Category Archives: News
I am heartbroken to share that my little black cat Poe (8/17/02—07/21/20), just shy of 18, has passed.
Poe was the runt of his litter, and an ex and I rescued him from a filthy house in which he was sleeping in an oven when he was just eight weeks old. We’d already chosen the name Poe, even though the lady called him Sam. We got to the house, and he was nowhere to be found (there were like 100 cats). Tom called “Poe” and he came right to us. For the rest of his life, he always came running when I called his name.
Poe was extremely intelligent, and a bit of a wisecracker—there were times I could almost see him rolling his eyes at his less-than-bright brother, Mikey. He loved his bacon, and at Thanksgiving, he was constantly sitting in an empty seat and trying to get at the turkey. He also loved cream cheese (I was prepping for a party once, left to use the restroom, came back into the kitchen, and he was rolling around in a giant bowl of it that I’d left on the counter). He also loved vanilla ice cream and frosting.
His favorite toys were a lobster stuffed with catnip, which he completely destroyed in about a week, and a set of three Frankenstein balls, two of which he also completely destroyed (the third we still have). He understood what Christmas was, was always excited for the Christmas tree, and was down there at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, waiting to see what Uncle Nathan (or Santa) had put in his stocking. At every party, he trotted around the guests like a host, and even toward the end, when he got frail, he could still leap up on the counters.
Poe didn’t take shit from any of our other cats that have come and gone over the years—in fact, he liked to mess with them on occasion—but he was fiercely protective of the weaker ones. He was actually not very cuddly at all up until the last year or so of his life—he was kind of aloof, but oddly, he liked being where the action was and loved to pose for photos—he saw me with a camera and he pretty much did whatever I wanted him to. I wish so much that he had cuddled in bed with me, but he just wasn’t that kind of cat. He was, though, a very strong guardian. If I was upset, he would always hang around me, or follow me everywhere. He hated the snow (like his Mommy), and he had been known to sip from my wine when I wasn’t looking (or so he thought) when he was younger. He also, when he was a kitten, got a real kick out of knocking my cigarettes off whatever table they were on, though he never had a problem perching right next to my ashtray.
He is predeceased by his sisters, Taffy, Muffin, and Kali (LeeLee), and a brother, Barrett. He has already informed his surviving brother, Mikey, that Mikey will get ALL THE THINGS now.
Of all the loves in my life that I’ve lost, I’ll miss you, Poe, the most. You may have been the runt of the litter, but you were a very big light in my sometimes very dark life, and you will always be my little bear.
The debut issue of 34 Orchard–a new dark literary fiction magazine–is now available!
With cover art by Brandon Kawashima, this issue features artists from as far away as Greece, Nigeria and the UK–as well as right here in the US–and delivers visceral work that unpacks the things we don’t want to admit are in our basements.
The downloadable PDF is designed so that it can be printed on double-sided paper for easy reading like a print magazine.
The issue is free, but there is a donation link should you choose to contribute.
On April 25, artists from all over the globe deliver visceral work that unpacks the things we don’t want to admit are in our basements. Announcing the Table of Contents for 34 Orchard’s Inaugural issue!
Cover Art: Lost and Found, Brandon Kawashima
Trenchman – John Wayne Comunale
Madame Rosio Holds a Séance – J. Federle
A Murder – Die Booth
Tales from a Communion Line – Yash Seyedbagheri
A Hand Against My Window – Deborah L. Davitt
Night Crier – Stephen Mark Rainey
Runner – Chrissie Rohrman
Bad Altitude – Luke Spooner, Carrion House, http://www.carrionhouse.com
Bones – Crystal Sidell
Kintsugi – Page Sullivan
Christmas Chicken – Ernest O. Ògúnyemí
/thestrangethingwebecome – Eric LaRocca
Laying out my dolls – Malcolm Davidson
Lust Becomes Us – Dawson M. Kiser
Like It’s A Mad Thing – Lee Ann Kostempski
the reader – Christopher Woods
The Pink Casket – Atalanti Evripidou
Dinner at the Candlestick Table – Megan Wildhood
Jim Harrington’s Six Questions For… blog, which focuses on interviews with literary magazine editors, has published an interview with me as editor of 34 Orchard here: https://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/2019/12/six-questions-for-34-orchard.html
If you’re a writer, this is a WONDERFUL blog to read—especially if you’re wondering what goes on in editors’ heads before you submit!
