A year goes by awfully fast, doesn’t it?
2018 Wapshott Press Fundraiser!
Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net. The PayPal Giving fund charges us no fees on your donation. And between Giving Tuesday (11/27/2018) and New Year’s Eve, the Giving Fund will add 1% to every donation. That might not seem like much, but the Wapshott Press gets three dimes out of every quarter, so we make it go far. Perks: All donations receive a pdf of the book of your choice; Donations over $100 receive the pdf and a print copy of the book of your choice (can be different books); Over $200 the pdf and 2 copies; Over $300 the pdf and 3 copies; Over $350 the pdf and a full subscription to everything below; Over $500 your own custom half dozen of anything we’ve ever published.
But first, an enormous thank you to our supporters, the Friends of the Wapshott Press:
Steve Kasten and Nancy Garcia of Steve Kasten Properties, Muna Deraine, Rachel Livingston of Furies Publishing, KM Warner, Kathryn L. Ramage, Jim and Rebecca Wright, Jennifer Bentson of Jennifer Bentson Arts, Debbie Jones and Steve Acker, Ann Siemens, Suzanne Siegel, Richard Whittaker of Works+Conversations magazine, Carol Colin and Ted Waltz, and several supporters who wish to remain anonymous.
What we did in this year with your generous donations from last year:
(click on the images for more information)
Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net
What we plan to do in 2019 with your generous donations from this year:
Storylandia, Issue 28, Winter 2019
Make me Disappear, by Jennifer Wilson
Mabel Banner, age fifteen, is a girl on the run. Escaping a dark and tumultuous life in the foster care system in Oklahoma, she runs to Key West, where she becomes first mate on board the sailboat Stella Luna, with the amiable Jake Ennis as captain. In Florida she forges a new life with a new name and tries to forget the circumstances that brought her there. But can Mabel keep her past a secret from Jake? Will the authorities looking for her eventually catch up? And mostly, will she ever have a chance at a normal life? Mabel finds that no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the ghosts that haunt her dreams and the feeling that, eventually, everything she has fought so hard to gain will slip out from between her fingers like the sugar white sand of a Gulf Coast beach. (excerpt below)
Jennifer Wilson lives in Texas with her husband and ten of her thirteen children. When she is not negotiating peace treaties between the warring factions residing beneath her roof, she enjoys writing and playing the banjo. Occasionally she hides in the closet and drinks whiskey while contemplating the meaning of the universe. She has published four books of poetry and two novels, blogs at crazyreal.net.
Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net
Storylandia, Issue 29, Spring 2018
Crime Spree and Other Stories, by Thomas Larsen
From journeyman printer to small-time crook, pothead senior to retired nun, Tom Larsen has captured a wide range of life experiences in theses self-contained stories. This collection is an homage to the random fortunes of the baby boom. Whether set in the inner city, suburbia or the northwest coast, Larsen’s colorful cast confirms he knows of what he speaks. (excerpt below)
Tom Larsen lives in the Pennsport section of South Philadelphia, home to Mummers, Flyers and that screw you slant that made the city great. He and his wife lived in Pennsport for a decade in the 90’s then moved away, then moved back again. Where the heart is, yo. For a writer auditioning characters, the 19148 zip is a casting gold mine.
Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net
Poetrylandia, Issue 1 (our first volume of poetry!)
Required Silence, by Dawn Cunningham
Women go through a particular silence which has been a requirement in society for generations. This required silence is a cause of struggles in a woman’s survival. The silence is hard to overcome—if a woman ever overcomes it. Ridding the silence is a continuous fight even after a woman finds a way to overcome. (excerpt below)
Dawn Cunningham grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories of the family, which led Ms. Cunningham to write her stories, mostly in poetry. At a young age, she fell in love with Edgar Allen Poe’s stories and poems. Then in her college years, she came to love surrealism—especially Max Ernst and Salvador Dali. She shares her love of literature and arts with her four children, thirteen grandchildren (and, soon, another grandchild), and with her partner, Christopher.
Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net
Storylandia, Issue 30, Summer 2019
Letters to S, by George Gad Economou
A love story that challenges beliefs, lifestyles, and desires.
He searches for a replacement to his greatest love (whom he lost way too soon to reasons better left untold); she seeks for a safe harbor to shelter her from her tumultuous relationship that rapidly reaches its end. Passion and lust are born the moment they lay eyes on each other; however, their story quickly turns into a tale of brutal irony and of obstacles that cannot be overcome. (excerpt below)
George Gad Economou, born in 1990 in Athens, Greece, has a Master’s in Philosophy of Science from Aarhus University and is currently residing in Athens, working as a freelance writer. His stories have appeared in various online outlets, such as Spillwords and Jumbelbook.
Storylandia, Issue 31, Autumn 2019
The Beasthood, by Dawn Cunningham
Deloris Jaguer is assigned to investigate The Beasthood which many women declare exists. In her search—through various evidence presented—to find the truth, she discovers more about herself and the literal meaning of The Beasthood. (excerpt below)
See Poetrylandia 1 for Dawn’s bio.
2018 Wapshott Press Fundraiser! Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net. The PayPal Giving fund charges us no fees on your donation. And between Giving Tuesday (11/27/2018) and New Year’s Eve, the Giving Fund will add 1% to every donation. That might not seem like much, but the Wapshott Press gets three dimes out of every quarter, so we make it go far. Perks: All donations receive a pdf of the book of your choice; Donations over $100 receive the pdf and a print copy of the book of your choice (can be different books); Over $200 the pdf and 2 copies; Over $300 the pdf and 3 copies; Over $350 the pdf and a full subscription to everything below; Over $500 your own custom half dozen of anything we’ve ever published.
Click here for excerpts.
Storylandia 28 sample:
Make Me Disappear
By Jennifer Wilson
The brave dies perhaps two thousand deaths if he’s intelligent. He simply doesn’t mention them.
The pocketknife had been a gift on her fourteenth birthday.
Mabel had longed for one ever since her foster brother John—an eagle scout with a sash full of badges—had received his own. She had been fascinated with the various tools that he could pull from it, from a corkscrew to a tiny screwdriver to diverse blades, and had watched with envy each time he brought it forth from his pocket, slicing through tape-encased packages with practiced ease and carving rough animals from raw blocks of wood.
Her current foster mother, Karen (her own mother had abandoned her many long years before to a meth and petty theft habit), had rolled her eyes at the gift, saying that there was no reason for a girl to have a pocketknife at all, but John had wanted her to have it and his will had prevailed.
“She’ll probably cut her own nose off, for God’s sake,” Karen said.
“I’ll teach her to use it properly, Mom,” John answered, patting Mabel on the shoulder.
And he had, showing her how to open and close it so that it didn’t snap on her fingers, and instructing her to always point the blades away from herself. She had imagined that she would use her knife in the same way John used his, but in the end the only things she seemed capable of carving were sticks into sharpened points and her initials in the bark of the ancient live oak tree in the back yard. Still, she carried the knife with her everywhere, the weight of it in her pocket giving her a sense of security and protection— from what she did not know, exactly.
“I’ll be going away to college in a few weeks,” John said to her as they sat on the back porch in the late afternoon sunshine of a warm summer day. “I just want you to know that if you ever need me, just call, okay? I’ll only be two hours away.”
“Okay,” Mabel said, leaning into him for a hug. “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you too, little sis.”
When the day had come for him to leave, Karen had sobbed loudly and dramatically, and her foster father, Gary, was withdrawn and silent. The remaining week of summer passed slowly, and she spent it in solitude, vaguely dreading the coming school year. She was an average student, feeling unmotivated to do more than the bare minimum, and most subjects simply didn’t hold her interest. Friends were hard to come by, as she didn’t seem to fit in to any particular group at school, so the anticipation of seeing friendly faces again was, by and large, nonexistent.
She was not a particularly unhappy girl, however, though prone to bouts of ennui and melancholy. Being content in her aloneness and unused to any surfeit of attention, she spent much of her time outside, exploring the middle-class suburb of Tulsa she inhabited and communing with nature. She enjoyed reading and visited the library frequently, finding friends in the books she read and comfort in the knowledge that she was not so very unique as it seemed sometimes.
