This Week in Sniderville: 17

This week I learned that apparently the Internet hates Canadians. My sister-in-law called and asked me to grab something off Amazon for her, since I shop there all the time and have an account already. It was an inflatable pool slide, and she wants it for my nephew’s upcoming birthday. Sure, no problem. It was just over a hundred bucks, not bad considering its size. I plopped it into my cart and went to finalize the purchase.

The item was selling for $114. Any wager on the shipping price?

$205. TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE DOLLARS. What the everloving FUCK, Internet? We’re a good people, I promise. What did we ever do to you?? Needless to say she quickly selected something else instead.

evil one

The Evil One approves.

Last night I went to see The Purge with my friends Dani and Leslie. I’m not sure we all saw the same movie. Dani said it was lame, and Leslie posted a scathing review. I left wishing I’d written it myself.

Today I posted this on Facebook:

“I’M GROUNDED.
In an effort to catch up on my hilariously-behind writing schedule, I’m grounding myself for 24 hours. Effective 5:00PM today, I will not be answering texts, phone calls, or messages on Facebook.

Exceptions are family and if your hair is on fire. And if it’s your hair I’ll require photographic proof. I got shit to do.”

I need to keep reminding myself: if I keep on track with my Big Plan, someday this —

franklin covey back deck

— will be my day-to-day life.

How was your week?

Jesus Built My Hotrod

Seeing as I’ve been struck with my weekly Sunday night insomnia (surprise, surprise), I thought I’d share this with you. Come morning I’ll be riding high on energy drinks and sheer force of will, and a little speedy music can’t hurt.

“Happy” Monday.

This Week in Sniderville: 16

So. Long time no see. I’ve been working on a very cool idea with my writing. I don’t want to say too much yet, but if it goes according to plan I’ll have a full-length, dead-tree book for sale before the end of this year. Cross your fingers for me?

Otherwise, I spent this week doing house-y things: reorganized the bathroom, tended my new plants, did a bunch of cleaning I’ve been meaning to get to. It was our second anniversary, and my wonderful husband surprised me: he gave away his shift so he could stay home scrubbing our back deck and getting it ready for summer.

(Which went like this:
We park behind our place. So I pull in after work, expecting an empty house, and instead find our deck chairs all over the back lawn. From my vantage I couldn’t see the deck they came from, so of course my overactive imagination decides there are weird strangers who’ve decided to throw themselves an impromptu Thursday-afternoon party at our house when we’re not home. I gave myself the willies in a matter of seconds, thinking I’m going to get out of the car, turn around, and get murdered by vagabonds. Nope, just Dude, pleased as punch that he managed not to let word of his little plan slip. It took me a minute to relax enough to be appropriately appreciative.)

We’ve decided to dress up the deck; we’ve lived here for ten years now and have never really used that space. So we planned, and we planned, and today we went comparison shopping for outdoor furniture and completely changed our minds. Gone are thoughts of dining-style tables, in are thoughts of low-slung couches. We left almost empty handed (solar lights and hose trigger notwithstanding) and came home to plan some more. No deck-warming barbecues any time soon, kids.

AND in keeping with this week’s theme, my lovely Mom bought us a very special anniversary present. A baker’s dream come true. WHO’S GOT A RED KITCHENAID MIXER? I DO. (I mean we. We do.) So much more bread will be made and eaten in this house now.

It’s funny, how we’ve lived here this long and it’s never really felt like home. But we’re getting there.

We’re getting there.

How was your week?

This Week in Sniderville: 15

It’s Spring! Time to get the eff outdoors!

bubbles

Our nephew trying to murder my bubbles at my in-laws’ last Sunday

5 25 1

5 25 2

I’m going to try this whole back-deck-garden thing again — I have NO IDEA what I’m doing. (cherry tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, rosemary, basil)

5 25 3

Many thanks to Leslie for graciously letting me get dirt all over her car.

And finally, possibilities for the front yard:

5 25 4

5 25 5

5 25 6

How was your week?

When I Think How Good (Life) Can Be…

“Sometimes when I think how good my book can be, I can hardly breathe.”
– Truman Capote

 

Today is a holiday for most of Canada, including Ontario, where I live.

All long weekend I’ve been having these… flashes, presentiments I guess, of what life would be like if I were ready to write full-time. I mean, for the last 72 hours I haven’t worn a lab coat; I haven’t worn safety glasses or gloves or sensible footwear. I haven’t spent any time at all doing things according to what other people wanted.

Instead I spent time outdoors, with family. I rose when I felt like; I stayed up late, reading. In short, I made my own schedule, a privilege denied me by my workaday week. And while I never stopped thinking about writing or where my career is headed, it was with excitement and hope, not dread.

When I came to the page I felt refreshed and thrilled to be so lucky, and I can’t help but yearn for the time when this will be my daily routine. Nothing excites me more than the idea of spending eight, ten, twelve hours at my desk, watching movies play in my head while I chase the words that describe them.

I had one of these little flashes just now, sprawled on the bed reading We Need to Talk About Kevin (which is brilliant, by the way). The sun’s going down, and the branches of the trees are starting to do that black-silhouette thing I love so much. I just felt so calm, so at peace, and it makes me want to move forward into the time when I won’t be under fluorescent lights at this time of evening. When I can look forward to spending time watching my bats after a long day of writing, when I can sit on the back deck with a hot cup of coffee and not have to worry about whether it’ll keep me up that night.

I get these little glimpses, and they make me briefly so happy. But like a junkie, I want more. It used to hurt unbearably, reaching for something that seemed so out of reach. But every month my writing’s earning a little more, then a little more, and it makes me start to think: There could be something here, if only I can keep on track and push myself a just a little further each day.

This (Last) Week in Sniderville: 14

I decided last week I’d move the Sniderville posts to Sunday, to better incorporate Saturday’s goings-on. A full week, if you will. I don’t think I like it. It messes with my title (what week is this, exactly?)
Back to Saturday next week.

Hmm. So, what went on this week…

Sunday was Mother’s Day, of course, and I took my beloved Mom out for lunch.

We went to our Thai haunt, and it was delicious as always. We’d gone to the flea market, also, per her request, and I ate fantastic creme brulee. Everything was going so well, until suddenly it wasn’t. Something I ate didn’t enjoy being part of my person, and long story short I cut out to go home and lay in my bed whimpering and trying not to die. Some Mother’s Day. I love you, Mom.

I went out to Target to buy the cats some furniture.
Yep, you read that right. We’d had a box of cardboard by the back door, destined to go out for recycling, but it was commandeered by the cats. Turns out it was at a good level for squirrel watching, and since we’re exceedingly indulgent we let it stay. For months. Finally I decided this was ridiculous, and set out to buy them a little bench to sit on. An awkward conversation with the Target clerk* and $100 later, I have never felt like such a cat lady in my life.

jadie benchWorth it.

 

I discovered that the groundhogs who live in our backyard had babies.
I’ve tried to get pictures, but the mama is understandably protective and won’t let me too close. There are two adults and at least two babies, and they’ve made an elaborate series of hidey-holes in the neighbourhood backyards. C has taken it as an excuse to let the grass grow on our little hill, since they’ve built a burrow inside. I’m just waiting for one of us to snap an ankle in the hole.

I published a new horror story.(Click here for a preview)
Honestly? I think this may be my favourite yet. A little more suspenseful than the others, with a definite wallop of gross.

How was your week?

*“Oh, looks like all we have left is the one on the shelf. I can check in the back for you; sometimes the ones on the floor get a little scuffed up.”
“No, thanks, that’s okay. It’s just for my cats, anyway.”
“For your…”
“Cats? For them to sit on?”
“Oh. O…kay. I hope they…like it?”

New Horror Story: “All You Can Eat”

BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW HORROR from yours truly!
Excerpt from All You Can Eat below:

“I heard about it through my boss; her daughter’s friend’s boyfriend knows the guy who hung the drywall.”

