The Glowing Neon of Spring!

Rabbit Book

It’s been a busy week,  so this’ll be short and sweet. My “Cultivating Inspiration” post is up over at Horror Tree in all its (neon!) glory!

Go get creative, and Happy Spring Equinox, everybody! (If you’re in Fall Equinox mode where you are, feel free to search Horror Tree for the post I did last year).

Oh, and it’s World Rewilding Day, so go out and make things Wild again!

The Tenth Annual Contest Of Whatever!

This is a fun contest held by a fellow blogger…I did it last year, and it was great! Hope you all join in!

Evil Squirrel's Nest

Ten years, and creativity tastes just as groovy as ever!

It’s February and you know what that means……


Oh, wait…. it’s March already.

So it’s a month late, but it’s time for that Evil Squirrel’s Nest tradition known simply as The Contest Of Whatever!  Each and every year beginning in 2014, The Nest has challenged its readers and anyone else who wants to join in to wow us with their wonderful creativity!  Check out the official page for The CoW to see all of the fun themes and winners from every one of the past nine contests!

Enjoy a slice of Moofoo® while you peruse the results…

The Contest rules are so simple that even a child who was dropped on its head can do it!  All you need to do is create an official entry for the Contest of Whatever.  You may use any artistic medium…

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I heart pigs…

Happy National Pig Day!

Photo courtesy of

Because I love pigs (okay, okay, I love ALL animals), I did some nonhuman animal-themed horoscopes over at Horror Tree! (Also, check out my Spooky Six interviews both past, present, and future–for WIHM! I’ve also added a Fantastical Five set for sci-fi and fantasy, as well as a “Four Red Herrings” for mystery/thriller genres. If you, or any other authors, want to join in, feel free to use the blog contact form to get in touch!)

Help! The Dates Aren’t Adding Up!

Jeez, how many days did I take off?

I thought it was only about two weeks, but I went through my WordPress Reader, and I had unread posts going back for longer than that.

So my only conclusion is that time moves at a different pace in my world!

How are things in your parallel dimension(s)?

Anyway, I had a bunch of Spooky Six interviews post up over at Horror Tree, including some that took place around the UK Ghost Story Festival. So, yeah, I’d love it if you head over there and check them out (just search Willow Croft or Spooky Six on the Horror Tree website)–you might just see some names you recognize!

I’ll spare you all the boring boring babble about my job hunting and apartment hunting and such, and jump to some more exciting news.

I’ve expanded my author interviews over at Horror Tree to include sets of questions for not only horror authors, but science fiction, fantasy, paranormal/supernatural romance, and even mystery/historical fiction genres.

Exciting, right?

Anyway, I’m going to catch up on some blog reading, and I’ll be back on my regular schedule hopefully tomorrow! Unless, of course, I get a job offer out of state!

Wish me luck!

Give the Groundhog Lots of Love Today!


Happy Groundhog Day! Doesn’t this groundhog look adorable? Or at least in need of a hug*!

Speaking of affection, you don’t have to wait another six months for the “romantic” holiday known as Valentine’s Day (Or Galentine’s Day)!

So, yes, I did create some lovey-dovey themed horoscopes, and did a tarot card reading…Horror Tree style, of course!

Hope you enjoy–with one click, and a happily-ever-after can be yours…or for your literary characters!



How will you be celebrating Groundhog Day or Valentine’s Day in your realm?

*Giving random wildlife hugs is not a good idea, in real life. Just in case.


Okay, so I think I’m almost-getting-there-close to escaping the dreaded Kansas–by a default I can’t change, but still…

So while I always manage to read ya’lls blogs no matter what, I may get pretty sporadic on that front, so I apologize in advance if I’m not there reading and liking. (I could probably just go through and quickly hit likes in the WP Reader, with no-one the wiser, but I’m too much of a Virgo-straight-arrow to do that, although I may not watch the videos as religiously, I at least still read them.)

Anyway, I’m so tired and burned out and feeling my age, and I’m just like “Can I really even do this road trip, much less ANOTHER move?” But needs must. If for no other reason, my kitties have been demanding: “Get us the heck out of Kansas!!!”

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Well, probably not. The last thing they want is another road trip, but they do love our sing-a-longs! Speaking of wandering, perhaps jaunt over to this blog, which has fun things like “Teaser Tuesday” where they post a photo and you gotta guess where it is. They have fun badges and a delicious buffet!

Speaking of wandering, perhaps jaunt over to this blog, which has fun things like “Teaser Tuesday” where they post a photo and you gotta guess where it is. They have fun badges and a delicious buffet!

Pining over Squirrels on National Squirrel Appreciation Day…

Every time I prepare to move to a new place, I get sad that I have to leave all my bird and squirrel friends behind. I worry about how they’re faring without the fully stocked bird feeders I had out for them.

I miss my wildlife friends.

Like this one who came to my apartment porch a few times a day.

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Although, admittedly, Moon Pie was less than thrilled at the glass separating her from her potential lunch.


I’d hoped I’d moved to a place where I could see my wildlife friends return year after year, or stay all year ’round. But even if I were staying, I would lose some of my friends due to the fact that it’s legal here to shoot doves and other like birds. And that’s even more heartbreaking.

I mean, who even still kills birds like that? And why?*

Kansans, apparently. And all the out-of-state hunters they let run amok across the Kansas landscape.

So, given that it’s also National Hugging Day, send out imaginary hugs to all your wildlife friends.

And, please, if you don’t want to hug, them, fine. (It’s not a good idea to actually hug wildlife. Remember, it’s WILD life.)

Just don’t shoot them.

*Rhetorical questions, of course.

Nothing is More Gothic than a Hot Summer’s Day . . .

The rise and fall of cicada songs, the mist rising from murky brown swamps, torrents of rain so thick you can’t see more than a foot in front of you.

And curling up with an equally atmospheric book borrowed from my grandmother’s bookshelf; V.C. Andrews, or Victoria Holt.

Even when the sun came out, those summer days still felt very gothic and brooding. There was something about the noisy silence of the swamps and the quiet laziness spent slowly swinging in a hammock that felt both carefree and sinister.

When a cloud drifted across the too-bright sun and everything was thrown into a twilight shadow, I would get this strange sort of chill that would leave me with goosebumps.

On overcast days, the air was thick with humidity–and portent–as I waited for the storm. And, although the sun was hidden by the gathering clouds, the green of the plants and trees became even more vibrant.

Okay, yeah, that was probably a lot of purpling of prose, but reading the stack of E. Denise Billups’s books I got with the Amazon gift card (was it really two winter holidays ago?) took me right back to those gothic-infused tropical summers.

It was even more poignantly delicious to feel like a young child again, staying up way past bedtime to read by the glow of a night light.

For you all, E. Denise Billups’s books may not be as evocative of summer as they were for me, but they’re still perfect for indulgent cozy-in-the-dark-with-a-flashlight reading this January. (Or audio in the dark, even.) Heck, if your power’s actually out due to all the climate-change-fueled winter storming, so much the better to read by!

Here’s the books/short reads that were in my E. Denise Billups’s TBR stack (only 18,324 more TBR books to go!):

The Playground

Chasing Victoria

Off the Grid

Tainted Harvest

Kalorama Road


By Chance

Ravine Lereux

Keepers of the Gate: Twilight Ends (Book One)

And, if you want to follow up these author’s books with a spooky chaser from another author, check out As Fast as She Can by E.F. Schraeder.

Now, what’s on your gothic summer TBR wish list?

Whooping Cranes, Walter White, and Other Friday the 13th Weirdness (aka Relocation Part Two) . . .

My “ancient” cell phone starts ringing when I’m actually out and about doing something other than staring at my computer. Even luckier, I’m in a store by the noisy checkout lanes when a call came in earlier today. I’m all like “I’ll bet it’s about a JOB!!!!“, and I try not to sound overly eager when I answer the call.

The conversation went something like this:

“Hi, my name is *garble garble*, and I had your application sent to my desk for the *crackle static crackle* pusher.”

A pusher? What the heck? What do they want me to push? Drugs? Contraband? Hmm . . . maybe . . .

I start daydreaming about being the next Walter White. Or at least about all of Walter White’s ill-begotten gains. “I’m sorry,” I say, “I’m in a store and it’s noisy. Could you tell me who you are with and what sort of position you’re looking to fill, please?”

My phone suddenly behaves itself. “THE CART PUSHER POSITION AT WONDERFUL CHAIN STORE.”

Which, even though I’m not on speaker, everyone within a ten-foot radius can hear.

I get embarrassed and flustered, and I garble something back about I wish I could but I’m not able to fulfill the duties of a cart pusher because of . . . and, luckily, I stop myself before I head off into a TMI ramble about why I can’t move unwieldy objects around. I apologize, but say that I’m open to positions like X, Y, and Z.

(In all my years of working in grocery stores, I have never, not once, heard of that particular job–as a bagger–referred to as a “cart pusher” position. It’s mostly just like “Go out and get carts” and I would race out the door before the manager even got to the word “carts” because, you know, it’s a break from the customers who get oddly irked that you put their bread at the bottom of the bag and pile twenty soup cans on top of it.)

Plus, you know, if I were able to handle a more physically arduous job, it would be this one, without a doubt:


So, yeah, snarky and probably not-very-funny story aside, I put together a wishful-thinking list of the places I’ve gotten travel/relocation packets for, and I was going to do a poll for fun (truthfully, so I could learn how to do it), but decided just to list the potentials. Ideally, I would love to have a water source nearby, or wetlands, and a great library/library system–and be in a Blue state. Classical music, farmer’s market, good track record for animal welfare and advocacy/wildlife protections. I did like Wichita, but my experience in small-town Kansas has really tainted the state for me, sadly.

Willow’s Wishful Thinking Relocation List:

  1. Canada!
  2. Scotland!
  3. Anywhere in Maine (Freeport, Portland, Bangor)
  4. Salem, Massachusetts
  5. Montpelier, Vermont
  6. Oregon (Portland, Ashland, Medford. Bend)
  7. Des Moines, Iowa
  8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  9. Yellow Springs, Ohio
  10. Wisconsin (La Crosse County Library seems great! Milwaukee?)
  11. Missoula, Montana
  12. Austin, TX
  13. Detroit
  14. Chicago
  15. Minneapolis
  16. Fargo (Gotta see the woodchipper, right?)
  17. Kansas (Lawrence, Wichita, Kansas City, KS/MO)
  18. New Mexico
  19. Eureka Springs, AK
  20. Deadwood, SD

Annnnddd, I also have more candidates from lists of states/cities that have banned Roundup, and/or are hippie-type places, as well.

In lieu of a poll, feel free to vote by putting your pick in the comments! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go out and get carts, one by one by one by . . .


Lollygagging into 2023…

Photo Courtesy of

Recently, I wrote an article over on LinkedIn about how 2023 could be the year of the slowdown (in a proactive way). I’m not slowing down much myself, but I am taking some time out here and there for some fun things that don’t really accomplish anything useful. *gasp*

The pressure is on, though, to get the income needed to help me escape what I’m now calling the Nightmare Hell Zone* (and not in a fun way), so I’ve been applying for jobs in brick-and-mortar locations as well as online remote-work locations. One thought I’ve recently had was that I could maybe get a job with a chain and then use that to transfer to another location in the United States, or, perhaps even more wishful-thinking, transfer to a Canadian locale!

Anyway, until I go figure things out (or win the lottery–the HGTV dream home–Travel Channel Sweepstakes), I’m sharing some links for you to stroll through as you, yourselves, meander into 2023.

(Unless, of course, you just want to stop reading here, and go write a snail mail letter or take a day off next week to hang out with your houseplant BFFs. That’s fine too!)

Here’s January’s “Tarot Card Readings for Inspiration”: and their snarky horoscope sidekick:

And if another bomb cyclone is bearing down on you again, check out my “Cultivating Winter Magic” post as well: Who says you can’t go out in style, right?

*Want to exercise your creative muscles? Feel free to share (in the comments) your own wild and wacky names for a terrifying town in rural U.S.A.!