Posts Tagged ‘writer’

At SNM Horror Magazine, my story Cracks is Story of
the Month! YIPPIE!

Go here to read it (and scroll down): Cracks! (Remember
to scroll WAAAAAY down. They put the Story of the Month at the end, to try to
get readers to read all the stories… which you will probably want to do
anyway. I get $30.00 for this story, and it will go into their next anthology.
YIPPIE!!)

Here’s the top finishers:

SEPTEMBER WINNERS /
STORIES OF THE MONTH:

1st Place – John JAM Arthur Miller – Cracks /
SOTM

2nd Place – Matthew Nelson – Sunset Consequences

3rd Place –
Marius Dicomites – Where The Dead Live

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Two more days to enter the “Daily Kick Contest” and receive
recognition from a New York Times Bestselling author. Prize money and Recognition! Go here to view contest
details: http://www.liquid-imagination.com/farland/contest.html

There is an adage that goes like this: Cream always rises to the top. To me, this denotes quality, and quality always rises to the top. Whether it’s writing or publishing, the qualified work of any kind will rise. To me, this represents Sue Babcock. As our new micro-fiction editor Brandon Rucker says: Sue is MVP of Liquid Imagination.

Sue first submitted a story for the first issue of Liquid Imagination Online. I remember workshopping the story with her many times, and each time I suggested a change, Sue enthusiastically took the challenge to improve her story until it was ready for publication. Her story, Second Chance, was awesome, but it also showed how Sue constantly worked hard to improve herself.

Eventually, she joined the team at Liquid Imagination. Now she formats the entire online magazine, is my legal business partner, and acts as Liquid Imagination’s business director. That means she keeps us on a timetable, making sure we maintain our schedule. She takes the audio voice of Robert Eccles and the artwork of Jack Rogers (or herself) to enhance the speculative stories Editor Kevin Wallis has accepted for each issue. Since joining Staff, the overall presentation and format of the online magazine has increased in quality because—as I’ve said—cream always rises. One of the reasons Liquid Imagination Online continues to excel in quality is because of the tremendous staff consisting of editors, voice talent, artists and especially Sue Babcock.

Now, let’s get to Three Questions with Sue Babcock:

1)      Sue, as an insider of Liquid Imagination, where do you see us in the future?

Oh, geez, you made me sound like I’m doing this alone. I’m not. We have such a strong team at LI – Kevin Wallis, Chrissy Davis, Brandon Rucker, John “JAM” Miller, Bob Eccles, and Jack Rogers, not to mention the writers who risk so much whenever they submit their work anywhere. Every submission I read, every story and poem I help publish, I think about the writer and the risks that we all take as writers, so that others can read our work. So thank you for that very generous intro.

One of the ideas we’ve kicked around for a while is a print magazine. Because of many factors (the economy, the increasing costs of print, the increasing popularity of e-books), we’re reconsidering this idea. E-books are coming. Not everyone embraces them, but experts are predicting that we are only one, maybe two, devices away from a boom in e-readers. And with improved e-readers, exciting new opportunities for e-publishing will emerge.

I like the possibilities that exist for enhanced e-books. It fits LI’s mission – to publish a wide variety of art, including graphic, digital, illustrations, paintings, fiction, poetry, music, animations and other art forms. Print limits us to the visual arts, while e-books allow us to include music, voice and animations. These are exciting times, and LI wants to be a leader in the realm of hybridized art.

I want thousands and thousands of people to see our site, I want hundreds to submit work (music, art, stories, poems), and I think it would be awesome if this all overflowed into an e-book format.

We may someday venture into print, but I see that as a subset of the possibilities of enhanced e-books.

2)      You have a PhD in Engineering, and you’ve stated that you have an analytical, left-brained way of thinking. But you’re very creative and a dynamic writer, too. With that in mind, how does a publisher/editor combine the best of both worlds for their publication? How does an editor allow for inspiration and creativity, yet enhance and fuel that creativity with analytical critiques to tighten, improve and exceed past issues in quality?

Some days when I’m struggling with the technical details of running the site or learning new ways to improve the online experience, my right brain chokes. When I’m in this mood, I see the structure of stories more clearly, the grammar and punctuation errors become more obvious, and the actual story – that creative spark that drove the writer – sometimes fades. For this reason, I often read submitted stories at least twice, once when my analytical brain is churning at top speed, and once when I’m relaxed and receptive to my muse.

As for combining the best of both worlds in LI, that is easier. I feel I’m the luckiest person in the world – I can build a website using all the new skills I’ve learned, all the technical stuff, all the latest technology and applications, but at the same time I get to stretch the very limits of my fledgling creative powers and put together art of all types into a unique and wonderful package. These limits – both technical and creative – grow each day for me. There’s no telling where it will take me and LI next.

3)      This might be the scariest question: how many projects and publications are you involved in, and what are their names?

LI Online (http://www.liquid-imagination.com/) currently is my most challenging publication. However, it may soon be surpassed in the technical challenge category by a new website and publication, Kids ‘Magination (http://www.kidsmagination.com/). This brand new site, which is still under construction, is dedicated to encourage kids, particularly elementary school aged kids, to write fiction. We may expand into poetry, as well. The site has significant technical challenges because we want to be very careful with a site aimed at children. We must protect the participants from stalkers and inappropriate content. It’s a fun site to build, and it will grow  as I learn.

Kids ‘Magination is part of Silver Pen Writing Associate (http://www.silverpen.org/), another site I help build and maintain. I’m a trustee and the vice president of SPWA, and I see so much potential with this non-profit organization, which will continue to expand as we develop new ideas.

I am the fiction editor at Silver Blade (http://www.silverblade.net/), which is also associated with Silver Pen. SB and SP were started by Karl Rademacher, and I’m very proud of the stories and poems we offer at this publication of fantasy and science fiction. I love reading the submissions and discussing with the publisher the merits of each story.

Robert Eccles is the “VOICE” behind all the great fiction at Liquid Imagination Online, but he’s so much more than voice talent. Robert’s expertise not only encompasses his “radio voice” (which is also his income), but I began calling him “Mr. Necrotic Tissue” a while back, in a good natured manner, in honor of his achievements. You see, Necrotic Tissue is one of my favorite print magazine of dark fiction. It absolutely rocks! Among other things, it publishes entire stories told in exactly 100-words. Robert was getting into Necrotic Tissue’s micro-fiction department often. I think his micro-fiction was published 3 issues in a row.

Beyond the “voice,” beyond the nickname, Robert Eccles continues to write his brand of hard-hitting fiction with an noir voice. When he writes humor, his pieces produce belly laughs. When he decides to thrill you with horror, Robert’s uses words like finely chosen nails, words which he hammers into the reader’s mind. Sometimes it reminds me of the kind of hard-boiled fiction that made Mickey Spillane so popular, and at other times it’s a punch to the gut. Direct and potent, Robert asks no quarter in his stories, nor does he offer apologies—those who read his work will understand. Robert’s fiction makes you either cry from laughing so hard, or it pulls at the primordial strands within your gut and fills you with unease. When reading one of his horror stories at night, you’ll feel compelled to check the door to make sure it’s locked, and check the kids to make sure they’re okay. His hard-hitting fiction contains THAT kind of primordial, raw fear.

Now for Three Questions with Robert Eccles:

1)     Robert, you write micro-fiction, flash and short stories. What is your favorite type of fiction to write? What is the most published type of fiction you’ve written? And what about a novel?

I think I like coming up with a good short story the best. Micro and flash fiction pose their own unique challenges, which makes them a lot of fun for me. But if I can put together a story in two- or three-thousand words that really hits home, that gives me the most satisfaction. “Virtual Memory,” the story accepted for the Static Movement anthology “Local Heroes”, is one of those stories. As for what I’ve published the most, without question it’s flash fiction. I’ve had lots of stories in the 500-1,000 word range published online and in anthologies. But there’s definitely a special place in my heart for the 100-word bites I’ve had published with Necrotic Tissue Magazine. Since they pay for those stories at “pro rates”, and since I’ve had quite a few of them published (five so far and a couple more accepted), they’re special to me.

I would like to write a novel someday, but I’m not sure I have the patience for that. My immediate goal would be to have a collection of my short stories published. But if I do write a novel, I’ll have you write the description for the back cover based on the glowing introduction you wrote for this interview.

2)     You work as an anchorman. Is this in radio? And didn’t you just act as “voice talent” for Pseudopod?

