Thursday, March 15, 2018

Blue Sludge Blues or Why You Should Hold It

blu eyes

Today, I am helping celebrate the release of a horror story collection titled Blue Sludge Blues and Other Abominations by Shannon Lawrence. What's more terrifying than a rest stop toilet? I can't wait to find out. But first, a little tale of terror from my past.

Many years ago, I took up jogging to get a break from the insanity that is staying at home with two toddlers who hate each other's guts at least 50% of the time. How bad was it? Well, let's just say I preferred dragging my butt through the dark, snowy streets of our neighborhood with temps dipping into the 20s to dealing with another minute of "She hit me first. No, she hit me first!" 

Standard question my husband would ask before I left: "Are you running away from home?"

Me: "Yes." 

Husband: "Are you coming back?"

Me: "Maybe."

Snow and Christmas Lights in HDR

In the months leading up to Christmas, it was kind of fun with all the different lights, inflatables, and even music ushering me along my slippery route.

Then one night, with the snow dulling the streetlights' glow to a dim blue, I saw movement about thirty yards ahead. At first, I couldn't understand what I was seeing. My first impression was legs. Lots of legs, long and not human. Too many for a single dog, I slowed down, worried I had run afoul of a pack. Which was ridiculous, right? Then the long, thin legs made me wonder if they were greyhounds. Equally ridiculous. But the bodies were too large. I stopped in my tracks. OMG, were they wolves!? 

Walla Walla wolf
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?

Then the critters trotted under a streetlamp and I realized they were not dogs at all, but a family of deer. Oh, dear!

Without further ado, let me present: Blue Sludge Blues:

Blue Sludge Blues And Other Abominations
by Shannon Lawrence

Release Date: March 15, 2018
Horror short story collection

A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear: A creature lurking in the blue, sludgy depths of a rest area toilet; a friendly neighbor with a dark secret hidden in his basement; a woman with nothing more to lose hellbent on vengeance; a hike gone terribly wrong for three friends; a man cursed to clean up the bodies left behind by an inhuman force. These and other stories prowl the pages of this short story collection.


From Know Thy Neighbor:

"She could tell he enjoyed her pain, and she grew determined to not show him anymore. She would bear this quietly, staring directly into his eyes."

Buy the Book

Also available from Apple and other countries through Amazon

About the Author

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes mostly fantasy and horror. Her stories can be found in magazines and anthologies, including Space and Time Magazine, Dark Moon Digest, and Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. When she's not writing, she's hiking the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

Social Media Links

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Insecure Writers Support Group and Celebrate the Small Things

Happy March! Are you still shivering in winter or are you enjoying spring flowers yet? Whatever the weather, is always fun to check in with fellow writers. Thanks to our host, Alex. J. Cavanaugh and his outstanding co-hosts this month: Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner.

This month's question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

Sadly, I feel great for about two seconds and then start worrying about the next goal. Should the story be edited further? If it's a short story, where will I submit it? If it's a novel, am I ready to deal with the stress of querying? For me, the journey is truly the reward.

Which of these images would you or your characters pick to experience a journey? 

Lydia's Baptistery ... HDR

Image: Emil Athanasiou

Anaga Mountains

Photo: Nico Trinkhaus - Sunny day in Anaga Mountains | Tenerife, Spain

Just before sundown at Bagan. Love this Topaz Labs effect.

Image: Neville Wooton


What happened to February? I know it's the shortest month of the year, but I think someone hit high speed on time again. In any case, it's high time for me to thank our host, Lexa Cain, and her co-hosts: L.G. Keltner and Tonja Drecker. 

Winter Wonderland

Snow Day_dec09_0045-48
Image: David Torres

1. Friday, March 2 was a snow day!

The phone rang at 5 a.m. and I knew, just knew, it was the school district calling to cancel school. I remember being a kid, listening to the radio on rare snowy mornings, crossing my fingers that my district would be cancelled. Since I lived in S.C. at the time, that hardly every happened. But Friday was our day. I guess I got a little too excited about shoveling, because I couldn't fall back asleep, but I got an excellent work-out shoveling for 2 hours. Eight inches of heavy, wet snow. Squee!

And wouldn't you know it? My neighbor, who has a snow plow, knocked down the impossible wall of ice that the city plows had left at the bottom of the driveway. That's the second time a truck with plow attached saved me from the hardest part of the job.

Open Sesame!

Image: stratman

2. I still have skin on my fingers.

My older cat, Mr. Mistofellees, has hyperthyroidism. He's been taking medication in creme form applied to the inside of his ears for the past two years, but it's not working anymore. So we had to switch to pills. 

The last time I had to shove pills down his throat was during an ear infection so severe he couldn't walk two steps without falling down. He would claw my hands to shreds. 

This time I was more crafty. I hid the pills in port wine cheese, creme cheese, and even butter. At first, Mr. M ate the pills all by himself. But then he got sick of cheese. Rats! So I had to go back to "pilling" him. At least the pills are smaller than the humongous antibiotic capsules. And so far, I've only endured one small scratch. 

Can you hear me now? 

Image: Seth Goodman

3. I don't have to worry about charging my cell phone this week.

My husband called me Sunday morning from Boca Raton, Florida, where is he currently having a blast in the sunshine state with his folks while I deal with homework, early morning band practice, and doctor's appointments attending a math conference. He told me he had accidentally taken both of our cell phones. Really? I mean, here I am, on my own, trying to coordinate activities for two active middle schoolers. With. No. Cellphone. ARRRGH! This is so 1990s. 

Did the big storm Riley impact your area? Do you have to medicate your pets? How would you cope without a cell phone for 5 days?