…I know, I’ve been writing a great deal about animals lately; that’s because there are a lot of them around. Anyway, on a recent evening at around 2 in the morning (I was up working on a project), I heard a giant crash. To my surprise, there were nine—yes, nine—baby raccoons on our back porch (probably because of bird seed, because the only things that go in that trash are used up fireworks, the contents of ashtrays, and wine bottles). By the time I got my camera, there were only about five left, and I just want to note here that, sadly, I missed the moment when Nathan opened the door and one of them tried to get into the house. Sorry it’s a little dark—I didn’t exactly have time to fix the settings on my camera, but still, you can at least get the point…and if this frightens you, consider picking up Apex Publications’ Zombie Feed Volume 1 anthology, which contains Kristin Dearborn’s story “Rabid Raccoons.” You might just learn what it means to really be scared of those furry bandits…
My zombie-apocalypse story “A Bone to Pick” has tied for second place in Toasted Cheese’s 2011 Dead of Winter Contest! This year’s theme was “Skull and Bones.”
It was funny how this all happened—I hadn’t planned on submitting to their contest this year; I hadn’t in a few years, actually. But suddenly the entire story popped into my head one morning, and it just happened to fit their theme. So I wrote it up and figured I’d give it a shot. It was a great little early birthday present to find out the story had placed!
“A Bone to Pick” is set at Robert Frost’s farm in New Hampshire and asks the question: what would happen if the one person in the world you both loved and hated was the only other person alive?
The winners are:
First place: “The Red Scarf,” Anitha Murthy
Second place: “Skin and Bones,” Jake Gogats
Second place: “A Bone to Pick,” Kristi Petersen Schoonover
Honorable Mention: “Osteophthisis,” John-Michael Gariepy
The first and second place stories will be printed in Toasted Cheese’s March issue, so I’ll keep you posted about when that’s available. I’m really looking forward to reading the other winners’ pieces. The Toasted Cheese Dead of Winter contest, which runs every year between November and December and specifies that the story must be horror, written to that year’s theme and set in winter, is always a lot of fun. All entries are judged blind.
For more information on Toasted Cheese—they run other contests throughout the year and put out a great little mag four times per year—you can visit their website: http://www.toasted-cheese.com/