Hiraeth Publishing’s May 2020 Newsletter
The Road Not Taken
Let’s begin this newsletter with a NOW HIRING! notice. It’s a tech sort of position, very part-time—you can’t quit your day job, but there are a few perks. Here’s what we’re looking for:
Someone to convert .docx, or .doc, or even .rtf to mobi and to ePub. If you have Adobe Acrobat and can embed fonts in a file, that’s a plus. The work is ad hoc; that is, it’s as assigned. However, for the first roughly six months or so, it will be fairly regular, until we get caught up. The pay is more than proposed minimum wage. To apply, simply send an e-mail to sdpshowcase at yahoo dot com. Be sure to put FORMATTING in the subject line, because otherwise we might figure the e-mail is a submission, and might not get around to opening it for a month or so. We
don’t need a resume; we’re looking for someone who can do the job and do it punctually. Just tell us who you are and what you can do.
Okay, moving right along.
As we did in March, in April we added beaucoup more titles to our Shop. Reading is a very human activity (note that most dogs, muskrats, amebas, and wolf spiders can’t do it). Be human: buy and read a book. Preferably one of ours. Here are a couple of our latest listings, all of which can be found in our Shop (it’s in the toolbar):
Eldritch Dream Realms: There are those who chant the eldritch songs, who wait at the angled gates, who gather in blasted, nameless places to celebrate the return of the great Old Ones. For centuries, for millennia, their tales have not been told. Within these haunted pages you will find their stories of yearning, terror, murder, and a faith that defies the commonplace understanding of humanity. Come and look into the minds of those great Old Ones. This is a must for any Lovecraft fan (yeah, I know, we always say that…but it’s still true).
The Dog At War – a novel by Tyree Campbell: Corporatia has quietly begun to plot against the independent world of Vanadis and enslave or kill its people. It believes the founder and protector of Vanadis, a retired assassin named Ovin Shannen, who hired out under the name of Candle, may be dead. If so, it is safe for Corporatia to move. But Shannen has spent the last few years away from his world, as a bird leads a snake away from the nest. His teenage daughter Aisling, however, will move the stars and the corporations in her determination to bring him home. She and her twin brother steal a ship and go off among the stars to search for him, encountering perils no children should have to face. Still, she and her father have allies, including a charm quark—an energy being from another part of the galaxy. But if Aisling is to save Vanadis and bring her father home, the Fates will require sacrifices—offerings of that which must be surrendered in order to protect a loved one.
Spring 2020 Illumen: With a kickin’ cover by renowned artist Sandy DeLuca, and with Francis W. Alexander as the Featured Poet, Illumen presents genre poetry you don’t have to be afraid of. Read it in the privacy of your own home.
Hiraeth editors Teri Santitoro and Wes Alexander have created a new minimalist poetry/storytelling form called Drabbun. This form combines the qualities of a drabble (which is a story containing exactly, precisely, 100 words) and a haibun, which is a poem that includes a short narrative story punctuated by a relevant haiku. Eh voilà: Drabbun!
As mentioned in April, we are doing an anthology of Drabbuns. It is now open for submissions. Please go to our Guidelines (there’s a dropdown under More in the toolbar that will take you there).
IT CAME FROM HER PURSE!!
As also mentioned in April, we’re doing an anthology for which there is very little guidance. The title is “It Came From Her Purse!!” Whatever that inspires you to write—stories, preferably, or perhaps a poem or two—that’s what you write. We’d like to see material with a genre mood—science fiction, fantasy, horror—but we won’t turn down a really good story. The anthology is open to submissions, so please go to our Guidelines (there’s a dropdown under More in the toolbar that will take you there).
WHAT THE ARTIST “SEES”
Some folks have a gift of “vision.” Civilization refers to them as “artists,” but this is a generic term that includes storytelling, sculpture, quilting, architecture, poetry, and painting and other forms of art—all forms representing the “vision” of their creator.
“Vision” is not to be confused with the sense of sight. Here’s an example of what that means: when you look at Van Gogh’s Starry Night, do you see what he “saw,” or do you see what you see? Or, when you read Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, do you “get” out of the story what he put into it? Or, when you look at a Makonde carving, do you “see” the deity or demon that the sculptor “saw”?
Maybe you do; maybe you don’t.
Artists (generic term, remember) do not concern themselves with what you might think about their art. They hope you “get” it, of course. But true artistic creators are driven to express themselves, regardless of how their expression is received. Yes, artists love to be paid for their work; they have no desire to starve. In medieval times, the Church supported artists by commissioning works. This continued through the Renaissance, as witness the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo, and Pope Julius II. You know most of the names; there is no need here for a list. But how many names of “minor” artists do you recognize? For every Michelangelo, there were probably a hundred, even a thousand, who had “visions” but not the time, training, or financial independence to express them properly. Some, as Tanith Lee suggested in her The Secret Books of Venus, had to settle for carving ornate gravestones for deceased elites.
“Vision” is not limited to what is real—e.g., Steinbeck—but includes what is possible—e.g., Starry Night. Consider: we now aim our telescopes at distant clouds of dust, within each of which is a star being born. Yet does this not adequately describe some of the stars in Starry Night? Was Van Gogh prescient? Probably not. He simply had the gift of “vision,” and his curse was that few others could see it at the time. Nowadays, of course, he is quite visible.
This past week I contributed a dark flashfic story to Gilded Quills—a small story-critique group I belong to—and each of the four readers that evening saw something quite different from the others (five, including me). Were they in error?
No, quite the opposite. You “see” what you see; hopefully you ponder it. To some degree it is the task of the artist to be clear—but not at the expense of the art. In short, it doesn’t matter all that much whether you “get” the artist. Hopefully, you “get” something, even if it is aligned with your “vision” and not the artist’s.
Without further ado, then: browse, read, buy, enjoy. If you have any questions or comments, send them to us at sdpshowcase at yahoo dot com. See you next month. And please, from all of us at Hiraeth Publishing, stay safe.