We’re coming to the end of August and I wish I had posted about this sooner. August is American Artists Appreciation Month. In simple terms, appreciate artists from the United States. This recognition is more for traditional artists with their work in galleries, I imagine. However, I want to recognize two artists who’s creations have shaped pop culture for over 75 years. The first is Bob Kane, co-creator of The Batman with the writer Bill Finger. They also created a number of Batman’s early villains. After retiring from DC Comics in the 1960’s Kane focused on fine art and had many works featured in galleries though many of them were completed by ghost painters.
The second artist I wish to recognize is Jack Kirby. He co-created Captain America with Joe Simon as writer-editor. In the 1960’s, he teamed up with Stan Lee and co-created the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor, the Hulk, and Iron Man. In the early 70’s, he left Marvel to work at DC where he created the Fourth World saga, to include characters such as Darkseid, Granny Goodness, Mister Miracle, and hundreds of others. Many of these characters are my favorites in all of comics and they don’t get much recognition in the mainstream. That is why I wanted to share my appreciation for Jack Kirby. Dear DC, I want to see more from the Fourth World saga.
The polls opened today for the reader’s choice fiction contest presented by The Bold Mom blog. A grand total of 76 stories were entered into this contest including one of mine. “Ceres,” #22 in the lineup, has a lot of competition so I’m asking for your help in voting for my story. I understand you may not want to read 76 short stories. I hope you will at least read mine from the link I have provided. The polls are open for one week, so you have plenty of time to read a couple other stories.
This is one of my favorite stories I have written. The first title of this story was “Vampires of the Caribbean” and the idea was pirates and vampires. Who wouldn’t love that? As the story evolved, I decided to change the name of the story to the name of the ship. Ceres was the Roman Goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. Other than the ship being home to its sailors, this wasn’t the reason for the name. The Greek counterpart for Ceres is Demeter, which is the name of the ship on which Dracula travels to London in the Stroker novel.
I’m excited to be a part of this contest and also to have the opportunity for others to read my work. With the vast number of stories in this contest, I’m apprehensive about winning. Nonetheless, I’m spreading the word as well as I can, and I hope you will enjoy it. Click the Bold Mom link to vote and click “Ceres” to read the story. Thank you in advance for your vote. It is greatly appreciated.
I mentioned a few posts ago that I had a short story accepted for publication on Jitter Press. I have recently had another story accepted for publication for another online magazine, Uncaged Book Reviews. As the title suggests, they write and publish book reviews. For their October issue, they were seeking a few short horror stories to include for this Halloween edition. I sent in a story and they’ve agreed to include it in the publication. There is no payment, but it’s great exposure and I’m looking forward to seeing my stories published in different places.
With the publication of my recent work of poetry, “Men Are Garbage,” I felt it had the right social commentary to be considered for The Pulitzer Prize in a collection of Verse. I paid the $75 entry fee and sent four paperback copies of the book to the people who judge works for the Pulitzer. I feel this is a gutsy move and I’m not confident that I have the skill to win. I submitted anyway just to say I did. I won’t know anything one way or the other until next Spring. I am happy to forget about it until then.
I plan to submit some work to a couple writing contests. One of them has not responded to my email with questions about guidelines and things and their deadline is quickly approaching. I may wait on that contest until next year and focus instead on the one for the Tucson Festival of Books happening in March 2019. Their contest submission deadline is the end of October giving me plenty of time. Their contest rules are also straight forward and don’t require me to email them questions. I can just submit once I have the money for the submission fees.
Speaking of saving up for submission fees, I’m working three jobs (sort of) not including anything I do for writing. I am a partner with Starbucks, a stagehand for Centennial Hall (the home of Broadway in Tucson), and I work with local nonprofits and artists with publicity and marketing. I have a full plate and still find time to do some writing. Some of my third job work in pro-bono too meaning I don’t get paid for all those things I do. However, staying busy keeps me from going insane or falling into the darkness.
I’ve also sent my novella to my small group of beta readers. I’ve gotten a little feedback which pointed out I still have many typographical errors to fix. This is why we have beta readers. Imagine if I had self-published this work anyway. I am grateful to the readers I currently have but I am always looking for more. You can find that information on my Beta Readers Page and also search for it on Facebook. Those are the current crazy updates and I’ll have many more. I’m still trying to figure out how to get some VaudVil shows going again. The future looks bright, busy, and exhausting.