This doesn’t include the scorpion in the bathtub, the one running across my hand in the bed, or the one in the lint trap of the dryer. Some were so frightening that I couldn’t even think of grabbing a picture.
The first draft is always chicken scratch.
I’m under some pretty intense deadlines and other stresses. How do you eat an elephant? You unhinge your jaw and try to devour all of it at once. Naturally.
I came home from an unscheduled grocery store run (Arg, it ate up half an hour I didn’t intend to lose!) to this beautiful spread by Middlest.
“You need to eat, Mom. You forgot all morning.”
This is what love looks like.
Okay, so this was so much fun. I was delighted to go on the Darkness Dwells podcast and meet one of my new favorite people, Jason White. I recount my dorkiness at the Bram Stoker Award, my unholy love for The Lord of the Flies, and listen in horror as Jason is abducted by Skynet. Please stop by and take a listen! There is a *lot* of laughter.😀
1983: A boy and his little brother wander through a loosely stitched summer. A summer full of sun and surrealism, Lessons of loss and love. Of growing up and figuring it out. Nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania is a small town, it’s not like the others. Things are strange there- people die but hang around, pets too. Everyone knows your name and sometimes, a thing as simple as a movie coming to the local theatre, is all it takes to keep you going.
If you aren’t familiar with John’s writing, it’s pretty stellar. He has this gritty-yet-dreamy way of telling a story that flips your world upside down. In fact, I had the pleasure of blurbing this story.
“When John Boden tells you a tale, he takes his thumb and smudges the lines between stark realism and dreamy fantasy. I can’t get enough of his work, and I think Jedi Summer might be his deepest piece yet. ”
-Mercedes M. Yardley, author of The Bone Angel trilogy
Pre-orders are available now! I just ordered mine. Jedi Summer with the Magnetic Kid will be released on July 22. Give yourself a literary treat while supporting a very cool and surreal author. You can pre-order your copy here.
John Boden lives a stone’s throw from Three Mile Island with his wonderful wife and sons. A baker by day, he spends his off time writing or working on Shock Totem. He likes Diet Pepsi and horseradish cheese and sports ferocious sideburns. While his output as a writer is fairly small, it has a bit of a reputation for being unique. His work has appeared in Shock Totem, Splatterpunk, Blight Digest and Lamplight as well as the following anthologies Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen and the Criminally Insane, Once Upon An Apocalypse,Robbed Of Sleep Vol 1, and Borderlands 6. His not-really-for-children children’s book, Dominoes is a pretty cool thing or so people say. You can track him down on the Facebook.
So. This is one of the coolest things to ever happen.
I was looking for the link to my short story “The Container of Sorrows” to show my friend. And I run across this amazing essay that someone named Brendyliz wrote two years ago discussing the theme of “The Container of Sorrows.” You can read it here. What a delightful thing to stumble upon!
My house is where unwanted animals magically appear. And I love it, I truly do.
I stayed up until 2:00 last night trying to get some words done. And I wrote 4,300 of them, which delights me. What did not delight me as much was waking up three hours later because of the chickens.
Yes, we have chickens again. A dear friend had to give hers up, and we chicken-sat a dozen for a week before we ended up keeping four.
We have Jessica Fletcher (my friend took her when we had the dog, and we’re delighted to have Her Prissiness back!), Pork Bowl, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, and the bantam, which isn’t pictured here. She’s called The Bantam Menace. She’s gone all day and only comes back to eat and roost. Moocher.
Why were the chickens upset? Because of this beauty.
He’s a stray that wandered into our yard, and then decided to visit every morning. He’s letting me pet him, feed him, and today I took the brush and brushed the yuck out of his fur.
He’s sweet, affectionate, and look at how beautiful he is! I’m so happy he comes by. My husband is deathly allergic to cats, so I left the brush outside. Then I threw my clothes in the incinerator (er, washing machine) and took a shower before kissing hubby goodbye.
Then it was time to feed the bunnies, because. Bunnies. Thug Bunny was rescued from a shelter. He was another unwanted animal. Bunniculas Cage, whom the girls call Yum Yums, was intended to be rabbit meat. We bought him from a local feed store and promised never to eat him.
Now it’s time to be soundly ignored by Rush the turtle, who wants nothing to do with us. Ever. She was given up by her owner several years ago, and has been silently loathing and judging me ever since.
I love my animals. They give me joy, although perhaps more joy if they slept in. But the early morning furry/feathery/leathery snuggles make for a happy day.
What do you have wandering around in your home and yards? I’d love to know!
Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories released with a bang on June 24. It’s a beautiful, dark book that is horribly disquieting. It’s one of the most anticipated releases this year and is living up to its reputation.
Here’s a brief reading of my story “Water Thy Bones,” which is in the Gutted anthology. I hope you enjoy!
It’s one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever had the chance to stay in. When I did my reading of Little Dead Red in LA for Shades and Shadows, I spent the night at the Biltmore. Astounding.
The first picture I took was of this stunning ceiling. It looks like candy.
Look at this tea service! It’s so beautiful and far too fancy for me. I took a picture and then scurried away before I broke something.
I was enchanted by this staircase. Every time that I went down to the lobby, I took these stairs. They’re so elegant and remind me of something from Wonderland. And what’s even better? If you follow the staircase down down down to the very bottom, you come across the underbelly of the hotel.
It’s no longer Wonderland. It’s more like something from Neverwhere. But continue on and you come to my favorite door in the entire place.
At the end of this cement stairwell, is another door. It’s old and charming, and you can hear music playing from the other side. I was never able to walk through this door without pausing first. There was something otherworldly about it. When you finally pass through the door closes behind you with a click, and there’s no handle to get back in. You’re in the main hall on your own, under that splendid ceiling. It’s a place of surprises.
The old begat the new, the thread of his heritage running through his current situation like a vein of silver. His life was beautiful. It was everything he wanted.
We know from the old tales that this is when things go wrong.
-Excerpt from “Ivan and the Hurting Doll” by Mercedes M. Yardley
My story “Ivan and the Hurting Doll” is one of the many stories included in the Heroes of Red Hook anthology, put out by Golden Goblin Press. Take a gander at the Kickstarter video below, and please back it if you’d like to see this book come to print. Also, if we fund Heroes of Red Hook completely, we’ll work on some stretch goals. One of these stretch goals includes my novella “Skin of Bear, Bone of Witch”, which is a sequel to “Ivan.”
I hope you enjoy!