Lessons I’ve Forgotten (and You Probably Have Too)-Part 1


I read to my daughter every night. I’ve done this since she was a baby. It was really awkward at first and I would read as quietly as I could. For whatever reason, I thought I would be laughed at. I eventually got over this.

I am decently selective in what I will read. I have my childhood favorites, most people do, so when she started preschool, I noticed they were reading newer books. I wanted my child to learn a love for the classics (a little bit in hopes that they wouldn’t bore her in high school), so I started picking out specific books. Grimm fairy tales, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Berenstain Bears, Shel Silverstein, Little Golden Books, and others that I can’t think of right now. Last spring I had bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the illustrated version, because I love that series and she showed a huge interest in the story. Got as far as the snake at the zoo and we were done. I think it scared her too much when it escaped. That was the only dud I’ve run into and I can proudly say that my daughter loves good books and was able to see the magic in Dahl and the hilarity in Silverstein. What I hadn’t expected was what I found.

Children’s books are filled with lessons. We all know this, it’s nothing new to us. But how many of us can honestly say that the stories we loved as children, have stuck with us through time?

The Fantastic Mr. Fox was the first Dahl book I read to her. She loved it. She raved to everyone she knew about how good the book was. She was only 4 at the time and I feel compelled to remind everyone that Dahl books are chapter books that don’t have a whole lot of pictures. It took us a few days to get through, but when we were done, she begged me to start over. I didn’t though. We had borrowed about 6 books from the library…again. And my mouth needed to re-hydrate. But it did get my wheels turning. I didn’t catch anything other than humor from that book, but I did get to thinking about more chapter books. My daughter, in a way, challenged me to give her something other than brightly colored story pages.

And then The BFG hit theaters.

The BFG was absolutely, by far, my favorite book when I was a kid. Other than that book, The Witches (also by Dahl), Harry Potter, and the Fear Street books, I can’t remember loving any other books nearly as much as these favorites.

I wanted to take her to see that movie so bad. I wanted to share that love with her.

Her dad beat me to it, and I didn’t know until well after the fact. I was crushed. But I had something he didn’t. I had the book.

I have a couple of small boxes of the books I owned as a kid. Now, I was by no means a gentle kid when it came to my things, but my kid is worse. It took a long time for me to get her to stop ripping and coloring on her books. So there was no way I was going to give her this one. But I still wanted to read it to her.

Thanks to the movie, all of Dahl’s more famous books are in print again. I bought The Fantastic Mr. Fox (we borrowed it before), The Witches, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The BFG. You would not believe the amount of money I have invested in books during my adult life. I was so excited and so was she.

As soon as nighttime came, I tucked her in and pulled out The BFG. Normally I let her choose what she wants to hear, but not this time. I wanted to be a kid again and fall into giant country head first. It took us about two weeks to read it. It’s lengthier than Mr. Fox, so I did lose her a few times during slightly heavy scene setting, but I usually had her attention.

She loves to ask questions, she’s very curious. A lot of ‘why’s’ and ‘what does that means?’s. To be honest, when I’m tired, her constant questioning annoys me, but I try my best not to let it show. At first, her questions were ruining the experience for me. I was having to remind myself that the movie is never just like the book and she was probably hearing bits that she didn’t see. After a short bit though, I learned something.

She was learning magic. The story was creating an entirely brand new world to her where precocious children with glasses like her were learning how to be brave and smart and kind and everything else we all want our children to be. A world where the scary-looking weren’t necessarily the ‘bad guy’ and where the ‘dumb sounding’ weren’t necessarily the least intelligent. A world where kindness and hard work almost always pay off, but is still worth it in the end. She was learning, in a way, lessons that I have forgotten as I’ve gotten older.

And I’m willing to bet some of you have too. Denial won’t get you anywhere either. You have to be truthful with yourself.

With story magic comes questions.

“Mommy, why did the BFG take her?”

“Mommy, what’s an orphan?”

“Mommy, where’s London?”


The questions never ended. But she was learning. I explained what an orphan was (I explained foster families the other day, she has a foster child in her class), I told her where London was and explained how big the world is, and I had to tell her, again, that there are people in this world who are just plain mean and cruel. I hate that I have to teach her that horrible people exist, but I would much rather frighten her, than lose her forever. She’s far more accustomed to that conversation than I am, I always tear up.

During the whole book, she asked questions, we laughed, and we hung to edge of our seats. And when it was over, she asked me to read it again. But I didn’t. I wanted to share more with her.

You see, after the initial onslaught of questions and my first thoughts of upset with how the reading was going, I found another kind of magic in the book.

I found the gift of sharing the magic. With children’s picture books, I just read words while I hold up the book for her to see the pictures and hope she gets the moral of the story. It’s usually not very fun for me if the story doesn’t contain any humor. This book was different. She didn’t have colorful pictures for her imagination to fall back on and the lesson in the story is more complex.

Reality shows her how life is, these books show her how it could be, and I get to be the one to show her the possibilities.

So, no, I didn’t get to get lost in giant country, but I got to watch my child make friends with a big friendly giant.

“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”

– Roald Dahl, The BFG

Come back next week for part 2!

Quarterly Goals for the Fourth Quarter

I didn’t post a story about sirens. I sat down to write something, and couldn’t think of any plot lines that I liked. So no siren story. That’s okay though. October is here! Which means we’re in a new quarter for the year. Woo!

My third quarter goals:

  • Finish rough draft…… nope. I think I can safely leave this at that and just hang my head in shame.
  • Join a writing community. I technically did this, but I never get on. I don’t know if a writing community itself is the right fit for me due to time alone, but I did make a new writer buddy (hi Valarie!) so I’m counting this as a win. Yay!
  • Join Patreon. I joined, but I haven’t launched anything. I am having such a hard time filling out the stuff. And they encourage videos. Cue the anxiety. I will eventually do this…. when I figure out how to talk about myself without feeling like I sound arrogant.
  • Find an editor. Still haven’t done this. And it’s not going to be on my list for this quarter either. Maybe I’ll look while I’m in the beta reader phase.
  • Create a book club on Goodreads. Didn’t do this either. I’m not so sure I will either. At least not yet.

My goals for this quarter:

  • Finish rough draft. Because of the holidays (and my track record), I’m not positive I’ll be able to do this. This quarter is going to be hectic.
  • Send stuff to my critique partner. Heyyy buddyyyy! :}
  • Finish Patreon. Going to have to just do this. Maybe I’ll work on it when I’m done with this. 

That’s it. I’m going to be too busy with the holidays to do more than that. I have crochet projects planned for Christmas presents so I’m probably already overloaded. Ha!

I’ll blog you next time!

Monster Monday – Qalupalik


Origin: Inuit

Appearance: The Qalupalik is described as being human-like with green skin, ling hair, and long claw-like fingernails. Qalupalik wears an amautit and lives under the icy waters.

This monster is the type parents use to keep their children from wandering. It’s similar to stranger danger, if you think about it. The Qalupalik hums as disobedient children near their hideout to lure them in. Once they are within reach, it lunges out of the water, grabs the child, throws them in the amautit, and brings them back to their water dwelling. I didn’t find anything that stated that they ate the children, but I did find a source that said the children were kept asleep and the Qalupalik used their youth to stay young itself.

There really isn’t a whole lot on this monster in general, not even in books and television. But the information that is on it is enough to create a slew of fun stories to scare the pants off of someone.

Want to see a certain monster featured in my Monster Monday? Or want to see a flash fiction piece done on one? Just let me know in the comments!


Image: http://warriorsofmyth.wikia.com/wiki/File:3-female-Qalupalik.jpg


Evil Inuit Mermaid – Qalupalik


Monster Monday – Sirens

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had life going on. This week’s Monster Monday isn’t so much a monster and a mythical creature. Although, I would argue that they could be monsters because only Odysseus and his small crew survived the sight of them.

Oh, Odysseus, you arrogant cheat, you.


Origin: Greek mythology. Depending on who you are reading, the stories of the sirens changes. To Ovid, the Sirens were given wings by Demeter to aid in the search of Persephone when she was abducted. The Fabulae of Hyginus shows that Demeter cursed the Sirens with wings for not intervening in Persephone’s abduction. However, no matter what story you read, these beautiful creatures live on small islands surrounding by lethal cliffs and rocks and they sing to a sailor’s heart so that he may draw close and drown. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus orders his men to tie him to the mast and plug their own ears with beeswax. He wanted to boast that he was the only man to have ever heard their call and survive the attack, and, obviously, he didn’t want his crew to hear and kill them all. If I remember right, some of them didn’t do a very good job and jumped into the water anyways. If you haven’t read Homer’s Odyssey, I highly recommend that you do.
Appearance: Sirens are not mermaids, though many depictions through paintings and the word will combine them, not that I’m complaining. The Sirens are a combination of woman and bird. Most paintings show them as women only, but the earliest editions show them as half bird, half woman. There are usually only two or three of them as well, so good luck randomly running into one.
I chose Sirens this week because it seems like they exist only to kill. They don’t search for love or peace or happiness. They kill. I love them.
In my imagination, they are curvy, naked women with voices of velvet. They are able to swim through water as slick as an otter and change into birds at will. They torment men by becoming half breeds; sharp lips, piercing black eyes, feathered hair, enormous wings, and clawed feet and hands. They shred the skin from the limbs of men, peck their eyes out, and rip out their tongues as they scream.
If you want to watch/read more on the Sirens, you have plenty of options. The Odyssey by Homer. Argonautica by Apollonius Rhodius. The Silence of the Sirens by Franz Kafka. Metamorphoses V by Ovid. Anywhere on the internet. And I swear they made an appearance in the cartoon movie Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. (I love that movie).
Come back tomorrow for a short piece on Sirens. (I haven’t written it yet so I don’t know how long it’s going to be).

All About That Genre

See what I did there? See it? I am so proud of myself. Hi. My name is Krysteen. I’m a writeaholic and I sometimes make bad jokes. It’s been 30 days since my last meeting and I…

Seriously though. Genre is the base, well part of the base, of writing. If you don’t know what category your piece of gloriously crafted fiction falls under, then how the hell are you going to market it? How do you expect anyone to find, buy, read, and pass on your clever and brightly colored Cthulhu fanfic if you don’t know to label it as horror? No one. That’s who. And you will die penniless.

To be fair, even if you’re the next Rowling and your genres are on point, you could still die penniless. Look at Poe. Poor bastard had no idea we all would love him so much. *sigh*

But are genres the be all and end all of fiction? Do you need to know that your future manuscript is going to fall under fantasy romance adventure before you’re even done with the outline? Even when your done, are you going to know exactly which categories best suits what you’ve create?

Not necessarily. Genre is important and can sometimes be the difference between low sales and best sellers, but they aren’t needed in the very early stages of your writing, so don’t stress it too much. You’ve got time and you have options. For example, when I first started envisioning Bugs and outlining it, I thought it was going to be pure horror and nothing else. But now that I’m halfway through it and I completely redid the outline, I’m not so sure. It’s still horror, but it’s also a thriller, a suspense, and some might even say paranormal but I will probably never label it as such.

Ok. So picking my genre isn’t important if I’m still starting out, but what if I still can’t pick just one when it’s all done? Well, writing a novel takes quite a bit of time to do and I’m not even talking about all the rewrites, the beta reading, editing, and finding a publisher (if you go traditional), so you still have a lot of time to figure it all out. But if you can’t, refer to your beta readers. A simple ‘do you feel that this is a romance or do you think it’s more of a mystery?’ will work. And they may surprise you, it may be both! If you have written a murder mystery that needs to be solved by a duo that happen to fall in love, or already were in love, then you very well may have written a romantic mystery. A mixture of genres can actually help you when it comes to being discovered.

You could also have the complete opposite problem where your plot is a mixture of several genres and then you have a few subplots that bring their own baggage. First off, drop the subplot genres. They’re not the focus of the story so they shouldn’t be the focus of your marketing. So that leaves your plot. If it falls under, romance, mystery, thriller, suspense, and a little bit of horror, you kind of need to narrow it down. No one wants to surf through the horror genre and end up with something that has more face kissing than blood dripping. Focus on your main plot points and decide which ones reign over the others. If you have trouble with this, again, refer to your beta readers. They can, and will, help you out a lot. Critique partners are good to have too.

Now the big[gish] question. If my first MS is horror, am I stuck to that genre forever? I’ve personally been struggling with this one. The short answer to this is, no. The long answer is, it’s a little more complicated than no. Here’s how I feel about it, and I doubt I’m the only one. My first MS, Bugs, is horror. But I also have plans for more horror, fantasy, and some that I can’t even pick genres for. Some of these non horror plans I’m actually pretty excited for and I can’t wait to write them. But I’ve been marketing as horror, because that’s what I’m currently writing. What if I’m creating a following of just horror lovers? Do I need to start over when I write the fantasy? I sure hope not. I know that several authors write in several genres and do it successfully, but it still worries me. Nora Roberts is well known for her romances, but she also writes mystery under the pen name J.D. Robb. Sure a pen name would work and certainly help make it distinguishable for my readers, but that’s also a lot more work. That seems to me to be double the work, new social media accounts, different websites, different followers, different everything. Plus, I don’t want to have a pen name. I guess with this, I’ll just have to find out for myself what will work best.

Do you have problems with picking a genre either because you have too many options or not enough? Do you have experience with writing in several genres and the marketing problems that come with it? Let me know in the comments!

Monster Monday – The Jabberwock

I’m just going to outright state, I freaking love the Wonderland universe. Every single aspect of it. It’s all amazing and nonsensical. And that is one reason why I chose the Jabberwock as the monster for this Monster Monday. I know I didn’t do my mythical creature last Monday. The Friday before, I found out that I had an interview the following Wednesday for a promotion I had applied for and I spent my entire three days off preparing for it. So, no blog post.



Origin: The Jabberwock came from the brilliant (though slightly twisted) mind of Lewis Carroll, or the man who wrote Alice in Wonderland, though that was not where if first appeared. The first stanza of the poem was written in 1855 when Carroll was still a child; he published it in a periodical of his own making for his family. The rest of the poem was written while he was staying with some relatives in Whitburn (near Sunderland on the coast of North East England). This, of course, was later included in his sequel to Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.

Appearance: The Jabberwock isn’t ever really physically described in the poem, his terrific level of fearsome is described. But he does have a look. The illustration of The Jabberwock was the work of John Tenniel. It is believed that his illustration reflects the Victorian times’ obsessive focus on natural history, paleontology, and geology; both of the later were making giant leaps of progress in the sciences at that time.

So why The Jabberwock? To this I say, why NOT The Jabberwock. Look at him. He’s large (far larger than any young girl according to the illustration), he has claws for feet and hands, he has a long tail (while not really purposeful, it’s still impressive), I highly doubt his skin is soft, his teeth are large and something to avoid, a long ass neck, bulging eyes, and little bit of ugly looking hair/fur. And on top of all that, the fucker flies. You can’t even outrun him. Oh, and by the way, you have to use the vorpal sword to kill him. Good luck finding that in your adventures in a land that makes no sense.

I mentioned that I love the Wonderland Universe in the begging, so it only makes sense that I list some of my favorite Wonderland books. I do need to say I’m quite picky when it comes to these because they tend to fall into the YA category. I’m not adverse to the genre itself, but I do tread carefully because I could care less about characters with empty heads who are only concerned about themselves and which boy to love (Twilight, I’m looking at you). Click on any of the pictures to go to the book’s listing on amazon.com (yes, they’re affiliate links).

Splintered by A. G. Howard

This is the 1st book in the Splintered series. I have read all three full sized novels in the series, but I have not had the chance to read the companion novel yet. I know that I said that I don’t like love triangles, and I meant it, but this series does have one. The only reason I found it tolerable is because Alyssa (a descendant of Alice) never wavers in her opinion on which man she loves, but she does have a responsibility to Wonderland and the other main guy is more like a ‘have-to’ than a ‘want-to’, although it could be argued that he falls under both. Either way, I love how Howard wraps up this little love complication in the last book. You’ll have to read it yourself, seriously, READ IT. I loved this series from start to finish. Plus, she creates artwork with the dead bodies of insects and her own blood. She’s only a little messed up.

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

Also a series. Now, I have to admit, I have not read this…. yet. But I did just buy it yesterday; halfway because of the cover (isn’t it pretty?!). So instead of posting my opinion on it, because I don’t have one, I’ll post the publisher’s summary. (Pssst, Oakes did a Peter Pan book on Wendy too!)

