Archive for the ‘Vampires’ Category
Here’s one I blundered on via Facebook’s ELDER SIGNS PRESS site, dated March 9 and touting a two-week only sale on Amazon. Today being the 16th, I think that would mean there’s a week to go, ending March 23. So for a happy Saint Patrick’s Day Eve, check out these deals for DARK HORIZONS (Amazon’s price is 12.95, but individual new copy offers start at $9.67 as of this writing) and STREET MAGICK (Amazon price $9.21) and, as a bonus, give the figure on STREET MAGICK’s cover a green suit and hat, and it could look a little bit like a leprechaun.
To check it all out, press here for the ELDER SIGNS PRESS Facebook site, then scroll down just a tad for the sale
announcement with links to Amazon for both books — just under the listing for early orders for TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, in fact, with its own link to Amazon should you wish to indulge while you’re at it! My dogs in these donnybrooks are “Bottles” for STREET MAGICK, of vampiric doings in the late 1950s Boston area, complete with Cold War paranoia, and “Dark of the Moon” in DARK HORIZONS, of an international expedition to the Moon’s back side, combined with a dollop of H.P. Lovecraft and Russian myth to become dark indeed. Also (ahem!) while the books haven’t gotten too many reviews on Amazon yet — and let this be a *hint* to readers, if you like a book you do your favorite authors a favor by sending reviews in — one review under each title (cf. “Mr. Vlesco” for the one for STREET MAGICK) singles my stories out for special mention.
This was to be the one on poetry, last month’s premiere “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local tavern and music venue Players Pub, being dominated by prose fiction — including, ahem, my opening reading of “River Red” from THE TEARS OF ISIS (cf. February 10). And so it was, mostly, with even its musical component being poetry-based via Evansville Indiana group SHAKESPEARE’S MONKEY, a “poetry band” reminiscent of 1950s coffeehouse poetry accompanied with jazz (albeit in this case, guitars and hand percussion), who we’ve met before at the Bloomington Arts Festival Spoken Word Stage (see September 4). The featured readers this time out were Writers Guild Chair Tony Brewer whose poems included a Pushcart Prize nominee, local poet Eric Rensberger who began his reading with a guitar accompanied “Medicine Show” spiel introducing bartender “Dr. Joe” and the pub itself before continuing with the more “serious literary part,” and First Sundays Prose Series Chair Joan Hawkins breaking the pattern with two prose “creative memoirs.” Then the open mike session added four readers of whom I was second, reading three pieces from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), “La Méduse,” “Émile’s Ghosts,” and “Night Child.”
Then for another quick note, I’ve added two pieces to “Poetry (Essays)” under PAGES in the far right column, my ILLUMEN feature “It Begins With the Sound” (see November 5, et al.) and “What Is a Novel in Stories” (see February 13), the latter admittedly really about my upcoming TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but springing from Edgar Allan Poe’s essay “The Poetic Principle.”
The announcement, from Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge, was brief: All of the Smart Rhino books are currently on sale at Smashwords, most at 50% off. The sale is until March 11, so grab them while you can. Just search for the individual titles. But the finding them may possibly not be quite so simple as it may seem (hint: for some, you may have to toggle the “adult” switch ON). For mine, press here, but — remember — then toggle the words “Adult Content” at the top right to be sure it’s on (a check mark is good, circle with a slash through it is bad). Then scroll down past THE GOOD FIGHT 3: SIDEKICKS for the ones I’m in, and ignore PRESIDENTIAL PULP plus the history one at the very end. These are all anthologies or magazines with stories by me in them, whether or not they may be on sale, with the Smart Rhino ones being INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS and UNCOMMON ASSASSINS (this latter, I think, toward the very end). But linger a bit, perhaps there are others that you may like too. Or if in a hurry, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS can be found here and INSIDIOUS here (the “Adult” switch pre-set), with my stories in each being “The Wellmasters Daughter” (see August 16 2012, et al.) and “Labyrinth (see January 23 2015, et al.) respectively.
In other news, we had another pleasant, sunny afternoon for this month’s “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and Boxcar Books. And for two hours, we had a good crowd as these things go, with about eighteen people (fourteen of who persisted through open mike afterward) for featured readers Eric Rensberger, with a contemplative essay on books and dust; Joan Hawkins, standing in for advertised reader Jenny Kander who couldn’t make it due to illness, with a memoir of 1974 Prague under Soviet occupation; and bestselling “rural noir” fiction writer Bonnie Jo Campbell with two short shorts from her MOTHERS, TELL YOUR DAUGHTERS collection, an excerpt from the title story, and the opening paragraph of her novel ONCE UPON A RIVER. Then after the break (with lovely cookies), mindful of Mardi Gras having been less than a week before, I ended a walk-on session of some five readers with a New Orleans set “Casket Girls” story, “Death and the Vampire,” in which the flavor of Death is found to be, if not the best, at least not bad.
Who can resist it? This is a picture of new Goth Cat Triana (cf. February 10, 6, et al.) taken by a friend, Eve Schultes-Ridge, last Monday. Triana is on her inherited high throne (in an earlier life, a carton for a refrigerator door gasket), relaxing with her favorite cat toy, a molded plastic human heart.
And it’s not really new either, only missing but now restored as a Valentine’s Day extra. VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) is a book of poetry about vampires and things vampiric, sexy, deadly, and by moi. This is the White Cat edition which should eventually be updated, with new cover, etc., but the upgrade has been taking some time and no need to not buy the book now if one wishes. In print it only costs $7.00 (plus probably postage, but still a good price for a small love token for that special person) and even less in a PDF version. Just click its picture in the center column.
