Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bitchin' About the World in Non-Rhymey Verse

Pic for Dec 1

So I'm kind of behind with putting pics up here. Who would have thought... Of course, I'll try my very best to be more diligent and, ah, punctual in the future. No, honest, I really will.

Pic for Dec 2


Anyway, I was writing some poems yesterday. I was going for a specific theme. I wrote three poems, all reasonably good, but not one of them felt like they caught the spirit or at least general idea of the theme that I wanted to write about. Usually, it's easier for me to write themed poetry, but this really isn't working.

I'm also putting out a lot of dark/horror lately. A LOT. I so need markets for my poems or a publisher for a chapbook or a collection if this continues. And for whatever strange reason, I'm really unsatisfied with all the stuff I write these past few days. It's all good, some of it is very good, for some reason I can't really name it just fails to be good enough for me right now. I am probably projecting my unfavorable feelings for other parts of my life--parts being equivalent for people here--onto my writing. At least, it keeps me from shouting and saying rude things and somehow, it makes me productive.

Pic for...Dec 3, 4 & 5


Yup. That's Christmas for you. Being angry with people because they are stupid, do stupid things and manage to be unprofessional all at the same time. You just have to love the Holiday Season.

...and assorted fruit for no particular reason

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weihnachtsmarkt

Weihnachtsmarkt Goslar, Lower Saxony, Germany, 2008

It has been brought to my attention lately (again, actually) that not everybody Out There is familiar with the ingenious concept of 'Weihnachtsmarkt' (literal translation: Christmas Market).  I find that shameful.  I find that state of not knowing somewhat precarious for the well-being of all your souls.  Therefore, I shall explain.

Weihnachtsmarkt is something that happens in Germany and some other European countries in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  I'm currently living in Braunschweig (Brunswick), Germany, and here the Weihnachtsmarkt will open on Nov 24, two days from now.

Obviously, the Weihnachtsmarkt is a market, first and foremost.  Depending on the place, you will see people offering regional specialties, crafts, delicacies and clothing, art and jewelery.  The market traditionally consists of more or less small stalls, decorated in a Christmassy sort of way.  It is open every day from the end of November to as early as Dec 23 or as late as Jan 5, again depending on country and region.  And I positively love my Weihnachtsmarkt.

Why, you may ask.  Allow me to explain.

For one reason, the Weihnachtsmarkt looks nice.  Most cities do a lot to have the whole downtown area decorated splendidly with the Weihnachtsmarkt at the center of things.  You'll often see wooden models or even dioramas of European fairy tales and fairy tale characters here, witches, little children lost in the woods, Frau Holle and many others.  The Weihnachtsmarkt simply sets the right stage for Christmas.

Also, there is food and drink, and occasionally, music, so if I were a guy I'd say wine, women and song.  Right.  Moving on.  Food.  Something you can get pretty much anywhere is stuff like stollen or gingerbread, but even with those classics, there are too many regional specialties for me to list them all.  Very notable are those huge gingerbread hearts that some people have come to associate solely with Oktoberfest, which is a misconception.  When it comes to food, many cities simply have a very long tradition, and all you can do is try to savor as much as you possibly can.  Roasted almonds or sweet chestnuts can be found galore at every Weihnachtsmarkt as well.

Then, there would be alcoholic beverages.  Let me just clarify.  I am an athlete and I don't get drunk on a regular basis, but I can hold my liquor.  And I have taste.  So, I was gonna tell you about what we call Glühwein.  If I were to give you a literal translation, I'd have to go for 'glowing wine'.  What Glühwein actually is is red wine spiced with aniseed, cinnamon, allspice and the like.  It's a bit like punch, but then again, not really.  Again, the way the Glühwein is prepared differs greatly from place to place.  Glühwein also comes in bottles for you to enjoy at your own Christmas party.  Oh, and of course, it's always served hot (I kid you not.  Delicious!)

Apart from the ever-present Glühwein, I simply have to mention Feuerzangenbowle.  In literal translation, 'fire tongs punch' might come closest.  I'll elaborate.  Just like Glühwein, Feuerzangenbowle is served hot.  However, the preparation is slightly different.  You take a bowl and fill it with red wine, add spices and perhaps orange zest.  Then, you take a sugar cone, soak it in rum and place it atop that bowl (two parallel spoons will do, although there are contraptions available for this).  Now, you light the rum-soaked sugar cone on fire.  Watch as it melts and drips into the wine.  As soon as all the rum...and sugar cone is gone, you start drinking.  At parties, you stop drinking once the bowl is empty.  Then you fill it up again and repeat until Christmas is over.  Hell, that stuff can get you drunk fast (especially if you take it with an extra shot of rum like...ah...some people usually do) but there is nothing quite like it.  Personally, I could not celebrate Christmas without having had at least one mug of Feuerzangenbowle.  (Note also that this would help you were you to celebrate Christmas with unloved relatives.  Just sayin'.)

As far as food and drink is concerned, I could go on for ages.  It would do nobody any good.  Some things simply need to be experienced and explored first hand, believe you me!

I just had the fabulous idea to post a pic of our local Weihnachtsmarkt here as my own personal Advent calendar.  Hope it starts snowing soon.  Nothing looks quite as nice as fresh snow glazed with golden light.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Writing in November


I aim to do about two blog entries every month; time to post something for November.

May I just quickly note that I am not a big fan of the colder season? I don't really think that the cold is that much of a problem, it's more the bleakness of it all that I can't stand. I mean, you get up and it is already getting dark outside, or so it seems. And it is definitely dark out at 6 p.m.

The upside to the winter months is, however, that they are ideal for writing, and writing dark. At the moment I am doing some edits on older stories mostly (and there is that rewrite request that I need to finish), but as soon as I have more time on my hands--I am aiming for next weekend here--I'll be doing something creative. Something darkly creative.

For now, there have been some publications and some acceptances.

Okay, since my last post, one publication...

Enchanted Conversation's Hänsel & Gretel issue took one of my poems, About Roses. It is repetitive at times, but that's a thing I like about this poem. Leave my a comment and tell me what you think!

Then, another poem got accepted for the anthology 'Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy' to be published by Raven Electrick Ink. Again, so much great company there! I can't wait to get my copy.

Finally, I'm seeing some more prose pieces getting Out There as well. Forthcoming in March from Red Penny Papers is my somewhat darkish story The Job Interview.

I also got a very encouraging rejection to another story this morning...much better than a form rejection, I can tell you...although I still like acceptances most of course.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things Published

'The world is waiting!  Hear my roar!'

Lately, there have been a handful of things published that happen to have my name on them.  To my utmost delight, even more are forthcoming:)

Thus, I felt it would be a good time to present some of those published items--all poems--here.

Sometime in September, a quintet of my (more literary) poems set out to travel distant lands.  They ended up in the poetry section of the Istanbul Literary Review.  At around the same time, another poem hitched a ride with Greensilk Journal.  This one, as well, is more of a literary nature.

And now, one to my speculative writing (which is pretty much most of my writing).  I still do much with and about fairy tales; I still work with Greek mythology too, but not as much as I used to.  Another display of my fairy-tale-ish writing can be found at the sparkly Cabinet des Fées, which in my mind is nothing short of a treasure chest of beautiful writing.

If I could add a link to a print publication, I would now be adding a link to my poem 'Curses' in Jabberwocky 5.  Since a computer is not a magic wand though, I will simply link to the ToC.  Mighty good company.

Oh, and then I rediscovered labyrinths for myself.  I have always liked them and I do have great childhood memories about one in the garden of an old castle, but so far, I have not written much about them.  Just a little.  Proof can be found in Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine of course (where else?).  Note how there are still many fairy tale allusions in this one?

The last thing published so far (I hope I didn't forget anything) is more fairy tale poetry, this one another Red Riding Hood inspired poem.  It found a home in the second issue of Basement Stories, a mag that I'm sure is going places.

Okay, so that's all for now.  There is more coming, and soon.  I so love to see my writing get Out There, and on the way, meeting all those sweet and helpful people (yes, Editors, that does include you!) who offer comments or thoughts or often even better, critique.

Thinking about lions...

Friday, October 15, 2010

To China And Back


A painted rafter in White Cloud Daoist Temple (and look! She's riding a tiger!). I loved it here.

So, I am back from China...

Right. This means I'd have to have gone there first. When I mentioned earlier in this little post here that I would be Broadening My Horizon, that's what I meant.

And do not get me wrong. It was not a vacation. At all.

First and foremost, I went to China (and when I say China I mean Beijing, China) to improve my gongfu. That sound familiar? Yeah, that's where the word kung fu comes from. However, it really means one's degree of skill in some field of expertise. That does not necessarily have to be a martial art.

In my case however, it was. I was eating bitter as the Chinese say to improve my Taiji skills. (Eating bitter means that the training was real hard. My feet are still sore...)

Of course when one goes to China, one has to experience the culture and the people, go look at the sights. Between that and about seven hours of training a day, there was hardly time for such mundane things as sleep, let alone writing. Much catching up to do there.

One amazing thing I realized when I got there was that I kinda missed Twitter and Facebook. Before the trip, I would have sworn that to be impossible but there you go. I actually missed Facebook. I'm feeling quite ashamed.

The Great Wall, shrouded in mist. Gee, what a climb that was!

I also found myself getting rather attached to smog. You see, Beijing is constantly covered in smog or, for those of a more romantic disposition, dew-soft mist. You cannot see blue sky. The sun is always just a big roundish smudge and looks just gorgeous when it sets as a burning red ball. It was so weird but I also loved it.

This is one of these sunsets, but my camera did a poor job of capturing it.

Come to think about it, I loved the entire Chinese Experience. I loved the people and hated that I couldn't really talk with them because I speak only very little Chinese. I loved the food. I loved the grayish dreamy look the city has and how it always seems to be buzzing with life. I guess I'll be posting more about everything here, but not now. I remember haggling for some calligraphies and I think I'd like to look at them now to think back to the noise and the smell and the heat...I already miss Beijing.

Did you really think there was no night life in China? At night, Beijing is almost more alive than during the day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Am A Poet...

...and that's not a bad thing. I'm not even complaining. It's just that, well, I'd love to see some of my prose pieces published as well. I do have a couple stories scheduled to appear next year, but recently, many of my beloved poems have found a home. Again, I'm not complaining here.

With great poetry comes great responsibility. Is that right? Does it fall to us poets to change the world? Uh, does anyone really thing that's a good idea? While it's true that I sometimes have political themes in my poems, I don't really consider myself a political person. Also, I write about a lot of faith and belief systems but I am not religious.

Then again, does any of that really matter?

Personally, I think of poems as pieces of thought, ideas that you can mull over in your head, glimpses of different places that leave a distinct taste of something other behind. Some really good poetry is addictive and you just have to come back and read it again and again, and then some.

At any rate, a good poem should always tickle your brain somehow, and if it does, does the theme really matter?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

***Loading***


Now look at this! I haven't posted anything here in ages...

Okay, now to where I get to make up excuses for this. Errr.

I have been resting my brain. That's a good one, isn't it, you don't hear that everyday.

I also have been practicing Taiji a lot lately. This led me to thinking about a new interesting blog entry that I have yet to write. Later.

I am also preparing to Broaden My Horizon. Again, updates on this shall be forthcoming.

I have been staring at my inbox for hours on end, waiting for editors to write nice emails. At one point, I decided I didn't care so much about nice anymore, just emails... I still have much to learn in terms of Patience. *sigh*

I have been spending much time with Shortpacked. Forgive me, but this is hilarious AND they have a ninja.

***

This picture of an egg and my forehead by the way might accompany my poem '...A Great Fall' in the current issue (issue #111) of Space and Time magazine. Or not. Just a thought.

Monday, August 16, 2010

With the Ears of a Vampire



Okay, I've been re-researching vampire stuff, y'know, and there was one question that really bothered me and that I could not quite solve: can I imitate that fancy Draculanian accent Lugosi pulled off so beautifully?

You see, I have a general problem with accents. Whereas I usually have a very good ear for languages, when it comes to any sort of funny gibberish, I find myself lost, er, in translation. Now, that said, I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason why people always suspect that I'm from Texas (which I'm not. At the very least, no Texan ever thought I was Texan; I've never met a Texan though. Writing this feels very weird somehow. I feel very weird. I'm an artistic person, so I figure it's okay, but still, from now on I shall not eat, er, things offered to me by people who smiled at me weirdly as they were offering said, er, foodstuff. I shall return my life to the Zen way. Or Zen-ish way at the very least. And world peace. I'm definitely all for world peace.)

Man, don't you just love parentheses? I sure do. Yeah, moving on.

So, the accent. I am not good at those. And since I know that I'm not, I'm uncomfortable practicing them in front of others, which I suspect is the reason why nobody ever thought I was related to his bloodiness, the always stylishly dressed Dracula. All that is left for me is to practice in my dreams... (no, not in the shower and not in front of the mirror in combination with funny faces either.)

Also, I would like to propose that Dracula actors be judged by their respective performance in the accent field. Just because.

Now, from a writer's (that's me!) point of view, I am not so sure about the whole accent business when it comes to Dracula. I mean, if I ended up sounding like a Texan gal, how reasonable can it be that an immortal aristocrat lives through all those many years without getting rid of this most tell-tale of dead give-aways, like, yeah, that husky stress of the consonants? I just don't think that's likely.

However, in general, as a writer, I find giving people accents very challenging and also very rewarding when I did it just right. Right in that case would be for you as the reader to have that same feel you'd get if someone what's-upped you on the street with that most nightly Lugosian twist of tongue, just it has to be brought to you not via your ears but via what you read. See? Challenge.

Friday, August 6, 2010

...Writing A Vampire Story


Yes, well. I guess it had to happen sometime. Actually, I like good vampire stories, but obviously, not all of them are. (Surprisingly, you can write a whole series of bad vampire books and sell them too. You'd guess it was black magic...) I know that editors in general prefer not to find vampire stories in their inbox because most of them do the same thing over and over again, supported by only mediocre writing. Really, I understand. I just like the classics, y'know...

Well, of course I try to make it not one of these stories. In fact, I find that I have trouble getting more vampire into my vampire story, because at about 2,500 words, no blood has been sucked yet; no dark cape has been a-fluttering and no helpless idiot-damsel has gotten herself into trouble. Perhaps my story will not be a total disaster after all.

I shall go back to writing about the undead now. I did some research a while back, but I'll have to re-acquaint myself with a few of the, er, juicier facts. Oh, how I delight in google's efficiency.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Exploring Addiction

OMG. I have never considered myself especially prone to any sort of...ah...drug. Well, yeah, there have been books that I just had to read without sleeping, but that's normal, right? If you'd told me I'd find a vice pretty soon, I'd have laughed at you. Had you suggested I might spend hours with a browser game (a browser game!!!) I would have done my best to subtly insult you with my comeback. But all that was before I discovered Echo Bazaar.

This little browser game (to which, I am afraid, I am addicted like a prisoner to honey) works hand in hand with your Twitter account. When I first laid eyes on the game, I thought it didn't look like much (and remember: me, I didn't play browser games before). But then I started reading, and I soon was hooked (it actually felt like swallowing the hook whole and being pulled towards land by a relentless fisher, fast).

The whole thing is actually quite simple: develop your character's abilities (Dangerous, Watchful, Persuasive, Shadowy) and master different challenges, which for the most part, you can choose yourself. While at it, avoid going mad; I did enter A State of Some Confusion once, and although it was fun in a way, I am not exactly looking to repeat the experience. I think you can also do some fighting, but I'm a peaceful gal and hence, I have as of yet not undertaken such sweaty business.

The story is set in Fallen London. The atmosphere is painted deliciously dark and told with snippets of delightful tale. You glimpse a little of the whole here and there, run into strange characters/creatures and more than once I found myself thinking that I'd been caught on the pages of some Gothic novel. I hear there are countless places to go yet, and I see a candle burning over there. I should be off now, talking to cats. It wouldn't do for me to tell you everything either, Fallen London has to be explored first hand. Just remember to deal with your nightmares before they deal with you, 'kay?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Latest Publications

Just a quick update here: today, my short short A Common Friend came out at Danse Macabre's DU JOUR. Later, you'll find my piece in the archive.

Also, Sybil's Garage No 7 (which has my poem Indian Delight in it) is a magnificent reading experience. I strongly recommend it.

And then there are some of my poems, to be found in The Legendary's poetry section.

I shall be trying to make my posts more interesting forthwith; just an itty bit busy right now.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cherry Pits


Woah, it has been so hot here lately that I completely ignored most stuff that I should be doing. My brain just feels overheated all the time and I can't much concentrate anyway...

Okay, I didn't want to mention my latest iced coffee recipe, just a poem that was recently published. Click here to read 'Cherry Pits'.

Now, I'll have to get back to that iced coffee over there, it calls for me. Also, there are stories that want to be written, even in these dog days of summer...


Saturday, July 3, 2010

In Somnium...


Only yesterday, I awoke from a somewhat surreal dream to find that two of my poems have been published in Danse Macabre's XXXVII-th issue, Somnium. It's a great issue and not what you'd expect. I so hope that they'll put together an anthology sometime. The artwork on this site is so enticing, so, yeah, singularly macabre that I find it's almost a trademark. I'd love to see it in print.

Speaking of anthologies, I now own my very own copy of Twice the Terror, The Horror Zine's second anthology. Okay, granted, seeing as how I have poems in there, I might just be a little biased. Look at the cover, flip through the pages and make up your mind. I doubt you'll be disappointed.

(And while you're at it, or just to get a feel for The Horror Zine's taste, read my latest story Bones for a Pillow in the July issue.)

***

It is terribly hot outside. I am quite certain that I have a quantitiy of Transylvanian blood in my ancestry, so all the brightness and heat make me suffer terribly. My pale skin is in constant danger of blistering and I feel like falling asleep almost constantly while the sun is up. Only after sunset do I feel some semblance of spirit return to me. Oh, How I love the night!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cathartic Writing


What exactly does it mean when people tell you that they like your poems but that they might be just a little too dark? What does this say about you?

First off, let me tell you about the dark poems in question. During my research for one of them, I found that Jack the Ripper was extremely disturbed, and after looking at some of the old crime scene photographs (yes, there was such a thing back then), I wasn't really sure whether I wanted a poem about such a person anyway. But it was already there, I had begun writing it before I had actually researched anything, and it was too good to simply be deleted. I worked with it, played with it. (Play being the keyword here...) And, after all, the myth and mystery is just tangible, alone the Dear Boss and From Hell letters are enough to spark anyone's imagination.

In the other poem, I just worked with my current pet peeve, Red Riding Hood. I mean, seriously, we all know that fairy tales don't really deserve a PG-13 rating, don't we?

Well. I write poetry with a dark streak. I write disturbed poetry. I don't think I'd really argue that point. But I'd add that I also write poetry about people and the clockwork of their minds. Also, I would ask what it means that I write dark poetry and that there are readers out there who like reading it.

I think that of course, there is catharsis in reading, in drama. The Greeks knew it. Aristotele knew it. However, to no lesser degree, there is also catharsis in writing, and writing dark. This is one of the reasons why I like (writing) dark stuff.

Don't be afraid of the dark now. It's just your imagination.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Sea Calls


After blogging about Rejection, here's to Acceptance.

The wonderful Enchanted Conversation published my story 'The Sea Calls To Them All' here. If you stop by to read, why don't you leave a comment on your way out? I like to know how people react to what I write.

Also, about death. Yeah, death and death again, get's kinda old, doesn't it? Even so, Danse Macabre will be publishing a short short of mine in one of their upcoming Du Jours. Keep your eye(sockets) peeled (or well-aired respectively).

I have to go rewrite stuff now that got not quite rejected/accepted. Fare ye well, and keep the sea in your mind, the sound of turmoil in your heart.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rejection


For a change, I won't be writing about work of mine that got accepted, but about the stuff that didn't. Seriously, am I the only writer who gets rejections like "We really, really liked it but..."?

I mean, sure, it's sweet and all, and there isn't much I could be more grateful for than the editors' critique, but sometimes I just feel a little misunderstood. Okay, it is my fault since I'm the one writing that stuff people like but not quite enough to buy it. *Sniffle*

Also, lately I got several rewrite requests. Boy, that totally redefines stressful. I don't know what's worse, rewriting something for an editor or for yourself (me, I'd make a great critic). And how the heck do you rewrite a poem that seemed totally perfect? I'll even have to change the title which I totally picked with a reason and which I totally felt fit the piece. Urgh.

Even so, I prefer personal rejections to forms. It makes me feel so much more like a person. Not that I aim to collect more of them than I have to...

I shall go and sit in that corner now, broodingly contemplating my writing. So if you'd please excuse me...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Candy (and Fish)


Just a little update on my writing activities. I am now writing about candy. Of course, there is going to be gore involved and who knows what else, but for now, I am thinking sugar canes.

This had to happen sooner or later. I have a sweet tooth. I am notorious when it comes to chocolate cakes. This is just a natural progression.

