I’m Teaching at The Loft this Fall

I’m teaching this half-day class at The Loft on October 28th for anyone interested in dark/weird/horror fiction. I personally engage in darkness to find the light, but the course takes a broad view of what horror is, what it’s for, and how it can be done.

More Information at The Loft website.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Date: 10/28/17

Location: Open Book-Loft Classroom

Day of the Week: Saturday

Time: 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Ages: Adult

Class Level: Open to All Levels

Genre: Fiction

• Regular: $70.00
• Member: $63.00
• Low-Income: $49.00

Dark fiction, weird fiction, horror: whatever you call it, how do you write it? What are the elements of an excellent horror story? This class will cover horror basics and provide the groundwork for you to delve into horrifying stories only you could write, that editors will want to publish. Whether you’re a beginner or published writer, this class will help focus your intentions and skills to craft highly original dark fiction.

Through hands on exercises, we’ll cover established sub-genres or modes of dark fiction, how to subvert expectations, and how to establish mood (one of the most important aspects of dark fiction). We’ll also explore what to avoid and why, and how to use standard elements in a fresh and exciting way.

An informational packet will be provided with additional information you can consider at your leisure. Bring your charged laptop or pen and paper. If you have a draft of a horror story, bring a paper copy, and I will provide written feedback on the opening section. Bring a bag lunch; we’ll eat while we write and break as needed. Genre and literary horror writers of all levels welcome.

Shadows & Tall Trees 7 Reviews, Interviews, & Updates

I am trying to be better about website upkeeping. (I am bad at it.)

There’s a new review up at This Is Horror. I’ll admit to being quite pleased with what was said about “The Triplets.”

Tried to reblog V.H. Leslie’s post with pertinent links, but failed. Here’s a pasted excerpt:

With stories from Malcolm Devlin, Brian Evenson, Rebecca Kuder, V.H. Leslie, Robert Levy, Laura Mauro, Manish Melwani, Alison Moore, Harmony Neal, Rosalie Parker, M. Rickert, Nicholas Royle, Robert Shearman, Christopher Slatsky, Simon Strantzas, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael Wehunt, Charles Wilkinson, Conrad Williams and cover artwork by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich (paperback edition) and Vince Haig (hardback edition) Shadows and Tall Trees 7 will mark the welcome return of this journal.

Award-winning writer Angela Slatter, has been kind enough to interview us all about our stories and the motivations behind them, starting Rosalie Parker, Michael Wehunt, Malcolm Devlin and Manish Melwani. And inimitable reviewer, Dew Lewis has already begun his Real-Time Review of the journal which can be read here.

Don’t forget to pick up a copy from Undertow Books.

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things


favorite things close upToday is the release date for Shadows & Tall Trees Vol. 7, where you can find my latest story, “The Triplets.” My copies arrived Saturday. When my partner went to read the soft cover version, a spider watched him from the ceiling, threatening to drop on him at any second. He wondered if the spider hadn’t been complimentary with the issues…

I couldn’t be more thrilled to be included in this amazing anthology with so many delightfully horrifying writers. Michael Kelly is the best editor anyone could ever hope to work with and an all-around phenomenal human being. I hope you’ll grab a copy while they last. Just look at those beautiful covers!

What Is A Witch?


What Is a Witch?

What is a witch but a hag, an unruly woman, a spinster, a crone, any woman who exerts her own power and right to exist and act how she wants without the approval of the patriarchy?

They try to burn us at the stake, hang us, drown us, imprison us, throw acid on us, rape us, murder us, for not doing what they want or being how they want us to be.

A witch is any woman who does not play by the patriarchy’s rules.

A witch is a “nasty woman.”

A witch is any woman who embraces her own power and self-determination, who dresses and acts and works and plays how she pleases with little to no regard for what is expected of her or what other people think “her place” might be.

A witch is a person in touch with her own magical powers to transform herself, others, and the world we all share.

sun_kitsune_by_hontor“Sun Kitsune” art & image by Evgeny Hontor. One of my favorite witches, who makes AMAZING art.

Harmony Is A Witch

I refuse to let other people and their bad cultures and religions impose their beliefs on me, what I look like, how I act, what I learn, what I value, what I write, the stories I tell.

I am a magic-user, broadly and narrowly construed. I am fascinated by physics and hypotheses about parallel worlds and universes and the implications of those possibilities. For laypeople, scientific knowledge can come across as magic. No, really, HOW does your television or computer actually work? How do they display images and colors and sounds and react to our remotes and keyboards and the internet? We don’t know. It works by magic for all we know.

I am a magic-user in that I create entire universes in my stories. Stories have the ability to change individuals and cultures. They’ve shown again and again that readers of fiction are more empathetic than non-readers of fiction. We understand our fellow humans better because we’ve experienced what it might be like to be all sorts of different people in different circumstances with different problems.

I take my magic very seriously and tell stories that will make the world a better place and open up opportunities to those who have been systematically oppressed and belittled and ignored. Not only do I try to make the world a better place for other humans, but I am desperate to make the world a better place for plants and animals that live here too!

I am the sort of witch who sits on her porch watching the various birds and squirrels playing in the trees and bushes, who tunes into the natural world and isn’t constantly distracted by technology and capitalist impulses to buy more and own more and spend the majority of my life completing meaningless tasks for slips of paper that I can turn into meaningless, transitory goods.

I am witch who balances my life to the best of my ability within the horrific society I was born into with all that comes with that. I minimize the amount of time I spend performing relatively meaningless tasks and conserve those slips of paper received for necessities and goods that actually improve my life and the lives of others, and reserve most of my time and energy for loving relationships, writing my stories, and communing with the natural world.

Another Dang Test

So these posts were all disappearing into the ether as I made more of them, so I tried to bring back the “blog” portion of the page, not that I wanted to call it a “blog.” So now I’m trying to see if new posts will archive to the page I put back or not. I really should have done the novel first, then this. Mistakes were made.

More On The Big Head Debate

It is totally worth pointing out that when I first started putting this site together, I deleted one million preinstalled widgets and also the “blog” portion. I had zero intentions of saying anything about anything that wasn’t simply linking to my stories and essays and maybe interviews I’ve done or will do or am doing. I was only putting everything together because sometimes people ask where they can read my stuff, and I’m always like, uh, I dunno google me? Add in “fiction” to the search? This does not go over well. So ok, fine, I was building a website, but I didn’t know all the things I didn’t know. I haven’t had a blog in a decade. I don’t even write nonfiction anymore. I’m tired of saying things to say things, but now I sort of have to, or do I? It’s a good question. I do not currently have the answer. Do you have a big head just because you want people to actually find the website you built specifically for them? Do I, gentle weirdo who is reading this silly posts, have a big head? You decide.

A Big Head

It’s occasionally suggested to me that I have a big head. This suggestion is usually offered by either my partner, who is a wizard, or occasionally by my best friend, who is also a wizard, and an editor. Wizards have a really big problem with barging into places, giant heads first, and declaring this and that about the heads of others in the room. Fortunately, as a witch, I am able to ignore such hypocrisy. I understand the limitations of wizards everywhere and feel sympathy for them.

How Many To Read? How Many To Write?

Are you reading these? Why? Why not, really? I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not a web developer, but I am also too much of a weird control freak to just let someone else do this for me, though they’ve offered to for free. Do I have trust issues? Am I paranoid? More sunk cost fallacies? So certain I can make this work on my own? Desperate to avoid the novel? These are all good options.

I Have Made So Many Mistakes

Ah, sweet old Capitalism, wherein thirty different companies offer an array of confusing services at confusing rates, disallowing a clear comparison. I thought simply choosing wordpress for my author’s website would help me focus and move forward, but now I find they are rather rude and limiting. So now instead of static pages, I have to create these silly posts in order to include tags, which is the only way my website will ever come up in someone’s google search. I’m not sure if I can game a bot using this single post or not, but I am willing to try. (Turns out, no, of course not.)