Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Very Best of Big Table Publishing, Volume One and Two

      These two volumes, released recently in all their iridescence, have the very best writings of Big Table Publishing. I am honored to have two pieces in each. Robin Stratton has run Big Table for fifteen years, and the place feels like home and the writers feel like family. In Volume One I have a poem This Is Where I Am (When Here), from Chief Jay Strongbow is Real, and an excerpt from my novel Grand Slams: A Coming of Eggs Story, entitled Happy Birthday from Grand Slams.

     In Volume Two, Robin picked the flash piece, Jack from Every Day There is Something About Elephants. Also included was the excerpt Inside the Mind of Brad's Therapist from The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan. 

Here's the rest of the Family
List of contributors, volume 1
 Timothy Gager, Lawrence Kessenich, Phillip Temples, Annie Stanzel, John Cuetara, Brad Rose, Christopher Bullard, Brady Peterson, Jane Banning, Mark Saba, John Stanizzi, Jim Gustafson, Karen Kelsay, Elizabeth Szewczyk, Lyle Roebuck, Robert Hilliard, Paul Beckman, Judith Blake, Nancy Scott, Nancy Stohlman, Thomas Lyons, Tina Barry, Rodger LeGrand, Laurette Folk, Vic Sizemore, Amye Archer, Burgess Needle, Jennifer Jean, Susan Hodara,, Joan Potter, Lori Toppel,Vicki Addesso, Michael C. Keith. Glenn Bowie, George Ovitt, Christopher Reilley. Jon Sindell, Robert Scotellaro, Carol Lynn Grellas, Jennifer Martelli, Martin McCaw, Liz Ciampa, Rebecca Leo, Richard Fox, Cindy Lurie, Keith Tornheim, Cheryl Pallant, Judy Hogan, Steve Klepetar, Meg Tuite, Nancy Gerber, Zvi A. Sesling, Tony Press, Lorraine Davis, Craig Fishbane, John Gifford, Brian Fanelli, Rex Stockton, Rob Dinsmore, Ebby, Lois Cuddy, Nina Bingham, Zack Kopp, Renuka Raghavan

 Table of Contents, volume 2

Amye Archer, Brady Peterson, Doug Holder, Richard Fox, Cindy Lurie, Jon Sindell, Keith Tornheim, Jim Gustafson, John Stanizzi, Jennifer Martelli, Cheryl Pallant, Judy Hogan, Steve Klepetar, Laura Rodley, Phil Temples, Robert Scotellaro, Meg Tuite, Tina Barry, Nancy Gerber, Glenn Bowie, Zvi Sesling, Tony Press, Chris Reilley, Lorraine Davis, Craig Fishbane, John Gifford, Brian Fanelli, Elizabeth Szewczyk. Rex Stockton, Jennifer Jean, Laurette Folk, Rob Dinsmoor, Lois Cuddy, Rodger LeGrand, Robert Hilliard, Nina Bingham, Liz Ciampa, Zack Kopp, Christopher Bullard, Michael Keith, Renuka Raghavan, Maureen Sherbondy

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tomorrow will be Nine years of here's my story, and also an appearance on podcast, Recovery Happy Hour

 So tomorrow is another day, but it's also a day that I'm nine years sober, and on a great podcast,  hosted by Tricia Lewis!

Listen to a podcast that came out today called 
Recovery Happy Hour 
(click the above link and listen. I come on at the 7 minute mark)

--------------Now, here's my story-----------
I came out of a blackout here at The People’s Republic in Cambridge. It was November 6, 2010, 1:30 AM, and it was, in fact, right on the stool slightly to the left of the bar tap. I always liked sitting in the corner.

The very seat is back left...

      I didn’t know where the  friends I came with were but the next day they were no longer my  friends on the account of my behavior.  One of the people that left me during that night, a night that I hardly remember, went home and overdosed.

     Today, all I know, because I can look it up, is that I hosted The Dire Literary Series that night which featured Victor David Giron, Michael Atwood and Leo Racicot.

     I also know that my drinking had been bad for a long time. I’d been blackout driving for the past year. People would call me the next day saying they’d been on the phone with me during these times and were worried that I was going to die and probably take people with me.  During one of these phone calls I told someone I was entering the Mass Pike in the wrong direction.

     I survived that night but I had taken people with me. Besides alienating friends, my children told me that they were afraid to spend time with me. I had swings of anger. I embarrassed them when I was drunk.  On November 6, 2010, I woke up feeling horrible and desperate. I decided to give it a honest attempt at becoming sober.  I attended a 4 PM meeting in Needham and so far, I have never had another drink.

     Since then, I’ve been happier. My moods remain for the most part pretty stable. I have support from others. I am a better person. I have some good friends I can tell anything to. Most of all I’m not afraid to be honest. This is the greatest gift. Being honest isn’t that bad at all and by doing so, life is much easier.

     Tomorrow will be nine years without alcohol, but it’s not about the years, it's about living through each day--all    of them. Keeping the thoughts to only one day is pretty easy. In hindsight, I should have held off posting this until another six days, but I get very reflective upon things that happen to me.

     There have been some big challenges recently in my life, which in the past would have been devastating and destructive to me personally. Instead, I’ve been able to think about how grateful I am for my life, rather than focus on the negatives, such as what I have lost or almost lost.  These recent events in my life have really sucked. They have made me upset angry and most of all, sad. I am able to see that these are real and honest emotions. Life is full of real events. Not every day is good and often it is far from it, but life is life, and I can't control that either–but I’m here…I’m alive…and I love.

Friday, November 1, 2019

New work out in "Better Than Starbucks," "Broadkill Review," and a nice review for "Spreading Like Wild Flowers."

So November brings a few things that I'm grateful to be involved in. First a flash fiction called The Four Kings of Harmony is out Better Than Starbucks.
     Personally, I'm a Starbucks drinker, so being better than my cup o' Joe is damn good. Of course, if it means that they are rubbing things in Starbucks face---I'm okay with that too. Better Than Starbucks is available in on line format (link above) and also in two print versions which you can purchase. 1)  Economy and 2) Premium.  
     The story behind this story was that I was in my office talking to a co-worker about THIS MILLS BROTHERS SONG., so my mind goes to records and '45's, which are vinyl things you play music off from a thing called a record player. Then it leads me to '45,' our 45th President. Well read the story, it's veiled politically (well, okay, not really)

Also in their November Issue
The Interview: Tendai Rinos Mwanaka & Five Poems. Featured Poems: Barbara Loots, AM Roselli, Evan Guilford-Blake, Xuanjie Huang. Free Verse: John Grey, Emily Strauss, Susan Richardson, L.R. Harvey, Doug Pinkston, Luis CuauhtĂ©moc Berriozábal, and more. Haiku: Gerry Fabian, Sarah Calvello, Andrea Cecon, Paula R. Hilton, Tate Lewis, Goran Gatalica and more. Formal & Rhyming Poetry: Richard Wakefield, Alfred Nicol, Aaron Poochigian, Jennifer Reeser, Jean L. Kreiling, Chris O’Carroll, and more. Free Verse: Heather Brett, Yahia Lababidi, and more. Poetry Translations Janice D. Soderling, Michael R. Burch. International Poetry: Kushal Poddar, Zohar Teshartok, and more. African Poetry: Lazola Pambo, Emmanuel Stephen Ogboh, Ibrahim Sorie Bangura, and more. Poetry Unplugged Arthur Powers, Sonia Beauchamp, David Gershan, and more. Experimental & Form Poetry: Stephen Bett, James Swafford, and more. Fiction: Jonathan Ferrini. Flash Fiction: Clive Aaron Gill, Timothy Gager. Creative Non-Fiction: John Haymaker.


     Also out today is a poem Existential Crisis, in The Broadkill Review out of Milton, Delaware. This is a "found poem," from an on-line message conversation, where my friend was talking about her day's existential crisis. I love borrowing---borrowing Mills Brothers lyrics to make a political story, and the awesome words from others, telling me about their lives (with approval, of course.)

Linda Wlodyka

A few weeks before my book, Spreading Like Wild Flowers was released, I read with amazing poet Linda Wlodyka at the Great Falls Word Festival. held in Turners Falls, Massachusetts at The Shea Theater. When the book was released she bought a copy, and reviewed it on Amazon.
The review was delightful and I greatly appreciated the time and effort from any reader, but from another poet is extra special. 

October 30, 2019
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase