Archive for the ‘Vampires’ Category
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.”
Two more tomes have been added to the computer cave bookshelf, found in the mailbox Saturday evening. The first of these is STREET MAGICK: TALES OF URBAN FANTASY (see September 28, January 2, et al.) with, I’m happy to say, James C. Simpson’s and my biographies in the “About the Authors” section properly placed with our respective names (cf. November 14). My story in this, number two in the lineup, is “Bottles,” a mystery/horror first published in CROSSINGS (Double Dragon 2004) and which also appears in THE TEARS OF ISIS, more on which can be found by clicking its picture in the center column, a tale of a Puerto Rican domestic caught in the midst of Cold War conniving and . . . vampires. Then the second, BLOODBOND from Alban Lake Publishing, has a new poem, “Her First Time,” concerning the thrill of a young vampiress just learning her trade. More on STREET MAGICK can be found by pressing here; BLOODBOND by pressing here.
Then, received today, EVERYWHERE STORIES, VOLUME II is being given away on Goodreads, or two copies anyway. From the horse’s mouth: Enter for a chance to win a copy of Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volume II. Twenty stories by twenty authors set in twenty countries. Discover why we say “It’s a Mysterious World!” My story in this one is “The Wellmaster’s Daughter” (cf. September 29, 18, et al.), originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S and having to do with Saharan desert life in Mali. The giveaway has started today and will last until Christmas Eve, December 24, for more on which one may press here.
Late Sunday evening’s email capped the weekend with an announcement/listing from Alban Lake Publishing of the contents of the current (or very near future) November issue of BLOODBOND. And, speaking of vampires, it is not berift of a piece by me (cf. June 22), a poem of the apprehension, yet joy of the newly “turned” titled “Her First Time.” She imagined pilots/ with their first solo flight/ felt somewhat the same way,/ elation combined with fear –/ so much could go wrong –/ yet. . . .
For this and more, one can check out Alban Lake’s “store” by pressing here. And, for the other contents as well:
The Walri Project by Kendall Evans
A Helping Hand by Alison McBain
KAMY25V by Lee Clark Zumpe
Shooting by the Light of the Moon by Jeremy Hayes
Gordon by Joel & Angela Enos
Tail to Treasure by Olga Godim
Stealth by Karen Heslo
le souper a la maison d’ombres by Terrie Leigh Relf
Another Full Moon by Marge Simon
The Other Victorians by Justin Holliday
Companions of Dead Things by Matthew Wilson
Featured Poet: Sandy DeLuca
The Crone’s Dream
In the Hollywood Hills
Frankenstein by Ron Larson
Her First Time by James S. Dorr
Blending Scents by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff
Tomb of Wolves by Matthew Wilson
I had had to skip the open mike part of last week’s Last Sunday Poetry due to getting ready for early check-in for my “Raising the Dead” reading at that evening’s Ryder Film Festival (see October 31). This week, however, all was on schedule for November’s “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic” (cf. October 3, et al.) with local short fiction writer Tom Bitters and a tale of young love nearly torpedoed by an inflatable doll named Mistress Ping; poetry and prose performer Gabriel Peoples with the rambling and funny quasi-historical “The Story of Jack Daniels,” including audience participation; and First Sundays MC and co-sponsor (with host venue Boxcar Books) Bloomington Writers Guild member Joan Hawkins with more of young love, the “Ballad of Renee and Buzz,” and the start of a second piece, both examples of creative nonfiction.
The crowd was reasonably large at the start although, as sometimes happens, it thinned down to about half its size during the break, after which two people read at the open mike session, me and local poet and essayist and sometimes short fiction writer Tonia Matthews. My piece this time was of young love also,”Smashing Pumpkins,” that of the vampires Aloysius and Vendetta in an adventure of Halloween, ice-blood (or is it “bloodcream”) cones, and rampaging clowns, all ending up with a trip to the polls on Election Day.