Oh My Goodness! I’m a Triple Whitney Award Finalist!!!

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

The Whitney Awards are a pretty prestigious literary award in the LDS community. And I am SO VERY SUPER THRILLED that both Nameless and Pretty Little Dead Girls are both finalists in the Speculative Fiction category! I’m running with Anika Arrington, Michaelbrent Collings, and Brandon Sanderson. That’s right. I’m in the finals with those three! Isn’t that amazing?

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Nameless: The Darkness Comes is also in the running for Best Novel by a New Author. And that is just amazing to me.

I can’t tell you what it’s like to have people not only reading my work, but feeling strongly enough about it to put it up for awards. Thank you. It means so much.

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So there’s a gala in May and I’ll be sitting at a table with my friends. We’ll wear pretty dresses and eat dinner together without children crawling in our laps, and we’ll smile and laugh and cheer for each other. It will be a beautiful night.

Beautiful Sorrows is FREE This Week Only!

In celebration of Women in Horror Month, my publishers at Shock Totem have decided to give away my short story collection for FREE this week only. It will be free from Monday, February 23 until Friday, February 27.

Beautiful Sorrows 14 (Final)

There is a place where sorrows pile up like snow and rest in your hair like cherry blossoms. Boys have wings, monsters fall in love, women fade into nothingness, and the bones of small children snap like twigs. Darkness will surely devour you–but it will be exquisitely lovely while doing so.

Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows is an ephemeral collection encompassing twenty-seven short tales full of devastation, death, longing, and the shining ribbon of hope that binds them all together.

Beautiful Sorrows… delicate prose with devastating impact. Mercedes Yardley is a female Joe Hill, and I fear her ‘Broken’ will haunt me to my grave.” –F. Paul Wilson, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Keep and The Tomb

Mercedes Yardley’s debut collection, Beautiful Sorrows, holds its hands out, palms up, no tricks, no irony, no clever retreats from honest emotions. Life’s travails inhabit these pages, and she renders them beautifully.” –Christopher Barzak, author of One for Sorrow and The Love We Share Without Knowing

Mercedes M. Yardley has the Right Stuff. She demonstrates that in her wonderful collection of short stories: Beautiful Sorrows. Each story is a different kind of gem, the bagful priceless.” –Gene O’Neill, Bram Stoker Award™-winning Author of The Taste of Tenderloin and Double Jack

I hope that you’ll take the chance to pick up my debut short story collection. You can do that here.

Beautiful Sorrows is my first book and it’s so very precious to me! Won’t you give it a try, or share it with your friends? Thank you, and happy Women in Horror month!

I Made A Thing! A Sewn Gold Necklace Thing.

image(14)There’s a subscription DIY company called For The Makers, and they have some pretty intriguing craft ideas I’ve never tried. One was this fantastic necklace.

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You start out with several foil disks, and you actually sew them together with a needle and thread to form a flower. You sew seed and bugle beads into the center.

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I made three flowers. Shiny, shiny gold flowers!

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Add chain and thread the ribbon through. And there we have a necklace.

It’s a charming thing, and bold. It was also a pleasure to make something that I haven’t tried before.

What’s the last project you made?

This is Exactly Why We Need “Women In Horror Month,” You Jerk.

Well. I’m mad.

I’m not trying to be inciting or hysterical. But I am angry.

A “fellow” horror writer lambasted a dear friend and amazing woman for doing book signings while in costume and…I’m not quite sure what else. Being a woman? He said women were especially bad at trying to grab attention (“claiming” we’re horror writers when we aren’t) and most of us are hags anyway.

That’s right. Most of us are hags.

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I’m sorry, but how did appearance even manage to worm its way into this conversation? This author has one book out and a second releasing soon. Yet he has the authority to decide who is really a horror writer and who isn’t? And bringing physical appearance into it is exceptionally personal. He doesn’t like the way most of us look? Next time I’ll be careful to wear a helmet while signing so I don’t offend readers. I thought writing was about the *writing* but apparently I was wrong! Silly woman, “claiming” to write horror! Thank goodness this random dude was there to set the #LadyHags in our place.

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The Helmet of Haggishness will hide my face nicely at signings. Oh, and look! An Anti-Hag Cooties visor, as well!

Hags? All right. I’ll hop on that broomstick and ride it.

I’m not naming names for a few reasons. The first reason is grace. Perhaps the ranting author had a really bad day. Perhaps he wrote something without thinking and didn’t realize how hurtful and misogynistic he was being. Perhaps these aren’t really his true thoughts. I wouldn’t want to cause this individual pain, even though he so clearly caused it in others.

The other reason that I don’t want to share his name is because he doesn’t deserve the attention.

The third is because the woman he attacked (before his vitriol spilled over to the rest of womankind) has the right to share his identity, not me. If you’d like to talk to her about it, feel free. Besides being a fun, compassionate writer and person, she is also a mother dealing with a sick child. Her son has cancer. That’s right: cancer. And some random whackadouche decided that she wasn’t up to his standards.

You see why I’m so furious right now. My hands are shaking.

Meme Created by Sister Hag Tonia Brown

This isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a constant thing. February is Women in Horror month precisely because of things like this. Women are often shunted to the back or otherwise demeaned in this genre. Definitely not by everybody. If we’re hags, then we have a strong troop of hag supporters. Team #LadyHags. There are men inside this genre and out who link arms and stand with us. Which is how it’s supposed to be, by the way. Who has time for pettiness and division, really? Don’t you have lives you’re trying to lead? Children you’re trying to feed and keep alive? Don’t you have loved ones worth fighting for? Why spend your time attacking women that are of no concern to you?

You don’t have the right.

We are here. We are beautiful. We are strong. We’re going to write what we want and how we want. If we want to do readings in libraries, good. If we want to do booksignings on a lawn, more power to us. Our path to success doesn’t concern you. It doesn’t impede yours. You don’t like what we write, where we hold signings, or what we’re wearing?

Nobody asked you. And more importantly?

You don’t get to tell us what to do.

If you’re going to judge us as writers, then judge us on merit. Like us for who we are or what we bring to the table. But don’t turn us away because of something stupid like, oh, having female anatomy. Besides, women are wired for horror. Believe it.

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As for the rest of us, Happy Women in Horror Month. Support your favorite lady hags and pick up a book. If you already have a copy, gift it to somebody. Let our haggishness shine! ‪#‎LoveYourHag‬ ‪#‎ladyhags‬

So Why Wasn’t I Invited to the Grammys?

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This is the coolest thing! You know that I was thrilled to be a part of Gloria Gaynor’s book “We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song.

When I received my copy and signed CD, I went all fan-girly. Even her handwriting is beautiful!

Eeee! She wrote my name!

Eeee! She wrote my name!

So imagine my surprise when I get this super cool text from my husband. He said, “Um, did you know that a project you’re involved in was nominated for the Grammy?”

grammyNO I DID NOT. But that is awesome! And will most likely never happen again in my life. My only regret is that I didn’t know earlier so I could have bought a super sparkly dress. To, you know. Sit at home in. But oh, how I could have twirled in it! ;)

Congratulations to Ms. Gloria Gaynor, who made so many of us feel like stars for a night. <3

Valentine’s Day KISS: Keep It Simple, Sweethearts

My mother sent me this package earlier. It was simple. It contained cookie dough mix, frosting, sprinkles, and a cookie cutter. That was it.

image(19)My kids and I loved it! What a pleasure to spend an hour making, baking, and frosting cookies. There was joy there, and no stress.

Just a reminder. :)

Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies.

Also, don’t forget that later tonight is the Friday the 13th/Valentine’s Edition of the Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers! It starts at 8 PM Eastern, and I’ll be joining from the LTUE conference.