Costuming anxiety 

It occurred to me this evening that I don’t have an awesome costume to wear to school tomorrow. 

I mean, there’s Elvis . . .   

But I did that at school last year (although this year’s ensemble for the Monster Mash Pub was clearly better than what I wore in class in 2014!), and I’d prefer to do something fresh.

Or nothing at all. 

I’m experiencing extreme Hallowe’en fatigue. Maybe it’s because most of my efforts in setting up spookiness have been going to the haunted house event, but even that was a struggle for a while, and continues to be — the thing would have fizzled out if not for my team keeping me going. I used to love this time of year, going all out with decorations and planning costum parties for Jack, but lately, I’ve been wishing I could fast-forward to the end. 

I understand, too, why my mum didn’t express the same enthusiasm for decoration and costumes that I did in my teens. She was probably just as worn out as I am now. It’s hard to get the extra energy and motivation when all you want to do in the darkening days and watery sunshine is sleep and eat fattening foods.

I suspect I might have gotten more into the spirit if we’d planned more to do at home, inviting people over or setting aside time for a proper Samhain ritual and dinner, but that would also require thorough house cleaning and organizing of the kind I meant to get at all summer and never achieved. And on top of that, we simply don’t have the space.

Anyway . . . As hubby likes to say, it is what it is. Two more nights of the event, in which I will be stretching my cast and crew thin as I lose kids to the local Hallowe’en dance onFriday  and trick-or-treating on Saturday. Starting to doubt my / our decision to run the thing that night, but the hope remains that people will want to explore our haunted house on Hallowe’en night, in their own costumes. And then there will be the cleaning up on Sunday. 

I will be living off coffee by Monday morning, I suspect. I don’t like doing that. It makes my chest feel funny.

If it all works out, and the kids and visitors have a good time, and I can avoid embarrassing myself, it will have been worth it. Well, it already has been, but I’m struggling with seeing the positives. The little negatives always loom so large when I’m like this.

The new tattoo I got yesterday has helped a little. Reminds me that the story continues.

But I still don’t know what to wear tomorrow.

Netflix Bingeing: the Love, the Loathing

Ah, the on-demand, commercial-free glories of Netflix — it’s my preferred medium for watching shows, now. But as much as I enjoy flicking through the virtual catalogue of titles and catching up on series I’ve missed, like Supernatural and Once Upon a Time, I’m reminded lately of two major issues that come up in binge-watching a series:

1) You become painfully aware of a show’s flaws — repetitive dialogue, overuse of plot devices, problems with production values as the popularity of the show waned and waxed . . . Even the music can get annoying when you hear the melody for ____ mood or ____ scene over and over. My apologies to my favourite shows, but the guilty parties include Chuck, OUAP, STNG, and yes, even Supernatural. If there’s anything that irritates me in writing (in any form), it’s unnecessary repetition. So what if your writing team has found a formula that works? It will only have an impact for so long, and then it will become tired and annoy the audience. 

2) You become obsessed with finishing all available episodes, to the detriment of other shows you might be following. This has happened over and over to me — I’m behind again on Castle, Continuum, haven’t finished Parks and Recreation or started Orphan Black, and because I need to know how the binged series wraps up (so far), I’ve been neglecting my reading, too. 

You’d think that having shows on demand would enable me to practice more self-control, and it’s true that I have been able to turn it off more and more. But when the next episode is waiting, and ready to go, it’s so easy just to slide right in . . .

Maybe that should be my next cosplay: something to do with Netflix. Hmm.

A poem for the ghost in my house

There’s a shadow in the edge of vision

A movement out the corner of my sight

A fleeting shape of misty darkness

Could be a hair floating silhouetted against the light.

Is it a flickering eyelash caught on a bit of sleep?

Or a smudge on my low-set bifocal lens?

My bangs overhanging my tired and ageing eyes, 

Or a trick of my overactive imagination?

Appearing and vanishing, avoiding direct looks,

I wait to feel a change in the temperature, 

To sense a chill hand on my bared skin,

Expecting a feeling of dread, or a whispered word–

But with each glimpse of Someone I feel instead:




Nothing to fear from the ghost in my house, 

This entity sharing our home.

