THE EDITORS of New Pop Lit Karl Wenclas and Kathleen M. Crane who are also writers will be discussing the creative process and the future of writers and writing AT the Trenton Veterans Memorial Library in Trenton, Michigan this Saturday, November 19, at 2 p.m.
On being a writer: WHY should a person invest the time in what might be considered by some an outmoded art form?
There are multiple answers to that “Why?” With clarity and energy we plan to present a few of those answers.
(Advance register by calling 734-676-9777.)
THE APPEAL of science fiction is the idea of testing the outer limits of science, technology– and of the imagination. To stimulate questions of “What if?” and “What then?” At its best, sci-fi combines creativity of ideas with creativity of writing. Such is the case with our new fiction feature, “DEDCOM-204” by Courtenay Schembri Gray, one of the most talented young writers on today’s literary scene. We hope you enjoy her offering.
What is life but a series of little deaths? Those impactful, perhaps traumatic moments that take a part of us, all in preparation for our eventual big death—the one we don’t return from. I like to visit mine, from time to time; at the facility on the edge of town. Dad loves to remember his adulthood; the time before—when a firefly was a glowing bug, rather than a moment in your life preserved in a jar.
By the way, Ms. Gray also has a poem in our newest print publication, the ultra-collectible Fun Pop Poetry. Have you purchased your copy?
With National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) almost upon us, our thoughts turn to fiction writing. What’s the mark of a good writer? What characterizes a good novel or short story?
For decades, good writing has been thought to consist of a sequence of well-written sentences. This has been the doctrine pushed by writing programs and by all those on the “literary” end of the writing and publishing spectrum. The result has been bombardments of thick texts of grandiose lyrical sentences, pages upon pages of them, displays of endless virtuosity like a prog rock lead guitarist given a ten-minute guitar solo going nowhere, as a means of showing off, then he forgets to end it regardless and continues on and on until even the most indulgent listener has vanished.
What if the experts are wrong?
What if the key to writing great fiction is simply telling an amazing, wonderful, human, magical story?
Today we present an argument for the latter idea, with one of the best stories we’ve ever featured, “Tales Along Turtle Heart Road” by Zach Smith. A simple and unassuming narrative that will sneak up on you. Read it and see what we’re talking about.
Harry stopped under the bridge. There was police tape but no other sign of the event. He had no intention of duplicating the actions; he just wanted to see it. No, that wasn’t quite right; he didn’t want to see it, he needed to. He didn’t know why he started climbing up the hill toward the trestle bridge, and he didn’t know how far he would have gotten, but when he turned around, high on the steep overgrown hill, he looked down at his car and saw something familiar in the road.
MUCH TALK is happening everywhere about the literary scene where it’s headed its obstacles and divisions, What To Do, Where To Go why wherefore what’s your ideology your stance your pose your attention to minutaie your perspective on world issues– this and that– while we at New Pop Lit can only say: ENOUGH! Our answer to literary critics our solution to gatekeepers traditional or contemporary is embodied in our newest print publication: FUN POP POETRY.
Why do you read?
Why does anyone reaD?
aS A DUTY? aN OBLIGATION? a task??
Or maybe possibly to be amused for a few minutes– or dazzled– to find escape from the insoluble unsolvable eternally mad world of problems??
(Craft?? What’s that?)
We seek to blow the doors off institutions, the prison houses of literature, the gates of the gatekeepers, with words to be read and remembered.
Order your copy here, now. All Color, every page. You won’t regret it.
The future of poetry has arrived.
POETRY POETRY POETRY POETRY
At the moment we’re focused on all things poetry, as we await the release of our new poetry zeen– due within the next two weeks– which we believe will set a new standard for the production and presentation of the poetic art.
A literary journal? A book? A chapbook?
NO! None of the above. Instead, something entirely new and unique– a fusion of fun poems with art and design, words and colors that POP! off the pages.
BEFORE THIS we indulge in a brief attack on Brutalist design and architecture, care of three poems by our own Kathleen M Crane, “Grand Mackerel Spa and Resort”— with the understanding that modernist design is difficult to do well, and works only if a lot of warm colors are involved. Ideally, Pop, day-glo colors!
Pre-fab flab floating flotsam hotel pool
Blank faced guests spoon their morning gruel
WATCHING the News the past two or three years one has received the impression, message, point, sledgehammer emphasis of a world in total collapse, screens filled with scenes of war and riots, destruction of cities and lives– protests rebellions insurgencies marches hectic hysteria as media generates panic leading to more turmoil feeding more media coverage and– the real point– sustained ratings. Jobs for designated experts on all sides.
