Stranger Will by Caleb J. Ross – Darkness on the wings of fate.

Caleb Ross writes lyrical prose that pulls you into the politics and morality of this story, Stranger Will (Otherworld Publications). For most of us, children are the future, they represent hope and dreams. But in this novel they represent the fated, the already lost. Conspiracies only seem paranoid and insane if they have no base in reality. One of the most compelling images that has stuck with me in this novel, for years now, is the carrier pigeon, message tied to its tiny clawed foot, shot from the sky. The note stuck up on a wall, strings stretching from one place to another, one person to another, tying together layers of deceit, love, and failure. This is a novel you won’t want to put down, and will compel you to check out more work by Caleb Ross. Keep a candle lit to keep away the stench, a light on to force away the dark forces, and a prayer in your heart that none of this comes anywhere near you. Or your children.

In addition to this novel, look for his collection, Charactered Pieces for the Kindle, well worth it. He’s doing an extensive book blog tour for Stranger Will, for all of this information, visit his site, and the tour schedule. He’ll be stopping by my site here in October. Beyond his talent, Caleb is one of the smartest, most giving, and supportive authors I know.

Here is the extensive schedule. Man this guy is GOOD:

Outsider Writers Collective     3/18
Big Other (stop #1)     3/21
Gregory Frye’s Blog     3/22
Thunderdome (stop #1)     3/23
The Velvet Podcast     3/24
HTML Giant     3/26
Thunderdome (stop #2)     3/29
Nik Korpon’s blog     3/30
ArtJerk blog     4/4
Jay Slayton-Joslin’s blog     4/5
st00ge.wordpress.com     4/6
>Kill Author blog     4/7
BULL Men’s Fiction blog     4/8
Matt Bell’s blog     4/13
BL Pawelek’s blog     4/15
Lit Drift     4/18
decomPMagazine blog     4/22
Cannoli Pie     4/23
Stephen Graham Jones’ blog     4/27
Slush Pile Hero (S.S Michaels’ blog)     4/30
Chuck Palahniuk.net     5/1
Publishing Genius blog     5/2
Anthony David Jacques’ blog     5/6
Used Furniture Review (stop #1)     5/8
The Nervous Breakdown     5/10
Gloom Cupboard     5/11
This Blog Will Change Your Life (Ben Tanzer’s blog)     5/16
Used Furniture Review (stop #2)     5/18
C# Redundant (Phil Jourdan’s blog)     5/20
Nathan Tyree’s blog     5/25
Alluringly Short (Erica Mena’s blog)     5/27
No More Hot Lunches for Eddie Socko     5/30
A Bitter Look, Georgina Kamsika’s Writing Journal     6/1
Words for Guns (Matt DeBenedictis’ blog)     6/3
Undie Press     6/8
Sean P. Ferguson’s blog     6/10
Who Hub     6/13
Craig Wallwork’s blog     6/17
Electric Literature, OUTLET blog     6/22
Medialysis (Gordon Highland’s blog)     6/27
Noo Journal     7/1
Pela Via’s blog     7/6
Monkeybicycle     7/8
See Billie Write     7/11
The Write Place (Simon West-Bluford’s blog)     7/15
Tarpaulin Sky     7/20
What to Wear During an Orange Alert     7/25
Ryan W. Bradley’s blog     7/29
Justin Holt’s blog     8/3
Obscuradome (Bob Pastorella’s blog)     8/5
Red Puffin Tobacco (Mlaz Corbier’s blog)     8/8
The Little Sleep (Paul Tremblay’s blog)     8/12
Shome Dasgupta’s Blog     8/17
Power is a State of Mind (Matthew Tuckey’s blog)     8/22
PANK     8/26
Troubadour 21     9/5
mudlucious     9/9
Metazen     9/12
Impose Magazine     9/14
Dark Sky Magazine     9/19
Folded Word     9/23
unRonic (Stephen Krauska’s blog)     9/28
American Typo     10/3
Trick with a Knife     10/7
What Does Not Kill Me (Richard Thomas’ blog)     10/12
Lawn Gnomes in Space (Bradley Sands’ blog)     10/17
Eject! (Jason Kane’s blog)     10/21
Kristin Fouquet’s blog     10/26
Nothing to Say (xTx’s blog)     10/31
Chris Deal’s blog     11/4
Bukowski’s Basement     11/9
Big Other (stop #2)     11/14

Caleb Ross – Charactered Pieces Tour

What a talented guy. Caleb has been an inspiration to me, and he has opened my eyes to the world of fiction, the landscape of journals and presses. I would not have had any success without talented, giving people like Caleb in my corner. I owe him a lot.

