Archive for April, 2014

Good news!  The (almost — there may still be small adjustments to be made for occasional scheduling glitches) final 2014 World Horror Convention schedule has been unveiled.  So naturally I scrolled down to the poetry panel and it wasn’t there.  Say what?  But a bit more scrolling revealed that it had simply been moved back a few hours, to 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and I’m now listed on it.  I’m still on the early-bat vampire panel (official title: “How to Suck the Best: Writing Vampire Fiction”) on Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., too, as well as the Mass Autograph Signing on Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. though, recalling that last year they divided the session into two shifts, it may be I’ll actually be there at a table for only a portion of the time.

And one thing more.  Recalling that my short story collection, THE TEARS OF ISIS (obligatory plug), is up for a possible Stoker® so I’m Star_Line_Spring_2014committed to be at the Saturday evening Award Ceremony anyway (with banquet, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.; award-giving only from 7:30 on), I have also been named an official presenter with Mike Arnzen (who’s also on the poetry panel.  Coincidence?  I doubt it) for the best Poetry Collection award.

Then in other news, the Spring STAR*LINE arrived in today’s mail (cf. April 15, et al.).  My polecat at this poetry picnic is a shortie on page 6, “You Can Never Go Back,” really perhaps more an aphorism addressing a real problem some may have when they try to return home.

Conflicts occasionally happen.  This would normally be my day for the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Last Sundays poetry (cf. March 30, et al.) but, as luck would have it, the Indiana University Art Museum was holding a “Matisse in Focus” lecture in conjunction with their “Matisse’s Jazz and Other Works from IU Collections,” followed by an IU Cinema presentation of A GREAT FRENCH PAINTER:  HENRI MATISSE (1946, directed by François Campaux) and A MODEL FOR MATISSE (2003, dir. Barbara Freed).  For various reasons I chose the art, mainly because of an emphasis not so much on the finished art but of the creative process.  This is something I wonder about myself in terms of creating fiction and poetry and I find that looking at it from the perspective of other disciplines can sometimes give me insights I wouldn’t find elsewhere.  An example of sorts is the title story of THE TEARS OF ISIS, written almost two decades ago, in which I followed a fictional sculptress’s quest for inspiration for her next work, in the process of which I hoped to work through some questions I had been having myself at the time concerning the nature of  inspiration.

The lecture and the films were quite interesting, especially A MODEL FOR MATISSE about Matisse’s final masterpiece, the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, a town in southern France, as well as his relation with Dominican Sister Jacques-Marie who both inspired and assisted him on the project.  (A note of interest on the other film though:  It has rarely been seen in the U.S., in part because it’s in French and has never been dubbed or subtitled — except for this version which local associate French Studies professor Brett Bowles provided a special translation for.  One of the advantages of being in a university town!)  Much of what I get out of these may not come for days or weeks, but I think my choice — in spite of foregoing the poetry for this month — was the right one to make.

I had intended to walk back to the museum after the films, but a storm was threatening when I got out so I went directly home instead, but reveling in the muted light of haze and clouds over sun and, once there (and it looking more like the storm wouldn’t hit, a least for the moment), a “new” look at the periwinkle just up in the front yard and, behind the house, an almost-blooming redbud and other trees, including cherry trees only now growing new leaves.  So for now I’ll plan to get back to the museum sometime in the next few days (Wednesdays are usually not too busy — not a reference to the resident cave cat) and, for the spoken word, there’s the First Sundays prose reading coming up next week.

And you thought vampires weren’t morning people!  According to the preliminary schedule for World Horror Convention, in Portland Oregon on May 8 through 11, the hemophages will be up on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and I will be with them on a panel with Nancy Kilpatrick, Lisa Manetti, and possible others.  This is very preliminary, of course — in fact one listed “possible other” apparently will have already had to leave Saturday night — but it’s a start.  Also, while that’s the only panel I’m listed on for the moment, I have put in a specific request to join Linda Addison, Rain Graves, Mike Arnzen, and Dan Clore on “Verse and Violence” (that is, the horror poetry panel) on Friday afternoon.

So that will leave Saturday to be a fan, browsing other people’s panels, checking the dealers’ and art rooms, maybe sightseeing. . . .  Until, that is, Saturday night when, at the Stoker® Banquet, I will await word on ISIS’s fate in the Fiction Collection award category.  “Isis anticipates, I sweat bullets.”  But so it goes, eh?

Then for one other scheduling item, I will also be part of the Mass Autograph Signing Friday evening.  However I will be traveling light, which means I’ll only be able to bring a couple of copies of THE TEARS OF ISIS to show, and I understand the publisher, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, won’t be able to have a table there to sell them either.  So if you don’t have a copy, or want one, please consider ordering it now and bringing it with you — because I’ll be delighted to sign it!  (Also check out the dealers room anyway since there may be anthologies or other books there with stuff by me in it.)

And, given my Sunday panel, I may bring a few copies myself to sell of VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), my poetry book about . . . vampires.

This is good only for orders today as I understand it.  Nor do I think my titles are even sold by AllRomanceEbooks (but they are by OmniLit — I checked), but here’s the skinny as emailed to me by Untreed Reads Publishing late last night:  “Beginning at midnight CST, and will be offering a 50% rebate to anyone who purchases titles through them on April 22nd.  This will be handled as a credit to the customer’s account to be used on a future purchase.”  My Untreed Reads titles are VANITAS (a steampunk/mystery originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE), I’M DREAMING OF A. . . (a short sf/horror tale for Christmas), PEDS (a near-future novelette), and the leadoff story in YEAR’S END: FOURTEEN TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR (New Year’s Eve gone bad), and both sites offer books in PDF, Kindle, and EPUB formats.  If interested, OmniLit can be reached by pressing here, and AllRomance here — but best hurry because the sale ends at midnight tonight (also Central Time).

A proof copy arrived today of FANTASTIC STORIES PRESENTS: SCIENCE FICTION SUPER PACK #1 (cf. April 9, March 31), and what a super pack it is!  More than 700 pages with some shockingly big name authors represented, among whom I am humbled to appear as well.  This is a reprint-only anthology (my entry, “No Place to Hide,” was originally published in the long-defunct professional journal SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW) and will, according to another announcement, be followed by at least one FANTASY SUPER PACK as well, for which there are still a few slots open.  Perhaps I’ll submit to that one too — but as for now, more information will be forthcoming asBatAppreciationDay soon as I have it.

On other matters:  My apologies that I missed this one, National Bat Appreciation Day on April 17.  Or, to quote the site, “[t]his is the best time of the year to celebrate bats as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation and National Bat Appreciation Day is also a good time to learn about bats roles in nature.”  So, better four days late than never, eh?  For more, press here — and don’t miss, especially, the list of Fun Bat Facts the site includes!  And if that weren’t enough, for celebration hints for use any time of year, be sure to check here.

Kudos go to Suford Lewis for bringing Bat Appreciation Day to my attention. And don’t forget (again from the site), “the ‘insectivorous’ bats rid our world of many bothersome insects.  In one hour, they can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes.”

Following the availability of its Kindle edition (see April 11), Horrified Press has announced today that its NIGHTMARE STALKERS & DREAM WALKERS anthology can also be purchased via Google Play for $3.00 — and, at least as of my check this afternoon, possibly at a markdown from that.  I would assume that the discount is temporary, but to check it out for yourself, press here.  My story in this one is the somewhat surrealistic “Flesh,” about a person whose dreams instruct him to get fat, and was originally published in the Spring 1999 issue of MAELSTROM SPECULATIVE FICTION.

Aimée et les filles à les caissettes, “Casket Girls” (cf. April 10), is now available to all readers in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION’s archives.  Just go to the main site at and press “Recent Stories” on the left to find it, or, alternatively, one can reach it directly by pressing here.  And while you’re at it, for those who don’t mind delving deep into the musty archives of years long past, two other ursuline1stories of mine dwell within: “Naughty or Nice,” the tale of a Parisian vampiress’s Christmas adventure, and “Killer Pot” about, um, skin treatments for the twenty-first century — but with Victorian roots as well.  Or, maybe the best thing to do is just read it. For these anyhow, go back to the DSF main page and this time put “Dorr” (or “dorr”) in the box on the right where it says “SEARCH.” (Hint: Don’t use “James Dorr” or “James S. Dorr” — through the magic of modern electronics you’ll get a scroll of every author with the name James, or in one case even just the initial J; similarly, while the titles of the stories will work, in the case of “Killer Pot,” you will first get a story called “Coffee Pot” — go figure).

Speaking of goofiness, it came to pass that after “Casket Girls” went to subscribers, fellow poet, artist, and sometime-commenter Marge Simon emailed me with the beginning lines of a poem honoring (in an admittedly silly, good-humored way) our Aimée, with an invitation for me, if I wished, to add a few more lines.  I did and sent it back, she added a few more, I added a few more and thus “Aimee, the Casket Girl” was written.  But that’s not all.  We tossed around a few places we might send it, I suggesting one that had published another sort of silly poem of mine with an illustration by Marge a while back (see “Well-Dressed Vampiress Finds a Home,” July 27 2012).  So it is that yesterday Barbara Custer of NIGHT TO DAWN e-mailed Marge back, “I’ve published James Dorr’s work before . . . [l]ove the one you did together and got a good laugh.  I’d like to publish it in NTD 27.”  And not only that, Marge may be supplying an illustration to go with this one too!


Mid-April, taxes paid, and today a new poem accepted.  It’s even sunny (if chilly) outside. Not a bad day at all.  Well, the taxes actually went in a few days early, but the poem acceptance was today, from STAR*LINE (see July 25 2013, et al.) Editor F .J. Bergmann for the October issue, for a haiku-styled horror called “Paranormal Botany.”  It even has a seasonal reference!

STAR*LINE is the official magazine of the Science Fiction Poetry Association and I understand will be having another short poem by me, “You Never Can Look Back,” in its upcoming issue.  More information on both the SFPA and STAR*LINE can be found here, as well as just below, April 12, on the SFPA’s annual Rhysling anthology and competition.

A new review by Casey Douglass of Grey Matter Press’s SPLATTERLANDS anthology (see December 4, November 23 2013, et al.) is up on DARK DISTRACTIONS. While my contribution, “The Artist,” is not specifically listed as one of the reviewer’s three or four favorites, all stories receive a mini-description which gives a good notion of what the anthology is about – as well as the sheer variety of the individual stories. Thought you’d read everything splatterpunk has to offer? Possibly not, as Casey points out, for more information on which press here.

More good news.  Yesterday I sent back the permission form for my poem “The Specialist,” originally published in the June issue of DISTURBED DIGEST (see June 20, 17 2013, et al.), to be reprinted in the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY.  This is a compilation of nominees for the SFPA’s Rhysling Award, divided into two categories for short (under 50 lines) and long poetry.  “The Specialist” is one of two poems about vampires I had in that issue, both fairly gritty (albeit, perhaps, with a wink as well), the other one titled “It Would Be Wrong,” and will appear in the short poem division.  For more information about the Rhysling Award, one can press here, while for a list of this year’s nominees — and, hence, the contents of the anthology — press here.

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