Posted in Book Reviews, Middle Grade Book Reviews

The Way Past Winter

by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Magical Realism – Middle-Grade

My Synopsis:

Mila lives in the dark cold, woods with her brother and two sisters in a small cabin. Their mother is dead, and their father left them for unknown reasons five years ago. Since then, the forest has become perpetual winter, and memories of Springtime and happiness are fading. One evening a stranger and his fellow travelers come to their home asking for food and shelter, but the next day when they are gone, Mila’s brother is missing. The sisters debate whether he left them to join the traveling men or was he taken against his will. Mila insists on going after their brother and so begins a daring adventure north through fierce winter landscapes mixed with magic and folklore that she and her sisters are afraid may actually be true.

Continue reading “The Way Past Winter”
Posted in My Work, short story

“You Are Beautiful.”

A tiny little story by i.e.faber.


It’s been the kind of month where each week just gets worse. Each week you think, “This’ll be the week I get on top of things”, but you don’t. You fall down like you slip on ice. You don’t even see it and next, you’re on your ass. How’d I get here again?

I work all day and the few hours I have at home are dedicated to preparing myself for the next 13hrs of work. The next struggle. I’ve been working nonstop and yet somehow still have bills past due. At work, no one acknowledges my talents or successes so I wonder why I bother. Heck, people don’t even know my name. Not my neighbors or coworkers, or even my clients who I’ve been working with for years. People in the streets practically bump into me like I’m invisible.

Invisible.

I feel invisible.

Rushing off to work I turn the corner just in time to see the bus pull away. It’s fun to sit on the sidewalk in the freezing cold waiting for the next bus. I should know – I do it all the time. But I have such little time, I use this moment to do some work emails. Hat on, giant coat, bones aching, feeling old and worn out I type on my phone hoping my fingers don’t freeze. I missed the bus because my running was hindered by a limp. Am I so old now my hips are going?

What am I even doing with my life?

What is the point?

“Miss. Miss? MISS!”

“HUH?”  I look up to see a very old man bundled in a hooded coat too large for him hobble over slowly on his cane to speak to me.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I just crossed several seas to tell you this: you are beautiful. I can see you have no trouble being beautiful, I simply wanted to tell you in person.”

“HA! Thanks,” I mumble to my phone.
Then, feeling bad that I ignored the only human being who acknowledged my presence in days, I glance up to say something,

but he’s gone.

Then the bus arrives.

It wasn’t until later that evening while brushing my teeth and inspecting the bags under my eyes that his words settle in my brain. How could he even see me to think I was pretty when I was crouched down and so bundled up? Where did he come from? And did he say he crossed “seas”? Surely he meant “streets”? So strange.

But he didn’t say pretty,

he said beautiful.

Posted in My Work, short story

Grocery Store

I recently took a writing class called Story Telling For Kids run by Val Muller. One of our exercises was to pay attention to children out in the world and incorporate them into one of our stories if possible or just write the scene. I witnessed some kids with their father at a grocery shop visit and one boy was thrilled about a cartoon bear on a cereal box. It was pretty cute. I turned those boys into the girls from one of my middle-grade stories and expanded the moment.

Without giving the full synopsis, this a dark fantasy story about a young girl who’s family of three is dealing with new sadnesses, and (unbeknownst to them) very old evils. Samantha may just be able to help out if she could only keep her manners in check. Continue reading “Grocery Store”

Posted in My Work, short story

Memorial Day – True Story

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring people who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. Unfortunately for the human race, most of us are related to someone who died in a war. This is a story of one of my family members as best I remember. It may not be entirely correct, but this is how it has been told to me over the years. Continue reading “Memorial Day – True Story”

Posted in Movie Reviews

Get Out

MOVIE REVIEW- NO SPOILERS

I am not a fan of horror and I despise alternate endings. Yet I thought this movie was fantastic and cannot recommend it enough. I know I’m late to the party, but the film is too good not to mention.

First of all, is it really even horror? I honestly don’t know. As a one-time film minor, I know that this genre has an interesting history and certain formulas to follow that make them what they are. I’m certainly no expert, but I’d guess this film breaks the basic “horror code” so to speak. It could be listed as a drama, Continue reading “Get Out”