Mountains hold past snow;
clouds hold threats of future snow.
Nothing falling now.
I finished this haiku trilogy after
closed. That’s OK. Can’t rush barbecue.
Waves wash things ashore:
bouyant trash from far away,
driftwood, and sea weed.
Synchronize your breath
with the ebb and flow of waves.
Feel the ocean’s pulse.
Contemplate them all:
driftwood, sea weed, even trash.
Insights ride the waves.
The subtitle is a rhetorical question, not an ancient conundrum. Nearly all of the prose I read or write is nonfiction. Why am I posting (for the third and final time) about a book of weird stories rather than about something in the endlessly fascinating Real World?
The tweetable answer begs the question. Sure, I wrote one of the 35 stories. (Click here to see blurbs for some of them.) But why did I get involved in a substantial fiction project? The answer is some nonfiction weirdness.
The call for submissions grabbed me in 2 ways:
Hmmm. Could some of the stories in this anthology be simultaneously weird and funny and thought-provoking? Could they be a little like some of the best surrealist paintings? The following photo doubles down on the idea behind a great painting by René Magritte:
Seduced by the call for submissions, I took up the challenge of revising a fragment of weird fiction from a discussion of several poems (and comments) that involved various people, so as make a standalone short story that would be broader and even weirder. After another revision in light of helpful comments from one of the editors (Atthys Gage), I believe that my story is good as well as weird. It is also just 2 pages long, so even those who dislike it may still be glad they bought The Rabbit Hole for $2.99 as an e-book or $12.50 as an ink-on-paper book.
Do U have 0.5% of your Amazon purchases donated to a charity by Amazon Smile? Thru 2018-11-02, the percentage will be 5% instead.
BTW, gecko lizards really can climb straight up hard, smooth walls. Weird. But they don’t speak with an Australian accent or tout insurance. Not in this universe, anyway.
Providing a brief writer’s bio for the anthology prompted me to revise this blog’s grossly outdated About page. The revised page has a new joke, a few links, and a nice photo. A nice photo of me would be really weird, so the photo is of something else appropriate.
Like still photos, many haiku capture a moment in time. My first foray into capturing motion in haiku yielded 2 surprises. Here comes another, in time for the centennial on 11-11 of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I.
Let’s start by summarizing the older surprises that I posted in response to a CDHK episode. Credits for the images below are at the end of this post for readability.
The first surprise was that that so much motion could fit in a haiku:
A shell exploded!
Water slowly filled the hole
and held the whole sky.
Of course, my haiku that is like a movie was inspired by this classic World War I haiku that is like a still photo:
© Maurice Betz
A shell hole
In its water
Held the whole sky.
The second surprise was that I did not have a stable preference between these haiku. Like someone viewing the classic ambiguous image that can be seen as a duck facing one way or as a rabbit facing the other, I flip-flopped between the still photo by Betz and the movie by me. So did at least 2 readers of my old post.
Here is the new third surprise. After writing yet another shell hole haiku, I finally have a stable preference. My preferred haiku is like a movie that starts after the explosion:
Water slowly filled
the shell blast’s muddy crater.
It held the whole sky.
Unable to find appropriate and affordable period images, I used contemporary images: a generic explosion and a puddle that looks much like the water-filled shell hole. The puddle photo has been cropped to be more nearly square.
Our little friend is worried. Mistaken for Bugs Bunny by Elmer Fudd’s hired hit man, (s)he was on the run for a while. There was no chance to pause for rational thought about whether to get the prerelease discount on The Rabbit Hole by ordering the e-book before 2018-11-01. Yes, being big on rationality is weird for a rabbit. Some weirdness rubbed off when (s)he posed for the cover of the book, but there is still plenty inside.
The upside of ordering early is that (s)he could save $1; the downside is that (s)he would be trusting promotions like my previous post. Should (s)he wait for a chance to use something like [Look Inside] on Amazon? After release, the e-price would still be low at $2.99, and the ink-on-paper version would be an option at $12.50. Decisions, decisions.
Maybe our little friend will feel better after reading blurbs for some of the 35 stories, ordered as in the book:
The novice bloviates. Maybe people he has not met yet will try to set him straight. They might say pretty much what the Yankee says, while making the points in ways that are gentler, longer, and subtler. But not as funny.
… Why are we here? …
‘Cuz wer nawt theyah.
… What is the meaning of life? …
Wehrds need meanings; life don’t.
What happens when an irrestible force meets an immovable object?
We lehrn who was lyin’: the fellah sellin’ a fawhrs or the fellah sellin’ an awbject.
Hmmm. Coulda been both.
Certainty is not exclusive to math and logic.
For example, no squirrel can get past the baffle on my bird feeder.
The first volume in a new Writers’ Co-op anthology series will be released on 2018-11-01:
An e-book version can be preordered now by clicking on the image and then clicking on the button for your platform. On the release date, the e-price will rise from $1.99 to $2.99. There will be good news then also: oldsters like me will be able to buy the physical ink-on-paper version from Amazon.
For 3 of the 4 platforms reached from the link to The Rabbit Hole, the platform’s page has a nice summary of the contents and spirit of the anthology:
While I will wait for hard copy before reading the whole thing, I really have read several of the stories (not just the one I contributed). I solemnly swear (or affirm) that the following paragraph is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Rabbit Hole‘s first edition has 35 diverse selections by 35 authors. Anybody with a taste for weirdness has a good chance of finding some things they like. Moods are as varied as lengths, which run from 1 to 17 pages (with 7.6 as the average). There is humanity and humor as well as some darkness and much weirdness.