Happy “Eat ALLLL the Candy” Day!

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In honor of Halloween and all things sugary– I mean, spooky– I’ve decided to do a little horror-themed post. πŸ™‚ When I was a very wee kid, I wrote a bunch of scary stories. I’ve forgotten most of them now, but I distinctly remember one that I wrote while my family and I were staying in a hotel.

The hotel pool had this giant spikey/flowery type design printed on the bottom, and in my wee mind it looked like a hand. I decided, with perfect logic of course, that it would probably come to life and pull me down into the underworld if I touched it (duh, obviously). This scared the arm-floaties right offa me, and I refused to swim anywhere near it. I mean, I knew the hand would only snatch me if I touched it, but you can’t be too careful when underworlds are involved.

It’s funny now, but back then, wee me was legitimately terrified. Like, I believed in the guts of my guts that this would really happen. Yet as terrified as I was, that fear also gave me a surge of creativity, so I quickly ran off to– erp, sorry Mom, I WALKED VERY CAREFULLY–to a poolside chair and scribbled a story down.

I find this transferal of fear into inspiration rather fascinating. Maybe it reflects the psychology of WHY many of us are drawn to horror in our narratives but not in reality. Maybe it’s because stories give us the safe distance to explore and understand our fears, without any real-life consequences. It’s not fearlessness that draws me to horror. Wee me was scared of the hand, but also curious, and writing that story let me get close enough to wrap my brain around it without getting pulled into the underworld. (Always a good day when that doesn’t happen!)

Those of you who like horror, do you relate to this? Or does your interest come from something else? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~ Noel

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Been readin’ most our lives, livin’ in a bookworm’s paradise

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A few days ago I started a new job as a library assistant! It’s been awesome. How could it not be? I’m surrounded by books all day, talking about books all day, handling books all day, scoping out the back cover descriptions of books all da–I MEAN, definitely not getting distracted by that, of course not, nope. πŸ™‚ I’m kidding, I’ve been way too busy learning the ropes for any distractions. Library work is a lot more complicated than it looks on the outside, hoo boy.

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New publication! The Bones and the Bird

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In case you missed my announcement on Twitter the other day, my newest short story, The Bones and the Bird, is out in Psychopomp Magazine! It’s a dark fairy tale about a witch who can change her shape by eating feathers and bones, until one day the process goes wrong.

I’m really proud of where this got published, because it’s a fantastic journal and one I’d been submitting to for AGES. Every story I had that fit them, I submitted, but none made the cut. Until this one! Huzzah!! When I got the acceptance letter I nearly did a hundred back flips, and I don’t even know how to do ONE back flip, so thank goodness I just happy-danced instead. πŸ˜‰

Thank you so much to those who have read, and for those who’d like to, you can find it in that link up top. Hope you enjoy!

Rewrites and Realizations

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When I woke up this past Saturday, I had no idea that an hour later I’d be scrambling to rewrite my novel’s opening. Ahh, how young and innocent I was then…

Fresh in my inbox that morning was a rejection from an agent, but it was no ordinary rejection. It told me WHY. Whyyy! O blessed “why!” Those of you in the querying trenches know how rare that is.

Sadly, his reason confirmed something I’d already been nervous about… Continue reading

Excuse me, my characterization is UP HERE

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SIGH

Okay friends. We need to talk about something that’s been bugging me a long time. I CAN’T EVEN COUNT– hold on, this feels like something I need a proper soapbox for.

*rummages*

Hm, looks like I don’t own anΒ  soapbox. I’ll just stand on my desk, then. This will make typing hard but I will do it, in the name of justice.

I CAN’T EVEN COUNT how many back-of-book blurbs I’ve read in which the only mentioned female character is described as ~beautiful~ and nothing else.

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I have a confession… I have not been writing.

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While all my writer friends are hunched over notebooks and computers, bustling and toiling, penning lines and crumpling them up, or even just jotting down ideas, I’ve been over here… not… doing that.

Since finishing my novel in December, the last creative writing I did (excluding blog posts, which are more article-y or journal-y than creative, um, -y) was a 1000-word fiction in March, that I didn’t post because I’m submitting for publication. Oh, and those one-line stories I did in April, if those count. Otherwise… *crickets*

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New publication! Log Jam, now up at The Bohemyth

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I’m so excited to announce that my short story Log Jam has been published by a lovely journal called The Bohemyth. This piece, about the often inexplicable nature of depression, is very dear to me and was in submission for a long time, so I’m deeply thankful it found a home. It would mean the world to me if you read it.