Posts Tagged ‘The Writing Life’

And here it is, the third of my TOMBS-related essays in Heidi Angell’s AN ANGELL’S LIFE OF BOOKISH GOODNESS.  This one is titled “The Ghoul-Poet” and has to do in part with the division of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH into sections based on what’s sometimes called “Five-Act Dramatic Structure,” the structure of classical plays like those of Shakespeare.  Well, that sounds pretty fancy, but then what’s a ghoul doing being a poet?  “The Ghoul-Poet” joins my previous guest posts “It Began With a Map” on March 30 and “What’s a Novel-In-Stories?” on February 9, concerning, respectively, building the world of the “Tombs” and the reasons for choosing a mosaic, or novel-in-stories format for its presentation.

So, okay, then what is a ghoul doing being a poet?  To find out, press here.  Also there are links in the essay to my first guest post, on mosaic novels, and a month before that, on January 9, Heidi’s original interview of me, as well as to Amazon’s page on TOMBS where, at least as of this writing, a bargain $9.95 pre-order price is still being offered*.  (For the second essay, however, you’ll have to scroll down to March 30 and use the link there.)

Then a quick, somewhat related note:  TEARS, TOMBS, and contributions by the Goth cat Triana?  And what about the influence of music?  Yes, an all new interview of me is in the offing, this one conducted by Gwendolyn Kiste (cf. April 18), and has now been officially scheduled for this coming Monday, May 22.  This will be part of a series of interviews I’ve given this year (cf. April 7, March 13, January 10) leading up to next month and the June 1  release date for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  So, sure, the purpose is commercial too, but there still should lurk a few fun facts (or so one might hope) about me.

See you all Monday?

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*Or one can always just press TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH’s picture in the center column.

So came the announcement from Editor/Publisher Juliana Rew:  It’s hard to believe that summer’s almost here. And so is the new anthology, CAT’S BREAKFAST:  TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT.  A double issue, it contains 30  all-original  science fiction and fantasy short stories inspired by the wit and wisdom of  the late Mr. Vonnegut, releasing on June 15.

An international group of new and established contributors to “Cat’s Breakfast” makes this a remarkable and varied collection that is sure to please fans of science fiction/fantasy, humor, and horror.  The ebook’s available for pre-order on Amazon, and print books will follow shortly.

And so here it is, the lineup including my “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” (see April 27), a tale of a modern young lady . . . and bears . . .  originally published in Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s own tribute anthology, SO IT GOES, in 2013.  While as for that ebook pre-order and other info, one need but press here.

Contents

Spooky Action by David A. Kilman
They Grow Up So Fast by Konstantine Paradias
The Jim-Aaargh School of Philosophy by Rati Mehrotra
Command Decision by James Beamon
Hear by Tim Jeffreys
Honour Killing by Iain Hamilton McKinven
Talk to the Animals by Jill Hand
The Pigeon Drop by Gregg Chamberlain
Formica Joe by Anne E. Johnson
One Is One by Vaughan Stanger
Emerging Grammars by Christopher Mark Rose
Picnic, with Xels by Keyan Bowes
Scenes from a Post-Scarcity, Post-Death Society by Peter Hagelslag
The Static Fall to a Standing Walk by Jason Lairamore
Beyond the Borders of Boredom by Ville Nummenpää
Snakes and Ladders by Rekha Valliappan
Drop Dead Date by August Marion
Monkeyline by Jonathan Shipley
Quality Testing by S. E. Foley
Dead Girls, Dying Girls by James Dorr
The Bringers by John J. Kennedy
The Confrontation Station by Ryan Dull
The Edge of Toska by Veronica Moyer
Violadors on the Run by Corrie Parrish
37 by Dan Koboldt
The Losers’ Crusade by Neil James Hudson

Grins and Gurgles (Flash Humor):

Cyborg Shark Battle (Season 4, O’ahu Frenzy) by Benjamin C. Kinney
Strange Stars by Laurence Raphael Brothers
iPhone 17,000 by E. E. King
The Service Call by Edward Ahern

Then in other info, it’s one of those signs of spring becoming summer, and one of those little things sometimes buried under other activity, but the 2017 RHYSLING ANTHOLOGY(cf. April 19, 2, March 29, et al.) made a safe landing here in last Saturday’s mail.  This is the collection of award nominees in the Science Fiction and Poetry Association’s annual Rhysling Competition, in which my prize fight poem “Godzilla vs. King Kong” appears in the Short Poem division (cf. March 29, February 22).

