Reprint announcement:  “The Menagerie Machine” in a new anthology

This Thanksgiving season, I want to mention how very grateful I am to all my readers, writer friends, mentors, and editors!  Thank you for bringing joy to my writing life. 

My carousel story, “The Menagerie Machine,” is part of a new anthology about romantic love, called Draw Down the Moon.  This story was first published through Short Édition’s Short Circuit website and Short Story Dispensers, but this marks the first time it will be available in book format (both print and ebook).  You can order the anthology from Propertius Press.  It’ll officially be released this Friday.

An update on my Fireside Magazine story

First off, I just have to say, I went to Orycon today and loved getting to be around other writers and readers in person again (all masked up this time). 

Now for the update!  Last month I reviewed the proof for my upcoming tale, “Song of the Balsa Wood Bird.”  It was exciting to see my piece getting finalized, and I can hardly wait to share it when it’s published in Fireside Magazine

By the way, Fireside Magazine publishes a range of fiction and poetry chosen by well-respected guest editors, and they really support their writers.  Please consider supporting them as a subscriber. It means a lot to those of us who focus on short stories and poems, where the economics often don’t match up to all the time we invest in our art.  As the Econ major in me would say, please help demonstrate the demand so we can continue to provide the supply.

Poetry announcement:  “The Bowsprit Mermaid and the Stemhead Dragon”

What can we humans learn from sentient ships?  In this case, I don’t mean AI generation spaceships, I mean sailing vessels on the high seas.  My new poem, “The Bowsprit Mermaid and the Stemhead Dragon,” appears in the latest issue of Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and it explores how legends are born and how precious is the chance to connect with others, truly. 

If you’re a writer and this type of nonhuman perspective piques your interest, Elizabeth Beechwood and I have our online workshop coming up later this month on Creating Nonhuman Characters, offered through Hugo House.  I hope you’ll consider joining us for several hours of discussion of animal and object characters, writing exercises, and a chance to connect with fellow writers (in a much safer way than the titular characters of my poem).

Poetry tricks and treats for Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I’ve got several new poems out this weekend. 

First up is “Dancer Summons,” my belly dance poem appearing in the new issue of The Common Tongue Magazine, which is full of dark fantasy stories and verse to scratch that Halloween itch.  Coincidentally, later today I’ll be participating in a dance event for the first time in over a year and a half. 

Next are two poems, “Merfolk in the Ghost Net” and “The Kraken’s Bight,” in the new issue of Seaborne Magazine themed around Storms, Omens & Monsters.  I love the illustrations by artists Ioan Nicolae Ciontea and Caroline Scamell accompanying my poems. Seaborne Magazine donates a portion of their revenue to charities that support oceans and marine life; this issue supports Surfers Against Sewage.

Finally, “The Devil with the Golden Hairs Earns His Sleep” is in the Magic issue of Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine.  I was inspired to write this poem while thinking about how my dad used to recite the Grimm fairy tale “The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs” to my sisters and me when we were young—except that he always called it “The Three Hairs of the Giant.” He recently told me that my grandmother used to tell it to him in Spanish. 

If you want to finish off your Halloween with even more poetry, one of my fellow contributors to The Common Tongue Magazine, Brittany Hause, put together a great list that you can find at this link.

“Sea Grass Supplication” and corn stalks

My poem “Sea Grass Supplication” is available to read online in The Curator Magazine.  I wrote it this past winter during my family’s beach trip.  We’d arrived just in time to enjoy the sunset shown below.  Our trek through the sea grass made quite an impression on me. 

Speaking of vegetation that makes an impression, my family went to a corn maze this past weekend.  It was rainy, super muddy, and great fun.

The corn stalks towered over me

Second half of my essay on gaming poetry

Part two of my essay, “Level Up Your Poetry: Anatomy of Two Gaming Poems,” is up now on Sidequest (you can find the first half here).  In this new installment, I break down two of my poems (“Lava Reef Cooldown” and “The Deku Butler’s Son”) as examples of the approach from part one in action. 

On a related note, I’ve got several brand-new poems due out in various publications soon.  These ones won’t be about gaming, but they do run the gamut when it comes to structure and genre.

“Desert Locks” selected for a year’s best anthology

It’s time for masks, the sacredness of human touch, and … hair magic?  No, I’m not talking about COVID, I’m talking about my story “Desert Locks” from GigaNotoSaurus.  It was just selected for the new volume of Best Indie Speculative Fiction, which is due out later this year and will feature works from 2020 that first appeared in small press and indie publications.  I had a story in Vol. III, and I’m honored to be included again in Vol. IV.

A Halloween poetry reading

Happy October!  The leaves and weather are starting to turn, the Halloween decorations are out, and here in the U.S. we’re smack in the middle of National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. 

If you’re in the mood to listen to some spooky poetry, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has its annual online Halloween reading page, where you can find audio recordings of poets—including yours truly—reading our work for your eerie enjoyment.  This year you can hear me reading “The Banquet at the Center of the Maze,” which originally appeared in Coffin Bell.

Poetry announcement:  “Restoring Order to a World Hooked on Strangeness”

I’m back with a new video game poem at Sidequest.  This one is based on a somewhat obscure RPG for the SEGA Saturn called Shining the Holy Ark.  Really, it’s intended to capture the feeling of completing RPGs in general.  And I’m not going to lie, as I was writing “Restoring Order to a World Hooked on Strangeness,” I was thinking a lot about what life will be—is?—would be?—like emerging from the COVID pandemic. 

By the way, I also have an essay due out soon at Sidequest about writing video game poetry, as I really enjoy the topic and find it an underutilized source of inspiration for poets.  The essay will come out in two parts.