Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Friday, 31 October 2014

A Horror a Day Keeps the Horrors Away -- HAPPY HALLOWE'EN

My short story Duplicititous the Dawn began life as flash fiction. The middle section was the first part written. However the main character would not be done with and insisted in being dealt with in a less piece-meal fashion and so I had to set about writing the longer version and after a lot of revisions it is now published in Bewildering Stories for Hallowe'en.

Don Webb has aptly asked: The question is less ‘Who is Sebastiano?’ than ‘What is he?’ 
The two of us had a little discussion on the matter. Is the character Deluded? Evil? Redeemable?
But I do not ask you to judge Sebastiano.
I just hope you enjoy the story.

I hope you have enjoyed all the stories this week and if you missed a day go back through
and if you liked them, please let me know.


Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Horror a Day Keeps the Horrors Away 6 -- Never waste a Good Nightmare.

Yesterday I spoke of nightmares. I have used those as a basis for stories too. Apres Longtemps: A Troubadour's Return is based on one of my more florid dreams. And in another instance I wrote Marrying Maud for my sister because she'd told me about one of her nightmares. And Sown on the Wind -- another of mine. What's with the dream animal theme, I wonder?

There's still time to enter the Hallowe'en MicroHorror Competition 2014. The prizes are always unique and well worth having. I can't win having won three times in a row in
2007 Autumn Fruit
2008 The Final Chapter which has now turned into a long story still to be published
2009 Smolensk the Second Time which I linked to the to the other day.

MicroHorror Prizes

I have two stories up at the moment and one to come (I hope) but I have over 90 on the site.

Little Human Voices

Chasing Ghosts is what we do

My MicroHorror Links Page 

Go and explore MicroHorror -- a great little horror site run by Horror Master, Nathan Rosen in Baltimore Maryland. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A Horror a Day Keeps the Horrors Away 5 -- We all carry our horrors within.

Poetry to petrify you -- well unsettle at least.

The Oxford English Dictionary was in large part compiled by W C Minor. His true story is sad and disturbing.. DEFINITIONS

You know that dream you dread? You know how it begins but never precisely how it will end or exectly what images will confront you but you will be LOST  for sure. Welcome to mine. Dream of Lost

Why do we fear change? Oh you know why. It's because  Change has Tenses All its Own 

You don't have to imagine this because I wrote the poem that went with the painting which you can also see at this link. What intrigues me is --who will have 

Sometimes horror just happens to us in the middle of a normal day or a holiday because we all carry our horrors within!

Why do I love Horror? Because it gets it out of my system :)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A Horror a Day Keeps the Horrors Away 4

I have a track record in writing about how the exploitation of resouces, big companies and corporates will drag us all to hell! It's a theme I have revisited often.

But this story is somewhat different. In Root of Evil again I did a good deal of research into calcite crystals and optics and the sqaure root of 666 which is the number of words allowed at MicroHorror. I like using  funny little details like that to amuse the reader and I always have to hope people pick up on those because I rarely write unleavened horror. But I had to imagine the landscape and that took some doing. Also I used a fair amount of dialogue which is not easy in such a short piece. In fact the reason it is one of my favourites is that it reads like a much longer story -- well -- I think it does. See if you agree.

Bonus Reading: Tranparency and Pure Research and Clear and Cold the Rising Moon  BwS. 

This little piece will set you back a COOL $999 apparently! It is available at this LINK should you  wish to acquire. It is very cool though. Follow the link and look at the detail.

Monday, 27 October 2014

A Horror a Day Keeps the Horrors Away -- 3

 I was watching a TV programme the other week, austensibly it was about -- There you see? I can't remember what it was about because there was so much music covering every image and every explication that it turned into a kind of game of 'Name that Tune' for me or 'These You Have Loved'. There was Grieg, Beethoven, Massenet, Berlioz, Rodriguez... the playlist went on and on and I have really forgotten the content!  
Sometimes you even get asked, "What do you listen to when you are writng?" 
Silence! How else would I concentrate on writing? It's like asking:

What newspaper do you read while you're making love?

Modern life is like that. Our lives are so full of busy and so full of things and so full of noise that we don't notice the content, the richness, the patches of paucity, the textures of life. It's called Constant Partial Attention but to me it just seems like lack of appreciation of the moment, the person, whatever is there to be attended to. And that is the thought behind this piece of writing.

The title is deliberately in capitals and spaced. It can be read as 'avoid' or 'a void' because it is about the void and the lengths we all go to, to avoid it -- space to think, space to move, space to be yourself.

