Something Wicked This Way Comes
Life, writing, and some light autumnal reading
It seems that fall is here, following summer's hasty retreat like a man who owes me twenty dollars and doesn't want to see me socially again. Fall feels like, dare I say it, a liminal time. I've never really lived anywhere that had seasons. Just hot and cold, with the occasional cool day thrown in to justify the sexy but functionally useless fake motorcycle jacket you have in your closet.
To me, autumn is the corridor between summer and winter, the two extremes of seasonality I know. It's something you move through, a temporary respite from heat before the bitterness and bleakness of cold. Too much like both on either side, and too short to enjoy for long. But with it, if only for a few brisk nights and quickly dwindling days, it brings a feeling of calm.
More specifically, calm, and the potential for something better coming in the closing days of the year. I wouldn't call it hope, because I'm too stubborn to call it hope. Call it a second wind, if you like. A renewed sense of purpose with the finish line drawing so close. Perhaps you’re nearing a goal for yourself. Perhaps you’re about to wrap up a project and put it to bed. Perhaps you gave up at some point and are just coasting until New Year’s, when you’re expected to take things seriously again. You do you.
This fall, in the spirit of my own renewed sense of purpose, I wanted to share some stories. I've been writing, revisiting, and planning for virtually all of 2022. For one, I've been working and reworking the next installments of the Southern Gothic Series. For another, I've worked on my slice of life romance and family dram for professional killers serial, A Coffin For Sparrows. For my last trick, I've returned to working on a strange literary romance novella (perhaps novelette is the term used these days?) called I Didn't See You Coming that I've had on the back burner.
I've been busy, writing around 150k words between all these projects. Unfortunately, busy doesn't translate to having something publishable on hand. Publishing is a 2023/2024 problem, when I finally finish all this stuff that's piling up on me. So, I haven't had much fiction to show for myself as a fiction writer. That seemed like a bad move on my part, as I'm sure many of you signed up to this newsletter with the expectation of reading some kind of prose fiction.
To make up for that, here in the sunset of the year, I decided to give you, dear reader, a choice.
Below are two stories. Read one. Read both. Read neither. It’s up to you.
The Day the Hunters Came to the Pendleton Bros. Traveling Faire
Starring Dorian Villeneuve and Cash Leroy from Leather and Lace and The Southern Gothic Series. A free re-release of a Patreon-exclusive short story I wrote for Halloween 2019. There's monsters, fall carnivals, haunted houses, and Dorian and Cash getting up to no good.
A Coffin For Sparrows: Prologue
Starring the Durands (well, Shina-Tatarinovas) from A Coffin For Sparrows. This prologue chapter opens the first act of the series, following a family of professional killers who have left the game to enjoy their retirement and raise their daughter in peaceful anonymity. Well, at least for a while.
Both are free to read. Please enjoy. We’ll talk again next month.