When I lived in Cape Town I learned that two insulting things to call people were "hectic" and "busy." Having too much going on was negative. Being unable to unwind or just exist in the moment was pitiable. But in the nine years I've been back in the US, I've become the hectic one. I've… Continue reading You cannot conquer time.
I have been taking long walks as often as possible, because I am addicted to the audiobook of Carmilla: A Vampyre Tale by J Sheridan Le Fanu, originally published 26 years before Dracula. And it's not just because the protagonist is named Laura, okay? 18-year-old Laura is whipped into a frenzy by a friendship with… Continue reading Vampire stories in the woods
October / Autumn Equinox / Halloween are times to visit other worlds and celebrate in the face of the darkening days. But I still maintain that mid-summer is for horror. The sun can be brutal, the heat pushes us past our limits. Maybe we hallucinate, maybe we can't get to sleep because the days stretch… Continue reading Spooky Summer Reads
I informally honor the Summer Solstice every year, in little ways. I am thankful for the long hours of daylight and try to squeeze in as much life and gratitude as I can. In this bizarre and difficult year it's nice to have one thing happen consistently: the world is still rotating around the sun,… Continue reading Observing Summer Solstice
My review of an incredible short story collection is here:
Instances of Head-Switching, by Teresa Milbrodt. Albany, New York: Shade Mountain Press, June 2020. 195 pages. $22.95, paper.
The short stories in Instances of Head-Switching by Teresa Milbrodt report back from other worlds in sharp prose that is evocative but never flowery. Milbrodt fuses fairytale or mythological elements with the mundanities of adulthood, but there’s a lot more going on in every story. Strange settings are the background for characters to contend with the myths our own culture perpetuates about age and ability. Narrators aren’t named in these stories, giving the sense that they are filing reports with a supernatural news service.
The collection begins with “The Monster’s War,” where a narrator describes the complexities of returning to an office job after a brief societal collapse. The world had just experienced a war of “monsters,” meaning: “protests, riots, crowds on the verge of desperation when the government decided…
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