Publishing Notes: Guest Editor for Non-Binary Review #12: The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Send me your Poe!

I have the distinct pleasure of being guest editor for Zoetic Press’s Non-Binary Review, #12: The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, and I want YOU to send me your Poe-influenced work.

I have worked with Poe’s material closely now for about ten years, so it has been a real pleasure seeing what others bring to the pendulum table. However, I want more!

Submissions close 2/1 (a week from today), and I am especially interested in seeing non-fiction and pieces riffing off of more obscure works (I’d prefer to read “The Raven” riffs, nevermore). I also would like to see more POC, LGBTQ, and women writers and perspectives represented.

Paying market. Reprints are welcome, but no Emo.

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Please send your submissions here. Read More

What does “Quiet Horror” mean? Five Horror Writers Weigh In–Lovecraft eZine

This one fell through the blogging cracks for some reason. Nonetheless, this roundtable curated and conducted by Acep Hale is a great vehicle for showing how nuanced the horror genre is, but also how many voices are out there improvising it.

I was honored to be part of the “Quiet Horror” panel with Kristi DeMeester, C.M. Muller, Nathan Carson, and Mehitobel Wilson.

The BBZ Ist Quarterly Report: Publishing News, Nick Mamatas’ LAST WEEKEND, & more!

Welp, so it’s May, huh? I haven’t posted much here, other than maybe to don a mustache for a bit of fun tribute. So, that can mean one thing, and one thing only:  MASSIVE UPDATES!

Ah, but updates on what? For the most part, existence at the Bas Bleu Zombie headquarters has been like this:

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Despite 2016 trying to be more of a royal fucker than 2015, or 2013, I have been writing like a fiend. A lot of it has been freelance stuff to supplement my Lush Bath Bomb habit, most of it has been for STEAMPUNK PARIS, and the rest of it is miscellany slowly trickling into the world.

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New Release: Dunhams Manor Press Presents: The Last Session

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Contributor copies of The Last Session, now available for purchase at Dynatox Ministries.

I am very happy to announce that my new novelette, The Last Session: or, The Facts in the Case of Clarissa Collyer, is now out and available for purchase. This is my fourth project with Jordan Krall, Dunhams Manor Press, and Dynatox Ministries, and it has been every bit an awesome experience as the last three. As with all DMP chapbooks, this is a limited run, so when they are gone, they’re gone.

A few readers have been posting pics of their copies on Facebook, and that has really been making my days. Thank you so much, and I hope you all enjoy.

Synopsis:

Clarissa Collyer is having problems growing up. Among the usual teenage problems of identity and independence, she also has to care for her mother, whose soul is stuck in her cancer-ridden body. A modern riffing on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” this weird bildungsroman tale from Selena Chambers frays the threads between cutting the mortal coil and the umbilical cord.

Purchasing details:

$8 + S & H.

Copies can be ordered from:  http://dynatox.storenvy.com/products/15651756-the-last-session-by-selena-chambers-dunhams-manor-weird-fiction.

 

 

Summer Catch Up

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Aloha from the Jungle Queen Cruise, part of the 2014 Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

So, it is summer again and I’ve let the heat, humidity, and well…frankly, Hannibal keep me from blogging. And, I was doing so well, too!So here, in list form, is what’s been up on the writer side of things. Travel side of things will come later. Eventually. After I consume Season Two, more likely:

Publications:

Online you will find a few things:

Vintage Scenes #3: Morellino di Scansano, 2011 Vendemmia” is now available in the latest issue of Mungbeing magazine. This round’s theme is reflections, and although the wine is Tuscan, I couldn’t help but play in Frida Kahlo’s world of scryes a bit. And there’s some local flair in there too, for those who are around.

The Revolution Will Be Served: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry Mixes at the Hukilau and Takes us Through the Past, Present, and Future of Tiki” ran a few weeks ago on ATLRetro.com. I interviewed the Beachbum and talked about the rise and fall and rise again of Tiki, as well as his awesome new book POTIONS OF THE CARIBBEAN, which I highly recommend, even if you aren’t a cocktailian.

