Every December I recap the writing triumphs and disappointments of the previous twelve months. Practically every year I feel like I haven’t done enough. This year I didn’t manage to finish and publish three books, but I did spend the better part of the last two months in Michigan, taking care of my folks, so three books was pretty ambitious. In the end, just as with the last two years, I feel that anything I managed was a triumph against entropy.
2022 brought two of my books to life:
Death’s Garden Revisited: Personal Relationships with Cemeteries was the culmination of a dream I’ve held for decades. It collects 40 powerful personal essays — accompanied by full-color photographs — to illuminate the reasons people visit cemeteries. Spanning the globe from Iceland to Argentina and from Portland to Prague, Death’s Garden Revisited explores the complex web of relationships between the living and those who have passed before. I could not be prouder of how this beautiful book turned out.
You can get a copy of your own from Blurb.com.
On a completely different note, I edited Tales of Nightmares for the Wily Writers collective. I love horror short stories and these writers are some of the best of the business. To be honest, I feel that there’s something magical about that sense of terror that grips you in the middle of sleep, when your heart pounds, you can’t catch your breath, and you know the monster is seconds away from grabbing you. You’ll find no dream sequences in this book. These nine stories are designed to induce nightmares.
Get your own copy from Amazon.
So Much Short Fiction:
Thanks to the Wily Writers series, I had four short stories out this year, all of them reprints.
Tales of Dread, edited by Lisa Morton, included “Guardian of the Golden Gate,” about the deadly lure of the Golden Gate Bridge.
My Tales of Nightmares included “Elle a Vu Un Loup,” set on Michigan’s Mackinac Island during the full moon.
Tales of Evil, edited by Angel Leigh McCoy and Alison J. McKenzie, included “Devil in Her Heart,” which explores why the Beatles stopped touring in 1966.
Tales of Foreboding, edited by E.S. Magill and Bill Bodden, included “Still Life with Shattered Glass,” the most popular story I’ve ever written.
I wrote two new stories for the Ladies of Horror Flash Project and you can read them for free:
“A Wondrous Curiosity” was published on July 29, 2022. This time, Alondra discovers there’s a reason when the locals avoid the beach.
“Riders on the Storm” was published on June 28, 2022. This Alondra story is a creepy little fantasy about elemental magic and climate change.
I reprinted the first three Alondra chapbooks with new covers by Lex at Huntress Studios, then assembled a fourth one. I am really pleased with this collection of my short stories. You can find them all on Amazon for your ebook reader. Details and links are here.
Upcoming Short Fiction:
The second half of the year was better for placing stories. Right up against the deadline, I finished a new story for Jennifer Brozek’s new anthology — and she took it! I polished up a really old story, one that I worked on at Clarion in the 80s, and it also found a home. Finally, after it was accepted in 2020, my Alondra/Lorelei crossover story should appear in Occult Detective!
“Nightbears” will appear in Manor of Frights, edited by Emerian Rich, to be published by Horror Addicts in 2023.
“The Devil’s Debt” will appear in the next issue of Occult Detective magazine.
“The Ambush Hunters,” a brand-new Alondra story, will appear in 99 Fleeting Fantasies, edited by Jennifer Brozek, to be published by Pulse.
“Sakura Time” will appear in the upcoming Wily Writers anthology Tales of Darkness, edited by Yvonne Navarro.
I only did one fiction reading this year, which is a shame. I was invited to several, but I’m still not ready to be closed in a room with a crowd, so I was especially grateful when the Berkeley Public Library invited me to their Scary Stories, Past and Present event. I opened for David Warner reading the first chapter of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. I read “In the Pines” from my collection Unsafe Words.