Posts Tagged ‘Ghosts’

July seems to be the month for sending a thing to one place, seeing it come back accepted by another.  One example, “Flightless Rats” (see July 7), the tale of an innocent vampire maid and a bounder’s attempt on her virtue in 19th century New Orleans.  For today, the call had been in April.  It took some time, but the time has come:  we’re putting together an anthology of  poetry and flash fiction about spirits, ghosts, seances, Ouija boards, famous hauntings, not-so-famous hauntings, possessions, and anything else relating to supernatural bumps in the night (or day, we aren’t fussy).  And there it was.  Reprints being okay, I responded with the 300-word saga of a young lady with an interest in witches, but, if these weren’t available, other bump-in-the-nightly creatures would do, and lessons she learned in a house she was told was haunted.  Originally published in GOTHIC BLUE BOOK IV:  THE FOLKLORE EDITION (Burial Day Books, 2014), the title was “School Nights.”
Today the word came back from Managing Editor Kate Garrett, not for the anthology, WHITE NOISE & OUIJA BOARDS, but for the publisher’s seasonal magazine THREE DROPS FROM A CAULDRON.  I really enjoyed this story, and though it isn’t quite right for the ghosts anthology, I wondered if it would be okay for me to publish it in the Samhain 2017 edition?  I like spookier, horror-tinged work for that one, and would love to include your story.  The Samhain special will be published online and in print on 13th October.  (And it isn’t technically open for submissions until 21st August, but I really like this.)
So I emailed back, “Yes.”

Yes, I am of course one of them, but one must scroll down and down past the other five, to just before the ending blurb for the ZIPPERED FLESH series plus PLAGUE OF SHADOWS.  Not surprisingly, the books featured for all six of us writers include ones by Smart Rhino Publications, including the upcoming ZIPPERED FLESH 3 (cf. June 19, et al.), in my case also covering the two “assassins” anthologies, UNCOMMON ASSASSINS and INSIDIOUS ASSASSINS.  But there are others too.  Also for all six of us there are interviews featured on Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge’s blog, BULLETS AND BUTTERFLIES (see, for me, also January 18).

All told, these are storytellers worth looking into, I think, with information on all of them — including . . . moiavailable here.

How about we get in the mood with a horror poem by Rick Powell, then I’ll share a SUPER EASY pumpkin cookie recipe you can make last minute to enjoy this evening, and to top it off… How about sex in a haunted house? Haha. That is, how about we watch the short horror film ‘Sex in a Haunted House’?😛

But let us start Thursday with something I was not in, but attended.  Thursday night offered an, as it were, otherworldly start to the Halloween weekend with a 100-year commemoration of Cabaret Voltaire.  Say what?  In the sponsors’ words:  On 5 February 1916, in the back room of a small bar in Zurich, a group of artists launched a nightclub which changed the course of modern art.  Cabaret Voltaire was the home of Dada, a movement that revolutionized European culture and led to seismic global shifts in art, literature, music, film.  Like Punk, Dada survives as an attitude, a rejection of aesthetic convention and authority.  A hundred years later, The Burroughs Century Ltd. and the Wounded Galaxies Festival are creating a dracula1958-melissastriblingandchristopherlee-50one-night-only homage:  a feast of the senseless.  This was at a local Bloomington nightclub and included, yes, movies as a sort of background/ accompaniment, some old, some just filmed,  but all experimental.  Added were musical and spoken word performances, as well as costumes — some quite creative — worn by onlookers (mine, less creative, was of a Zurich bourgeois who has come for an evening of entertainment).  Odd and fun, the event was also a fundraiser for Wounded Galaxies Festival to help with more presentations in the future.

Then Friday came the reading performance of Act I of D. L. Mabbott’s play THE UNFINISHED (cf. October 19), with two readers who also performed the night before, Joan Hawkins and Anthony Brewer, and two who didn’t, Shayne Laughter and me.   Or, quoting Shayne, [f]ree, tonight, at The Back Door!  I’m reading with Joan Hawkins — we are two lovely ladies in the organ harvesting biz, Tony Brewer is the burglar who sees too much, and James Dorr is the Inspector who . . .  well.  We could call this a 21st-century “Arsenic and Old Lace,” with more sex and stabbing.  This also was at a local nightclub, sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild, and while underattended (in this case perhaps because it was early, before many patrons had arrived, but more to the point before we’d be displaced by the night’s headlined band*), quite a bit of fun.

Then, Saturday having been a day off of sorts, Sunday night brought back the Ryder Film Festival (see October 27, 24, 17), this time with two films at local tavern Bear’s Place, 1958’s Hammer production HORROR OF DRACULA and new Korean ghost movie THE WAILING (the latter also screened tombs-final-copylast Sunday at the Buskirk-Chumley theatre), including my rescheduled reading of “Raising the Dead.”  As originally planned for last week, it preceded THE WAILING, scheduled at 7:30 but, because that’s the way things seem to work, actually starting about ten minutes late.   Like Friday’s play-reading the “crowd” was sparse (maybe the big kids were out trick-or-treating too) although at all times it outnumbered the players (me), even picking up a bit about half-way through.  Such is the way of the oral presenter.  “Raising the Dead,” billed by the Ryder as a tale of necromancy, dark fantasy, airships, and doomed love, is a story/chapter to be included in my forthcoming novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, due out from Elder Signs Press in spring-summer next year, and concerns an attempt to reunite a deceased man’s soul to his body by raising the latter up into the air, where souls congregate, during an impending storm.

But of course, if things all worked as planned, it wouldn’t very well be horror, would it?

* The walk over, in fact, included fording a river of Halloween-costumed children and parents.

Is the cusp of autumn on us already?  Tuesday, ending music practice, we noticed that it was already twilight — how many more weeks until twilight comes at the beginning of practice?  Then today at the market, after the first Writers Guild meeting following its annual summer hiatus, I saw — and bought — a half gallon of “Pumpkin Pie” ice cream, a specialty flavor not usually available until close to Thanksgiving.  And this, on Facebook this afternoon via Robert Dunbar and LITERARY DARKNESS, in turn via HORROR NOVEL REVIEWS, a link to THEWEEK.COM and “9 Classic Horror Stories You Can Read Right Now” by Scott Meslow, “[f]rom Washington Irving to H.P. Lovecraft, a collection of terrifying tales to get you into the Halloween spirit.”  This, yes, another list, but with each description and opening sample a separate link to read the whole story there on the spot.  Long ones such as “Carmilla” and “The Turn of the Screw,” and shorter ones by Lovecaft as well, and Blackwood and Poe, and maybe even a surprise or two.

To see — and read — for yourself, press here.

This comes courtesy of ON THE EDGE Edge CINEMA on Facebook for those of us anticipating Guillermo del Toro’s (of PAN’S 333f27b1-8afd-351c-a85b-657bc6bf5933LABYRINTH fame) latest movie, CRIMSON PEAK, but perhaps feel weak on its genre background.  Please note however that in some ways it’s not a horror movie, or as author Evry puts it, “[a]lthough the advertising emphasizes the supernatural apparitions, audiences may be surprised in how foregrounded the love story is over the ghosts.  As they say in the film, it’s not a ghost story, but rather a story with ghosts in it.”  Thus forewarned, behold, via SHOCKTILLYOUDROP.COM, Max Evry’s “12 Gothic Horror Films to Watch Before You See CRIMSON PEAK” (even though the film itself, I understand, opened yesterday) by pressing here.

Flame Tree Publishing Editor Gillian Whitaker has officially announced the contents of their upcoming anthology CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES (cf. July 22, 6, June 21).  One of three, to quote their blurb, “collectable Gothic Fantasy anthologies, deluxe hardcover editions on Horror, Ghosts and Science fiction, each carry a potent mix of classic tales and new fiction, tracing the path of the thrilling tale from the early gothic to the modern fantastic.”  The book itself is expected to be available in the US by about the end of August.

So to cut to the chase, the chilling ghost stories selected are:

“Mourners by Kurt Bachard
Stay Away from the Accordion Girl by Jonathan Balog
Audio Tour by Trevor Boelter
Ghost Farm by Zach Chapman
The Return of Gunnar Kettilson by Vonnie Winslow Crist
Flaming Fuses by Donna Cuttress
The House, the Garden, and Occupants by Amanda C. Davis
Victorians by James Dorr
The Figure on the Sidewalk by Tim FoleyGothic Fantasy
The Waiting Room by Philip Brian Hall
An Englishman in St. Louis by Raymond Little
Death and Champagne by Luke Murphy
Lost Souls by Jeff Parsons
The Skeleton Crew by Michael Penkas
Songs for the Lost by Brian Rappatta
An Unquiet Slumber by Rhiannon Rasmussen
Almost by M. Regan
The Bulge in the Wall by Annette Siketa
The Psychic Fair by Cathy Smith
Unclaimed by Lesa Pascavis Smith

“These new authors will sit alongside the great and intriguing classic stories of E.F. Benson, Robert W. Chambers, Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, Nikolai Gogol, Washington Irving, W.W. Jacobs, Henry James, M.R. James, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Edith Nesbit, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edith Wharton, Oscar Wilde.”

More information including lineups for Flame Tree’s companion volumes CHILLING HORROR SHORT STORIES and SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORIES can be found here, with a more detailed peek into the editorial process available here.

