This is just a quick post to report that my second collection of poetry will be releasing on June 19th on Kindle and in Trade Paperback. The Pre-order for the eBook is now live and can be found here for $2.99. The print edition will be $5.99. I will be making the kindle edition of my other chapbook, Come Fly with Death free for a few days starting around the release date. Here is the cover and book description:
Let us savor the final three seconds before Doomsday. Let us step through the shattered glass door leading beyond The End, and walk through the veil of an apocalyptic dreamscape. Let us witness the horrors that await these “lucky” ones called survivors. What will become of our Children of Fallout? Will they survive Death’s second coming, or are they simply doomed to fade away, like Tears on the Glass Desert…
A conceptual chapbook of 24 poems that speculate on both the inevitabilities and the impossibilities of Nuclear Holocaust, the Fallout it brings, and the aftermath of its Decay. Contains poems both new and collected, including reprinted works from Grievous Angel, Polu Texni, Liquid Imagination, Devolution Z: The Horror Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, and The Horror Zine.
It’s been a while. A lot has changed in the world. I won’t beleaguer you with my thoughts on it all here. Perhaps another time. This post is of a more personal nature. Call me selfish. So then, I’ve been quiet. These last three years I have been in a creative black hole so to speak. I don’t know how else to describe it. I don’t like to use the term writer’s block (for one, I don’t believe it is inherent to writers) but maybe that’s what it is. I’ve been through this before, in various degrees and lengths of time. I’m not going to try to analyze the exact cause or causes. Perhaps it’s an issue of self-esteem, discouragement, depression, the state of the world, or a mix of many things. I don’t know. Perhaps it’s just life moving forward and me forgetting to stay focused on my creativity. I have a family to provide for, and another career that pays the bills. Whatever the reason, it happened. And when it happens, there is always the gnawing voice telling me I should be writing. I should be creating. That never goes away. But the ability to actually do so, to let my mind think about my work in a manner beyond that, to actually produce new content and generate new ideas, that ability has eluded me yet again. It’s like owning a dormant factory. I know I should get the line moving again, but how do I flip the switch?
So why now? Why talk about this after such a long period of inactivity? Well first of all, I’ve been in such a daze about all this, that I hadn’t realized it’s been three years. In early 2018 I was all fired up and planning to release a few poetry collections. I have one chapbook manuscript nearly complete, gathering dust, and other collections taking shape. But the main reason I’m here writing about this is that just recently, the switch has been flipped. The factory is running again. And it truly was just like a switch. Just like the reasons it got switched off, I can’t explain how it got switched back on. I can pinpoint the moment it happed though. It was on a recent commute home from work. I was listening to music, thinking about some heavy personal issues, and my thoughts drifted to my writing, and then boom! Switch on, and I was generating new ideas about my Lazarus series. And then it was like a flood, the desire to look at my poetry again. Ideas to do something fresh and creative with my writings and animations. Plans to return to my novel, Feeding Lazarus. Plans to self-publish a new second edition, focus on writing the sequels, finish the series.
So, there it is. Switch on, factory running, out of the black hole. I will post again with more details on future publication plans. But for now, know this, I do plan on releasing my second chapbook of poetry soon, as it is basically finished. We will see Lazarus and Daniel again and finish their story. And from there? Who knows? Let’s just try to steer clear of any black holes.
So, what about you? Have you ever suffered from creative black holes, writer’s block, or lapses in periods of creativity? If so, what do you think caused them? How did you get out?
Three years ago today, I published my first book, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. In that time I have been blown away by the reception it has received, selling ~150 print copies and 100+ digital copies, has been read 143 times from Kindle Unlimited, and has thus far received very favorable reviews. That may not sound like much as far as sales compared to the national bestsellers, but for a little chapbook like this, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I am so thankful that people are enjoying this little book of ekphrastic poetry inspired by my favorite painter, the late Zdzislaw Beksinski. In recognition of the book’s three year anniversary, the kindle edition will be free for three days starting tomorrow, Friday the 13th.
I can hardly believe it’s been three years and I’d say I’m overdue for a followup. To that end, I currently have three more chapbooks well in the works, the first of which (and possibly second) should be out in the coming year. I will post more info on these in the coming months. In the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, you can check out my horror novel, Feeding Lazarus (written as Rafe Grayson from Azoth Khem Publishing), a dark tale of morbid wish fulfillment about a bullied young boy named Daniel, the monsters in his life, and his interactions with a dead man.
