Friday, 30 December 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Now that the neighbours have stopped partying at 7am I'll attempt to get my brain in gear which, unlike theirs is stone-cold-sober but very, very tired. Thank you guys. 

However, not to be discombobulated I shall persevere, submit the Love story I've written (don't laugh - it's in a Lily Childs flavour) and write a synopsis on something else. Deadlines are tomorrow.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Firstly, I want to thank everyone that has taken part in the Challenge this year, and taken the time to comment and support each other in our little community of Predictioneers. The quality of writing is consistently outstanding and I just want to read more of your work! I can't count the number of times we've said of each others' entries "this needs expanding" or similar. 

I so wish I could afford to set up my own Small Press and publish you all - but that lottery win never happens. In the meantime, I wish you all a very successful 2012 for your writing - and when you're all best-selling superstar authors don't forget to pop in and give us a Prediction from time to time.

On to winners...

Hell. I wish I'd chosen one of you to guest judge - this is a killer.

As we had two weeks to write I'm being naughty and choosing two winners and two-runners up. I hope that doesn't dilute the wins.

Congratulations to my final winners of 2011 Anthony Cowin for the savage horror Apron Strings and John Xero for the epic and powerful Warsmith. Both absolutely stunning.

The runner-up shields go to Charlie Wade for the best twist I've read in ages in The Perils of Washing Up and Dion Winton-Polak for his extraordinarily beautiful and tragic poem Salvation. Very well done both.

Words for 30 December 2011

I swear this old book is getting heavier - oof. My fingers are ready:
  • Knuckle
  • Connection
  • Dial
Right. A challenge indeed.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 5th January 2012 to enter.

Winner will be announced on Friday 6th January. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

A very Happy New Year to you all. Charge your pens - I await your creations...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Preditors & Editors Readers' Poll - a surprise nomination

I was extremely surprised to find that I've been nominated in the Preditors & Editors annual 'Best of' Readers Poll in the Magazine/e-zine Editor category for Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers.

The awards are run by - the well-respected Critters Workshop.

TKnC won the award for Best Fiction Magazine in 2009 and Crime Ed. Col Bury received the award for Best Magazine Editor in 2010.

I'm proud to be included this year alongside other editors I really respect - our own, wonderful DAVID BARBER - The Flash Fiction Offensive, Adam Bradley of Morpheus Tales, Chris Bartholomew of Static Movement, Lori Titus of Flashes in the Dark and more...

You can:

Voting closes on January 10 2012!

Monday, 26 December 2011

LICKING IT UP - a 'Yours Truly' Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers Editor's Christmas Special

Over at Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers we editors are having a moment of self-indulgence - each posting a Christmas special of our own.

Crime Ed. Col Bury's WITNESS 'A' is already up for review and comes with a twist.

As TKnC Horror Ed. my new tale LICKING IT UP might fool you into thinking it's a piece of gastro chick-lit. Give it a chance - it's far tastier than that.

We await best-selling author and TKnC Thriller Ed. Matt Hilton's special with trepidation!


TKnC is open for submissions once again. I would love to receive stories from The Feardom Predictioneers and February Femmes Fatales. Our Submission Guidelines are here but I'd like to add that I'm looking for dark and dangerous; I want to be scared witless or chilled right down to my brittle bones. This is the kind of thing the Friday Prediction is regularly packed full of - and it deserves expansion.

What I don't like is gore without a story. Porn bores me - base and erotic suggestion is far more powerful and very definitely has a place.  Oh, and whilst I like a bit of effin' and blinding - only when called for please. Overt use puts me off. I like the beauty of language - the darker the better - feed me.

I look forward to reading you...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Love it or loathe it, Predictioneers are about to get a Christmas gift - that of TIME itself!

It's a double-edged sword, this time thing - I'm figuring that most of us will be in a semi-frantic state in the lead-up to Yule and beyond - so writing will take a back seat. But then afterwards - we'll have relaxing, extra time when writing will be tickling and teasing us, desperate to pour out. So... I'm giving you TWO WEEKS to enter the penultimate Friday Prediction Challenge of 2011.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

The Institution overwhelmed us this week, I feel. And so it should - it provoked some incredible visions and brilliantly-crafted entries.

My winner, with that dangerous sicko Harker is AJ Humpage's cold and terrifying Viewing Room. The cruelty this creature is capable of absolutely petrifies me - but I can't leave it alone. Congratulations AJ!

Two runners-up; aesthetic and twisted, Stu Ayris's untitled entry is a vicious and clever attack on our conscience whilst David Barber's The Game is terrifying in the murderer's normalcy. Well done both!

Words for 16 December 2011

Here you go then - two weeks to write whatever you want (though please - have some respect - keep it dark and disturbing):

  • Apron
  • Lash
  • Grail
Little but pokey!


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have two whole weeks until 9pm UK time on Thursday 29th December to enter.

Winner will be announced on Friday 30th December. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Release the Christmas spirit - mine's a Vodka and Russchian please - and imbibe on inspiration...

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Book Review: ALONE by Marissa Farrar

Serenity Hathaway has no reason to celebrate life, coasting between cruel indifference at the office and violence at home. The opening pages of Alone plunge us straight into the hell of this young woman's existence, revealing her self-doubt and plummeting despair.

Despite the very real personal demons that have brought her to this lonely time and place Serenity still controls her own will. And when Sebastian Bandores happens upon the young woman on her knees in a dark alleyway, the encounter leaves her with an inner strength she never thought possible.

Serenity can't stop thinking about the beautiful stranger that pulled her out of an emotional gutter, rescuing her from her lowest ebb. Life suddenly has promise; but life can get worse - far worse - and so can death.

Marissa Farrar carries us through this haunting vampire tale as a feather on the wind, dipping and fluctuating between passion and horror. She masters Serenity's strengths and weaknesses, her resilience and distrust as the reluctant heroine struggles to comprehend the otherworldly extremes of vampiric hunger.

The author's principal characters are passionate, loyal and loving - perfect bait for the vicious antagonists of this chilling horror novel where no-one and nowhere is safe.

Well-written with an addictive pace, I loved this book. I can't wait to read the follow-up Buried (Alone). The author has cleverly gifted us with the prologue of the second book as a wicked tease at the end of book one - and it promises darkness. A generous bonus.

4* out of 5, and highly recommended.

Download Alone from or

Read more of Marissa Farrar's fiction at:

Friday, 9 December 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

With Scotland battered by howling hurricane winds and icy shards piercing the island skies the Lords of Winter have truly made their presence known. Hail and welcome, but we beg kindness.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Tough. Tough. Tough. Outstanding penning all round. Who would you choose?

But that's unfair.

My winner from last week is William Davoll with the skin-tingling The Morning After The Peace Before; it made me shiver, stayed in my mind all night and still filled me with a lost sense of despair when I re-read it alongside all the other entries this morning. Congratulations William!

Runners-up, for there are two -  are new Predictioneer Dion Winton-Polak with the heart-stopping chiller Ache, and Erin Cole with her bizarro, giggle cute-fest The Ad. Well done both!

Words for 09 December 2011

The old book's getting frail. Where are my archivist gloves? Let's peel open those pages and pick:

  • Painting
  • Institution
  • Forget
I have something instantly forming with those - better get the Moleskine out and scribble.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 15th December to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 16th December. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Forget Christmas shopping. Hide away and create your own storm, but bring me thunder...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Lily Childs on Facebook

As many of you know I am a complete numpty when it comes to Facebook. My well-behaved alter-ego Michele has an FB account she rarely uses but set up a Lily Childs Author Page last year. Could I get my head round it? Could I f*ck.

So finally I have a brand new account, just for little ol' me (or at least, today's persona). I may well have got this wrong - please tell me (you wouldn't believe I work in web design as a day job) but here's the link:

I've invited a whole pile of peeps to be friends but please do seek me out if I've neglected you, or you are new to my strange world. And if you don't mind this inept little fool asking, wish me luck!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

An important note for our lovely lady Predictioneers.  I have sent out the first round of invitations to next year's February Femmes Fatales showcase. If you haven't received your invitation and would like the opportunity to submit, please complete my online contact form and I will email you details and submission guidelines.

To get an idea of what I'm looking for - last year's stories and poems are all listed and linked on the February Femmes Fatales page.

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

A quiet week; every person I know is frantically running around screaming for the gift of extra time to live their lives so I'm not surprised if Predictioneers were too busy to enter. No problem - there's always this week, next week and...

I'll jump straight in as my clock also seems to be whirring on at a rate of knots. I'm only picking a winner and not a runner-up.

And that winner is... Nick Mott with Neon Flecks of Blood. This is a sordid tale of lust and reciprocal death that I simply lapped up! Gorgeous, congratulations Nick!

Words for 02 December 2012

Flicking, clicking fingers... Here we go:

  • Affection(ate)
  • Scrape
  • Mustard
Hope these make you lick your lips.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 8th December to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 9th December. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Make me something tasty with your clever fingers.. I'm hungry..

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Houska Castle - on TV (UK) December 2nd at 11am

Houska Castle (c) 
For readers in the UK that have bought or plan to buy Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow, you may be interested to watch or Sky+ the episode of Ghost Hunters International that features Houska Castle - the setting for Magenta's terrifying journey.

Tthe episode is being repeated at 11am tomorrow, Friday 2nd December on Sky Livingit (channel 122) then again at 12 noon on Sky Livingit+1 (channel 123).

Regardless of what one thinks of these type of programmes (believe me, I'm a cynic) I did find Houska Castle in Blatce near Prague incredibly eerie. I've done a lot of research around it and it has a very strange and disturbing history stretching back to the Bronze Age.

The question is - was the present 13th century Bohemian building constructed to protect the people from the demonic creatures that allegedly dwell beneath its floors, in the legendary bottomless pit known as The Gates of Hell?

For more photos and history of Houska Castle visit the owner's website at Google Chrome will translate from Czech to English. for you.

Erin Cole's Holiday Book Blog Catalog 2011

Our Predictioneering friend and author of blissfully dark fiction, Erin Cole has opened her annual Holiday Book Blog Catolog for business!

This brilliant initiative showcases books from a variety of familiar and new authors including:

  • Laura Eno
  • James Garcia Jr
  • Marissa Farrar
  • Eric Beetner
  • Lori Titus
  • Chris Allinotte 
  • Paul D. Brazill
  • Jessica A. Weiss
  • Michael Solender
  • Erin Cole
  • Lily Childs and more...

The aim is simple - take a stroll through the titles, buy at least one book and write a review. Well, I've read several on there already, have others on my wish list and can see even more that are new to me - where to start?

Do support these authors and take a visit to the catalog. Huge thanks to Erin for organising such a generous showcase.

Happy reading!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

I hope our American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

As I understand it today is Black Friday when everyone goes mad at the shops buying Christmas presents. Of course Amazon has been promoting Black Friday for a few years now, reducing the price of books and products. We don't call today anything special in the UK but it is the start of the festive frenzy, according to this morning's news. Well, as I hate shopping in public with a passion (nothing brings out the worst of behaviour in the human race as shopping) then Amazon gets my custom this year.

If you're looking for holiday reads, or books to buy for your loved ones make a note to visit Erin Cole's Book Blog Catalog from 2nd December. Find out details here. Thank you Erin for running this great feature again. 

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

I found the winning entry so different, with a feisty, intriguing character and a strong plot that could fill a whole book. Grogan picks up the (invisible) winner's cup this week, with Grace. Congratulations Grogan!

Runner-up, with a chilling, monkey's paw of a tale is Antonia with Wishes Granted. Well done Antonia! (And all the best for your new website!)

Words for 25 November 2011

Flip. It's open. Plunge and finger the pages. Here they come...
  • Toad
  • Charisma
  • Generate
Have fun!


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 1st December to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 2nd December. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Open your arms to let the snow sprinkle flakes of sparkling words into your soul. Can't wait...

