Monday, August 29, 2011

An Acceptance and a Rejection

An artwork of mine has been accepted for publication in the January issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, while a short story of mine has been turned down by Apex Magazine. The artwork was the same one that was to have adorned the cover of the never-published Summer 2011 Abandoned Towers, and was accepted it's very next time out. The Bards and Sages Quarterly editor actually said she loves the quirkiness of the image. The Apex rejection makes the sixth time the story-in-question has been rejected. There may be a message in this art acceptance and fiction rejection received on the same day.

At least I received a response to my story submitted to Apex Magazine, even if it was a rejection. I never did receive a response to a poem I sent their way back in September 2010, or the subsequent status query I sent two months later. Being a glutton for punishment, I actually tried again with another poetry submission in May of this year.

Considering Apex Magazine is ranked amongst the least-responsive poetry markets on Duotrope's Digest, I doubt I will receive a reply to the poem sent out in May. Trying to dutifully follow the rules of the game, I sent a status query the middle of this month, but so far, silence. I may just go ahead and send the poem elsewhere.

I hate to rule out a pro venue, but I don't think I will be submitting anything else to Apex Magazine. I think it's rude when a venue neglects to reply to submissions, and I think it's especially rude when they don't reply to status queries. Yes, they reply to stories, but my fiction is proving to be a hard sell. I don't know if I'm going to spend much more time banging my head against that particular brick wall, not when my art and poetry seems to meet with more success.

Enough griping. Time to look on the bright side of things. At least I will have my artwork in Bards and Sages Quarterly come January.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Woman Mauled by Pit Bulls in Schenectady

Another person mauled by pit bulls, this time right here in the Capital Region:
More proof that pit bulls are indeed an especially dangerous breed of dog. Anyone who wants to argue that point shouldn't take it up with me. Rather, they should take it up with the poor woman who lost both her ears and suffered severe injuries to her forehead, arms, and legs. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing how these potential lethal weapons are really such sweet animals.

Typically, I'm an animal lover, but I have little love for pit bulls. I sometimes walk the streets (I don't drive). I worry that I could be attacked some day. I know not every pit bull is vicious, but you really don't want to run into one of the vicious ones. And running into one of the vicious ones is a distinct possibility around here (dog fighting is known to go on in this area). An attacking pit bull might rip your face off (or worse)!

The problem pit bulls are probably mostly the products of irresponsible breeders and dog fighters, but regardless of the source, they are still a problem. I know some people may throw a fit if I suggest that local governments should ban pit bulls, but I'm getting sick to death of hearing about pit bulls mauling innocent passers-by. Like I said, I don't feel safe walking the streets knowing how many pit bulls are in this area (they are some sort of status symbol amongst certain groups), and knowing that pit bulls have the potential to be aggressive.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Fantasy Art of Richard H. Fay 2012 Calendar

I managed to put together a 2012 calendar of some of my fantasy art (along with one or two sci-fi pieces and a horror piece). It actually took a bit of work to come up with a background so I could use my portrait-oriented pieces on a landscape-oriented calendar. I hope it was worth it. It also looks like I have enough art to do two other calendars, one with my weird sci-fi stuff, and another with my historic stuff.

Anyway, the first of my calendars is now up in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store: The Fantasy Art of Richard H. Fay 2012 Calendar

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Mighty Steed, White Dragon" on Cover of KIDS'MAGINATION, Issue 2

Issue 2 of Kids'Magination has been published. My fantasy artwork "Mighty Steed, White Dragon" is on the cover.

Yay! Another cover! Not bad for the artist who once thought his art might not really be suitable for use as cover-art. Apparently, sometimes, it is suitable for that use after all.

Snail-Mail Rejection Without a Rejection Letter

Here is a different rejection: I received a submitted poem back in my SASE, but with no rejection letter whatsoever, not even the briefest "thanks, but no thanks". At least I got the poem back as some sort of reply. Oh, and for those who might want to know, this rejection-without-a-rejection letter was from an award-winning children's mag with a widespread circulation, a venue that pays up to $3 a line for poetry. It wasn't from some amateurish "lesser mag".

Since the poem in question is fairy-themed, I can at least add it to my list of works to be included in the fairy poetry collaboration-in-progress. It will put me that much closer to the agreed-upon number of twenty per collaborator.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mountain Lions in NY and BS from the DEC

The DEC report on this sounds like a lot of bull to me. Many years ago, Michele and I saw a mountain lion dead at the side of the Mass Turnpike around the New York-Massachusetts border. I also know some residents of northern New York State have been reporting mountain lions up in the Adirondacks for years.

Perhaps the DNA of the dead cat does indeed indicate that it came from South Dakota, but that doesn't explain away every sighting of live mountain lions roaming the wilds of New York State. It also doesn't explain our own sighting of a dead one.

I doubt every single one of those several hundred reports a year of mountain lions in the wild in New York State are misidentified bobcats or domestic cats. As something of a trained observer with a background in biology, I stand by my identification of the cat we saw dead at the side of the Mass Turnpike. During my time as a biology lab tech, my superiors were well impressed with my ability to identify and catalog mold spores and various aquatic organisms. While identifying mold spores and aquatic organisms is not exactly the same as identifying mammals, the basic skills needed in any such visual identification (being observant and having an eye for identifying traits), are basically the same. Not to mention, one of my favorite outdoor past times happens to be birding, and I use the very same skills when trying to identify birds I've seen.

Why does the DEC continue to lie about the presence of a population of mountain lions in New York State? I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the only conclusion I can reach is that the DEC is lying.

