Posts Tagged ‘Bloomington Arts Fair’

As posted just below there will not be a September “First Sunday Prose Readings” scheduled because the Bloomington Arts Fair, and with it the Writers Guild’s “Spoken Word Stage,” will be on that weekend.  And now a preliminary schedule has been released, with me slotted for a half hour of “horror fiction” at 3:30 Sunday, September 3.  The reading most likely will be from TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, probably the same program I offered at NASFiC last month (cf. July 13).  Then, as we already know from the post below, I will also be a featured reader when First Sunday Prose resumes on October 1, most likely again with a story-chapter from TOMBS, but a different one this time.

In other news, PayPal has apparently adopted a policy this year of refusing to tell people when they’ve received payments, one would like to presume for good purpose.  Keeping us on our toes, for instance, or maybe trying to discourage small businesses from reporting earnings to the IRS.  I’ve asked (well . . . complained to) PayPal about this for which they’ve responded thus far by not bothering to get back to me on it.  Be that as it may, today I’ve discovered — only four days late! — that another mammoth royalty payment has been received by me, of nearly a whopping three times as much as the amount the PayPal folk skimmed off for themselves (to cover, presumably, the cost of providing such services as not emailing me that I’d received it).

For how much?  From whom?  For what story and where?  Well, as is my custom, let’s let that be secret to prevent embarrassment on all sides, but this is for an anthology that’s been in print for a few years now, and for which the initial payment had been refreshingly substantial (well, for an individual story, shall we say in a highish two figures?).


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.

We may recall from August 3 that the Bloomington Writers Guild’s monthly First Sundays Prose Readings series is back after a two month summer hiatus.  So it happened Wednesday that I received an email from coordinator Kamil Khan asking if I would like to be one of the three featured readers next month.  This is an honor — I had done it once before, but that was over a year ago in February 2013 (cf. February 4 2013) — except just a week previously, on August 30 (see August 1), I would be doing a half-hour prose reading on the Spoken Word Stage at Bloomington’s Fourth Street Festival of Arts and Crafts. 

So I emailed back suggesting that I be scheduled the following month, for October 5, pointing out as well that it would be “[a] good month for a horror tale for Halloween too.”  Then the word came back, yes.  “I have you scheduled for October!”  And now preparations for two readings will be in progress, but separated enough that it shouldn’t cause any undue confusion.  I’ve pretty well decided (pending a final test timed reading) that for the Arts Fair I’ll read “River Red” from THE TEARS OF ISIS — more or less my standard 15-minute reading these days, also the one I read at NASFiC last month for instance — plus a light flash piece for a mood change, and end with the short vampire tale “Casket Girls” from DAILY SCIENCE FICTION (see April 17 and 10, et al.).  Now, for October when I’ll have about 15 minutes total, I’m tentatively looking at “The First Hundred Years,” a story based on a Jamaican legend except with zombies, that was originally published in my second prose collection DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET. 
Information and schedules for upcoming Writers Guild events can be found here.   

In other Wednesday news, the print edition of JWK FICTION BEST OF HORROR 2013 has arrived (see August 6, June 24).  This is the omnibus collection of what Editor/Publisher James Ward Kirk considers his company’s highlights of last year, in which my story “The Sidewalk,” originally published in TERMINAL FRIGHT #13, Fall 1996, appears third on the contents page, one of two stories representing the anthology GRAVE ROBBERS.  For more information and possibly ordering JWK BEST OF HORROR, click here

Starting cloudy but moving to sunny, temperature in the mid-to-high 80s (not quite the 91 degrees the Weather Channel had predicted before), today was the second day of the local Arts Fair with, at 3 p.m., my “A Half Hour of Vampires:  Poetry and Prose” reading (cf. August 8) on “The Spoken Word Stage.”  This was a section run by the Bloomington Writers Guild which included various local poets and short story writers, etc., an information table, and a very popular “Poems Written to Order” booth where patrons can suggest a topic or a word or a phrase and, in exchange for a donation, receive a typed copy (on a genuine manual typewriter) of a poem written especially for them.  That last is not something I’ve volunteered for — my on-the-spot poems, when I can even do them, are generally snarky — but I ended up a minor hero of sorts when, perhaps two hours before my reading, the on-the-spot poets discovered they were almost out of paper.  Where to get some (talk about popular! — but the gift shop first suggested turned out not to carry stationery)?  And it was I who thought of a nearby art supply store that, by happy coincidence, had pocket sketch books with tear-out pages of the appropriate weight and size required.

It would be nice to say my reading engendered equal joy, but the fact is “vampire poetry and prose,” as it was billed, is perhaps a bit on the esoteric side for your average community arts fair crowd.  However, though the audience was small, it was appreciated by those who came to hear (and went over well too on the mechanical side of things, apart from occasional pauses for low-flying planes overhead).

Then in another bit of good news, Chupa Cabra House announced late last night that RADICAL DISLOCATIONS, a.k.a. REALLY WEIRD POEMS (see July 28, 17), has been released in print just in time for it to count officially as an August publication.  At 150 pages with work by twenty of “the best new poets,” if can be ordered for “just 9 bucks” now via the publisher by pressing here.  And in a short while it should be available on Amazon and other sites, but at a no-longer-discounted $10.00.

I should add though that, blurbs aside, as genre poets go I’m not really that new,  but my offerings in this one, “Last Rides,” “Book Fair Buzz Is Not Contained Between Two Covers,” and “Why He Ate His Hat,” may represent a more absurd, playful side of my work than one sees that often.

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