If you happen to live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida, I will be at my favorite local bookstore, Books at Park Place tonight from 6-8pm signing copies of both books, along with other horror authors for the store’s Thursday the 12th Horror Authors event. Come by for some books, scary tales, and an overall spooky good time to get into the spirit of the season.
That’s all for now. Thanks again to all who have supported me! Cheers!
In Zeller’s Alley, the debut poetry collection by poet B. Diehl, we get over 100 pages of poetry that offer not only a combination of personal reflection and social commentary, but also an enticing memoir as we look through the mind of this young man as he recalls and processes key moments from his life.
In Zeller’s Alley, we live his experiences. We know his passions. We feel his pain. We burn with his angst. By the end of this collection, I almost felt as if I knew the poet personally. I certainly learned much about him through these pages, and no doubt, I learned a bit more about myself in the process.
Over the course of these poems, Diehl proves without a doubt that, despite his age, he is a seasoned wordsmith with much to say. There is no fat here. Zeller’s Alley is a trimmed and solid collection of quality poetry. Overall, I highly enjoyed it. It was entertaining, compelling, and thought-provoking from cover to cover. I will be anxious to see what this very talented poet does next. Heavily recommended!
So I know it’s been quiet on the blog here lately, the cobwebs are even getting stale, but fear not, I have been quite busy doing all the stuff I usually do, you know, lurking in the shadows, stalking about in people’s dreams, harvesting the Blood of the Dragon, oh and writing of course.
I currently have some sixty-plus new poems written that I’m starting to shop around to various markets. A few of those have hit publication recently or are forthcoming, like my poem From Corn to Sea in April’s Devolution Z Magazine, these poems just published at Tuck Magazine, oh and some reprinted work here on UFO Gigolo. There are a couple of other poetry projects I’m working on like this: In So Many Words: Interviews and Poetry from Today’s Poets, edited by Adam Levon Brown and Claudine Nash.
Now, the title of this post promised some teasing, and I’m nothing else if not a man of my word, so here we go. It appears that I have a pretty AWESOME ANNOUNCEMENT to make, but I’m not going to tell you about it right now (hence the tease).
See, we writers tend to be a sadistic bunch, and I get far too much pleasure out of keeping people in suspense. Well that and I’d like to iron out more of the details first. Honestly, I received this news so recently that it still feels a bit surreal, and I’d like to marinate in it for a bit I suppose. But once a few more things come to light, I’ll make the announcement right here on the blog, so stay tuned (but please don’t hold your breath, there are enough corpses in my writing as it is). I will tell that it has to do with a certain fiction project I’ve been working on, off and on, for about the last five years.
So until next time, stay thirsty my friends, or stay classy, or drunk, or something. Whatever.
As a special promotion for Halloween, the ebook edition of my dark poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski, is free for Amazon Kindle starting today, Thursday, October 29th, and lasting through Sunday, November 1st. That’s four days to grab a copy if you haven’t already done so, plus a little extra time to duct tape your friends to chairs and force them politely invite your friends to do the same.
Also, I highly encourage you to visit beksiński.pl to learn more about Zdzislaw Beksinski and immerse yourself in his fantastic, horrific, and truly beautiful works of art.
Thanks for reading, and thanks again for all your support.
I honestly don’t know how I missed this, but there’s anew review for my poetry chapbook, Come Fly with Death: Poems Inspired by the Artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinki. I maybe shouldn’t say “new” review, as it went live way back in January. Okay, so it’s not exactly new, but if I haven’t seen it, it’s still new to me. Well anyhow, nearly four months later, I am quite pleased to have discovered it so I can share it with all of you, brag about it a little bit, and of course, dance the happy jig.
This review comes from author and publisher, Christina Escamilla, and was posted to the Christina Escamilla Publishing website on January 15, 2015. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Christina Escamilla for taking time to read this little chapbook and for posting this wonderful and very insightful review!
