Friday, February 27, 2009

I Just Dont Get It...

Usually, I'm not one to gripe much about rejections. More often than not, I just bitch to myself and my family for a little while and then send the rejected piece right back out again. However, once in a while I get hit with rejections that make me think I just don't get it.

A poem that I believe is one of my best yet, a work that elicited a "wow" from at least one listener during my reading of it at a local cafe, just received another rejection. I think it's the third for this particular piece; not really many in the greater scheme of things, but slightly frustrating nevertheless.

I know what I always say to others, tastes differ, opinions differ, and editorial needs differ. Still, there are times I question my judgment regarding my own work. This is not the first time a work I thought was something special struggled to find a home.

By the way, I already sent the piece back out, to get rejected a fourth time. Perhaps four's a charm in this case. I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boiling Seas

boiling seas
maelstrom splinters ships
angry titan

© 2009 Richard H. Fay

Been Busy

I know I've been shamefully neglectful in respect to keeping my journals and blogs. I've been busy lately, and I really haven't had much time to post anything. I figured it was about time I posted something, just so nobody thinks I fell into a bottomless chasm, or was abducted by aliens, or wandered into a fairy hill, never to be seen again.

I've been working on some Celtic knotwork and related designs for more divider art for Abandoned Towers/Cyberwizard Productions. Drawing these things is a slow process for me, and a bit of a learning experience. Still, in most instances, the final products have been worth the effort.

I also decided to work on some of my long-neglected hobbies. The other day I finally fixed the creaky grip on my old Windlass Steelcrafts "Great Sword" (really more of a two-hander). I removed the ratty-looking suede thonging I had on the grip, split the wood grip core so I could remove it, wedged the cross guard tight with some toothpicks, reshaped the grip core, and then epoxied the whole inside before epoxying it all back together. Then I wrapped the grip in spiral-wound cord, and tried to cover it in leather. However, the leather was too stiff to work properly (and I pulled the stitching through two of my holes), so I ended up covering the grip in some navy-blue corduroy-type cloth.It actually looks pretty cool (although my stitching isn't straight), and it's definitely a no-slip grip! And best of all, the grip now feel solid. No more cracks and creaks.

Here are some pics:







I really should work on some poetry, but my muse has been rather silent as of late. Other than a few brief flashes, I really haven't had much inspiration. Perhaps I'm too overloaded with other things at the moment.

Of course, I may just post a scifaiku in a little bit, just to prove to myself that I am still a poet.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Two Dimensional Visitors" in APHELION

My speculative cinquain "Two Dimensional Visitors" now appears in the February 2009 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. Just the other day I was wondering if some of the strange beings and craft seen by some might just be visitors from dimensions different than ours, thus explaining their apparent ability to vanish at will. In other words, perhaps they literally cannot be seen from certain angles of observation, ceasing to exist in our reality if they turn a particular way. This cinquain touches on that very thought.

In other news...my Viking berserker speculative haiku "Bearshirt" (a play on words, since "berserk" can literally mean "bear shirt") was chosen as one of the best Aphelion submissions of 2008. Their February issue also happens to be their annual "best of" issue.

Chek 'em out!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Withdrawals

I just did something I don't normally do; I sent withdrawal requests to two different publications. As much as I believe that patience and perseverance are vital traits for an aspiring writer/poet, my patience has been known to wear mighty thin at times. And under most other circumstances, I'm not known for having loads of patience.

One withdrawal notice was sent to a local poetry group that has had two of my poems since mid-November '08. The other was sent to the editor of an on-line publication that has had one of my poems since mid-September '08. Neither establishment replied to queries sent sixty to ninety days after the initial submission dates.

I do believe in being patient with editors, really I do, but a writer/poet has to draw the line somewhere. At some point one must say enough is enough. I have to do something about these poems currently lost in submission limbo, even if it means withdrawing them and sending them elsewhere. And I feel that neglecting to respond to queries is just plain rude. I have no patience whatsoever for rudeness, unintentional or not. And in some ways, I feel like I'm being more polite than I truly need to be by sending withdrawal notices. I could just as easily send the pieces elsewhere, assuming the lack of reply indicates a rejection, and be done with it.

Now I have to find another place to send these three poems.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Processional Sword


© 2009 Richard H. Fay

Here is another illustration I did as part of the growing divider/clip art series for Cyberwizard Productions/Abandoned Towers. I just had to do a fancy sword of some sort, since I thought a sword would work well for filler in those difficult-to-fill narrow spaces.

This particular sword may look rather fanciful, but it's not a fantasy weapon. My illustration is a fairly close depiction of the two-handed processional sword of the State Guard of Duke Julius of Brunswick and Lunesburg. It may not be a functional weapon, since processional swords were usually intended for show, but it is historical. And I think it's a pretty cool design.

I hope Crystalwizard doesn't mind at least one sword amongst the various clips. I just couldn't resist the urge to draw something long, sharp, and pointy.

Merfolk


© 2009 Richard H. Fay

Here is another of the pieces I created recently for Cyberwizard Productions/Abandoned Towers divider/clip art. It seemed to look like a good one to use in the Abandoned Towers Zazzle Store as well, so I coloured it in and sent a coloured version to Crystalwizard. She liked it, so It should be appearing on some merchandise soon.

This time around, I drew my inspiration from a Celtic mermaid design, and threw in a little heraldic supporter flavour for good measure. Basically, the idea of having a mermaid's tale tied in Celtic knotwork came from the historical design, but this particular composition is purely my own.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Scifaiku Accepted at Aphelion

Three of my scifaiku, "Drifting Flakes", "Temporal Crack", and "Labyrinthine Pile" (which may actually be more of a horrorku in flavour) have just been accepted for publication in forthcoming issues of the web-zine Aphelion. It looks like they will appear in consecutive issues, probably March, April, and May. I don't know yet which ones will be appearing in which issues, and it doesn't really matter.

The most exciting thing about this is the fact that, if all goes according to plan, my roll will have rolled on for two years this April! My first zine publication, "Midnight Sabbath", appeared in DemonMinds on April 20, 2007. Since then, I've had at least one poem published in a zine of some sort (print or on-line, paying or "4 the luv") each and every month. And it looks like that roll will keep on rolling until May.

It really doesn't mean much in the greater scheme of things, but I'm proud of my achievement just the same. At the very least, it proves that I'm a prolific scribbler of my particular brand of verse!

Poems up at Horror Bound

Horror Bound Magazine has published four of my previously published dark speculative poems. "Midnight Sabbath", "The Unseelie Court", "The Haunted Isle", and "The Phantom Dimension" all appear in the "Poetry" section of the Horror Bound site.

Check 'em out!

This marks a reappearance of my first-ever zine publication. "Midnight Sabbath" was originally published in DemonMinds on April 20, 2007. It actually came in tied for first-runner up in their 2007 Horror Poetry Contest.

I may still prefer to try and come up with new poetry to submit to different venues, but I could get used to this reprint thing very easily Reprints are less work, as well as an extra little bit of validation. Eventually, I might even believe I know what I'm doing after multiple editors have shown interest in the same works! (This will be the third publication of "The Haunted Isle".)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Preditors and Editors Poll Results

It appears that the final results are in for the 2008 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll, at least for the categories in which my works competed. And it looks like I finished in the top ten in four out of five categories.

My poem "Corpse-Candles" just managed to squeak into the top ten in the Poems category, coming in all by itself at number ten. My non-fiction article "Vampiric UFOs" did much better in the Non-Fiction category, finishing all by itself in fifth place. "The Professor Speaks" did the best out of all my works in the poll, coming in tied with another artist's work for fourth place in the Artwork category. I ended up in a three-way tie for the ninth spot in the Poets category, and I finished in a rather disappointing four-way tie for nineteenth in the Artists category.

What does it all mean? Probably not a whole heck of a lot, especially since it was a small field of contenders in some of the categories. Still, I guess it means I get to use a nifty little "Top Ten Finisher" image for four out of five entries (unless I'm wrong about that - I don't really know how this sort of thing works exactly). And at the very least, it (hopefully) shows that some people out there looked at my work, read my poem and article, and appreciated my artwork.

Congrats to all the competitors, top-ten finalists, and winners. And thanks to all those who voted.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Last Minute Rhysling Reminder

Since many others are doing it, I figured I would jump on this particular bandwagon as well. Today is the last day to get your Rhysling nominations in. So, for all you SFPA members out there, please consider nominating one of my eligible poems. Since I write mostly speculative verse, and the majority of my works should be eligible for a Rhysling nod, I won't post a list of my eligible poems. I'll just direct you to to my 2008 List of Publications on my web site. My poems published in 2008 issues of Hungur, Illumen, Star*Line, Niteblade, Sounds of the Night, Scifaikuest, The Lorelei Signal, Sorcerous Signals, The Fifth Di..., and Tales of the Talisman should certainly be eligible.

Yes, I was a busy scribbler in 2008. I doubt I'll ever have so many poetry publications in one year again.

And this reminds me, now that I received a couple of payments I was anxiously awaiting arrival of, I had better renew my own SFPA membership. (It's been a rough year, financially-speaking.)