Never Enough 2022

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.

Book publications:

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

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.

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Death’s Garden contributor Mary Rajotte

Although we’ve never met in person, I was introduced to Mary Rajotte through the Horror Writers Association several years ago. I really love her ability to spin a story. When I asked her to contribute an essay to Death’s Garden Revisited, I wasn’t sure what I would get.

“Ebb and Flow: Finding My Way Back to Family,” the essay Mary sent, is a touching meditation on the way that cemeteries can bring a family back together, flowing together and apart like waves on a shore. I cannot wait for you to read it.

Officially, Canadian author Mary Rajotte has a penchant for penning nightmarish tales of folk horror and paranormal suspense. Her work has been published in a number of anthologies and she is currently compiling her first collection. Sometimes camera-elusive but always coffee-fueled, you can find Mary at her website

Are you a fan of nightmarish tales? Mary’s zine FRIGHTMARISH is your invitation to stories of a darker nature.  Each quarterly issue contains short folklore-inspired fiction, Gothic poetry, puzzles, activity pages, and creative nonfiction. To find out more about Frightmarish: a Gothic LitZine, visit Mary’s blog.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

I’ve only been there once, but I was immediately smitten with Mount Royal Cemetery in Montréal when I visited there in 2016. The trek up the mountain really introduced me to the grand opulence of the iconic entrance gates of one of the oldest rural cemeteries in North America. Being able to see Montréal from the panoramic lookout was incredible and really offered such a stark contrast to the cemetery’s tree-lined trails and lush gardens filled with songbirds. It’s such a massive place but it’s very serene and welcoming. I didn’t see everything I wanted to, so I’m planning to go back in the near future so I can study the incredible mausoleums and statues more, and maybe even bring my oracle cards along to do some readings while I’m there.

What is your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?

I’ve been enamored with tarot and oracle cards for a long time, but only recently started to explore the medium more deeply. Although I don’t have any ancestors in nearby cemeteries, when I’m able to revisit their resting places again, I plan to take offerings and spend time sitting with each gravestone to reconnect with my long-lost family.

Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?

As an author of Gothic stories, sometimes set in the Victorian era, I’ve always wanted to visit Highgate Cemetery in London, particularly the Egyptian Avenue, the Terrace Catacombs, the elaborate sculptures, the natural setting that has inspired so many writers and artists. It seems like a place one can easily get lost. Its lush surroundings seem like the perfect place to inspire my next story.

If you have any say in the matter, what would your epitaph be?

I was dropped from moonbeams and sailed on shooting stars (one of my favorite sets of lyrics from Radiohead).

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

Little Grave by Chelsea Wolfe.

I made a Death’s Garden Revisited playlist on Spotify, if you’d like some cemetery songs to listen to.

Also, please check out Death’s Garden Revisited, which is for sale at The book is really beautiful and Mary’s essay is lovely!

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Death’s Garden contributor: Rain Graves

I met Rain Graves x-many years ago through the World Horror Conventions. She told stories at several of the Morbid Curiosity open mics and had an essay in Morbid Curiosity magazine, too.

In 2010, Rain invited me to the first Haunted Mansion Writers Retreat, which literally changed my life. I edited The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, thanks to her.

Rain’s essay in Death’s Garden Revisited is about her first visit to Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. Recoleta is where Evita Peron is buried. I’ve always wanted to see the cemetery for myself. Rain makes it come alive.

Officially, Rain Graves is a two-time Bram Stoker Award winner, legally ordained Priestess, and retired Argentine Tango dancer/instructor. Publishers Weekly cited her poetry in Barfodder as “Bukowski meets Lovecraft” in 2009. She lives and writes in Houston. Approach with caution and blue lotus offerings (Nymphaea Caerulea). You can catch her at

What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?

Have a picnic.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

My favorite cemetery is the one I wrote about in this book, La Recoleta, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?

The Tombs of Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony (undiscovered as of yet).

What would your epitaph be?

Love is a Phoenix; Rise and be free.

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

“Dreams of Wounded Knee” by Bill Miller, “Cemetery” by The Headstones, “Pet Sematary” by the Ramones.

I made a Death’s Garden Revisited playlist on Spotify, if you’d like to check it out.

Also, please check out Death’s Garden Revisited, which is for sale at The book is really beautiful and Rain’s essay is spooky!

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Free Spooky Halloween reading

I’m doing my first reading of the year on Monday, October 24, at noon Pacific. Join me via Zoom — for free — hosted by the Berkeley Public Library.

I’ll be reading “In the Pines” from my story collection Unsafe Words. After I read, there will be a Q&A. Come ask me your questions about horror, cemeteries, and writing.

The library let me choose which author from the past I wanted to read with, so I chose Shirley Jackson. Come listen to the first chapter of The Haunting of Hill House, as read by David Warner!

Here’s the link to register for the event.

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Death’s Garden contributor: Brian Thomas

Brian and I have known each other since high school. We wrote Star Wars fanfic together. We wrote Lost Angels and Angelus Rose — the novels about Lorelei and Azaziel — together. I’ve had the pleasure of publishing Brian’s essays in the original volume of Death’s Garden and in most issues of Morbid Curiosity magazine. Despite what he says about himself below, he’s a born raconteur.

His essay in Death’s Garden Revisited is about his adventure in Venezuela. He was in-country working on a low-budget movie, but he took a day off to visit a graveyard. It was a life-changing experience.

You can get a taste of him reading it on the most recent Horror Addicts podcast.

Brian Thomas writes when there is no way of avoiding the task. Over half a century, he’s explored more than his share of burying grounds, at all hours of day and night. He observes every Memorial Day by cleaning of family grave plots and endeavors to clean or uncover at least one neglected grave marker each occasion.

What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?

To look a bit closer for something I’d most likely miss.

Tell me about your favorite cemetery.

Forest Lawn Glendale. I never go back to Los Angeles without stopping by for a drink at Errol Flynn’s graveside (I also do my best to visit & toast the Fairbanks (père et fils) and Ty Power at Hollywood memorial (née Hollywood Forever).

Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?

Charles de Batz de Castelmore D’artagnan.

What would your epitaph be?

“Thought I’d be dead by thirty, but things didn’t work out.”

Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?

‘Cemetery’ by the Headstones

Loren again: I would love it if you’d check out Death’s Garden Revisited, which is for sale at The book is really beautiful!

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