Posts Tagged ‘Absurdism’

What is this about nine-day acceptances (see “Needle-Heat Gun,” July 29)?  We may recall England’s GRIEVOUS ANGEL, publisher among other things of my Rhysling-nominated poem “On the Other Hand,” on King Kong’s doomed romance with Fay Wray (cf. September 5, March 30 2015).  So on that same day, July 29, just nine days before today as it happens, I sent GRIEVOUS ANGEL a flash submission for which has just come from GA-White-Red copyeditor Charles Christian:  Another fantastic story — love it & will use it.  Has that wonderful mix of quirky with a human touch.  And so for the first acceptance for August, a new story, “Matches,” the 650-word “slightly absurdist” tale of a frustrated young man who hopes to set the world on fire.

Then yesterday brought the coming fall’s opening “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. May 7, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local bookstore Boxcar Books, with featured readers Dennis McCarty reading reflections on the Little Bighorn/”Custer’s Last Stand” battle site from his upcoming book, tentatively scheduled for early 2018, MONUMENTS:  ONE ATHEIST’S TOUR THROUGH TIME, CULTURE, AND MEANING; Wendy Teller with opening excerpts from her novel-in-progress BECOMING MIA BROWER; and novelist Annette Oppenlander, who noted that her first ever public reading had been at a Writers Guild First Sunday and, scheduled to leave Bloomington later this month, this will be her last reading here, an excerpt set in Germany in the final days of World War II from her fact-based SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND.  All were interesting and well received, though the presentations for the open mike session after the break were a bit skimpy.  Mine, third of only three on a rather gloomy afternoon outside, added perhaps to the ambience with a tale of New Orleanian vampiress Aimée, “Flightless Rats,” on a date gone bad, one that’s been around the block a few times already and is soon to be reprinted next month in FANTASIA DIVINITY (see below, July 16 and 7, et al.).

And two announcements regarding First Sundays:  Next month will be skipped insofar as September’s first weekend will also bring the Bloomington Arts Fair with the Writers Guild-sponsored Spoken Word Stage.  Then for the month after, on October 1, I have been asked to be one of the featured readers.


Monday, a new week, but after a weekend that saw some action.  Saturday was my “SCIFI” Writers Group critique session, always fun for the socializing whether or not for the actual comments.  My meat for the griddle this time was a 500-word absurdist tale about something improper – at least unusual – found in the protagonist’s mailbox which, it seemed to me, survived quite well.  Though probably not “extreme” enough to call Bizarro, marketing could still be a challenge (actually it’s at a contest right now that unfortunately had its deadline the previous Thursday, that supplied the “prompt,” but it was fairly high level and I doubt my piece will have much of a chance).

Then, speaking of prompts, Sunday afternoon brought a Writers Guild workshop on writing on moderator-supplied subjects (see, e.g., July 17), this time that didn’t suggest to me any actual stories, but was still enjoyable as a set of exercises.  Thus I wrote personal mini-essays on “I ____” (in my case “I Steal . . .,” which was also the subject of the example we were shown first, and thus one I stole); “What’s in a Name?” (on the origins, or anything else, of the essayist’s personal handle); and an incident involving one of a group of ten friends one was to dredge from his or her past (“But I don’t have ten friends,” “Oh, but what about Facebook?”) on which I wrote of a long-past girlfriend whose name I omitted to protect the, well, maybe not quite innocent.

Bottom line on this:  maybe not entirely useful this time, but a break from routine and, again, socializing, so maybe I’ll do it again next month.

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