Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mistress of the Dark has Arrived!

Mistress of the Dark by Sèphera Girón 

Now available for the first time in ten years!

Get yours today and see what you've been missing.

Let me know what you think by leaving a review.

Meet Abigail Barnum. She's new in town, eager to make it big in New York. Hers is the darker side of the city. Her friends are strippers and drag queens, and she works as a waitress in a tourist bar with a back room that's definitely for adults only. Her private life includes drugs and bizarre sex. But the most important thing about Abigail is she's deadly.
Abigail has gone insane. Voices and hallucinations are drawing her deeper and deeper into her own world, a world of obsession and pain, seduction and murder. Few suspect just how dangerous Abigail is, but one woman knows her grisly secret. As Abigail descends into madness, can anyone she touches ever hope to be safe?



Friday, April 15, 2016

Put Down the Duckie and Play the Saxophone!

I wish I was perfect but I am not.

I bet most of us wish we were perfect, that we could mind-read everyone and anticipate issues before they arise.

Wouldn't life rock if we all were perfect in looks, thoughts, career choices, money management, and love?

But alas, most of us aren’t even a tiny bit close to perfect about most of that on a regular basis if ever.

However, it seems that we live in such an instant gratification narcissistic culture that everything has to happen quickly, and if it doesn't happen quickly, then god help you. And god REALLY help you if you happen to use the wrong words or labels in speaking your thoughts and feelings about any thing at all.

On some days it really feels like:

No one is allowed a contrary opinion any more.

No one is allowed to be human.

No one is allowed frailty or transformation.

No one is allowed to make mistakes from the President of the U.S. to fetuses. Everyone has to be perfect all the time. Every misstep is documented forever on the world wide web. It's always someone else's fault. So god knows, when us mere mortals don’t jump through others' hoops in a lickety-split manner and kowtow to people with chips on their shoulders for perceived past hurts, then it’s off to the pit with you where you will be immortalized in Google searches forever as the pendulum swings closer. Seriously.

Horror Writers Association
HWA is a fucking writers organization.

It is run by volunteers.

Some of us have been there for many years while others come and go.

No one gets paid except for one person.

Everyone who volunteers does so because he or she wants to do good things for the organization. We all want to work together to push up the genre and create opportunities through scholarships, conventions, pitch sessions, mentors, podcasts, library outreach programs, diversity committee, googlehangout roundtables with experts, and so much more.  We have charity drives, reading series, anthologies, and other great stuff that anyone who is a member can access at any time.

And yet, that’s not good enough. Nope, Not  Good Enough.

For who?

Those Who Don’t Think It’s Good Enough!

If you don’t want to join, don’t join.

But why on earth do you spread lies about an organization that you can’t be bothered to join?

All organizations have scandal and bullshit. Hell, I watch American Greed all the time and other shows like that. There’s always a rat in the barnyard but we all know that. Human nature.
Hey, horror writers, we all have done our research. One in four people is a narcissist/psychopath/sociopath.

So shit is going to happen when you are dealing with hundreds of people around the world from different cultures and time zones. For Sure.

Should current hard-working volunteers be held accountable for nefarious activities that previous volunteers participated in, often before many of these current volunteers were even members?

Nope.

And it’s funny. The minute there is a leak in the ship, as there are with all ships, there are certain folks who can’t wait to rip that hole open a little bit more.

Why?

Who cares?

So twenty-four hours isn’t FAST ENOUGH to make a decision for YOUR LIKING?

Then hey, YOU step up and be president. And I don’t want to hear, "I already tried". Obviously not hard enough.

Don’t try. Do.

And this comment is not directed at Brian Keene. It's directed at others who truly have never tried.

HWA Ontario Chapter
As I’ve said before, if the HWA isn’t for you, don’t join. I don’t care. I am happy running my thriving chapter. But I get pissed off when my work is dismissed as a hot mess or that I contribute nothing to the genre.

We have our own website
Banner
Business cards
HWA Ontario logo that's different from the HWA logo
Individual social media promo tools that Brad Middleton creates for each event that we do
Google hangouts for meetings
Consistent monthly meetings second Tuesday of month that don't cost a lot to attend and that have FREE parking in an easy to reach location and people can attend by Google Hangout
Chapter anthology
Twitter handles for Chapter and Podcast
Our own Canadian Content Corner in the HWA newsletter
Buttons
Tshirts
Great Lakes Horror Podcast which is weekly
Podcast buttons, logo, t shirt, signage
Charity promo opportunities such as Warm It Up!
Booths at conventions such as Fan Expo, Toronto Comicon, Niagara Comicon, Word on the Street, Horror-Rama, Dark Carnival and more.
Library talks and presentations
HWA panels at Fan Expo and other big cons

I’m not sure what else our chapter can do but our team of enthusiastic members continues to amaze me with their hard work and dedication.

I’m deeply saddened that my peers are attacking the very organization that helps us achieve our goals and visions. So many of our members have made fabulous networking connections over the past twenty years, even by attending just one meeting. We could not do any of this without the support of HWA.

SO...

Here's A Quiz!
What am I’m thinking? Right now! 
What are my religious beliefs?
What would come up on my criminal background check?
What is my gender?
What is my sexual preference?
What groups am I a member of?
What do I do at night?
What websites do I look at?
What demonstrations have I ever attended?
What charities do I support?

Am I fit to be Ontario Chapter Head of the Horror Writers Association?

Has anyone done a background check on me?

WHO would run a background check? HWA is not a person! Nor a job! It's just a bunch of volunteers! So who is running these background checks?

What about my members?

Are they are respectable citizens fit to be the face of HWA at public functions? Are they to be trusted in other peoples' houses? Are they going to speak properly on a panel?

And there are other HWA Chapters in Canada! I believe we're up to four now! Who is screening them? What do they REALLY do at meetings? Are they mentally sound? What are their belief systems? 

I hope you see how foolish this whole witch hunt has been.

Back to the Topic
The minute the information was unearthed, action was taken in a calm, deliberate, decisive, legal manner. And holy smokes, in twenty-four HOURS. Not days. In fact, some may point to days as the first musings were uttered a couple of days previously and the investigation began at that point. 

All of you unhappy people couldn’t wait patiently for people to gather facts, make decisions, and do things in proper legal order so that no lawsuits could happen. I think my favourite post was from someone wailing that more people should be on Facebook caring about this situation and since they haven't posted they obviously don't care. It amuses me at how those of us who live on social media forget that others do not. I know many people, my own parents and brother, for instance, who rarely go online to check Facebook or anything except email. So why would HWA members know about an explosion within hours and it was all over within hours except for those kicking around the cinders?

The Board of the HWA handled this situation as best they could with day jobs, time zones, and a barrage of people demanding their attention while discussing the most diplomatic, legal way to do what we all know will be done and was done. The Board was elected to deal with this kind of incident and they did! And very quickly. What more do you want? Why the bullying? We are all learning together! None of us took a course in how to run the HWA!

No one has a Time Machine to change what happened. 

It is done.

Enough is Enough!

Can you please stop the attacks on the very time-consuming chapter work that I do for free and can we please carry on with writing good horror fiction.

The genre needs to unite, not split apart further.

I think all of your anger should be pointed towards more meaningful causes, not a writers organization run by volunteers.

Facts:
HWA is not a person. And yes, if HWA was a person as you all seem to think, then maybe I would have a different attitude. It is currently a collective of 1300 people who all have the same opportunities to form chapters, speak at libraries, run booths at conventions, create podcasts, and so on. If you want it to happen, YOU have to make it happen. 

HWA is not a faceless corporation. And if HWA was a corporation run by the same people since 1985, then maybe I would have a different attitude.

But until YOU are running this volunteer organization, please put down your pitchforks. We are all working to make things nice for YOU! Yes, YOU! So stop tracking in mud while we're washing the floor. Thank you.

Horror Writers Association Facebook Group
As for the HWA Facebook page, it is open to everyone who wants to click. Most of the people who were upset weren't members so when people are mocking the HWA as haemorrhaging from the inside, that wasn't true either. And truly, who cares? 

If the HWA were the Evil Empire, they would have deleted all negative comments like other groups do. They, ME, YOU wanted and still want to hear what other people think, and how solutions can be found and what needs to happen next. That's the only way things improve. And things have improved so much in recent years. I've been on this ride since the late eighties. I've been there for ALL OF IT. If anyone can say with a straight face that things are getting better, it's me. 

So join us or don't. But please stop with the bullying. It actually DOES hurt. I am not perfect.  Nor is anyone I know or have ever known.




Update: Some people seem to think that I'm talking about Keene's list on his blog. In part, yes. Certainly, that's the springboard most are using. But mostly, I am upset about people posting lies and misinformation around social media when they have never been members or are flogging horses that have been dead for a decade or two!


I've known Brian for many years, we are friends, and I know what he's done and been through and that is NOT what this post is about. This is for those who don't have the facts, and who just love to hate the HWA as a whole instead of admitting that there were some assholes who fucked it up for a lot of us.

__________
This post does NOT reflect the views or opinions of the HWA or the HWA ONT Chapter. This is the personal opinion of Sèphera Girón.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Weekly Tarotscopes at RomanceBeat





Don't forget to check your horoscopes at RomanceBeat.com every week!


Fun with Kylo Ren and Scrat.
It was a warm glorious April day.



Suddenly it began to snow!





Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Free Weekly Horoscopes

In case you don't know, I've been posting my Tarotscopes over on Romance Beat.




You can also see them on my YouTube channel!

 

Horror Author Gemma Files Joins Patreon

Did you know that the average full-time writer earns about ten grand a year from her writing?

Most of us do other side jobs so that we can write. I myself have several little part time jobs but they still fall short of meeting my requirements if I also need to carve out time to write. I'm only one person and can only multi-task in so many directions.

Many times fans want us to write faster, and we could, if we had financial stability, or even a little bit of help.

No one is suggesting that someone or two foots the entire life bill so that a writer can live although I know many husband and wife couples where one (usually the man) is the full time author and the other foots the bills, works full time, does the secretarial work, house work, raises the kids, and so on. But most of us are NOT that lucky.

Many authors are single parents and getting a page written is a minor miracle, let alone a book.

At any rate, everyone can agree that it's difficult to get by in the current society and 12% unemployment rate.

So one way authors are trying to help themselves is to create new ways to engage with readers while earning a living.

And now, we have another author on Pateron.

Horror Author Gemma Files has now joined Patreon! Go check out her profile. Gemma is a mom and she's married but she DOES live in a horribly overpriced city, as do I!


Other horror authors on Patreon:

Sèphera Girón is giving away a chapter a month from her new Space Opera Romance. You can pay as little as $1 a month to enjoy all her notes, photos, clippings, and of course, the chapters themselves!

Brian Keene is giving away a chapter a month (minimum) from his new novel for pay-as-you-go pledges.

Caitlin R. Kiernan is on Patreon to write her new book.

Monica S. Kuebler, managing editor for Rue Morgue Magazine, is now on Patreon for financial help with her novel.

Nikki Guerlain is sharing work on Patreon.


If you know horror authors on Patreon, please leave them in the comments so we can have a list!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Simon Townshend and The Who

I went to see Simon Townshend at Hugh's Room on Monday, February 29 in Toronto. It was a fantastic show! And a thrill to be so close and intimate.









My friends Troy and Malcolm came as well and we all sat together!









Malcolm bought me a CD and I got it signed! Thanks, Malcolm! Thanks, Simon!


On my way to see The Who at the ACC on Tuesday March 1, 2016. It was Roger Daltrey's birthday! Kylo Ren was pretty stoked to see his first Who concert.



Before the concert, Troy, Malcolm and I grabbed a bite to eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was great!


Then after we walked through the biggest blizzard of the year the few short blocks, we arrived at the ACC!





I ran into Brian Baker who happened to be sitting in the same section as I was but I was up in the thirties and he was closer to the floor. Troy, Malcolm, and Patrick were also in the same section as him and me! It was too funny!






















I was too busy dancing to get any good pictures. A phone camera doesn't do these kinds of shows justice. You can see lots of pictures and Youtube videos online! Gotta love the modern age!

This was an amazing Who concert. Roger Daltrey's voice hasn't sounded so fantastic in years. Not that he ever sounds bad. He can out sing most on a bad day. But the clarity and range was all there. He must have gotten rest during his illness. I hope he's healthy enough to be doing this tour and it doesn't kill him. At any rate, he sounded fantastic and I was so thrilled. I was up by the boxes and so could dance without blocking anyone at all. I don't think I've ever stood at a Who concert before. Usually security makes you sit down, even if you're clapping for a song because of the crushing deaths many years ago in the seventies.

As the show rounded the three quarter mark, a couple of people smoked pot. I could smell it from three different spots. So could security. One set of unfortunate people were escorted out by bona fide police people and they never returned so I guess they didn't have their medical cards on them.

Even if pot ever becomes legal, there is no smoking inside any buildings in Toronto. At all. Even  most apartment buildings have a no smoking policy these days. Although there was a lot of talk in the media not long ago about people with medical cards can light up anywhere they desire, even in no smoking zones such as a streetcar. It has to do with being able to take medicine anywhere when it's supposed to be taken. It will be interesting to see how that will all play out as more medical cards are dispensed.

When The Who were last on tour, there were signs everywhere asking people not to smoke anything including pot because it wrecks Roger's voice but to eat a brownie instead or something like that. In both Toronto and Hamilton the signs were up, and most people respected the request.

Anyway, The Who were fantastic. They were really together. Of course there was the odd technical issue but they came and went. It was so fun to be a teenager again for a couple of hours and just rock out and not think about anything but the world's greatest rock and roll band!

Long live Rock!