Raven and Owl
GAZING at the GAZETTE
a half-penny worth of news
The Tiwaz Press Newsletter, August 2020
This is the second edition of the newsletter and I wish to give a very special welcome to all those join us for the first time. The letter goes out quarterly to all the subscribers. Besides a short update on what is happening in my writing world, I included a free yet-to-be published short story.
A very special thanks to everyone who listened to the narration of Bayou Moon on the Dead Man Talking Forest of Fear podcast and for your kind comments. I’m glad you liked the story.
Ouachita Bigfoot Festival and Conference
In conjunction with the publishers at Tiwaz Press, I am planning on having a booth at the conference. The festival takes place in Mena, Arkansas, on September 25-27. I will be signing books, doing some live readings, and enjoying the speakers in a wonderful mountain setting. The event is being held at the Blue Zip-line and Farm just outside of Mena. We will be taking advantage of this opportunity to camp in the mountains. What are the chances of seeing me on the zip-line? At the moment, it hinges on Bayou Moon sales. If I hit a certain number, I’m flying through the trees.
I will be selling copies of my Bigfoot story, The Haunted Warrior, at the festival before it is tucked away to await its three companion stories in Tracks. Tracks will be four Bigfoot stories from various points of view, different time periods, and locations each set in one of the four seasons. I am still seeking inspiration for the spring story. If you have a story of an aggressive Bigfoot encounter that you would like to see spun into a based on a true story way, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am proud to be working with Tiwaz Press on a number of books that are currently at various places in the publishing process
Trails of Trouble is a Young Adult fantasy tale of a young not quite human creature named Bryn Bou , Bryn is on a journey in search of an outlaw prophet from his homeland who is hiding in the world of men. He has been sent to deliver the message of a vision that sparks world war. The book is still undergoing about halfway through the editing process and looks good to launch late this year or early next year.
Last Christmas I blogged about an anthology Tiwaz was putting together filled with creepy Christmas stories. It’s called Yuletide Chills; Festive Phantoms and Creepy Carousers. The book is almost ready to go for this holiday season. I plan to take some copies of it to the Ouachita Bigfoot Festive as one of my stories in the book is a Bigfoot Christmas tale. I love ghosts at Christmas, don’t you?
A week ago I signed a contract for Tiwaz to publish The Chanteuse. This book was my entry in last year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. It has yet to start the editing process. Brain has already asked about a sequel and NaNoWriMo isn’t that far away...sounds like a good combination. If you are intrigued by the idea of mermaids, pirates, and plunder on the Spanish Main in the 1600s, this is for you.
Mann of God
I just finished the first draft on a new book entitled Mann of God. The project came about when a dear friend read Death Rides the Red. She loved the western theme, but the werewolves...not so much. She asked for a western with no monsters, and this is it.
Chris Mann is an outlaw turned preacher who has kept his jaded past a secret...until now. His former gang of outlaws ride into town and the word is out. Worse, yet, he is still wanted for bank robbery and murder. Hang on to your saddle for shootouts and an end that may bring tears to your eyes.
I’m a big fan of the former sheriff of Lockett from Bayou Moon. I plan to bring him back for a sequel. Writing should start when I finish the first draft of Tracks winter story. I have set the deadline for that project for August 1st.
Poetry and Reviews
I am at work adding some poetry, along with new stories to the Member’s Section of the website. There was some trouble with the section when I jumped from solely relying on WordPress that should be repaired. This also impacted my reviews and I am in the process of completing repair there.
Real Paranormal Magazine
I am honored and excited to announce that I have been asked to contribute to a new online magazine called Real Paranormal. Steve Hemingway is the publisher. The magazine will launch its first edition this Halloween. Sounds like a great day for a magazine launch. I have started work on my first article. The magazine is guaranteed to be scary...he asked for my picture!
It was a dark and stormy evening… But inside of Berkeley Bob’s, the lights were all aglow. And intrepid souls from near and far braved the weather to gather there for a celebration of creativity. Yes, the jinx was broken at last; Tiwaz Press held our very first ever Be Heard! Open Mic event for the community on August 19, 2020.
The cheerful tone of the evening was set right away by the Preston and Yancy duo, using acoustic guitar, drum and tambourine. With their songs, smooth as a cup of fine French Roast, they rekindled in us all the pleasures of enjoying live music together.
The coffee smelled grand as author Jack LaFountain rose to read his poems of unrequited love, along with a ghostly story from his Hatchlings collection. In the interests of sanitation, no mic was used at this event. But, nonetheless, Jack’s voice boomed clearly and confidently from the stage to every corner of the room.
Next, Elaine of Tiwaz Press, fearing her prissy voice might not make it all the way to the door from the stage, stood among the tables to speak. She shared an excerpt from our forthcoming Face to Face with the Gods, a fictionalization of an experience that local author, Ken Balch, had during a coma. After reciting the lyrics to an old Scottish ballad and the translation of a Norwegian song urging a dead Viking woman to go get back in the grave, she returned to her seat next to Brian and Rodney to sip on some mugwort tea. Now where in the world, besides Berkeley Bob’s, can you walk into a coffee house and order wild herb tea?!
Although a little late arriving due to travelling through the storm, Joseph Dobbs and his younger brother Pete were next to perform. Joe, a musical theater student who is a senior in high school, and Petey, an eighth grader, took even their parents by surprise when they together performed “Fight the Dragons” from the Broadway musical Big Fish. They had managed to rehearse it entirely in secret, behind the backs of their family.
(Now that song, by the way, is one that Tiwaz Press can enthusiastically endorse! A life spent fighting dragons is never a life lived in vain.)
Joe followed that number with the inspiring call to build a better world in “Beautiful City” from Godspell.
Hunter McClendon crowned the night’s performances with the Beatles’ songs, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Golden Slumbers”. His delivery was moving enough to convert a die-hard Rolling Stones fan into a Beatles enthusiast.
Afterwards, Andrea of Berkeley Bob’s drew a name out of the basket for the first door prize, and Chuck Dobbs walked away with the Tiwaz Press coffee mug. Then Elaine drew names for Jack LaFountain’s gifts to the community, four copies of his Hatchlings story collection. Winners were Diana Wilson and Joe Dobbs, and Preston and Yancy each won one as well.
It was a night of warm hearts and happy applause for all the entertainers, as well as for our gracious hosts, Andrea and Rob, at the very hip and comfortable Berkeley Bob’s Coffee House of Cullman, Alabama, USA.