It was a sunny October Friday, the day John died. A texting teen swerved across the line on the road as he was coming home from college for a visit and the impact killed him instantly. Mabel would always remember the day; how the leaves were just beginning to change on the pear trees that lined the sidewalk, the sky clear and blue as she walked home from school.
She heard Karen’s wailing before she reached the path that led to the front door, a high-pitched keening that raised the hair on the back of her neck and begged her to run in the other direction rather than discover the reason for such a noise. Against her instincts, she turned the knob on the front door with a trembling hand and was met by Gary, his face ashen and grim as he told her the news.
The tears didn’t come then.
Storylandia 29 sample:
Crime Spree and Other Stories,
By Thomas Larsen
Take it from me. You can fall asleep on your feet, but sooner or later your knees will buckle. Happened plenty of times running presses over at Printers Inc. It’s a crazy feeling waking up like that and sometimes, for a second there, you don’t know where the hell you are. Then it’s back in a flash and you see it’s so wrong for you. At least I did, which is why I quit.
Clever name, Printers Inc, right? Believe me these guys were murderers. The Donnelli brothers would screw you just to stay in shape and every guy there had gone a few rounds with them. Jack the midget, throwing his arms around, smacking his head like he can’t believe it. Believe it, Jack. Things go wrong all the time in a print shop. For what the Donnellis charge, customers expect the best. But I can tell you that’s expecting too much.
Then there’s Al. The “brains” of the family, a man with more tics than a cuckoo clock. Al’s the excitable type. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law, but his face makes him unemployable. He’s also gay; a bad combination in a Neanderthal trade. I liked thinkto work him up to a lather then get all big and crazy looking so he’d think he’d crossed a line. If that’s homophobic, so be it. Where I come from an asshole is an asshole.
Some days I’d get a long run, twenty, thirty thousand and an hour in that press would be running itself. Forget about shooting the breeze or catching a few scores in the paper. The Donnellis wanted their pound of flesh and that meant keeping your nose to the grindstone. So you pull a few sheets and you fiddle around and pretty soon you start to fade. Maybe you were up late or you had a few too many and you know you got five more hours of standing around watching the clock, worrying about one stupid thing or another. It wears you out, I can tell you. Pretty soon the eyes are drooping and the noise seems to fade and then boom! Your knees give out. It’s a funny thing to see unless your name’s Donnelli.
Most guys I’ve worked with would kill to get out of the business, but with families and the time put in, it’s hard to walk away. I did it and I ain’t looking back. People don’t realize the pressure printers are under. One little mistake and it’s ten grand down the shitter. The halftones are reversed or phone number’s scrambled and it’s NFG (No Fucking Good)! Skids of product no one can use and you get to run the whole thing over. Not your fault, maybe, but you made it irreversible. Shit didn’t run itself, dude. That’s not even considering the stuff that is your fault, you backed it up wrong or it’s crooked or it offset or a million other things. Every printer I know drinks too much and most have an ex wife or two on retainer.
The schmoozing thing really bugged me. You work with guys every day, but if you can’t talk to them you can’t get to know them. And I’m the kind of guy; if I don’t know you I generally don’t like you. It drives my wife nuts but it’s something I can’t change. To me everybody’s a blowhard until they prove different. So Printers was basically a shop full of grumblers who hated the boss and kept their distance. I was there ten years. I spent more time with those shmos than I did with my family, but I didn’t know where one of them lived. Take it from me it wasn’t natural.
So OK, I may be slow to warm, but I’m no sociopath. I’ve worked in places where the crew was as tight as a TV family. Worked together, played together, married each other, got divorced. I still have friends I haven’t worked with in twenty years. So when I say Printers was unnatural, I hold myself apart from it. From my first day I could see what the problem was. I was fifteen years younger than the next guy and I was pushing forty. A few decades running presses will knock the snot out of you and suddenly the old pension’s so close you can taste it. So the job sucks. It’s almost over. Get through the fucking day.
Storylandia 30 sample:
Letters to S.
By George Gad Economou
Everywhere I look there they are, a set of black eyes staring at me from every corner, from every possible direction. Even when I close my own eyes they’re still there, amid the darkness of my closed eyelids, staring intensely, curiously, admiringly. They have a gleam, a shining I have never before seen; they’re both scary and comforting.
