Posts Tagged ‘Dusty Pages’

This year, we launched a new initiative called THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES.  To celebrate we’re adding the “Misfits” to our Reader’s Choice poll.  Such was the beginning of November 2’s post announcing that my story “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” late of ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE for December 1999, appeared to have been voted favorite “misfit story” this year by a fair landslide, though no real announcement had been made.  Well, as of this week it’s official, for more of which one may press here (and, reflecting the relative importance vis a vis their other category winners — hey, they did say it’s for “misfit stories” — scroll down, and down. . . .  But as a bonus, you’ll find a link to Bards and Sages Publishing’s MISFIT STORIES page as well, where you can even buy a copy of “By Force” for yourself).  As for the prize, well, that’s still unsure (though these days simply being honored for anything is, in itself, something), but more will be posted here as it becomes known.

Then, moving on down to October 22, in a post announcing the up and coming Sonnet O’Dell pre-Halloween interview in DUSTY PAGES you may have noticed this buried toward the end:   In the meantime, alas, one of the local cave computers died last night, the one that takes care of bloggie business here, so I probably won’t be able to post until Monday afternoon, EDT, on a library computer.  Whatever works, yes?  And indeed for the next several weeks these posts were coming to you from the Computer Annex, a.k.a.The Monroe County Public Library.  But now, a consultation with a local computer repair guy having suggested the afflicted instrument would do best to receive a peaceful interment, an all new reconditioned machine discovered on eBay is now up, running, and equipped with the appropriate software, and is bringing you this very post.  The same basic model as the one it replaces but of a slightly more recent sub-vintage, it seems to be working well and, if anything, may be slightly more sprightly than its predecessor.

Let’s wish it a long life!

On a far-future, exhausted Earth a ghoul — an eater of corpses — explores the ruins of one of its greatest cities in hopes of discovering the one thing that made its inhabitants truly human.  This is the premise, the quest. . . .  And so starts the first answer to British blogger Sonnet O’Dell’s questions on DUSTY PAGES (see also just below, et al.) for October 24, exactly one week prior to Halloween.  Other topics include if the glass is half full or empty, motivations, appearing in public, and my first crush — at least that I’ll admit to.  And at the end, we’re back to my upcoming TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH with a quote from the book for the start of a final blurb:  “The city had once lived, blazing with light.  The books all described this.  The Ghoul-Poet sat in the midst of a heap of them, pages torn, rotting, spread out all about him.  This was a library, the pride of New City, or rather a square that had faced the library, that had received this avalanche of thought — words embossed on parchment tombs-final-copy— that cascaded down when the library burst, its walls weakened with age. . . .”  For more, one may press here.

Then Sunday evening, at downtown Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley theatre, I was to read the same quote and a little bit more as an introduction to the flavor of TOMBS, followed by one of the book’s story-chapters, “Raising the Dead.”  This was an entr’acte of sorts between screenings of THE EXORCIST and a new Korean film, THE WAILING, as part of a three-film Halloween festival sponsored by local magazine THE RYDER (cf. October 17 — the other film, screened first, was ARSENIC AND OLD LACE followed by a live mini-dramatization of Angela Carter’s short story “The Company of Wolves” by Cricket’s Bone Caravan), billed in THE RYDER’s calendar as “a tale of necromancy, dark fantasy, airships, and doomed love.”  But a funny thing happened on the way from the 1 p.m. sound check to the actual screenings having to do with, live stage sound okayed, a glitch in the sound for the films themselves.  This took about 40 minutes to work out, which was okay for the first two films and the “Wolves” presentation, but by the time THE EXORCIST ended, it was already a bit past 8 p.m.  As a result, including a significant audience drop-off (it being Sunday night, meaning many had to be up early for Monday), we decided to postpone my reading to get THE WAILING back on only-slightly-delayed schedule.

So, tentatively, but more if/when it actually comes to pass, “Raising the Dead” will be read by me at the Ryder Film Festival’s continuation next Sunday, October 30 (yes, All Hallows Eve Eve) at local Bloomington drinkery Bear’s Place at probably a bit after 7 p.m., sandwiched between HORROR OF DRACULA at 5:30 p.m. and an 8 p.m. reprise of THE WAILING.  And, oh yes, for this one you must be over 21.

