Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Artwork Accepted for Publication in YOUTH IMAGINATION

Looks like my draconic fantasy artwork "Over the Top" has been accepted for use in the Feb or Mar issue of Youth Imagination (Kids'Magination revamped and renamed).

My dragon art sells yet again. Hurrah for dragons!

Thumbin' My Nose at Writing Advice, Goin' My Own Way

I came across this post of poetry writing advice:

Five Marks of Oft-Rejected Poems by Michael Mlekoday

which got me thinking about my own views regarding all this writing advice you see all the time in the writing world. It got me thinking yet again about what my own experience tells me about these things.

Amazing how I can thumb my nose at much of the poetry writing advice out there and still see my poems published on a fairly regular basis (last count, well over 100 poems published since April 2007). That's why I always take all writing advice out there with a grain of salt. I keep it in mind, but I'm no slave to it. I follow my own artistic instincts before I follow what others say I must do.

Take cliche, for instance. There have been times that certain readers and editors have claimed that I've been guilty of the inexcusable offense of cliche use. However, other editors and other readers have had no problems with the same fatally flawed poems.

One reader claimed that my use of the phrase "as a moth to flame" in my dark poem "Corpse Candles" was an example of dropping a cliche in the middle of a poem. However, that poem worked well enough to be published in the June 2008 issue of Niteblade, as well as the Niteblade anthology Lost Innocence. It was also republished in the October 2010 issue of Deadman's Tome.

If a reader looks long and hard enough, if they really want to find cliche, I'm sure they could find one or more examples of it in my poem "What Greets Me at the End", the poem that was published in the May 2011 issue of Cover of Darkness, the one that made it on Ellen Datlow's full list of 608 Honorable Mentions for 2011. If they tried hard enough, somebody would probably find something or other in that poem that could be considered cliche. After all, a narrator thinking they arrived in Heaven only to find out later they arrived in Hell is something of a cliche.

What am I trying to say with all this? I'm trying to suggest that many of these supposed flaws, such as cliche, are in the eye of the beholder. What doesn't work for one editor or reader may work fine for another. I will continue to follow the course I've already set, based on my own experience. Works for me.

Isn't following one's own course, based on one's own artistic instincts, what art is supposed to be all about?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Forest of the Damned on a T-Shirt

Is is too early to think about Halloween? I think not. I've been thinking about Halloween and working on getting my "Forest of the Damned" on items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store. The drawing is an oldie but goodie, having first appeared in the September 2007 issue of The Willows, but it has never appeared anywhere in full colour, 'til now. Here it is, with "Trick or Treat" added to the image, on a t-shirt:
Forest of the Damned Trick or Treat T Shirt

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Work Resonates!

Wow! In a comment over on Lindsey Beth Goddard's Author Interview Corner, this is what one writer and frequent ToC mate had to say about my work:
"His writing simply resonates, stirring things inside the way only a few writers can do effectively."

You can read the interview and comments here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Contest Over on Author Interview Corner

Lindsey Beth Goddard is running a contest over on her Author Interview Blog. All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog interview with yours truly, and you'll be entered to win a FREE signed paperback copy of Lindsey's new book, Quick Fix: A Taste Of Terror . C'mon, show that someone cares about what this artist/poet/writer has to say, and you could win a free book! Does anyone care?

You can read the interview here:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Author Interview Corner: Richard H. Fay

Author Lindsey Beth Goddard interviewed me for her Author Interview Corner. She asked about my recent art publications, my forthcoming prose fiction publications, and what inspires me to draw and write. We also talked a little about my recent poetry publications, and the fact that I often do a bit of research before composing an artwork, poem, or story.

The interview is now up on the Author Interview Corner blog. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rejection is a Violation of Constitutional Rights? What?

This is a new one: I recently entered into an argument with a writer over submission guidelines and Constitutional law. This writer claims that it is a violation of First Amendment freedom of speech for a publication to reject a work based solely on the fact that the work appeared previously on a Facebook page or other personal on-line venue. In this person's own words, "denying publishing based on freedom of speech is highly illegal", "editors will never have the right to violate constitutional law", and "the laws, including international law, states that sharing on something like FB is freedom of speech and peaceful assembly."

