Dread crushed and crippled the elderly woman. The eyes piercing into her hadn’t changed over the decades; still sinister, controlling and ominous. Her nephew’s eyes held something far more frightening that she could not quite place. He smiled as he accused her of throwing him off of her trail intentionally. The words coming out of his mouth were meaningless because she knew the outcome of the situation. The phone dug into her back deeper when he stepped forward into the phone booth. She reached back and gripped the cold steel of the phone book container.
The metallic cord of the payphone was cold as it slid up her fingertips. She gripped the plastic phone, then cringed at the obvious sound of the dial tone. The dark snicker erupting from her nephew sent a chill down her spine. White hot fear coursed through her veins as he undid his belt buckle. Her fingernails bit into the palm of her hands when she swung the phone hard in the direction of his head. He caught her wrist, squeezed tightly and forced her to drop the makeshift weapon.
His eyes were filled with amusement. “Oh Aunt Gem. Did you really think that would work?”
Gem stared up in silent response.
He placed an arm against the back of the phone booth, then continued the task of removing his belt with his free hand. It made a soft, grating sound as it was pulled through the cotton loops of his dress pants. He snaked an arm around her neck, warm thick leather encased around her neck with a strange tenderness and the scent flooded her senses.
“You could have left well alone and lived.” He stroked her cheek with a cold hand.
Gem shrank away only to feel the belt’s clench tighter. The pressure increased and tingled around the secure hold. A pleasant dizziness settled in, moved up her neck and to her head. It built at her temples, blood cells sparked and gathered by her lips. Bones in her neck popped, though it was virtually painless combined with the tingling sensation sweeping and took over her senses. Gem struggled for air. The forced of the belt reached a fever pitch as she clawed at his chest in vain. She stared deep into his eyes, forgetting the little boy she’d once loved, but had felt the wickedness of even in childhood.
She realized precisely what his eyes held upon taking her last breath; remorse.
– – –
Note, this isn’t something I’ve really cleaned up. Sort of a random drabble I’d written back in December + not being used to anything in particular. I’ll write drabbles when I need to break my block.
Dead Souls has finally found a home. I was startled + even forgot about submitting it. Turns out it’s something that might wind up doing me a lot of good, but I nearly backed out of it. I selfishly wanted to keep the piece to myself for my story collection as it is one of my best + polished up pieces. Instead it has found a home in The Grotesquerie Anthology released through Mocha Memoirs Press. It is released very soon, as in February just in time for Women In Horror Month. It falls under my rule of thumb of the place of publication being in both ebook + print copy.
Uh, yes. I’m indeed alive. Just having the daily struggles of life; financial + etc. Long story short? I might be an artist + author, but I’m definitely living the life of a struggling artist. It isn’t glamorous or fun either. There’s the happy moments, I suppose, like w/ close friends + family that brighten it all up.
Truly? Everyone else is more excited about Dead Souls finding a home. I blinked a few times + spent a few days even debating if I was going to sign the contract. I did wind up signing it in the long run.
(GIF Images: 30 Seconds to Mars, RoosterTeeth)
Part of the new missions of this year is going to one restaurant per week in Dallas. It has to be somewhere neither of us have been + cannot be a chain restaurant. In life, it should be known, Cat/Sassafras is indeed my sister. We review the restaurants in our new blog.
Check it out:
Sassafras + Cinnamon
Also, later an actual update. Something good publishing wise did happen + I did sign a contract for one of my best pieces.
Well, surprise surprise, I’ve added to my overly ambitious goals, yet again. Everyone has a list of what they like to call resolutions, while I have what I like to call goals or missions. All of them vary + I do not add silly things to these missions. It’s always things I want to do or accomplish in some way or form. Some of them might seem a bit far fetched + draw in doubters, but I do not care at all + tend to ignore those who do dare to doubt me as I know I can accomplish far more than most expect.
Last year a few of my missions were small; get published at least three times, breakout as an artist + such. All of which were accomplished.
What is this about my own publishing label? There’s a name for it already, which is official, although under wraps for the time being. Basically it will be run by a few of my best friends + myself. Becca will be helping me out w/ getting it started, Cat will help out w/ the financial niggles as I’m no good w/ numbers + Aeryn will have a huge hand as the prime editor. It’s more than likely I’m going to design the website as an entirety, but I need to get wi-fi before I can serious work on all of this. I still fully plan on working w/ Evil Girlfriend Media + Hazardous Press when it comes to publishing b/c I love both labels to pieces. I will be starting up something on Kickstarter for it, but I’m doubtful it will pick up there too much
The label will be LGBT friendly, though I won’t be dealing so much w/ the pieces on that side since that’s not really my thing, but I’m friendly towards such things. I do want to cater more towards female authors + will put a few anthologies out. There won’t be a real restriction on genres either. I will be looking for the more raw collections that aren’t seen out there. Think more like something Henry Rollins would publish. I think I might be putting Heart + Soul out on my own publication since poetry doesn’t fall into EGM or Hazardous Press. I will be designing quite a few covers on the label, unless the author has a preferred piece of artwork to use or their own work. I’m already being met w/ doubt from my parents on the idea of my own label too. Ebook format + print on demand is necessary. I will always have the option of print. The project will get off the ground as I have plenty of support.
Hazardous Press is coming out w/ a side project called Hazardous Encounters. It is officially announced so I can actually talk about it. Robert approached me a few weeks ago asking if I wanted to contribute to it + I accepted. End of All Days is in progress again, adding to it, took out the bits making it related to Cabal. It is a blessing in a way that it was rejected from the Clive Barker anthology as I felt Ophelia’s journey was far from done. I’m excited to continue on this. It will be released as a solo ebook on Amazon + Smashwords through Hazardous Encounters. Robert gave me the go ahead to create my own cover art, so I’m pretty excited for the opportunity to branch out. It is especially great since he suggested that I add it to the story collection he knows I have in progress.
And there you have it.
(GIF credits: Caroline The Vampire Diaries, Stefan The Vampire Diaries, Lana Del Rey)
When hearts rot, fuses ignite. Super geek gets the girl, a righteous preacher and his undead wife, fantastical zombies, the tantric art of zubbing, mindless hive workers, and traditional flesh eating walkers, this anthology has a bit of everything. Our twisted tales pull you into the darkest of darks, where hope is lost, and sustaining life is no simple feat. Twenty-one authors congealed romance, bombs, and zombies into stories that are diverse, witty, and occasionally gut-wrenching. Travel through time to walk in alternate histories, visit magical realms, and face down pestilence that will literally rot your insides. This collection is sure to warm your cold, dead, heart. Stories by Ken MacGregor, Patrick D’Orazio, Randy Henderson, and Kriscinda Lee Everitt, among others.
(*cough* Kris Freestone, moi)
It contains my piece From Safety to Where. I’m pretty sure I’ll start working + pondering the rest of the heroine’s fate from the short story.
And it is time to escape to get something productive done…
Can I stick to one thing? Perhaps, but I’m a restless soul who gravitates to whatever I’m most inspired by. I poked at my story collection briefly for a few days + hit roadblocks. Then I suddenly became my old impulsive self again. Something happened that caused me to sit down + vent through haiku format. I felt a hell of a lot better afterward. Also, it was a very good way to clear my mind of the debris temporarily.
It’s become a decision of what skeletons I want to drag up or other things that fascinate me. Only have touched on some topics, a lot of it is very raw + things I wouldn’t generally share. Completed the cover art, began some of the interior artwork, which will be entirely in charcoal. My friend Britt is my main beta reader, even the topic of two haiku sets for the final manuscript.
Originally planned on making Just Like Honey strictly an zombie story collection to begin w/. Plans have changed there. I think I’m only doing like a third of it set for zombie theme only. Mainly it is b/c I’ve been sifting through my partially finished stories to find that half of them weren’t remotely zombie related. Some were just starter stories, but still. Thinking after I get through w/ this story collection that I will resume work on Transmission to help w/ my zombie fix.
In other news, End of All Days is back on track. It was finished at nearly 4000 words, but it was rejected from the anthology it was intended for. I managed to change the details + locations to make it my own as a whole. Not sure of when it will be released, but I was approached w/ the offer to help start out a new branch of a publisher I’ve worked w/ in the past. I sent over my pitch for the story, received details on the project + steering ahead. It’ll have a bit more romance in it than my usual, more than likely be in the PG-13 or R rating. It’s strange having to revisit Ophelia after a few months away from her + I’m becoming reacquainted by reading what I have while editing as I go.
As if I didn’t have enough to work on, I’ve taken on working on another piece for another anthology due at the end of January 2014. It’s called Sleep When I’m Dead + a departure from my usual. Finding I push myself further + challenge myself to branch out a lot more these days. Not terribly concerned about it b/c I know if it gets rejected I can put it in my story collection.
Nose back to the grindstone. Think I’m going to further poke at Just Like Honey, End of All Days, Heart + Soul tonight. It’s going pretty well. I’m unable to really stick to one b/c once I get blocked I move onto another one to clear the prior block. Unfortunately, sitting here is causing me to have the same issue Sophia has.
Cy Twombly background. Really need to get some new writing quotes to shift around though.
(CREDITS: Married w/ Children, Lost Girl, Golden Girls)
The humans above felt fear when passing by the rocks on the edge of the beach. Arctica watched the others rise to the surface to sing their song and draw in humans. She saw the bodies pulled down through salt water drenched in dark blood and the hunters devour them with sharp teeth.
Arctica had only tasted human meat once in her life, but settled for the less violently caught fish in the sea. The blood from the other creatures in the sea made eating a meal less of a chore. Human blood in her mouth had touched a strange and savage part within Arctica. She temporarily joined the other human hunters in the siren’s call, then backed out when a man caved into the group seduction when she caught a reflection of herself in the water. The irises of her eyes were red and sharp teeth appeared to be more fierce than ever. She stared at the incoming victim, glanced at the other mermaids, then pushed herself off the damp rock.
Blood dyed the water above as the rain made small dents in the surface. It was then Arctica vowed to stick to more humane ways. The life of a siren was not for her.
– – –
Flash fiction piece written off the cuff during Meet Your Evil Girlfriend event.
Attended the official facebook chat for Evil Girlfriend Media, which had a long series of questions + decided to put my answers to good use.
Q: What inspired your story?
A: As for what inspired ‘From Safety to Where’…I was in a very very very dark place. I was reeling from being hurt by someone I thought I could trust as a friend + let someone too close. There’s a lot of surprisingly personal details in the story. I wanted to tackle the age old forbidden interest, tie in the Russian mafia + set it i n a strip club to make it exciting. Then I drank a lot of wine + threw myself into it completely. I unleashed some personal demons, offed characters who were the mirror image of those who had hurt me + ran w/ it.
In my piece, it’s not strong romance, it’s subtle. I like the unrequited, complicated + forbidden. It might have needed to be more obvious but I like where I left it.
– – –
Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I’m a restless soul who moves too much + am creative by nature. I’m an artist + author, only recently broke into art being printed in a book too. Otherwise when I’ve got writer’s block, as I do now, I sink my teeth into art. All sorts of mediums are what I like; oil pastels, coloured pencils, watercolour, chalk, pencil, charcoal – you name it. Overall I’m just an creative + eccentric artist.
I’ve been writing for sixteen years. I mostly was a bookworm + Clive Barker was my first true horror author. I wrote mainly for myself, shared w/ friends, wrote under a pen name I won’t share + constantly try to teach myself new skills. It wasn’t til a year + a half ago I entered the horror field truly despite reading it a lot.
– – –
Q: Hasn’t the genre jumped the shark, reached critical mass, and exploded like a pair of 5.56’s to the brain pan, yet? If not what do YOU being to the genre that is exciting and fresh?
A: Nah, zombies haven’t jumped the shark. Something new + different each day. Keeping the humanity in writing zombie fiction is the key.
I really wasn’t into zombies at all until a good friend of mine nudged me into watching the original Dawn of the Dead. Then I started thinking. Zombie fiction, at it’s core + if it’s done properly is really about humanity, loss + consumerism. It’s a very strangely dark thing.It’s not just about the horror or the dead attacking.
Zombie fiction is about pushing humans to their limitations + seeing what they will do in a situation. That is how I view it. I like seeing the psychological effects. Possibilities are endless.
– – –
Q: What was the most difficult part about starting a book if you already have an idea in your head? How do you move forward?
A: The most difficult part isn’t getting an idea or starting a book. It’s usuall deciding where it will lead to + how the loose ends will be tied up.
– – –
Q: What’s the STRANGEST book you’ve ever read?
A: House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski.
– – –
Q: how do YOU break through writer’s block? Also, when you write… do you just write everything out? Or do you chart, map, etc. your ideas and string them together later.?
A: Wine. I’ll be nice + let into a good secret. Skip ahead. Sometimes I’ll write scenes in chunks or all over the place + string it together. It really is my secret. I get stuck + move on. It’s like a pile of flash fiction w/ different titles, but it’s all really one novel in pieces.
– – –
Q: Why don’t you tell us about your writing process?
A: My writing process involves absolutely no outlines b/c I have never been able to do them very well. It involves a little bit or a lot of wine, dragging up demons + personal situations. Mostly I play a get to know you on my characters + fill out a Q+A for them in their voice that is fifteen pages long by the time it’s done. Then I let the character I’m exploring drag me along. And no, I’m not schizophrenic. It gets me in trouble when my character clams up.
– – –
Q: I’ve heard of a lot of writers who like to write with wine, is this a common writing process?
A: Maybe it has something to do w/ dragging inner demons out? Or maybe it’s to relax enough to be creative enough. I’m not sure. I wish I could say that alcohol doesn’t help when you’re blocked, but it does. It also helps to write w/ instrumental music that fits the piece you’re writing. I see I am the opposite w/ others using coffee. I am able to write sober though! And now I sound like an alcoholic.
– – –
Q: Is there room for humor in end-of the-world lit or is it serious business?
A: There always has to be humour! It’s even better when it’s dare humour or simply a commentary from a character in the story.
– – –
Q: What does your zombie track consist of?
A: Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts album + a variety of soundtrack music fine tuned on a playlist.
– – –
Q: What would be your weapon of choice and where would you hole up for the apocalypse?
A: My current apartment is best as the windows are ghetto + painted shut. The glass is very thick too. Unfortunately it’s a small walk to a a shopping district. I’d board up the windows first though w/ a small section able to see through + put a piece of tape over. A machete is best for close contact, but I’d rather not be that close to a zombie. I think better for close contact is a dagger to pierce through the temple + to the brain.
– – –
Q: What is your ideal apocalypse meal?
A: Best meal…anything canned, nothing frozen as I’m sure it’s gross w/o power…ugh, time for me to start a garden in case of an apocalypse for me! I’m going to fall victim to what would happen to be in an apocalypse if I don’t eat. Stress makes me have to force down food, apocalypse = ultimate stress.
– – –
Q: Who is your favourite zombie author?
A: I’m enjoying Dani Fredsti + Rhiannon Frater lately when it comes to zombie authors.
– – –
Q: Which kind of zombies are in your stories, fast-moving, or slow?
A: Depends on the stage of the zombie’s depletion. I use common sense on this one; it depends upon how long they have been dead or rotting. The newer ones can move quickly, but at human pace + it also depends on their muscle mass. The slower ones are the older ones that have been rotting longer.
– – –
Q: How do you feel about gore in your work? Do you like to describe ooey gooey entrails or do you like your work to be a little more delicate. If there’s a middle ground, lets hear about it.
A: I love gore to a certain extent. In a strange way it can be described beautifully in a horrific manner. Middle ground is best for that reason. There’s a ‘delicate’ balance in that I think.
– – –
Q: There is a lot to writing a short story and to some it comes naturally while books are a huge investment in time and effort. Which do you prefer to write, short stories or sweeping novels?
A: It took me a long time to get adjusted to short stories. I do prefer writing longer sweeping novels, although I haven’t written one in years since making the switch. I like being able to develop the characters better + their relationships.