‘Dusk and Summer’ Release!

It is with absolute pride that I announce the release of my book DUSK AND SUMMER from Sirens Call Publications. My journey started six years ago after I lost my father to pancreatic cancer‬. I honored his life the only way I knew – I wrote for him. This is not a biography; this is a fable, a testament to love, to faith. Mine is a story that takes you to the depths of the unknown sea; where you’ll discover the secrets of a bared soul. And more…

I’ll be donating a portion of proceeds from every sale, no matter the venue or country, to The Lustgarten Foundation (http://www.lustgarten.org). My mission is to help create more awareness of this horrible monster known as pancreatic cancer, as well as positivity and love for those who have suffered any kind of loss. Your grief is my grief now.

In addition, I’ll be creating a new blog of my own where the pancreatic cancer community at large can share their own stories, their tribulations and triumphs. And inspire others.

Take my hand. Don’t be afraid. Allow me to share with you a place…my very special place in the moments between DUSK AND SUMMER.

My journey began six years ago. OUR journey begins now…

DuskAndSummer_JosephAPinto_FrontCover_MedDoes Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

“A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father.
A story that will warm your heart.”

–Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of
The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

Available in print and eBook on Amazon:
US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France,
Spain, Italy, Japan, Mexico, India, Brazil

Print copy also available on:
Barnes & Nobel and CreateSpace

eBook version also available on:
Smashwords

Savior

SAVIOR

Man of Steel
why won’t you come down from
your perch high above Metropolis
save me
I have desperately tried to fly in your cape
but you left me no field guide and
in this world I need to be more than just
a hero
Do you remember when
I gazed upon you with wonder
an unflinching conviction that you were no
mere man
Please can’t you see
how hard I struggle to soar and
I’ve no currents with which to take flight—
a cry
And from my booth I dash
carrying this child in my arms
shielding her from life’s evils, forever
her guardian
imperfect savior;
to the skies I search in vain
bemoaning mine.

 

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Wings

I had the opportunity to chaperone my daughter’s kindergarten class trip last week.

We visited World of Wings, a great facility featuring a butterfly atrium, rooms filled with creepy-crawly bugs and slithering reptiles (inside their holding tanks, of course), and a whole host of other fun exhibits.  But the single attraction that stole the show by unanimous kid-vote was the bouncy house!! Butterflies flitting above their heads and Horned Bearded Dragons be darned, nothing could compare to the awesome allure of that bouncy house…

Naturally, I loved every minute of it. I loved being part of my daughter’s day, watching her interact with her young friends, seeing the sheer joy of discovery and rampaging fun on her face. I loved listening to her laugh; I loved seeing the curiosity that filled her innocent eyes. And yes, I loved watching her run amok with a whole horde of crazed, gleeful kids inside the irresistible bouncy house.

Just like those magnificent butterflies, my daughter spreads her wings a bit more every day. For someone who conjures and writes tales of the gruesome and horrible all of the time, it’s simply the most beautiful of wonders to see.

2014-03-13 10.32.26

Refuge

handle

Refuge; before these iron gates I tremble. Words, long forgotten, muttered upon this unforgiving draft. Weary fingers graze lips; memory languishes. A song cries. Lost, what once remained. Balm to my wounds, these iron gates I clutch. To twist this handle, to enter into that which I have denied myself… A thousand angels mock my arrogance; their light I have shunned. Tell me godless thing, who haunts your starless nights? My thousand lies expired at last; hollow, barren, crumbled within. Shadows beckon; so soon shall I dance. Refuge beyond these iron gates; blackened tomb. Condemned both by heaven and hell.

(first appeared in Damned Words http://wp.me/p2iKoL-qy)

© Copyright 2013 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Just Not Here

I mentioned in last week’s post that the idea behind my short story LUNCH came from a poem I had written back in December 2012. For curiosity’s sake, here it is:

JUST NOT HERE

On this darkened night I hold you
Arms empty. Your memory my solitary light
Wind raps at pane, sneaks under door
The only thing ever to cross this threshold again
Sandwich on counter grows old with mold
Milk sour. Spoiled.
None of it matters; this candle flickers
And ghosts, they creep along the floor
Sounding so much the way your footfalls once did
When you’d kiss my cheek standing in the hall.
I’d walk somewhere if it wasn’t raining so hard
These clothes already stuck to skin
The weight of everything
The wait for anything…
I’ll sit here then
Because somewhere, you are there
Somewhere. Just not here.
On this darkened night I hold you
Somewhere. Just not here.

© Copyright 2012 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

LUNCH in Midnight Echo Issue 10

My short story LUNCH has been published in Australia’s horror magazine Midnight Echo, Issue 10, edited by Craig Bezant.   It’s their ‘ghost’ issue – a must read for fans of things that go bump in the night – and more than 100 pages of ghoulish fun for all!

LUNCH was conjured from a poem I had written back in December 2012 titled ‘Just Not Here,’ a reflection on someone who has tragically suffered the loss of a child, as well a house that will never again be a home.

Authors also contributing to Issue 10 include Gary A, Braunbeck, Martin Livings, A.J. Brown, Richard Farren Barber, Robert Mammone, Alan Baxter, Jacob Lambert, Rebecca Fung and Greg Chapman.

