Friday, January 1, 2021

January 2021 Update

The end of one year and the start of another seems to be a good time to do some cleanup and organizing. To that end, I’ve gone through my bookcases, paring out items I (reluctantly) acknowledge that I am unlikely to read again. The upside of the process is that I also took the opportunity to better organize my bookshelves, which should make it easier to locate items when I need them. 

One item I haven’t gotten rid of entirely is a handful of my favourite Andre Norton paperbacks. I still remember as a teenager tearing out the order sheet at the back of the book, going through the difficult process of selecting from the list (I wanted them all!), and mailing off my requests along with a money order from the post office. Because our local library didn’t have the full range of Norton’s titles available, I deeply enjoyed dipping into the package of books when they arrived, opening new and exciting worlds. 

Hilarious to look at the prices on the cover though: the majority of them were priced at $1.25. Then again, that’s when I was working at a part-time job that started at less than $2.00 per hour . . . 

Recent Publications

Two poems, “Blackbeard Returns as a Porch Pirate,” and “The Day Politeness Revealed Its Limits,” were published in Frost Zone Zine, Issue 2, Winter 2020-21. 

A story titled “Gone” and a poem “No Fairy Tale World” made it into New Myths’ second anthology, Twilight Worlds: Best of NewMyths Anthology Volume II (link below). It’s always a pleasure to be included in the pages of the New Myths zine and the resulting anthologies. 

https://www.amazon.com/Twilight-Worlds-Best-NewMyths-Anthology/dp/193935417X 

My review of On This Day: 365 Tales of History, Mystery, and More, by Dale Jarvis, appeared on the Miramichi Reader web site December 19th. Link below: 

https://miramichireader.ca/2020/12/on-this-day-365-tales-of-history-mystery-and-more/

What I’m Working On

I’m continuing to work on short stories while also catching up on a backlog of book reviews. Maybe it’s the influence of my former employer, but at the start of each year, I set goals for the coming year—some concrete, some less so. In 2021, I’m planning to focus on going deeper with my fiction, which means more time up front planning and outlining. One possible outcome is fewer submissions, with the trade-off (hopefully) of a higher acceptance rate.

Coming Soon

For a variety of reasons, I don’t have the usual number of submissions out in circulation, so it’s not surprising that there’s not too much coming down the pipeline publication-wise in the next couple of months, aside from the February Scifaikuest and a couple of other items. Further out, there are some pending items in March/April. More on that as we get closer.

 

 

 

Monday, November 30, 2020

December 2020 update

Thanks to encouragement from some fellow SF Canada members, I participated in NaNoWriMo in November—not working on one specific project, but trying to make progress on some short stories and a poetry collection. Though I didn’t hit the NaNoWriMo target of 50,000 words, I did manage to more than triple my usual monthly output by writing more than 30,000 words, which I count as a success! I got the base draft completed for two novelettes as well as a couple of re-drafts and a start on a collection of non-speculative haibun. Now to work on refinements. 

Recent Publications
A poem “Planets With Two Moons” was published in Spaceports and Spidersilk, Hiraeth Publishing, October 2020. 

My review of Ursula Pflug’s Seeds and Other Stories appeared on The Future Fire web site November 20. The link is below: 

http://reviews.futurefire.net/2020/11/pflug-seeds-and-other-stories.html 

Looking back on the books I’ve read over the course of the year, I’d say Seeds and Other Stories is up in my top three, along with Julie Czerneda’s Mirage and Nina Munteanu’s A Diary in the Age of Water.

What I’m Working On
During the next month, I’ll be refining and sending out some of the raw work I put together during November, as well as working on a submission for a specific call for 1960’s detective stories. Researching for that has been a lot of fun so far! Being born toward the end of the 1950’s, I was around for the ’60s, but have needed some fact-checking to fill in the blanks. 

I also have some book reviews to complete and submit.

Coming Soon
A handful of poems are due out in December, January, and February. More on those as they appear.

 

 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

November 2020 Update

Lots of rain the past couple of weeks in our part of southern Ontario. Not to mention the first snowfall a couple of days ago. All the more reason to stay in and write!