“I know the painter.”

“I read about it online.”

Jenny and her husband, Nick, heard the murmurs as they walked the endless line that wrapped around the restaurant. It was a standalone building, one that had been a series of failed clubs. It had sat empty for months; it had been forgotten. Then all at once tall wooden walls went up around it, blank walls with no hint of the business to open. People became curious, and the longer it hid the more curious they got. No one knew who’d bought it. No one knew what it would be when the walls came down.

There were rumours, sure; in a small city like theirs, everyone wanted to know everything. Most figured it would be another bar, a bad idea out on the edge of town. It cost too much to get a cab there. There was no subway. It would fail, they figured, like all those other businesses had before it.

Must be someone new to town.
Must be someone who doesn’t know better.
But how could you not? some said, Commercial buildings don’t sell cheap for no reason.
Must be someone just starting out.

But as the noise behind the boards grew louder, people started getting excited. It sounded like they were knocking walls down in there. Maybe they were adding walls, getting bigger, changing the whole structure. Maybe the new owner knew what they were doing, after all. Maybe it had a fighting chance.

The last of the trucks pulled out on a Thursday afternoon.

My sister said it’s ready to open.
My husband’s coworker thinks it’ll be this weekend.

It sat, hidden and waiting, in the cool May night.
It caused three minor accidents as drivers craned their necks for a peek.

Friday morning came, and the fortress of plywood still stood. By this time, usually, there would be childish scrawls of spray paint along the front, complicated illegible signatures laid under the cover of night. But the wood remained untouched.

Sometime on Friday afternoon, the walls came down and a sign went up.
EAT. ONE NIGHT ONLY.
What does that mean?

Some said they wouldn’t be caught dead in a place that couldn’t even manage a proper name.
Some wondered what the hell the “one-night” bit meant, and exactly what kind of idiot was running the joint, anyway.
Some quietly left work early, rushing home to their closets, desperate to be the first at the doors.

By four it had made the drive-time news. By five the lineup had begun. By seven, while Jenny was badgering Nick to take her out, the line had made its first tentative steps around the back of the building. By eight, when they arrived, it had made a full loop and people were stacked two-deep.

“We could go somewhere else.” Jenny grimaced at the hint of whine creeping into Nick’s voice.

“We could, but we’re already here. And I heard on the news that they’re thinking this place might be closed tomorrow.”

“What the hell does that mean?”

Jenny pointed at the sign above the door. “’One night only’. They were saying this place might only be open for one night.”

“That’s stupid.”

“No, that’s avant-garde. It’s the thing, now, in New York and LA: these places open for one night then close forever. I heard weirdo billionaires run them. So if we leave…”

“It won’t be here tomorrow. Got it. Doubt it.” Nick eyed the inner line of people; women in impossibly high heels and men in suits that stopped just short of tuxedo. “The food better be really frickin’ good, if we’re waiting this long.”

“It’s not the food, it’s the experience.” Jenny beamed as she took in the people around her. She’d worn her most expensive dress, a designer piece she’d gotten at an outlet the summer before. Even with the rip it had cost her almost five hundred dollars, though of course she’d never tell Nick. She’d bought it with the leftovers of the grocery money. It was the first time she’d ever lied to him. She hadn’t known then when she’d ever hope to wear it, but here, in the heavy twilight, she felt at home. She’d even caught another woman looking her over approvingly.

“We could have gone to a movie.”

Jenny sighed. Men didn’t understand these things. She’d never get the chance to eat here again.
Ever.
To be glamourous, if only for an evening.

“Yeah, well, we’re staying.”

“My feet hurt.”

She rolled her eyes. The shoes she’d paired with the dress had heels four inches high and they pinched at the toes. She wisely said nothing.

The line moved forward sluggishly, and given their starting point they passed the entrance as it snaked by. Jenny tried to see over the people going in, tried to snatch a glimpse of what awaited them. It looked dark inside. She thought she caught a glimpse of blue uplighting, but that was all. Then the doors drifted closed and she was left looking at the small woman who tended them. The woman looked back at her, coldly, and Jenny was embarrassed at having behaved so gauchely.

She squeezed Nick’s hand.

After a moment, he squeezed back.

Nick looked over his shoulder; there were dozens of people already lined up behind them. All were dressed for the red carpet. He smirked. “This whole thing is ridiculous.”

“Fine. You really can’t stand being here? Let’s go, then.” Jenny pulled on his hand, and for a second Nick really thought she meant to leave. He sighed dramatically.

“No, we can stay. I guess. But you owe me.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. She rolled her eyes.

They’d looped three sides of the building and were almost at the front again. This time they were on the inner track. Good thing, too, Jenny thought: the line was now three deep, long spirals of people speculating about what waited for them inside.

“Hey, wanna know what’s weird?” The tone of Jenny’s voice startled him.

“Mmm?”

“Where is everyone? I mean, we’ve been here an hour, and they keep letting people in but no one’s come out. Are they sitting on each other’s laps in there?”

Nick’s forehead creased. She was right: they’d been around the whole building and not once had they seen anyone leave the restaurant. A few people had been loitering in the parking lot out back, but that was it. He shrugged. “Maybe it’s bigger than it looks. They’ve gotta be fitting everyone in somehow.”

A cool, damp breeze blew past them, bringing with it the cold smell of damp earth. Jenny shivered a little and Nick put an arm around her.

At last they neared the doors. Only a handful of patrons stood ahead of them. Jenny tried to peer through the windows but the glass was blackened. The diminutive woman manning the doors scowled at her. Jenny smiled back nervously.

“At least she can’t spit in your food from out here,” Nick whispered into Jenny’s hair.

The last couple gained entry. Minutes passed, Nick and Jenny both desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the rabid little woman. She nodded infrequently, occasionally muttering so quietly into her headset that Jenny couldn’t make out the words. Finally she jerked her chin at them.

“Welcome to Eat, enjoy your meal,” she said mechanically, and pulled on the heavy brass handle.

Jenny froze, suddenly hesitant. She looked up at Nick. “I’m not hungry anymore.”

He grinned. “Come on, you simply mustn’t miss such an ‘avant-garde’ experience.” He stuck out his tongue and she followed him inside.

eat FINAL edit 2 fb
From All You Can Eat, new horror from Stefanie N Snider. Available now from Amazon and Smashwords.

I’m Being Stalked.

It happened again.

dark side stalker

I was meandering through the dictionary (I knew I spelled “whininess” correctly, even though my spell check claimed there was no such word. I’m editing a story and it may or may not make the final cut, but the point is I WAS RIGHT.)

And there it was: Dark Side staring at me from another ad.

I love this, make no mistake, but it’s feeling a little… aggressive. Wherever I go, it’s already there. Waiting.

 

 

And the next thing you know…

 

 

dark side door

This Week in Sniderville: 13

This week I:

– worked on a new story. This one’s about dire diner consequences, and what happens when you don’t clean your plate.

– planned out a back-deck overhaul, spending way too much time browsing decorating sites, until I subconsciously started colour-coding my desk:
sv13

 

– went to The Early Bird, which is quickly becoming my favourite place on Earth. By day, it’s a kickass rock diner:
sv13 3
sv13 2
sv13 4
…by night it’s a crushed-velvet leopard-printed rock bar. They have a sandwich called the Fat Elvis: French toast layered with peanut butter, bacon, and deep fried bananas. Best heart attack food ever. I bumped into the lovely Chef Chainsaw outside (she’ll have her own post later.)

– went to a house party, had a fantastic time, succeeded in not peeing my pants from laughing so hard. It’s the minor victories in life, really.

– went thrifting with my Dude, something we haven’t done in a long time. The store has mannequins now…
sv13 5…I was a little afraid to turn my back on this one. I’m pretty sure his hand was molded like that so he could hold a shiv.

Now I’m off to craft some creepy words and search for stock images of questionable meat. I love my life!

How was your week?