More information on the Rhysling Awards and the SFPA may be found here.

Thursday, while warm, was gloomy and threatening-rainy all day long, though the rain itself held off.  Nor did it disturb this month’s Bloomington Writers Guild-sponsored Second Thursdays Players Pub Spoken Word Series(cf. March 10, February 10), featuring four Indiana readers (though one will be leaving for Germany soon) along with singer-guitarist Brandon Pfeiffer.  The readers were poet Patsy Rahn (who we’ve met before) and story writer Brian Leung and, following a musical interlude, Josh Brewer (no relation, as Writers Guild Chair Tony Brewer emphasized) and, in her last local Guild-sponsored reading, novelist Annette Oppenlander (who we’ve also met before, this time reading from her recently published SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND, based on her own parents’ experience growing up during World War II).  Then when open mike time came, no less than nine writers and poets took their turns on the stage — with mine being fifth with a tale for May of enduring love, and zombies, “His Dead Ex-Girlfriend” — which I think may be a record for audience participation.  Also, unlike other Writers Guild readings, Second Thursdays will persist during the summer, so the next few months may also pick up some Last Sunday Poetry and First Sunday Prose regulars too.

Then a week ago Thursday, May 4th, I noted that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble were offering pre-order discounts for TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, with the B&N price being actually twenty-some cents lower at $9.95.  This is for paperback copies, of course — I understand there will be an electronic edition but it won’t be out until a little late8451b32b-e3c4-41cb-8f3e-7c6834708f13r.  But now serendipity strikes again, with my having somewhat accidentally discovered that Amazon’s price has been lowered to $9.95 too, to match B&N’s!  To see for yourself, press here.  (And not only that, but Amazon promises all pre-publication orders will be billed at the lowest price on June 1, when the book is officially published, so if you’d pre-ordered at a higher price, you’ll still get the full discount.)

So, hey, what the heck, just for a lark I moseyed over to B&N too, just to see, you know, if they still were at $9.95 too, and . . . the Barnes and Noble price has been lowered as well, this time to a mere $9.75!  Exciting times these — and to see for oneself one need but to press here (although to my best knowledge B&N may not have a similar promise, that already pre-ordered books will have their prices lowered too).  But the moral in any event is, with less than twenty days remaining until TOMBS is released, check out the bookseller of your choice for some hefty discounts before it’s too late.*

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*How hefty?  Barnes & Noble says you’ll save 35 percent off a listed full price of $14.95, while Amazon’s discount is an only slightly smaller 33 percent, or one third off.

May is International Short Story Month and, in celebration, the Short Mystery Fiction Society has put out the call for a story a day, if they can get ’em, from writer-members.  These would be already published stories, to be sure, with the idea that links will be provided on the SMFS blog daily, and word came this morning:  I’m up for Thursday.  That is, this Thursday, May 11, with the story in question one actually published on DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, but nevertheless a mystery of sorts, a tale of les filles à les caissettes of New Orleanian fame and the one called Lo, titled “Dead Lines” (see April 28, 21 2015, et al.).  Moreover, according to coordinator Kevin R. Tipple, “I took the liberty of adding your explanation of the tale to the blog posting so that folks who are clueless don’t send me emails asking what is up 🙂 ,” this regarding the story’s also referencing, in an oblique way, Edgar Allan Poe as a founder of the detective story — and also, if he includes it, a second link to the original story “Casket Girls.”

So you get two for one on Thursday (or even more — since the story will be in DAILY SF’s archives, type “Dorr” in the search box it will provide to find three additional short shorts by me).  Or, if in a hurry to see what’s what on the mystery side, the SMFS blog with today’s story can be reached by pressing here.

In other news, a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon marked this month’s “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local bookstore Boxcar Books, with  featured readers Amy L. Cornell (who we’ve met before, cf. May 1 2016) with a poem, a short story, and a sort of essay coming back to poetry; Abegunde (cf. March 27, 6 2016, et al.) with a selection of essays on “what lies beneath” her recent poetry MS about  a visit to Juba, South Sudan (a portion of which was also a finalist for the 2017 COG Poetry Award); and Khashayar Tonekaboni (pen name Terry Pinaud, cf. February 7 2016) with a short story based, in part, on a French Canadian play.  Then after the break, there were five open mike readers with me number three, with a story of sweet lesbian, non-casket girl, vampire love titled “A Cup Full of Tears,” originally published in MON COEUR MORT (Post Mortem Press, 2011).

This also marks the last “First Sunday” gathering for this spring, with the series to resume again in early autumn.

Already crummy weather plus a report of an even worse thunderstorm in the offing depressed attendance at April’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading & Open Mic,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Monroe County Convention Center (cf. February 26 — all right, so I had to miss the March one — et al.).  The eight of us who showed up, however, enjoyed some very good out of the ordinary work by local writers Samuel T. Franklin, whose first poetry book, THE GOD OF HAPPINESS, came out last November from Main Street Rag Publishing, and retired astronomy professor Richard H. Durison with publications in SPACE AND TIME, ILLUMEN, DISTURBED DIGEST, FROSTFIRE WORLDS, and others.  After the break, though, with only MC Patsy Rahn and me with poems to offer, plus (remember?) the threat of storms coming, we decided to skip the open readings for this time in favor of a little more conversation (a small enough group to not have to break off into segments) and snacking, then early adjournment.

Afterward, home and dry, I completed and sent in my own weekend project, a third TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH-related guest post for Heidi Angell, who we may remember from her January 9 interview of me (see January 10), or my two previous guest-essays on “What Is a Novel-In-Stories?” and “It Began With a Map” (for links to both of these as well as the interview, cf. March 30).  This weekend’s article, probably to be published (assuming it’s accepted) this side of mid-May, is titled “The Ghoul-Poet” and notes, among other things, the “Five Act Dramatic Structure” and its relation to TOMBS (or, Why Does the Book’s Contents Page Look Like a Playbill?).

A quick follow up to April 27th’s post just below (paragraph two).  Later that p.m. what should e-appear in ye olde electronic mailbox but the promised contract from Third Flatiron Publishing for “Dead Girls, Dying Girls” to appear in CAT’S BREAKFAST, this being the title for their Kurt Vonnegut inspired summer anthology.  As opposed, that is, to the Goth cat Triana’s morning kibble.  So this afternoon I emailed back my agreement plus some extra requested information on form of payment, current address, etc.  And again, more to be told here as it becomes known.

(Meanwhile as I write this the Goth cat Triana, who is experiencing the first spring ever in her young life, has captured either a small spider or a member of the cricket colony that inhabits my basement briefly in fall and spring, on an all too tragic visit upstairs.  After some play, she has apparently eaten it, so I can’t say for sure which it is [I suspect the spider].  She does appear to have enjoyed it, though.)

The writing life, the writing life.  Last night the proof copy came for “Golden Age,” the closing story for Smart Rhino’s upcoming anthology ZIPPERED FLESH 3:  YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE BAD (see April 19, et al.).  The changes suggested were unobtrusive, so back it has been sent today with my okay, plus one small correction.  “Golden Age” itself is a reprint, originally appearing in the science fiction magazine MINDSPARKS for  Spring 1994, and probably will be a bit more “gentle” than much of the content of the finished anthology.  Maybe a lot more gentle, in fact, but also in Editor Weldon Burge’s opinion with a sense of finality that may make it perfect to be the closer.

In other news, we may remember Third Flatiron Publishing which we last met in conjunction with my short short “Chocolat” in their IT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION anthology (cf. March 23, February 21).  They do these themed anthologies quarterly and, concerning their latest, the word came earlier this week from Editor/Publisher Juliana Rew:  We’d be pleased to accept the story, “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” for inclusion in Third Flatiron Publishing’s Summer 2017 anthology, with the theme, “Cat’s Breakfast.”  This is to be a Kurt Vonnegut inspired collection, inspired itself somewhat by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing’s 2013 SO IT GOES:  A TRIBUTE TO KURT VONNEGUT.  And so a couple of us writers who both had stories in that one (aha!  so see January 3 2013, below) and have been at least occasionally part of Third Flatiron’s stable were invited to send our work in for possible reprint consideration.  The email added that it would receive a reprint rate, which had been understood, and that a contract should be along soon.  Thus “Dead Girls, Dying Girls,” the tale of an up-and-coming modern American young lady — and dancing bears — has earned a new home, more of which to be revealed here as it becomes known.

So it goes.

Another triple play starts the week (we seem to have had a lot of these this month).  So beginning last Saturday. . . .

1.  As we already know, eco-anthology MOTHER’S REVENGE was not to be out in time for Earth Day as originally planned (see April 11, et al.).  However I did receive payment Saturday, April 22, so things are in process —  and one might add it made for a pleasant Earth Day surprise;

2.  Also in process, CREEPY CAMPFIRE QUARTERLY plans to publish instead with DEADMAN’S TOME continue apace (cf. post just below), with a new revised contract received, signed, and returned today;

3.  And, as part of the daredevil life of the writer, much of last week for me was taken up with a second, meticulous (hopefully) proofreading of TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (for information on which, plus pre-order, see its picture in the center column).  Bleary-eyed, I sent in the final corrections today, only three that I could find and all very minor, so a tip of the hat this afternoon to publisher Elder Signs Press for a job well done so far!  If all else goes well, the novel should be out in paperback form on June 1, with a Kindle edition to come sometime later.

Another month, another interview, so it may seem.  See, e.g., April 7, March 13, January 10 . . . and that’s just this year!   But come June 1, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER DAY TIMES OF EARTH is expected to be published and it’s all a part of getting the word out.  Besides, interviews can be interesting both to reader and interviewee if one puts one’s mind to it.  And even fun.

So word came today from blogger Gwendolyn Kiste who interviews quite a number of writers, samples of which can be found by pressing hereThank you so much for your responses!  At this point, it appears that the interview should go live on my website in mid-May.  I will definitely send you an email when I post it.  

And there we have it.  More secrets bared:  My writing habits (some of them quite bad).  The influence of music.  Contributions by the goth cat Triana.  And with this the latest on THE TEARS OF ISIS and, lest we forget, TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  One of the fun things, in fact, is that each interviewer is different as well, not just in their questions (some of these, of course, may be common to more than one interview) but also in their approaches to questioning.  Matter of fact?  Interested in detail?  Fun-loving?  Quirky?

Search on “Interview” in the “search here” box at the upper right for a tour of the dates I’ve listed above — a possible project for an otherwise dull rainy day?  And check here in May for a link to the newest by Gwendolyn Kiste as soon as I have it!

Along with yesterday morning’s marathon interview, Friday also brought these more low-profile items:

1.  A contract by email “signed” and sent back to TALES TO TERRIFY for permission to podcast “In the Octopus’s Garden” (cf. April 1), originally published in 69 FLAVORS OF PARANOIA for March-April 1999 and also the lead prose tale in THE TEARS OF ISIS;

2.  Receipt by street mail of my copy of the corrected contract, countersigned by publisher Scary Dairy Press (cf. March 8, et al.) and with payment included, for “Swarms” as a reprint in MOTHER’S REVENGE, planned to be out for Earth Day, April 22;

3.  Also by street mail, two copies of a contract received from Smart Rhino Publications for my science fiction story “Golden Age” to be reprinted in ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (see March 13, February 21, et al.), one countersigned by me this morning and left out for return mail pickup.

All in all, not a bad way to wind down the week.




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