Category Archives: Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff

I got a special bird for my birthday! Check him out!

WOW! I got a SPECIAL BIRTHDAY BIRD at the feeders this morning (it’s my birthday today)! This is a male house finch, but he is orange. Why is this special? Well, first of all, I’ve been a Disney Orange Bird freak since I was teeny, BUT…according to All About Birds, “When a bird is molting, its diet will determine the colors of its new feathers. If a diet lacks certain pigments, then a House Finch may end up orange or yellow instead of its usual red.” This makes him rare and special indeed. What a lovely gift! He’s hard to see against the ground so I put hearts around him so he’s easier to spot.

Orange House Finch 1 - Heart Copy

Orange House Finch 2 - Heart Copy

Pushing the Reset Button

Success Popper 2022

When I was a kid, my parents had people over on New Year’s Eve. Usually, those couples brought their kids, and it was an evening of unsupervised fun in one of the downstairs rooms in our house. We got to eat things like Fritos and Port Wine cheese balls and could stay up as late as we wanted, playing Atari or watching movies.

But my parents looked at New Year’s as little more than the less exciting, not very meaningful finish to the holiday season, and I have to admit I did too, up until I got into my late 20s. Once I moved in with my housemate Charles and started to embark on my writing career and my own life in earnest, we began to mark both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as something to be celebrated, something special. Over the years, it’s gotten to the point at which, after Christmas Day, I start taking down the decorations and switch those in my home over to “winter,” and New Year’s Eve and Day have a spirit, feel, and magic all their own—it’s a party with friends (virtual for the past few) followed by a full day of rest on the couch, eating fun food and taking in Syfy’s annual The Twilight Zone marathon (and I own them on DVD, so if that ever goes away, I can happily continue that tradition).

Over the past five years, the two days have also taken on a spiritual bent for me. Not only a holiday, but a chance to begin completely anew. I’m not one for “resolutions” and never have been, but I always look at the start of a new year as the chance to reflect on the past year, take stock of things, and set new goals with the idea of “working on it” and not necessarily “completing it” to be successful.

I’ve seen writers socially sharing what they achieved in the past year, and I thought it was a neat idea, because I don’t do that. Not in the sense of a “tally” anyway. Last year’s New Year’s Eve cracker wish for me was SUCCESS, and holy crow, I wasn’t prepared for what that actually meant.

 

The year was a whirlwind. There are probably some things I forgot—honestly, that’s how awesome this year was—but here we go:

7 polished new short stories

3 new works in progress

29 new story ideas (nothing written yet, no. They go in a file for later).

5 acceptances

2 invitations to submit (successful)

12 story publications

Guest Speaker at 2 College Creative Writing Classes

6 interviews (podcast and print)

9 positive reviews of my stories or projects

2 successful 34 Orchard issue releases

4 panel events

LOL – a tiny photo of me in the New York Times and an interview in the Washington Post

Featured Author for Sirens Call eZine’s Winter 2022 issue

Final selections for anthology I’m co-curating; editing underway now

1 incredible new opportunity I can’t talk about yet

…and 1 film credit! Thanks to my husband Nathan, I got to be an extra on the set of the upcoming horror movie Candlewood. My first time on a movie set, I was nervous as shit, but I had a wonderful time! Whether anyone actually sees anything more of me than my arm or something kinda isn’t the point. That was the experience of a lifetime, and I’m looking forward to this summer’s release.

I also opened my 2022 “Wishes & Intentions.” I didn’t necessarily Read the rest of this entry

Happy New Year!

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has always supported my work! It’s safe to say the last few years have been chaotic no matter who you are, and who doesn’t look forward to pushing the “reset” button?

Happy New Year 2023

We wish you a joyful, productive 2023, and I hope all your hopes, wishes, and dreams come true!

Kristi, Nathan, Charles and Mikey the Kitty

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

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

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!

The Stars Were Right! at NECRONOMICON PROVIDENCE 2022

Narragansett Beer Banner

Narragansett Beer is…awesome! That is all.

A little whirlwind tour of my experience at NecronomiCon Providence 2022. Enjoy! There are links at the end of the gallery for anything you might wish to know about further.

What an amazing weekend. See y’all in 2024, NECRO PEEPS!

LINKS

Here are links to things mentioned in the captions, in case you want to check them out!

NecronomiCon Providence

Graduate Hotel

The Green Hand Bookshop

Colour Out of Deathlehem, Grinning Skull Press

Nick Gucker

Rodger Binyone

Narragansett Beer

HP Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthuluthon

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