Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

And now for something completely different.  Or, well, different at least, a recasting of an interview of . . . *moi* . . . by Rushelle Dillon (cf. October 22 2017) in a video format, or part of it anyway.  The title is “Video Refresh:  James Dorr Interview” by Stuart Conover and it’s on HORRORTREE.COM.  Or, to let the poster speak for himself:  A Sample of our interview with James Dorr by Ruschelle Dillon.  In the interview, he has a lot of fun details on his take on the writing process.  If you delve into the full interview there are a lot of playful details on his life on top of that!  . . .  This is a new format that we’re playing around with for articles, interviews, and potentially Trembling With Fear.  Please let us know if this is something that you’d like to see more of!

For more, press here (yes, it is kind of fun)!  And there’s also a link if you wish to read the whole interview as it had been originally posted.

Then a quick word on the two Kickstarters we followed earlier this month.  The ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE one (see February 3, January 29) will be over this Thursday, February 21, so there’s not much time left if you’re tempted to participate.  The other for Gehenna and Hinnom Books (see February 1), with as of now a few extra prizes added, will end just past the close of the month, on Saturday March 2.  Links to both can be found in their posts on the dates just noted.


Though dated Wednesday February 6, today, writer/blogger Carl Alves’s interview of me, “10 Questions With James Dorr” (see February 1), actually went live Tuesday evening on THIS IS CARL’S BRAIN (a.k.a. CARLALVES.COM), shortly followed by a link via Facebook on DIGITAL FICTION PUBLISHING LEAGUE.  What questions, one asks?  Well, ones concerning such matters as differences in writing poetry vs. writing prose, overall themes, the desire to write horror, and which is best:  short stories, novelettes, or novels?  Also, in lieu of my normal mug shot are portraits of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe.

And why those, you ask? — for answers press here.

Following sub-zero weather just four days before, Sunday was sunny and in the sixties possibly contributing to a fairly low turnout for February’s “First Sunday Prose Reading and Open Mic,” again at the downtown Soma Coffeehouse (see January 6, et al.).  Featured reader Tom Bitters, with short fiction credits in BERKSHIRE REVIEW and HAMPSHIRE LIFE, among others, lead off with a story as yet untitled about married life and competitive bowling, followed by novelist Julia Karr with the opening chapter, titled “Homecoming,” of the third book in a young adult dystopic trilogy, and with Rwandan documentary filmmaker and author of RWANDA:  COMING TO THE MEMORY Gilbert Ndahayo batting third with descriptions of his life there and in the US, as illuminated by excerpts from a second book in progress.  This was followed by four “open mic” readers in which I was second with my most recent sale, “The Junkie” (cf. January 31, et al.).

Then, speaking of “The Junkie,” even if the special library option has expired, the Kickstarter for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, including that 750-word saga of life on the mean streets and . . . zombies, continues to seek pledges up until February 21st.  It’s doing well so far, but more may be needed to push it to where the writers (that is, including me) can receive a professional pay rate, for more on which press here.

For those who’ve enjoyed the four part series on Lovecraftian influence on Films and TV (see January 30, 29, 28, 24), I thought I might mention compiler/publisher C.P. Dunphey also has a Kickstarter started for his publishing company, Gehenna & Hinnom Books.  The goal, to keep up the good work (over and above supplying lists that I can reference on this blog) and, hopefully, begin to pay writers professional rates.  “Gehenna & Hinnom’s 2019 enterprise!  We aim to bring you the greatest releases in Weird Fiction and Cosmic Horror of the year,” or, of their staple publication HINNOM MAGAZINE, even considered “a possible successor to WEIRD TALES” according to THE MISKATONIC REVIEW.  And I am not entirely myself without a finger in this pie, my story “Flesh” having been published a while back in G & H’s YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (cf. October 25, September 25 2017, et al.).

And one might add, for those who pledge nifty treats are offered, for which to see for yourself check here.

Then in other news, earlier this week I completed and sent in my answers, etc., for my part in a series of interviews that writer and blogger Carl Alves is running.  So word has come back, my first interview for 2019 is tentatively set for Tuesday next week, February 5, more on which will appear here as it becomes available.

***NOTE: The Library Benefit extends until Thursday (Jan 31) at midnight, PST.  If you back at the $25 or $50 level, we will match you and give books to a library of your choice.***

Thus starred and noted comes the announcement from publisher Jason Brick concerning the “Itty Bitty Kickstarter” (see January 29, et al.) special feature, that certain pledges of $25 or $50 made during the first two days will include a donation of the anthology ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE to the local library of your choice.  This is an anthology of flash fiction, 100 stories of 1000 words or less, by 100 authors — a style and a writer for every taste! — including even a story by me, “The Junkie,” of zombies (well one anyway) and drugs.  And now one more thing:  We have a specific cut off time for those willing to donate one to their library, midnight (PST) Thursday — today!

For more, press here.

You want some fiction?  We got your fiction right here!  A hundred tales of derring-do, introspection, love, hate, joy, fear, science fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, and all manner of other things for your reading pleasure.  That’s 100 stories from 100 authors with 100 voices at under 1000 words apiece.  It’s ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see January 27, et al.) and today the Kickstarter has begun!

And one special feature:  Certain pledges of $25 or $50, provided they’re made within 48 hours, include a donation of the book to your local — or other favorite — library.  Check it out by pressing here, then scroll down the pledge levels to the right for the ones that have the library option, but, again, pledges for these must be made today or tomorrow — within the Kickstarter’s first 48 hours!  But other options exist as well, and whatever is given will help ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE get published (if all goes well, to be out around June) as well as helping the authors get paid.  That is to say, me, and 99 others.

My part in the pack, incidentally, is a new tale called “The Junkie,” of mean streets and drug addiction and . . . zombies.  Or at least one zombie, insofar as it’s only about 750 words long.  So reading is addictive too, and to help this book meet the people who need it, for the Kickstarter again press here, check the options out, and do pledge what you can.

Holidays no longer in the way, January’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic” (cf. September 30, et al.) came off on schedule, although due to other obligations I had to arrive a bit late.  Sponsored by the Bloomongton Writers Guild with the Monroe County Convention Center, the event featured Indiana University alumnus and community action and non-profits advocate C.D. Culper and Writers Guild founding member and past chairperson Patsy Rahn, the latter’s reading including poems from her new book, THE GRAINY WET SOUL.  Then after intermission I was third of seven unscheduled poets with an older poem to celebrate the January 19 birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, “The Resurrection Man,” about grave-robbing and initially published in ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT (Unnameable Press, 1995, itself published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Poe’s “The Raven”).

Then an “itty bitty” announcement that Tuesday, in two days, the Kickstarter will begin for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, a 100-writer flash fiction anthology edited by Jason Brick (see January 21, 19), including a new piece by me, “The Junkie.”  To quote from my initial announcement, “check back here for future info and, when the Kickstarter is announced, be aware that generosity will be appreciated by ninety-nine authors as well as me.”  So, reminder posted, tune again here on Tuesday when the news, with link, will appear — and remember as well that my story (to quote myself again) “does have a zombie in it.”

Hopefully not to the former!  But the question does come up, what about Valentine’s Day for those people you don’t like so much?  And with less than a month left, here is one answer courtesy of Angel Orona on Facebook’s SHIT JUST GOT WEIRD, “Delivered in Hate: In the Victorian Era, People Sent These Grotesque ‘Vinegar Valentines’ to Their Enemies” from VINTAGE.ES (a.k.a. VINTAGE EVERYDAY).  Or, possibly better, maybe you shouldn’t be hanging around so much with people like that in the first place.

Nevertheless we are into horror and, who knows, one could be on the receiving end too.  So as the February feast day approaches, if only to be forewarned press here.

Then back to business, it was an odd sort of contract, an interactive one in a way, but contracts are contracts and this was received from ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE Editor Jason Brick earlier this afternoon (cf. just below, January 19).  I hope you’re still jazzed about this anthology.  The team and I sure are.  Today, though, we’re mostly about business.  More fun stuff comes later, but it’s always best to get the money and contract stuff done early so everybody’s on the same page and nobody’s feelings get hurt.  It was followed by a preview of what would be covered, and then:  If this still sounds like your idea of a good time, click the button below.  It will take you to a Google form where you sign off on this plain-English agreement.  From there, you’re in and we’re all set to move forward.

And there, step by step, one could check the “yes” boxes as each point came up, finally typing one’s name and the date — all easy and neat and uncomplicated, an interesting idea!  Be that as it may, I did as required, and back it went.

Well, at 750 words my flash piece “The Junkie” is an itty bitty story so, when the call went out for an anthology called ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, who was I to resist?  The idea is, as I understand it, that one hundred stories at 1000 or fewer words each will be accepted for the book, “any genre welcome, just keep it awesome.”  Pay — and perhaps even just publication — will depend on Kickstarter success in the near future, so watch these pages for an announcement and link when I know it.

But I get ahead of myself.  The point is that in less than a day’s time, at 9:37 last night according to the time stamp, the email came:  I am thrilled to accept “The Junkie” for the book.  You are now officially confirmed.  This was followed by information on a mailing list for further details plus a request for my confirmation that I was still interested, which I returned.

So, again, check back here for future info and, when the Kickstarter is announced, be aware that generosity will be appreciated by ninety-nine authors as well as me.  And then, when the time comes, enjoy an all-new story (hint:  it does have a zombie in it) by me.

A cross-country road trip in Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce, THE KING is far more than a musical biopic; it’s a penetrating portrait of America at a critical time in the nation’s history and an unflinching investigation into the state of the American dream.  And so, Elvis Presley!  Remember him?

A funny story:  About five hours ago as of this writing (which is to say last night) I was hustling toward the IU Cinema, worried that I might have left home too late.  Would the line be so long it would extend outside (the lobby space in the IU Cinema is not large), meaning I’d have to stand in the cold?  Should I have bought my ticket in advance?  Fast forward ten minutes and an older couple behind me as I was buying my ticket wondered if the movie had been sold out.  In fact, when I got there there was only one person, an even older man, finishing paying in cash for his ticket.  The fact is, as I opined to the ones behind me, it may be only us older people who even remember, that younger folk (such as IU students) might not even know who Presley was — a seminal figure in rock ‘n’ roll.  And once in the theatre that may have been borne out, there being only a handful of viewers and most of these rather gray looking too.

On the other hand, it was a cold night, and there will be another showing next Saturday, possibly more convenient to get to.

One hopes so anyhow, because the film is about a lot more than just rock ‘n’ roll and one of its earliest popularizers — in movies eventually as well as records and TV specials.  And one with a rather tragic ending, exploited like mad by a con-man manager, and dying young under sad circumstances as much through bad health as bad business decisions.  But there are also parallels to the culture he represented, of America in the 1950s when he came to fame and people still thought that by working hard anyone could “make it,” Presley just being an extreme example, no matter how poor or downtrodden their origins; but then in the ’70s when he died, with Presidents Nixon and in a few years Reagan, and what the country was seen now to stand for was less democracy than capitalism.  Thus money corrupting not only art through excess pursuit of the “bottom line,” but business in general and even democracy itself, with elections becoming playthings of the wealthy (and, yes, it was noted the current President’s origins are not exactly humble).

Or, to continue the quoted blurb from above:  From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Presley as a metaphor for the country he left behind.  In this groundbreaking film, Eugene Jarecki (WHY WE FIGHT, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN) paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here.  A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and not, join the journey, including Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, and Dan Rather.  THE KING was executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, Errol Morris, and Roseanne Cash.  Contains mature content, including strong language, disturbing images, and drug references.

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