Monday, December 12, 2022

Open Book: Where I Live

Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.

Dec 12, 2022 Tell us about something local to where you live. Have you ever made it part of your stories?


I live in a pretty standard American housing development. Neither the poshest nor the most rundown, with about 4 varying house designs from the 1990s throughout most of the neighborhood. We call our house "Sunshine House" because it has yellow siding and large windows that admit a lot of sunlight. 

So far, Sunshine House and the neighborhood she's found in have not made it into any of my novels, but I do have a set of short stories I'm planning to release in 2023 that take place in "Shadow Hill" which is definitely a version of my neighborhood and some of its denizens. 

They are weird tales, and I've really enjoyed writing them. It's fun to imagine less mundane backgrounds for the very mundane happenings of my neighborhood: 

A few of them have been published, so you could check them out now if you're interested! 

Lawn Wars was the first to be published, first in a magazine, and then in an anthology of works from that same magazine. I wrote it because my across-the-street neighbors were obsessive about mowing their lawn…in real life, they probably just were a little bored in retirement. In my story, the reasons are a little more sinister. 

The Girl in the Pool, my daylight ghost story, came about because another neighbor has a swimming pool that mostly sits empty and I enjoyed imagining why that might be. Prospective Press published it in one of their Off the Beaten Path paranormal anthologies. 

The Mind Plays Tricks appeared in Dark Recesses, an online magazine, earlier this year. You can read it on the site (no purchase necessary). I saw a couple of women walking together one day, and put it together with some of my musings about whether I was seeing things or not seeing things and ended up with a tale about the nature of reality that really pleased me. Luisa is one of my favorite characters. I might revisit her story someday and write more for her. 

Margaret Lets Her Self Go has been published twice. Once by Hinnom Magazine and again in an anthology from Abstruse Press: Outsiders Within. That one really came out word play: herself vs. her self (the space makes a difference), and surprised when it became a bit of cosmic horror that questions what is real and what isn't. 

Others in the collection haven't been published so far, so I look forward to getting them into the hands of readers. I'm hoping to make this my next project after I turn in the fifth and final novel in the Menopausal Superheroes series to the publisher. 

I'm not sure how the HOA will feel about Late Bloomer which suggests that there might be something paranormal going on at those board meetings. Maybe the H stands for Hecate, instead of Home. 

It's fun, though, and I expect I will write other Shadow Hill stories in the future. I enjoy the intersection of the domestic and mundane with the otherworldly and strange. 

(check out the other posts in this blog hop via the link below): 

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  1. Local happenings are a great source of inspiration, especially if you can dress them up and give them a twist.

  2. I love the play on words for "Margaret Lets Her Self Go!"

  3. Sounds like great fun stories. I laughed at the HOA reference.