HALLOWEEN SEASON!!!

It’s that season again!  Halloween! Time for all the creepy, and crawlies, to come out and go ‘oogie boogie’.  Probably no surprise that I get all sorts of excited about it.  In that spirit (get it…spirit…halloween…) I will be posting more often with spooky and creepy themed stuff.  I’ll cover movies, books, old horror comics, just what the hell ever I can, for the season.

To kick things off, we’re going to do something that’s kind of a tradition for me.  I’ve always loved old time radio shows; the scary ones, my favorite.  Because they are only audio, I think it lends an even creepier element to them, making the stories even more effective. I’ve had these posted for a couple years now, and with luck I’ll find some new ones.  So without further ado: some Halloween radio goodness.

Remember kids: stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and stay spooky.

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Bi Week II: Electric Bugalloo

It’s another Bisexual Appreciation Week, or Bi Week.  This year has seen a little more coverage than previous ones, and that is a good sign.  More eyes and ears means another chance to help people gain awareness and understanding.  We are not ‘more privileged’, ‘fence-sitting’, nor are we ‘indecisive’. We are who we are, no different than anyone else.

The coverage is great, as is the fact that more and more celebrities are coming out and being honest with it, despite the possibility of backlash from both sides of the rainbow flag.  Of course, I take this with a few grains of salt, because I’m why I can’t have nice things.  My reasoning comes from the fact that I hate celebrity culture.  I don’t give two shits about what famous people do and why.  Sure it’s mildly interesting,once in awhile, when someone famous has a similar interest or some strange thing they like to do.  When they do good things, or horrible things, it’s nice to know if we should support their projects.  But we, collectively, put waaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy too much on famous people, to the point that some folks treat them better than family (the good kind of family, not the ones wish you weren’t related to).  But I understand why we need to have our celebrities come out and to be open and honest with us.  Our media is part of our view of the world, and in some ways, helps shape who we wish to be.  It also shapes our status quos, for better or for worse, and that’s why it is important that we have out celebrities.

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is that in the last year, I’ve seen our Bi+ community come together more than ever.  We have, not only been building stronger connections, but we’ve also made more of a point to reach out to the ‘+’ in Bi+.  As always, sexuality is a spectrum, and as spectrums do, there are overlaps.  One can be Asexual and Bi, for example.  I am glad that we are doing more to make sure people are not being left out.

To my Pansexual folks, I see Bisexual as non-binary as Pansexual.  I don’t buy into this Bi vs. Pan malarkey.  We are both valid and both family. And ultimately I would like for all of us, and I do mean ALL, to be family.  As we strive for awareness, as we build our community, and as we reach out to everyone else, let’s resist the urge to circle the wagons.  Yes we face oppression.  Often times it’s from the people we expected the most support from.  If we get shit from the other letters of the acronym (LGBTQ+, for those who forgot your code books) lets resist the urge to turn nasty about it. Let’s resist the urge to bitch and bicker about labels and flags.  They are there to help us identify and represent, not to fuel descent. Maybe we can be the ones who finally connect all the communities into one.  Maybe we can show the haters a more appealing point of view.

I dunno, man.  Some days it feels like a pipe dream, other times it feels like we’re almost there.  I guess the main thing, for at least this week (because we gotta take it week to week, moment to moment, sometimes) is keep each other safe.  It’s dangerous out there, for us, for our allies, for our family, and every one else.  Keep an eye out on each other, and yourself.  Keep getting the word out.  Let people know that we are just as valid as anyone else.

 

….aaaaand now shameless self-promotion time!! (didn’t think you were going to get away that easy did you??)

Everyone’s favorite weird uncle has had a story published in this year’s Shadows & Light Anthology.  It’s a story, set in the future (or is it….) about man’s effect on nature, and nature responding in kind.  The more I think about, it seems to have a lot of parallels with what I just spoke of above.  (Where do writer’s get their ideas?  I guess you just found out.)  It’s  a future history told by a man who lived in the midst of a biomechanical evolution.
Get it here at Amazon or Createspace.

Don’t forget to buy a Bi book.  Pale Winter Sun is an appropriate read for this Bi Week.  Also check out A.M. Leibowitz, and Bi-Bliography for more lists of Bi+ authors.

Also appropriate for this week’s festivities is to stop over at Our Stories at The Bicast.  We are collecting your stories.  We need a chronicle of our lives and our community.  We can learn from each other, and sometimes, just getting the tales of our own experiences is as cathartic as hearing others.  Listen or submit here ==> https://thebicast.org/category/our-stories/

Remember kids; stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and let’s all be safe out there.

