Category Archives: The Writing Life

This weekend’s Writing/Submissions/Marketing Workshop in Westford, MA: Yes, you can pay at the door; No, you don’t have to be an NEHW member

Tagged Manuscript for TIDINGS

This weekend’s Writing/Submissions/Marketing Workshop, sponsored by the NEHW, is YES, open to people who didn’t register. You can just pay at the door (I got a few emails about this, so I figured I’d throw it up here, too, just in case), and NO, you do not have to be an NEHW member. This is open to all.

The full day is TOMORROW, SATURDAY, APRIL 9, from 9:30 am – 6 pm at Atelier Pro-Kreative in the C.C. Sargent’s & Sons 1877 mill building on 69 Broadway Street, Westford, MA.

Event Description: After some networking time with morning refreshments, instructors Kristi Petersen SchoonoverScott T. Goudsward, and Trisha J. Wooldridge will lead a three-hour workshop on writing, submitting, and marketing short stories, with the option of additional critiques for submitted writing samples. In the afternoon, authors and editors from NEHW’s Wicked Women and Wicked Creatures anthologies will be signing, selling their own work, and taking part in a giant Q&A. Opportunities to network, purchase anthologies and authors’ publications, and socialize will happen before the workshops, during lunch, and at the end of the event.

Here’s the schedule for the day, and pricing. The only thing not available “at the door” would be the critiques, so I didn’t put them here.

Costs for the event are tiered and a la carte:

Full day of 3-hour workshop, breakfast, lunch, networking, signing, author Q & A: 

NEHW members:        $50                              Non-NEHW members:           $60

 

Afternoon only, including lunch:

NEHW members:        $25                              Non-NEHW members:           $30

Schedule

9:30-10:00:                  Light morning snacks, coffee, tea, water

10:00 -10:50:               Workshop Part 1: Crafting Short Stories

11:00-11:50:                Workshop Part 2: Submitting and Selling Short Storie

12:00-12:50:                Workshop Part 3: “I sold a story! Now what?” Marketing & Promo

1:00-2:15:                    Lunch and Networking, Shopping Time

2:30-2:50:                    Author Signing (& Shopping Time)

3:00-4:30:                    Wicked Q&A

4:45-6:00:                    Individual Critique feedback in private, Social & Networking Time

 

If you can make it, we’ll see you tomorrow! If not, YES, I will be posting photos next week.

I love my ANGRY MAMA!

Angry Mama

The Angry Mama will take your microwave to task.

It’s been such a crazy couple of months I sorta fell behind on everything—including housework (NO ONE is to come into my home until I get this place under control). Anyway…the first step in getting this place back on track—other than, of course, a nice big trip to Bath & Body Works to replenish my spring wallflowers and candles, first things first!—was to deep clean the microwave.

The best and easiest way to clean the microwave is to Read the rest of this entry

Writer? Get your short story shine-on this coming Saturday, April 9!

Tagged Manuscript for TIDINGS

Want some insider tips on writing, submitting, and marketing your short stories and selling to mags and anthos? Then don’t miss this workshop with me and experienced publication editors this coming Saturday, April 9, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Westford, Massachusetts!

Bonus? Lunch and a stellar signing event with the writers included in Wicked Women (which contains my story, “Arbor Day”) and Wicked Creatures (which includes my story, “Carving Grace”)!

Here are the details—I really hope to see you there!

Writing, Submitting, and Marketing Short Stories/Making Anthologies will be held at Atelier Pro-Kreative in the C.C. Sargent’s & Sons 1877 mill building on 69 Broadway Street, Westford, Mass.

After some networking time with morning refreshments, Read the rest of this entry

A little fun with forensic entomology …

Dead fly in chip bowl June 2020

My heart actually broke for this poor fly that died in my empty potato chip bowl in June of 2020.

Writers—especially of the darker genres—often joke that after we die, people would find things in our browser histories that might indicate we were actually something more sinister: how long does it take someone to drown, could you actually kill someone with a steak knife?, what kinds of poisons have no smell, how do you rob a bank?

Recently, I had to do some research on types of bugs that might be associated with a dead body. I had taken a really interesting forensics class back when I was working toward my (still unfinished) certificate in archaeology about twenty years ago, but digging up those notebooks in the basement was more daunting than Googling it.

