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Posts tagged “Tiffany Scandal

Charitable Bizarro Announcements!

We here at Bizarro Central support being supportive, and you can too by reading/writing/buying the following.

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NASTY!

Calling all women who are nasty! Seeking radical non-fiction essays that provide crucial commentary on what it’s like to be a woman today. Bold stories from fierce women who are not ashamed of who they are and what they do. Detailed journeys about coming to terms and embracing your sexuality, your body, yourself. Being so comfortable in your skin, you sometimes strike fear in the hearts of those who do not understand. Tell me a story you think needs to be heard; a story only you can tell. Because space is limited, I’m looking for the strongest piece you’ve got. Submissions are open to any female-identifying person. Queer, trans, and women of color are strongly encouraged to send something in.

This is a charity anthology. 100% of proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Word count: 1000-5000 words
Deadline: August 31st, 2017
Pay: $100 and Contributor Copy (pay can be donated upon authors request)
Submit: tiffanyscandal@gmail.com
Subject Line: Nasty! Anthology

A confirmation email will be sent within a couple of days of receipt. We will then respond to all submissions with a yes or no by September 15th, 2017. If you have not heard from us about what you’ve submitted by September 20th, please contact us.

Projected for a Winter 2017 release date through King Shot Press

…and…

IN THE RIVER, a surprise release from Jeremy Robert Johnson and Lazy Fascist Books. 100% of the first month proceeds being donated to Portland Homeless Family Solutions to aid them in the difficult work of helping families with children find safety and security during times of struggle.

An intensely moving tale of survival and madness along the river’s edge. A father and son fishing lesson become a nightmarish voyage to the sea in this visionary testament to the lengths we will go for those we love.


New Bizarro Author Series Review #29: There’s No Happy Ending by Tiffany Scandal

by J.W. Wargo

Id Says:
…And they lived happily ever afterrrrrrrr!!! Or not. Let’s just say that these two lovebirds have a lot of shit to put of with to get to any ending at all. It’s not exactly the kind of world you think about a future with husbands, wives, kids, white picket fences…etc. in it.

There’s his megabitch mother for starters. A certified Rich Old Fuck and totally against her son getting jiggy with some low-classer he met god knows where. She’ll not see her rearing efforts sullied by a whore-slut the boy’s just met, heaven’s no! She’ll have to take more precautions is all, just like she’s always done for her family.

But perhaps the cranky ROF won’t have much longer to worry about her son’s raging commoner boner. You see it appears the world is sick. It was an old fuck long before we got here, and now our diseases are its diseases. Nothing but rot and ash, rust and bone, tremors and slow, slow death.

If it’s all fucked, done, and over, and you’re truly going out for good, forever, what would you do to die with the one you love?

Ego Says:
I admired Isobel’s seeking to balance her life amid a chaotically crumbling world. She wants Dresden’s love above all else, but is willing to work for total equilibrium in regards to Dresden’s mother, Elise. Though he believes their efforts are futile, she still hopes for some conciliation.

In the inverse, I see Dresden wanting more disorder in his rebellion against his familial norm. Mirroring the outside world, the one he’s been carefully sequestered from all his life, he wants his old life to fall apart. From the moment he chose to move against the grain, he worked to destroy the path behind him.

Both characters are sure of one thing, and one thing only: each other. Their strength lie in the desire to be together. To overcome even the end of the world for those few precious moments when they feel complete and totally satisfied.

Elise only wants what she believes is best for Dresden, which is to survive. Due to her high class status, she has been able to afford the best medical care this apocalyptic future can provide. It’s kept her alive and relatively healthy for over a century. But why would Elise be so opposed to her son’s happiness? There is something more than class division going on here, and methinks the answer is lurking under those bleeding gloves.

Super-Ego Says:
Bittersweet love stories always get you every time. Something about being swept up in waves of emotion ultimately dashed against the rocks and receding into sad memory resonates with the human struggle. Sometimes, the end result is so clearly visible it pains us to open our eyes. Thank the fates that love is blind.

Our protagonist’s struggle is more on the bitter side of things. It feels like a downward spiral. Yet for all her faltering, she stays singularly focused on her choice. It is the need for one last connection with love that keeps Isobel limping forward. Where other’s would have simply given up and lied down among the mountains of gangrenous corpses, she does everything in her power to stay alive, believing he is doing the same.

At first, I believed Dresden’s mother, Elise, to be the antagonist, but as I delved deeper into the text, I realized it seemed the entire world itself was trying to keep the lover’s apart. Every move against Isobel is like a reiteration of the title. It is a warning, a prophecy, and a fate all tied into one.

Ms. Scandal has woven a tightly knit book here, one devoid of extraneous background characters or background story. The sentences are clear and concise, the exposition comes in only when necessary, and the action and emotion carry the plot to a beautiful finale.

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Enjoy the review? Pick up a copy of the book at Amazon!

J.W. Wargo is a writer and author of his own NBAS book, Avoiding Mortimer, a novella that sparked an audiobook, an original soundtrack, and the image of which appears to only the most faithful readers on toasted PB&J sandwiches. You can also read about all the crazy shit he gets into while hitchhiking the world over at Imperial Youth Review.


Flash Fiction Friday: Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears

by Tiffany Scandal

I cradled our baby in my arms. I hummed sweet hymns as she slept against my breast. You walked by the doorway and smiled at me in that way that makes me blush.
We talked about horror movies. How funny they are and how nothing is really scary anymore. We smiled at each other. Our eyes communicated how happy we are. I kissed our baby’s forehead and set her down on the bed. We walked toward each other and just as I could start to feel your breath on my face, you changed. Your skin covered in grey and boils. Your purple lips snarled up and exposed yellow stained shark teeth. You aggressively latched onto me in an embrace and together we flew up toward a ceiling that we could never quite reach. Your nails dug deep into me. I screamed. My back contorted and bones snapped into unnatural positions. Elbows touched behind my back, my head rolled back and I could see our baby crying on the bed beneath us. She looked scared. Terrified. I looked to you and your head started spinning as you screamed. I forced my arms to slowly reach for your face. Your decomposing cheeks in my hands, I looked directly into your eyes as we hovered in the air. I smiled.
“I want all of the chocolate-covered gummy bears. All of them.”

—–

Tiffany Scandal is writer, suicide girl, photographer, and crazy cat lady living in Portland, Oregon. Her fiction has been published in The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, and her first book THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING is part of the 2013 New Bizarro Authors Series.


Show Me Your Shelves: Tiffany Scandal and Michael Kazepis

Check it out, Show Me Your Shelves is featuring a couple for the first time! You know you like it. Tiffany Scandal is part of this year’s NBAS and Michael Kazepis’ debut novel is coming soon from Broken River Books. This is one talented couple. They also look cute together, just don’t let them know. Now dig the interview. It’s a good one.

Who are you two and what role do books play in your lives?

TS: I’m Tiffany Scandal. I’m a writer, Suicide Girl, and photographer. Books were my security blanket growing up. I was a weird kid with a lot of imagination and reading was my go-to for escaping reality. I remember going book shopping with my family, and getting into trouble because I would read the books they thought would last me a week on that same day. Teachers eventually started loaning me literature and by junior high, I was reading college-level material and was usually one of two kids constantly in the library.

While that’s cool to look back on, it was problematic at the time—in high school, I actually got kicked out of the honors program because my vocabulary was “too grandiose” and I was consistently given F-minuses (that shouldn’t be a real grade, right?), all because my teacher didn’t believe that a fifteen year old was capable of writing what I was turning in. No matter—books were there for me, and they didn’t care if I was a snobby little shit or not.

MK: My name is Michael Kazepis. Lately, I’ve been writing weird urban crime books. Being a military brat, fiction had always been this way to combat a loneliness that developed from moving back and forth between continents, never keeping the same people in my life. I started young with my brother’s comic books and Stars and Stripes newspapers, whatever was laying around, and it grew from there. As an adult, I’ve continued to change locations frequently, and whatever survival mechanism compelled me to escape into fiction seems like permanent function now.

What’s interesting (at least to me), considering how much I read, is that I’ve got crippling attention span issues and shouldn’t be able to. People often have to repeat things to me, even when I stare right at them, trying hard to concentrate. Most speech just drifts around me, dissipates. Notepads help a lot when I’m at work and I’ve developed an ace shorthand to keep me sharp. I’m lucky that reading has always been one constant I can lose myself in, narrow the focus a while. Never feels more centered than when I’m in the last stretches of a novel.

Did you guys put your books together when you moved into the same place? How does that work?

TS: Pretty much. Michael has severe OCD when it comes to bookshelf organization. When we recently rearranged furniture in the house, he sat on the floor for a few hours, organizing the books by genre and writer. Not all of his books are here, but if they were, I’m sure there would be lots of duplicates. Dude’s got good taste.

MK: I only brought a messenger bag full of books to Portland, but I’ve learned to prioritize between what I’m reading and what I can’t live without. Luckily for me, Tiffany came ready-made as a partner, so a fine collection was waiting when I moved in. The rest of my books are spread across three cities. It’s just easier to build anew than keep carrying it all around.

What are some of your favorites? Is there a book or books you guys disagree over? One you both really dig?

MK: No particular order—the first three Pynchon novels, HOPSCOTCH, BLOOD MERIDIAN, everything Sam Pink, AMERICAN TABLOID, THE DARK HALF, THE NIGHT GARDENER, WISE BLOOD, everything Cody Goodfellow, REVEREND AMERICA, the Gately stuff in INFINITE JEST. Cameron Pierce’s LOST IN CAT BRAIN LAND had some stories in it that made me feel. Daniel Woodrell’s BAYOU TRILOGY is meaty as fuck. I think my favorite has to be the ten or so loose pages left of my first copy of GRAVITY’S RAINBOW—I got so frustrated at that book the first time I read it that I tore it to pieces, distributing most of its pages across the Indianapolis loop. But for some reason I couldn’t shake that book out of my head, and over the years it’s become the one I revisit most.

Tiffany and I don’t disagree much on books. I suppose I don’t get Sylvia Plath, so maybe that counts. But we like Bolaño’s ANTWERP a lot. We pick books to read to each other. Recently it was ZEROVILLE by Steve Erickson. Now it’s I AM GENGHIS CUM by Violet LeVoit.

TS: My turn already? Jesus. Too many to even know where to start. Uh, EVERYTHING AND NOTHING by Borges is my absolute favorite collection of short stories.  OF LOVE AND OTHER DEMONS by Garcia-Marquez made me cry like a baby. HELL HOUSE, NEUROMANCER, THE SHINING, RAYUELA, THE BELL JAR, WRITTEN ON THE BODY, WISE BLOOD, the SHADOW OF THE WIND series. THE BABY JESUS BUTT PLUG was my gateway book into bizarro fiction. From there I fell in love with ROTTEN LITTLE ANIMALS, TRASHLAND A GO-GO, WE LIVE INSIDE YOU,  PLACENTA OF LOVE, OCEAN OF LARD, TUMOR FRUIT, HAUNT; shit by Cody Goodfellow, Brian Keene, Shane McKenzie, and J David Osborne. I’m sure I’m forgetting to mention a million more books.

Mike and I actually enjoy a lot of books together. Picking up books we’re both excited about and taking turns reading chapters/sections to each other—yeah, we’re gross. We haven’t really disagreed on books, but there have been excerpts I’ve read by Sylvia Plath and Jeanette Winterson that he didn’t seem overly impressed by. So my queer/feminist section may stay relatively untouched by him, which is funny because Michael loves hanging out with lesbians.

MK: That’s true. Lots of my friends happen to be lesbians.

Writers are divas. How do you guys deal with each other when the “writing blues” attack? How do you go about offering support?

MK: Writers are tough to be around. Most times we communicate it’s easy to just imagine actual vomit or shit seeping copiously from our mouths. I’d be afraid to hear my own conversations from a distance. Often with other writers on social media, both professional and not, I find myself wanting to type “shut the fuck up” into the comment sections. I always manage to stop myself, thankfully. But they’re also my people, so it’s love-hate. I’m sure someone feels like that about me.

One way that having a partner who’s also a writer has been beneficial is that over the past six months, she and I have supported each other when pressed with deadlines. You learn that there are some moments to provide someone with space and other moments for bridging that space. It’s also nice when we have time to proofread each other and can immediately point out oversights, shit that on its own takes days or weeks, maybe longer. There’s a scene in my upcoming book that Tiffany actually wrote for me, because I was clueless as to its execution—she was sketching out an example of what I could do with the idea and her version turned out better than what I had tried to do, so I pilfered it.

TS: Ha! Have fun trying to guess which scene that is, I guess. Michael and I are wondering which scene I might get incorrectly credited for. Now, going back to the question, writers are total divas. I was gonna write some witty banter about conversations with writers, but I like Michael’s answer better. So we’ll just go with what he says about puke and shit. As far as our relationship goes, I feel that it helps that we’re both writers. We understand each other pretty well and have been able to navigate proper support based on that. Space, pep talks, forced breaks, coffee refills, food. It’s kind of awesome. I also love that we can bounce ideas off of one another. And when we get stuck on scenes, we tackle them together. I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve both thrown our hands up in defeat over a scene, and the other comes in with a calm voice, asks about set up and goals, and offers a suggestion. We both love seeing the ideas we give each other click and hearing the rapid progression of keys being hammered at immediately afterward.

Okay, so you both have books out there. Tell us about them so we can go buy them.

MK: I get bummed by certain aspects of the writing industry, particularly salesmanship. I was explaining this to David Osborne, who’s publishing me, and he said “Well, tough shit. Go sell your book.” So in as few words as possible—LONG LOST DOG OF IT is Mediterranean neo-noir—an homeless detective in a strange city, a mob enforcer whose last job leaves a witness, an expatriate intent on murdering her unfaithful girlfriend, an assassin with a striking resemblance to the 35th President of the United States. Overlapping lives, etc. I like the logline for Lynch’s INLAND EMPIRE, “a woman in trouble”—this is like that: some people in trouble.

THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING is bizarro horror. A love story at the end of the world. Everything falling apart in the literal way. Dresden and Isobel get separated right around the time things go to shit. Lots of memorable scenes: the ark, the aquarium, the infinite room, the ending. Real simple conflict: Will they find each other again? The situation says, Outlook Not Good. It’s part Y: THE LAST MAN, part ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE. Deathly bleak at times too, but with a real sense of humor about it.

TS:Uh, they’re awesome! My book, THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING, is an apocalyptic love story where two lovers are fighting impossible odds to find each other before the world physically disintegrates into nothing. It’s violent, gory, kind of funny, and heartfelt. People other than my own family seem to really like it. It’s available now through Eraserhead Press in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

Michael wrote a punk-as-fuck crime noir book. LONG LOST DOG OF IT feels like what you’d get if maybe David Lynch directed a Bikini Kill video, but with badass action scenes. The imagery in this book is both haunting and boner-inducing. It’ll be out on both paperback and Kindle through Broken River Books on February 1.

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of Gutmouth and a few other things no one will ever read. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias


The Tea House: Guest Post by Tiffany Scandal

By Tiffany Scandal

bushmills photoToday is brought to you by a bottle of Bushmills and black coffee. Enjoy.

Make art because you fucking love it. Don’t do it for fame. Don’t do it for money. Do it because it feels natural. Do it because sometimes it’s the only thing that makes any fucking sense.

I grew up with a very creative family: musicians, illustrators, seamstresses, builders, photographers, crafting gods . . . you name the art, and I could probably list off a few relatives who did that. It goes without saying, being around so many creative people during my formative years, the desire to make art anchored itself deep. But my family was very practical, and somewhere, I got the dumb notion that I should never grow up to be an artist.

What a crock of shit.

I tried the salaried/benefits/regular-schedule gig for a while and thought I was happy. . . until I was fired. Rattled by the first time ever being let go in my 29 years of existence, I slowly started to realize how much I had lost touch with who I really am. Unemployed and scared shitless, I started writing, painting, drawing, making gaudy crafts, taking photos, and let me tell you, it felt fucking amazing. I could feel the transformation as I would create. I felt heavy weights being lifted from within. My head felt less hazy. I realized that it had been years since I had really done any of those things. I missed it. I was poorer than I had ever been in my life, but I was happy. Truly happy.

I ended up finding a serving job to cover my bills and kept working on my creative stuff. I didn’t create anything for the sake of having it be supplemental income. I was creating shit because I felt that it was the fuel I needed to keep going. Slowly, opportunities started presenting themselves. A local business offered to showcase and sell some of my photography and paintings. I modeled for some photographers and the photos ended up being the cover and a four page spread in a French tattoo magazine. I met an amazing group of writers, editors, and publishers and ended up getting a short story and a book published. All of this happened in the span of a year. It was pretty fucking magical.

Now, don’t let any of this fool you into thinking that I’ve got this figured out. Far from it. But I try to work from the heart and make sure it stays fun, and sometimes, just sometimes, that’s enough. And sometimes it’s even enough for someone else. That part’s more gratifying than any paycheck out there.

If you make art, I salute you. If you’re thinking about making art, kick whatever is stopping you to the curb and get to it. Do it with heart. Do it with a smile on your face. Don’t ever let a paycheck influence your art. Let your art be the influence. Make art because you fucking love it.

___________________
Tiffany Scandal is writer, model, photographer, and crazy cat lady living in Portland, Oregon. Her fiction has been published in The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, and her first book THERE’S NO HAPPY ENDING is part of the 2013 New Bizarro Authors Series.

You can visit her at TiffanyScandalSucks.com.