Systems Within Systems + Loud & Queer

Yesterday was a pretty eventful day in my little published world.  To start out with, an excerpt of Pale Winter Sun has been published in this month’s issue of Loud & Queer.  This is an arts and letters magazine focusing on works from, you guessed it, the queer community.  There is some seriously amazing art in this issue and I am pleased, as I can possibly be, to have a piece of PWS in its pages.  Which part of the book did I choose to excerpt?  I guess you’ll just have to get a copy for yourself and find out.

https://loudandqueerzine.wixsite.com/loudandqueer

 

Next up: My short story has been included in Shadows & Light Anthology 2017.  ‘Systems Within Systems’, a biomechanical history of the future, is nestled in with the works of other fantastic authors.  While I doubt I’ll get my next novel published this year, this will be my reminder to the world that I’m still here and still creating.  Wanna taste?  Sure you do.

 

‘The first child born with biomechanical parts caused an uproar the likes of which history had not often seen.  It did little good by that point though; we had gone too far for that.  After so long adding and grafting bionic devices to ourselves, nature took over. Simple things like auditory and ocular implants started it.  Then we went with fully robotic limbs and organs. Some did it to overcome deformities, for ease of use, or simply to get an advantage they felt somehow justified over others. It had become a rite of passage to get your first implant or robotic appendage. At one point it wasn’t simply unfashionable to lack cybernetics; people would take offence if you didn’t have at least a little something.

History is long but memory is short.  Bionics became second nature for so long that an unaltered person remained only in bored lessons from the past.  I’d like to say that it created new and differing complications for the human experience, but it didn’t.  Really they were the same complications in a different medium. Sure we had grown used to seeing people with cybernetic enhancements.  But they were elective, a decision. I suppose, in their own way, the practice could be seen as a mockery of humanity.  What we have now is humanity, or a new humanity, at least.  Instead of a mockery of it, it’s a mockery of what humanity had done to themselves.’

 

Read the rest by picking up a copy of Shadows & Light.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1975950631/
https://www.createspace.com/7523449

Remember kids: stay in school, don’t drink and drive, and support your locals arts.

#putalittleloveinyourheart weekend

-Update- Promotion is over.  Thanks to all those that supported it.

As part of the #putalittleloveinyourheart weekend, myself and other authors, are putting a title up for free.  This way we all have a chance to take a break, read a book, and regroup.  It’s been a rough few months, so why not? I’ve put Pale Winter Sun up for free this weekend.  Just put the hashtag in Facebook or Twitter to find other authors who are doing the same.  

Here is a list of the other participating authors.

Christian (The Protectors Book 1), L. Ann Marie – Pen Page http://a.co/74J1d0C        

Cupcakes & Kisses, Barbi Barnard http://mybook.to/C                

Collecting Scars, Tee Smith

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HAXHNWM        

Burning Suns: Conflagration (Book One), Lisa Wylie (Wyles77 Writes) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/681292        

Swole: Chest Day, Author Golden Czermak http://myBook.to/Swole1        

Quiet Country (Satan’s Sinners M.C. Book 2), Author Colbie Kay http://amzn.com/B00YJW0G72        

With My Whole Heart, MariaLisa deMora http://getBook.at/WithMyWholeHeart        

Rocking Fate (Hells Fire MC Book 1), Author Erin Trejo http://amzn.to/2voYyL8        

Love Me Like You Do (Love Me Series Book 1), Jaime Russell, Author http://amzn.to/2xdW0ld        

Savage Fire #2, Savage Angels MC, Author Kathleen Kelly http://apple.co/1bUfYW8        

To Russia With Love: A Romantic Suspense Novel in the Countermeasure Series, Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008ND8EVI/        

Leaps of Faith, A. M. Leibowitz https://www.books2read.com/u/b5M2Zp        

Choose the eBook of your choice!, S. H. Pratt http://shpratt701.wixsite.com/books-by-s-h-pratt/books

Review – Cigarettes & Wine by J. E. Sumerau

Imagine the terror and exhilaration of a first sexual experience in a church where you could be caught at any moment. In Cigarettes & Wine, this is where we meet an unnamed teenage narrator in a small southern town trying to make sense of their own bisexuality, gender variance, and emerging adulthood. When our narrator leaves the church, we watch their teen years unfold alongside one first love wrestling with his own sexuality and his desire for a relationship with God, and another first love seeking to find herself as she moves away from town. Through the narrator’s eyes, we also encounter a newly arrived neighbor who appears to be an all American boy, but has secrets and pain hidden behind his charming smile and athletic ability, and their oldest friend who is on the verge of romantic, artistic, and sexual transformations of her own. Along the way, these friends confront questions about gender and sexuality, violence and substance abuse, and the intricacies of love and selfhood in the shadow of churches, families, and a small southern town in the 1990’s. Alongside academic and media portrayals that generally only acknowledge binary sexual and gender options, Cigarettes & Wine offers an illustration of non-binary sexual and gender experience, and provides a first person view of the ways the people, places, and narratives we encounter shape who we become. While fictional, Cigarettes & Wine is loosely grounded in hundreds of formal and informal interviews with LGBTQ people in the south as well as years of research into intersections of sexualities, gender, religion, and health. Cigarettes & Wine can be read purely for pleasure or used as supplemental reading in a variety of courses in sexualities, gender, relationships, families, religion, the life course, narratives, the American south, identities, culture, intersectionality, and arts-based research.

