Breaking News: Spooky Six with Willow Croft!

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Latest news rolling in from the ole chopping block!

I’m now doing author interviews for Horror Tree! If you’re interested in becoming part of the “Spooky Six with Willow Croft” crowd, I can assure you that your head will remain very firmly attached!

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re a horror, sci-fi, fantasy, cli-fi, or a romance author that writes in any of the spec fic or paranormal genres, reach out to me at croftwillow [at] yahoo [dot] com. Don’t see your genre listed? Reach out with any questions!

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More “rolling heads” news. Twitter. Sigh. I realized that I may need to keep the account for a wholly unexpected reason I didn’t even think about. I still don’t have the heart to reconnect there, yet, but it may be inevitable. How’s everyone else’s Twitter move going?

P.S. I reactivated my account just to see, and every…last…one…of my followers/following were gone. Just like that. Poof. So, that’s that. Ha!

Maniac Monday: Sharing a Post I Absolutely Loved Today

From author Chuck Wendig’s blog: a post titled “Kindly Go Fuck Yourself with your Shitty Fucking Gas-Powered Leafblower You Tremendous Asshole.” I love this post. (Note: Chuck Wendig is not subject of my maniac reference above. Just FYI. It’s the leafblowing “maniacs” with their terrible, toxic, ecosystem-destroying green lawns.)

https://terribleminds.com/ramble/2022/11/07/kindly-go-fuck-yourself-with-your-shitty-fucking-gas-powered-leafblower-you-tremendous-asshole/

Fun-Day at My Dang Blog’s Fandangly Award Ceremony!

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Award artwork courtesy of My Dang Blog!

So, Incredible Influencer (and fellow firestarter!) Suzanne Craig-Whytock at My Dang Blog premiered her award ceremony today! 

(Get the full scoop here: https://educationalmentorship.com/2022/11/06/congratulations-to-us-all/)

Admittedly, I’m one of those people Suzanne Craig-Whytock references in her post. I did an award once or twice an eon ago, but my grumpy-even-at-forty-something self was grumbling something like “Who has time to do this?” and I stopped. 

I liked the questions though, and at the tail end of yet another hellish week (and not the fun kind) here in small-town Kansas, I set aside my inner cynic, and decided to participate.

So, yes, I’m awarding myself a Fandangly award because I’ve been doing the “Tarot Cards for Writing Inspiration” posts over at Horror Tree for almost two years now! That’s probably among the longest I’ve stuck with anything (Thanks, Horror Tree peeps!), including geographical locations! (Well, New Mexico would have reached the four-year mark, except combining COVID shutdown with a lack of internet availability prompted a relocation.)

Without further ado, here’s my answers to My Dang Blog‘s great award questions!

1) Who is your favourite drag queen and if you were a drag queen, what would your name be?

For my favourite drag queen, I’ll resort to picking one from my hometown, the “hostess-with-the-mostest” of Drag Queen Bingo and many other great events: Beneva Fruitville! https://benevafruitville.com/

And I have to admit, I’m more of a behind-the-scenes stage manager type rather than someone who likes to be in the spotlight. So, I think my non-drag-queen name would be “Honey-could-you-bring-me-another-cup-of-tea?” and I would do so while reminding them the show goes up in five.

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Yes, I have a secret love for clipboards!

 

2) Which customer at work creeps you out the most?

Well, I work from home, so I don’t really come into close contact with any creepy customers. In any case, my cats would definitely nominate me, especially when I’m a little stiff and I get up from my chair and start lurching around the house. “OMG, the monster is back. Everybody run and hide! I’ll hold them off!”–Cat Warrior Goddess Moon Pie

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3) Have you set fire to anything lately?

I successfully managed NOT to set fire to the neighbourhood during the drought (Yes, I thought of you, Suzanne, for sure! My weird sense of humour was all like “Wouldn’t it be funny if I set fire to the neighbourhood, too?”) while doing a by-flickering-candlelight ritual curse protection ritual against the VBNs (very bad neighbours)! But indoors? Absolutely! I’m on a complete burning-food kick. Most recently, I let the water boil out on a pot of pasta and it set off the smoke alarm and scorched the bottom of the pan and everything. Sigh. That’s what I get for trying to make a series of impossible things happen in a short period of time. Double sigh.

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Me and Suzanne hanging out IRL!

For some non-pyromaniac fun during NaNoWriMo, check out this month’s tarot card readings for inspiration! Or search the Horror Tree site with the term “tarot card” to see my past inspirational readings!

https://horrortree.com/november-2022-tarot-cards-for-writing-inspiration/

And my horoscopes are fun all year around–here’s November’s!

https://horrortree.com/november-2022-horoscopes-travelling-through-time-and-plagues/

Random Turkey Trivia: The poop of turkey is shaped differently depending on the gender of the turkey. Males have J-shaped poop and females have coil-shaped poop.

Are you as fascinated by turkeys as I am? Check out my short story called “Two Smart Turkeys” in the Whodunit anthology! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58927365-whodunit

Happy Halloween, All You Spooks and Ghouls!

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Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

Happy Halloween!

I wish October could last another month. Yes, the feeling of October is purely symbolic, but, still…

At the same time, I’m counting down to November 8th, and I’m hoping some new doors open by then, so that I can escape through them.

Hopefully, my next new start will be the one that sticks.

I’m gettin’ a little weary over here, universe.

In any case, here’s hoping your day, and evening, is filled with lots of Halloween magic, and this is the year the “Great Pumpkin” will visit us all!

Plant trees.

Put up bat, bird, bee houses.

Adopt a shelter animal.

Reduce plastic use, and eliminate pesticides.

The Calm Right Smack in the Middle of the Storm!

I put up a website for my not-so-secret other identity!

