I like to read nonfiction, and I’ll confess, there is much of it that isn’t an easy read, even if I’m riveted by the topic. Steve Olson’s Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens, however, is an exception, and on the 42nd anniversary of that fateful 1980 day, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Although I can’t exactly give a “spoiler-free” review (we all know what happened at Mount St. Helens), I will do my best.
What Olson really discusses here is the conglomeration of factors that led to the deaths of 57 people—who were, contrary to the way it was spun for the press, not in what was a dedicated danger zone (except for three, two of whom had permission and one who just refused to leave his lodge). Rendered in poetic language in several places, the narrative is Read the rest of this entry
Love animals? Love Anne Rice? Thrilled to announce “Haint Gonna Happen” in ANNE RICE BENEFIT ANTHO on May 22!
I’m proud to announce that I can finally let the proverbial cat out of the bag: my story, “Haint Gonna Happen,” is coming MAY 22 in Dancing in the Shadows: An Anne Rice Tribute Anthology! ALL PROCEEDS—100%—will benefit ANIMAL RESCUE OF NEW ORLEANS, which was founded within days of Katrina and saved thousands of animals post-disaster—kitties and puppies lived because of these fine volunteers, and their work continues today.
Excited? The publisher’s got a page with fun supplemental materials here.
Edited by Elaine Pascale and Rebecca Rowland, many amazing writers contributed to this project because we believe in supporting our community, and we received no compensation for this. It’s the only place you can read “Haint Gonna Happen,” get great horror by some of my favorite writers (a couple of whom appearing in 34 Orchard in the fall)—and help lots of distressed adorable animals. Please help—this organization is close to my heart!
For more information on Read the rest of this entry
I’m SUPER EXCITED to announce that there’s a KICKSTARTER for Dead Stars & Stone Arches: A Collection of Utah Horror, which will feature my story, “Wish Bones” (cosmic dinos, people—and, as always, it’s kind of a love story).
Dead Stars & Stone Arches will be released by Timber Ghost Press on July 12, 2022, and although this book will happen either way, this is your chance to support the press, get a lot of ebooks—or even an advanced ebook and paperback copies of Dead Stars. And also? There is A REALLY COOL PIN (which I just added on because I have to have it) made just for the release (and there are only 100, so hurry if you want that!)
This campaign has been awarded the coveted Kickstarter Projects We Love Badge, and pledges are very affordable, so support great art! I’ll keep you posted. It runs until May 31.
Indie presses are doing the bulk of the publishing of great horror stories, and, because they’re small and fueled by passion, many dedicate themselves to specializing in subgenres. Support the indie press in any way you can, and keep variety and unique voices alive!
For those out there missing their moms, I thought—as a woman who no longer has hers—I’d share a little of my own journey with you in the hopes it’ll bring some of you comfort, or perhaps give you a new perspective. And if you’ve not read the book Motherless Daughters, definitely pick that up. You’ll find in its pages voices who feel just like you, and that’s comforting, too.
Also, all the photos of my mom in this post are pre-cancer. She’d be horrified if the few photos we had of her looking that bad were on public display (it’s why we have so few pictures of her after she got sick in the first place).
Many motherless people, especially motherless daughters, have a rough time on Mother’s Day. But every Mother’s Day for the past three decades, all I’ve ever thought is, “I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with that anymore.”
I used to think this made me a horrible person. How can I just sit here and be relieved that I don’t have to participate in this? For years, I felt like there was either something deeply psychologically wrong with me, or that I was just an incredibly selfish, unempathetic person.
Then I figured it out. Mom got sick when I was eight and underwent a long battle with cancer, ending in her death when I was fifteen. She was horrendously sick during those years, and despite the fact that we were told just pray really hard and be really good and Jesus will save her, I knew better. I think we all did. Mother’s Days, when she was alive, were torture to watch. I remember giving her presents and making her favorite meal and thinking, ‘is this the last Mother’s Day?’ They were joyless, terrifying, and sometimes ruined because she was just too sick. Mother’s Days in our house were, in short, totally traumatizing. It was a bunch of people in a room pretending we all didn’t see the giant elephant while we plastered on our fake smiles—Mom included. I can see in old Mother’s Day pictures how absolutely tortured and depressed she was, trying to put on a show for everyone else. Her eyes hold nothing but pain.
There was nothing psychologically wrong with me in feeling relieved. Good Lord, there would probably be something more wrong with me if I didn’t.
Do I miss her? Of course. Read the rest of this entry
It’s time … twenty-five artists focus on the things we refuse to see. Lovecraftian crazy in the Old West, Kerouac-style bummin’ with a morbid twist, Poe-esque madness on the open sea, Nin-inspired snails and more await. There are seven heartbreaking, chilling poems, a nightmare-inducing tale from Poland, and an exclusive excerpt from a forthcoming speculative memoir. A few familiar favorites, like Ali Seay, Die Booth, and Patricia Bettis, and some fresh new voices. You’ll want to get your eyes on this issue.
The downloadable PDF is designed so that it can be printed on double-sided paper for easy reading like a print magazine. As always, the issue is free, but there is a donation link should you choose to contribute.
If you like what you’ve read, spread the word! We’re also starting up some resource content for both writers and readers on our blog, so consider signing up to get those posts right in your email.
This baby bunny cake wishes you and yours a very happy Easter (if that’s what you celebrate). If you don’t, then he wishes you a joyous Sunday and a refreshing spring!
Krissi, Charles, Nathan, and Mikey the cat
Jim Morrison wrote that “Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.” What he meant was that when someone dies, that person suddenly becomes a saint. Maybe it’s the old superstition that it’s not wise to speak ill of the dead, or maybe it’s just that those who loved that person didn’t care about his or her faults. I, for one, expect whoever’s left when I’m dead to get up and tell the truth. If you say “I loved life” and was “the sweetest person who ever lived” I will haunt you.
That said, one of my high school classmates, Kimberly (Scozzafava) Salmon, passed away yesterday. I didn’t know her as well as many others did, but I can honestly say she WAS one of those people who should be remembered as someone who loved her life—even though she faced more incomprehensible, massive struggles than most people I know—and truly was one of the sweetest people who ever lived.
Every time I saw a Facebook post in which she was facing a new challenge, she was positive and cheerful. And yeah—you can say all you want about how we “curate” ourselves online, but that just wasn’t the case with her. That kind of fake curating you can see in a person’s eyes if you look hard enough. Her eyes were never sad or angry in those photos. Her eyes, no matter what, even in hospital pictures, were full of mischievous spirit, a rare joy. She impressed me, and it was always a reminder that I have absolutely nothing to bitch about. Anytime I needed a good wake-up call because I was whining about something lame—particularly a minor health issue—I went over to her page and was given my lesson on grace, dignity, and gratitude.
My only regret is that I didn’t really get to know her better, but I did know her well enough to understand that she really was grateful for her life. She loved her children, she was thrilled to be a grandmother, and she loved people. She loved being with people. Genuinely. And after one minute in her presence, you were no longer a stranger—you were loved.
She is now at peace in heaven, but her sons have indicated there is no money for a funeral—let alone laying her to rest in a pink casket, which was one of her last wishes. If that’s what she wanted, then that’s what she should have. If any of my readers, on this Easter weekend, feels called to help, here is the GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/6f43d9a6
Thanks, Kim. I’ll raise a glass with you again when I get to the other side.
HORROR LIBRARY VOL 7 – a solid collection which includes my story “February Thaw” — is here! Plus: see rare personal video of the REAL Yellowknife)!
My short story “February Thaw” is now available in Dark Moon Books’ Horror Library Volume 7—and this Table of Contents is so stellar, I promise it’s a volume you’ll be glad you own.
“February Thaw”—about a woman who flees Miami to confront her past near the Arctic circle—is inspired by my friend MJ Preston, a writer whose novels, like The Acadia Event, are inspired by his days as an ice road trucker (he’s the real deal!) who in 2016 actually sent me a 45th birthday wish from his stop in Yellowknife—and here it is! Read the rest of this entry
This weekend’s Writing/Submissions/Marketing Workshop in Westford, MA: Yes, you can pay at the door; No, you don’t have to be an NEHW member
This weekend’s Writing/Submissions/Marketing Workshop, sponsored by the NEHW, is YES, open to people who didn’t register. You can just pay at the door (I got a few emails about this, so I figured I’d throw it up here, too, just in case), and NO, you do not have to be an NEHW member. This is open to all.
The full day is TOMORROW, SATURDAY, APRIL 9, from 9:30 am – 6 pm at Atelier Pro-Kreative in the C.C. Sargent’s & Sons 1877 mill building on 69 Broadway Street, Westford, MA.
Event Description: After some networking time with morning refreshments, instructors Kristi Petersen Schoonover, Scott T. Goudsward, and Trisha J. Wooldridge will lead a three-hour workshop on writing, submitting, and marketing short stories, with the option of additional critiques for submitted writing samples. In the afternoon, authors and editors from NEHW’s Wicked Women and Wicked Creatures anthologies will be signing, selling their own work, and taking part in a giant Q&A. Opportunities to network, purchase anthologies and authors’ publications, and socialize will happen before the workshops, during lunch, and at the end of the event.
Here’s the schedule for the day, and pricing. The only thing not available “at the door” would be the critiques, so I didn’t put them here.
Costs for the event are tiered and a la carte:
Full day of 3-hour workshop, breakfast, lunch, networking, signing, author Q & A:
NEHW members: $50 Non-NEHW members: $60
Afternoon only, including lunch:
NEHW members: $25 Non-NEHW members: $30
9:30-10:00: Light morning snacks, coffee, tea, water
10:00 -10:50: Workshop Part 1: Crafting Short Stories
11:00-11:50: Workshop Part 2: Submitting and Selling Short Storie
12:00-12:50: Workshop Part 3: “I sold a story! Now what?” Marketing & Promo
1:00-2:15: Lunch and Networking, Shopping Time
2:30-2:50: Author Signing (& Shopping Time)
3:00-4:30: Wicked Q&A
4:45-6:00: Individual Critique feedback in private, Social & Networking Time
If you can make it, we’ll see you tomorrow! If not, YES, I will be posting photos next week.
It’s been such a crazy couple of months I sorta fell behind on everything—including housework (NO ONE is to come into my home until I get this place under control). Anyway…the first step in getting this place back on track—other than, of course, a nice big trip to Bath & Body Works to replenish my spring wallflowers and candles, first things first!—was to deep clean the microwave.
The best and easiest way to clean the microwave is to Read the rest of this entry