Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Vengeance of the Alpe" Kindle Edition Cover Image

Cover image for Kindle Edition of "Vengeance of the Alpe"
Copyright © 2015 Richard H. Fay

"Vengeance of the Alpe" Kindle Edition

My fantasy/horror short story "Vengeance of the Alpe" is now live in the Kindle Store. Here's my description of the tale:
"In this fantasy short story with a dark fairy tale feel, a malicious sorcerer summons the blood-thirsty alpe to wreak vengeance upon the beautiful maid who rejected him."
BTW, in case you didn't already know, this tale was previously published in two different zines. It originally appeared in the All Souls' Night 2010 issue of Hungur and then appeared in the April 2012 issue of Night to Dawn.

Use Different Monsters? Um, I HAVE!

For those who say use "different monsters" in your horror fiction, please note that I've already used the following:

- a sentient sludge (in "From Within the Earth", originally published in MicroHorror, November 1, 2010)
- the alpe (in "Vengeance of the Alpe", originally published in Hungur, Issue 11, All Souls' Night 2010, and also published in the April 2012 issue of Night to Dawn)
- a redcap (in "The Redcap of Glamtallon", originally published in Cover of Darkness, Issue 14, March 2013 )
- vampiric shadow beings (in "Those from the Shadows", originally published in Bete Noire, Issue #14, February 2014)

And that's just in my prose fiction! My dark poetry contains a veritable host of "different" monsters, too numerous to list in their entirety here. Some of the various monsters I've used in my dark poems include:

- a brain-eating demonic serpent ("Serpent of Storms", originally published in The Monsters Next Door, Issue 6, March 2009)
- the sluagh ("The Dark Host", originally published in Bewildering Stories, Issue 277, February 10, 2008)
- vampiric UFOs/alien entities ("Chupa-Chupas", originally published in Hungur, Issue 7, All Souls' Night 2008)
- Tom-Tit-Tot ("At the Wheel", originally published in Illumen, Spring 2010)
- a weretiger ("Weretiger", originally published in Night to Dawn, Issue 23, April 2013)

Plus, I often draw creative inspiration from the darker side of fairy lore.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Read More Than Just Books About Animals and Monsters?

It's funny. Way back when I was in grade school, one of my teachers told my mother that she wished I would read more than just books about animals and monsters. Being the type who often listened to such stupidity, my mother started to pester me about developing other interests. She actually displayed a distaste for my obsession with monsters and horror. It became obvious that she disapproved of my interests.

The funny thing is, the kid who read all those books about animals went on to earn a B.S. in Biology and actually worked for a time in biology labs. The kid who showed such an interest in monsters and horror grew up to become an adult who draws monsters and writes horror verse and prose. I've even sold my dark creations!

BTW, I read LOTS of books about animals and nature when I was in college. One of my favourites was the textbook for invertebrate zoology. I kept that one for years afterward.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Innate Artistic Talent

I've run across yet another of those "nature versus nurture" discussions regarding artistic talent and creativity. One of the trendy thoughts lately seems to be the rather ridiculous notion that the successful pursuit of any sort of creative endeavour may be achieved through hard work alone. This line of thought minimizes the role played by innate talent, if such thinking even allows for the existence of hard-wired creative abilities.
Whenever I encounter the suggestion that artistic talent and creativity may be gained through hard work alone, that they are not innate traits hard-wired into the brains of artistic and creative types, I can't help but to think of what my religious education teacher wrote in a note she included with the regular progress report sent to my parents back in May of 1977. I still have the note. This is what the religious ed teacher said about my artistic abilities when I was eight years old:
"I felt I should also add a little note about Ricky's artistic abilities. He seems to have an exceptional gift for drawing and since we do quite a bit of this in class, I see it often. I've taken a great deal of art through school and I've seen many adults who don't understand many of the art techniques that come naturally to Ricky. When Ricky is involved in an art project all of his very best qualities shine through and possibly encouragement in this might be good for him. Just asking him to draw a picture for you or to make a get well card for a friend or relative are good ways to keep him using and developing his talent. I've really enjoyed seeing the work Ricky has done and having him in our class."

Keep in mind, the religious education teacher was impressed enough with my raw talent and innate abilities to send this note in addition to the regular progress report. Also, it's not like I grew up in a family of artists. My relatives tended to be farmers or carpenters or office workers. As far as my family was concerned, my artistic talents seemed to have sprung out of nowhere.

Based on my own life, I consider it "case closed".

Where did my artistic abilities come from? The raw talent, the natural ability to be artistic, MUST be hard-wired in my brain.

Here are links to a couple of articles of interest:

Science Shows How Artists' Brains Are Hard-Wired Differently Than Everyone Else
Can Creativity Be Learned?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Artwork in Submission Limbo 80 Days, Probably Time to Withdraw It

A weird dark artwork of mine has been in submission limbo for 80 days now. The message I received from the publication that acknowledged receipt of the submission stated a response time of 60 days. It might be time to consider sending a query letter. However, instead of querying about the status of my submission and possibly waiting another 60-80 days for some sort of reply, I'm thinking of just withdrawing the piece and putting it up in my Redbubble portfolio and my DeviantART gallery. I'm tired of playing the publications waiting game, especially when there are other ways of getting my art out there and making some money off of it. I've done this same sort of thing before.
 
I originally submitted "Denizens of the Diabolic Wood" to a couple of publications, but then decided to pull it from my submission pool and add it to my Redbubble Portfolio, Zazzle Store, and CafePress Shop. Though neither publication accepted the artwork for publication, I have sold items featuring the piece through Redbubble. According to the stats on Redbubble, to date the work has seen 11 sales and 5211 views. I'm not sure the work would have had over 5,000 views had it been published in either publication.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Hungering Host


As the waning crimson sun sets
Over this cold and tortured land,
Reddening sky signals the rise
Of winged devils craving warm blood.
Fiery-eyed shadows venture forth
From darksome clefts and lightless caves
To gather in a swirling cloud
And whirl around a craggy tor
Ere descending upon the vale
Where their harried mortal prey dwell.


Trembling souls quiver in their beds
While ebon wings beat overhead.
Terrified rustics pray to gods
Indifferent to the dire plight
Of their tormented devotees.
Ravening fiends tear through the roof
Of a herdsman’s turf-covered cot
To rip a rosy-cheeked young lass
From her mother’s protective grasp
And drain the wailing youngster dry.

Hovel to hovel the host soars,
Spreading death like a pestilence.
The ravaging horde slakes its thirst
While kin of the slain curse the night
And weep for those taken to feed
That black legion’s hunger for blood.
Glutted shades then depart the vale
And return to their sunless holes
As the crimson dawn breaks once more
Over this wracked and weary land.

(Originally published in Disturbed Digest, Issue 2, September 2013. Also published in the May 2014 issue of Bloodbond.)

Copyright © 2013 Richard H. Fay

Sunday, May 3, 2015

"Something in the Yew" in APHELION

My previously published dark poem "Something in the Yew" has been republished in the May 2015 issue of Aphelion. This piece first appeared in Issue 1 of parABnormal Digest.