His chapbook, Charactered Pieces, is wonderful. I was lucky enough to see many of these in their rough forms, and watch him edit them and polish them up, and send them out into the world. If our novels are our babies, birthed amidst screaming, held in our arms while covered in blood, loved and honored over time, nurtured into well-adjusted adults that we are proud to call our own, then what are our short stories? If novels are love affairs, then I suppose short stories are stolen kisses. Now I’m not implying that I like to kiss Caleb in dark alleys surrounded by cigar smoke and cheap bourbon, but you could do worse. This is a riveting collection, running the gamut of human emotions, so stop being such a prude and go kiss this stranger in a dark alley, repeatedly, and in the morning, don’t call me to say thanks, just pass the whore around to somebody else. He likes it. Like most writers, he’s a masochist.

Caleb Ross

This is a guest post from Caleb J Ross, author of the chapbook Charactered Pieces: stories, as part of his ridiculously named Blog Orgy Tour. Visit his website for a full list of blog stops. Charactered Pieces: stories is currently available from OW Press (or Amazon.com). Visit him at Caleb J. Ross.

I’ve known Richard for a few years. We go back to the beginnings of Write Club, we’ve played in New York and Chicago and will soon, barring a nuke, venture to Denver. Why? To write. Strange how a person will take up travels just enjoy the isolation of pen to paper. Nothing inspires quite like a change of setting.

Chuck Palahniuk credited the visual bank of character references for his penchant for public writing (“Writing in public gives you that access to a junkyard of details all around you”). I’ll buy this. When blocked, but surrounded by people, it takes only a glance upward to see potential. Palahniuk could name specific passages inspired by passing strangers at an airport. The noise doesn’t bother him. Me, I like the quiet. And not that all setting changes must be mimetic—an influx of stimuli is the key—but for me, mimesis helps. When it rains, my characters feel it. I write in the rain a lot. Thus explains why so many of my characters are depressed-going-on-dead.

I’ve got a dream, a strange dream, to take a van cross-country, pulling to the side of the road when the landscape captivates, throwing open the back doors to write. Each stop would literally be a different view, an entirely new bank to stimulate the pen (NOTE: I love this idea, Caleb). Considering my mimetic tendencies, the resulting novel would likely be a lofty, self-congratulating meditation on the beauty to be found in the natural landscapes of this country. So, I’d hope it rains a lot during my trek. I don’t want to read a beautiful land tribute as much as I don’t want to write one.

Before I go, I offer notes on a specific example of immersion writing from my chapbook. Here is “Author Note on Story #5 (The Camp) In Hopes That You’ll Learn About Me Intellectually and Donate to My Pocket.”

As so many stories begin, “The Camp” was as a self-inflicted dare. The concept of “The Camp” is seeded in a desire to explore the horrid through a lens subjectively aimed toward beauty. I told myself that I should write about the hidden beauty in something ugly. How’s The Holocaust for ugly? But truthfully, The Holocaust could have been any tragedy as far as “The Camp” goes (though I would have had to change the title). I wasn’t looking to explore Nazi sympathy; I was simply after finding the pleasant within the unpleasant.

While most of this story is domestic in content, the few images of the college dorm room were created based on notes I took when visiting a friend’s dorm years before the story was written. I won’t claim that the written scene is so perfectly described that it could only have come from mimetic immersion, but being in the physical setting certainly motivated me during the writing of the story.

Photo Credit:

Charactered Pieces, the new chapbook from Caleb J.Ross and OWC Press

by Caleb J. Ross

by Caleb J. Ross

I’ve been a long time fan of Caleb Ross. I always enjoy his work. He has a wide range of styles and genres but his stories always go deep, they resonate, they move and disturb. His novels deserve to be out there, published, now. But until then, dig the new chapbook by OWC Press (Outsider Writers Collective).

CHARACTERED PIECES

I’ve read most all these stories already, since I workshop with Caleb and have known him for years, but I’ll post up an official review once I get it in the mail. For more of his work, check out the blogroll over to the right or click on the red picture.

Caleb J. Ross

Caleb J. Ross

Peace,
Richard