Ghost Ship!

Here’s a preview from my upcoming short story collection, “I Never Meant to Start a Murder Cult and Other Stories.” Two of the stories will be illustrated by one of my favorite artists, Brian MacGregor from Savannah. Here’s one of Brian’s awesome illustrations! The collection will be a chapbook of horror and crime fiction: four short stories and five flash-fiction stories. All of the stories have been previously published except for one, a brand new ghost story set in the Victorian era. The collection will be available in paperback as well as eBook. I’ll post links as soon as the book is available (sometime before the end of August).

Ghost Ship

First Author Reading

My first author reading went extremely well! The reading was on February 4, 2018, at the Days of the Dead convention in Atlanta. The two stories I read were very well received, and it was an honor and pleasure to share the panel with Jeff Strand and Nancy Collins. I read my ghost story from Mad Scientist Journal (Summer 2017) and a macabre humor piece that recently sold to a major sci-fi market and will be published soon. Several people took my author business cards and said they look forward to reading more of my work. We had a much larger audience than we expected, especially for the very last time slot on the last day of the con.

My First Author Reading 2-4-2018

Many thanks to friend and filmmaker Lynne Hanson for this pic of the reading (L-R: Nancy Collins, me, Jeff Strand)

Days of the Dead author reading 2

and this pic of (L-R) me, Jeff Strand, Days of the Dead Blue Track director Nathan Hamilton, and Nancy Collins:

Days of the Dead author reading 1

Here’s my favorite photo from the con! Jeff Strand, me, and Lynn Hanson with a giant Yeti!

Yeti Jeff Darrell Lynne

Ash Wednesday

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

When the priest makes the sign of the cross, with ashes, on my forehead, I find these words, this reminder of my mortality, not morbid, but comforting. I am dust. I am earth. I came from the stuff of the earth and to the earth I shall one day return. I am made of the same elements as my fellow human beings, my fellow non-human beings, my fellow cats and trees and sunflowers and stars. I am connected to the Whole. I am earth, and fire, and water, and air, and spirit. 

As I receive the Eucharist, the sign of the cross newly imprinted on my forehead, I feel my spirit remembering my connectedness to God, my sacred origin. The opening words of the Ash Wednesday prayer, “Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made,” remind me that the feelings of self-hate I sometimes feel, those moments of self-denigration when I forget my origin in the Divine Beloved – those moments do not come from God. God hates nothing God has made.

As children of God we all have what the Quakers call “the divine spark” within us. We are all connected to God. We are all connected to God’s creation. We are all connected to each other.

Cathedral Stained Glass pic

Playlist for Ash Wednesday:
Harry Connick Jr.: Ash Wednesday (jazz instrumental)
Grateful Dead: Throwing Stones (“ashes ashes all fall down”)
Mumford & Sons: Dust Bowl Dance
The Low Anthem: I’ll Take Out Your Ashes
Matisyahu: On Nature
Rage Against the Machine: Ashes in the Fall
David Bowie: Ashes to Ashes
Steve Earle: Ashes to Ashes
Bruce Cockburn: Lord of the Starfields
Leonard Cohen: Anthem
Kansas: Dust in the Wind
The Byrds: Turn Turn Turn

Photo: Sunlight through stained glass window at The Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta