Poetry Month Continues

Nearly halfway through April- poetry Month- and StarkLight Press would like to congratulate all of our marathoners on their stirring and thought-provoking poems! Thanks to everyone who applied to enter our writer’s circle for the contest, and congratulations to those who have engaged on our poem-a-day endeavor.

Our poets for our marathon will have their work published in our upcoming Poetry Month anthology… which of course will be coming out after May begins 🙂

We encourage everyone to try to write one poem at least for April, and to try to expand your poetic comfort zone with this (inexhaustive) list of poetry styles from around the world, thanks to Wikipedia:

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What I’ve Learned

As a result of the extremely positive reaction to recent works, I’ve decided to share a little update from one of our authors (namely, me) for our wider audience.

Many of our authors are eschewing the fooferaw of Facebook and other twitterpated social media platforms. Some have moved to private messenger services, or their own blogs, or just good old fashioned mail, snail and e-variety. As a result, StarkLight Press will be sharing updates and contacts for our authors and staff here, over the next few weeks.

First is a blog from my new personal site, wherein authors, friends and well-wishers can contact with and correspond with me and other interested parties. Look for more entries throughout the next few weeks, from authors and staff like Virginia Carraway Stark, Alfie Elkins, Will Norton, Leanne Caine and more!

You can contact this author (me) at this blog, and at starklightdesk@gmail.com.

Tony Stark Does Stuff

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So, here I am, after a year and a bit’s vacay from Facebook and social media. My reasons for sabbatical are several-fold.

Family events dictated that it was time to focus my energies and efforts on what is most important to me, and to provide support for my family unit. While events leading up to this are not yet something I can talk about, let’s just say that the longer small-minded people want to split their selfish little hairs, the more it will come back upon them in the end.

Let’s just say that entering into the world of litigation via my wife’s circumstances has shown me the depths of people’s dogmatic ignorance. Seeing the confused and pathetically inquisitorial tactics these bullies will utilize in order to keep from parting with any small amount of the budget the taxpayers provide them for necessitous recompense has shown me that, for a…

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Time for a Little Ordo ab Chao-

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With the tumultuous climate in the world, it occurs to us that there’s no time better to announce a poetry anthology!

Since April is approaching, and spring along with it, we hope to compile a poetry anthology in the interval, and provide some beauty, liberty and elegance of phrase to the melee.

We are including long and short poetic works on any subject, provided the content is of aPG-13 sort of calibre, and free from choleric discourse, please.

Meter is open-ended; we encourage exploration into a variety of poetic styles beyond the standard, 21st Century styles.

We have sixteen contributors’ spots available, with up to three contributions each.

Those poets selected for inclusion in our poetry anthology will be promoted through StarkLight Press and its social media and print media networks. Interviews with our poets will be included as part of our online promotion of this work.

 

To that end, here are some links to some great lists of poetic styles:

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Don’t break your brain with these entrancing poetic styles- heart before style any day!

Please send queries or submissions to starklightdesk@gmail.com, along with a brief bio and/or links to your websites.

Our submission call ends May 15, 2019, or when our sixteen slots are filled. However, poetic submissions will also be considered for our subsequent anthologies, as well as slots in our StarkLight Short Story series.

 

Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

 

 

We’re Back, Baby!

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It’s been a while, folks, but StarkLight Press is back!

Or rather, we are finally getting around to updating all of you lovely, loyal fans with all the amazing books, poems, multimedia work and more our happy little elves at StarkLight have been working on this past evolution.

… starting with our latest book, a Tales from Space series novel involving some of your favorite characters, including by popular demand, Verily Wrought in kid form and that precocious scamp of an android, Nick Goodfrey.

Check in later this week for the details on our latest title, The Androsian Question, along with updated editions of An Incident in El Noor, Dalton’s Daughter  and its sequel Galaxy’s Daughter.

Poetry anthology information to follow for your favorite authors, Virginia Stark!

Check again soon for information on our  upcoming short story contest, and poetry contest as well!

It’s just what the Galaxy wanted for a holiday gift!

– Tony Stark,

Publisher and CEO,

StarkLight Press.

 

StarkLight Talks with Lee F. Patrick

StarkLight Press sits down with Lee F. Patrick, author of Dark Reflections, a thrilling tale found in our Hallowe’en anthology, Wild, Wicked and Sparkling.

 

1. Tell us a bit about your inspiration for your tale.

The idea of a stalker makes for a creepy tale, but I wondered what might make a stalker worse. They are certainly a horrible thing to endure. However, you can’t slap a restraining order on a reflection! This story was mostly written a few years back and I kept coming back to it, trying to make it better. Psychological horror, for me, trumps slasher horror. Who in their right mind would believe what Francie is going through?

2. What draws you to the Hallowe’en season?

I enjoy fall as my favourite season. The ideas of the old celebrations of honouring the dead, and that it’s possible to cross between this world and another one is fertile ground for my subconscious. I’ve written some Celtic style poems and short stories with the same sort of theme.

3. Tell us about what would make the best Hallowe’en party ever.

I’m not a big costume party fan, but having a bonfire out in the woods, staying up all night to watch the stars would be wonderful. We’d just have to remember NOT to chase any white stags that happen along. Or, maybe we should.

4. Who has inspired you to not just write, but to keep writing?

I started reading when I was young and my parents gave my sister Lesley and I access to the Science Fiction Book Club, so we read Heinlein, Asimov, McCaffrey, Norton and a host of others. I still have some of those books.

I’ve been writing not very seriously since the late-1980’s as an alternate to my hard science day job. From there, ideas kept knocking on the inside of my head demanding to be let loose. Lots of projects were started and then languished as I started writing on the next idea, or because I wasn’t sure how to build the plot and believable characters. I decided to get serious and publish last year. Since then, I’ve published a thriller novel (Alter Egos), and had three short stories/poems published. Dark Reflections is the third (Thanks to Starklight Press!!). Another story was accepted and is awaiting publication.

A big bonus is my husband, G.W. Renshaw, is also an author. I did the 3-Day Novel contest years back and he was my support staff. He made sure I had food and tea and quiet to write in. Now, he’s also the tech guru who keeps updating templates and helping with all sorts of weird issues with covers and formatting.

The Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, which I’ve been part of for many years, gives inspiration and information of many kinds. When Words Collide also gives me lots of contact with other authors and folks who love to read.

5. Where can people find your work and more about you as an author?

I have a FaceBook page under Lee F. Patrick, and of course, at Amazon. A website is in the planning phase. The ideas and writing keeps intruding on the marketing time.

 

You can find Lee’s tale in Wild, Wicked and Sparkling, available now at the StarkLight Press Bookstore or on Amazon here:

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Avis

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Following many inquiries as to the existence of a photo book commemorating the 2016 Mystery Art Auction, StarkLight Press would like to definitively state that it has withdrawn from the production of the book.

Following the Dawson Creek Art Gallery’s 2016 Mystery Art Auction, many poets and some artists felt that their work was neither properly acknowledged nor recorded by the Gallery. In order to smooth over hard feelings, StarkLight Press had offered to compile gratis a photo book featuring the paintings and poems included in the fundraiser for the Dawson Creek Art Gallery. Copies would be available for purchase online and at the Gallery with all proceeds going toward the Art Gallery itself. The layout and design of the book were to be performed by the Press once high quality digital images and poems were provided by the Art Gallery curator.

After four months, in January 2017, the publisher had been stonewalled by the curator, Kit Fast, and had obtained only one low resolution brochure with the pictures inside. It came to the attention of the publisher that Mr. Fast had not informed anyone from the SPCAC or other members of the Gallery about the production of the book, when at a public meeting, people had no knowledge that this book had been trying to get itself made since the event in October.

After a lengthy apology delivered over the phone, Mr. Fast promised to provide release forms and high quality digital images and poems from the artists not directly connected to StarkLight Press.

As of September 2017, only two-thirds of the release forms have been provided. There has been no contact from the Dawson Creek Art Gallery with regard to this matter. Although we refuse to speculate as to the reasons why the curator and Art Gallery have so greviously sabotaged what could have been a valuable opportunity for the local arts community, we recognize that there are serious problems with bullying, clique-ism and discrimination against Persons with Disabilities in the Dawson Creek Arts Community.

Unfortunately, due to the bad behaviour of a few, all the artists and poets involved in the 2016 Mystery Art Auction go without a professionally-made and promoted commemorative book.

Therefore, following disrespectfully unprofessional interactions with the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, StarkLight Press would like to formally withdraw its offer to commemorate the 2016 Mystery Art Auction with a fundraising book. We are also officially stating we will not be making any commemorative books for the Art Gallery in future, unless a more professional and courteous approach is taken.

While StarkLight Press regrets the fact that it cannot help poets and artists who did not receive proper acknowledgment from the 2016 Mystery Art Auction, it nevertheless has exhausted every opportunity to try to provide a lasting record of the hard work and creativity that went into the event.

Virginia Carraway Stark Talks Hallowe’en

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1. Tell us a bit about your inspiration for your tale.

So many people are ‘into’ magic and it’s always at Halloween that I ‘discover’ that I have several dozen friends that are witches that I had no idea about the rest of the year. I have no objection to the practice of Wicca or to witches, but what I do object to is dabblers. This story was more or less inspired by the idea of dabbling gone completely overboard. Dee is that crazy girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing and takes things way too far. I pretty much climbed into that girl’s head and ran with the idea.

2. What draws you to the Hallowe’en season?

Costumes are one of my favorite parts of Halloween. I don’t understand why we can’t go around in costume every day of the year if we want to. No one has ever been able to give me a good answer to that question and I insist that if we were socially uninhibited enough to wear costumes whenever and wherever we wanted that most of our social ills would fade in the freedom to express ourselves in the multiplicity of ways. People have these expectations of sameness from the people they work with and major changes are met with fear and trepidation. Isn’t that odd?

Imagine if we could dress how we feel, or even dress the opposite of how we feel. Feeling glum? Get the glitter and the glam out! Or wear your emo on the outside for the day and dress goth if you feel sad. Feeling happy? Why not wear that unicorn horn? Put in your rainbow hair extensions and strut it! Oh yeah, and there’s candy. Can’t forget candy.

I like the autumn weather, the leaves, the moodiness. The feel of mist and a little bit of eerie creepiness… but not too much. There’s a poignant feel as the year lets go with a sigh and the ground freezes, Halloween spells the last of sunlight warming my shoulders and the start of snowflakes and warm sweaters. Pumpkins and apple flavored everything for the rest of the year until fruits start are harvested again and on and on the wheel of the year turns with cinnamon to warm my veins and hot chocolate to warm my hands. It’s quite the tradeoff for losing the sun. I’m glad I don’t have to make the choice, fortunately it’s been made for me and Halloween makes me not responsible for what’s to follow.

3. Tell us about what would make the best Hallowe’en party ever.

I have to think back to the past to parties of the past and what I liked best for this because I’m not feeling in a party place right now. The funny thing is, the most fun I ever had at a Halloween party was probably one of the ones I had as a Girl Guide! I’ve been to some crazy parties since then and experienced some wild fun, but there’s something so classic about bobbing for apples, having mask put over your eyes (These were her BRAINS… And these were her EYES cue peeled grapes and cold spaghetti).

There’s something so rewarding in the pretend fear and the sheer innocence of those little games that puts those nostalgic parties at the top of my list. Maybe that is the most boring answer that anyone has ever given for one of these, but all the other parties I’ve gone to for Halloween, no matter how much effort has gone into them, no matter how sophisticated and realistic they are, no matter how good the cocktails, has something that is somehow cheap about it compared to the joy of those parties. Besides, is there anything really more scary than carving jack-o-lanterns in a group and having pumpkin innards fight? Try getting that out of your hair! Truly the things nightmares are made of!

4. Who has inspired you to not just write, but to keep writing?

More than anyone else I’d have to say my husband and my mother. It seems like there reaches a certain point in your writing career where there isn’t anything that ‘enough’ to tell you how you’re doing as a writer. I’ve won awards, I started off making a substantial amount of money on screenplays with names in them that most people would recognize. That’s something that most writers don’t get, let alone start with. It makes it hard, especially when there are people who just sit there like turds (ICBC, yeah, I see you!) saying that you aren’t a writer, or other people who get so jealous that they drive you out of the arts community rather than admit that you’ve had a few wins (Dawson Creek, tipping my hat to the artists there).

Things get complicated.

Friends act weird when you get some wins under your belt that aren’t going to make you world famous but are enviable nevertheless.

There are the people in writing who say absolutely nothing about what you’re doing and ignore your writing as though you’ve done something gauche like farting in front of the queen mother. There are friends who make snide remarks about how far you haven’t come and ignore everything you have done.

There comes a time when you look around yourself and realize that you have fewer friends than you thought you had because of your success and more people wishing you ill because of them.

It’s heartrending to any artist to be torn down and that’s why cruel people who don’t feel like they’re achieving their own goals in life do it: it’s easy money to kick an artist/writer etc when they’re down. We’re baring our hearts and souls on the page and making ourselves vulnerable. My mother wrote her whole life, she kept journals. Keeping a journal isn’t easy and keeping a truthful journal is even more hard. I can’t tell express to a non-writer how hard it is to turn off the inner critic except through analogy: imagine never once questioning the way you look in any outfit ever again… or naked. Do your thighs jiggle? Is your makeup okay? Suck in that gut… Nope, none of that. Let it all hang out. Cellulite flopping in the breeze, not a care in the world about whether or not looking down like that gives you a double chin… Do you get the idea? Could you ever do that?

Now imagine that isn’t your body, it’s your essence. It’s your soul. It’s your most secret thoughts. It’s thoughts that aren’t even yours but things that are, ‘what ifs’ that you wonder in the dark as you try to imagine why someone else did something. Let all that flab in your mind, all those bits jiggle around and let anyone who happens to pick up your writing make of it what they will. No one is ever going to really understand what you have to say on the page. Everyone is going to misjudge you. If you know the people reading what you wrote; it’s going to be an exponential number worse. Every little bit of guilt is going to tell them that any negative thing you put on the page is surely about them. Every character who is a villain is surely a thinly veiled version of them… they just know it! How they’ve caught you out!

While you go blithely writing your world, crafting your characters as you would a child there are people turning each tap on the keyboard into a diabolical scheme of paranoia against them. They try to dig into your psychology. They try to ‘figure you out’. They try to find you in the page.

You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you?

That was my mom’s favorite song when she was alive. One of the last communications we had was a card where she congratulated me on my writing and told me how excited she was to see where my writing would take me. She wrote that she had never been able to write except when her soul ached, that was why she only wrote journals.

After her death, during the divorce from my father, at other pivotal moments in her life, her journals were plucked from her hands and used against her. After her death my family poured over each pen stroke and internalized every word that could be interpreted as harsh to cut their souls with. They hated her because of those journals. I only read a few of them, but the ones I did read made me love her so much more. I understood our differences and our sames so much better. I cried because she had never said the words on the page to me out loud and even if she had, I don’t know if I would have been in a place where I would have understood what she was saying to me. But she wrote. She wrote without an inner critic telling her that she was writing ugly things, or beautiful things, she wrote because her soul was screaming and now I understand her more than I ever did before.

I know that my writing has made me no end of enemies and will likely make me many more, but I also know that my writing has been there for people when they needed to hear the words I spoke. I know that I have helped people in my lifetime with my words and as my mother gave me the gift of understanding after her death to inspire me to keep writing, I understand what the ability to speak the words needed when I cannot physically be there to say them means to people. That is how my mother has encouraged me in life and death to keep writing.

My husband has had a much more intensive role to play in my writing life. He is the guardian of the very soul of my writing. When people are cruel I know that there is one person who will always be kind. He won’t lie to me, he’ll tell me the truth about my writing, but he will talk to me. He won’t seal up like a clam the way people do to writers when they feel withholding. People stop talking or acknowledging writing, or deliberately push buttons to try to stop up writing, as though every word I personally write is somehow an affront to them.

But Tony Stark isn’t like that. He’s there with me. He WANTS to hear the words I write. We share back and forth and through our symbiotic encouragement and enthusiasm he puts my hands gently back on the keys after they’ve been squished flat by the stomping brutality that is relentless as soon as those pages leave the drawer and are shared with the world. It’s a strange thing that writers are repaid with little or no money, cruel words as often as kind, and yet they write the words that need to be there for those people who need to hear them most. Like my mother. Even after her death more people hated and reviled her for her writing than ever thanked her for her courage, but her words changed the world for me. They gave me a mother where I had none, or at least, when I thought I had none.

These people who will be there for you and who understand the subtle rays of goodness that writers put into the world are few and far between and my husband is the strongest and most steadfast of all the people.

5. Where can people find your work and more about you as an author?

Google me. Seriously, I don’t mind, I kinda like it 😉
I’m all over the internet. You can find me on my author page www.virginiastark.wordpress.com

@tweetsbvc

On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Virginiacarrawaystark/

www.starklightpress.com

www.gafmainframe.com

Amazon, and a variety of other blogs, radio guest spots, interviews as well as brick and mortar stores in Canada, Texas, New York, Iceland, Argentina and Australia.