Valentine’s Flash Accepted by Every Day Fiction

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I’m pleased to report that my flash science fiction/horror, “My Feeble Valentine,” has been accepted by Every Day Fiction and will appear there on Valentine’s Day. This was an interesting acceptance process, since I first submitted only the second part of the story. Although the readers liked it, they felt it was too cryptic, so then I wrote the first part and resubmitted. Then they accepted it, but the editor in chief rated it as “marginal” and recommended more revision. Not wanting to displease him, I put in still more elaboration and then cut fifty words to get it back down to their 1,000-word limit.

I like the result, and appreciate the feedback and opportunities to revise. Also, I am proud to have been accepted by Every Day Fiction, which pays a bit and is the first Canadian journal to accept my work for publication. I look forward to their review/comment process, which I hope will give me even more insights into this story.

In other news, I am Associate Editor of Gemini Magazine, and the editor, David Bright, liked my audio found poem, “Can #4: Friskies Chicken and Salmon in Gravy,” so much that he is featuring a link to it on Gemini‘s home page. I wrote about my can poems herehere, and here. I’m flattered that David liked this one so much and really appreciate the advertising. 

I encourage you to visit Gemini, not only to click on the link to my poem and check it out, but also to sample the eclectic, high-quality literary fare there. And of course, please look out for my Valentine’s Day story in Every Day Fiction

Photo credit: Debora, Happy Valentine’s Day, 13 Jan. 2013. CC BY-NC 2.0.

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Prose Poem Up in Cactifur

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My prose poem, “My parents’ books will be the death of me,” is up in Cactifur here. While I am thrilled to see it there, and honored to be in good poetic company, I got a little fancy with this one, and the editors did not entirely get it–I take full responsibility for this. The poem is framed by this: “ll:” and this: “:ll.” These are meant to be musical repeat signs. I really intend for the whole poem on the page to appear as it appears below the title, but if this does not fit their format, that’s OK. The problem is, this, “LL:,” as it appears in the title, makes no sense at all, which is why, without attaching any blame to the editors, I do want to explain how it came to be there. I hate to annoy editors, but I plan to contact them directly, and apologetically, as well.

In light of this contretemps, I of course asked myself, “Do you really need those confusing repeat signs?” and the answer, for now, is, “Yes, yes I do.” The poem is based on a recurring dream, and both its recurring-ness and my recurring sense of distress while in the dream are fittingly represented by the repeat signs.

In answer to a question posed in the poem, no, I do not need The History of the Italian Madrigal in three volumes, yet I believe it is still on a shelf somewhere in my house. The decanter is here as well. 

Update: Jim Thompson, the editor of Cactifur, has fixed the title. So everything is OK now. With the poem, anyway.

 

Photo credit: Untitled (bookshelf). Original uploader, Ђорђе Д. Божовић at English Wikibooks. 22 Dec. 2005. CCA-SA 3.0.

 

Faux Haiku Up in Gnu Journal

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My faux haiku (see here for its acceptance and here for why it’s faux) is up in Gnu Journal. I have been reading the poetry they published since they accepted the poem, and it is good. I especially like A City’s Insides, by Alex Wells Shapiro.

I wrote my poem back in October, when my region was experiencing drought, bright sun every day, and no seasonal turn in the weather, and when we were all following election coverage daily. In retrospect, it seems to me not only to comment ominously on climate change, but also to convey a more generalized dread. Please check it out here.

 

Photo credit: Rocky Raybell, Sun October 27 179. Oct. 27, 2014. CC 2.0. https://flic.kr/p/pymxLB. Only size was altered.

 

NEW PAGES Review!

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I’ve had a couple of nice comments on Twitter about my work, some gratifying mentions in  reviews of Owl Hollow Press‘ Dark Magic, and  some good reviews of my novella, Family Values, on Kindle, but I’ve just garnered my most prominent notice yet. On my daily visit to New Pages to check out the calls for submissions, I found a December 15, 2016, review of the latest issue of shufPoetry with an entire favorable paragraph devoted to my Can Poems! Here it is: 

Lorna Wood’s three pieces are all strong on their own but become even stronger as a cohesive collection, using descriptions of food products as the bulk of her text. In “Can 4,” an audio piece, she mixes a description of canned chicken brisket with repeated snippets from a porn video, an overload on the auditory senses until a reader is not sure if Wood is reading about chicken or women’s bodies. In “Can 6,” a current, relevant concrete poem in the form of an American flag, Wood combines Trump’s infamous “make america great again” with Pet Pride dogfood complete with choice ingredients of acid and artificiality, “Guaranteed pride” promised.

Actually, both the canned chicken and the Pet Pride are cat food, and I used my voice acting skills to simulate a porn clip, but the substance of the literary analysis is spot on here, and I am incredibly grateful to reviewer Katy Haas. The rest of her review is good, too. I agree with her that L.A. Riquez’s Wanderlust and A.J. Rocca and Micah Tuhy’s “Hope Measured in Inches” are both especially rich works, each in its own way.

Thanks again, Katy Haas. You made my day.

 

 

Happy New Year and More Faux Haiku

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Happy Western New Year! Here’s a sunrise from Clinton, Missouri (Dec. 30, 2016).

I’ve had another faux haiku accepted (see my discussion of haiku here). It will be up soon in Gnu Journal. The reason I have written yet another faux haiku is that a design company who had not gotten the memo regarding haiku purity sponsored a haiku competition requiring the 5-7-5-syllable format. I didn’t win, but I am brazenly unashamed of my effort and happy it has found a home. More when it is published. 

Poetry Reading for Luminous Echoes

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Tom Daley, one of the poets published in Into the Void‘s anthology of runners-up from its poetry competition, has volunteered to host a poetry reading of all the poems in Luminous Echoes! The reading will be in Somerville, MA, in May, 2016.

I am honored to be in such good company in the volume and happy to go to this reading. I have not participated in a reading since grad school. Those readings were mostly disasters, but I’m a much better writer now. Perhaps I am ready to hang out with the cool kids.

Poem, “Reflux,” Selected for Into the Void Anthology

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Some months ago I woke up thinking about an old flame and wrote it up in a poem. I find it strange how feelings occasionally flare up, refusing to acknowledge “reality” or the passage of time. The poem, “Reflux,” meditates on what motivates this and what purpose it might serve. At the end, I described my last glimpse of the former love speeding away on his bike–hence the picture here.

I submitted this poem to the new  Into the Void Magazine‘s poetry competition for a nominal sum, and though I failed to place in the top six winners and honorables (always a bridesmaid, sigh), they did put me in the top fifty and decide to include “Reflux” in an anthology, profits to go to  Pieta House, a suicide prevention and counseling charity.

On the one hand, I cannot sell the poem to anyone else now, and instead of making any money from my efforts, I will be out the contest fee and, probably, the price of a couple of copies of the anthology, though of course I am not required to buy it. On the other hand, I am sensible of the honor of being chosen even in the top fifty–I’m sure there were many more entries. I also see that Into the Void has received some good write-ups already, and chances of placing “Reflux” in a high-paying journal are slim. Finally, suicide is a terrible thing, and it’s good to be able to help, even in so small a way.

All in all, I am happy to have the poem get some recognition and serve a deserving cause. I look forward to the release of the anthology. 

Photo credit: Sascha Kohlmann, “Man on Bike; Night.” CC. https://flic.kr/p/r5gZjG. Only size has been adjusted.

“Café Noir” Is Up on Mysterical-E

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My first mystery story, “Cafe Noir,” is in the latest issue of Mysterical-E. You can read it here. I’ve already talked a little about this story in an earlier post on this blog. It’s an homage to Raymond Chandler, and more generally to the noir genre.

I love noir, but it does feature hidebound gender roles, so I thought it might be fun to try to reverse these. My heroine, Marla Phillips, “barista and private eye,” is tough, no-nonsense, and smart. She’s not attached to anyone, although she is in a “strictly don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship with an homme fatal who has an apartment over the coffee shop she manages.

(This isn’t noir, but does illustrate a certain laissez-faire attitude toward alcohol during the highpoint of noir.)

I chose a coffee shop to update the role of alcohol in noir because people just don’t drink quite the way they used to, and they don’t have the same attitudes toward hard-drinking tough guys like Philip Marlowe. His drinking might be viewed today as more of a problem or a weakness.

But we still love our caffeine, and we tend to view people who drink a lot of coffee as either super busy achievers or people who have a tough job that they are going to do come hell or high water, and who needs sleep anyway? So I substituted coffee for alcohol. 

I don’t know nearly as much about Los Angeles and its criminal underworld as Chandler, so I just went with what I do know, and set the story in an academic community. Also, it’s funny. It parodies noir, though never in a mean way. At one point it satirizes a hipster character. And in implementing Chandlerian metaphors I may have exaggerated their humorous aspects. 

Still, as with Chandler, there’s a murder, no one is innocent, and readers should have a fun challenge trying to figure out what the heck is going on. Enjoy!  

Photo credit:

waferboard, “Coffee Steam 2.” CC. https://flic.kr/p/cirujw. Only size has been adjusted.