Recent Publications
My short story “The Disconnect” was included in Third Flatiron’s Brain Games: Stories to Astonish (Third Flatiron Anthologies Book 28).

Four poems, “For Leonard,” “Ghost Planet,” “History Waits to be Written,” and “Wings of Wax,” were published in Stellar Evolutions, an anthology of stories and poems from the first fifteen issues of Polar Borealis Magazine. In total, the anthology includes 21 poems and 23 short stories selected and edited by RainWood Press Publisher Rhea E. Rose.

A poem “ABC’s of Sci-Fi Nightmares” was published in Polar Borealis, Issue 16:

http://polarborealis.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/POLAR-BOREALIS-16-Sep-Oct-2020.pdf

A poem “For Laika” appeared in House of Zolo Journal of Speculative Literature, Volume 2, available through Amazon.

A poem titled “Into the Sea” was published in Utopia Science Fiction, Vol. 2, Issue 2, October 2020.

A cartoon titled “Corvid” was published on the Funny Pearls web site, October 9, 2020:

https://funnypearls.com/2020/10/corvid-lisa-timpf/

My review of A.J. Hackwith’s Library of the Unwritten appeared in The Fifth Di..., published by Hiraeth Books, September 1, 2020.

A review of Suzanne Palmer’s Finder appeared on the New Myths web site, at the link below:

https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/books-we-are-reading/finder

I posted a review of And the Angels Sang by Lorina Stephens on Goodreads.

What I’m Working On
I’ve been continuing to work on short stories for send-out, while also reading through various resources on plot and theme. After some dithering, I opted to enrol in NaNoWriMo, thanks to a discussion on the SF Canada website. Rather than tackling a novel per se, I’ll be focussing on nature haibun, based largely on material drawn from canoeing/camping journals, and on science fiction short stories for various upcoming calls.

And, of course, I’m continuing to pick away at some book reviews I’ve committed to do. One of the books I read recently, Julie E. Czerneda’s Mirage, was a real gem. Since I jumped into the series mid-stream, reading Mirage inspired me to check out some of the previous volumes dealing with the central characters, and I liked those too! When I place the review, I’ll post information about where to find it.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

House of Zolo Volume 2 and Stellar Evolutions now available

Just a quick note about two publications that include my work:

House of Zolo

The House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature Vol. 2 released October 21, with a special promotion making the Kindle edition available for free October 21-23 (it can be ordered at Amazon.ca or Amazon.com, depending on your location.) For a few days after the 23rd the Kindle ebook will be available for a reduced price.

The print edition launches on Friday October 23rd. Paperbacks will be available worldwide via Amazon, with other online and retail outlets bringing the book live throughout November.

My poem “For Laika” appears in this volume.

About House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature, Volume 2:

In this much anticipated second volume of speculative literature, authors examine relationships and how technology impacts our connections to each other, to nature, to space and time. The writing in this volume is often dark and rich in satire, yet there are many whimsical moments, and a strong undertone of irreverence. Writers deep-dive into challenging themes to bring us stories and poems that explore gender, immortality, the obsolescence of the human body, biohacking, decay, and the evolution of love in a transhuman world.

Stellar Evolutions available now

I also had the good fortune to have four of my poems included in Stellar Evolutions, the Best Short Stories and Poems of Polar Borealis Magazine's First Fifteen Issues, edited by Rhea Rose. The e-book is now available for order on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com. The Amazon.ca link is provided below:

https://www.amazon.ca/Stellar-Evolutions-Rhea-Rose-ebook/dp/B08KQ3F74G

Wishing both of these publications the best of success!

 

 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

October 2020 Update

We’ve had some lovely fall weather in our neck of the woods in southwestern Ontario. Our small greenhouse is happily producing kale, carrots, and radishes and I’m getting ready to plant fall garlic outdoors. Still finding time for some writing, though, which brings us to . . .  

Recent Publications
A poem “The Further We Flew” was published in Space and Time, Issue 138, Autumn, 2020.

A poem “Laughter,” inspired by a news story, appeared in Third Wednesday Vol. XIII No. 4, Autumn, 2020.

A short poem [watching the Perseid meteor shower] was published on the Quatrain Fish site, September 2020, https://quatrain.fish/

My review of Depart, Depart, by Sim Kern, appeared on The Future Fire review site:

http://reviews.futurefire.net/2020/09/kern-depart-depart.html

A review of Nina Munteanu’s A Diary in the Age of Water was published on the Miramichi Reader site:

https://miramichireader.ca/2020/09/a-diary-in-the-age-of-water/

What I’m Working On
Progressing on some short story ideas, while continuing to read up on plot and structure.

From a review standpoint, I just finished reading an electronic copy of Julie Czerneda’s Mirage, Book 2 in the Web Shifter’s Library series. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but after that I found myself drawn along by the plot. I also very much enjoyed the humor. Will start on the review after I clear up a couple of others ahead of it in the queue.

Just started Archive of the Forgotten, second book in A.J. Hackwith’s Hell’s Library series. Having read Book 1, the characters and settings are familiar. Looking forward to getting further into it.

Coming Soon
I have four poems slated for publication in Stellar Evolutions, an anthology of stories and poems from the first fifteen issues of Polar Borealis Magazine. Stellar Evolutions should be available for pre-order starting October 15th, and available for purchase on October 31st. In total, the anthology will include 21 poems and 23 short stories selected and edited by RainWood Press Publisher Rhea E. Rose.

Until next time . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September 2020 update

Hard to believe the summer is almost over, although the trees have been reminding us of the in-creep of fall by dropping the odd leaf on the ground here and there for the past couple of weeks.

Recent Publications
A review of Lois Legge’s Wounded Hearts: Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home appeared on the Miramichi Reader site, link below:

https://miramichireader.ca/2020/08/wouded-hearts-lois-legge-review/

Toward the end of August, I also received my print copy of Star*Line Summer 2020, which contains abridged versions of my reviews of War, The Truth About Snails, and The Gates of Never. These reviews are available in their full format on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association web site, listed under the year of publication of each collection.

My limerick [working out’s said to make you feel...] was listed as a runner-up for Saturday Evening Post May/June 2020 Limerick Laughs contest. You can find the winner’s limerick along with all the runners-up at:

https://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2020/08/may-june-2020-limerick-laughs-winner-and-runners-up/

What I’m Working On
Having managed to send out a few short stories for consideration in August, I’m continuing to work away at other stories for upcoming submission dates.

I also have a number of book reviews on the go, in various stages of progress. Among them is Nina Munteanu’s cli-fi novel A Diary in the Age of Water—a must-read for Canadians who enjoy speculative fiction and care about the future of the planet, if for no other reason than to heighten awareness of some of the water-related issues that might be looming for future generations. I’ve also got access to an electronic copy of Julie Czerneda’s Mirage. It’s been a while since I read one of Czerneda’s novels, so I’m looking forward to getting into this one.

As longer-term projects for my own writing, I’m putting together a collection of non-speculative haibun around nature/camping/canoeing. I also have a short story collection that I’m putting the finishing touches on, for submission in the fall.

So many ideas, so little time . . .

Coming Soon
I’ve received an acceptance for the forthcoming Third Flatiron anthology, Brain Games. I’ve had one short story and two humor pieces published in previous iterations of Third Flatiron, so I’m excited to add Brain Games to the list.  

Until next time . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

August 2020 update

Recent Publications
My poem “Paws for Reflection” appeared in Thema, Vol 32, No. 2, Summer 2020, The Clumsy Gardener.

“From Cat, To Fiddle” (poem) was included in New Myths reader’s choice poll. 

What I’m Working On
Short stories have been the main focus for the past month. I am also working on a couple of collections, one poetry, one short stories, to send away for consideration.

I’m continuing to work on book reviews; putting the finishing touches on a review of Lois Legge’s Wounded Hearts: Memories of the Halifax Protestant Orphans’ Home for the Miramichi Reader site. I also have reviews of a couple of speculative poetry books on the go.

I’ve requested a review copy of David Gerrold’s recently-published novel Hella. Fans of Star Trek (Original Series) may be familiar with Gerrold as the writer of the classic “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode. While I read some of Gerrold’s fiction and non-fiction works in the distant past, it’s been a long time. Looking forward to checking this latest one out.