Strawberry Moon

Happy first day of summer! Happy full moon!

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All of the things. ‘Gutted: Beautiful Horror‘ hit #1 in Hot New Releases and #2 in Horror Anthologies on its first day of pre-sale.  Tomorrow night I guest on a Noir on the Air episode of ‘Dames in the Dark‘ at 9pm. We’ve got the stories selected for the Summer edition of  Menacing Hedge, and go boldly into reading for Fall.  Pantheon Magazine’s ‘Hestia’ issue My son has one more week of baseball. My nephew is nearly here. There’s only one more episode of ‘Game of Thrones.’

‘Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?’ at the Portsmouth Little Theatre wrapped up in a sea of love, tears and Fireball. My husband got a motorcycle. We just got back from vacation, where I met Chewbacca – who is just as sweet in person as he is in the movies! Also, not to jinx her because the day is not done (and on this, the longest day of the year, I may be tempting fate), my favorite little red hen Lauren (Bacall) has successfully navigated back and forth to the neighbors’ hen house without an automobile collision.

Howl at the moon, my lovelies. Throw away your shoes. Jump in deep, dark water. Summer is upon us!

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Awful Big Talk for Such a Little Thing…

From an email to a friend, and honestly how I feel about This Thing We Do…

“But what if no one ever recognizes your efforts? That’s a distinct possibility. It doesn’t make the things you do of less value, or the work you’ve done in vain. Fame and appreciation are just matters of timing and luck with sometimes-talent added, based on whatever the pop culture climate is into at the moment. Picasso was appreciated in his lifetime and Van Gogh was not. But that doesn’t make Van Gogh’s work less amazing. And there are thousands of Picassos and Van Goghs that we’ve never heard of, and just because their paintings only hang in someone’s house or the canvases are stacked in a closet somewhere, that doesn’t mean the work wasn’t worth making, or breaking themselves into pieces for. Because it’s still worth it, because we can’t help it. That’s all there is to us, making things. You’ll itch under your skin if you don’t write stories, and you’ll just take up cooking or buy a bedazzler and put sequins on things. And in a few years you’ll catch yourself with a notebook of half-scribbled stories. Because it’s just what you are. You make things. You have to shrug and accept it. Even if you give up the marketing side, and submitting side, and just do it because it’s what you do. That second part – the whore part – is really unimportant in the actual scheme of making things.

So there’s your lesson for the day. You don’t ever have to submit shit if you don’t want to, ever again. Buy a fireproof trunk and seal all your work, finished and printed and also on various types of hard drives, in the trunk. Let someone else sort it out later. Focus on making it. Or take a break and make things when you damned well feel like it. Compulsion can also be euphoria.”

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Well Hey, September

And in a blink, summer disappeared!

It’s cool, though. I’ve been selling jewelry and being Mom, and as the leaves get crinkly and the toads disappear I’ll slide back into my writer-bubble and my skin will feel settled again….

Speaking of!!

The last week I’ve had a good run.

Firstly, Kevin Catalano did an article for Entropy Magazine about 25 Badass Female Short Story Writers, and BOOM! I was in there. Click the link to the article for sure, because all these females kick some short story ass and there are links galore to their stories for proof of their prowess, including to my story “Teetotaler.”

5 + 20 Female Short Story Writers You Should Be Reading RIGHT NOW

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And then today I sorta accidentally found out my story “The Line Forms on the Right” from the Burnt Tongues anthology (edited by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Rhomas and Dennis Widmyer, Medallion Press) was Long-Listed for the Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7, edited by Ellen Datlow. Not only were some of my bestest and most favorite writing peeps on the list, but also the likes of Caitlin Kiernan and Etgar Kerat! I fully realize there are a lot of names on there (it’s called a ‘long list’) but that’s just more good company to be in. Check this out:

Full Rec List – Best Horror of the Year,Volume Seven, edited by Ellen Datlow

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And of course get the ACTUAL REAL VOLUME SEVEN, it’s obviously amazing. As is Burnt Tongues, which had SEVEN stories on the long list!! The link for BT is in the Links tab above.

I’m a happy girl!!

More news to come, but we’ll talk about that in October. For now, I’ll leave you with a little Bobby Darin – the song that inspired my story in Burnt Tongues, and one of my favorites of all time.

Love to you all!! ❤️

 

 

Confessions

This is inspired by an email I just received, and also that segment they used to do on the old Conan, called ‘Secrets,’ where Snoop Dogg would ‘confess’ he’d never actually smoked weed or David Bowie would talk about how he liked to stick his hand up in the straw dispenser at McDonald’s and touch all the straws.

Meaning there’s no way a court of law could ever prove any of these things true or untrue, I just feel like making a list of crap that might not ever get brought up in conversation:

* I don’t ever remember wanting to ‘be’ anything when I grew up, except maybe being in movies, though I knew I was supposed to want to be stuff and made up all kinds of things. Pretty sure I said veterinarian for awhile…

* Played with some dead animals as a child. Not in an effigy sort of way, in a baby doll sort of way. Still haven’t killed anyone, though.

* All of my dreams are very complicated and convoluted romance dramas with celebrities, or about errands and household tasks I need to do. No in-between.

* Rod Serling was my first major crush. And it turns out my husband is related to him – by marriage, I think.

* I don’t respect dogs. I like them, but I don’t respect them. I respect cats.

* I still want an initials tattoo of “HM” for Herman Melville and Henry Miller, my first and always true writing loves.

* Domesticated birds terrify me, and I’ve never met one that didn’t try to physically harm me.

* Almost all my ex-boyfriends are gay. There aren’t many of them, and I think some of them are still…not being gay, if that makes sense, at least part of the time.

* I’ve peed next to nearly every water tower in Jackson County, under the cover of darkness.

* Somewhat related to the previous post, I never, ever, litter – but I did go through a brief period in highschool when throwing beer bottles at road signs out moving vehicle windows didn’t count as littering.

* I talk about highschool like it was crap, but I had really beautiful and amazing friends and we made the best of it. Substance abuse helped.

* Cigarettes are awesome and I will always miss them.

* Courtney Love had two really good albums so shut up.

* I sweep the living room and kitchen floor with a broom a minimum of three times a day, but I don’t dust. Dusting is ridiculous.

* If I could go back in time, I would’ve done a lot of nude photo shoots because I’m 35 and damn I really didn’t appreciate everything where it was when I was 19.

* I have no ambition. But it’s in what I’ve come to realize is a good way – I have no long-term goals to reach. I don’t want anything material. I dunno. Maybe a pool?

* I lie about my brain chemistry and how all that business works on a pretty much daily basis.

* People terrify me, so I try to be stupid/crazy/funny right up front as an icebreaker.

* I got kicked in the forehead by a cow when I was seven or eight. We (I won’t name the ‘we’) were all trying to milk it at the same time. I still have the scar. Can’t remember what lie we made up to cover up what happened.

* Looking back, my childhood was charmed, and what wasn’t, I conveniently erase.

* I spend more time in a given day thinking about Tom Hardy and Andrew Scott (Jim Moriarty) and Adam Levine than is probably healthy.

* Two-thirds of what I write gets trashed.

* Jack-in-the-boxes are an abomination, and if I could go back in time and kill the person who decided it was a good idea to make weird-faced dolls and jester-looking monsters pop out of boxes on a spring, I would, without a second thought, even if the person was still a child.

* If my son ever wants to join the circus or a sideshow or wander aimlessly looking at the world in any sort of creative profession, I will support him with all of my being – unless the circus involves animals, or the profession involves weird dolls like marionettes or ventriloquism.

* I’ve been email pen pals with my friend Craig for almost four years.

* Sometimes I still want big boobs, but just for the day, so I could wear tube tops now and then.

* Nathaniel Hawthorne sucks.

* I loved that show The Simple Life.

* Simultaneously, I wish guns had never been invented and I LOVE LOVE LOVE shooting. I’m good at it, too.

* I like James Franco, I think he has a lust for life in the spirit of that Iggy Pop song.

* I think food and eating and all that is an inconvenient hassle, even though I’m not supposed to say that stuff because I’m skinny and our culture says I’m supposed to have suffered and worked for skinniness. In reality I just don’t eat every much, and have always wished, since I first saw the Jetsons, that they made food/vitamin meal replacement capsule things.

* My kid is the best kid, and I hope he always likes me.

* Once when I was like 9 or 10 I licked a cookie so no one else would eat it, and my mother still tells that anecdote to every human being every chance she gets, and it’s one of the only times I feel what True Rage is like, and think I could kill another human being.

* But okay yeah one time I did try to hit someone with a truck but they totally deserved it.

* My husband is the first and only person I ever dated that I already liked, going into the relationship, before that I just sort of fell into relationships where I thought I had the upper hand.

* I hit my head a lot. A LOT. Like bottoms of cabinet doors, corners of table or chairs, undersides of porch swings, window sills, door knobs, etc. I don’t tell people unless there’s blood involved or I get caught because I’ve greyed out; I just can’t see how adding x-Ray radiation will help.

* If I could write one story as eloquent as any John Prine song, I think my stomach and soul would ease off me a little, and I could die happy.

* If I could switch bodies/physical emodiments with any human it would be Rose Byrne, I think she’s perfect.

* I don’t find the idea of death to be particularly disturbing or scary.

* Raw meat is disgusting. I think I like crock pots just so I don’t have to cut chicken.

* I have an arsenal of embarrassing stories that I tell (hair on fire in church, stood in the corner when I was 16 in history class) so I don’t have to tell the real ones.

* Alone in the car I have all the arguments with people, loudly, that I don’t allow myself to have in real life, just to get it all out of my system.

* Most of the time I believe in ghosts. The times I don’t, I want to believe…. 🙂

* I considered going back throguh this post and editing it for length and to make it more funny and less offensive here and there, but didn’t. I don’t think there’s anything really offensive in it. And so what it’s long? It’s my damned brain dump.

 

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‘Burnt Tongues’ Crosses the Pond…

The good news keeps on coming!

‘Burnt Tongues’ is also slated for release through Titan in the UK. I hope there’s a different cover in every country, so I can collect them all. Here’s the U.S. cover and the link to the official press release:

 

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http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/53336

New Business

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Burnt Tongues cover art!

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