Feed the Writers

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Help Launch Riddled with Arrows Lit!

St Sebastian, martyred by Ribot, Auguste Theodule

Riddled with Arrows is a quarterly online literary journal dedicated to writing about writing.  We seek (short) metafiction and metapoems, and writing that celebrates the process and product of writing as art.

Riddled with Arrows is currently CLOSED to submissions, but our website is LIVE, as is our INDIEGOGO Fundraising Campaign.

Riddled with Arrows will be a paying market because we believe writers should be compensated (“exposure” don’t buy groceries). BUT we don’t have a lot of funds to start with (we’re working writers and we need to eat, too)! Every dollar you contribute will help us pay a starving artist for their poem, flash fiction, or visual art. Feed the writers! Donate today!

Perks for RwA donors include:

$5 USD – Riddled w/ Arrows Patron Badge

Support Riddled with Arrows at the $5 level and receive a custom “Riddled with Arrows Patron” badge for your website or social media page.

$20USD – Poetry Fishbowl
Support Riddled with Arrows at the $20 level and you can challenge poet Shannon Connor Winward to write a poem on a topic of your choice. Be as creative or crazy as you like – but keep it clean, please. Fishbowl-inspired poems may be published on Riddled with Arrows or Shannon’s author blog. Copyright (and right of refusal) remains with the author.
$25 USD  – Prose or Poetry Critique
Support Riddled with Arrows at the $25 level and receive a personalized critique of 1 poem OR 1 flash fiction/prose piece (max 2 pages in either genre) by writer and editor Shannon Connor Winward.
$50 USD – The Gift of Poetry
Support Riddled with Arrows at the $50 level and receive a custom-crafted poem by Shannon Connor Winward. Personalized poems make great gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, and life’s many special moments.

 

Lookie what came in the mail last week….

 

chapbooks

 

There are many emotional peaks and valleys in the journey towards publication, but certainly the best high (so far, anyway) has to be holding your own flesh and blood (read: paper and ink) book in your hands… and seeing your own happy mug there on the back, in living color.

SO COOL, Y’ALL.

SO VERY COOL.

And as reports of preorder arrivals have begun to trickle in from my friends and cohorts around the globe (yes! I even have a fan across the pond! *waves*) I’m reminded again of how many people have encouraged me on this journey with their love, their facebook/blog shares, and their hard-earned dollars.  THANK YOU, everyone, for your support.

So I haven’t been sleeping very well lately (if why isn’t obvious, scroll back a few posts…) but I have spent the last few days and what brian power … er BRAIN power… I have on getting my little authorly self together.  For starters, Undoing Winter is now on Goodreads!  Please do check it out and, if you liked the book, feel free to leave a rating or a review!

For those still interested in purchasing a copy, Undoing Winter is available through Finishing Line Press.  The cost is $14 plus shipping — OR, come find me in person and buy a signed copy direct from the source! See my CALENDAR OF EVENTS for a list of upcoming appearances.

I’ll be sending out review copies soon, too, so if you’ve got an in with a publication or blog and want to help spread the love for Undoing Winter, LET ME KNOW! You can contact me here, on Facebook or through the usual channels.  I’ll get back to you with alacrity… assuming I’m not napping off the trauma of a sleepless night.

441px-Demeter_mourning_Persephone_1906

Demeter mourning Persephone (Evelyn de Morgan, 1906)

The special promotional period for my poetry collection, UNDOING WINTER, ends this Friday, April 25th.  To mark these final days, I thought I’d say a few words on one of the central themes of the book – katabasis, or “descent”.

From the Greek word for “down”, katabasis is a term beloved by psychologists and scholars (especially Jungian lovers like me).  It refers to a downward journey – “a descent of some type, such as moving downhill, or the sinking of the winds or sun, a military retreat, or a trip to the underworld.”  (See the Wikipedia article on katabasis here.)

The Easter holiday just passed celebrates a katabasis of sorts, and my favorite kind: the ancient story of rebirth, or return.  Like Christ, many figures of myth undergo a journey into death, darkness, or despair, often in order to accomplish something superhuman – to resurrect a loved one, perhaps, or to bring a message of love and hope to mankind.

The titular poem in my collection, “Undoing Winter”, explores several other examples of katabasis.  Perhaps the most obvious to fans of Classical myths is the story of Demeter, Goddess of Agriculture and mother of Persephone, a hapless maiden who was abducted in the bloom of her youth by Hades, Lord of the Underworld.  As the story goes, Demeter in her grief defies the mighty Zeus, leaving the earth to languor in a perpetual winter so long as Persephone remains in her dark prison (spoiler alert: eventually Demeter wins her daughter back, though at a cost).

I faced the shining wrath of the sun
on your behalf
while you cried your soul away.
I made excuses to the earth and sky
and fed the peasants gravel.
Give it time, I said. She is composting.
Come again tomorrow.

Ishtar_goddess

Burney Relief / Queen of the Night

– from UNDOING WINTER*Finishing Line Press

Ever the fan of layers, I wrote UNDOING WINTER with other versions of the descent in mind as well – specifically Orpheus (the mythic Greek musician/poet) and Inanna (Sumerian Goddess of Awesomeness), both of whom braved underworld trials in order to bring back lost loves.

Arno_Breker,_Orpheus_u._Euridike(1944)

Arno Breker, Orpheus en Euridike (reliëf 1944)

 

 

 

 

 

It should be no surprise that such stories hold a constant place in the repertoire of faith– (and art, for that matter!  How many modern fictional heroes can you think of who manage to fight their way back from certain death – and at what price?)  As mortal beings, we face the loss of loved ones and of self at every turn.  The hope that there is life beyond death is naturally something that occupies our collective psyches.

Yet stories of resurrection needn’t always be taken literally, nor do they only belong in the realm of heroes and gods.

In psychological terms, katabasis can be a metaphor for depression.  This, too, is one of the central meanings of UNDOING WINTER, both the titular poem and the book as a whole.   Though for me, the journey in and out of clinical depression happens to be a lifelong condition, many people (most, even?) have or will experience the long dark night of the soul.

This, I think, is another reason why stories of katabasis are so eternal.  Life is hard – so hard, sometimes, that giving up or giving in seems preferable.  Like the heroes of myth, it often takes great will or faith to overcome the lure of the dark.  Sometimes returning to the light hurts like hell.  As lovers of stories, we’re not just hoping to hear that death is not the end of us – we’re looking for reassurance that we have it in us to survive.

 

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Ultimately, “Undoing Winter” is about self-rescue.  The poem gives homage to – and takes liberty with – a powerful archetype found again and again in our collective archives.  The collection, UNDOING WINTER, carries the idea even further.  In this arrangement, I hope to bring the reader into some dark places… echoes of where I have been, and what I have endured… but there’s a reason for it.  I promise.  Because, for me, katabasis is not just about the journey down.  It’s about coming back… by tooth and claw, if necessary… to find we are stronger… better… more ourselves than ever before.

COVER FROM WEBSITE

 

 

Want to show your support for UNDOING WINTER? Pre-order your copy today at Finishing Line Press.

Dear Friends,

Winward_Shannon_Connor_CovAs you may have heard, my first collection of poetry was selected for publication through the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition from Finishing Line Press.  The collection, titled UNDOING WINTER, will be released as a limited edition chapbook (short book) on June 21, 2014.

UNDOING WINTER contains some previously published poems along with others debuted especially for this collection.  With subjects ranging from romantic love to motherhood, fantasy to history, death to resurrection, UNDOING WINTER represents nearly twenty years of writing, and is an exciting milestone in my creative journey. 

UNDOING WINTER includes original, color cover art, “Moon Shadows”, by my long-time friend and mentor, Lisa Lutwyche.  Poet, playwright, watercolorist, and actor, Lisa has published in the US and the UK, and has taught Creative Writing and Watercolor at community arts centers for over twenty years.  

The press run for UNDOING WINTER will depend on the number of sales made during a special, pre-publication period that is going on NOW through APRIL 25th.  If you would like a copy, please don’t wait – you can reserve a copy online at Finishing Line Press.

The cost of the book is $14.00, with a special discounted shipping cost of $2.99 for orders placed by April 25th.

Please do pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.  I encourage you to place all orders by April 25th, as this will help determine the ultimate press run. 

All orders will be shipped after June 21, 2014. 

I want to give heartfelt thanks to my family and colleagues for your enthusiastic support, both personal and professional.  This has been an amazing year.

I have a lot of announcements to make in the days to come, including an explanation for why this blog has been quiet for so long (it’s a good one, I promise!).

In the meantime, please accept my belated congratulations to my friends and colleagues at The Written Remains Writers Guild and Smart Rhino Publications for the release of our much-anticipated anthology, SOMEONE WICKED, now available in print and e-book editions at Amazon.com.

206_SomeoneWicked_Amy_1“Avaricious, cruel, depraved, envious, mean-spirited, vengeful—the wicked have been with us since the beginnings of humankind. You might recognize them and you might not. But make no mistake. When someone wicked crosses your path, your life will never be the same. Do you know someone wicked? You will.

The 21 stories in the Someone Wicked anthology were written by the members of the Written Remains Writers Guild and its friends, and was edited by JM Reinbold and Weldon Burge.”

Someone Wicked is an eclectic web of stories spun around the central theme of evil incarnate, with a diversity of genre and style that is the hallmark of Smart Rhino Publications (and good anthologies everywhere).  The authors featured in this collection include veteran storytellers as well as virgin word-wrights for whom Someone Wicked is a first-time publication.  Contributors include:

  • Gail Husch – Reckonings
  • Billie Sue Mosiman – The Flenser
  • Mike Dunne – The Fire of Iblis
  • Christine Morgan – Sven Bloodhair
  • Ramona DeFelice Long – The Chances
  • Russell Reece – Abracadabra
  • Carson Buckingham – The Plotnik Curse
  • Chantal Noordeloos – Mirror Mirror
  • Patrick Derrickson – The Next King
  • Barbara Ross – Home Improvements
  • JM Reinbold – Missing
  • Shaun Meeks – Despair
  • Liz DeJesus – Sisters: A Fairy Tale
  • Doug Blakeslee – The Flowering Princess of Dreams
  • Justynn Tyme – The Semi-Aquatic Blue Baker of Borneo
  • Ernestus Jiminy Chald – The Tail of Fate
  • Weldon Burge – Right-Hand Man
  • Joseph Badal – Ultimate Betrayal
  • Maria Masington – Impresario
  • L.L. Soares – Sometimes the Good Witch Sings to Me

and – hey, that’s me! –

  • Shannon Connor Winward – The Devil Inside.

Interested in learning more?  Someone Wicked is being featured at The Mortuary, an online forum dedicated to the horror genre in all its forms.  Creep over to the discussion to see what readers and authors are saying about the Someone Wicked stories.

By the way, the illustration for the cover for Someone Wicked (which I absolutely LOVE) was created by Jamie Mahon and designed by Amy York.  Learn more about all the Someone Wicked, as well as news and updates, over at www.SmartRhino.com.