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.
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.
Part one of my new essay, “Level Up Your Poetry: Video Games and Ekphrastic Verse,” is up now on Sidequest. If the combination of poetics and digital games intrigues you as it does me, I also included links to some additional resources. More to come!
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.
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.
Sweet! My 100-word story “When You Wake, You’ll Have Cake” just won Rune Bear’s Summer 2021 Quarterly Contest! The theme was Inner Worlds. This little drabble was inspired by lyrics in a lullaby book I read to one of my sons when he was younger. We’d gotten the book from the library, and I remember wishing I knew the melodies to more of the lullabies so I could sing them to him. Instead, I tried to make the most of enthusiastic recitations, and he was a patient, willing audience.
By the way, if you’re craving more strangeness in a sugary setting, my friend Maggie Slater’s new story, “Candyland,” just came out today in Apex Magazine!
Triangulation: Habitats is here! This anthology of speculative stories and poems about sustainable living spaces is available in ebook or paperback.
From the times I’ve traveled to Ecuador to visit family, I’ve gotten to see the Andes, the tropical coast, and the stunning Galápagos—but one part of the country I haven’t been to yet is the rainforest. I’ve wanted to since I was a kid, but it hasn’t worked out. That made the research for this latest story, “Discount Night at the Haunted Eco Lodge,” a bit frustrating, especially since I did the bulk of it during COVID lockdown last year. I leafed through a book on ecotourism filled with jaw-dropping photos of sustainable tourist destinations around the world, while the prospect of traveling seemed so very far away. I read people’s accounts of Amazon hikes and studied itineraries of lodges throughout South America, all during a time I I felt nervous about setting foot in my local grocery store.
That’s why I’m especially pleased that readers can now take this journey with my characters. Welcome to the haunted eco lodge.
How cool is this?! Victims and Villains is hosting an online event this Saturday, bringing together various guest podcasters and gamers to celebrate art, gaming, film, and mental health. There’s nothing about that sentence I don’t like. Anyway, one of the podcasts will be Black Women Are Scary, and I’m thrilled that they’ll be reading my story “Neck of the Woods” as part of this event on Saturday, August 21st at 8pm EDT (5pm my time, PDT) on Twitch.
In other event news, registration is now open for Fall classes at the Hugo House, including the workshop I’m teaching with Elizabeth Beechwood in November.
After last month’s fairy poem in Pastel Pastoral, this time I have a new one in the anthology Into the Glen: Into the Light. It’s called “The Fabulous, Interconnected Living Root Bridges of the Fairies.” I’m so used to thinking of fairies in flight, I thought it’d be fun if they had a special place where they assembled specifically to walk. For research, I read about tourism to living root bridges in parts of India, as well as how the aerial roots of Ficus elastica are cultivated.
I have a new poem out in the Mythos Reborn issue of The Periodical, Forlorn. This issue shows characters from various myths as you’ve likely never seen them before. My poem, “Ariadne Goes to Knitting Group,” was partially inspired by my mom telling me about her knitting group. I originally was going to use a different refrain, one involving the sound of the knitting needles, until I checked with her and learned that the main sound would actually be everyone conversing. I latched onto the social aspect, and that helped shape the poem.