Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The "5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly" Blog Tour

National Poetry Month is drawing to a close, and it's been such a wonderful opportunity during the "30 Days of the 5-2" blog tour to celebrate the poetry that is published at "5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly" presented by Poetic Justice Press (@PJPress on Twitter). I'd like to thank Editor Gerald So for allowing me to participate in this fabulous tour!

The poem I'd like to profile is called, "Twelve Apologies" by Ray Succre. For an extra bonus, click below to listen to Ray reading this entertaining piece of confessional poetry


Mr. Arnolds, my neighbor five years ago: It was me. I'm the one who ran over your cat. I didn't even see it. I'm sorry that I suggested your daughter may have done it. I'm sorry.

Jan Arnolds: See above. I'm sorry.

Grandma J.: The coat you bought me last year? The one I always say I've just taken off whenever you call? I drunkenly lit it on fire five months ago. I'm sorry.

Amad, my old friend: Remember when I threw that monstrous party and you passed out, and by morning, some measly person had stolen your cigarettes and poured soup on your crotch? They gave me some of the cigarettes not to say anything, and the soup was my idea. I'm sorry.

My ex, Andrea: When I lost my job because of corporate cutbacks? That was a lie. I told my boss that if she talked to me that way again, I'd piss on her head. She fired me. I'm sorry.

Bookstore On the Bay: It was me. I stole all those books. I figured out how to remove the magnetic strips, and would do so while chatting up your clerk. I did this daily. He thought we were pals. I read all of the books I stole, at least. One a day for almost an entire summer. I'm sorry.

Little Lisa: We only went out for a single day in the third grade, and we broke-up because I wouldn't give you my pen. Listen, I told everybody we did it. I'm sorry.

Laurel, a waitress in Olympia, Washington: That guy who stole my wallet off the counter while I was in the restroom, which made me unable to pay for my coffee that one time? I didn't own a wallet. I'm sorry.

Safeway of America, Inc.:  I was the one who stole Eraserhead. I gave you the wrong phone number which truly was an accident because I'd just moved into a new place with a new number, but you didn't check my I.D. and when I was about to sign the little rental agreement, I noticed the phone number I'd given had pulled up the first name "Esther", so, quickly and unfortunately for Esther and your company, I signed it "Antonio Banderas" and never returned the video. I'm sorry to you and I'm sorry to Esther and I'm sorry to Mr. Banderas, as well.

To a certain couple: Red fruits don't cause Alzheimer's disease. I made it up. You can start eating strawberries again. I'm sorry.

To Aaron from sixth grade: Though it’s been twenty years, I've still got your Nintendo game, Bionic Commando.  I convinced you I had given it back and that you had lost it, but I just hadn't beaten the game yet. I moved to the other side of the country with it. I'm sorry.

To Kat, a neighbor in a high-rise apartment building I once resided in: Sixteen years ago, I needed to make a local call and my phone service had just been disconnected. You had offered to let my use your phone for local calls. I knocked but you weren't home. Later, I found the telephone service grid on the second floor, so I spliced into your line with my room's phone, thinking that it wouldn't really matter as long as I switched it back when I was done. When I picked up to make my important call, you were home and you were ordering something on it. The salesclerk couldn't figure out what ordering number your item was supposed to have, so you had to explain to him (and though you didn't know it, to me) that it was the jelly-apparatus on some page 36 . The Rhino II, I think it was called. I didn't mean to overhear it. I hope everything worked out and I'm sure blue was a wonderful color. I'm sorry.

I think that confessional poetry might be fun to experiment with; how about you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 Derringer Award Winners Announced

I am deeply honored that my story, "Heat of Passion" was among the finalists for the 2012 Derringer Award for Best Flash Fiction Story. The results have just been announced by SMFS President (and awesome short story writer) Sandra Seamans. Eligible voting members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society read the stories and cast their votes. 

Congratulations to the winners:

Best Flash Story: "Lessons Learned" by Allan Leverone

Best Short Story: "Touch of Death" by B.V. Lawson

Best Long Story: Tie "A Drowning at Snow's Cut" by Art Taylor and "Brea's Tale"
by Karen Pullen

Best Novelette: "Where Billy Died" by Earl Staggs

Congratulations to all of the nominees as well. Your stories are outstanding and the judges did a terrific job in narrowing down the choices. I'm grateful for the efforts of 2012 Derringer Coordinator Gwen Mayo, the judges, and the voting members of SMFS who took the time to read the stories and make the tough decisions.

Thanks, also, to Editor Christopher Grant for having accepted and published "Heat of Passion" on A Twist of Noir on February 14, 2011 ~ and to the dedicated readers who took the time to read and comment about my story. The feedback has been a tremendous gift. 

A special shout-out to the publishers/hosts of the winning stories: Shotgun HoneyAbsent Willow Review(currently closed); Untreed ReadsEllery Queen Mystery Magazine; and to the dozens of bloggers (and those who promoted on Facebook and Twitter, too) ~ who announced the 2012 Derringer Award Finalists throughout March 2012 and wrote so many kind words. Thanks for your faithful support of short mystery and crime fiction!