Posts Tagged ‘Grievous Angel’

“Matches,” short, sweet, and by SFWA/HWA guidelines paid at a professional rate to boot, has just appeared on GRIEVOUS ANGEL, a part of the UK’s URBAN FANTASIST site.  As for what it’s about, let’s let Editor Charles Christian describe it:  It’s the start of a new year, a time when many of us start new jobs or pursue new ambitions — but what if you are a wannabe superhero with no special powers.  In this absurdist fantasy story Matches, James S. Dorr considers what happens when your dream is snuffed out like a candle (in the wind).

So here’s my welcome to 2018 in a manner of speaking, one that I’ll hope will be followed by many more stories and poems as the months progress, some reprints, some — like this one — to be published for the first time.  To read it, press here.


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.

Saturday was writers group day (in which yet another “Casket Girls” story was on the griddle) after which, lurking in my mailbox back home, what should I find but the Winter 2015-16 issue of FOCUS (see February 7)?  This is the British Science Fiction Association magazine oriented toward writers, but which also contains, on page 34 as an on-board sticky note alerted me, Poetry Editor Charles Christian’s column “Poetry From the Stars” in which is, as first of seven poems and a sixteen entry “Scifaiku” section, my poem “On the Other Hand.”  “On the Other Hand” is my take on why fay1a marriage between King Kong and femme fatale Fay Wray could never have lasted, and was first published by the BSFA in the August 2015 GRIEVOUS ANGEL.

“On the Other Hand,” incidentally, is also a finalist in this year’s Rhysling Poetry Competition, sponsored by the (US-based) Science Fiction Poetry Association in the “short poems” division (see March 17,  just below), of which more here as it becomes known.  And, as for FOCUS — a nicely put together issue and one I look forward to reading more thoroughly —  as the editors have explained, an actual appearance a month or so after the date on the cover is not that rare a thing.

The word came Friday even though it had been up for a couple of days: “On the Other Hand” (cf. July 26, March 30), my poem30AugGrievousAngel on why the tragic romance between King Kong and Ann Darrow, a.k.a. Fay Wray, could never have worked out, is up and alive with three other poems by poets Annie Neugebauer, John Reinhart, and Miki Dare on GRIEVOUS ANGEL.  GRIEVOUS ANGEL is the poetry and flash fiction division of British editor Charles Christian’s URBAN FANTASIST, for which this week’s manifestation can be found by clicking here.  Also the poem’s title, “On the Other Hand,” is a tip of the hat to actress Wray who made that the title of her autobiography which, in turn, begins with a letter of forgiveness addressed to Kong.

In fact, “Godzilla vs. King Kong” is currently being looked at by another publication, but it is not known whether or not it will be accepted and, whatever the result, it is likely to be a bit longer before the results of the fight will be known.  (Thus was my entry for May 25 apologizing for my mix-up of poems bought by GRIEVOUS ANGEL [see May 11, March 30].  “On the Other Hand” was the poem I had meant.  But fast forward now to the real-time present. . . . )

Perhaps it was an omen.  Friday night I had watched the Gareth Edwards version of GODZILLA, one I had seen before in 3-D but seemed worth a revisit.  And then the word came in Saturday’s email (albeit Sunday morning already by the time I1godzilla write this) from David Kopaska-Merkel:  “Godzilla vs. King Kong” would be bought by DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES.  The fight of the century had found a home.

Not only that, but DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES would take another poem as well of the five I had sent, “Plus-Size” about the biggest Egyptian who had ever been in Pharaoh’s army and how, his still-growing mummy awakened, he was to fare in a steampunk London.  A different take, if one will, of the movie THE MUMMY (of which I will say I think the 1932 version is the better).

So for those making book, “Plus-Size” is tentatively to come out in issue 102 in September, Godzilla and Kong to duke it out in 103 for January 2016.

Just as the summer is starting to get warm, today brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s (cf. May 31, et al.) annual summer “Potluck Social & Open Mic,” along with the announcement that next Sunday will bring the start of the “new” season with August’s opening “First Sunday” prose reading. And so the world turns.  The snacks part of the summer potluck included rolled sandwiches, hot baked beans, two kinds of potato salad, dolmades, cake, apple slices, melon and berries, and several choices of soft drinks, of which latter my offering of cold lemonade proved an early favorite.

