call for submissions

A Call for Submissions for Brigid Anthology Project

Brigit: Sun of Womanhood
an anthology edited by Michael McDermott and Patricia Monaghan, scholars and followers of Brigit
publishing date: Imbolc 2013
Seeking proposals comprising works about the Celtic Goddess and Christian Saint Brigit in any printable form, including but not limited to:
  • Scholarly essays
  • Personal essays
  • PoetryInterior artwork (including small line drawings, in black and white)
  • Cover and Back artwork (color)
  • Chants and Invocation
  • translations of ancient poems, prayers and invocations to Brigit

Deadline for submissions: July 1, 2012

Planned publishing date for the anthology: Imbolc 2013.

Please direct inquiries to BrigitAnthology@gmail.com

For prose submissions, please send 150-word abstract outlining your approach to the subject; other submissions should be sent complete, with limit of 3 poems or chants per author.

For submission:
  • Submit up to three poems of no more than 50 lines each
  • Previously published work will be considered, but authors must hold all rights and have written proof from previous publisher.
  • Include author bio of up to 200 words at end of submission.

To submit, please go to: Submit to Goddess Ink Press

We thank you for your interest in this project.

Michael McDermott and Patricia Monaghan

Co-editors, Brigit: Sun of Womanhood

(Source: goddess-ink.com)

mari’s so behind it’s … shameful, really

I know. I know. I said months ago (and then months before that) I was going to start blogging more regularly. We all see how well that turned out. Here’s the thing. There’s just not been that much going on, not anything that would make a blog post, anyway. I use Twitter now for the “this is what I’m doing right now” stuff – instead of using my blog for those one and two sentence updates I used to make throughout the day the first few years of my blog’s life. Also, I use check-ins at GetGlue for a lot of stuff, too. For example, I just checked-in to “pot pie” because that’s what I’ve got in the oven for our supper. I don’t want to let this blog go, though. It’s been part of my life since 2002, and there’s so much stored here (even if I did accidentally dump all the pictures a couple of years ago – whoops!). Yeah, I could archive it all on my hard drive, but that just doesn’t sound appealing.

So, here I sit. Trying to figure out where to start on catching up since … Christmas? New Year’s? My birthday? The funny part about all of this? Starting sometime in October, I created a tab in OneNote labeled “Blog Topics”. I have subtopics: brainstorming, love, memories, mental health, pagan, ‘women in fiction’, and writing. We won’t discuss the number of topics and ideas listed within each. I mean, I probably have enough material in there to work from for at least three months of intermittent blogging – like every third or fourth day kind of intermittent – especially with the memories stuffs. I probably should be shot for having all of these things and just sitting here and not doing one damned thing with them.

It’s a writing problem.

It’s a writer’s problem.

It’s so simple to create all these lists and jot down thoughts and ideas – and then just leave them and never once think about coming back to flesh them out. Especially with me. The whole ADHD (lately I’ve been joking and calling it ADDH – because CDO insists I keep everything orderly) thing makes me scattered. I have to keep telling myself over and over, “Focus on one thing at a time! One thing at a time! Easy now! Easy!” And that’s harder than it sounds. See, if something isn’t right in my face where I can’t see it or glance at it at least on occasion, I forget about it until I run into it again, be that a day or two or a decade or two later. This is the curse of having distractibility ADHD. (just look at this paragraph!)

Thing is, I don’t work at a desk; I work at our kitchen table. I’d have a garbage dump of a mess if I left everything out where I could see it all of the time – then I’d get cranky, irritable, and whiny because everything was a mess! What I end up with, then, is a pile of different notebooks containing this, that, and something else, pencils or ink pens clipped to each, and my cellphone stacked on top of that. I keep Outlook open all day because I need the reminder alarms, but I fail at keeping OneNote open all day – and that’s where my daily task list lives (but I tell myself I keep a duplicate in this one notebook …).

And see, I sat down here this morning with the intent of making one of those what I call “catchup posts”. I even pre-tagged it so I could look at the tags list and, with some hope and forethought, not leave anything out. But no. I’ve sat here doing everything but writing a blog post. I think I’m going to save the other half for tomorrow! If I don’t show back up tomorrow, just jab me and make me do it!

press release: finger’s breadth

 

PRESS RELEASE: In what is clearly an act of pure desperation, author M. Christian has threatened to amputate part of one finger to publicize his new novel, Finger’s Breadth (Zumaya Books).

