August 31, 2010
Do you like innocent things like autumn or pumpkins? Do you like not so innocent things like Jack’o'lanterns grinning innocently or the black cat sitting in your yard with a black feather stuck to its whisker? Halloween is just around the corner, as the magical candy isles in grocery stores foretell.
To celebrate Halloween this year trapeze magazine will be hosting a themed contest. The theme is Halloween.
1) Each person is allowed only three entries
2) 140 characters MAX of Halloween fiction or poetry
3) As usual, no excessive violence or erotica
4) Please remain in the realms of science fiction, fantasy, horror and surreal.
Because Halloween is a very special time, we require a very special judge. A person willing to step out of the labyrinth of her secret, spectre plagued laboratory and work her mad scientist mojo on we humble twitter writers. Thankfully, such a person exists (has deigned to step from the Realm of Roses and Screams into this dimension).
Judging this contest is the esteemed and talented Seanan McGuire.
Seanan McGuire was born in Martinez, California, and raised in a wide variety of locations, most of which boasted some sort of dangerous native wildlife. Despite her almost magnetic attraction to anything venomous, she somehow managed to survive long enough to acquire a typewriter, a reasonable grasp of the English language, and the desire to combine the two. The fact that she wasn’t killed for using her typewriter at three o’clock in the morning is probably more impressive than her lack of death by spider-bite. Her upbringing has left her with a love of rattlesnakes and a deep fear of weather, which really explains a lot.
Often described as a vortex of the surreal, many of Seanan’s personal anecdotes end with things like “and then we got the anti-venom” or “but it’s okay, because it turned out the water wasn’t all that deep.” She has yet to be defeated in a game of “Who here was bitten by the strangest thing?,” and can be amused for hours by just about anything. Just about anything includes swamps, long walks, long walks in swamps, most of the things that live in swamps, horror movies, strange noises, musical theater, reality television, comic books, finding pennies on the street, and venomous reptiles. Seanan may be the only person on the planet who admits to using Kenneth Muir’s Horror Films of the 1980s as a checklist.
Seanan is the author of the October Daye series of novels, the first of which, Rosemary and Rue (Amazon) (Mysterious Galaxy), was published by DAW Books in 2009. It has since been followed by A Local Habitation (Amazon) (Mysterious Galaxy) and An Artificial Night (Amazon) (Mysterious Galaxy), with more to come. She’s working on several other books, just to make sure she never runs out of things to edit.
Seanan’s short fiction has appeared in After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar, Grants Pass, and Apex Magazine. Her Sparrow Hill Road series is one of the featured Universes on The Edge of Propinquity for 2010, and she belongs to the Book View Cafe, an organization of professional authors who like to give away free fiction. It’s fun! Check them out.
In her spare time, Seanan writes and records original music. She has three CDs currently available, and is preparing to release a fourth, titled Wicked Girls. She is also a cartoonist, and draws an irregularly posted autobiographical web comic, “With Friends Like These…”, as well as generating a truly ridiculous number of art cards. Surprisingly enough, she finds time to take multi-hour walks, blog regularly, watch a sickening amount of television, maintain her website, and go to pretty much any movie that has the words “blood,” “night,” “terror,” or “attack” in the title. Most people believe that she doesn’t sleep.
Seanan lives in a creaky old farmhouse in Northern California, which she shares with her two cats, Lilly and Alice, a vast collection of plush things and horror movies, and sufficient books to officially qualify her as a fire hazard. She has strongly-held and oft-expressed beliefs about the origins of the Black Death, the X-Men, and the need for chainsaws in daily life.
Years of writing blurbs for convention program books have firmly fixed Seanan in the habit of writing all her bios in the third person, so as to sound marginally less dorky. Stress is on the “marginally.” It probably doesn’t help that she has so many hobbies.
Seanan also writes as Mira Grant, author of the Newsflesh trilogy. For more information on Mira and her works, see MiraGrant.com.
Unparalleled bragging rights.
If anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the contest guidelines please email trapezemag (at) gmail (dot) com.
Thank you and happy hunting!
August 26, 2010
As we close August I present to you the works and thoughts of Carma Lynn Park.
Carma Lynn Park @carmapoet has been reading/writing science fiction and fantasy for (mumble, mumble) years. She is currently working on image-poems with her collaborator. Along with her thoughts on twitter fiction and poetry, she shares three image-poems titled: Poppies, Reading the Palm and Snowfall Blooming. The poems are transcribed below the image.
As always, thank you so much for reading!
Jessica Otto, Editor
tm: Tell us more about yourself, what you write and your writing process.
C: I can’t imagine myself not writing. For the past several years I’ve tried to write a little every day or almost every day. Sometimes, though (as in the past few weeks) I get caught up in deadlines, and work (or a powerful desire for sleep) pushes writing aside.
I write short fiction and poetry. I’ve tried to write novels, but either they flicker and die or they transform into short stories. Long doesn’t seem to fit the shape of my brain.
Lipstick red mouths
open around black-tongued stamens
for a death kiss
tm: What inspires you to write micro fiction?
C: My experience writing poetry has given me a passion for compression. This has seeped into my fiction, and I enjoy writing flash fiction and micro fiction, although from time to time I generate longer works, up to 12,000 words.
Another motivation is saving time. I edit and edit my work, and the shorter the story, the less time the polishing and buffing process takes.
Reading the Palm
Sweat and dirt and blood
carve creases in the palms;
head line; heart line; life line.
tm: How did you discover twitter literature, and what was your first reaction to the genre?
C: Let me see, how the heck did I discover twitter literature? I was reading Duotrope’s Digest (“an award-winning, free writers’ resource listing over 3000 current Fiction and Poetry publications” at http://www.duotrope.com), and came across Outshine as a twitter publication.
It was an intriguing concept, twitter fiction, but I was skeptical. How could you possibly tell a story in 140 characters or fewer? But I saw some examples, and began to try it, and yes, it can indeed work.
Canvas and colors.
Flowers are still opening
while the snow drifts down.
tm: What advice would you give to other writers about creating twitter literature?
C: Each word counts. Seek out punchy ones, especially verbs.
You’re not going to have the space to develop a character.
Many twitter stories focus on interesting situations, often with a twist – a reversal of expectations. Think O. Henry or Saki (H.H. Munro).
tm: Thank you so much!
August 24, 2010
“This chicken is good.” Dan said licking his fingers.“Great flavor. What is it?” Greta looked at her watch and said, “Cyanide.”
Amanda Lawrence Auverigne @A_L_Auverigne writes dark fiction.
August 21, 2010
She filled their minds with cobwebs. / By morning, they would barely remember / What she had taken from them. / Or what she left behind.
Rebecca L. Brown is a Welsh writer. You can read more of her work at http://bewilderingcircumstances.blogspot.com/
August 19, 2010
Mom said the Bread and Butterflies and the Jelly and Peanut Butterflies had a delicious war once. Plain bugs, Claudia found hard to swallow.
Writer, pianist, and tea junkie, C. Martinez @DazedPuckBunny spends a lot of time squeezing interesting tidbits from mundane reality.
August 17, 2010
He fumbled through lab notes. “Nausea”—check. “Hallucinations”—yep. “The host body autocannibalizes”—huh? Then his eye sockets ate his eyes.
R. Gatwood @iwantanewhead is concise.
August 14, 2010
The forest tenderizes me as I walk to the cabin. Goldilocks runs out, says there’s a party. Inside, bears decide I’m just right.
S. Kay is a @blueberrio who likes a good party.