Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where Have All the ’Zines Gone?

Bad news in my in-box. Head honcho Ace Masters of Written Word ( wrote early this month that the magazine is on the rocks because someone has hacked their PayPal account. I noted in June that Chad Plunk, who founded and ran Short Fiction World ( closed the door on my submission before making an editorial decision regarding it.

I fondly remember Mud Rock, a fine print magazine, which folded January ’07. Now, Mouth Full of Bullets, a terrific mystery-detective magazine, is also defunct. There’s a continuing shake-out of many magazines, and the current weekly e-newsletter from Duotrope ( notes five dying or unresponsive Websites, as well as a description of other fledging publishing enterprises. How come the volatility of Web publishing? Is this indicative of inept editors or over-energetic amateurs?

BJ Bourg, publisher of MFOB, wrote to me, “I've spoken with a few editors who were forced to shut down their magazines/e-zines, and nearly all were due to financial or health problems. Neither is true in my case. In actuality, you helped me solidify my decision. I read a message you posted on WordTrip ( where you mentioned having to ask me about the Spring Issue and then having to listen to me talk about working two jobs and publish the magazine. This made me realize two things. First, there was no law saying I had to publish a magazine. I was doing it for the sole purpose of helping other writers. When writers have to start asking me when an issue would be coming out or when I would be able to send payment for their story, that was the point when I was no longer helping them to the best of my abilities. Second, I realized I was putting MFOB before my family because I was putting every spare, non-working moment into MFOB, when I should have been spending it with them."

Ah, life. Where would it be without death—in love, finance or publishing?

1 comment:

BJ Bourg said...


I wanted to publicly say that I appreciate the nice words you wrote in your latest e-mail to me. You mentioned that I was a good "editor" to work with (I'll paste the whole message at the end of this message), but I don't fancy myself an editor. I'm just one writer trying to help other writers, and working with writers like you have made that a pleasant experience.

I also want to extend my many thanks to the dozens of other writers who have sent their kind messages. The thing that has moved me the most is the number of writers who've offered to help me financially, even though many of them are struggling in that area. Thankfully, I've been blessed in that regard, but the fact that these writers would be willing to sacrifice to help a stranger is a testament to their good character. I will never forget these writers and their kind gestures.

Again, if there is ever anything I can do for you, just let me know.

No, I hadn't heard--and now I'm sorry that I have heard. MFOB was the pub that initiated me into mystery/detective writing. Several stories in that genre have since been published, including currently "The Curious Reason Greta's Heart Stopped Beating (see Mystery Minute at .
I'm doubly troubled because WrittenWord (, which accepted but hasn't published one of my stories) is also sailing troubled waters because of the editor/publisher's person problems. Short Fiction World has succumbed to lack of editorial time. And, Mud Rock, publishers of some very fine fiction, also folded in January '07.
Do you think there's an endemic problem with start-up and e-zine publishing, or shutdowns are simply facing a law of averages with so many new publishers taking on more than they expected?
I have to assume you're decling publication of "Epitaph with Flowers" and that I can submit it elsewhere.
I hope you're able to rescusitate MFOB or continue publishing. You've been a good editor to work with, and most encouraging to authors. Best of luck!
--Walt Giersbach