POE

   

 

Frank Thayer

Born in the southern New Mexico mining town of Santa Rita in July of 1939, Frank Thayer grew up in the thundering dullness of the 50s. In 1960, he transferred to New Mexico State University as a journalism major. During this first year at NMSU, his first record was a regional hit.

After a stint in 1962 as a reporter-photographer in Las Cruces he was promoted to editor a year later, but then left the paper in 1964 to join the National Guard. Six months later he was back in New Mexico and the next year brought his first marriage and his attempts to write freelance fiction.

Thayer's first horror novel, "Awake the Black Cult", and the resulting weeks of impotence finally led to a series of short stories, one of which August Derleth chose for his anthology "Travelers by Night" issued in 1967.

Freelance being what it is, it was increasingly obvious that finding a day job was preferable to starving, and a friend whose wife came from Toronto pointed the way to a Canadian adventure. By December 1965, Thayer had found a job at a Hamilton, Ont., radio station as a writer, stumbling into an interview the following summer at a new college of applied arts and technology in Scarborough, Ont.

Not only did they hire him, but they made him head of a new journalism department, a labor of love that was to outlast his first marriage. During his ten years in Canada, he wrote three unpublished novels and co-author two journalism textbooks, while rediscovering his childhood loves, herpetology and automatic weapons. His photography was exhibited internationally during this period as well. But the call of the desert was great and so . . .

The return to New Mexico in 1977 led to a period of semi-retirement, a time of desert exploration, and a brief stint as the co-owner, with his second wife, of a photo and art gallery in a church they renovated in a New Mexico ghost town.

After painting himself into a personal corner, Thayer entered a master's program in hopes of going back into journalism education. Within ten years he had gained a Ph.D., written another journalism textbook and published a number of academic journal articles. He has also published a series of articles concerning Third Reich period organizations and their artifacts. (One of which can be read in this issue of WC.) After receiving his Ph.D., he eventually gained tenure at New Mexico State University, where he is now safely ensconced as a professor of journalism.

Life is working out just fine.



Ronald Carpenter

For some life is a journey. For me it's a jalopy drive fraught with bad directions, spilled drinks, and traffic jams.

I'm now a man of 47 years who's spent 24 of them in the military, during which time I managed to acquire a previously married wife and two stepdaughters. I'd hoped having a family would teach me more about life and admit that it has: I now know far too much about cleaning house, parenting, and laundry. I've also learned how fragile a grip I have on my paycheck, the remote control, and sometimes my temper.

What keeps me going in this race for whatever's at the foggy end of life's odyssey are life-renewing snuggles at bedtime, quality "alone time" in man's last refuge (the bathroom, for you clueless folk), and my tattered little writings.

It was different in the beginning of course ...

I sprang to life alongside an identical twin in 1954, on the Atlantic shores of a small American state with hospitable beaches and inhospitable traffic. Note that a twin may be a useful asset later in life, a source of spare parts as it were.

My mirror image and I became inseparable playmates, trundling across furniture and through backyard adventures in search of interesting bugs, army tanks, and anything we dared not touch. Growing up we of course learned many valuable lessons, like where Mom hid the candy, where to hide unwanted vegetables, but little beyond our comfortable universe of home and school.

Then college came crashing in. It was an investment of 9 months for my brother, 18 for me, and umpteen dollars for our disappointed parents. I'm afraid college wasn't my thing (writing to my girlfriend was). When the school administration failed to equate love with engineering I decided to make my break.

It was after a gloriously lazy year of hanging about the house that my father interrupted my private reveries to ask simply, as all fathers ask simply, "When the HELL are you going to get a job?!"

Soon after I found myself in the military, albeit a little reluctantly at first. Not the real military of course but the Air Force (one service where enlisted troops are smart enough to send officers to do the fighting).

Surely you've heard that mantra: "join the service, see the world". That came later.

Four years fixing airplanes wears one down to a nub, at which point many change specialties. My change was into satellite reconnaissance work where I finally did see the world. Not as imagined, I confess, but in dreadful tiny pictures to be magnified and analyzed. From personal observation I can attest warfare does indeed bring out the best in people and the worst in nations.

As expected military life eventually ends and one finds himself thrust back into the civilian world of chaos and shaggy hair, challenged with having to match pants to shirts (a talent some ex-soldiers never quite master).

That's the world I inhabit now, ensconced in a computer firm searching for new clients instead of enemies.

My new mantra? This too shall pass.

(Editor's Note: Ron Carpenter has twenty-nine years of writing experience, with a broad spectrum of interests from fact to fiction. He has extensive practice with corporate and product literature, research, technical writing, humor, poetry, traditional classics, mysteries, short stories, science fiction/fantasy, and literary mimicry. Few genres are outside his accustomed range.

His long experience in the writing trenches has led to substantial personal expertise in writing techniques and theory. Short articles and persuasive writing are his forte; military and social topics are his passion.

Ron spent twenty years performing military intelligence duties, and offers a rare "behind the curtain" perspective on government and world affairs. This experience also developed into a strong analytical streak with an affinity for the 3 Cs of technical writing: clarity, completeness, conciseness. His work favors candor and enlightenment over political correctness, yet is pointed without being offensive.

Above all, his writing in every genre is generally regarded as highly readable and enjoyable, a feature he attributes to his literary icons Mark Twain, A.C. Doyle, and William Shakespeare.)

Charles Ivie

Charles Ivie is a licensed pilot, inventor, Professor of astronomy, Adjunct Professor of physics, NASA Scientist and much, much more. But what brings him to the attention of Writer's Cramp is his deft touch as a writer.

In this, his first short story for our magazine, "The Witch's Cat," Chuck has given us a tale fraught with folklore, magic, fairy tale settings, good, evil and a talking cat! This is a mix of science and fantasy that you're sure to read more than once.

Sharon K. Gilbert

Born in the rolling hills of southern Indiana to Appalachian parents, Sharon brings a rich heritage to her writing. A childhood spent meandering crooked streams and dancing meadows coupled with a degree in molecular biology and a short career in opera has created a patchwork personality that feels at home with many genres.

She also brings a wealth of talent to Writer's Cramp. (Look for Sharon's other stories in WC.) But this one, Junebug, I fell in love with, totally and completely. It is one of the very best of its kind I have read, ever. Sharon is going to be a household name within two years. Her books will disappear from booksellers' shelves faster than they can be stocked.

Teri Lucia

Teri Lucia is an accomplished writer and editor, and a real snazzy dish, according to her husband and those who know her. She writes a column for and edits sections of The Harrow, a literary ezine of substance and long standing. Teri has a family which takes up most of her time and all of her love, a business she runs with one of her best friends, a love of the California desert and its mysteries.

Teri's writing style is arresting and gritty on one hand, harmonic and lyric on the other. She knows how to make the two meet, unerringly. Her wit is expansive, her charm engrossing, her intellect unbounded and her friendship a gift.

Robert Montesino

Robert Anthony Montesino was born in Miami, attended Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida (B.A.). He retired after twenty years in government service and is now pursuing his writing & publishing goals. His work has been published in several print and web-based Internet sites in the United States, Canada & England (U.K.). He and his life partner, who teaches in Broward County, live in Ft. Lauderdale with their two cats Dali & Moosey. They spend much of their time with friends and family in Key Largo, Florida. His short stories and poetry have appeared in Thought Magazine, Writer’s Cramp Online Fiction Magazine, Tabloid Purposes(Horror Anthology), Lunatic Chameleon and Anything Goes (U.K.).

Montesino's Short Stories, Poetry & Song Lyrics are an eclectic mix of genre's ranging from Inspirational, Gothic Horror, Fantasy, Drama/Suspense, Vision Metaphysical, Mainstream & Humor. "Writing must always be a place where I can go to have fun. It's my avenue for creative self expression and good therapy for my soul. Writing for me is a magical place where all things are possible."


Juris Rasa

It was later that I remember hooking up with my parents. My earliest recollection was not of them. I also do not remember almost dying twice. The first time, a German army medic took pity on my poor wandering-across-war-torn-Europe refugee mother and gave her some medication to redoubt my incipiency. Some months later it was a French doctor who saved me. (No, no obligation to think Jerry Lewis a comic genius.)

Nor was it of the remembered raging at age two or three or four, shrieking at the first injustices I would come across.

No, the earliest memory I have; the recounting of which has usually been left to those relaxed conversational moments, disarmed by budding intimacy, and no doubt meant to expand upon them, is of another sort.

