Readings on A Wet Afternoon

During the breaks at the recent Colloquium I worked away on a new short story. I started it last summer at Loyalist & hope to have it finished before Loyalist this year. Last year at the Colloquium I found myself writing about the hot guy from Columbia who was even then slipping out of my grasp. It was sweetly pathetic but I’ve moved on.

They say write about what you know, which sometimes works, so this story is about a book launch for Soul Harvest, a company which publishes supernatural, fantasy and horror (a bit like ChiZine, the hosts of the Colloquium). The event is for the launch of three book by three different authors. One of whom hasn’t arrived when the launch starts.


carpet square

It’s set on a rainy afternoon in some book store (details to be filled in when the story is finished.) The challenge, for me, is to create three different authors, different genres & actually write sections of each of their works that they would be reading from at the launch. It is key to me to give each of them a different written voice.

One is ‘Grandma in the Attic,’ a YA about a young girl who accidentally kills her grandmother and hide the body, you guessed it, in the attic. But Grandma has been such a nasty person no one in the family really misses her until etc.


the speckled glove

The second is ‘Red Horn’ number four in a series of vampire unicorn porn (uniporn). I know there are niches for so many weird mashup of genres and this one has been fun to world build for & almost has potential for becoming real (if someone wants to pay me big bucks to write it.) (sample of it here:

Both of these are to be seasoned & slightly bored authors. The third is launching his first book of sinister, strange stories. He is the one running behind time and shows up after the first two are done. POV is of the organizer of the launch, also a bit bored about the whole nature of launches etc. Of course things end badly but I’m not giving away the ending.


coming or going

I’m still working on things: like names, how creepy the location will be & of course how much of a twist I want to give the ending, which, without giving much away involves a traffic accident, a death and oh my …


this a very rough draft sample of the ‘Gramma in the Attic’ section – that has been transcribed from my written notes – so who knows how it’ll change when I get the whole piece cobbled together.

“Life changed when Gramma came to live with us. My Dad began acting different, as if he was afraid of doing the wrong thing. Before that he was the one who knew everything and we kids never doubted what he told us. Even Mom was unsure of herself when Gramma was around.

It started a few days after Gramma had moved in. Grampie had died and she had no wheres else to go. That’s what Dad told us. Davey wasn’t happy because it meant he’d have to move out of his room to share with Brett. At least I kept to keep my room to myself. Because I was a girl I was afraid that I’d have to share my room with Gramma.

We knew her pretty well from spending Christmas with her and Grampie since I was born ten years ago. It was even longer for my brothers. So we knew her pretty well and just didn’t get why Dad was so weird when she moved in with us.

Like I say it started a few days after she moved in, when I asked Dad about something and Gramma snapped at him that he was as stupid as ever and what good did he think he was doing tell me whatever it was he had told me. My bothers looked at her amazed. We’d never heard anyone talk to my Dad like that. Not even our Mom.

It was the following week that she insisted on taking me to see Grampie’s grave at the cemetery and no, we didn’t need Dad to drive us there.”

At this point in the story Shirley began to tune out. This happened often, especially when she’d already read or heard the same story a few times. The way xx would slip into this childlike character made the telling interesting but Shirley never felt drawn into this particular story. But having the dead Gramma stuck in the attic was the sort of wry twist on domestic strife she enjoyed but the child pov bored her. She longed for real dialogue, too, not all this recounted from the child’s memory of things. Audience laugher brought her attention back to xx’s reading.

“I mean, it wasn’t my fault Gramma got her foot stuck in the mud by that grave. As I told my Dad, I didn’t mean to let go when I was trying to help her up. She just slipped and fell back into the mud. Then she was real quiet. Real quiet.

I hadn’t seen my Dad smile like that for weeks.”

The audience applauded.

“Thanks you for being such great listeners.” xx closed her eReader and put it back in her purse. “I’ll be happy to autograph copies of my book …. ” she smiled mischievously, “ or your eReaders.”


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