Published: Hold This Camel

Tombstone - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishMy poem, “Hold This Camel” has been published in Volume 1, Issue 3 of The Germ.

Hold this Camel came to be when I was looking at a poetry prompt from the April poem a day challenge which said to make the title of the poem ‘Hold that ____’ and the first word that popped into my head to fill in the blank, was camel. Not ‘thought’ or anything which made sort of obvious sense right away, but ‘Hold that camel’. I really, really, really wanted to write that poem. And I did. I had to change the that in the title to a this, but I pulled it off and I’m pretty pleased with that.

Issue 3 went on sale recently and puts me in some pretty good company with other writers, poets and artists. I can’t wait for my contributor copies to arrive 🙂

Sale: Shattered

Kzine-logoMy short story (featuring gargoyles!), “Shattered”, has been accepted for future publication in KZine.

This isn’t my first encounter with KZine, my zombie munchkin story “…Oh My!” was published their issue #4 last year and I’ve another story, “The Other Side of the Door” which is scheduled for publication there early next year. “Shattered” is will follow an issue or two later.

Also? Unlike the last two times KZine has accepted my work, this time didn’t involve any rewrites or revisions first. That’s a trend I’d really love to see continue LOL

The Table

The Table

I don’t know anything about my father’s family, he was adopted and after he and my mother separated when I was five we never had much of a relationship. It’s a complicated and sad story and is not the point of this blog post at all. I only mention it because I think it may be one of the reasons I value the extended family on my mother’s side so very, very much.

My extended family from my Mom’s side is big. My grandmother had 10 children, 9 of whom survived by the time I was born. Those aunts and uncles married and had kids of their own and we all got together at the holidays at Grammy’s house for a big meal. It was noisy and chaotic and awesome.

The table is made of walnut and originally belonged to my great grandparents (my Mom’s father’s parents). They bought it in the 1930s or 40s (no one seems able to say for sure) and eventually passed it on to my Grammy and Grampy. As things tend to do in our family, (and maybe all big families?) this table eventually was passed down to one of my mom’s siblings, and possibly then another, but at some point it made it into our home.

It was Mom’s sewing table (and she sewed a LOT), where I learned how to quilt, the table where we put our Nintendo when we got it (like, the very first Nintendo system dudes) to play on a teeny tiny little television. It even became a diaper changing table when Danica was a baby. I went from sitting on the board beneath the table with my siblings and cousins, using the knob in the middle as a steering wheel to play imagination games while our parents played cards around us, to changing my own daughter’s diapers on it. This table means so much to me, I can’t even explain…

Then my Mom gave it to me.

By the time it reached me it had been through a lot. It was dinged and scratched. The “steering wheel” had been kicked, scuffed and even chewed on by a dog or two, and the table top had been painted dark brown to try and hide some of the water rings and such.

I decided to refinish it.

I had never refinished anything before in my life.

I was terrified.

What if I screwed up? What if I wrecked the table that probably meant just as much to other members of my family as it did to me?

What if?

But I swallowed my fears and did it anyway.

It took me a very long time, and I should have taken before pictures, but I think I’m finally finished.

Table Top

I stripped all the paint off and then sanded, and sanded, and sanded. A couple coats of stain (Cabernet by Varathane) followed, then three coats of glossy varnish (with more sanding in between, just for fun!) and a final coat of semi-gloss varnish for the top itself*. I think it’s gorgeous.

Also, for those of us who loved it, here is the steering wheel:


And here are Jo and Dani putting their fingerprints all over the top because they know it drives me crazy:


As for why I’m sharing this on my blog, well, I may have mentioned that I have a pretty big extended family. I wanted a place I could put these pictures for everyone to see. Despite my fears, I think I did a pretty good job here. I’m proud of the results and want to show everyone else for whom this table isn’t just a piece of furniture that I’m taking care of it and giving it the respect it deserves.

Oh, and for everyone who is like “Um, it’s just a table.” well, now it’s a really pretty table. So there’s that.

Now I just need to find some chairs to go with it and tidy up the room its in 😉

*Jo and Dani helped out too but I think it’s fair to say I did the bulk of the work.

Mah New Ink

I just realized that, though I posted these pictures on Facebook, I never shared them here. I think my plan was to “wait and take a picture with my good camera first” but since I got this tattoo in like April and it’s September now, it seems safe to assume I’m never going to get around to having someone take that picture. Besides, Dani did a great job with my crappy point and shoot camera so… yeah.

Here are two photographs of my newest tattoo (It’s on the inside of my left forearm):

ink1 ink2

It’s not the tattoo I asked my artist (Kat Hays, from Atomic Zombie) for during our consult (the crows were meant to be the focus and circle around my arm), but in the end it was so wonderfully, perfectly me that I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The quill pen is amazing as is the murder of crows and I can’t get over all the little details in the ink pot (Do you see the shadow there, dudes? Awesome). The lines coming out of the pot and around the feather add just a wee bit more femininity to it and make it seem magical.

I love it.

Originally I was going to explain all the meaning and such behind it but really, I think it speaks for itself, don’t you?

All The Things

Silver Pixie There are so many things going on around here right now. So. Many. It’s really an exciting time for me, but also stressful and anxiety-producing (isn’t that always the way?). Some of the things I get to share are these:

Submissions are open for Fae! After working on Metastasis I really needed a project that was a wee bit on the lighter side and I feel like this is it — plus it gave me the excuse to license lots of fairy pictures to use on my blog posts, and that is always a good thing. If you have an awesome modern fairy story I would very much like to read it. The details and submission guidelines are right here. Some subs are already trickling in and I’m going to start actually reading them tomorrow.

In other editor-y news, the latest issue of Niteblade is out, and it is fabulous. What’s more, because I love the cover so very much, this is going to be a blog entry with not one, but two pictures in it. So, yay!

Niteblade #25 (25! OMG!) is entitled Alice Underground after a fantastic poem by Brittany Warman. The cover and table of contents are here:

Niteblade #25 cover - Original art by Marge Simon, cover design by Jonathan ParrishLady Mary Speaks of Dreams by Sandi Leibowitz
With The Band by Carl Barker
Bitter Mnemosyne by Sara Norja
Jonesy by Evan Purcell
Alice Underground by Brittany Warman
Starry Night by David Luntz
Le Cirque by Jess Simms
the moon, so low by Dan Campbell
The Kiss of Legend by T.H. Lee
This man by Erik Amundsen
Empire of Ash by Cameron Johnston
Not Too Bold by Shira Lipkin

You can purchase your copy of our latest issue directly from the Niteblade Store, or Amazon (coming soon to Kobo). Each time you support Niteblade with a purchase or donation you make it a little more likely we’ll release our web version of the current issue to the general public to read for free so not only do you get to read a fantastic magazine (if I do say so myself) but you are also making it so other people can too. Win-win, right?

But wait, there’s more!

Quite a while ago Sein und Werden organized an experience with some exquisite corpses and I was pleased to participate. My specific contribution was:

The only blades were lush, verdant. She plunged her fingers down, through them, down like roots into the loam and brought up great handfuls of pungent-smelling darkness. Spread it over her breasts, like oil, while she undulated above, around. Particles spilled from between her fingers and pattered down around her.

Which is a group of sentences I’m ridiculously proud of. But, as much as I adore them all by themselves, they are so much more, well, exquisite, when you read them in context. Check out the “corpse” in its entirety here –> Come The Spring. It’s a  surreal and beautiful thing (I think perhaps, especially the fragment that comes directly before mine). Then, if you liked that you can also read Beetle and The Point of No Return which are two more exquisite corpses which were organized at the same time.