Then came the readings with prose — fiction and essay — as well as poetry from possibly ten or a dozen participants.  Mine in the mix was poetry (since I’ll have to have some prose to read next week, plus more for an upcoming Arts Fair reading the first weekend in September), two relatively new, or at least thus far unsold vampire poems, “The Etiquette Vampire:  How to Retain One’s Lover After that First Penetration of Fangs” and “Her First Time”; “Necropolis,” a three-line shortie concerning the relative lack of noise complaints in graveyards, recently accepted by NOTHING’S SACRED (see July 6, June 24); and a personal favorite, “On the Other Hand,” a tip of the hat to actress Fay Wray and why her romance with King Kong couldn’t last, hopefully soon to appear in GRIEVOUS ANGEL (see March 30, et al.).

Perhaps what you keyed in was the British site SCI-FI-AND-FANTASY.LAND, but what you now see says CHARLES CHRISTIAN’S URBAN FANTASIST, FEATURING THE GRIEVOUS ANGEL WEBZINE.  It doesn’t matter.  What does for this blog is that yesterday evening, for possibly the last March gasp for poetry acceptances, GRIEVOUS ANGEL editor Christian sent me this email:  “Good to hear from you again – all good pieces but the standout for me – and on a theme I haven’t seen before – is On the Other Hand.  Love it – and will definitely use it.”

GRIEVOUS ANGEL may be recalled as having published my now Rhysling-nominated “Beware of the Dog” (cf. March 16; September 11, June 30 2014), a study of werewolves in modern times.  “On the Other Hand,” however, is set in the past, in 1933 to be precise, and has to do with the doomed love affair between KING KONG anfay4d Ann Darrow, as played by Fay Wray.  In short, it suggests that it may have been just as well that, in the end, it didn’t work out.

One can see from the illustration at right the seeds of disaster, his having left Fay to her own devices on the building’s ledge while he plays with biplanes.  And Fay Wray’s autobiography with its own opening letter to Kong is titled, itself, ON THE OTHER HAND.

But for the full story check GRIEVOUS ANGEL in perhaps a few months.

It’s that season again, with the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s new RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY (cf. November 4, April 12 2014, et al.) going into final preparation, and so Sunday night the official proof of my poem was received.  This is the ann11septangelual sent to members for voting on the best short (50 lines or fewer) and long poems of 2014 and, yes, as in recent years I have one poem nominated in the short poetry section.  This year it’s for the werewolves, “Beware of the Dog,” a sort of working class view of the creatures and how to cope with them, published in the British e-zine GRIEVOUS ANGEL for September 11 2014 (see also this blog including, with luck*, a link to the poem itself).  Also as in recent years the poem probably will not win, but if it does — and, indeed, simply when the anthology itself is obtained — you can be sure it will be announced here.

For a preview of sorts of the Rhyslings, a list of all poems nominated this year can be found on the SFPA site by pressing here.


*If without luck (that is, the link may no longer be active) you can also find the poem at — click on “September 2014” in the ARCHIVES list on the right, then scroll down to 11-9-14

So is it GRIEVOUS ANGEL or URBAN FANTASIST or . . . SCIFI-AND-FANTASY.LAND?  Actually it’s the last one now to mark an expansion of the British site.  As Editor Charles Christian explains:  “Why?  Because we now cover so much more than urban fantasy, 11SeptAngelincluding science fiction, dark fantasy, steampunk, horror, the paranormal — in fact any weird stuff, news, images, video, fiction or poetry we like and think you would too.  We have more plans for the future . . .  bookmark this site and we’ll keep you updated.”  However, GRIEVOUS ANGEL (cf. June 30) is still a part of it.

And so today, published under the rubric “New Poetry” are two pieces, the second of which is “Beware of the Dog” by me.

Thus enjoy as a lagniappe — a little extra at no extra cost — what the editor bills “an interesting take on modern-day werewolves”  by pressing here.  Along with, on this post, a portrait of the Grievous Angel herself.

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