Archive for February, 2011

The snows are over, at least for the moment.  The ice gone.  The weather not warm, but such rain as there has been has come down all water, at least for this weekend.  Friday I went to a poetry reading — a member in my writer’s group, Virginia Thomas, was one of the featured readers so I and another member/poet, Frida Westford, went to local Rachel’s Coffeehouse for a listen as well as to read a few of our own at the following “Open Mic” session.  The theme for the readings was “Love” so, announcing first that vampires need love too, I read five selections from my upcoming VAMPS collection.

Hey, pimpage is pimpage, however local (interesting to watch the spellchecker red line “pimpage” 🙂 )  Should some buy the book when it comes out — or maybe to whet appetites for now — the titles I read were “Midnight Snack” ( “… lady vampire licks her lips …”), “The Aeronaut” (“Of course she stays inside/ by day …”), “Fast Operator” (“That is, sure, rough sex/ was his bread and butter …”) , “Strange Date” (“… she noticed them growing, the points on those two teeth …”), and “To Kill a Vampire” (“… I might remind:  You asked me in …”).

Also I finished a new story last week, “The Match Game,” based on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Little Match Girl” — but with zombies.

Su Halfwerk has posted an interview of me on her Vivid Sentiments blog at  More secrets are revealed:  What did I want to be when I grew up?  What are my (writing) habits and what do I read?  Upcoming projects and publications — poems about vampires and tales about “Tombs.”  All I can add here is that I had a lot of fun doing it and hope that readers will enjoy it too!

To partake, use the above link or press here.

And speaking of Sword & Sorcery, here’s a story that was originally published in the Spring 1993 issue of SPACE AND TIME, “The Blade of Gudrin.”  The version here is a March 2001 electronic reprint from FABLES.


So the ad copy goes:  “Attention!  Old school stalwarts, sword and sorcery diehards, weird fantasy aficionados of every stripe — ROLL THE BONES is here!  At long last FIGHT ON! thunders down upon the sleepy world of fantasy fiction with 22 thoroughly thrilling tales of harrowing scope.  Within these weird enclaves and black pits, you will find dark tombs, dragons, faeries, lepers, ostriches, Cerberus, Bush Nazis, love, vengeance, apotheosis, ignoble death, priceless golden hoards, and much, much, more!”

You’ve seen the cover two times before, so why not a third (but just a little one)?  ROLL THE BONES arrived in the mail yesterday, in time to curl up with while munching the last of the Valentine’s Day candy.  Edited by Ignatius Umlaut and Del Beaudry, ROLL THE BONES features nearly two dozen stories in 371 pages — starting with a werewolf on page 1 and ending with the decline of the Norse god Odin — with 15 full page illustrations (the one for my story is neat!*) and a full color wraparound cover by Mark Allen.  A handsome book by appearance alone and the stories, to the extent I’ve dipped into them, aren’t exactly shabby either.  Jan. 31’s entry, below, has a button for clicking to order on Lulu, but if you prefer Amazon instead you can now find it here, or  here if you’d like to get it directly from Amazon Createspace.  My dog in this fight is the next to last entry, “The Walking,” a far future, dying Earth, ghostly love story — with ghouls! — and is part of my series of tales from the “Tombs.”

*For another artist’s interpretation of the same story, although of a different scene, see the cover for DARKER LOVES at the top of the column to the right.

I have received official word that a full-size collection of my poetry, VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), will be out this spring from Sam’s Dot Publishing.  It will include illustrations by Marge Simon and will, as the title suggests, be about vampires and vampire-related lore.  If all stays on schedule, it should be available in early April 2011.

Roughly a third of VAMPS will consist of previously unpublished work, but there will be reprinted poetry too.  As an example of the latter, a poem originally published in the Spring-Summer 2010 issue of PAPER CROW, “Eight Top Vampire Hobbies,” has been nominated in the Long Poem category for this year’s Rhysling Competition, the annual “best of” sponsored by the Science Fiction Poetry Association.  The poems are not confined to any particular style (I confess to a preference for free verse, but there is also terza rima, blank verse, haiku/senryu, and even two rondelets) and lengths can vary from more than 100 lines to less than five.  Publications represented include THE GORELETTER, TOMORROW SF, RAVEN ELECTRIC, ROUGE ET NOIR, GOTHIC.NET, ILLUMEN, STAR*LINE, THE PALACE CORBIE, TALES OF THE TALISMAN, and THE MAGAZINE OF SPECULATIVE POETRY.  Some of these are now unfortunately long out of print.

Then finally for a small free sample enjoy this haiku, originally published in the premiere issue of PAPER CROW, Fall-Winter 2009.


midnight autumn breeze
fluttering across the moon
a drop of dark red

(For another poem to appear in VAMPS, see entry for Dec. 31, below.)

Su Halfwerk has scheduled an interview with me for Tuesday, February 22, on her Vivid Sentiments blog.  It should be a fun time — I certainly had fun on my end of the exchange — and maybe some new secrets will be revealed.  Exactly what books did I happen to be reading last weekend?  Do I know how to correctly spell “Aeschylus”?  More.

For a preview of Su’s blog check here.  Then two weeks from tomorrow check back again, or stop back here for a new announcement/link, and join the enjoyment.  I’ll plan to be there too from time to time so, if you decide to leave Su a comment, who knows —  I may answer.

The second day of the Great Midwest and East Coast Winter Storm has ended with the computer cave surrounded by ice but otherwise doing well.  Monday night had brought freezing rain with the result that Tuesday dawned to a fairyland of white, ice encasing trees, branches, buildings, and more to the point coating sidewalks and front steps.  All was slick, one could not leave one’s home, but here in the cave supplies had been brought in and all was well.  Then Tuesday night brought sleet and light snow — areas to north were *much* more hard hit — which meant more white today, but much of Tuesday’s ice shattered and broken.  The ground now has more of a pebble-like texture, topped by crunchy snow.  Walking is possible — I took a jaunt to the Goodwill this p.m. just for the exercise (picked up a set of Alfred Hitchcock DVDs while I was there).  Cave Cat Wednesday’s litter box got its weekly refilling, contributing to the sand on the front walk for yet better footing….

For today’s lagniappe, herewith a poem for winter from 2005, originally published by Sam’s Dot in the anthology PANIC.  So pour a hot drink of choice and enjoy!


You know
how snow
blankets sound,
makes all white,
deadens sight,
blinding in sun –
silent –
new snow falls
covering steps
left behind.
Masking all.
Where is home?
Wind whistles now,
cold seeps
freezing bone,
shadows long,
lost — a patchwork
of woods, hollows,
Quiet, white.
Heart beats then,
fear sets in.
Attempts to flee.
Heaped drifts
inhibit flight,
tangled steps,
falling –
knees sinking –
and cloud
brings the night.

Then, mail service also on time today — and speaking of Sam’s Dot — the January 2011 issue of BEYOND CENTAURI arrived with a poem of mine, “The Poet’s Cat,” with art by Marge Simon.  This one you’ll have to buy for yourself though.

I just got word today that “Ah, Liberté” has been nominated for a Derringer Award in the Best Flash Fiction (under 1000 words) category for stories published in 2010.  This is a juried award in that a panel of judges will pick five finalists by the end of February which will then be voted on by members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society during  March.

“Ah, Liberté” was published last December by Nightfall Publications in the anthology THE WRONG SIDE OF THE LAW (cf. Jan. 25, Dec. 21).

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