Archive for April, 2010

Ellen Mizell

Posted in interviews, news, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by intoviews
Ellen Mizell

Ellen Mizell

what is your name?
Ellen Mizell.

how would you describe what you do?

My latest novel is an urban fantasy.

what are you currently working on?

I just finished a novel titled THE FIREFIGHTER’S DOG:

For Dr Tiffany Deweese, anything that can’t be transcended with Buddhist philosophy can be stomped out by Southern grit. The fact that some of her patients have been dead for years doesn’t faze her; she can treat post-traumatic stress post-mortem. While investigating a haunted brownstone house with a murderous past, she discovers an evil entity that’s more than she can handle. On the advice of her spiritual mentor, she rescues a dog from a pound. His owner died fighting a forest fire and the scarred, ugly mutt is about to be put down. She calls him Samurai because he has a ‘fighting spirit’. With Samurai at heel, Dr Deweese sets out to stop the Eater of Souls before it consumes the city. To do that, she needs to de-spook a haunted hotel, help the police break a criminal syndicate and fend off a demonic invasion of rats.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

I was 12 when I read Lord of the Rings.  That was the experience that made me realize I wanted to be a writer.  However, my mother taught English for 30 years in the local high schools; my father was a fabulous storyteller who could hold a group spell-bound. Literature lived in their house–it wasn’t a dead thing in books.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

I think the notion that fantasy is something apart.  Buddhist philosophy recognizes that there is a seen and an unseen nature to reality and fantasy offers a way to show both these levels in the same frame.  The best works of fantasy comment, often scathingly, on reality.  Terry Pratchett is a great example of that.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

A writer is dependent on the reader to provide the “movie” for the narrative.  If I can’t get the readers on my side, then I’ve lost them.  It’s up to me to tell the best story I can.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

I love computers and spellcheck!

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Learn something new every day.  It keeps you growing.

where can we find you online?

Currently, I’m on Facebook.  I post reviews on Amazon under my college nickname Miz Ellen. Some of my old musical and storytelling collaborations with Ken Clinger and Bovine Productions might still be out in cyberspace somewhere.  We lost a lot of our joint material when AOL closed Ken’s Bovine Productions website.

what are you reading at the moment?

LADIES OF LIBERTY, by Cokie Roberts, about women in American history

just finished CHANGES by Jim Butcher and posted a review on Amazon.

A Gothic gender-bender of a novel called MISFORTUNE.

what are you listening to at the moment?

Just discovered one of the most authentic voices to come out of Kentucky, a singer/song writer named Lyn Hacker. A rough rich voice singing original poetry of exile, hard times and celebrating nature. I’m biased, of course. I live in economic exile from my hometown in Kentucky and Lyn and I used to hang out together as kids.  I had no idea she had such talent.  Her folks are from Eastern Kentucky and she’s knocked around on the racing circuit.  If you can, check out GIRL WHO LOVES HORSES. Lyn’s singing about herself, but I feel she speaks for me better than anyone could.

anything else we should know?

Like the heroine of my novel, I adopted a dog from the local humane society. My dog is not as cool as her dog, however.

Are you crazy asking me something like that? I write f-i-c-t-i-o-n.  I love telling s-t-o-r-i-e-s.  A question like that is just asking to be lied to.  Sadly, lying is against my religion. Dang religion. Christians can just have faith; to be Buddhist you have to practice. I need lots more practice…

Patrick Blennerhassett

Posted in interviews, news, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2010 by intoviews

Patrick Blennerhassett

Patrick Blennerhassett

what is your name?

Patrick Blennerhassett.

how would you describe what you do?

I’m a fiction novelist. A writer. A journalist. Also unemployed.

what are you currently working on?

I’ve finished my second novel Random Acts of Vandalism, currently looking at a few prospective publishers but it’s like trying to get blood from a stone. Whoever said it was easier the second time around lied to me, profusely.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

My own life, and the life of those around me.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

That I’m the main character in my novels.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

I don’t think enough young people are reading books anymore. I still plow through books on a weekly basis, but everyone I know only wants to talk about Tiger Woods gallivanting around or Jersey Shore. They’re missing out on some great fiction novels. I do think books have a better ability to stay with you for a longer period of time. The really exceptional books I’ve read, they’ve changed me as a person.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

It’s made it easier to harass people in positions of power within the publishing industry. I hope that one day the internet will level the playing field in terms of art. Take the record companies, the publishing companies, all the middle men out of it. If you like someones book, CD, painting, you go to their website and order it. You attend their shows, readings because of that, you make a direct business connection with the artist. There’s no Chapter’s or MTV or Ivory Tower critics telling us what we should and shouldn’t listen to. Just the socialist voices on the internet propping up those who deserved to be propped up in terms of artistic expression by sheer word of mouth based on their art.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Don’t get a credit card, ever.

where can we find you online?

www.nonpublishing.com

what are you reading at the moment?

The Lie by Chad Kultgen

what are you listening to at the moment?

Sisterworld – Liars; Odd Blood – Yeasayer; Old Crows/Young Cardinals – Alexisonfire; Julian Plenti… Is Skyscraper – Julian Plenti; Heligoland – Massive Attack; Whitney Anderson

anything else we should know?

That unknown artists in this country like myself do not, and can not make a living at what we do. The federal government offers little incentive for us to be creative, for us to write/make the movies/record the CD’s you love to enjoy. We are drowning slowly.

Alison Summers

Posted in interviews, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , on April 18, 2010 by intoviews

Alison Summers

Alison Summers

what is your name?

Alison Summers

how would you describe what you do?

I write chick lit novels with a serious message, often dealing with mental health issues

what are you currently working on?

Three narratives: one is a thriller based around a royal kidnap plot, a treasure hunt and a woman who will stop at nothing to rule an independent Scotland; another is an experimental romantic novel about a woman with bi-polar disease; the last is an experimental novel about a woman with early onset dementia using the narrative style of facebook messages.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

When I had a chronic illness I found that writing and performing my work to an audience helped me heal

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

That I “just” write chick lit

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

Strengths: the length allows me to develop character and plot

Weaknesses: the genre can be misunderstood

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

It has transformed my writing – I can now do lots of  full length re-writes and my fingers on the keyboard can keep up with my brain

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Take regular breaks from the keyboard, play Mozart or Birdsong radio to help access your right brain

where can we find you online?

Last Tango in Edinburgh – wordstore workshops blog

what are you reading at the moment?

Mulligan Stew, What is the What, and Wolf Hall

what are you listening to at the moment?

Bird Song Radio

anything else we should know?

Best food in the world is in Mauritius, Argentine tango rocks, I teach creative writing to adults
Wordstore Workshops Writing Workshops for Health and Happiness contact: alisonjmsummers@hotmail.co.uk

John A. Karr

Posted in interviews, news, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by intoviews

John A Karr

John A Karr


what is your name?

John A. Karr
how would you describe what you do?

Fiction writer with a day job as an IT Analyst. Fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay.

what are you currently working on?

Currently I’m writing the rough draft of a western horror/adventure tale while marketing my recently released heroic fantasy novel, Rhone, and medical thriller Hippocrates Shattered. I am also in the formative stages of a mainstream fiction work based on a Founding Father returning to the current political scene in the United States.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

Nearly every book read, fiction or non-fiction, contributes to the creativity well. The greatest influence on me are works by writers who create vivid images and palatable impact.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

That my work is of one particular genre. I move around from genre to general fiction as the impetus moves me.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

Number One Strength: Books are affordable, portable entertainment. Most people can afford at least a used book from time to time or can check one out from the library. You can take books with you and enjoy some period of stimulated imagination — if the writer has succeeded in his or her efforts. Reading engages the mind actively, in ways television and movies do not. Video games are interactive but the images, while often brilliant, are not created in one’s own mind.

The biggest weakness of the book realm is that the majority of people prefer the aformentioned passive visual entertainment. This is why bestsellers, particularly the Young Adult variety, are good for the book industry; they get more people reading.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

Digital books are great for the environment, and the reading devices have come a long way to ease eye strain.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Keep writing. Daily if possible. Through all the rejections, all the self-doubt, all the stumbles … keep writing and entering the daily zen intrinsic to the act of writing (or painting, sculpting, making music, performing).

where can we find you online?

www.johnakarr.com and http://wildwolfpublishing.com/JAKarr.aspx

what are you reading at the moment?

The Horror Tales of Robert E. Howard

what are you listening to at the moment?

Soma – FM’s Mission Control   http://somafm.com/

anything else we should know?

Family guy. Lucky to have a great wife and kids.

Adam W. Hart

Posted in interviews, news, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by intoviews

Adam W Hart

Adam W Hart

what is your name?

Adam W. Hart

how would you describe what you do?

I am the publisher/editor of Apparatus Magazine. Also, I am a performing poet, writer, musician and filmmaker.

what are you currently working on?

My current project is Apparatus Magazine, a monthly online literary journal publishing poetry and short fiction from around the world. The journal publishes people from all walks of life, giving readers the opportunity to broaden their horizons.

The magazine is registered with the Library of Congress, and already within the first year one of our contributors was picked for the Dzanc Books’ “Best of the Web 2010” print anthology. (Rachel Bunting, for her poem “Martha Stewart Claims She Has Been Struck by Lightning Three Times.”) The anthology comes out in June/July of this year. Apparatus Magazine will also be listed in both the Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market directories, coming out this fall.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

I’ve read a number of poets and fiction writers growing up. Among my influences I count: William Faulkner; Flannery O’Connor; Tennessee Williams; William Shakespeare; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Sherwood Anderson; Joyce Carol Oates; James Purdy; Edgar Allen Poe; and others. I was fortunate enough to study with poet Michael Bugeja, who was my advisor in college, as well as fiction writer Alyce Miller.

Growing up, my parents were a major influence. They have always been strong supporters of me as an artist – poetry, fiction, music, and film – so I owe them more than I can ever say for their support and love.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

I think one misconception is that, as a gay male, all of my poetry/writing has to deal with that as its topic. While I do have pieces I describe as ‘queer agitation’ pieces – not quite activist in nature, but still rattling the cage a bit – so much of my own work deals with other topics.

For instance, one of my ‘signature’ performance poems deals with hearing loss and the process I went through when I was much younger involving hearing and speech therapy. The piece is very stylized – focusing on sounds and language – but it drives home the point of alienation, of a sense of loss and not quite belonging to either the deaf or the hearing worlds.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

For Apparatus Magazine, the strength I see in an online publication is access. Compared to print publications, having a journal in an electronic format allows one to open up the work to readers from other countries.  With print publications, the readership is limited by the scope of distribution or by the reader’s access to an actual printed copy.

Electronic journals do have some drawbacks, though. Readers need to have access to the Web in order to read the work, so there are potential readers who I think are missing out on the work that Apparatus Magazine publishes. Also, I personally enjoy reading print materials – journals and books – so I don’t think the Web is ready to replace those just yet. I would like to eventually offer a yearly print anthology of work published in the journal, but that is a plan for the future.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

Access to the Web – and to programs to create Web sites – has allowed me to have more creative control over the journal. For Apparatus Magazine, I do the majority of the design and photography contained in the journal. I can do a photo shoot at the beginning of a week and, after editing and layout, have the new issue of the magazine online at the end of the week. Also, doing a journal online does allow for correcting small errors and glitches, whereas a print journal – well, the errors are fairly glaring after an issue has gone to press.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Poets and writers should not be afraid of online journals. Years ago, literary journals on the Web were a new thing, and some were rightfully hesitant to submit their work, fearing that publication in such journals would not look good on their CVs. Now, though, many online journals are publishing high-quality work alongside their print counterparts, and the strength of poetry and fiction being featured is exciting.

For poets and writers who want to publish their work – be it in Apparatus Magazine, or other journals – always read up on the journal to which you want to submit your work. Make sure it is a journal you respect, and let the publishers/editors know that. Read the journals and – I cannot stress this highly enough – be sure to follow their guidelines. Giving the editors of these journals respect by following posted guidelines can help streamline the submissions process, and help give your work an extra edge in the competition.

where can we find you online?

Apparatus Magazine is online at www.apparatusmagazine.com. New issues of the journal come out around the 15th of each month. Each issue of the magazine typically deals with two themes, and poets and writers featured in the issues play off those themes. June of 2010 will be the one-year anniversary of the magazine.

Apparatus Magazine also has a fan page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ApparatusMagazine), as well as a Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/ApparatusMag.)

what are you reading at the moment?

Submissions. I’m always reading submissions to the magazine. I also make it a point to comment on every rejection that I send out, as poets and writers deserve to have some feedback on their work. I know I appreciate such feedback on my own work.

I’m re-reading some of my own work, as I have several feature poetry performances in April and May around the Chicago area.

I’m also constantly reading a number of news items on the Web, many times from Huffington Post or other sources, as I like to keep an eye out for material that might make good subject matter for a poem or fiction piece.

what are you listening to at the moment?

My music tastes range widely. With each issue of Apparatus Magazine, I often find myself listening to two or three complete albums as I go through the editing, layout and publication process. For a recent issue, I listened to a lot of Primus’ “Sailing the Seas of Cheese.” Also, I found the Beastie Boys’ “Check Your Head” conducive to the layout process.

I’m now checking out Nine Inch Nail’s new “Ghost” album, and listening to Tosca’s “No Hassle” album.

anything else we should know?

I am a big fan of deep house/dub music, and have an album I’m working on for eventual release. (The album has been on the back burner for a while, now.)

For all the poets and writers out there, keep writing and elevate your craft. If you believe in your work strong enough – and are willing to listen to constructive criticism and tips on how to make your work better – you will succeed.

Ronald Martin Smith

Posted in art, interviews, music, news, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2010 by intoviews

Ronald Martin Smith

Ronald Martin Smith

what is your name?

Ronald Martin Smith.

how would you describe what you do?

I wouldn’t, which already pushes the limit.

what are you currently working on?

I’ve a long-term drawing project in the works – “rockheads” – pencil (primarily) & marker – on those yellow post-its that have saved the memory of the world! About or near 30,000 in boxes in various locations in our apartment. No curatorial solution breaking over the horizon. These pieces get done Monday-Friday at my desk at work – I commit seconds to a minute and fraction – breaking the job/work plane to evidence some altogether other world. This is a graphite-realized open-ended projection, producing an imaginary population – a quick-graph odyssey. It’s dedicated to Marcel Duchamp, who wouldn’t give a damn.

what has been the greatest influence on your work?

Being alive.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

Thinking it has any consequence at all. I misread as much as possible, which exhausts the realm of possibility, without using it too much against ‘the rest of the night’.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

I’ve also written a good bit of poetry – published in George Hitchcock’s kayak in the 1970s & 1980s. There’s a lot of writing connected to my life that is unpublished. I work in journals, legal pads, index cards – it’s been going on for years. I more or less avoid doing anything about it – I’m an opportunist, and I try to be as unconscious as I possibly can be. All subsequent to the poems that did get published – since being in New York City since 1984 – and then some! It may or may not emerge: poetry, prose, surpoetics. More specifically….

That’s the window of exposure to the poebizjunkie world that sucked the brains out of poetry production schedules worldwide. The medium is the medium. The artist, the poet, conducts what ever comes across with as little forgiveness as possible. Write a poem. Fine. Disseminate it? Wha? Make it have a shadow box to sleep in? I’d rather die in the heart of a neon squall. (Them Crooked Vultures on headphones). Strength and weakness neutralize each other. Without being ends of the selfsame continuum. I defy myself to express something. Commitment is largely a myth, and the time it takes to do something about it is irrelevant. The obstacle curse of existence doesn’t really appreciate the surreal onsurget that wants only to ring its bell. And I mean CLOCK IT!!!!

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

Orwell didn’t write 1984 for nothing!

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

You’d better mean what you do or else take it somewhere else.

where can we find you online?

Now why would you want to do that!

what are you reading at the moment?

Nothing but the blank space ahead of each letter being typed.

what are you listening to at the moment?

Them Crooked Vultures.

anything else we should know?

At your own risk.

Carol Maric

Posted in art, interviews, music, news, photography, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2010 by intoviews

Carol Maric

Carol Maric

what is your name?

Carol Maric

how would you describe what you do?

“My life goal? Literary Immortality—without compromise.”

“I would rather be skydiving while writing a book”

“I am paradoxically precocious, belated, and posthumous.”

philosopher, polymath, writer, poet, musician, artist.

Author of the unpublished masterpiece PROTEAN NotUnTitled: The Philosophical Cantos (copyright 2000 Library of Congress), Carol Maric has presented the manuscript thus far to only a few, including Harold Bloom and Jacques Derrida, who had favorable comments. The work is akin to late James Joyce with Nietzschean poetics, highly baroque, and deeply complex in its content and language—an original extension of the English language, elucidating the ambiguities of various extremities of mind. This is the sort of book in which an author’s work might culminate, yet it is a first work.

Maric has since been writing a lengthy novel for several years, as well as another book of poetry, and essays; future works include books of philosophy, microfiction, and the (under construction) online literary journal Alidade Review.

She is also a multifaceted musician (electric cello, violin, and voice), and visual artist (photography, painting, and drawing).

what are you currently working on?

Philosophy.

I consider Philosophy to be the highest pursuit of the mind.

My independent study has been non-linear (within and across texts), primarily associative, and focused on a few great philosophers, along with other great literary writers and poets (why settle for anything less?), with whom I develop immediate affinities—I can feel their presence alive on the other side of every page I view and touch; I experience “discourse” with their minds as my thoughts immediately react to, and counteract theirs—imaginary debates and associative connections always ensue, during varying speeds of interaction ranging from slow, close, and deconstructive to mercurial, firestorming readings.

I am always studying everything and everybody around me, as my mind is never at rest, even while I sleep, although I experiment with transcendental meditation and biofeedback to explore stillness.

Having just completed the extensive project of familiarizing myself with the history of western philosophy, from its origins to the present, in order to broaden my base knowledge, in a linear manner, I am now about to go back through it all again in an even more comprehensive mode, in tandem with studying my favorite philosophers further, while writing philosophy.

I am founder and group leader of MySpace’s Philosophy / Critical Theory Group, one of the largest and flourishing public forums in the Science & History category, since 2004.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

The greatest influence on my work was the death of my father, which caused me to emancipate myself at the age of 33.

I credit my father with teaching me how to write exceptionally.

Due to concurrent, life-altering events, I began a reassessment of my life and circumstances, and decided to radically change them. My introduction to the philosophical writings of Friedrich Nietzsche could not have been better timed or needed: his work became a life saving necessity and dark comfort in a raging tempest; it was then that I realized how important philosophy was to become to me, even though I had always been essentially a philosophical being, gestating and developing ideas over a long period of “undeclared” time.

I became actively autodidactic, as a voracious reader—and continue to be an enthusiastic advocate for the dissemination of knowledge through books.

Once I was acclimatized in my new environment, I started to seriously use the gifts that I had always possessed; after experiencing years of financial hardship and circumstances that severely constrained my freedoms during an singularly unconventional upbringing, my options continued to be narrow in my adult years until the breakthrough—I have not looked back since!

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

No one yet knows the magnitude and importance of my poetry.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

I work in several mediums, just as I invent different styles within them, and find no strengths or weaknesses, but one’s own—relentless experimentation is absolutely essential!

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

Dissemination as Revolution.

My stance on Writing & Publishing: No Editing Allowed, except one’s own volitionally (otherwise known as crafting), is an uncompromising stipulation of mine; It is either In or Out—Curators, Not Editors.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?

Develop an insatiable desire for knowledge, and feed it constantly!

where can we find you online?

PERSONAL:

www.myspace.com/carolmaric

www.facebook.com/carolmaric

www.groups.myspace.com/philosophycriticaltheory

www.twitter.com/carolmaric

www.linkedin.com/in/carolmaric

WRITING:

www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-maric

www.myartspace.com/zoominpage.do?imgpath=http://www.myartspace.com/repository/images/o/o1f9ofty29yxab32.jpg

www.cherrybleeds.com/words/guest1/carol-nov07.html

www.writerscafe.org/writers/Carol%20Maric/

www.ornerywoman.com

www.maricthinkpad.wordpress.com/

www.alidadereview.com

MUSIC:

www.myspace.com/damagedfranklin

www.myspace.com/212noiseorg

www.last.fm/user/mathgeekepii10

www.last.fm/group/Experimental+Vocalists

ART:

www.myartspace.com/carolmaric


what are you reading at the moment?

Too many books to mention: I usually read many, many hardcopy and digital books concurrently, kaleidoscopically shifting onward.

Some of my favorite philosophers and writers are Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida, Willard Van Orman Quine, Karl Popper, Michel Foucault, Emil Cioran, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Charles Baudelaire, T.S. Eliot, Dante Alighieri, Anne Rice, Antonin Artaud, Fyodor Dostoevsky, George Gordon Byron, Louis Zukofsky, Henry Miller, Vladimir Nabokov, Virginia Woolf, Henry James, Maurice Blanchot, Peter Handke, David Foster Wallace, Mark Z. Danielewski, John Berryman, Bryan Magee, and Blah3x^n—thus spake mathgeekepii10.

what are you listening to at the moment?

I am listening to the various sounds of my environment.

Philosophy lectures on my iPhone at iTunes University, a simply amazing educational project; and JM Roberts’ History of the World on my Zune, along with nonstop, multicrossgenremusic: classical, jazz, rock, experimental avant garde, noise, field recordings—anything and everything!

I have been particularly fascinated by Beck’s work, for several years now.


anything else we should know?

My Intellectual Inheritance:

Great Uncle: Leon Samson, who attended CCNY and Columbia, was an American Marxist social theorist of the 1930s, wrote the books The New Humanism, The American Mind: a Study In Socio-Analysis, and Toward a United Front: A Philosophy for American Workers. Samson is discussed in several books, papers and lectures by the political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset, and cited by numerous others in books and papers found primarily on Google Books.

Mother: Judith Greene is a criminal justice policy analyst who has been working in the field for nearly 40 years, and whose work is reflected in her many influential articles cited by major publications; her work is known both domestically and internationally.

Father: Joseph A. Greene attended NYU, became a teaching fellow at Michigan University at a young age, won a Hopwood award for poetry, acquired the English department’s first Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, and was mentored by literary critic and author Austin Warren. Though he did not complete his dissertation, he continued as an assistant professor at a few colleges in MI, NJ and NY. He was a visual artist.

Coda: Maybe I will discuss my other work at another time here . . . Nice to meet you all.

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