I know I mentioned my newest novel, The Seventh Devil, back in October with a couple of cover mock-ups, but last week I finally signed the contract with my publisher, Bookland Press. They had a different idea for the cover, so we agreed to a compromise. The best part is that the book is available for pre-order on Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, and a lot of other places, with a release date of June 15, 2021. I like the new cover, but I really loved the original concept that my daughter had designed, so I’ll be using that one for the short story collection I’m putting together, which is why I haven’t been submitting to any journals lately—they all want first electronic rights and I’m trying to keep the number of previously published pieces to a minimum.
So my new challenge for 2021 is to find a publisher interested in a collection of 30-35 spooky, weird short stories/flash fiction complete with its own cover (see below for the mock-up). I don’t know about ‘twisted tales’, so if you have a better idea, let me know:
I haven’t posted anything for Creative Wednesdays for a while because I’m working on a short story collection that I’m hoping to get published some day, and does anybody know if publishers will take collections where some of the pieces have been published in online journals? Anyway, I love writing poetry even though I’m not particularly good at it and it’s my birthday dammit, so today, I’ve decided to share a poem with you that I wrote recently. It’s called Defying Gravity and it’s about love and hope.
We spoke of death and life,
Me and you, my child
(More precious to me than a single perfect seashell
Or the vast ocean contained within it)
And you asked, Why carry on?
I remember that you etched futility into the earth
With clenched fists
Fall the petals, fall the leaves,
Fall the tears, fall the knees.
And I replied
But the flowers still turn their faces to the sun,
The trees still strive for the moon,
Winter is the prelude to spring.
Dry your eyes,
Lock your knees; defy gravity.
I scuffed the earth clean
With an open palm
And etched both our hearts into it
So deeply that they couldn’t be erased
By neither you, my child, nor me.
Neuro Logical Magazine is a new on-line poetry journal. They had tweeted out “if you have a poem you don’t think fits anywhere, send it to us. I’d been working on this piece for a little while and thought, “I have no idea where it fits” so I sent it to them and they very graciously gave it a home. You can read “The Singular Discrepancy Between Poet And Object here.
If you have a poem that you really like and you don’t know where it “fits”, I highly recommend sending it to them. You can find them on Twitter as well @LogicNeuro. And here is a random puppy picture for you, just because.
“Lobster” is a very personal piece of Creative Non-Fiction, published by the wonderful Anti-Heroin Chic. Before you read it, there are a few things you might need to know:
1) Is it true? Yes.
2) Who’s Jimmy? That’s Ken. It’s OK for you to know it, because you kind of know him, but I didn’t want the world to know it too, and I’ve always liked the name Jimmy. It seems comforting somehow.
3) Are you OK? Yes. It’s been a long time and I’m over it. But a few weeks ago, I was going through a closet and found a box with a bunch of things from my teens and early twenties. Most of it was nice, nostalgic, but there was that envelope of photographs. I hadn’t seen them in years; I don’t know why I’d never thrown them away. You may, if you follow me on social media, have seen a couple of pictures from my teen ‘modelling days’ but those were taken by a boy at my high school who was the yearbook photographer and had fashion aspirations. When I found the envelope that I talk about in Lobster, that same fury came rushing back. If I was the person I was then that I am today, things would have gone much differently, but I learned a long time ago not to beat myself up for things I did when I didn’t have the advantage of years of knowledge and a stronger sense of self.
4) Where is he now? Long dead, I imagine, and lucky for him because, as my dad said to me late last night after he read the piece (before I could write this and provide some context), “He’s lucky he’s dead or he would have gone to his grave without any teeth.” Both my parents are wonderful people and I wish I’d been able to tell them about it at the time.
Anyway, now you have some context. Writing this was very cathartic for me and I feel honoured that Anti-Heroin Chic published it. You can read Lobster here.
It’s Creative Wednesday! If you have a moment and you’d like something short to read, one of my flash fiction pieces is currently featured on Spillwords Press. It’s called “Resurrection” and you can read it by clicking here. If you like it, maybe you could give it some stars. Thanks!