Take a little space to yourself and read this aloud, softly, slowly. Savour the voice from the void.


I wrote in it the second person which is risky. It can come over as preachy. I know this didn't because I have read it aloud and the audience was totally silent and a bit spooked out. Most, I have to say, took it to be a prose poem. It is rather cross genre but then it is a voice from the VOID: not as in STV:Night, the void out there, a favourite episode of mine. No this is the void we all inhabit and are. The vast quantumness that is all around and within. To a Neutrino we, our planet and our whole solar system is just a collection of particles and force fields that it passes through. My body is insubstantial at that level. I am just another part of the forces of this universe. I love physics! I think it's rather a comfort in a way to know that all our molecules belong in this vast ocean universe. But that is not ALL we are -- otherwise how could be be AFRAID?

Vacuous? Me? :)

and now a little clip from NIGHT.

Ensign Kim (Garrett Wang) plays his composition: Echoes of the Void

Do one thing at a time today and enjoy each process and savour each moment.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Horror a Day keeps the Horrors Away -- 2

Smolenskthe Second Time  has to be one of my favourite stories because it took so long to write. Does that seem odd? It won’t if you are a writer. The more involved you becoame the better the story, the better the poem, the better the writing.

This story stemmed from an interest in history and from a statisticalmap by Joseph Minard. I have always loved maps and history but I was just terrible at Geography and History when I was at school -- it wasn’t a lack of interest but of aptitude.This is one of the earliest statistical diagrams ever made and it is simply wonderful so do please take time to study it.

All I really knew about 1812 was Tchaikovski's overture (I do adore Tchaikovski!) but I began reading around this not because I liked Napoleon – quite the opposite. My interest was in La Grande Armee itself. Almost 600,000 men! Who were they? Where did they come from? What did they wear? How were they fed? 
Napoleon typically managed to get his boney ass back to Paris of course but apparently only an estimated 10 to 40 thousand of his army crossed the Niemen River in the end. What happened to the rest? The more I read the more horrified I became and at last I knew, if I did nothing else, I had to give one of these poor souls a VOICE and that is how the story came about. I hope you will read this story now not only as a horror but with a degree of sadness for those (on both sides) who were caught in this terrible history.

And I really recommend this link Destruction of La Grande Armee if you want to read more of their history.

My reading also spawned a sister story The Boneparte Tree which you may also enjoy. There you go 2 for1 today :)

If you like my work do let me know. It means a lot to me.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Horror a Day keeps the Horrors Away -- One a day 'til Hallowe'en

Carousel-o-saurus was written after a trip to Como Park (lovely place!) Minneapolis where I saw the lovely Cafesjian's Carousel which was built in 1914 and so is now 100 and still works.
 Happy Birthday horses :) 

and in the science museum I encountered this.

Put the two together in my mind and you get


Enjoy the read and come back tomorrow for another of Oonah's MicroHorrors.

MicroHorror Competition 2014

Friday, 24 October 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Trilogy of pet peeves

First of all let me direct you to AGNESENGA up today at PP&P.
Second let me tell you about two things I know are coming up next week. My Monday Blog at Parallel Oonahverse features a very special poet! And I will have a Horror Story for you every day at my Facebook Page and a rather longer than usual story at Bewildering Stories. Do send them a story!
Thirdly I hope some of you will buy a PRINT copy of The Linnet's Wings Autumn Issue out NOW. It really is a great issue!

Pet peeves? Well -- I HATE that we are being punished by the EU for being too well off. Anybody feeling that well off. btw???

I love supermarket wars, don't you? But I hate Loyalty Cards which are specifically designed to stop you from shopping around. And I hate the government's idea about loaded plastic for people who receive benefits so they have little or no choice about what to buy. -- HEY YOU! You'r poor! How dare you have a beer? Do you really need that skirt? Sweets? Dessert? Xmas presents? Sorry it's not allowed with this card! And I hate that pharmaceutical firms are more interested in MONEY than in health or research. Did you know that most of them pay researchers only find what they want found and that as a result a lot of PURE research is underfunded or ignored? And of course they do not provide drugs for "third world" diseases. Hence the pickle we are now in over Ebola which should have been dealt with years ago! And so because these topics have a short shelf life, I offer you my trilogy of pet peeves.

shop Shop SHOP

We launched our brand new loyalty card today

along with the promise -- You will never pay

more here than in a cheapest retail store

because we believe in customer power.

We will refund the difference between

what we thought last week and what our profits have seen

is going to happen next month if you don’t shop here.

Shop here and we will give you points. Yes points.

That’s right. Shiny big starry plastic points

you can only spend here.

