“Rightfully Mine” is now available!


My most recent flash fiction piece, “Rightfully Mine,” (which I wrote up at this year’s Kipling Retreat) joins several excellent stories and is now available in Sanitarium Magazine Issue #49! It’s an e-mag, so it’s inexpensive. You can get it at one of the links below and in the Google Play Store.

Amazon US (Kindle)

Amazon UK



Next week: In time for Halloween: Manchester, Mystic CT readings for TRICKS AND TREATS


Come and meet the (still living, ha!) writers in Books & Boos’ anthology Tricks and Treats and hear some samples to whet your appetite for the spooky at a couple of pre-Halloween readings/signings!


I’ll be joined by John Valeri, Stacey Longo, Melissa Crandall, Ryanne Strong, and Dan Foley (or some combination thereof) at the Whiton branch of the Manchester library (N. Main Street) in Manchester, CT (http://library.townofmanchester.org/) on Monday, October 24, at 6:30 p.m.

We’ll also be at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT, on Wednesday, October 26, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wine and beer will be served at the event; specific details here: http://www.banksquarebooks.com/event/mystic-halloween-reading-tricks-and-treats-collection-spooky-stories-connecticut-authors

Here’s hoping I see you there!

Short Story Sunday: The Caves in Oregon

Refresh, Refresh Cover

The Caves in Oregon, Benjamin Percy

I first read this tale of a broken marriage a decade ago, and a recent re-read revealed it’s even better than I remembered. In this atmospheric tale, Percy is the master at connecting the geology of the earth with the geology of our complicated emotions and the intangible foundations that form our relationships.  Find it in Percy’s debut collection: Refresh, Refresh: Stories https://amzn.com/1555974856

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

sprouted pumpkin seeds 8

My husband, Nathan, sorting through sprouted pumpkin seeds–looking for a few to keep for planting.

My husband, Nathan, loves to carve pumpkins. Last year, we had a huge Halloween party, which resulted in him carving twenty or so of the things.

One of my favorite pleasures of fall is pumpkin seeds; I’ve figured out a way to separate them from their stringy innards that’s pretty easy (just soak the whole mess in warm water and the seeds pretty much float to the top). Then I brush them with a thin (very thin) coating of olive oil, roast them in the oven with spices (at around 300 degrees and until they’re crispy) and serve them with cocktails. It’s the perfect seasonal treat.

Last year, though, there were just too many seeds to roast. I ended up leaving a huge pot of them out on the back porch, and they sprouted!

Getting in on Dark Discussions: September 2016

1978's Piranha was the final film of Dark Discussions' KILLER FISH FEST.

1978’s Piranha was the final film of Dark Discussions’ KILLER FISH FEST.

September’s such an interesting month, because, here in New England, it’s a fluid transition between summer and autumn.

Dark Discussions‘ topics for September were just as transitory, taking us from the final days Read the rest of this entry

10 movies that wouldn’t be scary if you watched them on mute

Horror films rely on all sorts of tricks to induce their frights: jump scares, atmosphere, and creepy or gory visuals. They also rely on something else that’s often overlooked: sound.

Sound, including music, can play a key role in how scary something is. Consider, for example, Robert Wise’s 1963 The Haunting; one of the most terrifying moments in that film is the scene in which the girls huddle in their room as an infernal banging roams the hall. We never see the ghost; we simply hear it—and if one turned down the volume and watched that scene without any noise, it would just look like two women making goofy faces in a room.

That said, here are ten films that rely so heavily on sound or dialogue Read the rest of this entry

COASTAL CT magazine feature: Why is New England such a favored setting for horror?

Coastal Connecticut Fall 2016 Issue

The copy of the Fall 2016 issue of Coastal Connecticut that Tom Soboleski was nice enough to send!

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Connecticut Coastal magazine contributor Tom Soboleski for an article on why New England is the setting for so many horror stories—and the issue officially hits newsstands today!

