Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’
Well, yes, that’s not really what “trifecta” means, not exactly, but here’s another group of three things all bunched up in one post:
1. THE BOOK OF BLASPHEMOUS WORDS, a prose anthology for which I sent a poem, er, “story in verse” instead (cf. February 4, January 27, et al.) has appeared in my mailbox. Not surprisingly, my “Tit for Tat,” originally published in James Ward Kirk’s 2015 anthology GHOSTS: REVENGE, is the only actual poem in the book, but the editors agreed with me that it seemed a perfect fit. Further info can be found here.
2. MOTHER’S REVENGE, briefly noted below in Saturday’s triplet re. my story “Swarms” (see April 8, et al.), looks now as though it will slip past its previously announced April 22, Earth Day release, but hopefully will be at least available for pre-order then. More on this as it develops.
3. To quote Editor Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing: You may have heard that Microsoft is launching a new ebookstore. This will be part of an upcoming Windows 10 update, and folks will be able to purchase from the MS Digital Bookstore to read on their PC, laptop or tablet devices (like the Microsoft Surface). I’m pleased to say that thanks to some of the distribution partnerships we have in place, all Untreed Reads titles and those of our distribution clients will be available on the Microsoft platform at launch. My books in this batch are short story chapbooks I’M DREAMING OF A. . . and VANITAS and the novelette PEDS, all three of which (along with the anthology YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR, with my lead story “Appointment in Time”) can be found/ordered right now by pressing any one of their pictures in the center column, while more background on the new Windows 10 outlet can be found here.
Beginning now (March 3rd) through March 11th, we’re offering 30% off every single ebook title published by Untreed Reads throughout The Untreed Reads Store. VERY IMPORTANT!!: There is no discount code for this promotion. The 30% off will automatically show up during the last step of the checkout process. . . . Remember that when people purchase through our store they get EPUB, PDF and Kindle versions for just one price! Plus, they can gift a title to someone or send an ebook directly to their Kindle. So begins the announcement from Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing, home of two stand-alone short story e-chapbooks by me, the steampunkish-mystery VANITAS and Christmas horror I’M DREAMING OF A. . ., plus my dystopic science fiction novelette PEDS. To take advantage, press the picture of any of these in the center column and, as an extra, you’ll also find the New Year’s Eve anthology YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR with its opening story, “Appointment in Time,” also by me.
So what’s the occasion? According to Editor Hartman: Every year, the ebook world celebrates Read An Ebook Week, and this year is certainly no different! This year, the dates of the event are Sunday, March 5th through Saturday, March 11th. Also, he points out, although the discount is only 25%, PEDS and I’M DREAMING OF. . . . are also on sale at DriveThruFiction from March 5 through 11, which can be reached by pressing here. No coupon code is needed for either sale, though the one directly from Untreed Reads seems the better deal.
So we’ve all met Krampus (cf December 4, et al.), but for real Christmas carnage, what about Krampie’s big brothers (and sisters)? This comes to us via BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM by Trace Thurman, “5 Absolutely Terrifying Christmas Legends!,” for which press here.
MEET CUTE (cf. November 23), the flash fiction anthology of unexpected, eccentric, or just unusual meetings of couples, has had a few changes in scope, according to Editor Kara Landhuis. An immediate one is a change in pre-publication funding from Kickstarter to Indiegogo, deemed a better fit for a smaller publication’s actual needs. For other news, publication is tentatively planned for January for distribution in February; the funding project itself will close December 31.
As Ms. Landhuis explains, MEET CUTE was born out of a love for several things, most notably: Storytelling and connection. I wanted to create a book that celebrates human connection, and I thought there was no better way than to invite writers and illustrators to collaborate. MEET CUTE will include around 20 short stories (very short — fewer than 1000 words each) written by writers from around the world. There will also be 10-15 black and white illustrations that enrich the stories. My own entry in this is “Butterfly,” a saga of forests and fairytales — or was that insects and axes? To find out more, one will just have to buy the book, or for an inside track, check out the Indygogo crowdfunder by clicking here.
In other action, The Bloomington Writers Guild’s December business meeting and end-of-year party was Saturday afternoon. As in previous years, it ended with an open reading for about a dozen participants, my contribution (in lieu of a story which I suggested I’d save for February’s First Sunday Prose, as being perhaps a bit long for this session) was three Santa Claus poems, posing the question — especially in the case of the first two, which also appear in my collection VAMPS — do we really need Krampus?
The end of November is getting exciting! Books received, TOMBS early-listed on Amazon, freebies for EVERYDAY STORIES II, a new story accepted, and now another. And this by a higher paying market! The word came Sunday morning, sneaking vampire-like in with the mist at 12:17 a.m., “Thanks for sending ‘The Candle and the Flame’ to DARKFUSE. I have finished my review and have decided to accept it and offer you a contract.” In fact the contract had arrived a few minutes before Editor Shane Staley’s email, but that’s the way the internet goes sometimes. Suffice to say I opened the contract later that day, signed it, and now it is back in DARKFUSE MAGAZINE’s clutches.
“The Candle and the Flame” is a steampunky, fairytaleish story of a little girl at Christmas time selling not matches, but candles. But nevertheless coming to grief in a friendless, ultra-capitalistic Victorian England. As for DARKFUSE, to go to the guidelines: Here’s what we’re looking for . . . Horror, thriller, suspense, crime, sci-fi, bizarre — anything with a dark slant. 500-2K words paid. They go on to say they will take longer stories, but the emphasis in on the short, with “The Candle and the Flame,” for instance, coming in at about 1700 words. And one more note, publication is scheduled for January 13 2017 to help start off a happy new year!
Then Sunday afternoon brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic” (cf. September 25 et al.), co-sponsored by the Monroe County Convention Center. Featured poets were Indiana University Education PhD candidate Julia Heimer Dadds with, to paraphrase, perilous poems for perilous times among others, followed by first generation Sierra Leonean-American poet and MFA candidate Yalie Kamara. No, neither read poems about vampires, and in fact the only such ones were read by me, one of eight walk-ons at open mike time in a well-attended session. But both that I read were about vampires: “Her First Time” from BLOODBOND, which we just met (see November 27, 7, et al.), and a just-written poem for the coming season, “The Vampire Before Christmas.”
Untreed Reads has e-reminded us that they’re running a 30-percent off sale on all mysteries and horror, ending Monday October 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST (see also October 2). One minute before the Witching Hour, for you west coasters! Two of my stories are included in this, the Christmas chapbook I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., and the New Year’s Eve anthology YEARS END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR with my lead offering “Appointment in Time.” For more, press I’M DREAMING’s picture in the center column, from which, if desired, you can also go to other titles in Untreed Reads’s store.
Meanwhile Popcorn Press has announced a kickstarter for their latest Halloween anthology, LUPINE LUNES, with an emphasis on werewolves and very short poems, but you have to hurry — it ends Sunday, tomorrow, October 30 at 12:59 p.m., this time EST. I may or may not have a dog(s) in this fight — I sent two poems, but haven’t heard back yet — but Editor Lester Smith has published me in the past (see November 17 2015, et al.) Maybe more on this score as it becomes known. But in the meantime, for more information, donations, press here.
Another arrival in my groaning mailbox, BLURRING THE LINE (see June 12 this year; December 3, November 26 2015, et al) is finally here! Published in Australia by Cohesion Press, BLURRING THE LINE, with Editor Marty Young, asks us the question of when fiction starts and reality ends. That is, these are stories that are fiction, aren’t they? But tales nevertheless of the kind that just might, possibly, maybe, like wasn’t there something like that last week on the Discovery Channel, be true. And so, my action in the anthology is “The Good Work,” of young Christmas carolers in a Dickensian London who actually have a different agenda, getting invited in people’s houses to hunt for witches. There are witches, aren’t there — at least in people’s beliefs back then?
All in all there are 20 stories, arranged in sections interspersed with factual essays. For more, one can check the Amazon listing, including several detailed reviews, by pressing here.
Then second, consider this from MONKEYSFIGHTINGROBOTS.COM: “Ranking The Top 3 Horror Films From EVERY Decade Since The 1920’s” by EJ Moreno, brought to our attention courtesy of Jamie Carpenter on Facebook. I wouldn’t say I necessarily agree with all choices, or rankings, but given his criteria (which I do agree with, reminiscent in a way, I might add, to discussions when I was on the jury for the HWA’s 2012 special award for Best Vampire Novel in the 100 years since Bram Stoker’s death, cf. April 3, 2 2012, et al.) I think he’s made a noble attempt. Or, to let EJ explain it himself, “[t]his list was tough to create because limiting myself to only 3 movies over the span of ten years within each decade is maddening. Also, where do you begin ranking films? So I attempted to form this list by including films based on the film itself, the quality, the legacy, the impact to the genre, and audience reception.”
Agree yourself? Disagree? Or just to find out which ones you’ve seen (or not yet seen) press here.
Yes, thirty percent off, and according to Jay Hartman of Untreed Reads Publishing, this is for all titles (well, excluding teen and YA) in both horror and mystery categories. This includes two by me, both holiday related by matter of odd coincidence, my Christmas horror stand-alone short I’M DREAMING OF A. . . . and the Untreed Reads anthology YEAR’S END: 14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR which has, as lead story, my “Appointment in Time.” Prices are good till the end of the month with discounts for both the above reachable by clicking I’M DREAMING’s picture in the center column or pressing here. Or, to check all Untreed Reads’s discount volumes including mystery (but not my VANITAS, even if reprinted from ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, since, with its steampunk overtones, it’s published in their science fiction line), one can press here.
Then DriveThruFiction will also be having a thirty percent off horror sale the last week in October, including titles from Untreed Reads, with ones by me found by pressing here. While ones actually discounted won’t be known until that final week, the listing you’ll see includes the two horror titles above, plus several published by Popcorn Press (CTHULHU HAIKU, ZEN OF THE DEAD, etc.), a GREAT TOME, AMERICA THE HORRIFIC, and two crime books that I have no part of.
Street mail this time, not email, two items found in the mailbox this evening from Mocha Memoirs Press and Upper Rubber Boot Books. The first is a slim volume containing ten stories — and these flash fiction to boot — MOCHA’S DARK BREW (see July 2, et al.), the top ten finalists in a contest last February by Mocha Memoirs to honor Women in Horror Month. Men could enter too (and several others also made the top ten, although the majority are still women), but all entries had to have female protagonists as well as come under a maximum word limit. So, reprints being okay as well, mine in the mix is one that stars Aimée of “Casket Girls” fame (who else?), “Flightless Rats,” originally published in T. GENE DAVIS’S SPECULATIVE BLOG in January 2015 and concerning a date that went bad in Nineteenth Century New Orleans. It’s also an inexpensive book, given its size, ideal for, say, gifts for Halloween and other occasions – and for more on which one may press here.
Then the second is the much-anticipated THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (cf. July 26, 14, et al.) with another reprint, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians,” originally published in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS (Yard Dog Press, 2007), and starring Santa Claus, bubbas, and . . . zombies. And, one might add, quite a few other stories and poems that I’m looking forward to getting into tonight myself. For more information on this one press here.
Two quick items, the first serendipitously* discovered via Facebook, “New Film Extraordinary Tales Animates Edgar Poe Stories, with Narrations by Guillermo Del Toro, Christopher Lee & More,” by Josh Jones on OPENCULTURE.COM. This discusses an animated version of several Poe tales, with several in some cases famous narrators, that came out last October, complete with trailer and a sample clip (from “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”) and can be found by clicking here. If impressed, more can be found as well on the film’s own Facebook page here.
Then word also came out on Facebook today that Upper Rubber Boot Books’s eclectic anthology THE MUSEUM OF ALL THINGS AWESOME AND THAT GO BOOM (see July 14, et al.) is now officially available in both print and electronic forms, including my tale of Christmas and Santa and . . . zombies, “Bubba Claus Conquers the Martians” (originally published in HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT BUBBAS by Yard Dog Press, 2007). If interested, the Museum’s Gift Shop offers links for all editions and can be visited by pressing here.
*Well — full disclosure — with help from Dan Clore and THE WEIRDVERSE: GOTHIC HORROR FANTASY & DECADENT POETS & POEMS