I’m the Featured Author in Lamplight!

10841826_715393915213406_3280808783954883009_oI’m so thrilled!

The December issue is now out in print. It contains an interview with me, my short story “A Love Not Meant to Outlast the Butterflies,” and fine work by Kelli Owens, Tom Brennan, Salena Casha, Rati Mehrotra, and J. J. Green.

The Kindle version is free with purchase of the print version, as well. You can find them both here.

I’m so proud of “Butterflies!” I originally had the idea for it while in New Orleans. It full of magical realism, romance, betrayal, and sorrow. I do hope you’ll read it!

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This Time Last Year, I Was in New Orleans

I was there for World Horror Convention. I stayed in a beautiful house with my friends. We experienced joy and tragedy. It was a house of laughter and sorrow, much like the city.

Enjoy a few pictures of the city last year. It was such a pleasure.

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My laptop, a bay blanket, and a “Don’t Forget Me” letter from my middlest. 🙂

Twister

We rented a house that came with a bottle of vodka and a game of Twister. I touched neither. I can’t say the same for my housemates.

 

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Mason Bundschuh and Mort Castle play ukelele and harmonica after the Bram Stoker Awards.

Voodoo

How do you do that voodoo you do so well?

uke

 

This is my brother in everything but blood. I bought my own uke right after this.

 

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It was just such a pleasure to be somewhere so different from home.

 

Miss Murder/Snow White.

I was gone for a week and nobody saw the rabbit, but the day after I returned, so did she. She’s currently hopping around my backyard as I type. Such a sweet little thing. I call her Omen. Or Giggity G. Or Thor. Or Bunniful. Or whatever the heck I want, because she’s here and she’s beautiful and I love her. I don’t expect her to stay, so every day is like a gift.

bunny

Speaking of gifts, my dear friend’s daughter was stolen from her, but they got her back on the same day. All of my sorrows seem like nothing in comparison. I realize that I give my trust too easily, and I’m naive when it comes to others. I am ready to lose the things that hurt me.

In New Orleans, I put out my hand and a big, green dragonfly landed on it. Dragonflies have happy, smiley little faces.

Later that day, I fed some birds at Cafe Beignet. Happy little things. One was bolder than the other, and actually hopped into my palm in order to snatch her beignet. If only we would have been two seconds quicker with the camera!

 

feed the birds

feed the birds

 

With the bunny, the birds, the white butterfly that landed on my blouse, the bee and the dragonfly, a friend posted this to my Facebook wall.  “You’re the horror world’s answer to Snow White.”  It made me smile.

 

A Safe, Warm House

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Yesterday was an emotional day. One of my roommates received some devastating news. I’m still bruised myself. So we all stayed inside of our safe, warm house yesterday, leaving only to get more Coke Zeros, snacks, and dinner.

friends

Do you know what it feels like to be loved? To have people who genuinely care for you gathered around? It feels wonderful.

feast

We ate catfish and gumbo and soft-shelled crab. We cried a bit, laughed a lot, and talked late into the night. We sat down and had a write-in together. It was so lovely. It was so healing.

Today is a new day.

I’m in New Orleans, wearing a red dress.

Monarchs and the Mississippi

Mississippi

We flew out at 6 am today, which means that we were driving to the airport at 4:30. The phrase “Don’t talk to me until Texas” was thrown around a couple of times. Neither Mason, Matt, nor I are fabulous morning people.

I bought at Diet Coke for $3.50 in the Houston airport. I nearly wept.

The house in New Orleans is beautiful. Most of the group is staying at the Monteleone hotel in the French quarter, which is gorgeous. It’s also $150 a night. We rented a charming house a mile away for much, much less. Wood floors. Writing nooks. AIR CONDITIONING. I’m working the registration table twice tomorrow, as well as going to a KaffeeKlatsch with Bruce Boston. I’m excited to do that, but I’d also love to curl up and sleep the day away, waking up to write. Sometimes I love noise and people. It distracts me. But sometimes I need to hide. Right now a little hiding would be ideal.

The best part of today? We walked through the French Quarter, right up to the Mississippi river. Near the banks, I saw a Monarch Butterfly. Perhaps you know of my fondness for them. They’re very important to me. They remind me of childhood and hope and struggle. Few things are as significant.

It’s the first Monarch I’ve seen of the season. Big and bright and beautiful. I actually cried, “A Monarch!” and ran after it, like I was a little girl. Then my friends and I went and put our feet in the water of the Mississippi. We watched the boats go by until the sun went down. I didn’t want to move. It was peace.

I saw a few friendly faces and will see more tomorrow. My mind is close to home, tonight. I talked to my son on the phone and he’s excited for me to come home. My daughter told me the bunny was in the back yard today, even though I wasn’t there. I told her that animals come to play with her, too.

World Horror Con, Grief, and White Rabbits

Vegas bunny

I’m leaving for World Horror Con in New Orleans, tomorrow. I’m going with part of my writer’s group and I’ve been hopeful about it for quite a while. It’s my first World Horror. And in NOLA! Woo!  On the other hand, I’ve been exceptionally sad for the last few months and I don’t know if I have the internal fortitude that I need. I want to be with people who love me, not strangers.

It’s my daughter’s second birthday, and I’ll miss it. Miss the party, miss the snuggles and celebration. And I’ll miss having somebody to cry with. For those of you who don’t know, I was carrying triplets and we lost two. Daisy before birth, and Seija after. It has been two years since I watched one of my little girls die. I’ve been dreading this anniversary with everything I have.

Grief is a funny thing. Some days we manage quite beautifully, and others…I thought it would be easier by now. That life would be easier. It isn’t. There are good days and bad days. But everybody expects a few months of grief and then complete healing, including me.  And life doesn’t stop to let you grieve, either. I’ve been walking around with a gigantic Fragile: Handle With Care sticker for a while, but there are still bumps and bruises that just come along. That’s life, yes? 🙂  We all know it. We all live it.

Vegas bunny

I live in Las Vegas, in the middle of the city. Three days ago, a white bunny appeared on my front lawn. It was the most breathtaking, magical thing. A thing of true beauty. White and sweet and somewhere that she completely shouldn’t be.  I saw her twice that day. Later that night, while folding laundry and watching true crime (as I am wont to do) a white bunny factored into the crime case. That was three white bunnies in one day.

I can’t tell you what that meant to me. It seemed like an omen of hope. Of good things. It filled my heart.

I saw her again, yesterday. Twice.

She’s here again today. That’s three days of hopeful white bunnies.

white rabbit

I’m very divided on what I think. I couldn’t tell you if I believe in signs or not. I’ll say no, then secretly think yes. I’ll say yes, and secretly think no. I’m a Pisces. It comes with the territory. 😛

But this? I choose to think yes. That Omen (which is what I named her) showed up to give me hope. The joy that she gave my children was indescribable. Mom! A bunny! At our house! I think it’s magic!

I’m ready to reboot. Head out to this conference and focus on writing for a while. Friends. Enjoy the city. Become inspired. Saturday, their birthday, the day I’m most afraid of, is full from top to bottom. I’m reading from Beautiful Sorrows. Doing a panel. Going to a Kaffeeklatsch with Ellen Datlow. Running pitches for two hours. Going to the Bram Stoker Awards banquet. And I’m wearing a really darling little dress that I bought because it just looked so happy.  I’ll try my hardest to make it A Day of Happy. If you’re there, won’t you join me?