Impossible things with pumpkins: 2015’s GREAT JACK O’LANTERN BLAZE

Blaze 06

These creepy pumpkin men beckoned guests to the arched entrance. For some reason, these made me think of T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men.” Maybe it’s literal, or maybe it’s the image I conjure every time I read that poem.
“We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar…”

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and even though this is still very much a “harvest” time of year (at least for a couple more days), the Historic Hudson Valley, New York’s Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has come to a close for 2015.

What is Blaze? Founded in 2005 (Historic Hudson Valley Read the rest of this entry

“Our Lips Are Sealed” now in Sediments Literary-Arts’ A HAUNTING



My short story “Our Lips Are Sealed” — about a woman who may be having an unusual experience with her wine glass collection — is now available in Sediments Literary-Arts Journal‘s A Haunting issue. It takes its place next to several wonderful ghost stories (I especially loved Adam “Bucho” Rodenberger’s “Welcome to the Fireworks”) and hauntingly beautiful artwork (a favorite of mine is Amanda Bess Allen’s “Sleepy Hollow”).

On a personal note, what’s even cooler is the editor referenced “Our Lips Are Sealed” in her introductory note!

Best enjoyed with a bottle, you can check out everything in the issue here and read “Our Lips Are Sealed” here.

Short Story Sunday: The Last Leaf

The Last Leaf, O Henry

This sad piece about an artist waiting to die of pneumonia has one of Henry’s more unusual hallmark twists. It is available on Kindle, but you can check it out for free here:


Lately I’ve been working on the overwhelming task of thinning out my book collection; it’s something no book lover likes to do, but let’s face it, every once in a while it has to be done, either to clear clutter or make room for more.

It’s no surprise that a good portion of my collection is devoted to short story collections. I’ve read my share of great stories, and I’ve read my share of awful ones—but I’ve also read my share of a few that blew me away to the point at which I’ll never forget them. So instead of doing a typical “Top” list, I decided instead to focus on ones which fall into the last category (please note that in my “about” descriptions I tried to be spoiler-free). Do you have any that have made a lasting impression on you? Leave them in the comments.

SNOWBOUND: WITH ZOMBIES now available; pix from release event!

Me and writer Gregory Norris in the field near the bee hives at the SNOWBOUND: WITH ZOMBIES anthology release event at the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, MA. Photo by Judi Calhoun.

Me and writer Gregory Norris in the field near the bee hives at the SNOWBOUND: WITH ZOMBIES anthology release event at the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, MA. Photo by Judi Calhoun.

Winter’s right around the corner, so there’s nothing more perfect than announcing that Snowbound: with Zombies, a collection of horror stories inspired by the supernatural tales of the poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whitter, is now available! The official release event held at the 327-year-old birthplace museum in the barn and carriage house was a great success (see pix below)!

All proceeds will go to the museum.

Snowbound with Zombies - Tales of the Supernatural Cover

The anthology contains my short story “Shreds of Black,” which is based on Whittier’s poem, “Telling the Bees.” It appears with twenty-two other works by John McIlveen, Peter Rawlik, Christopher Golden, Scott Goudsward, Morven Westfield, Celia Thaxter, Stuart Conover, W.H. Pugmire, Roxanne Dent, Ken Faig Jr., Judi Calhoun, Tracy L. Carbone, KH Vaughn, Joseph A. Citro, Karen Dent, Hannah Gonsman, David Bernard, Michelle Souliere, Gregory L. Norris, and Faye Ringel.

The book can be purchased Read the rest of this entry

Halloween Decorations

From my friend Stacy Horn: I planned to walk around and take pictures of Halloween decorations today, but it’s gloomy and wet outside. Except, the gloomy part is appropriate I guess. Plus, there’s a Halloween par…

Source: Halloween Decorations

Have you visited the Quiet Room?

The Quiet Room Banner Art

MJ Preston, author of The Equinox and Acadia Event, has started a new podcast called The Quiet Room, which will feature informal conversations with writers about current events in the industry, trends, creativity, process, and…all sorts of stuff!

You can find Episode 1 here.

I was the guest on Episode 2, and you can tune in to listen here.


Happy Halloween! This year’s Cemetery of the Dolls

Doll Cemetery 10

If you know me then you know that every Halloween I take a great deal of pride in a small cemetery display outside my front door (and you’ve probably seen it in person). Every year Read the rest of this entry

Short Story Sunday: The Fall River Axe Murders

 The Fall River Axe Murders, Angela Carter

Who isn’t fascinated by Lizzie Borden? This telling of what went on in the Borden house in the days leading up

Saints and Strangers

Read the rest of this entry

Take time out for the Taco Society Presents!

The Taco Society Presents! 3A

A close-up of one component of the “set,” which is computer-generated imagery (yes! CGI!)

Recently, friend and fellow writer Stacey Longo and I had the privilege of traveling to Goffstown, New Hampshire, to appear on The Taco Society Presents!–a local access television program showcasing genre writers and their work.

The Taco Society’s name is inspired by Read the rest of this entry

Who doesn’t love a little back story?

Pope Lick Railroad Trestle

The Pope Lick Monster, half man, half goat, lives under this railroad trestle in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
Photo Credit:

There’s nothing more fascinating than hearing about what spawned an idea for a short story I love, but for me what truly can’t be beat was hearing about which cryptids inspired the stories in Great Old Ones Publishing’s From the Corner of Your Eye: A Cryptids Anthology.

Writer Gregory L. Norris took the trouble to solicit back stories for those of us whose work is featured in the anthology, and several of us answered the call! You can find out what types of cryptids are lurking in the pages of the anthology here. Enjoy!

Iceland's Ice Worm

A recent video may be evidence that Iceland’s famed giant ice worm exists.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,918 other followers

%d bloggers like this: