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Fractured Friday: Brittany Warman

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory HokeFor the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.

B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera.

B is for Broken contains 26 stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) centered on the theme of brokenness. The diversity of genres and subject matter will blow you away. We’ve got science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird fiction about broken hearts, broken space ships, broken lives, broken bones–you name it. If you like speculative fiction and short stories, this collection is one you’re going to want to check out 🙂

Interview With Brittany Warman

 

What Letter Were You Assigned: A

Short Excerpt:

“A hundred years is a long time and the world has changed. In this new, awakened world, there are no curses, at least not the way I remember them. My prince studies the skies with mechanical devices like I had never seen before and writes detailed notes about the movements of the universe. He whispers my name to the heavens but isn’t thinking of me.”

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking?: I broke a necklace that belonged to my Mom when I was in third grade. A friend of mine said it wasn’t fixable, so she further broke it into tiny pieces that we then played with. My mom was devastated that we’d so completely destroyed something from her own childhood and still I feel so guilty about that.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it?: Sometimes I feel relief… I tend to hang on to things until they’re completely unusable, even if they’re not as good as they once were, so when something like that truly breaks it’s finally an excuse to throw it away.

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be?: Oh, probably robbing a bank or something like that? As long as it really didn’t hurt anyone! 

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break?: The big code that I always try to follow is simply to be kind but I know that no one is perfect, certainly not me, so I certainly do break it sometimes sadly.

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned?: Very much actually! I had the idea right from the get go but I had a really hard time bringing it to life in the dreamy, fragmented way I wanted to. I had a LOT of false starts!

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter, inspired your story?: That’s easy, “Sleeping Beauty” of course :). I find myself drawn back to that fairy tale over and over again.

 


bookmeBrittany Warman is a PhD candidate in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University, where she concentrates on the intersection of literature and folklore. Her creative work has been published by or is forthcoming from Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky Magazine, Ideomancer, inkscrawl, Cabinet des Fées: Scheherezade’s Bequest, and others. Her story “Q is for Queen” appeared in A is for Apocalypse. She can be found online at BrittanyWarman.com

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B is for Broken is available now at:
Smashwords
Kobo
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

Join the Poise and Pen Street Team to keep up-to-date on Alphabet Anthology happenings or sign up for my newsletter to stay informed about everything I do (including Alphabet Anthologies).

Or both.

Personally, I vote for both 😉

HatTip ScareCROW

Pure Spec

ScareCROW

Do you see this guy? He’s a crow who is a scarecrow. Dude. It was so perfect I just had to have him, but I couldn’t figure out a way to justify it. We aren’t really the kind of family who uses seasonal decorations in their house, he’s not really outside-friendly and I’m trying to purge as much stuff from our house as possible. Still, despite all that I really wanted to bring him home. Then I hit on an idea–pure gold. I could bring him with me to my vendor table at Pure Spec and he could hang out there as sort of a mascot for Corvidae and Scarecrow. What’s more, I could hold a contest for people to help me name him. So that’s what I’m doing.

I have a vendor table at Pure Spec this year. If you’ll be attending you ought to stop by, not only to check out all the amazing titles I will be selling but also to suggest a name for my friend here. Every person who suggests a name gets $1 off any of my books.

I’ll announce the winning name here next week 🙂

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Sirens Submissions Update

SIRENS submissions banner 2

Submissions to my fourth Magical Menageries title, Sirens, are open right now. Actually, they’ve been open for a while now so I thought it was time for a brief update from the slush pile 🙂

As of right now the oldest unread submission in my inbox is from September 1st. If you submitted prior to that and you haven’t heard back from me, please query.

What I’m seeing:

  • A lot of sea-based sirens. I’m hoping for a nearly equal number of sea and sky sirens but right now I’m seeing about twice as many water-based sirens than those who can fly.
  • Several re-tellings of The Little Mermaid. I have nothing against Little Mermaid re-tellings… however, there’s only room in this anthology for one or maybe two.
  • A lot of selkie stories. I love selkies and some of these stories are incredibly well-written but selkies aren’t (usually) sirens.

What I’d like to see more of:

  • I’ve seen a few Anycity, Anytime stories. What I mean is they don’t have a sense of place, they could take place in Edmonton, Alberta in 2015 or London, England in 1894 or Honolulu, Hawaii in 1914 without it changing anything about the story. I generally prefer stories with a strong setting in both time and place (even if it’s an imaginary time and place).
  • A steam or solarpunk siren story. Because.
  • More sky-based sirens.
  • More submissions. If you’re not sure send it. The worst thing I can say is no.

Submissions close on November 15th which is less than a month away so please get those stories in my inbox. You don’t want to miss this deadline 🙂

If you’ve any questions feel free to hit me up (here, twitter, email, wherever).

Note: I’ve received a couple short story queries. There is no need to query before submitting–just send me your story 🙂

 

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Giftmas Blog Tour

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Last year I invited my friends to share guest blogs with me about their winter holiday traditions. It went pretty well, but was quite rushed because I left it until the last minute (or very near) before putting things together. I don’t want to repeat that this year and there are like ten weeks to Christmas. (I KNOW! How did that happen? Holy whack this year has gone by quickly. Anyway…)

Would you like to participate in a blog tour this December?

I’m calling it the ‘Giftmas Blog Tour’ because at my home we celebrate a secular version of Christmas that I like to call Giftmas but you’re welcome to join in no matter what December holiday you celebrate.

Participants will be asked to write two separate blog posts about whatever they want as long as it touches on a winter celebration. Those posts will be shared here on my blog and also on other participant’s blogs. You are not required to host a guest post but if want to, you are welcome to do so.

Participants are also welcome, but not required, to donate something for our big Giftmas Giveaway. All donated prizes will be pooled together and given away at the end of the tour.

If you’d like to join in please email me at rhonda.l.parrish@gmail.com with the subject ‘Giftmas Blog Tour’. Include in that email:

  • Your blog URL (if you have one)
  • If you’d like to donate a prize (or prizes) to the giveaway
  • If you’d like to host a guest post (or two) and, if so, any days in December you cannot host on

I will accept sign-ups until November 15th 

If you have any questions shoot me an email and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

*Awesomesauce graphics courtesy of Amanda C. Davis.

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory Hoke

Fractured Friday: Michael Kellar

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory HokeFor the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.

B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera.

B is for Broken contains 26 stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) centered on the theme of brokenness. The diversity of genres and subject matter will blow you away. We’ve got science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird fiction about broken hearts, broken space ships, broken lives, broken bones–you name it. If you like speculative fiction and short stories, this collection is one you’re going to want to check out 🙂


Interview With Michael Kellar

What letter were you assigned? R

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking? The line between youth and middle age.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that? I once belonged to an organization which turned out to be based upon false premises, and made certain promises to that group. Once it fell apart and I discovered that the Emperor was naked, those promises became meaningless.

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be? I’ve broken quite a few and gotten away with it, but telling you might negate the “consequence-free” part…

But if you really mean literally ANY law, I would say gravity…

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break? Yes.

Never ever? Probably not.

Really? Isn’t there something which could make you break it? Well, we supposedly all have our breaking points, don’t we?

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? The story came first, and fortunately the letter was flexible enough that I could have called it any number of relevant titles.

What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? I was lucky enough to have my story idea pop into my mind as soon as I heard the theme. (This was a good thing, as I have absolutely no idea as to what else I might have attempted!)

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story?  A rather mind-blowing horror story by Aleister Crowley called “The Testament of Magdalen Blair” which disturbed me years ago and stayed with me.


Michael Kellar is a writer, poet, and occasional online bookseller living in Myrtle Beach, SC. He has had fiction appear in Metastasis: An Anthology to Support Cancer Research, Bones II, Bones III, Side Show 2: Tales of the Big Top and the Bizarre, A is for Apocalypse, and the recently released The Grays. He has also had fiction appear on the Dark Futures Fiction website, and had poetry published in Gothic Blue Book III: The Graveyard Edition. Upcoming pieces will include stories appearing in Pure Fantasy and SciFi 3 and The Temporal Element II.

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B is for Broken is available now at:
Smashwords
Kobo
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

Join the Poise and Pen Street Team to keep up-to-date on Alphabet Anthology happenings or sign up for my newsletter to stay informed about everything I do (including Alphabet Anthologies).

Or both.

Personally, I vote for both 😉

CORVIDAE blog tour banner

Corvidae Contributor Interview: Mark Rapacz

CORVIDAE blog tour banner

Over the coming weeks I’d like to share interviews that I (and Magnus) conducted with the contributors to Corvidae and Scarecrow. This week we’ll talk with Mark Rapacz whose story, Bazyli Conjures a Blackbird which Magnus described as, “A brand new Russian fairytale! Like a stolen chapter out of War and Peace!”. Having not read War and Peace I could be wrong, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Mark’s story is much more magical 🙂

Interview with Mark Rapacz

Please share a short excerpt from your story/stories:

So some of the soldiers thought he’d make himself disappear on one side of the stage and reappear on the other. Some thought he would shoot  lightning  straight  out  of  his  hands.  Others  just  assumed  he would fly. Still, some said they knew for certain that he would raise the dead. One dead soldier every night and for this reason we would never lose the war. Some said he could read the mind of God! Others said the Devil! Others said the generals of our enemy and for this we  would never lose the war! They were always thinking of reasons why we would never  lose the war. Me? I already knew we had lost. They said these things because these were the tricks they had seen before. These were what they expected to see. What they wanted to see. Most people don’t want to see what they haven’t seen before. This is what makes war so bad. You see many things you haven’t seen before and it’s best that you never see them again, but you do, you do. In here. And in here. But not here,  Kuba. Not in your stomach. Your stomach stays free and hungry and only loves your Babushka’s cooking.

What is it about corvids that inspired you to write about them? Corvids have shown up in my work now and again.  They show up in a lot of writer’s work, actually.  Symbolism of death or something.  Writers seem to like that.  I do, of course.  I’m not even sure where the symbolism comes from.  Perhaps Norse mythology of Huginn and Muninn, but I feel like no matter one’s cultural background folks are drawn to these birds.  They show up so often, too.  It might be their scavenger nature and we draw the connection that with these birds comes some kind of end.  I don’t know really.  If I catch a gander of them on some electrical wires or in the trees, I always pay attention to them.  Who doesn’t?  They appear and you hear them caw and you just sort of scratch your head wondering why they decided to flock to your doorstep and you feel each individual one as they just set there cackling among themselves.  They always leave you with this unsettling feeling, but once they fly away, you always wish they would come back.

Was there one corvid characteristic you wanted to highlight more than others? Definitely their furtive movement.  It’s hard to capture how a bird moves in writing.  It’s so odd and unpredictable.  Nothing quite like it.  They’re so visual, so when you do what you can with the blunt tools of letter on page, you’re always left a little unsatisfied.  Probably why they return in my stories again and again.  There to remind me I’m never getting them quite right.

Do you think you were successful? Eh.  I think my corvid ended up monstrous because the movement of a monster is easier to capture than that of a bird … or anything real for that matter.  Monsters live better on the page.  Corvids live better everywhere else.

If you were a covid, what would you build your nest out of? The very last twig in existence.  Then I’d take a rest.

What’s your favourite ‘shiny’ thing? Hollywood.

Mark Rapacz’s stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Plots With Guns, Revolver, Dark Corners, The BookedAnthology, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012. His novel City Kaiju was just released in 2014, while his second novel, Foreigners, is forthcoming from New Pulp Press in 2015.  He and his wife currently live in the Bay Area where he continues to write stories.

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Cover for CORVIDAE. Design by Eileen Wiedbrauk

Available Direct from the Publisher:
World Weaver Press

Or Find it Online:
Amazon
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Danica

Happy Birthday, Danica!

Danica

I keep writing, deleting and re-writing this blog post. It’s a tricky thing to get just right so I think I’ll go with ‘Just the facts, ma’am’.

It’s Danica’s birthday today. Her 18th (which means she gets to vote in the federal election this month!).

Dani, you make me proud every single day and I love you beyond words. Happy Birthday!

<3

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory Hoke

Fractured Friday: KV Taylor

Cover design by Jonathan C. Parrish, original artwork by Tory HokeFor the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.

B is for Broken is the second title in the Alphabet Anthologies series. It follows A is for Apocalypse and will in turn be followed by C is for Chimera.

B is for Broken contains 26 stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) centered on the theme of brokenness. The diversity of genres and subject matter will blow you away. We’ve got science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird fiction about broken hearts, broken space ships, broken lives, broken bones–you name it. If you like speculative fiction and short stories, this collection is one you’re going to want to check out 🙂


I met KV through Niteblade and invited her to contribute to A is for Apocalypse. I’m super stoked that she stuck around to contribute to B is for Broken as well!

Interview With KV Taylor

What letter were you assigned? Z

Please share a short excerpt from your story:

“I’m gonna cut your fucking heart out,” she promises.

I doubt this very much, but don’t see the point in telling her. I know how dangerous she is. I’ve seen my twin sister’s brains blasted all over the front of her Chevy. I was willing to let the State have her, but they lost her, and now she’s mine.

I go back upstairs and look to my closet for inspiration. Spartacus follows on his silent padded feet and asks me what I’m doing, so I tell him. (Not really, of course, I know cats don’t speak; I haven’t lost that part of my mind. Yet.) I ask him what he thinks would work better. Could I use buttons? No, that would leave gaps. Velcro would become messy.

Well use a zipper, dummy, Spartacus doesn’t say, with an indolent lick of his paw.

What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking? Oh god, I don’t know. I had this really beautiful glass calligraphy pen that got broken in a move once. I totally regret that. There must be something worse, but I can’t think of it right now.

Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that? Several relationships >.>

If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be? I’d like to be able to travel anywhere without visas and all the paperwork. That counts.

Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break? Yeah, I’m really weird about what food I buy. I’m careful about cruelty-free stuff… and yes, that also includes cruelty to humans.

Never ever? Probably at some restaurants where I don’t know their ingredients, yeah.

Really? Isn’t there something which could make you break it? Personally… I mean if my family was starving, yeah! If I can’t afford stuff, I can just go without, but I wouldn’t do that to my family. Or my cats. They’d eat me in my sleep. (The cats, not the family. I hope.)

Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? It actually came to me straight away, for once. No one is more surprised than me.

What was your favourite idea you didn’t use? That was, amazingly, my first thought.

What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? My basement. I always think basements are incredibly creepy. Though mine does not have a dirt floor, it’s one of those partially excavated ones, so I always wonder what’s under all that gravel and dirt and stuff behind the half-walls…


KV Taylor is an avid reader and writer of fantasy and dark fiction, even though the only degree she holds is in the history of art. (Or, possibly, because the only degree she holds is in the history of art.) In her spare time she enjoys comic books, Himalayan Buddhist art, loud music, her Epiphone, and Black Bush. Her fiction can be found at kvtaylor.com.

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B is for Broken is available now at:
Smashwords
Kobo
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

And add it to your shelves at Goodreads

Join the Poise and Pen Street Team to keep up-to-date on Alphabet Anthology happenings or sign up for my newsletter to stay informed about everything I do (including Alphabet Anthologies). Or both. Personally, I vote for both 😉

Leafs - Photograph by Rhonda Parrish

Octobers

Anne of Green Gables

“Oh, Marilla,” she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at these maple branches. Don’t they give you a thrill–several thrills?”

~ Excerpted from Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

 

I share Anne’s excitement for October, which is why I pre-scheduled this post waaaay back in January. As I write this my yard, my world, is covered in fresh-fallen snow, my breath would fog the air outside, and I wouldn’t venture out without full winter clothing… as we read it, however, October is just beginning which around here means crisp air, colourful leaves, golden light and that special feeling that comes with knowing that winter is coming and we need to appreciate every day, every moment, between now and then.

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers 🙂

 

Leafs - Photograph by Rhonda Parrish

Leafs – Photograph by Moi