“Cherry-Grief Soup (Chilled)” published in Deathcap & Hemlock

Today I bring you the glad tidings of another publication with my name attached—this time, as a part of a brilliant & creative project helmed by Julie Sevens: a fictional cookbook called Deathcap & Hemlock. This was such a creative and brilliant enterprise that I couldn’t help but submit something to their kitchen.

My recipe, “Cherry-Grief Soup (Chilled)” comes to you from the darkening orchard. You may not think you have one, but look again—and this time, out of the corner of your eye.

The crooked little recipe can be found here, with my thanks to Julie and the Deathcap & Hemlock team.


In other news, I’ve just received the proofs (with ingeniously cool formatting) for The Disappearance of Tom Nero, and I’m getting more and more excited about this project, which is due to release in the spring of next year.

I am also working on editing and helping out in a number of creative avenues with an anthology entitled Collage Macabre: an Exhibition of Art Horror. This table of contents is positively stacked with creative stories all circling around the central theme of artistic enterprise. My story, “Lack,” is a weird little piece about a couple whose foundering relationship’s cracks are exposed when a new, very black pigment (and an ensuing painting) comes into their lives. I can’t wait to release this to the world in April of 2023.

Many other projects are in the works, but some of them I can’t quite talk about yet, so please excuse the mysterious cliffhanger of this post. I hope to be able to report more on them soon.

In the meantime, I hope that you are keeping well, readers. Thank you for continuing to share this journey with me.

“Old Man Vreen” to be published in Eerie River’s folk horror anthology

It’s been a bit of a month here at Price central. I get the astonishing news that my story, “Old Man Vreen,” was selected out of blind submissions to be a part of Eerie River’s forthcoming folk horror anthology.

I’m particularly proud of this story. It originated first as a snip of microfiction, a response on October 16, 2020, for the #SpooktoberPrompts, run and organized by Villimey Mist. At first, it was just a poem, a quick little snip for the prompt “hanging”:

This little crumb stuck in my craw for many months after I’d written it. I returned to it, the world of Old Man Vreen, and the environs in which it was associated, a number of times. Most of the time, it came out as a gesture-drawing, a sketch with words, but nothing fully formed as a ‘story’. Finally, on April 19th of this year, I was able to announce that I’d turned this scrap into a larger story. 6,000 words of one, too…

And here we are, August of the same year, and I can now announce that the little microfiction that refused to go away will now be published alongside some of the most talented writers I know in the weird/horror community.

I will post more information on this anthology as it becomes available!

“The Disappearance of Tom Nero” to be published by Spooky House Press!

The contract has been signed. The advance has been paid. The gears are moving.

I’m seriously still in shock about this, Steadfast Ones. I submitted this 14,000-word novelette to Spooky House Press on a whim back a few months ago, fully expecting to be rejected, and instead I was made an offer!

Calling “The Disappearance of Tom Nero” a “meta-textual horror that blurs the lines between reality and the written word,” Robert Ottone (of Spooky House Press) made the author signing announcement on Twitter today, and I could not be more excited to work with them to bring this novelette into the world.

This story felt insane to write, and even more insane to finish, and you’ll see why when you read it (when you do). It’s undergone many revisions, with support and eyes from friends and colleagues over the years, and I’m fiercely proud of its current incarnation.

Thank you to everyone who’s helped it along, but I’d like to extend especial appreciation to Demi-Louise Blackburn, Rosa Gir, Richie Snowden-Leak, and Evelyn Freeling, all of whom have been champions of “Tom Nero.”

I’m really excited to hear what people think of it. I’m even more excited to see how many people pick up on the many clues and word-play that are seeded throughout the manuscript.

This is my first paid publication, and I could not be more happy with the fact that it’s “The Disappearance of Tom Nero” that’s getting inked.

More news as things develop!

“Some Verses Regarding the Township (and Immediate Environs) of Bear Creek” published in The Bear Creek Gazette

Hello, oh ye Steadfast Ones.

