Hello, hello! How is everyone doing today? I have nothing to ramble about, so here’s a short post for the sole purpose of shameless self-promotion. As some of you know, I’m one of an amazing team of first readers for the wonderfully horror-filled podcast Pseudopod. In this past Friday’s (Dec. 4th) episode, I was lucky enough to write a review of The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror: Volume One (edited by Paula Guran). The review is at the end of episode 734, after the delightfully creepy story “Anatomist” by Couri Johnson and a review by Kitty Sarkozy of Couri Johnson’s collection I’ll Tell You a Love Story. I’m not one for reading out loud, so Graeme Dunlop narrated my review. You can listen pretty much anywhere you stream your favorite podcasts or you can go here! My review is near the end, so be sure to listen to the whole episode. And tune into episode 736 on December 18th for another review by me after a great story by Lee Murray.
Hello, hello! I didn’t really plan on putting this out there, mainly because Creative Non-Fiction (CNF) isn’t my forte. But then, I wondered why not? Yes, my life is boring. No, I don’t particularly enjoy writing about it. But, a while back, I wrote a short essay about my feelings toward doctors (one doctor in particular, actually). I’ve been submitting it places with little hope of it finding a home. Anyway, I recently found out that it’s a finalist in the Pen 2 Paper writing competition. It’s called “Wrap Me up and Tie it with a Bow” and you can find it under Non-Fiction in the link above. Names have been changed and I’m sure some of the details are off (who can clearly remember that far back?), but the gist is true. Feel free to take a look. And keep all appropriate appendages crossed for me when they announce the winners.
Pen 2 Paper is the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities’ annual creative writing competition. It has been around for at least nine years now and currently has four categories in which people can enter: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and comics. You don’t have to be a Texan to submit. You don’t even have to be cripple according to the guidelines. But disability does have to be a main theme of the story/poem. The goals of the competition are to give writers with disabilities a forum where they can share their work; bring awareness to disability issues through the arts; and challenge all people of all ages to think, rethink, and express their stories, perspectives, fears, and discoveries about disability.
I think what they’re trying to accomplish is interesting and I’m proud to be a small part of it. With more than 400 submissions this go around, it’s obvious they’ve built a strong competition over the years. Plus, it’s one of very few writing venues where I don’t have to worry about being the token cripple.
Anyway, I think I’ll leave it at that. Please do check out my essay, “Wrap Me up and Tie it with a Bow.” Feel free to let me know what you think of it here or on my social media pages. Also, check my publication page on my website to look at any of my stuff you may have missed. I’ll be back next week with my usual randomness! See you then!
Howdy, howdy! Can you believe July is already more than halfway over? Neither can I. But I must admit it’s a good month. First and foremost, Dad’s birthday is tomorrow (happy early birthday, old man!), so drop him some birthday love here or on my social media pages and I’ll pass it along to him. Secondly, I recently found out that a piece of mine called “Cracked and Broken” will be appearing in Harbinger Press‘s Flash Fiction Fridays. So, I thought I would take this week’s post as a chance for some shameless self-promotion.
Harbinger Press is a brand new venue that opened in March of this year and was founded by Marie Robinson and B.C. Palmer. It will be running its first round of Flash Fiction Fridays from July 19th through November 29th. My story will appear during this time. I will announce via social media the exact Friday it comes out, plus I will share links to the story in those posts and on my website. In other words, if you haven’t done so already, please stalk my pages all of which can be found off to the side here or at the top of my website. And if you want to see all of the flash fiction pieces in this series (and participate future events like the “best of 2019” contest they’ll be having for their flash fiction selections), subscribe to Harbinger Press’s newsletter, which can be found on their website linked above.
If you’re interested in submitting your own flash fiction pieces to them, their winter call opens on August 1st and runs until November 1st. They’re open to fantasy, sci-fi, and horror according to the submission page. I know I have some friends whose writing could fit in those categories! Harbinger Press pays a flat rate of $25 for stories with a maximum of 1,000 words (so, basically semi-pro pay). You can find their guidelines and the basic rights they purchase on the website I linked above.
I’m extremely happy to be included in this debut batch of flash fiction. “Cracked and Broken” is one of the few pieces I’ve written that I liked even before my writing group gave their approval of it. They helped me improve it a lot, so I have to thank them for the suggestions and critiques. They know who they are. It was also one of the first pieces I wrote after Stonecoast, without the guidance of my mentors, so it was a little scary to send it out into the world. But I’m glad it has found a home!
