CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Citizenship and Its Discontents

Anomaly is an international journal of literature and the arts that provides a platform for works of art that challenge conventions of form and format, of voice and genre.

Deadline for the special issue on Citizenship and Its Discontents:

30 September 2020

Guest Editor: Grace Loh Prasad

Email: citizenshipfolio@gmail.com

Twitter: @GraceLP

SPORES

This story was published by decomP Magazine. Self began writing it during a residency at Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Weeks later, she found the ending in Dublin.

The boss was born Earthstar. He’d never look her way. His spores were meant to go else: to a Silverleaf. Or a Shag. Not K that smelled like wet rot. All scaly cap and throat gills. She belonged with other Common.

In this story of the future, there are Earthstars. Earthstars are permitted to mate with either Silverleafs or Shags. Any other pairing is out of the question.

K is a Common.

The inspiration for this story was a book about mushrooms. Morgan Cooke, who she met at TGC, made an audio recording. Must say, self got a big kick out of hearing her story read with an Irish accent. Many, many, many thanks to Morgan.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge # 110: Creativity in the Time of COVID

Self was inspired by this Photo Challenge (Creativity in the Time of COVID) to give a shout-out to the USPS.

She bought a sheet of first-class stamps commemorating the Harlem Renaissance. Aren’t they beautiful?

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She receives all her literary journals through the USPS. Here’s the latest delivery: the Win/Spr 2020 issue of Calyx Journal, one of the oldest women’s presses in the United States, founded by her friend, Dear Departed Margarita Donnelly (She put the whole thing, she told self, on a credit card):

Cover Art: Dale Champlin’s “Mother Nature.”

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Finally, Filoli Garden, in Woodside, is one of the area’s most beautiful gardens. The current art installation is by Kristine Mays. Here’s a picture self took on a visit to Filoli in July.

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Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Playing With Language

Excerpts from self’s story “First Life” that appeared in Juked, 2015. The point of view belongs to a boy named Dragon. He’s sitting in a classroom of the future (Just because it’s the future doesn’t mean people don’t daydream, ha!)

Today I’m thick or something because thoughts are dark as dark.


Sunlight and glass, Prisms and mirrors. My mind is floating out there, beyond the windows. Out there, where swish swish goes something, maybe the wind.

 

RIP for the Lost

Just recently, self heard The Octopus Literary Salon, in Oakland, where she and friends had all variously read, had closed. SAD! It was a mainstay of the local literary community.

Self was just looking through her pile of contributor copies (for stories she’s published in literary magazines) and realized that there are quite a goodly number that do not exist anymore. Like, The Rambler? This magazine of nonfiction appeared in North Carolina, survived a number of years, and took two of self’s flash.

How about Isotope? A place for creative and science writing. Edited by poet Chris Cokinos. In the same issue as poetry and plays, an essay on math (with numbers!) or biology. This one published out of Utah.

Here are self’s list of The Departed (the ones she knows about):

  • 5_Trope
  • Alimentum: The Literature of Food (Self loved this magazine. It moved to on-line only, and self still loved it. Then, ALAS!)
  • decomP
  • Elsewhere Lit
  • Isotope
  • LITnIMAGE
  • Our Own Voice  (featuring writing of the Philippine diaspora)
  • The Cricket Online Review
  • The Rambler
  • Used Furniture Review
  • White Whale Review (The editor solicited her after reading her blog)
  • Word Riot

Most of these magazines fell into the experimental and/or social justice arena. They were trying to do something different, and their presence in the literary world was exciting (Face it, if self had to rely solely on the big literary magazines, her career would have been over years ago). They were labors of love (as every literary magazine, big or small, is) and their vision was unique.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

“The Vanishing” : Rosebud, Issue 67

“The Vanishing,” self’s story of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, had been making the round of slush piles when Rosebud‘s editor reached her on her cell and told her he was pulling hers from the slushpile.

Rosebud is a very ambitious magazine.

The section Once Upon a . . . features re-tellings of Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel.

A section called Songs of the City are stories set in . . . what else? Cities.

A section called Looking Up features stories about the moon and other planetary bodies.

“The Vanishing”

Pope Alexander VI draw a line from pole to pole, dividing the world like the two halves of an orange: everything east of the line belonged to Portugal, everything west to Spain. In one stroke, centuries of struggle between the two arch-rivals came to an end, and the world at last seemed able to contain the two countries’ teeming ambitions, ambitions that had taken root and flowered in a dream born as a whisper in the ear of a friend of a friend of a friend: Francisco Serrao, Portuguese, who wrote to the crown from the Moluccas, in words both ardent and teasing. “Gold and riches,” Serrao wrote. “Spices and women.”

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Poetry Contest, Rosebud Magazine

Deadline for Submission: 30 September 2020

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Judge: Lester Lennon, Rosebud Poetry Editor

For complete guidelines, go to: http://www.rsbd.net

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Revisiting Self’s Melancholy/ What Is Going On With WordPress?

Three years ago, a short story called “This Is End” appeared in the Cost of Paper, vol. 5

It was science fiction about a character self kept using again and again, in different stories. The MC, Dragon, had a girlfriend, Her, who’d gone missing.

