Q & A with D.G. Kaye – Featuring #Sci-Fi Writer – Wendy Van Camp

Welcome to my June Q & A. Today I’m happy to be featuring author Wendy Van Camp who writes Sci-Fi, speculative fiction, and offers up a weekly ‘Writers Links’ information post for writers with some great collaborated shares on her blog at Nowastedink. Wendy recently released her newest book where she is the editor and contributor to the anthology – Eccentric Orbits – Book 3 in the collection of anthologies of science fiction poetry – Scifaiku, and today we’re going to get to know a little about her.

About Wendy:

Wendy Van Camp is the Poet Laureate for the City of Anaheim, California. Her work is influenced by cutting edge technology, astronomy, and daydreams. A graduate of the Ad Astra Speculative Fiction Workshop, Wendy has won Honorable Mention at the Writers of the Future Contest, is a twice nominated finalist for the Elgin Award, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Dwarf Stars Award. Her poems have appeared in: “Starlight Scifaiku Review”, “Quantum Visions”, “The Junction”, and “Far Horizons”. She is the poet and illustrator of “The Planets: a scifaiku poetry collection” and editor of the annual “Eccentric Orbits: An Anthology of Science Fiction Poetry” by Dimensionfold Publishing.

Blurb:

The function of speculative poetry is to engage the mind to a new understanding, not rehearse the past or the ordinary. This anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror poetry explores new concepts, folklore, myth, and the fantastic, by some of the most exciting, speculative poets of our time. Discover the insights of these contemporary wordsmiths that are surging from the pages of science fiction into the reality of our world.

This speculative poetry anthology is perfect as a gift for poetry lovers, readers of science fiction, fantasy, or horror literature or to complete your own book collections.

Speculative Poets represented in this anthology:

JANUARY BAIN * STEWART C BAKER * ROBERT BEVERIDGE * CATHERINE BROGDON * FARUK BUZHALA * DALE CHAMPLIN * LINDA M. CRATE * BILLIE DEE * KENDALL EVANS * GARY EVERY * MARK A. FISHER * JEAN-PAUL L. GARNIER * LEE GARRATT * KEN GOUDSWARD * FIN HALL * MICHAEL HOFFMAN * DEBORAH L. KELLY * DEBORAH P. KOLODJI * DAVID C. KOPASKA-MERKEL * BLAISE LANGLOIS * GERRI LEEN * RICHARD MAGAHIZ * JACK MASSA * ALLENE NICHOLS * MICHELLE OUCHAREK-DEO * RK RUGG * RYFKAH * JUSTIN SLOANE * JOSHUA ST. CLAIRE * SEAN STUBBLEFIELD * REX SWEENY * LISA TIMPF * LAMONT TURNER * WENDY VAN CAMP * MIKE VAN HORN * RUTH E. WALKER * TD WALKER * LYNN WHITE * JEFF YOUNG

Welcome
Wendy

Let’s get to know more about Wendy!

..

Did you have a passion to write as a child? Do you remember the first thing you wrote?


Thank you for having me on your blog, Debbie. To answer your question, I suppose I was born a storyteller, although I come from a family of non-creatives. I was always telling stories verbally, even at a young age.


Some of my earliest memories are of writing “books” all in child’s scrawl on cheap loose-leaf paper. My first effort was about mermaids and was a comfortable 150 pages. I wrote it when I was four or five years old. My second “novel” was a Tolkien inspired fantasy that I wrote on a broken typewriter when I was sixteen or seventeen years old. The carriage return didn’t work, so I had to move it manually with one of my hands. I learned to type quickly with one hand due to this. My parents never thought to fix the typewriter since this might encourage me to write.


During my pre-teen years, I wrote poetry. I purchased a small deep green journal with my allowance, which I had fallen in love with from the stationery store. I handwrote short poems with no real knowledge of how to write poetry. I simply wrote what I felt. However, my younger brother discovered the poetry journal and ran through the house reading my poems out loud, laughing at my private musings. As a young pre-teen, it humiliated me. I gave up on poetry for a very long time due to this incident. Thankfully, I did not give up on writing.

D.G. – Wow Wendy, it sounds like we have a common thread between us with our young writing, and our ridiculing and unappreciated talents by our family members. I am sorry to hear, but applaud you on following your passion.

..

Do you find your writing is geared toward a specific audience or do you just write what inspires you to write?


I do think about my audience when I plan my projects. I am a science fiction author and a speculative poet. I also dabble in Austen Regency historicals because of my love for Jane Austen’s work, but honestly this is more of a one-shot effort and I have no plans on becoming a romance writer. I have been part of the speculative community for two decades. I write reviews of classic science fiction novels for journals, have read the genre extensively, and have met many of the A-list authors whose work I love. I am a regular panelist at science fiction literary conventions all over the United States and teach speculative poetry workshops. I suppose this is why I breathe science fiction concepts and most of my work, both prose and poetry, are speculative.

D.G. – That is commendable work Wendy. I should think it’s not only inspiring, but fun to be part of such a big community of this specific genre.

..

What’s your favorite mode of writing – computer, hand written, dictation, and why?


I use all three methods, but at different times in my writing process. I use dictation to get ideas from my thoughts onto the page for both novels and short stories, and for longer form poetry. None of this ever makes the final cut of my writing, but I find sometimes verbalizing a concept can bring out ideas you didn’t realize were in you.

I am a power-user of Scrivener for my novel organization and revising. I tend to not draft in Scrivener, for that I use an Alphasmart typewriter, google docs, or other word processing programs, but wherever the draft is done, I always put it in Scrivener in the end. Scrivener also can create an epub of my work which I find handy.


I write poetry in an unlined A5 journal with my fountain pen. I love the messy way the pages fill up with words and cross outs. I rewrite the lines, count my syllables, and then bracket my poems. When I feel the poem is done, I type it into digital storage. I used to keep my poetry on Evernote, but lately I’m trying a new filing system in Scrivener. It allows me to print up a poem if I have a reading. My specialty is scifaiku, which is science fiction themed haiku and haiku style astropoetry which you can read in my Elgin Nominated poetry book, “The Planets”.

D.G. – I love how you are so versatile with your writings and collections. I commend you with Scrivener. I purchased a lifetime license for Scrivener a few years back, and I still cannot grasp the hang of it.

..

Would you like to share with us what upcoming projects and/or ideas for books you’re working on?


I am working on a couple of projects this year. I am continuing the work on my Austen Regency Historical series. The final three books are close to completion. I fell behind schedule due to the pandemic, but lately I am gaining more speed and feeling more creative. It helps that I’m able to get outside the house to write again. Besides the Austen books, I’m writing poetry for several literary magazines that I support and for a new poetry collection that I am tentatively calling “Time, Space, & Technology”.


I am editing three poetry anthologies in rapid succession during 2022 and 2023. My next one is “Eye To The Telescope” which is published by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association. I am to be their Fall guest editor. When that one is complete, I begin work on a literary poetry anthology for the City of Anaheim where I have recently been named the Anaheim Poet Laureate. I plan to make this an annual project and do two books during my two-year term. Finally, I will start next year with the fourth edition of “Eccentric Orbits”, an anthology of science fiction poetry, which is published by Dimensionfold Publishing. This will be my third year as its poetry editor.

D.G. – You are certainly busy with so many projects on the go. And interesting that you feel you get your best writing done outside of the home.

..

What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?


Life is not all writing and poetry! Over the past few years, I have branched out from my black and white poetry illustrations to ink & wash urban sketching. The urban sketching is done when I am on the road. When I speak at conventions and conferences, I find I like to sketch the hotels and surroundings of where I am working. The vivid watercolors and the mathematics of getting perspective correct appeals to me. I wish I had more time for painting, but these days I fit it in when I can.

D.G. – You are a multi-talented creative Wendy, very commendable that you can also write, sketch and paint. I can’t even color in the lines, let alone draw.

..

Thank you so much for visiting with us today Wendy, and sharing your work with us. I do hope my sci-fi, fantasy and horror readers will check out your work. I wish you much success with all your projects.

..

Follow Wendy on Social Links:

Website – https://wendyvancamp.com
Blog – https://nowastedink.com
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/author/wendyvancamp
Medium – https://medium.com/@wvancamp
Twitter – https://twitter.com/wvancamp
Instagram – https://instagram.com/nowastedink

©DGKaye2022

Spring, Beauty and Books: Debby Gies | Valentina Expressions

I was recently invited over to Valentina Cirasola’s colorful blog where she invited a few writers over to share our take on Spring Beauty and Books at her blog, Valentina Expressions

Sunset in PV
Puerto Vallarta sunset at the Malecon

After two years of hibernation, taking care of my sick husband, and then ultimately, grieving the loss of my beloved husband, I escaped to a long winter vacation. My grief traveled with me, but the warmth of the Mexican sunshine and being around old friends and new was like a welcomed spring to my soul.

PV sunset
Another beautiful PV sunset

I came home dodging the brunt of our harsh Canadian winter here in Ontario as our city too, began to awake from what felt a long slumber. The freezing temperatures had transformed into crisp fresh air, and I once again began taking walks out in our beautiful walking trails as a wonderful escape into nature, and from the dark doldrums of my interior four walls. A vacation after two years of heaviness was like a new bud of spring opening for my sanity. I am slowly crawling back into life.

 Bright colors with the promise of spring cheer me up, as does anything shiny and blingy. It’s the sunshine that has the power to lift me out of the dark abyss within, that sometimes grabs hold of me. On those days without enough sun? This is where my huge floor lamp with large, white daylight bulbs can fool my darkness. No substitute for the sun, but a satisfactory backup plan.

My life now is just only coming into spring after two years of my internal harsh winter.

PV sunset sky
PV infinite sky

In the Autumn of My Life

In the autumn of my life
I find myself looking back
On the springs and summers
Of glory days gone past.
As the winter of life approaches,
We often reminisce and look to reconnect
With things and people that brightened our springs and summers,
People who knew us and understood the times
And circumstances of our lives.
It’s a kinship of time that only those who’ve lived then can know.
A time when glancing back brings a dollop of comfort
As we march through the seasons of life
Before winter’s approach.

Please visit my original post at Valentina’s blog:

Source: Spring, Beauty and Books: Debby Gies | Valentina Expressions

©DGKaye2022

Sunday Book Review – Garden Black by Frank Prem #Poetry

My Sunday Book Review is for the latest collection of speculative poetry by Frank Prem. I have enjoyed reading many of Frank’s books because his poetry interpretations take us along with him on his observations whether real or fiction, his truth shines through.

Blurb:

The Garden Black poetry collection is a venture into fantasy and speculative fiction based on the dual themes of rain forest and fantasy.

. The rainforest becomes a desert, and then the sea.

. A man in a satellite orbits the earth while playing his violin and pondering. A girl gazes up at the passing light and dances.

. Od Ovo – a youth who is from here, raises the dust of frustrated boredom on a mining asteroid, and cannot believe traveller tales of places where water falls from the sky.

. What colour are the flowers in the Reaper’s garden? They are all colours . . . They are black.

Welcome to the speculative fantasies that are The Garden Black.

My 5 Star Review:

From fantasy to the deep is what you will find in this new interesting collection of speculative poetry by Frank Prem. Prem’s poetry reminds that life is fragile and fleeting. Life is brief and can be both harsh and beautiful at times. The author shares conversations evoked in his mind through his observations and imagination, life’s incidences and moments.

A few poems in particular, caught my attention and touched deep. I’ll share them here through partial excerpt:

Not sorry only grief (waiting)

"I have no wish
to go back
home

home
never
quite
had room
for what I was

but
I do wish
that home
could spare a
thought - 
just ocassionally -
for me ..."

Unbound (goodbye)

"gravity
would hold me down
but
I was not made
to be
earthly tied

I set my sights
somewhere
over the tree tops

the strength
my strength
lives
in the will I hold ..."


Jet on night

"he
is a silhouette

she
a shadow leaning
up against
the wall

he reaches
to touch her
with the sun
shining behind him

she holds up
a phantom hand
to better feel
their connection

darkness on
darkness

he isn't there

jet on jet

she isn't there ..."



©DGKaye2022

Colleen Chesebro’s #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 272: #Tastetherainbow-Color Poetry ~Senryu

It’s been awhile since I hopped on to one of Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenges, and as one known for not tolerating injustice, I felt compelled to join in this week’s poetry challenge with a Senryu. This week’s challenge we are free to choose any form of syllabic poetry we like, but must include a color.

Black hearts, empty souls
Stealing freedoms, women's rights
Darkness reigns Supreme

If you’d like to join Colleen’s weekly challenge, please visit the original post.

©DGKaye2022

#Writing Challenge – Tell us a Story About Your TBR Pile at Myths of the Mirror

Author, Diana Peach has a fun writing challenge going on – Write a story about your TBR pile. Great topic as so many of us writers and readers make jokes about how fat our Kindles are. I’ve written a poem about my BFK – My big fat Kindle.

If you’d like to play, here’s how it works:

  • Deadline is January 23rd
  • Post the story or poem on your blog
  • Link back to this post or leave your link in the comments below
  • Keep it family friendly
  • I will reblog as many of the entries as I can through the end of the January
  • Please reply to comments when I reblog your story or poem
  • I’ll post a summary with links in early February
  • You may use the (attribution free) pixabay image above if you want to
  • And most of all, Have Fun!

MY BFK (My Big Fat Kindle)

Stories and more stories
We cannot get enough.
Amazing how many books, 
Makes choosing one to read real tough.

No more books we chant
While adding just one more.
Adding different genres,
Excuse to add some more.
 
Promotional or free,
An author friend's new release,
My enthusiasm heightens,
A brand new read for me.

That's how fast it happens,
Before realizing the count.
What's one more book,
As the rising number mounts?

We are fooled by our Kindles,
At the lack of hefty weight.
Do we even know how many,
No matter because books are great.

So my Kindle and bookshelves,
Spill over with stories and words.
Yet another book is added,
My no more books plan is for the birds.

Though I know my Kindle
Is bursting at the seams,
I'll continue to hit the buy button,
To read more, fulfilling author's dreams.

©DGKaye2022

If you’d like to hop on this challenge, please visit Diana’s page below:

Original Source: Writing Challenge – The TBR Pile | Myths of the Mirror

Sunday Book Review Emotional #Poetry by John Roedel, Untied

Today’s Sunday Book Review is for John Roedel’s Untied – The Poetry of how Knots Become Strings. I was introduced to Roedel’s free verse poetry by my lovely friend Jane Sturgeon. She shared one of his poems with me that moved me immediately, so off I went to Amazon to order a paperback copy. I prefer poetry books in paperback so I can dog-ear poetry I wish to go back and read again. I quite honestly, got hooked on free verse poetry from reading quite a few books by Frank Prem.

Blurb:

The knots in our stomachs can still be untangled. The binds we tether our hands together with can still be undone. There is still time for us to untangle rope we tied around our necks. This is the poetry of for those trying to live that is not tethered to our past mistakes or future worries. This is the poetry for anybody who wants to become unbound from their regret. This is the poetry of breaking free of all that keeps us from rising. This is the poetry of letting all that binds us slip away so we can chase the horizon. This is the poetry of how knots can become strings.

My 5 Star Review:

I’m so glad a friend had shared one of these heartfelt poems with me, which had me ordering a paperback copy of this moving book of poetry, pronto. Roedel’s poetry is deep and raw with no holds back. It felt to me that this type of poetry couldn’t be fictional as the author expresses both, the beauty and pain of incidences in life as poetic short stories where he takes us right into his heart-grabbing passages. Many of these passages indicate to me, the author had to have lived much of what he wrote because of the deep emotion in his words that makes me feel as though he lived his stories, his tellings will seep deep within a reader’s soul.

In this book you’ll find poetry on love, childhood, fears, darkness, life, and death, parents, children, and more. Some will make you smile, some will bring a tear, but these poetic stories are guaranteed to leave an impact. A timeless book to pick up again and again.

There are so many passages that I found myself identifying with such as:

Excerpt from – What’s Left?

“I’m destroyed, ” I said while standing amid the

smoldering ruins of all that I once thought mattered.

“No, you aren’t,” God replied to me through the

sound of the freezing January wind passing

through pines.

“But everything is gone… ” I offered quietly.

“Not everything, my love.” God said through the

bits of sunlight peeking through the ashen post-

snowfall clouds.

“What’s left?” I asked.

God spoke through the plops of water coming from

the slowly melting icicles:

“Your recovery.”

Excerpt from What’s Left? By John Roedel

Excerpt from Pulling Strings

Love is a piece of endless

yarn that each of us agree to

hold on to an end of

gently between our fingers

so that when we get separated

from one another

by the illusion of death

we can tug it

ever so softly

to send each other messages

back and forth through the slack

as if to say:

“I’m still here.”

Excerpt from Pulling Strings by John Roedel

©DGKaye2021

Sunday Book Review – Waiting for Frank-Bear – (Beechworth Bakery Bears)

 

My Sunday Book Review is for Frank Prem’s new release in the Beechworth Bakery Bears series – Waiting for Frank-Bear. This is probably my fifth book I read by Frank. I enjoy his non conformitive prose and poetry he uses to execute his stories. And the bears are adorable. I was thrilled to receive an ARC from Frank, this book is available now on pre-order.

 

 

Waiting For Frank-Bear: as heard by . . . (The Beechworth Bakery Bears) by [Frank Prem, Leanne Murphy]

Available on Amazon

 

Blurb:

The Beechworth Bakery Bears are still just as friendly and eager to please as ever.

 

But, where is Frank-Bear?

 

He does not come in to see them as often as before and they miss him.

 

They would love to tell you about their lives now, and how they wait for their best friend Frank-Bear to visit.

 

Step back into the bakery and find out what is happening in the world of The Beechworth Bakery Bears.

 

 

My 5 Star Review:

Prem brings us a new treat from his Beechworth Bakery Bear series. In this poetic story he takes us into the inside musings of the Beechworth bears who are now feeling a bit perturbed at the lack of customers, and question why people must lineup to enter the bakery, only so many at a time. As they patiently await customers to come in, the bears go about their business, tidying the shop and preparing baked goods.

 

The bears are also puzzled because they can’t see people’s full faces anymore, now covered with masks. What is going on? And where is Frank? It seems Frank is one of their favorite customers and as they go about their daily business of setting up shop, they keep their hopes up in anticipation that Frank will soon show up for a drink and his favorite snack. Another night passes as they patiently await their friend Frank-bear to visit. A sweet read!

 

 

©DGKaye2021

 

A Biblical Questioning – Haibun and Haiku for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – Word Craft

It’s been awhile since I hopped on to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly poetry challenges at Word Craft. Every week there’s a different theme to work with in any syllabic style we choose. This week is Poet’s Choice. 

 

I was going through my notebooks of things that pop into mind, generally, from something I’ve read or seen. I didn’t recall why I had scribbles written down about Moses from the bible – but I’m quite sure I did that while watching Exodus: Kings and Gods on Netflix. But I thought I’d use part of those scribbles and expand, to go with the Haiku I’d written first. Uncanny what comes to mind. It became a biblical questioning. I’ve written a Haibun and Haiku.

 

 

#TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge: #Poet’s choice

 

 

Is it Golden Idol Time?

 

Moses climbed Mount Sinai following the voice of God calling unto him. God wrote the Ten Commandments with his own finger, searing the laws into the stone tablets.

 

While Moses was gone for 40 days and 40 nights up the mountain, the natives below began to lose faith about the existence of God and began their doubts about Moses’ return. As people often do in human nature when they harbor doubt, gossip spreads among them and a new ‘want-to-be’ leader steps up and antagonizes by spewing doubt and fallacies about God, it doesn’t take people long to hitch their wagons to persuasion.

 

And the non believers joined together to build a golden idol to put their faith into, and pretty much broke every other law that God would ultimately write – raping, orgies and so on.

 

When Moses returns with the tablets in his arms and sees how little faith his people had, he threw the tablets to the ground and broke them. Of course, Moses did go back up the mountain for another 40 days and nights and received a new set from God. And as God’s punishment for non believing, he left his people to wander the desert as nomads for 40 years – enough punishment for a generation to pass in this lesson – kind of like when God was angry at what man had done unto his creation and flooded the world and started over with Noah’s Ark where only two of each species of animals, and Noah with seven other members of his family, sailed on it to survive God’s punishing flood to wash away all his creation, along with the sins of man to create yet, a new world.

 

I can’t help but wonder what God is thinking these days about what’s going on in his world now; what has man done now to His once pure creation? Are we beyond smug to entertain the thought that God is not afraid to start yet again?

 

 

History Repeats

Instant gratification

Some will never learn.

 

 

Visit Colleen’s original post at Word Craft. There’s still time to hop on!

 

©DGKaye2021