Poe is recovering nicely from her spaying and wants you to read the latest issue of Poetry, as well as That We May Live, a collection of Chinese speculative fiction in translation from Two Lines Press.
The big news from this past week is that I was notified that two of my poems have been accepted for publication! I will announce the venue when the publication date approaches. I can say that the journal which selected them is of the highest caliber. This will be my first unsolicited acceptance since the 1999 issue of Voices.
Reading and writing have both been mostly on hiatus for the last week, due to family duties, taking care of a recovering cat, and general exhaustion from extreme lack of sleep. I have managed to read a few stories from Varlam Shalamov‘s collection Kolyma Stories. This has done nothing for my peace of mind, as they are set in the gulag where he spent more than a decade of his life.
I have begun the process of turning my NaNoWriMo 2019 project — lightly-fictionalized writing about my terrible neighbor — into a series of short stories, and should hopefully have at least one of them whipped into shape before my birthday at the beginning of June. Would be nice to have at least one more publication under my belt by the end of the year.
Poe is about done with this week.
It’s been a busy week here at the Library of Winkelman Abbey. Yesterday we had our kitten spayed. She recovered nicely from the surgery and spent most of yesterday evening and night, well into today, being a psychotic beast. Only in the last couple of hours (a full 24 since the surgery) has she calmed down enough to sit still for more than about a minute. Thus, no kitten in today’s photo.
A small stack of books arrived in the past week. On the left is the newest issue of Jacobin. In the middle is the latest from Deep Vellum, The Love Story of the Century. And on the right is an impulse buy from Semiotext(e), The Coming Insurrection, the first title in their Interventions series.
The Coming Insurrection was briefly famous back in 2009 when noted fascist bootlick Glenn Beck spent several weeks pissing himself in terror on Fox News over what he called “the most evil book he has ever read.” Coming from someone who at the time worked at white nationalist propaganda outlet Fox News, that description is hilarious. I doubt Beck or any of his catamites (the ones who can read, anyway) made it past more than the first few pages of this small text.
So I have some good reading for the week ahead, while I nurse our kitten back to health.
Amazing how time flies when you have a kitten. Suddenly February is here and I can already feel the impending changing of seasons and birthdays and of course the end of the year is one month closer.
This week’s bundle of books for the Library of Winkelman Abbey is small but distinguished. On the left is Berari’s The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance, from Semiotext(e). In the middle is the latest arrival from And Other Stories, Gerald Murnane’s collection of essays Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs. On the right is Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts, the cover of which is even more beautiful in person than in the photo.
In reading, I am slowly ramping up again and working my way through volumes III and IV of the Long List Anthologies. There stories therein are absolutely amazing, no two anything alike, and while reading I feel simultaneously inspired and intimidated.
In writing, I took some time off from creating and editing, and used that time to update my list of published works. This effort included posting my novelette “Hvalur,” which was part of the original Brewed Awakenings anthology published by Caffeinated Press back in 2015.
I have made some progress on a cyberpunk-ish short story, and the research thereof has given me material for some new poems which may or may not see the light of day at some point in the future.
If I publish none of it, at least the cat will still love me.
Back in 2013 I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the first time. My project was a science fiction murder mystery set in and around a twenty kilometer tall tower located in the Gabon Estuary near Libreville. It was a fun exercise and I learned a lot about writing, but there were many (in hindsight) problematic aspects to the story and I have not done much with it since.
In 2014, as Caffeinated Press was starting up, the editor in chief approached the members of the writing group which had spawned the press and announced an open call for stories for an inaugural anthology. I wrote “Hvalur,” a 9,900 word prequel story to the 2013 NaNoWriMo project, and it was accepted and published in Brewed Awakenings I.
Since then, Caffeinated Press has gone out of business and the rights to the story have reverted to me. Rather than consign “Hvalur” to the long-tail limbo of Amazon.com’s back shelves I decided to put it up here on my website where it can be read for free. Aside from some minor line edits, this is the version which appeared in the anthology.
“Hvalur” is the first of what will eventually be a large collection of my writing which I will release publicly. If I get positive feedback I might even set up a Patreon account.
Click here to read “Hvalur.”
As part the process of focusing my 2020 reading on short fiction, I am keeping a list of every short story I read this year. Author names are linked to their primary online presence, as are the venues for those short stories.
January was quite busy, what with work deadlines, ConFusion 2020 and the new kitten, so I only read 20 stories. The majority came from periodicals though the last few came from the superb Long List Anthologies of short fiction nominated for the Hugo Awards.
- “Lost Book” – Williams, Ryan M. (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
- “That Faraway Kingdom” – Buckell, Tobias (Patreon)
- “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” – Fall, Isabel (Clarkesworld #160, January 2020)
- “Acceptable Losses” – Dermatis, Dayle (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
- “A Choose Your Own Fangle Adventure” – Jeschonek, Robert (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
- “Say Hello to my Little Friend” – Rusch, Kristine Kathryn (Pulphouse Fiction Magazine #7, Summer 2019)
- “The Ghost of a Smile” – Miller, John Jos (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “Cessation of Civilization” – Croke, Marie (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “Autoimmune” – Pankau, Kurt (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “Hot Times in Shady Pines” – Kloster, Gary (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “The Last Petal” – Madden, Anna (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “Extremophile” – Harpold, Robert E. (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “Dreamforger” – Crankshaw, Donald S. (Dreamforge #4, December 2019)
- “Dirtnap” – Koekkoek, Taylor (Paris Review #231, Winter 2019)
- “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance” – Buckell, Tobias (The Long List Anthology, vol. 4)
- “Red in Tooth and Cog” – Rambo, Cat (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
- “A Salvaging of Ghosts” – de Bodard, Aliette (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
- “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the International Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0” – Yaochim, Caroline M. (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
- “Razorback” – Vernon, Ursula (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
- “We Have a Cultural Difference, Can I Taste You?” – Jordan, Rebecca Ann (The Long List Anthology, vol. 3)
Here we have the famous book critic, Poe Kitten, expressing her approval of the latest book from Two Lines Press, b, Book, and Me, by Kim Sagwa, Though Poe has not yet read this book she approves of it because it is another thing for her to be briefly curious about and possibly gnaw on.
Not much new on the book acquisition side of things which is a relief as I am still cataloging the many books I picked up at ConFusion two weeks ago.
(Jeez. Was it only two weeks ago?)
Reading and writing continues apace. I have a few pieces still out there seeking new homes, and I am collating the stories I read throughout January, for their own post.
Now if you will excuse me, the Superbowl is on, so I have some nature documentaries to watch!