Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Taking a Vacation

Dear Readers,

I am sorry to say that I will be taking an indefinite hiatus from blogging on this site. It's nothing personal, of course. Well, it is, but I hope you yourself do not take it personally. I simply need to focus on other areas of writing. I will miss you. But if you would like a good blog to keep you entertained while I'm gone, you can always visit my good friend Michaela's blog here. She writes about Harry Potter and how to write well and things like that. I'm sure she will be thrilled if you joined her audience of readers and writers.

I will continue to post updates if I publish anymore creepy stories or poems. Until then--I wish you many pages of good literature to read!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Art Interlude - "Mary and Her Creation" - Abigail Larson

This week's art interlude is a drawing by Abigail Larson (known as Mirror Cradle at Deviant Art) called "Mary and Her Creation."

I find this picture as inspiring as I find the original Frankenstein itself. As a writer, I always like to imagine myself being in intimate acquaintance with my characters. Having such a relationship makes a character come to life and feel even more realistic to the reader.

I'm no art critic, of course, but I have read Frankenstein, and I think Ms. Larson did a superb job depicting him with a pathetic demeanor, as he was described in the book. Mary has a pensive (and almost mischievous) countenance; neither she nor her creation are looking at each other, but there certainly is a connection between them.

Ms. Larson has drawn lots of other writers, including Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. To view her gallery, click on the picture above. You can also read updates via her blog.

What do you think of this art interlude? Leave your comments below.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"What Lies 'neath Lake Leona" Reprint

Lori Titus at Flashes in the Dark has agreed to publish "What Lies 'neath Lake Leona" (second edition) this April. Click on the picture below to see:

Click to read "What Lies 'neath Lake Leona"

Also, If you'd like to see this story in print, please consider ordering a special print edition from CTQ for a reasonable price. They are selling back issues on discount now, so they're going fast!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Tengu's Return - Part 1

So much time had passed since I had seen my otherworldly companion that his absence from day to day became an aching emptiness in my heart to which I had grown accustomed. I found the feeling similar to how Victor Frankenstein described it:

“Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear.”

Indeed, the events which led to my kindred relationship with Takamatsu did flower far too quickly for me to keep up with them; and his disappearance was so sudden, I was left breathless and alone. His return, however, was not so abrupt.

Things looked up the day I was taking a walk in Aprilla’s garden—she had designated a small patch of it to me, which I still hadn’t found the time to tend. But when I looked the other day, I perceived a single rose that had blossomed there. It was a coral-coloured shade of red. After taking a moment to admire it, I went inside and inquired as to who had planted it. Aprilla, who was busy baking a cheesecake in the kitchen, told me that no one had been in the garden except for herself, and no, she had not touched my patch.

I thought it strange that such a brilliant flower would sprout up out of the ground by itself, but wasting no more time wondering about it, I plucked it from my garden patch and set it in a vase on my writing desk.

The next day held even greater surprise for me—more out of curiosity than a need for exercise, I took another stroll in the garden, and found in my designated patch nothing less than another red rose.

I concluded that this rose had not been planted with a seed, but must have arrived in my garden patch by some other means. I uprooted this one as well and placed it with the first in the vase on my writing desk, but I found it difficult to write, and my eyes often drifted from my typewriter to admire the enchantingly beautiful flowers.

The same phenomenon occurred the next day and every day until there were twelve roses in all.

On the twelfth day, I habitually strolled into the garden carrying my vase with me and just as surely as the past eleven days, a solitary blossom stood erect in the middle of the patch. I bent down to pluck it, and didn’t see the cloaked figure until I lifted my head again.

I first spotted a pair of thin black boots, met by a crimson-coloured hem. Everything else was concealed by a black cloak. Two gloved hands held a giant walking stick—the one detail I recognized.

“Takamatsu!” I exclaimed, and he lifted the hood from his face to reveal a glaring red mask with an elongated nose. At first, I was frightened, but I recognized his voice when he spoke.

“That name no longer bears meaning with me,” he said behind the mask. “I’ve served my time for the tengu, and am now a free man once more. You may call me Alexander.”

“Alexander..?” The name was unfamiliar on my tongue, but sweet.

He took off his mask, then. I gasped at what lie underneath, and thought for a moment that I’d been tricked.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Art Interlude - "Tengu" by Til-Til

With a distinguishing tag reminiscent of features of past CTQ issues, I am going to start posting "art interludes" in between entries--just to keep you from getting too bored while I'm busy writing.

Also, there are many kinds of artists out there which seem to be acknowledged and appreciated less and less as we progress into newer ages. I, for one, am a patron of art--unfortunately, not one wealthy enough to sponsor genuine artists monetarily, but I do attempt to support good artists in any ways I can--and would like to see meritorious forms thrive.

With that said, I'll be posting (roughly once a week) pieces of art that I find inspiring and relevant to my writing along with directions toward the artists' other galleries and writing.

This week, I'd like to share with you a piece to foreshadow my next entry about an event I am still struggling to put into words. This piece is called "Tengu" by Til-Til at Deviant Art.

The expression on the girl's face reminds me of how I've missed my favourite companion. (The weapon in the picture also looks like the bokken Takamatsu gave me.) The smudgy look to the paper combined with the black ink bears resemblence to ancient Japanese scroll art. To enlarge this picture, and to see more art like it, simply click it to relocate to Til-Til's gallery.

I'm sure she appreciates comments as much as I do, so don't forget to let her know how much you like this picture.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mad Scientists and Flocks of Crows

Dear Reader,

I thought I'd update you on a new story of mine that I hope will be coming out soon. Actually, I wrote it exclusively for the good folks at Crow Toes Quarterly, and we planned on printing it in the next year or so, but of course, we didn't plan on the catastrophe explained in my last post, and now the kind Narrator has encouraged me to submit it elsewhere.

It's a rather spooky story, about a curious boy and a crooked castle, and a wicked scientist with a crooked mind. Oh, and crows of course! The title is--
An Account of My Most Dangerous Encounter
(with the evil scientist of Pennishire County)
 It is being considered by a children's Sci Fi magazine at the moment, and as soon as I hear back from them, I will either update you with a publication date, or with news of submitting it to another market.

And here's a picture that partially inspired the story!

Friday, March 18, 2011

"The Crow Flies No More"

I was deeply saddened two weeks ago when the kind Narrator from Crow Toes Quarterly informed me that the staff will no longer be publishing the magazine. CTQ was by far my favourite magazine in the whole world of literature and my heart breaks to see it go. It looks like The Sixteenth Issue was the final one, and although this means I won't be able to read or contribute to any future issues, I am so grateful I was able to be a part of this one. Back issues in both special edition and PDF form are still available and being sold in the CTQ Store, so please be sure to head on over and show your gratitude to the staff for creating such a wonderful world of literature.

And perhaps (oh, I hope!) if one day things look up again for Christopher, Ogilvy, Poinsettia Park, the Staff Villain, and the Narrator, Crow Toes Quarterly will take again to literature's skies.

Let's keep our toes crossed,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

Why is a raven like a writing desk? I tell you, I've finally figured out the answer! And I've sent it to the mad folks at Quite Curious Literature in the form of a 13-line rhyming poem. Their first issue comes out this April and I am so very excited to see what it looks like! Just imagine the possibility of my poem getting printed on one of the pages! Wouldn't that be charming?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

X-Rae Results and a New Appointment

I have just enough time for a quick update before I go (I have an important meeting to attend).

I went to another clinic today although none of these visits seem different from the previous ones (an examination of some sort and then more questions and then the passing along of information from one doctor to the next).

In the waiting room of the little hospital, I busied myself correcting grammatical errors in the x-rae result summaries to be turned in to the doctor. Assuming that the nurses would take the papers, I manifolded them one by one so that you I could post the results. This is what they said:


I had just finished correcting the last misspelling when a nurse called my name and led me into an examination room. A few minutes later, the doctor entered, introducing himself as Dr. Hans. He had stringy white hair that fell over his forehead and thick spectacles.

He directed me to stand and sit in all sorts of ways and observed while asking questions about what hurt and where and to what degree and so forth. He took note of all of my answers and excused himself to make copies of my x-raes. As soon as he had left, I slipped a few copies into my bag so I could post them here:

(You can see the rest on my "X-Raes" page.)

I even took home some of the papers describing my condition:

Dr. Hans said he still would not know what is wrong with me until I have a Bonescan SPECT, which stands for "single-photon-emission computed tomography." I'll have to go to another hospital and get injected with radioactive isotope (a substance that will make my bones glow!) The SPECT machine is one of the newest technological advancements in the medical world. It sounds rather scary, but I am excited to try it. And as always, I will write all about it.

Until then,


Monday, January 31, 2011

Midnight Screaming Vol. 3, No. 1 Now Available!

I freely admit that even I am a little creeped out by the cover art of the new issue of Midnight Screaming! I hope that isn't blood on the wall... *shiver*

But despite the slightly disturbing cover, I have faith that there is a treasury of lovely stories and poems in here (I won't guarantee they'll be less disturbing than the cover--my issue hasn't arrived yet, so I haven't read any of the other pieces within--but did I tell you that a poem of mine is in there too?)

You can order your copy now for the sensible price of $7.95 (if you're in the United States; otherwise, you can still order it, but for a less appealing price). Just click on the scary picture to find out more about the issue. I'm expecting mine to come in the mail tomorrow!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Robots Need Love, Too

I have several exciting projects going on besides the one I mentioned in my last post, including three poems (one about "the big house," one about a witch with crystal eyes, and another about a riddle by Lewis Caroll), as well as a circus murder mystery (creepy!) which isn't going very well. The project I'm most excited about, however, is the one I just started--and I'm going to enter it into Crow Toes Quarterly's "Most Enormous, Metallic, Electric Short Story Contest Ever!"

The Narrator (<--click!) of CTQ is really into robots, but apparently, no one is sending in any robot stories, so he is holding a robot story contest. I wonder why robot stories are so scarce...I've never written a robot story before. I don't think I've ever even read one. But the CTQ staff's first pick gets published in The Eighteenth Issue and receives a collection of back issues, a one-year subscription to the e-zine, and 50 dollars!

All you have to do to enter is write a story between 1000 and 2000 words inspired by this illustration by Colin Moore (<--click!) and send it to the Staff Villain by April 22, 2011. I'm going to get to work right now.

This is going to be fun!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Project

If it is possible to die of inspiration, let me assure you, I would not be alive right now to write this post! I'd been hoping it would come--the other night, my uncle Jim came to visit me, and we were up very late with Sarkis, Aprilla, and some of the older guests. They all listened attentively as my uncle told them stories about the house in which he grew up. I remembered being there once or twice as a little girl--as he described to the guests events that took place before I was born, I blended into the background, and began to scribble notes in my journal.

The things I heard were beautiful. I filled two pages, only scratching the surface of the wonderful idea that was developing. And that, when added to my imagination, stretches a long, long way. So--

I think I'm going to write another book.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First Artistic Depiction of Myself

Dear Readers,

Just recently, a friend of mine who I think is a very talented artist agreed to draw a picture of me to post here. And I think she did a spectacular job.

You can visit her gallery by clicking on the picture above. Be sure to support her artwork by favouriting her other pieces, leaving a comment, or even donating!


Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Pain and New Science - Happy New Year, from My Heart

Tonight is New Years Eve, and aside from the terrible back pain that usually ails me, an old ailment has sprung up again--a sharp throbbing in my heart. If I didn't know any better, I'd assume the chest symptoms were nothing but stress from writing and studying and anxiety about the coming year and getting older and such.

Oh, but I do know better. And my best assumption is that it is linked to something from long ago--an event which I am not yet ready to write about even now. Perhaps I will soon. But on to more recent events.

When I described my symptoms to a very scientifically informed friend of mine, he told me of a new technological device called an electrocardiograph (a new device associated with galvanometry) that can detect and record electric currents made by my heart. I didn't even know my heart made electric currents! Maybe that was why I was in so much pain, I suggested, but he assured me that every heart conducts them.

How curious! I thought.

He gave me the address of a hospital "not too far from here" and told me the cardiologist there would be glad to use his electrocardiograph to diagnose my problem.

I felt both nervous and excited at once--nervous at the word "diagnose," because that always means something is wrong--but excited about being able to experience such a breakthrough in science.

I can't wait to see the electrocardiograph and come back to write about it!

As for tonight, though, Happy New Year!