Indefinite Length, Part 5

17. Apr. 2018

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 5"
KIM BREEDING-MERCER -"Indefinite Length, Part 5"

The brain can be tricked, and will often even trick itself, into hearing and seeing things that are not, objectively, there. You are a poor judge of the truth even on a good day, but the man who sits across from you at Your Friendly Neighborhood Bar & Grille(TM) looks real enough, even if Your Friendly Neighborhood Bar & Grille(TM) has somehow receded into the ether of before-and-after. You're not so sure of your own presence, though. You feel your lips move.

"I know you. Who are you?"

"Johnny Facenda."

"Yeah, got that part." Charlee looks at the man's face, and feels something tugging in the guts, or at the heart, or both. They stare at each other for a moment. Charlee's mind races, trying to connect dots that keep blinking in and out of existence. "What are you doing here?"

"Talking to one Charlee Hagwood, proprietor of a fine eatery and, let's admit it now, a sad sack with no light left inside."

Charlee's chest tightens. "How do you know me?"

"We've met later. You mix a great margarita. Now, though, at this particular point along the linear you, it's time to make you an offer." His hands, which are clasped in front of him on the table, part to reveal a small sphere. It is glowing a painful shade of chartreuse, the bright color of spring pollen. "You take this node," he says, and drops it into Charlee's palm.

You don't remember extending your hand. The—node?—feels weightless and fragile, like impossibly thin glass. It shifts against your skin, warm, and as you watch, it sinks into your hand until only a faint yellow sigil remains. It's a tall triangle, with smaller copies of itself arranged inside it, shrinking down in a spiral pattern until the tiniest triangle disappears. But you can see it. You can see the smaller ones, and smaller still. You blink to refocus. Your new tattoo tickles. You scratch it, and the node rises up again. "What do I do with this?"

"For now, put it away," he says, and the node wiggles and snuggles back down, leaving the sigil. "You can use it when you meet the right person."

Charlee's eyebrows rise. "I'm not interested in a relationship, man."

Johnny Facenda laughs, and it sounds a bit like a flute. "No one wants a relationship with you, either! Maybe after you get rid of your sludge." He points to the sigil. "When you find the person to give your darkness to, wake the node. It will handle the transfer. You'll be light as a feather again."

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 5"
Indefinite Length, Part 5

Welcome to Indefinite Length, Part 5. Charlee is handed something magical to remove the darkness. Working in a bar is one thing. Owning a bar is another. So much darkness. Kim Breeding-Mercer finds the light in words. The script that is so much ignored by the ordinary and worshiped by the extraordinary. Indefinite Length is part of the Long Range Reconnaissance Role Playing Game: LRRRPG.com

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 5"

#OgFOMK #KimBreedingMercer #IndefiniteLength #IDP #Fiction #streamofconsciousness



My Father Ellis

7. April 2018

Essay by Alex Nuttall, title: My Father Ellis, Original Date: 20180402 – © Alex Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Published .
My Father Ellis -- Alex Nuttall and Father

My grandfather’s name was George Ellis Nuttall.  He was a concrete contractor and builder. He was a fisherman, crabber and seafood vendor. He was a hunter. He was a crane operator. He was a World War II veteran. He was also a redleg.

George Ellis Nuttall and Alexander Nuttall -- Photo By Donald Nuttall 1984
George Ellis Nuttall and Alexander Nuttall -- Photo By Donald Nuttall 1984

Sometime during World War II my grandfather went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to become an artillery man. There is where he became a redleg. A redleg is a fellow who served in artillery. This was more than 50 years before I found myself there in Lawton, Oklahoma at Fort Sill in 1995.

My father’s middle name is Ellis too.  My father is a builder. He’s a fisherman. He was a soldier in Vietnam. He served in the Signal Corps as a mess sergeant. He cooked for thousands of soldiers. He went to Fort Benning, Georgia.

Donald Nuttall and Alexander Nuttall, 1977, Florida
Donald Nuttall and Alexander Nuttall, 1977, Florida

In 1995 I decided to join the U.S. Army National Guard. I was 25 years old. I ended up going for my Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) around September 1995. I had selected to become a Fire Support Specialist because I was already studying computers and networking. A Fire Support Specialist is also known as a FISTer. A FISTer is a member of the Fire Support Team (FiST). The FIST element is part of DIVARTY (Division of Artillery). So in 1995 I became a redleg too.

In January 1996 I was still at Fort Sill. I graduated Basic Training and I was heading over to my AIT. I was excited. I had survived 9 weeks of Basic Training (Really 11 weeks because the government was shutdown a week but that’s another story). I was officially a trained soldier. I went from running 2 miles in 16 minutes to running 2 miles in 10:58 minutes. I was 175 pounds of light, muscular goodness.

Basic was definitely a challenge but I was able to take it. I was about 6 years older than most recruits. I was 25. So I was old. I survived Basic so I was ready now to pursue my MOS (Military Occupation).

My fellow recruits and I made it to Charlie Battery. It was different than Basic. Instead of being like prison where they handed you a weapon sometimes, AIT was like work release where you had to go to classes, catch buses to and fro and sometimes they handed you weapons, laser range finders, radios, computers and the authority to call in some nasty artillery. We would learn to rain Hell.

Besides the school, tech stuff and advanced field training we would run. Every other day we would run 2 miles, 3 miles, 5 miles, 12 miles. We ran because a FISTer is supposed to be able to carry a lot of stuff. He had to carry beans, bullets, an M16 A2, A radio, a laser range finder, binoculars, a field artillery (Light Tac Fire) computer and toilet paper. A FISTer also had to do what the infantry did while attached to the Infantry. So we ran a lot.

In the down times I had the greatest thing in the world. I had a cheap personal radio/cassette player. Many times I just put on my headphones and listened to Public Radio. If I listened to my two tapes1 the batteries would die quickly.  I chose public radio so that I could enjoy classical or jazz and no stupid commercials.

One night while feeling proud, a little nostalgic and mostly at peace with myself, I put on my headphones and dialed in the Lawton Public Radio Station (http://kccu.org/). It was about 2100. Lights were out. I was listening to a jazz piece.

As I listened I thought about who I was. I was a warrior. My father was a soldier. My grandfather was a soldier. I imagined all the times I spent with my grandfather and my dad. I was feeling a bright shining connection to life.  You see I had no idea that my grandfather went to Fort Sill when I joined. It was only when my grandmother told me as I was saying goodbye to her before I left for training that I found out. I thought about that too.

As the jazz piece ended I heard the disk jockey’s reassuring voice about what I had just heard. He said, “That was Wynton Marsalis, “My Father Ellis.” I thought about my Father, my Grandfather and all of my family. I thought about this composer and his father.

I shut of my radio and went to sleep. The Universe seemed very right. I felt love and loved.

By feinsteinphotos (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Wynton Marsalis, “My Father Ellis.”


    1. Ellis Marsalis Jr. – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EllisMarsalisJr.jpg
    2. Wynton Marsalis – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wynton_Marsalis
    3. Fort Sill – http://sill-www.army.mil/ 
    4. Fort Sill – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Sill
    5. 111th Field Artillery – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_Field_Artillery_Regiment
    6. Virginia Army National Guard – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Army_National_Guard
    7. 29th Infantry Division – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)
    8. FIST – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward_observers_in_the_U.S._military
    9. FIST 13F – https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/combat/fire-support-specialist.html 
    10. KCCU Public Radio – http://kccu.org/ 


1. [Salem 66, “Frequency and Urgency” and Meat Puppets, “Up on the Sun”]

1996 Alex Nuttall was thinking about his father, his grandfather and his relationship to them. He thought also about where he was, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. While listening to a Public Radio Broadcast he was given a sign that he was surely in the right place of his life.

Essay by Alex Nuttall, title: My Father Ellis, Original Date: 20180402 – © Alex Nuttall / OgFOMK ArTS 2018 – 2018 – Published .

#OgFOMK #Journal #Prose #AlexNuttall #MyFatherEllis #Father #Grandfather #FortSill #FISTER #13F #Army #Artillery



A Tree Was Planted

6 Apr 2018

© Cristy Johnson Bowen / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Poetry -- "A Tree Was Planted"
A Tree Was Planted -- Cristy Johnson Bowen 

A tree was planted
Promising strength and longevity
The clouds rolled in
Threatening uncertainty and turmoil
The rain fell
Intending to dampen dreams
Lightning lit the sky
Set on piercing tranquility
Thunder roared
Calling on fear and anxiety

A tree was planted
The clouds warned her
The rains fed her
The thunder and lightning stood no chance
She was already grounded
Alive in the storm

A Tree Was Planted -- Photo: Alex Nuttall, Stratford Hall, VA
A Tree Was Planted

Cristy Johnson Bowen writes from the heart with words that befuddle gentlemen and ladies. She can conjure the divine from the rags of life to the riches of civilisation. Here she illustrates a tree that has no fear of the storm because the chaos of the storm is what develops and shapes her!

Photo: Alex Nuttall, Stratford Hall, VA

© Cristy Johnson Bowen / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Poetry -- "A Tree Was Planted"

#OgFOMK #CristyJohnsonBowen #Poetry #Tree



Indefinite Length, Part 4

5. Apr. 2018

KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 4"
KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 4"

The man who sits alone at the second booth on the left just inside the main entrance to Your Friendly Neighborhood Bar & Grille(TM) has sandy-blonde hair, a thick set of matching blonde eyebrows, and an old, beat up pair of transition-lens glasses that still show a bit of gray, unable to fully clear up anymore. He had ordered a coffee, a water, and a slice of key lime pie two and a half hours ago, paid his tab, and refused any offers of refills. The waitresses thought the poor guy had been stood up at first, but as the time ticked by and other patrons emptied out, they began to worry for themselves instead. A trio of them goes to Charlee with their concerns.

"Boss, do you see that man over there at table 2?" asks the short brunette.


"He's been here ALL NIGHT," moans the tall, thin one.


"No, he just had coffee," the short one replies.

"He pay?"

"Yeah, but that was like, a hundred years ago," says the one with the dark, round face. "He's just sitting there."

Charlee takes a longer look at the man. "He mess with anybody?"

The girls look at each other and shrug. "No?" says the short one, her voice rising. "But I mean, it's weird."

Charlee nods. "Ok, I'll keep my eye on him. It's fairly dead in here so if you want to clock out now and leave together, go ahead." The girls agree and walk off, chatting in hushed tones.

Closing time approaches, and as the last barflys settle their tab and the kitchen staff begins to clean up, Charlee walks over to table 2.

"Everything ok for you tonight, sir?"

The man grins. "Doin' good. You free now?"

"Excuse me?"

"Closing up soon, right? Got a minute to chat now that you're not busy?"

Charlee blinks. "Do I know you?"

"Oh sure," the man replies, extending his hand for Charlee to shake. "Johnny, Johnny Facenda."

Charlee's hand raises of its own accord. They shake hands, and Charlee sits opposite him in the booth. The world shrinks around them, the single pendant light hanging above the table is the only lumination in the galaxy now, and a low hum drowns out all other sound, and thought, and reason.

You know this man.

Indefinite Length, Part 4 -- Kim Breeding-Mercer
Indefinite Length, Part 4 -- Kim Breeding-Mercer

Kim Breeding-Mercer has lit up the sky now with the 4th part of her series: "Indefinite Length." Charlee meets with the mysterious man and we still don't know too much about Charlee but we know Charlee is all business. Now a mysterious man has entered the bar. You know the bar, The local bar.

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 4"

#OgFOMK #KimBreedingMercer #IndefiniteLength #IDP #Fiction #streamofconsciousness



FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

4. April. 2018

Hard Times Skate Shop, Toney Herndon Interviewed by WVEC 13
Hard Times Skate Shop, Toney Herndon Interviewed by WVEC 13

Help, HELP, Help!!!  Emergency, EMERGENCY! Your assistance is required IMMEDIATELY.  URGENT.  OK, not really, but I’d really appreciate your help.  It’s been a while, so I’ll reintroduce myself.

Hard Times Skate Shop, Toney Herndon Interviewed by WVEC 13
Hard Times Skate Shop, Toney Herndon Interviewed by WVEC 13

I’m Toney Herndon, owner of Hard Times Skate Shop, located in Portsmouth, VA, Google us.

Recently we entered FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, and we could use your help with some votes.  In case you’re not familiar with Hard Times Skate Shop, here’s a quick run-down.  We’re like a quick escape from the up, and downs of everyday life.

Hard Times Skate Shop, Toney Herndon Interviewed by WVEC 13
Hard Times Skate Shop, Toney Herndon Interviewed by WVEC 13 

We offer the latest skateboard necessities, apparel, and footwear from some of the most respected brands in skateboarding.  With simple objects, like a plank of wood, a set of metal trucks, and four plastic wheels, we’re able to teleport you from the stresses of everyday life.  It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, or just looking for a new challenge.  We’re here to help you along the way.

Hard Times is retail therapy for thrill seekers, in search of something more than just your typical shopping experience.  We are actively involved in our community and our atmosphere is easy going.  Our number one priority is to make sure all experiences are positive and happy.  HURRY UP, go vote now at:

Last day to submit votes is April 4, 2018 at midnight..  

Thanks, for the love,


Toney Herndon was featured in a local business article about another business: http://www.13newsnow.com/mobile/article/news/local/small-business-gets-big-boost-in-portsmouth/291-535301644

(We had the video here but the ad automatically started the commercial so it was removed. --Ed.)

Toney Herndon is working very hard to keep the Afton Square Shopping Area and Portsmouth in a positive lifestyle with edge. His skateshop offers all the services you'd expect but his business also hosts artists, events and networking. Hit the link above and vote for his business to get this grant. Toney will invest it in the area and Portsmouth will benefit!

© Toney Herndon / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - THE WHATEVER SERIES - NUMBER OF SERIES - "Hard Tmes Skate Shop/ FedEx Small Business Grant Contest"

#OgFOMK #ToneyHerndon #HardTimes #SkateShop #Business #Grant


Making the Publishing Leap

04 April 2018

My first book was “Cordwood”, brought out by 22 Press in 1985. Shortly after publishing my book, 22 Press folded, the publisher ran off with his secretary, and I started getting calls from the publisher’s wife, other 22 Press authors, and 22 Press creditors, all wanting to know if I had any idea of where he could have run off to. “Cordwood” was instantly out of print. An exciting first book debut.

My second book – more of a chapbook, actually – was “Sciences, Social”, 1995, from Palanquin Books, then an imprint of the University of South Carolina at Aiken Press. I suspect the University press is still there, but Palanquin Books most likely has evaporated. Nonetheless, there is at least one copy of “Sciences Social” on sale at Amazon, at twice its original asking price.

I took a while off. I had published perhaps 700 poems and stories in places like “The Iowa Review”, “The Alaska Quarterly Review”, “The Altadena Review” and many, many other venues. It was time to reflect.

When I came back in 2009, the world had changed. Now there was the Internet. MFA programs had exploded – even the local University had one. There were still print publications, but webzines had taken the place of the mimeograph collections, and some of the off-set print efforts, I had been part of before. Whether or not it was read, you could now publish your work in a venue that, theoretically, was available to a billion readers – instantly. E-books were beginning to come into vogue.

As an aside, my two latest published fiction pieces have in the last few days come out in “Tuck Magazine” and “Spank the Carp”:

Be one of the billion.

After re-inserting myself into the fast-moving literary world, I began to think about doing another book. I wanted to bring out my first collection of mini-fictions, “Constant Animals”. I started looking at the small presses, but I noticed more of them in this modern world were charging reading or contest fees, and that many of the published authors were coming out of the MFA production line. I sent out some trial balloons that slapped my checking account and which fell with a thunderous disapproval at my feet. I felt I had a publishing resume that would indicate a favorable outcome for a book launch, but I was not finding like-minded publishers.

I thought about it and said maybe I should be doing my own e-book. This is when I found the generational divide. My older writer friends, from the pre-1995 days, said, “Eck, vanity publishing”; my younger writer friends, post-2009, said, “Sure, why not?”

I felt I was on solid ground. Of the 42 stories in “Constant Animals”, 39 had been previously published, and one had been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Unlike a novelist publishing his own work, my stories and poems got to roam about the literary world as individuals, providing me feedback about their efficacy.

The high days of vanity publishing entailed sending your manuscript and check off to a “publisher” who would print X copies of your book, ship them back to you, and you could hand them out to your friends. Self-publishing an e-book, or a print-on-demand (POD) book, seemed more a personal investment in self than a display of ego. Maybe that is the rationale of a revisionist.

So, initially, I did “Constant Animals” as an e-book. After six months or so, I realized that a lot of people wanted physical books, so I went through Amazon and produced a CreateSpace book.

It was surprising to me when I found that many authors were doing this. And that many presses were fronts for collections of writers who were using the press to bring out their own books.

So, I came up with Barking Moose Press: www.barkingmoosepress.com. I manage my current four books through the LLC:

  • “Constant Animals”, mini-fictions
  • “The Book of Robot”, speculative poetry
  • “Victims of a Failed Civics”, speculative poetry
  • “Avenging Cartography”, mini-fictions

Since the books are carried by the distributors Ingram, and Baker and Taylor, they can be bought on just about any bookselling website, can be ordered at most bookstores, and are carried in my local area by two independent bookstores.

I control the type, I control the proofreading, I control the covers. The dream of a megalomaniac.

If you want the specifics surrounding the actual mechanics, I can provide that in another column at a later time.

“Avenging Cartography”, mini-fictions
“Avenging Cartography”, mini-fictions

“Constant Animals”, mini-fictions
“Constant Animals”, mini-fictions

 “The Book of Robot”, speculative poetry
 “The Book of Robot”, speculative poetry

“Victims of a Failed Civics”, speculative poetry
“Victims of a Failed Civics”, speculative poetry

Ken Poyner has been writing for many effing years. Here he lays on the ways and means of his literary success. Like a bull he pushes through with his works and he is unlike that bull able to share with us what his experience is like. He does readings, workshops and enjoys sharing his work. As far as the business goes he is learning like the rest of us. He toils. He farms. He produces. We thank him for his service!

© Ken Poyner / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved.

#OgFOMK #KenPoyner #Publishing #Selfpublishing #NonFiction #Books



Two Poems, Tax and Publishing

31 March 2018

Two of my poems, “How Assumption Defeated the Unisex Invaders” and “New Planet Landscape 7” are now out in “Star*Line” 41.1, and my Rhysling nominated poem “Maintenance Call” is out in the “2018 Rhysling Anthology”, the collection of poems nominated as the best SF offerings of 2017. Both are available from The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association at www.sfpoetry.com. Both paperback and PDF are offered.

On a funny side note, my tax preparer finished our taxes and noted that a loss from Barking Moose Press (yes, I did have sales, but I also had business expenses, web expenses, and the cost of producing “Avenging Cartography”) helped to reduce my tax bite. The way she put it: “smart, to be able to deduct the cost of your hobby”. Oh, yes. And I made money on my poetry/fiction individual items side, so, with the loss with Barking Moose Press, that income got wiped out for tax purposes, and I came out ahead in ways. Well, I had decided sales were not good enough for me to press ahead with another collection of fiction, tentatively “The Revenge of the House Hurlers”, but, heck, I might do it as a write-off.

What has really most impressed me with publishing and pushing my own books is that everyone wants you to pay them to do their work. A number of independent bookstores have offered to stock my books if I pay a monthly stocking fee. They have a published policy for how they ‘promote’ independent authors – one lists $30.00 to keep two copies of one book on the shelf for one month, and they keep their 40% of cover price if any actually sell. Organizations have offered to push my books for several hundred dollars up front. It is all very cookie-cutter. I was na├»ve. So many venues that loudly claim to be for the independent author or market seem to come at you with their hand out looking for greasing up front. Quality or reputation do not matter, just credit card number.

So, when you read about an institution or venue that supports the independent author or artist, check closely to see whether their definition of independent means willing to pay to play.

And “Constant Animals”, my first self-publishing effort, has broken beyond even, earning back production and advertising costs. The other three keep me from moving entirely into profitability, but that could be achieved in 2018 if I do not do “The Revenge of the House Hurlers” -- but it looks like I might do it and take the deduction. Still deciding.

By the way, I was paid for all three poems above – not much, but there were no reading fees, and funds based on number of lines in each were sent through PayPal to my account. I’d have to look it up, but I think all three netted me about $28.00 combined. Luckily, I have government retirement, social security, and IRA to pay the rent.

Photo by Linus Sandvide.
Photo by Linus Sandvide.
Photo by Linus Sandvide.

Ken Poyner sends out a great email newsletter about his progress and life in general as a published, self published and manager of publishing, poet and author. We've had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife in person and we enjoyed every minute. His writing is just as natural too. Please share this and let's encourage Ken to share some more too!

© Ken Poyner / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved."Two Poems, Tax and Publishing"

#OgFOMK #KenPoyner #Publishing #RecentOfferings #Poetry #Taxes