Category Archives: writing life

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July’s Three by Five – a chat with Matthew J. Pallamary Part Two

IMG_1590Matthew J. Pallamary and writer reads…

VAH: Who is your favorite literary character?

MJP: Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan and Dr. Dolittle when I was very young.

VAH: Do you have a favorite author?

MJP: Ray Bradbury. He was always passionate and supportive of other writers and he graced me with a blurb for my first short story collection. He rarely if ever gave out blurbs. I learned volumes from him.

VAH: You’re stranded in a snowstorm, stuck on a deserted island. What books would you hope to have with you or find?

MJP: War & Peace. Carlos Castaneda’s books, Hanta Yo

They all transported me to magical times and places which provided great escapes.

VAH: What is the most memorable book, story or poem you’ve read?

MJP: My mother handed me The Exorcist when I was in high school. I went into my bedroom at 7:30 that night and emerged 7:30 the following morning when I finished it.

VAH: Do you have a favorite book, poem, or story and why?

MJP: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance stands out as it delves into the nature of truth, logic, and perception.

VAH: What author or books keep you up at night because you can’t put them down?

MJP: Nothing since The Exorcist, but I am admittedly a bit burned out and jaded after reading, critiquing and editing thousands of manuscripts.

VAH: Which reader are you – always finish what you started or put it down and move on if you don’t like it? Why?

MJP: Once I start, I finish 99% of the time. Something can be learned, even from bad writing and stories.

More Matthew J. Pallamary this month, on days that end in 3.

Matthew J. Pallamary’s historical novel Land Without Evil, received rave reviews along with a San Diego Book Award for mainstream fiction and was adapted into a stage and sky show by Agent Red, directed by Agent Red, and was the subject of an EMMY nominated episode of a PBS series, Arts in Context.

He has taught a Phantastic Fiction workshop at the Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles, and at the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference for twenty five years, and is presently Editor in Chief of Muse Harbor Publishing.

His memoir Spirit Matters took first place in the San Diego Book Awards Spiritual Book Category, and was an Award-Winning Finalist in the autobiography/memoir category of the National Best Book Awards.  He frequently visits the jungles, mountains, and deserts of North, Central, and South America pursuing his studies of shamanism and ancient cultures.

San Diego, CA

Connect with Matthew J. Pallamary:

Web site.  Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Smashwords author page.

Sampler:

The Small Dark Room of the Soul and other stories – Preview.

Land Without Evil.

CyberChrist launched in December 2014cyber christ book cover

Ashley Butler, a prize winning journalist at the San Diego Times receives an email from a man who claims to have discovered immortality by turning off the aging gene in a 15 year old boy with an aging disorder. The email has pictures showing a reversal of the aging process and the names of a scientist and a company to investigate. Thinking it a hoax, she forwards the email to friends.

Though skeptical, she calls to investigate and gets a no longer in service message. When she leaves her office she overhears a news story about the death of the scientist mentioned in the email.

Ashley checks out the company mentioned in the email and discovers a gutted building. At the deceased scientist’s address she has a confrontation with an unfriendly federal investigator. Returning to her office she finds him, subpoena in hand, confiscating her computer. He tells her that the scientist who sent the email is a killer that they need help catching. When her own investigators do more checking, none of them return.

The forwarded email becomes the basis for an online church built around the boy, calling him the CyberChrist. The church claims that the Internet is the physical manifestation of the group mind of humanity and the boy is the second coming of Christ online.

The federal government tries to shut down the church, but its website replicates faster than they can stop it. While church and state battle over religious freedom online, the media and the state battle over freedom of speech.

Ashley battles to stay alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July’s Three by Five – a chat with Matthew J. Pallamary

 

Author PhotoWelcome Matthew J. Pallamary. Let’s start with writer beginnings.

VAH: Three by Five always starts with asking why do you write?

MJP: I am passionate about my search for truth and meaning and I believe that I have a unique perspective on reality that comes from a life time of exploration, particularly in non-rational and non-ordinary shamanic realms that defy description and can only be experienced directly. Most people never get to experience reality in these ways, so I have spent a lifetime trying to articulate them to give my readers a glimpse of an expansive perspective that pushes the boundaries of the “known” world.  

VAH: Why did you become a writer and when did you know or feel like you were a writer?

MJP: English was by far my best subject in school. Everything else was secondary. I won school wide spelling bees and excelled as a storyteller. When I took a creative writing course in college I had to write an essay, which was to be turned in as a first draft to the teacher, then re-written and typed out for a final grade. I wrote my first draft about my first experience skydiving in longhand and when the teacher read it, she said, “This is excellent. You don’t have to do anything else. You get an “A”.”

VAH: Any influences on your development as a writer?

MJP: I was blessed to be taken in and more or less adopted by the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference where I had the tremendous good fortune to be mentored by Ray Bradbury, Charles Schulz, leading L.A. Times film critic Charles Champlin, and Barnaby Conrad as well as learning from Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, Gore Vidal, and many others. In San Diego, I have had an awesome friendship with science fiction writer David Brin.

VAH: What do you remember about your first piece of writing?

MJP: I am also a drummer and a vocalist, so my first poem/songs were about my search for truth and meaning. My first published piece was an article titled “Whose Reality is it Anyway?” which was published in an inspirational magazine. It had to do with the multitude of different ways that people view the world.

VAH: What is the favorite piece you’ve written to date?

MJP: I remember reading an interview with Billy Joel many years ago where he was asked, “What is your favorite song that you have written?”

His answer that I have paraphrased here was, “They are all my children and though they are different in popularity and achievements, I love them all equally.”

 

More Matthew J. Pallamary this month, on days that end in 3.

Matthew J. Pallamary’s historical novel Land Without Evil, received rave reviews along with a San Diego Book Award for mainstream fiction and was adapted into a stage and sky show by Agent Red, directed by Agent Red, and was the subject of an EMMY nominated episode of a PBS series, Arts in Context.

He has taught a Phantastic Fiction workshop at the Southern California Writers’ Conference in San Diego, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles, and at the Santa Barbara Writers’ Conference for twenty five years, and is presently Editor in Chief of Muse Harbor Publishing.

His memoir Spirit Matters took first place in the San Diego Book Awards Spiritual Book Category, and was an Award-Winning Finalist in the autobiography/memoir category of the National Best Book Awards.  He frequently visits the jungles, mountains, and deserts of North, Central, and South America pursuing his studies of shamanism and ancient cultures.

San Diego, CA

Connect with Matthew J. Pallamary:

Web site.  Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Smashwords author page.

Sampler:

The Small Dark Room of the Soul and other stories – Preview.

Land Without Evil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Carol A. Stephen – Writing Life and Community

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Back with Carol A. Stephen with the writing life and writing community.

VAH: Are you a full time writer?

CAS: I am a retired small “a” accountant/credit professional, so I am free to write or not as I choose. Except, of course, for the compulsions!

VAH: Is writing vocation, occupation, or profession?

CAS: I’d say a vocation. I do it because I am compelled and because I have a love for language.

VAH: When the page is blank what gets you writing?

CAS: Reading other poets, finding a good writing prompt.  Occasionally something will come from just brainstorming/wild-minding, but not very often. I have to read.

VAH: What is your “process” when working on a new piece of writing?

CAS: To start with, I usually have an “earworm” phrase demanding to be written down.  If I have a list of words, I might just start writing in a word association kind of way and the poem may take off from there. I have a couple of projects in mind, but poems are more likely to come from specific phrases rather than just a more general theme.

VAH: Do you have a submission system or plan?

CAS: That is on my list of resolutions every year. I don’t know what holds me back, but I don’t submit regularly.

