Author Archives: kristipetersenschoonover

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Check out this crazy “turkey” of a dark ride!

I’ve always been a fan of dark rides—especially ones that are a little more bizarre. I created a whole theme park full of them based on different types of human sacrifice in my short story, “Incident at Dark Acres,” which you can read here in The Smoking Poet, Winter 2010-2011 Issue #17 (scroll down page to read story). https://thesmokingpoet.tripod.com/winter201011/id12.html

Last Thanksgiving, I was up very early. A couple of days before, I’d discovered the Holiday World Theme Park in Santa Claus, Indiana, with what looks like a fantastic dark ride called “The Gobbler Getaway.” In it, guests have to “shoot” turkeys that have escaped so the pilgrims can serve them for Thanksgiving Dinner. How had I not ever heard of this?

Gobbler Getaway Attraction at Holiday World

The Gobbler Getaway Attraction at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.

I let my brain wake up with coffee as I watched the ride through, and it’s as crazy as it sounds—crazy in that wonderful way that makes me want to take a road trip.

Not awake yet? Take a five minute break and enjoy a Full POV ride-through on “The Gobbler Getaway.” Holiday World’s official ride-through video is here: https://youtu.be/6WioF1rlMCQ, but if you want to get an extended close-up and see the turkeys actually popping out, you can check out Adventures by D’s episode on the attraction here: https://youtu.be/48s_rmCq1PY

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, from our house to yours!

Krissi, Charles, Nathan and Mikey the cat, as well as a host of winter back yard birds

Yay! My short story “Let the Rain Settle It” accepted for HUSH, DON’T WAKE THE MONSTER—Stephen King homage anthology!

So excited to announce that my short story, “Let the Rain Settle It” has been accepted for publication in Hush, Don’t Wake the Monster—A Women in Horror Anthology containing stories inspired by Stephen King but with a female spin!

Hush, Don't Wake the Monster Cover

“Let the Rain Settle It” is an homage to Stephen King’s “Rainy Season,” which I read in the early 1990s and has haunted me ever since. Here’s the introduction I penned for my submission:

Why I chose Stephen King’s “Rainy Season”

 It’s been said the experience of a story is different for each reader, because it depends on what that person brings to the table. I didn’t read Stephen King’s “Rainy Season” until it was reprinted in his 1993 Nightmares & Dreamscapes collection, but of all the pieces I’d read of his, this is the one that stuck. As a starry-eyed twenty-two year old who was, at the time, blissfully unaware she was engaged in a toxic relationship, I connected most with the subtle clues King presents about the broken young couple heading toward not just physical demise, but eventual emotional disaster if they did survive. While John and Elise aren’t the focus of King’s narrative—the spotlight, as always, shines on unsettling Mainers—they’re clearly in a place where the ordinary drudge of life and its reactionary transgressions have squelched the blush of love and romance. The blinders are off, they see each other for who they really are, and it’s not pretty.

While it’s been accused of being too similar to Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and a “time passer,” “Rainy Season” isn’t just another folk horror tale or creature feature. It’s a warning that the killer toads of life are always at your romantic door, and sometimes, it’s just better to let them in.

I’m so excited and honored my story was chosen for this unique project, and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories! Watch this space for pre-order and ToC announcement—Hush will be released March 2, 2023!

34 ORCHARD ISSUE 6 IS HERE!

A shocking occurrence unmasks a professor and a ne’er-do-well covers up the truth. A machine exposes the past and lies linger between a dinner’s courses. A bijou boogeyman unleashes a daughter’s rage while ordinary colors and unusual mattresses strip away the pretense of composure. In Issue 6, seventeen artists brood on the secrets we keep, and what happens when they are exposed.

Autumn 2022 features a dark tale from India, disturbing looks at real-life events, emotional pieces by newer voices and scary stories by names that frequently haunt anthology tables of contents. Why, even the cover photo has an unsettling tale behind it! Our sixth issue is what you’ll want waiting when you take your break from prepping for the busy holiday season.

34 ORCHARD ISSUE 6 COVER

Announcing our Table of Contents!

Cover Art: Ophelia’s Last Secret – Robert Cedergren

Shrike Song – Zachary Kellian

The Beginning of You – Samantha Bryant

The Gritter – Kurt Newton

The Baron of the Rails – Douglas Ford

The Dusk of Day-shapes – David H. West

And Satyrs Shall Dance There – John Berbrich

The Yakshi Next Door – Hareendran Kallinkeel

Head – Mark Steensland

Memory Foam – Rowan Hill

Her Color – Grace Rolen

Step on a Crack – Jake Jerome

Birthday Dinner, May 28. – Jennifer Judge

All Aboard – KC Grifant

Young People in Love – Sam Lesek

Ugly Cinderella – Molly Greer

Insert Name Here – J. Paul Ross

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.

Click here to get your copy!

Writer in your life? Unique gift suggestions

Writers Xmas 2022 Art

The holidays are around the corner—and I’m posting this now so that, if you’ve got a writer in your life and you choose some of the more time-consuming or ordered gifts on this list, you’ve got time to make or get them before the days arrive.