As I mentioned above, I’ll announce when the story is released on my social media pages, so stalk me or subscribe to Harbinger Press’s newsletter to catch it when it comes out. Next week we’ll return to our regularly scheduled program of trying to figure out this writing life. Or maybe something cripple-focused. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ll see you then.
Hello, hello! How is everyone doing this wonderful day? I just realized it’s National Poetry Month and what better way to celebrate than to announce my latest publication? My poem, “Dear God,” was released on Monday in Breath and Shadow’s Spring ’19 issue. So, I thought I would take a moment to update you on this and on how Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers Vol. 3 is doing.
First, the new one! “Dear God” is a piece I shared on here a few years ago, so if it seems familiar, that’s why. However, the version posted on Breath and Shadow has been edited into a more streamlined piece. It was originally written while I was an undergrad taking an Intro to Poetry Writing class with professor Jennifer Key. One of our assignments was to write a poem speaking to God. Many of the students wrote extremely happy and/or vague poems, so it was a little weird when it came time to read mine. But I’m glad I read it to the class and I’m proud that this newest version is out in the world.
A little bit about Breath and Shadow. It’s a quarterly journal out of Maine that focuses strictly on disabled writers, no matter the disability. It’s a wonderful publication that gives a voice to a vast group that often goes unheard. Normally, I keep my disability to myself when I’m submitting my work because I don’t want to be a publication’s token cripple or fodder for inspiration porn, but Breath and Shadow is a place where I didn’t have to worry about any of that. Why? Because all of the editors and staff have their own disabilities, as well as all of the contributors. It’s simply a neat journal that publishes awesome writing by people who happen to be disabled. Check it out.
And lastly, an update on Road Kill vol. 3. It recently won the North Texas Book Festival Book Award! I’m super proud to be in a collection with such a wonderful group of writers. Thank you once again to E.R. Bills for putting it together. If you haven’t checked it out, visit the link at the beginning of this post and consider picking up a copy. It’s available as a paperback and a Kindle ebook.
I’m wrapping this up a little quicker than usual, since I’m sure you’re tired of my shamelessness. I’ll be back next week with a special book review of a duet (two reviews for the price of one)! In the mean time, feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or recent accomplishments here or on my social media pages.
Howdy, howdy! First and foremost, I want to thank David Simms for his awesome guest post last week. If you haven’t read it yet, you can do that here. Part of Dave’s post discusses the necessity and difficulty of marketing our babies (stories). So, I thought I would use that as an excuse for a bit of shameless self-promotion! For those of you who haven’t stalked my social media pages lately, I have a short story coming out in Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 3. It’s edited by E. R. Bills and is being published on September 29th by Hellbound Books.
When I received the acceptance notification, I had to read it a few times to make sure I wasn’t fooling myself. I have to admit, I was super surprised and beyond happy to be chosen as part of this anthology. Especially when the previous volumes contained stories by the likes of Joe. R. Lansdale and fellow Stonecoast alum, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam. Also, being included alongside all of the amazing authors in Vol. 3 is fantastic and a little terrifying (in the best possible way). Unfortunately, I don’t have links to all of their websites and social media pages, so you’ll just have to buy the the book to learn more about them.
If you’re in Texas and interested in meeting some of the authors, I’m aware of two events at the moment. Saturday, September 29th, Fleur Fine Books in Port Neches is hosting the official release event. The following Saturday (October 6th), Murder by the Book in Houston is hosting a signing event. You can find more information at their websites (linked above).
And if you want to buy the book, you can order the paperback version here. The U.S. Kindle version can be ordered here. The Canadian Kindle version is here. And the U.K. Kindle version can be found here. All of these links can also be found on Hellbound Books website (linked above).
What better way to start the Halloween season than with a collection of Texas-sized horrors? Everything is creepier in Texas, after all. If you’re not into Halloween, maybe it could be a stocking stuffer for all of your creepy friends (or from the creepy friend). Anyway, if you do buy it (which would earn you my undying love because I’m weird like that), remember to let us know what you think with a quick Amazon review. I, for one, would love to hear all your thoughts or comments, so if not on Amazon, at least come back here or go to my social media pages and write to me.
I think I’ll leave it at that! Thank you for putting up with my shameless self-promotion. I hope it has inspired you to check out Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, Vol. 3. If it has, please share this or any of the images and links with others who might be interested.
Next week, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled randomness! Actually, it’s book review week next time (already?). I will see you then!