The first three months of my 2013 have been marked by semi-decent fumblings, always in-progress attempts to add to one of my glorified hobbies: writing.
Book-related news: We Bury the Landscape
Book-related news: Grim Series
- Grim Series made it all the way to the preliminary ballot of the HWA's Bram Stoker Award. I'm so stoked and deeply honored.
- At Rebellious Magazine, Jessica Dyer and Susan Yount runs a monthly column called Rebellious Women in Poetry. They ran an excerpt from We Bury the Landscape and said some really nice things about my books. Susan Yount runs Arsenic Lobster and Misty Publications. She also published me before (see image, with Arlene Ang and her indefatigable A leading the fine pack of alphabetized lobster names).
Book-related news: Smaller than Most
- At SF Site, Trent Walters reviews Smaller Than Most, an old project of mine published by Frank Burton's Philistine Press.
The State's Vol. III: The Social Olfactory
is launched today at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale
, India. In Dubai, copies are sold at Traffic
. Stockists are at Doha, Lisbon, London, Singapore, Chicago, Madrid, New York, and Paris.
My story, "The Proustian Phenomenon," deftly touches on my absolute disgust for the dog-eating population of the Philippines, my unpopular views on college frats as "fancily-named-by-misappropriating-Greek-letters brotherhood
," and other sniff-tastic things. There's also the memory of sex incited by the scent of lemongrass, of grief by mothballs.
Here are some of the shots I pilfered from the social media accounts of The State
This is my first inclusion in a Dubai-based publication, so I'm really quite thrilled. The picture of Dubai I have in mind has always been the riveting architecture, like the iconic Palm Islands and the city's skyscrapers.
's grassroots micropress is also set to launch a doomsday-themed anthology entitled Thursday Never Coming Back
. Here's the awesome DFW-inspired cover.
2012 is almost over. If you will everything to fall into place, it almost always does what it's told.
There's an ongoing networked blog interview called The Next Big Thing
, and each day, it gets harder and harder to find other authors to tag. Bob Lock
, who talked about his latest project They Made Monsters
, was kind enough to let me in on the fray. So, here goes...1. What is the title of your book? Grim Series2.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The book is made up of poem sequences. I don't know or can't remember where exactly I got the idea, but writing a series of poems conforming to a theme or containing a recurring character is pretty much an ongoing phenomenon .
The first part, the Conrad poems (the early versions appeared here
), were my love token to the bold and dissident FRANK poems by CA Conrad.
The second section was inspired by H.R. Giger's art. Next section is all about Edwin Muir's "The Horses."
I am completely obsessed with that Muir masterpiece so it spurred a lot of sci-fi apocalyptic poems. I was a teenager when I first encountered it in a Norton volume, and it made quite an impression.
The "Vengeful Villagers" and "Body Horror" series of poems consisted of pulpish pieces that sensationalize and sometimes gross out. Their motif was to not
have any redeeming values beyond their campy imaginings.
My final act was the sixteen Strangers poems
. Bruce Boston, one of my favorite authors of all time, wrote a suite of "people" poems where he talked about whimsical what-ifs like what if there were "mole people" or "bird people." Boston finally collected those fine "people" poems in Anthropomorphisms
. I'm sure that's probably where I got the idea for the Strangers. 3.
What genre does your book fall under?
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I don't know anyone who is sinister enough to portray recurring characters in poetry except for Javier Bardem. His Anton Chigurh is the ultimate movie villain. I had two nightmares featuring his character in No Country for Old Men. If he were the one hunting me, I would have dropped down dead simply by anticipating his approach. So, yes, there's only one actor in the world who could do Grim Series.
Javier Bardem as Conrad whose insides were "all yellow inside. That wrong shade of yellow—the color of the gods."
Javier Bardem as the Invisible who was "cutting away the eyelids of our dead..."
Javier Bardem as any of the sixteen Strangers:
From "The Sixth Stranger"
He held his worshippers’ heads down the shallow water
of an oasis. Flailing and gasping, they did not take too long
to die. It did not satisfy him.
That's his insidious Anton Chigurh right there in that quote!
And this one from "The Seventh Stranger" is vintage Chigurh:
But the seventh stranger came,
ordered us to enter the pigs
then sent us to the waters to drown.
Nobody messes with Javier Bardem and gets away with it. Nobody.
New work in magazines and journals
If you have time, please check out my "Endurance Test"
. Image is by Ryan Molloy. Big thanks to Andrea Kneeland and Aaron Burch.
These are two muscled and bound issues of Hobart
. I received them in 2010 when I had a little story accepted for the online version.
"Death Wish Billy," "Hag," "Fairy," and "Dream Tide" are the four poems included in Phantasmagorium
. Thanks to Joe Pulver, Scott Nicolay, and the cast behind this iconic magazine. Cover is by JD Busch. Contributors include Jeffrey Thomas, Robin Spriggs, Ken Asamatsu, Edward Lipsett, Daniel Mills, Jayaprakash Satyamurthy, and Edward Morris.
A little story, "Zombie
," is up at Southern Pacific Review
And here's a pic of the gorgeous hot pink Ping•Pong
containing three of my prose poems.
