Saturday, December 29, 2012

Works Published In 2012



Short Poems (1-49 lines):

Short Stories:

Devil Rhymes

I found a little something in my Drawer of Things Unpublished; enjoy, Reader!

File:Little Red Riding Hood pg 11.png


Devil Rhymes #1
By Alexandra Seidel

The devil, devil spoke to me, spoke to me, spoke to me
The devil, devil spoke to me ALL Sunday morning!

Hush you sinners, rabble, pigs, I'll dye you a scarlet Styx!
These crooked teeth, the crooked skin, your crooked smile--
Come let me in!

And fill your hands with berries sweet, berries sweet berries sweet
ALL Sunday morning!

(In the garden--quite contrary--
where DID that magpie go??)


File:Hogarth-Satan-Sin-and-Death.jpg

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Little Story: How Red Riding Hood Stole The Moon


With Christmas approaching like a headless rider, I thought it would be nice to post something here a little more regularly (and a little more entertaining). I hope, Reader, you enjoy How Red Riding Hood Stole the Moon, if you do, drop me a line in the comment section. This story was firs published in Beyond Centauri in 2011. Enjoy!

File:Little Red Riding Hood pg 11.png



How Red Riding Hood Stole the Moon

By Alexandra Seidel


File:John William Waterhouse - The Crystal Ball.JPG
Red Riding Hood, who was once a little girl, stole the moon.

Red Riding Hood was a child no more, she had grown into a young woman ingrained with the knowledge of the woods and with all the things she had learned from the old huntsman and from her beloved grandmother, who had passed on three years ago, come winter. The huntsman had told her about knives and how they cut down wolves. As a parting gift, he had given her one of his favorite knives, too, a knife that fit the young woman’s hand just perfectly.

Her grandmother had told her other tales, tales about old things and things that were almost forgotten, tales about things that people dared not speak about. Red Riding Hood had listened to both of them with much care and devotion. She knew that the wolves were vain creatures who took joy in hunting that which was beautiful, taking it into their foul muzzles and crushing it with their lightning sharp teeth. Her grandmother had once whispered into her ear that the wolves were enamored with nothing as much as with the moon, for no matter how they tried, they could not get to it and crush it in their jaws, which was why they howled out their frustration at the cream colored white ball.

Red Riding Hood also knew the bodiless voice at the bottom of the well.

“Oh why, oh why are there wolves in the woods?” Red Riding Hood would often say to herself when she wandered along the twilit forest paths, gathering wild berries, strange mushrooms, and rare herbs.

The woods would answer her only with a twinkling shadowplay of leaves moving in the breeze or with the countless sounds of things growing and dying one next to the other.

One day, when Red Riding Hood was again in the woods, she met an old crone who was wearing a shawl of dusty gray and faded lace. The old woman’s face was wrinkled and faded like weather-worn leather and her clothes looked like rags, patched and moth-eaten. She walked slowly as if on chicken legs and her back was all hunched, which made her look small and pitiable. The old woman’s voice was grating metal as she spoke.

“My beautiful young girl! Come here, help and old beggar woman.”

But Red Riding Hood was not a fool, and she had learned to see things for what they were.

“Keep you stories to yourself, old woman, you won’t fool me with an act,” Red Riding Hood said, eyes hard as the sky. “I’ll give you nothing and I’ll take nothing from you, but perhaps we can make a trade among equals, you and I.”

As the crone heard the girl speak so, she began to chuckle. She straightened her back and looked at Red Riding Hood.

“Well, my dear, forgive me, I just had to try. You would trade with me, you say?”

“If you have anything of worth to offer.”

The crone chuckled again.

“Oh, but I always have things of worth to offer, the only question is, of worth to whom? Well, let’s see,” she said and began to pad herself down and rummage around in the many pockets of her dirty skirts.

Red Riding Hood watched the crone with a dark frown on her forehead as she made a show of producing a simple and battered looking cup of bronze, an old quill, and a silver ring set with a black pearl and several white diamonds.

“This is what I have to offer you, child,” said the crone to Red Riding Hood. “What will it be?”

Now, Red Riding Hood was well aware that she could either leave the crone or trade with her. But leaving her would do little good, as chance meetings have a way of making you regret it if you didn’t venture anything in the first place. And so, the question was really not if to trade with the old woman but what to trade with her.

Red Riding Hood picked up the quill and felt the soft feather touch on her fingers.

“Ah. The quill that knew the voices of all the things and creatures. A rainbow bird once dropped it while cleaning her plumage in a mountain lake.”

Red Riding Hood turned the quill around in her long fingered hand, but it did not feel right there. She put it down again. She picked up the silver ring next.

“You might yet be happy with this ring,” the crone said. “The black pearl is actually the voice of a mermaid princess who wished she could fly just like a seagull. The diamonds are the tears her sisters cried when she left them to find her destiny, and the silver for the ring was made from the scale of an ancient sea serpent that could crush whole continents with the coils of her body.”

But Red Riding Hood put the ring back down again. It bit her hand with the freezing teeth of frozen sea water and crying wind. The only thing left was the old bronze cup. Red Riding Hood picked it up.

“The cup then. I should have known you’d take the cup. It once belonged to a beggar who wasn’t really a beggar. People thought they were dropping coins into his cup, but as you can imagine, the cup doesn’t really collect coins.”

“Of course not. What do you want for it?” Red Riding Hood asked. The bronze cup felt light in her hand, and the metal was soft to her touch as if her fingers knew every inch of its surface already.

“What do I want? Well, you have an awfully pretty knife there in your basket and those mushrooms that you put on a string to dry are also very nice. But I cannot give you the cup for either.” The old woman scratched the bristles on her chin as if lost in deep thought. “Ah, I know! Give me your red red hood and we’ll be even!”

Red Riding Hood moved one hand absentmindedly to her red hood. It was no longer as bright and shining a red as it had been when her grandmother had given her the hood, but it was so much a part of her that giving it away would hurt her deeply. It would feel as if giving away some of the memory of her childhood and also of her grandmother.

Red Riding Hood sighed, but she took off her hood anyway and handed it to the old crone.

“Here, take it then, old woman. It was the first thing my grandmother ever gave me.”

“I know,” said the crone and took the red hood with hands that looked as gnarled as old tree branches. She nodded once to Red Riding Hood and left her standing alone in the woods, basket still in hand but red hood gone.

Red Riding Hood considered the cup in her hands and although she felt all wrong without her hood, she smiled because she now knew how she could make the wolves vanish from the woods.

That night, the moon was full.

That night, Red Riding Hood stole the moon. She pooled it into the bronze cup, well water filled, and then she hid the cup in the hollowed out trunk of an old and stunted tree of wild cherries. That tree of savage cherries stood in the depths of the woods where light was scarce and sound was plenty. When it had yet bloomed, it had done so only on a whim, to rival the flowers by its roots and shimmer brighter than the butterflies in the air. Wild cherry trees do not come with a humble predisposition. However, the tree had been dead for so long that both flowers and butterflies had forgotten the color and taste of its silken petals, its sharp sap. Red Riding Hood felt quite certain that her moon cup would be safely hidden inside the dead cherry tree’s trunk.

That night, Red Riding Hood, who had traded a battered cup for her hood of red, had stolen the moon from the night sky, and she had left only starshine behind.

Now, as all the wolves in the woods saw that the sky was hollow without the moon, they began to howl loudly. It was not their usual howling but far more violent and angry; the wolves couldn’t stand the thought that somebody else had crushed the moon in their jaws.

“Who ate the moon?” one chestnut furred wolf asked his ash gray companion. “Did you eat the moon and forgot to tell me about it?”

“Eat the moon! I could not have eaten the moon without you knowing that I did, but perhaps you snuck away and buried it somewhere! Did you not say a while ago that you would like to play a trick on all of us?” and the other wolves agreed, saying that they had indeed heard the chestnut wolf say so.

“I did not!” the chestnut wolf exclaimed with a loud growl and sprang at the ash gray wolf’s throat.

It did not take long before all the wolves were fighting like this among themselves and even quicker, they were piercing their fellow wolves’ skins with their teeth of dark thunder.

For the most part, they killed each other that night that Red Riding Hood had stolen the moon. The young woman of course watched them from hiding, watched them first quarrel, then attack, then spill their companions’ blood on the leaf-carpeted floor of the woods.

Sometimes when two or more wolves fought among themselves, one might survive, wounded deeply and bleeding from long gashes of claws and teeth. Red Riding Hood was very deft with the hunter’s knife, and always she would use it on those wounded wolves.

When morning finally came to the woods, Red Riding Hood, once more dressed in red, returned to her grandmother’s house that was now hers and sat down by the fire and sighed with happy relief.

“Finally, all the wolves are gone from the woods and from now on, there will be no more howling at night and their stinking breath will no longer make the air taste like bile and rotten corpses; finally, all is well.”

Red Riding Hood of course didn’t know that all the wolves were gone but one.

There was still one wolf left in the woods, a loner that had never liked to live with the pack. His fur was bright and white as clouds in the summer sky and his eyes were dark as cinnamon and when the sun hit them just right, they shone. The White Wolf lived not in the center of the woods but rather at the fringes to the north where hard mountains rose their heads to draw ragged edges along the sky. However, that night when Red Riding Hood had stolen the moon, the White Wolf had heard the other wolves’ howling, and he had gone back into the woods to find what was the matter with them.

He had returned to the sight of the young woman dyeing her knife blade scarlet in the throat of a huge brown wolf. He could have ambushed her and killed her then, but the White Wolf was not like all the others. So, he just watched.

When morning came, he followed Red Riding Hood to her house. His fine nose had picked up the scent from the well by the house, the putrid scent of bitter waters poisoning the earth.

When the young woman closed the door behind her, the White Wolf went back into the woods. He lay down on a patch of moss to rest and to think, but while he was dozing off, he thought he could almost smell something sweet. However, he fell asleep before his nose could tell him what that smell was.

As both Red Riding Hood and the White Wolf were resting, day finally bled out its light and night came, taking its place.

The moon meanwhile shimmered broodingly in its well water chalice and the stunted tree that was its prison started to bloom from the muted shine. Hundreds of rose colored wild cherry blossoms sprang from its withered bark and branches, and when they bloomed, they smelled of realms fallen and crumbled to sand, of longing and forgetfulness, and of the silent solace of dream. A soft breeze uncoiled itself from the midnight black and it gently kissed the blooming tree and took the petals in its arms, high and away, spilling scent and luminous color everywhere.

Both Red Riding Hood and the White Wolf woke to the scent of dream on the air.

While the White Wolf rose from his bed of moss, Red Riding Hood likewise ran from her house; she recognized the scent for what it was, and so she took the straightest way to the wild cherry tree that was no longer quite as stunted as before. She found it in full bloom, and the flowing petals had covered everything in so much rose-white that it was almost as if fresh snow had fallen beneath the thick branches of the trees.

Red Riding Hood was now afraid that the moon would no longer be safely hidden in the cherry tree and so she took the shimmering bronze cup with the moon inside it out of the tree’s trunk. In her hands she carried it back home with her, pondering all the while what she should do with the moon now.

The White Wolf took a winding road to follow the scent, and it led him not to the cherry tree but to the house in the woods Red Riding Hood lived in. He arrived as Red Riding Hood was just walking past the well, moon cup carried before her in both hands.

At the sounds of fur-brushing low-hanging tree branches from behind her, Red Riding Hood turned around. Her eyes went as wide as two rivers finding the sea when she saw the White Wolf.

“There’s still a wolf!” she whispered.

“Yes,” said the White Wolf.

“Have you come to crush the moon and grind it to fine dust now that it is no longer fixed in the sky?” Red Riding Hood asked.

“I don’t care to crush the moon, or even possess the moon,” said the White Wolf. “The moon is not there to be taken.”

But Red Riding Hood had known the wolves in the woods and she knew that they had been liars.

“I do not trust you, wolf! I know your kind, you cheat and lie, and once you’ve shattered the moon between your teeth of ice, you’ll swallow me and dress in my clothes and lie in my bed and live my life, but I won’t let you!” and she held the cup with the moon in it over the well’s darkly gazing eye, so as to threaten that she would drop it in, should the wolf come any closer.

“Go back where you came from, wolf, and just leave me be!”

“I can’t;” the White Wolf simply said and took a step forward.

Seeing this, Red Riding Hood dropped the bronze cup that held the moon into the well, and it fell, and fell a long way.

The White Wolf came closer still and was soon close enough for Red Riding Hood to touch him.

“Feel my fur,” he told her, and sure that she would be eaten anyway, Red Riding Hood touched her palm to his fur. It was soft as white-woven silk and shone like robes fit for a prince.

“I will not eat you,” said the White Wolf.

“But that is what wolves do! Don’t tell me that you have never eaten anyone!”

The White Wolf lifted his cinnamon eyes to the young woman’s and said, “Can you tell me that you never drowned anyone in that well, or that you didn’t replace your hood of red with rubies and fur?” and at that, Red Riding Hood was silent.

“Take my paw,” the White Wolf told her, and Red Riding Hood took his right paw into her hand. It felt warm and soft but also a little rough, like the hands of one who has left his home to see the world and find all the wonders in it.

“Now, smell my breath,” said the White Wolf, and Red Riding Hood--reluctantly, for she feared to smell the foulness in him--smelled the White Wolf’s breath.

But on the White Wolf’s breath, there was nothing foul or rotten. He smelled like dark spices and like the high places of stone and wind, like sleep, found in the company of stars.

And as Red Riding Hood kissed the White Wolf, the cup with which she had stolen the moon, hit the bottom of the well with a loud clanking of metal. The moon spilled from the cup and from the water surface at the bottom of the well, it was reflected upwards again, rose from the well’s belly to take back its place among the stars.

The cup remained at the bottom of the well and from that night onward, the well’s waters were bitter and poisoned no longer, but sweet and rich and they had the power to bestow a long sleep with the most colorful dreams on anyone who drank from them.

Red Riding Hood left the woods with the White Wolf. First, they went back north to where the trees faded and the mountains began, and soon enough, they were climbing high and higher. It is not known where they went after that, perhaps a palace with a tower room that they made theirs so they could always watch the moon when night rose, but that is just a guess.


File:Little Red Riding Hood pg 43.png

Sunday, December 9, 2012

How To Write A Cover Letter

File:Clio-Mignard.jpgThis is not the first blog post ever written on cover letters, it probably won't be the last. Blame annoyed editors who are trying to channel their passive aggressive tendencies into something productive.

What is a cover letter supposed to do? Well, it accompanies your story or poem, and it is often the first thing an editor looks at. Mind you, the editor actually wants to see the story or poem, so a cover letter should not be distracting. Also, the editor is so curious to read said story or poem that they can't wait, so the cover letter should be brief.

Here I have to defer to Hal Duncan, because he did one better than this post and actually tweeted a professional cover letter:

"Dear X, pls find enclosed "Y" (ZK words) as a submission for Yr Mag. Thx 4 yr time & consideration. The end"

Like this, please.

If you are not sure who will read your submission, write "Dear Editor." If there is more than one editor (you can find stuff like that out by, you know, looking at the guidelines and browsing the zine's site for a couple of minutes), write "Dear Editors." If you know who will look at the sub, it is perfectly acceptable to address them by name (Dear Ms./Mr. X).

Do not ever address an editor with "Dear Sir or Madam." Just don't.

If it's a cover letter for a poem, you can include line and/or word count (with most sf/f markets, it is acceptable to omit this part altogether when you submit poetry as they will pay a fixed amount in case of acceptance.)

There is no need to give any sort of summary or background info. Say you have a poem or story that heavily relies on the myths and folklore of some small island somewhere. Interesting, but no need to mention it. The piece should always work on its own, your storytelling skills still need to be solid, no matter where your muse hails from. The editor will in most cases be able to tell that there is folklore or myth in there anyway, and if they have a specific question, they will get back to you. If you feel the editor won't be able to tell that folkloristic aspects are important to your writing, it might be better to consider another market altogether. (Reminder: stories and poems are supposed to work on their own merit.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winning the Hat

File:Rhinegold and the Valkyries p 156.jpgTonight, while drunk quite heroically on tequila and other sprites, yours truly has won a fedora for herself, black as a poet's dreams and much envied by her contemporaries (well, co-workers, but the former sounds that much cooler.)

I now have a hat that suits me.

Other than that, I find myself, quite inebriated, reciting poetry aloud to nothing but the cool night air, right now "rage, rage, against the dying of the light" by Dylan Thomas, but Hal Duncan's Sonnets for Orpheus No. XII is conquering my brain like the sophisticated rogue it is.

What poems to you like to sing out loud to yourself and others? (Warning: once sober, I may yet make a prize draw out of this, so comment!!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear Poem of the Ungodly Hour

Dear Poem of the Ungodly Hour,

I understand that you have a need to be written, and of course to be written, a poem like yourself has to knock down the door of a poet's mind and make just enough noise so the poet comes running, pen in hand.

I understand also that poems do not sleep. However, please consider that poets do indeed--and contrary to common belief--need the occasional visit to Morpheus's realm. We are just human. No sleep makes us cranky and unproductive. Also, I'm really not sure about the long term effects all that coffee has on the poetic mind. Would it hurt to be cautious?

Of course no poet would ever deny a poem's right to be written, but please, please, PLEASE, try to stick with the business hours. You can still show up when the moon's out and all (poets are nocturnal,) just be early enough so this poet can at least get, like, six hours of sleep.

I so hate being a cranky writer with a caffeine problem (cuz that's so cliché).

Love and kisses,
Your Poet

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

And the winners are...

From within the hat two names have been drawn : Ash Krafton will receive the signed copy, the unsigned one goes to James S. Dorr. (In case you are wondering what this is about, read up on the Niteblade Blog Train.)

Congratulations Ash and James!



Friday, August 17, 2012

The Niteblade Blog Train: Poetry Central

File:Charles Gleyre - Lost Illusions - Walters 37184.jpg
Welcome to the Niteblade Blog Train. Hop on, hop on! In case you are really only getting on now, here's the previous post.

This blog train is a celebration of five years of Niteblade, so at the end of this post, there will be PRESENTS.

But first things first. What to write about? Right. I can start with a quick introduction.

Hi, I'm Alexa, the person who reads all the poetry slush for Niteblade and selects the five poems that we publish in each issue (aka the poetry editor). I also lend my eyes for first reader duties every now and then.

When it comes to poetry, our guidelines are not very specific in regards to what we want and what we don't want, and intentionally so. But hey, since y'all are here now let me tell you what I like and don't like to read in my slush.

1. Dir Sir or Madam.
Yup, that one I don't like. You can address your correspondence to the Poetry Editor, to Rhonda (the beloved boss editor), or of course to me (which will tell me that you took the time to firgure out who's actually gonna read your work.)

You can also just say Hi or add a simple note like "Please consider my poem ___ for publication."

It's all about first impressions I guess, and while I often read a poem before I look at the cover letter, a professional sounding cover letter can't hurt.

File:Lotz Muse 1890s.jpg2. Formal stuff.
That's something I really like, partly because these days free verse is the norm. I like villanelles (like this one) and sonnets in particular, but that doesn't mean I'm bored by sestinas or the odd couplet. Do sent me formal verse

BUT: don't just make stuff rhyme. Formal verse is more than just lines of words with matching meter put together in the shape of stanzas that come with rhyming words dashed in to spice things up, it's more than just the sum of its parts. There is a reason why we consider Shakespeare a Bard and not a writer of silly doggerel. Poetry (or any writing) conveys information, but also emotion. Why else would the reader care?

3. Cliches.
Especially in a horror venue you get these, a lot. That's not to say I don't enjoy zombie apocalypse tales or your average nocturnal bloodsucker with a European accent (cf. the vamp special poetry selection of our June Issue), but unless you can throw me off balance with something new or unusual, well. Know what you are writing about, but also be sure to write something no one has ever written before.

4. LGBTQ/QUILTBAG
Yes, please. Do send me more of that. POC, too.

"This world is wide and wild
and full of wonders,"

says Seanan McGuire in her poem "Baba Yaga Said," and any work that reflects that will be warmly welcomed at Niteblade.

File:Odin rides to Hel.jpgOkay, I seem to be running out of things to put on my little list here, so perhaps just let me remind you that you should always go with the guidelines (remember what they say about guidelines in Pirates of the Caribbean? Won't fly in publishing.)

Also, if you have any questions, you can get in touch through the contact form on this blog, or drop me a line at alexa@niteblade.com.

Niteblade Spec Poetry Ed
And before the blog train leaves, didn't I mention PRESENTS at the beginning of this post?? I did, but actually, they are more like prizes: two issues of the Niteblade Special Poetry Edition, one of them signed by both Rhonda and myself. The prizes will be drawn (from a real hat, if you must know) once the blog train has ended, that is Sep 2 (the last post goes live on Sep 1). All you have to do to enter is comment here (or if for some reason that doesn't work for you, drop me a line) and let me know of a poem you really liked, old or new, from Niteblade or elsewhere, doesn't matter (for example, "The Raven" by Poe would be a valid entry.) Comments will close on Sep 1, Midnight EST.

Okay, all that's left to say is Happy Birthday Niteblade, thanks to Rhonda for five fantastically scary years, thanks for allowing me to be a part of this, and man am I looking forward to the next five!

The Niteblade Blog Train. Next stop: Brenda Stokes Barron.


File:La barca de Caront, Josep Benlliure Gil, Museu de Belles Arts de València.jpg

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Announcing "All Our Dark Lovers"

It is of course a deliriously happy author who may announce her very first book, that much goes without saying, doesn't it?

I take the fact that I am writing this as April has just turned into May with Beltaine (or whatever it's called in your neck of the woods) as a good omen, and present to you with delirious elation All Our Dark Lovers, a collection of stories and poems (it contains the Masquerade poem, but also new things).

Many, many thanks to Mark Deniz of Morrigan Press for giving my manuscript a chance (have I mentioned the official announcement?) Also, thanks to Katey Taylor for general supportiveness ;)

All Our Dark Lovers will be released into the wild in 2013, on Valentine's Day. Get a black magic marker please and draw a cute black heart around Feb 14, 2013, on your calendars, will you? Or let your phones and smartphones remind you, that's fine too.

*happy dance!*

ETA 7/6/15: After more than three years, I can now say that the collection is not going to be published by Morrigan Press. A post on the matter will follow, but basically there was hardly any forward movement in the preparation of the manuscript or anything related to it from the side of the publisher, and my emails regarding this were hardly ever answered. I didn't want to be told the same excuses over and over again and so asked to void the contract.

ETA 7/11/15: That post is here now.

File:Diego Velaquez, Venus at Her Mirror (The Rokeby Venus).jpg

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April Poetry

File:Waterhouse, JW - A Hamadryad (1895).jpgA lot of catching up to do! And since so much of it is poetry related, I better get all of it in order while there's still some April left (I love Eliot btw).

Okay, so way back when the folks over at Strange Horizons had their readers poll, it turns out "If Alice..." made second place, something I was totally delighted by! Even better, Rose Lemberg's wonderful "In the Third Cycle" won, which just shows what excellent taste people reading Strange Horizons have (well, the editors are also gifted with some good sense for lyrical awesomeness if you ask me).

(Not that it really matters, but I am writing this post by following my facebook timeline. I don't know about you, but on my scale for disturbing, this rates a comfortable seven. The end is nigh!)

The Spring equinox saw two of my poems go live over at Eternal Haunted Summer, "The Desert in His Soul" and "Isis Conquers All." Yes, I do know gods outside of the Greek pantheon.

File:Waterhouse - The Charmer.jpgNow, sea poems! "Becoming the Sea," which resides at NewMyths.com, and "Binnorie," harping away over at inkscrawl. The second of these two is the one I'm really excited about, not just because of the poem itself though. Inkscrawl, a beautiful zine of spec poetry of ten lines or fewer was about to fold after just two issues, but along came Rose Lemberg (aka The Amazing Rose). She bought inkscrawl, founded a press along the way, and well, she just spreads Amazingness with everything she does. She even got Sam Henderson to take over editorship of inkscrawl. Very nice.

I mentioned earlier the excellent taste of the poetry editors of Strange Horizons. This poet was then of course immensely honored that these same editors saw fit to choose another of her pieces for publication. "Cerberus, Seeking Lethe" is another one of my Night Cycle poems (they are like dreams, little critters, just keep happening).

Stone Telling published Bridging: The Queer Issue. The poetry selected is wonderful, and I am hereby doffing my hat to Rose and Shweta. One piece stands out though. Lisa M. Bradley's "we come together we fall apart" is epic, and it tells a story that cuts deep. I was lucky enough to be allowed to read the part of Marguerite for the audio version, a production of the ST cast well worth listening to.

April also saw the release of Bull Spec #7 (I do love rude acronyms!) In the poetry section, readers will find "The Fall Queen" by yours truly. Very much looking forward to future issues of BS.

April being what it is, the Rhysling Award nominations were released. I am ecstatic about being on the list and about being in such good company! *silly grin*

And because Good Things just did not stop happening, I woke up one morning to find my copy of Mythic Delirium in the mail. It does not just look pretty, it's also pretty awesome from the inside. I have two works in it, "A Different Scheherazade" and "The Forest King" which was inspired by art created by Anita Allen only then to inspire art in turn. I am particularly proud of the inspiration part. The whole issue also got a very nice review at Tor.com. Made me wish that there'd be more general awareness of spec poetry. This genre just has to offer so much stunning work from talented and dedicated people.

Appearing hand in hand with Mythic Delirium (also, note the coordinated covers) was Goblin Fruit's Spring 2012 Issue. I have my first evah poem accepted by the editorial team in there, so wow. Hopefully, readers will enjoy "The Golem on My Tongue."

15I'm going back to celebrating the rest of April now, if you don't mind :)  If you want to celebrate along, hop over to Fantastique Unfettered (ah, these acronyms!) and check out the daily prompts. Perhaps you'll just get a poem out of it.



Images taken from oldbookart.com and commons.wikimedia.org.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Post

Only once every four years I'll get the chance to write one!

So far, February has succeeded in being busy and eventful. For one thing, the combined power of the Fantastique Unfettered slush piles (fiction and poetry) has tried to overwhelm me (unsuccessfully, I still like correct grammar and spelling). I could write a post alone about cover letters and such, just not today. But hey, getting the editor's name right, that's always a great start!

Eventfulness: another one of my pieces was nominated for a Rhysling this February! "Lanterns," first appeared in Raven Electrick Ink: Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy marks this year's second nomination for that most prestigious of spec poetry awards. This means I have one poem nominated in the "long poem" category (a post on that), and "Lanterns" in the "short" category. I know, bragging sucks, but I'm just mighty happy, is all.


Adding to my state of happiness is the Strange Horizon's 2011 Reader's Poll. My poem "If Alice..." came in second after Rose's "In the Third Cycle." My congrats to Rose, whose poem is one of the most beautiful pieces I've seen in a long time.


(If you think the bragging is over, not quite yet.)

A bit of coolness and fruitful art begetting (yeah!) As Mike Allen explains in this part 2 of the Mythic Delirium 26 preview, I'm talking about this awesome illustration for my art inspired poem "The Forest King." (Don't you just wanna see that on real paper? Smell the ink? Feel the texture under your fingertips? You must SUBSCRIBE!)

On a final note, tomorrow a new issue of Niteblade will premier. It is a fine issue, with fine poetry, if I do say so myself. The poets published in this issue were wonderful to work with, where editing was undertaken, the results are stunning (I know I'm biased, so what). Thanks, guys!

I did dare February to "bring it" in my last post...already looking forward to March. :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

January 2012

I post to catch up is overdue.

The year has barely started and so much has happened already. The first week of 2012 saw another acceptance of what I would call an early Night Cycle poem: A Metamorphosis of Dream will appear in Ideomancer. That felt like 2012 was kicking off just fine, I thought to myself, but it got better. My prose poem A Maquerade in Four Voices got nominated for the Rhysling Award! This is just way cool! It made me talk in all-caps for about three days or so, and I feel the need to shout out in joy whenever I think about it, too, so YAY! (In case you wanna see all the eligible work of 2011, look here.)

Story-wise, two tales will appear this March, The Castle of Ashes in Red Penny Papers (edited by the wonderful KV Taylor, full line-up here) and A Lie Written In Scarlet in Scheherezade's Bequest (where Erzebet YellowBoy does a no less wonderful editing job).

And then there is this thing called editing I do. Over at Niteblade, I finalized the first poetry ToC I did all on my lonesome. Now, I could say a lot of things about the March Issue, I really could, but I won't; there simply is no need. Read the poems contained therein, and you will understand why.

January was also the month of major Change at Fantastique Unfettered. Brandon Bell--beloved founder and most capable editor of the zine--has stepped down from his position as Managing Editor, and he entrusted me with carrying on this thing-like-no-other that is FU. These are some big shoes to fill, I'm well aware of that. I come prepared, and I come wearing passion like a witch's hat; let's do this! Brandon isn't gone however, he'll still be around as general assistant (soon to be replaced by kick-ass title), and FU is lucky to have someone like him. To add to the general climate of change, we are moving from print to online publication, which I think is gonna be really, really cool. The site is already looking all new and spring-timey and we have a poll up there which will help us determine whether to call our weekly news section "FU Weekly" or "The Weekly FU." Yeah, seriously. That's how mature we are.

So that was January. So, February. Bring it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Works Published In 2011

It is the time of year to do a post listing all work eligible for awards, isn't it? All the pieces below have been first published in 2011.

Short Poems (1-49 lines)

Broken Towers, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #52
City of Clay, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #52
The Dirty Vampire, A Recipe, Bull Spec #5
Her Mother's Bees, Electric Velocipede
The Girl and Her Cloud, Electric Velocipede
The Little Red Tarot, Enchanted Conversation
Ereshkigal, Eternal Haunted Summer
Acteon's Hunt, Eternal Haunted Summer
Bacchanalia, Eternal Haunted Summer
The Eagle, Eternal Haunted Summer
Orpheus, Turning, Eternal Haunted Summer
The Words of Seshat, Eternal Haunted Summer
Before the Villain, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly
Eulogy, inkscrawl
Cages, inkscrawl
Curses, Jabberwocky
Bei Nacht--A Demon Song, Jabberwocky
Tricks and Treats, Raven Electrick Ink: Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy
Lanterns, Raven Electrick Ink: Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy  ETA: Lanters has been nominated for the Rhysling Award! Squeee!
It Was Beauty, Kaleidotrope #13
In the Arms of Scheherazade, Kaleidotrope #13
Weaving Loneliness, Liquid Imagination
Cloth Demon, Mythic Delirium #25
Babylon, NewMyths #14
The Djinn's Lover Paper Crow (Volume 2 Issue 2)
The Doll and the Needle, Polu Texni
The Princess Who Knew Fire, Polu Texni
In the End, All They Have is Words, Polu Texni
Fairy Tale Cursed, Scheherezade's Bequest
The Witch of the Third Night, Scheherezade's Bequest
The Demon in the Pool, Silver Blade
Beast Touched, Silver Blade
Little Ghosts, Star*Line 34.1
Dwarf Universe, Star*Line 34.2
Japanese Muse, Star*Line 34.3
Puppet Minds, Star*Line Interplay
The City That Wasn't There, Strange Horizons
The Honey Man, Strange Horizons
Desert Princess, Strong Verse
The Tiger in My House, Strong Verse
The Words CLung To His Lips Like Honey, Like Hemlock, Strong Verse

Long Pomes (50+ lines)
Beloved Witch, Jabberwocky
Golden Things, Elektrik Milk Bath Press: In the Garden of the Crow
A Masquerade in Four Voices, Stone Telling 5 ETA: Masquerade has been nominated for the Rhysling Award! And I am one happy poet!
If Alice..., Strange Horizons

Short Stories
The Job Interview, The Red Penny Papers
How Red Riding Hood Stole The Moon, Beyond Centauri Issue 32 (Sam's Dot Publishing)
The Girl Who Chose The Other Road, Shelter of Daylight Issue 5 (Sam's Dot Publishing)
The Story of the Apple Tree, Sounds of the Night (Sam's Dot Publishing)
Tumbling Out the Hatch,  Poe Little Thing