The Bells of Doors that Don’t Swing Wide

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This line from an Aimee Mann song can apply to a lot of things, but it works quite well with writing, too: “It must be hard, ringing the bells of doors that don’t swing wide / Anymore.” It’s probably a bit off some ideal brand for writers to be a bit dismayed by a culture in which reading is not quite as ubiquitous a form of diversion/learning as it once was. It is of course still distinct in the way that it requires a person to utilize his or her own mind to bring a work to life (like some far grander “Frankenstein”), but though being on some bigger platform in which one writes to entertain and make people think was hardly ever something that could be easily done by just anybody, the door of longer-form reading in general has gotten smaller. There’s just so many passive forms of diversion.

And yeah, that makes long-form writing (even if only in something shorter with a meaning that’s sort of longer form) a bit hard — not that you just give up because of that. But as it is with life itself, it’s strange to pretend otherwise — that it’s not at least a bit hard.

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Shortest Month of the Year

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Art by Emile Bernard

This month isn’t just momentous for offering romantics everywhere the supreme gift of another “Fifty Shades” movie; it’s also a month of celebrating things that should sort of be omnipresent all year round — Black History Month and, in a much more pop culture sense, Women in Horror Month. Continue reading “Shortest Month of the Year”

Nice Art and a ‘Gravestone-worthy Line’

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Pauly Math art

“Steuert’s descriptions made the locations so real I could almost taste the dew in the air, and while there’s a look of really sublime lines, the idea that ‘in this particular universe, managing to be OK was kind of grand’ was my favourite, because come on, who DOESN’T feel like that at the moment.

“Put that on my gravestone.”

From this review of “Late Night Partners” by Kirsty of the multifaceted paperbackpunkrock.com.

The above art doesn’t have anything to do with “Late Night Partners,” though the woman’s style is fairly Doris-ish and I feel like even a stylishly shrouded vampire could survive a dab of sun among a cloudy evening sky.

Christmas and Sparseness

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Horace Pippin art

Christmas as it’s presented to us is very much an if-you’re-fortunate thing. Beyond any religious or consumerist connotations, I think Christmas can simply be about hope and good will. For some people, those things tend to not feel so omnipresent in their lives. If you’re struggling, Christmas can be sort of isolating — even as a holiday about hope and good will is as much (if not more so) for someone who’s struggling as anybody else. Continue reading “Christmas and Sparseness”

‘Huge step in the right direction for speculative fiction protagonists’

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Lena Finch art

There are a lot of things to like about this book, quirky characters, memorable themes, a good balance between new takes on vampire lore and honoring the original mythos – but I think what stands out to me most is the representation. Considering how popular vampires are in the media, it’s appalling how rare it is to see vampires of color. Doris fits into that category, but that’s far from her defining trait. She’s intelligent, caring, and a huge step in the right direction for speculative fiction protagonists.” From Cat Voleur’s spoiler-free review at https://indefenseofthehorror.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/book-promotion-late-night-partners

She runs a pretty cool blog in general, so check it out.

Halloween post: ‘The World is a Vampire’

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G. Dou art, 1635, public domain. Fangs by Fennel.

For Halloween, I wanted to write about classic monsters in a way that’s slightly different, harking mostly to the metaphorical parallels that makes them so interesting. As alliterated in a Smashing Pumpkins song, the world is a vampire. Cue flash of lightning and the sound of thunder. Continue reading “Halloween post: ‘The World is a Vampire’”