The Bells of Doors that Don’t Swing Wide

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This line from an Aimee Mann song can apply to a lot of things, but it works quite well with writing, too: “It must be hard, ringing the bells of doors that don’t swing wide / Anymore.” It’s probably a bit off some ideal brand for writers to be a bit dismayed by a culture in which reading is not quite as ubiquitous a form of diversion/learning as it once was. It is of course still distinct in the way that it requires a person to utilize his or her own mind to bring a work to life (like some far grander “Frankenstein”), but though being on some bigger platform in which one writes to entertain and make people think was hardly ever something that could be easily done by just anybody, the door of longer-form reading in general has gotten smaller. There’s just so many passive forms of diversion.

And yeah, that makes long-form writing (even if only in something shorter with a meaning that’s sort of longer form) a bit hard — not that you just give up because of that. But as it is with life itself, it’s strange to pretend otherwise — that it’s not at least a bit hard.

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Nice Art and a ‘Gravestone-worthy Line’

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Pauly Math art

“Steuert’s descriptions made the locations so real I could almost taste the dew in the air, and while there’s a look of really sublime lines, the idea that ‘in this particular universe, managing to be OK was kind of grand’ was my favourite, because come on, who DOESN’T feel like that at the moment.

“Put that on my gravestone.”

From this review of “Late Night Partners” by Kirsty of the multifaceted paperbackpunkrock.com.

The above art doesn’t have anything to do with “Late Night Partners,” though the woman’s style is fairly Doris-ish and I feel like even a stylishly shrouded vampire could survive a dab of sun among a cloudy evening sky.

Fiction: Diversity Fest!

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Mix of public domain silhouette, Eugene Boudin’s “On the Beach,” 1866, France, also public domain.

That show many people seem to love has had its season finale, so fill the void with my short story “Diversity Fest!” here on WP. Bonus: no fee.

And now for the making-of bit: I don’t know if it’s the final draft, but I do think what’s here is (at the very least) a solid, good read.

‘The “Privilege” of Vampirism’

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© Lena Finch

Late Night Partners” is “a full-fledged novella currently selling for less than two dollars” that is “well worth the price,” writes JL. “Doris’s transition into vampirism is not straightforward—it’s a very different narrative from the popular Romantic Vampire type; her sire isn’t there to mentor her, and there is no reason or ceremony to her turning. She simply is thrust into new circumstances and made to accept them and understand herself within them; through her vignettes in the eighteenth century, finally see where the ‘privilege’ of vampirism can run out.”

“7.5/10.” Full review here.

A Vampire of Color: ‘…Beautifully Written…’

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Valentine’s Day, Smalentine’s Smay. According to this review by Ann of the great book review blog “Ann Reads Them,” Late Night Partners is “set in an intriguing, somewhat dystopian world, and is packed with interesting characters, quite a bit of action, and several different relations you are left wanting to read more about. Everything unfolds under a general tone of darkness and eeriness … There are moments that are beautifully written and that evoke real sympathy for the creatures of the night, especially for Doris, and I liked that we through her see a parallel drawn between being black and the struggles of her new life where she’s simply not human anymore.

I’ve since expanded the novella, between the above review and the also recent one at https://sowereadthisbook.com – from which I will post an excerpt from soon.

In the meanwhile, check out Later Night Partners and both of those very fine, subscription-worthy book blogs. Citygirlscapes.com, too.

The Dub That Surpasses Otherness

In any Jackie Chan movie that’s been dubbed over in English, Jackie’s accent is one that stands out. In a world of people voiced over by those who usually have (or can affect) what would generally be considered white American and/or British accents, Jackie, a man for whom English is possibly a third language, voices over his own characters. In most English-speaking countries, by jerk standards, Jackie’s accent might be considered a bit rube-ish; and it would make for someone who is considered a bit less than, or ‘other.’ But that’s what make the English dubs of his Chinese films so unique. He could be dubbed by any other accent that, in a Western sense, is not considered sophisticated, and it would be just as uniquely surreal to have this artfully klutzy, alternately semi-suave protagonist who scrambles to being on par with anyone in his world.

A Vampire of Color

Four out of five review for “Late Night Partners,” a novella-length short featuring people of color and the supernatural, at citygirlscapes.com:

“As Steuert often does, he’s built a tiny world with large characters and has given us a little look into a very creative and descriptive mind.”