Friday, 18 November 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

What a week! The Childs family in now a healthy mob, all ready to pick today's Prediction challenge words from the big book.

And of course, I've finally published the second in the Magenta Shaman series, Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow.

I've already held you up long enough so lets kick on...

Winner of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Great mix of styles and directions this week, which actually makes it harder to choose winners. However - the task is complete.

Rising two places to the top of the charts my winner this week is AJ Humpage with her squidgy, gut-wrenching (literally) horror-fest that is... Squirm. Disinfectant at the ready... Congratulations AJ!!

And my runner-up with a tale worse than death is Nick Mott with God's Love Lacking. Very well done Nick.

Words for 18 November 2011

  • Monsoon
  • Chapel
  • Transcend
Hmmnn, better get the brollie out.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 24th November to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 25th November. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Lie down, meditate and invite the words in. I'll hear them in my dreams...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow - Out Now!

I promised; I kept you waiting... but finally here it is - the second novella in the Magenta Shaman series, Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow.

Book Description:

Natural born shaman, Magenta Sweeney is torn from the comfort of England's green coast and sent on a terrifying trance journey by the very guides and guardians that claim to protect her. This time she must do as she is told. This time – she has no choice.

In Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow Maggie finds herself eight hundred miles from home, wandering the Bohemian forests of the Czech Republic in a final, desperate attempt to rescue the father she'd long believed dead.

As the bleak stone walls of ancient Houska Castle loom through the trees the shaman must prepare herself as never before.

And when the Gates of Hell open to invite Magenta in, she is forced to make a decision – one that could be her last.

Book cover (c) Laurence Ranger and Lily Childs

Download Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow now from:

Feedback... and would you write a review?

I would love to receive your feedback on Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow. Do leave your comments below - and if you would be prepared to write a review for Amazon or Goodreads, that would be wonderful (and helps others to decide whether to buy the book).

I am so grateful for your thoughts - as always.

Coming Soon on Other Devices

I hope to publish both Magenta Shaman and Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow through Smashwords in the next few weeks. This will allow you to download it in other forms (including PDF) to PC, Mac, Nook, e-readers, i-Phones/Pads, Android phones and more.

The books will be available through Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony and the Apple Store.


Friday, 11 November 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Caught myself a superb horror film this week, The Loved Ones. The only resemblance to any other film of this genre is the school dance - everything else is unique. This Australian gore-fest shows trailer-trash freakdom at its best. What's worst is the niggling worry that the horrific scenarios could really happen. Highly recommended.

And so to the topic of this post (I get so easily distracted)...

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Trepidation lines the walls of The Feardom's tunnels this morning as I truly don't know how to choose a winner out of the excellent entries. What a wicked bunch you are with your clever words, beguiling characters and seething plots. But choose, I must - or be damned. So...

This week's winner is Reba - RR Kovar with Step Up, Step Down -  a sordid delight that flips with a twist which totally took me by surprise. Congratulations Reba!

I have two runners-up - as is my wont/prerogative. Because it made me giggle when I read it in the PM's voice my first runner-up is David Barber's In Debt - great dialogue, as always, despite the schoolboy excuses ;-) 

Conversely I have chosen AJ Humpage's horrifying slap in the face of reality Hive as second runner-up; exquisitely detailed and graphic with an ending that shames us as a human race. 

Well done both.

Words for 11 November 2011

On this monumental date of 11.11.11, lets see what the old tome has to say for itself and dig out a few words for you...
  • Mule
  • Convert (Conversion and other verb/noun forms are fine)
  • Eclipse
May I just send out a wee reminder that if you get the time to comment on each others' entries, everyone really appreciates the feedback.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 17th November to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 18th November. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

So get on your old gallopy, ride off into the sunset - but bring the darkness back with you...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's bonfire season. Bit of a double-edged sword this. Love it but worry terribly about the animals.

Enjoy, be careful - and whatever you do, don't forget to check for hedgehogs before you light the fire. Right - that's my brain cleared out.

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

We had fewer entries than usual this time round but what we did have were double-concentrated! All gorgeous, dark and delicious, except for my frivolous little thing.

My winner is Ravenways with her untitled and wicked girdle delight. Absolutely dripping with gothic delectation. Congratulations!

Runner-up, with her terrifying tale of eternal torture is Antonia Woodville's Another Day In Hell. A girdle of manacled women - beautiful. Well done Antonia.

Words for 04 November 2011

What will we see; what will we choose...?

  • Passport
  • Rent
  • Interrupt
Okaaaayyyy. Good luck with those.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 10th November to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 11th November. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Get your visas ready. No fakes. Transport me...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

What's Going On? I'll Tell Ya!

I've read so much great fiction these last couple of weeks it feels like there's a literary fest going on in my head.

Here's a little catch up on my and others' news:

  • First things first. Hip, hip! I have finished the final draft of Magenta Shaman Stones The Crow. I'm just waiting for the cover to be completed and intend publishing it on Amazon by the end of next week.

    Twice as long as the first story in the Magenta Shaman novella series, this tale finds the shaman thrown to The Gates of Hell in the realms between modern and ancient Prague. Here's a little excerpt to tease...

    Heavy clouds sped across a waxing moon. At least the magnetic pull was on their side. Magenta hated journeying during the waning period – the closer to the dark moon the more difficult the trip. She lay back on the ground, Tom’s arms clasped around her from behind. To use her meditation cave to enter the trance was a first for Maggie but the protection she had built up in the chalk cavity over the years meant she’d be grounded; that nothing but she, Tom and her ethereal messengers could enter or leave the sacred place.

    A small fire flickered at Magenta’s feet, throwing light around the small space. Mugwort smouldered with sticky frankincense in a brass dish on one of the coals. Maggie had chosen the mildly noxious herb because of its dream recollection properties. She had returned from the previous Houska experience humming with nausea and grief – knowing she’d fought and lost to a demon more ancient, more vicious than any she had battled before – knowing her father Sam had been swallowed into the depths and killed – yet Magenta had no memory of it. The demon, if it were even that, had wiped her head of all but the emotions associated with the event. If her body hadn’t been covered with storm-bloom bruises that swelled and dissipated within thirty minutes of her return, then the emotions were the only residual evidence of the day Samuel French had died.

