2016 Scares the Shit Out of Me




It’s only the 2nd day of the year, nice easy Saturday night full of peppermint candy, Lana Del Rey and sleeping dogs.

Last night was Sherlock’s ‘The Abominable Bride’ (which was better than all of S3 put together, and I loved S3), and this afternoon was ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with my almost-8-yr-old son in his Darth Vader sweatshirt and my cool-as-hell hubby (and it was GREAT! I was afraid to hope, after the prequels). So. I’m high on Moriarty and Chewbacca.

The year ahead lies sprawled in an almost impossible glowing light. These Lite Brite blips of things to come, and they seem too good to be true:

  • the first edition of Menacing Hedge I’ve worked on as full-fledged co-fiction editor with my incestuous sibling Craig Wallwork, out pretty much anytime – and conspiring with the beautiful crew there
  • more and more unbelievable announcements about the Gutted:Beautiful Horror anthology – just a lil ole book coming out this year with me in it….AND Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Paul Tremblay, Damien Angelica Walters, Richard Thomas…that’s not even all!! It’s just too hard to type out all the names, and they’re not even DONE with the ToC!
  • AWP LA, which I guess is some sort of “conference” or something, but whatever – I’ll be spending April Fool’s Day in California with the crew that welcomed me into the bosom of ‘Warmed and Bound’ nearly five years ago, only that crew times ten…ocean and bowling and books with some of the best people I’ve ever met or am about to
  • Tentative plans for a vast and ambitious family vacation that, worst case scenario, would take place next summer instead of this one
  • Tentative plans to finish a semi-vast and very-ambitious linked short story collection surrounding the concept of Frankenstein’s Monster and the freedom from the burden of chronological memory…that, worst case scenario, will be completed next summer instead of this one (it would take some massive laziness to drag out an entire extra year)
  • Jewelry – Jewelry!! Work!! They call it work, I call it a kitchen and laboratory full of adoptive family, gems, and magic lasers and elf-sized tools. They let me hang out there, and talk about movies and gold and life, and pay me for it…
  • my son and I have started the Harry Potter series, a mere two hours ago, and he’s into it
  • Richard Thomas has extracted a promise for a story from me for Gamut, which seems like something I should have to fight to get into
  • Craig Clevenger wants to podcast with me for a couple guest episodes of Booked.
  • My sister is going to give me another niece or nephew – another minion for my son!

Can I just stop there, and take a breath?

My fear is justified, yes?

Because this is my life, and I want to deserve it. I want to deserve the people and the love and the pictures in my brain and the roof over my head and the happiness,

and I don’t want to take a breath, or cough, for fear I’ll wake….

So, before I do, in this world now I want to say: I love you all. I appreciate you all. You’re heavy and light and wispy and warm in your love and support and confidence and laughter and conspiratorial smiles. My family, my friends, my work family, my writing , my reading compadres, my Sherlock-fiends, my fellow mothers of beautiful strong babes, my ladies in the shadows that whisper to me that I’m good enough.

Thank you. By the Stars and the Moonlight and the magic of breathing, I wish you all as beautiful a 2016 as you’ve made possible for me, just by being a part of my life.




(Magical Shiny Shoes to dance through the year)

Menacing Hedge Spring 2013 Issue LIVE!!

Woo hoo!! The Spring Issue just went up.

Six short stories hand-picked by yours truly, plus awesome poems selected by Kelly Boyker. AND artwork by my awesome friend Ryan Case, that MH was nice enough to allow me to interview.

Click over for brand new fiction by:

Kate Velguth

Court Merrigan

Liz Young

Mia Avramut

Matthew Burnside

Gisella Faggi

Menacing Hedge Spring 2013

Bird of Pray by Ryan Case

Bird of Pray by Ryan Case

Hi, Menacing Hedge

so, Kelly Boyker and Craig Wallwork are having me over to play…. hi, anyone from MH who clicked over to see what qualifications i might possibly have to sift through your work for the Spring Issue.

proper capitalization is obviously not one of them. BUT! i’m confident i can persuade you to send me your loveliest, most beautiful things to read, and i will handle and read them delicately, like scrolls of parchment. i shall light candles about the room in the dead of night and shuffle to my old table with arms full. i’ll unroll them carefully one by one, and believe you me i shall mouth the words while following every single line with the tip of my index finger.



1. In the 2nd grade i did very well in 5th grade reading comprehension, so i have a lot of experience grasping a story. this wasn’t through any sort of school program, there was just a really big 5th grade girl that rode my bus and ‘persuaded’ my friend and i to do her reading homework every day on the way home from school.

2. i read ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘Gone With the Wind’ when i was ten years old. this just illustrates that i read feverishly and compulsively. i wasn’t supposed to read those books, so i hid them and devoured them in delicious secret moments.

3. my first novel was completed at age fifteen – it was shit and i’ll never show it to anyone even though i worked on it for a year. i know how much time it takes to do this! i know you work really hard on whatever you send, and you worked really hard for years before that to get to a place that you wrote things you felt were worthwhile to show the world.

4. i was almost thirty before i ever showed even one written word of my own to anyone in the outside world. it takes serious balls to cut out a little piece of yourself and send it to strangers, only to have them tell you objectively what a part of your insides is worth. this act of courage will never be taken for granted.

5.  i don’t give a shit about your bio. seriously don’t. won’t read it until after the story. if you have seven published novels, an MFA and teach a creative writing class, i won’t know you weren’t a seventeen year old who scribbled her story out in biology class instead of taking notes. because everyone makes magic sometimes, and i don’t need to know where you’ve been to feel it.

6. Craig and Kelly trust me. and i don’t take it lightly. i’ll do my very best, and i’m very excited.



here is a photo of me just after my head transplant, so you can be assured i’m using the very best brains available: