Bruiser

Bruises Luchadores
This picture is a screen cap from the video for Band of Skulls song “Bruises”. It bears zero relation to the story – But I love that band, that song, and that video, so go check it out on YouTube. If Band of Skulls asked me to take this pic down I would and I would still love them.

It’s a back-to-back jack kind of week for me: My story “Bruiser” is up at Rum Punch Press.

Wrestling, chihuahuas, and nihilism. Fuck yeah.

You can read it Here

Much thanks to the editors at Rum Punch Press.

Let me know what you savages think after you have read it.

Savages.

Steve

Broke

SunStruck-February-2016 2.1 Wonder.jpg

My short story “Broke” is now available in Starstruck magazine issue 2.1 (Theme: “Wonder”) and can be viewed via downloading the pdf Here

“Broke” Begins on page 49 and yes, the picture at the end of the story captioned “My granddad and his hunting pack” is my granddad and his hunting pack. I supplied the picture.

“Broke” addresses themes of unemployment, failure, graft, violence, and hunting coyotes. I could not get this story published in Canada.

Sunstruck is out of Denton, Texas, and unafraid.

Much thanks to Caleb and the crew at Sunstruck. They put out a bold, beautiful product and I am flattered to be a part of it.

Feminism: The Rising Tide That Lifts All Literary Boats

Steinem Quote

 

I have spent too much time on Twitter lately and have eye-strain from eye-rolling.

Look, I’m going to lay it out as simply as I for those who do not understand: Feminism has been the rising tide that has lifted all literary boats.

Practicing some exclusionary hierarchy as far as what gets published does not aid male authors in general – only the few supported by the ruling elite. This is a clique-ish business full of pedants. Feminists are not taking your place in the literary elite from you – it was never yours. What feminists, and feminism has done, is to broaden the literary platform for everyone.

Without a doubt I would not have the publication credits I do without feminists. Those feminists who taught me, beta-read for me, and selected my work for publication. Those feminists who wrote, edited, and then, at no financial gain at all, started a publication, a blog, a ‘zine.

The idea that feminism is exclusionary of men is preposterous. The idea that women in literature are “social justice warriors” and not “real writers” is beyond preposterous. Social change as represented in literature is to be lauded. What vision of the future have we had that was not first provided in literature? What story of an unacceptable present has not moved the reader towards a sense of genuine social justice?

Feminists have not taken anything from anyone – and they have given much.

Your obligation as a reader is not to look at the name and decide about the story right then, your obligation is to read the story. Crying on social media is amusing but not in the “we’re laughing with you” way.

I sometimes think that there are two different languages being spoken, one by certain men who think only of the language of rejection – “my stories get rejected too, wah” and the language of exclusion which is well familiar to women and minorities – human beings who never get a chance in the first place. It bothers me to think that there are still female writers who do not submit because they have been intimidated. The idea that someone won’t read sci-fi because it was written by a woman or a brown-skinned person is odious.

A literary community that is better for women will be better for men.

The option is to condone someone else’s hierarchy and live by their rules – which will almost certainly exclude you.

I’ll be back to post when any of my recent sales/placements go live and for a really sad Valentine’s day post full of poesy if none go live before the world’s shittiest, saddest “holiday”.

Steve

 

Matthew Good on Writing

Canadian recording artist Matthew Good is a legend – for a number of reasons.

I like his lyrics. In his song “Generation X-Wing” the chorus consists of a singular line, repeated a few times:

“I will always be the worst”

So yeah, I’d say MG understood writing.

Many years ago I read a “Story” on his blog – it was an interior monologue about drinking away the pain. It wasn’t that good. I decided that I could write better and that’s when I started.

So here’s Matthew Good and the acoustic version of “Generation X-Wing” for all of us who have always been the worst.

 

I’ll be back in a while – whenever I sense that y’all are getting too happy/too comfy. Then I’ll post Two Cow Garage’s “Should’ve California” live from 3 Kings Tavern and once again, remind you not to be too happy/comfy. Like – what are you thinking?

Steve

Boycotting Valentine’s With Sons of Butcher

V-Day is coming up and I will not be participating in that soulless corporate imposition – by choice. (Someone else’s choice – but – that’s not materiel.)

Fight the power is what I’m saying.

People say to me “Steve, why don’t you write love songs?” I tell them it’s because I’m not a musician. Then they say to me “Love Poems? Why don’t you write love poems?” I say its because Sons of Butcher wrote all the good ones, and set them to music, and I’m not a musician.

Here’s their “Made Love by the River” – The lovin-est love ballad of all time. It’s like Valentine’s Day, but with less greed, every time you play this song:

 

 

If there is one thing I want for you to take away from this sweet, sweet sonnet it’s the following lyrics:

“Listen, kids
Love’s a four way stop
If you get there first, you have the right of way
If they get there first, they have the right of way
If you both arrive at the same time, in that magical moment
The person to the right, has the right of way”

Damn.

It’s dusty in here. Something got in my eye.

Later gators. Remember: Don’t give in. You are only fooling yourself.

\m/ \m/

Steve

Of Readers, Editors, and Nominations

Los Angeles
No idea who originally took this/made this but I do love LA. 

In November of this year I had a story titled “All of the Words to All of the Songs” accepted by an on-line publication called Chicago Literati and in the same email they told me they were nominating it for a “Puschart Prize.” I did not actually know what a Pushcart Prize was – I quickly confirmed with writer friends that A) this was cool and B) it doesn’t come with a check attached.

Ah well. In the end of the literary pool I swim – and like -small indie publishers rule and no one makes any money so praise is the only form of currency we have. I don’t mind. I am very pleased for the kind words of the Editor who selected and nominated the story.

I never know who reads my shit or what they think of it if they do. I write because I like to do it – I get some satisfaction out of ordering words around. In my short literary career I’ve had feedback from strangers exactly four times: The Pushcart Nomination from Chicago Literati, a positive review @ thereviewreview.net of my story “The River by The Garden” appeared in an independent review of the Molotov Cocktail, and two strangers on Twitter professing their admiration for other stories of mine.

That’s all.

I didn’t win a Pushcart, and I don’t use the nomination on my “author bio” when I send out other work. I understand that there are thousands of nominees, and that the process itself ranges from totally unbiased totally biased. Winning some sort of prize might help the ol’ writer’s resume’ and if ever I win anything you’ll be sure to hear about it.

It would be a monumentally self-serving lie to say that I don’t care who reads me, or if anyone reads me. At a certain point as a writer, you must admit that you like to be read. We write whether we are read or not, because that’s the way we are, but no one ever put pen to paper save for some sort of posterity.

At any rate, I am pleased with the comfort of strangers, and you can read my Puschart Nominated Story “All of the Words to All of the Songs” here at Chicago Literati

To any of you who read my stories – Thanks!

I’ll be back soon with links to more poesy I have being published and some other crap to amuse small minds when I have no actual news to report.

Steve

My Header Pics

cropped-looking-n-from-rachel-nevada.jpg

No one ever asked but my old header pic (above) was taken in Rachel, Nevada on December 29. 2014. My youngest and I had road-tripped it and made the trip to Rachel and the infamous Little Al-E-Inn – A place made (semi) famous in the movie “Paul” due to its proximity to the fabled “Area 51.”

The picture itself was taken from the parking lot of the little Al-E-Inn facing roughly due North across the 375 – “The Extraterrestrial Highway.” The inn – and Area 51 – would have been at our backs.

There is nothing out there. Nothing. You could hide a large secret base and have an army of aliens unloading crate after crate of Bigfoots and no one would ever see.

Make sure you are on a full tank of gas going to Rachel – there is no gas in Rachel itself.

cropped-shortgrass-prairie-near-barnwell.jpg

My current header pic was taking on a hike on March 12, 2012 a few kilometers north of Barnwell, Alberta. That’s what the short grass prairie looks like in it’s natural state. Although it’s difficult to tell, the farm on the right hand side of the picture is across the Old Man River – I’d guess sit to be 3 to 3.5 k’s away and the river would not be an easy crossing in March when it’s swollen with run off and the water is hypothermia-inducing cold even though the river itself is not exceptionally deep. When we were kids we used to “tube” down the river to a landing near the town of Taber – we’d float down on the current resting on old tractor-tire inner tubes and while an afternoon away. I wonder if anyone does that anymore?

Like the Nevada pic this pic is taken facing north.

If you have a big enough and sharp enough screen you’ll see little puffs of black smoke trailing off to the right (East) – that’s a from a tractor plowing. It was very windy that day (like most days here) and thus the dotted black line in the sky.

And that’s the story of my header pics.

Stay young and cool comrades, I’ll be back to post something when I have something to post.

Steve