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Lawrence Schimel

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Guest editing issue of EYE TO THE TELESCOPE dedicated to science fiction poetry in translation [23 Jul 2013|04:30pm]
I was asked to guest-edit an issue of EYE TO THE TELESCOPE (www.eyetothetelescope.com), the online journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and I decided to edit an issue devoted to SF-nal poetry in translation into English from other languages. Here are the guidelines:

Eye to the Telescope is looking for submissions for the October 2013 issue. The theme will be SF poetry in translation. The editor is looking for translations into English of speculative poetry from a broad range of both subgenres (cyberpunk, mythological, etc.) as well as languages. It is impossible to cover such an enormous subject as the SF-nal poetry written in languages other than English in a single online issue; this issue will attempt to merely offer readers a glimpse in English of that vast kaleidoscope. Guest-edited by Lawrence Schimel.

Submission Guidelines

The editor will accept translations into English in any style or form.
The editor also actively encourages submissions of translations of relevant work by writers who have historically been marginalized, including but not limited to women writers (see the annual VIDA count: http://vidaweb.org), LGBT writers, writers of color, writers who are ethnic or linguistic minorities in the countries they live in, etc.
The editor also actively encourages submissions from so-called “minority” or regional languages, including those languages which don't have an official status in the state or country where they are used (Basque, Catalan, Cornish, Esperanto, Yiddish, etc.)
It is the translator's responsibility to secure permission from the author or rightsholder to publish the translations of the poem.
Send submissions to worldscifipoetry@gmail.com with “Eye to the Telescope” in the subject line. Reprints of translated poems already published in English are acceptable if the poem has never appeared online; provide previous publication information with your submission.


Please submit 1–5 poems in English translation (in body of email or attached as .rtf).
In your cover letter, please state the language the poems are translated from and the country where the author is from and/or currently lives.
Include short bios of both author and translator.
Deadline: September 15, 2013.

Payment and rights

Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Payment is on publication.
Payment can be made to either the translator or the poet or split between the translator and the poet, as agreed upon in each individual case.
The Science Fiction Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send checks.
Eye to the Telescope is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original translations of poems) or reprint electronic rights are being sought.
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Deliverance [03 Jul 2013|11:53pm]
Nearly 2am. Just turned in a little over 14,000 words of translations, which I've been proofing all evening. Although I'm afraid that the later it got, the less proofing I did... Zzzzzzz.
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Timing [03 Jul 2013|02:31pm]
Last night I got an email from a publishing client who felt guilty that I couldn't invoice a translation since the author still hadn't turned in the last chapter, in fact the book had been bumped to the next season since this was all supposed to have been finish weeks and weeks ago.

She told me to go ahead and invoice everything up until that last chapter, even though contract specified no payment until it was all done.

So I did and sent it back to her last night.

And lo! this morning the author turned in the last chapter, which I've just translated and delivered to the publisher along with a revised invoice. Whew!
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ASSARACUS 10 [24 Apr 2013|12:40pm]

Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
I got my contributor's copy of ASSARACUS 10, which includes 9 poems by me.

I've been translating so much lately, it's nice to suddenly have a flurry of publishing activity for my own work for a change. :-)
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digital ghosts [24 Apr 2013|10:42am]
Do people delete from their online "friendships" the profiles of friends who have passed away?

Facebook says that today is the birthday for a publishing colleague who passed away last year, and I just had to inform another colleague who hadn't heard the news that she shouldn't be writing HAPPY BIRTHDAY on her wall any longer.

The title poem for my new poetry collection, DELETED NAMES, is about this issue, more specifically: whether or not to delete the entry for a friend who passed away, because every time I scrolled past her name in my phone's address book, it provokes a fresh pang of sadness, but at the same time it feels like that digital link is the last remaining tie of our friendship and to sever it would be worse.

With the more-public online profiles, like the Facebook page of the woman whose birthday would've been today, many people wrote tributes on her wall after she passed away. Which is one reason I didn't "unfriend" her profile yet.

Although, thinking for myself, I'd rather my profile be taken down after I'm gone, if no one were going to be "managing" it (with updates of my posthumous publications, perhaps).

Are people making arrangements for what will happen to their online profiles after they pass away?

Am I awful for thinking that, on a practical level, since I've hit the limit of 5000 contacts on Facebook, if I do delete this deceased colleague from my "friends" list, I could add someone else?
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contrib copy of ON THE DARK PATH [23 Apr 2013|05:10pm]
Got my contributor's copy of ON THE DARK PATH: AN ANTHOLOGY OF FAIRY TALE POETRY edited by Anita M. Barnard, which includes 2 poems by me.
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A fairy tale for Yom HaShoah [08 Apr 2013|07:39pm]
by Lawrence Schimel

She wore glass spectacles
for her vision was clouded,
as if that night her family's home
was burned to the ground in a pogrom
the smoke had gotten into her eyes
and never left them.

They named her Cinderella
when they pulled her from the ashes,
their hearts going soft because
she was only three years old.
Years later, her stepsisters teased
that she was named Cinderella
because she was dark as soot.
They pinched her bold nose
and pulled her black hair
and powdered their pale faces
to go to parties with the Vienese elite.

Cinderella was never invited
to attend these lavish functions;
her foster family left her at home,
working while they danced,
dreaming of the day she was asked to accompany them.
She was always certain it would not be long,
and therefore worked unfailingly, hoping
for approval.

While her stepsisters primped and prepped
to waltz among princes, Cinderella walked
to the market, stepping over sewage in the gutters,
dodging the nimble rats that boldly crossed
the streets in search of food. A kindly frau
who sat beside a cart of squash--yellow gourds
and fat pumpkins like lumpy little suns--stopped her.
She took Cinderella's hands into her own.
"You look so sad. I will help you."
The woman drew Cinderella into the shadows
of the alleyway, and pulled papers from her pocket.
"Take these," she said. "They are mine,
but I am old. Go to America instead of me.
Find a new life. Send for your family,
if any are still alive. I am too old to begin again.
But for you, there is still hope for you."

Cinderella stared at this woman."I am
no Jew," she said, handing back the papers.
She walked away, but the frau's words--
the insinuations, the generosity--
haunted her. She walked faster,
trying to outrun the echoes in her mind.

Passing a shop window, Cinderella saw
a pair of slippers made of glass.
If she had been invited to the ball,
she thought, she would wear those.
She stared at them,
and her reflection stared back:
swart, square. Semitic.

She bought the slippers with the grocery money
and hurried back to the now-empty house.
Cinderella powdered her face
with the stepsister's cosmetics,
put on one of their dresses.
She tied her dark hair in a knot
hiding it beneath a silver scarf.
But still her nose betrayed her.
She didn't care. She slipped on her glass shoes
and made her way across town to the gala,
dreaming of finding a prince who would love her
and adore her and take her away to an enchanted life
where it did not matter that she looked like a jew.

The party was as dazzling as she had dreamed.
No one stopped her at the door, or paid her any
notice at all, it seemed, though some people stared.
No one spoke to her. And then a shriek
made Cinderella the focus of six hundred eyes,
as her two stepsisters ran toward her.
"You are not fit to be seen here!" they cried.
They snatched the spectacles from her face
and, in front of the assembled crowd,
crushed them underfoot with a delicate
twist of the toe, grinding downward.

Cinderella's vision blurred without her glasses.
Tears burned in her eyes, and then suddenly
the smoke that had clouded her sight
for as long as she could recall
lifted. She saw, at last, what she had always
refused to see before: these people had killed
her family, had meant to kill her as well.

She stood there, numb, as the stepsisters
poked and pushed her. They stepped
on her toes and broke her glass slippers
into hundreds of sharp splinters.

Cinderella left the shards of her glass shoes
on the dance floor and walked barefoot
out of the hall, leaving footprints of blood
behind her. She was never seen again.
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The Next Big Thing: Volando cometas [07 Apr 2013|09:52am]

Volando cometas
Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
I was tagged for The Next Big Thing blog campaign by Mexican author and translator Judy Goldman (http://judygoldman.blogspot.mx/2013/02/international-blog-event-next-big-thing.html), whose new children's book is WHISKERS, TAILS & WINGS:ANIMAL FOLKTALES FROM MEXICO.

1) What is the working title of your next book?


2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

At the end of 2009 (although I didn't see the report until 2010) the World Health Organization reported that AIDS was the leading cause of death globally for women of reproductive age (http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2009/november/20091109women/). Yet the reality of seropositive women was something largely absent from our cultural landscape.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It's a picture book for children.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I think it would depend on what language and country a film were being made!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After his parents conceal information from him about his aunt and what's wrong with her (what she has, if it's contagious and how, etc.), Dani's fears are overcome through talks with the aunt's HIV-negative boyfriend, resulting in a pleasant weekend visit on which he discovers that he and his aunt share a love of flying kites.

6) Who is publishing your book?

Edicions Bellaterra in Spanish and Catalan. A Slovenian translation is also forthcoming.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I often spend months mulling about an idea I'd like to write about, often jotting down little snippets of possible scenes or dialogue. But the actual writing, when it happens, is very quick (a day or two). Then I let it sit and go back and rewrite it, and then, of course, there are editorial changes, and also changes that arise when working with the illustrator, to make the marriage of text and image work best to convey the story.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

While there are a few other titles for children about HIV and AIDS, mostly non-fiction, there are no other fiction titles I know of for this age group and in Spanish that deal with women and HIV.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Reading the aforementioned WHO report, plus the fact of the daughter of a friend having been infected when she was in her late teens made me think that there was a need for more awareness and education about HIV for kids and that writing this book was something I could do to help address this.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

In addition to the fictional story, there is a nonfiction appendix talking about HIV, what it is, how it's transmitted and how it's not transmitted, etc. that can be used by parents or educators for further dialogue with children.

A PDF of the book in Spanish can be viewed here: http://issuu.com/edbellaterra/docs/volando_cometas
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German editions [19 Feb 2013|04:35pm]

German editions
Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
Today's mail brought copies of 7 editions from Germany of my bilingual picture book originally titled IGUAL QUE ELLOS/JUST LIKE THEM: German-English, German-Spanish, German-Russian, German-Greek, German-Italian, German-French, & German-Turkish.

They each include an audio-CD with recordings of the story in all 8 languages.

This book has now appeared in 12 different language-combinations, and was also chosen by IBBY for their Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2013 list. :-)
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Recipe for Love [14 Feb 2013|12:54pm]

Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
Since it's Valentine's Day, here's a poem from my new collection, DELETED NAMES (A Midsummer Night's Press):

by Lawrence Schimel

I can never cook from a book:
all exact and impersonal measurements.
I need someone to show me,
step by step, how it's done.

I'm a lazy cook; I didn't begin
to experiment, to explore, until I was no longer cooking
only for myself.

Let's add a pinch
of this, we'll cook by taste, trying every while
what we're preparing. We'll feed
one another. If something's missing
we'll improvise.

Everything I know about cooking I learned from a friend
who told me: the secret to cooking is to never let
the food smell your fear.

It's also all I know about love.

Let's go into the kitchen
and I'll show you.
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Image from VOLANDO COMETAS [24 Jan 2013|04:15pm]

Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
An image from my children's book VOLANDO COMETAS ("Flying Kites"), illustrated by Nuria Fortuny, from Edicions Bellaterra.

A story about a child's visit to his aunt, who's HIV positive.
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LA CASA DE LOS ESPEJOS [22 Jan 2013|09:18pm]
My new children's book LA CASA DE LOS ESPEJOS ("The House of Mirrors") has been published in Colombia by Panamericana. It's illustrated by Rocío Parra Parra.

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How time flies [20 Jan 2013|11:16am]
Looks like I missed an anniversary last week. I've now entered my 15th year of living in Madrid!
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Light's Volition by Luis Armenta Malpica [10 Jan 2013|09:40pm]
Here's the cover of my translation of VOLUNTAD DE LA LUZ by Luis Armenta Malpica, co-published in a bilingual Spanish-English edition by Mantis Editores in Mexico and BookThug in Canada. (It came out late last year but I just got a photo of the cover today.)
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IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People 2013 [09 Jan 2013|05:26pm]
How exciting! I just heard from IBBY (the International Board of Books for Young People) that they've chosen my bilingual picture book IGUAL QUE ELLOS/JUST LIKE THEM (illustrated by Doug Cushman) for their 2013 Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities list!

