Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Souls Adrift" Published in APHELION

My dark poem "Souls Adrift", originally published in Fear and Trembling, has been published in the May 2011 issue of the web-zine Aphelion. If you didn't check it out when it was first published back in April 2010, check it out now!

I'm glad this poem is back on-line. It hasn't been on-line since Fear and Trembling closed down and re-opened under another publisher. This is the poem that elicited a "wow" from the host when I read it one night at an open mic. I consider it to be one of my best works. It certainly seems to me to be one of my most poetic poems. It just reads right.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Poem Accepted for Publication in BLEED Anthology

My poem "Shroudeater", originally published in the Walpurgisnacht 2010 issue of Hungur, has been accepted for publication in the Panic Press vampire anthology Bleed - And They Will Come. The guidelines for the anthology specified "no sparkly vampires" and "no romance". My shroudeater is just about as unromantic and unsparkly as you can get (although he might spark a bit in a raging blaze). I originally wrote the poem as a counter to sparkly emo vampires, deliberately composing a piece that looked back to the rather repulsive vampires of lore and legend (in this case, the schrattl of alpine lore). The revenant Gustav Schrat is not someone you would want to kiss and cuddle, unless you're into plague-carrying walking corpses.

For as many times as I've seen certain venues state "no vampires" in their guidelines, and for how much I personally think vampires are overdone nowadays, I seem to have good luck whenever I delve into the realm of blood-sucking creatures of the night. I've found myself going down that thematic path on more than one occasion. Of course, I often try to do something different with my vampires, even if it is simply a return to the unattractive undead.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No Longer Niteblade Art Blogger

It's pretty much official - I'm no longer the Niteblade Art Blogger. I stepped down as art blogger for a variety of reasons, including low interest on the part of artists, and lost log-ins (long story there). The latter seemed to me to be a flashing neon sign saying that it was time for me to step down as Niteblade's art blogger. Not to mention, I felt that the blog was getting rather repetitive. It was definitely time to go.

I think I had a good run as art blogger. It was a great concept, even if artists didn't always embrace that concept with great enthusiasm. Artists that did show an interest, that were featured, were invariably pleased with my entries. My time as art blogger certainly gave me the opportunity to feature the works of some pretty impressive artists.

It was an interesting experience. Now on to other things!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Too Dark (Again)

Alas, my poem "Things in the Swamp" won't be appearing in T.J. McIntyre's Southern Fried Weirdness for Tornado Relief anthology. Apparently, the poem is a tad too dark for the project. Admittedly, "Things in the Swamp" is a rather dark piece. After all, my explorers of a southern swamp do meet a grisly end once they encounter the sought-after resident creepy-crawly cryptids. Unfortunately, this is my only piece with a decidedly southern setting, so I had nothing lighter to send for T. J.'s consideration.

Of course, this isn't the first time my poetry has been too dark. My whole illustrated dark poetry collection ended up too dark and diabolic for its first potential publisher. 'Tis the life of a dark poet, I guess. Not that I always write dark, but I do delve into the darkness quite frequently.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Never Can Judge My Own Work

Irish Harp iPhone 3G Case from Zazzle.com

I sold one of these today. I wasn't even sure whether or not the design was any good, but someone liked it enough to buy a 3G iPhone case with my harp design on it. And to think that I almost took down that design because I wasn't entirely pleased with it. It just goes to show that I'm a terrible judge of my own work, to the point that my wife and daughter say I have "artorexia".

Anyway, as long as the sale doesn't get cancelled or anything, all will be golden. I might even decide that I like my harp design after all! Needless to say, it's staying in the store now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here We Go Again...

...More tales of no reply woes. This time, I sent a quartet of poems to a venue that has since announced they are shutting down. No problems sending the works back out, right? Well, there is the slight hitch that I never received a reply to my poetry submission, not even a message stating that they are no longer considering any submissions for the now-closed magazine. Their web site currently states that they have one more issue "coming soon". Hm...

It was probably completely unnecessary to do this (I don't even know if it will get through), but I sent a message withdrawing my submission. I hate to be left in limbo, and if the venue in question is indeed dead, I want to be completely free to send the works elsewhere. Since so many markets frown upon simultaneous submissions, I would feel uncomfortable sending any works lingering in no-reply limbo back out without dotting my i's and crossing my t's.

Is it so terribly hard to send a message saying "thanks, but no thanks"? I guess, in some cases, it is. My prediction: one of these days, this no-reply trend will lead to a simultaneous submission/acceptance incident that leaves all parties involved less-than-happy. Oh well, I'm just a moron, what do I know?

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Magical Meetings" Published in May-Jul '11 SORCEROUS SIGNALS

My fantasy poem "Magical Meetings", inspired by the lore that spoke of certain mortals gaining healing and other arcane knowledge from liaisons with the Fair Folk, has been published in the May - July 2011 Issue of Sorcerous Signals. It is accompanied by a very charming illustration by the ever talented Marge Simon. Check it out!

By the way, Sorcerous Signals has a "Make a Donation" button. If you read my poem and liked it, please consider making a donation. It would be fantastic if Sorcerous Signals were to receive enough donations to cover the money already paid out and then some, with 75% of the remainder divided amongst the contributors. Any additional money that I might see from this publication would be a great incentive to keep writing poetry. If you didn't already know, at times I wonder if it's worth it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An Anthology for a Good Cause

I recently saw news that T.J. McIntyre is resurrecting Southern Fried Weirdness for a one-time charity e-book anthology to raise funds for tornado relief in Alabama:
Southern Fried Weirdness for Tornado Relief.

Hoping to be a part of this anthology for a good cause, I submitted "Things in the Swamp" for T.J.'s consideration. That particular poem happens to be my only work with a decidedly southern setting. Backwater bayous, mossy bald cypress trees, and gators are definitely not features of the British Isles or the Northeastern USA (my usual settings). I think "Things in the Swamp" might also be considered weird, depending on what is the current definition of weird. It was definitely previously published, having appeared in both the 2008 issue of Champagne Shivers and the on-line version of Abandoned Towers.

We shall see what happens. I know there are no guarantees. Even if my poem doesn't make it into the anthology, at least I would have tried to be a part of it. I would have hated myself if I didn't at least try.

"What Greets Me at the End" Published in COVER OF DARKNESS

My dark speculative poem "What Greets Me at the End" and its accompanying illustration have both been published in the May 2011 issue of the Sam's Dot Publishing triannual digest of dark fantasy and horror Cover of Darkness. Copies of the digest can be purchased in the Sam's Dot Purchasing Center HERE.

"What Greets Me at the End" had been intended to be the lead poem in my now-dismembered illustrated dark poetry collection. I always thought it was a strange but appropriate twist to begin a dark poetry collection with a poem about a hellish end. I always liked the illustration that went with it, too. I'm glad they have both been published.

Note: the editor of Cover of Darkness did state that he didn't want to put the poem and the illustration together. He was concerned that the art gave away the point of the poem, and he had a point. When illustrating, I try to illustrate the best and often most dramatic moment of a text, imagery-wise. Sometimes that means illustrating the climax. I did just that with "What Greets Me at the End". What greets the narrator ends up being a bit of a twist, although perhaps not a totally unexpected one. Depicting an image "post-twist", the art does indeed give the twist away.

Being a poet and being an artist are usually complimentary states of being, but sometimes they do conflict. This was apparently one of those times.