Sunday, January 15, 2017

Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror

Sèphera Girón reads the beginning of her story "The Next Big Thing" which is in the Ouija board anthology, Intersections.

"The Next Big Thing" is told through a series of diary entries scrawled by a young street kid turned magician. No matter what her schtick, she's always looking for the next big thing. She also wonders about magic; how much is an illusion, and how much is real?

Intersections is the brainchild of Megan Hart and Rob E. Boley who founded Howling Unicorn Press and wanted to do an anthology about Ouija boards. They asked the rest of us to participate in their madness and we agreed. Together there are six authors in the anthology. Our only guideline was that the story had to have an ouija board in it somewhere. What has resulted is a book containing six very different creepy, disturbing novellas.

The subject matter was a challenge for me as I'm afraid of ouija boards. Yes, I've used them now and again at haunted houses but not for anything personal. Not in years and years. I didn't want to write a story about an ouija board that was about actually using the board. I was afraid I'd channel something. I also didn't want to write about something that had already come through and was hanging out here. So I veered way away from the ideas of evil boards and thought about my Witch Upon a Star series.

Our main character Annie/Felicity/Fleeceya is not from the Witch Upon a Star series. She's her own character and looking for magic, real magic. She learns about the little town of Hermana which is like a cross between Salem and Cassadaga. She visits a couple of characters from the series. I thought it would be fun to combine the worlds, briefly. and see what happens. "The Next Big Thing" was born.

You can now order both print and ebook versions of Intersections on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble.

Kerry Lipp
Megan Hart
Brad C. Hodson
Chris Marrs
Sephera Giron
Rob E. Boley 

Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror was released on Friday, January 13, 2017, during a Full Moon! 

If you happen to read any of it, please leave a review, good or bad, on Amazon and/or Goodreads as it helps to push the book placement higher! Thank you! 

This week also saw the release of  Group Hex Vol. 1 which was edited by Andrew Robertson. This anthology is a collection from members of the Horror Writers Association Ontario Chapter! Our launch party was amazing!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Thoughts

I don't own copy right to any of these images. 

You may call them "Hollywood Royalty" but Debbie Reynolds was a real live working mom. If you've ever been on a film set, you know how long the days can be. Having your own kids on set must have been quite difficult yet glorious at the same time. Having your husband leave you for Liz Taylor...ouch!

Hard to believe how they were pretty much the same age when they starred in what would become popular beloved movies that would make them immortal or at least stars for several generations.

Debbie Reynolds had her hands full with that little bundle of energy, might as well wear her out with some dancing! Getting paid is even better! (Sound familiar?)

 They had an amazing bond. I've known a couple of other mother-child relationships that are similar. I can understand why Debbie had to continue to help Carrie even in the afterlife. They had interesting lives that were tragic, horrifying, happy, and amazing. No one can say that Aries and that Libra didn't grab life by the balls and live every day to the fullest, for better or worse.

 My heart aches for Billie Lourd who lost her mom and grandmom at the same time over Christmas. 

Billy Lourd is in The Force Awakens. You can see her standing behind General Organa in a few shots.

Billy Lourd has been working on her own rising star on Scream Queens where she plays Chanel #3 to Emma Roberts' Chanel #1.

For weeks I meant to write a blog about Billie Lourd and her ear muffs in Scream Queens and what a funny, quirky homage to her mom that is. I also was going to write about how cool it is that Billie is in The Force Awakens and the new untitled one with her mom, The Princess, The General! But I had a lot of work and kept putting it off and now, two ladies are dead.

It's been over a week yet I'm having difficulty getting motivated, difficulty doing much. But I'm getting there. After all, it's not like I ever met any of them. I never knew them or talked to them. However, like thousands of other people, both ladies played varied roles in the backdrop of my own life.

Pinball Wizard
One one level, I'm sad, devastated, torn apart. But on the other level, my brain is bouncing in a thousand directions, sad, mad, glad, excited, disappointed, like a giant pinball machine. My ADHD is really bad these past three months or so and these deaths are so bizarre, and sad, and yet not unexpected, but short life is, and so suddenly we can just collapse when other times we wouldn't have. Like Bowie, Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Huston, Jimi Hendrix...and so on, and those are famous people we thought would be around much longer. Then there are our personal friends and family and pets who have left us.

As a writer, I need to pull myself back together and gather more motivation than ever to finish my space opera and other novels. All these people got shit done, which is why we mourn, if not them, the loss of their art forever. We remember what they had created that became a touchstone to various parts of our lives and personalities and realize there will never be any new touchstones from them on our path.

Carrie Fisher was only six years older than me, five really...I'm fifty-four, almost fifty-five. She was sixty on her death.

I loved Carrie, obviously. For Princess Leia, for being a feisty author and screenwriter, and for surviving so long.

Good Morning
I loved Debbie Reynolds which many might not know. I loved Singing in the Rain and the tap numbers. I used to sing that "Good Morning" song to my babies every day, still do, decades later. In learning more about her personal life, I share more in common with Debbie Reynolds that I imagined. Her horrible divorces sound like mine. Her eternal optimism is like mine. She had to wrangle Carrie Fisher and more. She's a role model for sure.

I had posted this meme of Princess Leia and R2D2 before Debbie Reynolds died. We lost Kenny Baker in August. Mark Hamill was pretty shaken up about it when he addressed Kenny's death in his talk at Fan Expo. I can't imagine how he is right now over Carrie and Debbie. He must be in pieces.

I was going to write a blog when Carrie Fisher died but was too upset. And then Debbie Reynolds died as well. So I was speechless, as was and is, everyone still.

My Facebook Live babble about Carrie Fisher's death

My Facebook post on December 26, 2016
I'm one year older than George Michael and five years younger than Carrie Fisher. I don't blame the year 2016, (which is a nine which represents endings, btw) as we are all getting older and so people will fall ill and die. The day Carrie Fisher had her heart attack on the plane, a 10-year-old girl was flying from Canada to Ireland on Air Canada and she had a heart attack on the plane and died. Even though "the future is now," we can see that heart failure is still a huge thing.

My dad "dropped dead" on a Friday the Thirteenth two years ago, much like Carrie Fisher. He "died" for many minutes until they were able to bring him back and then they "put him on ice" for twenty-four hours to rest his brain while they tried to figure out why he collapsed and only a day or two later did they diagnose heart attack. I imagined that they put Carrie Fisher on ice in the same way and by Wednesday, we'll know for sure if she's going to make it, much as the timeline was for my dad who ended up with a triple bypass and was back to the gym within a few weeks.

Carrie collapsed on a plane, dad collapsed at the gym and they were able to receive aggressive help and with modern technology, return from the dead.

George Michael, from what I understand so far, had his heart attack while he was asleep, so no one knew nor could help him. It was too late to perform aggressive treatment on him.
I'm not sure what my point is, just that I'm sad about all these heart attacks. They are scary things, how they strike out of nowhere. My dad was the picture of health, no symptoms, never smoked, never did drugs, doesn't drink, works out every day for eighty years, eats very healthy, and boom, down he went. Of course, at 85, something is going to get you but he survived the operation and is just as vibrant and energetic as always as he single-handedly takes care of my mom who has Alzheimer's. But he had NO symptoms, no warnings, nothing. He just remembered one minute he's in the shower after a swimming workout, the next, he's strapped to a bed days later with a million tubes coming out of him. I'm grateful my parents are still here and I was able to enjoy them for Christmas by playing games on the Wii and making them watch a huge portion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens while we waited for my older son and his girlfriend to arrive.
I'm very sorry for everyone who lost loved ones this year, any year, and had a sad Christmas.
I don't think there are any more celebrities dying than usual, it's just that there are more of them and we are all aging.
I suspect Carrie Fisher will pull through and survive a few more years, she's one crusty strong woman. It's a shame George Michael left us so soon, of course, I'm of the age, his peer, who always enjoyed his music and antics.
I feel sad about that little girl who died on the plane going to Ireland for Christmas.
We never know when our number is up. People sometimes wonder why I'm living what looks to be a rather crazy life right now, but really, I've learned over the past few years really hard lessons about not putting up with narcissistic assholes, not putting up with alcoholics who are hell bent on destroying every holiday (I don't think they start off wanting to destroy the day but alcohol is an ugly poison that brings out hate and irrational emotions), not working at shitty jobs for shitty pay so that others get rich off my back, and focussing on putting my efforts into jobs that help people learn about themselves and their own skills (editing, tarot reading, patient acting, proctoring) and volunteer work that helps and encourages other writers to reach for the stars.
If I drop dead of a heart attack, and no doubt I will, I don't want regrets about how I meant to "do that later" yet "later" never came.
Later is NOW. Live your life authentically. You never know when you're going to drop dead. You can have all the money in the world but it means nothing when you're dead. All you have is your legacy and any children you may have had to carry on your memory.

January 7, 2017
I'm sad at the wars, terrorism, the hatred for refugees which shit, any one of us is but one step away from being a refugee in these modern times. Doesn't it make sense to help others? Pay it forward? Same with health care? Healthy people make for healthy citizens, soldiers, educators, scientists, and artists. Education helps people be informed beyond their tunnel vision interests, and affordable education puts it within reach of all of us.

I'm sad at toddlers shooting people. What a horrible way to begin a life.

I'm sad at so much racism and hate. At the horrific names so-called American people flung at their own President for the past eight years, how many of those same people worship the Golden Calf and will wonder why the oceans will flood us and fires will consume the earth. Hey, it's all starting all ready and I'm not even a Christian or Jew or believe that the Bible is no more than a cool story to keep the kids in line. I'm scared, people. Why is there snow in New Orleans but we still have grass in Toronto, Canada in early January? Sure it's minus 11 today and we WILL get tons of snow, we have been dumped on a few times this year. But it gets so weirdly warm in between. The birds don't fly away anymore. It's unnerving.

Utopia and The MotherShip
When I was a kid, I thought by the time I was an adult, we'd have world peace, no more racism, no more sexism, the bombs would have been dismantled, people could afford to live in nice places with plenty left over to raise families and go on vacations, and so much more. I even named my first cat, Utopian Hope.  But we went backwards. Like in Planet of the Apes. Goddamit all to hell,  we went backwards.

I heard there were close to 200 beloved celebrity deaths in 2017 not to mention personal friends and families. I think a lot of those people, like Carrie and Debbie, rushed back to the MotherShip before shit got real down here. The astronaut from some plant, Bowie, kicked off the year with dropping dead out of nowhere. Carrie ended it, on that plane, where she really died. She left for that MotherShip where the cool kids are and mom knew the party there is way better than here. Yes, I know the "pastor from MASH" also died. Does that tell you anything?

There was a year where a ton of horror writers died.

A lot of psychics and metaphysical people died within a few months stretch a couple of years ago. I knew a few. Very weird, sudden, and one youngish death. I felt that year that those New Agey people were dying to prepare the way for the rest of us for whatever happens next. Utopia? A Mother Ship? Heaven? Hell? New World Order?

2016 is a nine. Endings. So much ended last year. That leaves new things to open up in 2017, a one year. New beginnings for those of us left behind, not quite ready for that ship yet.

And I sure as hell don't mean that Scientology Ship either, but that rant is for another time. I always loved Leah Remini and I love her even more now with her new show on A and E. So what if she gets money doing this. She was gaslighted her entire life by everyone she loved and trusted. She has to rebuild her life, her mind, after it was fucked over for most of her life. Anyway, good luck to her and I hope she's with us for a long time and that those Scientology freaks get dismantled. I had run-ins in my late teens with them and knew as a teenager they were a scary, dangerous cult, so why did it take my entire life for someone to blow the whistle on these con artists? Good for you, Leah! Hell hath no fury!

2017 is a good year for squashing cults and recognizing liars and when people are gaslighting you! Wake up and SEE and then take action towards building a safe, strong world for all of us.

And the United States, you are welcome to your New World Order. I want no part of it. And it's too bad because, in my personal life plan, I should be moving to Manhattan this year. Nope. Never.

May the Force Be With You, Always
Let's all live life to the fullest, maybe not QUITE as full as Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, but having a sense of humour and trying to get along, somewhat, would serve us all well.