Here’s the first part of the review, followed by a link to the full review:
“Come Fly With Death is a collection of poems based on the artwork of Zdzislaw Beksinski. The synopsis of the poetry collection gives more insight into Beksinski’s work by simply stating it is “surrealistic and graphic.” That’s true, but beyond that Beksinski’s work also has an underpinning of death and life, beauty and ugliness. If anything it is the ability to see that this duality is what makes life, well life. To fully and truly appreciate life one must understand that life also comes with death, wrapped in the horror and ugliness and the realities of the world; whether its the knowledge of death itself or what humankind will do to one another.”
And the review also says this (yes, I’m bragging just a little):
“There is a darkness, a blackness in these poems, and to that end, they are not for everyone, but there’s no doubt – they are exceptionally well written and deeply memorable!”
Better late than never, as they say: Bete Noire Issue #18 is available now (since March 1st, actually) and includes my poem, Another Light. This is a revised version of the poem originally published in Phantom Kangaroo issue no. 9, July 2012.
And for those who aren’t familiar, Bete Noire is an engaging quarterly publication from Dark Opus Press with a tight focus on “…stories that are well written, character driven and have a dark bent to them.” So head on over to betenoiremagazine.com and grab a copy of the current issue, browse the back catalog, or even grab a subscription.
Hey folks! My little chapbook of horrific poetry, Come Fly with Death, is free today and tomorrow for Amazon Kindle. If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, now’s your chance!
Here’s the rundown:
Come Fly with Death is a chapbook of 20 poems inspired by the artwork of the late Polish painter, Zdzislaw Beksinski. Up until the time of his murder in 2005, Beksinski created a fantastic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs, specializing in the field of utopian art.
Like Beksinski’s works, the poems contained here are surrealistic and graphic. They are at times horrific, Gothic, even erotic, and apocalyptic. Above all, they attempt to serve as a rare glimpse into the heart of our most beautiful nightmares.
Contains poems new and collected, including reprints from: The Horror Zine, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Indigo Rising Magazine, Gothic Poems and Fiction, Death Head Grin Anthology Vol. 2, and Fossil Lake: An Anthology of the Aberrant.
I fizzled out on NaNoWriMo this year. I know, I know, I can hear you saying, “But it’s not over yet!” Okay, good point, but for me, it’s just not happening this year (despite how badly I want this “Slay 50K” T-Shirt!).
I have tons of excuses, all of which are just that, EXCUSES, and none the more probable truth that I just got lazy. But for laughs, let’s say we analyze a few of these excuses:
With my project this year to finish my Nano novel from last year, I quickly realized there wasn’t another 50k words left in it and feared that I was severely padding it. Participating in Nano last year was a great way to get started, but now I think what’s best for this novel is to do what I should have done in the first place, and that is slow down and finish the story at my natural writing pace, which is nowhere near 50k/month. (Make no mistake, I will finish this draft, but not before November 30th.)
After only one week, I felt like I was starting to burn out again, and didn’t want another eight months of barely writing such as what I experienced after Nano last year.
I’m stressed out over trying to find a new job. (I like this one, it feels very genuine!)
Perhaps it was just my way of distracting myself from the goal, but for some reason, my creativity was pulling me towards poetry. Being a true believer in following the muse and writing where the greatest energy is at the moment, I gave in and have let my recent focus drift into poetic verse. (Queue the opponents of “hippie-dippie baloney.”)
I discovered Instagram, and have since found an uprising community of poets sharing their work to a receptive and welcoming audience. I have been enjoying the work of others and have also started to share some of my own. (Okay, not really an excuse, but makes for a nice segue into the rest of this post.)
Now for a word or two about Instagram:
I still have no clue what I’m doing exactly, but have nonetheless been attempting this blending of media, writing and photography (even if it’s bad photography). I like that I can share my work in a more visual and striking manner, and it brings another element of creativity. Handwriting adds another personal touch (despite my atrocious handwriting). This has further kindled my desire to learn calligraphy, and eventually, with enough practice, I’d like to blend this art of beautiful handwriting with my words, perhaps even incorporate images to create something akin to the contemporary form of Japanese Haiga.
In just two short weeks on Instagram, I have been truly inspired by the work of some great writers, poets, artists, and photographers. Suddenly, my creative gears are spinning in exciting new directions and realizing a trove of possibilities. Honestly, I have no idea where this thing is going. For now I’m just learning, trying to post something every day, and happy to be part of this growing community of creative souls. So if you’d like, please join me and let’s take this journey together.
[P.S. Wasn’t this post supposed to be about NaNoWriMo?]