Introducing 34 ORCHARD, a new dark literary journal!

34 Orchard LOGO

Recently, I posted a quote that read “Decide what kind of life you actually want. Then say no to everything that isn’t that.”

Two weeks ago, I had an existential crisis—well, I suppose it’s safe to say, another existential crisis, because honestly, if you’re doing this writing life right, it happens more often then you might think. There’s a reason for the “tortured artist” stereotype. Questioning what you’re doing with your life, why you’re doing what you’re doing, is actually quite normal.

I’ve dabbled in many different things, but I’ve decided what kind of life I want: I want to write, I want to read, I want to surround myself with everything that’s connected to that. It’s what I’ve always wanted. They say you shouldn’t date anyone that isn’t ‘fuck yeah, you’re it!’ about you. Conversely, you really shouldn’t be doing anything in your life that doesn’t make you want to rocket from bed in the morning and go, ‘fuck yeah, let’s get started!’

I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic short work in literary magazines lately—in my opinion, there’s a lot of undiscovered genius out there—and I want to publish the stuff I enjoy reading most. So I decided to found a new dark literary journal that will pay its writers. It’s called 34 Orchard, and the first issue will launch in April of 2020.

I’ve edited a couple of journals, and I know how stressful and rigorous this path can be—where most small journals can fail, honestly, is in the area of balancing all of the work: eventually, it’s so much arduous work, so much struggle and pain to keep up with it or deal with the grief of daily business (which sometimes isn’t pleasant), that the passion just burns out (kind of like a toxic or one-sided relationship). I had to come up with a detailed plan for something that would be sustainable in the long term, and I did.

Yes, it will be a major time investment. But unlike a toxic or one-sided relationship, I’ve figured out how to manage things so that I can just enjoy it. It will be drama free, full of joy, and make me want to rocket out of bed every morning and go, ‘fuck yeah!’ 34 Orchard is going to be the love of my life.

Our website is LIVE, and our Duotrope listing was approved and posted fewer than 24 hours after we were ‘internet official.’ The journal will be free to read for the time being, but donations are accepted. You can also sign up for announcements to come right to your email (it won’t be a blog. There will be only a few scattered announcements when there is news to share) so you’ll know when our first issue is up!

I hope you will join me in celebrating, and I hope you’ll support the journal in any way you can—share it, read it, send us comments, send us your work, donate, tell a friend. Thank you!

Main Page: https://34orchard.com/

Publishing information: https://34orchard.com/issues/

Writer’s Guidlelines: https://34orchard.com/guidelines/

Duotrope Listing: https://duotrope.com/listing/27544/34-orchard

The things that haunt you: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

When I was eight, my mom made me a Cinderella dress. I wore it every day, and I cried when I grew out of it.

I have been waiting, like a princess for her Charming, for another version of that dress for 40 years, and today, my husband, Nathan, made it happen.

Cinderella 2019

I feel like that innocent little girl all over again. So, here’s to getting the opportunity to relive your childhood–and put those ghosts to rest.

Happy Halloween!

22 - Cinderella dashes down stairs

This is one of my favorite images from the Cinderella album, mostly because I love the way her skirt is drawn.

Where have I been?

Yeah, I know. Y’all were getting used to having some content from me every Sunday, and then I disappeared. What happened?

Amontillado at Cemetery 10-19

A glass of amontillado toasts the opening of Poe Season at our favorite October cocktailing spot.

I’ve been writing short fiction—a lot, and honestly, I’m not the type of writer who can do both. While most of the year was spent on my novel Tidings, my muse let me down on that one for little bit, but inspired three new pieces. “Omniscience” and “Threading the Needle” are out for submission; a third, “Temporary Inconveniences,” is being workshopped, and after that, I’ll be finishing one I started last year post-“Wrecking Malcolm” called “Feast or Famine.” Ideas for new pieces are coming out of nowhere, and I mostly have to give them all of my attention except for necessary adult things like bill paying, cleaning the house and getting the windshield repaired on the car: a novel I can work on and balance life. Short fiction? Not so much. It’s pretty much bye-bye Krissi.

Providence’s Waterfire.

Providence’s Waterfire.

Of course, around all of these projects, Read the rest of this entry

A review of the novel COLD SKIN, by Albert Sánchez Piñol

Cold Skin Movie Shot

David Oakes (Friend) catches a first glimpse of what’s to be his Antarctic island home for a year in the 2018 film, COLD SKIN.

I first learned of Cold Skin when Dark Discussions watched and reviewed the 2018 film last November. When the film was released, most reviewers went on about how it was a “twist” on The Shape of Water. If they’d bothered to look a little deeper, they would’ve realized that it was based on a book of the same title by Albert Sánchez Piñol—and it was published in 2002.

Cold Skin is an Read the rest of this entry

DARK DISCUSSIONS doubles down on Shudder’s exclusive THE RANGER

Dark Discussions shares its thoughts on what it thought of Shudder’s exclusive The Ranger—and then got a chance to interview Jeremy Holm (The Ranger) himself! You can listen to both episodes on Stitcher and ITunes, and at the following links:

The Ranger: Review http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_389.html

The Ranger: Interview with Jeremy Holm http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_390.html

 

Favorite

I adore the simplicity and universal appeal of these lines by Sarah Doughty. Who hasn’t been in that place? If you haven’t, you are missing out.

Heartstring Eulogies

“I didn’t know the true meaning of sleep
until I was in his arms.”

It was my favorite place to be. Head resting over his heart. Feeling the steady rise and fall of his chest. Hearing the beat of his heart. I didn’t know the true meaning of sleep until I was in his arms.

© Sarah Doughty
2015

This was one of the
scenes from my first novel,
Just Breathe.
Though it’s not the
final draft version,
the moment was still the same.

View original post

Wait long enough and it’ll show up: Sister Janet Mead’s “The Lord’s Prayer”

45 Album of Sister Janet Mead's "The Lord's Prayer."

This is what my 45 album looked like.

I’ve written about finding lost things from my childhood before, among them, the short stories “Obstinate Uncle Otis” and “The Light of Other Days.”

Also on my list of “long lost things to find” has been a song I played on a 45 album repeatedly when I was between the ages of three and five. I recalled it as a sort of “disco” version of The Lord’s Prayer, and I assumed it was probably called “The Lord’s Prayer.”

 

Even though the last time I’d heard this song was probably Read the rest of this entry

Short Story Sunday: Yellow Smoke, Scott Thomas

Urn and Willow Cover

While every story in Scott Thomas’ Urn & Willow—a collection of ghostly tales set in 18th and 19th century New England—is great, “Yellow Smoke” is a standout for its genuine mastery at inducing absolute terror; few short stories scare me into sleeping with the lights on like this one does.

This is due to its Read the rest of this entry

GET READY FOR AUSTIN’S BAT FEST AUGUST 24!

Me with bat

Me posing with a new friend on the Congress Avenue Bridge at Austin’s Bat Fest, August 23, 2014.

On one of my many sojourns to Austin, Texas, I was lucky enough to attend the annual Bat Fest, which in 2019 will be held Saturday, August 24, from 4 p.m. to midnight on the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown.

What is that, you ask?

Texas is famous for its bat colonies, and the state is home to 32 species. In fact, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Read the rest of this entry

DARK DISCUSSIONS enjoys ONCE UPON A TIME … at the annual Mystic Meetup!

Dark Discussions’ fourth annual Meetup in Mystic, Connecticut was a huge success! The DD crew and our friends from The Dorkening enjoyed a couple of meals and a flick, in this case, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.

DD and The Dorkening in our t-shirts

The DARK DISCUSSIONS and DORKENING crews sport our meetup T-shirts–courtesy of DD’s Mike–pre-movie at the Waterford Regal 9. In case you’re wondering, we’re standing in front of the POP for 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED.

Want to know what we thought about Tarantino’s latest Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: