If you’ve read my novel Bad Apple and enjoyed it, then don’t miss out on Karen Runge’s Doll Crimes.
This is a gorgeously written, terrifying examination of the complicated mother-daughter relationship; how they love and respect each other despite flaws; how they can damage each other no matter the depth of that love. This is real-life horror that reaches into the very bones of any woman who has loved her mother or daughter despite emotional crimes, big or small. Rife with sharp, stunning details and strong internal narrative, it’s possibly one of the most moving, visually beautiful–and yet accessible–books I’ve ever read, fraught with tension, sadness–and a strange kind of joy, because no matter where we are in our relationships with our mothers or daughters, their men, and the people who have done them wrong, we know that we are not alone. If you love dark fiction and are a mother, daughter, or both; or, if you have struggled with that emotionally fragile, yet seemingly unbreakable, bond between you, then this book is for you. High recommend.
Doll Crimes is published by Crystal Lake Publishing. It’s available everywhere, but here’s the Amazon link for ease: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1646693140/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_aRO5DbJF27VPK
Still haven’t read my book Bad Apple? You can get it here: http://bit.ly/BadAppleKPS
My New Year’s Eve-set ghost story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” is now available to read–for free–in the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. The December 2019 issue is themed “The Calling.”
The issue is stunning, but I have to say — I cried when I saw the artwork they chose. Honestly, it’s what I saw in my head when I was writing this, just over a year ago. It’s almost like they were reading my mind.
You can read it here:
“Wrecking Malcolm” was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. I learned about it last year at an archaeology lecture at my local community college, and was lucky enough to be able to visit, as it’s not far from where one of my friends lives.
Here are a few photographs of the actual graveyard.
For lots of people the highlight of Thanksgiving is the turkey … mine is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (usually while I’m on the phone with my sister, who’s watching it, too) … and, specifically, the Rockettes.
My parents, who were in theater, always used to say “if the show’s going terribly, just get everybody up there for a chorus line kick and that’ll fix it.” While I’m sure that was an exaggeration, I know that every time I see those Rockettes do their famous kick, the happy tears start flowing. It’s the most exciting moment of the day. And what girl doesn’t want to wear those adorable costumes and shoes? (Take a look at some of their favorite outfits from parades past here: https://www.rockettes.com/blog/five-iconic-christmas-spectacular-costumes-we-wore-for-the-thanksgiving-day-parade/)
From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Krissi, Nathan, Charles, and the cats (Poe and Mikey)
I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, “Wrecking Malcolm,” has been accepted by the literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs for its upcoming issue, themed “The Calling.”
The issue is due to release on December 1–that’s Sunday!
“Wrecking Malcolm” is a personal favorite of mine, and I’m glad it found a good home. It was inspired by a shipwreck graveyard that was discovered at Green Jacket Shoal in East Providence, RI. There is much work being done to preserve the historic structures … and yes, I’ve visited it more than a few times.
I’ll post when it’s available to read. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving with your friends and family!
My story “Last Christmas” –a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–is up today for Patreon Supporters of Crystal Lake Publishing! If you’d like to check it out, you can make a $5/month Fans of Fiction pledge (you can change this at any time) and vote. The first two stories posted were really good stuff, and I’m sure the remaining 10 are going to be great, too. Here’s where you can sign up, read, and vote if you like:
I’m pleased to announce that “Last Christmas”–a flash piece I wrote for Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Waters November Flash Fiction Challenge–has made the final round! This month’s challenge was “creepy stories with a twist ending that take place in a graveyard.” My story shares the list with thirteen others.
Normally, I don’t announce when a piece is a finalist or is shortlisted–I consider that bad luck. However, this contest is a different animal. The winner will be selected based on the votes of the publication’s Patreon supporters, and so in that case, it truly is a crap shoot. I’m just happy I made it to the finals.
I had a wonderful time writing this piece–I’ve always loved a theme challenge. I’m hoping to do more in the future. It forces me to think outside the box as well as practice word economy and other skills. But mostly? Yeah, it’s just FUN!
I’ll be back Thursday with the link to my story.
Recently, I posted a quote that read “Decide what kind of life you actually want. Then say no to everything that isn’t that.”
Two weeks ago, I had an existential crisis—well, I suppose it’s safe to say, another existential crisis, because honestly, if you’re doing this writing life right, it happens more often then you might think. There’s a reason for the “tortured artist” stereotype. Questioning what you’re doing with your life, why you’re doing what you’re doing, is actually quite normal.
I’ve dabbled in many different things, but I’ve decided what kind of life I want: I want to write, I want to read, I want to surround myself with everything that’s connected to that. It’s what I’ve always wanted. They say you shouldn’t date anyone that isn’t ‘fuck yeah, you’re it!’ about you. Conversely, you really shouldn’t be doing anything in your life that doesn’t make you want to rocket from bed in the morning and go, ‘fuck yeah, let’s get started!’
I’ve been reading a lot of fantastic short work in literary magazines lately—in my opinion, there’s a lot of undiscovered genius out there—and I want to publish the stuff I enjoy reading most. So I decided to found a new dark literary journal that will pay its writers. It’s called 34 Orchard, and the first issue will launch in April of 2020.
I’ve edited a couple of journals, and I know how stressful and rigorous this path can be—where most small journals can fail, honestly, is in the area of balancing all of the work: eventually, it’s so much arduous work, so much struggle and pain to keep up with it or deal with the grief of daily business (which sometimes isn’t pleasant), that the passion just burns out (kind of like a toxic or one-sided relationship). I had to come up with a detailed plan for something that would be sustainable in the long term, and I did.
Yes, it will be a major time investment. But unlike a toxic or one-sided relationship, I’ve figured out how to manage things so that I can just enjoy it. It will be drama free, full of joy, and make me want to rocket out of bed every morning and go, ‘fuck yeah!’ 34 Orchard is going to be the love of my life.
Our website is LIVE, and our Duotrope listing was approved and posted fewer than 24 hours after we were ‘internet official.’ The journal will be free to read for the time being, but donations are accepted. You can also sign up for announcements to come right to your email (it won’t be a blog. There will be only a few scattered announcements when there is news to share) so you’ll know when our first issue is up!
I hope you will join me in celebrating, and I hope you’ll support the journal in any way you can—share it, read it, send us comments, send us your work, donate, tell a friend. Thank you!
Main Page: https://34orchard.com/
Publishing information: https://34orchard.com/issues/
Writer’s Guidlelines: https://34orchard.com/guidelines/
Duotrope Listing: https://duotrope.com/listing/27544/34-orchard
When I was eight, my mom made me a Cinderella dress. I wore it every day, and I cried when I grew out of it.
I have been waiting, like a princess for her Charming, for another version of that dress for 40 years, and today, my husband, Nathan, made it happen.
I feel like that innocent little girl all over again. So, here’s to getting the opportunity to relive your childhood–and put those ghosts to rest.
Yeah, I know. Y’all were getting used to having some content from me every Sunday, and then I disappeared. What happened?
I’ve been writing short fiction—a lot, and honestly, I’m not the type of writer who can do both. While most of the year was spent on my novel Tidings, my muse let me down on that one for little bit, but inspired three new pieces. “Omniscience” and “Threading the Needle” are out for submission; a third, “Temporary Inconveniences,” is being workshopped, and after that, I’ll be finishing one I started last year post-“Wrecking Malcolm” called “Feast or Famine.” Ideas for new pieces are coming out of nowhere, and I mostly have to give them all of my attention except for necessary adult things like bill paying, cleaning the house and getting the windshield repaired on the car: a novel I can work on and balance life. Short fiction? Not so much. It’s pretty much bye-bye Krissi.
Of course, around all of these projects, Read the rest of this entry
I first learned of Cold Skin when Dark Discussions watched and reviewed the 2018 film last November. When the film was released, most reviewers went on about how it was a “twist” on The Shape of Water. If they’d bothered to look a little deeper, they would’ve realized that it was based on a book of the same title by Albert Sánchez Piñol—and it was published in 2002.
Cold Skin is an Read the rest of this entry