I found this interesting little article from the Amateur Entomologists’ Society called “CSI Entomology: Insects at the scenes of crime.” You can check it out here: https://www.amentsoc.org/insects/insects-and-man/forensic-entomology.html

It’s not complete or very detailed, but it’s a good place to start if you’re a writer and you need to work on this particular level of realism in your stories, or maybe if you just need to make one quick mention (as I did). Have fun!

2021 Wishes & Intentions Update

Wishes & Intentions 2021

I’m a couple of weeks behind on this, but January 2 was Wishes & Intentions Day! My friend Heather and I write—just free-flow, no premeditation—things we’d like to accomplish, achieve, receive, or do in the new year. On Wishes & Intentions Day, we open the envelope for the prior year, see how many we got, and then make our new one.

In 2021, out of 63, I accomplished Read the rest of this entry

This writing chick’s got fingers crossed for an even more fabulous year …

I'm a Writer I Might Kill You in a Story Mug

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

The perfect accompaniment to “Carving Grace” …

Acapella group VoicePlay performs "Hoist the Colours."

Acapella group VoicePlay performs “Hoist the Colours.”

Our month of celebrating figureheads has come to an end. If you’d like to know more about real figureheads and their mythology, there are loads of resources—I didn’t spend any time this month talking about the real things because honestly, there are experts out there who have researched and published information that is much more eloquent and accurate than anything I could’ve written; there’s no point in paraphrasing something someone else did much better.

Here are some links if you’d like to learn more about figureheads and what it requires to make them:

The Historic England Blog: A Brief History of Ships’ Figureheads

https://heritagecalling.com/2019/01/31/a-brief-history-of-ships-figureheads/

Martin Jeffrey—Ship’s Figurehead Carving (he’s a real figurehead carver)

https://shipcarve.tripod.com/

Daily Art Magazine: Wild Women of the Waves – Art of Ships Figureheads

https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/art-of-ships-figureheads/

Need a little bit of atmosphere to take with you? Here’s an acapella version of “Hoist the Colours” by a group called VoicePlay that’s absolutely unforgettable.

VoicePlay’s rendition of “Hoist the Colours”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO8NEsx9m58

“Hoist the Colors,” while many think it’s a legitimate sea chantey, is not. It was written by Hans Zimmer for one of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy. It’s so good it’s really hard to tell it’s not authentic—and I think it’s a perfect fit with “Carving Grace.”

Haven’t read “Carving Grace” yet? If you’d like to—and you’d like an anthology full of lots of other fun creepy creatures—you can pick up a copy of Wicked Creatures here: https://bit.ly/WickedC

A visit to Mystic Seaport’s Figurehead Exhibit

“Carving Grace” has an enormous back story of inspiring experiences. One of them was a visit to Mystic Seaport’s Figurehead Exhibit, which Nathan and I visited in February 2021. At that point, I’d started the story, and I felt I needed a kick.

While vaccinations had started to happen, we wouldn’t be eligible for ours until March. We desperately needed to get away, and because most of the seaport is outdoors, it seemed the perfect place to secure a change of scenery (we’d also gone there in September of 2020 for our anniversary).

Me and Nathan on the road to Mystic Seaport

Nathan and I on our way to Mystic, CT for a special birthday/Valentine’s Day escape (to also do research for “Carving Grace”). The weather was beautiful. Winter overcast, but definitely not too cold; it was the perfect atmosphere. In my mind, Mystic Seaport itself is what the community of Timber Inlet—to a point—looks like.

Read the rest of this entry

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

It’s funny–as a horror writer, I always get the question, “what are your plans for Halloween?” The answer usually surprises people–NOTHING.

Halloween comes at the end of four to six weeks of celebrating fall, horror writers events, writing scary stories, cocktailing it up at an old cemetery, decorating like crazy, at least one weekend-long short film festival, reverse trick-or-treating at the day job, prepping the Fall issue of 34 Orchard, and eating too much candy. It’s a month crammed with FUN…and when the actual day arrives? I’m done. We don’t get trick-or-treaters where we live, so Halloween is a blessed day of rest.

Today, I’m going to watch some of my old favorites: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973), Chernobyl Diaries (2013), The Blair Witch Project (1999), The Forest (2016), The Uninvited (2009) and Lake Mungo (2008), among others. And maybe I’ll lay in bed and READ! …and, of course, I’ll have cake. No holiday is complete without cake.

From our house to yours … Happy Halloween!

Halloween cake from Shop Rite -- best frosting EVER

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