Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

October Links

Having won the Micro Horror Trophy last year, I decided to set myself the challenge of entering 6 stories for the competition this year ranging in length thus: 666, 555, 444, 333, 222, 111 words. I did it! Quite a marathon! Links to follow but some are up already - go and see them.
The Titles are:
End Game (not for the contest but very halloween)
Sole Survivor
Sleep Tight
(My personal favourite)
Oh for a friendly Face
Duplicitous Creatures
Name of the Beast
GENESTARE (anagram title)
Titration of the Spirit ( a drabble of metaphisical proportions)

You might like to know more about Micro Horror's editor, Nathan Rosen, who is not horrible at all but somewhat human...sorry Black Dog Nate - it had to be said :) Here's the link to an interview with him:

A Horror of Horrors is one of my longer stories and it is now up at Demon Minds my first time in that publication.

You Must Remember This is at Every Day Fiction this month and it's one of my favourites. It made me laugh writing it and it makes me laugh reading it. Unapologetically very silly indeed :)

The Book is at
My nephew Robert will perhaps recognise that this story is for him.

The Poem in Shine is untitled but you'll not need a title for this one.

Halloween is a tongue in cheek ghost story.
Look out for Avis, Fionnula, Mark Dalligan and Sarah Ann Watts too - Well done, Writewords buddies.

A Brief Encounter is up for your entertainment. I hope it amuses you.

End Game see if you can guess what John is up to.

Here's one I forgot to post: The Magic Hour

Monday, 29 September 2008

Bewildering Stories' Quarterly Review

4th in a row! I am stunned. Thank you to the editors for choosing What Boundaries. I hope anyone who missed it first time round, will read it now. It is a prose poem - a response to the rise in knife crimes in the UK.

Look for Sarah Ann Watts too. She's a Writewords pal and a very good writer. Congrats Sarah.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Oonahversal View

For many years now capitalism has run wild. Back in the fifties we used to save up for the things we wanted. People have been encouraged into debt to make big bonusses for those at the top. If the company fails - the bosses still get the big bonusses. The incentives to greed are everywhere and they lead to cheating and lies. We're all living on wealth nobody is creating in any manufacturing base. It is therefore illusory. Shifting funds around electronically has merely enhanced the number of ways problems could be swept under the carpet.

The real tragedy is, Mr Average and his wife believed the dream and bought the HumVe - believed they were in safe hands. And what is truly disturbing is, that the melt down of this capitalist tissue of lies should be dramatised by a president in such apocalyptic terms, because that is just a way of shifting the stink to God or Fate.

As in the old Eden story, nobody wants to take responsiblity - admit the lie. I very much fear that instead of finding a solution, the powers that be will cover up the tracks with a greater lie: "It's okay now folks...back to business as usual."

Communism doesn't work either of course. What we need is a new vision where resources are more equitably distributed throughout the world and we all work as humanity to solve the problems that face us in global terms.

Now do I have your vote? Or is my Star Trek showing?

Oonah's 11

11 pieces in e-zines in one month - that is! A new record. Please scroll down to September's Links, visit the links and leave comments/vote where possible.
You'll also find information about my motivation in writing these pieces.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Every Day Poets

One of our contributors said:

"The personal comments from you C & N are like bits of poetic gold a writer can hoard away for a rainy day. They are valuable!"

It is our hope at EDP that even if your work is not accepted, we may provide constructive ideas wherever possible from the feedback we provide. That has been a mark of Every Day Fiction and we follow in the family tradition.

Thank you R for your generous comment.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Bewildering Stories 307 Response for The Last Laugh

“The Skeleton told all the flesh off its bones.” In challenge 307, Don Webb asks for an explication of 'told' in that line.

One has first to go back to the original artwork, displayed alongside the poem. It was entitled, “Have you heard the one about…” That in itself is enough to suggest a reason for using the word ‘told’. From that title one can deduce that the book may be a joke book and that would explain the skeleton’s grin and that rat’s wrapped attention.

But if we go beyond that, don’t all skeletons grin? How long had this one been reading the book and is it really a book of jokes or is it the book of Life. Death has the last laugh because the book is empty. The skeleton has no story left to tell. The corpse has decayed to the point where there are only bones and eyeballs. The eyeballs can still read but the book appears to have no words in it.

The skeleton finished the book long ago and has had to make up his own stories for a long time to keep that rat entertained. The word ‘told’ is in the active voice. This is a deliberate activity. Perhaps he thinks he has fooled the rat or that the rat is actually his friend. At any rate the rat is his sole companion, and he the rat’s. To be sitting there locked in this battle against time, with a companion who would gnaw on your bones is a cruel joke.

Tolled can also be implied in reading aloud, as the skeleton does. The slow relentless passage of time marked out at a steady pace. He tolled the skin off his bones, in minutes, hours, days…

In this scenario, death has not quite had the last laugh. The last laugh is still to come. There are two other players here, the rat who will stay alive if he can still find food and the skeleton whose eyeballs have saved him thus far. Of course if he stops telling, the rat will eat his eyeballs and then the rat too will starve.

There is irony in the word told. It is right at the beginning of the poem but is already past tense. There is no hope for either of them. Death will at last have the last laugh - for every tale like every tail must come to an end.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

OONAHVERSE celebration

On Big Bang day I have notched up my 100th acceptance! I have to say I'm just a wee tiny bit over the moon about that. Of course like all writers, I hope tomorrow it will be 101 and I'm still working on the book. But I'm thrilled.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

September's Links with Comments

Micro Horror took my September piece Worker. An aptly titled story whose protagonist is named after myself which tips a hat to what happens in the story too. The horror of the everyday is within and if we carry our prejudices with us to the grave, woe betide us.

From Crazy Diamond to Borrowed Light was written about a friend. He called me a crazy diamond and the thought was born that without the light shed into my life by such friends as John, I would never have shone at anything. Thank you to all those family members, teachers, preachers, friends and editors for illuminating my path.

Lesson in Wood is one of those pieces written as a flash challenge. But the little tree is real enough. I can see it from where I sit writing.

I came 4th in the Doorknobs and Body Paint Dorsal Contest and so got published. This si a stream of consciousness piece of which I am rather proud. The theme was Heat.
My friends Avis Hickman-Gibb and John Ritchie were also placed in the top ten in that contest so please read their entires too.

Closer to the Truth is a favourite of mine. I like the moral and the way it links human kind and the stories we tell to make sense of everything, to the universe but ina very personal way. And Mary was based on a real patient whom I caught just standing behind me in the garden of our home in the grounds of a Psychiatric Hospital one day. She looked so forlorn. I longed to know her story but of course she couldn't tell me and they came and took her back to the ward. This one was for Mary - who is important too.
Jason Stout said: Hi Oonah - My comments always end up in EDF's spam filter - so wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your story. It was one of the best on EDF in a good long time. Sweet and endearing and touching.Good luck with EDP Jason

Thank you Jason. I'm delighted you liked it so very much.

Short Story has a challenge piece of mine. Headline is just for fun.

Celestial Sunflower is a response to the NASA photo Don has attached as a link. Quite an astounding image. Of course the ressemblance to a sunflower is purely within the mind - that is how we make sense of our universe. It was fun to play with that thought in words and of course the final lines expose the fact that I knew I was doing that by being deliberately humourous, a bit glib. If anything out there ressembles me, it is only because I can think it - like the bend of the thames by the Isle of Dogs looks like madonna and child. Perception is what our universe is made of.
My friend Nik Perring has a story in too and John Stocks poetry is impressive as always.

Universal Language is a drabble at Boston Literary Magazine. This one was a forum challenge too - on the subject of mathematics.

Freeze is an unusual piece. I was looking at the clock and I imagined that if that red hand froze, I would be able to step out of time and that people would be in frozen for me in the monent. That some would be talking, or on the toilet or otherwise caught in the act of...dying...last breath...infinite probabilities as to what happened next - like Schrodinger's cat.

The Last Laugh How could I resist writing about such an intriguing image? It has a cruel finality to it. I have no idea whether the artist likes the words I put to her pictures. It is difficult to add to such superb artwork but I hope at least I don't detract from it. The only thing I can say is that each poem I write about her work is sincerely meant as a compliment.

The Rain The Editor said:"Hi Oonah
The Rain is now up on IS&T - and the first 3 stanzas seem to reflect the current state of the global economy."
This was written from a nightmare I had years ago but it never left me. Mother Shipton eat your heart out, I'd say, eh? If the rest comes true we can expect the horsemen at The Angel of the North any time now. When I had the dream it was definitely about that hill but I don't think the Angel was there at the time - just the sweeping view away to the west.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Every Day Poets

About Every Day Poets
Every Day Poets is a magazine that specializes in bringing you fine, short poetry.
Starting on 1st November 2008, Every day at 12:01am Pacific Time (8am GMT), we will be publishing a new poem of up to 60 lines/500 words or fewer that can be read during your lunch hour, on transit, or even over breakfast.
Feel free to browse around the site, check out our archives as they grow, or even sign up to receive a poem in your inbox... every day!
And if you are a poet, why not send us your best work? We are open for submissions now.
Oonah V Joslin (Managing Editor)