TODAY we present a story which conveys what’s been happening. The Chaos of NOW, well captured in “Report from the Capital” by Timothy Resau. Fiction which depicts today’s tumultuous vibe.
Resau’s story is like a modernist painting in which you can see what you want to see in it. No sides taken– only a portrait of contemporary reality.
In spite of the curfew, sniper fire, violence, and bloodshed, we went into the capital that night. No one was safe. The ambushing was constant; gunshots, it seemed, were being fired randomly. Everyone was a possible target. The limited radio and TV reports warned of certain danger. In short, chaos and anarchy prevailed. Law and order were not in place—not yet. Law and order had been removed or erased. Citizens were being asked to remain tuned to local media for updates.
WHAT’S the most exciting short story ever written? One written by Jack London or Richard Connell? Edgar Allan Poe or Ernest Hemingway? Or someone more contemporary?
Today we present a good candidate: “True Survivor” by Greg Jenkins. A story perfectly structured and written, with a strong opening, classic setting, tangible details, and at least one dynamic characterization, all centered around a chase. The story does what only well-written prose can offer– presenting the interior thoughts and emotions of a narrator engaged in struggling with a manifestly real exterior world. We trust you’ll enjoy the experience.
What really struck you, though, when you looked into that face, were his eyes. Cold and unblinking, they didn’t seem like human eyes at all, but more like the eyes of some large reptile; when he trained them on you, sharp and dull at the same time, you felt as if you were being probed by something vaguely Jurassic.
ON OTHER FRONTS, we’re in the late stages of putting together a new print publication– this one featuring what we call fun pop poetry. We should have room to squeeze into the modest issue a couple more offerings.
What does “fun pop poetry” mean? Decide for yourself and send one or two examples for consideration. (Our email is email@example.com.)
WE ARE putting this project this summer as much as possible into the zeitgeist the vibe the flow of angst and anger rushing on all sides around us. We’re caught in a sense of chaos. Of reality, the world, and all stability preconceived notions of comfort and sense dropping beneath us– as if the floors and earth under our feet have given way. In all likelihood the challenges we all face are temporary. Which doesn’t make them easier.
This summer we plan to have the writing– the art– we present reach a crescendo. Afterward which (we hope) the world will resume a course of peace and harmony. Setting the stage for a fun and reinvigorating pop culture revival.
FIRST UP in our literary symphony is a short story by M.C. Schmidt— “We Love You, Ringo”— ostensibly about a Beatles tribute band, but at the same time about a relationship, and maybe also, about the world we live in today. Humor combined with seriousness. We hope you enjoy it.
ALSO when you get a chance drop into our Special Projects room on this site and check out the latest piece of quirky writing there: “Aim For the Snyder Brothers” by Bud Sturguess. With more fun stuff already posted at the blog, and more (including a collaborative project?) to follow.
Don’t miss any of it!
WHAT could be more essential to summer than traveling to an exotic place (though it be another planet!) or playing in a rock band?
That, anyway, is where we take you with “Two Poems by Ross Taylor.” Consider it a vacation inside your own mind. (No VR headset required.)
Speaking of the mind’s capabilities, the second poem, “How to Get Through a Song,” is noteworthy because it presents simultaneous experiences. What does that mean? Read it and find out!
I couldn’t hear the band any more. I couldn’t hear anything
and the pretty girl Frank and I were looking at was blind.
They started freaking about not being able to hear anything either,
“The birds have all gone quiet!”
WE’VE BEEN accepting new fiction only sporadically of late, as we ready other aspects of our campaign. BUT we have new writing today– from long-time DIY scribe Wred Fright, an excerpt from his newest novel, Fast Guy Slows Down.
We’re running it because A.) it’s from Wred Fright, whose unique style combines fun with wit and intelligence, B.) it’s about a superhero. What could be more pop?
A superhero’s reflections on his career and crucial events through the decades. We chose for our excerpt the glamorous decade of the 1940’s, whose conflicts of flawed good guys versus evil Nazis brought about the need for pop superheroes– and led to their rise and maybe the birth of modern pop culture itself.
We hope you enjoy it!
The superhero is a child’s power fantasy, he or she all grown up and powerful. Big not small. To reach that, the parent must be gone, maybe because the child thinks he or she will always remain a child with the parent around, even though that isn’t true. Anyway, Superman’s an orphan. So’s Captain Marvel. So’s Batman. So’s Robin. Wonder Woman doesn’t have a dad, at least in the stories I read; I think they gave her a dad later on. Initially though, her mom makes her out of clay or something.
(Art: “Miss Fury” by Tarpe Mills c/o Camilla Nelson.)