The list and accompanying exhibition will officially be launched at the Bologna Book Fair.

So far, the book has been published in Spanish-English, Catalan-English, Basque-English, Galician-English, Slovenian-English, German-English, German-Spanish, German-French, German-Russian, German-Italian, German-Polish, German-Greek, and German-Turkish editions.

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DELETED NAMES [08 Jan 2013|05:08pm]

Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
The website for A Midsummer Night's Press is still broken (sigh) but I managed to put up the pre-order information for my new collection of poems, DELETED NAMES, which can be found here: http://amidsummernightspress.typepad.com/amsnp/2013/01/deleted-names-by-lawrence-schimel.html

Isn't the cover purty?
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How time flies [02 Jan 2013|08:32am]
Just updated the mini-bio on my CV since it seems I've been translating for 17 years now (my first translation, a graphic novel by Vicente Segrelles, was published in 1996).

2014 will mark 20 years since I sold my first book (under a pseudonym) which was published in 1995. My first book under my own name was published in 1996.
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2012 Recap [31 Dec 2012|09:04pm]
I've fallen out of the habit of charting my life instead of living it, so I don't have the data I used to post (how many books I read, how many books I wrote, how much I translated, etc.) at year's end.

But 2012 was a good year for me, even if not easily quantifiably so...

Looking back, I published various translations this year, but 2012 was my second consecutive year without publishing an original book of my own... mostly due to the general slow-down in publishing which pushed some scheduled titles back.

2013 kicks off with children's book LA CASA DE LOS ESPEJOS from Panamericana in January, adult poetry collection DELETED NAMES in March, picture book VOLANDO COMETAS from Bellaterra in Spring, and various other original titles to come later in the year. (Not to mention the German-English, German-Spanish, German-Italian, German-French, German-Polish, German-Russian, German-Greek and German-Turkish editions of my picture book IGUAL QUE ELLOS/JUST LIKE THEM out in March from Bi:libri.)

So, looks like I'm back in the saddle after the past two years... :-)
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Next 2 A Midsummer Night's Press titles [21 Dec 2012|02:32pm]
Working on the proofs of the next two titles from A Midsummer Night's Press. The photo is a bit blurry, but here you can see the two covers.

One is FORTUNATE LIGHT by David Bergman and the other is my own collection DELETED NAMES.

What do people think of the covers?
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On perseverance [29 Nov 2012|09:07am]
Yesterday I got the proofs for my children's book LA CASA DE LOS ESPEJOS, illustrated by Rocío Parra Parra, which Panamericana Editorial in Colombia will be publishing in January.

This will be my fourth book for Panamericana.

This is also a good object lesson for never throwing anything away.

The last book of mine that Panamericana published, CUANDO MI HERMANA SE ENFADA, was based on a class assignment from 1991, I think, when I was an undergrad and taking a course on children's literature and as an exercise we had to try our hands at writing a picture book.

LA CASA DE LOS ESPEJOS is a book I wrote in 2002, when my first picture book was published in Galician. I had originally written that book, MISTERIO EN EL JARDÍN, in Spanish, and was very proud of my first effort to write something directly in Spanish. And it sold! Only they translated it into Galician and published it in translation first (they did bring out the Spanish original a year later).

So, I wrote a story in Galician, A CASA DOS ESPELLOS, and although I didn't manage to sell it in Galician (I did later publish 4 bilingual books in Galician-English), my own translation into Spanish did sell, and is finally being published in 2013.

Which is why I always say writers should never throw anything out, you never know what you can rescue and repurpose.

(A few days ago, I was looking through an old notebook in search of something else, and found an idea for a poem from a decade or so ago. I had totally forgotten about writing it, but I liked it, and typed it up, and it was usable almost as is. Will let it sit for a week or so and then revise it and submit it.)
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