Welcome to my semi-annual newsletter.


About six months ago I learned one of my short stories had been accepted for an anthology. The anthology’s publication date is fall, 2010. I hope to have more details in my next newsletter.

I have written about half of the draft of my second book. Some characters continue from 13 DAYS, notably protagonist Lynn Dayton. Several characters are new or have renewed emphasis.


Julie Hersh’s book, Struck by Living launched in early April. This deftly-written chronicle of her experience with depression, including three suicide attempts, and the relief she finally found via electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is moving, educational, and yet humorously self-aware. I am also reading Good toa Fault, recommended by Cynthia Crossen, the reading aficionado for The Wall Street Journal. Fans of Michael Connelly will appreciate that I find his Harry Bosch series addictive.

I also want to highlight Ben Fountain’s first book of short stories, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, a winner of Barnes & Noble’s 20 0 6 Discover Award. Well before January’s earthquake Ben had made over thirty trips to Haiti. Several of the stories in Brief Encounters are set there.


A few highlights in the energy business:

*in North America, oil shale plays like the Bakken (North Dakota-Saskatchewan-Montana) and the Niobrara (Colorado-Wyoming) are being explored and drilled using the same fracturing techniques that have succeeded in natural gas shales;

*natural gas prices have dropped to around $4.0 0 per MMBTU since economic activity, aka demand, is moderate and newly-accessible supply is enormous. Base load LNG (liquefied natural gas) competes more potently than in the past. Finally, in electricity generation coal competes with natural gas at the low end of pricing and wind displaces natural gas at the high end. You get the picture. Among all the new natural gas plays the most interesting is the Marcellus, in Pennsylvania and New York, because it is near the big northeastern market.

Until next time,
L.A. Starks