Sunday, June 28, 2009

Grimm & Grimmer

A collection of tales in the traditional style of the Brothers Grimm, with a twist of the dark and warped.

Featuring a strange and grim tale from our friend, Aurelio O'Brien, author of the humorous sci-fi novel, Eve. Aurelio's story is called Agony & Ecstacy Jones.

The following is from the "Grimm & Grimmer" website, where you can learn more about the book or make a purchase.

Back when folk tales and fairy tales were told as lore and not written down, these stories had an immediacy and were experienced rather than documented and shelved on acid-yellowing sheets of paper.This was both good and bad. Good, because the tales gained impact when recounted by professional bards with brandy voices and spellbinding charm. Stories could be honed and improved, updated and adapted to each audience. Bad, because tales might be lost altogether.Enter the Brothers Grimm, who, back in the early 17th century, dedicated themselves to collecting and transcribing folklore to the printed page, and saving it for posterity.But their collection of tales have grown so familiar that some of us wished to play the part of a bard again, to juice up the tales, and offer fresh adaptations.

This is the concept behind a new collection of short stories, Grimm & Grimmer, now available from Mundania Press. I participated in this collection with a contemporary fairy tale of my own told in the style of the Brother's Grimm, Agony & Ecstasy Jones. It will be available on Amazon soon, but you can pre-order and purchase it directly from Mundania Press now, where it is available in either a trade paperback or eBook formats.

Here's a quick rundown of the contents:
  • Inspector Timber and The Three Pigs by Gary K. Wolf. Creator of Toontown and Roger Rabbit, tackles Fairytale Land in this Three Little Pigs satire.

  • Agony & Ecstasy Jones by Aurelio O’Brien. Explore the magic land of Suburbia, where happiness and conformity can be achieved through miracle potions called Paxil and Ritalin!

  • Most Wonderful Dream by Paul E. Martens. Stan Booth said he’d give anything to be a successful author, but such claims should never be made aloud; especially when an elf happens to be within hearing range.

  • Rapugnent by Adrienne Jones. When the most beautiful woman in all the lands casts down her golden locks for men to climb, there’s GOT to be a catch.

  • The Man and the Clone of The Man by Carlos Hernandez. Life’s not exactly been a fairy tale? Why not start over, and watch yourself succeed?

  • Once Upon a Time in Alphabet City by Joel Best. Pinocchio’s gunning Luckies and knocking back bourbon at the bar when the fairy with the blue hair steps in from the street wearing a sheer day-glo blouse and hotpants that leave little to the imagination.

  • Snow White by Chris Cox. There’s never a prince around when you need one. Sometimes a girl’s just gotta rely on a shotgun and a methadone clinic.

  • Hans L and Greta L by D. Richard Pearce. If you’re gonna try to ditch a couple of kids in the urban jungle, make sure their daddy’s not the local mob boss, and that they don’t leave a trail of cash to find their way home.

  • Fair ‘n Square by Jefre Schmitz. Rags to riches never happens overnight, unless perhaps there are magical forces involved. But if you’re fresh out of magic, a hearty helping of illegal sabotage works just as well.

  • Betrayal by Darwyn Jones. They say beauty is skin deep, but what about purity? In this tale, the less than prudent are looking a bit dusky these days.

  • Jack My Razorback by Jake Allen. If you’re going to curse yourself with a mutant offspring, then send it packing to live in the forest, you might want to clear out before it comes back with a chip on its spiny shoulder.

  • Already There by Mike E. Purfield. Even with a perfect new fairy tale bride at your side, you should never grow so content as to fall asleep behind the wheel. The New Jersey Parkway is a bad place to wake up dead. Especially if you take the wrong exit on your way to Heaven.

  • The Other Side of the Desert by Jessica Murray. The legendary Lilith comes forth in modern times, revealing the real story of Adam and Eve, and this dark tale is no Garden of Eden.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Favorite" is a Verb? by Barry Parham

"Favorite" is a Verb?
A look into social networking sites, and why they may cause you to pass out from ennui

This is an earlier story from our wickedly witty wordsmith friend, Barry Parham. If it weren't for music, I'd say that Barry's writing is my number one addiction. Really, his writing is either going to become your best antidote to the depressing news of our times, or it's going to become the fastest way to say, "Them's fightin' words, pal!". Check it out, just to see what it does for you.

Here's another,
Things I've Learned from Television
It wouldn't be called the 'boob tube' if we could find a word that rhymes with 'idiot'.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Poetry Reading at Domestic Abuse Shelter

Courtesy of Alice Shapiro,

It was too early. So my sister and I sat down on a concrete stoop outside the gray, 4-story building catching a few late-day rays and watching remnant rush-hour traffic. It was small-town peaceful. We exchanged small talk in hushed tones — I suppose to not disturb this idyllic scene, but it was certainly polar opposite to what was coming next. My first poetry reading for domestic abuse survivors at a local shelter was about to begin.

I had been briefed before the reading with a stack of documents describing the signs of domestic abuse. It was chilling. At 6:30 PM we went inside. Now I was staring at 10 beautiful faces, wondering what I could possibly say that would make any difference. Of course I was there to give back to my community, but also I wanted to gain speaking experience in front of an audience. Since I signed a confidentiality agreement, I cannot divulge what was discussed at the reading, something akin to faux doctor-client privilege. But I knew the ladies were energized, perhaps encouraged, because they laughed at a poem I read and asked for a copy. It was called “Crime” about a childhood shoplifting experience.

Although it is early in my reading career, I have come away from this first experience with a joy and a satisfaction that poetry is both worthy and powerful.
---------------------------------------------------------- This is a link to the center's website, if you'd care to visit and learn more about their efforts to assist domestic abuse survivors.