July 20, 2012

Our 5th Issue

Here's where you can get your free download of Thrice Fiction. And things are going quite well there, thank you for asking. The publication, I feel, has grown up a lot in the year and 2/3 it has been in existence, and it is exciting to see independent reviews of our work being published out there without us having to prompt anybody.

The amount of readers we're collecting is kind of astonishing to both Dave and I. Around 5,000 independent downloads of the last issue (#4) took us both by surprise. But that's why we are both committed to keeping the downloads FREE.

Equally astonishing is the location of readers and contributors. In just over a year we have been read in numerous countries and hosted writers from Ireland, Germany, Wales and - by the look of some of them - the Moon. Plus much more.

There's a lot going on in issue #5, not the least of which is a showing for an art form known as "micro fiction." Micro Fiction is pretty cool because it's a story told in the barest possible amount of words. The idea is to generate a reaction in the mind of the reader to where they are filling the "blank space" with things left unsaid on their own. It distills a story to maybe three sentences and the main thing is evocation. Really good micro fiction evokes a reaction in the mind of the reader. Really BAD micro fiction is a real hot mess. It is NOT easy to create, but when it is done well - well, why not take a look at the samples we have in #5 and see for yourself what I mean.

I truly believe the artwork is getting better and better with each passing issue. Dave Simmer has a very good article on his blog about the background and idea to the art work in #5 here.

And in just a few days the submissions will come open for issue #6 due out in November. With each passing issue the amount of submissions increases remarkably. And that's a good thing. I get to pick only the best of what we have been given. It's a great job for a picky sumbitch like me.

But that happens August 1 - so there's still some time for a few cocktails...

July 13, 2012

The Spider's 31st Page

I've been nudged to come out of hiding and fill you in on what's going on. Since the audience for this thing has spiraled down to a dwindling handful I kind of didn't see the point of it, but it was nice that somebody wanted to know so here I am.

Someone a few years back asked me what my tattoo meant. I got it in Corpus Christi, Texas a zillion years ago and I like to make it a mystery so the answer to the question is that you'll have to read page 31 in the Spider. Good luck working that out.

Basically I've been trying to practice what I'm preaching, and cutting back on the accumulation of shit I own. The other week I cleared out my closet and gave most of my clothes away to Amvets (American War Veterans, it's like Goodwill). Two big garbage bags and two suitcases. I'm down to a human-sized usable closet now. But my God the junk I had that I hadn't even worn in so many years! I have also been slowly clearing out the black-hole aspect of my office here at home. Why, exactly, do I need bank statements from twelve years ago again?

I go to the checkout counter that has a person in it whenever I go to the store - which isn't all that often. I took a look at my bookmarks online and poofed a dozen or so. I went back to my cell phone and returned to the factory settings so I could generally declutter it from the accumulated garbage it had on it. I am now the proud owner of absolutely ZERO "apps." I don't even like the word "apps" (never did), so why did I bother with them in the first place?

I've also killed the GPS tracking function, and basically what I have now is a phone, dammit. Just like it's supposed to be. Nobody calls me on the damn thing anyway so I don't even know why I have it, exactly. I used to like driving in my car and knowing that for a half hour or so the nobody that never calls can't call even if they wanted to anymore. What?

And I've been shying away from the internet more and more.

There isn't a big point about it or anything, outside of the fact that I'm avoiding the election season like the plague because I hate everybody now, in case you hadn't noticed; and I really don't want to even hear any of that bullshit anymore. I can't see an actual use for it, so I'm tossing it out like a bag of old clothes. What's the difference who wins? They don't care about you. Wake the hell up.

I did recently spend a glorious day with my wife and oldest granddaughter Emma at the zoo this past Monday. Emma is about to turn 9 and she is really turning out to be a darling young lady. She was so well behaved and polite to us and people in general I wanted to just hug her up. I hope the sad old world doesn't turn her bright disposition into the same degenerated muck you don't have to go too far down the street to see. I hope she can stay as natural and unaffected as she is, God willing.

And the youngest granddaughter (Sophie) is just about to turn 9 months and has become a champion crawler baby who laughs when you say ah-choo and when she's over at our house likes to be fed while watching my wife's parakeet fuss around in its cage. She gets transfixed by that goofy bird.

The tomatoes in the garden are tasty but not very plentiful. I have watered them every day but this oppressive weather has stunted them, I think. What's there (from what I've tasted) is going to exactly be that "full" homegrown taste that only homegrown tomatoes can be like, but there just isn't going to be a whole lot of them.

No I'm not turning into nature boy. Though I've spent the summer weeding out food from my diet that contains bad stuff like too much salt, high fructose corn syrup, fat and additives. I'm not a full-on 100% with that and I don't think I ever will be able to do that, but I can sense a change just within my self by watching that kind of thing.

So that's what I've been doing. I'm going to go to 4 (count 'em) FOUR White Sox games this August. Angels, A's, Yankees and Mariners. That should be fun.

Outside of that we're seeing about planning a big trip to California next year. In 2013 we will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary and then later that year I will hit the big 6-0. And in no way do I feel like I'm pushing 60. No way at all.

And hey Thrice is coming due in the next week or so. If you've missed a few issues you've missed a lot.

That's pretty much it.

So here's a musical interlude with Muriel Anderson. I think I've posted her work before. She's the renowned guitarist who grew up in our Quaker Meeting. Her Mom and Dad still attend and I did see her attend also once or twice in the past seven years or so but I never spoke with her. Celebrities don't come to silent worship to be fawned over or bothered, they come to experience the quiet and peace that happens when a room full of Quakers get going, doing... well... nothing, basically. Anyway here's Muriel...