So pointed and plastic you can almost smell the fear.

Doctor W H O?

We launched our brand new medical ship today

Along with the promise – you may not have to pay

what the pharmaceutical companies demand in terms of wealth.

Because we believe in world wide health

and we will pay for the difference between

years of indifference and this easily foreseen

totally predictable pandemic, endemic

to the third world. But the western world could disintegrate in panic.

That’s right. Big black spiky riots of manic

justified anger -- well beyond our power to control.

You can smell the collective political sweat as heads of state roll.

right Right RIGHT

We launched card credits for the poor today.

We didn’t mean anything we said yesterday

about people power or freedom. We’ve developed a vaccine you see

to protect the people who really matter So don’t flatter yourselves.

Because we believe in the trickle down effect and we don’t need

half of you, workers, old people, invalids and general shirkers.

We need to get on with the business of government greed;

save money on services. Make money on investments and expenses.

That’s right Far right. Operation can you credit it should run smooth as silk

When we makes sure the farmer gets nothing for milk

and the commonality of animals get exploited.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- The Unessential Obscenity of POWER

Having spent last week contemplating my own back yard so to speak, I now turn my attention the Oonahverse as I would create it. I was thinking about Don Webb's article in BwS from a few weeks ago The Year Civilisation Collapsed -- a look back from the future at the potential devastation of today -- the fall of civilisation as we know it. And I was thinking how very avoidable all this was -- I do not say IS because I think it is slready too late.

At this stage in our development we could already have a world in which every person on this planet has a right to:

Sanitation -- it is not that difficult to bring clean water to even the most remote parts of the world these days and yet we prefer to bring fracking. We waste squillions of gallons of water every day and there are those  who even argue that water is not a basic human right and would prefer to SELL it to the poorest coutries in the world to make -- guess -- MONEY. It is the one thing none of us can do without. Doesn't that make it a basic right?? And toilet facilities do not even have to involve water -- waste can be composted and used to make ground productive.

Health Care -- we have medicines in the developed world and scientists who do vital research. If that was rolled out to all humanity, then we would not now be facing the spectre of Ebola. Everyone would have proper facilities on  hand, trained staff and hospitals and no volunteers would be needed to GO anywhere. This and many other situations are a result of negligence by world powers who are interested only in the welfare of the few. In addition our own government here in the UK is trying to undermine the NHS so thay can -- guess -- make MONEY out of PRIVATE health care which they can then invest in.( I know it is overstretched butwell thought out immegration rules could settle that. )

Nutrition -- an increasingly obese population (me included I have to admit) :( eats three times as much as we need and can't make up our minds between chicken kiev and roast beef whilst others starve or butcher monkeys/shoot down cuckoos -- whatever it takes -- to survive. You know everybody could eat -- today! Instead we destroy tons of food every year in order to keep prices atrificially high so that big corporates can make -- guess -- MONEY

Power  -- we can use waves, wind, solar panels, hydrogen. Do we? Not if the OWNERS of the power companies have anything to say about it -- they and their political puppets! Instead they want to make more £££££££££ $$$$$$$$$ maybe even by FRACKING and contaminating WATER.

Well you can't eat and drink ££££££££ and you can't take $$$$$$$$$ as a cure for ebola. Mind you, you could burn both as fuel -- but not if you want to go on breathing this thin envelope of air which is all we have to breathe!

Here is a FUN interactice map that lets you play about with climate change and simply

Co-operation not competition.  We have the technology. 

Related links:  Bewildering stories

Friday, 10 October 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- There's no place like home, There's no place like home...

Four years ago today 10/10/10 we were at the RenFest near Annapolis Maryland,with Nathan and Jenesta,eating giant turkey legs and steak on sticks.

That first inscription really took our eye ;)
It was very warm weather. But here we are in the cool of a Northumberland October and no immediate plans for travel.

Do I mind? No. There seems to be such mayhem in the world today that I am happy to sit in my quiet corner hoping it stays quiet!

Sometimes all you need in this world is the view from the windscreen of the car, after a walk in local woods, on the way 

clicks ruby shoes  

Friday, 3 October 2014

My thought for Friday 3rd October 2014

My lovely sister-in-law, Essie -- a wonderful wife and mother and that was always enough.

Rest in Peace

The Separation of Things

Albumen slips
between the fingers.

Yolk rests like a breast
in the hand.

Melted butter clarifies:
solids from oil.

Vinaigrette demulsifies:
gold on top of red.

Life slips

The soul settles
in a parallel place.

© Oonah V Joslin -- September 2014