Thursday, July 26, 2012

Introducing street photographer, Sarah Edwards of Montreal

Sarah Edwards is an experimental/street photographer. She is currently living in Montreal, Canada. Photography has taught her a lot,including that everything is extraordinary,unusual and hauntingly unique She loves film and dabbles in it often as time and money permits. You can see her work and ask her question, if you like, here: http://sez0.tumblr.com/



Click on the image for full size. The photo is a 35mm photograph.

Eleanor Bennett, Photographer

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a British Teenager who had has her photography exhibited around the globe in galleries and published around the world in magazines.

Title: Walking Through Skeleton Trees

Click on the image for a FULL sized display.

Eleanor is the winner of the UK National Geographic Kids Photography Contest 2010, The World Photography Organization's Photomonth youth award 2010 , The February 2011 winner with Nature's Best Photography, Winston's Wish 2011, Papworth Trust (under 16s: 1st ,2nd and 3rd place) and has also won three National Art contests (from the age of 11) with the Woodland Trust Nature Detectives.

http://eleanorleonnebennett.zenfolio.com/

Eleanor has kindly contributed her work to our site.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center

Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center

pacificREVIEW

pacificREVIEW A west coast arts review annual, pacific REVIEW has published high-quality poetry, prose, and art since 1972. Past issues boast the talent of San Diego State University literati and other notable guest contributors.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Introducing Andrea Folds

Andrea Folds is a new writer, a new Nashvillian, and grateful to be both. After spending the last four years in a love-hate relationship with Manhattan, she
graduated from Columbia with a degree in Sustainable Development and a deep love for Anne Lamott. This May, she escaped to the South and is preparing to start seminary at Vanderbilt. Writing and commiserating with survivors of New York are her two current loves, along with bicycles and NPR.

Speak

My mother makes fast decisions. One time she married three men. They were all good husbands, but for different people- like clothes one buys a size too small in preparation for when life finally calms down and there’s time to exercise. On the heels of un-marriage to one of these men, she bought a horse. It was a baby and almost free on account of a near-drowning accident that screwed up its lungs. She wanted to nurture the gangly thing and swiped it on her MasterCard. Plus she had liked drawing horses as a girl.

During another marital eclipse, she bought a house. Retail therapy varies by scale of magnitude. Visitors strolled down glittering paths of shattered windowpanes and syringes through a homemade collage of chain link and barbed wire. Before the city of Atlanta seized and sold the place, it enjoyed a long stint as a crack house. We called it the Crack House.

These were all great decisions. I have no issues with humans, animals, or homes that came and went throughout childhood. And because I was a child, I saw these decisions as top-down inevitabilities handed us by our deified mother. I hate making decisions and wish this schema were still in place, but it broke. The break started with a standard order mandate and concerned a house- a stout wooden block nearly falling into a tributary of the Chestatee River in the North Georgia Mountains.

The plan was to spend a couple months out in nature for the summer and rent it during the rest of the year. My mother has a great fear of death, though, and saw the triple murder of defenseless women in a remote cabin as the next episode of Law and Order. Her options then were to bring along a man or a dog. Experience taught her that dogs respond better to commands than men do, so she opted for the former. We drove purposefully and prudently to an out-of-state, prestigious breeder and bought the most serious German shepherd puppy we saw.

Lorelei (the only German female listing in our baby names book) came with three days’ worth of anti-anxiety medication for the car ride home, so we gave her all of them. While she lay unconscious for the next twenty-four hours, we tried to read her for signs of astuteness and loyalty. Her pedigree was strong and our hopes were high.

When she finally woke up, we looked at her head and noticed something was off. The classic German shepherd profile was slightly askew. One of her ears stood straight and proud as ears should, while the other flopped like a sock puppet. That ear belonged to a dog with no cargo to protect or criminals to eat.

We asked the breeder why she was broken, and he offered us an age-old, invaluable solution: stick a tampon in her ear. He said it like it was the most natural thing in the world, as if he were reminding us of common knowledge instead of suggesting we stick feminine hygiene products into a dog’s head. The words sounded extra odd in thick, southern twang.

None of us regret the tampon era. It admittedly made for great photos and endless jokes about PMS and bitches (she was a girl). The ear flopped slothfully back down, though, as soon as the cotton rod was out of it. This foreshadowing of her congenital goofiness could not be remedied, despite our tepid efforts.

As she got bigger, she did not betray any hidden cleverness or streak of virtue. Her dumbness just grew more irritating as its sphere of impact increased. Instead of running headlong into our feet, she crashed into tables and knocked over food.

