I Know What I Did Last Summer . . .

For those number of you who have inquiring minds and want to know

Smallboobug

This mantis is ready for the creepies and goblins, as it’s already preying on a ghost. (CREDIT: Archive of bad puns.)

(hi, hubby o’ mine!), here’s a round-up of a few things that have been on my mind of late, what I’ve seen, read, or been working on and so forth. Let it henceforth be know as a Smorgasblurb, or daisy-chain of what’s-its, widgets and, quite possibly, the world’s best collection of literary bric-a-brac.

1. Are you nervy, irritable, depressed, tired of life? Don’t keep that up! Here’s a short, down-to-earth post by author Dan Alatorre to help dispel the writer’s imposter syndrome that all some I have been feeling this summer and into the now-autumn.

2. Followed by the not-so-flattering assessment, albeit literary, of the United States’ commander in thief, by the ever-creative Rebecca Solnit (“The Loneliness of Donald Trump”) and available on Literary Hub. My favorite turn of phrase is in the very last graf: “The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego . . . One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall.” And that, folks, is how you bring it on home (whether you agree with the message or not).

3. I’ve had quite a few “close, but no cigar” with my writing this year, so the main thing I’ve got in the pipeline right now is a short story in the Biketopia anthology of feminist speculative fiction. (Yes, that.) But seriously, Publishers Weekly has said it’s “…a deeply moving and powerful anthology. ” Wow! 

P.S. Have you got anything close to publication or recently published? I know for a fact that some of you do. So consider this your pop quiz! Your chance to blast your own horn. Please feel free to comment in the ol’ leave a reply section below. And thanks!

4. A couple weeks ago I was pursuing one of my hobbies by perusing a nearby community’s town-wide yard sales. There was an old truck parked across from a church, and I don’t know why, but I stopped to look at the wares situated among the dust. Nothing there was probably anything anyone would need or want, but the woman tending them kept engaging me, imploring me to take a look at this or that. So, I got to talking with her and, unfortunately, concluded that she most likely has some level of mental illness and lives in her truck (long story) with these two kittens she says she couldn’t bear to leave at home because they got scared. Anyhow, without trying to sound sanctimonious, have you ever looked around you to everyday people and situations? We seem to not see images we are regularly exposed to, with them fading bit-by-by, day-by- day. Perhaps it’s something as simple as misplaced keys or something vastly more important: an invisible person or unjust situation or environmental problem that just keeps persisting in a sad state mostly because of apathy.

In short, have you tried helping anyone or anything in need lately?

Our opportunities to be loving and helpful to our fellow humans abound (and not only during natural disasters): to earthquake victims in Mexico, for Puerto Ricans who might not have potable water or electricity for weeks or months, Rohingya families driven out of Myanmar/Burma, bombed-out Yemeni people starving to death or dying of cholera, or innocent people rotting into the rubble of Syria. It turns out, if we look, I mean really look, we will probably find that there’s a literal neighbor of yours or mine who is silently in need. It can certainly be very depressing and soul-submerging to confront all the violence and hatred in the world; you’re only one person, right?! But . . . Whatever you do, just try. 🙂

5. Now, on to a much more pleasant topic. If you love fantasy, fae, and fairy tales like I do—you’re probably a super-fan, in fact, as I feel like I can never learn enough from all the world’s cultures—you will want to support Enchanted Conversation, a fairy tale magazine. Not only does this publication pay authors, but its editor/creator Kate Wolford helps keep the word percolating about how fairy tales and fabulism resonate and enrich our lives today . . . whenever we see an Emperor with No Clothes or a squirrel digging hundreds of tiny nut-graves all over our yards to prepare for cold weather, a figurative army of furry ants guarding against unprepared grasshoppers. Please chip in to their Fundrazr campaign now (there are rewards beyond just knowing ‘you did good’!) and if you’re a poet or fiction writer, consider submitting to the “Godfather Death” issue now through Sept. 30th or the “Elves and the Shoemaker” taking subs in November.

6. Well, this is rather long, isn’t it? Here’s one more, and just in time for the scary month of October! Stitched Smile Publications is seeking your horror-themed stories for two different paying open calls, one about the Seven Deadly Sins and another about a drive-in pulsing on the warty split-lip of damnation. I’ve not worked with them before, but they’re listed on Duotrope and have a history of in-genre publishing with a stable of many authors. Good luck if ya do construe a boo or two for them, much like the mantis on the ghost above. And, with that, I’m in copywriting mode!

ONE FINAL WORD Hang in there, everyone; help is on its way (with apologies for the crudulous advert at the beginning)!!

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15 thoughts on “I Know What I Did Last Summer . . .

    • Yeah, Dan’s brief post came at a great time for me as I was just dithering around and watching too much Price is Right on the telly and eating oatmeal cakes and just generally not accomplishing a lot. It doesn’t help I have a cold, tho. So there’s that. On another note, hope you are doing wonderfully. As for me, I’ve got so much good reading to catch up on, as ever. Take care and thanks for stopping by, Lucy.

  1. More cowbell! Can’t wait to read your story in Biketopia, Leigh. I’ve had some recent “close, but no cigar” moments too. My full-length book has been a finalist, a semi-finalist and an honorable mention in various competitions over the past few months, and two separate chapbook manuscripts have been finalists, but alas, weren’t chosen for publication. Think I’ll get back to work on them, and add more cowbell!

    • Much better than my record, Bob. It’s curiously apropos, I’m thinking now, that October is Okaji month with your upcoming chapbook. Guess we need to touch base on that soon! P.S. Yes, cowbell improves everything, doesn’t it? Rivaled perhaps by woodblock or castanets, steel drums, etc. but maybe I’m a percussion purist!!

  2. Congratulations on the Biketopia piece and yes, I will try and to more to help others. Been doing a monthly piece on the website of #FolkloreThursday who are always looking for original articles (unpaid but with worldwide involvement) on any kind of folklore, myth or legend and can be contacted through their site. I take heart from Dan’s piece, its funny how good advice often arrives at appropriate times. Thanks for a great post, Leigh!

    • Thanks for mentioning your recent work, Zteve. Hopefully at least one person will see this comment and surf on over to find out more about your writing. I read your folklore posts as well as (I’m probably getting this name wrong) Tellurian Studies, but I notice I can’t leave a like/thumbs-up or anything. That would be awfully nice! And, finally, if you are ever looking to send paying pieces out into the world, do make sure you check out places like Enchanted Conversation (they have a free e-newsletter of “Fairytale Roundup”) and Timeless Tales (which does myths as well as fae stuff). Thanks, as always, for reading, Zteve! Have a great weekend!

  3. The biketopia book was excellent – I need to get on and do a post about that and other stuff I’ve been reading. I fully agree with the Publishers Weekly assessment. I thought your story in Ghosts, Gears and Grimoires was actually a notch above, one of the two or three best in there. I don’t know The Price is Right, but I would say the Time is Right to Write!

  4. Congratulations on the Biketopia piece Leigh! As to helping others the need is so great inst it? From next door to around the world. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and almost paralyzing. As you know our Syrian family is now settled in Canada and we are starting efforts to bring the wife’s brother and his family our of the same Jordanian refugee camp. Right now it looks like Mt. Everest but one step at a time.

  5. L- I am late to get here – but the little river song was what pulled me in and great way to end this awesome post…
    ahhhh – such a resource and thanks very much – peace
    and congrats on the Biketopia piece

  6. It has been one of those years – finally catching up on blog reading. As ever I am awed and humbled by your humanity.
    Merry Christmas Wordsmith.

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