Even so, keep in mind that dark chocolate is my favorite, so my candy story will be one of dark chocloate and not something with the aftertaste of ostentatious sweetness. And yes, as mentioned above, there is gonna be some gore obviously. Still haven't made up my mind about the explicit sex though (yes, thank you very much, as soon as it is convenient, I shall get myself a life).

Come to think of stories, just had one accepted a little while back. Has no chocolate in it, just salt and brine. It is delicious all the same. A link will follow as soon as it's published.

Btw: dark chocolate and strong, non-sugared espresso. The best thing ever.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Working...

Just so I put something here, y'know...

I'm working on several stories at the moment. One of them is almost finished, just doing some final touches. Funnily enough, it is, in a way, about a tiger and was inspired by Blakes The Tiger:

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
(W. Blake)

I mean, this is just mind-boggling stuff. Kept me awake and haunted my dreams...

Anyway. I'm doing something about Arabian Nights which I never liked as a child but am rediscovering now. Also, Hänsel and Gretel, which is headed towards horror, and something about holding your breath which is headed towards I-know-not-where. Just for the record, explaining why you wrote what you wrote and what it means is a pain. Not that I don't think when I write, it just appears more abstract on the page than it seems when I think about it. Making sense yet? Good.

I still have a circus story somewhere, unfinished. It is not a funny story. I think I should work on that next, perhaps, but killing thieves with boiling oil also has its appeal...

Also, I know I saw a dragon story, somewhere. Must be hiding, mangy thing.

If only the day had a couple more hours, I could write more. It hasn't, and I can only type so fast. (Note to self: write poem about loss.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fish, Anyone?

So here I am, writing about fish and when I say fish, I mean mermaids of course. The story of the little mermaid is somewhat sad, don't you think? I find it has great potential for drama...and bloodshed.

Also, I find that I had a lot of peotry accepted by the first market I sent the pieces to. I wouldn't complain, but sometimes I wonder if those poems couldn't have needed some more editing. Then again, I sometimes edit poems--very minor changes but still--whenever I read and re-read them. But forgive me, I was talking about fish.

Well, personally, I don't get the little mermaid. I mean, all that, just for some prince? Me, I feel much too independent for that sort of thing, and I do suppose I wouldn't mind living in the ocean myself.

Then again, doesn't the ocean always taste like fish (here's the vegetarian talking...)? I also heard people wondering whether it wasn't more a case of fish, tasting like the ocean, one pretty existential question that I might explore further in my writing (or not).

Sometimes, the morale of fairy tales doesn't feel all that right to me, or rather, it feels wrong for today, wrong for the world we live in. I think, the little mermaid today would have needed more than just feet, only what exactly she would have needed, I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

(Don't) Read This!

I have recently discovered a new hobby; writing hopefully mildly enjoyable yet always informative reviews about books on amazon.

I mean, we all--or at least most of us--read those and personally, I usually find a decent critique helpful and I am always grateful for a warning about certain teeny-supernat-romance drivel. Who isn't.

Also, you can be concise without having to bother to follow any proper form apart from what you yourself wish to relate about a book. Reminds me a little of graffiti and those have been popular since...olden times.

And of course, after you read something you really enjoyed, don't you just wanna tell the world about it? That is why, of late, I find myself reviewing and it is much more relaxing than, say, solitaire. Makes me hope for enough time to read that which I can later review.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Enchanted


My poems just appeared on Enchanted Conversation. It's a great blog magazine, and a place in which you can lose staggering amounts of time, so why not go ahead and see for yourself?

My poetry is here...enjoy the read!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Moonrise and Exhaustion


Spring just arrived. It is beautiful and not to mention warm. Well, warmer anyways than in the last couple of months which--let's face is--was a pain, no matter how much you like winter, and I like winter a lot.

Currently, I am feeling very busy (probably because I am busy). I'm doing about a poem a day and keep wishing, quite fervently indeed, that I had more time to work on my stories. See, the funny thing is, only the other day, that is to say Easter Monday, I planned to do some work on a story that came to me about two days earlier while I was on my way visiting my folks for Easter. Now, if you will, you may guess. I did write a part of the story, just the first few lines, yet somewhere in between I began writing and actually finished another story that was basically just some spur of the moment thing. Needless to say, what I had actually planned to do, I somehow didn't get to. Urrgh.

And then today, I just feel incredibly, almost painfully tired. I'm much counting on tomorrow these days.

As a humble homage to cooler and even shorter days, as a way to say my goodbyes, I decided to have this picture of an early moon rising here. What wolf out there (and for that matter, what tiger) doesn't appreciate a nice-looking moon?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bananas Here!


My Banana story is up at decomP. There are also buttons in it, so if for some reason, you do not like bananas quite as much as you should, think of the buttons first and foremost.

I am again thinking of banana pancakes. I have such a sweet tooth, it is embarrassing...I could tell you some stories, but I won't. Dignity or something. Or, even better, I'll write a story about my and all the delicious candy and nobody will ever know.

I need pancakes now. Enjoy the read.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Twice the Terror

...I constantly forget to mention that I'll have poems published in my first anthology, which is pretty big (not the anthology, that I'll be published in one).

Looking forward to 'Twice the Terror: THE HORROR ZINE'. It looks fabulous already, believe you me!

Forbidden Roads and More



Finally taking some time to update here.

First off, stuff of mine has been published:

There was this one poem that Word Salad Poetry Magazine accepted for publication. It's called 'The Cup' and you can read it here.

Then, Monkeybicycle told me that they'd taken my one-sentence story 'Cleansing'. Came as a little surprise this one, because I had practically forgotten that I ever submitted it. Go here to check it out, you'll have to scroll almost to the bottom though. Personally, I'd recommend that you read instead of just scrolling.

Also, the wonderful Cabinet des Fées has taken one of my poems for their May issue. I just love that site, it most definitely is worth spending some time with. The poems are all great and most of them I read at least twice. And the stories are colorful, inspiring. Read, read all!

Lately, I've been working more on stories myself. Either I need a little break from all the poetry or perhaps I should try something new, like rhyming things for instance. I'm not sure about that though. I always figured I was a girl who'd have to do without rhymes...

Which reminds me, only the other day I was finishing a story which had all the potential for a dark and unhappy ending, and can you guess what I did? I turned it into a (more or less) happy ending which I'd never guessed I'd in me, not like this at any rate. Wow. Still astounds me.

Other than that, I am still a little obsessed with girls and wolves and forbidden roads. And with skulls. Never let anyone tell you that skulls aren't adorable, because they are.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Writing, Wells, Lost Time, and for Some Inexplicable Reason, Banana Pancakes


Oh my, just where did all that time go? Did aliens take it? Bigfoot? Tibetan monks? I have been so busy for the last couple of weeks, I don't seem do get anything done properly, like, for instance, writing my blog...or write other stuff such as poems or stories. When I do get to write stuff though, it seems to be involving wells these days, hence the picture (but in my writing, they don't ever come over quite as quaint as this one...).

Anyhow, that is not quite enough to keep my writing from getting published. Three of my poems will appear in The Horror Zine Anthology Book 2. It's the same poems that you can take a look at here, but don't you agree that writing on paper can be so much nicer?

One of my poems, The Cup, was just accepted by Word Salad Poetry Magazine. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I think that, incidentally, it has something to do with time and the loss thereof, or more precisely the abandonment of being attached to time, as in live in the here and now. Gee, you should never ask an author what it is they write about...

I do suppose though that time and wells go well together (oh man, absolutely no pun intended, believe you me). Right. I really just wrote that. Well (rrrrgh...), I'll deal with that later. For now, I'd best get back to, ah, waiting for some sort of inspiration to hit me on the back of my head with a wooden spoon or possibly and iron pan. Reminds me, I have been thinking about banana pancakes a lot lately...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

...And Down!


Ooooh...and--due to exhaustion (12 hrs of training in the last two days)--I completely forgot to mention that the glorious Danse Macabre just published one of my flashes. This one, by the way, is a personal favorite.

Beastly Poetry














Two of my poems are forthcoming in Enchanted Conversation's 'Beauty and Beast' issue. I think I might have less of the beauty in my poems, though I suppose that depends on your point of view.

Anyway, YAY!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Fiction Piece Published


HOORAY!

The wonderful Apparatus Magazine took one of my flashes for the February Issue (First Blush & Last Bloom). I can distinctly remember that I had some kind of inspiration for this one and didn't just pen it on one of my whims, but for the life of me, I cannot recall what that inspiration was exactly... I think I'll just stick to what always works best and blame it on coffee and not sleeping when I'm supposed to.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day


And then, of course, today is also Valentine's Day...

I hope everyone out there enjoys today. I myself currently indulge in a rather self-centered world view (i.e. I'm still single) and have only recently discovered another point of complaint with this; (unappealing) idiots keep hitting on me and it is worse when they find out I'm single. Gee. Didn't mean to bleed my frustration all over this Valentine-post. Never mind me, watch Cupid soar!

Year of the Tiger! Roar!!


Ah. Now, here's a sign for you. 2010 (which, according to the Chinese zodiac starts today) is the year of the tiger. A Happy New Year, all you tigers out there! Go on, let's hear you roar!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Work On decomP

I just realized that I totally forgot to mention decomP Magazine's new site (which looks way better than the old one).

One of my (very short, literary) poems is on there too, look here. Enjoy the read and browse the site a bit. It's worth it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

More Patience PLEASE!


Please be assured that I do my utmost to teach my darling karate-ka (i.e. people who do karate) as best I can. I really mean well. But then, once upon a time if you will, there was a Challenge...

Yup, it's definitely a losing battle. I almost, almost shouted and I might have even said something, uh, un-intelligent. I shall resume meditation now. While patience seems to have abandoned me, avoid annoying me. I seem to be cultivating a temper here and I can hit really, really hard and seeing how I'm quite flexible, know that I am well capable of ramming my foot into your face. Peace be with you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

300


Just a quick note to announce that I just wrote my 300th poem (that is, the 300th I counted).

And it is a Red Riding Hood poem too, I must have about a dozen of those by now. This one is about how Red fills a well...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Taiji and the Coffee


When I first started Taiji, I discovered that my teacher liked coffee as much as I do. We would always start off our lesson with a cup of coffee (do not get the wrong idea. I did work my ass off in every single training session. I hardly ever flinched at the pain!). I say start off, but in fact, I had to do a qi gong exercise before I finally got the coffee. So, what I learned was, apart from Taiji, that coffee is rewarding. Coffee and reward joined hands somewhere in my brain and now...well, there is a whole lot reward dripping down my throat every day.

But forgive me. I'm getting off track here. The point I was trying to make is how something deeply Chinese (such as Taiji) goes together with something so deeply un-Chinese as coffee. If it had been green tea, things would have been fine. I could have told my friends how, during my sessions, I would discuss the finer points of martial arts lore over a cup of bitter green tea, but not so! We always had (yup, still have, as of last week that is, now that dear Sifu has finally restocked the new place we train at) coffee and it does not go well together with Taiji in a public sort of way.

I'm not sure how big a flaw coffee in Taiji training and practice may be considered. Westernization? Perhaps, but who cares? It's really about the Taiji of course and the vital question is, how does the...ah... frequent/regular/immense consumption of coffee change your Taiji. As of yet, I have no answer (and how should I come up with an unbiased one anyway, seeing as how the Sifu leads with his black/no cream example?). But should I find any flaws in my qi or problems with my gongfu, well, you'll be the first to know.

By the way: I prefer a mix of espresso and coffee anyway. Put one or two espressos (I take two, obviously) in a mug and then fill mug with regular coffee. I take it black (which I think should be the First Rule of Coffee
Club).

About Inspiration


So, yesterday I was pretty tired all day and I had actually planned to turn in early BUT then I decided to write one, just one, short short (which I did) because I found that gorgeous site here and they had such a very alluring first line.

Anyway, that took about one hour but THEN I really wanted to grab some sleep. Why? Well, I had to get up early this morning and sleep deprivation makes me cranky and when I get cranky I get really, really cranky, as in homicidally cranky.

As I said, I was tired and I wanted to sleep. I was, in fact, already in my cozy warm bed, huddling under blankets. And then? And THEN! I fucking have an idea.

Lucky you, you my feel yourselves tempted to say. But, you see, I was TIRED and then I get a good idea that makes me stay up for another hour and a half and write it all down like something was burning under my damn fingernails (turning off the light doesn't help. I tried. Only ink on paper helps, alas). That always happens to me. And care to know what's worse? The more tired I am, the more ideas I get (and they often turn out to be quite good too). On top of that, this kind of inspiration always kicks in when I have to be someplace the next morning, as in bright and early. And I did mention the part about being cranky, yes?

So, why is whatever muse is punching my brains when I just want to sleep nocturnal when there are perfectly good afternoons available? (And people still wonder why I drink as much coffee as I do. Philistines.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

About Poetry

I was just thinking (okay, now you can all joke about that. Done yet? Good, let's get back then, shall we?). About poetry (more sniggering? YOU there, stop it! I have not mastered the Art of Patience yet!).

When I write a poem, most of the time I think of that poem as a knife that is supposed to leave a wound, yet before you can quite pull it out, dear reader, I give it a good, sharp twist. Does that make any sense or are you suspecting that I am off my meds? Mmmh.

What I want to say is that poetry is a rather bloody art, poetry has sharp claws, long and hideous, yet of so subtle a nature that you only ever glimpse them when it's already too late. At least that's what I think poetry should be and as we all know, opinions tend to vary and multiply. sometimes I could swear they fornicate too. My, my. I really enjoy blogging way too much. My best friend would blame my being single for that. Poor me.

Still, don't you agree that pens make magnificent blades?

Patience



I find patience a moste venerable quality. Why? Well, because it's so very, very hard to aquire.

I know and have known for a long time that I don't have as much patience as I'd like to. Especially if you want to teach people something (say, a martial art for instance), patience must be a central issue. So I, you know, tried to be more patient over the last couple of years. It worked quite well, but recently there's a Challenge. I won't use any names and I will not succumb to the sweet temptation of Talking Bad about somebody, even in an anonymous sort of way, just let me say this: I feel tested. And I so like to lash out and shout at people too, although, of course, I very rarely ever do.

But honestly, everybody out there, shut the hell up and LISTEN when somebody (like your sensei) is trying to explain something. Most of us don't do it to bore you. We have something important that we know you need to learn. Just a pointer. I'll try to be a little more like buddha now, i.e. patient. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Slush




It is snowing out there. Again.

Okay, personally, I don't really mind the snow, to the contrary, but out there it's all turning to slush and fast. And that on the one day I decide to wear my semi-fancy boots! Almost landed me on my backside--twice--and slowed me down considerably. I am just glad I didn't put on the fancy boots.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Forthcoming Fruit



Some time ago, I wrote a humurous little story about a bunch of primates, loads of bananas and an ape.

Soon, you'll be able to read said piece in decomP.

Meanwhile, I suggest that you go have some bananas. They're tasty, you know, and supposedly healthy.

About Blogging


I think I’m starting to like blogging. It’s like talking to yourself, only without moving your lips and all the noise that would make other people think you’re crazy. You may still be crazy, of course, but you write all the craziness down which may seem a little more eccentric and a little less crazy. So actually, if you’re, like, seriously crazy, blogging may just be the perfect cure for you! Either that, or becoming an author (yes, blogging authors are...beyond cure).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Icicles



It is cold outside.

Yet, I cannot help but think the snow looks pretty.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reading Stuff


So, today I was Out There, reading one of my poems ('Fight Club', check out newleaf Issue 26) to the general (unsuspecting) public.

