samanthabryant: feeling purple (Default)
 #samanthascenes #saturdayscenes I've been playing around with a short story this week. It's not titled yet, but I'm hoping it will turn out to be a good fit for an anthology +Dave Higgins is putting together (details here: Here's a taste of what I've written so far: 
“CREEPY CLOWN HAUNTS LOCAL PLAYGROUND.” The headline screamed across the page in 20 point gothic font. Maggie snorted. _This hogwash was news? Honestly!_ Across the breakfast table, her husband looked up from his phone. “What?”
Maggie turned her newspaper so he could view the lurid headline. “A little over the top, don’t you think?” 
Her husband reached for the paper and she let him take it, picking up her coffee and taking a sip. It was still a little too hot and burned her upper lip. She touched the sore place with her fingertip. Not too bad. It probably wouldn’t even redden that much. George always did make the coffee superheated. She joked it was because his heart was just that cold. This is what it took to defrost him. 
He was back on his phone now, apparently in an active chat. She sighed, wondering why she bothered to get out of bed to have breakfast with him anymore. It wasn’t like they talked. They might as well be two strangers on the bus. Maybe it would be better when he retired too here in a couple more years. Maybe it would be worse. Time would tell. 
Suddenly, George stood. “I’m going to have to go,” he said, shoving his arms through his suit-jacket sleeves. He knocked his phone onto the floor. 
Maggie glanced at the clock as she moved to pick it up for him. It was still only 6:30. “So early?”
George took a gulp from his still steaming mug, unfazed by the tongue-searing heat. “Things are already on fire over there.” 
Maggie held out the phone, startled to see a group chat labeled “Gleemen.” The last message said, “EMERGENCY. Here. Now.” _What was the man up to?_ 
 George pocketed the device, leaned over and gave her kiss on the cheek, lips still warm from the coffee. “Lunch today?”
Maggie nodded, pulling her bathrobe tight around her. 
As soon as George was out of the house, Maggie went to the bedroom and pulled on her retirement uniform of yoga pants and a voluminous blouse, ran a comb through her gray and brown mop of hair, and grabbed her purse. _What in the world were Gleemen?_ 
Crackpot theories went through her head. She’d heard stories about women her age finding out they’d been living a lie all these years, that their husbands have secret lives they’ve known nothing about. Mistresses. Gay lovers. Shady business ventures. Dark hobbies. She had to know what George was doing. It was the surest way to shut down her hyperactive imagination.
samanthabryant: feeling purple (Default)
 #smileaday A big writing day. 
It's been a while since I spent an entire day at home, able to put a good amount of focus on my writing life. Today, I submitted three short stories, finished another short story, prepared my submission for my critique group and sent it out, made arrangements to attend a convention this summer as an author guest, responded to one of the two mentoring programs I'm participating in, formatted and scheduled the guest post I'm hosting on Wednesday, and responded to a host of emails that have been dangling for a couple of weeks. 
It feels good to feel like I'm on top of things again instead of buried under them. 

buried under the to do list

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On some of my other social media platforms, I share a piece of what I've written each week on #saturdayscenes which is a hashtag some other writer friends use, too. And #samanthascenes because I want my own hashtag :-)

This week was a low fiction week as I had a lot of writing business to handle to prepare for Illogicon, a local sci-fi and fantasy convention. But I did add a couple of hundred words to my current short story. 

This one is called "Bad Luck House" and fits in to a series of stories I've been writing, which I call "The ShadowHill Stories." They are all weird/supernatural tales that take place in a suburban neighborhood much like the one I live in. This one is about a house that can't seem to keep a tenant. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote on it this week: 

Over the next few days, Janet found herself driving by the little house even when it wasn’t on her way anywhere. No one had called yet asking for a showing, and the house was viewing ready, so there wasn’t any reason to go by, but still, once a day or so, she could be found driving slowly around the cul-de-sac, pausing in front of the house, then driving wistfully away. 
She was sitting in her car in front of the house, eating her sandwich and looking up at the small decorative windows near the eaves when someone rapped on her car window. Startled, she set her sandwich back in its wrapper and wiped her hands and face before rolling down the window. 
A short, dark-haired woman wearing a hand-knitted hat even though it wasn’t cold outside smiled at her. “Hey-ya.”
“Hello yourself.” 
“You looking at the house? I’ve seen you here a few times in the past few days.” 
Janet smiled. “I’m Janet, the realtor.”
The woman’s face fell. “Oh. So, you’re not interested? I thought you were maybe a new buyer. It would be really nice to get a good neighbor settled in there. Someone who can stay for a few years.” 
“It does have quite a history, doesn’t it?”
The woman looked at the house. A gentle breeze shook the crepe myrtle in the yard, sending a shower of purple petals glistening through the air. Both women sighed. 
Janet grabbed her keys. “You want to go inside? I’ve got a couple of things to check on and I’d be happy to show you around.”
The woman grinned broadly, as she stepped back to let Janet exit the car. “I’d like that! I haven’t been inside in years. I’m Emily, by the way.” 
“Janet. Come on.” 
The two women walked up the bricked pathway that led off the driveway to the small porch and Janet let them both in. A beam of late morning sunlight glowed on the wall, leaving a flower like pattern of shadow. Janet breathed deeply. Something about this house just made her feel relaxed. She turned to her companion, whose head was on a swivel as she turned around in the room seeming to try to take in all of it at once. “So, you’re one of the neighbors?”
Emily nodded, biting her lip. “I’m across the street. The blue siding with the big porch.” 
“That’s a nice house, too.”
“It suits us.” 
Janet let a silence fall between them. She was feeling rebuffed by Emily’s short answers, after she’d seemed so friendly out on the road. Janet wondered if she’d somehow offended her. Then Emily grabbed her arm. “Can you feel it?”
“Feel what?”
“It’s like a humming, an electricity. I felt it as soon as we walked in.” Emily spoke quickly, in a tense whisper. “It makes my teeth hurt.”
Janet didn’t feel anything at all. She shrugged. “Do you want to look around the upstairs?”
Emily wrapped her arms around herself, shivering even though the house was perfectly comfortable and warm, but she nodded her agreement. 

suburban cottage


samanthabryant: feeling purple (Default)
Samantha J Bryant

March 2019

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