Can-Con, Here I Come!

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I’m so excited!

I’m going to be appearing at Can-Con, the Canadian Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts & Literature this weekend!

It takes place at The Sheraton Hotel located at 150 Albert Street.

Here’s a rundown of where to find me:

Saturday, October 13

Sexy Speculative Fiction – 7PM to 7:50PM – Salon A

Sexy Speculative Fiction – Readers often look for romantic or sexual sub-plots as a way to

increase tension in a work of fiction – and SFF by nature provides a lot of opportunity to make

things interesting. What do readers love (no pun intended) about these sub-plots and what do

writers love about them? How does introducing SFF elements to a romantic or sexual conflict

change their attraction (still no pun intended) to readers and writers? Madeline Ashby, Christian

Baines, Jessica Ripley, Jamieson Wolf

Sunday, October 14th

Author Reading – 10AM to 10:25AM – Salon B

I’m so thrilled to be able to take part in Can-Con! This will only be my second conference where I’m speaking as an author, so I’m a little nervous! I know that a good time will be had, I’ll get to see friends and fellow authors and readers AND  there will be more books than you could ever imagine.

In other words: Heaven!

See you all there!

The Joy of Release – A Poem

I sit outside,shards-of-broken-glass-abstract-explosion-vector-19807847

the air cold

upon my face.

Sun is shining

down through leaves

coloured red, orange,

gold and yellow.

When the sun

shines through them,

it changes the

colour of my

skin. Though there

is joy all

around me, I

am torrent of

emotions inside. I

have been close

to tears all

day; I push

at the torrent

of emotion, trying

to keep them

at bay, to

keep them back,

to keep them

down. Still, they

rebel against the

barriers that I

have put up.

The torrent still

finds a way

to slip through,

one emotion at

a time. They

slip past the

barricade like shards

of broken glass.

Sitting there, my

skin shaded with

hues of red,

orange and gold,

I let the

tears come, no

longer able to

hold them back.

They fall into

my lap, shining

brightly. I clutch

one of them

between two fingers

and hold it

to the sun.

I am almost

by the brilliance

of the stone.

I start to

slide the stone

back into my

skin when someone

plucks it from

my fingers and

flicks it away.

“What the fuck do you want to do that for?”

She asks me,

sitting down next

to me on

on the bench.

The woman has

dark hair that

falls past her

shoulders in ringlets.

It moves as

if dancing with

a soft breeze.

She wore an

amethyst that hung

from a silver

chain around her

neck. It seemed

to pulse with light.

 “I don’t know.”

I tell her,

shaking my head.

“I’ve been so lost lately.”  

She holds up

a clear crystal

shard and gives

me a sharp look.

“See this? Do you know what this is?”

I shake my head.

“This is your sadness trying to break free.”

She throws it

to the ground

where it cuts

into the pavement.

“See that? That’s what it’s doing to you. It’s cutting into you. You have to cut that shit out.”

I shake my

head, trying to

find the words

to tell her

how I feel.

“It’s not that easy. I live with pain and fatigue all the time. Sometimes, I can’t see past it. It defines who I am.”

I try to

hide my shame

and look away.

She gently turns

my head so

that I am

looking at her.

Her smile is

like light itself.

“It doesn’t define you. Your courage defines you. Your creativity define you. You are not your disease or your disability.”

I know this,

it is a

truth that I

have told others,

but sometimes have

trouble believing myself.

I try again

to make my

point heard:

“There are times where my symptoms keep me from doing what I want to do.”

I correct myself.

“What I used to do.”

She looks at

me and, though

her gaze is

stern, there is

kindness within her

eyes. She touches

my hand gently.

“You are not who you used to be.”

She says softly.

“You are so much more than you used to be. Your live beyond the boundaries of your body.”

She let that

sink in for

a moment and

then when it

appeared that I

had grasped her

meaning, she spoke:

“I want you to do something for me. I want you to turn your sadness into something else.”

I looked down

at the crystal

shards that covered

my lap like

pieces of broken glass.

“What do you want me to do?”

I ask her.

“I want you to let that sadness go. Make it into something else. Turn it into rain so that it can wash away any sadness that may still be within you. Could you do that?”

I nod and

stand, gathering the

shards in my

hands. As soon

as she gave

me the suggestion,

I knew what

I had to do.

Taking a deep

breath, I threw

the shards up

into the sky

as far as

I could. I

expected them to

fall back down

and waited for

their sting upon

my skin. Instead,

I heard a

distant rumble of

thunder and then

felt the first

drop of water

touch my face.

It was followed

by another and

then more, all

coming at once.

With each raindrop,

I felt a

little bit more

myself and a

little less filled

with sadness and

despair. I turned

to exclaim in

joy, but the

woman was not

there. Instead, all

that remained was

the amethyst that

she had been

wearing, its silver

chain curled around

  1. The amethyst

and its chain

shone as if

filled with light.

I slipped the

chain over my

neck, letting the

stone rest against

my chest. Looking

at the rain

I had made,

I didn’t feel

sadness. Instead, I

felt only the

joy of release.

 

 

 

Blood Gives – A Flash Fiction Story

Blood drive truckHere’s my October Flash Fiction!

I had to write a piece containing a frog, have it set in a blood drive and be in the horror genre, all within 1000 words. I’m thrilled with how my piece turned out! It’s very appropriate for the coming Halloween!

Enjoy!

Blood Gives

For a moment, when she woke, she thought she had already died.

In fact, she wished for it, opening her eyes even though she did not want to see what they would show her. She knew only fear and pain and both were somehow exquisite, as marvelous as he had promised, and this frightened her more.

Lenore blinked her eyes. Each time she did, he became a little bit clearer. He’d had work done, of course he had. You couldn’t disappear into thin air without making yourself disappear first. She had been so fucking stupid.

Her hands felt wet and she felt the same wetness along her arms. The tang of iron was strong in her nostrils. She tried to look down, but couldn’t move her head. She heard the steady sound of wet dripping, only it was muffled by the carpet that covered the floor.

Lenore blinked furiously and, as Oliver moved towards her, she was reminded of strobe lights in a club when you could only see pieces of movement before they were in front of you.

She stopped blinking and there he was, but not the Oliver she had known so well. This one had a full head of blond hair and blue eyes whereas the Oliver she had known had had golden eyes that pierced the skin and no hair at all. His cheekbones were different, too, leaner and more angular than they had been. His lips, which had been thin and paper white before but were now supple and rose coloured, were spread into a wide smile showing white teeth.

“Good evening, Lenore.”

God help her, his voice was like a caress along her skin. “Please let me go, Oliver. I won’t tell anyone that I met you. There’s no need for anyone to know.”

If possible, his smile widened. “Oh, but you see Lenore, no one knows I’m here anyways. I don’t exist. I am but mist and dreams. If you were lucky enough to get free, you would be able to see that all my identification says my name is Walter Johnson, a perfectly ordinary name.”

“But I know it’s you. By the sound of your voice alone, I know it’s you.” Lenore tried to sound braver than she felt.

“Well, yes, but what makes you think you will survive the night?”

He reached out and ran a hand through her hair, adjusting how it framed her face. “You will never know the thrill I received when you booked an appointment for the mobile blood clinic. What were the chances? One might say that it was fate.”

Lenore hated herself for letting a sob escaped her lips. “Please.” Her voice was thick with saliva and fear. “Please, let me go. I won’t tell anyone.” She hated herself for begging.

He let out a laugh and she remembered what he did when he laughed. “Oh no, I don’t think that will do. What kind of sport would it be if I let the meat go? What fun would that be?”

Moving closer to her, Oliver took his hands out from behind his back. In his right hand, he held a long silver knife, like a slice of moonlight. In the other hand, he held a frog. She hadn’t been expecting that and Oliver let out another little laugh at the look of shocked curiosity that he could see on her face.

“Do you know what happens to a frog when you kill it?” He moved closer still. “Would you like to see?” He whispered.

He positioned the knife at the frog’s belly and it gave a wet croak. He slipped the blade into the skin and pulled down in one swift motion. Blood poured from the frog, covering Oliver hand and filling the air with more of the smell of iron.

Oliver did not nothing for a moment. All Lenore could see were the wide, dead eyes of the frog and hear the wet, muffled drip of more blood on the carpet.

Then the frog began to twitch as if filled with some kind of phantom force. It moved as if alive, yet Lenore knew that there could be no possible way. Another sob pushed its way past her lips and then the twitching slowed and the frog was still once more.

Holding the frog out to her, Oliver’s face was filled with mad glee. His eyes were too bright, his smile too feral. “Did you know that, like the frog, our bodies are filled with electricity? Neurons and electrons, shifting and moving underneath our skin, just waiting for that nudge to get us moving? Normally, this comes from our brain, but I’ve found that a knife works just as well.”

He slid the point of the knife along the skin of her arm and she tried to move away from him, tried to shrink her body until it was nothing. “Kill me, then.” She said and hated herself for it. “Just get it over with.”

Oliver’s smile widened even more. “Now, why would I do a thing like that? We’re just beginning to play our game. You do remember how I like to play, don’t you Lenore?”

The scars that he had left along her back, words etched into her skin, seemed to throb in memory. “I do.” She said, almost whispering the words, filled with hate and wanting.

“If memory serves, I never finished what was written here before you helped the police catch me.” He said this with a soft kind of maniacal glee.

Lenore felt his lips kiss her shoulders and she shivered, “People are merely canvasses, Lenore. You remember this. I don’t just paint with blood, I set the words free, waiting to see what it has to give to me.”

As the knife began to slide along her skin, Lenore tried to stay awake knowing that their game was far from done.

She let out a scream that flew into the night, black and ready to receive it.

To My Husband – A Poem

I love you for the kindnesstomyhusband

you show everyone around you.

I love you for your support,

always at my side

holding my hand to keep me steady.

I love you for the sound of your laughter

as it bubbles out of you

and the joy with which you approach life.

I love you for the gentleness

you show me when I am too hard on myself.

I love you for the belief you have in me,

even when I’ve lost faith

in myself.

I love you for the ability

you have to make even the darkest day

filled with light.

I love you for loving me

and for making my life so much more amazing

than it has ever been.

I love you and you are the greatest gift.

Thank you for making me believe

in the possibility of magic.

Who I Had Been – A Poem

I stepped ontosmall

the elevator and

noticed him immediately.

He had a

shocked look on

his face and

then I watched

as his eyes

changed from the

widened gaze of

surprise to the

narrowed gaze of

contempt. A little

smirk played around

the corners of

his lips, thinned

to a small

line. When the

elevator was empty

of others, he

said to me:

“Is your name Jamie ______?”

He looked curious

at what my

answer would be.

“That used to be my name.”

I said to him.

His voice was

filled with derision.

“You used to date a girl named _______?”

I nodded, shocked

that this person

who was a

stranger to me

knew who I

was. His grin

widened and the

malicious twinkle in

his eyes brightened.

“I’m __________”

He said, as

if triumphant,

as if he

had somehow found

me wanting, even

after all these

years. Immediately, a

fog from the

past rose up

inside my head.

The fog was

brought me back

to who I had been.

Shrouded in darkness

and seduced by

shadows, I looked

at the child

that I had

been: shrouded in

fear, I wore

another’s hatred like

a mantle of

glass. The cuts

that had been

absent for so

long showed again

on my body,

slashed into my

skin with harsh

words and the

blade of a

knife. In the

fog, I heard

his laughter that

sang out whenever

he was near

me. I shook

myself out of

the fog and

looked at this

man-child that had

held onto his

hatred of me

for over twenty

years. I thought

how small his

life must be

to hold onto

that kind of

darkness.

He vibrated hatred

and his lips

curved again in

a smile that

held no warmth.

“It’s nice to see you again Jamie.”

I shook my head.

“That’s not who I am anymore.”

I said, stepping

off the elevator

and leaving him,

and what he

represented, in the

past where he

belonged.

 

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