Instead of chasing the cat, she wanted to eat it. And most problematically, instead of barking randomly at a fat squirrel or a thunderclap, she barked without ceasing at everything. I marveled at her vocal cords’ resilience while neighbors asked nicely if they could shoot her.

Lorelei’s peak of vocal psychosis coincided with a pinnacle of tension for our family. A triple diagnosis after our first family therapy session left us newly labeled and in some cases, medicated. This viewing of each other as equals, all on a spectrum of deviance, deftly ended childhood, and we observed our respective grief differently. My mom started law school, I started high school, my sister started praying; Lorelei started howling.

Stereotypes originate somewhere. Dogs allegedly sense ghosts because they actually smell drugs. Our recently tweaked chemical makeup gave Lorelei’s faculties the impression that a hostile body snatching had gone down in her house, and she responded accordingly. I could not fault the dog for vocally acknowledging the throes of dosage adjustments. Nor could I fault my mother for snipping her vocal cords. The tracheotomy broke our rhythm of parent deciding and children complying, because this time, consent was demanded beforehand. She did not want begrudged muteness on her hands when the party being silenced didn’t even have a say in the matter, so my sister and I verbally assured her that although it was her idea, we too desired it.

A smart, clean veterinarian did the job one morning, and Lorelei was back on four legs by dinnertime. Our three plates of meatloaf on the table would have been unthinkable the day before. Tantalizing beef smell on top of foreign chemical presence sent Lorelei into hysterics. That night, we sat watching her instead of the usual Jeopardy: snapping jaws, mechanical staccato like a metronome, issuing nothing but puffs of air. Each would-be bark was like a blow that never came- a mercy granted. Finally someone turned on the T.V. and we forgot she was even there.

Manton Reece: Permanence

Manton Reece: Permanence

The Shangri-la Shack Literary Arts JournalThe Shangri-La Shack

The Shangri-la Shack Literary Arts JournalThe Shangri-La Shack
You will need The FLASH reader to read the free book, listed below.

On line version...eBook: http://theshangrilashack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/TheShangrilaShackOnlineJournal2012v2i1.swf 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Writing Sense - A Writer Who Never Writes?

Writing Sense - A Writer Who Never Writes?

Introducing Donal Mahoney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Donal Mahoney was born to Irish immigrant parents in Chicago, Illinois. He used two degrees in English to earn a living as an editor of magazines and books and as a fundraiser for a charity. Words and people are the two things in life, besides
copulation, that he’s ever been interested in. He is the father of five children, four normal and the other a Rhodes Scholar. He had 100 poems or so published in print journals in the late ‘60s and early‘70s and then quit writing for 35 years to earn a living. He resumed writing in 2008, at his wife’s behest, after retirement. The poems in this collection are among the first he wrote. A few may be based on personal experience but most of them are probably lies.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR

Donal Mahoney can reached at donalmahoney@charter.net

We plan to publish more of Donal's work.
Please click on the image for full size:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Introducing Kersie Khambatta from New Zealand

Mr. Kersie Khambatta is a semi-retired lawyer practicing in New Zealand. He is a part-time writer.He started writing articles and short-stories decades ago, and continues to do so. He loves to write in a simple style, with short sentences and words that do not require referring to a dictionary. Kersie has a diploma of Associateship of the British Tutorial Institute, London, in English, Modern Journalism, and Journalism in India, and a Certificate in Comprehensive writing awarded in October 2005 by the Writing School (Australia and New Zealand)

LIFE AFTER DEATH

Two brothers, S and N, lived in a gated community in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. They were car racing enthusiasts.

They were practising for a car rally, and on the way to Poona were killed in a horrifying crash. They were the only children of their aged parents who were absolutely devastated!The mother cried and cried, and would not be consoled. She sat by the window day after day, waiting for them to return. But they never did.

Then she started receiving messages from the other world. She recounted them to family and friends. She started writing what she heard. She knew that her sons were talking to her. They guided her hand while she wrote. She had no control of what she wrote. She called it auto-writing. She compiled a book of the writings. People read it, and believed.

A Parsi lady in Auckland, New Zealand, made a manuscript of the words she heard from her departed relatives, specially her father. She too said that she auto-wrote.

These and many other instances show that there is life after death!

Critics beware!

