New story and essay, novel excerpt AVAILABLE NOW in FREE SIRENS CALL EZINE ISSUE 60!
BIG NEWS!! I’m ecstatic to announce that Sirens Call eZine Issue #60—FREE to download—not only contains my story, “What the Ocean Knows,” but, because they honored me with being featured author, also contains an essay, “Whispers Beneath the Lines: Dark Fiction’s Power to Heal” and a longer excerpt from my novel, Bad Apple! This giant issue also features 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?
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
Welcome, 2023! 34 ORCHARD’s submissions window is open through January 15!
34 Orchard is now considering work for our Spring 2023 issue! We will only be open from January 1 – 15, 2023, so if you’re planning on submitting, please keep in mind that anything after January 15, 2023, will be deleted unread (and yes, we adjust for all worldwide time zones. So that’s after January 15 at 11:59pm wherever you are).
Please refer to our guidelines for information on how to submit. Check that out here at https://34orchard.com/guidelines/, and we look forward to reading your work!
PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER! “Sea Legs” available in Lovecraftian Microfiction Vol. 8!
I’m thrilled to announce that my piece, “Sea Legs,” is now available in Lovecraftian Microfiction Volume 8!
“Sea Legs” is one of thirteen winners in the 2022 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon Microfiction Contest, and the collection makes the perfect stocking stuffer (tiny trim size is so cute too!!). It’s also two books in one, with Tales from the Tainted Inkwell—stories from the past that are out of print, including by cosmic favorites Cody Goodfellow and Peter Rawlik—on its flipside.
In “Sea Legs”: On a North Sea island, villagers are grateful for what the sea goddess gives—until what She tries to take in return may force one of them to go to unusual extremes. I was trying my hand at a cosmic/folk horror blend, something about which I learned at this year’s Necronomicon in Providence, RI in August.
Fill a stocking, put it under the tree, or treat yourself. You can get it here:
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?
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!
“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.
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.
Writer in your life? Unique gift suggestions
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
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!
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
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
…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
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.
Awesome announcements: “What the Ocean Knows” and “Sea Legs” accepted!
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.
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