Just a reminder, my interview with Sonnet O’Dell on her DUSTY PAGES blog (see July 5, et al.) is still scheduled for Monday, October 24 — just one week before HALLOWEEN! — at 7 a.m. GMT.  That’s British time, so night owls on this side of the Atlantic might be able to get a sneak peek before bedtime (depending, of course, on how late bedtime is, as well as for those in the vampiric trade).  In the meantime, alas, one of the local cave computers died last night, the one that takes care of bloggie business here, so I probably won’t be able to post until Monday afternoon, EDT, on a library computer.  Whatever works, yes?

But for early risers, one can get to Sonnet’s open blog (for whatever might be the post of the moment), as well as the latest on TOMBS when it’s time, by pressing here.

“Join us for this generative writing workshop.  You will be provided with prompts and have the opportunity to share your work.”  This was a members only activity of the Bloomington Writers Guild, despite some other offerings on hiatus for the summer (but First Sunday Prose will resurface on August 7!), held at the Monroe County Library, so on a warm sunny afternoon I and seven others had a go at it.  MCs were Joan Hawkins and Lisa Kwong and, WritersGuild1following introductions plus six-word “memoirs” composed on the spot (hey, I’ll tell you mine as a mini-lagniappe:  “feet smell/ nose runs/ built backwards”), we wrote what came to us in ten-minute time slots for three successive prompts.  Thus for the first, on “Where I’m From,” I offered an unrepeatably bad poem glossing the four geographical areas I cite sometimes in biographical notes.  So it takes me a little time to warm up.  Then, second, we had to write an apology but avoiding apologetic words, in which I in effect demanded to know what’s wrong with writing horror.  And then third, on “Nature” (with the idea of speaking for something that can’t speak for itself), I wrote a mini horror story in which a disgruntled forest finds a way of getting its message through.

The bottom line:  (1) the story, I think, will be worth rewriting as a sort of moody flash piece.  And (2) it all was fun.

Also to round out the weekend, Editor Clifford Garstang’s EVERYWHERE STORIES Facebook page (see July 13) has a new item on it, a link to Sonnet O’Dell’s last-August interview on moi (see July 5, et al.), in which I describe my then-latest book THE TEARS OF ISIS.  As I pointed out in offering the URL, Sonnet’s the one who asks purposely goofy questions among the more serious ones, that add a sense of surprise and fun — which one can find by clicking here.  Also, as noted below, there will be a new interview October 24 which will take up my upcoming novel-in-stories due out next spring, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.

We have a go for our DUSTY PAGES interview (see July 1, June 28), conducted by British Blogger and generally neat question maker-upper Sonnet O’Dell, and a tentative date of Monday, October 24.  My answers got in in time to be scheduled even earlier but, with Halloween in the offing, I’d wondered if that date might be available instead.  Well . . . no.  Not surprisingly Sonnet likes to do something special herself on All Hallows E’en, but how about a week earlier?  And so, Halloween being on Monday as well, look for an announcement here just before the last week in October, that interview time will be in the near future.

As for neat questions, I’ve already mentioned the one about the duck and the bar.  For another,  I quote verbatim:  “Glass half full or half empty?”  The answer is kind of obvious, actually, if you think about it, but in order to see for  yourself, well, check back here on October 24.  And it’s not just for that one but for the important questions too, the ones about my new novel-in-stories, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, such as “Why did you want to write this book?”  And of course the opening, “Tell me about your upcoming. . . .”

All these and more will be unveiled a week before the end of October — including a brand new blurb for the novel, complete with a quote, composed especially for the occasion (but possibly sneak previewed on these pages a little bit earlier, possibly in the dog days of August when temperatures rise high, higher than summers remembered before, as they might well do on a dying, exhausted planet as well, even the sun growing red in its old age . . . as in, that is . . .  the world of the TOMBS).

