

p.s. don’t forget to check out her bubble page to see her art, writings, and journal ramblings!