Posts Tagged ‘The Writing Life’

Last night brought 2017’s closing “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series” (cf. October 13, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild, and featuring three radio play presentations, Lucille Fletcher’s SORRY, WRONG NUMBER; Ray Bradbury’s IT BURNS ME UP!; and by William S. Burroiughs, THE JUNKY’S CHRISTMAS.  Added were musical performances by local group Urban Deer and an open mike session with six takers, in which I appeared fourth.  It was an interesting and exciting evening, a little bit out of the normal run, my part of which was a “First Sundays” reprise of my short short “The Worst Christmas Ever” (see December 4), this time to a largely different audience.  Also as an extra, cover charge proceeds were earmarked this time to the upcoming “Wounded Galaxies Festival 1968:  Paris, Prague, Chicago Festival and Symposium,” scheduled for February next year, more of which will most likely be covered here (and for which in the meantime, including schedules, one can press here).

Then speaking of Christmas, DEADMAN’S TOME CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (for which see December 12, et al.) has proposed a competition, or in Editor/Publisher Jesse Dedman’s words:  We’re approaching the end of 2017, and that means it’s time for a popularity contest.  Now, remember that this is all in good fun.  I personally will sit out on this vote as I enjoy every story in this collection, but please don’t follow my example.  Spread the link out to as many people as possible.  What does the winner get?  C’mon, shouldn’t the reception be the prize?  How about some beer money?  $20 bucks (PayPal) and a certificate.  The contest and voting is care of Patreon and can be reached here.

To remind, MY story (*ahem*) is third on the list, “A Christmas Carnage,” recently cited by “JME” in her review on Amazon (December 12).  And, technically, you don’t even have to have read the book to vote on the stories (though you really should — there’s a link on the voting page as well to where you can buy CTHULHU CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, in my opinion a great book for giving to one’s [twisted] friends too!).  So do consider, buy, and vote (again, that’s “A Christmas Carnage”), okay?

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Those that follow me on Facebook may have noted my occasional posting of petitions to save/preserve/keep the principle of Net Neutrality.  In effect net neutrality treats internet connection as a public utility, with providers required to play, as it were, on a level field.  But what does this really mean (the major providers answering, of course, that they’d never do anything that wasn’t completely “fair”)?  On the eve of passage of new FCC rulap17340244005540es concerning the internet, enter POPULARMECHANICS.COM with “Are We In the Twilight of the Internet’s Golden Age?” by Eric Limer for possible answers.

Insofar as this blog is a creature of the internet, I (and you) have skin in this game.  So to see more, press here.

Two quick Saturday items, the first of which is the receipt of a large paperback copy of THE SOCIETY OF MISFIT STORIES PRESENTS. . . , VOLUME ONE.  This is the hard copy version of Bards and Sages Publishing’s first year’s collection of longer stories, that is ones hard to place in most electronic magazines, etc., because of their length.  And mine, “By Force and Against the King’s Peace,” a magical courtroom drama originally published in ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, appears first in the book, a result of it winning a readers poll in its electronic version (cf. October 16, January 19, et al.).  For more, one may press here.

Then today also marked the Bloomington Writers Guild’s Year End Party and Annual General Business Meeting Plus Open Mic, for which I presented orange slices for the pitch-in refreshments, and eight very recent, very short, epigrammatic poems for the readings.  One of which, “Wet Work,” was my most recently published poem in the current STAR*LINE (see December 2, et al.), while the others, thus far unpublished, were “From the Zombie Hunters Field Guide:  Tracking the Zombie,” “The Young Transylvanian’s Guide to Dating:  Taking Your Date Home,” “Never Trust a Vampiress,” “What She Learned,” “Oh No She Didn’t?,” “City of Angels,” and “Land of Milk and Honey.”

For those who may have a hankering to give a read to TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the novel-in-stories of which you may have been seeing a bit about in some past posts, Amazon has been offering fairly substantial discounted prices for some while now.  A check today (lSunday), in fact, saw the print edition offered for only $9.36 (that’s compared to a cover price of $14.95) and the Kindle edition at $6.29 (compared to $8.99), though I have no idea how long these bargains may last.  I also don’t know how that will affect the royalty that comes to me, if at all, but — especially with Stoker voting season coming up soon, for those reading this who might be members of HWA — now might be a propitious time to buy.  And that goes double should you be searching for that perfect, but bizarre gift for a horror-loving (or dystopic science fiction, or dark romance, or far-future science fantasy) special friend.  Just click on its picture in the center column, or else press here.

Then, speaking of Christmas, while I missed November’s Bloomington Writers Guild “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic,” Sunday afternoon brought the December edition and, unfortunately, last to be hosted by Boxcar Books (or, capitalism strikes again and small bookstores tend not to last forever, though part of their mission may be revived at a new location).  Be that as it may, the featured readers were Shana Ritter who read from a just completed novel about the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the late 15th century, this part told from the point of view of a teen-age girl in one of the affected families, and Writers Guild founding member and prior chairperson Patsy Rahn with a portion of a short fantasy called “The Reality Game.”  Snacks were served, then following custom it was time for walk-on readers of which I was third of four with a seasonal story originally published in DARK JESTERS (Novello Publishers, 2006), “The Worst Christmas Ever,” from the point of view of a not-too-competent Santa’s elf about . . . well . . . a pretty bad Christmas.

(Triana plans to eat herself senseless. . . .)

And now, as promised (see November 9), Lindsey Goddard’s interview for DIRTY LITTLE HORROR is here!  As some may have noticed, these interviews have been sort of frequent of late, as if there’s almost been one every month, and, while I can’t guarantee when the next one might be, there is a reason.  The hope is the word may spread not so much about me but that there’s a new book lurking in wherever it is one goes to find new books:  my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  And thus some may read it and, if so moved, will hopefully think it worth reviewing on their own blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, et al., and so spread the word further.
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Of course, someone could just find it interesting too.  So for the latest, including the dirt on not just TOMBS but THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, on the lure of dark fiction, on writing styles and whether I have one (or at least can describe it), on creating collections, and more . . . press here.
So once upon a time, say a month or so before October, the Horror Writers Association was setting up a series of Halloween-related member columns to post, given sufficient participation, one or more a day in October up to the big night.  And so I wrote up a piece on how, in a university community with a lively arts scene, those of us too old for trick-or-treating and/or jaded on parties can always find things like mini spooky film festivals to help celebrate the season.  Calling it “No Place to Go for Halloween?” I wrapped it together with bio and social link material plus a raft of info on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, as participants were instructed to do (that is, to include information on latest books, projects, etc. — also, if desired, to offer prizes for those who commented and the like) and sent it in.
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Well. times were busy, and while I checked in at one point to see if my piece had been put on the schedule, I didn’t find it (or so I thought, though in retrospect it may be just that things weren’t final yet).  So I figured that maybe they couldn’t use it — no big deal, one can’t use everything.  So it goes.  And it being a busy time for me, I ended up failing to follow the feature myself after about the first week and a half .
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Silly me!  So yesterday afternoon (today being exactly one week after Halloween) I received an email from Coordinator Michele Brittany with contact information on those who had commented on my column.  It had in fact been used after all on October 21!
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And so, in lieu of having  announced it at the time, for those not members of the HWA or otherwise having missed “HALLOWEEN HAUNTS,” to see my part in it (and from there, if desired, to go to the other daily columns — just  click “HALLOWEEN” on the bar at the top) one may press here.

Sometimes this writing business plays out like a detective story.  A mysterious tag on an unknown Facebook page, or more properly speaking just a notice that there was a tag.  You follow it down.  An Amazon link.  And then it begins to come together. . . .

The inaugural volume of the HYPERION & THEIA anthology series features stories, poetry, and art that encapsulate festive revelry and otherworldly reversal:  Gods and Goddesses of old prepare for destruction.  A demonic circus delivers a haunting finale.  The Shebeast lurks in the forest and pulls at heartstrings.  Alien diet supplements wreak havoc in near-future San Francisco.  Three women conspire to break an oath with a wicked witch.  The Herculaneum Scrolls reveal the role of ancient aliens.  A Roman warrior and a warrior turned slave venture into the territory of a Queen of ancient Egypt.  Two cowboys track dark magic in the Wild Wild West.  Ghosts stuck in the mortal realm high off drugs.  You are a lone radio jockey after the apocalypse.

Thus saith the blurb found.  The plot revealed:  HYPERION & THEIA, VOLUME ONE:  SATURNALIA (cf. October 2, et al.), edited by Leah T. Brown and Elizabeth O. Smith and illustrated by Marga Biazzi, has as of October 18 (or 17, according to Amazon) been published — at least in electronic format, but with indication that a print edition should follow.  And, just as my “Golden Age” was the closing tale in ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (see October 10, et al.), a long poem of mine originally published in DARK DESTINY (White Wolf, 1994), “Dreaming Saturn,” is the opening entry in this book.  For more on which (including links to Amazon and others) press here.

More will be revealed as it becomes known.

Two quick items, the first that Gehenna and Hinnom’s YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 ANTHOLOGY (see September 25, et al.) arrived in yesterday’s street mail just in time for a glance through on Halloween, which seemed sort of proper.  It is a big book, as noted before just from the contents, with my story in it a reprint from some years back titled “Flesh,” about a man who wishes to gain weight.  For more on YEAR’S BEST BODY HORROR 2017 one can press here.

Then this morning I came across a short tale on Carrie Ann Golden’s A WRITER & HER ADOLESCENT MUSE blog, “A Halloween Haunt Story,” which is well in the spirit and can be read here.  But the thing is, then scroll down to the end and at the right is a link to “Author Interview:  James Dorr” — a rerun, as it were, of Carrie’s last year’s just-after-Halloween (cf. November 14 2016) interview of . . . moi.  So for still valid info on me, for those who may have missed it, on the not yet out TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH as well as THE TEARS OF ISIS, themes found in my writing, characterization, an excerpt from TOMBS, and other such lore, just give it a click as well.*

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*As now it happens (November 2) that the links below the story may change from day to day, mine no longer being in the slot.  So, if still interested in Carrie’s year ago interview of me, a direct link is here.

No need for a picture here on the posting, plenty are waiting for those who click the link.  And so for Saturday, three-days to go before Halloween, we have “Inside Germany’s Creepy American-Inspired Halloween Parks” by Nick Kirkpartick with photographs by Tomasz Lazar, on WASHINGTONPOST.COM.  And if that weren’t enough, watch for the links within to other Halloween-themed features.  For more, for the brave, your journey starts here.

Then also a quick reminder:  For those who receive THE HORROR TREE’s “Weekly Posts From the Horror Tree” roundup, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of today’s edition where their interviewee this time is . . . me.  Or scroll down here to October 22 where you’ll find the link when it first came out.




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