“The fact is, it’s getting harder and harder to get the word out about anything new, especially novels,” says M. Christian, whose biography includes over 400 short story sales, nine author collections, the editing of 25 anthologies, and six previous novels.  “Is it no surprise that writers are having to resort to obvious stunts to try and get their work noticed?”

Though Finger’s Breadth – described as a gay erotic science fiction horror thriller – has garnered respectable reviews, Christian says that it has yet to gain the notoriety he believes it deserves.

“Even with Zee at Firepages saying ‘Finger’s Breadth has a way of getting under your skin and sending chills to your bones in both a terrifying and arousing kind of way. Finger’s Breadth is not a story; it is an experience I highly recommend,’ it’s been too damned hard to get word out about the book.

Christian points out other reviewers who, apparently, have also found the book to be superb: “I’ve got Lisabet Sarai, who says ‘If you’re looking for an easy, sunny, sexy book with a happy ending, don’t pick up Finger’s Breadth. If, on the other hand, you want a scary but enlightening ride through the twisted labyrinth of the human psyche, I highly recommend this book,’ and the Circlet Press calling it ‘…one of the most psychologically astute erotic novels since Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, and it deserves to be just as widely read,’ and even science fiction author Ernest Hogan, who calls it ‘a world of crime, out-of-control passions, mutilation, and madness. Terms like noir and hardboiled don’t quite fit – this is more like ultraviolet, the invisible light that makes the scorpions glow in the dark.'”

M. Christian, with fingers intact – so far (photo by Shilo McCabe)


As for what the novel is actually about, Christian says that the book’s description as erotic, nightmarish, fascinating, disturbing, intriguing, haunting, you have never read a book like Finger’s Breadth is actually pretty accurate – if a little vague: “There are far too many scary books and movies about serial killers, psychos, nasty supernatural forces … but all of that, to me, is just too removed.  It’s far too easy to be able to say it’s a matter of them – or him – and us: but the real horror I’ve always felt, and tried to explore in Finger’s Breadth is that the real horror is human nature itself.  That, given the right set of circumstances, otherwise good people can have their minds, and most of all their desires, turned inside out.”

And so to try and get the word out about what he feels to be his best novel yet, the reclusive author says that he is willing to step into the light with his most audacious publicity plan ever: to lop off one of his own fingertips

“Okay, my track record for honesty isn’t the best … I’m the first to admit that,” Christian says about his planned amputation.  “The whole ‘stolen identity’ campaign around Me2 [his previous novel] was lost on more than a few people.  Never mind that it worked and the book sold like hotcakes.  But this time I’m totally, completely, absolutely, honest: I really want people to read Finger’s Breadth … and if it takes lopping off the tip of my little finger then I’m gonna do it,” he says.

When asked if the planned amputation is simply a publicity stunt, Christian responded with faux outrage: “A stunt?  A STUNT?!  Of course it’s a publicity stunt … these days writers have to be creative and, let’s be honest here, more than a bit outrageous if they are going to get noticed.  The book’s about a mysterious figure cutting off the tips of little fingers in a near-future noir San Francisco so a pretend self-amputation is just too damned perfect!”

In answer to his admission that the whole thing is nothing but a publicity-seeking prank, Christian shook his head: “That’s not to say that it still won’t happen; they say that a good writer has at least a few good books in them, so if a finger is all it takes to get the word out about this novel … well, I have 19 more fingers and toes to go.  Seems like a small price to pay.”

M. Christian can be reached at zobop@aol.com or mchristianzobop@gmail.com.  His website is http://www.mchristian.com

To receive a review copy of Finger’s Breadth send an email to publicity@zumayapublications.com.

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More Finger’s Breadth reviews:

It is not that hard to come up with an idea that can be turned into a horror story and that is why horror has been part of the folklore of America and why these stories are so popular on camp-outs as we sit around a campfire. To successfully do this, we need a combination of characters and plot but more important than all else is a novel way to relate the story. For me that is the definition of M. Christian. This book is unlike anything I have read before and I suspect that it will stay with me for quite a while.
– Amos Lassen, reviewer

Finger’s Breadth creates a vivid portrait of a community torn apart by suspicion, where the thrills of hot, anonymous sex go hand in mutilated hand with the chill of fear, and no one is entirely what they seem. M. Christian skillfully mixes a dark, potent cocktail of lust, longing, paranoia and an overwhelming need for acceptance…
– Liz Coldwell, author of Take Your Slave To Work

To be effective, the act of literary intercourse between horror and erotica should be deeply unsettling. It should leave the reader feeling uncomfortable, overwhelmed by equal parts dread and anticipation. M. Christian understands this better than most, weaving a tale that permits the reader but a finger’s breadth of space between fear and arousal. His deft control of the story makes us feel the blade, but it’s his subtle manipulation of our emotions that makes us want the cut.
– Sally Sapphire, Bellasbookslut

M. Christian has seen the future – and it is hardboiled! If you love crime stories – gay or otherwise – and you love science fiction, you will love Finger’s Breadth. No other storyteller nails it quite like M. Christian does. This is a real page turner.
– Marilyn Jaye Lewis, author of Freak Parade

M. Christian is a force to be reckoned with. Just when you think you understand the path that his narrative and characters are taking, Christian throws a monkey wrench, or a limb, or a head into the works and you have to get your bearings and start all over again. No matter which book of his you pick up, prepare for an intoxicatedly weird ride.
– Ily Goyanes, author and filmmaker

Finger’s Breadth is mesmeric storytelling, riveting in execution and appalling in implication.  M. Christian’s tale of erotic terror in a near-future San Francisco is imagined so skillfully that it grabs the reader with its easy familiarity, then refuses to let go as it careens to its shocking yet completely believable conclusion.  Evoking such Grand Masters as Armistead Maupin, Thomas Harris and Rod Serling while remaining strikingly original, Finger’s Breadth is Christian at the height of his considerable powers.  Like Charon the ferryman, the author takes the reader down the dark rivers of human sexuality and shows us things that would normally never see the light of day.  Ultimately the most compelling aspect of this fiction is how fascinatingly and terrifyingly plausible it is. Finger’s Breadth should come with a warning label: Read this before clubbing.
– Christopher Pierce, author of Rogue Slave, Rogue Hunted, and Kidnapped By A Sex Maniac

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M. Christian is – among many things – an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites.

He is the editor of 25 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi) and Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant) as well as many others.


He is the author of the collections Dirty Words, Speaking Parts, The Bachelor Machine, Licks & Promises, Filthy, Love Without Gun Control, Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Coming Together Presents M. Christian, Pornotopia, How To Write And Sell Erotica; and the novels Running Dry, The Very Bloody Marys, Me2, Brushes, Fingers Breadth, and Painted Doll.  His site is http://www.mchristian.com.

Fingers Breadth
Zumaya Books
Paperback: $15.99
ebook: $6.99
ISBN-10: 1934841463
ISBN-13: 978-1934841464

new year, new you

So I read about this via MG Ellington and thought I’d give it a whirl:

The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation. Please see here for how to participate!”

Here is what you’ll do. You’ll write prompts. You’ll explore. You’ll fall down. Sometimes you’ll lay there awhile, finding things under rocks that you never wanted to know. They’ll pull you back, using yarn, glue, cajoling and stern words. You’ll keep sewing yourself into who you’ll want to be and you’ll tell them, sometimes too much, because that’s your way and what’s needed. You’ll find how far you can really fly when you’ve made wings to carry you and be breathless from your accomplishments. Besides your words, you’ll give something made from your hands.

I don’t do ‘resolutions’ as a rule – I think they’re just a system for setting yourself up to fail. But this looks like a good project, and there’s no better time like the present.

I like this part:

You can’t start putting all this awesome new crap into your life and body until you get rid of the old crap. Old crap here is defined as many things such as relationships that are no longer working, old crutches, clutter of the mind and of the house.

and

Just because someone hands you a big rock doesn’t mean you have to carry it. We all have baggage to deal with (such as forgiveness issues and toxicity). What’s weighing you down? Light a candle to your deity(ies) of choice and really do some journaling about it. Explore the issue(s) with a very close friend. Do your best to let go of it, even if you do need to sometimes need to occasionally revisit it.

lionel shriver discusses ‘unlikable characters’

I know you all are probably tired of me going on and on about We Need To Talk About Kevin, but I wanted to share this quote. And by the way, the movie is due to make its American premier at the end of January.

Because in real life, people are not always perfectly charming. I try to duplicate in fiction the complex, contradictory, and infuriating people I meet on the other side of my study door…I’m less concerned that you love my characters than that you recognise them. Human beings have rough edges. Authors who write exclusively about ethical, admirable, likeable characters are not writing about real people…Good stories require mistakes. If you want to read about unimpeachable characters, order the annual report from Oxfam.

~~ Lionel Shriver
Perfectly Flawed: In defense of unlikable characters