If.

Honestly, I never much cared for poetry. I tried writing it myself as an angsty teenager (who hasn’t?), but it never really spoke to me or,  frankly, interested me much.

But I’m a believer in happy coincidences, and believe me, this one caught me at just the right time. Let’s just say there’s a lot of sky-is-falling going on in my life right now. I could use some bolstering.

It’s not horror, it’s not dark, it’s actually inspirational and beautiful…but rest assured I’m still working on good ol’ blood-n-guts behind the scenes. You haven’t lost me to the light side just yet.

“If”, by Rudyard Kipling.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Fuck Basements.

I don’t think there’s a scarier place in any home than a basement. (Except possibly a dark hallway. Or the back porch when the motion light comes on and you fully expect there to be a serial killer, knife upraised, on the other side of the glass…waiting for you.)

One of the scariest experiences I had as a kid was the time I went into the basement laundry room. I don’t remember what I was going in there for, but when I got inside I saw what I was certain was a dead body hanging from the rafters. It was life-sized, it swayed a little, and it was right in front of me. I remember my lungs froze and I couldn’t move, and my eyes slowwwwwwly worked their way up the corpse to realize…

…it was my Dad’s coverall, drying from him having worn it to shovel the driveway.

Even once I knew what it was, the terror took a few moments to subside; and while I tried to remember how to breathe, I kept watch, expecting it to reach out and touch my shoulder.

I think now, as a horror writer, that if I can scare one person the way that suit scared me, I’ll have told a story the right way.

creator unknown

Death Upon Death: Johnny Dombrowski

©Johnny Dombrowski
Death Upon Death, ©Johnny Dombrowski

“Throughout art history, the skull has had such a strong symbolism attached to change, fear and of course, death. As a mark of everything from mortality to just basic evil, it was an iconic image not to be trifled with. Lately, on the other hand, it’s become increasingly trendy. The skull has become one of the most common images in artwork today. Is the strength behind those 22 bones dying? Is it becoming just another cliché? With it’s recent repetition, are we shattering everything that the skull stood for?”

I love this artist’s style; it reminds me of the old fifties’ horror comics I grew up on.

See more at johnnydombrowski.com

Office Peepshow

This is my first spring with my new office. I’m still tweaking things (a trip to IKEA should help with the organization), but I’m getting to the point where things have their places. My favourite part of the day is when the sun comes in like this.

Featured above: the dresser that my older cousin had in her bedroom, then her dining room, then it was in my teenage bedroom, and now here. I don’t remember at what point it turned blue. Also, my knitting basket, sewing box, files, and a few books. The dinette chair was red vinyl, at some point, and is now half pink, half leopard-print Duct tape. I like things that have been loved and well used.

Tag, you’re it! Share a picture of your office or creative space. What do you make there? What does the space say about you?

FEED for Free! Round 2

Blood is thicker than water, and it’s my job to protect my little brother.
No matter what monstrous things he does.

What would you do for family?

If you haven’t read my short horror story, FEED, this is your chance! For the next three days FEED is free on Amazon. Click the pic to score the deal.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbours. Tell your families (the ones that aren’t squeamish, anyway).

Turn the lights down and get ready. The pigs are hungry…