Tag Archives: guest blogger

Guest Blogger and Author Luanne Castle!

How did prose, namely flash nonfiction, end up in my new poetry chapbook Kin Types?

The easiest way to think of flash nonfiction is to think about a creative essay and imagine it tiny—50, 100, 500, 1000 words.

Once I started trying my hand at flash nonfiction, I saw that flash nonfiction forms are just poems opened up a bit—made a little larger, a little looser, but also relying heavily on sound, diction, images, just as poetry does.

The forms include, but are not limited to:

*lyric essay


*prose poems

*braided essay

*hermit crab essays that assume the form of something else

*based on photograph, artifact, document


I was able to work my subject in both poetry and flash nonfiction simultaneously because the two genres occupy the same sort of creative process.

Here is a flash nonfiction piece originally published on Toasted Cheese that found its way into Kin Types.

  And So It Goes

While my subject was moderately serious—exploring the lives of my ancestors—a humorous  collection of poetry and flash nonfiction would be fun, too. Hint to our host, Phil Taylor . . . .

The written form that comes closest to a collection of poetry and flash nonfiction would be a haibun, which originated in the Japanese tradition. A haibun is a prose poem paired with a haiku. In fact, haibuns often contain humorous elements. For some new examples, read Contemporary Haibun Online.

Check out the reviews for Kin Types on Amazon if you want to find out more about the book. Find Kin Types on Amazon

Kin Types is a collection of lyric poetry, prose poetry, and flash prose that imaginatively retells the lives of private individuals from previous generations. Using family history research, the writer has reconstructed the stories of women and men from Michigan to Illinois to the Netherlands. Read together, the pieces create a history of women dealing with infant mortality, vanity, housewife skills, divorce, secret abortion, the artist versus mother dilemma, mysterious death, wife beating, and a brave heroine saving a family’s home.

Winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Doll God, Luanne Castle’s first collection of poetry, was published by Aldrich Press. Luanne’s poetry and prose have appeared in Phoebe, Six Hens, Story Shack, The Antigonish Review, Crack the Spine, Grist, TAB, River Teeth, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals. Luanne’s 2017 chapbook Kin Types (Finishing Line Press), poetry and flash nonfiction, was a semi-finalist in the Concrete Wolf Chapbook Contest.

Luanne has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and creative writing at UCR (PhD); Western Michigan University (MFA); and the Stanford University writing certificate program. She taught college English for fifteen years. Her scholarly work has been published in academic journals, and she contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina. Her heart belongs to her six cats and the homeless cats at the animal shelter where she volunteers.

Find and follow Luanne

The Family Kalamazoo blog      Writersite blog     Website

Amazon      Linkedin     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest

Have a great Tuesday everybody! ~Phil

Would You Like To Do A Guest Post Here?

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’m in full book writing mode, which decreases my blog writing time a bit. As per your vote a few weeks ago, I’m looking to replace my Tuesday Top Ten lists with Guest Bloggers. I’ve had two great ones, Sick Christine and John Howell.  If you have a book to promote, or just want to promote yourself and your blog just say so in the comments.

Have you ever woke up, got out of bed and dragged a comb across your head,  then checked your blog stats? Yes, I’m sure we all do it. At 6 a.m. this morning I got up and checked for comments and what yesterdays stats were. (I love following my blog views throughout the day). Normally when I wake up there’s a very moderate number of overnight views. Today I woke up to what is usually a good, full days worth of viewing stats. Looking at what was getting so much attention, it turned out to be my Music Monday post this week. It’s a video of a Japanese girl trio who sings heavy metal songs, Babymetal, singing with Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford. I titled it as The Strangest Thing I’ve Ever Seen on a Music Stage. Apparently #Babymetal is very popular because all my views came from Japan and Twitter. Yes, that’s right, #ThePhilFactor is now trending on Japanese Twitter.  If you haven’t seen the video, here it is. Rob Halford doesn’t even come on stage until the 7:40 mark.

