Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Time is Fleeting!

Time sure does fly! And why? It's because producing a magazine, working on commercial video shoots, writing movies scripts, teaching college and adult education courses, and oh yeah, getting ready for the holidays. It's no wonder I cannot keep up with this blog. And now I have created another blog: IdeaGems Magazine -- both on Posterous Spaces and on Blogspot. Oy! 

So why am I posting magazine news in Production Notes? Simply, I want to share my holiday joy over producing another fine issue filled with seasonal treats: recipes, poetry, memoirs, and awesome artwork, including our colorful cover art by Kym Cohen. To see a sample and learn how to order a print copy, so to Print copies make wonderful stocking stuffers! 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Joyous Kwanzaa to each and all!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Project PE - Member Home Page

Project PE - Member Home Page

I just joined the Project Paranormal Experience site and am very eager to see what it has to offer in the way of people sharing their experiences, investigators posting evidence, and overall networking with members.

In October, I will be publishing my interview with the Maine Ghost Hunters, who have been featured 3 times on the Bio Channel's "My Ghost Story" series.

To see an investigation I filmed with another group of paranormal investigators, click here:

More to come....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Did You Know....?

...That the very first ghost stories ever recorded go back to ancient Greece? That Mary Shelly wrote "Frankenstein" on a bet? That H.P. Lovecraft felt that alien creatures were coming to him through another dimension? 

Horror has always been one of the most marketable forms of literature -- certainly my favorite to write. Since it is popular in movies, TV, and video games, horror writing can be done for fun and profit. 

Learn how the masters do it, beginning with this educational and entertaining online course: The Art of Writing Horror through KSURF virtual university.  It's easy and affordable. 

If you're ghoulishly good, your stories will be reviewed with commentary by the instructor (me, Laurie Notch). The best ones will be selected for the IdeaGems Magazine Halloween Issue which gives you a publishing credit. 

I will be posting as often as I can on my Horror writing  blog with tantalizing tips, 'ooky' updates, freaky facts, weird writers, and creepy conjurings to put the spell on all you potential horror writers out there.  Check it out at 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tough Lit IV is Hot Off the Press!

You asked for it and you got it! Here is the fourth in our special TOUGH LIT series, a masterful mixture of murder, mayhem, and mystery peppered with poetry that packs a punch, edgy literature, and tough travel tales.
See it on 
Thank you to all the wonderful writers who make each and every issue possible!

Enjoy the read! Please pass the good word!
Laurie Notch
Managing Editor
IdeaGems Publications
P.O. Box 4748
Portland, ME 04112-4748

Friday, August 19, 2011

Machinima Project Seeks Producers and Contributors

Machinima is animation using a game or virtual world engine to create real time action. My associate, Wayne Graves, produced a short series called AV451 for under $400 and poor equipment. Now, our goal now is to do the full-length film with hired talent and proper equipment to give it a crisper, more professional look. Backed by a quality animated film, we are gearing up to start a small online machinima community with writing classes and collaborative projects to further the art.

I am always intrigued with new, fresh ways of telling a story. The art of machinima has yet to really reach maturity, so it's almost an open field to play in. It's also relatively cheap to make. The film will be approximately the length of a long feature film at a fraction of the cost. And with online viewership through major machinima sites reaching into the high millions, the potential is exciting. Warner Brothers did a machinima series called "Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series," so you can be assured that Hollywood is paying attention.

To see how you can participate, go to:

We are further launching live-streaming online courses on the art and process of machinima film production, including the tools we use, tips and tricks, and anything else related to this project that can help others do the same, or do even better. Classes will be launched as the completed series and community is launched.We are also creating a behind-the-scenes looks and a "how-to" course through this process.

You can see series 1 at

Thanks for checking out our project. And please pass the good word!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Author's Ego vs Editor's License

As an author, I understand the pride that comes with every accomplished work. I also know the ego-bruising that comes with every rejection.  How many times has my precious creation been kicked to the curb or cut at the last minute by some editor's license to call the shots? Recently, I had an author brusquely remove her work from our publication because we couldn't run her story in the issue we had initially slotted it for.

As an editor, I find myself having to make the harsh calls for the sake of limited space or special feature. It is hard for me to notify writers, who have toiled day and night on their beloved story or poem, that I won't be able to include the work. Yes, on occasion, this is exactly the call I have to make. And of course, the ego-bruising begets reactionary lashing out by said author.

Let's be reasonable, people. If you're a writer, you seriously need to get used to what might feel like abuse but isn't. What is with this sense of entitlement? Being published is an honor and a privilege that many may never achieve! Take Kathryn Stockett, author of "The Help." She suffered over 60 rejections before some kind editor saw the value of her work. Now the book is slotted for feature film production. I can sit here all day and cite case after case of authors enduring the onslaught the slings and arrows of outrageous editorial license, but I don't see the need to beat that stale old nail into your heads any deeper. 

Last minute cuts, final rejections, even whittling down well-crafted writing so that it can fit into a column are all par for the course! Learn to take it on the chin with a modicum of grace! Don't throw a diva's snit--especially when you haven't reached that level of recognition as an author! And even then, behaving like a spoiled brat is in poor form. 

The best thing to do is lean forward and move on with your work. If you believe in your powers of creativity, you will get there! 

As for those authors who flipped their wigs because I couldn't print their stories, they have kicked a gift horse in the mouth. As a Managing Editor, I do call the harsh shots, but I am true to my word. If I say the work will be published, it will be--perhaps not in the issue at first intended, but I will always find a home for it down the line. Our magazine remains true to its mission to help writers showcase their  'wares'.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New! IdeaGems Magazine

For the past 6 years, I have been publishing a magazine with the title ADVENTURES FOR THE AVERAGE WOMAN, which was meant as a tongue-in-cheek commentary about how women often feel about themselves and their abilities. In truth, no woman should ever feel average, and several have expressed as much about our magazine’s title. So, in the spirit of respect for our readers’ and critics’ opinions, I am now going to adopt the title IDEAGEMS MAGAZINE.  It will still remain the showcase for all the undiscovered literary and artistic treasures out there.  Moreover, I am staying true to my mission to give writers their first break in the world of publishing.

THIS ISSUE features WOMEN IN THE RING with the motion photography of women boxers by Arthur Fink. Also featured is Arthur's book of beautiful images: DANCE! In addition, there is a colorful collection of mixed media by 92 year old artist, June Stevenson, reflecting her 70-year career. Then there is the Poetry and Painting section showing the skillful sketches of Gothra tribal women from Kerala, India, by award-wining artist, Sukesan Kanka, accompanied by the poignant poems of Hither Kusum. Beyond the glorious art, there is inspiring prose and poetry where we compare writers groups coast-to-coast.
As always, I am looking for fresh submissions for our future issues, for both seasonal themes (winter, spring, summer, and fall) and the TOUGH LIT series devoted to crime, dark fantasy, horror, sci-fi, gritty and edgy literature.

Send comments and submissions to: Be sure to check out our submission guidelines on our website: and look for up-coming special themes.