Monday, December 29, 2014

Reading List: 65 Books to Madness

This year--like every year-- I vowed to read 52 books. I like to have a healthy mix of fiction and poetry, but this year, I wanted to add in some nonfiction, some drama, and most importantly, tons of graphic novels. In fact, this was the year where I sat myself down and said "Stephanie, we're going to accept that we love comics and we're going to jump in and read a bunch this year. No more putting it off." So that's exactly what I did, and I loved it! In fact, I plan on finishing my three favorite series next year: The Sandman, Locke and Key, and Batman: Arkham Unhinged.

Now here is my reading list for 2014--you'll see I beat my yearly goal of 52.
  • My favorite novel was: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie
  • My favorite poetry collection was: The Pleasures of the Damned by Charles Bukowski
Next year, I'm going to vow to read more classic literature and start reading memoirs. We'll see how I do!

1.      Embrace the Hideous Immaculate by Chad Hensley
2.      Orchid Carousals by Lucy A. Snyder
3.      How to be a Wicked Witch: Good Spells, Charms, Potions and Notions for Bad Days by Patricia J. Telesco
4.      The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
5.      Black Box Theater as Abandoned Zoo by Dana Elkun
6.      A Pilgrim’s Guide to Chaos in the Heartland by Jessica Goodfellow
7.      Old Man Scratch by Rio Youers
8.      Down the Road by Lee Blessing
9.      Ink by Damien Walters Grintalis
10.  NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
11.  Ruins of the Heart by Rumi
12.  30 Days of Night, Vol.6: Spreading the Disease by Steve Niles
13.  Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton, Ray Bradbury
14.  We are Three by Rumi
15.  Wilderness by Jim Morrison
16.  Notes from the Cathouse by Jack Ketchum
17.  Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall
18.  The Woman by Jack Ketchum
19.  Female Serial Killers by Peter Vronsky
20.  Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke
21.  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
22.  Barfodder by Rain Graves
23.  The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
24.  Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie
25.  Bird Box by Josh Malerman
26.  The Pleasures of the Damned by Charles Bukowski
27.  Halloween, New Poems edited by Al Sarrantonio
28.  Jabberwocky and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll
29.  Doubt, A Parable by John Patrick Shanley
30.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
31.  Tales of Jack the Ripper edited by Ross E. Lockhart
32.  100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda
33.  The Troop by Nick Cutter
34.  Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
35.  Hot Metal Tonic by Ron Gavalik
36.  Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker
37.  Songs of Ophelia by Theodora Gross
38.  The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
39.  Snowblind by Christopher Golden
40.  The Book of Goodbyes by Jillian Weise
41.  Cosmopolitan Greetings by Allen Ginsberg
42.  The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman
43.  Locke and Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
44.  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
45.  Swam Thing, Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore
46.  Batman: Arkham Asylum- A serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison
47.  Put Your Hands in by Chris Hosea
48.  The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country by Neil Gaiman
49.  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
50.  30 Days of Night, Vol. 7: Eben and Stella by Steve Niles
51.  The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman
52.  Locke and Key, Vol. 2: Head Games by Joe Hill
53.  The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You
54.  Prophets by Peter Adam Salomon
55.  Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
56.  100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello
57.  Lucifer, Vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway by Mike Carey
58.  Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
59.  Batman: Arkham Unhinged, Vol. 3 by Derek Fridolfs
60.  The Tent by Kealan Patrick Burke
61.  Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
62.  Horns by Joe Hill
63.  Batman: Arkham Unhinged, Vol. 2 by Derek Fridolfs
64.  The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
65.  Batman: Arkham Unhinged, Vol. 4. By Derek Fridolfs

Friday, December 26, 2014

BROTHEL: Between the Sheets

Mi Amors,

My current WIP, Brothel, has made me look at relationships in an entirely different light, but most importantly, it's taught me a deep appreciation for love and all that it encompasses. As a result, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite literary quotes about love, and about being in love.

Lust can take the evening off, tonight.

Favorite Quotes:

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”― Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Selected Poems

"He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."                 — Emily Brontë , Wuthering Heights

“And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.”― J.R.R. Tolkien

“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it's these things I'd believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald

"He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest."- W. H. Auden

“If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”― Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“I've never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life.”- Ian McEwan, Atonement

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” ― Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice

"We love the things we love for what they are."— Robert Frost

“You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage.”― Anaïs Nin

And for my favorite:

“Let our scars fall in love.”― Galway Kinnell

Monday, December 22, 2014


Man, 2014.

This year has been one of the craziest, most fucked-up beautiful years of my life, and the more I look back on it, the more I smile, and laugh, and cry. I’ve had quite the adventure this year, making more memories, taking more chances, and breaking more rules than I ever thought I could (or would!), and because I finally decided to step out of my comfort zone, I’ve become one happy girl these days.

Let’s take a look at things:

·         In January, I graduated from Seton Hill University with my MFA in Writing Popular Fiction with a concentration in Horror.
·         I made the final Stoker Award Ballot for HYSTERIA: A COLLECTION OF MADNESS.
·         By April, everything that I trusted in my life fell apart and I had to completely rebuild and reevaluate who I was and what I wanted.
·         I ended up writing an unplanned poetry collection in three weeks, An Exorcism of Angels, to which I sold to Raw Dog Screaming Press.
·         By then, it was May and I needed a serious break. I released my second poetry collection, Mourning Jewelry and then I left the state, traveled to Portland, OR and spent a few days running around the city with some of my best friends and most treasured colleagues.
·         When I came back home, everything shattered again, and because of that, so did I. So I left. I packed my bags, bought a plane ticket, and off I went.
o   I went a little Jack Kerouac this summer and spent about three months in a bohemian tirade.
·         I went to NECON and spent the night in the Lizzie Borden House.
·         I sold my thesis novel, The Eighth, to Dark Regions Press.
·         I moved out and left the place I called home for the past 25 years.
·         I bought my own place.
·         I got a full-time job that I’m in love with.
·         By October, I had become a steady guest at the reading series that happens at Riley’s Pour House once a month (hosted my Lawrence C. Connolly).
·         Arnzen and I battled Nosferatu poems at a Halloween reading in Dormont. Then we hosted a twitter contest for 4 hours called #HAIKUWEEN which was a bloody, wonderful time.
·         I ran around the states some more.
·         Another unplanned poetry collection started to evolve, and I took a step back from the MADHOUSE and opened the BROTHEL instead.
·         I joined the HWA as an active member.
·         I planned out my travel schedule for next year—which includes 2 weeks in Ireland.
·         I attended the first RDSP Writing Retreat. I made new friends, lovely memories, drank more mead than I should have, and sat in a 16 person hot tub after I won Cards Against Humanity and was titled the “worst-person-alive.” Cheers, you silly people. That’s a compliment.
·         I have a #topsecret project cooking with one of my writer gal pals.
·         I read 65 books.
·         I wrote over 300 poems.
·         I got a seriously badass tattoo.
·         And now…I’m writing a memoir.

So some things happened (insert Joker laugh here).

But if I learned anything this year—as both a woman and a writer—it’s that life is too short to be anything but happy. If you don’t like something, change it. If you want to do something, stop being afraid, and just do it.

Life is about taking chances.

Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.

But that’s when we find ourselves, and I’ll be damned if I’m ever going to look back on my life and say “I wonder…” or “What if….”

So buy the ticket.
Take the ride.

The journey is the best part after all.

With Love and Madness,