This post is to commemorate the publishing of my hybrid art/prose/poem piece “Some Verses Regarding the Township (and Immediate Environs) of Bear Creek” in The Bear Creek Gazette.

I’ve been a fan of the Gazette for a long time: it is a pure labor of love organized by the wild mind of Stuart Buck, and it often publishes curiosities and hybrid pieces. When I happened to post a link to an earlier publication on Twitter, Stuart reached out and asked if I had ever submitted anything myself.

I hadn’t. So I sat down one night and began writing some words that didn’t exist. They turned, unexpectedly, into a quintet of poems, all of them somehow linked back to the mysterious township of Bear Creek. After they fell into a place, I started having these flashes of visions: a notebook with its pages torn out, a wrecked pickup truck. A stream, leaping and gurgling, in the middle of a dense pine forest. A comet, streaking overhead like a luminous worm wriggling across the night sky.

All this to say:

If you like weird nonsense words, lots of tiny circles, and a weird backstory, go check it out. The link is here.

As always, submissions (and rejections) continue to flow in and out of my mailbox. I’m excited about a number of projects that I’m working on, and the seasons continue to wheel on. It’s hot here in North Carolina. I don’t know about wherever you’re at. One of my ghosts keeps whispering to me about New England summers. The bright blue sky. The waves in the harbor gently knocking at the pilings of the pier.

More news when it becomes available.

(Oh, and if you haven’t heard about or read any of an Italian writer named Dino Buzzati, I recommend looking into him. Specifically the collection Catastrophe and Other Stories, though The Tartar Steppe is next up on my list…)

Juneward

The year plunges on. How three months have gone by since my last post, I do not rightly know.

Projects I am currently involved in have changed a great deal since then, so I’ll just make a quick list here to enumerate them.

  1. I’m an Associate Editor over at Haven Spec magazine: I’m reading submissions as well as writing a short column called the Haven Short Fiction Review.
  2. I’m reading submissions at Weird Little Worlds for their upcoming, highly-anticipated anthology of dark stories entitled “MOTHER: Tales of Love & Terror,” co-edited by Willow Becker & Christi Nogle.
  3. I’m involved in a community where we are currently challenging one another to a 10×10, or, 10 pieces created in 10 weeks. We’re about to enter week 4, and so far I’ve created three new pieces and am working on a fourth.
  4. I have a dozen stories out for submission at varying points of the process, floating in the ether between here and a reader’s eyes. This number continues to increase as I use anthology calls as prompts to write new stories.
  5. I continue to be an active editor and critique-partner for peers in a community of writers online.

I’ve also updated this website. You’ll notice that now there is a separate page for a Press Kit, which includes biographical information that can be used without advance permission, as well as a page for my pen-and-ink artwork, called “Sketchpad.” You can find both of these at the top of the page, under the menu.

“The Creative Writing Assignment” accepted

Amidst a string of rejections, I am happy to say that a drabble of mine entitled “The Creative Writing Assignment” was accepted for forthcoming publication in Shacklebound Books’ Drabbledark II anthology. I’m proud of this piece, and am looking forward to checking out the anthology when it becomes available.

It’s been a particularly rough crossing this last month. My husband and I moved to Raleigh, NC from Brooklyn, NY, and about a month after some physically arduous labor, we are finally settling into our new arrangements. I’ve had some time to write, and I’ve been pleased with the output.

Sadly, due to the upheaval, I’ve not had access to a great many of my books and haven’t been reading as much as I could be. I aim to rectify this issue as soon as I have a comfortable place in our apartment to do so.

I hope this finds you, dear reader, whoever you are, doing well. If not, may that change for you soon.

“a robbery” published

Hello friends.

Just a quick mid-holiday update: pleased to announce my latest publication, which was immediately inspired by the concept behind Complete Sentence journal – to write a story in one sentence.

The art is also of my creation, which I’m pretty chuffed about.

