Friday, May 27, 2016

"The Memory of Masks" in Polu Texni

Final week of school has meant not sitting down once at the computer until now... Which is why this poem came out on Monday, yet I'm only posting it today.

"The Memory of Masks" is a free verse poem inspired by a scientific article about uncovering new texts that had been repurposed into death masks in Ancient Egypt. Serendipitously, the editor of Polu Texni, Dawn Albright had recently commissioned a mask from the artist Eric Bornstein. So the posts this whole month have been focused on masks, which led her to pull my poem forward from when it had originally been slated to appear to this week instead. I love when there's a convergence of things like that, when various types of art can cross-pollinate or meet in a new place.

So read the poem, and check out all the mask-related posts this month.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"To Be Continued..."


One of my favorite things to see at the end of a TV episode when I was growing up were the three words "To Be Continued." Some people, I realize, hated that, but it always got me even more excited to find out what would happen next.

Sure, you had a moment of feeling cheated of an ending—what would MacGyver invent next? would Scrooge McDuck ever get his lucky dime back? could Magnum get out of the predicament he was in?—and a lingering worry that you'd miss the following week (sometimes difficult to remember how chancy that was in those days). But I always knew that I'd liked those multi-part episodes the best in the past, so the anticipation would build up as I waited for part two.

So this week's episode honors those memories, a part 1 that will be continued next week—same time, same channel...or anytime. I hope the anticipation builds and makes the pay-off even better!

Sunday, May 01, 2016

April, a month for poetry...

...and fittingly, since it's National Poetry Month, cruel or not.

It began with the publication of two of my poems (as well as one short story). The middle included the sale of two more poems. And then to close out the month, I sold a novelette called "The Poetics of Defiance" to GigaNotoSaurus, which is about a partnership between an alchemist and a poet--and the story includes snippets of the magic-infused poetic lines he crafts to get them out of trouble. It's a story I love, and I'm thrilled that people will have a chance to read it.

But wait, there's more. I also set myself a goal at the start of the month to write a poem every day. Thirty poems later, it's now May. The poems ranged from haiku to sonnet to pseudo, in-secondary-world epic fragments, but most of them were free verse, probably in the 20- to 40-line range (I haven't gone back to analyze specifics). And they ranged from straight-up science poetry to SF, fantasy, horror (there was a strong undercurrent of horror in the poems early in the month, for some reason).

I'd had the idea to do this some April for a number of years now--the last two years I did a compromise goal of one poem every week, and that led to several that have been published, including the "Seasons in a Moon Ocean," which is nominated for a Rhysling--but each time the month came around I told myself it wasn't a good year to try. Honestly, I could have made that argument this year as well, even more than other years, but with the way February's novella-writing challenge went, I decided to give it a go anyway.

What I find when I'm writing poetry is that I'm very open to things I see, hear, read, notice sparking some further thought. So it's a great spur to creativity of all kinds (not to mention, in my opinion, a healthy mindset in general). And the poems themselves? Some will probably not be worth submitting, when I get back to give them another look, but I suspect most will be very worth the effort. And many of them you'll see popping up in magazines and anthologies (and chapbooks? collections?) in the coming year or two.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Poems sold to Illumen


Last week Monday I had two poems published on the same day. This week Monday I had two poems accepted for publication. If this keeps up, I might grow to like Mondays...

These two are scheduled for the August issue of Illumen. One is a fairly short free verse that just skirts the edge of fantasy (or is it a non-speculative poem with a fanciful metaphor? You decide...). The other is a Fib--a poem that follows the Fibonacci sequence, with one syllable in each of the first two lines, then two, three, five, eight--with a touch a steampunk and a stronger horror/uncanny vibe.

I had a poem in Illumen several years ago, when the magazine had a different publisher. So it's great to be returning to their pages.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Episode 6 released

So far this season, each episode has centered on one of the characters of the Weave ***Season Two spoiler alert*** former residents that is, as they go their separate ways.

Now, as we're nearly to the halfway point of the season, you can find out what's happening with the last of those characters, Williver. He was in the thick of the climax for Season Two...and he's struggling now—struggling with an infection that seems to be rapidly accelerating.

Find out in Episode 6, "The Poetics of Completion," which went out to subscribers last night and should be out (or will shortly be) in Amazon and B&N.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Two poems published in one day...

...in two different publications as well. 

I'm thrilled with each, naturally. And I love the picture the editor of Polu Texni found to go with my poem.

"Monuments of Frost" is a science fictional poem about art on another planet. After writing it, I looked back and saw it as having a sort of kindred connection with Ursula LeGuin's brief stories of other places in Changing Planes.

The other one isn't available to read online yet, but you can order the issue now to read it. "Beings of Air" appears in issues 2.4 of Mythic Delirium. As with the other, while it isn't specifically inspired by any other work, I see a connection with other stories, this time Italo Calvino's Qwfwq stories (which I highly recommend, anyway...). Some crawl through Wikipedia led me to learning all kinds of things about our atmosphere, and I turned that into a fable-like poem about the beings that live up there. It will be featured this June and free to read them, but buy a copy anyway, and you can read it right away.

Friday, April 01, 2016

"The Blood Tree War" published

Today my short story "The Blood Tree War" was published at Diabolical Plots. This is a story of carnivorous plants told from their perspective. It's fairly short, so I won't say any more about the plot, etc. As far as its writing, I believe this (like many of my stories) started as a one-hour writing exercise with some writer friends. But I'm pretty sure I had a vague idea of wanting to write a story somewhat along these lines even before that exercise took place, and I simply combined the idea I already had with the prompt for that week.

A quick, somewhat dark story, so give it a read, would you?