Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

So still not huge, but enough to purchase a modest dinner with maybe a glass of sweet tea on the side.  Thus, this the announcement from Editor “Mr. Deadman”:  It’s pay day. The royalties for CAMPFIRE TALES BOOK ONE comes to $96.00.  Split between the authors would mean $11.  CAMPFIRE TALES BOOK ONE gets hits every so often, and I’m actively promoting it via social network and writing groups.  . . .  Thank you all for considering Deadman’s Tome for CAMPFIRE TALES.  It was a different sort of animal, and the way CAMPFIRE TALES came to be was unusual.  I wish to work with you all in the future.

My story in this is “In The Octopus’s Garden” (see July 15, et al.), originally published in 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA, March-April 1999, and later lead story in my collection TEARS OF ISIS (for more on which, press its picture in the center column).  Also, for more on CAMPFIRE TALES BOOK ONE (yes, there’s a second book too, but that’s not the one that has my story), press here.

Then in other news, I’ve received the contract for “Got The Wash Day Blues” (see December 28), the tale of a laundry cop and a giant pile of animate dirty clothes, which has been signed and sent back late Thursday afternoon to Third Flatiron Publishing.  It will appear in their Spring anthology MONSTROSITIES to be published in March, more on which as it becomes available.

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It’s not an official nominee, that’s the first thing to say, but TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has made the preliminary ballot from which the nominees will be selected.  Also, while TOMBS is a novel-in-stories, the ballot it’s on is for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, because that’s the way the Horror Writers Association’s Stoker Award(R) rules work.  So big deal — if you’re an Active or a Lifetime Member of HWA, which means you can vote, please vote for it!  And it is a big deal, this being the premiere annual award for Horror, equivalent to the Nebula for science fiction or mystery’s Edgar — the Oscar, if one will, for fearsome print.  And while you’re at it, please buy a copy, spread the word, feature TOMBS on your blog (if you have a blog), and, if you think the book is at all worth while, please write a review for Amazon,Goodreads, B&N, et al.

Every bit helps in this, the cutthroat world of publishing, where books routinely disappear without leaving a ripple.  So even making it onto a preliminary ballot is super worth while!

So, here’s part of the official HWA announcement, while I will sit here being quietly proud:

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to announce the Preliminary Ballots for the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see http://www.horror.org ) is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,300 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards in various categories since 1987 (see http://horror.org/bram-stoker-awards/#about ).

Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.

The HWA Board and the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee congratulate all those appearing on the Preliminary Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing.

And now you’ve heard it too.

Just a very, very short entry.  Yesterday saw the arrival of a preliminary proof copy of DEADSTEAM, the steampunkish Victorian anthology of tales centered around the dead, which recently accepted my story “The Re-Possessed (see January 11).  Letting no grass grow under his feet, Editor Bryan Raffle requested corrections, if any, to edits, comments on questions (including in some cases minor rewriting), plus bios and photos, etc.  And so the beat goes on:  I, seeing only a few very minor changes plus really only one comment to address, was able to get the package together and off it went back this afternoon.  Publication to my best knowledge is still scheduled for fall (thus authors who might have been asked for rewrites should have time to complete them) with, among other things, a proposed series of author interviews to be conducted as part of a pre-release publicity campaign — and which I was delighted to agree to!  More to be here as it becomes known.

No, the pictured DEATH: A GRAVESIDE COMPANION is not part of the list but, courtesy of ELECTRICLITERATURE.COM, herewith by its editor Joanna Ebenstein “10 Death-Obsessed Books to Satisfy Your Inner Goth.”  And, did I say eclectic?  How about leading it off with E. B. White’s beloved children’s tale of CHARLOTTE’S WEB in which Wilbur the pig learns that his purpose in life is to be made into bacon — and then adding, at number 6, Oscar Wilde’s SALOMÉ: A TRAGEDY IN ONE ACT, with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley?  Other entrants include Edward Gorey’s THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES (number 5), Henry James with THE TURN OF THE SCREW (number 7) George DuMaurier’s TRILBY (number 4), even Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (number 9).  So some may be familiar, some maybe not so much, but all can be found by pressing here.

With a Sunday respite from cold, cold weather last week, the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (see December 4, et al.) had its 2018 start in a new and most likely temporary venue, the Monroe County Library Auditorium, due to the imminent closing of Boxcar Books.  The featured readers were speculative fiction writer and sometimes poet Darja Malcolm-Clarke with an excerpt from a story to bloomingtonwritersguildappear in SEE THE ELEPHANT magazine, “Wren’s Flight”; YA novelist Julia Karr with three short pieces based on prompts from a writing course several years back; and School of Education doctoral candidate Adam Henze with a group of fictionalized essays on various aspects of the teaching experience, including one in haibun form.  Snacks (to be eaten in the library’s atrium only) followed, leading into the open mike session with five readings, of which mine was third, “Midnight Sun,” a Christmas tale of zombies and vampirism in its own cold, cold weather setting, thus giving it a special relevance to the well below freezing previous few days.

It was a long time coming, originally set for March or April last year, then “officially” published around July, but PHOBOS 4 has at last arrived (cf. July 11, February 24, et al.) — and is listed now on Amazon as well!  PHOBOS publishes themed magazines and the subject for this one is “Deep Black Sea” with my story in it, a Lovecraftian romp titled “The Dark Call of the Sea” about a musician and his artist sister and how a beach vacation at Innsmouth may not have been wise, the last in the contents.  Other stories concern such items as killer mermaids in the koi pond, cyborgs in lifeboats, and impolite pirates, and all in all PHOBOS 4 seems a pretty good read so far.  For more, one can press here.

In other news, 2018’s first royalty check came in the mail Wednesday and, not for the first time, the real winner was the U.S. Post Office which sold the stamp.  As is my custom, neither publisher nor book will be mentioned to avoid embarrassment on both sides, but suffice to say when it’s for one story in an anthology amounts are likely to be small anyway.  Nevertheless, money is money and, no matter how little, the fact that there’s any is an endorsement.

Hark us back a moment to December 26, below, and the revelation that SOCIETY FOR MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . , VOLUME 1, starring my story “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” was a nominee for best anthology in the Preditors and Editors 2017 Readers Poll.  Well, yesterday afternoon the news came that those wily pollsters are at it again, with another nominee being the Third Flatiron Publishing anthology CAT’S BREAKFAST:  KURT VONNEGUT TRIBUTE, also with a story by — you guessed it! — moi, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” a tale of school science fairs, dancing, and . . . bears (see July 11, et al.).*  Music and education together.  Either nominee may be voted on by pressing here, but I don’t know whether one can vote for both (not that I might not have tried it myself, not that I would suggest. . . .).  But either way, Third Flatiron Editor Juliana Rew points out that votes are due before January 14 and, as she adds, [f]eel free to enter other work if you wish, too.  It offers good exposure to us in the small press field.
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*Should the Third Flatiron name seem familiar, by the way, they are also publishers of the upcoming MONSTROSITIES, among others, which has just accepted my story “Got Them Wash Day Blues” (cf. December 28).

Word has come from Bards and Sages Publishing’s Julie Ann Dawson that THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . VOLUME ONE (see December 9, October 16, et al.) has been nominated for Best Anthology in the 2017 Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll.  Lead story in the volume happens to be by me, winning its spot as best of its year in THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES’ own poll, a fantasy mystery originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCKS MYSTERY MAGAZINE titled “By Force and Against the King’s Peace.”  And so, if you voted for me or not, you can now vote for the entire anthology by pressing here.  (But beware if you do.  The announcement cautions that [u]nfortunately, the voting process is a little cumbersome.  Make sure to confirm your email address after voting so that the vote counts.  The good news is that you only need to confirm your address the first time.