He doesn’t know what happened to Her (There are finite ways to disappear in space) but his favorite theory was that she was still alive, on another ship:

Floating, off to the right: the remains of the former space station, the Kobayashi Maru.

It caught fire. The wreckage drifted, was lost. Then found. Then lost, and found again.

And sometimes, when the ships drift past each other (literally ships that pass in the night HA HA HA), Dragon thinks he sees Her, gesturing to him from a window.


AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THIS POST, WHICH IS A VENT ABOUT THE NEW WORDPRESS SYSTEM OF FORMATTING, WHICH IS CALLED BLOCK EDITING.

Suddenly, without warning, right while she was in the middle of typing this post, each paragraph acquired its own frame. Like it was a picture. Which, self doesn’t have to tell dear blog readers, is ridiculous.

BLOCK EDITING WITH THE NEW WORDPRESS SYSTEM OF FORMATTING IS THE WORST.

The text floats in little bubbles, and appears so unstable. One little press of the key, and the entire block disappears.

Oh no! There it is again, but then it disappears again. Sort of like Dragon’s girlfriend, lol

Why mess with a system that worked fine — at least, it did for self.

Now, instead of editing tools being all to the side, they appear in the text, right on top of these little boxes — confusing as heck! She doesn’t need to see extra little visuals on top of each paragraph, what are they doing there, it’s not as if each paragraph requires its own format.

She starts typing and whole paragraphs bloom THAT SHE DID NOT HERSELF TYPE. Oh it’s auto-fill. WordPress remembered that you typed a sentence like this before, so it makes it easy and just copies what you typed before. WHICH MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE, because where would the fun be in blogging if you just copied from something you’d written before?

With block editing, everything gets so — jiggy. Like the text needs Xanax. The toolboxes and the blocks and the menus keep floating around on the screen, as if the document were suffering from ADD, and self doesn’t know how to get the words to stop moving because they apparently move in response to every slightest twitch of a finger.

And, self discovers to her dismay, she has very twitchy fingers.

FINALLY: This message that suddenly popped up on her Dashboard: START MAKING MONEY FROM YOUR POSTS!

10 (or more) years ago, she asked a friend (who was a marketing whiz, who was being paid big bucks to be said whiz) whether she thought self could release some of her writings as “extras” for people willing to pay a very small amount — say, a dollar. And this marketing whiz (who is still her friend, believe it or not, just not the type of friend she sees a lot, really just someone she encounters occasionally on FB), gaped and said: Why would you charge for something that’s free? I mean, that’s why it’s on the internet, because it’s supposed to be AVAILABLE. You can’t charge for anything on your blog. People would stop reading. And such was self’s faith in her obviously successful friend, she let the matter drop and never explored the idea of making a little money from blogging.

Until today, 12 years later, when she saw this message.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Process: Stonehenge/Pacifica

Self decided to look through her old MacBook Air (which, judging from the dates on there, had stories dating as far back as 2006) and found an early version of her flash, Stonehenge/Pacifica, which Wigleaf published in 2012.

It is fascinating to compare the two versions. It seems that, early on, Stonehenge/Pacifica was a poem. The line breaks are short:

STONEHENGE/PACIFICA

It was a dream I had, some restless night.
Perhaps one of those weeks/ months/ years
when we were worried about money.
But when were we ever not worried?
First, there was the mortgage,
and then the two.
Then your mother got sick,
and your fathe died.
And my mother I think developed
Alzheimer’s

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

10 Years Ago in Hotel Amerika’s TransGenre Issue

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In that same issue were: Sarah White * Mary Cappello * Elaine Terranova * Kelly Cherry * Jennifer L. Knox * Brian Teare * Ben Quick * Christina Manweller * G. C. Waldrop

GHOSTS

(An excerpt)

I dreamt about my sister, dead these many years. It seemed she was in a place of ghosts. In my dream I put my face up to hers and kissed her cheek and said, “I’ll always be your sister.” But she turned her face away and closed her eyes. Her cheek was cold.

I said, “Do you want me to take you away, dear? Come, come! Let us go!” But she only looked sad and didn’t speak.

My son was with me but in my dream he was a young boy. I mean, my son at seven, not the way he is now. He was impatient with my sighs and tears and wanted to get away from that place. He was bored.

I gave him a pencil and told him, “Draw!” He took the pencil obediently. He drew. But it seemed to cost him great effort.

Now and then I would peep at what he was drawing: a series of empty rectangles. I asked him, “Why don’t you put people in your drawings? See, here, and here, and here. They are all around us!”

He looked up and slowly I saw understanding dawn on his face. He filled his drawings with the outlines of people. I understood then that he, too, could see them, these guests.

I told my sister: You are under a spell. You should never have gotten married. She nodded, but she didn’t seem to want to do anything about it. Eventually I left, I left my sister there in that cold white house in the middle of a barren plain. The landscape looked like that of a northern country, all bare brown fields as if struck by winter. All white trees.

In the back seat of my car was a white box. It made an angry buzz. I wanted to throw it away but I couldn’t because I knew somehow that there was something in that box that belonged to my sister.


Process: As a matter of fact, self did have this dream. Sometimes that happens. If self can get it all down quickly, the story almost writes itself. Which happened here.

Stay safe, dear blog readers.

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