Cuivre River Anthology

imageDB.jpgLooking for something to read during these blah winter days?  Take a chance on the latest edition (Volume III) of the Cuivre River Anthology - it is filled with great poetry and fiction. 

The Cuivre River Anthology takes its name from a river that originates in northeastern Missouri and flows through farmlands, forests, and rock formations to its confluence with the Mississippi River. The anthology is a collection of short stories, poems, and essays from a diverse group of talented writers with unique and memorable voices. Works included in the collection come from: a novelist who has won multiple Spur awards, a poet who was named finalist in the Missouri Writers' Exchange Contest sponsored by Poets and Writers Magazine, a Catholic Press Association winner, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and other award-winning writers.  Lots of talent...

Oh yeah, I somehow weaseled my way in there, too.  Two of my poems are included in this anthology, fighting words and How the Blues Can Bruise; the latter won the 2007 Saturday Writers One-Page Poem Contest.  Find out more about this dynamic publication by clicking here.

The Talking Stick 16 Now Available

16.jpgThe Talking Stick 16:  Finding the Words is now available for purchase.  My poem wedding song appears in this edition of The Talking Stick,  a Minnesota literary journal published annually by The Jackpine Writer's Bloc.  It is an excellent read, filled with some interesting poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from emerging and established Minnesotan writers. 

You can read all about the talented writers who have contributed to this issue of The Talking Stick by clicking here, and/or purchase your own copy by clicking here.

Pic, Profile, and Poem at The Write Helper

A writer once told me (note I resisted the temptation to name drop) that you know you are doing something right when people not only want to print your writing, but also want to print why you wrote what you wrote.

Guess I'm doing something right, for once.  :)

Head on over to The Write Helper and check out the short profile and picture they have up on me.  It was fun doing this because it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my writing process, something that I don't often get a chance to do.  Here's an excerpt:

I am a believer of writing as a vehicle for catharsis, confession, and change.  In other words, you won’t find any odes to butterflies or cheesy fairytales authored by me.  My inspirations are varied; I can’t pinpoint what defines my manically changing style.  I’m definitely stirred by classic African-American writers...

Click here to read the rest of my profile - hopefully you'll find it interesting.

Also, they have been nice enough to publish my prizewinning poem Meditation on Meditation online for the masses to read.  Click here to read it.  Hurry up.  Now.  No excuses.

Big thanks to Amy Harke-Moore for this opportunity to shine a little bit on the worldwide web.

If you are a writer, take some time to look around The Write Helper website.  They have contests that actually pay cash (wow), as well as editing services.  You know, things you might find useful.  Later...

Cautious Optimism Rewarded

The title of this blog post is a derivative of the last line of the post immediately preceding this one.  This subtle use of a transition may form a sense of cohesiveness within a blog, one that I haven't had with my random rant posts lately.

For all my recent nonstop complaining about losing a ton of data, something good has happened to silence my backup file blues.  I just won first place in the Burning the Midnight Oil Poetry Contest with my free verse poem Meditation on Meditation.  I feel dang lucky to have won out against 80 other worthy competitors.  Thanks to the judge(s) of this contest, and to The Write Helper for this cool contest opportunity.

This is what I needed.  I hate to admit that my motivation had fell off a little, knowing that I had to perform the crappy task of digging all over for old copies of all my lost work and re-editing them.  It is funny how something like this can kick me in the rear and ease the mental pain of my flash drive meltdown.  Since there is a load of snow outside, I think I'll spend a sizeable chunk of the day writing and rescuing some of my lost work.  About to get on my grind... 

Backup File Blues, Redux

Yep, the computer nerds got back to me this morning.  Murphy's Law still has a strong influence in my life.  The flash drive is completely shot, they weren't able to get anything off of it.  A lesson about computers (re)learned, I guess.  My inner Fred Sanford shouts, "Backup all your files, you big dummy."

It's not nearly as bad as I first thought.  I have copies of most of the poems and stories on my laptop hard drive, just not my most recent edits.  But I have to compile all of these things and organize them and re-edit them to polished final form...all time and energy that could/should be used for writing. 

It being the end of 2007, this is a good time for me to do this task and assess the work I have done and where I am going (or not) as a writer and all that other sentimental reflective bull crap.  Guess that will be my chore for the weekend.  The sooner I start, the quicker I can move on to better things.  Sigh.

In the irony category, the first poem I wrote since the untimely death of my flash drive earlier this week was titled Burn Everything Down and Start Over.  Kinda fitting...

Well, I am hoping for some good news today.  A contest that I entered is allegedly supposed to post the winners list online today.  Fingers crossed, hoping I'll be back later with some positive news to offset this flash drive fiasco.  Two words: cautiously optimistic. 


Backup File Blues

204134644.jpgYou'd figure after all the damn term papers I've lost in high school and college, after all the projects I've lost at work when the server crashed, that maybe, just maybe I'd have sense enough to have backup files of all my writing.  Duh.

Yet here I am, mourning the apparent loss of a USB flash drive that all of sudden doesn't work after two years of faithful service.  That leaves me with a LOT of poems and fiction pieces missing.  So a sizeable chunk of my writing career is at a nerdy computer place...and I am hoping the tech-savvy staff there can recover all this work I've lost.  The worst part:  having only myself to blame, really.

Now I'm sitting here making a pledge eerily similar to those "never gonna drink again" promises I've made in the midst of a four-aspirin hangover:  God please, if you help me get through this without any damage, I swear I'll never go more than a week without backing up my files...I swear. 

Six Sentences

Want to check out a different, unique literary website?  Take a look at Six Sentences, an online blog that asks "What can you say in six sentences?"  A diverse selection of entries from established writers like Stephen King and Thomas Lux populate the blog, along with the work of many emerging writers.  Sprinkled in there are some entertaining quotables from celebrities as well, such as David Hasselhoff and Anthony Kiedis.  Every entry is six sentences, and it is amazing how much can be said within that limiting constraint.

One of my micro-fiction pieces, Details of an Author's Divorce, will appear in Six Sentences on 12/22/07.  Much thanks to editor Robert McEvily for including my work on 6S...

Dirty Smiles

My poem Dirty Smiles will appear in a forthcoming edition of the I-70 Review.  This poem presents a cautionary tale of racism through a child's viewpoint.  Thanks to Gary Lechliter and the staff of the I-70 Review for this opportunity. Once the new issue becomes available, I'll be sure to mention it.

Coming soon... first fiction chapbook, Survival Notes, will be coming out soon through Cervena Barva Press.  It is slated to be published in December 2007. 

Survival Notes will be a sampling of my best short fiction pieces, including several stories that were award winners.  I'm hoping that if you like my work that you might support me and Cervena Barva Press by buying a copy.  I'll be sure to provide updates as we get closer to the publication date. 

Save the Short Story!

I bet you didn't even know the short story was in danger, did you?  Well neither did I, that is until I stumbled upon the Save the Short Story webpage.  It is a site devoted to preserving and expanding the market for literary short fiction.  It has useful links to dozens of literary journals publishing this genre, and also to websites featuring modern masters of the form.  As a writer and a fan of short fiction, I found it to be an interesting site.  Click here to check it out...

Unfortunate News

577063-1073237-thumbnail.jpgEffective today, I am no longer affiliated with RockWay Press - therefore the manuscript My Own Brand of Blues will not be published by the company.  I honestly wish the company and its authors the best in their future endeavors, but things just did not work out the way they were originally invisioned.

It is a scary yet exciting time in my writing career.  Here I am, an emerging writer with no book deal and a literary world of opportunity (and pitfalls) positioned in front of me.  I could conquer this situation or fall flat on my face - like Linus says in the pic, there's no heavier burden than a great potential.  Either way, I will continue to pursue publishing opportunities and try to find a home for my book. 

Poem in an upcoming edition of The Arabesques Review

My poem dream poem will appear in an upcoming edition of The Arabesques Review, fittingly in their "Dreams" issue.  I've been told it will appear in both their print journal and online, so I'll be sure to post a link when it is up.  The Arabesques Review is a respected literary publication based in Algeria.  It showcases original poetry, literary criticism, interviews, fiction, nonfiction, stories, essays, translations, social and political commentary, art works and photographs.  I am excited and honored to contribute to this dynamic international publication. 

Great News

logo.gifSo I just found out that two of my poems placed in the Cedar Hill Press Poetry Contest - click here to see a list of contest winners and check out links to both of the poems.  I Hate Poetry took Second Prize, while Observations at a Downtown Starbucks earned an Honorable Mention.  I would like to say thank you to the judges and to Cedar Hill Press for this great contest opportunity and their appreciation of my poetry.  September has been good to me so far - it has either been feast or famine this year, and this month has me eating well, at least in terms of my writing.

Upcoming publications

Time for some shameless self-promotion. It is what us writers do best. :)

I have some publications coming up that I'll keep you posted on...

  • I will have two poems in the upcoming edition of The Cuivre River Anthology, both of which are award-winners.
  • I will have a couple poems posted online sometime in the next few weeks in the Agit Prop Poetry 101 section of The Guild of Outsider Writers.  These poems are a little more politically charged and aggressive than some of my other work.  OW was founded in February 2007 by five underground authors with a similar drive for outsider writer activism/advocacy.  They have a sweet website featuring some of those underground voices that don't get heard as much because the mainstream literary machine tends to suffocate those who don't fit their prescribed notions of writing.  But I digress...instead of ranting, I'll just provide a link when those poems are up.  Much thanks to Victor Schwartzman for the chance to shine on OW.
  • February 2008 will mark my publication in the uber-cool online lit mag Cherry Bleeds.  They plan on including my poem What the Dealer Didn't Tell You About HeroinCherry Bleeds has published more than 100 authors over the last few years including Charles Anders, Allen Grove, Joshua Samuel Brown, Karl Koweski, Mark Haskell Smith, C. C. Parker and Dan Fante.  They boast on their website that they've been "published with blood since '00."  Thanks to poetry editor Paul Corman Roberts for this opportunity - I have been a reader (off and on) of this edgy online mag for years, so it is nice to have a chance to contribute.

Hope to be back with more news soon.  I'm on the grind right now.  September has been a good month so far, so I hope to keep things rolling at this pace all the way up to November, when I will be taking the NaNoWriMo challenge (writing a novel in one month).  I'll post again soon, until good.

Prairie Poetry Acceptance


Good news - just found out that my poem Finding Religion on Interstate 80 has been accepted to appear in a future edition of the online journal Prairie PoetryPrairie Poetry offers bi-monthly images and poetry from and of the North American plains — poems to feed the vast open places of the soul. Thanks to editor Marc duPlan for accepting this piece, which is a little different than the bulk of my poetry.  I'll post something when the poem is published in the future.