Tracks and Traces

Shigir Idol, photo by Constantin Voutsen

Have you ever heard of the Shigir Idol? It’s a 17 foot wooden statue that has been carbon dated to about 12,000 years old. Roughly at the end of the last ice age. Its named for the peat bog it was found in, on the eastern slope of the Middle Ural mountains near Yekaterinburg. It’s a striking sculpture, featuring several human faces and geometric lines and shapes. After being microscopically studied, it was discovered that the Shigir Idol’s features and designs were carved with half a beaver jaw with teeth still intact.

Since reading about the Shigir idol, I’ve been running my fingers over the grooves in my mind. Over and over again, tracing the carefully carved lines, feeling the smooth wood, stopping at every angle and turn. A prayer of sorts. A map leading backward. Veins. Beckoning mountain ranges and lakes and forests. An unimpeded night sky full of constellations. I wonder if it was meant for that. I wonder if, 12,000 years ago, the people responsible for creating it could fathom my doing so? I think they did. I think they meant for us to. It feels arrogant to make assumptions. Almost sacriledge.

The face at the “head” of the idol is placid, peaceful and seems to be singing. or breathing into the cold air. Or pleading. Or any number of things. But it is undeniably human.

I think about 12,000 years in the bog. The murky dark cast about with scattered sunlight only occasionally. The moss and the rock. The sediment. The sediment that drowned and preserved it. An ancient lake gasping. A toppled giant forever asleep. Why are tears so close when I do so? Why am I so moved? Why is it so easy to feel the weight of the clay and the water?

I feel a sort of kinship with both the Shigir Idol and the artists who created it. An eternal reaching forward. Toothed beaver jaw, warm wood, calloused hands. Shaped and molded, tracks and traces, whispered truths and prayers. Nightmares and daydreams. Falling. Sinking. Turning to stone unseen. 12,000 years undreaming. Hieroglyph after hieroglyph. Surfacing in pieces. Messages and lessons in the lesions.

Last Road Reviewed

Max from Booknest.eu dropped a glowing review of Last Road to the Backwoods today and we are over the moon!

“Every page reads in an eerie, creepy way, eventually resulting in a terrifying event or scene. This is a well-written book, broken up into three parts, with a plot that remains engaging through its mysteries and revelations.”

Read the rest here.

4 days left to pre-order! Only on Kickstarter!

Macabre Ladies

Illustration by Keyla Valerio for The River.

Leah McNaughton Lederman, editor and author extraordinaire, asked me a series of questions about my writing process, my advice to young authors, and The River, the piece I wrote for Café Macabre II. You can read it in it’s entirety here.

And make sure to pre-order this amazing anthology full of stories and art by talented women!

Running up that hill

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Last Road to the Backwoods is now officially funded on Kickstarter!

As I type this, I am still overwhelmed with all the feelings that come with it. I am so excited that you will soon have our novel in your hands, but not only that, I am humbled by the outpouring of love and support it has received.

A Kickstarter campaign comes with an unexpected and intense rollercoaster of emotion. Looking back, I was unprepared for just how hard we would work, how long the days would feel, and how much every view, every pledge, every share would mean to us.

We only have a week to go! And now that it is nearing the end, it all feels like it sped by so quickly.

I love writing, I love creating, and I cannot express the depth of my appreciation that you’ve allowed us the room and afforded us the ability to do so. So many times in my life, I’ve dreamt of this very thing.

Pre-order our unsettling, weird, intense occult noir horror novel here

Last Road to Fully Funded

We are only $186 dollars from fully funded on the campaign for Last Road to the Backroads. With 10 days left, I’m confident we will hit our goal and get our book into your hands. This was a passion project my husband and I worked on while separated by the Atlantic Ocean and the worst pandemic in 100 years. Unsettling, surreal, and suspenseful, I feel it perfectly encapsulates how we felt at the time, translated into an occult noir horror that will leave your heart racing. Check it out here: http://kck.st/30Vxaqp

Macabre Happenings

The Kickstarter for Café Macabre II is now live! The anthology features 13 horror stories with 13 art pieces all by women and is collected by Author and Editor Leah McNaughton Lederman. This volume is coming out strong at over 75% funded in 6 hours! It features my story The River with art by Keyla Valerio.

Check it out here: http://kck.st/3sZqunC

Kickstarter Update!

The Kickstarter campaign for Last Road to the Backwoods is heating up. As a thank you to our backers, we have added free swag with every physical tier pledge

You will now receive a bookmark, sticker and print with your pre-order of a physical copy!

We also celebrated hitting the $5k mark by adding a thank you page to the printed and digital editions listing the names of all of our wonderful backers, as well as including chapter 1 of our as-yet-untitled sequel as an epilogue.

At the time of my writing this, We are only $812 from being fully funded! Thank you all for your incredible support!!

If unsettling, dark fiction with a twist of occult noir sounds interesting to you, consider pledging here: http://kck.st/30Vxaqp

Last Road Updates

Kickstarter has chosen Last Road to the Backwoods as a “Project We Love”! Which has thrilled us! We hope that you take the time to check out what the fuss is about: http://kck.st/30Vxaqp

Enjoy this sneak peek of some interior art Matt has been working on:

As well as this excerpt from an early chapter, regarding Agent John Elyard :

Come be unsettled with us!