Category Archives: Uncategorized

Haunted Hospitals Cover Options

We have cover options for Haunted Hospitals!! *bounces* Check these out:

Options

Which one do you like better?

Also, while I have you here and I’m talking about this book I just want to clear up a couple things. First, I didn’t edit this, I wrote it alongside Mark. It’s an easy mistake to make, I do a ridiculous amount of editing, but for this one I get to share an author credit. Secondly, this is paranormal non-fiction. Mark and I didn’t make up any of the stories we’ve collected for this book. Not a single one.

Now that’s all sorted, tell me again, which one do you like better? I have a favourite but I’m not gonna tell you which it is 😉

Scarecrow Contributor Interview: Scott Burtness

Scarecrow Blog Tour

Over the coming weeks I’d like to share interviews that I (and Magnus) conducted with the contributors to Corvidae and Scarecrow. This week we’ll talk with Scott Burtness. I thought Scott’s story was the perfect note to end the anthology on, and reviewers seem to agree with me 🙂 I also had the pleasure of hanging out with Scott at When Words Collide last year, hopefully we’ll get to repeat that sometime soon.

Interview with Scott Burtness

Please share a short excerpt from your story/stories:

Clots of mud and foliage stained with dark vital-fluid marked Scarecrow’s path from the airlock. Initiating a physical-assessment scan, it analyzed the extent of its injuries, categorizing them by degree of severity. Despite openly weeping vital fluid, none were terminal, nor were any severe enough to degrade its capabilities. Shifting its awareness, Scarecrow observed Jorry, the human wet-tech assigned as its Tin Man. The human’s posture, facial expressions and bio-signatures indicated that he also did not believe Scarecrow’s wounds to be severe. Applying the relevant pre-loaded decision matrix, it determined that updating the Dorothy took precedence, and established a communication link.

“Scarecrow to mining site.” It formed the words slowly, hindered by facial muscles not well-shaped for Consortium Standard. “Mission accomplished.”

There’s a Japanese God who is represented as a scarecrow. It is all-knowing but cannot move. If you could know any one thing, what would it be? How to eat hot pizza without burning the roof of my mouth. 

Would it be worth learning the answer if you were forever stuck in one place afterward? Only if I was stuck in a pizza joint.

If you were a scarecrow, what would you look like? What would you be stuffed with? If I were a scarecrow, I’d look like Dean Koontz and be stuffed with Stephen King books.

Do you think you’d make a good scarecrow? Why? I’d be a terrible scarecrow. One, I like crows. They’re very clever and sound like Predator when they croak, which is awesome. Two, I have a short attention span. No way could I handle staring at a field for days on end. I’d totally lose focus and… Wait, what was the question? Oh, three, I think unicycles are way cooler than tandem bicycles.

What is it about scarecrows that inspired you to write about them? All random humor aside, I think scarecrows are fascinating. They present a window into humanity’s psyche. There’s a darkness in us, but also a desire to channel that darkness into a clear purpose. Scarecrows provide a focal point of our contradictory nature.

As you may know, one of Edmonton’s local Twitter personalities is Magnus E. Magpie who haunts Twitter as @YEGMagpie. I invited him to read an advance copy of Corvidae and Scarecrow and offer a short cawmentary on each story from a magpie’s point of view, which he did. When he was finished I asked if there was anything he’d like to ask the contributors. The italicized portions are mine because Magnus didn’t ask straight-forward questions on account of he’s a magpie 🙂

Mr. Yegpie: It would be cool to know where all these stories came from, I mean geographically – like I think I could tell who was from Edmonton and who was from Vancouver! (Where do you live, and did that affect your story/poem at all?I live in Minnesota, USA. When I was drafting the story, there was a lot of attention on sulfide mining in northern Minnesota. It provided the context for writing a story about a deep space mining operation that had to extract metals without adversely affecting the nearby communities.

Mr. Yegpie: I also would sure love to know where they got their ideas from! I caught several familiar references from existing books and mythology and fairy tales; I like seeing people riff off stuff. (What inspired your story/poem?Inspiration came from a very old and obscure bit of mythology… the opening scene of the movie Star Trek: Into Darkness. Kirk et al are pranking the natives and allow their spaceship to be seen, which is in clear violation of the Prime Directive.

Mr. Yegpie: I think I would like to know what people’s favourite corvid is though; and if it isn’t a magpie, WHYEVER NOT?!? (If they come back with some guff about crows using tools, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL SEND THEM A COPY OF MY ROGERS BILL. Pffft, crows.) (What is your favourite corvid?My personal favorite are jackdaws, because a group of jackdaws is a clattering. Could there be a more perfect phrase than, “a clattering of jackdaws?”

Scott Burtness

Scott Burtness lives in Minnesota with his wife, Liz and their English Staffordshire-Boxer, Frank.  He has it on good authority that he possesses all of the requisite parts to be considered human, and sincerely believes he’s taller when measured with the metric system. Scott’s debut novel, WISCONSIN VAMP, is available on Amazon.com. When not writing horror-comedy romps or sci-fi adventures, Scott enjoys bowling, karaoke, craft brews and afternoon naps. Follow him on Twitter (@SWBauthor). Don’t follow him down dark alleys.

 

Scarecrow edited by Rhonda Parrish

Amazon: (CA) (UK) (US)
Kobo: (CA) (US)
Direct From the Publisher: World Weaver Press

Scarecrow Contributor Interview: Kristina Wojtaszek

Scarecrow Blog Tour

Over the coming weeks I’d like to share interviews that I (and Magnus) conducted with the contributors to Corvidae and Scarecrow. This week we’ll talk with Kristina Wojtaszek. Kristina also had a story in Fae and you can check out her Fae contributor interview here 🙂

Interview with Kristina Wojtaszek

Please share a short excerpt from your story:

I crack open the bottle of turmeric as I head out into the night and almost choke in the overpowering aroma.  And then I have a sudden, odd thought.  I have no memory of his scent.  Standing so close, I should have caught a whiff of coffee or soap, a hint of deodorant, maybe a haze of stale cigarettes… something.  But as I wheel through a leaf pile in the parking lot, it hits me; the dry, clean scent of leaves.  Leaves and apples.  He smelled of nothing but autumn.

There’s a Japanese God who is represented as a scarecrow. It is all-knowing but cannot move. If you could know any one thing, what would it be? How to end suffering for all.  I know it sounds like a beauty-pageant answer, but I say it in all seriousness.

Would it be worth learning the answer if you were forever stuck in one place afterward? It would only be worth learning if I could share my wisdom somehow.  I’d take the lifeless limbs and unblinking eyes of a scarecrow if people came to me, and by some magic or another I could share with them what I had learned.  But if I had to keep it to myself and watch with a sewn-on grin as humanity continued to suffer, completely unable to help?  That sounds a lot like what I envision God to be; a silent pillar of love stuffed to the bursting, and tormented by us, so oblivious.  No.  No, I would not want be God.

If you were a scarecrow, what would you look like? What would you be stuffed with? I’d be little more than an old coat hung on a tree branch, a bit of wild hair woven into a bird’s nest, a lost shoe gone to seed, a thread of poetry in the breeze.  There’d be no stuffing, nothing to me, really; just a handful of scattered hopes, an everlasting love of nature, and the memory of a warm smile carried by those who’ve know me.  Isn’t that all any of us are?

Do you think you’d make a good scarecrow? Why? I don’t think I’d fit the typical job description, no.  I’m not a very scary person, other than my hair first thing in the morning, and I’d be more apt to whip out a pair of binoculars and my Guide to North American Birds than to try to frighten anything off!

What is it about scarecrows that inspired you to write about them? Loneliness.  What it would mean to be a stuffed doll made to look like what you can’t possibly be, waving ragged arms in the wind and watching little winged beings fly away in fright, while you slowly and pathetically fall apart.  Dear God, that sounds a bit like my own life right now—perhaps it was more inspiration than I knew!

As you may know, one of Edmonton’s local Twitter personalities is Magnus E. Magpie who haunts Twitter as @YEGMagpie. I invited him to read an advance copy of Corvidae and Scarecrow and offer a short cawmentary on each story from a magpie’s point of view, which he did. When he was finished I asked if there was anything he’d like to ask the contributors. The italicized portions are mine because Magnus didn’t ask straight-forward questions on account of he’s a magpie 🙂

Mr. Yegpie: It would be cool to know where all these stories came from, I mean geographically – like I think I could tell who was from Edmonton and who was from Vancouver! (Where do you live, and did that affect your story/poem at all?) Wyoming, where I lived for almost nine years, probably affected the setting of A Fist Full of Straw.  The strange thing about much of Wyoming is that it’s high desert country with little more than rock, buttes and dry dirt, and yet, in town, everyone has their own little patch of yard surrounded by an old picket fence, within which some grow astonishing gardens.  I could never manage it, myself—the soil eroded away from the bedrock below and never stayed in one place, and I found most plants are far too demanding to thrive in an area where there is no shade, almost no humidity, and what natural soil there is is often so alkaline it emits this salty crust of absolute infertility.  But there they’d be, these master gardeners with their roses and ripe tomatoes, always with a sprinkler going and wide smile, like there was simply nothing to the magic they made.  So I guess that’s where the witch’s garden came from.

Mr. Yegpie: I also would sure love to know where they got their ideas from! I caught several familiar references from existing books and mythology and fairy tales; I like seeing people riff off stuff. (What inspired your story/poem?) There was no single fairy tale that inspired my story, nor any specific character from myth, but witches in general and the tricky nature of life and magic, surely played a big role in A Fist Full of Straw.  But mostly my idea came from feeling quite inhuman myself, and wondering how others might feel if stripped of their humanity, yet still alive and aware.  Both the woman who has grown apart from her role as wife and mother, with a yawning need to find her own, separate identity, and the scarecrow himself are feeling less than human in this story.

Mr. Yegpie: I think I would like to know what people’s favourite corvid is though; and if it isn’t a magpie, WHYEVER NOT?!? (If they come back with some guff about crows using tools, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL SEND THEM A COPY OF MY ROGERS BILL. Pffft, crows.) (What is your favourite corvid?) I’m not sure if I have a favorite corvid, they’re all pretty awesome, but I do remember the first time I saw a black-billed magpie in Wyoming.  With that long, elegant tail, I thought I was seeing a tropical bird!

Kristina Wojtaszek

Kristina Wojtaszek grew up as a woodland sprite and mermaid, playing around the shores of Lake Michigan. At any given time she could be found with live snakes tangled in her hair and worn out shoes filled with sand. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management as an excuse to spend her days lost in the woods with a book in hand. Now a mother of two little tricksters and their menagerie of small beasts, she continues to conjure bits of fantasy during the rare spell of silence. Her fairy tales, ghost stories, poems and YA fiction have been published by World Weaver Press, Far Off Places and Sucker Literary Magazine.  Follow her @KristinaWojtasz or on her blog, Twice Upon a Time.

Scarecrow edited by Rhonda Parrish

Amazon: (CA) (UK) (US)
Kobo: (CA) (US)
Direct From the Publisher: World Weaver Press

Haunted Hospitals

Haunted Hospital, a photograph by Rhonda ParrishI live near a haunted hospital.

No. For realz.

Or, at least I’m told that it’s haunted.

What I know for sure is that I live near an abandoned hospital and I find it completely fascinating. It keeps creeping into my fiction and ever since we’ve moved here I’ve had ‘Write a book about the haunted hospital’ on the little dream project list at the back of my mind. So when I met Mark Leslie at When Words Collide a couple years and learned he wrote ghost story books (Tomes of Terror, Haunted Hamilton, Spooky Sudbury) I couldn’t resist saying, “Ya know… I live near a haunted hospital.”

The rest, as they say, is history.

Mark and I are writing a book about haunted hospitals and if you have a spooky hospital story to share with us, we’d love to hear about it. You can contact me directly (however you prefer — comment, email, social media) or check out our handy dandy form –> Right Here.

We’d love to hear from you 🙂

The Clockwork Crown

My dear friend, Beth Cato, has a new novel out today! The Clockwork Crown is the sequel to The Clockwork Dagger. I had the honour and pleasure of reading the nearly-final version The Clockwork Crown and I can tell you, if you liked The Clockwork Dagger you will love its sequel. Guaranteed.

ClockworkCrown_331x500

Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?

The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.

Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.

Available now!

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Books-A-Million

Sale: The Witch

Plasma Frequency Banner

I’m super stoked to announce that my short story, The Witch, has been accepted for inclusion in a future issue of Plasma Frequency 🙂 Yay!

The Witch is a fun little story (in a twisted sort of way LoL) and, among other things, it includes scarecrows which are pretty dear to my heart right now, so double yay!

I’ll share more details as they develop and am totally looking forward to sharing this story with you too.

Whoot!

Vacation

Hi!

I’m on vacation for the next eleven days or so. I’m decompressing, destressing and recharging my emotional and creative batteries. I’ll be back after the 21st (ish LoL) all renewed, invigorated and ready to go.

See you then!

<3

Rhonda

Interwebz are Bad (for me) Mmk?

Something is wrong with me.

I can’t get anything done these days (and by days I mean months). It’s really bothering me. I feel like I’m wasting my life and, as I bet you can imagine, that’s not a good feeling.

I don’t want to go into a long self-pitying ramble, or play the self-diagnosis/analysis thing here. Those things won’t help me and will only bore you. There is a strong possibility there are a few labels we could plop onto me if I were to talk with a psychologist and I bet they would even be treatable, but there’s another strong possibility. I think the internet is bad for me.

I realise how ridiculous that sounds coming from someone who runs an e-zine, but it’s true.

When I am unplugged I feel focused, centered, relaxed and I get things done.

My samples are somewhat biased by the fact I’m normally only unplugged when I’m on vacation, so I’m going to (unscientifically) test my new ‘The internet is bad for me’ hypothesis over the next few months. I can’t unplug completely (work and wow make sure of that) but I am going to dramaticaly limit my internet access. Seriously.

The network is going to be configured to be down all day but for an hour (except on my raid day). One hour a day of being online*. One hour. Saying it I feel a mixture of dread and excitement.

I’m going to have one hour to check social networking websites, research, look up markets, surf, Flickr, read Niteblade submissions, you name it. Email is something I’ll be able to download and read offline, and compose replies to send when I go online, so that shouldn’t be a problem. However, only having an hour of browser time is going to require a lot of prioritizing on my part. It’s going to be challenging but I think it will largely sort itself out without too much concious thought from me.

Best of all, maybe I’ll be able to focus and actually get stuff written, revised, done. Focus is good — keep your fingers crossed this will help give it back to me.

I’ll let you know how this goes.

As a reward for reading this far, here are some pictures I took yesterday when I went to the U of A campus on a photo safari:

*The network will be on in the evenings but cutting access to an hour during working hours is pretty dramatic. That’s 6 or 7 hours less internet a day.

Tired.

So, I’ve been hacked.

I’ve taken the offensive crap off this site, and tried to import what entries I could from the older version of this blog, but it’s far from done. Alas, I’m tired. Tired down to the bone. I’m going to sleep and I’ll try to fix this more in the morning.

Hackers suck. That is all.