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Daily Archives: August 21, 2012

Guest post: Findersland by William J Jackson

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of inspiration, is brought to you by novelist William J Jackson.

Findersland

There is a realm of wonder and discovery where kids delight in little treasures found in the dust on and off the path. Anything seems possible there.

My friend Bob Swanson called it “Findersland” when he was little. In Findersland one day in a weedy rubble-rough vacant lot, Bob reached down and picked up a marble, and he marveled: “So this is how they’re made!” as if marbles emerge from the junky but fertile vacant lots of everyday life, just as diamonds emerge from carbon put under tremendous pressure for ages.

When I was a kid I found things. At the creek I found an arrowhead. On the street I found a silver ring from Mexico, Our Lady of Guadelupe, shining brightly. On junk day I found a lamp made of a pink conch shell from the ocean. In an old abandoned farmhouse I found hundred-year-old newspapers and magazines. I found a box of pens once in the snow, decades before pens were a dime a dozen. It’s fun to be in Findersland. There, everything seems like a sign or a hint or a premonition. Treasures come to you, they find you, in Findersland.

My friend Bob Swanson “is no more”, as they say in India. But I still spend time in Findersland. Every day when I walk my dog, or go about my business, I find things. There they are on the side of the road, spied from the corner of my eye. Colorful wrappers, old coins, pieces of cloth, broken earrings, weird fragments of civilization and dropped toys. I use these findings to compose the collages I’ve been piecing together for 40 years now, with so many textures, colors, ideas and bits of life.

Every day as I listen to people talking, or read the newspaper or a book (whether new or a translation of an ancient text), or watch TV or scan through twitter, I find apt phrases, colorful speech, neologisms, old gems, vivid images and proverbs. I know I collect more than enough. The abundance of Findersland is astounding. And in my composing of collages and books of many voices I share some of what I’ve found. I find that some compositions seem to grow and find their own shape, when given enough time. Anything is possible with the lively materials discovered in Findersland, when the right creative moment is found.

Makeshift experiments with found objects—a lot of what I do begins with that. A memory of an event, a person, a colorful saying or colloquial phrase; a scrap of weird advertising, a ripped up photo. I grow things from found impressions and mixed memorabilia and then have to figure out what genre to say it belongs in. Trying to get actual life, quirky experienced reality, into the story or picture I’m composing.

Linguistic findings give life to stories. I’ll give two examples. Diving for Carlos is a coming-of-age novel I wrote over a few decades. It includes all the great teenage jokes, slang, curses, and surprises of growing up in Mid-America. I picked them out of the air, and they became a story reflecting the era my friends and I lived through.

Diving for Carlos is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Gypsy Escapades is my second novel, and it includes bits of people and places and things I found in the course of living in India for three and a half years, over a 40-year period. During those decades of researching and teaching courses about India I gathered many impressions, almost without realizing it, and when the time had come, I repackaged those unforgettable bits as a suspense thriller with the story of four friends traipsing across the landscapes of India, trying to outwit terrorists’ plans to wreak havoc.  Gypsy Escapades is also available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Findersland is on the sidewalk and in the street, in the home and in the dream—wherever you happen to find it. My friend Bob Swanson knew a good thing when he saw it. “So this is how they’re made!” I think Bob Swanson revealed the secret that fateful day in Findersland.

That was delightful… thank you, William!

William J. Jackson was born in Rock Island, Illinois. His novel, Diving for Carlos, reflects on experiences growing up in midwest America. He studied acting at Goodman Theatre School, the Art Institute of Chicago, and appeared in summer stock productions and at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Connecticut. He lived in New York City and in Vermont, and spent three and a half years in India. He earned his PhD from Harvard, and has published biographies and translations of South Indian singer-saints’ songs.

He has published fiction set in India in his short story collection, Worldviews Kaleidoscope. His short fiction has appeared in Long Story Short and other journals. He also authored Heaven’s Fractal Net, about fractal-like geometrical patterns in the world’s cultures. Most recently he published a suspense novel set in India, Gypsy Escapades, with Rupa Publishing, it is the first of a series of novels involving some of the same characters.

His works, including Diving for Carlos and Gypsy Escapades are available on amazon.com and his websites are http://redroom.com/member/william-jackson/blog and http://iupui.academia.edu/WilliamJackson.

***

If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with adventure novelist and poet R (Ron) Clint Peters – the four hundred and sixty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in ebooks, ideas, novels, short stories, writing

 

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5a.m. Flash 210812 – Submission info. (sci-fi, fantasy, horror)

Every now and then at 5a.m. (probably posted by my clone) I will be bringing you a newsflash, update on what I’m doing, invited guest piece, or whatever takes my fancy. Today is the sixth in a mini-series of submission information (previously children’s & YA / flash fiction / non-fiction / novels / poetry)…

Sci-fi / fantasy / horror specific
  • Clarksworld Magazine, a monthly online sci-fi / fantasy / horror mag. Each issue (currently no. 57) contains work from established authors and at least two pieces of original fiction, and annually printed in an anthology entitled ‘Realms’. Word count is 1,000-4,000 max. Payment is $0.10 per word. Response time c. 50 days. E-mail enquiries / submissions to clarkesfiction@gmail.com either within the body of the e-mail or as an .rtf file attachment. Include cover letter with contact details, publishing history and relevant personal info.
  • Crossed Genre take science-fiction and fantasy.
  • Daily Science Fiction welcomes original science fiction and fantasy which is posted / emailed every weekday with shorter pieces Monday to Thursday then a longer piece on Fridays.
  • Escape Pod is “the premier science fiction podcast magazine. Every week we bring you short stories from some of today’s best science fiction stories, in convenient audio format for your computer or MP3 player. We pay our authors, but we will always be 100% free.” (they rely on donations and sponsorship). Their submission guidelines are on http://escapepod.org/guidelines.
  • Kasma Magazine invites original and intelligent science fiction of 500-4,000 words.
  • The Leading Edge is a semi-professional speculative fiction magazine produced at Brigham Young University, (Utah, USA). You can submit <10,000 words, payment is 1 cent per word ($10 min) + 2 mag copies. They also accept sci-fi/fantasy poetry. Payment is $10 for the first 4 pages, $1.50 for each subsequent page of published poetry. Two contributor copies are also provided. They also buy illustrations.
  • A brilliant resource is My Perfect Pitch.com which has a page of publishers currently accepting book submissions.
  • http://www.newpages.com/classifieds/calls lists a variety of opportunities in varying genres.
  • Salt Publishing imprint Proxima is dedicated to science-fiction, fantasy and horror.
  • Rune Wright welcomes SF, fantasy, horror and paranormal.
  • Salon Futura is an online and eBook magazine dedicated to speculative fiction.
  • Static Movement specialises in dark / horror anthologies and welcome submissions. 🙂
  • Theurgy Magazine is a journal specialising in speculative fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.
  • The Tiny Globule seeks short stories for a new series of sci-fi, horror and fantasy anthologies. 3,000 words max.
  • Other sci-fi, fantasy and / or horror opportunities include Darwin’s EvolutionDragon DreamzSFXTrembles Magazine.

If you do have any more information that could go on this page or find any broken links, old information etc., please email me.

And I’ve added a new sub-page (opportunities on this blog) which details the opportunities on my blog, you just need the questionnaire for your genre. 🙂

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You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything… and follow me on Twitter where each new posting is automatically announced. You can also read / download my eBooks and free eShorts at SmashwordsSony Reader StoreBarnes & NobleiTunes BookstoreKobo and Amazon, with more to follow. I have a new forum, friend me on Facebook, like me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, find me on Tumblr, complete my website’s Contact me page or plain and simple, email me.  I also now have a new blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in ebooks, submissions, writing

 

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