Friday, December 2, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
67 Press is accepting submissions for the 67 Press Anthology, Volume 3. Literary. Fringe. 5000 words or less. They prefer flash fiction. Pays a flat fee plus royalties (flat fee not listed). Deadline December 31.
The Kickstarter for Humans Wanted: A SF Anthology went well, and they are still taking submissions. Seeking SF stories about the helpfulness of humans. 3000-6000 words. Pays $250. Deadline December 31.
Book Smugglers Publishing is accepting submissions of short stories for their anthology Gods & Monsters. Speculative fiction. 1500-17,500 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline December 31.
CWTCH Press is open for short stories for their anthology If Mom's Happy: Stories About Erotic Mothers. 1500-4500 words. Pays $50 + 2 copies. Deadline December 31.
Comet Press is open for reprint submissions to their anthology Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 2. Must have been (or will be) published in 2016. Short stories/novelettes. Pays $.01/word. Deadline December 31.
Zombies Need Brains LLC has three anthologies open for submissions after having met their Kickstarter goal. Up to 7500 words. The anthologies are: Submerged (F/SF set underwater), All Hail Our Robot Conquerors! (50/60s style robots), The Death of All Things (Death is a character in the story). Pays minimum of $.06/word (depending upon how much more the Kickstarter makes). Deadline December 31.
Carte Blanche is looking for fiction, creative nonfiction, photo essays, poetry, artwork, and more. Up to 3500 words. Pays a modest fee (not specified). Deadline December 31.
Darkhouse Books is seeking short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and essays about descansos (roadside memorials). Up to 3000 words. Royalty share. Deadline December 31.
Story Shares is holding The 2016 Relevant Reads Story of the Year Contest. 1000-10,000 words. Middle Grade up. Several categories for prizes, including diversity and genre. Prizes vary from $500 to $3000. Deadline December 31.
Chrys Fey put out an excellent post (with downloadable PDF) with 100 Marketing Tips.
Has it been fall or winter in your area? Had any snow yet? Any of these of interest to you? Anything to share? How are your submissions going?
May you find your Muse.
Monday, November 28, 2016
They were brave, forging new paths, fighting the "other," dealing with the darkness of humanity.
But they were also free. Lawless. Discovering, pushing, reaching.
Then something changed. Replacing the westerns I cut my teeth on were two things: Dirty Harry-style cops (Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson) and a new focus on war and its survivors (Rambo, countless Chuck Norris films).
As with horror, action films often reflect the concerns of Americans. There were new kinds of outlaws, and the cops had to do whatever it took to take them out. Serial killers were also big during this time, with the hardened, no nonsense cop tracking them down despite the risks.
Clint Eastwood's filmography is a good timeline of these trends. Through 1958, he was in a variety of movies, many of them uncredited, several of them having to do with World War 1 era military films and some cheesy horror. But in 1958, he tread into the land of westerns. A Fistful of Dollars came out in 1964. Note that America became minimally involved in the Vietnam War in the 1950s, with our involvement escalating in the 60s. Our direct involvement ended in 1973.
In 1971, Dirty Harry was born. Eastwood was in several more westerns after this time, but they were minimal compared to his cop dramas and comedies.
I looked at crime rates through these years. These showed that crime rates began climbing in the early 60s, peaking for a long time between the 70s and 90s. Starting in 1993, crime rates began dropping drastically ("32 percent from 1993 to 2000" and 23 percent between 2000 and 2012, according to this article.) By the time we rolled into the 90s, Eastwood's films became more varied again, with less focus on any one thing.
Die Hard came out in 1988. Terrorists were the bad guys here. (Or thieves playing terrorists, really, but in the following movies, this was less true.) In the late 80s and early 90s, Schwarzenegger started fighting dictators and terrorists (and robots). Red Dawn came out in 1984. Even Rocky came face to face with a big, bad Russian in 1988. Our crime rates were still high, but they were reaching their pinnacle. Mad Max popped onto the scene in 1979, though I'm not sure when he hit big in America. The sequels came out in the 80s.
At some point we stopped looking at outsiders and lowly villains, and started looking at the government and the power players. When that was, specifically, I can't say without a whole lot more research than I'm willing to do for this particular blog post, but by the time those crime rates dropped, we were already beginning. The Postman came out in 1997. Hunger Games came out in 2012 (book in 2010).
Going all the way back to westerns, where I began this, what was the appeal? Things were simpler, for one. It was all about survival. Everyone knew their roles and followed them. There were fewer people to contend with, and more wilderness to combat. For the most part, there were a bunch of white folks and Native Americans were, quite simply, the boogeyman, the other, the final barrier in settling the west and achieving manifest destiny. In the real world, during the popularity of westerns, we had the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, hippies rallying for peace, and an awful lot of unrest stirring in this country and others (Berlin Wall). Is it that people felt overwhelmed with all of this going on and wished for those simpler days, where the only race wars were those long conquered in real life? Where the biggest enemies were the deeply stereotyped Native Americans and outlaws who were villains through and through, with no redeeming qualities? Did it perhaps give folks feeling otherwise emasculated somewhere safe to aim their discomfort, scorn, and anger at what was happening?
Now fast forward. We've been involved in warfare in the Middle East for decades (the Gulf War officially began in 1990), the Cold War came to a tentative end in 1991, and we've been involved in various other tensions across the globe. Our crime rates are at all time lows, reducing drastically after 1993. War started looking different to us, somehow more distant, even while we can see more of it with the ease of getting footage. In 2001, it was brought to our backyard for the first time in a long time on September 11. School shootings have escalated, as have random attacks on civilians by people wanting to make a point. McVeigh, angry at the federal government, blew up a federal building in 1995. In the early 70s, we had the Watergate Scandal. In the 80s, people stopped smoking pot and started snorting coke.
It started looking really good for government and civilization to break down, and for us to return to a simpler time. A time where basic survival was the most important thing, where trust was hard to come by, where people depended upon themselves and knew that, above all, no one should be trusted. We imagined the apocalypse. The end of industry and consumerism. Of big government. No more reliance on technology. No more taxes. No more laws.
In post-apocalyptic, there is usually a single hero, possibly with a small band of supporters or random good folks who come along to lend aid when needed. Power is back in the hands of the individual. There is more control over one's individual life, with a sense of freedom to it, even when there is great danger.
The more people depend upon technology, the more we wish we didn't. The more government makes laws to govern our behavior, the more we wish they'd back off and give us our freedom. The more taxes increase, the more we want to escape them. The more we see how dirty and disconnected our politicians are, the more we want the system to change. Post-apocalyptic stories remove big government (unlike dystopians). So did westerns much of the time, and even when government was involved, it was distant, grasp weakened. They were depending upon individuals to go in and clean up their issues, trusting them, often wrongly. The focus was on the individual and whatever form of evil they had to overcome. This is true in post-apoc, too. Even the settings often reflect the barren wastelands represented by drought-ridden deserts (or, as in Waterworld, the exact opposite). Resources are hard to come by, just as in westerns. And through it all, we see the evil in everyday people. Raiders, outlaws, power-grabbers, war lords.
Now, westerns aren't entirely dead. This past year saw the release of a bunch, including one with Scott Eastwood. We had Hateful 8, Bone Tomahawk, The Duel, and more. There were some big names in these films. So, no westerns aren't dead, but they've changed, and they no longer speak to the same places within us that post-apocalyptic now does, which is probably why most of them struggle now, or go straight to video. No one watched Hateful 8 for the wild west experience. It was a violent film that acted more like a bloody locked room mystery than a pure western. Bone Tomahawk was horror, exploiting the other while trying to back away from the generalization of "normal" Natives. Diablo, the film starring Scott Eastwood, was more psychological horror than western. So, yes, they're still here, but no, they're not the classic westerns that were so big for such a long time, and their writers are failing to catch that essential genetic makeup that drew people in the 60s.
That's what post-apocalyptic appears to be for.
What do you think? Do you think post-apocalyptic films has ties to westerns? Do they set off similar emotions and thoughts? Or do you think they have nothing to do with each other? What do you think influenced the movie trends through the years?
May you find your Muse.
Disclaimer: I've grossly oversimplified stats and time periods in my attempt to look at the film and book industry during these time periods. This is a blog, not a college thesis or investigative journal. To flesh everything out, I would have had to spend a whole lot more time, found sources to cite, and it would have taken an immense amount of space, much more than should be used for a blog post. So I'd love to talk about what you think concerning post-apocalyptic vs. western, but discussing ALL the stuff I had to leave out for space and time considerations isn't necessary. I addressed history and crime stats in only the most basic way in order to give a quick scan of what was occurring during this time, and maybe try to figure out what might have been influencing films. This post was about me "thinking out loud" about the similarities between post-apoc and westerns.
*Still of John Wayne from El Dorado, Paramount Pictures, 1966
*Still of Clint Eastwood from A Fistful of Dollars, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
*Violent crime data, public domain, Ryan Cragun: RTCEarly 01:44, 21 December 2006 (UTC) - Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics
*Hunger Games book cover
*Cowboy on Horse, clker.com, OCAL
Monday, November 21, 2016
Colours of Us put out a list of 32 Native American Children's Books.
The Open Education Database presented 20 Native American Authors You Need to Read.
Goodreads has a list of Popular Native American Author's Books.
I personally recommend Sherman Alexie and Stephen Graham Jones.
You know what? How about some films? It doesn't have to be all about books.
Indian Country Today put out a list of 11 Essential Native American Films You Can Watch Online Right Now.
I can definitely recommend Rhymes for Young Ghouls, which is available on Netflix. It's a fascinating mix of gritty reality and magical realism. Smoke Signals is not on that list, but it's a great film, and one more folks are maybe aware of. Unfortunately, it's not on Netflix. It was the first movie I saw Adam Beach in, though I don't know if it was his first film overall. He's come a long way, which is wonderful to see, though I wasn't excited about his role in Suicide Squad.
Curious about Native American actors and actresses? Native Celebrities has a list. Some of these folks are recognizable (Adam Beach, Wes Studi, Graham Greene, Jason Momoa, and others.)
Here's a list of Native American artists.
And Wikipedia offers a list of Native American musicians. If you like rap, check out Frank Waln, who infuses a rap song with a beautiful flute solo and traditional Native sounds. For New Age/instrumental, Brule is a great choice. They perform around Christmas each year here.
Finally, I'd like to leave you with a short film (less than four minutes). It's a poem performed by twelve Native women about the effects of colonization. Pamela J. Peters wrote and directed "My Once Life."
I hope you've discovered a new writer, artist, actor, or musician you didn't know about before.
What is your favorite Native film? Writer? Actor/Actress? Musician? Have you ever seen Brule perform? Have you seen the film Smoke Signals? Any recommendations I missed?
May you find your Muse.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Monday, November 14, 2016
When she’s not writing, Nicole actively participates in Amtgard and loves to play table-top RPG’s. Art has also been a part of her life since a young age, so she spends as much time as possible playing with different mediums.
Now for some links! Bear in mind that I am not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting to a market.
Pulp Literature is open for submissions only between November 15 and November 30. They want diverse stories. Those under 5000 words are most likely to be accepted. Donations are accepted, but not required for submissions (they are doing a kickstarter.) All genres. Pay varies per length. Short stories pay up to $.07/word.
The Indianola Review is open for submissions. Up to 7500 words for fiction. Also take poetry, nonfiction, and miscellaneous submissions. Pays up to $50. Reading period closes December 15.
Freeze Frame Fiction is open for submissions of flash fiction for the third quarter issue. They also have a themed issue closing at the same time, with the theme "experimental form." Pays $10. Deadline December 15.
Deadlights is open for submissions of short horror fiction. Flash, short, creative nonfiction, and artwork. Up to 7000 words. Pays up to $80, depending upon submission type. Deadline December 15.
Meet Cute is an anthology of microfiction about entertaining first meetings. Up to 1000 words. Pays $10. Deadline December 16.
The Writing Piazza is open for anthology submissions of stories about animals used in testing. Any genre, but they prefer it ends with a rescue. 5000-20,000 words. Pays $25. Deadline December 20.
DarkFuse is open for short fiction and novellas. They pay $.05/word up to 2k. Anything over 2k is not paid, but still accepted. Dark fiction in various genres.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.
Can Alexia escape her own clock?
These doppelgangers exist in life, so it makes sense they would exist in literature. Today, you can meet your alternate ego in the Maiden of Time trilogy. Answer 5 simple questions to find out which character is most like you. (Some villains included.)
Look at that! You're a story book character. What do you think? Didn't like your match? Maybe should have picked something else? Try again. Share your results. Buy the books and learn more. (Did she really just say that? Yes, yes she did.) You can also enter to INSTANTLY win some really cool prizes below.
Find her online HERE.
(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)