I suspect the spirit simply wishes to be noticed,

So it, too, will feel less alone.


Promotions, promotions!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing an interview for the radio to promote the haunted house. I didn’t get a copy of it, although I was told it sounded good. 

This past Saturday, J.R. Daoust of the Northern News came to visit our event, and he wrote a terrific article for us. I love the group shot, too. We were missing several students who couldn’t be there, but it still represents the collective team and their efforts:   

Can you see me in the upper right, at the back? Lol, so silly!

In other promotional news: my main publisher, Melange Books, is holding a Hallowe’en Sale, so you’ve got an opportunity to pick up a couple of my works at a discount! And why not? I love writing spooky stuff for you! 

Take a look at Spellbound 2011, which includes my short story “Telltale Signs”, only $0.99 until November 7, as well as the first book of my Talbot Trilogy, Wind and Shadow, at the special price of just $2.99, also until November 7! 

 Be careful, though — the Talbot Trilogy is rather addictive. Fortunately, it’s also a hell of a ride. Fair warning: the trilogy is explicit, very steamy, and gory, and by the final book, Crystal and Wand, it includes LGBQT material. 

Happy Hallowe’en Week!

Time and planet wait for none

Our weekend routine, if that’s what you want to call it, was pretty thoroughly thrown out the window this time around. Between the haunted house (only two more nights to go!) and the pub, today was essentially a write-off for me. Did some knitting but mostly sleeping was the order of the morning and the afternoon, and that left the evening for anything productive, which I didn’t do anyway because I’m still tired and the mess of the house is too much for me to deal with, plus much of it is hubby’s or Bridget’s and I refuse to be her maid or put his things away and end up having to be the one who must find them for him later. 

This Sunday just felt, overall, surreal. A bit off, and understated. 

And the planet turns on and on. The moon is nearly full, and the sky is clear — amazing to see the brightness of the sunlight on Luna’s face. 

A most successful night

We had a record number of people through the haunted house tonight, in spite of the rain: 123! 

And then I went out for some fun. 

I am home again, though, safe and sound. Kept to my better judgment, to the utter disappointment of my id. Oh, for the ability to leap between alternate realities! To be able up slide into different endings and be able to choose a path without the inevitable repercussions… Hit rewind and go again. 

My head stays annoyingly sober when I am drunk, you see. Half of my mind comments dryly and with annoyingly accurate detail and judgement on my activities. The Id is let on a length of leash, but there is still a jolt when the end is reached. I care about the ending, about damage and reputation and impacts, and so I stick to self-and socially-imposed limits to having fun, which ends up feeling like not much fun even though fun was had. I am inebriated, but careful, in spite of the devil on my shoulder urging me to throw years — decades — of relative caution to the wind. My author brain sees the road diverging and my conscience saves me from the worst choice, even though the way home is still littered with regrets. Imagination is a curse at these moments.

I am anchored in a storm. Tethered and whipped about by forces I cannot control but must resist, for continuing peace (relatively speaking). Life is not fair and it never has been. I am safe at home, in my bed. 

Funny Flash Fiction: Now That’s What I Call Sushi

So the results are in from the second round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction contest, and my story didn’t rate high enough for me to go on to the next level, although it was close — of the top fifteen writers, the top five get to move on, and I was number seven. I think I’m okay with that. The pressure is off, and placing seventh at least means that the judges liked it. I’m interested in the feedback, but of course, I know the results are subjective.

I played with formatting in this piece, farting around with the narrative in an unconventional way. Those with whom I’ve already shared it have given me some great comments, and I was happy with the end result, although I think it would have been better with text boxes.

Anyhoo, it’s now yours to enjoy! The flash fiction begins below . . .


Now That’s What I Call Sushi


Staying awake in school detention is challenge enough, but what happens when one of the students provides an unexpected, illicit, and unhealthy form of entertainment? Not even the supervising teacher is willing to intervene with an epic dare involving dissection tissue!

Story pic 1 Story pic 2 Story pic 3 story pic 4 Story pic 5