Tag Archives: fiction

LAUNCHED: Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands by Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands in Lights
Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands in Lights

It was a beautiful day when Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands stormed into The Battery Cafe.

That’s right!

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton’s Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands has been launched into the æther, where the curious can find her.

Readers joined us there for drinks and treats while the author delivered an enchanting introduction to Girly Muckle and her besties. A delightful time was had by all within earshot.

Problematic Press would like to extend our thanks to The Battery Cafe for hosting us and to the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador for inviting us to Pitch Wars, where we had the good fortune of connecting with the author for this publication.

The author thanks the following organizations for supporting the creation of this work of literature: the Canada Council for the Arts; the City of St. John’s; and, Memorial University’s Writer-in-Residence Program.

She also thanks Alexis Koetting, Marilyn Mackay, Katie Vatour, and Nicole Leona Smith, the artist.


Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands is a queer coming of age novel draped in myth, and it is captivating.

While this novel takes place in a fantastically imagined Newfoundland, it bears a tale that is sure to please selkies residing anywhere.

So, for those residing anywhere, Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands may now be ordered in print here while the Kindle edition can be ordered here.

For readers in St. John’s, NL, we now offer curbside pick-up ordering from our office located downtown. Details can be found at the Square site.

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands on the Shelf

The author and the artist

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton is an author, a playwright, a performer, and an absolute treasure with the voice of a tempest.

Born in North West River and raised in Marystown, her connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador resonate throughout her works.

Her plays are regularly produced across the province, and her previous books include the award-winning They Let Down Baskets (Killick Press), Rants, Riffs and Roars (Creative Book Publishing), and This is the Cat (Creative Book Publishing). Her creative memoir, Love, Life, is forthcoming from Breakwater Books.

Learn more about her at bernistapleton.com.


Nicole Leona Smith is an emerging visual artist who divides her time between Newfoundland and her home in Cambridge, Ontario. Her illustrations are simply delightful.

Until now, she has been best known for her writing and her work in theatre.

She is also drafting her first novel with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Discover more about her at nicoleona.com.


Problematic Press is an independent publisher based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Get the latest news about our growing selection of titles at problematicpress.com.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands – Ordering, Pre-Ordering, Oh My!

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands (front cover)

Girly Muckle can’t wait to meet you!

That’s right!

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton’s Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands is here, alive and well and just waiting for you precious and precocious readers to share in her glee.

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Battery – quiet, peaceful, serene. Then there’s Girly Muckle.

Girly knows the folk living in The Battery have plenty of secrets to keep. She has a few of her own. For starters, she’s a selkie.

Now, a selkie isn’t some cutie-pie creature, so you needn’t imagine a princess of the mermaids here. No.

Along with her besties – an adlet and a shapeling – they are the Queer Hands, a band of young punks with big dreams.

But, when a meddling detective threatens to expose their mythical nature to the world, will the Queer Hands even make it out alive?

While this novel takes place in a fantastically imagined Newfoundland, it bears a tale that is sure to please selkies residing anywhere.

So, for those residing anywhere, Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands may now be ordered in print here while the Kindle edition can be pre-ordered here.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more details to come about the launch of this magical tale.

This is it.

This is lit!

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton and Nicole Leona Smith

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton is an author, a playwright, a performer, and an absolute treasure with the voice of a tempest.

Born in North West River and raised in Marystown, her connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador resonate throughout her works.

Her plays are regularly produced across the province, and her previous books include the award-winning They Let Down Baskets (Killick Press), Rants, Riffs and Roars (Creative Book Publishing), and This is the Cat (Creative Book Publishing). Her memoir, Love, Life, is forthcoming from Breakwater Books.

Learn more about her at bernistapleton.com.

Nicole Leona Smith is an emerging visual artist who divides her time between Newfoundland and her home in Cambridge, Ontario. Her illustrations are simply delightful.

Until now, she has been best known for her writing and her work in theatre.

She is also drafting her first novel with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Discover more about her at nicoleona.com.

Problematic Press is an independent publisher based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

COMING SOON: Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands

Problematic Press is thrilled to reveal that our next publication will be Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands, a novel by Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton with illustrations by Nicole Leona Smith.

Girly Muckle and the Queer Hands

There can be much more to a person than what meets the eye, and Girly Muckle can vouch for that.

She’s not like most other teens. She’s a selkie. And her best friends are an adlet and a shapeling.

Together with her besties, these young punks are the Queer Hands.

This is just the beginning.

