Art, Social Media & Horror

2013-04-02 19.36.16You’ve got three chances to catch me this week (assuming you’re not one of my students, then you’ve got a few more). Monday night I’ll be at the opening reception for the “Text as Art” exhibit at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. I’ll have a chance to talk about my mixed media piece “5¢ per Word” which reflects upon the poor pay of writers in the 21st century. The Center is in Troy (near Dinosaur BBQ!) and the reception begins at 7. Drop by and take a swig of some gallery opening wine.

Wednesday night I’ll be talking at the Albany Public Library, also at 7pm. My topic is “Social Media & Writers in the Digital Age: how have Facebook, Twitter, and such changed the life of the writer in the 21st century?” I’ll talk a bit about some of the things I researched during my Fulbright and experiences since then — after all, the world of social media hasn’t slowed down any. I’ll also be reading from some of my own writing. I haven’t decided what yet, so if you have a request be sure to let me know before then!

On Saturday I head over to Worcester and Annie’s Book Stop, where I’ll be part of the Dark Carnival of Authors with some of my fellow Broads from the New England chapter of Broad Universe.  The event starts at 11am and goes until 9pm: I’ll be reading about 1pm. Most likely I’ll read something from Unquiet Dreams although since I managed to make Worcester glamourous in Owl Stretching, maybe I’ll read a little bit from that.

By the by, have you seen the latest meditation on Hávamál?

House & Garden

I’m back in the States and it’s the first day of classes — and one of the classes I thought was the second half of the semester is actually the first half (if you have a class numbered 246 and a 247, which would you think would be first?), so much scrambling and whatnot today. Thus some pretty pictures: the house and Hyde (and Kensington) Park. Enjoy.

New Release: Unquiet Dreams

Unquiet Dreams is the long, deep plunge in the coldest quarry in the woods; the lingering look under the rotting wood at all the writhing life there; the stare into the abyss until one realizes something is staring back.”

~ S. R. Bissette, creator of Tyrant, Taboo, Teen Angels & New Mutants and illustrator of Swamp Thing

Out now from Tirgearr Publishing, it’s my dark fiction collection Unquiet Dreams. Wow, what a nice pull quote from Steve, too! One of the stories in here is dedicated to him, the darkly comic ‘Another Metamorphosis’ which of course features dinosaurs. Most of the stories in this collection have dedications — either the person who inspired them or someone I immediately thought of upon writing them. Many of the stories have appeared in print, but not always in easy-to-obtain anthologies and some in magazines or websites alas, no longer with us.

I experimented with various ways of arranging the stories: by length, by theme, even by genre. The truth is most of the stories veer off into more than one category. Some are short and a couple are rather lengthy. I thought of breaking them up as ‘REM sleep, naps and fever dreams’, but the categories never pleased me. In the end I went with ‘higgelty piggelty’ and that seems to have suited the collection (and me, just because I like to say ‘higgelty piggelty’).

You’ll find my paean to Ray Bradbury that appeared in a literary magazine, my ultra-modern-meets-ancient office horror story, a couple of crime stories that veer into a hint of the supernatural, a zombie western and at least two dragons — much to my surprise. October always makes me think of Bradbury’s The October Country, itself a strange collection of tales that take unexpected turns into off corners and dark passages. It’s a grand tradition to follow, even in my own small way.

Are you feeling in need of something unsettling? Give them a try.

Keeping Abreast of the Fabulous

Sunny Dundee

All right, even I am having difficulty at times keeping up with all the news, so if I repeat something here, it just means you’re paying attention, well done, here’s a cookie! Soon I have to leave the glories of Alba for the um, gories? of Albany. Alas. Which means I have to figure out a few things that I haven’t yet. I will probably be a bit of a gypsy at least for a time, as I plan to be back here as soon as possible. More anon.

Have you read my interview with Lenore creator Roman Dirge? Do! He’s a hoot.
Good news: my story “Guide Me Soft” will be appearing at Shotgun Honey in October. I’m very pleased as they are a tough site to get into and you really have to tell a tight little story to thrill them in 700 words. Yes, the strange and seemingly ungrammatical title comes from a Fall song, although the events of the story were sparked as much by another song, “Wrong Place, Right Time”. I’m lucky to have such a bountiful muse in Mark E. Smith.

If you missed my last story out, “ASBO Bambi”, that’s up at Pulp Metal Magazine along with a load of other good stuff. I have to say, the darker the crime, the nicer the people. Like I’ve found in the horror genre, the people who write these torrid tales of murder and vengeance tend to be quite nice folks who exorcise all their darkness on the page.

Never cross a romance writer though! 😉

I’m about 20K words into the new novel White Rabbit. It’s supernatural crime which isn’t quite mainstream (I’m working on it!) but given the success of folks like John Connolly and Sarah Pinborough, I’m hoping that it will be a bit easier to market than oh, let’s say a science fiction/urban fantasy/alternate history/shamanic/road trip/retelling of the Descent of Inanna. But I should have news on Owl Stretching‘s cover art soon. I’ve seen the final version of the text. Just waiting on Ruby’s (doubtless gorgeous) art.

Speaking of which, I should be able to unveil the cover art for Weird Noir soon. Stories are coming in and I am looking forward to reading them and sorting out what the final collection will look like and then turning it all over to Fox Spirit Books so they can do the hard part (i.e. layout and ebook coding). I should be able to flog it with a vengeance at Noir Con, which looks to be shaping up into quite an event. If you think you have a story that fits the criteria, send it along.

Speaking of Fox Spirit: Tales of the Nun and Dragon coming any day now! And a song!

My Wisty-ish guide to world domination is up at The How-To Issue. Drop by and see all the wise women.

Noir-writing women appear to be the new thing. Yes, like most ‘new things’, it’s been going on a while. I’m not above piggybacking on the publicity though!

And I think I forgot to post the trailer for The Claddagh Icon here. As always, getting noticed in the cacophony that is the digital world these days is the biggest challenge for any writer, so every little thing helps. And trailers are fun. It’s got some lovely photos from Mirko Merchiori that appear in the ebook. Check out the page at Atlantis (where you can add other books at a discount, so pick up my pals’ books like Red Esperanto or The Secret Hour) or on Amazon. The series got a nice write up at Noir Nation. Drop by and check out a really terrific site.

Kipper Help!

At the eleventh hour, I need to make new plans for Kipper’s care while I am in Ireland. If you can help out, please email me! He’s seven, very timid but very affectionate once he gets to know you. He’s a cuddler and completely an indoor cream puff. I had hoped to save him the trauma of a long flight since he’s been traumatised on the rare occasions he had to be in a car — and that was with me right there beside him. Argh. He’s been an only cat for some time, but he was fine with Maggie when she was alive (she, however, was less thrilled with the big guy who could stand over her!). My pal Barb has offered to take him, but she has a couple of dogs (including Oisín the Irish Wolfhound!) and we’re not sure how he’ll be with dogs. Any help, let me know. I am grateful.

And Away We Go —

This is how hot it’s been: Kipper lying on his back in front of the fan, feet in the air. Undignified. I hope it’s not like this in England, but the truth is the last couple of years it has been ungodly hot. I am taking one sweater along just in case (Manchester might be chilly at least at night) but I doubt I’ll use it much. Here’s the vague schedule:

Land in Manchester, stay for a couple of days where I will lunch with a friend and see THE FALL! Then it’s off to Great Dunmow to visit friends, then London where I’ll idle for some time seeing museums, plays, concerts and of course, many friends as well as attending the Great Writing Conference. Next I’ll be off to Littlehampton and the shore. A first for me (as is actually being *in* Manchester as opposed to passing through), then I’ll head up to Derby and the Alt-Fiction conference which ought to be great fun. After that I’m staying with my friend Adele in Leiceister before flying back from Manchester. Whew! It’s going to be fun — and far more relaxing than it sounds because I won’t be doing any work but writing.

I’ll set up the Twitter feed for a bit until I’m somewhere that I can post actual coverage of the trip. We’ll see if–like Robert–I end up with any LaCroix, sweetie darling (doubtful but I just wanted to say that).

Utter Madness

What was I thinking? That I could somehow manage to do all the last minute things I need to do before getting on that airplane tomorrow and go down to Kingston for a reading of my play Lumottu?


So, yes, the play reading has been re-scheduled for August 30th. Yes, right before I head off to Ireland, but things will have to be sorted long before that. Um, I hope.

I must be mad; yes, it’s the only explanation. I am up early to pack, finish things that need to be done, run errands and then actually teach today, too! My mantra continues to be, “Somehow it will all get done, somehow…”

Not sure exactly how that will happen, but things are bound to get done if you stare at them long enough, right? What? It takes more than staring? I’m doing this all wrong then. Thank goodness I have help: thank you, Catherine, and thank you, Peg! I think there was something else I meant to mention in this post, but for the life of me I can’t recall what.