While I agree that editors never have the right to violate constitutional law, and I think the policy of "no works that appeared previously on-line" is rather silly at times, I do not believe that such a policy rises to the level of violating First Amendment freedom of speech. There are always other outlets out there, including self-publishing ones. Besides, a venue that contracts for First Rights does have the contractual right to be the first to publish a piece.

Taken to extremes, this argument could be used to suggest that ANY rejection is a violation of constitutional law. Maybe I should use that argument the next time a receive a rejection. What do you all think of that? Should I? ;)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wizardly Fantasy Story ACCEPTED!!!

It looks like my wizardly fantasy story has been ACCEPTED!!! The editor of Bards and Sages Quarterly says she would like to use my story "Sing the Bones Alive" in their January issue. Yay!

It only took twelve tries before "Sing the Bones Alive" saw an acceptance. Before this positive reply, the story saw ten rejections and one withdrawal. I guess it was a good thing I didn't stuff it into the trunk-of-no-return. I guess it was just a matter of finding the right market.

I figured "Sing the Bones Alive" would have difficulty finding a home, not because it's badly written, but because I went against the grain when it comes to what's expected from fantasy stories nowadays. However, I didn't think it would take quite so long (close to two years) before the story got accepted somewhere. I was about ready to give up.

Now, if all goes according to plan, "Sing the Bones Alive" will be published in the January issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly, and my redcap horror story will be published in the March issue of Cover of Darkness. With "Vengeance of the Alpe", which was published in the All Souls' Night 2010 issue of Hungur and the April 2012 issue of Night to Dawn, come March 2013, three of my stories longer than drabbles will have been published in four different zines. Does that mean I will actually be able to call myself a writer?

I know, the pieces have to be published first. I do know you should never count your chickens before they hatch, especially when it comes to counting chickens in the publication realm.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Poem and Artwork Published in parABnormal Digest, Issue 4

My folkloric speculative poem "Bluebell Spell" and my dark artwork "Faces and Figures in the Mist" have both been published in the September 2012 issue of parABnormal Digest. This time, poem and artwork aren't a paired set; they don't really go together. The poem was inspired by fairy folklore and the lore surrounding  bluebells, aka "dead man's bells". The artwork was inspired by something that appeared in a photo I took of a reputedly haunted house. The poem has been bopping around, in one form or another, since 2007. I drew the artwork earlier this year.

When the poetry editor of parABnormal Digest accepted "Bluebell Spell" for publication, she called it a delicate poem. I replied by saying that my works inspired by fairy lore tend to be among my most delicate creations. The poetry editor then called me versatile. Versatile poet. I like that.

Apparently, I'm a pretty versatile artist, too. I like to think I am, anyway.

My Art on Door of September 2012 SPACEPORTS AND SPIDERSILK

My fantasy artwork "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" now appears on the door of the September issue of the Sam's Dot Publishing e-zine Spaceports & Spidersilk. For a while now, "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" has appeared on items in my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle Store, but it has not previously appeared in a zine. The artwork is supposed to be an illustration for my fantasy poem of the same name, but poem and artwork have never appeared together. It just works out that way sometimes.

My "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" illustration took a long route to publication. One venue turned it down because at least one of their editors thought the swirling lines to be too busy. If they think my linework is too busy, what must they think of something like Arthur Rackham's "The Leviathan"? Personally, I like dynamic linework, and I'm influenced by works like Rakham's Leviathan.

Oh, well. Art is such a subjective thing, and "Kamal Del and the Dark Elemental" has now been published in a zine.

Cover Art for PLASMA FREQUENCY, Issue 2

It looks like my full-colour illustration for Lindsey Duncan's "Mythocraft" will be used as cover-art on Issue 2 of Plasma Frequency. Having my art appear on a cover is always a good thing, but this this time I'm getting paid more than I've ever been paid before for one piece of art. After making a few steps backward earlier this year, with various projects falling apart and doing work I never got paid for, this is definitely a step in the right direction!