Take a read, won’t you?  Click here for a Kindle copy!

Midnight Echo, Issue 10

Print copies soon to come…

Midnight_Echo_Issue_10

Midnight Echo, the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association

Boy on Strings

My last January breath rose in a plume to the sky
and left me wondering if this would be how
my soul would one day escape me,

wispy vapored , twanged by fingers of Northeast wind;
I suppose I will always be a puppet but the excuse
of ‘oh, it will be much warmer tomorrow’ keeps me from cutting

the fishing line. I love the dangling, but if you should ask me I
will vehemently deny it, blow frozen curses into your
face – then request for you to reposition me. Please.

A light snow falls; February knocks and soon all trace
of my existence will vanish from the air. Still, I will
always dangle here, waiting for your hand to guide me.

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

In Peace

I said a prayer in the moments before I saw you that

my composure would be steel and yet your

utter silence broke me down in ways I never expected.

 

Forgive me, I faltered when taking your still hand into mine and

realizing your sleep would be an endless one,

began to pity myself.  And in your dignified manner, you stilled me,

 

imparted sweet memories; you allowed me a time I thought had

long past and selfish as it may be, I am grateful for holding you

one last time.

 

I want you to know that behind your closed eyes, I still saw

you as you should be and as you will always be

to me: smiling

 

You were such a gentleman in every sense of the word.

 

Dear friend, I hope you heard me when I whispered

that I would not say farewell.  I kissed your cheek

and I meant it.  There are no goodbyes; there are only see you later’s.

 

So sleep in peace, and within your warm cocoon

learn of your new wings now.  Fashion your Heaven as

it should be

 

As one day, I will mine.

 

We will have a party then for the ages,

won’t we?  Be with love and light, dear

friend.  I’ll meet you then at the bar come nine.

~ for Rich

© Copyright 2014 Joseph A. Pinto. All Rights Reserved.

Greater Than Anything

Greater than anything I could achieve as a writer, my daughter scored 7 out of 10 ‘red words’ correctly on her kindergarten test.

At, my, are, with, me, come, what, you, my, can.  Those words are just some of the ‘red words’ she has been learning; the building blocks of language.  The keys to reading.  Since entering kindergarten this year, the going has been tough.  She’s struggled; she’s despaired.  But day after day, she has gone to school with a bright smile and an unspoken grace.  Day after day, she has sat to do homework, to grind through the task at hand.  Yet no matter the difficulty, she has done so with a willingness and determination that few adults exhibit.

As her teacher quizzed the class on the list of ‘red words,’ my daughter listened to the word as it was spoken and then wrote it down, letter by letter; not once but twice.  This from a little girl who has gone through extensive occupational, speech and physical therapies.  This from a little girl who has gone through it all with that same bright smile and unparalleled grace.  This from a little girl who has made slow but steady progress every day.

She worked hard preparing for the test.  “Try your best, and don’t worry about getting the answers wrong,” I told her.  Which is difficult to explain to a child when the world around us demands that we constantly achieve.

The afternoon of her test, her teacher gave me a thumbs-up when I picked her up from school.  “She did great!” she told me, but I barely heard her – the smile lighting my daughter’s face said it all.  Once home, she hurriedly took the test from her backpack.  She glowed as she pointed to the glittering star sticker atop it.  “I did it!”

Yes you did, my little girl.

Anything in this world is attainable, no matter how big or small.  And you don’t need to get everything right; you just need to give it your best.

‘LULLABY’ on Pen of the Damned

A belated happy 2014!  I certainly hope this new year will be healthy and positive for you all!

I’ve never been one for resolutions because a particular day on the calendar dictates I should do so.  I believe that every day is a resolution; every moment.  Trust me, it’s a difficult way to think.  There’s so much in our lives to get caught up in.  But January 1st shouldn’t be the only time to change our way of thinking, the manner in which we treat people, or the long awaited pursuit of one’s dream.  Like I said, try to create a resolution every day.  Big or small – do it, be it, live it.  :)

So enough with my chatter!

Pen of the Damned

2013 was a good year for Pen of the Damned.  We’ve created some amazing fiction, and we’ve gained some wonderful and supportive ‘Damnlings.’  That’s why we do it, after all.  When you’re a creative mind – whether it be a writer, musician, photographer, what have you – your art form needs to be expressed and shared.  A creative mind will starve if kept bottled up.  So at least where Pen of the Damned has been concerned, it’s been an extremely positive experience.  And we believe it will only get better in 2014.  We have some great things planned, so stay tuned!

Following with what I have done in past posts here on my blog (and something I am dreadfully behind on), I’d like to introduce (or reintroduce) you to ‘LULLABY‘ which originally appeared on Pen of the Damned back in October 2013.

It was such a fun story to write.  What I loved most of all was that as it evolved from my head, I realized that ‘LULLABY’ could be and should be part of something much larger.  It’s the tale of a woman who finds herself captive in the middle of the woods along with a group of younger girls.  Who…or what…is behind this?  Hmm, good question.  Don’t you appreciate monster stories that just simply ‘are,’ without all the endless, cloying explanation?  I certainly do, and I think that’s why “LULLABY‘ is so appealing.

Take a read (or a reread) won’t you?  ‘LULLABY,’ only on Pen of the Damned.