Austin, TX | I write GrimDark, Fantasy, Horror, Western, and nonfiction | Tips and hearts appreciated! Team Seb Vettel!
So You Didn't Make The Cut. Now What?
A Community on the Edge Starting about about 7:00am Tuesday morning, and possibly hours before that, the collective platform waited, refreshing the Top Stories so we didn't miss the penultimate moment. It was make-or break. For some, it seems the anticipated post would define our success or failure on the platform. Self-esteem would be boosted or tanked. Hopes would be lifted or dashed. It came a day late, but and it came in like the wrecking ball we all thought it would be: the 1,025 finalists for the Vocal+ Fiction Awards, which accepted over 13,000 submissions between October 12 and December 29, 2021.
The Christmas lights had flicked on in the front yard. Luther glanced up, out through the door, unaware that the sun had gone down so fast. They had been in the old barn since noon, trenching and re-trenching the churned-up hard pan around their armies. There hadn't been any animals in that barn since the forties. The previous owners had sold it off, and throughout the early sixties, it had been the favored play place of the Richards family. Kids and cousins had jumped from the rafters into piles of forgotten hay, rotten and stinking, and as likely to burst into flames as not. Since time immemorial they had chased coach-whips through the sagging stalls before turning with mixed squeals of delight and terror as the snakes reared up on their bellies and chased their aggressors back to the barn doors. The game had tapered off when most recent of the Miz Richards brought home the barn cats. They hunted everything. No rodents, no snakes, just like Miz Richards liked it. It was perhaps the only point upon which Luther had agreed with the woman at any time in their very short acquaintance.
I Wish I Was A Twin
You may not believe it, but I remember sitting on those steps next to those rocks. I remember plunking those rocks into a puddle of water and my mother having to fish them out because that puddle of water was in the middle of the road in a little residential neighborhood in Poteet, Texas, about 45 minutes southwest of San Antonio.
What I Learned About Homelessness
When my original contract at the company I currently work for ended, I found myself needing a part time job while I was finishing the Data Analytics and Visualization boot camp at UT. I knocked around for a couple days, and found myself standing in a wool coat on the freezing cold floor of a warehouse on Koenig Lane. It was January. Rain hammered the building. I kept my hands shoved in my pockets to keep from shivering as the manager, my manager, gave myself and another applicant the run down of our positions. We were on-boarded almost immediately and started the next week.
Listen To Them...Children of the Night...
My friends. I am no stranger to the shadows. I don't concern myself with cramming all of the season's screamings into a single month. For me, every day is Halloween. From the most head-banger metal to the haunted woods of the ancient homelands on #FolkloreThursday, I stand in the darkened corner of music, literature, film, and television--when I can be bothered to be interested in anything that isn't Warhammer. I am a connoisseur of the weird tale, and the nightmare of the soul. Basically I'm a tortured artist with the heart of a Care Bear living with five cats.
Five Rescue Stories In One House
When my stepson was about six years old, he asked if we could go to the shelter and get a cat. That was in 2015. After looking around, my husband decided that it wasn't quite the right time, and I rather agreed with him. When we left the second shelter, my stepson had tears in his eyes. I tried to comfort him as best I could.
A Man Of Vision You Say?
This was originally published on my blog, Dark Corners Blog, March 27, 2021. I don’t think there are very many people who understand the depth of the debt the literary world owes to Larry McMurtry, who died at the age of 84 this last Thursday, March 25, 2021. I wrote on Facebook that there will be a lot of people only too happy to co-opt his body of work without understanding the context of his stories and adaptations for the sake of some ideal, without realizing that they will play directly into McMurtry’s hands, and that the irony would not have been lost on him. There will be a lot of people who will make claims about his body of work that he would quickly have refuted, and those will be the people who have never read past the first chapter of Lonesome Dove, if they actually read it all.
Lloyd Alexander's Grim Legendary Fantasy
It was very in vogue among my childhood friends to become enraptured with the mythical world of Narnia, with all its golden good and brooding evil. My friends among the Swordplay UTSA alumnus Facebook group feel that my own bad experience with Narnia came from starting the Chronicles of Narnia in the wrong place. We read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe first in fourth grade instead of a more logical starting place, perhaps The Horse And His Boy. I followed along with my class until the girl (I don't even know the kids' names) went through the wardrobe and met the sniveling fawn, Mr. Tumnus, and then I closed the book, dropped it on my desk, folded my arms, and accepted my Unsatisfactory marks in reading for the period.
The Vamoose Mathematic Principle
T was no more than a variable in the convoluted equation that calculated the time complexity of Life With Tim. It was the amount of effort it took to shift the weight of her head to the other hand. Its passage was as heavy and unnecessarily painful as a sack of groceries dangling from a single pinkie finger.
Throwing Seven Different Kinds of Smoke
SRE stands for "pulled in many directions" --Co-Worker About six months ago, the business that I work for transitioned our tier 2 support team into a full-scale site reliability engineering team. Up until that point, there was no real liason between Support, Engineering and DevOps to resolve issues of site reliability, and our DevOps team was fully investing their time in infrastructure maintenance, monitoring, and automation of routine maintenance tasks.
Practice Makes Permanent 2
"I'd like to assure you that this is not done by strange fellows with long hair who live in attics and wear berets. It is done by extremely disciplined human beings who are trying to allow you as people...to see through their eyes the visual beauty of this world." -- Vincent Price