Fantasy Story Up on Kindle Vella, and a Review

Image credit: OpenClipartVectors. Dragon styled in homage to the Chinese tradition. 9 Oct. 2013. Wikimedia Commons. CC0 1.0.

Amazon’s Kindle Vella is available to readers, and I have two stories on it. The first is The Pool of Good Purpose. It is a fantasy story about two lovers separated by war who are reunited, in a way, by the magic of the pool. It is experimental, because I imagine multiple courses the man might pursue to solve his problem, but in the end all of them come together.

The first three episodes of all stories are free, and after that you can decide whether or not you want to pay for tokens to read the rest, so you have nothing to lose. Just click on the name of the story, above, and the link will magically convey you to a world of dragons and enchantment.

But first, A Review:

“Government Buildings . . . ” Out Again, and a Review

Government buildings reflected in a government building in Berlin, along the Spree. Taken by me, 2018.

I am happy to see that my poem, “Government Buildings in Berlin, 2018,” is out again in The Bookends Review. Many thanks to the editors, especially Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum, who graciously accepted it as a reprint. I previously wrote about the poem here, and I am happy that Bookends included an explanatory note that you can read under the poem. It was first published in After the Pause.

From the admittedly small sampling I have read in Bookends, I would say the editors have an ear for beautiful language and an affection for all things quirky, offbeat, and original. So it’s not that surprising they liked my poem. Please go check out the other intriguing fare at the journal.

And now, another review of Russell T Davies’s It’s a Sin:

The character on the bobby’s back has had a breakthrough.

“Eye of the Beholder” Up at Schlock! And a Review

Photo credit: History of Horror, Veintitres. 19 July, 2014. Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0. N.B.: This file has been removed from Wikimedia Commons.

Trigger warnings: The cover of the latest edition of Schlock! is weirdly disgusting and disturbing. I mean that in a good way, but sensitive souls may not enjoy it. Also, my story contains graphic violence and gore and is not for people sensitive to mentions of eating and compulsive exercise disorders.

And Now the Post

With no written heads up (though I believe Editor Gavin Chappell informed me of this when the piece was accepted), my horror flash, “Eye of the Beholder,” has suddenly appeared with the latest edition of Schlock!, available online at the link or in Kindle and paperback here. My thanks to Editor Chappell. It’s also nice to see the story title featured on the cover–and what a cover it is, too.

I wrote about the story here. I can’t remember what prompted me to write it–some call for horror stories, but I can’t even remember the theme now. Even though the story is schlocky in some respects, I do like the way it shows how trauma can cause people to lose perspective. If you won’t be triggered, please go and read it, and let me know what you think.

In other news, I’m somewhat embarrassed by the following review. I saw Pieces of a Woman, didn’t like it, and forgot some important details, as I do with works I don’t care for, almost immediately. Then, several weeks later, I did this review, and only remembered the details as I went along. That said, I think my reasons for not liking it are clear.

For anyone wondering why I haven’t posted in a while, I had no news to report. I am only getting the odd poem out because I am still working on the second part of a three-part science fiction novel. Did you know quantum physics is actually quite hard to understand?

I also had no reviews to post because the reviewing is on pause while my son completes his master’s in education. He only got this one up recently, and we did it some time ago. We plan to finish the Netflix Oscar fare, even though the ceremony has been and gone, when he returns here after graduation.

For anyone who was wondering about that, no, my son will not be living in our basement. I believe he will soon be hired, and he would be a credit to any junior high or high school in need of a social studies, history, government, psychology, geography, or economics teacher. We don’t even have a basement, anyway.

Love Song for LaTasha Review, and Twitter Mention

We found this film to be laudable in its intentions but disappointing in its execution. Portraying Latasha is a delicate balancing act, as anything negative about her or her friends, family, and neighborhood is likely to be seized on by racists and used to justify her murder. But by praising her largely in vague, idealizing terms, the filmmakers make it hard for us to feel that we are getting to know a real person and her real relationships. I do believe this is an important injustice that should be more widely known, and I respect the choice to focus on LaTasha, not the crime or its aftermath.

In other news, I was pleased to get this mention by After the Pause of the poem I discussed here. You can read it just by clicking on the arrow in the tweet and going to full screen. As always, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.