thlushalumsept15

Interview with an Adolescent

Teenagerhood is an awkward time of strange sensations and metamorphoses.  For some it’s worse than others.  Meet Markella, the protagonist of Rebecca Gomez Farrell’s ‘Thlush-a-lum’, coming up in Pulp Literature issue 5.

  1. What is your greatest fear?  The unknown, especially when I’m trying to sleep and there are sounds coming from outside that I cannot place. It happens all the time. Some mornings I wake up and feel more worn out than when I went to bed.
  2. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  That I don’t satisfy my parents. That must be why they don’t hug and kiss me like other families do.
  3. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  I have four birthmarks on my back: patches of dimpled flesh on my shoulders and on my lower back. I press my fingers into them sometimes, looking in the mirror, and expect it to hurt, but I guess I don’t press hard enough. Can you press too hard? I don’t want to know.
  4. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  Sizzle, snap, flutter, pulse.
  5. When and where were you happiest?  When Mother gave me wine and a smile for my seventeenth birthday.
  6. How would you like to die?  I’ve never thought about that before, though I overheard Mother and Father discussing it once.  They always think I can’t hear them when they speak in hushed tones, but I can.  All they said was that they hoped it happened “anywhere but here.”  I’ve never lived anywhere but home, but I think I’d want that too.
  7. What is your motto?  Don’t listen to what you don’t know.
  8. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘Thlush-a-Lum’?  I wish I had a sibling. I think — I think I wouldn’t feel so alone if I did.  We could learn about everything together, maybe even investigate the sounds outside the window together.  I think, with someone else around, I’d feel brave.becca gomez farrell

In all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result.  But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe, maybe, sea captain was the right choice after all.  Becca’s speculative fiction and food and drink blogging can be found at rebeccagomezfarrell.com

Find out what those sounds outside Markella’s window are in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature, which can be purchased through our Kickstarter page.

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Trust the Horse You Rode In On

The nice thing about horses — as opposed to bicycles or cars — is they’ll take you home even if you’re dead tired, it’s dark out, and you’ve perhaps had a drink too many.

So much of writing depends upon a confident attitude.  You may feel you’ve lost your way and are floundering in the dark.  But it helps to remember that, although it’s the mark of the supreme professional to want to learn more, you’ve already learned so much.

We all have.  We’re inspired by writers at the podium who remind us that we’re close to our next great idea.  We’re helped by readers who let us know that we’re onto a good thing.  And we have the enduring support of all our past reading, because all those thousands of books that held us, pleased us, and made us smile are our brilliant teachers.  Thanks to them we have residing inside each of us a specialist in storytelling structure.  That’s your trusty steed who will carry you across the finish link.

When you sit down to write, it’s exciting to know that there will always more to learn.  And it saves a lot of hair-pulling and uncertainty when you realize you are already an expert.

Trust the horse you rode in on to get you home through the dark.

twofish1 small

Interview with a Siren

Some slippery characters are harder to catch than others, but poet Mary Rykov slung her net around the fish-tailed catch of ‘A Siren’s Song’ from Pulp Literature Issue 2.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  A ship of Argonauts with no wax in their ears.
  2. What is your greatest fear?  A ship of Argonauts with no wax in their ears.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  I sing the ones I love to death.  <sigh>
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Ear wax.
  5. On what occasion do you lie?  I always lie.
  6. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  Those bird feathers.  I much prefer mermaid garb.
  7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  “Stop kissing my mouth.”
  8. When and where were you happiest?  Circa 8 BCE at the height of my charms, singing on my lovely Mediterranean island beach.
  9. Which talent would you most like to have?  To sing louder than Orpheus.
  10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  I am celebrated to this day by poets for my beauty and for my clear voice.
  11. What is your most treasured possession?  My beauty and my clear voice.
  12. What is your most marked characteristic?  My mythical status as metaphor for the binding power of death.
  13. Who is your favourite writer?  Homer, of course!
  14. What is your greatest regret?  Circe’s warning to Odysseus.
  15. How would you like to die?  Too late, I’m dead. The ship sailed past, and I died.
  16. What is your motto?  “My song of pleasure leads only to death.”
  17. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘A Siren’s Tale’?   I love the thrill of the catch, but not cleaning the fish …Mary Rykov

Mary H Auerbach Rykov is a music therapist-researcher, writer-poet, educator and editor whose current focus is music-evoked imagery for writers and artists.  She is also our dedicated Pulp Lit final proofreader. Read more at maryrykov.com.

You can find ‘A Siren’s Tale’ in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulp Literature, available through our Kickstarter page.

bedside reading

Top 10 Reasons to Subscribe on Kickstarter

You may be wondering why we’re asking you to subscribe or renew via our Kickstarter page, when you could just as easily hit the subscribe tab above and renew with paypal, or send us a cheque in the mail.  And believe us, if that’s how you’d rather subscribe we are more than happy to receive your hard-earned dosh in any form (except cows — we’ll barter for some things, but there’s just no more room for cows).

Still, we think you should give Kickstarter a go, and here are some reasons why:

portraits

Backer portraits

10. Fabulous Rewards!  While you can get our magazine in other ways, there are some things we only offer through the Kickstarter, such as manuscript critiques and backer portraits.   For most of the year our editors and artists are simply too busy to offer these, but for a limited time they are willing to burn the midnight oil to support the Kickstarter campaign.

9. Visibly show your support for the arts.  When you become a backer you are not just an anonymous subscriber.  We’ll print all our backer names in issue 6 of Pulp Literature (unless you ask us not to).  The campaign page itself remains visible and your name (or pseudonym) will always be attached to it, showing that you care about writing, literature, the arts, and good stories.  The backer count itself is as important as the money received in showing the world there is support for grassroots, crowdfunded arts.

Notecards by Mel Anastasiou

Notecards

8. One stop Christmas shopping.  No malls, no post office line-ups!  We ship our magazines anywhere in the world, and for $10 you can add a personalized gift card.  You can send multiple gifts on a single pledge by just adding the appropriate amounts.  When we send you a survey at the end of the campaign you can let us know the details of all the recipients.

7.  A successful campaign generates buzz.   The biggest challenge new magazines face is developing name recognition.  A Kickstarter campaign gets the word out, spreads our logo and helps people remember the name.

6. Help us get a Canada Council Grant.   While we are fortunate in Canada to have grants for the arts, initial funding is hard to secure.  The arbiters want to see a solid financial base, and having the 2015 finances in place will do just that.

5. Save $$. There are plenty of discounts to be had on the Kickstarter page

  • old dormSave a buck on your ebook subscription.  Regular $17.99, $17 on Kickstarter
  • Get 50% off year 2 when you buy the year 1 back issues: 8 issues for $60 instead of $80
  • Critiques are roughly half off regular rates
  • Save $10 on an Hour Stories workshop
  • Save $100 by booking your writing retreat before Dec 2nd!

4. Paying Writers and Artists.  Our writers are paid 50% on publication and 50% when the sales targets for an issue are reached.  By purchasing back issues and new subscriptions through the kickstarter you are bumping up the sales and helping us pay writers and artists sooner.

3.  Free ebooks.  All our print magazine rewards on the Kickstarter page come with free ebooks or digital subscriptions that you can ask us to give to a friend if you don’t read ebooks.pulp pile

2.  Karma.  Supporting the arts and putting money towards something you enjoy or appreciate is just good karma.  Even a $1 donation helps fill up your karmic piggybank!

1. These are stories you won’t forget. Enjoy them.   And enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling you get knowing you’ve helped us bring them to your doorstep for another year.

If all these reasons don’t convince you to sign in to Kickstarter, we understand completely.   A paper bag of crumpled notes stuffed through the mailbox will still get you a subscription … as long as your name and address is on it somewhere.  Just easy on the cows, okay?

Domenichino155

Free Workshop Tonight!

Have you thought about submitting short stories to literary magazines?  If not, why not?  Tonight at our free talk with the Golden Ears Writers in Maple Ridge we’ll discuss

  • Why short stories are a great way to launch your writing career
  • How stories in literary magazines can improve your own book sales
  • Where and how to submit
  • What catches an editor’s eye
  • How to learn from rejections (we all get them!)
  • Acceptance! Now what? Working with an editor
  • Capitalizing and growing your brand from your short story publications

GEWThere will be plenty of time for questions and answers, and we’ll talk specifically about the types of stories and writing we look for in the slush pile at Pulp Literature.

Join us for a convivial evening with fellow writers:

Tuesday 18 November, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Arts Centre Theatre
11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
(at 224th, north of Lougheed)
admission free, all welcome!

green man

Interview with the Green

From the Beer Faerie to her great grandaddy, today’s interview is with the Green Man from Margaret Kingsbury’s haunting spec fic story ‘The Longing is Green when the Branches are Trees’, due out in Pulp Literature issue 5.GreenManSept16

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Roaming through forests that rise and fall over hills and mountains, sap and bark scenting the air.
  2. What is your motto? Grow.
  3. What is your greatest fear? Fire and man.
  4. When and where were you happiest? The centuries I lived as a yew in my grove, our branches entwining, our leaves whispering to one another in the wind.
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? To humans my skin of bark, to trees my rootless wandering.
  6. Who are your favourite writers? The ones that publish online and write e-books.

Kingsbury Author PicMargaret Kingsbury’s short stories and poems have appeared in Expanded Horizons, NonBinary Review, and in the anthology Battle Runes: Writings on War.  Her fairy tale, post apocalypse novel, currently undergoing revision, was recently awarded honourable mention in the Diverse Writers/Worlds grant.  You can follow her on twitter @MargaretKWrites.

‘The Longing is Green when the Branches are Trees’ will appear in the Winter 2015 edition of Pulp Literature, due out in December.  You can preorder your copy here.

 

 

troubadours

The Art of Asking … and Offering

When you pass a busker and throw some change in the open guitar case, what are you paying for?  It could be for the good feeling of helping another human being; or it could be a gesture of gratitude, a ‘thank you’ for filling that corner of your day with music.

For me it’s often the latter, but there’s another motivation as well.  My coin in that case is a vote that says, “I like what you’re doing, please keep doing it, because I’m willing to pay you for it.”

Last year when we decided to launch a magazine to print the stories we love, this TED talk by the amazing Amanda Palmer was a large part of the inspiration.

viellaIt’s a vulnerable feeling to stand on the street corner with your hand outstretched.  When we ran our first Kickstarter campaign we weren’t just asking for your money, we were asking for your trust.  We had no white flower to hand you, and we hadn’t already filled your ears with music.  All we had were the reputations of great writers like CC Humphreys, JJ Lee, Susanna Kearsley and Joan MacLeod, and the promise of a year’s worth of fabulous stories.

One year on Amanda Palmer has published her first book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, and we have four beautiful issues of Pulp Literature that we’ve been proud to put into your hands.

We hope you liked the medley of stories we’ve brought to your doorstep.  Once more we are asking for your help, this time to publish the next four issues.  Lend us your support and we’ll be your troubadours, bringing you fabulous fiction four times throughout the next year, and for as long as there is a public that wants to pay for it.

Whether you can afford to back us to the tune of $1 or $1000, your pledge on the Kickstarter page is your vote.  It says “I like a good story, I want to see more of them published, and I’m willing to pay to make that happen.”

We thank you for your vote.

The art of asking

For more on Amanda Palmer’s book and the new model for arts funding, see this excellent essay in the New Statesman by Cory Doctorow.

 

 

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Interview with a Faerie

It must have been quite a feat, but somehow artist Melissa Mary Duncan managed to track down and extract some answers from that cheeky, ephemeral creature, first face of Pulp Literature, the Beer Faerie.

Beer Fairy by Melissa Mary Duncan

‘Beer Fairy’ by Melissa Mary Duncan

  1.  What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Hmmm, I am the Beer Faerie, so my idea of perfect happiness is? … Beers! All of them! The pale ones, the stout ones.  Amber or Dark.  The fruit  ones.  The Belgian.  German.  Lager.  Root.  Birch.  Wheat and hops the perfect blend. Rowan and Winter and Cream.  They each have their charm and place. When brewing I am happiest.
  2. What is your greatest fear? The Temperance Movement.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?    My inability to   always think things through with clarity.
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Unrepentant, joyless sobriety.
  5. On what occasion do you lie?  How dare you!  A Faerie never lies.  WE of the glorious Fey prevaricate.
  6. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  The crown of greens can be a little itchy.  Outside of that I am perfect in every way!
  7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  Profanity.
  8. When and where were you happiest?  Seems that I am mostly always happy.   Prohibition was a bit of a downer but I managed enough mischief to keep things hopping.  Hopping!  Get it? Seriously, I miss  the days of yore when beer was the staple beverage of everyone, back when no one blinked an eye at a beer ration of several liters a day!  Those were good times.  I was needed then … Now? Not so much.
  9. Which talent would you most like to have?  The ability to sing like an angel.  Have you ever heard an Angel sing?  Well, if you had you would know what I mean.  Intoxicating!
  10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  My charm.  My wit.  My cunning.  Sooo many to choose from!
  11.  What is your most treasured possession?  My magic cauldron.
  12. What is your most marked characteristic? Mischief.
  13. Who are your favourite writers? Hmm. I like Charles deLint, Bram, Charles Dickens, and those brothers … Grimm.
  14. What is your greatest regret? I do not regret. I live in the moment and in hope.
  15. How would you like to die?  I am a Faerie, I will not die. Although I am not quite immortal either … I think Master Tolkien said it best.  He is an okay writer too.  I shall go into the West and remain, Beer Faerie!
  16. What is your motto?  Bottom’s up!
  17. What is something we’d never glean about you from the cover of Pulp Lit #1?  I do community work for displaced Gnomes and Hedgerow Pixies. I also feed homeless moles.

    'Fondly Remembered Magic' by Melissa Mary Duncan

    ‘Fondly Remembered Magic’ by Melissa Mary Duncan

Melissa Mary Duncan lives in the historic city of New Westminster, British Columbia with her husband, author dvsduncan.  Having a playful inner landscape, she confesses to having a hat addiction, wearing Edwardian clothing, reading in the bath, and watching British dramas whilst drinking lemonade. A proud mother of two and grandmother of three, Melissa remains a student of Celtic, English and Northern European history and mythology. Her painting “Fondly Remembered Magic” will be the cover of Pulp Literature Issue 5.

You can meet Melissa in person at the Surrey Museum on Saturday, November 15th from 1 – 4pm, where she will be talking about all things Viking.

Print copies of Pulp Literature Issue 1, featuring the Beer Faerie, are in limited supply and currently only available through our Kickstarter campaign.

Rumpole on the Shelf

Reviews in the Age of the Internet: Karma Comes to the Castle

castleWhen I first discovered that many used books in the UK were one pence plus delivery I went a little crazy.  Sequels and missed treasures — this was the most complete lending library I’d ever patronized, and I could keep the books.  My library swiftly expanded and rose like a castle into the clouds.

However, soon doubts came home to roost upon the castle walls. I’m a writer, and I would like to be paid, so shouldn’t I be buying the book new?  These are Karmaic doubts.  And you don’t want to mess with Karmaic doubts.  Sharks, typhoons, poor ebook sales … you never know with Karma.

So now, having bought what books I can manage firsthand and the rest secondhand, I post reviews for all.  In the age of the Internet there’s never been an easier, more effective way to do it, because review sites are all over the web.  I wander through my shelves, pick out a book I enjoyed and put up a glowing review for it.  And it’s great — I’ve always wished to thank authors for a great read.  All those hours they write, just to please me!  Thank you very much indeed.

And, a big thank you to readers and writers who have taken a few minutes to post reviews for Pulp Literature.  We so appreciate this work. Thanks again to all.