Monday, April 30, 2012

Poem Accepted, Hate Mail Disclaimer

A rather weird dark poem of mine has been accepted for publication in Infernal Ink Magazine. I must say, this may be the first time I've seen a publication contract with a hate mail disclaimer!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Story Quandary


A story of mine has found itself in a strange situation. One venue that pays a token rate had turned it down because their next two issues were already full. I then sent the story elsewhere, and elsewhere again. It is currently under consideration at a venue that pays a semi-pro rate. However, the editor of the venue that had originally turned down the story because they were full has voiced renewed interest in the story. They are now a quarterly publication, and it appears they aren't as full as they once were.

The editor of the venue that wishes to revisit my story said that they were very impressed with the piece and would like to feature it. This is a much more positive response than I had received to a subsequent submission of the story. Another editor rejected the story because he thought I did too much narrating, which kept pulling the reader out of the story. Not that I agree with his recommendation that some of the revelations would be more effective in the dialogue. It seems to me that such a change would make for unnaturally forced dialogue, with people familiar with one another saying things to each other they wouldn't really say, just for the sake of giving the reader those details through dialogue instead of narrative. (Yes, I gave this recommendation quite a bit of thought.)

So, this is my current quandary. What to do? Do I withdraw the story from a venue that pays a semi-pro rate to allow it to be featured in a token paying venue? Do I tell the editor that was impressed with the story and wished to feature it that the story isn't currently available because it's under consideration elsewhere, and hope that the editors of the semi-pro venue are equally impressed with the work? Of course, I'm worried the editors there might find as much fault with the piece as did the editor who thought I did far too much narrating.

One thing this does show - at least one editor was impressed with my story. That's a positive sign.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

No-Reply Acceptance: "The Wretched House 'Round the Corner in STATIC MOVEMENT


Okay, I've seen my share of no-reply rejections, but how about no-reply acceptances? Actually, I happened to Google myself last night (I do that every once in a while), and I discovered that my dark poem "The Wretched House 'Round the Corner" had been published in the March 2012 issue of the e-zine Static Movement. I never received an acceptance e-mail from the editor there, so I never knew the poem had been published. It is possible an e-mail was sent and the internet gremlins intercepted it. Such things happen on occasion.

Anyway, I'm a bit late with the announcement, but my dark poem "The Wretched House 'Round the Corner" has been published in the March 2012 issue of Static Movement. See why I Google myself?

Now, go read my poem! Please?

Monday, April 23, 2012

German Eagle

I spent part of the weekend working on something a little different for my Azure Lion Productions Zazzle store. I composed a heraldic eagle that melds the modern with the medieval. I didn't want to just copy the modern-looking eagle currently used on the German coat of arms, but I also didn't want to merely reproduce a medieval heraldic eagle. Frankly, some of those medieval eagles look rather bizarre. So, I winged it (pardon the pun) and came up with my own design. What do you think of my own version of the German eagle?

Fan Fiction: What's the Big Deal?

I see a discussion about fan fiction making the rounds. I gather that some writers are strongly against others daring to write stories using the writers' own characters and settings. My thoughts on the matter? If fan fiction writers aren't making a profit off their fan fiction, I don't see it as a big deal. It's certainly not worth getting your knickers in a twist over it. Making a great stink over fan fiction just sounds whiny and miserable.

Happy Saint George's Day!

It's Saint George's Day today! Because of the legend of George slaying the dragon and his supposed appearance during the battle of Antioch in 1098, George happens to be my favourite saint. Of course, he's the patron saint of England and a host of other nations. He's also patron saint of chivalry, soldiers, cavalry, and archers.

I've drawn Saint George a few times. There are five different Saint George images on items in my Azure Lion Zazzle Store:

I also have items featuring Saint George's Cross, which appears on the national flag of England (not to be confused with the Union Jack, which is the flag of the United Kingdom):

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Medieval Research Blog

I happened across this interesting-looking medieval research blog kept by medieval romance author Joyce DiPastena:

Being an unabashed medievalist, my personal library contains quite a number of books about medieval history, medieval warfare, medieval art, and life in the medieval period. Being a poet, artist, and writer deeply influenced by things medieval, I often research various aspects of the medieval world while working on my various creative projects. It is not unheard of for me to study detailed illustrations of medieval horse harness, or to search for the oath taken by a medieval sheriff. I obviously have to do quite a bit of research when writing my non-fiction articles about medieval subjects ("The Battle of Stamford Bridge", "Edward IV", "Robert the Bruce").

I'm even influenced by medieval art. After all, it has been said, on more than one occasion, that some of my art resembles medieval woodcuts.

I can see why an author who specializes in medieval romance, who does quite a bit of researching into medieval life and times, might want to keep a medieval research blog. After all, why not share all that research with others?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Take a Look at Women's Behinds...

...or, rather, a Tor.com blog post (with pictures) by Emily Asher-Perrin bemoaning the overabundance of promotional images showing women posed with their backsides facing viewers.

He, he, he...Art-wise, I been known to "fail" in regard to portraying women like this. They might not be "looking smouldering-ly" over their shoulders, but I've been guilty of drawing women standing with their behinds facing viewers ("Conjuring the Dragon", on the cover of the September 2011 issue of OG's Speculative Fiction, leaps immediately to mind). Typically, I don't even show their faces. Shame on me!

(A note on the pose in "Conjuring the Dragon": that piece was not meant to depict a static pose. Rather, it was meant to depict a sorceress in motion. Artistically-speaking, static poses can be rather dull.)

(To be fair, I've also shown men posed with their backsides facing viewers.)

Poem on Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4 Honorable Mentions List

Ellen Datlow has posted her list of 608 honorable mentions for Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4. Guess what? Yours truly has a poem on that list! "What Greets Me at the End", which was published in the May 2011 issue of Cover of Darkness, appears there, in part 2. I gasped when I first saw the poem listed; I was that surprised! I didn't think any of my works would ever receive even the merest of notice by anyone outside of the editors who publish my works.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Artwork Accepted for Winter Issue of BETE NOIRE

Bete Noire has accepted my dark artwork "Tentacled Monstrosity for their winter issue, due out January 2013. Yes, I said 2013. I now have my first forthcoming publication for 2013. What remains of the roll will roll on into next year. Of course, the roll has pretty much switched from poetry to art. That's okay though; I'm very much in an art mood lately anyway!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Five Years On...

A few days ago, I realized that I've been playing the "submitting for publication" game on a regular basis for five years. I saw my first poetry acceptance, outside of a few poems accepted for inclusion in rather questionable anthologies, in March 2007. I saw my first poetry publication in a zine in April 2007.

What was that first acceptance? "Explorers", accepted for publication in the September 2007 issue of The Fifth Di... What was that first zine publication? "Midnight Sabbath", published in DemonMinds on April 20, 2007. That very same poem came in tied for 1st Runner Up in the 2007 DemonMinds Horror Poetry Contest.

It took me a little longer to start submitting art. My first art acceptance was for my illustration "Things in the Swamp", accepted May 2007 for publication in the 2008 issue of Champagne Shivers. My first art publication was my illustration "The Unseelie Court", published in the June 2007 issue of Fantastic Horror.

I hope that, five years on, I've actually accomplished something. I know I've seen a fairly steady stream of poetry and art acceptances and publications since those first steps toward becoming a published poet and artist. I've even had the occasional non-fiction article published, along with a little prose fiction. Still, I do sometimes wonder if I've really accomplished anything at all. I'm like that.

Another Reprint Sale, This Time, Non-Fiction

Sold another reprint, this time it's a non-fiction article. Tyree Campbell says he has room for my article "Speculative Poetry: Past, Present, and Future" in the Autumn 2012 issue of Illumen. Previously, the article appeared in the on-line version of Abandoned Towers. I'm glad it's getting reprinted; I consider it to be one of my most important pieces of writing to-date.

Now I have to italicize instead of underscore and send the article as a Word doc.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No Foolin' Folks, Lots o' Publications Today!

My scifaiku "silver dragon" and my steampunk-ish sci-fi illustration "Mechanical Dragon" have both been published in Issue 36 of the Sam's Dot Publishing magazine for younger readers, Beyond Centauri.

My reprint fantasy poem "When Wizards Dream at Night", originally published in the Spring 2009 issue of Tales of the Talisman, has been published in Issue 8 of the Sam's Dot Publishing science fiction and fantasy anthology Shelter of Daylight.

My reprint horror poems "Shadow People" and "Whispers on the Stairs" have been published in Issue 13 of the horror poetry e-newsletter Dark Metre.