Posts Tagged ‘Casket Girls’

On 4th of July Eve, the Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” (cf. June 5, et al.) was heavy on poets at local tavern Bears Place.  The musical guests were Hoosier Darling (a.k.a. WFHB GoZpul GurlZ), while the featured readers were Shana Ritter with an excerpt from her novel IN TIME OF LEAVING plus poems from her chapbook STAIRS OF SEPARATION, John James with poetry from his book THE MILK HOURS and elsewhere, and local poet Ross Gay with, as a change of pace, a selection of essays from his collection THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS.  Then when it was “Open Mic” time, my series of “casket girls” tales came in fifth place out of eight with the only one long enough to need to be divided into two parts, “A Moment in Time” (Part 1), in which we met New Orleanian vampiress Charlotte, a.k.a. Lo, and a half-remembered conversation with a “nice sailor man” in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1840.  But to find out more, we must wait until next “first Wednesday” on August 7.

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A girl walks home alone at night.  But this time Aimée was stopped by Death on the bad side of Rampart Street in the shadow of St. Louis Cemetery Number 1.

So starts the story, the first sentence a blatant steal from Ana Lily Amanpour’s debut full length film of the same name (cf. January 11, also January 15 2015).  The story’s title, “Death and the Vampire,” another in the series of tales of les filles à les caissettes or, as they say in New Orleans, the “Casket Girls” (see June 12 2019, et al.).  Then hark us back to October 31 2018 and the call from WEIRDBOOK:  No HARDCORE sex!  No Sexual violence!  No UNDERAGED SEX!!  I’m looking for original (no reprints) well-written (duuh, I guess that that’s fairly obvious) weird stories.  My tastes are broad and I’m looking for any of the following:  fantasy, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery, ghost, horror, heroic fantasy, science fantasy or just plain odd.

Well, Aimée might raise an eyebrow at the “No violence” part, it being a part of the trade of a vampire, but maybe a little bit might be okay, so she took a chance and off she went last Halloween night, just meeting an October 31 deadline.  And that was that.  Her undeath continued.  But then today an answer arrived from WEIRDBOOK Editor Douglas Draa:  Dear James, my apologies for the awful delay.  I like this quite bit.  May I have it for WB# 44.  This will be a mid 2020 issue.

And that is that.  An email went back this afternoon to say Aimée is honored by the acceptance, for which look for more here as it becomes known.

Ah, June!  And with Wednesday evening it was time again for the Bloomington Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” at Bears Place (cf. May 2, et al.).  The musical guests were the VLF (drummer John Valdez, bass Park Law, and guitarist and sometime voice Jason Fickel) Trio, sharing the stage with poetry by Tim Heerdink, author of RED FLAG AND OTHER POEMS plus another collection, THE HUMAN REMAINS, and first novel LAST LIGHTS OF A DYING SUN due in the near future; creative nonfiction (and sometimes mixed with a little fiction too) from Juliana Crespo with work in or forthcoming in a number of literary journals; and more poetry from local Bears Place server Brian Boucher, with a novella, “Wahoo,” serialized in THE RYDER Magazine plus poetry book ARROGANT ENLIGHTENMENT AND A CRY FOR PURPOSE on Instagram.  Then we, the walk-ons came with, in fifth place out of seven, new fille à la caissette Yvonne making her debut in a brief, 1830s-set New Orleanian tale of blood and absinthe, “The Darkness, Forgotten.”

So after a busy, busy May 1, last night also featured the third “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” at its new time and venue, at local tavern Bears Place (cf. April 4, March 6).  And it was a stormy night as well, but dinner and poetry helped keep as many as 17 participants dry, including musical interludes by the Kyle Quass Quartet (their final performance accompanied by one of the poets as well).

The featured readers — all poets this time — were multi-published Hiromi Yoshida, a semi-finalist for the 2018 Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize and a winner of Indiana University Writers Conference Awards as well as an active member of the Beat Generation and Daily Haiku Facebook Groups; Indianapolis poet Jason Ammerman with three collections, ALL GROWN UP, MICROPHONE OR BUST, and BATTLE SCARRED, a spoken word album REVIVAL, and more of each in the works; and David L. O’Nan with two poetry and short story books, THE FAMOUS POETRY OUTLAWS ARE PAINTING WALLS AND WHISPERS and ALL OUR FEARS AND TUNNELS, as well as a new poetry and art book project, THE FAVORS OF THE MIND POETRY & ART DIGEST, in the works for later this spring.  These were followed by four walk-on “Open Mic” readers of which I led off with the third in my New Orleans “Casket Girl” series* in which we meet Marie, who has qualms about becoming a vampire, until she is calmed by hearing the tale of an adventure original vampiress Aimée had once had when visiting Rome.

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*For those interested, the original “Casket Girls” first appeared in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on April 10 2014. A reprinted version (with better renditioning of accented vowels) from ARIEL CHART, February 2 2018, may be read by pressing here.

And so the the second Bloomington Writers Guild “Spoken Word Series at Bears” occurred last night on its new first Wednesday schedule at local (located, in fact, on Third Street) tavern Bear’s Place.  The featured readings started with parts of a 1968 Chicago-set novel in progress by local author and WFHB radio star Mike Glab; followed by a radio theater dramatization of part of a Robert Heinlein novel, THE SAIL BEYOND SUNSET, by also WFHB community radio host Richard Fish; and Indiana poet Steve Henn (most recent collection:  INDIANA NOBLE SAD MAN OF THE YEAR from Wolfson Press) with a group of personal poems including his 2018 RATTLE Poetry Prize finalist entry “Soccer Dad”; interspersed with poetry-with-music sets by SHAKESPEARE’S MONKEY, who we’ve met before (see September 1 2018, March 10 2017, et al.).  For the “Open Mic” part, I led off a series of five readers noting first that last month’s “Casket Girls” (cf. March 6) was just one of about a dozen flash stories concerning these New Orleanian vampires, so why not continue with their adventures for at least the rest of the year, then segueing into this month’s story, “A St. Valentine’s Day Tale,” about a fatal practical joke played by one of les filles on a loving, but sometimes abusive husband.

Second Thursdays now traded for First Wednesdays and housed in its new Bears Place location (see March 3, February 22), the “Writers Guild Spoken Word Series” featured an (almost) all-poetry program, plus music by North Carolina singer Calib Lail.  The main speakers were Charles Culp with a modified improv poetry program (audience members suggest broad subject areas, he finds an already written poem appropriate to it), Writers guild founding member and past chair Patsy Rahn with poems mostly from her just published THE GRAINY WET SOUL, and Paul Smedberg with often wryly humorous poems from his EVENT HORIZON collection and elsewhere.  This was followed by five open mike readers, the first two also with poetry, with me fourth with my New Orleans urban legend-based flash story “Casket Girls” — with a nod to Mardi Gras the day before — of the coming of vampires to the New World (cf. May 2, April 3 2018; March 6 2016; April 28 2015, et al.).

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 rewards 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.

Ahhh, the first story acceptance for spring, via Sirens Call Publications Editor Lee A. Forman, along with co-editors Julianne Snow and Nina D’Arcangela:  We’re delighted to let you know that we are accepting your submission of Casket Girls (with one time publication rights) for this issue.
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We’re sending you suggested edits in the document attached to this email.  Please review the document and return it within one week with your acceptance or decline for each suggestion. 
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Short and sweet.  “Casket Girls” is the original tale of Aimée and the coming of vampires to New Orleans, originally published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on April 10 2014, as well as in several other places (see February 6, January 23 2018; October 30 2017, et al.).  She does get around.  And with a magazine title like THE SIRENS CALL, how could she refuse the lure of yet another outing.  This will be the April 2018 issue of SIRENS CALL eZine, so look for it soon (the email, in fact, asked for any changes to be sent back in a week; the only ones here though seemed to be regarding house style, so back it went with my “OK” the same afternoon).
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More on THE SIRENS CALL, and Aimée, here as it becomes known.
It’s not any pay other than a good word with POETS & WRITERS, but there is an amount of prestige.  ARIEL CHART is dedicated to brevity.  Shorter works don’t get as much attention in the publishing world.  We are also committed to the literary work.  Genre ok.  But no fan fiction, please.  This is an Art journal. . . .  Nevertheless, the New Orleanians Aimée and les filles à les caissettes were game, urban legend-based though they may be (see March 6 2016, April 28 2015, et al.), and so late on Monday the word came back:  Thank you for submitting to ARIEL CHART.  We enjoyed reading your story, “Casket Girls,” and would like to reprint the piece in the upcoming February issue.  It is a well-written piece of prose that keeps the reader engaged throughout.  And of course, who doesn’t like a good vampire story?  Who doesn’t, indeed!
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“Casket Girls” was first published in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on April 10 2014 and has since spawned a few other stories as well, about Aimée herself and several others of les filles.  So it may be fitting that she, starring in her original tale, should provide the third story acceptance for a hopefully successful new year.

Remember Aimée and the Casket Girls?  My original story (cf. April 7 2014, et al.) was based on a New Orleanian urban legend which, bursting with ideas, has resulted in several additional stories (March 6 2016, April 28 2015, . . .) the last of which probably has not yet been written.  But there are many urban legends, some familiar, some possibly less so, so for our run-up to Halloween (having skipped a day Sunday — well, so it goes) herewith, by Steven Casale on THE-LINE-UP.COM, “Trick or Treat: 6 Creepy Halloween Urban Legends.”  But the thing is it doesn’t end there.  Four of the six in fact include links to related topics — for instance, number four with “The Origins Behind 9 Terrifying American Urban Legends” — and for click bait diehards some of these may in turn contain links of their own!

Therefore if you dare (or have time on your hands for some exploration), for six urban legends . . . and more press here.




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