Monday, December 9, 2019

Omniscience (Christmas Flash Fiction)

Nahflegaz, the ancient God of night and winter, materialized on top of a snow
drift and looked upon his surroundings with disgust. Lights twinkled in every
window, doors were decorated with greenly life. It was sickening.

“Grazakradi,” the God called forth his first general, “tell the legions to fan
out. Find him.”

The hulking shade nodded and, with one elongated tendril, raised up every
shadow cast by moon and man. Within minutes, the darkness spread and cut itself into millions of stick-like figures.

Nahflegaz watched as his newly-recruited soldiers spread out while he sharpened his icy blade. He set off, covering miles with a single lurch. He followed the cold and drifted North, skirting over oceans and plains. He was going to the top of the world.
He spent hours searching for the earthly God, the one who stole his offerings and admirers... the fat, old man of the North. Long after the estimated time, Nahflegaz waited for any flash of red or sound of horrid bells.

"The people who worship him will pay,” Nahflegaz said, “as soon as I slay that
Santa Claus.”

Monday, November 25, 2019

"Diagnosis Prelude" in Bacopa Literary Review

In the middle of September, Bacopa Literary Review published a poem of mine. It's a more personal piece than the normal ones I send out. I was going through radiation for uterine cancer and trying to make sense of things in my life.  

I never thought I'd deal with cancer so young. I certainly couldn't imagine surviving two cancers (uterine and Hodgkin's) like I am now. It's a lot. Next month, I get another scan to see if I'm still in remission.

I wanted the end of the poem to be like my future, ambiguous... yet hopeful. Sometimes, it's all we can ask for.

Monday, November 11, 2019

November PAD

I'm participating in the Poem-a-Day Challenge this month, the first time in four years.  The rules of the challenge are different for me:  I allow myself mulligan days, partial pieces, and other things I normally don't.  At first, I rallied against my self-accommodations but, as time went on, I realized I couldn't participate without them.  Do I want to produce three poems following every stipulation, or thirty with tweaks to the process?

2019 is one of the hardest years of my life so far.  There is always an illness or emergency sucking away my sleep, time, and health.  Writing isn't a priority when the world is on fire, and all you wish for is that no one dies.

Nineteen full and partial poems—by day's end, that number should be a nice, round twenty.  I don't even know if I wrote nineteen poems this entire year prior to November.

The part I don't like about this challenge is how few poems are actually good.  Out of every piece I wrote so far, I might currently like two.  I keep mixing metaphors, covering the same ground, letting the middles sag, and producing endings that aren't endings at all. But, that's what editing is for... I guess.  I just wish there was more wheat within the mountain of chaff.

Are you doing a writing challenge this month?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Frankenstein (A Poem)

Flesh, patchwork quilt
Summer storm gave birth to you
Ground relinquished your body
You shall call me “God”

I toyed with switching the beginning of the last line from "you" to "they" because of Dr. Frankenstein's ego, but I left it to merely encompass the monster.  I do (and don't) like this poem.  

Extras (some horror microfiction):

She hesitated
"It's okay... touch it."
"So warm," she said, smiling.
They watched the hellmouth grow.

"Girls die," sister said, "for dresses like these."
She twirled.  The patchwork, skin skirt flared outward.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Halloween Cards 2019 (With Pictures)

This is my messy workstation. What the picture doesn't show you are all the boxes and supplies laid out around my table and chair.

I tried a bat theme in monochrome. Some of the bats are 3D, and they are all glittery. I am not thrilled with the way it came out.

Green is a Halloween color, so I thought I would pair two shades together. It's a simple stamp card, which I think turned out kind of cute.

I adore witches and purple, so this card was really pretty in my head. In reality, it's kind of boring. I hate that you can see visible glue smears on the black. Keep in mind, I am not a professional. 

This card turned out to be my favorite. The three pumpkins on the bottom have glittery eyes and mouths to match the glitter on the main pumpkin. The gold stripes in the background are shiny. It ended up working very well. (I'm still not sure about the three pumpkins on the bottom, it might've worked better with just the big pumpkin as the focus).
What do you think? Which card is your favorite?

Monday, September 23, 2019

"Absentee Father" in Antinarrative Journal

Last year, antinarrative journal published "Absentee Father".  The publication went under soon after, and I never had a chance to share the link.  While searching through my in-box yesterday, I found the email containing the piece.  
I love online literary magazines because of their accessibility but, when they become defunct, it's a lot harder to find proof of publication.  When you have a print magazine, contributors often receive copies they can scan (or take photos of) if the magazine ceases operation.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Word-of-Mouth Book Sales

Ninety-five percent of books are sold by word-of-mouth.  Ninety-five!  I knew recommendations from friends, family, and trusted reviewers were important to sales, but I never realized how much.

I shouldn't be surprised, my sister and I introduce each other to new authors and series all the time.  Our current (or favorite) reads are something we discuss each visit. I trust her judgement more than any advertisement—partly because she's not trying to sell me on anything, and partly because she's a smart woman who knows my tastes well.
I have a very small circle of people in my life who will read my chapbook.  Even less will recommend it to their (mostly) non-poetry-reading pals.  I don't want those who read my work to regret it.  And, I never want the people closest to me to shill my work out of obligation.

Promotion and marketing still feels yucky to me.  I like sharing news about my soon-to-be-published works because I'm excited about them, but there's a line I dread crossing.  How do you wear the neon "buy my book" sign?  How?  I refuse to make connections with an eye on sales (something related to what I touched on early this year).

Maybe I'm not meant to be a poet.  This salesman shtick is stressful.
A poetry chapbook generally sells a hundred copies in its entire existence (a full-length collection sells around 300).  I realize poetry isn't about the numbers, but I still want to reach people (and not be a "loss" for my presses). It's not about fame or awards... poetry rarely is.