I’m a news reporter and anchor at a public radio station in southeast Michigan. I’ve been in the radio business since 1985. When I first got into radio it was as a DJ. Then folks kept telling me I had a good news voice. Enough people tell you that, and you start to think they may be right. So I moved into news in 1991 and have been doing that ever since. I have had the opportunity to narrate some wonderful stories on the side for Liquid Imagination, of course, and for a few folks who put out podcasts. I’ve done a couple now for Pseudopod, one each for PodCastle and Transmissions from Beyond, a couple for Barry J. Northern’s Cast Macabre and a few for Every Day Fiction. I’m also providing a voice for a multiple-voice production of a story for Cast Macabre, which should be interesting.

3)     What do you consider your strongest point in writing?

I’d say humorous horror. Not everything I write is funny, of course. Some of it is very dark. But I’m decent at writing the funnier stuff, I think. As for lengths, I’d say those 100-word bites are my strong suit. They tend to be humorous, too.

Before I provide a few links to Robert’s wonderful fiction, I’d like to say to him, “Yes, I would love to write on the back of any novel/anthology you put out.”

Robert’s work appears here at these fine publications:

Flashes in the Dark 
 
Tiny Terrors 

MicroHorror

Read ‘em and love ‘em!

“Three Questions” will be a short interview process for those appearing in Liquid Imagination Online. Currently I’m about to interview AJ Brown, writer extraordinaire who has been my inspiration for years. His fiction has appeared in Liquid Imagination Online, and we publish one article from him each issue. His latest article is called “Live or Die,” and among all the concepts of writing, it absolutely rocks. AJ Brown may be a lot of things, but one thing he is NOT is BORING! AJ Brown will not do is let you down!

by John “JAM” Arthur Miller

 

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

 

          -Friedrich Nietzsche

I gazed into the abyss. Something looked out. A large eye the size of our sun, glaring with hostility. Who dares? it demanded. I smiled and said, Just me… just me. It became confused and blinked.

Each time it blinked the light of the universe went out; a total darkness of the soul seethed with an icy chill that permeated and enveloped all. Stop blinking, I cried. It laughed and shouted, Stop confusing me. But I couldn’t stop confusing it because I couldn’t stop asking it questions. My finite intelligence, although genius among my own kind, was far below its infinite epiphanies; the finite was too much for for the infinite. I crippled it when I informed the beast from the abyss about love. Love? What is love? it cried.

The beast from the abyss slid back into its sludge of bile. Nietzshe rolled over in his grave, and the sun became a new day’s dawn somewhere back in physical reality.

I remained where I hovered, at the edge of the abyss in the bubble of a dream. Aren’t you going to wake up now? the monster from the abyss demanded, its giant eye permanently opened, unblinking.

I smiled and said, But I have more to teach you.

Then I leapt into the abyss, splashed within the bile, felt cold logic slip up my flesh and cover my head. Black, cold vomit slid into my mouth. I swallowed down jagged little pills. The monster screamed in agonizying joy, shouting, It’s too much… too much!

It was just enough – just enough because now I shared the secrets of the abyss. Nietzsche was right: the abyss met my gaze. But more besides, for the abyss crept inside my face, inside my mind even as my essence seeped into it. I sucked in wisdom it had vomited out, and it coddled me by the cold embrace of eternity.

Together we become one, the finite and infinite—organic flesh and the cold kiss of graveyard soil.

This is not another writer’s blog; this is YOUR blog. Welcome! Didn’t think you owned another blog, did you?

This blog will showcase YIPPIES from all publishers and writers. If you’ve published something, shout it out here. If you’ve gotten a short story, poem, artwork or novel published… this is da’ place. This blog will be about my writing, of course. It will be about Liquid Imagination Online of which I’m the publisher. But it’s also going to be about the writers and poets I wish to brag about. There will be a page for your YIPPIES. There will be a page for online fiction that I love. There will be a page for Liquid Imagination Online (my online magazine), and there will be a page for Liquid Imagination Magazine (my print magazine coming out).

But now let’s talk about you. Who are you? What makes your writing different? Not a writer? Then as a reader you will have special precedence among these web pages, because it’s all about your entertainment, and your opinion matters more than anybody’s.

Kick off your shoes. Pull up a chair. Tell me about yourself. And make yourself at home. Oh, and be kind because this blog is still under construction.

My name is John “JAM” Arthur Miller, and now it’s our turn. Who are you? 🙂