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Everything you want to know about C/Oasis

Thanks for your interest in C/Oasis! This publication started in late 1996 in the form of a newsletter. The intention was to create a good, consistent channel for those interested in writing and literature on the Net. Much has been learned along the way! The publication can be summed up as a way:

1) To provide a rich array of resources for writers

2) To provide an enriched experience for readers.

How To Navigate C/Oasis

The home page contains the newest material for each month. These contents change each issue. In the top menu are a list of pages and sites connected with C/Oasis. If you're a freelance writer check out Resources for Freelancers.

Writer's Guidelines are listed here.

C/Oasis connects with Sunoasis Jobs and Sunoasis Classifieds to provide a rich array of resources for writers and editors. Our purpose is to help the writing class. We are trying to include all writing types at Sunoasis.com. Many times we've discovered that the professional copy writer started out as a creative writing major and is still working on that novel or poetry. And the fiction writer is looking for jobs to pay the rent. And the student is looking for answers to questions about her career.

C/Oasis has been dedicated to bringing, to the Net, the best short story writing and poetry writing available.

About This Months Issue

"A group of starving young students from Manchuria assembled during midmorning on Legation Street in Beijing only four days after we arrived for our vacation. They sat quietly and in an orderly fashion."

Martha Fried has a publishing history on C/Oasis. She is good; a craftsman with insight and an old world sort of nobility. So, we are pleased to run her memoirs of her time in China back in the late 40's.

A short story by Sean Hower:
"Ryo boarded the train just as the doors were sliding shut and the electronic bell that announced yet another departure sounded. The train was packed and people were crammed against one another."

Tips For Overcoming Eight Mistakes by Resmi Shaji
"Call it lack of confidence or knowledge; aspiring writers tend to take steps that they regret at a later stage. This happened to me and led me through a struggle of nearly eight months before I saw my name in print for the first time."

Make sure you look at previous work:

We're happy to add the C/Oasis Literary Blog, a kind of fill-in name until we get corporate sponsorship like the ballparks do. Not really. It's a place to put thoughts that can't go anywhere, plus the unavoidable link to lead to interesting things happening in the world of writing and letters.

Thanks to all the poets who have given the Poetry Editor understanding. It's a tough period of time and we'll start publishing poetry again in the future.

We publish the evocative piece, "Skin," this month. Robert Villanueva was born in Alaska but has lived most of his life in Kentucky. After graduating from Western Kentucky University with a BA in journalism, Villanueva worked as both editor and staff writer at various local newspapers. He now devotes himself to literary writing and his piece shows some of his talent.

We also have a memory piece, set in 1968, called, "Colorado, in June." Those of us who still remember 1968 will enjoy some of the references to Lay, Lady, Lay and It's a Beautiful Morning. I think those of us who lived through this period never thought it would be turned into memory but here it is. There will never be another time like it. Something happened on the globe at that time and we're still trying to figure it out.

Mike Ingles, is a freelance writer living in Ohio. He has a degree in American Literature from Franklin University. His stories have appeared in several magazines including the Southern Cross Review and Slow Trains.


Make sure you look at previous work:

Story-telling is built into us. Our minds are layers of tales about the sacred and the profane. No doubt the birds tell each other tales. The person who makes story-telling their life knows two things; it takes a pro to get everything out of a story and, two, that even the most humble person has a grand story to tell and, sometimes, can tell it better than the pro.

Give us, then, the capcity to tell one good story and we'll trade-in all the critics and literati who have walked the Earth. It begins with the story. The first story told must have been a delightful shock to those around at the time.

There are many ways to tell a tale of course. You can hire an actor and give her some lines and surround her with a plot and a few objects. Or, you can use the lnaguage on behalf of imagination and give the reader the opportunity to recreate a world in their minds. An excellent story can do one of two things: It can shock us with a new reality or it can revive an old and funky memory out of the cask of such bittersweet fluids.

Sometimes the fate of a novelist is in the hands of a very small group of people. He is in the water while the strangers talk among themselves about how to save him or if, indeed, he should be saved. That is the fate of many, if not most good novelists in this day and age. Richard Yates fits that category; an author I read avidly in my college days. And so we're thankful that Jeff Stimpson has prepared a review of a book on Yates, the man. Added to that are two stories, very different, but alike in the way they show the power of the story to take us anywhere, incluing The Road to San Rosario or in the dream of a young woman or, is she an old man?

Ecce veritas! Ecce humanitas!


Make sure you look at previous work:

I had the good fortune to see Salman Rushdie give a talk this month. Rushdie is from Mumbai and had decent insight into the problems of the Middle-East. He also talked a good deal about writing, writing fiction, and the identity of a writer. He told jokes and was witty.