I remember having a completeness of knowing being deliberately and methodically taken away, replaced with another. Senses and perceptions ratcheted down to a simpler way of seeing things. A knowing in a universal way put aside to see and know only in a three dimensional way. Then whoosh, without a mission statement or instruction booklet, blindfolded and cast down a deep dark well, I was born.

And, by the way, while blindfolded, see if you can come up with the concept of light?

The thing about a bio is it forces one to reflect. Is the creative work-in-progress metaphorically a glossy Polaroid or has one managed to add some depth and texture to the self-portrait?

Anyway, was always good at picking up new languages, in part due to growing up Latvian, living in Sweden for seven years, then quickly picking up English once here in Canada, six months in Acapulco for the Spanish – German, French and Latin in school. For the other part, and being told many times that I spoke the languages 'like a native', (sorry Teri) yes, reincarnation.

University of Toronto, honors math, physics, and chemistry (MPC), then philosophy and finally engineering. Kicked around for some hazy blurry years, fieldwork in pharmacology (just the hallucinogens) I like to think of it as, settling finally for the last 15 years with my consulting business. On the side, whenever Margaret (Gibson, his wife) produces something she'll want me to edit it. Tardy lately. At times she reduces me to a grinning, drooling pool in the corner, but I love the little dickens.

Back in the eighties an ex got the house, but I got the better part of the deal. I got OUT!

Gary Sloan

Gary Sloan is a recently retired English professor.

In the 1970s he published short stories in a number of now defunct magazines (Just Pulp, Pale Fire Review, Arkansas Review, Green's Magazine, and six or seven others).

Besides many articles in academic journals, he has written essays on literature, science, and religion for many magazines: Free Inquiry, Skeptic, American Atheist, The Humanist, The Freethinker, The American Rationalist, Exquisite Corpse, and others. He also writes commentaries for the Scripps Howard News Service.

Molly Lewis

I am a recent graduate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Master of Fine Art in Writing with a focus in fiction and playwriting

Most of my writing since completing Grad school has been done collaboratively with a writing partner our joint work includes a play, which has been produced twice, a collection of short stories, a novella, and two screenplays.

Needless to say when I am writing solely, things don't come together as fast. I have recently finished a collection of "minute fiction" pieces, and I am eager to return to several projects I avoided while in school.

I've also never written a biography before; thus, I look forward, with great anticipation, to writing one complete with intelligence and wit.

 

Marlie Fabert-Warren

I've always felt very thankful for the fact that I can remember things the way that I do. I was born in Ottawa, Kansas in 1951 on a very poor farm; the oldest of four children and the only girl.
I tried to 'paint' the picture of each family member... and it looks as though I succeeded because I've been told by others that they can seethe family as I told about each of them.
Yes, we were dysfunctional - but who isn't really?

I went to college for one year in 1969-70; got married in 1970 and put my passion for writing on the shelf while I gave birth to and raised six children; alone after 1990. My children were under the age of 15 when I was divorced; my younger two are identical twin boys and raising six children alone was a huge challenge - not to mention raising twins!

Just this year - after the last of the children left the nest, I picked up my passion for writing again! I am writing my memoirs and enjoy writing short stories; all of which are based on things that have really happened to me. I am the Secretary/ contest chair of the Heritage Writer's Guild in St. George Utah, a chapter of the League of Utah Writer's.

I love being involved and feel like I'm the baby of the group. At 51, I'm among the three or four younger members. We have members in their 90's who are going strong. They are certainly a motivation to us all.

*Robert - you mentioned 'the wilds of Utah' . . . have you ever been to Utah? We're certainly not in the wilds. In the red rock desert - very near to Las Vegas Nevada. Although - raising those kids WAS wild at times!

I'm not an Educated woman - although I feel like I have gained a life time of Life's Knowledge which keeps me going. I work as an Administrative Assistant to the Executives of Skywest Airlines, the nations largest operating Regional Airlines. My children, my grandson and my home are what make me tick. Next to that is Writing and Photography. I love life and the celebration in it all!

Billy Dean

Poetry has been a faithful friend since early childhood. Until recently, however, it took a back seat to writing technical manuals and teaching electronics - and to motorcycles, marathons and all the other stuff that makes us as busy as a nine-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Now retired, my wife of 35 years and I share a small home on 2 acres in the high desert of southern California with five cats, at least a dozen rats and rabbits, and thousands of quail, finches and humming birds. For fun, we hike, paddle canoes and fly kites. We do other things, too, but I can't tell you about them. She continues to be the only reason I am not dead, broke or in jail.

A few years ago, I took a course on poetry from Susan Ioannou of Wordwrights, Canada, who helped rekindle my love for poetry and its power to paint an accurate picture of real life and the human condition, to tell a story without judgment, to evoke meaning rather than explain it, to touch our hearts and minds in a personal way with beauty, terror and joy, to fill us with adventure, surprise and the potential for discovery, to be memorable in sound, sense and spirit.

Years ago, my poems, stories and articles died all too regularly on a paper bed. Now I prefer the raw, immediate feedback of a live audience at open mike events in coffee houses, cafes and art galleries. Sometimes it gets a bit rowdy, but nobody throws tomatoes, and I try to remember that it's about them, not me.

James Dickey said words go together in zillions of ways. It is my hope that every poet finds those ways that go deep, not shallow, and yet creates poems that are accessible to everyone...

JB Pravda

Born Brooklyn, NY, graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism, began a career in law in 1971, recruited at that university’s law school for service as a ‘kid’ lawyer with the Federal Government during Watergate, where he immediately ‘Felt’ something was amiss; later as lobbyist and private businessman. He has been a prolific writer in all genres, with an emphasis on short works, including microfiction/flash fiction as well as full length and  One Act Plays. A 10 page excerpt from his play ‘Patsy’, involving a fated ‘reunion’ of JFK Jr. & the oldest daughter of Lee and Marina Oswald, won him a highly competitive place at the Kennedy Center last summer, with subsequent lifetime privileges at the annual Intensives featuring such literati as Marsha Norman, Steven Dietz, Lee Blessing, et. Al. 

A cancer survivor, now fully recovered and active as a ‘try’-athlete, he writes full time, having been published in ebook and other electronic media, as well as print; his diversity writing is featured exclusively by the Office of Diversity Initiatives, Office of the President, University of Central Florida website; he now resides in New York and Florida. All written contact via my agent: Seth B. Michael, Esq., 4416 Fulton Ave, #6, Los Angeles, CA 91423. 
He is unsure as to why he has written this in the third person, as it eerily reminds him of an obituary, a form of writing which should be an impossibility, at least by the subject.  There it is…………my cell phone=863 242 1659.

MOST RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE ARTS:

7/06: Guest Artist, Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensives; Lifetime Guest Artist

12/06: Selected Playwright, for ‘Road Scholar’, 2007 Political Theatre Festival, Teatro del Pueblo, 209 W. Page Street, Ste. 208, St. Paul, MN 55107   www.teatrodelpueblo.org

8/07: Short Film of my play ‘Self Portrait with Giant Squid’ (sendup of Warholian superficial art) competitively selected for festival circuit (www.fullsail.com )

4/08: Selected Feature Writer for www.bluellamastudios.com

RG Liberty

Robert Liberty has been writing professionally since 1974, when he started making money working for The Toronto Entertainment Guide, doing feature articles on a variety of subjects and writing humorous horoscope. From there he went on to newspaper work as a photojournalist with the Scarborough Observer.

He later branched into business press journalism and editing with Maclean Hunter and Kay Publishing, where he became associated with the editorship of a number of high profile trade publications. His next move (because the business press trade doesn't pay enough) was into Corporate Marketing writing and at the same time he picked up some work in the freelance field.

He wrote for the Toronto Star, London Magazine, the Globe and Mail and many other publications. He rode the freelance train for over a decade. And then, with the emergence of Interactive Multimedia and the Internet he quickly realized the buttery side of the bread and submerged himself in the new technology.

Throughout all the years, he's had a love/hate relationship with the written word. He's traveled Canada coast to coast, twice by thumb, once by train and once by car, gathering experience and storing memories until that time they form the stuff of fiction or poetry in his mill.

He's written hundreds of journalism pieces; news stories, feature articles, interpretive pieces, technical pieces a play, a book of short stories, currently writing a crime novel and an ever expanding volume of poetry, many pieces of which can be sampled within these pages.

Writer's Cramp is his greatest pleasure and (apart from his children) his first love and it grew from an original advertising vehicle to showcase his wares to potential clients.

Now, for over four years, it has been a place for writers to showcase their wares and for readers to enjoy the best the craft has to offer.