For my new readers I’d like to say:

こんにちはBabymetalファン! Phil Factorへようこそ

Guest Blogger: John Howell

Today’s guest blogger is the hilarious John Howell of John’s Fiction Favorites.

Thank you, Phil. It is a real pleasure to be a guest on your blog. I consider you one of the funniest bloggers and have looked forward to this visit. If I may, I would like to paint a fictional picture for your readers. Since you have opened your blog to other writers, I have created an imaginary situation where you set auditions for those who want to appear. (Don’t worry everyone, this is just pretending, and Phil has no plans to start an audition process.)

So here is the scene. Phil sits behind a desk in the audience on a platform built for the occasion. He has his sycophants on either side. On his right hand is the executive producer with a script person on his left. One small desk lamp illuminates his space. He has pencils and paper and a large Yeti cup filled with coffee. Phil has a microphone so those on stage can hear every word. The stage glows from a huge spotlight that burns from the back of the auditorium. The prospective blog guest takes the stage and can’t help blinking from the light.

Phil starts. “Mr. Howell please come down to center stage.”

John moves into the white-hot light, raises his hand to his eyebrow to cut down the glare. “Hello, Phil. You can call me John.”

“Thank you, John. What can we do for you today?”

“Well, I’m here to audition for a guest spot on your blog.”

“Sounds good, John. Have you brought any Gifs, videos, or photos?”

“I only have a photo of myself and my books.”

“Books? You going to hump books on my blog?”

“Well, I thought I would mention them.”

“Look, John. I have a lot of book humping on my blog including my own. I was hoping you would have something different.”

“Well, I can sing a little.”

“Okay let’s hear that then.”

“I also do a soft shoe.”

“Soft shoe. What’s that?”

“It’s a little dance without tap shoes.”

“Okay, I get it. Go ahead.”


“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing sir. I was just clearing my throat.”

“Do you need some water?”

“No thank you. Normally I have an accompanist, but I wasn’t prepared to sing.”

“Well, we have no time for an accompanist. Can you do it anyway?”

“Okay here goes.”

“What are you doing?”

“Big opening with the soft shoe.”

“Sheesh. Go ahead. Wait what’s that?”

“A pitch pipe. I don’t want to be off pitch.”

“You ready now?”

“Yes Here’s my song.

Passengers will please refrain

from flushing toilets

while the train

is standing in the station. I love you.”

“Okay, thank you.”

“Wait, there is another verse.”

“Please leave your number with the assistant back stage.”

“But the second verse is killer.”

“Don’t call us. We’ll call you.”

“Can I leave these photos with the assistant too?”

“Sure. Leave the bio, the photos, the contact information but please clear the stage.”

“Thank you, Phil. I’m such a fan just being here is a thrill.”

“Okay, thank you. Can we have Mr. King down to center stage.”

John’s Bio: John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact information

Blog: Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads –https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Thank you to John for his awesome guest blog post. If you’re not already following him on all the social media platforms above, well, what’s stopping you?

Have a great Friday! ~Phil


She’s Sick and So Are You!

My first guest blogger ever in over 12 years of The Phil Factor is….Christine of I’m Sick and So Are You!  Trust me, if you didn’t know her before, you’ll enjoy her writing. She’s tremendously funny.

Phil’s a little busy writing a book, so he gave me the keys to his blog, asked me to water the plants, pick up his mail, and write a new blog post for him. Unfortunately I’ve already killed the plants and accidentally dropped all his mail in a mud puddle. Sorry, Phil. 

I did manage to write a blog post, though.

It’s about that one time I puked.

On a bible.

In front of ten or so impressionable children.

At Sunday school.

My father used to boast that he had an iron stomach, could eat anything and never suffer gastrointestinal consequences. Given that he would routinely cut around mold on bread and eat the rest of the piece with a smile on his face, I’d say he was right. I, on the other hand, have a stomach made of down feathers and those tiny white squishy pellets you find inside a bean bag chair. I get queasy just saying the word queasy.

My lightweight stomach was put to the test by some lukewarm orange juice, one Sunday morning, when I was just a little kid. I had spent the prior night at my close childhood friend’s house, which was a fairly regular occurrence. Any Saturday night spent at their home meant I had to join the family at church the following morning. It also meant that I accompanied my friend to Sunday school before church. Sunday school kicked ass.

See, I was raised in a strict Catholic household. I didn’t go to Sunday school because Catholics don’t do Sunday school. They do catechism classes. On Saturday. Saturday school did not kick ass like Sunday school. Sunday school was all about singing and crafts. Saturday school was all about taking quizzes in notebooks and being told you were going to hell because you didn’t know what the holy trinity was.

So, as you can imagine, I looked forward to Sunday school. While my friend and her sister wore looks on their faces like we were being shipped off to war, my grin was ear to ear. Hell yeah, Sunday school! 

I also looked forward to the name brand yogurt we ate for breakfast before we went to Sunday school. I’m the youngest of six children, so money was a little tight in our house. There was never name brand anything in our fridge or pantry or on the back pockets of our jeans. Name brand yogurt was something to look forward to and I ate it with the kind of fervor you’d expect of a poor girl that was eating well and knew she was not going to hell today. Then, I quickly washed it all down with a big glass of orange juice.

Tepid orange juice that was just a teeny tiny bit chunky. 

Now, maybe it was my excitement surrounding Sunday school or the giddy feeling I had eating fancy yogurt, but I didn’t panic about my questionable beverage right away. So, we all hopped in the car and headed for the Lord’s house. My stomach wasn’t feeling so great along the way, but I figured it was just a touch of car sickness. Once we parked and went inside to kick ass Sunday school, everything was going to be okay. That’s what my head told me, but my stomach was like, girl you need to get real! Something serious is about to go down.

My friend and I skip off to Sunday school and, at first, things were great. We’re coloring and gluing and singing songs. All was right in my world. Every once in a while my guts would churn a bit in an unfamiliar and slightly distressing way, but I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of me coloring my picture of Jesus while not being told I was going to hell.

After arts and crafts and singing it was bible time. We all took our seats at tables arranged into a big rectangle, so we were in perfect view of each other as we took turns reading passages from the bibles opened before each of our cherubic faces. One child after another read aloud and there I sat, silent, stomach rolling like a ship lost at sea. Tiny beads of sweat, almost imperceptible to the naked eye, began to form on my brow. I could feel the color draining from my face.

With a force that could only be described as menacing, the entire contents of my stomach burst from my face as if they had been shot from a cannon. Chunky orange juice, name brand yogurt, and possibly the prior evening’s tuna casserole. Everywhere. The volume of vomit so great, one could barely make out one clean corner of the bible that lay before me.

All I remember beyond that moment, other than the choruses of “ew” and “gross” and the occasional dry heave, was being maneuvered outta there and chauffeured home. My shame and embarrassment ensured that I would never return to Sunday school again. I only ate name brand yogurt on Saturday mornings from then on and never, ever, ever, ever drank lukewarm orange juice ever, ever again.

If you enjoyed this post I can well imagine you’d enjoy all my other posts at my blog, I’m Sick And So Are You. I bet you probably want to follow me on Facebook and Twitter, too. 

The Results from Last Weeks Friday Poll!

Last week I asked you, my readers, to decide the fate of my Top Ten Tuesdays. And the results are in! Drum roll please…..The winner is “Allow other bloggers to do guest posts.” So if you’re interested in doing a guest post on #ThePhilFactor about anything you want send me an email, or reply in the comments. You can promote your own blog, your new book, or just tell a funny story. Tuesdays first guest blogger has already been chosen, but I’ll keep it a secret until the big reveal. Have a great Friday! ~Phil