Look at these postcards and markers with their matching journals/books--just a sampling from my treasure trove of souvenirs, buys, and freebies accumulated from years of conniving and trysting with the small presses.
of writers for the first issue of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction
made me squeal with delight. Etching the Lontar
| Jason Erik Lundberg (Editorial)Departures
| Kate Osias (Fiction)Love in the Time of Utopia
| Zen Cho (Fiction)Philippine Magic: A Course Catalogue
| Paolo Chikiamco (Non-Fiction)Jayawarman 9th Remembers the Dragon Archipelago
| Chris Mooney-Singh (Poetry)The Immortal Pharmacist
| Ang Si Min (Poetry)Stainless Steel Nak
| Bryan Thao Worra (Poetry)The Yellow River
| Elka Ray Nguyen (Fiction)The Gambler
| Paolo Bacigalupi (Fiction Reprint)
We are now reading for the second issue. Please consider submitting if you have anything that fits the theme of LONTAR. Submission guidelines can be found here
.We Bury the Landscape
- Colman O Criodain reviews We Bury the Landscape over at Gloom Cupboard.
- To read other reviews, please go here.
Dwarf Stars Award
- Francesca Forrest wrote the first ever review of Grim Series. The review is published by Versifications.
Got a nice little jolt yesterday after receiving an email notifying me that my short poem was a finalist for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Dwarf Stars Award. I'm not a member of the SFPA. I'm humbled, honored, and grateful each time some SFPA members find my work worthy enough to be nominated several times for the Rhysling Award (2010
, and 2008
) and twice for the Dwarf Stars Award (2008
and 2012). I don't know if there's such a thing as getting starstruck by an email, but it can happen. I was very much starstruck, still am, upon receiving the email (notifying me of inclusion to the Dwarf Stars antho) from a Nebula Award winner who writes hard sf and works for NASA. New work in magazines and journals
The latest issue of Dirtcakes
is packed with a diverse mix of literary treats and art, including brilliant work from Mary Stone Dockery and Jennifer Hollie Bowles. The theme of the issue is "Girls Will Be Women," and it features my prose poem "A Novel" and flash fiction "Surgical Addiction."
Popcorn Press, a Wisconsin-based micropublisher, releases my leathery looking 128-page poetry collection.
is composed of 86 genre
-driven poems. Most of the poems have been previously published. Only two of the eighty-six poems were original to this collection. One poem was accepted by Ruthless Peoples Magazine
, which then went on hiatus before the poem was included in an issue. I was hoping that they'd "awaken" because I would love to have something in Ruthless Peoples Magazine
. For years, I waited waited waited as I'm really a tenacious sort. I've since then moved on to non-poetry endeavors. So, going back to the book... Excerpts
The following are early versions of the poems that are included in this collection:Availability
Right now, you can buy Grim Series
in either paperback or digital form from:
The ever generous Marge Simon invited me to send her a guest essay for her September column in the newsletter of the Horror Writer's Association. I wrote a short, non-academic piece about my poetry writing "strategy." The essay includes excerpts from Grim Series
. So, if you're a member of the HWA (I'm not, so I won't see it except for the tear sheets), then I hope that you'll find it interesting. I'll reprint the essay here at the end of the year. And if you pick up my book, I hope that you will enjoy it. Have a wonderful Sunday!
"But despite" from the April, 2012 sold out issue of PocketESC
is videod/audioed (that's my voice) here. Here are the issue
Strong, murky coffee. Has nothing to do with SEO.
When you Google your name, your website or your blog must be the first thing that you see. I know, it's a problem if your name is John Smith. Ideally, if you Google your name, then your site is the topmost site on the first page of Google’s search results.
If it isn’t, then it’s no big deal. If people like what you write, then they’ll find your online presence eventually. But it would be nice to make it easy for them to find your site.
You don’t have to listen to me, really. I don’t even have my own domain. Perhaps, someday… But for some writers, they might find these super-basic tips helpful. Write for Google’s robots, and write for your intended audience.
First, put something that’s keyword-rich on the “description” settings of your site. In Blogger, this is found in settings. Write something that’s keyword-rich and catchy. What do you want to be known for? Are you a writer, a dung beetle, or a dealer of black market goods? State this where it says description. This is your virtual badge. If you leave this blank, Google will take the “description” from your most recent blog entry/site entry. What if your recent entry is your story about a mutant cow with a penchant for eating rubber tires? Theoretically, Google will then “see” your site as a pretty colorful bovine that is a weak foil to the SEO empire of Goodyear. Don’t forget to include meta keywords or tags (e.g. writer, novel, fiction, poetry, etc.). Separate them using commas.
Type “horror writer” on the Google search bar. The writer-sites that you see there – they are not there by mistake. They optimized the use of that keyword for a long time until Google recognized them as the “trusted sites” for “horror writer.” Right now, these are the writers who had clinched that keyword with finesse -- J. L. Comeau and Jeremy Bishop. Their sites appear on the golden first page.
Second, do not copy content. In the case of writers, it’s usually the direct copying-pasting of reviews that simultaneously appear on the reviewer’s site. Each time you reproduce text that appears elsewhere, you hurt your ranking. Google’s algorithms see that, on top of many other things.
Third, go easy on the tacky virtual pyrotechnics. The time it takes to load your webpages is an important factor on how well you are ranked. Google favors sites that offer good user experience, meaning the pages load fast. If you blog and it’s a long entry with a lot of pics, then insert a "read more" division to curtail the loading time. Like this: