I was invited back for the season finale of KJZZ Phoenix's "Word" podcast, hosted by Tom Maxedon. The episode is available today. It was a pleasure to be able to talk to Tom about many topics, including Mars and HiRISE, the Tucson Poetry Festival and our upcoming January fundraising workshops (more information and registration soon), The Writers Studio and The Writers Studio Tucson, and how my writing has been going during the pandemic.
It can be difficult to sort through all the offerings from the Writers Studio to pick which classes are best for you or the writer in your life to which you would like to gift a workshop. Here, then, is a guide to our offerings, depending on your writing goals and interests.
Cradleland of Parasites might be Sara Tantlinger’s best collection yet, a sequence of frightening, gruesome, breathtakingly beautiful poems about the Black Plague and other very real pestilence horrors up through modern times. The collection reads especially urgent during our current global pandemic. Its well-researched history of how humanity has dealt with infectious disease in the past arrives through the most beautiful poetic lines, with rhythms, repetitions, and occasional end rhymes.
The future is frightening, often radically different, sometimes bleak, sometimes hopeful, sometimes both in the beautiful poems and short fiction included in the latest volume of House of Zolo’s Journal of Speculative Literature. What I appreciated most about this anthology is how it complicates my understanding of the dangers of global warming and ecological devastation. Sometimes the end of the world is breathtakingly beautiful, sometimes hope is dangerous, sometimes a single person can make a difference, often they cannot, and through it all, people still live, love, hope, suffer, or die. There are no polemics here, only sharp insights offered by poets and writers observing the human condition.
Help raise funds for the Tucson Poetry Festival by dining in or ordering take out or delivery at Fini's Landing restaurant in Tucson between 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 2021. Mention it's for "Tucson Poetry Festival (Ocotillo Literary Endeavors)" before ordering your meal. You can RSVP on the fundraising announcement site.
It was amazing to have my latest horror story out in time for Halloween! "From Them Prostrate I Flee" is available now in Stories We Tell After Midnight, Volume 3, the latest anthology from Crone Girls Press and edited by Rachel A. Brune. The ebook is available for purchase from Amazon for Kindle and is included in Kindle Unlimited for subscribers of that service. A paperback edition will also be available soon.
My favorite horror franchise gets a fifth entry, so here is a quick ranking of the previous movies.
It's time for a website reorganization that focuses entirely on writing and teaching while burying my past activities.
Free Writers Studio Tucson class this Thursday evening, September 23, and information about my upcoming Fall 2021 workshops
Perhaps a bit late, but I thought I would write up a little background about "Bird Chooses to Make a Habitat of Heart," published in March 2021 in Impossible Archetype issue 9.
My story "Goodbye to Rock" placed 7th in the "Elemental Flash" contest! The issue was published online today and our stories will be published in a print anthology in the future! I'm grateful to be included; these flash contest issues are always a highlight.
I contributed my own poem about sadness to the issue, "I Can't Explain Love or Loss if the Only Language I Have is Geology or What I Watch on YouTube." It was sparked by my unexpected sadness over finding out that a couple I used to watch on YouTube has long since broken up.
I am no longer involved with most transhumanist, life extension, singularity, and other futurist and emerging technology organizations and movements.
I love the James Bond films. This weekend, I finished the fourth in the series—Thunderball (1965)—in my latest rewatch. I acknowledge, however, that most of the films in this franchise are filled with offensive and derogatory content, including racism, homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny. There are too many of these scenes. I don't love these films during those scenes. I don't forgive the films these scenes.
I resisted watching the films in the Final Destination franchise for a long time because I was afraid of how extreme the gore might be. I'm getting a little braver and I kept hearing good things about the first one, so I finally watched the first film last night.
And then binge-watched the other four films today.
Free Writers Studio Tucson class this Saturday, April 10 and information about my upcoming Spring 2021 workshops.
The 39th Annual Tucson Poetry Festival is coming up in two weeks! Registration is available on our website for poetry workshops taught by our featured poets on Saturday, April 17, 2021. They will also be reading that evening and there will be an open mic (would you like to read one of your own poems?!) on Sunday afternoon, April 18, 2021.
A lot of my friends and family were concerned when I reported side effects from my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I appreciate your love and concern and I'm so sorry that I scared you! You make me feel cared for and loved!
I want to be clearer about this than I was last time: a sore arm, mild fever, headaches, body aches, and/or other side effects over a period of 24-48 hours are all healthy signs that your immune system is doing its job, without killing you in the process! Your immune system is reacting to something that is, fortunately, practically harmless, and this will prime your immune system to recognize and respond safely to something far more dangerous than a vaccine: the deadly coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The high anxiety I felt in March and again in the summer hasn't materialized in the same way with the latest, even greater peak of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, which may reflect complacency and exhaustion during this never-ending pandemic. My outrage and despair that much of the Federal government, several state governments, and many fellow Americans have totally abandoned us, however, has never been more acute. It's a stab to the heart and the collapse of my stomach every time I fathom the true scale of this inhumanity.
I really love every story in this issue. Everything had the right amount of tension, chills, and ambiguity. There's an image of attendees at a party after the party is over in "Girls Without Their Faces On" by Laird Barron that will haunt me forever. As will the Dorset Ooser from "We, the Folk" by G.V. Anderson, which can you can find on Wikipedia and elsewhere. It's real. AHHH!