Also, if you’d like to know more about THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES itself (or even possibly buy a copy of Volume 1 — just scroll on down the page until you come to a link), press here.

Woo hoo!  We may recall from December 7, et al., that voting was ending for best story in Astounding Outpost’s NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE anthology, in which my story “No Place to Hide” appears.  Results are now in!  0riginally published in the long-dead pro magazine SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW in 1991, “No Place to Hide” has ended up in a hotly contested tie for eighth place.  But wait — there’s more.

As it happens, in addition to first, second, and third places, there was one other award to be given.  Or, to quote from the guidelines:  In addition, one story picked by the editors, not voters, will receive 15 dollars via paypal and a custom T-shirt from the Astounding Outpost.  This is the equivalent of the second voted-on prize in terms of loot received (in more recent anthologies, a print copy will replace the T-shirt, but NEURAL NETS is the last that’s available in Kindle form only) and, as it turns out, it seems there’s a dance in the old dame yet.*  Or, to quote again from the source:   After a very rough editorial battle, we can announce the WINNERS OF Neural Nets, Uplinks, and Wetware.  First place goes to Burner, second goes to Catching Cameron Ellis, third to Never Lonely.  The editors choice goes to No Place to Hide.  Congratulations to the Neural Nets winners.  To check out the site for oneself, press here (then, to find the stories as well, press “Astounding Stories” at the upper right, but be prepared to scroll way, way down since the stories to be in the next anthology are in the process of being added).

One might then add that all stories, including the winners, can be read in the Kindle edition of NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE which may be purchased by clicking here.  (And also all writers receive a royalty on copies sold, so if enough of you . . . well, it does add up.)
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*”a dance. . . ,” incidentally, is actually a quote that I couldn’t resist from ARCHY AND MEHITABEL (1927), one of a series of books by Don Marquis.  The specific poem is “The Song of Mehitabel,” the memoir of a somewhat disreputable alley cat (Triana, take note!) as transcribed by her friend, the cockroach Archy, and may be read by pressing here.

tourjours gai tourjours gai

Last night brought 2017’s closing “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series” (cf. October 13, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild, and featuring three radio play presentations, Lucille Fletcher’s SORRY, WRONG NUMBER; Ray Bradbury’s IT BURNS ME UP!; and by William S. Burroiughs, THE JUNKY’S CHRISTMAS.  Added were musical performances by local group Urban Deer and an open mike session with six takers, in which I appeared fourth.  It was an interesting and exciting evening, a little bit out of the normal run, my part of which was a “First Sundays” reprise of my short short “The Worst Christmas Ever” (see December 4), this time to a largely different audience.  Also as an extra, cover charge proceeds were earmarked this time to the upcoming “Wounded Galaxies Festival 1968:  Paris, Prague, Chicago Festival and Symposium,” scheduled for February next year, more of which will most likely be covered here (and for which in the meantime, including schedules, one can press here).

Then speaking of Christmas, DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (for which see December 12, et al.) has proposed a competition, or in Editor/Publisher Jesse Dedman’s words:  We’re approaching the end of 2017, and that means it’s time for a popularity contest.  Now, remember that this is all in good fun.  I personally will sit out on this vote as I enjoy every story in this collection, but please don’t follow my example.  Spread the link out to as many people as possible.  What does the winner get?  C’mon, shouldn’t the reception be the prize?  How about some beer money?  $20 bucks (PayPal) and a certificate.  The contest and voting is care of Patreon and can be reached here.

To remind, MY story (*ahem*) is third on the list, “A Christmas Carnage,” recently cited by “JME” in her review on Amazon (December 12).  And, technically, you don’t even have to have read the book to vote on the stories (though you really should — there’s a link on the voting page as well to where you can buy CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, in my opinion a great book for giving to one’s [twisted] friends too!).  So do consider, buy, and vote (again, that’s “A Christmas Carnage”), okay?




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