    Unlike the journey four years before, Maggie had prepared herself better this time. Her former, unfounded confidence had taught her a lesson and she was taking no chances. A thick line of salt made a circle around the couple, its crystalline make-up flecked with crumbled myrrh to protect the cave and its inhabitants.

    “Are you ready?”

    Tom stared down at his wife; her breathing had shallowed almost to nothing. She opened her lips. Tom took a laurel leaf and slipped it beneath Magenta’s tongue. As soon as he felt her weight shift, the flames at her feet died down and he sighed as his wife’s spirit evanesced into the shadows.

    Not read Magenta Shaman, the first story yet? Grab it from or
  • The UK's Writing Magazine recently commissioned me to write a couple of articles on why e-publishing was right for me, and a 'How To' on preparing and uploading your manuscript to Amazon using Kindle Direct Publishing.

    The articles have both been published in the latest, December issue of the Magazine. You can buy it from WH Smith and can also subscribe.

    I also recommend Writing Magazine's online forum Talkback; I joined in 2009 and - it sounds trite - but it has opened so many doors, and I have 'met' some wonderful writers and editors, including Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers Col Bury. And we know what THAT led to! ;-)

  • And talking of Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers - as you know, I'm now hanging out as Horror Editor in its dark passages and am currently hosting a week-long Hellicious Halloween showcase.

    Thirteen stories from twelve excellent writers including Predictioneers Chris Allinotte, Phil Ambler, Erin Cole, Sean Patrick Reardon, Dorothy Davies (our Antonia) and our new and inimitable Absolutely*Kate. Plus more brilliant stories from J. Bramwell Slater, Harris Tobias, Keith Gingell, Patricia Abbott, Gill Hoffs and Kevin G. Bufton.

    Here's the line-up. Do give your feedback and support. Thank you.

  • Continuing the theme of TKnC, I simply have to recommend the new e-book by fellow editor Col Bury 'Manchester 6'.

    This collection of "Six Gritty Crime Stories" is a must-have. You can download it from for just 86p (bargain!!!) It's also available from and in other formats - see Col's blog for more details.

  • Finally, I was highly delighted to discover my Pentacle Drummers mate, the Big Man Draven - who has already drummed in Dizzee Rascal's Dirtee Cash video, also performed in Florence & The Machine's Dogs Days Video! How I missed him, I'll never know. Go Greg!!!

    I'm a big Flo fan. Her new album Ceremonials was dropped into my hands this very morning. Dropping it into my ears now...

Friday, 28 October 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

So the clocks go back in the UK this weekend. That extra hour makes a huge difference. I should say that gives us an additional 60 minutes of writing but to be honest I welcome a lie in. No doubt my littl'un will decide to get up at 5am so it'll all be moot anyway.

But writing I will do. How about you?

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

The 'Stonehenge' word turned out to be somewhat limiting, I thought. But as always you rose to the challenge and came up with a plethora of different entries, all brilliant if I may say so.

My winner is Asuqi with A Profound Mistake. Mysterious and chilling this tale left a very clear and disturbing image of the child-vampire in my mind. Now I want to see the movie please. Congratulations Asuqi.

Runner-up is Aidan with his second entry, Bautastenar. Cleverly lulling us with this romantic proposal only to steal Love from humankind forever. Profound. Very well done Aidan. Enjoy your trip down under; we shall miss you!

Words for 28 October 2011

Will Halloween influence your entries this week? No obligation - but I hope you have a very enjoyable celebration. Here we go:

  • Girdle
  • Spanish
  • Ruin

Ooh - I like! Good luck everyone.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 3rd November to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 4th November. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Undo those literary ribbons and release your all. I'm peekin'...


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Mammoth Competition - Runner-Up: Asuqi

Asuqi uses words like creeping tendrils; they penetrate your emotions then whack! she slaps you with something so unlikely, so bizarre - yet acceptable. Whenever I read her fiction I come away feeling I have learned 'the big answer', but somehow, can never recall what that is.

Asuqi is the third runner-up in the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol 22. competition. Her story Born This Way tore at my heart. Wrap your own up carefully, then read on...

Born This Way by Asuqi

During daytime, she walks pleasantly two steps behind. Simplifies her language and diminishes her thoughts. Behaves.

During nighttime, in her dreams, she’s in a twilight park in some old European town. Statues and fancy buildings; stone, stone, stone. She’s on a balcony, in a hotel maybe? And so far the dreams are okay. But her view is over those statues, and one of them seems closer, more important, like it’s been chosen for some reason. It stands tall with its back at her. As she watches, it moves closer, fills her view, becomes a monolith of religious proportions, and then it turns to face her. It’s as if though she’s holding a breath, one she won’t ever release, because when it turns, she sees its face is gone, replaced by a smooth rubbery surface. It moves to speak, but the surface won’t open and the statue makes a chewing movement, stretches its stone flesh in despair, and the scream she hears would have been her own if she’d been able to let go of that breath.

She wakes up and flings open the window. Takes deep, dry breaths. Tries to regain balance. Initially it works.

One day, on her way to work, a crow dives and hits her. It’s immediately stuck in her long hair. She and the bird are both thrown into full mode panic. It tears and claws, and she falls, they fall, her perfectness a mess. She lies face down, paralysed, and the crow stills, exhausted. She stays put as nights grow longer and ice creeps slowly over every available surface.

The Winter forest freezes everything, dreams too, and there is a calmness in that. Hungry little ones come to sniff and search; to taste the crow’s scraggy flesh. Its bones rest lightly on the back of her head, a styrofoam structure left to pale and weather. And she feels oddly cleansed.

It’s Spring when she returns to civilization, hungry. There is a difference now, for when she finds food she eats. No questions asked, no hesitation and she’s not going to back down.