He spoke of two types of writers. One is rooted to a single place, and "creates a world from that place." He mentioned Faulkner and Welty as examples. And then there's the rootless writer. This is a creature who lives in different regions of the world and is always trying to find his place. Finally he surrenders to the rootless condition as his peculiar fate. Rushdie envied the Faulkner rootedness but accepted his fate as the rootless type.

The sense of place is key in the writer's imagination. And we have speculated on more than one occasion about that place known as the Net. Is it a land and place where the imagination can gain a foothold? It is now a memory of a good seven years for myself. I've made many connections during that time. I have entered and exited many worlds. Yet, it all happens through the screen, the interface.

The Ukranian writer, Troy Morash, has a place centered in the universals of human experience; with folklore and myth. He gives us a delightful tale in The Juggler and the Bet.

And Marty Castleberg has decided to abandon the work-a-day world and "emptying his regret box by traveling the world with guitar and pen in hand." He writes a piece any writer can relate to, mulling over some rejection notices. Why Write is his contribution to C/Oasis this month. Meanwhile, explore the new words at Wordbirth. Halloween; Witch; Utopia; Aura There's always an assortment of surprises so look around and enjoy yourself.

I spent a fine afternoon in the San Francisco sunshine, laid back and listening to writers read their works at the San Francisco Literary Festival. It was in a spacious park down in SOMA. There were some fine talents there like Juvenal Acosta, Sylvia Brownrigg, Diane di Prima, and many others. I reflected on the fact that, at least in SF, it's not like the glory days when 20,000 people would show up for a poetry reading by Ginsberg and Robert Bly.

Several conclusions I have come to:

  1. Short stories should not be read out loud in public parks.
  2. Literature is not, primarily, an entertainment now.
It should be celebrated but shouldn't be confused with the entertainment arts that have been taken over by TV, movies, music, sports, etc. Literature is the pursuit of meaning, the designs of intelligent imagination, the recovery of self that is hard to bring to a public forum. It's not impossible but difficult. That is the core of it. It then integrates whatever entertainment value it needs to make things dance a bit.

And, while lying there, I thought, "the future of literature is on the Net because the Net can combine the privacy necessary for real discourse and communication, yet, adapt the devices of entertainment like voice and video."

The Net is able to combine the written word with its twin brother, the spoken word, animating it from below so to speak. The key is always the expansion of resources, now, at the fingertips. Never take it for granted.

The Net is many things. It is a blank screen. Anything can be projected on it. Anything can be built. It is a deep reservoir of resource with all of history depicted. It is the depth of communication. It is deceit. It is carnival. The sirens ran hot in the afternoon and grinding, spurting noises were coming from a complex of buildings under construction. The best entertainment the whole day was provided by the back-up band who hailed, apparently, from Tennessee and spoke southern and made a wonderful contrast to the strained voices of the coasters.

The ex-husband of Sharon Stone was one of the hosts. Perhaps it was a coincidence that in the evening, the movie Basic Instinct came on. I watched the whole movie, even though I've seen it twice. Now, that is entertainment.

Poetry as performance.

The Sound of the Future by Ernest Hilbert

We want to mention that we will be reading manuscripts through the summer but won't start publishing again until October. Thanks for your support and have a great summer!

We are pleased to see that Word Birth has returned to C/Oasis. Jack Karasch is a published writer and is just back from adventures in India and Nepal.

We are continually amazed by the talent that flows through C/Oasis. The poetry editor and I agree that we turn away too much good material so, this is, in it's own way, a privileged place. But, finally, it comes down to what the writer is bringing to the individual piece. What is the artistic value that shimmies up from the words on the page. We're happy to have a veteran writer who has published a good deal in newspapers. NY Dreams by Martin Green is a vignette, a slice of life. The artist and poet, Cheryl Hicks offers up two playful songs from her varietal repertoire. The greatest tragedy in a culture is to have abundant talent with no place to go. Putting excellent stories, poems, and essays into a small, steady effort like this is as significant as the tightening of the final screw on a new airplane. If it doesn't happen it could lead to catastrophe. We don't know if it will or not but odds say it will happen, so we make sure it is tightened very well. We demand it. The moment individual human beings stop telling stories and making poems and telling what is meaningful in their lives, is the day we die as a liberal, democratic culture. Like the last screw, it can't be proven but why risk it? We are letting the machines tell our stories these days and are poorer for it. It may be the chief reason, cultural historians will note, that caused the downfall of the "first and best liberal, democratic society..." We don't want to risk it.

Some exciting material has been coming into C/Oasis this year. Good people are on edge. We have a story by Mark Mazer called, Guiding Star that, I believe, many writers can relate to.

The featured poet this month is Karyna McGlynn from Seattle. Her two poems, "Just Nod, Diane," and "The Cambridge Cuckold," show an emerging talent. She's making a heroic attempt to bridge the academic and performance audience's in her work. Two previous contributors grace our humble publication this month. Martha Nemes Fried is a fine story writer who tells a tale we are all too familiar with. Voyagers is the name of the story. "Nervous? Nobody's nervous in a nut house."

The resourceful, energetic Poetry Editor has published the 2nd half of the Robert Bly/Coleman Barks interview. It's apparent from reading it that all the parties involved had rollicking fun.

Jim McCurry publishes here again with two efforts that show a fine sensibility and one very familiar and masterly of the poetic art. The reminiscence of Mike McGrath is long and fruitful and demonstrates the very point we make above. A man tells his story. Memories move through them. He tries to make sense of it. It makes us human, it makes us free.

The Art of Walking reminds us that sometimes a walk is more than a stroll in the woods.

The stories are, as always, excellent. Norma Saddler teaches at Boise State. Joe Giambrone provides us with sharp satire.

We have two excellent pieces of writing grace C/Oasis this month. Greg Beatty pulls out an old Mark Twain piece on "corn-pone opinions," and contrasts that with today's "Quarter-pound opinions," and hits the nail each time. It raises the question of what Mark Twain would think of modern America. Personally, I think he would despair rather than have the courage of his humor but we'll never know.

All good-willed Americans would like a lot of what has happened the past thirty years, including Twain. We live in an era of incredible surplus and waste and they would wonder why Americans did not apply good old Calvinist discipline to the obvious fount of things in front of them. Well, we could speculate all day.

David Alexander writes like a modern, like a surfictionist and is very good at it. We are always proud when we can run a topnotch fictionist who takes the art seriously and applies excellent mind and skill to it.

The Poetry Editor got her interview and we are pleased to present the first part in this issue. Bly says some interesting things about the decline of American culture, as well as his own childhood.

We present David Erlewine's captivating story, Moving On. It's a brilliant interplay of elements with meaning for our time. Erlewine is a young and talented writer.

Fine and sagacious poet, Tom Sheehan contributes Two Poems

The Poetry Editor left to go to Houston and interview the famed poet Robert Bly. But, before that, she decided C/Oasis had to publish Don Thompson, a writer from the San Joquin Valley in California. He teaches in prison and lives out on a farm and writes excellent poems. We present two of them here.

When C/Oasis started in earnest in early 1998 we published a young poet named Cara Bynington. This month, she returns with an essay on the effect of postcards she's received from friends.

The Poetry Editor and I have sifted through a great mountain of material to bring readers some of the best poetry and fiction available, online or in print. She and I met recently in my favorite city and I was swept away by how vital, intelligent, fun, imaginative, and talented she is. The state of Texas should be proud and C/Oasis is certainly proud that she has connected with our publication.

I'm pleased at the clever stories that seem to gravitate towards C/Oasis. The form is still alive, still actively pursuing intelligent and imaginative avenues. The great story is a thing-itself. It doesn't need any other medium to support it.

This month we have two such stories. One depicts a fanciful dialog about the writer of the story who is completing a novel called Spell. Who better to call on to explain things than James Stephens, one of the characters?

The second story is a brilliant use of the absurd and like most absurdity provides great laughter. Inseparable is the effort of Tom Misuraca, who has published over 45 stories in his career.

The two poets represent part of the wonderful output that exists in the United States at this time. Poetry that expresses what can't be expressed any other way. Poetry that belongs to the individual poet, therefore, to our individuality; our irreducible nature.

Christine Hamm
Richard Brancato
Jeff Alfier

Chris Orcutt has written a story every budding novelist can appreciate. The Novelist present scenes that a Saturday Night Live would have done in its classic days. The Novelist could have been an on-going character in Seinfeld: A poor sap in some ways, a deluded fool; in other words, all of us.

William Delman is the Editor-in-Chief of Coelacanth Magazine and we feature two of his poems: Sometime I think Id like to ride out on the crest and A man, A stone, and A tree. These are fine, intelligent efforts that contain both the mystical and the poignant.

The easiest way to keep up with C/Oasis is to subscribe to the newsletter Sunoasis 2004. It has many of the same links in an easy-to-read format. It's free and is under 2000 words. To subscribe just send a message to: oasis-l-subscribe@topica.com Just send the message away! Once your subscription is received you'll be sent the latest issue.

If there is anything you want to see included in C/ Oasis or have some links you want checked out feel free to contact the editor at: eide491@earthlink.net

Hope you enjoy C/Oasis!

David Eide

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