Announcing A Sell! Loving You Darkly!

I’m delighted to announce the sell of my short story Loving You Darkly to F(r)iction magazine. F(r)iction is one of the most artistic magazines I’ve seen around lately, and it’s truly an honor to be included!

Loving You Darkly is a tale of friendship, loneliness, justice, and death. I’m exceptionally fond of it and can’t wait until it releases in F(r)iction’s 8th issue.

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Pre-Order IN THIS POINT OF STILLNESS

IN THIS POINT OF STILLNESS by Dustin LaValley & Mercedes M. Yardley

You guys. I’m in love with this collection. I’m in love with this cover. I’m in love with my co-author, Dustin LaValley’s dog, Bronson. Like, I’m crazy obsessed with him! There is so much love!

And this is a limited edition chapbook with a run of 150 copies. That is all.

 

-55 pages
-Perfect-bound 6×9 paperback
-Limited to 150 copies

Mercedes M. Yardley and Dustin LaValley bring to the stage an eclectic series of works definable as micro-short stories. Spanning vast worlds of eccentric characters, each self-contained act journeys through the depths of light and dark, the natural and the unnatural, and the human and the inhuman. Boasting the talent of supporting guest stars, In This Point of Stillness stands out as a true challenger to the formulaic play of fiction.

You can buy it for seven dollars plus shipping from Dynatox Ministries. Interested in picking up our collaboration? You can purchase it here. You might want to hurry because when they sell out, they’re gone.

I had so much joy working on this. It was fun to twine my words and thoughts with Dustin’s, especially while all of this feminist, political upheaval was going on. It was a great way for me to share my voice. Love to you! I hope you enjoy!

 

The Impromptu Disney Tea Party

I closed my computer and walked away for a minute. And what did I come back to? The most delightful Lego Disney tea party ever. My girls simply went wild.

Needless to say, writing took a back seat and we played instead. Sometimes kids know when we need a break. 🙂

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What does a girl have to do to get a drink around here?

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“More, Elsa?” “Yes, please, Beast. Pour it right into ole Chip here.”

Mind Meld: Our Favorite Graphic Novels

I was delighted to be invited to the Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog to discuss my favorite graphic novel!

“What, Mercedes, you have a favorite?”

Why yes, I do, and it’s so insanely beautiful that I could lick it. And perhaps I have, because not only do I own it, but it’s signed by the author. One day I’ll have the illustrator sign it as well and life will be complete!  Please swing by the blog and find out which graphic novel is the most glorious thing ever created, in my eyes.

You’ll also hear from Galen Dara (who did the cover art for my book Pretty Little Dead Girls), Seanan McGuire, Wendy N. Wagner, Lucy A. Snyder, and more.

Stokercon Wrap-up with Pictures!

Stokercon was wonderful and busy and bursting with people I love and people I’ll love as soon as I get to know them better. What a cool experience!

It took place on the Queen Mary, which was a phenomenal big ship. It was even sweeter in banana split form.

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I spent time with part of the Gamut staff and other friends. We did panels, took pitches, and compared pedicures.

 

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Mat Kaufman and I had a reading together in the Queen Mary’s wedding chapel. I read from Detritus in Love, and I remembered how much I love the beautiful language in this story. And look! I have rainbow hair!

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It was a great experience and I’m glad I went. In two weeks I’ll be making an appearance at LDStorymakers, so I’m getting ready for that. Have a great week!

Eeee! Stokercon 2017!

It’s going to be so much fun. I’ll be hanging with dear friends and the Gamut staff down at the Queen Mary on Long Beach.

Will you be there? Let’s meet up! Here is my schedule:

Thu, April 27, 3pm – 4pm
Librarians’ Day Building Diverse Horror Collections
Description: International horror, horror written by women, horror about people of color. Learn how to seek out titles and authors that will make your horror collections more complete. Moderator: Mercedes M. Yardley  Panelists: Lauren Candia, Becky Spratford, Erwin Magbanua 

 

Fri, April 28, 10am – 11am
Mini Mass Signing
Description: Elizabeth Hand / Chuck Wendig / F Paul Wilson / Bill Bridges / Kate Jonez / Brent Kelley / Johnny Worthen / Ian Welke / Nathan Carson / Michael Paul Gonzalez / Mercedes M. Yardley / Richard Thomas / C.A. Suleiman / Tom Monteleone
Fri, April 28, 6pm – 8pm
Shades and Shadows Reading 
I won’t be reading, but simply attending.
Description: Shades & Shadows, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase the visibility of speculative literature in Los Angeles and beyond. Join hosts Lauren Candia and Xach Fromson for readings from a superb lineup of authors.
Sat, April 29, 11am – 12pm
Publishing Via Crowd Sourcing and Expanding the Definition of Horror
Description: Moderator: Matt Betts Panelists: Richard Thomas, Mercedes M. Yardley, Dino Parenti
Sat, April 29, 3pm – 5pm
Pitch Session (I will be taking pitches for Gamut Magazine)
Description: Pitch sessions at StokerCon 2017 are an excellent way to get your work in front of industry professionals.
Reading Matthew Kaufman / Mercedes M. Yardley
April 29, 5:00pm – 5:30pm
I will be reading from Detritus in Love.
Thursday night we’ll also have a live broadcast of Awkward Conversations with Geeky Writers, and Amelia and I will be joining from the con! It’s going to be a very cool and busy weekend. I genuinely hope to see you there! I might bring homemade peanut butter cups. Who knows?

I Was Having A Bad Day So I Made A Cake.

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It was the most glorious cake. Everything I could wish for! I found the recipe on The Stay At Home Chef’s blog, and she has the most mouth-watering pictures. I also used her Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe on the same page, and it was divine. This cake was rich. Decadent. It was easy to make, divine, and was plenty for a three layer cake.

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I gained two pounds that week, and it was so worth it. ❤ If you’re ever looking for the perfect chocolate cake, this is the one. Enjoy!

Miss Murder Asks For Help…And It’s AWESOME.

It’s perfectly fine to ask for help…unless you’re me, that is. Or, I suspect, you. If your mother, spouse, friend, or sibling needed help, wouldn’t you leap to give it? Wouldn’t you stretch out your hand instantly? And sometimes you don’t know they need help unless they ask. Why don’t they just ASK?

Because it’s hard. Because we live in this crazy society where we feel like we have to do everything, and do it perfectly, and do it alone.

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On the front porch with Marsh at 3 AM

This isn’t how societies work. This isn’t how the human animal works. Once we lived in villages and helping each other meant surviving. We didn’t hunt, gather, or parent alone. What suddenly makes us think that we have somehow evolved to do that now, especially when things are more complicated than ever?

We’re weary. We’re taught that busy is better. I know very few people who actually enjoy their lives, and many simply try to survive it.

This is me on a typical day: Get three kiddos to school. Arrange/attend appointments. Keep up with friends, “maintain a presence,” volunteer for my church and community. I try to write/read/blurb/clean/feed the pets/feed the family/feed my soul. And it isn’t working.

The house has fallen. Six hours of volunteering for church a week leaves me exhausted. My writing is stalling and I feel like an imposter who can’t do anything very well.

Help.

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Baking Banana Bread at 4:00 AM

I tried to ask it. If only people would do more around the house, or follow through their commitments at work, or listen to me when I say no the first time instead of trying to wear me down to a yes. But I’m not good at asking for help. It means I’m not pulling my weight. It means I’m not doing my best, and that means I need to try harder.

Then I ran across an awesome deal on housecleaning. You heard me. Housecleaning.

How many times have you thought, “If I were rich, I’d pay someone to clean my house!” I thought that, too. It would be a glorious thing.  But it’s something only rich, busy people do. Not people with stay-at-home careers, like me.

Except it is. My husband thought it was a great idea and encouraged me to try it. We hired them to come, and they came today.

It. Was. Awesome.

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My super shiny kitchen! I just made banana bread there a few hours ago!

Picture this: I had just gotten over either the flu or a diabetic thing, I can’t be sure. But I was weak. Thanks to anxiety about life, I had only slept an hour and a half the night before, from 5:30 am until 7:00 am. (Note exhibit A and B, with the cat and banana bread, all at weird hours of the night.) All three kids had been home for spring break, satelliting around me like drunk fireflies. I’m on a tight writing deadline. I’m pretty rachet.

So I open the door and there are three smiling women. They ask me to prioritize what I’d like them to work on. They are impossibly kind to my children. They are very patient with my son.

They are my backup. They’ve got me, boo.

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The microwave is so shiny that I’m not even ashamed when the door falls off!

These women have my back. They start on the bathrooms and I tackle the kids’ rooms. They move to the kitchen while I knock out the laundry. Four people working in tandem is a beautiful thing. And when the dust (quite literally) clears, I have my home back. I’m happy, they’re happy, and I feel a huge sense of relief.

It felt good. I feel like I gained some emotional balance. I think I’ll have them back every six months or so for a good deep clean that feels like it touched my soul as well as my walls. It took two hours for this, and that was all. Two hours. I spent more time than that on the front porch last night, petting cats and looking at Pinterest like a goon.

It was worth it.

“Help” isn’t a long word, but it’s certainly a difficult one to say. But, oh, am I glad I said it. My husband didn’t laugh. My friends didn’t laugh. My mother didn’t point at the dirty laundry and tsk. They were supportive, and it turns out the only one judging me harshly was myself.

Have a lovely day, my friends!