It feels good seeing them staring at me with that intention of theirs, and yet it makes me uncomfortable, because it scares me; what do they want—I wonder often silently—what do they expect of me? There is no certain answer – I can’t tell why the look is there.
I know why the eyes are following me – that’s a simple question that needs not be asked. Yet, what do they want from me, I do not know. I have my own hopes about it, I wish and pray for a specific answer to be true, but I can’t possibly know.
Three days I’ve been followed by this particular set of eyes; the knowledge of seeing them again in person, in vivo, is exhilarating, yet scary. I need to know what they want, what the thoughts that make the gleam appear are, why they seemingly shine whenever they meet my own glance. What is it? I ask myself, but no one comes to the rescue, the answer is seemingly non-existent.
It isn’t so, and I know it well—there is an answer to the question tormenting my mind, a very definitive answer. Yet, the struggle is to obtain it—there are feasible ways, yet the plausibility of acquiring an unwanted answer is high. Am I willing, then, to risk everything and ask the burning question? I have no answer to that, either.
And maybe it’s this last question that does the tormenting; the uncertainty of the future and the uncertainty of my own mind on whether it will survive the unexpected answer—whether the reason behind the shining black eyes that open widely whenever they meet mine is vastly different than what I hope.
I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to be tormented by such questions and by the vast uncertainty that lies within those situations—yet, whensoever you find yourself in such a peculiar situation—for the details of my current condition are more complicated and bizarre than I had led you, my dear reader, to believe—you suddenly lose your mind, your capability of socializing properly. Perhaps it’s purely biological; natural—different hormones are produced in the mind when there’s real interest, and not just superficial attraction, which, therefore, makes the approach different, and tougher. For it’s for more that I hope and wait and pray, yet will it come?
Or will this hesitation, the reluctance derived from the fear of the unknown, prove to be fatal? Will I be followed by those eyes forever only in my dreams, or will I, at some point, be able to stare into them at will, and in person? More questions arise in my mind, while I struggle to answer even the simplest one.
I know what needs be done—I’ve done it a lot of times in my turbulent past, and I’m certain I shall do it again in the future. Yet, what if those black eyes—that are now staring at me through the paper upon which I type—are meant to be something more? A life-changing moment? From when I first laid my eyes upon them, from that very first exchange of glances, there was something… a sparkling, if we’re to use common terminology.
I saw it in the eyes and felt it appear in mine too —a good sign, I know. Yet, is the fear of not knowing what the eyes—or, to put it better, their owner—want and feel, or is the fear inside me, that renders me incapable of trying to seek for the answers?
Storylandia 31 sample:
By Dawn Cunningham
I am the prosecutor who has brought this story to the attention of the public, who will give you the physical evidence to prove the truth of the Beasthood, who will have you see the thing beyond the media’s perception as something science fiction. Let the press mock the story and give the exposure, I will give another view to allow people to decide for themselves. This story begins in a court room on June 21, 2010, where girls have come forth to expose the Beasts. The press has entitled the scandal, “To All Beast, We’re Aware of You,” with these wondrous lines attached:
In the course of defending Beasthood, the defense fails in proving the beast is tame. The letters smelled out causes more up rise against the beast and his rule. Letters mature into a coffin, suggesting neither can live without the other while killing each other. Those automatic writings and sketches by pencil or crayon etch out what a beast could never have. Coincidence confides in the hand, and at times the feet: a stirring heats from sole to soul, or from toes to dendrites. That one tear that falls is all it takes for the jury to weave their necks around the trunks so heavily planted by the defense (of course they were barren—everything is always black and white). Don’t be confused by the edged-coloring. “The beast is tame,” denies the prosecutor; “Watch the girl scrawl against the bottle beating in her chest.” Who can hear the child climbing out into bodily change that the mind cannot keep up with? “Let the Beast out!” the girl cries, but the wood absorbs her words.
