The Kinder Muse Newsletter For August 2017

** Just curious how YOUR muse is treating you. Mine has been on vacation and promises to return shortly. I'm holding Her to it. That said, I have had a few short stories and poems publised, worked on some poems, finished Sisterhood of the Blood Moon, and have written about five chapters each on Beacon Lights of Ranat and All Those Years in Orbit, complete with a long list of notes. It's those SEO articles, I tell you! Sozar!

Enough about me . . .
This month's newsletter has a guest article and poem by Tyree Campbell, a poem by YT, and a variety of other assorted announcements and updates. And yes, I'm focusing on returning to monthly newsletters again due to several people saying they missed receiving them! Without further ado, let's launch the festivities with that guest article.

Lakeside Chat:
It Just Ain’t That Easy
By Tyree Campbell

A man showed up on our deck a couple days ago.  Said he was a carpenter.  Wanted to know if we needed anything repaired.  The railing for the stairs leading down from the deck needed to be replaced.  But the man didn’t even have a pair of work gloves.  He pulled a pair of pliers from his back pocket and asked if he could get to work.

Our sound system has been going on the fritz lately, so I scanned the Work Wanted in the Want Ads for someone who could repair it or install replacements.  Fellow answered the phone.  Said he could do that.  I asked him about setting the bass and treble properly, and got no reply.  I wanted to know if he could check out the woofers and tweeters, and he got very huffy and said he was a sound technician, not a veterinarian.

At the post office the other day I wanted to mail a book to Scotland.  It was in a bubble mailer, with the address and return address clearly labeled.  The postal clerk looked for Scotland on her stamp machine and couldn’t find it.  I suggested she try the United Kingdom—sigh . . . which was the bottom line of the address on the mailer.  The UK, she found.  So far, so good.  Then she said there was a PS Form 2976 that needed to be filled out.  I pointed to it, lying beside the mailer.  She said, “Oh, so that’s what it looks like.”  She examined the way I had filled it out, then noted that the version of the form itself was July 2013.  “It’s not the current form,” she said.  I suggested that maybe she should check.  She did, and [chagrined] allowed as how it was the current form.  Then she looked at the form as if she did not know what to do with it.  I refrained from making the obvious suggestion, and instead instructed her to tear off the selvage, set the top sheet aside for
admin use, peel the back off the carbon copy, place it so the left-hand side is on the mailer just so, press down on it so that it sticks to the mailer, tear off the right-hand side, date-stamp both sides and the admin sheet, and give me the right-hand side for my records.  She got snotty at that point [she’s a postal clerk, so what took her so long?] and said, “Don’t get huffy with me.  I’m a fully-trained postal clerk.”  [I didn’t doubt her].

Did I mention I’m a publisher and editor?  Yeah, and I’m a damn good writer, too.  Got this submission in the other night.  Horror story.  Author said he was a new writer, wanted me to consider his story for Disturbed Digest.  Among other things, he had:

someone riding a stationery bicicle for exercise.

a bit of dialogue that read:  “Well how are you John?”

a character whose curiousty was peaked.

a dog with it’s tale wagging.

At this point, I stopped reading.  I didn’t even start the second page.  I e-mailed back and told him I was declining his story because of improperly used words, failure to set off direct address with commas, and punctuation problems.  I intimated that it was not my job to spell/use his words correctly, or to use correct punctuation.  I suggested that he go over his story a few times to [try to] catch and correct these deficiencies—hay, wee awl makes misteaks—rather than submit the first draft.

Naturally, he wrote back and told me—among other things—that I was just “prejidiced against begining writers.

Now, I have to admit that the first two scenes are fiction, while the one at the post office is only slightly embellished.  But the moral of all this is:  If you’re going to build a story, make sure you have the right effing tools.

Additional:  For the record, as an editor I want writers to succeed.  I’ll even help you, if I can [but I won’t write your story for you].  If you write a good story, then I have something to publish, and maybe make us both a bit of dosh.  If you don’t succeed, I can’t.  So I’m on your side.  But I won’t publish shash.  So check your tool box, and follow the instructions for each tool.


If you'd like to share a poem for the next newsletter, please let me know. Reprints are fine as this is for the love!

Watch Me

by Tyree Campbell

He forbids me to write

My stories of horror

He fears my words of passion

May excite others toward me

I'm a wife, not a writer.

He says.

Watch me, I say, when he is gone.

He forbids me to think

He forbids me to dream

Watch me think.

Watch me dream.


Downsizing for a Move
By Terrie Leigh Relf

"It's just stuff," as the saying goes,
and it's not like I was planning to return.
"Downsizing for a move," I told neighbors, friends,
and that's the truth more or less.

It's not like I'm planning to return,
so stop by and take anything you like.
The truth? Would you prefer more or less?
Just a single carry-through bag is allowed.

Please stop by and take anything you like,
and I hope you'll choose the books and zines.
Since they just allow a single carry-through bag,
I had to leave my rather extensive library behind.

I hope you chose the books and zines,
as I treasured those during my time on earth.
I didn't want to leave my library behind,
or those translation notes from my native tongues.

I treasured much from my time on earth,
especially walking beneath that solitary moon.
Those translation notes from my native tongues?
Perhaps, with time, you'll be able to decipher them . . .

Yes, I'll miss walking beneath your moon at night,
as my planet's five all vie for our attention.
In time, perhaps, you'll decipher the meaning
of all the encrypted data pouring in from ours.

Since my planet's five moons vie for my attention,
"Downsizing for a move," I told neighbors, friends.
All the encrypted data pouring in from our system?
It's just stuff—or is it?— as the saying goes.


I haven't had any new interviews to post for quite some time. If you'd like to be interviewed for this series, please send me an email! Meanwhile, there are quite a few intriguing artists, poets, and fiction writers that have already shared their experience, including tips for writers. Just click on this link ( and be transported . . .


Would love to have you join us! This coaching call is part discussion, part creative problem-solving, and part secret ingredient X. Just click here ( to learn more.


If you live in San Diego, it would be awesome if you could join us live and in person for this weekly event. For those of you on the OBWNG list, you should be receiving semi-regular email reminders. Click here ( now to learn where, when, and all that good stuff.


For those of you that regularly submit drabbles, you're probably aware that the current contests are now closed. I'm currently in the process of reading entries for the ninth contest, themed "Adventures in Plumbing," ( as well as the first special drabble contest  "Alien Bedtime Stories." (

Be sure to keep your eye stalks focused on your satellite feed and "The View from the Lake" ( monthly newsletter for winners, publication dates, and the next drabble themes! I'm always open to hear ideas for themes, so enjoy brainstorming these with your fellow drabblers.

If you're wondering what a drabble is, you can read the guidelines along with my article, "You Know You Want to Write Drabbles - Here's How!" (


Alban Lake Publishing (  has just released its catalogue! That's right. Since I can't include an attachment to these newsletters (Or can I?), I'll be sending them out individually to the awesome people on my newsletter lists as well as drabble submitters. You can also request one yesterday via email.

I would love to post your exciting news here, so please send a written, rather than a telepathic, message. In case you were wondering, your accolades and accomplishments inspire us!


Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can ** update your preferences (*|UPDATE_PROFILE|*)
or ** unsubscribe from this list (*|UNSUB|*)