So here’s how I did on my writing goals for 2017:
Publish Daughters of Shadow and Blood – Book III
- Audiobooks for Yasamin and Elena
- Edit YA alternate history fantasy novel
- Write at least two novellas in a new Southern Gothic series
- New Serbian Bureau of Strange Occurrences short stories (or maybe a novella)
- New Yasamin short stories
- More linked stories in the vein of The Big Bad and The Big Bad II.
Overall not great, but I did manage to get one novella written in my new series Dreadful Penny, a ’70s noir/urban fantasy/Southern Gothic mashup. I’m really excited about that one. Look for it in early March! As for the rest, hope springs eternal.
I’d also like to blog more. So if anyone had any ideas about what they’d like to see me ramble about, let me know! Better get to work.
We are in The Clearing. The trees stop in a uniform oval where nothing grows and where, since official records began, nothing has grown. “Once when I came here,” says Alex, our guide, “I found 60 people from Bucharest trying to open a gate into another dimension.”
I set a significant scene in Daughters of Shadow and Blood here.
Courtesy of The Independent.
Rocking my bike from side to side, I crested the final rise and the landscape opened out before me. A high-altitude meadow freckled with cows rolled down into a shallow bowl surrounded by savagely contorted, parallel slabs of limestone sticking straight up from the earth. Beyond was 2,523-metre Bobotov Kuk, the highest point in Montenegro’s wondrous Unesco-listed Durmitor national park. Behind me were yet more staggering views, across glacial lakes to rows of mountain peaks, deep river gorges and pine forests populated by wild cats, bears and wolves.
Courtesy of The Guardian.
Today’s pop-culture landscape is rotten with stories about melodramatic, brooding vampires and their supernatural love affairs. But back in the 1960s and ’70s, those narratives belonged almost exclusively to the soap opera Dark Shadows. Near the end of its run, the series had become such an institution that it spawned a pair of Dark Shadows feature films (not to be confused with the 2012 Johnny Depp reboot), and to promote them, the producers staged what might have been the first ever nationwide spooky beauty pageants.
Courtesy of Atlas Obscura.
Romanian friends told us this area of medieval villages and fortified churches had little to do with the fiction of “Dracula,” yet the night was turning into a vampirish cliché. In his 1897 novel, the Irish writer Bram Stoker described the Carpathian pass as “an imaginative whirlpool” where every known superstition gathered. I saw how he might get that idea.
Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
Although most Americans spend Halloween dressing up and trick-or-treating, other countries have their own celebratory rituals. Here are 12 Halloween (and Halloween-like) traditions from around the world.
Courtesy of Mental Floss.
October 13 is the second ill-fated Friday to fall in 2017. And while January the 13th wasn’t especially sinister, it seems that no matter how many such moments pass us by, the dreaded day continues to inspire unease and fears of misfortune.
Courtesy of National Geographic.
Thodoris Nikolaou has spent the last three years — and counting — crisscrossing the Balkan Peninsula to create a visual mosaic of the region’s people and their stories. But for Mr. Nikolaou, the project, called “…Balkaniotheque” and sponsored by the Onassis Foundation, became more than a multifaceted look at the region. It has been a search for his very identity.
Courtesy of the New York Times.