Call for Submissions Wickedly Abled

•February 13, 2019 • 3 Comments

Wickedly Abled CoverTheme: Dark fantasy and horror by disabled artists featuring disabled protagonists.

Looking for 1,500 to 5,500 words in length short horror and dark fantasy by disabled authors. Paying $10 flat and an eBook copy, plus offering unlimited at-cost print books to authors in the anthology.  Previously unpublished original work preferred, but reprints will be considered if the work is no longer in print or the work is older than ten years in age.

Please let us know if it is a re-print. No simultaneous submissions. We will want exclusive e-publication rights for one year (first publication rights if it’s unpublished).

Please submit it as a .doc or .rtf or .txt document, double spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman or similar, to

Deadline: March 31, 2019

Cover art by Lillian Rose Asterios


Special NaNoWriMo Project with Mom

•November 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

living a lie

So I registered mom’s novel for NaNoWriMo since I am finishing it for her and am the cowriter now. She’d written about 10k of it, so I am picking it up and it’s picking up steam pretty quickly.

Living A Lie is an urban fantasy started by my mother, Carolyn Saulson. It currently stands at 10,000 words. I am going to use NaNoWriMo to complete my mother’s project, as she is in the hospital currently with the final stages of Multiple Myeloma and is a nine year cancer survivor.

Carolyn Saulson biography

Mom Portrait

Carolyn Saulson, mother of Sumiko and Scott Saulson, grandmother to Scott’s daughters Franchesca and Maria and his step-son Josh, is a nine year multiple myeloma survivor. She has been a published poet since the 1970s, and has already released a comic book with portions of the first and second chapters of Living a Lie, illustrated by her daughter Sumiko Saulson. It is available online. Carolyn is a founding member of Iconoclast Productions, a multimedia arts non-profit dedicated to the creation and promotion of multimedia art by African American, African Diaspora, and disabled artists. She cofounded the African American Multimedia Conference and the San Francisco Black Film Festival. She is a proud member of WryCrips Disabled Women’s Theater, and Ladies of Literature. She has a band. Stagefright, with her family, and she produced a public access television show of the same name for more than 20 years.

Synopsis of Living a Lie

Randolph Cavanaugh isn’t who he seems. Tall, slim, pale, blond haired and blue eyed, he seems to the world an upwardly mobile Anglo-Saxon gentleman in his early to mid thirties. Well to do, educated… and engaged to Marjorie Anderson, a prominent Bay Area socialite whose Republican father owns a hotel chain.

Everything is going his way. But it could all fall apart now.

You see, Randolph isn’t even his name, and he’s been living a lie for over a decade now.

Who is he, really? The well off lawyer he convinced his fiancée’s parents he was, or the local actor who rolled off the Berkeley Repertoire scene ten years ago and decided to use his theatrical skill and abilities to hide everything about him – his heritage, his parentage, his education, his political beliefs, his abilities… even his name!

The closest he’d ever been to Boalt Hall of Law at UC Berkeley was that summer he was performing as Portia/Baltazar in a local performance of The Merchant of Venice at Zellerbach Hall. He wasn’t anything he said he was.

He wasn’t even really white.

But a “talent” he’d inherited from his mother made it entirely possible for him to deceive the most skeptical of persons. It was a form of telepathy… not magic at all, but a kind of mutation that allowed him to not only read minds, but deceive them, putting on everything from minor glamorous to major Jedi mind tricks. That’s how he’d managed to impress the young heiress and her parents who lived high on the hills looking down upon Berkeley.

But that was all about to fall apart… or was it?

He was getting ready to reunite with his mother, Amelia Ambrose. Also blessed with this particular talent, she’d used it in honest ways, to lift herself up out of poverty and homelessness, and pursue a reunion with her long-lost son, James, who’d she been forced to give up for adoption when she was a teenage girl. That was his birthname, James – but he hadn’t been Jimmy since he was two years old. He hadn’t heard from his mom since he was thirteen.

Unlike Randolph, she was a real attorney now, with a law practice he might become a part of if he played his cards right. But how could he do that without tipping his hands to Sarah’s parents? They would flip out if they found out that his mom was half black and he was a Democrat getting ready to go to work for a well-know civil rights defending legal practice alongside his idealistic mother.

Maybe he would have to continue to live a double life after all, just hold onto this subterfuge for a little bit longer.

Happy Halloween!

•October 31, 2018 • 1 Comment

DeathAngel Halloween

Death, Loss, Spit and Pathos

•October 25, 2018 • 12 Comments

Today is October 25, and despite the odds against it, my mother is still here. Her kidneys are still functioning. Her respiration is improving. She spends most of the day watching television. She makes eye contact. She occasionally tries to vocalize. She is a nine year multiple myeloma survivor as of August 10, 2018. We have gone from More Birthdays and celebrating her living on another year to celebrating in tiny increments.

So I sit here and plan on another Halloween with my mother.

I remember my mom was present at the book release for The Void Between Emotions, which turned into a wake and remembrance for Greg Hug, who died a month before the release party.

This is a picture of Greg Hug from Valentine’s 2017 at Wicked Grounds, along with the painting I did for “Spit and Pathos” after I altered it with Photoshop. The original sits on my kitchen table. I tried to capture the haunted look Greg had in his eyes near the end of his life. A lot of the poetry in the book, most of it, is directly or indirectly about Greg and processing the loss. The stories I wrote were written just before and during the wake of (following) Greg’s death May 26, 2017.

Many of them were for the “Next Great Horror Writer” contest. Others are stories I wrote for other contests and anthologies that were released, like “Balm of Brackish Water,” which was released immediately after I read it for the Afrosurrealist Contest outside of the ProArts Gallery.

There are also award-winning essays from 2016-2017, including one about Toni Morrison’s relationship to the horror genre, and one I won a Reframing the Other contest for at BCC about when one first realizes they are “other” – reframing other from the view of the othered person and focusing on how becoming aware of otherness changes ones self image.

The book release is at Octopus Salon at 5pm on Friday November 9 and I hope some of you can make it. I am, of course, nervous about my mom’s health. I am worried about how she will be doing on that day and if she will even be here. We live day to day here, me and the rest of my family. Still, I got her a crow mask. I am dressing up like The Crow from the movie, and she can dress as the spirit animal on Eric Draven’s shoulder.

Since my mom’s health declined, I have become very isolated. People don’t know what to say, so they avoid you. They pick fights for no reason, and babble stupidly about how they don’t know how to handle death -and that’s why they have abandoned you when you are facing the wane of your mother’s glorious and vibrant life. Afraid of their own mortality, they demand you remain positive and are eternally insensitive. And you stop complaining. You stop asking for help that won’t come. You retreat, and spend days sitting by your mom’s bedside, coming up with ways to make the inevitability of death less difficult to face.

So you put snap chat filters over your silent mother’s face. You plan to join Halloween Festivities at the hospital. You Thank God for small things, like Mom making lazy eye contact these days, or larger ones, like rescuing mom from the Kevorkians over at Summit (even though you know that there are some who will argue with you that your mom’s quality of life isn’t worth having. You ignore those…)

Mom mostly watches television these days.

And she sleeps.

Horror Bites: Campfire Tales from Press

•October 22, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Pick up this great read from the Next Great Horror Writers Contest authors for just 99 Cents!

Horror Bites:
Campfire Tales
New Reading
Only .99 cents!

Dear Reader,

You’ve been invited to a very special night of Campfire Tales, hosted by Meet us at Old Bear Creek, just past Dead Man’s Curve. Dress warm. We’ll be waiting.

Four scary tales told by Next Great Horror Writer finalists and woven together by a trek through the woods you’ll never forget.

“Cabin Twelve” by Daphne Strasert
When a camp counselor goes on patrol, she finds an extra cabin in the woods that no one knows about…or do they?

“The Face” by Naching T. Kassa
An ailing mother and her daughter are terrorized by a disembodied face.

“When the Wind Leaves a Whisper” by Jess Landry
Girl Scouts in the 40s experience a frightening occurrence in the woods.

“Goose Meadows” by Harry Husbands
Two friends out drinking at night discover the real horrors of Goose Meadows.

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Scierogenous II: Spotlight on Sumiko Saulson

•September 3, 2018 • 1 Comment

So excited to be a part of this!

Collision of Worlds

Scierogenous2Sumiko SaulsonThe Mysterious State of We-Ness
by Sumiko Saulson
Angelo’s Birth (excerpt)

The medical uses were numerous. The machines monitored your heart rate, your blood pressure, your blood sugar, and put you on life-saving diet and exercise regimes. They adjusted your tastes in food so you no longer craved the salt that raises your blood pressure or the sugar that made your grandmother diabetic. Electronic caregiving We-bots were popular among the elderly and the disabled. They were as sociable as a nurse and as affectionate as a cat. In fact, cat was a popular form for the MediWeBot. Imagine a talking feline who answered the door for you if you weren’t feeling up to walking down the hall? After a while, people started attaching the MediWeBot to their feline or canine companions.

It was not long, of course, before the sexually functional versions of these human-meat-and-silicone-chip bots were created. The erotic…

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About my Mom’s illness

•August 30, 2018 • 2 Comments
(long) (CW/TW illness, cancer, disability)
Mom Portrait
Thank you to everyone who has offered support over the past two to months, as my mother has been seriously ill since July 10. Her condition continues to be very serious, but she is making slow progress with speech and physical therapy and is now able to speak for herself.
She said “home please” and whether she lives or dies, she wants to do it at home. She isn’t able to do things for herself right now. She can hold people’s hands. She can say a few words. She can nod “yes” or shake her head “no.”
Mom Glenna Yvonne
She is starting to touch her face, and hopefully will be able to assist with things like washing her face soon.
She is able to listen to commands and do things like open her mouth to assist with mouth care tooth brushing etc.
She is being fed through a feeding tube that goes directly into her stomach, which requires her to have a clean environment to reduce the risk of chronic infection. She can’t sit up by herself, so she has to have her bed at an angle to reduce the chance of pneumonia. She has chronic pain associated with her bone cancer, multiple myeloma, which makes her physical therapy difficult as she has to have her pain managed.
Her bone cancer made her hip bones turn into swiss cheese, so she fractured a hip. Bone fractures related to her cancer are very painful. Every day we are forced to make a choice between keeping her in pallative care, to make it so she has the best chance of survival, or entering her into hospice care, so she can be comfortable not in as much pain. But hospice care means throwing in the towel and stopping heroic life saving measures.
carolyn sumiko anne chris
This is extremely stressful for everyone in the family, and reducing tension between family members and keeping stress to a minimum is important for us right now.
I will repost this to my blog and you can expect to hear some more candid messages from me about this situation. I appreciate you keeping the prayers up and remaining hopeful. This is the time to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That’s where our family is at right now.

Please keep my family in your prayers and be gentle with us during this difficult time.