VAH: What does your typical writing day include?

CAS: Many distractions on the internet. Writing new poems takes precedence over polishing ones already written.  The best poems are always the newest ones. That might be why I don’t submit as often as I think I should!

VAH: What words of wisdom do you have for the emerging writer?

CAS: Read, read, read. Try new techniques, especially those new forms that you think won’t work for you. And submit!  (Yes, wisdom I should include in my own plans!)

VAH: What choices have you made regards to traditional or independent publishing?

CAS: Most of my individual published poems have been in online magazines where I’ve been successful submitting before.  Of my three chapbooks, one I published myself, another was under a friend’s imprint, and the new one is published by a small press run by a poet I’ve “known” online for years.  I’m a late bloomer, and not sure I want to wait the long times it takes for traditional publishing to take place. Online publishing also reaches a larger audience, even more quickly than self-publishing.

VAH: What part does social media play in your writing career?

CAS: I have a blog, where I write about literary events in and around Ottawa, Ontario, but also to showcase my poetry and my chapbooks. I’m on Facebook and Twitter and recently have become more active on Tumblr. 

VAH: Do you belong to writing or author organizations?

CAS: I am a member of the League of Canadian Poets, The Ontario Poetry Society and I belong to a small poetry group, The Field Stones. I am rejoining the board of Arts Carleton Place, where I live, and I am a former member of Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region.

VAH: Do you have any favorite online sites or blogs that you find useful or interesting?

CAS: Poetry Foundation, Academy of American Poets, Places for Writers, Winning Writers, Found Poetry Review, Ron Silliman’s blog, Bill Moyers.com, Writers Digest, and many others.

VAH:What was your writing education?

CAS: In high school we studied it as part of the English curriculum. Since 2006, I’ve taken an online course at Algonquin College, and a follow-up private course with the same instructor, as well as a 10-week Stanford course with James Arthur and later a week-long retreat with him in Lenox, Mass.

VAH: Writing conferences, retreats, seminars – any favorites and why?

CAS: The retreat [mentioned earlier] with James Arthur was a chance to work in group with some of the poets I’d met in the online Stanford class, as well as time to discuss my work one-on-one with James.  I’ve participated in several weekend “master” workshops through Ottawa’s Tree Reading Series with prominent Canadian poets. These were amazing opportunities to work with some of Canada’s top poets in a small class (max 12 participants) I also attended a 5-day writing conference through Canadian Authors Association, which provided workshops across various genres, and opportunities to network that have been invaluable.

Thank you Carol A. Stephen for contributing your thoughts on writing and the writing life.

Sample Carol’s work:

Carol reading her work here.

Howe and Stephen (the light ekphrastic)

 Stephen and Karkar (the light ekphrastic)

Imworld and Stephen (the light ekphrastic)

Learning to Dance (Silver Birch Press)

Waiting for Green Mornings (Silver Birch Press)

In a Moment She’ll Unfurl (the light ekphrastic)

Carol A. Stephen is a Canadian poet, poetry selector for Bywords Journal and a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She’s served on boards of Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region (CAA-NCR), Arts Carleton Place and Tree Reading Series Ottawa. Carol coordinated CAA’s poetry circle 2008-2013.

Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal, Tree Press/phaphours press chapbooks and online at The Light Ekphrastic and Silver Birch Press. Chapbooks: Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, Bondi Studios, 2011 and Architectural Variations, Quillfyre Publishing, 2012. Ink Dogs in my Shoe, Dec. 2014 from Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar B.C.

Awards: 3rd Prize CAA 2012 National Capital Writing Contest for Walking in Thomson’s Red Sumac. Honourable Mentions: VERSeFest, Poetry for the End of the World, 2012, Arborealis 2012 and 2008 Ontario Poetry Society, Double Your Pleasure 2013 Ontario Poetry Society and CAA’s 2008 and 2011 National Capital Writing Contest.

Recent publication: In December, 2014 her third chapbook, Ink Dogs in my Shoes, was published by Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar, B.C. This is a chapbook of poems all containing some element of three in them. Subjects range from garden to writing process to nonsense rhymes, and some explore conceptual poetry or experiment with wordplay.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: TwitterFacebookBlog

Three by Five posts on days that end in threes.

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Carol A. Stephen – Writer Reads

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VAH: Who is your favorite literary character?

CAS: I can’t choose between Custard, the Cowardly Dragon and The Cheshire Cat.

VAH: Do you have a favorite author?

CAS: Perhaps Richard Wagamese, a Canadian First Nations author, who wrote Dream Wheels. It won the Canadian Authors Association award for fiction in 2007. I read a single line from the back cover and was hooked.  Wagamese is a powerful storyteller, one of the best I’ve read. He weaves together both compelling story and First Nations customs which are fascinating. Many books I read and forget but not this one.

VAH: You’re stranded in a snowstorm, stuck on a deserted island. What books would you hope to have with you or find? Why these choices?

CAS: Poetry for sure, but not a single author. An anthology, a big one, with poets from the 20th and 21st century and a book of writing prompts, perhaps The Poet’s Companion, so that I am inspired to keep writing. Novels that have interesting older women, characters that get into odd situations but all’s well in the end.  Romance optional. Humor essential!

VAH: What is the most memorable book, story or poem you’ve read? How so?

CAS: I started to say The Water Babies, by Charles Kingsley, something my parents read to me when I was a child. I always remember two characters: Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby  and Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid. I recall it as a morality tale for children, but I think even more influential would have to be A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson. That book probably was my first acquaintance with poetry and some of the poems still stay with me today.

VAH: Do you have a favorite book, poem, or story?

CAS: I have a lot of favorite poems, but I will share this one:

The Hush of the Very Good” Todd Boss (c 2008) 

I’m not sure how I first came to this poem, but I remember hearing Todd Boss read The Hush of the Very Good online. The poem describes a kiss, a particularly good kiss, while juxtaposing it with a metaphoric small boat. The images are so vividly drawn using simple language. But it isn’t just that. Visually, it’s the unusual way the lines break, short lines clinging to the right margins, then back to the left, like waves the wake of a boat makes.

The poem asks questions, draws the reader in. It’s a poem to be read aloud, to wrap your tongue around long ohhh sounds and soft sibilants, sounds are very reminiscent of ocean and waves, the whisper of reeds, and the poem slows down, then speeds up through short words and hard consonants, b, p, d. It’s just such a lush poem to read out loud.

Next installment – Carol A. Stephen shares about her writing community.

Sample her work:

Learning to Dance (Silver Birch Press)

Waiting for Green Mornings (Silver Birch Press)

In a Moment She’ll Unfurl (the light ekphrastic)

Carol A. Stephen is a Canadian poet, poetry selector for Bywords Journal and a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She’s served on boards of Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region (CAA-NCR), Arts Carleton Place and Tree Reading Series Ottawa. Carol coordinated CAA’s poetry circle 2008-2013.

Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal, Tree Press/phaphours press chapbooks and online at The Light Ekphrastic and Silver Birch Press. Chapbooks: Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, Bondi Studios, 2011 and Architectural Variations, Quillfyre Publishing, 2012. Ink Dogs in my Shoe, Dec. 2014 from Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar B.C.

Awards: 3rd Prize CAA 2012 National Capital Writing Contest for Walking in Thomson’s Red Sumac. Honourable Mentions: VERSeFest, Poetry for the End of the World, 2012, Arborealis 2012 and 2008 Ontario Poetry Society, Double Your Pleasure 2013 Ontario Poetry Society and CAA’s 2008 and 2011 National Capital Writing Contest.

Recent publication: In December, 2014 her third chapbook, Ink Dogs in my Shoes, was published by Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar, B.C. This is a chapbook of poems all containing some element of three in them. Subjects range from garden to writing process to nonsense rhymes, and some explore conceptual poetry or experiment with wordplay.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: TwitterFacebookBlog

Three by Five posts on days that end in threes.

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Carol A. Stephen – Writer Beginnings

PurplehatVAH: Welcome to Three by Five, Carol. Do tell, why do you write?

CAS: It seems to be a compulsion really. Words, phrases, ideas come to me, seemingly at random, but they won’t let go ‘til I put them into a poem.

VAH: Why did you become a writer and when did you know or feel like you were a writer?

CAS: I hadn’t written in 25 years, but after my husband died, I began to find the poetry coming again. I decided it was time to find out whether I was really a poet or a dabbler. I first felt like a poet when a workshop leader wanted to steal one of my lines.

VAH: Ah, that sounds validating. “A poet or a dabbler.” A good question for introspection. Is there someone or something that influenced your development as a writer?

CAS: Reading other poets is a big influence. When I am not reading, I am usually also not writing. Taking workshops, trying new techniques I didn’t like at first because I didn’t understand the process. Mentors have played a big role too. They include Canadian poets Brent Robillard, (that first workshop leader), Bernice Lever, Harold Rhenisch, Barry Dempster, Roo Borson, John Barton, Phil Hall, Stuart Ross.  Canadian-American poet James Arthur.  Al Filreis, who teaches Modern & Contemporary American Poetry at UPenn via Coursera online and Robert Pinsky.

VAH: What do you remember about your first story or poem?

CAS: I actually have the first poem I wrote as a teenager in high school. It was written in March 1963, or so my file copy shows, has no title, and is a rhyming poem.  I don’t remember whether it was written for class or just on a whim. But the second one seems to be a riff on The Daffodils by William Wordsworth.

VAH: And do you have a favorite piece you’ve written to date?

CAS: My favorite poem always seems to be among the most recent of my poems, although Jammin’ on the 16 is one I like because of its sound and the way it feels on the tongue.  It’s an Ekphrastic poem, written to pair with a painting by Dina Karkar on The Light Ekphrastic, Nov. 2012:

Jammin’ on the 16

Fire foregrounds the hot yellow burn—
orange teases rouge, the blue rise
on red, these curves

letters shape, shift, notes lift—
a spider-weave ripple of sound riffles
ground-wave to octave

foreground to ground, form
re-form, each iteration:
music. the poem. the music.

Words stack, staccato: they wrap
rap, finger-snap, bebop, toe-tap tap tap
rebop, trombone, scatting a sax

A long hot lick—
the jazz. the jazz. fire-brick
crimson razzmatazz.

– Carol A. Stephen

 

Carol A. Stephen is a Canadian poet, poetry selector for Bywords Journal and a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She’s served on boards of Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region (CAA-NCR), Arts Carleton Place and Tree Reading Series Ottawa. Carol coordinated CAA’s poetry circle 2008-2013.

Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal, Tree Press/phaphours press chapbooks and online at The Light Ekphrastic and Silver Birch Press. Chapbooks: Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, Bondi Studios, 2011 and Architectural Variations, Quillfyre Publishing, 2012. Ink Dogs in my Shoe, Dec. 2014 from Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar B.C.

Awards: 3rd Prize CAA 2012 National Capital Writing Contest for Walking in Thomson’s Red Sumac. Honourable Mentions: VERSeFest, Poetry for the End of the World, 2012, Arborealis 2012 and 2008 Ontario Poetry Society, Double Your Pleasure 2013 Ontario Poetry Society and CAA’s 2008 and 2011 National Capital Writing Contest.

Recent publication: In December, 2014 her third chapbook, Ink Dogs in my Shoes, was published by Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar, B.C. This is a chapbook of poems all containing some element of three in them. Subjects range from garden to writing process to nonsense rhymes, and some explore conceptual poetry or experiment with wordplay.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: TwitterFacebookBlog

Three by Five posts on days that end in threes.

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Introducing Carol A. Stephen – June’s Three by Five Featured Author

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Carol A. Stephen is a Canadian poet, poetry selector for Bywords Journal and a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She’s served on boards of Canadian Authors Association, National Capital Region (CAA-NCR), Arts Carleton Place and Tree Reading Series Ottawa. Carol coordinated CAA’s poetry circle 2008-2013.

Her poetry has appeared in Bywords Quarterly Journal, Tree Press/phaphours press chapbooks and online at The Light Ekphrastic and Silver Birch Press. Chapbooks: Above the Hum of Yellow Jackets, Bondi Studios, 2011 and Architectural Variations, Quillfyre Publishing, 2012. Ink Dogs in my Shoe, Dec. 2014 from Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar B.C.

Awards: 3rd Prize CAA 2012 National Capital Writing Contest for Walking in Thomson’s Red Sumac. Honourable Mentions: VERSeFest, Poetry for the End of the World, 2012, Arborealis 2012 and 2008 Ontario Poetry Society, Double Your Pleasure 2013 Ontario Poetry Society and CAA’s 2008 and 2011 National Capital Writing Contest.

Recent publication: In December, 2014 her third chapbook, Ink Dogs in my Shoes, was published by Nose In Book Publishing, Castlegar, B.C. This is a chapbook of poems all containing some element of three in them. Subjects range from garden to writing process to nonsense rhymes, and some explore conceptual poetry or experiment with wordplay.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: TwitterFacebookBlog

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Mariah E. Wilson Part 3 – Writing Life

me2014

Mariah E. Wilson and the writing life will complete this month’s Three by Five interview.

VAH: Are you a full time writer?

MEW: I’m working my way toward being a full time writer. Currently I have three school aged children, so they do take up a lot of my time. My husband works full time out of the house and I have the immense luxury of being a stay at home mom. If I wasn’t writing, I’d be a stay at home mom that doesn’t write.

VAH: When the page is blank what gets you writing?

MEW: Songs. Sometimes songs can inspire me to get the juices flowing. But often, if I find myself stuck with my fiction, I switch to poetry (or the other way around) and the change is usually enough to get my brain into gear.

VAH: What is your “process” when working on a new piece of writing?

MEW: When I have a new idea I’m consumed by it. I’ll sit down and make a few notes, but then I dive right in and start writing it. And I keep going until I can’t. Then I toss it aside for a while, in some cases years, and I rewrite it. Sometimes it take a rewrite or two or four but eventually I get a good handle on what it is I’m really trying to say.

VAH: What does your typical writing day include?

MEW: My typical writing day involves coffee. I like to get up before the kids and have some quiet time, though it’s not necessary, I can write in any situation almost. I get up, I make a coffee, I check my social media while I wake up, then I open my word processor and try to get a good thirty minutes in. Like I said, I’m a stay at home mom so my writing comes in fits and starts all day long whether or not my kids are at home. If they’re not here, as soon as I drop them off at school I try to get another two hours of writing and writing related activities in before I have to come back to the real world and do things like cook and clean. Once the kids are in bed I can usually sneak in another thirty minutes to an hour of writing.

VAH: What words of wisdom do you have for the emerging writer?

MEW: Finish what you start. This is the number one most important thing you will learn how to do. Finishing projects not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, which is important any writer, but it also give you something to revise and edit. Which brings me to my second bit of advice. Don’t edit it until you’ve finished it. If you want to change something, make a note and do it after you’ve got the story down. You can fix anything except a blank page.

VAH: Mariah thanks for taking part in the Three by Five Interview Series.

 

Mariah Wilson Sampler:

The Echo Remains in the 2014 Best New Poem Contest

Sinkholes of Emptiness in GERM Magazine

Talking to Strangers in The Literati Quarterly

Saudade in The Steel Chisel

Kummerspeck and Retired Jesus in The Lake

Jellybean Jealousy in Walking is Still Honest

Connecting….in Luciferous

Mariah Wilson Social Media: Twitter  Facebook  Tsu  Website  Blog  Wattpad

Mariah E. Wilson’s contemporary romance, The Demon in Him will be released in 2015.

Harley Black is trapped in an impossible situation. Caught between love and family, between dreams and duty, Harley will have to decide if she’s willing to risk everything, including her father’s freedom, for the man she loves.

Mariah E. Wilson is a writer from beautiful British Columbia. She has been published in Thin Air Magazine, Every Day Poets, The Kitchen Poet, Literary Orphans and The Corner Club Press, for which she is also now the Poetry Editor. Her first poetry collection, We Walk Alone, was published by Writers AMuse Me Publishing. Her debut novel, The Demon in Him will be released in 2015.

Return next month on days that end in three for more featured authors and emerging writers.

Next month: Canadian poet Carol A. Stephen.

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Gone, Not Lost

Recently I surfed back to a journal where I was fortunate to have had some of my poetry published only to sadly find that last year the journal had ceased publication.

The journal was ditch where you find poetry that’s off the main road. In its own words:”Celebrating the innovative, the non-conforming, the radical, the alternative, the avant-garde, the non-linear, the abstract, the experimental.”

This Canadian poetry magazine ran from August 2007 to January 2014, and published not only numerous Canadian and International poets online, but also several chapbooks, and special commemorative pages. Entirely self-funded and supported by its editor, John C. Goodman, technology was unable to keep up with the creativity of work submitted. The web platform couldn’t meet the formatting demands. Sadly, this wonderful source of contemporary poetry was laid to rest.

The site remains up with the archive accessible. Visit and randomly click on names from the Canadian or International lists. There is a plethora of poetry still waiting for your discovery at ditch.

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Mariah Wilson Part 2 – Writers Read

me2014VAH: Mariah, who is your favorite literary character?

MW: Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables. I love her because she feels things deeply and because she’s strong and resilient.

VAH: What about a favorite author?

MW: Dean Koontz. I grew up watching my mom devour his books. It wasn’t until I was eleven years old that she finally let me read one. She selected The Voice in the Night and I’ve been hooked ever since. I haven’t read all of his books, but I have read a great many. He truly is the master of suspense.

VAH: Imagine you’re stranded in a snowstorm, stuck on a deserted island. What books would you hope to have with you or find?

MW: I would have Anne of Green Gables with me. I’ve read this book so many times it really is like an old friend. I would also have The Count of Monte Cristo because it’s another one of my favorites. I would also like to have an empty notebook with me. I really can’t live without at least one empty notebook.

VAH: What is the most memorable book, story or poem you’ve read? How so?

MW: The most memorable book I ever read is They Cage The Animals at Night by Jennings Michael Burch. It’s the true story of a boy who spends several years being bounced in and out of foster care. He goes through a lot and it’s really hard to read sometimes. It was the first book that made me cry.

VAH: Do you have a favorite book, poem, or story?

MH: My favorite poem is Just Think by Robert Service. I grew up reading him.

And I simply can’t choose just one favorite book. I’d have to give you a top ten list.

VAH: What author or books keep you up at night because you can’t put them down?

MW: Dean Koontz will keep me up late into the night, but so will any really good book. Most recently it was Penelope Douglas and her book Rival.

VAH: Which reader are you – always finish what you started or put it down and move on if you don’t like it?

MW: I used to be a finish what you start reader. But life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. So now I don’t finish books I can’t get into.

Mariah Wilson Sampler:

Jellybean Jealousy in Walking is Still Honest

Connecting….in Luciferous

Mariah Wilson Social Media: Twitter  Facebook  Tsu  Website  Blog  Wattpad

More with Mariah Wilson this month on days that end in three!

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