This interview is in conjunction of Hukilau coverage I did for ATLRetro, where I joined editor Anya Martin to check out the vibe. It was a great vibe. Hadn’t had fun like that in a while, if even ever…. Definitely something to put on repeat.

In Print:

“The Venus of Great Neck,” is my Jazz-baby Steampunk story written exclusively for ACRONOS II edited by Josué Ramos (Tyrannosauras Books), and is currently only available in Spanish. Although, an English edition is being discussed, and I’ll be sure to throw deets down when they are available.

Forthcoming:

My series “Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN” will be published as a whole in the second issue of NonBinary Review, where Mary Shelley’s seminal novel is the theme. If you haven’t heard of NonBinary Review yet, definitely put this on the radar because…well, their website says it best, so I’m just going to quote from them:

“NonBinary Review uses Lithomobilus, a new type of e-reader that allows for multi-threaded, interactive literature. It allows novelists to tell a story from every point of view. Essayists can comment on other works. Short story writers can add alternate points of view to an existing narrative. Any author can add notes, photos, or other artifacts of the creative process.”

Thanks to editors Allie Marini Batts and Lise Quintana for having me aboard! I am very excited to be a part of this, and to have my letters aside one of my favorite novels of all time. And, if that wasn’t enough, the cover is going to be done by the awesomeness that is Mandem!

You can download the reader here, and check out the first issue–all for free.

Updates on Forthcoming Publications

James Ng's interior illustration of "The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour," my short story in STEAMPUNK WORLD.
James Ng’s interior illustration of “The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour,” my short story in STEAMPUNK WORLD.

STEAMPUNK WORLD, edited by Sarah Hans for Alliteration Ink is still steaming along. I am unsure of the final release date, but I do know that James Ng has finished his interior sketches, and I am allowed to share my story “The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.”  Also, Alliteration Ink has partnered with BitLit to bundle digital copies with all hardcopy sales, so those who will be receiving print copies as part of their Kickstarter pledge will get a digital copy also, I believe.

A DARKE PHANTASTIQUE edited by Jason V. Brock for Cycatrix Press, containing my short story “Descartar,” should be out by the end of the summer, and is available for pre-order here.

STARRY WISDOM LIBRARY, edited by Nate Pedersen for PS Publishing, containing my short story “Remnants of Lost Empires,” is slated for September 2014. According to Nate’s website, PS Publishing will be launching the tome at FantasyCon. Update can be found at the above link.

Writing Advice and Anxiety: A long footnote to my Guest Post at SarahHans.com.

So, I have done something that I have been avoiding for a long time: I am giving writer advice.

I have (mostly) operated under a Scarlett O’Hara-like edict that I’d rather let my blog die (which many of my blogs have) than add more white noise to the writing advice/writing life feed.  Mainly because most of my experience has been trial and error–a LOT of error–and I’ve never felt like I had anything to offer in the “hot tips” department.  I still don’t have any “hot tips,” but I do feel like one aspect of the writing life–the lifestyle–has been ignored in the do’s and don’t discussions, and if I have come to know anything about writing in the ten years I have been pursuing it, it is that in addition to knowing the toolbox and understanding how to use the tools inside it, you need to know yourself. Also, and more importantly, you need to get to know others and the world outside of your own.

This realization struck me when I saw THE RUM DIARY, and I realized advice on mistake-making could be as useful as advice on mistake-avoiding, and so I broke my fast and wrote this guest post for Sarah Hans’ great blog.

Sarah is an excellent writer, and her site offers a ton of writing as well as editorial perspectives, as well as monthly submission call round-ups. Read More

Vintage Scenes and Stuckism in Mungbeing 54: New Directions

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The bottle that inspired my new story “Vintage Scenes #1: Bandol, Chateau La Rouvière, 2002” appearing in Mungbeing magazine.

After ten years of keeping the fringe and avant-garde alive and well, Mungbeing magazine has launched its final year with Issue 54: New Directions.  Editor Mark Givens has launched Pelekinesis, a small press that is specializing on promoting independent artists and writers across the myriad publishing platforms, and will be hanging the Mungbeing hat up to focus more on that.  But, Mungebeing has had an incredible history tackling many topical themes, and helping to bring to light underground and unclassifiable work under one roof.