“With a new foreword by Dr Dale Townsend, this is a chilling selection of brand new stories, and essential ghostly shorts from the infamous pens of Charles Dickens, Henry James, Wilkie Collins, Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow), Algernon Blackwood, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hope Hodgson (The Gateway of the Monster), M.R. James, Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde (The Canterville Ghost), and other phantasmagoric authors. . .  This powerful new book is a dazzling collection of the most gripping tales, vividly told.”  So says UK art and music and art calendar, as well as illustrated Gothic and fantasy book publisher, Flame Tree Publishing’s blog, but that’s not all.  From a shortened version received in middish-May, concerning perhaps those “other phantasmagoric authors,” came the call, but with a deadline of May 25:   1104.0“We need new, or recent short stories.  We do not require exclusivity.  You retain copyright.  We don’t mind if the story has been published online or in magazines before.  As long as you have the right to license your story for an anthology, then we’re happy to read it.”

Such is the exciting life of a writer.  “Stories between 2000 and 4000 words are the perfect pitch.  Anything outside this range will be considered, but will be disadvantaged,” the call went on, and with a SFWA-defined pro pay rate to boot.  But less than a week to decide and submit!

So submit I did, with a 4000-word tale originally published in Charlie Grant and Wendy Webb’s GOTHIC GHOSTS (Tor Books, 1997; also reprinted in 2001 in my first prose collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE), “Victorians,” a psychological examination of memories repressed and Queen Anne mansions.  And Thursday the word came back, but with this proviso, that “[w]e ask for your confidentiality on this matter for the next two days because we have to disappoint many other authors this time.  We wanted to inform you first though.”  But now the two days is up, and more, so at last it can be told:  “Victorians” has been accepted for the above-described deluxe anthology (“. . . covers will be embossed, gold foiled and printed on silver, a sumptuous offer in a crowded marketplace.  The current print run is set at a minimum of 3000 copies”), CHILLING GHOST SHORT STORIES.

Thus Friday the contract was signed, with an invoice, and both put into the mail to England, with publication set if all goes well for August 15.

How about a movie date on a romantic June evening — but which one to see?  If you like them scary, here’s a checklist of “The 14 Greatest Horror Movie Trailers Ever Made,” including at least two we’ve met (or at least had mentioned) on these very pages.  Brought to us by — which is to say, the opinion of — THE HORROR MOVIES BLOG, weighing in at number 13 is 220px-Cloverfield_theatrical_posterIT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, reviewed here on March 26 as part of this spring’s IU Cinema Ray Bradbury Festival.  And for number 1, also mentioned below on June 8 (as well, with some foreshadowing of the second list following just below, March 15 2011), CLOVERFIELD., the trailers of which, with twelve more films, can be viewed by clicking here.

But if that weren’t enough (and one might suppose as a public service of sorts as well) what if there’s entertainment enough in the strange sounds and manifestations in your own apartment?  Again to the rescue, THE HORROR MOVIES BLOG offers a list of “16 Signs a Ghost or Spirit Is Paying You a Visit,” which may be perused by pressing here.

And, we are promised, the paperback version should be out soon.  It’s GHOSTS:  REVENGE (cf. February 16) from James Ward Kirk Publishing for which my humble addition is a poem of the misadventures of a young man named “Little Willie.”  The poem itself is called “Tit for Tat” and, unlike some earlier James Ward Kirk books, poetry seems not to be confined to aghosts-revenge-jwk-fiction-cover separate section up front, but stories, poems, and flash share space throughout the book together — to my taste a better arrangement, having seen a preview copy myself of the book as a whole.  Nevertheless, to quote from the Amazon blurb:  “Everyone likes a good ghost story.  You’ll find this collection both entertaining and haunting.  Some of the biggest names in horror have come together to offer their take on what it might be like to be a ghost, and an angry ghost, the kind of ghost not soon forgotten.  Ever seen a ghost?  If you’ve seen a ghost like one these, well, then likely you are reading this as a ghost — and angry, with a story of your own to tell.  . . .    You may, in fact, already [be] haunting these pages.  Beware the Ghost in the Machine!”

Be that as it may, this is a list of those in GHOSTS:  REVENGE, themselves haunts or not, from the book’s back cover.

Michael Thomas-Knight
Mary Genevieve Fortier
K.Z. Morano
William Cook
Roger Cowin
Scáth Beorh
James S. Dorr
Dona Fox
CS Nelson
John Sies
William Cook
Michael Tugendhat
Guy Burtenshaw
E.F. Schraeder
Evan Dicken
Brian Rosenberger
Mike Jansen
Sheldon Woodbury
Allen Griffin
Ken L. Jones
Rik Raven-Daleford
Flo Stanton
Kenneth Whitfield
Rie Sheridan Rose
William Petersen
Brian Rosenberger
Tim Jeffreys
Stephen O’Connor
Matthew Weber
Nicholas Day
Steve Foreman
Neal F. Litherland
Alex S. Johnson
J. C. Michael
Betty Rocksteady
Justin Hunter
Angeline Trevena
David Schütz II
Lori R. Lopez
Magenta Nero
Tracy L. Carbone
T.S. Woolard
John D. Stanton
Gidion Van de Swaluw
Stephen Cooney

More information, including sample pages, appears on Amazon for which one may press here.

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