Archive for May, 2013

Today the second of my The Tears of Isis Interview Trifecta has been posted, the first of them being on LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS on May 7 and Number 3 scheduled for July 29 on the British blog DUSTY PAGES (cf. May 17, April 25, et al.).  This is the one by Teresa  Schnellmann on  THE WRITERS’ LENS which, as she has descried it elsewhere, has me “talking about how truth resonates, even in fantasy & horror.”  There’s more than just that, of course.  Her leading question has to do with what “brings your writing into focus — the characters, the stories, the love of words?” while others cover such things as inspiration, what makes a book or characters unique, and what readers might especially find of interest in THE TEARS OF ISIS.  I will say, in fact, that while I tend to be a relatively long-winded interviewee in the best of cases, the questions Teresa asked were ones I thought particularly inviting for answering in some depth.

So give Teresa’s interview a try — and maybe even leave a comment!  The title she gives it is “Fantasy/horror author James Dorr:  ‘True’ stories resonate with readers,” and it can be read by pressing here.

So once again I was away from the computer cave, having just now returned from a visit to nieces (3) and sister (1) in Washington DC or, more precisely, across the Potomac in Fairfax Virginia.  We ate, we talked, we watched horror movies on my sister’s TV, and we went on field trips, most notably a downtown tour of Historic Fairfax (a Yankee general was captured there, for one thing, during the War Between the States, but also one of the first to be killed, this time on the Confederate side, was on the grounds of Fairfax courthouse).  And we also revisited Space Shuttle Discovery (see May  8 2012) and other air and spacecraft at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center annex of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in nearby Chantilly.

And one thing more.  We also saw the little corpse, preserved in a vial of liquid, of Astronaut Spider “Anita” who, with Astronaut Spider “Arabella,” were the first two Earth arachnids to voyage


“Unofficial” Inflight Portrait of Astronaut Spider Arabella

into space (Astronaut Spider Arabella, who was “found dead after splashdown of Skylab3 mission” has also apparently been preserved, perhaps at the main museum in DC?).  While each spider had been served a fly before their July 8 1973 launch, enough for several days’ sustenance, were provided with sponges with water in them, and later fed shavings of filet mignon, presumably from one of the human astronauts’ dinners (the early days of space-paste food in toothpaste-like tubes having long been over by then), Astronaut Spider Anita died in space, it is believed of dehydration.

Astronaut Spider Arabella, however, completed her mission — an experiment to see if spiders could spin webs in zero-gravity conditions — first spinning a clearly lopsided web (see, especially, lower left of picture below), then when half the web was destroyed by human experimenters, eating the other half (this is what spiders of their sort do, on or off the home planet, when a web is

Astronaut Spider Arabella and Her Web

Astronaut Spider Arabella and Her Web

sufficiently damaged) and, having learned from her first attempt, spinning a second nearly perfect orb web.

(Well, my nieces — the two who accompanied me and one of the nieces’ husband on this year’s mission — were especially interested in Arabella’s fate, one speculating that perhaps she’d had to be scraped off an astronaut shoe sole,  but I was able later to confirm her more honorable demise on the internet.  I had sort of hoped myself that she would have been buried with honors at Arlington, but I suppose, technically, both were still civilian spiders.)

Then, while not quite apropos, I survived airport waits, etc., on the way to Dulles and back by bringing a biography with me of 1910s silent movie star Theda Bara called VAMP.  Theda Bara, incidentally, was the inspiration for Marge Simon’s cover picture for my poetry collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) which appears in the column just to the right.  She also had a sandwich named after her in 1916, consisting  of minced ham, mayonnaise, sliced pimento, and sweet pickles on toast and, according to biographer Eve Golden, “served warm, of course.”

And so, for a “sort-of” lagniappe (because I didn’t write it myself, but to the question of why one reads a biography of Theda Bara in the first place — other than just being interested in early film), the following verse, quoted in VAMP from the January 1917 edition of MOTION PICTURE magazine:

Theda Bara do not pause,
For Vampires we adore;
And may the New Year give you cause
To Vampire more and more!

Bet you didn’t know it could be used as a verb.

I may be away from a computer for the next few days, so I wanted to leave people with something nice.  The painting is “The Bridesmaid” (1851) by John Everett Millais, and is courtesy of The Bram Stoker Estate, via Facebook.


The Bram Stoker Estate also offers the following:  Lucy was but one of the lovely “ginger ladies” who populated Bram Stoker’s life and work.  “The high sun, streaming in from the side, shone on her beautiful hair, making it look like living gold.” — The Gates of Life (1908) Bram Stoker

“He had even brushed Lucy’s hair, so that it lay on the pillow in its usual sunny ripples.  When we came into the room she opened her eyes, and seeing him, whispered softly, ‘Arthur! Oh, my love, I am so glad you have come!'” — Dracula (1897)

Perhaps we remember PROSPECTIVE:  A JOURNAL OF SPECULATION with its intriguingly  themed anthology issues such as CTHULHU:  A LOVE STORY (cf. January 10 2013, September 21 2012) and WHEN SIRENS CALL (May 11, February 21 2013), for which I sold, respectively, the poems “Slow-Motion” and “It  Must Have Been that New Fishfood,” and “Terpsichore’s Daughter” and “Medusa’s Daughter.”  This latest time out the announced theme was AFTER THE FALL, ANGELS ARE KIND OF DICKS and, in an only semi-last-minute way this time (a full ten days before deadline!), I decided to try a piece of flash fiction on them.  So Monday afternoon the word came back, that Editor/Publisher Lauren Stone has accepted my “The Left Behinds,” a riff on the Book of Revelation concerning three who had missed the Rapture (and not surprisingly since, as one of the three explains, it’s a made up conceit that’s not in the Bible), one who thought he should have been taken, one who was no better than she ought to be, and one who had frittered away his life watching horror movies.  Or so the first, Mr. Holier than Thou, proclaimed.

“The Left Behinds” will be appearing in the Summer issue, with the fall issue open for submissions on July 5 through Aug 15 on the theme SURRENDER THE SASQUATCH AND NO ONE GETS HURT.  More information can be found here.

Lori Michelle of Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing has announced that THE TEARS OF ISIS is now available for Nook as well as in print from Barnes and Noble, thus joining Amazon and Kindle along with PMMP as outlets where it can be purchased.  In addition, the publisher’s page has been updated to include buttons for both Amazon and B&N as well as the opportunity to buy it directly, either in trade paperback form or as a .PDF edition.  As a result, I’ve updated the link through THE TEARS OF ISIS’s cover picture at the top of the column just to the right.  Or, if preferred, the PMMP site can also be reached by pressing here.

One more sale has emerged from my recent mini-flurry of poetry submissions, this time to STAR*LINE, the magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (cf. October 29 2012, et al.).  The poem itself is . . . untitled.  It has three lines and yet, should it be called by courtesy something akin to a haiku, it is at best an overweight one.  But it is about zombies — or, more precisely, zombies and their dietary choices.  According to Editor F. J. Bergmann, (untitled) should appear in STAR*LINE 36.3 for July-September.

Teresa Schnellmann of THE WRITERS’ LENS (cf. May 7, April 25) has set aside Wednesday May 29th for the second of three (thus far) scheduled interviews of me with attention to the just published THE TEARS OF ISIS.  The first, “preview” interview by LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS appeared on May 7 while the third, by Sonnet O’Dell of DUSTY PAGES, is set for Monday July 29.  What new secrets will be learned in less than two weeks:  Elements that bring a story into focus?  The inspiration for THE TEARS OF ISIS?  What “fact” does for fiction?  Some or all of these may be answered, so check back  here a week from next Wednesday.  And in the meantime, if you’d like to browse about THE WRITERS’ LENS just click here.

But that’s not all.  In discussing dates, Teresa also asked if I might be interested in doing a guest post for THE WRITERS’ LENS on tips for submitting short fiction to magazines and anthologies.  So why not? I thought — I might not have anything that groundbreaking, but just a reminder of things in one place could be useful, especially for newer writers.  So tentatively we’re thinking about trying to whip up something for late June or early July, perhaps the week following the 4th of July.

And . . . following the giddiness of a new book release, another poem got itself accepted yesterday evening by BLOODBOND magazine.  This is a sister publication (and sharing the same editor, Terrie Relf) of DISTURBED, which accepted two vampire poems from me last week (cf. May  9).  As for BLOODBOND, “[y]our story [or poem, article, review, etc.] should take us into the world of the vampire, were-critter, or shapeshifter, and should take us into the mind and experience of your protagonist.”  In my case, I raise the question that, while being a werewolf and romping through woodlands may be fine fun when one is a teen, what do you do “In the Company of Wolves” when it’s time to grow up.

BLOODBOND will publish biannually with “In the Company of Wolves” to be in their premiere issue, out in November.  Submission information for BLOODBOND can be found here.

Meanwhile let us not forget that THE TEARS OF ISIS has been released, with a little bit more information available now.  Both Kindle and paperback editions are available from Amazon although at separate “addresses” for the moment.  So until the pages are merged, which should be soon, to find the Kindle edition (only $2.99 — how’s that for cheap!) press here, or for the trade paperback press here.  Also, for those who bring their print editions to World Horror Convention next month, there’s an autograph session on Friday night, but even if we just meet in the hall I’ll be glad to sign them!

More information, ordering at Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing or via Goodreads for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al.

Juliana Rew of Third Flatiron Publishing has just released the table of contents for their upcoming Summer PLAYING WITH FIRE anthology (see April 8).  Scheduled to be out after June 1, I have the number five position this time with “The Match Story,” a heartwarming tale of a cold, cold Christmas, in time to add a chill to your summer.  Also a preview of the cover has been released, for which see just below.

One Step at a Time by Gunnar De Winter
In the Garden by Adele GardnerImage
Again and Again by G. Miki Hayden
Stone Cold by L. L. Hill
Match Story by James S. Dorr
Fire Dogs by Ian O’Reilly
Godrock by H. L. Pauff
Knock by Marian Powell
The Poison Pawn by Nicholas M. Bugden
Haephaestus and the God Particle by J. M. Scott
Fate’s Finger by Jonathan Shipley
The Carnival by Michael Fedo – Reprint of a famous classic!
Meteor Story by Marissa James

For more information on this and other Third Flatiron titles, readers can press here.

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