Rural Fiction Magazine is Seeking Submissions

Rural Fiction Magazine, a sister publication of The Chamber, is seeking submissions. As with The Chamber, there is no pay except exposure, and, as with The Chamber, Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is endeavoring to reach a worldwide audience and is therefore seeking submissions from around the world. If you have something you think would interest an educated rural…

Rural Fiction Magazine, a sister publication of The Chamber, is seeking submissions. As with The Chamber, there is no pay except exposure, and, as with The Chamber, Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is endeavoring to reach a worldwide audience and is therefore seeking submissions from around the world. If you have something you think would interest an educated rural readership, please consider submitting it to RFM. Currently, the guidelines are essentially the same as The Chamber’s guidelines with few exceptions. For example, the word limit is 5,000 while The Chamber’s is 7,500, but with time RFM’s limit may increase.

What kind of material is RFM seeking? While The Chamber publishes primarily stories and poems of a dark nature, RFM hopes to publish works somewhat more upbeat. With RFM, as with The Chamber, genre is not important. RFM wants any material that might appeal to an educated rural audience.

RFM wants to rise above the long-held stereotypes of a rural populace being illiterate, uncultured, and narrow-minded and show that today’s rural populations tend to be educated and often very successful businesspeople. Rural people are no longer a lone farmer breaking the sod with a pair of horses pulling a plow over a few acres as they did 200 years ago. The rural landowner now operates combines and other equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over hundreds or even thousands of acres. Rural workers are no longer illiterate sharecroppers but often have advanced college degrees in a wide variety of subjects. And rural people are no longer only farmers but may work or own businesses in any of hundreds of industries from trucking to shrimping to commercial fishing to the oil industry to any of hundreds of other examples. These are the people to which RFM wants to appeal.

Works submitted to RFM do not have to concern themselves solely with subjects of a beautiful or dramatic nature. Any topic that would be of interest to an educated rural populace is welcome, whether it is drama, tragedy, comedy, fantasy, mystery, folktale, legend, myth, historical, ghost stories, or anything at all. If in doubt, send it.

Thank you for your time and please seriously consider submitting to RFM.


Quick Sidenote: My Thoughts on What to Do if a Cop Stops Your Car

I was just now reading an article on why cops touch the back of your car during a traffic stop. It turns out that they are a) checking to see that the trunk lid is lock and no one will pop out and ambush them (which has happened) and b) to leave fingerprints in case they later need evidence that they were with that car.
This made me think of my own personal procedures when a cop stops me for a warning or ticket (usually for speeding). I developed these over a few decades from experience and various TV and magazine articles.

Quick Sidenote: What to Do if a Cop Stops Your Car

I was just now reading an article on why cops touch the back of your car during a traffic stop. It turns out that they are a) checking to see that the trunk lid is lock and no one will pop out and ambush them (which has happened) and b) to leave fingerprints in case they later need evidence that they were with that car.

This made me think of my own personal procedures when a cop stops me for a warning or ticket (usually for speeding). I developed these over a few decades from experience and various TV and magazine articles.

The important thing to remember is that when approaching a car, cops do not know who is inside. Even if they look up who the car owner is, the car may be stolen. They often approach with one hand on their weapon just in case the person inside is dangerous. You do not want to make the cops any more nervous than they are already.

The first thing to do is to remain calm. Lots of people get scared and/or nervous when a cop stops them. If the cop sees you are nervous, it might make him nervous. He doesn’t know why you’re nervous or scared. It might be that, as far as he know, you just came from a bank robbery or you might be a serial killer (no kidding, Ted Bundy barely escaped being caught during a traffic stop).

Then the first physical thing you do is turn off the car engine and turn on the ceiling light. The cop will be a lot less nervous if he sees you are not planning a quick getaway. Another thing cops have to worry about is that the interior of the car is dark, and they cannot see who or what weapons may be inside (why do you think they are always shining flashlights into the interior of a stopped vehicle?) Alleviate them of this fear by turning on the ceiling light, so that they can get an unrestricted view of the interior.

Next, I like to roll down my window and place my hands on the door, so that they can see my hands and know that I do not have any weapons. Passengers can place their hands on the dashboard or, if they are in the back seat, on the headrests or backs of the front seats.

I do not make any sudden moves and if I need to move significantly, I tell the cop what I am about to do so he can watch me closely. I will make these moves slowly to ensure him that I do not intend to surprise him with anything.

On the occasion that my wallet with my driver’s license is in the glovebox, when the officer asks for my license, I tell him that it is in the glovebox and after he okays the move (either verbally or visually by nodding his head), I slowly reach over to the glovebox with my right hand and open the glovebox slowly and give him a chance to peer inside before I slowly reach in and extract my wallet.

Anyway, that’s my pointers for the night.

Remember: the main thing you don’t want to do is to make the officer any more nervous than he already is. You want to calm him down and through your actions ensure him that he is safe, and that you pose no threat to him.

Let me know if you have any interesting tactics you use when a cop pulls you over.


My Current Thoughts on Bladerunner

Here are a couple of thoughts I had tonight about Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi/ cyberpunk movie, Bladerunner and what I see as a theme behind it.

This is one of my favorite Bladerunner/cyberpunk ambience videos. It sets the mood for this post of a solitary man on a balcony as he contemplates and gazes out over a futuristic, cyberpunk cityscape.


Just now I finished watching Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner for like…the umpteenth time. Not to be morbid or overly dark (though, as you know, I am a fan of dark stories and poetry), but since I turned 60, I have been thinking of death a lot more. As I am now 65 and have a shorter life ahead of me than behind me, and being at an age where my generation is dying off at an ever faster pace, I think about it even more. Sometimes, though I am in relatively good health compared to many of my age, I am absolutely terrified of it.

Last night, I started watching Bladerunner just to chill and get my mind off things, but I went to bed before it finished. Tonight, after work, I still needed to get my mind off some things and to chill, so I returned to watching Bladerunner. But this time, I saw a theme in it that I had never recognized before, especially when I was younger.

That theme is how the attitude with which we approach death and how we live our lives accordingly. I don’t know how blind or how big a fool I could have been not to have noticed this previously. I suppose it was just that I was enthralled by the action and the love story of Deckard and Rachel. Once you recognize the theme, the story seems more like a myth out of ancient times.

Look at it as if Roy and the replicants were people in some ancient myth. Here’s a incredibly brief summary of the plot.

Two men and two women, who know they are going to die soon, undertake a pilgrimage to find their maker and persuade him to extend their lives. Ironically, an assassin is sent to kill them, because they should not be on the same world as their maker (whom I see as their metaphorical god). This potentially shortens their lives even more. One man and one woman are killed, but the other two manage to find their maker, Tyrell. He tells them that he made them as well as he could, but he could not find a way to lengthen their lives though he tried. He tries to comfort them by mentioning all the wonderful things they have seen and saying that “the life that shines twice as bright, burns for half as long”. The man, in frustration and anger at the maker/god for not being able to extend his life, kills him. The assassin now shows up and kills the woman. Then the man chases the assassin with the intent of killing him. But, all the while he is chasing the assassin, the man is dying. When he finally catches up with the assassin, being at the point of death himself, instead of killing the assassin, the man sits down with him and speaks of all the marvelous things he has witnessed and that “all these moments in time will be lost like tears in the rain” (a beautiful analogy, by the way). Then he dies. Then the assassin runs away with a replicant with whom he is in love and who happens to have a longer lifespan than the others.

Are we not in a parallel situation as the replicants? Our lives are short and we want them to be longer, but (so far as we know) our god could not make them longer. It is what it is. Our lifespans are what they are unless they are shortened even more by some external force. If we could, how many of us would try to find our maker/god and try to convince him to prolong our lives? But if He could not prolong them, would He try to comfort us by reminding us of all the things we have seen and experienced?

The theme seems to be that we should accept death as inevitable and our lives as too short, but we should also comfort ourselves with remembering all the good things we have experienced.

There are a lot more subtleties that I could extrapolate on, but to me this is the essence of the Bladerunner story.

Am I on the mark or off base? Is this being simplistic? Drop your thoughts into the comment box below.


Rural Fiction Magazine is Seeking Submissions

Rural Fiction Magazine, a sister publication of The Chamber, is seeking submissions. As with The Chamber, there is no pay except exposure, and, as with The Chamber, Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is endeavoring to reach a worldwide audience and is therefore seeking submissions from around the world. If you have something you think would interest an educated rural…

Rural Fiction Magazine, a sister publication of The Chamber, is seeking submissions. As with The Chamber, there is no pay except exposure, and, as with The Chamber, Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is endeavoring to reach a worldwide audience and is therefore seeking submissions from around the world. If you have something you think would interest an educated rural readership, please consider submitting it to RFM. Currently, the guidelines are essentially the same as The Chamber’s guidelines with few exceptions. For example, the word limit is 5,000 while The Chamber’s is 7,500, but with time RFM’s limit may increase.

What kind of material is RFM seeking? While The Chamber publishes primarily stories and poems of a dark nature, RFM hopes to publish works somewhat more upbeat. With RFM, as with The Chamber, genre is not important. RFM wants any material that might appeal to an educated rural audience.

RFM wants to rise above the long-held stereotypes of a rural populace being illiterate, uncultured, and narrow-minded and show that today’s rural populations tend to be educated and often very successful businesspeople. Rural people are no longer a lone farmer breaking the sod with a pair of horses pulling a plow over a few acres as they did 200 years ago. The rural landowner now operates combines and other equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over hundreds or even thousands of acres. Rural workers are no longer illiterate sharecroppers but often have advanced college degrees in a wide variety of subjects. And rural people are no longer only farmers but may work or own businesses in any of hundreds of industries from trucking to shrimping to commercial fishing to the oil industry to any of hundreds of other examples. These are the people to which RFM wants to appeal.

Works submitted to RFM do not have to concern themselves solely with subjects of a beautiful or dramatic nature. Any topic that would be of interest to an educated rural populace is welcome, whether it is drama, tragedy, comedy, fantasy, mystery, folktale, legend, myth, historical, ghost stories, or anything at all. If in doubt, send it.

Thank you for your time and please seriously consider submitting to RFM.


Rural Fiction Magazine is Seeking Submissions

Rural Fiction Magazine, a sister publication of The Chamber, is seeking submissions. As with The Chamber, there is no pay except exposure, and, as with The Chamber, Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is endeavoring to reach a worldwide audience and is therefore seeking submissions from around the world. If you have something you think would interest an educated rural…

Rural Fiction Magazine, a sister publication of The Chamber, is seeking submissions. As with The Chamber, there is no pay except exposure, and, as with The Chamber, Rural Fiction Magazine (RFM) is endeavoring to reach a worldwide audience and is therefore seeking submissions from around the world. If you have something you think would interest an educated rural readership, please consider submitting it to RFM. Currently, the guidelines are essentially the same as The Chamber’s guidelines with few exceptions. For example, the word limit is 5,000 while The Chamber’s is 7,500, but with time RFM’s limit may increase.

What kind of material is RFM seeking? While The Chamber publishes primarily stories and poems of a dark nature, RFM hopes to publish works somewhat more upbeat. With RFM, as with The Chamber, genre is not important. RFM wants any material that might appeal to an educated rural audience.

RFM wants to rise above the long-held stereotypes of a rural populace being illiterate, uncultured, and narrow-minded and show that today’s rural populations tend to be educated and often very successful businesspeople. Rural people are no longer a lone farmer breaking the sod with a pair of horses pulling a plow over a few acres as they did 200 years ago. The rural landowner now operates combines and other equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over hundreds or even thousands of acres. Rural workers are no longer illiterate sharecroppers but often have advanced college degrees in a wide variety of subjects. And rural people are no longer only farmers but may work or own businesses in any of hundreds of industries from trucking to shrimping to commercial fishing to the oil industry to any of hundreds of other examples. These are the people to which RFM wants to appeal.

Works submitted to RFM do not have to concern themselves solely with subjects of a beautiful or dramatic nature. Any topic that would be of interest to an educated rural populace is welcome, whether it is drama, tragedy, comedy, fantasy, mystery, folktale, legend, myth, historical, ghost stories, or anything at all. If in doubt, send it.

Thank you for your time and please seriously consider submitting to RFM.


“Invictus” Poem by William Ernest Henley

Phil’s note: This is one of my favorite poems of all time. Incredibly powerful. It’s said that Nelson Mandela used to recite it to other prisoners when he was incarcerated at Robben Island to give them strength…

William Ernext Henley (1849-1903)
William Ernext Henley (1849-1903)
Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

Phil’s note: This is one of my favorite poems of all time. Incredibly powerful. It’s said that Nelson Mandela used to recite it to other prisoners when he was incarcerated at Robben Island to give them strength.


William Ernest Henley (23 August 1849 – 11 July 1903) was an English poet, writer, critic and editor. Though he wrote several books of poetry, Henley is remembered most often for his 1875 poem “Invictus“. A fixture in London literary circles, the one-legged Henley might have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson‘s character Long John Silver (Treasure Island, 1883), while his young daughter Margaret Henley inspired J. M. Barrie‘s choice of the name Wendy for the heroine of his play Peter Pan (1904).[1][2] [from Wikipedia]

Here is a particularly interesting snippet from the Wikipedia article: “From the age of 12, Henley had tuberculosis of the bone that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee in 1868–69.[4]: 35 [1][7] The early years of Henley’s life were punctuated by periods of extreme pain due to the draining of his tuberculosis abscesses. However, Henley’s younger brother Joseph recalled how after draining his joints the young Henley would “Hop about the room, laughing loudly and playing with zest to pretend he was beyond the reach of pain”.[8] According to Robert Louis Stevenson‘s letters, the idea for the character of Long John Silver was inspired by Stevenson’s real-life friend Henley.[3] In a letter to Henley after the publication of Treasure Island (1883), Stevenson wrote, “I will now make a confession: It was the sight of your maimed strength and masterfulness that begot Long John Silver … the idea of the maimed man, ruling and dreaded by the sound, was entirely taken from you.”[9] Stevenson’s stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, described Henley as “… a great, glowing, massive-shouldered fellow with a big red beard and a crutch; jovial, astoundingly clever, and with a laugh that rolled like music; he had an unimaginable fire and vitality; he swept one off one’s feet.”[10]: