Monday, December 16, 2013

Pushcart Nominees from Issue 3

We would like to congratulate our 2013 Pushcart nominees for Issue 3:

Donna Henderson: My Happy Family: Two Versions (poem)
Marilyn Johnson: Whispers (poem)
Linda Ferguson: Some Tigers - A Story in Two Parts (fiction)
Geronimo G. Tagatac: Triplane (fiction)
Matt Young: Bodies Like Weeds (fiction)
Paulann Peterson: Miracle Play (poem)

You can read the work of our nominees by either picking up your own copy of Gold Man Review Issue 3 online at Barnes and Noble or Amazon or download it to your Kindle.

Monday, November 11, 2013

2014 Issue

Issue 3 is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Go to to get the latest and greatest.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Writing as Self-Torture

Lately it has become a mystery to me why anyone bothers to write. Surely everyone knows by now that becoming a famous author is as likely as winning the lottery, and trying to write is a whole lot more painful than playing scratchers.

That got me thinking: maybe the pain is the point. The reason we write. When you look past the fantasy of fame and the aura of “coolness” that seduces many into attempting to get published, you have to wonder why would someone spend so much time torturing themselves, unless they actually enjoyed the torture?

When I read a recent interview with Junot Diaz, I thought at first, aha! See, even for this guy, who wrote one of the best books in a long time (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer in 2008), writing just plain sucks. It’s a ritual of self-flagellation. When the interviewer asked
Diaz how the writing went for his follow up to Oscar Wao, he answered: 
Miserable. Miserable. The stories just wouldn’t come. … There’s a story called “Primo” that was supposed to be at the end of the book — that was a miserable botch. I spent six months on that, and it never came together. There was a story called “Santo Domingo Confidential” that was trying to be the final story, that I spent a year on. I must have written a hundred pages. It was another farrago of nonsense. I wrote a summer story where the kid gets sent to the Dominican Republic while his brother is dying of cancer; he gets sent because his mom can’t take care of him. It was a story I called “Confessions of a Teenage Sanky-Panky,” which was even worse than all the other ones put together. And that was another 50-page botch. … That’s why I never want to do this again. It’s like you spend 16 years chefing in the kitchen, and all that’s left is an amuse-bouche.

I read that and I thought, “Amen, brother.” But then I read on, and as Diaz continued to complain about how writing is, all of a sudden he switched gears, and showed a different answer as to why we write:
You know, I force it, and by forcing it, I lose everything that’s interesting about my work. What’s interesting about my work, for me — not for anyone else; God knows, I can’t speak for that — what’s interesting in my work is the way that when I am playing full out, when I am just feeling relaxed and I’m playing, and all my faculties are firing, but only just to play. Not to get a date, not because I want someone to hug me, not because I want anyone to read it. Just to play. 

It is just as simple as that. When we can remember that we are just playing around, that’s when our writing is at its best. But knowing that doesn’t help you write any better, and doesn't make writing any less tortuous, because you end up trying to have fun, which is the most pathetic kind of fun there is, like someone who doesn’t like to dance forcing themselves onto the dance floor. No one wants to read that kind of fun.

So there is no easy answer, but it is kind of reassuring to remember that you aren't really trying to write the greatest thing since Hamlet; you're just trying to have some fun.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Perceiving is Believing

Your personal perception of yourself and reality is ultimately determined by the beliefs you hold. Unfortunately, perceiving you are a reality TV star does not actually make you a reality TV star. Nevertheless, perception and your beliefs create and dictate your attitude, determining how you will
respond to the world.

You do not have to wait for your first thousand sales to consider yourself a writer or even an author. If you write, then you are a writer and if you plan to sell your work then start believing you are an author. It takes determination and dedication to write a great novel. Therefore, the way you behave and think needs to foster the determination and dedication needed to write and sale your work. Back to my initial argument, perceiving is believing and if you perceive yourself as an author then you are more likely to develop habits and behaviors that will help you start and finish your work.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


We often think of ownership as a possession over tangible items such as a car, house, pet, computer, etc.  Aside from intellectual property, we rarely view ownership of intangible items, for example, a writing career, the same. We know when we own the tangible, but when do you actually own your career or even your future? As a result, we may fail to ever fully take ownership of the intangible. This, in the end, is where you truly find happiness.

3 simple steps –

1.      Ownership - In order to direct the trajectory of your writing career, taking ownership is the first step. Tell yourself that you are the boss.

2.      Long-Term Plan – Write down where you want to be in one, three, five, and ten years. Do not be vague here and consider different aspects of your life. For example, in three years I want to be in a new house with a study, completed 250 edited pages of a new novel, see every one of my family members, attain a promotion, etc.

3.      Imagine - To bring your vision to life first consider your end-goal. Assume that you have reached it. Then work backwards. What steps did you take to achieving your goal? Make sure you write this down to see where your next step is. These steps may involve networking to learn more about a new field, going back to school, creating a website, or seeking out a promotion. Name as many of these big steps as you can and list them in a clear and organized fashion so you can start to cross them out.

When you take ownership of your writing, career, or life in general, you will stop drifting along waiting for your turn to own your life.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Climbed down sloped hillsides on the chain of man made locks toward the Pacific Ocean, dreaming of moments standing in the grocery store parking lot overlooking the surf. The structure is aged cedar; other dwellings are carved into the hillside in relief. Residents here retire inside the mountain. This single point along the highway is like a knuckle extended from a flat row of fingers, always windswept. I happen on this bend of highway with thoughts fractured; my hair is always tousled from exposure. Some words, in sequence, feel as though they’ve been rearranged from something else. I run a finger over my ear, waiting.

As the rains began, gusts kicking sideways, up from the crashing waters, I opted for the carousel jigsaw puzzle over a bottle of spirits. You opened and extended your jaw, removing from your row of neat, white teeth an expression of sublime confusion. The box sat face down on the sunroom table. It remained unopened. I was cross-legged, picking my pleas out of future communication, replacing it with commentary on salmon migrations. Will anyone know the feeling of unclipped fins on their legs again? This will be your response.

In the end, I took the puzzle, laying it on top of my things. As I climbed the mountains on my way back, I saw oceans over my shoulder. Returning seemed out of the question, the way two people speaking in a foreign tongue always sound like they are in disagreement. One has to look at their eyes, their hands and their body language. Words alone will not do. This will be my response. No matter what the order is, what we say to one another is strange. 

I tore open the box and emptied the carousel jigsaw puzzle into the middle of the road. A car swept from inland, sending the pieces scattering into the gloaming, into the brush. Even then though, I did not believe this was an adequate sacrifice.

To read more of Erick Mertz  work check out the 2013 issue of Gold Man Review.

Submissions for 2013

Submissions for 2013 are now open for Gold Man Review. 

Gold Man Review is open for submissions from January through April. We do accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere. Keep in mind that Gold Man Review only accepts submissions by email. All submissions to Gold Man Review must be original, unpublished work from writers, artists, and photographers residing in the State of Oregon. All submissions need to have a cover letter, telling us a little about the work you are submitting (including word count), along with your first and last name, pen name (if you have one), physical address, email address, phone number, and a brief biography. Submissions without an accompanying cover letter per our guidelines will not be considered. 

What We Are Looking For: First and foremost, we are looking for outstanding and exceptional work. With that being said, Gold Man Review is open to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Art and photography is also accepted, but will only be published in e-book format. We are not looking for particular themes; however, we are looking for the unusual and random. Make us laugh. Make us cry. Make us see the extraordinary. Make us see the beautiful. That’s it. Fairly simple. Although we are open to all types of writing and art forms, we are not interested in material with gratuitous language, sex, or violence or material that seeks to harm, endanger, or threaten any person or persons. 

Fiction/Nonfiction: Submissions should be no longer than 5,000 words. Manuscripts should be in Times New Roman (12-point font) and double-spaced. Submissions should be attached as a Word document. Please no novel excerpts, unless they are stand alone as a complete story. 

Poetry: Submissions can be up to either three short poems or longer poems with a three-page maximum. Poetry submissions should be in Times New Roman (12-point font) and attached as a Word document.

Art/Photographs: Submissions can be up to three pieces of artwork/photography both in color and black and white. Files should be attached as .jpg (preferred), .gif, or .png extensions. Response Time: Please allow four months for a response. If you have not received a response within that time, then your work is undergoing further consideration.
If you have not heard back in six months, then send us an email requesting the status of your submission. 

We look forward to reviewing your work! 

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