And as for the novel itself, it’s expected to follow from Elder Signs Press next spring.

And here it is (see August 16), British writer Sonnet O’Dell’s interview of . . . me.  As implied below, I think it’s a fun one, but if interested check out as well some comments on the putting-together of THE TEARS OF ISIS, along with thoughts on writing in general.  Plus, of course, the sort of goofy ones – “A penguin walks through the door right now wearing a sombrero.  What does he say and why is he here?”

Curious?  Press here!

What is it with all this about Britain lately?  Well, sometimes that’s just how things seem to work out.  And so I’m reminded I have an interview scheduled to post on Sonnet O’Dell’s DUSTY PAGES blog (cf. January 22; June 2 2014, et al) on Monday at 7 a.m. — and that’s British time too, which 1dustymeans maybe we’ll have it here closer to 2 or 3 in the morning.  If you could sing one song on Americcan Idol, what would you sing (and what would it have to do with, say, THE TEARS OF ISIS)?  Is it wrong for vegetarians to eat animal crackers?  What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? And more. . . .

Since I don’t have new book coming out this year, I’ve scarcely been doing any interviews at all compared to some past years, but Sonnet’s have always struck me as fun.  And so for this one, press the link here — but remember, it won’t be live until Monday.

Actually they’ve already met, thank you, in the person of actor John Astin — Gomez Addams in the macabre 1960s TV sitcom THE ADDAMS FAMILY — a fan and somewhat scholar of Poe who has also starred in the one-man play EDGAR ALLAN POE:  ONCE UPON A poecoat1MIDNIGHT.   In fact just a few days before Poe’s birthday (as celebrated here just a few posts below, January 19), THE BALTIMORE SUN published this article/interview updating some of Astin’s recent doings.

This is also a lesson of sorts in why it sometimes pays to comment on blogs (e.g. this one) or at least skim the comments of others, in this case one on the 19th by Marge Simon pointing out a fairly in-depth piece on Poe by Marilynne Robinson in THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS.  This in turn made me search for a copy I had of Poe’s relatively little-known work EUREKA, which came back to John Astin who wrote the introduction to it.

Then finally, back to Astin’s characterization of Poe, a sampler of some of the reviews of EDGAR ALLAN POE:  ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT can be found here (and, after skimming, be sure to press the link for the full review from THE LOS ANGELES TIMES).

So now, for something (almost) completely different:  Word came this afternoon from British blogger Sonnet O’Dell that I have an interview scheduled for her “Meet A Writer Monday” feature on DUSTY PAGES, but not for a while yet.  So look for a bit more nitty on me and THE TEARS OF ISIS from the horse’s mouth as it were, but not until Monday August 17 — which one may be sure I’ll remind people of when the time comes closer.

Another month and, for its opening Monday, another interview of me for those interested.  This one is by British writer Sonnet O’Dell, who we’ve met before (cf. March 14; July 29, 22 2013, et al.), on her blog DUSTY PAGES.  So get the straight tip on: the inspiration for THE TEARS OF ISIS (but of course. . . ); my biggest putdown (that is, a putdown of me as a writer — it goes a way back); the literary perils of having a tooth capped; the ever important “Would you rather be trampled by one elephant sized mouse or one hundred mice sized elephants?”; and a hint about why Poe’s name is on ISIS’s dedication page.

What more could one ask for?  Well, there are about sixteen questions in all, plus a couple of blurbs and a sample passage, all of which can be found by pressing here.


And here it is, fresh from across the Atlantic, Sonnet O’Dell’s DUSTY PAGES interview of . . . moi (cf. July 22).  So many questions, so many answers.  Am I mostly a clean or a messy person?  That’s in terms of my writing habits, I presume.  Which do I find more embarrassing to write, violence or sex?  What are the most important attributes to staying sane as a writer?  What are books for?

What, indeed?  To find out, press here.  (And don’t forget all those interesting answers concerning THE TEARS OF ISIS; buy it for chills to counter the summer heat right here — and while you’re at it why not review it?  Amazon, B&N, Goodreads await. . . . 😉 )

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