The horror, the horror!

Thorny issue

Those thorny writer types!

Yes, my (writing) roots are showing AND I’m as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (I know, I tote that one out a lot).

That is to say, I’ve been crafting a lot of horror or otherwise dark short stories lately (read on to learn about a writing competition now in the judging phase). I’m working on a science fiction one now with a lesbian couple and involving ants, as well as a fan fiction horror short inspired by Halloween. That’s all my internal editor will permit me to speak of just yet.

On another riff, I love this time of year. I’m not going to mention pumpkin lattes, because I’m not even hip enough to be a hipster at this point (and I’ve certainly no desire to be one). I will, however, mention Dairy Queen’s pumpkin blizzards. Or ginger snaps in something pumpkin-y. I will mention the glorious sea change, a seasonal shimmy of leaves, chemically induced, especially along the lovely mountainsides here in the Northern hemisphere. Cuddling with your special someone, even if it’s bound tightly within a cover and consists of sharp-edged pages.

Indeed, it was in the 40s here overnight and is slated to be in the 60s today. Autumn has sprung!

Finally, I will direct you to a horror writing contest that is going on now. I might or might not have a story or two entered. It will be held the ENTIRE month of October, if I understand the rules correctly, with 2 groups of stories (first round) released every other day, so Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 5, and so on. I dedicated my long morning to reading both groups, and geez, Louise. I can promise you one thing: you will enjoy, if not adore, at least one of these stories and discover an author (right now, an anonymous one) to follow. The stories are classified as horror, though some fit that only marginally, and so are friendly to those fond of speculative fiction as a widespread, wickedly pointing, fleshy bits hanging off the end umbrella (I’m thinking Sylvester McGory, fellow DW fans).

So, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller, true crime, horror, applelutely fabulousand, hell, even romance readers . . . come one, come all: The PseudoPod flash fiction writing contest is live, now (I believe you’ll want to navigate, with your new log-in, to the forum called The Arcade; the contest is called Flash Fiction Contest IV – Pseudopod). You’ll have to set up a free account if you wish to vote, however; voting for each set of two groups (18 groups total) will last only 7 days each time and you can vote for up to 3 stories per group.

Anyway, enjoy your week—wherever you are in the world right now, whomever with—and make it applelutely fabulous (couldn’t resist a terrible parting pun, sorry)!

Haiku Thursday: On a Theme of Release

October has become a candypalooza in many parts of the world. But for just a few minutes, why don’t we imagine something different. Perhaps even an Octo-beer. And in that vein, hope you enjoy these haiku drafted written for Haiku Horizons.


 

Frost, Fall, Leaves_20141022_1256

Growing

Do these trees release

willingly, in warm wisdom

learning to let go?

 

Laws of all

We learned from our souls’

terminal velocity

to embrace the Fall.

 

Manifesto

And I will free it

so I can soar, roar, risk it

all and fall, to rise.

 

Lush language

Writer, gulper of

overheard wisdom stolen

from wide-open taps.

 

Writer, brewer

What is writing, if

not distilling strong mood-shine.

Reader, want a jar?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mellowing into Fall: Essay and Photos

Leaves Etc._20140924_0928

Hope you like the cotton-candy clouds, JannaT!

If you didn’t know better, you’d think furry brown Cheetos were crossing the road, crawling from cornfield to cornfield. I’ve done a lot of swerving as a consequence. I flick my eyes up to the rearview and watch their little forms rolling around like horseshoes in the sand. And I hope they’re okay.

Yesterday, a hummingbird flitted into our garage, taking refuge, perhaps, from the autumnal cascade that I almost caught in this photo (believe it or not, that spot in the middle right quadrant is a leaf).

It’s that golden time of year again. When none or few still do hang. Shackled by bony branches. Or are they caught up in some Cthulhu’s claws?

Leaves Etc._20140924_0912

Goodbye, Summer.

The rose bush is putting on a small show next to our driveway — a sole spray of pink popping out of the greens. The chives are preparing for lean times, too. Their ends are droopy and brown.

But two watermelons and one cantaloupe cling to life, desperate to ripen. Before snow, or some other surprise, settles in.

When I was a child, fall upset the philosophical applecart of happiness. The animals and plant lives I loved to follow by limb and with eyesight seemed to have drawn in. Hunkered down. Sloughed off. Or gone under.

The main good things to be said for autumn in the Northern hemisphere — it certainly wasn’t returning to school, apart from cross-country running when I was a teenager — were the twin surfeits of sugar and tryptophan. And the mere prospect of snow made my imagination effervesce, especially when I lived close to the ocean.

Leaves Etc._20140924_0939

He’s playing amid the fallen leaves. I’m learning to relax.

Now, I tend to view fall through a yellowed lens. No, not jaundiced exactly, but mellowed. Relaxed. (It’s the medication. Ha!) Embracing the slowing-down of natural processes. Ah, but what to make of the diminished thing? Perhaps we ought to consult a certain bird of Mr. Frost’s? He did remind us, after all, that nothing gold can stay.

In the meantime, enjoy some other autumnal offerings from around the world of WordPressland. For instance: An essay and photo meditation. A re-blogged poem. A poem reimagined (after Chinese poet Li Po). A stream-of-consciousness fiction piece.