2% Milk Up at Last

2% Milk logo on tee I got at the launch party. Taken by me. 4 June 2022.

After a fantastic visit to San Francisco, during which my husband and I attended the launch party for 2% Milk, the issue has launched. It looks spectacular, and I’m not just talking about my poetry. Find out what all the fuss is about here

In case you’re still not convinced, check out the trailer for the project:

The trailer was shown at the launch party, where we also enjoyed the superb fare and beer of Pizza Hacker, the company of indefatigable editors Nic, Reed, and Lily, and conversation with fellow contributor Bob Ernst, as well as various other attendees. I also read my poems there, and a selection from The Jesus Wars—all welcomed by the friendly audience.

As I have said before, 2% Milk is full of cool artists in a variety of media. The editors thoughtfully sent their files to all contributors ahead of time, and I have checked most of them out. I feel confident in saying that the issue contains not just something for everyone, but something you really needed, even if you didn’t know it.

And in case you are more philosophically inclined, on June 8th, the editors will put out a round-table discussion with contributors regarding their work, and art in general, in its sociopolitical context. Don’t worry. I’ll remind you about it.

Paid for Writing BS

Seriously. Not an April Fool’s joke. My “Sonnet from Romeo and Rosaline,” which I wrote about here, and which I thought would be hard to place, has been purchased by Bullshit Lit for their first Bullshit Anthology, whose ETA is late summer. Many thanks to Editor in Chief Veronica Bennett for her excellent taste in excrement.

Judging from some samples I have read, Veronica and team select BS of many varieties, but you can’t just throw any old BS at them and expect it to stick. It has to have a special texture or redolence. So if you have any extraordinarily fragrant piles of BS lying around, give them a try. Perhaps your BS will hit their fan.

In the meantime, tread carefully, dear readers.

Wolfpack Invitation and 2% Milk Update

Doug Smith, Gibbon wolf pack standing on snow. 1 March 2007. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

I was grateful and excited to receive an invitation from Editor David L O’Nan, of Fevers of the Mind, to become a monthly contributor. A wolf is central to the logo for the site, so he is calling us collectively, “Wolfpack Contributors.”

While I am flattered, at first one piece of writing a month seemed a tall order. Some months I don’t produce any suitable pieces, and much as I appreciate Editor O’Nan, I might not want to send him every suitable piece I do produce.

Fortunately, this anxiety intersected with the impossibility of unsubscribing from the undead yam’s emailing list. Occasionally, the spirit moves me to complete this tuber’s questionnaires so I can vent my spleen by ticking “No” when he asks me if I think he was a great president, etc. Towards the end, in the “other” category, I advise him to confess to his many crimes and go to prison for the good of the country.

As a result, I got on his mailing list and cannot unsubscribe. “You can’t get off it?” my husband asks incredulously. “Isn’t that illegal?”

My husband can be naive. (I had to explain to him why the Tea Baggers changed their name.) As if manipulating the “unsubscribe” option on his emailings would bother a grifting, multiply alleged serial rapist turned twice-impeached wannabe dictator whose biggest achievement in office was kidnapping children and putting them in camps, or undermining our democracy, or maybe weakening NATO and emboldening Putin, or mismanaging the pandemic–oh heck. So many achievements to choose from!

We can now add one more to the list: he has become my muse. Fresh off my can poem series, I was wondering if something similar might be in my poetic future, and I was drawn to the yam’s unique rhetorical ad style. The grandiose statements, combined with a smarmy hectoring, present rich opportunities. Suffice to say, I have plenty of material now, which I look forward to sharing.

Meanwhile, at 2% Milk . . .

Curators Nic, Lilly, and Reed have sent us the art they plan to post. I took a peek at work by musical artist Ha Vay, and I am amazed and bewildered. At my advanced age, after being a confirmed nerd my entire life, have I been asked to play with the cool kids?! Stay tuned.

Honorable Mention in The Spectator, and Other News

I was happy to read in The Spectator that I had received the equivalent of an honorable mention in Competition No. 3235, in which “you were invited to invent a prequel to a well-known work of literature and supply an extract from it.” I guess they liked my sonnet from Romeo & Rosaline, in which she puts him in the friend zone. For those of you who may not remember, Romeo meets Juliet while on the rebound from her cousin Rosaline, and only attends the party where he meets Juliet in hopes of catching a glimpse of Rosaline.

While the political views of The Spectator are considerably to the right of my own, it is nice to see my name in such a highly respected publication. Goodness knows when I will find an opportunity to publish my sonnet, but it was fun to write.

In other news, I received a revise-and-resubmit rejection from The New York Times. I will try to revise my essay, but I’m not sure I can satisfy them. Anyway, while it gets tiresome being the bridesmaid, rather than the bride, at least I have participated in two weddings in the space of a week. This was a much-needed distraction from Ukraine and other evils.

The Date Book Arrives

The 2022 big time flash fiction date book, taken by me. Nov. 20, 2021.

It was fun to receive the 2022 big time flash fiction date book in the mail today, even though I do not intend to write in mine. It has a lot of room to write things on each day, and, on the opposite page, flash fiction. Some stories (including mine) spread over more than one day. You can get an idea of the layout, and read the beginning of my story, by looking at this picture:

The date book, open. Taken by me, Nov. 30, 2021.

If you would like to enliven your days, or someone else’s, in 2022, click on the link above to purchase the date book. I admit, I have not had a chance to read any of the stories besides mine, but titles like “The Ron Jeremy of Klingons” sound promising.

Postscript: I am not a fan of porn for many reasons, but I always considered Ron Jeremy to be a comic, slightly pathetic figure. In Googling him for a link in the title of the above story, however, I discovered that many women allege he is anything but. So I will now offer that link with a content warning: distressing accounts of sexual assault. I have also skimmed the story and can confirm that the allusion to Ron Jeremy is only about his porn star status; his cosplaying Klingon parallel is, if anything, overly anxious to ensure that any coupling is consensual.

Hat Trick Post

Three good things happened in my creative letters department today, and here they are.

FALLUJAH, Iraq – An assault team from B Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, conducts a raid on a possible suicide vehicle bomb workshop in Fallujah.

First, my story, “The Jet Black Knight,” is out in 34 Orchard. Issues are free to download (though a $1.99 donation is requested), so please check it out and support the arts as you are able. The editor, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, in addition to being gracious and kind enough to publish my story and send a thank-you pamphlet of her own work to contributors (we were also paid!), significantly improved the story through her suggestions for revision, for which I am grateful.

I wrote about the story here and here. It’s satisfying to have it out there in such good company.

Photo credit: United States Marine Corp, Marines raid Fallujah garage.jpg. 28 May 2006. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

Government buildings along the Spree. Taken by me, summer, 2018.

Second, my poem, “Government Buildings in Berlin, 2018,” has been accepted again, this time by Editor Jordan Blum at The Bookends Review. Editor Blum was kind enough to accept the piece as a reprint, since it will be up at After the Pause first, in December. The poem brings back good memories and reminds people of the importance of beauty and imagination in everything we build as a free society working to be more free, so I am happy it will be doing that work in two different places.

Finally, I am glad to report that my son and I have launched a new series of reviews, this time on the 2005 and following years of Doctor Who and in video. You can find our review of the first 2005 episode, “Rose,” here. We liked it.

Photo credit: Andrew Wong, A picture of the TARDIS as taken at BBC Wales reception. 2005. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 2.5.