Today is the best day to start a blog. 2012 is the Year of the Black Water Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. I am born in 1980, the Monkey year. I'm a lucky primate who will have an extraordinary year ahead -- just ask Madam Ganesha, my favorite quack, psychic extraordinaire, charges 99 cents a minute. :)
I am typing this on an old CQ60 inside my bedroom, looking out through a wide tinted sliding glass window to a yard full of trees and vehicles (my parents have a small trucking business so I see mechanical behemoths everywhere that don't complement the fantastic view). I slept through most of the new year's eve celebration. We did not light any firecrackers. Last night's ruckus has agitated the birds and the dogs. There are birds living inside the upper trunk of an old star apple tree. Birds really are birds; I will never understand the choices they make. Why live inside a cramped trunk when you can be comfortable while nestled within the branches?
Writing-wise, 2012 starts off fabulously for me. January will see the release of my chapbook Insomnia with Medulla Publishing. Such an honor to have a chap to be released alongside the last collection of Hugh Fox, an influential proponent of the small presses. Popcorn Press has not contacted me yet, but my Grim Series is also scheduled for a January release. Later on this year, my chapbook with Thunderclap Press will be out. In April, Queen's Ferry Press will publish my first fiction book, We Bury the Landscape (originally titled as Imagine). It's made up of 100 little stories about different paintings. Erin Knowles McKnight, the coolest editor this side of the universe, has agonized over the nitty-gritties to create a book that is pristine, carefully copy-edited, perfect. Rereading a manuscript for the back-and-forth edits has driven me close to catatonia, but I love every moment of it. I'm proud of that book and how it evolved beautifully with the editorial direction of McKnight.
I will have many forthcoming stories and poems. Two horror stories in Anobium (with a magazine name like that, how can I resist). Discounted pre-orders here. And here's the awesome cover:
Also forthcoming are stories and poems to appear in many nice places like Dirtcakes, The Yalobusha Review, Fuselit, Ping Pong, etc. Anthologies like Chômu Press's Dadaoism Anthology and Rose Lemberg's The Moment of Change will print my work alongside many of my favorite writers. 2011 was also the year when I actively submitted to local presses and "met" online some of the most promising artists: Christine V. Lao, Eliza Victoria, Kenneth Yu, Charles Tan, Angelo Ancheta, Dean Alfar, and Kate Osias... Charles Tan, whose name I had come across at some point before, but I never knew he was Filipino. All in all, it was a very productive year.
December, 2011 has been a month of many published works: One Buck Horror, Quiet Shorts, Connotation Press, Fantastique Unfettered, Niteblade, Big Pulp, Platte Valley Review, Amethyst Arsenic, a stunning comic rendition at Schlock Magazine, and a podcast in The Way of the Buffalo. I am also part of Bigger Than They Appear, a thick volume of carefully-selected short poems edited by Katerina Stoykova-Klemer. The wonderful Samantha Milowsky even used my poem as a broadside handout for the Amethyst Arsenic Winter 2012 release party. Here's the facsimile:
Last month, I bought One Buck Zombies and enjoyed it immensely. I can't understand why Coronis Publishing has priced something of this quality at 99 cents; many self-published crap are offered for 99 cents. One Buck Zombies, in my opinion, is worth more than 99 cents. I also ordered Corey Mesler's I'll Give You Something to Cry About, the first book in the amazing Queen's Ferry Press line of short story collections. It hasn't arrived yet because it takes a while for mail to arrive here. But I'm quite excited to read it.
2011 has its moments, some are impossibly dreamlike, some are traumatic -- ended a three-year plus relationship that is going nowhere, started new book projects that will go somewhere. I am grateful to be home with a new job even if I am snookered for life writing about Nintendo products, filtration tanks, and worse, car upholstery cleaners -- projects and copies that can strip every last bit of inspiration even from the most emotionally hardened of people. The pay is equivalent to what I will earn if I dress up and be in the office. I like my boss, too, a no-nonsense man from Michigan. No benefits though. But I'm healthy, only get the annual colds, watch what I eat, exercise -- hopefully I can keep that up. And since I'm currently shacked up in my parent's house, I don't pay for anything except volunteering to take up on the internet bill which is just loose change. It's a big house and since I only go out when I need to refill my coffee cup and to eat, I think my parents will soon forget that their 31-year old daughter is parasitically living with them, among them. My sister lives in our other house, the one with ghosts. Another sibling lives in our house in the city, the one that is too small it cannot accommodate any ghosts. This sibling works in a badly-paying job and is a productive member of the society. The house where I'm in has ghosts, too. Everybody in the family has mocked me for saying so. But I hear a lot of shuffling sounds at night because I usually stay up late. The floors are all tiled, so the sounds are kind of an impatient back and forth of shoe bottoms. I get scared and turn on disco music. Disco music is about the most accurate paragon of bad taste, second to Justin Bieber, of course. But this strange thing (Shirley Jackson described it as "whatever walked there, walked alone...") has driven me to the arms of Akon and sometimes Lady Gaga. Yes, the Akon with the na na na. The Akon who instructs people to smack that. Gruesome brother Akon, gruesome but necessary as hot water on instant noodles. Disco music irritates me to the point that I don't get frightened anymore.
Last month, I accomplished so many things. I bought a life insurance policy with my niece and my nephew as the beneficiaries. My younger sister's husband died, and I'd like the two youngest members of the family to be, at least, well-provided for in the future. Since they are too young to be getting anything but lunch money, then I'll have to take good care of myself. :) My sister bought her own, a hefty one, too. My mother is the sole beneficiary; she said she does not trust anybody. Bright girl. I only wanted to cut a teeny portion of her finger so that I can pay for soundproofing my room. I so love my family even if we are all so strange and don't agree all the time... no, not all the time, always... I also witnessed a miracle last week. Home for the holidays, my brother, a techno geek who never parts with his ipod touch and his laptop, dusted the living room and changed the drapes. Everybody in the family is now worried about his mental health. This is an indication that anything, anybody can change. Whether it's for the better or for worse, a change nonetheless.
This is the first day of a long year ahead. Hope is a good thing (something I've learned from my favorite cons).
Walk with me...
Meditations of a Beast
Age of Blight
A Roomful of Machines
We Bury the Landscape