Posts Tagged ‘Vampires’

A new month and tonight a new Bloomington Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” (cf. August 7, et al.), co-sponsored by local Bear’s Place tavern, was heavy on poetry.  The featured guests, in fact, were four members of Bloomington’s “Five Women Poets” writing group, Antonia Matthews (who we’ve met before, including with last month’s “Home Front” audio drama, cf. August 10) with an “assisted” (i.e. a portion of the “plus one”?) dialog poem on “Flip Flops at the White House,” but with more serious work as well; Anya Peterson Royce with poems on dancers, anthropology, Ireland, and other topics; Leah Helen May with memories of childhood and toads, locusts, seasons, and old age; and Margaret Fisher Squires on dragons, remodeling, psychology, and Biblical ruminations.  This was followed by a not quite feature, not quite walk-on (the rest of “plus one”?) on a sort of Writers Guild inside joke with Chairperson Joan Hawkins reading names of colors of black with commentary by Antonia Matthews.  So — okay — you had to be there.

Musical interludes were by Travis Puntarelli.  Then at real “Open Mic” time there were only three takers this outing, with me first with another “casket girls” tale, “A Surfeit of Poe,” about poetess Yvonne’s having met Baudelaire and bringing back a copy of his first volume of translations of Edgar Allen Poe.  But the question was, did Poe ever write any tales about vampires?

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Yes, the two long-time perambulating publications finally reached their destination, my personal mailbox, late Thursday evening. The Summer issue of STAR*LINE (see August 24, July 6, et al.) and, sharing its envelope, this year’s DWARF STARS (see July 7, et al.) are here — and with a whole day to go before voting on DWARF STAR poems closes!  Say, what?  Yes, while STAR*LINE is the official quarterly magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (a.k.a. SFPA, for more on which one can press here), DWARF STARS is an annual compendium of nominees for the past year’s best very short poem, here defined as ten lines or less, for SFPA members to vote on.  And, lucky for me, my choice for first place is easy, a poem called “Never Trust a Vampiress” at the top of page 21, by me, though my second and third choices may be a bit harder.  (For SFPA members who may be reading, that’s right at the top of p.21, and remember to vote.)

“Never Trust a Vampiress” is about, in a way, the fickleness of hemophages and why you shouldn’t take everything they say at face value.  Especially if you’re a vampire hunter.  While STAR*LINE this time has two poems by me, one about another vampiress but this time of the mermaid persuasion, and one about the demise of two iconic dolls.

STAR*LINE 42.3, the magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, has been available in PDF form for SFPA members for several weeks, but now the print version has been released too.  This is the Summer issue and, rolling with the season, concentrates a bit more on lighter verse than the average issue according to Editor Vince Gotera.  And with the print issue its web page is up, with a list of poems and information for purchasing for non-SFPA members who might wish to do so.  If interested, one can press here.

I have two poems in the pack myself (see July 26, et al.), both humorous — or, perhaps, better classed as tragicomic.  One, “Enemy Action,” concerns a certain gluttonous mermaid vampiress who we’ve met in STAR*LINE before, while the second is about an iconic young couple, beloved by American girls near and far, and is titled “Roadkill Doll.”

Speaking of Aimée et les filles à les caissettes, the contract arrived today from WEIRDBOOK for the blood-appreciative New Orleanian’s most recent adventure, “Death and the Vampire” (cf. June 16).  This will be the fifth, I believe, of the “Casket Girl” stories to be published, including two in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION as noted below, so Aimée and her friendMusidora_6_16_19s have been getting around.  Not to mention some of these have been reprinted as well, plus that the entire casket girl canon, published and non-published, is currently being presented at the Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” in form of successive open mike readings.

“Death and the Vampire” runs at about 1000 words and concerns a late night meeting on Rampart Street, in front of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, between Aimée and a tall, gaunt gentleman claiming to be Death.  But if, as the saying goes, Death cannot be delayed, the issue he’s to be a guest star in apparently can.  According to Editor Douglas Draa, due to a last-minute special issue, material planned for WEIRDBOOK #44 in mid 2020, including this story, will now appear in #45 later that year.

What a busy second week in August!  Sunday brought an electronic authors copy of SOCKHOPS AND SEANCES (see the first week, August 6, et al.) along with an interview questionnaire.  Part of “The Writing Life” and all that.  A check with Amazon also shows the Kindle edition is now available and can be found by pressing here, while, with the above mentioned busy week, I was only able to get to the interview part last night, with answers going back to the editor today.

SOCKHOPS AND SEANCES, we may remember, is an anthology of stories set in the 1950s.  Supernatural stories.  . . .  Not horror stories, necessarily, but stories that use the 1950s and its spook culture (and spook-busting culture) in an engaging way.  Bring us supernatural adventures, supernatural mysteries, supernatural fantasy, or supernatural pulp.  My part in this, originally published in CROSSINGS (Double Dragon, 2004) and also reprinted in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS, is titled “Bottles,” the tale of a Puerto Rican maid in 1958 Cambridge Massachusetts, mixed up with anti-Communist crusaders and . . . vampires.  Or are they vampires because, as everyone knows, vampires don’t exist, do they?

To find out, one can press the link in the first paragraph, above, or in the August 6 post below find links to the publisher’s ordering site, or to Amazon for the print edition.

Came the 7th, the first Wednesday in August, and with it the Bloomington Writers Guild “First Wednesday Spoken Word Series” (cf. July 3, et al.), co-sponsored by local Bear’s Place tavern, with music provided by “experimental/mod classical” group ORTET.  The featured guests were Michael Dauro with excerpts from his speculative epic-in-progress spaghetti western inspired SIERRA AMNEZIA (hero:  “The Woman With No Name”); Rachel Ronquillo Gray who, “evoking her muse,” read poems on the theme of girls, girlhood, what it means to be a good girl, and what happens when good girls stop being good; and Indiana University’s Dr. Jen Maher with a wonderfully funny essay on the connections between infertility and recreational shoplifting.  Then at “Open Mic” time I came seventh of a perhaps record thirteen readers with part two of my “casket girls” story “A Moment in Time,” of the vampiress Lo and, as we found out, who the “nice sailor man” Mel really was who she’d met in New Bedford Massachusetts in late 1840.

The email came from publisher 18thWall Productions (cf. April 20, et al.):  First, congratulations!  SOCKHOPS & SEANCES is now available for sale!  We can’t wait for everyone to enjoy your work!  You might’ve noticed the book going up and down on Amazon over the last few days — we were in a battle with that many-headed hydra to get the HTML in the sales description to appear properly.  All is well now, and ready for general release!  A few other details followed, but what’s SOCKHOPS & SEANCES about anyway?  Well, glad you asked, and the (now available) Amazon blurb may answer:

Award-Winning curator Nicole Petit presents the ginchiest look into the supernatural world of the 1950s.

Between poodle skirts and white picket fences, there should be only one place to meet a monster:  at the local drive-in.  Captured by technicolor, these creatures of the night are banished by hanging up the speaker.

But there are other forces at work in the night.  The ghost of a wooden roller coaster haunts the theme park that tore it down.  Hot-Rodders race a particularly hellish speed demon.  An American P.I. in London braves the fog to find a man chasing lights in the sky.  A small town boy detective takes on three impossible, eldritch cases.  There’s no telling what’s out there, beyond the drive-in’s screen.

In other words, that’s what, and much much more too.  May I quote from myself, on the occasion of my submission’s acceptance from May 1 2018, below?   . . . [T]he job was to recall the 1950s with an occult flavor, the anthology to be called SOCKHOPS AND SEANCES.  Reprints would be okay.  It just so happened I had a story, “Bottles,” originally published in CROSSINGS (Double Dragon 2004; also reprinted in THE TEARS OF ISIS), set in 1958 Cambridge Massachusetts.  Historical accuracy would be insisted on (I lived in Cambridge from late 1959 to mid-1964).  But also with vampires, perhaps a bit chancy, or at least someone who believed in vampires combined with a period fear of Communism.

Or to see, perchance to order yourself, check the publisher’s site by pressing here for electronic copies, from which one may also scroll down to find links for the print edition or, more directly, by pressing here.

To end the month, how about a bit more of the life of the writer, this time in the form of another contract, received, elctro-signed, and sent back to the publisher just now.  The story is called “Beefcake and the Vamp” and the venue MONSTERTHOLOGY 2 (see February 12), an anthology of, to quote from the guidelines, short stories that involve classic movie monsters (Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, you know classics).  So the monsters in this one include the vamp Guillemette, once known as “Mina,” threatened by (as it turns out) a descendant of the Van Helsing family, who seeks the help of an all-night New Orleans detective agency.  And one of the agency’s finest (or only) employees is a hunky zombie named Beefcake — a match made in Heaven, yes?

Guillemette, I might add, is not one of the vampiresses in the “Casket Girls” canon, actually predating them in my writing, but she’s kind of fun too.  And way back when there had also been a MONSTERTHOLOGY 1 which had a story of mine called “Stink Man” (see February 19; July 2 2012, et al.), a cryptozoological tale of a man combined with the parts of cows.  As far as I know, though, a release date has not yet been set for Volume 2 — the publication schedule in general seems to be on the leisurely side — but the news will be here as soon as it’s known.

So we’ve all seen the movie SHAUN OF THE DEAD, yes?  It’ll be number 1 on the list that follows.  But what about LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS (I have)?  Or, number 10, I BOUGHT A VAMPIRE MOTORCYCLE?  Or in other words, how many have you (or I) actually seen of “The Top 10 British Comedy Horror Films!” by fellow blogger cmsaunders, courtesy of CMSAUNDERS.WORDPRESS.COM?

From, as it were, the horse’s mouth:  Everyone does lists of their Top 10 Horror films. I wanted to do something special for you instead.  How about a Top 10 BRITISH Horror Film List?  Not special enough?  Well, taking it to the next level, you know how us Brits are renowned for our unique, irreverent, occasionally wacky yet sophisticated sense of humour?  No?  Well, we are.  Sometimes it can be as subtle as an autumn breeze.  Other times it can be fast, bloody, and brutal.  Like a good bout of period sex.  So . . . how about a Top 10 British COMEDY Horror Film List?  Yeah, let’s do that.

So let’s do.  Or for the record, re. the last sentence in paragraph one, I’ve only seen four but some that I haven’t seem worth looking into.  And there’s at least one other you may have seen too, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON.  For all, then, press here.

The wheels of time progress.  Today’s email brought a PDF proof copy of STAR*LINE 42.3, for Summer 2019, with two poems by me in it (cf. May 7, 1).  The poems, “Enemy Action” and “Roadkill Doll,” located at the upper right corners of pages 14 and 18 appeared to be okay, my name spelled correctly there and in the contents as well as in a “Congratulations” box for STAR*LINE poets in the upcoming DWARF STARS contest anthology (cf. May 29), so about an hour ago I sent an “all’s fine” email back.  STAR*LINE as we may recall is the magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association, currently edited by Vince Gotera, while the two poems cited are about a mermaid vampiress (who we along with readers of STAR*LINE have met before) and about the cruel fates of two iconic American toys.




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