Polar Bear, Stuttgart Zoo

Sleeping Bear

A mini-guest blog, by the inestimable Shaw Tesla:

“I am a progressive.

My choice has been to do my homework. Apply my critical thinking skills. Make decisions based on evidence and intelligent debate. I know that establishment politics and establishment economics doesn’t work. I know that centrism, i.e., deep economic injustice under the skin of social justice doesn’t work because social justice and economic justice can’t exist without each other. I know that giving huge tax breaks and subsidies to corporations when there are so many unmet basic needs for Americans, doesn’t work.

Like most Americans, I want clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, a good job, universal healthcare, spiritual freedom, and affordable education.

I thought that wasn’t too much to ask. Common sense legislation.
But instead….

I have watched the fires of division grow
And I don’t like it.

I have watched rise of fascism on the backdrop of deep economic injustice by corporate centrism
And I don’t like it.

I have watched my planet become increasingly trampled upon
And I don’t like it.

I have watched as the Golden Rule has been dismissed
And I don’t like it.

So to those who would trash my planet, disrespect my fellow human beings, and erode the principles upon which my country was founded:
Know this
You have woken a sleeping bear
And I am putting you on notice.”

Buy my books.  Please.

Alternative Truths, 24 political satire stories, including my “As Prophesied of Old”

R is for Renaissance Faire, my children’s book

Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid, an e-book of western short stories

Sword & Sorceress #30, a collection of feminist fantasy, including my “The Piper’s Wife”

Barbarian Crowns, a collection of fantasy stories in the style of Robert E. Howard, including my “Vixen’s Song” and “Two Princes”

Supernatural Colorado, a collection of horror and fantasy, including my “Thank You, Thad”

Coming soon!  Heroic Fantasy, including my “Erazabet and the Gladiators,” to be released in July.

Coming soon!  Bumples.com children’s e-magazine, with my story “Long Neck and Freckles.

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Forgive Me For Bragging

Kindly forgive my lack of modesty, but my writing has been going well lately.

I.  I won the Arkansas Scottish Festival’s annual poetry contest with my poem “Black Agnes.”  Lady Agnes Randolph, daughter of the Earl of Moray, wife of the Earl of Dunbar, maintained a siege against the English forces in 1338.  Black Agnes is well-known in Scotland, but practically unknown in the United States.  I learned more about her in the process of researching my poem than I could fit into verse, so I plan to put the rest of what I learned about her in a children’s book.

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II.  Alternative Truths is doing quite well.  It is currently at 58 reviews on Amazon, 3 four-star reviews and 55 five-star reviews.  My story, “As Prophesied of Old,” is one of 24 stories.  The other 23 are by Jim Wright, Adam-Troy Castro, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Diana Hauer, Gregg Chamberlain, Paula Hammond, Louise Marley, Sara Codair, Irene Radford, K. G. Anderson, Bruno Lombardi, Daniel M. Kimmel, Voss Foster, Janka Hobbs, Victor D. Phillips, Bobby  Lee Featherston, Larry Hodges, Blaze Ward, Marleen S. Barr, Joel Ewy, Ken Staley, Liam Hogan, and Wondra Vanian.  I did a write-up about Alternative Truths for Krypton Radio, as well as a HubPages blog.

The most recent review said: “A wonderful collection of some very excellent shorts stories. Stand outs amongst them include Susan Macdonald’s excellent portrayal of British stoicism, Janka Hobb’s collection of letters with very sinister connotations for the future, Ken Staley’s expose of SWATing (sort of) and my favourite Voss Foster’s history lesson with a twist.”

III.  I’ve had over two dozen articles posted on Krypton Radio, and my editor has seemed pleased with all of them.  I’ve written about Hellboy, Transformers, Powers Boothe, Wonder Woman, Joe Harris, Jim Parsons, Nisi Shawl, and Sir Roger Moore.

Will David Harbour replace fan favorite Ron Perlman in the third Hellboy movie?

IV.  I have a new website.  Go check it out. One of my editors suggested an author webpage would be useful to me.

V.  And now the big news:  Drum roll, please!

My short story “Erzabet and the Gladiators” has been accepted by Flame Tree Publishing’s anthology Heroic Fantasy Short Stories.  My editor asked me not to say anything until the publisher made the official announcement; I’ve been bursting to tell the news since the story was accepted.  This is my second sale at professional rates, and the first appearance of one of my stories in a hardcover book.

Voss Foster, my book-mate (book bro?  What is the correct term for someone whose story is in the anthology as yours?) from Alternative Truths also has a story in Heroic Fantasy, as do Clark Ashton Smith, John Buchan, Snorri Sturluson, Homer, Robert E. Howard, A. Merritt, Geoffrey Chaucer, Andrew Lang, Howard Pyle, William Morris, and Eric Rücker Eddison.  In addition to new fantasy stories by Alexandra Renwick, M. Elizabeth Ticknor, Beth DawkinsLauren C. TeffeauTony PiJoanna Michal HoytDavid Busboom,  Kate O’ConnorMichael HaynesZach ChapmanTherese ArkenbergA. Creg PetersAlexandra RenwickErin Gitchell, Voss, and me, Heroic Fantasy  will include the text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as extracts from Beowulf, The Nibelungenlied, and The Song of Roland.

Heroic Fantasy will be published sometime in July 2017.

 

How to Make Everyday Anglo-Saxon Bread: Version 2 (Hearthcakes or “Kichells”)

I found this fascinating, and I’m going to be following all the links and looking for other blogs by the same writer.

The Early English Bread Project

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 10.00.45 Those round things in the lower left are the hearthcakes.  This supposed peasant woman is admonishing King Alfred for burning them, though they don’t look burnt to me.  And why is she making peasant hearthcakes if she’s rich enough to own that fancy carved wooden thing behind her?

In the last post on everyday Anglo-Saxon bread, I talked about making bread on a bakestone or griddle on the fire. It is worth emphasizing again: for as much as eight hundred years, from the fifth century up to the thirteenth or fourteenth (and for centuries more in some areas of Britain), this would have been the familiar, everyday bread known to everyone in the kingdom. More affluent people ate leavened bread instead — or in addition. But everyone would have regarded this basic flat bread as familiar, completely normal bread. You did not need an oven to make it, and you…

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Alternative Truths: An unexpected-success story

Here are the thoughts of one of my co-contributors to Alternative Truths. I did a silly story, to make readers laugh. She did a serious story, to make readers think.  Ladies, gentlemen, I present my colleague Karen G. Anderson.

Writer Way

Alt truths cover The cover of the Alternative Truths anthology

Just over 100 days ago, on Jan. 23, science fiction author Bob Brown issued a writing challenge: Imagine the future during or after the Trump presidency. Write a story. Submit it to an anthology to be called Alternative Truths.

“This is an anthology about the future in an alternative fact world,” Bob wrote. “What does the future hold? Endless alternative facts? Brilliant leadership? Alien invasions? Zombies in the White House?”

Bob set about co-editing the anthology with Phyllis Irene Radford, vowing to publish the book within the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

As submissions came in, Bob formed the private Facebook group Alternative Truth (now public) so the participants could discuss the project. In a field where submissions generally vanish behind a curtain from which editors issue cryptic rejections, the decision to open-source the anthology project seemed both odd and courageous. Did these people know what they were getting into?

I submitted a dystopian story, “Patti…

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