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton

Bernardine Ann Teráz Stapleton is an author, a playwright, a performer, and an absolute treasure with the voice of a tempest.

Born in North West River and raised in Marystown, her connections to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador resonate throughout her works.

Her plays are regularly produced across the province, and her previous books include the award-winning They Let Down Baskets (Killick Press), Rants, Riffs and Roars (Creative Book Publishing), and This is the Cat (Creative Book Publishing). Her memoir, Love, Life, is forthcoming from Breakwater Books.

Learn more about her at bernistapleton.com.

Nicole Leona Smith

Nicole Leona Smith is an emerging visual artist who divides her time between Newfoundland and her home in Cambridge, Ontario. Her illustrations are simply delightful.

Until now, she has been best known for her writing and her work in theatre.

She is also drafting her first novel with support from the Ontario Arts Council.

Discover more about her at nicoleona.com.

Nicole and Bernardine

Problematic Press is an independent publisher based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our New Partnership with EBSCO

What’s black and white and read all over?

Problematic Press is pleased to announce we have signed a new partnership with EBSCO Information Services.

Through this new deal, all past and future Problematic Press titles will be easily accessible through libraries all over the globe.

This is because “EBSCO is the leading provider of research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions, e-books and discovery service to libraries of all kinds.”

Curious about EBSCO? Learn more from this short video.

Otherwise, at this stage, Problematic Press can think beyond the local markets, knowing our titles can be read all over. This excites us greatly! That’s a fact.

And, if you’re daring to consider the writerly life for yourself, then allow us to alert you to our present CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS.

Stay tuned for much more from Problematic Press.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Now Accepting Your Submission

PROBLEMATIC PRESS LOGO

Problematic Press is a modest operation with limited resources. Our aim is to publish 1-2 books per year going forward.

Our titles are published as paperbacks and ebooks that are distributed through retailers and libraries both online and around the world.

Problematic Press is pleased to make this call for submissions.

  • Highlighted Details
    • DEADLINE: Open and ongoing, so submit whenever.
    • We are interested in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
    • Final drafts should be 20,000-39,999 words.
    • Responses will be sent to applicants within two months.
    • Read the rest of this post thoroughly to get the details.
    • Find the link to the submission form at the bottom of this post.

We invite pitches from interested authors with titles intended for future publication, generally within the next year or two.

Provided the writing demonstrates exceptional mastery of English, we are open to considering original works from any person residing anywhere within Canada and legally entitled to work and earn income within Canada. However, we very much prefer to work with local creators in the St. John’s region of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. This preference is stated outright.

Understand that any licensing agreement that may result from submitting your pitch represents an investment in you as well as your book. Beyond that, you must maintain a public persona that the publisher is excited to endorse. Liabilities will not be tolerated.

Expect this process to be lengthy, rigorous, and arduous. Our authors and artists thrive when challenged, and they have the dedication and patience required to persevere.

Before and after publication, all authors and artists are encouraged to pursue external funding opportunities, such as federal, provincial, and municipal grants. The timing of such opportunities will have an impact on the timeline of publication. That is understandable, and we are flexible enough to work within such a schedule for our grant-winning authors.

If this sounds thrilling to you, then dare to proceed.

Otherwise, turn back now, saving each of us a lot of time.

"Distant. Yesterday, I believe." - David Reynolds

Problematic Press embodies the way of the MERCANARY™, our trademark sells-word chimæra.

In that spirit, we are excited to receive pitches for book-length works (20,000 words to 39,999 words in length) in a variety of genres.

The key to a winning pitch is that it is high-quality, daring excitement, but — above all — it must be an achievable goal for each of us, from revising to editing to promotion to publication and to promotion again.

Be realistic.

Do you feel up for it?

Do not pitch a series.

Do you have a completed draft of your manuscript?

No?

Turn back now.

Yes?

You may continue.

Do you still feel up for it?

Good.

This is a test.

You are encouraged to come to this well-prepared.

Consider gaining experience and levelling up before you continue.

If you’re still here, you’re doing well.

MERCANARY™ is undergoing a metamorphosis.
MERCANARY™ approves.

What Problematic Press Wants

Problematic Press is only interested in pitches for hitherto unpublished anywhere original works of literature, and we are happy to consider such original works that fall within or near the following areas:

💥 scholarly non-fiction (literature, philosophy, semiotics, arts, humanities);

💥 substantial poetry (as in a collection of poems, a lengthy narrative poem, an epic, etc.);

💥 literary short fiction collections;

💥 sci-fi and fantasy short fiction collections;

💥 genre-bending short fiction collections;

💥 literary novellas;

💥 sci-fi and fantasy novellas;

💥 wuxia action novellas;

💥 retro-present novellas;

💥 retro-future novellas;

💥 pulp-styled space operas as novellas;

💥 cyber-noir detective novellas;

💥 kaiju conflict novellas;

💥 fit-to-print erotic novellas;

💥 genre-bending novellas;

💥 and, high seas adventure novellas.

Remember: do not pitch a series. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, right?

Before completing the submission form linked below, take the time to collect your materials and make this the best pitch that you can muster.

Touch up that draft you have there, think about how to best frame your pitch, dream of the writerly life, and then update your resume (or C.V.).

Your courage has brought you this far. If you feel brave enough to take the next step, then follow the link and scroll past the familiar to find The Form of Your Submission.

Either way, Problematic Press appreciates your interest and wishes you the best of luck with your writing adventure!

Cheers!

David Reynolds, Founder & Publisher

The Epic of the MERCANARY™
The Epic of the MERCANARY™
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From Epic to Labours to Saga: Myth-Making

From Epic to Labours to Saga: Myth-Making

One of the most fascinating aspects of myths in general is how there are so frequently variations of the “same” stories.

I mean this in a few senses, but, primarily, consider, say, the stories of Heracles and Hercules, and, secondarily, consider Joseph Campbell‘s concept of the monomyth. I’ll introduce the tertiary consideration later.

Similarily, “The Labours of the MERCANARY™” will be a reimagining of – in other words, an adaptation of – “The Epic of the MERCANARY™.”

Further, the Labours shall use the exact memeoems from the Epic, just reordered, remixed, re-cut.

And, the Labours will significantly shape the prose of the novel, “The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™.”

The tertiary sense of variations of myths focuses (perhaps) more on interpretation. Roland Barthes engages the rhetoric of myth in his theories on semiotics (how meaning is made, how communication functions, etc.).

An Occam’s razor explanation: consider how the reader/viewer/listener brings with them a whole set of biases, attitudes, values, beliefs, and more when they encounter any communicated expression, and that set determines how they might interpret any message.

These memeoems are meant to explode meaning; they ought to have great variance in how they are read.

The prose of the novel will be clearer than the memeoems, without a doubt, but readers should still expect a great deal of coy obfuscation, ambiguity, and wordplay.

By the time the novel is in print, this whole project will be a strange intermedial loop of potential interpretations of the work as a whole.

Sincerely,
David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Note from the Author on Method

Beware the three of hats.

A Note from the Author on Method

I’d like to tease a few points about this work-in-progress.

These are “The Revelations of the MERCANARY™” …

The nine of cups from which
I shall drink up inspiration.

FIRST REVELATION

I am not mad. While this is a project that plays with themes of identity, psyche, dreams, the supernatural, and more, I assure you that I am deliberately navigating this terrain as reasonably as any writer. Bear with me until it’s in print.

However, I am literally writing a method into what otherwise must appear as complete madness. This leads to the SECOND REVELATION (which is rather lengthy).

SECOND REVELATION

Much is already written. The plot is outlined, and maybe 20% of the rough draft is complete. For the remainder of writing the rough draft, I’m taking inspiration from dadaism.

MERCANARY™ began as a ‘zine, became the trademark of PROBLEMATIC PRESS, sought idolization through OPERATION: MERC(H)ANARY™, transitioned to Instagram for the memeoem epic and labours, and will eventually become a sort of gonzo picaresque novel.

Here is where the method enters the madness.

There are 100 slides in the epic (99 + 1 across two highlight reels). Employing a type of cut-up technique, the first 99 memeoems in the epic will find their way into the novel. Additionally, those 99 memeoems will be used to craft the labours.

Each memeoem consists of three fundamental aspects: audio, imagery, and an original poetic line (or the absence of a line to signal a break).

I have numbered each memeoem in the sequence and noted each of these three aspects for every memeoem.

The notes are cut up as slips. The slips are crumpled into balls. The 99 balls of each aspect will be placed into three of my hats, shaken rigorously, and then allotted. Those 297 balls will be evenly distributed to each of the nine “chapters” of the novel, and this lottery will dictate the memeoems that become the Labours.

The audio shall provide the Soundtrack for each of the “chapters” in the rough draft. I shall make and share playlists for each as writing progresses. I will listen to each on repeat as I write the corresponding “chapter.”

The imagery will provide the Cues for each “chapter,” which I will use as prompts for themes or imagery or some other allusion or reference. These will also be mixed into the labours, meaning the memeoems from the epic shall appear in multiple labours. This is myth-making.

The original poems will provide the A’s. A is for Appreciation. The MERCANARY™ epic is a lengthy appreciation memeoem, hence these are the A’s you are looking for. Since I am the author, these will be directly incorporated into the rough draft. Again, this lottery will help form the labours, so expect a lot of multiplicity in the memeoems.

THIRD REVELATION

I seek to challenge myself with this intermedia-writing project, and I am confident that each prompt will make it into the rough draft.

However, I make no promises as to what gets cut while revising and editing. This ought to be at least somewhat coherent by the time it goes to print.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself, right?

David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

PROBLEMATIC PRESS,
Home of the
MERCANARY™

And, follow this link to find “The Epic of the MERCANARY™,” an epic memeoem sequence.

https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODc3NTYyNTkxNTg5MjE2?igshid=lunktmbjeoo7&story_media_id=2286413994658788281_13522736872

Cheers!

David Reynolds

©2020

PROBLEMATIC PRESS

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE EPIC OF THE MERCANARY™

THE EPIC OF THE MERCANARY™

In the digital age, and within Instagram as a medium, I assert “The Epic of the MERCANARY™” is an epic memeoem.

Specifically, it is an appreciation memeoem sequence that spans 100 slides.

Duration of the experience varies by viewer, but it is at least 25 minutes from start to finish, yet each memeoem is a sort of rabbit hole.

The vast majority feature a “centrepiece” that is clickable back to the source.

Spotify clips are there, too. Tap on any track at the top.

And there is at least one easter egg hidden prominently in the epic. Follow a c(l)ue or two. Tap around. See what happens.

One might get lost if one’s curiosity is piqued.

One might get bored and bail.

One might return, on-demand, and view the epic memeoem preserved as a highlight reel here: @the.mercanary.

“The Epic of the MERCANARY™” is derived from “MERCANARY™: A Zine of Poetry and Adventure,” the zine I published in © 2019.

“The Epic of the MERCANARY™” shall be the foundational text from which “The Labours of the MERCANARY™” are derived.

“The Epic of the MERCANARY™” and “The Labours of the MERCANARY™” shall be the foundational texts from which “The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™” is derived.

Upon completion of the novel, this will be a strange intermedial loop of a MERCANARY™ mythos.

Sincerely,
David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

Follow this link to a 20-30 minute long memeoem sequence, THE EPIC OF THE MERCANARY™:

https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE3ODc3NTYyNTkxNTg5MjE2?igshid=cgkpb9hmw6d6&story_media_id=2286413994658788281_13522736872

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Preliminary Context and Clarity

Preliminary Context and Clarity

Before diving head first into the deep seas of writing (and promoting) this gonzo picaresque novel, I want to provide a little more context about who I am in a clear and distinct voice. My voice. Not the narrator’s.

I’m a child of rural Newfoundland in the ’80s and ’90s, having grown up in Harbour Grace. That’s where I began writing little stories by the time I was 8, certainly. I liked pirates and adventure. I played ninjas with my friends in the woods, as one would. I started writing poetry as a pre-teen. I was already reading Poe and Shakespeare by the time I was 13. I wrote some songs as a teen, but I was mostly writing poetry as a teen.

I didn’t really write anything like that while I was studying at university, pursuing a BA with a double major in Philosophy as well as English language and literature followed by an MPhil in the Humanities. Focus had to shift to an academic voice more thoroughly to succeed. I struggled. Believe me. But, I succeeded, and I published the culmination of my graduate studies.

A common creative outlet that carried over from my teenage years throughout my studies and beyond was playing games – video games as well as pen-n-paper roleplaying games. I created and hosted homebrewed sessions and campaigns for more than 20 years. (The other project I’m working on is a video game: FORTHCOMING, ETA = 2023-ish.)

Before moving on, I want to acknowledge absolutely everyone who has influenced, inspired, or encouraged me along this lengthy and bumpy road. I have too many in mind to name here outright (reading this counts for something, though, if you’re curious who’s on the list), but each of you have my eternal gratitude.

As I get into detailing the writing process for the MERCANARY™ novel, I can appreciate that this is going to seem pretty wild.

Ultimately, keep in mind that this sensible-Dave is still here behind the scenes. I’m a competent writer, I’m schooled in narrative arts, I’ve read McLuhan, and I can appreciate social media as a sort of facade.

I can handle this project.

I got this.

With a little confidence, trust, or faith, this ride goes a lot easier.

Kindly bear with me until this thing sees print.

Sincerely,
David Reynolds
© 2020
PROBLEMATIC PRESS

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,