I actually discovered Mungbeing through  Stuckism, when the magazine ran a Stuckist and Outsider Art Issue.  Throughout college, I was obsessed with movements like Stuckism and Kitsch, and even tried to start a Florida Stuckist group with a one-time issue online zine. Alas, it didn’t stick. However, I believe my interest in Stuckism and Remodernism shaped much of my sensibilities that have allowed me to appreciate, enjoy, and participate in retro movements like Steampunk.

Stuckism is now 15 years old, and this issue has an impressive amount of material covering the movement including exclusive art, interviews, and footage from people who have championed and observed the movement.

This issue also happens to have the first of my new series Vintage Scenes that involve pairings of a specific bottle of wine with a happening. Some of the stories are fictional memoir, others not so much, but one thing you can count on, the centerpiece of these stories have been or will be enjoyed by yours truly. This story focuses on the changing wine industry, and the best damn wine I’ve ever had, a 2002 Bandol which I actually drunk with my husband in a Genevan hotel after visiting Mont Blanc. God, memories in a bottle! You can read them here.

Backward Glances: January summation

January funtimesSome months are quiet, and others are very loud with announcements and such.  In the later case, those are often broadcasted reactively as they happen, and get lost in the shuffle of all the other news-bytes out there.  So, I thought an end of the month summation would be a nice way to compromise the fragmented with the soft and clamorous, of which, January definitely fell into the former.

First, I am writing this during the polar vortex attack on everywhere, including the South.  All day yesterday, people lost their cool as public building closures were gradually announced.  Hysterical hyperboles floated from mouth to mouth faster than the flu, and after Atlanta and the more northern Southern areas were dusted with the white stuff, suddenly, we were in for God knows what—a blizzard?

While it has been drizzling sleet, I am sad to say there is no snow. I’m disappointed. The last time it snowed here was in 1989, unless you count that time in college when I saw one solitary snow flake fall and melt on my hand. Both were rare and magical moments.  Today, just another cloudy and wet wintry day in North Florida. Even so, the gentle tapping of the sleet against the windows have been comforting, the cat wants to cuddle rather than play all day, and if I am good, I’ll get to have a hot toddy with a friend later on.

I know I am not the only one swathed in blankets and nursing hot tea. So what’s everyone else been up too in January? Does the cold have you down? Or does it have you deep in a book or project? What are you all doing to make the best of it?

As for me….

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F. O. Friday: Net Neutrality and Writers

Let’s face it. It’s Friday and your mind just isn’t on your work. Let me offer you some time-passing and hopefully enlightening distractions via F. O. Friday.

Seriously, browse all you can, because days of Internet goofing-off at the office may be over.  That’s right, the FCC executed net neutrality last Tuesday, and there have been a lot of articles sussing out what this means to free speech, to small business, and to consumers.

Whether we are bibliophiles or writers, we spend a lot of our time on the Internet pursuing and sharing our passions, and so as someone who falls into both of the above categories, I wondered what net neutrality might mean to us literati folks.  The below links attempt to paint a picture and are worth perusing:

First, what is net neutrality? This piece at The Atlantic was pretty ok and not hysterical.

Melville House discusses possible effects on indie bookstores.

Cory Doctorow explores the history and paltry language of the original rules at Boing Boing.  I also stumbled across an older piece by Doctorow for Locust that pertains specifically to writers.

Josh Stearns discusses the freedom of press and future of journalism at PBS.org.

And the Writers Guild of America are not pleased.

So, yeah, this is bad.  All is not lost, though.  Free Press has set up an easy petition form to complete and help people to speak out.  If you disagree with the net neutrality decision, please take a moment to fill it out.

2013: A Year of Some Stuff

2013 happened. I did some stuff.

I traveled to Denver, CO twice. First as a guest of Anomalycon, which was a really fun experience. I went to Providence, RI and New Bedford.  I went and visited friends in Vancouver, and drove the entire West coast (from Seattle to San Diego) in a week with my husband, and fell more in love with California more than ever.  I spent time with old friends and became acquainted with new ones.  I had a lot of rich experiences, including getting to sit for Henrietta’s Eye in Seattle, which I will post about more extensively soon.

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I wrote a lot more than I did in 2012, and most of it was fiction, which I also sold.  

I had reprints appear in Zombies: Shambling Through The Ages and Planes B.

I sold original stories to The New Gothic (the story there is a collaboration with Jesse Bullington), to the much anticipated Steampunk Worlds (the kickstarter is still monstrous and kicking!), and to the Spanish steampunk anthology Acronos II (I believe this will be Spanish and English, but will update if something changes).

I am an immensely slow writer, especially with the making up of things, so while this looks pithy, this is a huge deal for me, especially considering that, all the above awesomeness aside, 2013 was also a trying year. 

My non-fiction production has wound down a bit, and I’m not sure it will pick up much more this year.  We’ll see.  However, the pieces that were published in 2013 are among some of my favorite I’ve produced in the past ten years.

There was my “Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” series that ran at WeirdFictionReview.com and “Touring Steampunk Paris” which I co-wrote with Arthur Morgan, and photos by Nicolas Meunier.  I also wrote the introduction to Morgan’s Le Guide Steampunk, which he wrote with Etienne Bariller.

And I think that is it for the writing front.

On the reading front, I didn’t keep the usual OCD list of books consumed during the year.  Off the top of my head, I think I read about 15-20 books, a few that stood out to me being (in no particular order):  To Have and Have Not: A Hemingway Drinking Companion by Phillip Greene, Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington, Who Owns the Future by Jaron Lanier, Short Stories of Mary Shelley, A Pretty Mouth by Molly Tanzer, Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas, and Never Bet the Devil by Orrin Grey.

Looking at that list, immediately I notice it is more dudes than not.  I think that besides Patricia Highsmith, purchasing every damn Sylvia Plath book I could find at Goodwill bookstore Mondays, and my Mary Shelley readings, my overall male reading dominated my female reading last year by about roughly 3:1. 

I’ve never really kept a tally like that, but I watched that Facebook meme about 10 books that stuck with you, or something like that, circulate and became inspired by an awesome comment by author Sarah Hans who suggested that reading more female authors wouldn’t be a bad new year’s resolution for male and female friends alike.  As I align myself with the Bluestockings, believe that I write within a female tradition and about female issues (mostly), and worship the ground of many female authors and auteurs like Mina Loy and Frieda Khalo, my reading of said Bluestockings is actually kind of dismal. 

So, this brings me to the whole 2014 resolution schtick, which is three-fold:  

I want to read AT LEAST 50 books this year, but, the majority of those 50 titles (let’s say 40 out of 50) will be by not only female authors, but those that I have never read before. I also want to blog more (hence this sudden WordPress manifestation), so I will write about the work and the authoresses as a beginning of a series I have always wanted to do but never had the time/nerve/drive/clams/venue to do: The Bas Bleu Zombies (hey, that’s the name of my tumblr!).

Already, I am going to cheat a little with the aforementioned Sylvia Beach books (her Seventeen magazine articles, y’all!) and with Molly Tanzer’s new short story collection Rumbuillion, but I may also read several volumes by the same people if I am really feeling their oeuvre. Yeah, yeah, yeah—but warnings like that aside, I will try to go beyond my usual goddesses and post here about them as regularly as possible.

I also encourage everyone to join me.  While I can’t commit to a proper book club, I can try to anticipate what I will be reading next, and am also always open to recommendations and discussion.

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So, to start off, I will be reading THE DUD AVOCADO by Elaine Dundy.  I am picking this selection because I impulse bought it at a Goodwill book sale, and my friend (who has the best taste in books) is in love with it so much she ordered it a few days after borrowing it from me. So, that’s a pretty good endorsement…

 So I will see everyone in about 200 pages. Meanwhile, Happy New Year’s, may 2014 be filled with wonder and glory for you all.