Pixel Poetry: A Meritocracy by Colin Ward

•July 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Pixel Poetry: A Meritocracy by Colin Ward

This is an article in Rattle about online and offline poets and poetry that just rings true to me. Read it twice.

Click here then go to page 20. 

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Matuu and The Sail, Bewildering Stories – Editor’s Choice

•June 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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Matuu and The Sail (link)
 was selected from the short stories published in the second quarter by Bewildering Stories. These are works that the selection committee would, “recommend that a friend read”. For some backstory on this piece click here.

Whispers In Its Silence – published

•June 13, 2011 • 2 Comments

The free verse poem, Whispers In Its Silence, is scheduled for publication on Every Day Poets July 16, 2011.

Midnight In Paris – The Great Gatsby

•June 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Reading The Great Gatsby again, twice this week. Once as a reader and once as a writer.

By pure coincidence, went to the movie Midnight in Paris to see the film footage of Paris not knowing that old sport, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, Matisse, Cole Porter, and others would appear. This is a Woody Allen production and the writer/protagonist ends up with a woman who looks like a young Mia Farrow. What a hoot.

Is This Magic? Hurricane Positronic Quantum Tunnelbrokers

•June 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

From WordPress: “This is powered by 2 load-balancers running nginx, and connectivity to IPv6 internet is through IPv6 6in4 tunnels provided by Hurricane Electric Tunnel Broker, as our datacenters have not enabled IPv6 yet.”

Coming soon to a hard Science Fiction story near you. Wait, but it’s too late, Hurricane Electric Quantum Tunnel Brokers may already be here.

Chat with Zoetrope’s Michael Ray

•May 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Currently in the eighth week of a ten week Zoetrope/Gotham Writers Workshop fiction writing class and last night four of us had a one hour chat with Michael Ray, Managing Editor of Zoetrope: All-story.

Following on comments he made in our chat, this is an interesting comment of his from another interview given to, Story In Literary Fiction’s, William Coles. Click here.

Michael Ray:

“Something I talk to writers about during the editorial process is reserving room in the story for the reader to participate in its understanding. As a writer, if you immerse yourself too much in the story, you risk standing between your story and your reader. The best stories stand outside their authorship, becoming interesting and powerful to people who don’t know the author, or really care about the author—or the fact that the author wrote this.

With the present educational system for writers—workshops, M.F.A.s—stories can get too worked over. In that environment, writers can become disproportionately focused on one particular impact they intend for a story to have upon a reader; they work the story to have that impact. They workshop it; other people give them advice; and they work it over and over and over.

These stories can be really polished but ultimately unsatisfying, as they lack any true sense of discovery. As a reader, you can watch the story’s various mechanisms working toward one end; and I think you then instinctively resist that end, or that feeling the writer is working so hard to create. And you know you can read the story again and its only potential is to affect you in exactly the same way. It’s been so sharpened to a single point, and that’s not the way life happens.

Think about great music. You can listen to something over and over and discover something new every time. Part of creating that [as a writer] is not working so hard to have one impact . . . not leading somebody to one specific understanding. It’s like putting blinders on somebody in trying to get them to see this one purpose, and in the process you’ve blinded, or blunted, that person’s capability to see all the other impacts the story might have.

This is something I talk a lot about with writers; especially if you’re publishing in a magazine like ours, you can rely on a sophisticated readership—people who really want to engage in stories; and if you can write the whole story to the point there is only one way of understanding it, [you may need] to strip back that exposition to a point where the does become a little bit of a risk [of understanding]. The more that process of understanding can happen off the page, in the reader’s head, the more the reader internalizes the story, imbuing it with emotions beyond anything you could fully describe.”

This morning I read, The Serrambi Case, by Francis de Pontes Peebles noted as a favorite by Zoetrope’s Managing Editor, Michael Ray.

One event, apparently a homicide involving two young girls, as told by fourteen POV first person characters including birds and sugar cane, each in their own conversational tone and titled scene. For me the final narrative by the sugar cane POV sums up the theme. Similar in concept to my story, The Obélisque, in some ways, but so much more sophisticated. A serendipitous lesson for me, when the student is ready the master will appear, perhaps.

Unpublished Epilogue: Matuu and The Sail

•April 25, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Unknown to sailors of that time was the concept of windsurfing. With the mast able to pivot or lean in any direction the sailor has options a fixed mast cannot duplicate. As a sailboat moves through the air it almost always leans away from the wind, the apparent wind speed the sail feels increases as the boats speed increases. A windsurfer can lean the mast into the wind while sailing into the wind or across the wind. This is usually done in relatively high winds. As the sail is brought more parallel to the surface of the water the lift from the sail will cause the sail to act like an aircraft’s horizontal wing. This reduces the drag of the hull in the water and again allows an increase in speed. Windsurfers can fly briefly off waves and with two sails maybe they could soar.