“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein
KZine is a British publication specializing in science fiction, horror, fantasy, and crime stories for Kindle. It’s now also offering paperback editions on Amazon, including issue eight, which features one of my stories.
The reviewer at Wizzley Magazine wrote that he “was impressed by the high quality of all eight stories” in that issue, and had this to say about my contribution, “Spell Check”:
“Jordan has accidentally created a creature that has invaded her house. She turns to an old customer, Floyd, for help. This is a quaint magical story, a little bit sad and a little bit scary.”
And here’s a 5-star Amazon reader review:
“Mike’s story is great; very clever, well-described, and quite creative, about an unwitting conjurer. Then I read the whole issue. Really impressed with the quality of the stories here. I liked them all, but also especially remember “Pickman’s Motel.” I’m an HP Lovecraft fan, and this story did a great job building on Lovecraft’s ‘Pickman’s Model.’ “
I’m guest-blogging today at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo web site. Check it out!
The best fiction and writing blog posts from around the ‘net, all guaranteed to make you a beloved literary legend. Compiled by Mark.
G. Edward Smith – Busting Myths About Writing & Writers
Jim Harrington – What Do Editors Want?
M. L. Davis – Writer Worries and How to Beat Them
Jack Cunningham – Too Many Characters?
Ash Reed – The importance of writing short stories
K. L. Wagoner – Writing Character Emotions Just Got Easier
Mickey Mason – How to Read Like a Writer
Mark Twain – 12 Timeless Writing Tips
Last night, the Charlotte Film Society screened a fascinating movie titled Woman at War. It’s the tale of a music and yoga teacher who’s determined to sabotage an aluminum plant in the Icelandic wilderness.
Halla, the protag, wages war against a noisy, smelly, and sprawling collection of gritty metal cubes and towers unnaturally plopped onto the mystical Icelandic grassland. Add in the aromatic hydrocarbons and mutagens the plant belches out, and it’s easy to understand why a person who cherishes nature would take up arms against such a monstrosity. Business leaders and the government see the plant as an economic blessing; Halla sees one of William Blake’s dark Satanic mills.
Despite the film’s issue-packed premise, it doesn’t preach. Halla ranges the Icelandic grassland like Artemis with her bow, fulfilling her self-appointed role as the modern-day protector of nature. As is appropriate for a Greek goddess stand-in, she’s followed by a chorus that not only reflects her emotional reactions, but also provides comic relief.
The film is much more than a plea for clean air. Nearly surrounded by the police, Halla is rescued by a gruff farmer who becomes her accomplice. The two quickly realize they’re most likely related. So the movie’s primary conflict is between those with deep ties to their land and foreign investors who care only for the raw materials the land can produce. It’s the local and ancestral versus the global and rootless.
Woman at War was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival but failed to snag an Academy Award. If it comes to a local art cinema, check it out. It’s a hidden gem that deserves a wider audience.
“The point I would make is that the novelist and the historian are seeking the same thing: the truth — not a different truth: the same truth — only they reach it, or try to reach it, by different routes. Whether the event took place in a world now gone to dust, preserved by documents and evaluated by scholarship, or in the imagination, preserved by memory and distilled by the creative process, they both want to tell us how it was: to re-create it, by their separate methods, and make it live again in the world around them.” Shelby Foote, author and historian