Monthly Archives: May 2022

On the 42nd anniversary of the Mount St. Helens disaster, a review and A+ documentaries

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.

ERUPTION by Steve Olson

My copy of ERUPTION is tied with a ribbon because I have articles all stuffed inside it. It sits next to an oil lamp made from Mount St. Helens ash and a photograph of the now-famous buried A-frame taken just after it was deluged up to its second floor in mudflows during the event. The curious home is now a tourist attraction.

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.

Anne Rice "Haint Gonna Happen" Promo Square

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

Kickstarter for DEAD STARS supports great art and can bulk up your summer read list!

DEAD STARS COVER ART 1

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.

Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crlangille/dead-stars-and-stone-arches-a-collection-of-utah-horror/description

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!

DEAD STARS TEMP BACK COVER ART

A Motherless Daughter’s Gratitude on Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Card Blog Art

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).

74KristiKissieFaceMomOrangeDressChuckDogFood

Me, Mom, and that little turd in blue is my brother. Don’t ask me why I’m making a fish face in this picture. I have no idea. This is 1974. I had just turned three.

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

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