Highly recommend checking out the archive of this website – lots of really great material in there, and I also recommend submitting your own sentences! The editor, Jason, was an absolute joy to work with, and I couldn’t be prouder to have this tiny piece be included in their pages.

https://www.completesentencelit.com/post/a-robbery

the iron bell of October

Here we are, mid-autumn already. Since we last spoke, dear void journal, I have been ferociously reading so many things, and planning so many new ones.

For most of late summer, I was busy with health issues. Nothing dire – just concerns of the dermatological and of the gastro-intestinal. Thankfully, both issues have resolved, and with the cooler wind’s balm, I am much happier and a bit more well-adjusted than during those steamy, torrid days of city-hot summer.

Unfortunately, during those months I was also pre-occupied with a great deal of depression and writer’s malaise. I was in a rut, spiraling in circles, unable to make headway on even the smallest poem. Everything I even attempted to write met an instantaneous (and unceremonious) end. But those issues, too, appear to have resolved – if only for now, and I’m pleased to be able to say I have been writing on a daily basis again, sometimes churning out what feel like complete little flash fictions, sometimes even hitting my stride and ending up with 5K short stories.

I am pleased to say, also, that I’ve done a little revamp of this here website – there’s new header image up top, and there’s now a bit more focus on the blog-posts, which I will attempt to get out more frequently.

A round-up, then, of what I have accomplished in the last few weeks:

  • One new short story, called “poppet” for now, clocking in around 5,000 words. I’m comfortable with the level of how uncomfortably-ended it is, because I’m becoming (slowly) accustomed to the idea of revision and tightening/tautening, etc. I’m also becoming aware that my process might involve drafting something, then putting it away for months, and returning to it once it’s sort of stopped haunting me. Some stories haunt longer than others, I’m discovering.
  • A new, completely re-imagined version of the second short story I ever wrote (September 2020!), still called “Wasp” for the time being. It’s still far too long, and it needs more pruning, but I feel like it’s in a much more stable place than it used to be, and I’m quite proud of it.
  • Tons of flash fiction, most ranging from >1K to just around 2.5K. Some of them are ridiculous, but I feel like I’m working through what constitutes a satisfying “ending” for me. It’s tough, slippery like an eel, but I’m happy with the progress I’m making. These titles include:
    • A Robbery, which is a short story in one sentence.
    • Flood, a piece about grief and rising waters.
    • ransom, a weird, misshapen piece about a ransom note.
    • small, a piece that started off as auto fiction from Joy Baglio’s Community Writing workshop and then veered into total fiction. I love how it ends, but the title might also be touch, or it might be something else entirely.
    • Good Hands is the first time I’ve ever been able to write about working in neurosurgery, and I’m very happy with this piece. It starts in second person, and then somehow moves to first person, but there’s also a draft where it’s all in first person, too. I like to play with points of view.
  • I have also written a list of books on craft/process that I have found illuminating, perhaps in preparation for a longer work on the different kinds of feedback/critique that can be given – based on my experience – and how to tell when one might be more warranted than another. This is a long-term project, as I am in no way qualified to write this kind of thing yet, though I do love to read other writers’ work and offer my thoughts/feelings on it, especially at a granular, sentence-building level.

That’s all for now. Look for another post coming soon with some of what I’ve been reading, and my thoughts on them!

Site Additions; Some Reading

Have added a section to the webpage that features an ongoing list of Writing Prompts from a server on Discord that I help moderate. If that’s something that interests you, have at it, and let me know if anything inspires you! I’m always intrigued by how others react to these open-ended prompts.

Nothing on the publication front, but I haven’t been actively participating in that side of writing lately. All I seem to be able to come up with is shreds of beginnings. Trying to be gentle with myself and just allow the writing to come as it needs to for now. There’s no need to rush anything. I’ve finally gotten back into reading more regularly, and I’m quite happy with that for now. I’ve also been watching more movies, and writing down my general thoughts about them on letterboxd.com (link will take you to my profile there).

In addition, I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts about what I read and add them to my profile at goodreads, for now. I don’t like to “review” things as such, and I really kind of hate assigning “stars” to things, but if something I read moves me in a certain way, I like to try to suss out how I feel about it there. Recently, I’ve read/reviewed a few interesting things, a mix of new and old. If my thoughts on Wallace Stevens, indie horror, or esoterica interest you, hit that link.

Books read recently:

  • Circe, by Madeline Miller: a lush and lyrical imagining of the life lived by one of the more intriguing characters in Homer’s Odyssey, using inferences from the Telegony to fill in the blanks of Circe’s time on Aiaia. There was nothing about this that I didn’t like. After reading this, I instantly sought out her earlier work, Song of Achilles, which I also liked, but not as much as I did Circe. I wonder if I would have felt differently had I read Achilles first, but that’s such a small nit-pick: reading both of these cemented for me that Miller is an author of muscular, ardent prose, and I will be on the look-out for anything she publishes in the future.
  • Mists & Megaliths, by Catherine McCarthy: a collection of Welsh horror stories from an indie horror author whose star is definitely on the rise. I enjoyed most of these stories. “Lure” is still my favorite from this writer: a shimmering, elusive story told in the second-person, though the closing tale in this collection, “Coblynau,” is a tremendously emotional and spooky painting of a national tragedy that echoes far down the corridor of time. Other stories in this collection left me feeling as though they were a bit rushed, or slightly thin on the ground, but McCarthy is an interesting writer to watch mature. I’ll be checking out her forthcoming novella, Immortelle, for sure, which releases soon, and has been hyped to the skies.
  • Incarnations, three plays by Clive Barker: never having read any of the master’s dramatic work, I treated myself to these three plays, and loved every moment of them. I still have his other collection, Forms of Heaven, to enjoy, but this was a delightful treat, and I hope someday to see at least one of these in an actual theater.
  • The Psychedelic Experience: a manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, by Tim Leary: a slim volume, interesting anecdotally and historically, but nothing awe-inspiring. Neat analogy with the inclusion of the bardo and the various stages of tripping on LSD.
  • The Hill of Dreams, by Arthur Machen: Gorgeous, sensual prose, but the actual narrative seemed almost secondary to the descriptions. Still, a welcome addition to what I’d already read of Machen’s work, and some sentences that will stick with me for a long time.
  • Heartfelt Horrors, by Michael Sellars: it was a genuine treat to encounter another independent horror writer who handles each sentence with such care. These nine atmospheric stories impressed me in a way that very few others have: the word choice and imagery were intensely evocative, and Sellars proved that he’s a writer who loves the art of language as much he does the art of crafting narrative. I can’t wait to read his other work.
  • The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality & Imagination, by Wallace Stevens: Dense, scholarly, convoluted ideas regarding the duty of the artist in the world. Gorgeous prose, but so layered that it made my head spin a bit to try to get a handle on the ideas presented. Still, something I will return to in the future, many times, I’m sure.
  • The Auctioneer, by Joan Samson: I read this in one sitting during a four-hour flight, and I was riveted the entire time. I haven’t read such a thrilling, tense story in quite some time. Though it’s a novel and not a short story, in both tone and characterization, this easily sits alongside Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery as one of the most disturbing works of rural horror I’ve ever read. The best thing about it is that, though it was written in the late 60s, and deals with the urban diaspora, the themes are timeless and even eerily prescient for our modern times. Highly recommended.

I hope everyone is sane and healthy as the summer months trudge along. I, for one, can’t wait for the cooling solace of autumn after summer’s venomous sting.

“Stasis” published

I’m pleased to announce that my short story “Stasis” has been accepted for publication! It has been published in Volume no. 4, Issue #1 of the Coffin Bell Journal, available to read here. The story is about 1,700 words (5 minute read time)

Coffin Bell Journal prides themselves on selecting weird, literary horror, and I’m thrilled to be included within their pages.

It’s a weird, queasy little story that burst out of me one day, and interestingly enough, also has a revised and updated version of itself, a mutated twin that lives in the attic.