I am so excited I’m actually doing a happy dance. Today is an important day in the lives of myself and a circle of very important people I’ve known for nearly 9 years — people who have had such an impact on me that I can truly say that they’ve not only changed my life, they have played the key role in making me who I am today.
I have in my hand a book. It’s an anthology of Zombie stories published by Living Dead Press called Book of the Dead. Now I don’t write horror, I write primarily paranormal stories. I’m the person who squeezes her eyes shut when she knows the scary part is coming in the horror flick. So why am I so excited about a Zombie anthology?
This book represents so very much. Ten years ago writing was a dirty little secret for me. No one saw my scribblings and I failed to finish anything other than a few angsty poems. Ten years ago my life as I knew it fell into pieces. The most important person in my life, someone who has shared over twelve years with me, loving, living and struggling to find our place in the world, walked out. The words, “I’m not happy,” destroyed my world.
I began picking up the pieces and in the process met the people who would become, not my life or world, but the ingredients that flavored a life that centered on me and not on someone else. If that sounds selfish or vain, you’ve never lost yourself in another—made them your entire reason for being. That is a mistake of youth and one that I sill never make again. Even my son is not my reason for being. He is an individual of his own and will have a life of his own in which I will become a spice that makes his world more palatable.
In that recovery I found my flavorings. My SO, K, has helped me learn so many important life lessons. But this blog isn’t about K, it’s about a group of peoplen who I am proud to call my friends.
One summer, as I was again recovering, this time from a car accident; I came across a website that was dedicated to fanfiction. I had been fascinated with the world that fanfiction was written in and was eager to read more. Much of it was so horrible it could cause nightmares…and has. But the goal of the site was to encourage writing, especially by children. But there was a group of writers, most who worked as staff on the site as I eventually did, who were writing some incredible stories. We found each other and became critique partners, cheerleaders and teachers for one another. Some of us dreamed of being published, others were happy to be readers, others dabbled in writing but —though amazingly talented (yes, Brit, I’m talking about you)—had no interest in being published.
The book I hold in my hand represents a dream come true. My friend, critique partner, cheerleader, teacher and inspiration Jennifer Hudock has seen one of her remarkable stories come into print. She’s worked long and hard for this, and we’ve been there rooting for her all the way. Her achievement is affirmation for all of us.
So, for chills, thrills and some of the spot on best writing you’ve ever seen, check out Book of the Dead: A Zombie Anthology by Living Dead Press and the story Two Weeks by Jennifer Hudock. And while you’re at it, you can enjoy a remarkable poscast novel, Goblin Market, at her website. Six installments are up and I promise you won’t be able to wait for the next chapter.