My New Year’s Eve-set ghost story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” is now available to read–for free–in the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. The December 2019 issue is themed “The Calling.”
The issue is stunning, but I have to say — I cried when I saw the artwork they chose. Honestly, it’s what I saw in my head when I was writing this, just over a year ago. It’s almost like they were reading my mind.
You can read it here:
“Wrecking Malcolm” was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. I learned about it last year at an archaeology lecture at my local community college, and was lucky enough to be able to visit, as it’s not far from where one of my friends lives.
Here are a few photographs of the actual graveyard.
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” has been accepted by the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs for its upcoming issue, themed “The Calling.”
The issue is due to release on December 1–that’s Sunday!
“Wrecking Malcolm” is a personal favorite of mine, and I’m glad it found a good home. It was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. There is much work being done to preserve the historic structures … and yes, I’ve visited it more than a few times.
I’ll post when it’s available to read. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family!
My story “Last Christmas” –a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–is up today for Patreon Supporters of Crystal Lake Publishing! If you’d like to check it out, you can make a $5/month Fans of Fiction pledge (you can change this at any time) and vote. The first two stories posted were really good stuff, and I’m sure the remaining 10 are going to be great, too. Here’s where you can sign up, read, and vote if you like:
I’m pleased to announce that “Last Christmas”–a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–has made the final round! This month’s challenge was “creepy stories with a twist ending that take place in a graveyard.” My story shares the list with thirteen others.
Normally, I don’t announce when a piece is a finalist or is shortlisted–I consider that bad luck. However, this contest is a different animal. The winner will be selected based on the votes of the publication’s Patreon supporters, and so in that case, it truly is a crap shoot. I’m just happy I made it to the finals.
I had a wonderful time writing this piece–I’ve always loved a theme challenge. I’m hoping to do more in the future. It forces me to think outside the box as well as practice word economy and other skills. But mostly? Yeah, it’s just FUN!
I’ll be back Thursday with the link to my story.
Recently, I posted a quote that read “Decide what kind of life you actually want. Then say no to everything that isn’t that.”
Two weeks ago, I had an existential crisis—well, I suppose it’s safe to say, another existential crisis, because honestly, if you’re doing this writing life right, it happens more often then you might think. There’s a reason for the “tortured artist” stereotype. Questioning what you’re doing with your life, why you’re doing what you’re doing, is actually quite normal.
I’ve dabbled in many different things, but I’ve decided what kind of life I want: I want to write, I want to read, I want to surround myself with everything that’s connected to that. It’s what I’ve always wanted. They say you shouldn’t date anyone that isn’t ‘fuck yeah, you’re it!’ about you. Conversely, you really shouldn’t be doing anything in your life that doesn’t make you want to rocket from bed in the morning and go, ‘fuck yeah, let’s get started!’
I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic short work in literary magazines lately—in my opinion, there’s a lot of undiscovered genius out there—and I want to publish the stuff I enjoy reading most. So I decided to found a new dark literary journal that will pay its writers. It’s called 34 Orchard, and the first issue will launch in April of 2020.
I’ve edited a couple of journals, and I know how stressful and rigorous this path can be—where most small journals can fail, honestly, is in the area of balancing all of the work: eventually, it’s so much arduous work, so much struggle and pain to keep up with it or deal with the grief of daily business (which sometimes isn’t pleasant), that the passion just burns out (kind of like a toxic or one-sided relationship). I had to come up with a detailed plan for something that would be sustainable in the long term, and I did.
Yes, it will be a major time investment. But unlike a toxic or one-sided relationship, I’ve figured out how to manage things so that I can just enjoy it. It will be drama free, full of joy, and make me want to rocket out of bed every morning and go, ‘fuck yeah!’ 34 Orchard is going to be the love of my life.
Our website is LIVE, and our Duotrope listing was approved and posted fewer than 24 hours after we were ‘internet official.’ The journal will be free to read for the time being, but donations are accepted. You can also sign up for announcements to come right to your email (it won’t be a blog. There will be only a few scattered announcements when there is news to share) so you’ll know when our first issue is up!
I hope you will join me in celebrating, and I hope you’ll support the journal in any way you can—share it, read it, send us comments, send us your work, donate, tell a friend. Thank you!
Main Page: https://34orchard.com/
Publishing information: https://34orchard.com/issues/
Writer’s Guidlelines: https://34orchard.com/guidelines/
Duotrope Listing: https://duotrope.com/listing/27544/34-orchard