It took a while to get there, behind the scenes, for sure.

I just wanted there to be a place where I could redirect people to if they wanted to know more about the services I offer. 

I wasn’t even looking for anything fancy; a simple page that was more like a profile or a placeholder or whatever you call it.

I was having such problems with the complexity of the web design process (to those of you who helped with prior incarnations of the attempted website adventure–thank you! If you’re reading this, you know who you are!).

I didn’t want to go through WordPress for this, as it felt like overkill for the simple site I wanted, and I wasn’t looking at taking on another blog, and I just found using both Wix and Weebly to be a headache of a different flavour (yes, again, you think I would have learned from my first go-round with both platforms, but apparently not! Ha!).

And then an email from Mailchimp popped into my inbox when I was catching up on emails, telling me they were now offering website design through them.

What the heck, I said. And I gave it a try. 

It was exactly what I needed at this juncture, when I’m trying to bring in some $$$ as cheaply as possible (I chose the free version, of course) but it was perfect. I can go in and reedit it as I need to, I had just the stock photos I was looking for, and I could have the simple, basic, one-pager I needed, and I can upgrade when I get some income coming in and I continue to grow my preexisting business. 

I don’t get up to a lot of promo stuff on this blog (well, except for books and nonhuman animal- and environmental rights, that is!) but holy cow, I would completely recommend Mailchimp website feature!

I have been so stressed and overwhelmed and so oddly emotional and I just needed to have this free website process be easy and uncomplicated–a page I could just set it and leave it and I wouldn’t even have to maintain on a regular basis. And in this world where all this tech that should be making our lives easier instead feels like it makes our lives 100 percent more complicated, Mailchimp was like an oasis.

For real.

I can’t speak for the expanded and paid versions, but I feel that if my initial experience using Mailchimp’s free web design feature is anything to go by, Mailchimp is innovatingly mindful in this chaotic world.

Here’s the link to the simple website I did–please let me know what you think in the comments below!

(Honestly, though, I’m just so relieved to have it done, finally! It seems like a website would be such a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it felt like a mountain-sized load!)

A big shout-out once again to Mailchimp!

https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/

 

Nature’s Decorated for October…What About You?

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Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

I hope you all are enjoying the Halloween-y glow of the Hunter’s Moon!

Nature’s sure putting on a show…so how about you? If you haven’t decided on your Halloween decorating theme, Haunt Jaunts and I are swooping in to the rescue! 

https://www.hauntjaunts.net/halloween-decorating-guide-by-zodiac-sign/

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Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

In celebration of both the Hunter’s Moon, and my favourite season, I’m offering a special on tarot card readings from now to November 6th. Simply mention the code “Six for Six” to receive a six-card draw for six dollars (PayPal) in an email to croftwillow [at] yahoo {dot] com! (One code redemption per person, please.)

Happy Haunting!

Hunter's Moon Tarot
Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author E.F. Schraeder

Join me this week as I talk plant poisons, tasty flowers, and (fictional) animal besties with author E.F. Schraeder!

Willow Croft: As a nod to the title of an anthology one of your short stories is in (Moonflowers and Nightshade: An Anthology of Sapphic Horror https://www.samanthakolesnik.com/moonflowers-and-nightshade), what’s your favourite lethal plant, and why?

E.F. Schraeder: Oleander is lovely, but I’d have to say my favorite lethal plant is definitely hemlock. If it’s good enough for Socrates, it’s good enough for me.

Willow Croft: Contrary to your poisonous pick from above, there are plenty of edible flowers out there that are safe to eat. Have you ever used edible flowers in a recipe, and which ones/what was the recipe? Or, have you ever actually eaten a flower, recipe or no, and what did it taste like?

E.F. Schraeder: I’m basically obsessed with gardening and wildcrafting, so I’ve eaten plenty of edible flowers. Most are subtle in flavor and texture, some sweet. Pansies, dandelions, chamomile flowers, daylily, nasturtium, squash blossoms, rose petals, chicory, and others. I’ve made a lot of teas, nibbled some just as they are. To me, lavender registers as a strong taste— a pinch goes a long way. A little lavender to roasted or mashed potatoes is delightful.

Willow Croft: Another story of yours is in a techno-horror anthology called Lost Contact https://perpetualpublishing.com/product/lost-contact/. What modern-day tech most terrifies you, and what tech could you not live without?

E.F. Schraeder: I love being offline for stretches of time, but I have gotten used to email, so it might be hard to do without email forever. When it comes to techno-horror, there are plenty of modern technologies I find anywhere from annoying to unsettling: tracking and surveillance tech, embedded tech… disentangling the objects of daily life from the cloud-world sounds more appealing to me than where things seem to be headed.

Willow Croft: You mentioned that you’re a big animal lover. If you were cruising around the dark regions of space, what fictional animal (literary or movie) would you want to be your companion(s)?

E.F. Schraeder: There are so many wonderful creatures, that it’s hard to choose. Jonas from Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle has a practical appeal, but I think the fierce and loyal Aslan would be a marvelous travel companion.

Willow Croft: And, lastly, have you ever taken up residence in a house with a ghost, and what were they like?

E.F. Schraeder: I have not lived with a ghost, though I have seen some over the years. Though startling, I don’t recall being frightened.

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Find out what else E.F. Schraeder grows in her spooky (and literary!) gardens by visiting her at the links below!

http://www.efschraeder.com/

https://www.amazon.com/As-Fast-as-She-Can/dp/B09X7RFZW8

https://www.amazon.com/Ghastly-Tales-Gaiety-Greed-Unauthorized/dp/1949054241

https://www.amazon.com/Liar-Memoir-Haunting-F-Schraeder-ebook/dp/B08W1VRBD9

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989787.E_F_Schraeder