She dreams again. When the monolith turns to face her, its features are the crow’s. She sees it’s not perfect. It’s not desirable - not the preferred result. But it is. It sees with unblinking crow eyes and when it opens its beak to speak, its roar; her roar, is magnificent.

The pretty is no more. She gains fearlessness. She says no and if necessary, she strikes. People avoid her. She’s called crazy, dangerous even, but it’s a small price to pay - the dreams are gone.


Bio: Please accept me as Asuqi. I find horror difficult to write, it's so easy to make shallow rip-offs and so hard to find an angle that communicates something truly scary. Trying to write horror scares me, but is that an angle? I´m eternally confused. Visit me for random confusions at

Monday, 24 October 2011

Mammoth Competition - Runner-Up: Chris Allinotte

As visitors to The Feardom's Friday Prediction Challenge will know, Chris Allinotte has a unique wit that he often blends into his tales of horror.

Chris's runner-up entry in my Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol 22. competition not only demonstrates his writing skill but had me chuckling through the sinister undertones.

Get yourself a cuppa, maybe a slice of cake - and read why.

by Chris Allinotte

Ada read the name of the bakery, and the phrase underneath again, and smiled. It read, "Venial Sins. It's not so bad to be so good!"

Inside, behind a short red counter, stood a tall, powerful looking man in a crimson apron. At the window, an elderly couple sat at a bleached oak table, sharing a slice of pumpkin pie, and sipping foamy, steaming cappuccinos.

"Good afternoon, Miss," said the man. Ada assumed he was the owner.

"It's Missus, actually," she replied, smiling.

"That's a shame." He winked; and Ada felt hot blood colour her cheeks.

The man pushed a paper menu across the counter.

"What can we tempt you with today, Missus?"

She giggled – actually giggled. Alan never made her feel like this anymore. His brother Michael had – briefly– but that was years ago.

On the menu were five desserts, including chocolate mousse cake, white truffle tart, and her absolute girlhood favourite - butterscotch pie. She tapped the page. “I’ve never seen this anywhere else. Is it good?"

"Just like Grammie used to make," said the owner, winking again. She blushed again.

He went swiftly behind a black velvet curtain, and returned with a small sliver of pie and a gleaming silver fork. Ada seated herself on a black vinyl stool. A moment later, he brought a tall glass of milk and set it beside the pie. The experience was complete - exactly as she remembered it from her childhood. The pie was creamy and sugary, its crust flaking and falling apart with ease. Each mouthful tasted better than the one before it. When she finally finished, her heart sank. Nothing, it seemed, would be as good ever again.

Without knowing she was going to, she spoke. "I'd sell my soul for another piece."

The owner laughed. "You'd have to."

"Pardon?" Ada sat up.

"One piece per customer.” He laughed. “An odd rule perhaps, but it serves." Her surprise must have been obvious, because he added, "Unless you're serious?"

Ada nodded, unable to help herself. She wanted this; she deserved it. Deserved a treat.

"Excellent." The man smiled, and produced a contract.

She blanched.

"Oh, don't worry, darling." said the owner, "It's not forever - not for a piece of pie. It's just three minutes."

She signed.

He opened the curtain, and Ada walked through.

The owner laughed again. He nodded at the old man, "For in hell, one minute shall be as a thousand years, eh?"

There was no reply as the couple faded back to nothingness.

Three minutes later, the curtain parted, and the thing that had once been Ada stumbled through. She saw the pie waiting for her, and began to shriek.


"Lookit that old lady," said the construction worker, looking out the window. "Been wanderin’ around for years now. All she ever says is 'pie.' Sad how some folks get, huh?"

"Indeed," said the man in the apron. "How was your cake?"

"Fantastic," said the workman. "I'd kill for another slice."

"You'd have to..."


Bio: Chris Allinotte lives in Toronto, Canada. In the winter it sometimes gets dark at four o'clock. That, and reading "Christine" when he was eight are probably to blame for some of what he writes. He blogs at The Leaky Pencil.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Mammoth Competition - Runner-Up: Dorothy Davies

A big Feardom welcome to author, editor and medium Dorothy Davies. Dorothy is the first of three runners-up in my The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol 22. competition with her story Victims of War.

Please read her story and give Dorothy your feedback. This one will touch your very soul.

Victims of War by Dorothy Davies

Do you not think a train whistle is the loneliest sound in the world?

Or is it just that I think so, because I am here on this station – because trains are my life?

Have you not seen them, the young men in khaki, hiding their fear behind gallows humour and stiff upper lip, when you know well they are not old enough to leave home, to face the guns, the foe in all their fierceness to push us out of Europe…

I see the men; I see the light around them. I can tell before they go who will come back missing a limb or even two, for those limbs have no light around them. I could go to them and say ‘don’t go, don’t go, for you will come home legless, armless or wounded in some terrible way. But they would laugh at me and get on the train anyway.

But the real nightmare I live with day after day is the ones I see with no heads, just a skull. Oh yes, I see the ones who will not return and how sad, how heartbreaking sad is it to see them for are they not young and energetic and have much to give to this world?

How many are so shown to me? I cannot say. In a crowd there could be 3 or 4 of them, maybe more. I see the skulls; I turn away for I cannot bear the thought of the loss of the young men.

The draining of the country is how I see it. Those who would work, those who would labour, those who would teach, those who would lead, they are heading for the Front, that mystical ever moving ever dangerous and treacherous Front, where they will come face to face with the enemy, with gunfire, with barbed wire and with every fear there is known to man.

They will come home damaged in body and in mind.

So you see me, a porter here on this station, ushering the young men onto the trains, smart in their uniforms, casual in their humour, dying inside with fear and gut wrenching longing not to be there, someone they ignore completely. I wave my green flag, I blow my whistle, I send the train out of the station to the coast where they will board the ships that will take them into Hell and damnation. For they will return changed beyond belief, beyond recognition, except for those who wear the skulls, who will end up under grass in a foreign land.

Those who boarded those trains are the lucky ones. Those who stayed behind suffered the agonies of being left behind.

I wanted to go. I thought I had to go.

But I looked in the mirror the day I was due to go to the recruiting office, I looked and I saw –

A skull.

And I could not go.

I stay here, with my cowardice. In my own hell.


Bio: Dorothy Davies, writer, editor, medium, resident of the Isle of Wight, fanatical Predictioneer and horror lover.
Dorothy Davies
Author and editor.
Amor Vincit Omnia

Check out my websites:

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Winning entry - The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol. 22

Thanks go to everyone that submitted a story on the theme of 'Damnation', for a chance to win a signed, pre-release copy of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 22, edited by Stephen Jones. [Details...]

The Winner

The winning entry is... The Endless Game by Anthony Cowin. Huge congratulations Tony! I loved this atmospheric story - a chilling urban horror that dabbles in steam punk. My skin prickled with every step of Jago's journey.

Anthony Cowin
I hope you enjoy the book - as always in these volumes Stephen Jones covers everything that's been happening on the horror scene of late.

The Mammoth Books are the bibles of horror resources as well as revealing who's been up to what in the horror fiction and film industry. And Volume 22 of course contains a collection of outstanding fiction from some of the best authors in the horror business today - many of whom have signed the winner's copy.

The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume 22 is available to buy from Amazon and all good bookshops now.

My congratulations to the three runners-up too. Their stories will be posted here on 23rd, 24th and 25th October.

In the meantime, here is the winning entry. Do take the time to give your feedback, and I hope you come back to read the runner-up stories too.

THE ENDLESS GAME by Anthony Cowin

Jago worked at the reservoir as payback for crimes he couldn’t remember committing. He toiled amongst low men who appeared like living photographs in the sparks as iron struck iron in the darkness.

The old man shared a rollup with him. It was icy inside the Victorian brick structure and Jago was grateful for the warmth. The low men stood behind them panting, hands on knees, fingertips wet with water.

“They say this place is haunted.”

Jago flicked the dog end through the air into the black pools beyond. “I don’t believe in ghosts.”

“There’s more to this world than football and girls lad.”

“Not to me old man. Not to me.”

“Your last day isn’t it?” Jago nodded. “Come on, I’ll treat you to a pint.”

The old man staggered home with pale ale sloshing inside his belly. Jago walked through the pools of orange sodium along High Park Street back to the reservoir. “Stupid old git,” he said as sandstone gargoyles followed his footsteps from the Cathedral behind. Local kids kicked a ball along the flat grass roof while teenage couples kissed against the high brick water tower. Jago lifted his collar and slipped into the shadows.

He clicked his torch and entered. Angular shadows flitted about the corroding supports like girls dancing around a Maypole. Oxidised dust fell around him. He pointed up. Of course, the kids.

“More to life than birds and footy,” Jago laughed.

He waded across to the water pumps at the back of the derelict building. He planned to grab the hidden cash and jump the next train out of Lime Street, but it was snagged inside the pipe. He tried wrestling it out when something stirred in the water below.

“Okay soft lad, remember there’s no such things as ghosts,” The bag slipped from the steel tube and splashed into the hole. “Shit.”

His torch beam sailed across the ripples searching for his loot. It caught a pair of white eyes floating beneath the black water. He jumped back as a shrivelled hand broke through and grabbed at him. The torch fell. Blooms of light faded inside the water as it plunged past the translucent woman crawling up the bricks and out of the pit.

He screamed at the exit hammering his fists against the steel doors. A cold breath crept along his neck and he froze. He turned to see them. Translucent creatures filled the place.

“There’s more to life Jago,” the old man whispered. “A hell of a lot more to death too.” 

Hundreds of eyes opened at once casting a lattice of thin light across the dark reservoir. He recognised the old man now, recognised them all.

Every night The Lurkers circle in the shallow pools around Jago. They lure him toward the dark pit but he escapes. They don’t mind, it’s all part of the game. They’ll drag him down eventually. They have all the time in the world after all. Because time in perdition is an endless game.

Bio: Anthony writes dark fiction that ranges from classic horror to supernatural thrillers. His work has been published in print anthologies and many online sources. He also trespasses into the world of poetry and film reviews if he’s lucky enough not to be caught. He’s currently working on a horror novel that haunts his dreams as much as he hopes it will haunt yours too someday.

Find Anthony on Twitter as @TonyCowin and Facebook at

For more information and news or to simply drop a line go to Anthony’s website at

Friday, 21 October 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

It's all about Halloween at the moment - as is right and correct. There are loads of comps/anthos out there but the ones that tickle my synapses are:

I've something brewing for the first two, and collecting entries for the last. 

Now down to Prediction business (can you tell I'm procrastinating? By gumbo this is a hard week)

Winners of Last Week's Prediction

Outstanding! Excruciatingly powerful words from such talented writers. You are cruel, you hear me? Cruel.

My winner from last week is Phil Ambler with Host. It takes a lot to seriously creep me out; this did it - in waves. How you've achieved that extreme sense of disquiet in 100 words... well, that is talented writing indeed. Congratulations Phil..

I have two runners-up: they are very different to each other and unusual for The Prediction challenge too. Very well done to Absolutely*Kate for her clever and cheeky EXTRA! EXTRA! Also to Chris Allinotte for his charming and strange poem Newspaper Hat.

Words for 21 October 2011

Last night the big book fell over, all by itself. What was it trying to say...?

  • Grateful
  • Drape
  • Stonehenge (Yes! Stonehenge!!!)


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 27th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 28th October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Tremble my heart, touch my fears. I can't wait...


Friday, 14 October 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

She is waning, the moon - in strength but not in beauty as she stares through the morning sky. I proffer humble thanks, watching her quickly slip into slumber as her backdrop  turns from red to duck-egg blue. 'Twill be a crisp but sunny one today, methinks.

Winners of Last Week's Prediction
Were my Prediction words cruel last week, I wonder? I felt so. The big book didn't treat us kindly, but still you managed such diverse wonders.

My winner from last week is William Davoll with No Rest For The Weekend. Even with a little typo (Your next" ;) ) there was something so wicked about this concept, and so rampant was the carnage that I couldn't help but love it to bits or stop thinking about it. Congratulations William; I seriously think you should develop this into a full length story.

The runner-up is John Xero with the extraordinary construction Cartography of Provocation. I was truly overwhelmed at the enormity contained with 100 words. Very well done indeed.

Words for 14 October 2011

Will the big book provide sweet relief this week? Let's see...

  • Ascend (all forms acceptable - ascension, ascent etc)
  • Newspaper
  • Shrivel
Interesting. Good luck everyone.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 20th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 21st October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

I'm so enjoying these longer, darker nights; my pen trembles all by itself in anticipation. And yours...?

Friday, 7 October 2011

COURTING DEMONS - a Collection of Dark Verse

For a while now I've been collating my poetry - the darker pieces - into a collection. Finally, the Kindle book of thirty-two poems is available to download from Amazon. It's called COURTING DEMONS - a Collection of Dark Verse by Lily Childs.

COURTING DEMONS - a Collection of Dark Verse
You may recognise some of the poems from The Feardom, others have won competitions and still others were hiding in notebooks and folders. The book includes my notes on each of the poems.

I have specified a price of $0.99 on but it is showing at $1.54 - still a bargain, I hope you agree!! Download, get a free sample or 'Look Inside' it on here.

The charming creature on the cover is a zinc etching called 'Venus', by Laurence Ranger. She's lovely.

Lily's Friday Prediction

I'm late, I'm late for a very important... something or other. And that's when Blogger decides to force its new interface on me. Tsk.

So with no more ado, it's over to the winner of last week's Prediction challenge. If it's OK with all the wonderfully talented entrants, I'll change how I do this slightly as it's easier for me to comment over the week then announce a winner at the beginning of the following Friday Prediction. Is that alright, Predictioneers?

Winners of Last Week's Prediction

Because of its lush, bizarro horror my winner is Anthony Cowin's Because You're Worthless. This made me squirm with wicked delight. Congratulations Tony!

Runner-up is Laurita with her classic Poe-like tale The Cask. I can just imagine this on Tales of the Unexpected (me and David Barber were going to campaign for that to be brought back, if I recall - David?) Very well done Laurita.

Words for 07 October 2011

...heaves the fat book onto her lap. Finger at the ready. Pages - flip! Your three words are:

  • Map
  • Engage
  • Taboo


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 13th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Friday 14th October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

These words seem to be sending us off an adventure. I wonder what we'll come back with, if at all...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

News, and an Exclusive Competition!

FantasyCon 2011

Yesterday, October 1st - I attended FantasyCon 2011 in Brighton. The sun glistened in the sky and I was very nearly distracted from my destination by the quirky shops of the North Lanes and the thriving café culture of this wonderfully cosmopolitan city.

I chose not to to purchase the fat, glass-beaded handbag or the scarf of huge violet velvet roses (sob) and arrived at the seafront hotel just before 12 noon. Signing in was simple; they handed me a Jo Fletcher Books bag packed with freebies and the glossy programme, pointing out further free books and the bar.

I shuffled around, earwigging conversations and working out who was who and finally spoke to some people after about two hours.

The Three Revelations

There were book readings, launches, art expos and LOTS of networking - this, I soon realised is what the entire event is about. Naive and a con-virgin I may be but I had never realised what an opportunity these events truly provide.

My second key realisation was that the fine authors, publishers, artists and agents at such an event are no different than you or me; they are down to earth, approachable and friendly.

Finally, and nowhere was this more apparent than the Dealers' Room and the Book Launches - the printed book is not only alive and well but courted and coveted in all its majesty.

So let's drop some names

And hopefully provide some useful links and tips too...
  • I sat behind Ramsay Campbell and Peter Crowther of PS Publishing for quite a while. 
  • Author and Con Mistress of Ceremonies Sarah Pinborough (what a great personality!) apologised for butting in as I chatted to Tim Lebbon and a collective of authors.
  • I talked to Spectral Press Editor Simon Marshall-Jones at length about moving to Shetland and being a Mission fan - and his limited edition horror publications. 
  • I crossed the path of Clive Barker managers Phil and Sarah Stokes
  • Spoke briefly to renowned horror film critic and author, the dapper Kim Newman who - unbelievably -  I then saw on TV last night!
Most importantly, after plucking up the courage to approach him (after a couple of glasses of free wine) I had a conversation with horror collector, expert, editor and author - the very charming Stephen Jones.

Based on Stephen's advice, I'll be submitting my best stories for him to consider mentioning in next year's Mammoth Book of Best New Horror (and he does only want your very best, a covering letter and your publishing CV - though preferably he would rather your publisher recommended your work).

I will also do my utmost to attend World Fantasy Conference 2013 - which Stephen is hailing THE horror/fantasy publishing event.

Exclusive Competition!

Regular contributors of dark, dangerous horror to my weekly Prediction challenge will know how important Stephen Jones' annual Mammoth Book of Best New Horror is as a reference bible. This year's - volume 22 - is no exception. The book is being released at the end of October.

BUT!! The book was pre-launched at FantasyCon yesterday and I acquired an extra copy signed by:
  • Stephen Jones (Editor)
  • The great Ramsay Campbell
  • Mark Morris
  • Simon Kurt Unsworth
  • Thana Niveau
  • Robert Shearman
  • Joel Lane
  • Christopher Fowler
  • Kim Newman
  • Cover artist Vincent Chong
I am GIVING AWAY THIS PRE-RELEASE, SIGNED COPY OF THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST HORROR VOL. 22 as the prize in the following competition. You've gotta work for it - are you ready?