It went well, seeing as how this was the first time I ever read my stuff to, you know, people, as opposed to the walls of my room. They laughed, not because I managed to garble up all the words or fall off the stage headfirst, but because there were actually a few funny lines in there.

How glad I am that the newleaf editorial team invited me. How glad I am I was there. How glad I am I did not fall off that stage!

(Also, I wrote three poems and a flash today. It really was a damn good day. I'd very much like to have more of these.)

Words for Money


This may sound very capitalistic, but I have to admit that selling your work feels...good. Keep your eyes peeled for the September Issue of....Star*Line!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gorgeous Monstrosities; Enjoy!


"Follow the light, down the well, walls closing in, deeper, deeper, take a turn and then another--left, then right or left again--and always, follow the light!"

So, there are new things out there, a handful of poems and a tale, a little one.

First, there is the 'False Starts & Finishing Lines' Issue of Apparatus Magazine. Again, that issue is a treat just to look at, wintry cold, perhaps a little eerie. Take some time to read through all of it. It is worth it.

Then, it gets darker down the well. Check out my poems at The Horror Zine (and the skulls! Look at the skulls!). The whole Red Riding Hood theme is something I've been working with for quite some time now. I'll have to look at some other fairy tales soon, or make them up myself.

"See where the light led you, open wide those storm-soaked eyes and close your mouth against a scream."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Beginning of a Story: The Tiger in the Bamboo Forest


"Once upon a time there was a mighty tiger, with fur black as midnight and as orange as a blazing sunset. His eyes were like two topaz gems and fiercer than any other tiger's eyes.
This tiger had found his way into an almost forgotten bamboo forest..."

So, those are the first few words of a story-to-be. I have a lot of these, stories that started in my head and were then committed partly to paper. I'm never entirely sure if or when I will finish them.

The sad thing is that you can have a really good idea for a story but then, somewhere in the middle, you realize something is missing. Or, you have an idea that strikes you like lightning and forces you to sacrifice your nights to write it down. Personally, I found that the more sleep-deprived I am, the more ideas I have. And then I have to get that stuff out of my head, that is, write it down.

So much for Creative Process.

Now, if you will, think about the tiger. What is he up to in this ancient bamboo forest?

Monday, January 18, 2010

How Did the Skulls Get in Here?


In December, there was a startling amount of acceptances. My poems appeared in 'Apparatus Magazine', which I like not only because red is my favorite color:
http://www.apparatusmagazine.com/V1I6AlexandraSeidel.html
The titles the editor comes up with are inspiring. I like being inspired. 'Passages & Doorways' by the way reminded me of Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere'. I love that book.
More poetry and prose is forthcoming at 'Apparatus Magazine' too. I hope you're looking forward to it. I know I do.

Then, there was this:
http://www.foundlingreview.com/Dec2009Issue2Seidel.html (check out 'The Arm' by Kevin Wilson too!)
Now, this site is b&w-gorgeous. They have amazing photographs and I could spend hours looking at them. In fact, I did. You should too. Also, read the written stuff.

In early January, I was surprised to find a little link to here in my inbox:
http://dansemacabre.art.officelive.com/Internationale.aspx
My poem 'In the East' is somewhere in the middle of the poetry section. I think the idea behind 'Danse Macabre' is absolutely brilliant, after all, what is literature if not border-less and international, speaking more to mind and heart than passport and nationality. Also, I like skulls.

That said, let me announce The Forthcoming:
There will be poems in The Horror Zine (again, it's the skulls that did it for me)
One humorous poem found lodging at Niteblade (which could do with more skulls)
Something of the literary genre went to decomP

That is all. For now. Concerning publications. I did get a whole bunch of rejections though, not few of them telling me that my writing was good or giving some useful advice. I love editors who take the time to do that. And I like skulls.

Work Published Before Dec 2009


Being a writer's blog, it seems only right and proper that the author's publications should be mentioned herein. Let's see. I'm afraid I won't quite manage to get it all in the right chronological order, and it's also both prose and poetry publications in here. Whatever, Dear Reader, I trust your multitasking/multitracking abilities.

There was, of course, Word Riot in November 2009:
http://www.wordriot.org/archives/414
These are two black humor poems. Well, perhaps there isn't all that much black humor in 'Pigeons'. Anyway. Moving on. Another poem, 'The Phoemix Is Dead' got a last minute acceptance from 34th Parallel and was published in October '09:
http://www.34thparallel.net/back/08mag.html (this one actually costs you money)
I like the poem, but the photo... it was then that I realized there are no decent photographs of yours truly in existance.

I also have two pieces on NightsAndWeekends, both flashes. Here's one:
http://www.nightsandweekends.com/articles/09/NW0900413.php
and here the other:
http://www.nightsandweekends.com/articles/09/NW0900338.php

Then, there's something of mine to be found in the underground e-zine 'Zygote In My Coffee':
http://www.zygoteinmycoffee.com/100s/issue119affairs.html
Again, a flash.

'Bottom of the World' also printed one of my short stories (and one I particularly like, too). You can look at their homepage here: http://www.freewebs.com/bottomoftheworld/
My story 'In Her Room, Silence' appeared in Issue #3.

This should be all. Everything that happened before December 2009 anyway. I will post that stuff separately, just because. I do not like to be questioned or second-guessed.

Welcome


I proudly announce that as of today, I have finally begun my very own blog, so curiously named The Tiger in the Matchstick Box. Things might quickly turn poetic around here, one might hope.