Beast is tame in the past and in the future, the defense would have us believe. But, to what beast does the defense contribute tameness? Words unwritten on black lines unbinding the social construct of dialogue, or history and science untying skirt laces to make future? These are the questions we must ask; or is there still a question floating airlessly beyond the tongue tip because too many are afraid to equate it? Such as, what does one eye see that the other doesn’t or can the left hand actually do without the other knowing? Or, what mind is in control? Yes, these are questions to be asked as well, and the last question that cannot be forbidden: does color give clarity or blur the now distant reality?
I’ve forgotten to show you that the jury, in their snail-gnawed shine and loose jaws, is wobbling to swallow without tongue or fluid. What does this trial search for among the buried? Not a single dead can speak to discourse of confusion made by a trap. Occasionally, there’s a crack in the cage, and a little of what can’t be spoken awakes with a pencil and a blank sheet. But the blood can’t be forgotten; it isn’t all gone, not yet. If it doesn’t run through walking flesh it runs through wormed-soil and clubbed-feet snaking down to the source. The dead have broken the code without lead in hand.
The defense, though shaken by that tear, gives notice to the dead that all of us carry a beast; such as the male Beast that he has us stare at. He notes: “Notice the Beast in his search for the mate so needed, and yet so distant. What possession does the mate have over the Beast and why is the mate unwilling to possess the possessive?”
Poetrylandia 1 sample:
by Dawn Cunningham
The Sting of Going Without
The TV winks on, loud,
for my ears or head
that want more sleep.
He swears it is down.
In our small room shoved
up against the wall, I slide
out from the covers,
arch my leg over his.
Tennis shoes greet me;
their tongues not tied, and yet
silent, as they talk about being empty.
Morning heat takes over
air conditioner, the bathroom smug
in the ray trickling through shower curtains,
the sweat congregating under my breast
and between my legs.
The yellow seeps through
the walls and window
as I hear grumbling
with a not so soft closing of door.
Before I leave the mugginess,
there is stomping.
In our small room shoved
up against the wall I lift
leg back to my space, my place.
I stretch and watch and listen.
“How to deal with beestings.”
I give up and begin again,
ending in the living room,
finding a book comforting.
David walks through lifting
his red jnko shirt over
I put on glasses to read
This is Saturday,
and I wonder why
I’m not allowed to sleep.
The yellow dog begins to whine,
and I wake Vincent to take out dog,
while I hear “The fairy-tale wedding, Princess Di’s. . . .”
The urge to lock self into bathroom.
Read a chapter of Micah.
Sitting in gold pattern chair,
he walks by, growling at David,
who keeps saying “No” to his father’s request.
Garry’s eyes squint warning as he stomps through the room again,
which tells me today will be . . . stinging eyes even without smoke.
~End of samples~
Donations can be made at www.WapshottPress.net. The PayPal Giving fund charges us no fees on your donation. And between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve, the Giving Fund will add 1% to every donation. That might not seem like much, but the Wapshott Press gets three dimes out of every quarter, so we make it go far. Perks: All donations receive a pdf of the book of your choice; Donations over $100 receive the pdf and a print copy of the book of your choice (can be different books); Over $200 the pdf and 2 copies; Over $300 the pdf and 3 copies; Over $350 the pdf and a full subscription to everything below; Over $500 your own custom half dozen of anything we’ve ever published.
Useful and interesting Wapshott Press facts:
WHEN YOU donate at www.WapshottPress.net, the PayPal Giving fund doesn’t charge us any fees.
THE WAPSHOTT PRESS was founded in 2007 as a good deed to help an author out. It was so much fun, we just kept going.
THE MAIN WEBPAGE is at www.WapshottPress.org and the Storylandia webpage is at www.Storylandia.WapshottPress.org.
THE WAPSHOTT PRESS is always seeking new fiction and now poetry collections. Please take a look at www.WapshottPress.org/call-for-fiction and www.WapshottPress.org/call-for-poetry or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or just to say hi.
WE HAVE ISSUES, yes we do, of Storyandia planned through issue 35, Autumn 2020.
WE NEED MONEY… but you read this far, you knew that.
THE WAPSHOTT PRESS Editorial Department wishes you the happiest of holidays, the best of everything and all wonderfulness all the time.
PS. Oh, and a podcast: “An Editor’s Work is Never Done” Enjoy!