Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Help Tainted Tea Raise $500

Money goes towards finally paying writers and artists, producing a print magazine, and producing better quality work overall. Click the image to donate via IndieGoGo.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"It isn't a wolf... it's a werewolf!"'ve been a little obsessed with George Waggner's 1941 film The Wolf Man recently since studying Greek, Shakespearean and contemporary tragedies. Until recently, I never knew that the film is actually written in the form of a Greek tragedy.

Lon Cheney, Jr. plays Larry Talbot who is struggling to survive after being cursed, thus turning him into a werewolf. You know the although there may be key elements of the horror genre in Waggner’s The Wolf Man such as his ability to tap into the human psyche, obscuring violent scenes behind the luminous trees and giving only brief glimpses of the frightful werewolf until the very end, in actuality the Universal classic is a tragedy inducing both fear and pity into the audience. What makes this film memorable is that the Wolf Man is, indeed, human.

Good literature, film, etc. make a connection with the audience; even the most obscure can be relatable. In most societies, men are perceived as fearless rogues, so to see a shattered male so vulnerable and scared is refreshing to an audience, reassuring that humans are emotional beings: we starve, we love, we hate, we fear, we pity and we struggle to survive. To see this happening to another being makes it more real and leaves the audience wanting to change their life’s course. And although The Wolf Man may not strive to teach an obvious moral lesson of trusting fellow man, it does tell a great story.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"...And then what happened?"

There's some Internet controversy stirring over some unkind words from a blogger about a panel discussion with Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley, Kat Howard, Joe Hill, Kurt Andersen, and Jeffrey Ford that took place on June 15 at Columbia University.

This post is not about that controversy.

This post is about the panel, which was the most informative and enjoyable experience of both editors' young lives. The editors listened to masters of the craft discuss their favorite subject: fiction.

(From left to right: Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Block, Walter Mosley,
Kat Howard, Joe Hill, Kurt Andersen, Jeffrey Ford.)

Each of the writers is featured in a new anthology, Stories, edited by Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. And unlike most fiction anthologies, there is no theme. The only thing these stories have in common is they all spin a damn good yarn.

To paraphrase Gaiman, fiction is about making the reader turn the page, asking the question "And then what happened?" Everything is about disappearing into a world of fiction.

The panel, moderated by Hill, discussed the blurring line between mainstream and genre fiction.
Hill defined mainstream fiction as "what people are buying."

Gaiman said that genres are useful for giant bookstores and nothing more. There are elements of genre fiction in everything because there is a cultural permeation of everything. Avoiding certain elements of pop culture is unavoidable, he said.

Mosley noted that all the so-called "greats" of literature were once popular. "Mainstream fiction is genre fiction," he said.

Howard said that it's unfair to classify fantasy as just elves and orcs. "Shakespeare wrote fantasy; he wrote to fill butts in seats," she said. He threw in witches and ghosts because it sold tickets, she continued.

One of the questions Hill posed was how did writers, especially those writers who write about vampires and other elements of the fantastic, get over their own sense of disbelief. To which Mosley replied, "I write whatever the fuck I want."

Towards the end, Gaiman spoke about Sturgeon's Law: Ninety eight percent of science fiction is crap, but ninety eight percent of everything is crap. The trick is finding that two percent.

"Fiction is more realistic than non-fiction," Mosley said. "Literature creates images and metaphors that relates to our lives," he said.

(Shane was lucky enough to grab Joe Hill on his way out.)

(Words by Kris Fossett. Images by Shane R. Toogood.)

Afternoon Shorts: "The Keys"

After thirty plus years in the equestrian industry as a Grand Prix Dressage trainer, instructor and competitor, I have hung up my spurs, sold my Swedish Stallion and went back to college to earn my MFA in Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College. My focus and exploration is film making and my genre is experimental and documentary.

On a stormy night, a clap of thunder woke me up and the inspiration for a suspense story was created. I grabbed my trusty camcorder, turned my husband and his friend into actors and the start of the next Alfred Hitchcock is born.

~Suzin Daly

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Monster Movies, Monster Deal!'m not sure how long this deal is going to last, but iTunes is selling the classic monster flicks like Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Wolf Man for $6.99 or you can rent them for $2.99! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." -E.A. Poe

WV Writers, Inc.

Look for exclusive Tainted Tea content at the West Virginia Writers Conference on June 11-13.


  • Established in 1978
  • Held the second weekend in June at Cedar Lakes Conference Center , Ripley, WV
  • Reception
  • Three days of writing workshops
  • People's choice competitions for both Prose and Poetry
  • Writers' Wall writing display and competition
  • Informal discussions
  • Banquet
  • Writing Competition Awards Ceremony
  • Social activities
  • Bookstore
  • Silent Auction
  • Annual business meeting
  • Entertainment.

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