Category Archives: Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff
It’s everywhere that Betty White died a couple of weeks before her centennial. Although she was special to me for so many reasons, this isn’t a tribute post—it’s really just something I found interesting.
On what would’ve been her 100th birthday on January 17, I was working with my Golden Girls Tarot Deck and the image on the 8 of Cups struck me: Rose is walking away.
Tarot cards have a myriad of meanings, depending on which cards they’re surrounded by in the spread and their provenience. But what struck me about the 8 of Cups is that, while the most dire of its meanings is abandonment, it’s also simply walking away from something that no longer serves you for something new.
This image made me sad, but it was also a comfort. Goodbye, Betty. I hope there’s a whole lot of better cheesecake in the heavenly kitchen.
34 Orchard, the dark literary magazine I founded in 2019, is my baby, and while it has faced its challenges, it does well and brings me a lot of joy.
The past three days were a little bit rough, but it also reminded me that I have a lot of great people in my life, that everything happens for a reason—and that sometimes, you need things to burn to the ground so you can rise from the ashes. I don’t even know why I’m sharing this here, exactly–it’s not customary, or a good idea, for editors to talk about their negative experiences publicly. It might even be considered unprofessional. But I just have this feeling someone out there needs to hear this today, so whatever. I’m human.
The short version: 34O was listed Read the rest of this entry
I’m going to preface this by saying I’m not even close to knowing much about the late George Romero’s films, and in fact, I’m not even a fan of his work—mostly (I know, understand, and can appreciate its brilliance, and I think he was a genius. Zombies are just not my thing). He has, however, thanks to Night of the Living Dead, become synonymous with a specific brand of horror, so fan expectations are set.
I just watched George Romero’s gorgeously restored lost gem, 1975’s The Amusement Park, which has been available as a Shudder exclusive for a while now. In my opinion, this is one of the scariest films I’ve ever seen; if you enjoy the work my magazine, 34 Orchard, publishes, then you will definitely be into this—this is profound, visceral, disturbing, real-world, inevitable horror.
I will keep this all spoiler-free, Read the rest of this entry
Another year has passed … for me, it’s “Already?” Well, they say time flies when you’re having fun, and quite honestly, my 2021 was pretty awesome. I went to or held a few really fun virtual parties (including my 50th birthday!), and got to visit some favorite and new places: twice to Mystic, a few times to Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to a retreat on Cape Cod, and to Salem for the first time. I attended two virtual Cons–StokerCon and the HP Lovecraft Film Festival–and, with my co-chair David Griffith, got the Horror Writers Association’s Connecticut Chapter off the ground. Horrorfest with my cousin returned. I read some amazing books, both issues of 34 Orchard were successful, and I was honored to participate in two online readings as well as be a guest at a few online high school and college classes. And me and Nathan got to spend many an evening watching movies in the comfort of our living room–something we have always enjoyed, but never seemed to have much time to do pre-pandemic.
But it was the Read the rest of this entry
Every year, one of the big events at my New Year’s Eve party is the opening of the poppers, which comes with my special wish for each person to be granted in the new year—happiness, good fortune, fruition, peace, et cetera.
What’s interesting about this is that not only does my wish come true every year, others have told me theirs do, too. Whether it’s really a bit of magic—or simply just people “making it so” through positive thought—it’s still pretty amazing.
Here’s a run-down of how all of mine have manifested so far—and at the end, directions on how to make them Read the rest of this entry
We’re staying in and hosting a virtual party at 10pm. Last year, we did the same, only to come down in the morning and our house was trashed like we’d had our pre-pandemic annual NYE bash … fingers crossed we do it again!
Don’t forget to enjoy The Twilight Zone marathon with your mimosas and Bloody Marys tomorrow, and very best wishes for a celebratory evening and a very productive and magical 2022!
Charles, Nathan, Krissi and our kitty Mikey
We wish you a bright and merry holiday weekend! From our house to yours, here’s a short video clip (below) of our vintage (1960s) silver tree that has been stowed in our basement for nineteen years—my little cat Poe had Pica, so to him, this was just a big, glittering snack. While I’d rather have my kitty back, and I miss my live tree, it was tear-inducing to put this baby back together and listen to her sing “Silent Night” to us. The color wheel is modern–we DO have the original, but it’s just not fire-safe.
Always love your traditions—but always relish the moment you can shake them up a little bit, too! Thank you for reading and always supporting my work. May your celebrations be filled with joy.
Kristi, Nathan, Charles (housemate), and Mikey (the cat)
Happy Christmas Eve! The Kindle Edition of Grinning Skull Press’ holiday horror anthology Colour Out of Deathlehem, which contains my story “Feeding the Babies” (if you know what Treevenge is, you’ll love this!) is now available—best of all, 100% of the $4.99 purchase goes to The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
This is a very worthy cause, and I worked long and hard on a brand new story just for you in the hopes that you’d all lend a hand!
The true spirit of Christmas is really in giving. If you’ve got $4.99 to spare, have a Kindle or the app on your phone or PC and love scary Christmas stories? Consider treating yourself while giving to someone else.
Edited by Harrison Graves and Michael Evans, here’s what’s in store:
Welcome back to Deathlehem, where… Read the rest of this entry
We’re entering another year of this pandemic, and while things are looking up, it’s still going to take time. While we all have Virtual Fatigue and a good lot of us are vaccinated, there’s still a need for some virtual activities, and it’s still one of the few ways we can stay in touch.
In 2020, COVID forced me into hosting the two parties I’d planned—34 Orchard Dark Literary Magazine’s launch in April and New Year’s Eve—into virtual rooms. What surprised me? I’d felt like I’d actually had a house full of guests, and my guests—especially for New Year’s Eve—said it was almost as though we’d all been together in person. It was so successful, I did it for my 50th Birthday Party in February of 2021, and I’m hosting New Year’s Eve online again this year (my guests are from all over the country, and sometimes, people come and stay for a few days. Even with all of us being vaccinated, that’s still not really possible this year–we don’t feel it’s worth the risk).
Wanna pull that off? Here’s how:
1 Choose a theme. A party is a party, right? Yes. But a theme creates a cohesion that changes it from a party to an EVENT.
2 Set up your chat room/Meet-up/whatever early. Then call your party something Read the rest of this entry
… any controversy bandwagon, but can I just say how thrilled I am that almost NO retail stores (other than basics, which I still feel should also be closed) were open on Thanksgiving for “early Black Friday”? I don’t have anyone in my family that works retail, I DID work one year at Bath & Body Works and it was actually fun (it was a side job, so I didn’t have much choice, and for me it was a novelty), but I was against the idea from day one. I found it really rude that places wouldn’t let their workers spend a day with their families at home, and I NEVER shopped on that day for that reason. Maybe it’s another good thing that came out of this pandemic, and I hope it sticks.
On a side note, it always seemed like it “killed” the Black Friday idea anyway. Lots of people I know made a family tradition of getting up early and going as though it was a separate holiday, and it just seemed like it took some of the air out of that balloon (I work my day job on Black Friday, so this doesn’t affect me, but still … )