Sci Phi Journal publishes my story, “A Better U”

I wrote a short story called, “A Better U” not too long ago.

It’s very short, easy to read, flash fiction; the type of piece I don’t object to people reading on their cell phones.

The Sci Phi Journal describes themselves like this:

Sci Phi Journal is a cosy waystation for travellers who, through no fault of their own, find themselves at the cosmic intersection between speculative philosophy, cultural anthropology and hard SF.”

They are based in Europe, various locations.

As always, I was surprised they wanted to pay me for words. With Euros, no less. As always, I was thankful.

Some people have told me, “Justin, you have the heart of a Belgian cyber-punk. You know that?”

Here is their site: Sci Phi Journal

Here is a link directly to my piece: A Better U

Published in Bacopa Literary Review

I have a recent humor piece published in the upcoming Bacopa Literary Review 2020. It’s called, “Excerpts from the Classified Ads Section of Esoteric Creatures Monthly Magazine.”

It’s a magazine based out of Gainesville, FL and the literary journal for the Gainesville Writer’s Alliance.

It’s a short humor piece imagining classified ads written by monsters like puppets and killer clowns. Here’s an excerpt:

Mummy Requires History Lessons/Van with Tinted Windows

Listing is for two distinct tasks with preference given to applicant who can perform both.

First, I require an expert to discern my provenance and name. Exhibit label reads: Unknown Mummy, 100BCE-151BCE.

I don’t think this is correct.

Applicant must be able to read hieroglyphs, Greek and Hieratic script. Degree from institution of higher learning preferred. Field experience in archaeology with corresponding immunity to ancient curses a huge asset.

Second, I require safe transport from museum grounds where I am currently located.

A little bit about the employer:

Recently, I awakened to find myself imprisoned in a museum display. I wander the darkened corridors at night, various bandages rapidly deteriorating, especially around armpit area and groin. Be aware, I walk very slowly in a halting step. Must be able to distract or neutralize security guard who works night shift. New guard is cagey, as I accidentally strangled the former one.

Museum of Fine Arts. Massachusetts.

A link to the Editor’s Blog for the Bacopa Literary Journal is here.

Paintings at Design Plus, Hyatt Regency, Miami Art Week (Basel)

I’m happy to announce three of my paintings will be exhibited at the Design Plus event at the Hyatt Regency hotel during Art Week in downtown Miami, Florida.

This is the schedule of events if you are in the area:

Thursday, December 5th: 10 am-1 pm there is a Private Preview Brunch

Thursday, December 5th to Saturday, December 7th: 10 am-8 pm

The show finishes up on Sunday at 4 pm

Short Story, “Log” published in Dark Moon Digest Issue 37

My short horror piece, “Log” is published in Dark Moon Digest, Issue 37.

It’s a quarterly horror magazine from the small press Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing out of Texas. Each issue publishes short fiction and nonfiction as well.

Honestly, I didn’t think I would find a publisher for this piece. It’s experimental in terms of design and layout, and the subject matter is fairly dark. What actually happens is left up to the imagination of the reader and can be interpreted many different ways.

That’s where I think horror really works to its fullest strength– in the imagination. Sure, you can just write vivid descriptions of brutality, decadence and the grotesque, but the stories that have always stuck with me are the ones where the terror is left up to the reader/viewer to fully fathom on their own.

Consider picking up an issue of the magazine, or even something by them which I’m not a part of. I find it restorative to hold printed pages in my hand, instead of my phone. It’s also a fine thing to support a small business and small press.

My story, “New Ownership” is acquired and produced by The No Sleep Podcast

Good news. The well-respected No Sleep Podcast purchased one of my stories, recently. Their policy is to ask for writers not to announce until the work is produced and available.

So, I learned this in early August but kept quiet. I think it’s a good policy on their part.

Feels great to have such a talented pool of voice actors, editors and musicians bring this story to life in audio format. The tale itself is about a man who is struggling with a growing mold in his apartment. The new owners don’t seem to be intent on helping him, but instead on cultivating the mold itself…and praying to it.

You can check it out here.

NO SLEEP PODCAST S13E09

My short story wins Honorable Mention in Writer’s of the Future Contest

I have suffered a lot of rejections. All writers do, I think.

Yesterday, I was told that I won an Honorable Mention in the 2nd Quarter Writers of the Future Contest for my short story, The Seeker.

Fairly happy about that. The contest has been going strong for decades and the winners are published in an annual volume. While I didn’t make the final cut, still happy to receive the Honorable Mention. And I’ll likely be submitting again in the near future.

What am I doing?

I ask this everyday.

The Welcome to Florida series should be complete this summer. It will be around 10-12 individual paintings, ranging from 16 X 11 to 36 X 48. I have around 5 of them completed now.

Applying to several new exhibitions this summer as well. Concentrating on Florida but also a few others internationally.

I have about a dozen short stories out for consideration. I constantly get rejected. I constantly keep putting them out there.

I’m swimming a lot in the ocean.

Considering going to Dublin for WorldCon but I haven’t decided yet. I’ve been to Dublin before and I enjoy the city, but there’s a lot of other places I want to see before revisiting it.

Mainly, I get up everyday and try to apply my creative force to something.

Miniature Corn and the Problem of All-Knowledge

The Crazy Testament is a loose collection of notes I keep in a loose collection of note-keeping areas. Herein, I expand on those ideas which probably should have been forgotten.

I grew up during a time when you couldn’t google the answer to everything (or most everything) and know it. To many who are slightly younger that might seem an impoverished age. In a way it was. But it provoked a certain type of dialogue that we are missing now and a category of thinking which is less practiced.

Miniature corn is something that I started thinking about around 6 am while trying to fall asleep last week. I imagined a miniature corn farm, with tiny animals laboring, and people husbanding the land and resources to grow the crop. Small droplets of sweat fell from the tiny people’s brows, the light bulb sized sun turned the budding cobs golden at the end of day.

Then I thought, are there really miniature corn plants?

This is the kind of question that before, I would have needed to let trouble me into the early hours of the morning and beyond, or until I could ask a friend who might know. No more. I turned over in bed, blinded myself by the blue light of my phone and quickly found out the answer on Wikipedia.

Do I really need to know about miniature corn farming and production? I do not. Here is the issue.

Before the advent of immediate access to information, we talked to each other about what we didn’t know. We tried to figure it out. We might have used reason, our own reason, to come to a conclusion about the likelihood of miniature corn farms.

And we don’t have to anymore.

I think there might be something lacking, a space in conversations that is now void, and possibly a cleft in our minds now that we can “know” all things so quickly. I think there might be a vector for the paucity of imagination in it.

So I have decided to be willfully ignorant of some things; the factoids that make less difference when the answer is found than during the time we ponder them.