Wednesday, July 29, 2009

SFPA: What's in a Name?

Okay folks, I was going to keep pretty quiet about this, but now I feel I just must speak my mind. And although I'm not a current member of the SFPA, and some may feel that I have no right to speak out on the issue, as a former member sitting on the fence when it comes to rejoining, I think I have some valid concerns regarding what I've seen. And being a speculative poet who promotes the form whenever he can (in his own way), I would like to feel as if my opinion matters to my fellow speculative poets. Being made to feel otherwise (if that were to happen) just may tip the balance against my ever rejoining the SFPA. (Yes - some people may actually be turned off, and turned away, by such things!)

Personally, I had and still have no problems whatsoever with the current name Science Fiction Poetry Association. I never felt excluded while I was a member (albeit a fairly inactive one), even though I tend to write at least as much fantasy, horror, and folkloric poetry as I do science fiction poetry. Is it the label that is truly important, or is the actual focus of the association the really important issue? Furthermore, the nastiness that has arisen over this whole issue has made me seriously reconsider rejoining the SFPA. I wonder, is this the face the SFPA wants to present to the public, to potential new members?

Basically, as the old saying goes, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Right now, there is simply too much vinegar being flung around for my liking. If I want nastiness and animosity, I'll just go talk to my parents (which isn't likely to happen). I certainly don't need it, even indirectly, from my fellow speculative poets. And I don't need to spend $21 for such drama - I can find plenty of it for free on the crazy-net!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Niteblade Art Blog: Moods Dark and Dangerous

A new installment of the Niteblade art blog is now on-line here. This time around, I feature the darkly disturbing art of Daniele Serra, an illustrator hailing from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. His works have appeared in a variety of European, Australian, and American publications, and his book of dark art, Illusions, is available through Black Coat Press.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Trojan Eagle

I spotted my first bald eagle in the wild today, and it was flying right over the streets of Troy, NY!

My wife and I had stopped at Flavour Cafe for coffee while our daughter spent a few hours volunteering at the regional animal shelter. We we sitting in the car getting ready to leave when I saw a rather large, dark-coloured bird fly over the street, just above the rooftops. For a split second, I thought it was one of the various vultures that inhabit the hills of Troy, that is until I saw the distinctive white head and tail. I became quite excited when I realized it was a bald eagle. And I was granted an extraordinarily fine view of one of these truly majestic birds.

Not content with watching from within the car, I leapt out and watched it fly over the buildings across the street. Then it turned and flew off toward the hill just to the east.

Of course, I didn't have a camera with me. I commented to my wife after the eagle soared out of sight that you never have a camera with you when you need one!

One time before, I may have spied an eagle flying along the rise behind our former abode in North Troy, but I never got a good enough look to confirm my hunch that the bird was more than mere vulture. This time, there was no mistaking the bird's identity. And my wife got a really good look at the eagle, too.

I knew eagles were making a comeback in this area, but never before had I caught sight of one in the wild. And what a wild sight it was!

Maybe it's a good omen, a sign of a turn of good luck headed my way!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Amongst Faeries Oaks in AT Zazzle Store

My illustration "Amongst Faerie Oaks" is now available on various items in the Abandoned Towers Zazzle Store:
http://www.zazzle.com/abandonedtowers
Check it out! And please consider buying items featuring this piece, or items featuring other examples of my art. Any sales will help keep this particular artist from starving (or at least give me more reasons to keep on a drawin').

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Amongst Faerie Oaks



Amongst Faerie Oaks
Copyright © 2009 Richard H. Fay

A while back, the editor of Abandoned Towers asked if I could compose an illustration to go along with my cinquain series "Amongst Faerie Oaks", slated to appear in Issue 4 of her zine. Although I was awfully busy due to an impending move (since completed), I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity to get more of my art published, especially art featuring the Fair Folk in a forest. So, I worked on drawing something appropriate for the poem.

It took me several days to complete (drawing the scene went frustratingly slow), but I think it was pretty much worth the effort. I'm not sure I'm completely happy with the figures (I hate figure drawing), but I'm quite pleased with the way the forest came out. However, I may now want a break from drawing forests (I drew another forest recently for a Robin Hood colouring page for the same issue); my eyes were crossed after drawing this one!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Electric Blue Sparks" in APHELION

My wizardly scifaiku "Electric Blue Sparks" now appears on-line in the July 2009 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. Check it out!

While I think the description is quite clear, I believe I leave it up to the reader to fill in the details of what specific action is actually taking place. Am I describing a wizard's own spell backfiring, or am I describing a rival's attack? I don't know if such a thing is necessarily proper for haiku and their speculative derivatives, but it seemed to work for this piece.

For someone who used to always play fighters in Dungeons & Dragons because all of his magic-user player characters died swift deaths, I do write quite a bit of wizardly verse. For some reason, I find sorcerers to be a great source of inspiration, poetically-speaking. Fighters apparently don't stir my muse the way wizards do.

Alas, I realized that this is my only poetry publication for the month of July (I had several illustrations published earlier this month). My poetry roll may be finally slowing to an eventual, inevitable end. I only have one poem scheduled for August publication, another scifaiku set to appear in Aphelion. And I found out that Issue 8 of The Monsters Next Door is scheduled to be released September 15th, so I will have at least one poem published in September. After that, I have a poem or two slated for publication in November, and one set to be published Spring 2010. Currently, I have nothing slated for publication in October or December.

Of course, much of this is my own fault. I'm terrible at multitasking. As I shift gears from poetry to art, my poetic productivity has been declining dramatically. As I spend more and more time on various illustration projects, I'm finding little inspiration to write more verse. I guess I'm one of those types that needs to concentrate most of his artistic energies on the task at hand, engrossed in a single-minded creative obsession.

Oh well. A while back, I did hear word from my publisher that she is hoping to release my illustrated dark speculative poetry collection in early 2010. That will go a long way in making up for any forthcoming poetry publication slump. And I do have another collection in the works, through another publisher. I just have to find the time to work on the large number of illustrations planned for this particular project.

Yes, more drawing. It seems as if I've truly become an artist who happens to write poetry, instead of the other way 'round.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Time To...Volume 3

I just noticed today that the anthology A Time To...Volume 3: The Best of The Lorelei Signal 2008 is now out, and available for purchase HERE. It contains, among other works by various poets and writers, my fantasy poem "Sorceress Devolution". Written in almost a chant-like manner, "Sorceress Devolution" evolved from a weird little poem I first wrote back in circa 1995. It is also meant to be something of a companion piece to "Sorcerous Evolution". I see the two as having roughly similar styles and themes. One of these days, I might actually manage to get them to appear together somewhere.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Abandoned Towers Issue #3

Abandoned Towers Issue #3 is now out. And my art is on the cover:

Not to mention, my illustrations "Memories of Camelot" and "The Armour of Loki" accompany Bradley H. Sinor's story "And the Wind Sang". And my cover art also appears inside as a colouring page:

The print version of Abandoned Towers is available for purchase HERE.

Wondrous Web Worlds Vol. 8

The Sam's Dot Publishing anthology Wondrous Web Worlds Volume 8 is now available for purchase at The Genre Mall. It contains, among other works by a variety of speculative writers and poets, my dark science fiction poem "Explorers". While this particular piece was not my first zine publication (that distinction goes to "Midnight Sabbath", which appeared in DemonMinds in April 2007), it does happen to be my very first poem accepted for zine publication. So I'm quite pleased that "Explorers" made it into the anthology.