It isn’t listed on Amazon either in this edition, but probably will be when the new one comes out, although I believe print copies of this one can also be purchased through Alban Lake (for which one can press here).
Or, on this page with its link to White Cat Publishing (plus option for PDF), scroll down the center column, through books and chapbooks, to find an all-new category for Poetry. And there it will be!
So go the news cycles, days in which nothing happens at all, then periods where it all piles up, one or two happenings every day. And so, today, a twofer the first of which is by William Herkewitz via POPULARMECHANICS.COM, “Behold Bat Bot, the First Flying Robot Bat.” Yes, really, but not necessarily intended as an aid for blood drives, but rather activities where drones might otherwise be used, except they’re in close proximity to people. That is, if there’s an oopsie, even mechanical bats are softer than something with four little whirling, sharp rotors. And besides that, they’re cool! But a robot bat does provide, it seems, some unique design problems, for more on which one can press here.
Then, actually a day before, what should be met in the computer cave mailbox but my authors’ copy of MEET CUTE (see December 31, 11, et al.), with my own tale of flying beings, “Butterfly.” This is a small book of flash fiction concerning unexpected encounters between pairs of people, some romantic, some not so, but all with a touch of the unusual to them. In this case, my story met up as well with an illustration by Marge Simon, but that wasn’t necessarily surprising — Marge and I being friends for some years, I had told her about it.
Edited by Kara Landhuis, MEET CUTE can be found on Amazon by pressing here.
Back for 2017, this afternoon saw the new year’s first “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic” (see November 28, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Monroe County Convention Center. Featured poets this time were Lisa Low, in her final year in the MFA program at Indiana University, whose reading covered such subjects as grocery stores, ghosts, and gold, ending with a group of poems from a work in progress about a girl named Ruby; and Stephen Hopkins, “born in Texas but raised in the Midwest, [and] moved all over Ohio, often,” an IU PhD candidate who read works from his recent chapbook HYMNS OF PERPETUAL MOTION. This was followed by snacks and an open mike session in which I was last of six participants, with five short, relatively light poems about vampires, “The Vampire’s Reflection,” “An Unsuitable Kiss for the New Year,” “Something New,” “Nothing Better,” and “The Vampiress’s Embarrassment.”
Also announced was a new Writers Guild “Second Thursdays” evening series to be held each month at Bloomington’s Players Pub, beginning February 9. While programs will vary, the premiere offering will highlight prose readings, including a short tale by me from THE TEARS OF ISIS, “River Red,” set in the same universe as my upcoming TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.
MEET CUTE (cf. November 23), the flash fiction anthology of unexpected, eccentric, or just unusual meetings of couples, has had a few changes in scope, according to Editor Kara Landhuis. An immediate one is a change in pre-publication funding from Kickstarter to Indiegogo, deemed a better fit for a smaller publication’s actual needs. For other news, publication is tentatively planned for January for distribution in February; the funding project itself will close December 31.
As Ms. Landhuis explains, MEET CUTE was born out of a love for several things, most notably: Storytelling and connection. I wanted to create a book that celebrates human connection, and I thought there was no better way than to invite writers and illustrators to collaborate. MEET CUTE will include around 20 short stories (very short — fewer than 1000 words each) written by writers from around the world. There will also be 10-15 black and white illustrations that enrich the stories. My own entry in this is “Butterfly,” a saga of forests and fairytales — or was that insects and axes? To find out more, one will just have to buy the book, or for an inside track, check out the Indygogo crowdfunder by clicking here.
In other action, The Bloomington Writers Guild’s December business meeting and end-of-year party was Saturday afternoon. As in previous years, it ended with an open reading for about a dozen participants, my contribution (in lieu of a story which I suggested I’d save for February’s First Sunday Prose, as being perhaps a bit long for this session) was three Santa Claus poems, posing the question — especially in the case of the first two, which also appear in my collection VAMPS — do we really need Krampus?
The end of November is getting exciting! Books received, TOMBS early-listed on Amazon, freebies for EVERYDAY STORIES II, a new story accepted, and now another. And this by a higher paying market! The word came Sunday morning, sneaking vampire-like in with the mist at 12:17 a.m., “Thanks for sending ‘The Candle and the Flame’ to DARKFUSE. I have finished my review and have decided to accept it and offer you a contract.” In fact the contract had arrived a few minutes before Editor Shane Staley’s email, but that’s the way the internet goes sometimes. Suffice to say I opened the contract later that day, signed it, and now it is back in DARKFUSE MAGAZINE’s clutches.
“The Candle and the Flame” is a steampunky, fairytaleish story of a little girl at Christmas time selling not matches, but candles. But nevertheless coming to grief in a friendless, ultra-capitalistic Victorian England. As for DARKFUSE, to go to the guidelines: Here’s what we’re looking for . . . Horror, thriller, suspense, crime, sci-fi, bizarre — anything with a dark slant. 500-2K words paid. They go on to say they will take longer stories, but the emphasis in on the short, with “The Candle and the Flame,” for instance, coming in at about 1700 words. And one more note, publication is scheduled for January 13 2017 to help start off a happy new year!
Then Sunday afternoon brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic” (cf. September 25 et al.), co-sponsored by the Monroe County Convention Center. Featured poets were Indiana University Education PhD candidate Julia Heimer Dadds with, to paraphrase, perilous poems for perilous times among others, followed by first generation Sierra Leonean-American poet and MFA candidate Yalie Kamara. No, neither read poems about vampires, and in fact the only such ones were read by me, one of eight walk-ons at open mike time in a well-attended session. But both that I read were about vampires: “Her First Time” from BLOODBOND, which we just met (see November 27, 7, et al.), and a just-written poem for the coming season, “The Vampire Before Christmas.”