As an interesting aside to this suggestion of a cover-up, I recall one time a (now-deceased) co-worker of mine at the NYS Museum told me the rumor that mountain lions were known to reside in the Adirondacks, but that this knowledge was kept quiet. I know you always have to take workplace rumors with a grain of salt, but still...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Illustration to be Published in STRANGE, WEIRD, AND WONDERFUL

Don't know if I mentioned this previously, but my illustration for Matt Adams' story "Old Fashioned Police Work" will be appearing in the October 2011 issue of Strange, Weird, and Wonderful. This one saw me going in a slightly different direction, compositionally-speaking. Instead of just using the computer to touch-up and colour my art, I also used it to render the background and the lettering for the title and by-line (the illustration is something of a title page/cover for the story).

As always, I'll post a link when the piece is published.

Artwork to be in KIDS'MAGINATION

Looks like my fantasy artwork "Mighty Steed, White Dragon" will be published as the cover of Kids'Magination Issue 2. This one hasn't appeared in a zine previously, but it does appear on merchandise in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. Actually, the image to be published is a slightly altered 6" X 9" version, with a bit more sky and the dark castle slightly repositioned. The altered version also has a lighter sky. Actually, I think it looks better than the original.

As always, I'll post a link when the piece is published.

Poem to be in Special Edition of NITEBLADE

Looks like my fantasy poem "Fantasyku" will be included in the special poetry edition of Niteblade, to be published December 2011. "Fantasyku" originally appeared in Niteblade's very first issue, in September 2007.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Zines to be in Library

Saw an interesting message on the Sam's Dot Publishing Message Board. It looks like they negotiated the sale of one copy each of all the back issues of Scifaikuest and Illumen, along with subscriptions to both zines, to a library in Wisconsin. I had a horrorku in the Feb 2008 Scifaikuest, two scifaiku and an illustration in the May 2008 Scifaikuest, a scifaiku in the Feb 2009 Scifaikuest, a horrorku in the Nov 2010 Scifaikuest, a poem and a scifaiku in the Spring 2008 Illumen, and a poem and illustration in the Spring 2010 Illumen. Perhaps a reader in Wisconsin will pick up these issues and read my poems and speculative haiku and see my artwork. You never know.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Last Thoughts of a Cosmic Fighter Pilot" Published in APHELION

My sci-fi poem "Last Thoughts of a Cosmic Fighter Pilot" has been published in the August 2011 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. This piece, which hasn't appeared anywhere else previously, is my attempt to set bittersweet romance against the backdrop of a battle in outer space. I figured that, during the last moments of his existence, the thoughts of a cosmic fighter pilot might turn toward his Earthbound love. I liked the contrasting imagery, anyway.

Check it out!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cinquain Accepted for Publication in Summer 2012 TALES OF THE TALISMAN

I have received my first acceptance for a 2012 publication; my sci-fi cinquain "Silicon Searchers" has been accepted for publication in the Summer 2012 issue of Tales of the Talisman. Yay! I'm already starting to build a list of forthcoming 2012 publications!

I believe, once this poem is published next year, it will be the third time my poetic works have appeared within the pages of Tales of the Talisman ("Galactic Road Trip" appeared in their Summer 2008 issue, and "When Wizards Dream at Night" appeared in their Spring 2009 issue). I like it when I've had multiple works in different issues of a particular publication. It proves that the first time wasn't just a fluke.

Now, as long as the poem does indeed get published, and as long as the world doesn't end before Summer 2012, I'll have one more bit of evidence to prove that I may actually know what I'm doing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Art and Poems Published in WHILE THE MORNINGS STARS SING

My artwork "Morning Stars Sing in the Speculative Realm" and my poems "Book of Dimensions", "Cosmic Journey", and "Ethereal Journey", have been published in the ResAliens Press anthology of spiritually infused speculative fiction While the Morning Stars Sing. The artwork, inspired by an illustration by William Blake, has not appeared elsewhere; it was created specifically for this anthology. The poems, three members of what I like to call my "Journey Series", have appeared elsewhere. "Book of Dimensions" originally appeared in the December 2007 issue of Niteblade and also appeared in the March 2009 print issue of Abandoned Towers. "Cosmic Journey" originally appeared in the September 3, 2007 update of The Sword Review and also appeared in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers. "Ethereal Journey" originally appeared in Bewildering Stories, Issue 301, August 11, 2008. I like to get a lot of mileage out of my poetry.

BTW, the artwork "Morning Stars Sing in the Speculative Realm" happens to be one of my wildest pieces yet. I used Blake as a starting point, but then I went in a really imaginative direction. Along with a dragon and a quartet of singing stars, I put in a wizard, a couple of aliens, and a couple of flying saucers.

I guess you'll just have to buy the anthology and check it out! Click on the cover to be taken to the antho's CreateSpace page:

(Cover art for While the Morning Stars Sing, "Transcendence", by Lance Red.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Excalibur and Arthur" and "Excalibur"

My "Excalibur and Arthur" originally appeared, under the title "Excalibur", as a line-drawing colouring page in Abandoned Towers, Issue #6, July 2010. For a time, a full-colour version also appeared in the Abandoned Towers Zazzle Store. It has since been taken down from that store in anticipation of the store's eventual closing, and I used the opportunity of its removal to tweak the image a bit. The angle of the top of the prow of the boat had been a bit off. I fixed the angles, and it looks much better now.

"Excalibur" is, obviously, my "Excalibur and Arthur" sans the background imagery. I decided I needed an image with just the Lady of the Lake's arm holding Excalibur aloft for certain items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. The full "Excalibur and Arthur" just wouldn't fit on certain things.

Both works may now be found on merchandise in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, under the category "Excalibur" in "English History & Legend".