##

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Selma "Sound" Bite, by Bill Rayburn

Another story from fellow writer, Bill Rayburn:

There’s an ice cream truck that cruises the streets out here on the edge of town, where homes are usually 500 feet apart, and the oppressive heat often keeps children indoors. Nonetheless, this proprietor continues on his daily rounds, unrelentingly playing the same tinkling, and twinkling treacly-sounding tune from the worn and crackly speakers of his step van: Home on the Range.

Not to be outdone by the audible incongruousness of the song, the driver also happens to be a Sikh from the Punjab region of South Asia. The dude be a looooong way from home.

He sports a full beard and an even more effusive turban. This approach is both hilarious and shocking. Selma is not known for its particularly evolved mindset on religion, or on Arabs, for that matter.

Yet this soft spoken, kind gentleman, to the background meanderings of the state song of Kansas, goes about his daily route, dispensing ice cold treats to a grateful audience, equally comprised of children and adults.

He’d always avoided our ½ mile long stretch of street, until recently. I was sitting in the sun and heard him coming. I got up and wandered out onto the two lane blacktop, usually devoid of traffic for long stretches at a time.

He stopped and looked at me quizzically. I waved and walked up to his window on the driver’s side.

I asked him one question: “Have you ever been to Kansas?”

He thought about it, and then in perfect English said, “I don’t do red states,” and shoved the long thin silver steel gear shift back into first and rumbled off.

I returned to my chair and laughed for ten minutes straight.

Who says truth isn’t stranger than fiction.



##

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Readings in Sequim

Fourth Friday Readings in Sequim: Enjoy an evening of open mic prose and poetry, July 27, 6:30 p.m. at Rainshadow Coffee Bar, 157 W. Cedar St., Sequim. Writers are welcome to bring 5-minute readings. Invite your friends. Come early for coffee, sweets and a seat. Admission is free. Guidelines for open mic are available from coordinator Rmarcus@olypen.com, 360-681-2205.

Park Cursor Aside

Park Cursor Aside
Whenever you type on keyboard, the mouse cursor is automatically parked (moved) aside to a defined screen / active window position. This way your view of the input field is not blocked by the mouse cursor.

Right click on tray icon and select Settings, to define the parking position and other values.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

cyberTwined Poetry Press

cyberTwined Poetry Press

Train Wreck, by Bill Rayburn

Train tracks can take on a whole new meaning when you grow older.

As kids, they are a source of wonderful, intriguing mystery. Huge, fast moving iron giants would roll by on the very same tracks that only a moment ago, you were walking on. Where did they come from? Where were they going? Could we ride on them someday?

Yet there is something forlorn about a solitary set of train tracks carved into the landscape, snaking through a desolate part of America, seemingly a waste of materials and effort. Only until the next great train came along. Then it all made sense.

I am perched right in the middle of just such a desolate stretch of land, between just such a solitary set of tracks. I am only 10 minutes outside of town, but I may as well be in a deserted West Texas prairie, dodging tumble weeds and wondering big thoughts.

What brings me here today is the prospect of ending my life.

Not an earth shattering idea for me. I’ve been here before. Maybe not this close, but I sure have danced more than once with this concept.

What brings me here today is a simple, declarative phrase that stitched itself across my brain this morning at the same moment I gave birth to my first conscious thought of the day.

“Why not?”

Answering ‘why’ to the suicide question is easy. The resume that trails from my neck like a storm-tattered, wind-worn Superman Cape is chock full of disappointment. Divorce. Dead mother. Dead sister. Dead brother. Dead best friend.

Why not? A much more complex conundrum, indeed.

Joining that group in the ballroom of eternity, or wherever the hell it is we go, would not be a bad thing. Might even be fun. Hell, it’s got to be better than the current dance floor I’m on, where my every step is out of synch and both of my feet are left.

Despair is not new to me. What burbled to the surface almost immediately upon waking this morning, after pretending I couldn’t figure out what those two words portended, was my father, who at this very moment was probably on his third martini while placidly watching a ballgame. He had many more reasons to grab fate by the chicken neck, shake it violently, and then take his own life.

This man had endured real hardship. He’d lost an eye and his left leg in Korea, on his third tour of duty, as he carried a fallen soldier to safety. He’d survived colon cancer, and then watched as his wife of 35 years, and my mother, had been whittled to almost nothing before succumbing to the very cancer he’d beaten.

My dad saw his best friend and Army buddy, a man sentenced to a wheel chair by his own heroic act on the Mekong Delta, saving five of his comrades by falling on a grenade, die suddenly of a heart attack, right in front of all of us, as we were about to watch my mother lowered into the earth.

The man literally toppled out of his chair, landed heavily, and rolled once and into my mom’s freshly dug grave. If it wasn’t so tragic, it would have been hilarious. None of us laughed.

There’s more, of course. My dad is 79 years old, and he’s seen it all, heard most of it, and guessed pretty accurately the rest of it. You live an examined life like my old man, you see way too much, and unfortunately, there is no ‘consumption’ arbiter for the soul. No ‘full’ or ‘empty’ needle on a gauge that warns you. No cosmic dip stick telling you when to add, or more importantly, stop adding. There was no gatekeeper, and when things filled up and began to spill over, you mopped it up as fast as you could. At least that was the old man’s metaphor. I kind of liked it.

I am tired of mopping.

The images that stalk your night dreams, he told me once, those early morning howls that force an awakening to a sweat-bathed, shivering reality and a shuddering acceptance that the day was about to begin, had become commonplace for him. He said that those initial moments when it happened, he often longed to float right back to his pillow and return to the horrificness of his dream. At least it was familiar. Each day, consciousness seemed to promise him only one thing: Surprise. He hates surprises.

My death will surprise him. Probably.

I called him this morning. The conversation was speckled with the flotsam and jetsam of two men who would have nothing fresh to say to one another for the rest of their lives. It was our tacit acknowledgment that the sameness of our relationship would never improve; never get a burst of interesting, compelling insight on either of our parts. It simply was. Not unlike most marriages, if you ask me. The desultory acceptance of banality is what keeps many people married well past the autumn years.

I told him I loved him as we signed off, which was rare. I wonder if he red-flagged the comment and sank back into his recliner, propped his prosthetic leg up onto the age old ottoman, laced his hands behind his head, and thought about why I would tell him that. Today. It’s the kind of curious statement that might prompt him to mull and ruminate. To mold in his mind like hamburger, balling it up, making sure the mental spices were mixed in well, then flattening it out to make it ready for the grill.

I don’t think even he is capable of making the intellectual leap to my declaration being a thinly veiled goodbye. We occasionally tell each other those three words, usually on holidays and birthdays. Today is neither.

Today, February 17, is the day before my 55th birthday. A non-descript Tuesday. Non-descript, that is, until I do what I’m about to do. From this day forward, my birthday will be inevitably linked with sorrow and regret and pain, tied tragically to the day before. I am about to ruin these two days for my father. Forever.

I hear a distant train whistle. I look down the track, but can’t see it. About a mile and half down, the track veers to the left and out of sight behind some rolling hills.

I don’t move. I’m comfortable. Maybe even resigned. I’ve never been this close. I’d thought often about what would go through my mind, if it still worked, during the final moments of my life. Many of the scenarios I’d entertained were flights of fancy, some macabre, but none of them involved the serenity I feel coursing threw me now as I watch the train appear around the last hill and straighten out on the tracks, heading straight for me.

I had taken a cab from my condo to my location. About thirty yards away, there was a small concrete turnaround where a tiny shelter used to be, back when such a minuscule structure could be pressed into service as a train station. Only some scattered bricks and prongs of rebar jutting up through the cement remained. And weeds.

Layered underneath the slow steady roar of the train engine I heard what sounded like a car engine. I turned back to where the kiosk had been and watched as a cab, maybe even the same cab, as there were only three in town, drove up to the turnaround.

The first of what would become continuous blasts from the train resounded as apparently the conductor spotted me.

The train breaks began to screech. The squealing nails on chalkboard sound is eerily apropos, the sort of disconcerting, grating noise one might expect to hear as the final audible salute of their time on earth.

I am sitting Indian style, centered exactly between the tracks. I watch as under the opened rear door of the taxi I see the narrow end of a cane extend out and onto the ground. Then a brown-shoed foot, and another. Rising above the rolled up window of the door is the obvious silhouette of my father, the anxious look on his face obvious even from the distance.

I glance back at the train, its cacophonous trumpeting like that of a charging steel elephant. My calmness is disconcerting. I pinch my arm, searching for any sense of dread, whether manifested physically or emotionally.

Nothing.

My father leans on the door frame, watching me. Helpless.

I have a crazy, almost inexplicable thought ping across my mind, like a very slow, almost cumbersome shooting star.

Can dad tell how far away I am with only one eye and no depth perception?

The cab driver is now out of the car and sitting on the hood, one foot on the ground, the other resting on the bumper, his arms crossed as if watching the filming of a movie. His turban and impassive Arab face battling my father’s pained expression for the right to be my final image.

The train’s brakes are now fully applied, but the futile effort means the ear-splitting screeching will be my final sounds. I am unsure as to which is nobler: looking at my father or facing the iron beast poised to remove me from my sadness.

For once, my father wins.



____________

There is a glitch with some of the comment areas for some postings. If you would likebi to comment on a story or article, write to Bill Rayburn, directly at: billitwasaverygoodyear AT yahoo.com I also POST dated his story to keep it at the TOP of the list for a few days.

WritersCafe.org | The Online Writing Community

WritersCafe.org | The Online Writing Community

Lulu Blog » Top 10 Reasons Your eBook Was Rejected

Lulu Blog » Top 10 Reasons Your eBook Was Rejected

Miracle e-zine | Wix.com

Miracle e-zine | Wix.com

The Top 100 Creative Writing Blogs REMOVED

Friday, July 6, 2012

Royalties

Read this today: Hardcover book: Standard is 10% of the retail price on the first 5,000 copies sold; 12 1/2% on the next 5,000 sold, and 15% after that.
Mass market paperback book: 4 to 8% of the retail price on the first 150,000 copies sold. Trade paperback book: No less than 6% of the list price on the first 20,000 copies; 7 1/2% after that.
[Source: Copyright © 1997 - 2012 Education To Go. All rights reserved ]

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Aberration Labyrinth

Aberration Labyrinth I have been tinkering with the idea of starting a literary rag for all of the poets out there that don't quite fit into the mainstream mold. So, I've finally gone and done it. This magazine is about expressing yourself. We do not restrict our publication to the confines of traditional poetry. If you write about drunken nights out, remembered or imagined, we want to see it. If you write about how society has twisted you into the puckered bitter thing you are today, we'd love to read it. If you write about torture (imagined, not real), blood, gore, horror and the likes, please send some our way. If you write about the playing video games at 2am (vague phrasing intentional), extra points for you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs: Crafting a Killer Pitch Letter - MTT - Music Think Tank

How to REALLY Get Your Music on Blogs: Crafting a Killer Pitch Letter - MTT - Music Think Tank  Written for musicians, but applicable to writers, too, I'm sure.

Duotrope

Duotrope

Welcome to Duotrope!
Duotrope is an award-winning, free resource for writers of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. We offer:

fully searchable database of over 4,225 active publishers
statistics on publishers' response times, acceptance-rejection ratios, etc.
the ability to track all your submissions in your own submissions tracker

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus - An online thesaurus and dictionary of over 145,000 words that you explore using an interactive map.

Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus - An online thesaurus and dictionary of over 145,000 words that you explore using an interactive map.

OXYMORONS

OXYMORONS

The Creative Writing Program at UBC: Prospective Students - MFA - Optional-Residency - Audio Downloads

The Creative Writing Program at UBC: Prospective Students - MFA - Optional-Residency - Audio Downloads

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stovepipe

Stovepipe is a big, loud man, with a heavy school ring that he taps on the table as he punctuates each of his talking points. Blah, blah, blah, tap, tap, tap. Blah, blah, blah, tap, tap, tap. Stovepipe’s ring is bigger, heavier and more ostentatious than the Fisherman’s Ring worn by Pope Benedict.

Stovepipe used to do management work for a computer outfit in the South. It was a middle management job, but if you listen to his description, he has it embellished to the point that you might believe he ran the place, and half the state’s security personnel.

He was one of the first to get a carry permit for his 9-millimeter, and he wears it everywhere. I’ve seen him bending over to start his lawnmower, and it was tucked into the small of his back while he mowed his lawn.

Stovepipe’s wife is a big woman. She manages to keep her husband under her thumb. She spends most of the day in her recliner with the dog as she commands the roost. She is soap opera fan, a game show fan, and a big fan of reality shows. She barks orders all day, never lifting a finger, while Stovepipe vacuums, cooks the meals, does the shopping and picks up the dog shit in the house. She usually barks commands while chewing, and bits of cookie and cracker fly out of her mouth and hit the dog in the face, or come to rest in messy little heaps around the base of her favorite chair.

There were two times that Stovepipe had his finger on the trigger of his automatic. Once at the firing range when he learned how to use it, and once after he was berated and cursed in front of a friend, for missing a spot behind the couch with the vacuum.

the-phone-book.com

the-phone-book.com the-phone-book.com took literature out of book and magazine formats and into the digital public domain by publishing original works of ultra short fiction to WAP enabled mobile phones.

Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction | Books | guardian.co.uk

Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction | Books | guardian.co.uk