For those of us who lived in the 90’s, for those of us who came from smaller towns, for those of us that felt constricted with the need to hide our ‘strangeness’ from others, Cigarettes & Wine puts you right back there, ready or not. Our unnamed protagonist navigates their teen years dealing with love, friendship, sex, and growing up.

Nothing about adolescence is cut and dried, despite what we might think at the time.  It’s like stepping on eggshells in a minefield. Adding in issues of gender and identity only make it more difficult. Our narrator is unapologitic for who he is, which I think is putting a positive example out there for any youths reading this book. There is no sugar coating here: drinking, smoking, and sex happen; also heartbreak, elation, fear, and happiness.  These are all things that happen, and I think it’s an excellent thing to see portrayed honestly, and not demonized or glorified.  It’s also good to see the topic of poly relationships pop up.

The storytelling is solid and the narrative flows well. It definitely kept me interested. The fact that it is also a part of the Social Fictions Series, crafted from interviews and research, back it with authenticity.  I appreciated the fact that it also had topics of discussion and assignments for a classroom setting. It’s not just dealing with ‘LGBTQ+ subjects’ it’s dealing with people in all their various forms in different ways that can be gleaned from this story and its characters. Overall, Cigarettes & Wine is an enjoyable and thought provoking story that I highly recommend.

Buy here==>

https://www.sensepublishers.com/catalogs/bookseries/social-fictions-series/cigarettes-and-wine/

https://www.amazon.com/Cigarettes-Wine-Social-Fictions-24/dp/9463009272/

 

Review: Cinema by Jason Gehlert

Cinema by Jason Gehlert

Cinema is Jason Gehlert’s fifteenth entry into his library of work and his unique writing style brings horror to a new level! This collection, separated into sprawling short stories and poems, brings back several of his iconic characters as well as some thrilling new heroes. Laanes Available paints a disturbing tale about reckless teens stranded in a rundown bowling alley. Echoes is the centerpiece of the collection, featuring a group of teenagers fighting for survival inside a cave and features William, a Down Syndrome character you’ll likely not soon forget. Gehlert’s Immortal hitman Jeremiah Black (from his novel of the same name) returns in a pair of unique tales, and Malcolm Ellis for the macabre tale, My Black Valentine. Cinema also features artwork by artist Mary Ellen Doering, and marks the fifth collaboration with Black Bed Sheet Books. “Gehlert’s Cinema is a unique collection of horror stories that will keep you up at night with the lights on!” – From award-winning G.A. Minton, author of TRISOMY XXI.

I’ve been reading a lot of anthologies lately.  Not a bad thing, but I have been hankering to dig into some novels and get lost for a longer term. I decided to belay that for Cinema by Jason Gehlert, and I made the correct decision. I’ve read Gehlert’s books before, and enjoyed them immensely, so I sat back to see what sort of madness he had for me this time.

The title ‘Cinema’ is fitting.  Each story plays out very visual and textured, much like a good creepy movie would be; maybe showing some old rundown theater in a dirty back corner of town.  The illustrations provided by Mary Ellen Doering were a nice touch, which I think helped set the stage. Starting with a story of a fisherman for hire, you aren’t sure if he’s going with ‘Old Man and the Sea’ or maybe ‘Ryme of the Ancient Mariner’.  As per usual, it goes in a different direction entirely, and away we go into the darkness. The book is broken up much like a movie, with acts and intermissions.  It’s a device that works because each Act has a different tone to it.  Each story in Act One gives us twists and turns, keeping us interested.  In Echoes, we find our hero to be not whom most would expect.  In the Roade to Ruin, we find our hero to be exactly what we expect, but what he has to go through keeps you on the edge of your seat. (or bed, if you like to read in those sort of places)

The Intermission is a nice little palate cleanser.  Full of poetry, dark and moving, it helps ready for Act 2 without forfeiting the tone of the anthology. I’ll admit, while I sometimes enjoy poetry, I’m not one to speak to much on it.  I still think the peak of poetic genius lays with Shel Silverstein, so I’m probably not a great authority. I read each one, though.  Each and every word.

Act 2 starts with a seriously creepy piece of body horror in Incision.  Then we get to a treat.  Combining the worlds of his previous work in Jeremiah Black and The Ferryman, we are taken on a hell of a ride in Ferrymen: Judgement Call.  This is a world I wanted to read more of and hope there is more of it in the future.  The Devil’s Troll and Laanes Available, both delightfully disturbing lead up to My Black Valentine, where , Jeremiah Black shows up one more time in a ‘just one more before we go’ gesture. He tussles with love, devotion, and various open wounds.

Overall, this is a fun collection of stories and poetry. Each story is a ride all in of itself, leaving a lasting impression. I highly recommend this anthology.

Buy it==> https://www.amazon.com/Cinema-Jason-Gehlert/dp/1946874019/
http://downwarden.com/blackbedsheetstore/authors/jason-gehlert/cinema