As a writer, I get showered with lots of wonderful gifts related to my profession. There are always the obvious choices: journals, mugs, pens. If you don’t want to give your friend another journal, mug, or pen? Here are some Read the rest of this entry

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

A very happy Halloween from our house to yours! 

Nathan (my husband) bought me this costume last year, but my day job office was in the middle of moving, so I never got the opportunity to wear it. Better late than never!

 

If you’ve not chosen your diet-busting treat, I recommend these!

Pumpkin Spice Oreos

If you’ve not chosen a spooky read, I recommend anything by Poe—but how about something uncommon, like “The Oval Portrait,” which you can find online here: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/POE/oval.html

Selected Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Too excited and need to have a little fun? Here’s the link to the Google Doodle’s Magic Cat Academy from Halloween 2016: https://www.google.com/doodles/halloween-2016

Magic Cat Academy Google Doodle Halloween 2016

…and here’s the link to Google Doodle’s The Great Ghoul Dual Halloween Game, which they brought back from 2018 for 2022!: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl

The Great Ghoul Dual Google Doodle Halloween 2018

And if you’ve not chosen your scary watch, I recommend episode #8 of del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities series, “The Murmuring,” which is a classic ghost story that’s the most unique I’ve seen in a while. That’s on Netflix right now. Don’t have Netflix? Rent yourself The Woman in Black.

Cabinet of Curiosities Poster

Awesome announcements: “What the Ocean Knows” and “Sea Legs” accepted!

Scusset Beach Cape Cod -- Ghostly Footprints and Ribbons September 23, 2022

This washed-up eel grass and the ghostly prints of my boots inspired my short story, “What the Ocean Knows.” This photo was taken at Scusset Beach, Sandwich, MA, September 23, 2022.

My newest short story, “What the Ocean Knows,” has been accepted for publication in Sirens Call eZine Issue 60, Winter 2022! In “What the Ocean Knows”: A grieving Mavis finds comfort in afternoons spent talking to the sea… until the day the sea talks back.

This is a free online ’zine that has loads of good fiction, so I’ll let you know when it’s released and you can download your copy.

Sea Legs Winner -- HPLFF Colorful Cosmic Logo

In addition, my microfiction, “Sea Legs,” was one of thirteen winners in the 2022 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthuluthon Microfiction Contest, and will be published in Lovecraftian Microfiction Volume 8!

In “Sea Legs”: On a North Sea island, Read the rest of this entry

Halloween treats that won’t weigh you down! OUT OF TIME: TRUE PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS is here—free preview of “Floor Song Tango” below!

If you love true ghost stories, then Timber Ghost Press’ Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters is the anthology you want to unwrap every night along with your favorite full-sized Halloween treat! (And if you DO purchase this book, drop me a line through my Contact page or other means. I have a special goody for you!)

My piece, “Floor Song Tango,” opens the collection, and is about the house I grew up in. Outsiders didn’t know what was going on—mostly because our parents had completely brainwashed us into thinking our experiences were products of our imagination (for the record, I think it was brilliant that they did that. I, for one, never would’ve slept. I’m forever grateful). I’m sure they’d even convinced themselves. That said, when it came time to dump the place after Dad’s passing, things ramped up.

While finally coming clean in “Floor Song Tango” relieved me Read the rest of this entry

A magical night…

We had some pretty crazy rain storms out here on the Cape last night, and afterward, there was a rainbow and an amazing sky. My friend and fellow writer Angi and I went up on the roof deck to get a better look, and before our eyes, the rainbow got darker, full-arched, and became a double. I felt the promise of something new and awesome coming into my life!

Later on, in celebration of Angi finishing her novel, we went for a night walk on the beach.

Last night was the night I spend every Cape Cod Writer’s Retreat waiting for: special and magical. There’s always one, and this time, last night was it.

Amazing Sky

I am not a good photographer. The sky just did this for me. It almost reminded me of something volcanic.

Angi Shearstone Rainbow

Angi is an amazing artist, but she’s also great with a camera. She was able to get a panorama and get the whole rainbow (to clarify: Angi took this; I didn’t).

 

Scenes from the beach

I’ve been having a great time on the beach retreat! I really HAVE been working. A LOT. So not many photos, but here are a few.

14 Beach Path Marker

 

Off to the beach house writer’s retreat!

This is my favorite beach house mug, although I always bring my own.

I leave Friday for the annual writer’s retreat at the beach house in Cape Cod with five other talented writers, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be there until 9/23.

While last year was incredible, I have to admit that the focus was mostly on my enjoyment of the great outdoors and getting some rest and social time. This year? The focus will be completely different. I have tons of stuff to catch up on: the Wicked Sick anthology, outstanding 34 Orchard business, website/blog/general writing practical-end catch-up, blog posts, the NEHW classes I’ll be teaching, Bad Apple’s 10th anniversary release, some reading… and some writing. Maybe. My list is pages long. Way more than I can get done in eight days. But I’m going to do my best!

And, with any luck, the weather will be such that I can get some daily beach time in.

Have a great week!

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