Saturday, July 31, 2010

Poems in SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT

The August 2010 Issue of Sounds of the Night is now available for pre-order over at the Genre Mall. I'm one of the various contributors of sensuous science fiction and fantasy with works appearing in this latest issue.

Yeah, strangely enough, I sometimes write sensuous stuff. Although, I wouldn't call my contributions "R rated" (even mildly so). Consider them part of the "occasionally ethereal" material. There is an ethereal aspect to fairy lore, and my contributions to this particular issue of Sounds of the Night were definitely inspired by fairy lore.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental Print from Zazzle.com

Items featuring my brand-new artwork "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" now available in the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.
Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental Print from Zazzle.com

Mighty Steed, White Dragon Tote Bags from Zazzle.com

Items featuring my brand-new artwork "Mighty Steed, White Dragon" (aka the illustration for my poem "Fantasyku") are now available in the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.
Mighty Steed, White Dragon Tote Bags from Zazzle.com

Monday, July 26, 2010

Art for Zazzle Stuff: Any Suggestions?

The Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store already features several examples of my art on various types of merchandise. There are dragons and Vikings, knights and swords, on posters, mugs, stickers, postage stamps, magnets, mouse pads, and apparel. However, there is always room for more. What sorts of designs would YOU like to see on merchandise in the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store?
See my store at Zazzle

Azure Lion Productions on Facebook

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Still Looking for a Publisher...

I'm still looking for another publisher that might be interested in publishing my illustrated dark speculative poetry collection. The collection ended up being too dark, too "diabolic", for publisher number one, Cyberwizard Productions. Publisher number two, Daverana Enterprises, decided not to proceed with more poetry books. They pulled out of publishing my collection and released the rights back to me. I haven't heard a word from my query to potential publisher number three. I sent the query on May 24th. The guidelines posted on the site of publisher number three state that they respond to poetry collection queries in two to four weeks. It has now been eight weeks.

Do I send a query inquiring about the status of my initial query? Do I continue to play the waiting game and give it more time? Do I start shopping around yet again, hoping to find yet another potential publisher? Or, do I decide that the collection was doomed from the start, finally throwing in the towel and breaking up the collection? (That WOULD give me some art and poetry to submit to various zines at a time when my submission pool is almost completely empty.)

Any and all suggestions regarding potential publishers would be greatly appreciated. If I can't find a publisher willing to publish the collection soon, I probably won't put much more effort into the search. I simply can't keep wasting time and energy on a collection going nowhere. Breaking up the collection would be a sad end to a promising project, but I don't want all of the new works created for the collection to sit in limbo forever. Besides, some of the less dark works could be incorporated into another collection-in-progress, one that stands a very good chance of actually being published.

Dasef Central: Obligatory Blog Post

Dasef Central: Obligatory Blog Post: "I'm not sure how many of the writers I know manage to post a daily blog. I tend to forget about blogging entirely unless I have news to repo..."

I like how Marva tells it like it (often) is, and also how she confronts some of the absurdly untrue but oft-repeated writerly advice head-on. Way to go, Marva!

(I LOVE adjectives, and even like adverbs on occasion, and I've come to realise that writing is, for many, more of a hobby than anything else.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cavern Dragon Key Chain from Zazzle.com

Cavern Dragon Key Chain from Zazzle.com
Items featuring my "Cavern Dragon" design are now available in the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.

Dwarf Stars Submissions

This is a bit of old news, since I sent off the poems on June 30th, but I figured I would mention it now:

I submitted five previously published cinquains and ten previously published scifaiku/horrorku for consideration for inclusion in the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Dwarf Stars 2010 short poetry anthology. Most of the poems appeared in Aphelion. If material published in venues like Aphelion is eligible, that gives my SFPA friends fifteen poems of mine to consider. I don't see why stuff published in Aphelion wouldn't be eligible, but if not, I still had one scifaiku and one horrorku ("clash of tempered steel" and "weeping tree") published in two separate 2009 issues of Scifaikuest, and one horrorku ("will-o-wisp") published in the November 2009 issue of The Shantytown Anomaly. (I think "weeping tree" is particularly good, but I am notoriously bad at guessing how others will judge my work, and I do have a fondness for willow trees.)

It would be nice if my SFPA friends chose at least one of my 2009 short poems for inclusion in Dwarf Stars 2010. That would be a pleasing bit of recognition beyond publication. One can always hope.

Here is the complete list of works submitted for consideration for inclusion in Dwarf Stars 2010, with links where applicable:

"Fairy Bandits" ‏(Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 139, Volume 13, December 2009)
"will-o-wisp" (Originally published in The Shantytown Anomaly, Issue #8, November 2009)
"The Sheerie" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 138, Volume 13, November 2009)
"weeping tree" (Originally published in Scifaikuest on-line, November 2009)
"headless coachman" (Originally published as "Coach-a-Bower" in Aphelion, Issue 137, Volume 13, October 2009)
"Eldritch Mistress" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 136, Volume 13, September 2009)
"roiling gyre" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 135, Volume 13, August 2009)
"electric blue sparks" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 134, Volume 13, July 2009)
"clattering hooves" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 133, Volume 13, June 2009)
"temporal crack" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 132, Volume 13, May 2009)
"labyrinthine pile" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 131, Volume 13, April 2009)
"drifting flakes" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 130, Volume 13, March 2009)
"When Hunger Takes Me" (Originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Issue 6, March 2009)
"Two-Dimensional Visitors" (Originally published in Aphelion, Issue 129, Volume 13, February 2009)
"clash of tempered steel" (Originally published in Scifaikuest, February 2009)

***

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Looking for Art & Artists

A reminder: I'm always looking for fantasy and/or horror artists to feature in the Niteblade Art Blog. If you are a fantasy or horror artist looking for a little free promotion of you and your work, please consider sending something to art@niteblade.com.

Payment for being featured in the art blog is in exposure only, but I always try to post a link to an artist's web site or on-line portfolio in the blog entry. I also post a link to each art blog entry in my various personal blogs.

Wondering what the Niteblade Art Blog is all about? Check out the latest entry:
Laurene Alvarado's PAVOR NOCTURNUS

Full guidelines can be viewed here:
Niteblade Submission Guidelines

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Signal Boost: World Domination and Mind Expansion

Gustavo Bondoni, my writing friend from south of the equator, has written what I think is a very interesting blog over at the Apex Books site. In his latest Apex blog entry, Gustavo talks about the issue of Anglo dominance in the field of genre writing and expanding beyond Anglo-centric material:
Hello Again From Argentina - Worlds Domination and Mind Expansion
His approach to dealing with the issue is certainly a lot more reasonable than some of the politically correct ridiculousness that swirls about any of the latest genre lit teacup storms.

The genre field may be dominated by writers from the English-speaking world, but the English-speaking world is not the whole world. Concerned about the dominance of US writers in the field of genre lit? Go read something penned by a writer outside of the USA. Concerned about the dominance of the English-speaking world in the field of genre lit? Go read something penned by someone outside of the English-speaking world. Expand your horizons and expand your mind!

You could always start with the classics. Jules Verne was French, but his works are readily available in English.

And the Reprints Will Continue...

I just found out that my dark speculative poem "Nightmares Fell my Fantasy", originally published in the Scattered Verses, Moonlit Curses grim poetry anthology, will be appearing in the August issue of the web-zine Aphelion. This poem happens to be one of my personal favourites. It combines two of my favourite things, medieval fantasy and horror.

Apparently, Aphelion will be combining their July and August issues. This may mean that another reprint poem of mine, the horrorku "black leathery wings", will be appearing in the same issue. I'll post links when the works are published.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"The Darker Side of Fairy Lore" Accepted at ABANDONED TOWERS

Some of the details need to be hashed out yet, but it looks like my article "The Darker Side of Fairy Lore" will be reprinted in Abandoned Towers. This article originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of the now-defunct Doorways Magazine. In the article, I give an overview of some of the nastier aspects of the fay, making mention of the more malignant denizens of the fairy realm as well as touching on some of the less-than-kindly behaviours of its more benevolent inhabitants.

I'll post details regarding when and in which version of Abandoned Towers the piece will be published when they become available.

Red Dragon of Wales

Since I already had some Scottish-themed merchandise with the items featuring my "Robert the Bruce" illustration, I figured I should come up with something Welsh for the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. Of course, the most obvious thing for me to draw was the Welsh dragon. So, over this past week, I worked on a design based on the dragon displayed on the Welsh national flag. The design came out looking pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

Today, I spent quite a bit of time getting the design posted on various items. One of the cutest might be the pet t-shirt. I think a Welsh Corgi would look too cute in a t-shirt featuring my "Red Dragon of Wales", even if Corgis probably don't really need to wear doggie t-shirts (I hear they have double-coats).

A little bit of historical background regarding the Welsh dragon: according to one of my heraldry resources, the red dragon was linked in legend to King Arthur and the 7th century Welsh prince Cadwalader. Later, the dragon was adopted by the Tudors as part of their armorial bearings. According to another source, the red dragon was the badge of Medieval Wales (not a coat-of-arms).

Anyway, my design is definitely derived from the Welsh dragon, but it's an original drawing. I like dragons, and I like drawing dragons, but I especially like how this one came out.

Now I have to think about doing some Irish stuff. I am supposedly a little bit Irish, after all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Niteblade Art Blog: Pavor Nocturnus

Experience night terrors after you catch sight of the horror villains depicted in Laurene Alvarado's Pavor Nocturnus, the latest art to be featured in the Niteblade Art Blog. An accomplished make-up artist, Laurene has turned her skill with a brush toward painting in acrylic. For her first collection, she decided to paint a number of the classic characters of horror. Her appreciation of the power of colour shows in her deliciously devilish depictions.

Check 'em out!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Invisible, Invisible, Invisible

Marva Dasef, a writer friend of mine, has determined that she must be invisible to others:
Dasef Central: Invisibility

While I wouldn't consider going to the (tongue-in-cheek) extremes she mentions to gain some visibility (I just don't have it in me to rob a bank - I missed out on the the criminal element present in my family's genes), I get where she is coming from. I, too, feel rather invisible at times. Being a poet/non-fiction writer/artist in a realm dominated by all things fiction makes me think I have to take some drastic measures to truly be noticed. I've received far more attention from the writerly world when I've plunged head-first into writerly tempests in teapots than I've ever received in response to my poetry, articles, or art. Unfortunately, most of the time, the attention received when I speak my mind is of the negative variety. At those times, I wish I could turn even more invisible, invisible, invisible (one invisible just ain't enough).

On occasion, a bit more positive visibility would be nice. It can be frustrating being invisible, invisible, invisible.

Hello! Can anyone see me? Can I be seen at all? Is anyone out there?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Robert the Bruce and Excalibur

No, the warrior King of Scots is not roving Scottish hill and dale carrying the mystical sword that the Lady of the Lake gave to Arthur, King of the Britons. My article "Robert the Bruce", along with its accompanying illustrations, and my colouring page "Excalibur", have been published in Abandoned Towers Issue #6.

The Excalibur colouring page is also available, in a full-colour version, on merchandise in the Abandoned Towers Zazzle Store. My illustration of Robert the Bruce, in many instances with the slogan "Scotland the Brave" added in medieval-style letters across the top, is available on merchandise in the Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store.