WIP Wednesday

wipIt has been forever since I’ve done one of these! But not only is Work in Progress Wednesday useful to let you guys know what I’m up to, but it also reminds me. My head is like a huge tornado with things flying around it all of the time, like flowers, bits of houses, and happy cows. Sometimes I need to write it all out so I can concentrate. 🙂

I just: signed a couple of contracts. One for a podcast, a breast cancer charity anthology, a dark fiction anthology, a re-release (but with a new story from me), and another re-release. So that’s three reprints and two new stories. I’ll share as soon as everything is announced. 🙂

I was a guest judge for a short story contest and a poetry contest. I also submitted two new stories to super cool venues.

I am actively working on: a short story/novelette called “Last One Awake” that I started a few years ago. It gnaws at me. I’m also writing three short stories for three anthology invitations, and working on a Super Sekrit and AWESOME project that’s out of my normal wheelhouse. I am so excited and nervous and sure I’m doing everything wrong! But I want to do everything. I want to learn how to do it all. Baby steps, yeah?

What are you working on? I’d love to hear about your WIP!

 

Submit to the HWA Poetry Showcase!

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My dear friend and colleague Stephanie M. Wytovich is the editor for the 5th volume of the HWA Poetry Showcase. And this is EXCITING.

Something also exciting? She’s asked Michael Arnzen and I to be guest judges. Eeeee!

You can read a wonderful interview with Stephanie here where she tells you a little what she is looking for.

Members of the Horror Writer’s Association are invited to submit. You can find the guidelines and submission form here. The submission window correlates with April’s National Poetry Month, so it opens on April 1 and closes on April 30 at midnight, Pacific time. Please send us your work, and good luck!

Gamut BOGO Promo!

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Chocolates for Valentine’s Day is awesome, but chocolate AND great literature? Even better! For the month of February, Gamut Magazine is doing a special Buy One, Get One event. For every subscription you buy, you’ll receive a second subscription to give to someone you love. Gamut pays ten cents a word for our acquired work and you’ll find fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Help support a magazine that supports authors. You can find that great deal here.

The Inaugural Issue of Gamut is Live!

I can’t believe it! This has been a long time coming. Gamut magazine is now live!

If you have a subscription to Gamut, feel free to log in and read the wonderful first issue. It’s simply beautiful.

If you bought ebook format, you should have already received those.

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And if you’re simply curious to see what we have to offer, come check out the sample stories on our site. Might I suggest you start with the very first story submitted, chosen, and published, Love Story, an Exorcism by Michelle E. Goldsmith.The art was created by Luke Spooner.

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Gamut Magazine Reopens Tonight!

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Gamut Magazine is scheduled to open to submissions tonight at midnight, CST. We’ll remain open until we receive 300 submissions, and then we’ll close. Gamut has chosen to cap submissions at 300 a month for two main reasons. 1) We want to reply in a timely manner, hopefully in 31 days or less, and 2) we don’t want to suffer staff burnout. One we reach 300 subs, we close while we get everything read. Last month we reached 300 submissions in 14 hours, so you might want to be quick to submit.

The staff put together a wishlist of things we’d like to see, and a few suggestions of things we’d prefer not to. These are: more psychological, magical realism, diversity, hooks and endings that matter, ghostly atmosphere, poetry in general, speculative in general, actual non-fiction. Less telling, gore, misogyny and hate, waking up to start a story, cliche and formulaic stories, goofy humor, needlessly purple prose, violence without redemption, slow starts, less genre poetry, less exposition, camp/satire, rape/abuse, etc.

We’ve already chosen some gorgeous stories, and I hope you’ll send us yours! Please remember that we read blind, so follow the guidelines and strip your information from your work. I can’t wait to see what you send!

Gamut Reopens Tomorrow!

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Has it been a month already since Gamut first opened its doors? Gamut has chosen to cap submissions at 300 a month for two main reasons. 1) We want to reply in a timely manner, hopefully in 31 days or less, and 2) we don’t want to suffer staff burnout. One we reach 300 subs, we close while we get everything read. Last month we reached 300 submissions in less than 24 hours, so you might want to be quick to submit.

The staff put together a wishlist of things we’d like to see, and a few suggestions of things we’d prefer not to. These are: more psychological, magical realism, diversity, hooks and endings that matter, ghostly atmosphere, poetry in general, speculative in general, actual non-fiction. Less telling, gore, misogyny and hate, waking up to start a story, cliche and formulaic stories, goofy humor, needlessly purple prose, violence without redemption, slow starts, less genre poetry, less exposition, camp/satire, rape/abuse, etc.

We’ve already chosen some gorgeous stories, and I hope you’ll send us yours! Please remember that we read blind, so follow the guidelines and strip your information from your work. And please don’t send me messages saying, “Mercedes, my story is the one about the pink unicorn who dances the flamenco. Please watch for it in the slush!” We choose to read blind for a reason, so please respect that.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this endeavor. This is a time of stunning art, where we’re able to read, write, and share things in a way we couldn’t do before. I love it. Just adore it. Write on, my friends.

 

 

Gamut is Now Open to Submissions!

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I can’t tell you how exciting this is!  Gamut is now opening its doors to submissions. Stop by the website and check out the sample stories, poetry, non-fiction, and columns. We are also offering  subscriptions, merchandise, and consultations. We’re looking forward to reading your work. ❤

****Edited to Add****

Well, that was quick! Gamut has chosen to cap submissions at 300 a month for two main reasons. 1) We want to reply in a timely manner, hopefully in 31 days or less, and 2) we don’t want to suffer staff burnout, which is a real thing. I know because I’ve been there. We reached the 300 submissions cap within 24 hours of opening our doors, and now we’ve closed until September. Please be patient while we read your work, and we’ll open again next month! Thank you so much for sending such wonderful pieces in! We’ve already said yes to two.

 

Pimp A Nemesis Friday: Matt Betts

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Wait, when did “Pimp a Friend Friday” turn into “Pimp a Nemesis Friday?” When I decided to host Matt Betts, of course. He’s my favorite Nemesis ever.

Matt’s new poetry collection is titled “Underwater Fistfight” and it’s poetry for people who think they hate poetry. His work is often funny and poignant.

Poet. Pirate. It’s all the same really. They both pillage, plunder, drink rum, look for treasure, and sometimes, after too many drinks, they’re known to throw a right hook or two. But that’s the beauty of poetry and piracy-it’s unhinged, a stream of emotions that make you laugh, cry, bleed, bruise, and eat oranges to prevent scurvy. It’s an adventure. It’s feeling the wind on your face from the sea or the page. It’s tasting the salt in the ocean or in your tears. But most importantly, it’s the experience of getting from one port to another, one page to the next, killing one more siren and murdering just one more darling.

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Matt’s book will be released in early April, but you can preorder your copy now. I already ordered mine. Enjoy, you poet-pirate loving weirdos. 🙂

Take My Hand and Write a Poem with Me.

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We went on vacation to the sea. Salt water always makes things better, yes? But we came back exhausted, and ill, and I have the desire to create but I’m very low on energy. I can’t pull the words I need from my head.

Let’s borrow somebody else’s words. Found poetry.

I’d love for you to do this with me! Even if you feel you aren’t creative. Even if writing isn’t your thing. Even if you’ve never written a poem before, I think it would be lovely for us to have a soft, safe day where you and I and our friends create poetry together.

Find an old book. A newspaper article. Junk mail. Something that you feel you can write on.

Cross or black out the words that don’t mean anything to you. Circle or leave clear the words that do.  Read it aloud.

Don’t worry if you’re doing it right. You can’t do it wrong. You’re creating something beautiful here. Something unique. It may take you a while. It might take less than a minute.

I hope we can share them together. I’ll go search for material and then I’ll post mine below.

Would you consider doing the same with yours? I would love to read it. No matter what the day is like, and no matter what life is like, let’s hold hands and create art.

************UPDATE************

So I just did mine. I took a paperback copy of Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.

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Ladies of Dynamite

Like touching rubber

so uneasy

badly tattooed

twisted

I promise white magic

Pulling tacks

I promise death

Ladies of dynamite

laughing

on their way

holding tight

A Sneak Peek At The Terror of Miskatonic Falls

I’m going to be in a wonderful poetry anthology titled The Terror of Miskatonic Falls. It’s going to be a very beautiful, very creepy anthology, about an isolated town that gets a visit from something. 

I wrote three interlocking poems, and imagine my delight when Kevin Lucia posted an update on this anthology (last February, no less.  I’m a little slow on the draw) and he featured two of my poems! If you read them, notice that the first poem is titled “Tyson Sparrows”. That name should ring a bell with the second poem, a nursery rhyme for murdered children.  The third poem is my favorite, but we won’t get to see it until the book comes out.  Aw, nuts.

The pictures are lovely and chilling. Somebody taking the time and effort to illustrate our work  is one of the most humbling things I can think of.  I can’t wait to see the finished project.

Tyson Sparrows

creepy nursery rhyme