The first novel in Colleen Oakes’s epic, imaginative series tells the origin of one of the most infamous villains—the Queen of Hearts.

This is not the story of the Wonderland we know. Alice has not fallen down a rabbit hole. This is a Wonderland where beneath each smile lies a secret, each tart comes with a demand, and only prisoners tell the truth.

Dinah is the princess who will one day reign over Wonderland. She has not yet seen the dark depths of her kingdom; she longs only for her father’s approval and a future with the boy she loves. But when a betrayal breaks her heart and threatens her throne, she is launched into Wonderland’s dangerous political game. Dinah must stay one step ahead of her cunning enemies or she’ll lose not just the crown but her head.

*I don’t care for the fact that the MC’s name is Dinah; Dinah was the cat in the movie, you can’t do that. *angry glare*

Insanity by Cameron Jace

This is the first book a series as well (almost every book these days has a place in a series). And I haven’t read this one either, though it’s been on my TBR list since I first read Splintered. Summary!

After accidentally killing everyone in a bus accident, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum in Oxford. No one doubts her insanity. All but a hookah-smoking professor who believes otherwise.

Professor Carter Pillar believes he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and finding Wonderland’s real location. He persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals.

In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford University student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that ‘nonsense’ is an actual science.

References for The Jabberwock:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabberwocky There is some pretty awesome stuff said by Carroll in here


http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/jabber/jabberwocky.html This is the poem

My Halloween Story

halloween-ghost-clip-artSo this story isn’t really about Halloween. It’s not even stated that it’s set in that time of year. But I have called it this because of when I was written and “published”. So when I started high school at the ripe age of 13 (my high school started with 8th grade), I decided to join the school newspaper called 20/40. For the Halloween/October issue, I wrote a scary story called “Who’s Following Me?”. Now, to age myself a little bit, I either wrote this before the invention of flash drives or when they had just started coming out and were so expensive only CEO’s could afford them. Either way, I didn’t have a digital copy of it anywhere, so I had to type it out. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO NOT EDIT SOMETHING SO BAD? Very difficult…. in case you didn’t know that (I did zero editing or rewriting). So, for this weeks post, I am going to show everyone just how bad I was 14 years ago. Spoiler alert: the only horror in this story is the grammar, structure, plot, character depth, and word choices.

Good luck!

*Interesting fact, according to a poll also published in this issue, in my school in 2002, Haunted Hill was the most popular scary movie followed closely by The Ring. Fatal Attraction got one vote by the principal.


Who’s Following Me?


Sarah-Marie hurried to get her house keys.

“Where are they!?” She looked in her purse, again. Not there. She ran upstairs, knowing that the bus had just turned on the block. She ran in her room and started looking frantically. Nowhere. Where could they be? She thought as she heard the bus honk hurriedly out front. Oh yeah. Now I remember. They’re in the key cupboard. She thought angrily to herself. How can I be so stupid?!

She quickly poked her head out front and yelled out to the bus, “I’m coming1 Just let me lock the doors.” She ran back to the door, pushed it aside, and grabbed the keys from the hook. She grabbed her school things and dashed to the front door. She hurriedly tried to lock the door which she could have done if she was patient. She calmed down and locked the door, but just as she turned around she thought she heard a creak on the porch just behind her. She turned around hoping she hadn’t accidentally let out her cat Fifi. Weird, she thought. She had started to think what could have made such a sound when somewhere in the distance in the back of her head came the sound of the school bus honking loudly. She turned around slowly. Then she ran to the bus as quick as a flash when she had gotten back to her senses. She sat with her friend Jane on the bus.

“What took you so long?” Jane asked Sarah-Marie awkwardly. “I couldn’t find the keys.” Sarah replied. Jane went on as though why her friend couldn’t find her keys was so important to hold up the entire bus.

“Oh. Well anyways…”


“Sarah-Marie will you pay attention!” Snapped Sarah’s English teacher. Sarah had been busy day dreaming about the ford she was going to get in just two weeks. “Now as I was saying,” droned on her teacher. “Your essay is to be exactly four pages long. You can type it if you want, but the font can’t be any bigger than 12 and it has to be double-spaced.”

The class groaned at the very thought. How in the world could she get her paper done if its 12 font and four pages long?!


“Sarah hurry up!” Urged her boyfriend, Allen.

“Ok… done!” Replied Sarah after a moments second or two. Ding, ding, ding. The Riverside High School bell rang. Sarah and Allen walked out of the school talking about the car Sarah was going to get in just a couple weeks.

“Blue or red?” Allen asked Sarah.

“Uh… blue.” Replied Sarah. They got into Rick’s, Allen’s brother, car.


“Bye Sarah. See you tomorrow.” Allen gave his girlfriend a kiss on the cheek.

“Boy I can’t wait until you get over your cold!” groaned Sarah. “Well, bye.” She slowly got out of the car hoping her boyfriend would pull her back in, but he didn’t.

As she walked to the house, she fumbled for her keys in her bag. She looked to see if there were any messages on the answering machine. When she pushed the play button, all it said was “No messages.”

Why are all the clocks flashing? Sarah thought mysteriously. The power must have gone out. She headed for the kitchen. Was that a creak I heard? She thought to herself. She entered the dark, clustered kitchen. Are those footsteps in the hall? Sarah thought as she spun around to see if her parents were home. No one. She shrugged as she sat down in her chair at the bar.

She had just started her math homework when she felt a chill run down her back. She looked at the window. It’s not even open! She started to panic. She shook her head and told herself to get real and to get working on her homework. Just as she got to number 5 on her math homework, her cat Fifi, leaped in her lap and started rubbing her back against Sarah’s stomach. “Hey Fifi!” Her cat purred as she rubbed Fifi’s belly with her forefingers. She finished her homework, then ran upstairs to call Jane.

“But Jane it was weird!” Sarah said to her friend frantically.

“I know Sarah, but you could have imagined it!” Jane yelled back to her friend.

“Do YOU think I’m going crazy?” Sarah had barely gotten the words out of her mouth when she heard a creak loud enough for the neighbors could have heard it. And if they could hear it then her friend most certainly would. “Did you hear that?!” shrieked Sarah.

“No,” Jane replied slowly.

Later on, when Sarah was lying in her bed, she kept on hearing the loud creak that she had heard when she was on the phone with Jane, and the curious response when she asked Jane if she had heard it. She got out of bed in her overlarge T-shirt and her flannel pajama bottoms. Sarah quietly crept down the stairs and went into the kitchen for some water and crackers. As she sat down into one of the spindly chairs she heard a whisper in her ear. It was as cold as ice and it chilled her body as though she had stepped into a large freezer. She ran out of the kitchen. She ran out of the house knowing that the culprit was right behind her. She had had enough. She was going to the police and see if he followed, and if he didn’t, she would just tell them that someone wouldn’t leave her alone.

Sarah decided to take a shortcut though the alley, and turned left. In case he doesn’t follow, I need to see his face so I can describe him to them. She turned around as she thought this. No one was there. She slowed down until she stopped. Then what made her run again frightened her so much she couldn’t move for a moments flash. She heard footsteps pounding loudly on the concrete, but didn’t hear two sets of them. She turned her head for a second to manage to get a glimpse of him. Still no one. She had finally gotten to the police station.

“May we help you?” asked the officer behind the desk.

“Someone….. keeps…. Following….. me,” Sarah replied, only able to get one word out of her pale lips with every breath she took.

“Who?” asked the officer, looking around her to see whom.

“I don’t know, but someone.” Sarah explained to him like she couldn’t understand why he didn’t believe her.

“Look kid, it’s not funny to make it look and sound like someone’s following you.” he told her furiously in his southern accent.

“But there is someone!” she replied angrily at the officer, shaking her head.

“Hey maybe I can give you a ride home,” the officer said, with a look of sympathy in his eyes.

Sarah thought about it. “Ok,” she said after a while.

“So no one was following you?” Jane asked her the next day at school.

“That’s what he said.” Sarah replied, satisfied.

Just as when she was going to get onto her bus, she heard a voice.

Hello Sarah!

Hunger – Wendigo Writing Prompt

Her stomach grumbled at her as she walked through the haunted wood. The snow fell softly on the treetops before landing on the ground with a hush. It had been three days since her beloved Robert had left her to find some food. The wildlife had always been sparse, but this winter had been particularly barren. They hadn’t even seen any owls flying overhead during the frozen nights. It had been three long cold nights without him. Three excruciating hungry nights.

With every step she took in the heavy snow, she mentally kicked herself for not following him that night. She could have walked in his footprints then. Now she wouldn’t know it if she was going in circles or not. Pulling her cloak tighter around herself, she wrapped her arms around her middle. Her hand clutched her only weapon, a spear, and wished for it the ache to end. She pulled her head down and watched her drenched skirt push through the sparkling snow.

The shadows of the trees seemed to loom over here, from protection or as a threat she knew not. The moon was almost invisible that night, the small spurts of light called for aid from the pure white snow.

Without warning, her skin pimpled, her hair stood up, and her shoulders tightened. She halted and snapped her head up. A sudden fear of something sinister came over her. The shadows stretched their fingers into the darkness until everything blurred together. Her breath caught in her chest, a small frozen cloud wrapping around the last puff. She was tense and afraid, but knew she needed to turn around. With caution, she spun in a circle.

Nothing. Her eyes met more snow and darkness. The emptiness did nothing to calm her down. Her ears perked, her breathing quickened. Her eyes darted around, looking for anything that might be there. She still saw nothing, but her gaze kept going back to the far spot in the dark where the emptiness seemed greatest. She stared at it for an eternity.

She was certain something was there.

She was certain she was being watched.

Her foot hesitated forward. Her fearful curiosity seemed to be getting a firm hold on her. Before she could complete the step, a small emaciated rabbit darted in front of her, his wild eyes not seeing her. With the skill of a long time huntress, she hurled her spear and struck him dead through one of his twitching ears.

Forgetting herself for a moment, she grabbed the rabbit by the middle, and tore her teeth into his fur, vigorously ripping tufts of it off  before getting to the small amount of meat he had to offer.

Tossing the carcass aside, she continued on her original path, licking her fingers clean. She continued to lick her lips as she once again wrapped her arms around her waist, her spear now bloody. The shadows seemed to go on for forever, stretching far ahead of her, almost as if they were leading her in a certain direction.

Her stomach grumbled again, louder this time. The rabbit may not have had much meat on it, but it did nothing to appease her hunger. It even seemed worse. Tears began to streak down her face. She was just so hungry. Her thoughts no longer dwelt on her missing husband, she only cared about finding food.

She kept her eyes searching the dark as she trudged on, looking for anything else to eat. Berries. Another rabbit. She even briefly wished for another human to just appear. She needed to eat before the snow buried her own corpse.

She walked on into the far reaching shadows, the fear on her back getting closer. The snow had stopped falling now but the silence that came with it became deafening. She could hardly bear it.

She hated it. The nothingness that pounded her ears. The frozen tips of her fingers and toes. The hunger in her stomach. Her knees began to buckle. Moans escaped from somewhere deep inside her.

She needed to eat now.

Far off to her left she heard it.

It was only small at first, but her ears picked it up right away.

It was a glorious sound. Curious, but glorious. It sounded to her like something was being eaten. She could hear the small grind of tooth on tooth. She could faintly smell the blood of a fresh kill. She could taste it all on her tongue.

Forcing herself to her feet, she ignored everything that had been driving her forward and headed toward the curiosity. She stumbled over hidden roots and her hunger pains, though not taking notice of her struggles. She could only hear the chewing. She could only imagine the feast. She only cared about eating.

She soon entered a tiny clearing directly under the moonlight’s path. She froze in her tracks, hardly daring to believe what she was witnessing.

A creature. One she had only heard about from the natives.

He stood an easy ten, maybe fifteen, feet high. She could easily count every single one of his bones through his deathly skin. He had antlers like the devil himself coming out of his head. She watched him as his long claw-like fingers tore into the limbs of an unfortunate wanderer. She watched as he feasted on the succulent meat.

Cautiously, not wanting to anger him, she crouched down and approached him. As she drew level with him, he turned his head slowly to peer at her, his mouth still dripping scarlet blood. She gazed back into his glowing eyes and felt her fear vanish.

They stood there looking at the other, not recognizing each other in appearance, but knowing each other in spirit. Without a word, he turned his attention back to his meal. She followed suit and tore into a meaty forearm with her teeth. She groaned as she eagerly ground the flesh with her teeth and tongue. Her skin prickled with renewed warmth as satisfaction overcame her. It was by far the most tender meat she had ever had.

A small part of her nudged her memory as she glanced at the wanderer’s face. Regret never crossed her mind. She was hungry and he was already dead. Every bite brought her bliss, but it still did not appease her hunger.

She never stopped. After the arm was part of the stomach. Then a thigh. Toes provided little meat. As she ate, a pain developed in her head.

Her hair shifted as they began to push through her skull.

Her skin cooled down and began to fade to a deathly shade.

Her body seemed to stretch taller.

Her vision became brighter.

Her fingers lengthened as they became sharp.

She ate and ate until there were only bones and rags left. She turned to her companion, licking her fingers clean, and found that she was now at eye level. None of this seemed strange to her.

Reaching out, she wove her fingers in his, and together they set off into the long shadows, using their noses and their stomachs as a guide. She was hungry again.

Monster Monday

So I’m going to try something new. Monster Mondays! Well, every other Monday will be Monster Monday, the other Mondays will be Mythical Creature Monday. That doesn’t flow as much, but there are creatures that I would like to talk about that might not necessarily fall in the category of monsters (but lets face it, Sirens can be pretty scary under the right context).


Isn’t he cute?! This one was my favorite in Google search. Picture originally came from myth-weavers.com


Alternate names: Wiindigoo, Wendigo, Weendigo, Windego, Wiindgoo, Windgo, Weendigo, Wiindigoo, Windago, Windiga, Wendego, Windagoo, Widjigo, Wiijigoo, Wijigo, Weejigo, Widjigo, Wintigo, Wentigo, Wehndigo, Wentiko, Windgoe, Windgo, and Wintsigo. (whew)

Location: Northern United States and Canada, namely the Great Lake Region. Quite a few sources I found listed mostly (or only) Minnesota, but it seems that this legend originated with the Algonquian Native American tribes which span across many states including my home state, New York.

Appearance: This varies greatly in details, but it seems to be agreed on that the Wendigo is very tall, taller than any man. The skin varies from yellow to the gray of death. The body frame is described from as large as ’emaciated’ to invisible when viewed from the side. Glowing eyes, a long tongue, and thin bleeding lips.

The legend of the Wendigo originates in Native American folklore and quickly passed through the white man at some point in history. This tale is told in the regions where survival was quite hard. The Wendigo is a creature that likes to consume people…. cannibalism folks. The Wendigo is created out of greed, cannibalism, and starvation. It is said that when a person resorts to eating their fellow companions just to survive, they turn into the infamous Wendigo. In fact, many were so afraid of turning monstrous that when faced with starving death, they would die instead of eating each other.

The act of a person craving human flesh quickly became known as Wendigo psychosis and was generally quickly dealt with a curing attempt by traditional native healers or death, if the first failed to cure them.

Swift Runner

During the winter of 1878, a Plains Cree trapper from Alberta named Swift Runner was living with his family, excluding his oldest son who had died, and they were all starving. Despite the fact that they were a mere (maybe not so mere in 1878) 25 miles from the nearest food supplies available to them, Swift Runner murdered his wife and their five children and ate them. It was believed that he was afflicted with Wendigo psychosis rather than an acting as a man trying to avoid starvation due to how near food was. He was later executed by authorities at Fort Saskatchewan.

Jack Fiddler

Jack Fiddler was an Oji-Cree chief and medicine man known for eliminating Wendigos in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Together with his brother (son?) Joseph, they killed 14 ‘Wendigos’ and were convicted of murder of the last victim in 1907. Jack committed suicide, but his brother was sentenced to life. Eventually his was granted a pardon but died three days before he even received the happy news.

If you want to see some Wendigo action on TV, you can catch them on Supernatural, Charmed, and Teen Wolf. If you would rather read about them, it is most popular in Algernon Blackwood’s story “The Wendigo” or in Stephan King’s Pet Semetary. 

Over on my Tumblr, I have created a story prompt. Head on over there if you’re interested and just tag it with #WendigoWritingPrompt. Tag it on Twitter too!






My daughter liked this picture the best. Originally found at ancient-origins.net.