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 naïve. 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



Hog Barns = Hog Wash!

30. Mar. 2018


Dutch firm prepares to open hog facility (29 Mar 18)

Given that the definition of accommodate is not only to provide "a place to stay and sleep" but also "what is needed or wanted", it is quite the stretch to use it to describe the conditions the 2,600 boars  imprisoned in the Topigs Norsvin hog facility will endure.  No doubt they will be subjected to the same extreme confinement experienced by their female counter parts.  How else would you keep that many intact males under one roof from fighting?  Just by doing simple math alone, if every inch of the 52,000 square foot factory farm was dedicated to housing, that would mean each boar is allotted all of 20 square feet to live out his life.  This is not much larger than a sow stall.

Why are we investing in a method of production that is not only cruel, but is inefficient, responsible for environmental degradation and species extinction and has huge impacts on human health?  The short answer is that a few will benefit to the detriment of many.  The future of food for a burgeoning human population that seems incapable of controlling its numbers lies not in animal agriculture, but in plant-based protein and clean, lab-grown meat.  

The Topigs Norsvin facility comprises 52,000 square feet and is scheduled to open by July. 

The Winnipeg Free Press (AKA #Freep) writes about a new hog facility that will breed boars and genetically engineer  them for the consumption of meat eaters around the world. Debbie Wall calls Hogwash on this as this factory farming only hurts humanity in the long run. In the short run its just to get a few perks for a few jerks. 

© Debbie Wall / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Square Peg  - "Hog Barns = Hog Wash! "

#OgFOMK #DebbieWall #HogFarming #Meat #Vegan #Winnipeg #Manitoba



Indefinite Length, Part 3

27. Mar. 2018

Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 3
Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 3

Indefinite Length, Part 3

Charlee left the apartment at dawn, like always. A light fog sat above the ground, turning the neighborhood into the graveyard set for a horror film. Charlee was the only zombie shambling about at that hour, smoking a cigarette and coughing. Blow smoke into the fog. How many particles in that mist are someone else's secondhand smoke? Sneezes? Car exhaust? Inhale, the molecules from the last billion years, stardust and orange rinds and afterbirth now mix with your blood. You are one with everything and apart from yourself, trying to see several yards ahead so you don't step in dog shit. Inhale that, too.

Charlee unlocks the door of Your Friendly Neighborhood Bar & Grille(TM) and goes about the process of readying it for the day's business. First to arrive, last to leave, with a few fifteen-minute breaks sprinkled in between the rushes, the life of a restaurateur is marked by sleep deprivation and usually a few vices, but other than the occasional smoke, Charlee kept clean. Kept hidden. The long hours keep the body and mind busy, and less sleep means fewer dreams.

The most popular meal ordered today is the boneless chicken wing platter with jalapeño slaw and steak fries. Charlee is always struck with a mix of bemusement and despair by the child-like appetites of grown folk. Charlee does not eat steak fries. Charlee prefers meat with the bones intact. The smell of the fryer and fresh peppers and the shouts of the line cooks and the clinking of glasses and the laughter of the teenage wait staff and the screaming babies customers drag in and the sports blaring from the TVs over the bar overwhelm the senses and Charlee's mind is blank. This is the perfect state, this is autopilot, this is instinct-only action and reaction.

This state is upset by the arrival of a man at nine o'clock, table for one, please, who is prepared to wait around until closing time to talk to Charlee.

  Indefinite Length, Part 3 -- Kim Breeding-Mercer
Indefinite Length, Part 3 -- Kim Breeding-Mercer

IN WHICH: Charlee is always struck with a mix of bemusement and despair by the child-like appetites of grown folk.

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 3"

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



Indefinite Length, Part 2

9. Mar. 2018

Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 1
Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 2

Indefinite Length, Part 2

Fever dreams are part of the healing process. You know this even as you complain aloud in the darkness about having to wipe sweat off your chest, and getting back into bed to lay in a coolish puddle. Elevated body temperature is proof that your cellular soldiers are on patrol. War zone wet sheets and now you're awake, remembering the dream, mind casting about for proof of which parts actually happened.

Metaphorically, of course. You're convinced you learned something.

It always starts at your parents' house, you're always back home, they are working in the garden together and the sun is shining. Maybe the dog is there, maybe another dog you don't recognize. Maybe the backyard is full of relatives. Your bike is in the garage. No one has died, divorced, moved away, except you. Your boss from two jobs ago is in the kitchen, and your ex from three relationships ago is suddenly there and grabs your hand to escape from some nameless threat. (That threat would be your cold virus, but you don't have a cold now, not here.) You run and the house becomes a great wooden sailing ship at sea, you're on the deck, and the wind is steady. Crowds of people mill about dressed like summer tourists and your ex is now from only one relationship ago. You have a sense that something is expected of you, but your only impulse is to keep moving.

Night has fallen and you are walking through a parking lot, in a city you don't recognize. A distant fast food sign shines high above the scene, like a plastic moon, and a group of older kids (some multi-ethnic gang from an 80's dystopian future movie; man, their clothes are crazy) are trying to play basketball across the tops of empty cars. You understand that they would kill you for invading their territory but the buildings around the lot are close and tall and you can't see a way out. You have a children's book with you, and decide to sit and read it, but the pages scribble themselves until everything is a tangle of black and purple lines, red crayon, and typewriter mistakes. The kids have seen you now, and pull knives on you, so you read the book to them.

On the other side of the parking lot, your (dead) father watches, and he is young and un-handicapped. That is when you know you are dreaming. That is when the fever breaks.

Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 2
Kim Breeding-Mercer - Indefinite Length, Part 2

IN WHICH: On the other side of the parking lot, your (dead) father watches, and he is young and un-handicapped.

© KIM BREEDING-MERCER / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - "Indefinite Length, Part 2"

#OgFOMK #KimBreedingMercer #IndefiniteLength #IDP1 #IDP2 #Fiction



Predatory Garage

07. Mar. 2018

The first obstacle to attending the Norfolk Public Library Local Authors Fair was parking in the Main Street Garage.  We pulled in that Saturday morning around 9:30. The garage has a system which works by a driver pressing a green button, a device then ejects a time and date stamped ticket, the restraining arm goes up, and the driver can go in.

What I did not know is that there is a time limit to this.  If you press the button, and the ticket spits out, you must take the ticket within a limited number of seconds, or the restraining gate will not rise.

I was not fast enough.  But I did not know you could simply repeat the ritual, retain the second ticket, and – if you were quick enough – be rewarded with the rise of the restraining arm.

I saw an attendant and flagged her, whereupon she motioned and went the other way.  I sat waiting for about two minutes, then engaged the horn on my stunningly loud Ford Focus.  Quickly, the attendant appeared, repressed the button, took the ticket and handed it to me, the restraint rose, and I was able to enter the garage.

The Main Street Garage was not through with me, however.

Later that evening, upon exit, I could not reach the exit slot into which I had to enter my ticket to leave.  It seems most of the various slots on the exit machinery are designed to be operated from monster trucks.  The obvious solution is to stop well back of the machine, walk up, conclude business, watch the arm rise, get back in the nearby car and drive through. 

The exit designers had anticipated this.  The machinery will not work unless the car is pulled up parallel to the device, as monitored by a sensor in the pavement alongside the exit automaton.

So, my wife exited the car, I pulled up, she squeezed between the car and the leering machinery, placed the ticket – which had been validated by Norfolk Public Library – into the slot, the gate lifted, I drove through, the wife joined me on the other side.

Sunday morning, it took me two tries, but I foiled the entrance monitor and got in with relative ease.  The garage, as I would learn later, apparently took notice.

When we attempted to leave, we executed our Saturday method, but when the wife inserted the ticket – which again, had been validated by Norfolk Public Library – the screen showed “Ticket not valid for exit – press help”.  I had a downed gate in front of me, and two other people wanting to exit (did I note that only one exit lane was open?) behind me.  I was trapped.

We hit the help button, which phoned someone, who spoke to us through a speaker, and decided there was something wrong with our ticket.  She advised we talk to the Norfolk Public Library.  Not great advice since I was blocking the only exit from the garage, and traffic was already backing up behind me.  We read her the numbers on the ticket, the time, the date, and offered to pay if she could tell us how much we owed and allow us to ransom our way out of the garage.  She phoned someone else.  That person had us try the ticket again.  Neither of the help people had ever heard of exactly the directions I was getting from the self-satisfied device’s screen.

We conversed for perhaps three minutes, until she asked me what lane I was in, and magically the restraining gate rose, I drove through, retrieved my wife, and we hurtled off into freedom.

We will stay clear of the Main Street Garage.  If we present at the Local Authors Fair next year, we will park at MacArthur Mall, pay the parking ourselves, feel safer.  Being eaten by a parking garage once is quite enough.  We feel lucky not to be sitting there now, ensnarled in the enmity of automation, machinery and concrete.

Ken Poyner - Predatory Garage
Ken Poyner - Predatory Garage

Ken Poyner's - Predatory Garage is about the future, which is now. The future is one where we all need s little coaching into whatever contraption big brother has thought of. Big brother is compassionate and wants to get paid too, just like the rest of us. But big brother hired his little brother who is on crack to engineer the fast paced, stuck on stupid, eschellon of goodness. Ken is letting us know that his journey is perhaps an excuse for automation or a retraction for luddites. What do you think?

See More of Ken Poyner's work at: http://www.barkingmoosepress.com/

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

#OgFOMK #KenPoyner #LocalAuthorsFair #Parking #Norfolk #Tidewater #HamptonRoads



New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!

3 Mar. 2018
By Mykel Board - Bio

New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!
New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!

Question 1: How do they know who is and who isn't?

Question 2: This is a landmark building... once the tallest in North America. Do they have a right to deny entrance only to tourists?

Question 3: How about if the tourist is accompanied by a native?

Mykel Board shows that a sign in New York is getting kind of picky.  Sort of like the sign here in Portsmouth that says: "Swimming Point" and then another sign under it: "No Swimming."

If you've enjoyed his writing here. Look below and check out his books.

© Mykel Board / OgFOMK ArTS -- 2018 All Rights Reserved. - Mykel's Photos - "New York Life... Downtown... Getting picky!"

Hashtags: #OgFOMK #MykelBoard #NewYorkLife #Tourists