Rules and Conditions:
  • Write a fictional horror/dark fiction story of no more than 500 words on the theme of DAMNATION
  • Send it in the body of an email (no attachments, however good the story) to with 'Mammoth Competition',  the 'story title' by 'your name/author name' in the subject line. For example: Mammoth Competition, My Story by Lenny Lardons
  • Use a simple font Verdana, Arial etc) - 12 pt, single spaced. 
  • Include a short bio - max 100 words. Add a link to your blog/Twitter/Facebook accounts if you have them (in addition to the 100 words)
  • Competition closes at midnight UK time on Sunday 16th October. Winner will be notified of the decision on 18th October when I will request their postal address. The winning entry will be announced and their story published on The Feardom on 22nd October 2011.
  • Copyright of all entries remains with the author but in submitting an entry you agree, should your story win or be one of the three runners-up, for your story to remain published on The Feardom unless you request its removal. Should you win or be a runner-up and wish to submit the story elsewhere I would recommend you tell them it has previously been published online, and as such is a 'reprint'.
  • Conditions:
    • Only one entry per person
    • No suicide, self-harm or teenage grief stories
    • No extreme S&M, there are other comps/markets for that
    • No child abuse
    • Don't use the *C* word - I hate it.
  • The author of the winning story will receive the signed, pre-release copy of the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol. 22, as detailed above. I will send it by first-class post at my own expense.
  • The winning story will be published on The Feardom on 22nd October 2011
  • Three runner-up stories will be published on The Feardom on 23rd, 24th and 25th October.
I regret I'm not able to comment on entries or provide reviews but - good luck everyone!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Aw, little 'ole me - guest writer at TFFO?

God's Gift

Ages ago, the marvellous and witty Two Blokes, I mean Flash Fiction Offensive editor, Friday Prediction regular and crime writer of choice David Barber asked me if I'd care to submit something to TFFO as a Guest Writer. So I ermd and aaahd and of course, within seconds said 'Yes please' like some freckly toff schoolgirl with 'prefect' as a career move.

Then life happened. Shit happened. Loads of cruddy rubbish happened and I found myself stuck in inglorious mud - but I got there in the end.

The subject matter for 'God's Gift' came from a fleeting dream my old man had. I stole it (that's what demons do), elaborated and added the fiction... and the nasty bits... and the back story - oh well, you know how it goes.

Anyway, my apologies to David for committing so long ago - then making him wait and a huge thank you to him for this opportunity.

Read God's Gift at The Flash Fiction Offensive...

Lily's Friday Prediction

We're having a late heatwave in the south of England, which is why I'll be wearing a long-sleeved heavy winter dress and spending my entire day in a hotel in Brighton tomorrow - they're going to have to change my name badge to Mrs Shiny Pinkface at FantasyCon.

As usual it's been a lunatic week of multi-tasking (for I am woman) but I've got a good deal of writing done. I am also doing the final work on my collection of dark verse, which will be published next week on Amazon. It's called Courting Demons. More on that soon.

Winners of Last Week's Prediction Challenge

Although I didn't get the chance to write a summary of your entries I did comment on all of them, so do hope that will suffice.

The winner is Chris Allinotte with his looking glass slant on Alice, with Eat Me, and that literary line "Piss off, you cranky old twat. You're killing my buzz." Congratulations Chris!

And runner-up is newcomer Dee who (I confess it was personal) whisked me back to the Crete of this and other lives with her dark, untitled revelation. Well done Dee.

Words for 30 September 2011

Will this week's words be any easier? They were tough last week, weren't they. Let's see:

  • Suspend
  • Vintage
  • Split


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 6th October to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday 6th or Friday 7th October. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

Are the words hanging off your fingers, tickling your synapses? Then you know what to do...


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

FantasyCon 2011 - September 30th to October 2nd

Sarah Pinborough
FantasyCon 2011
Mistress of Ceremonies
So, in a fit of excitement several weeks ago I bought a (Satur)day ticket to FantasyCon 2011 in Brighton, just a quick train-trip along the coast.

The programme looks great - readings and master-classes; some inspiring names - Ramsay Campbell, Christopher Paolini, the collector Stephen Jones and so - so many more. The Mistress of Ceremonies is the very gorgeous and talented author Sarah Pinborough.

And suddenly it's here; just a few days away. I haven't received my ticket yet - but I've had confirmation, so that means something - doesn't it?

Anyway, I have no idea what to expect and being so shy and retiring (shut up) am a little nervous about socialising. There's always wine, of course - but then again, there's always wine. Better take some water.

As it happens I'm really looking forward to it. If only I'd had the time to buy something new to wear (I am a girly after all) but looks like it'll be the usual.

Wish me luck!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Lily's Friday Prediction

Up before 6am today and was hammering at the keyboard as the sun rose on a clear, pale blue sky. Fitting for the Autumn Equinox. (Blessed be).

So that's another 700 words on Magenta Shaman Stones the Crow, bringing the first draft up to 10k already. The end is nigh - and I finally know what's going to happen - and to whom.

Time to put shaman mode to one side and open up the big book in search of words that are not my own. But first...

Congratulations to Phil Ambler for tearing our hearts to pieces with the real-life horror of losing a child, and the guilt of passive neglect (It wasn't his fault!!!) Loss was last week's winner.

And well done to runner-up AJ Humpage for throwing the truth in our faces with Just Another Echo; street life is one of desperation and loneliness. How can we bring ourselves to turn the other cheek?

Words for 23 September 2011

I wonder if we'll get bigger, plumper words this time after last week's little pip squeaks. Here goes:

  • Understand (all variants allowed)
  • Carnelian
  • Toadstool
Hmmm - I like these words. Nothing flashes immediately to mind but nothing a little meditation won't cure.


The rules are: 100 words max flash fiction or poetry using all of the words above. Please add your entries in the Comments box below. You have the whole week until 9pm UK time on Thursday 29th September to enter.

Winner will be announced next Thursday 29th or Friday 30th September. If you can, please tweet about your entry, using the #fridayflash hashtag, and blog if you feel like it.

The equinox at this time of year is also about putting down roots and preparing for the longer nights - all fuel for writing, I think. Let's see if this festival of Mabon warms your cockles...
Lily Childs is a writer of horror, esoteric, mystery and chilling fiction.

If you see her dancing outside in a thunder storm - don't try to bring her in. She's safe.