The feature, “Who’s Afraid of New England? Everyone. Experts and authors explain our regional love of the macabre” appears in the Fall 2016 issue Read the rest of this entry

The Landmark Trust Properties: For writers, the perfect quiet places


The Kipling Carriage House. It was originally (obviously), where the carriages were kept, and we think that the kitchen was probably an add-on, although it was well integrated. According to the Landmark Properties, it was converted from a Carriage House to living quarters at some point. It is nicely modernized now, and the flow of the place feels organic.

Quiet time. It’s probably what’s most sought after by writers in terms of creation, next to, of course, inspiration. Sometimes, being at home in the middle of life—even if you’ve got an office or favorite spot to which you can retreat—isn’t going to give you either thing. Read the rest of this entry

My story “Crawl” now available in TRICKS AND TREATS, signings slated, check out the trailer!

Tricks and Treats Cover

Sometimes babysitting on Halloween in a centuries-old house isn’t a good idea.

My short story, “Crawl,” is now available in Tricks & Treats: A Collection of Spooky Tales by Connecticut Authors. Published by Books & Boos Press, it’s available at several bookstores in the state, but the easiest place to pick it up is probably on Amazon. You can get it in print or for Kindle here: https://amzn.com/0997932902

With a Foreword by writer Rob Watts, also in the collection are stories by Connecticut writers Stacey Longo (Amston), Melissa Crandall (Hebron), G. Elmer Munson (Vernon), Dan Foley (Manchester), John Valeri (Portland), and Ryanne Strong (Norwich), but what makes this collection really stand out is the appearance of a couple of lesser-heralded creepy stories by Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Twain’s rarely-discussed “The Californian’s Tale” is a ghost story (of sorts) that’s really about the nature of grief, while Stowe’s framed narrative (very typical of the ghost stories of the time) is one with a moral bent.

Gilman’s “The Giant Wistaria” (a personal fave of mine) is only one of three ghost stories she wrote; the other two, I believe, are “The Rocking Chair” and “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” “The Giant Wistaria” pre-dates her infamous “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” for which she’s most known, and it, too, has early feminist themes. It’s atmospheric and disturbing.


A giant wistaria vine.

Finishing out the book is John G.C. Brainard’s poem “Maniac’s Song.” Brainard was a poet and lawyer who was born and lived in Connecticut in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Come and meet the (still living, ha!) writers and hear some samples to whet your appetite for the spooky at a couple of pre-Halloween readings/signings! We’ll be at the Whiton branch of the Manchester library (N. Main Street) in Manchester, CT (http://library.townofmanchester.org/) on Monday, October 24, at 6:30 p.m. We’ll also be at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT, on Wednesday, October 26, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s hoping I see you there!

Read more about this exciting seasonal collection in the Hartford Courant: http://www.courant.com/community/hebron/hc-ugc-article-new-halloween-anthology-comprised-of-all-conn-2016-09-05-story.html, and watch the official trailer here: https://youtu.be/GkaGyqts8oE

Who remembers Chicken Rock? 7 Creepy Tales of Candlewood Lake…


This map marks the tales’ (approximate) locations.

Many writers pull their inspiration from childhood; fortunately, I had plenty of urban legends in mine–many surrounding Candlewood Lake.

New England Horror Writers recently posted a collection of these tales I put together: “Seven Creepy Tales of Candlewood Lake.” You can read them here: http://nehw.blogspot.com/2016/08/legends-of-candlewood-lake-guest-blog.html

If you grew up on or near the lake, do you remember any of these? I asked a few people when I was working on this and found out that yes, many do (everyone, especially, seems to recall the one about “The Kids in the Pipe” up at Lynn Deming)…and almost no one didn’t know Chicken Rock!

Anyway, enjoy! If you remember any of this, feel free to share in the comments below.

Missy Candlewood Lake Beach 1982

My sister prepares to jump off a concrete wall into (very shallow) water at the CTTA Beach in New Milford, CT, in the summer of 1982. Ah, unsupervised children. It was a thing.

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