Each year, Jolene Haley features dark stories and creations for the month of October. Come walk along the dark shore and meet the watery denizens that lurk there.
I will be appearing as part of the Creators Track at Spooky Empire in Orlando, Florida, USA, on October 26-28, 2018. Spooky Empire Ultimate Horror Weekend is one of the largest horror conventions in the nation, and this year’s convention has a huge line up of celebrity guests, horror creators, a film festival, live performances, and a tattoo festival.
This year’s Creators Track focuses on horror writers and includes panels, seminars, and signings. Come see me at Cult of Terror, Women in Horror, and Writing is Hard, But We Love It. I’ll also be signing The Dark and Stormy Night, a blind round robin horror story.
Want more information on the Creators Track? I wrote about last year’s panels for The Midnight Society.
Can’t wait to see you there!
Fed up with her cabin mates, a girl hikes under the Texas sun and meets the fly of her darkest dreams.
The Royal Palm Literary Awards are the Florida Writers Association annual writing competition. I’ve been a member of FWA for several years, and I’m honored that my story has been recognized by my local writing community.
Awards will be given on October 20, 2018, at the FWA conference banquet.
“Blink Fly” was published as part of the Summer of Screams Writer and Artist Showcase, a compilation of dark fiction and artwork set in summer camp.
Did you see the will o’ wisp dancing outside your door this morning? She fluttered for just a moment, then careened off. There are forces moving on the wind, darting between shadows, luring you off to where the spirits are celebrating today.
An adorable night hag, haunting the dreams of her victims, Jolene writes terrifying slasher YA stories and witchy romance. Her beast minions, the dog and the occasional cat, serve her on the night roads. She grows stronger from eating the food of the gods, pizza. She cannot be stopped.
Jolene’s greatest magic is the warmth and support she gives to everyone around her. She brightens dark days, dispels dark spirits of the heart, and feeds the creative fire in her friends and acolytes.
Blow out those birthday candles, Jolene! Hope you special day is amazing!
The Midnight Society is celebrating our creepiest member all around the internet. Check out all the other Jolene celebrations!
Summer camp is bonfires, camp songs, and summer friendships…
Summer camp is spooky woods, monster legends, and the scary things that lurk just beyond the trail…
Or on the trail, like “Blink Fly.”
Jolene Haley is hosting
#SummerofScreams, a writer and artist showcase celebrating the darker side of summer camp. “Blink Fly” follows a camper hiking in Palo Duro Canyon, where the Texas ground cracks open. The canyon is rust red and deep.
Follow the #SummerofScreams showcase for more scary summer camp stories.
Have you met your word count for today, NaNoWriMos?
NaNoWriMo has been rocking along for six days now, and writers are flying on the heady rush of stories pouring out of them while simultaneously worrying when and where they’ll find the time to reach their nearly 1700 wpd (words per day) goal. Wacky sleep patterns are starting to take their toll. Writers are sneaking into corners to tap on their phones or dictating scenes while driving.
This is my third NaNoWriMo and just like Harry Potter in his third year:
“I knew I could do it this time,” said Harry, “because I’d already done it…Does that make sense?” Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
I’ve “won” NaNoWriMo twice before, so I know I can get 50,000 words of a story out in 30 days. And I know I’d have a blast doing it. I even have a creepy story idea that wants to be a novel, badly.
But I needed something other than 50,000 new words this year. I’m doing something harder, at least for me. I’m spending my time editing last year’s novel. That means reworking the parts that fell flat before, or which ended with note to myself to “do something here.” It means punching up my ending to something more exciting.
It also means discovering that I really like some of what I wrote last year, and being grateful it’s organized more coherently than I’d feared. I love this story. The main character is awful, and kind of hilarious, and I have the best time writing her. Horrific things happen that make me want to clap my hands. There’s magic there, and the story deserves to be made better. And it feels good to push myself to get better at my craft.
And I have some reward writing for myself, too. I have a spooky short story to finish for submission in December, so that’s my dessert after I do the harder stuff.
Do you have a writing goal this NaNoWriMo? Any tricks for fitting writing into your schedule?
You can find me at Leaves and Cobwebs – reach out and let’s cheer each other on.
Happy, happy Halloween! Are you ready for the big day? Is your yard properly haunted? Have you finished your costume and filled the candy bowls for the trick-or-treaters? Do you have your evening horror movie or reading planned?
And for you writers: are your prepped for NaNoWriMo, which starts in less than 24 hours?
For the last day of October, I’m sharing some of my favorite podcasts by women who love geeking out over horror as much as I do.
Zombie Grrlz – Rachel and her cohosts are “fearless, fierce, horror lovin’ ladies (and guys) who just want to geek out about our favorite genre,” and they are hilarious. They also celebrate women in horror and provide feminist insight into movies and other media. I am a huge fan of all three podcasts in the ZG network: Zombie Grrlz (general horror reviews and discussion), Stream Queens (focusing on streaming movies), and The Cast of Ka (a chapter-by-chapter analysis of Stephen Kings “Dark Tower” series).
Faculty of Horror – Andrea and Alex discuss current and classic horror movies “with a slash of analysis and research.” Both hosts are accomplished horror journalists and academics. They delve into the themes and history behind horror movies, and their love for them shines through.
The Girls in the Back Row – Kat and Tab are huge horror fans helping each other fill the gaps in their “watched” lists. Episodes start with a spoiler-free review and the new watcher’s first impressions, and then transition to dig deep into the movie.
It’s the last day of the Halloween season, but these ladies will help you keep the creepiness going all year. Thank you for stopping by to celebrate the Countdown to Halloween, and have a spooky, spooky night!
The Thornewood Hotel has seven stories and 666 rooms. Sometimes it has grand elevators and a ballroom. The staff mostly keep out of site, but they are watching. The guests come and go…well, oftentimes, they come and stay.
The character Darryl is based on a “food and drink man” who worked with my father, who refurbished hotels. I saw many hotels stripped to the bones while growing up, as my father and his workers replaced floor and wall coverings, plumbing, and electrical fixtures. I saw through hotel walls, into the space between rooms. I saw chandeliers laying splayed on the ground. Hotels are a beautiful facade for their guests. The workers know what lies in the rooms the guests never see.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my posts about #SpookyEmpireRefugees. It was heart-breaking, then heart-warming, and overall an incredible event for Central Florida’s horror community.
I had spooky plans for the first weekend in October. Somehow, The Addams Family musical, Halloween Horror Nights, and Spooky Empire all came together at the same time. I was especially excited about the horror writing panels at Spooky Empire. Then Hurricane Matthew happened.
If you’ve been through a hurricane or other huge storm that you can plan for, you know how the days beforehand are a mix of excitement and impending doom. You prepare for the weather and losing power. You follow work and school closures. You check on the folks in the path of the storm. You wait, and you hope it isn’t as bad as it could be.
By Thursday, it became clear that things could become pretty bad for Orlando and all of Florida’s east coast. The theme parks wisely shut down. And Spooky Empire had to cancel.
This article describes how the horror community rallied in the wake of the storm, pulling together to support the people who organized Spooky Empire, the numerous vendors who were missing the event, and the horror fans who desperately wanted their spooky weekend.
The Spooky Empire Refugees event happened because of the amazing folks at Coffee Shop of Horrors. They make horror-themed coffees (and teas, candies, and soaps), roasted locally and to order. Everything there is delicious, and the small bags make excellent Halloween gifts.
We’ve weathered Hurricane Matthew, and the past weekend was more and less spooky than planned before the storms rolled through Florida. I have stories and photos to share.
If you want to help out, there are many, many people within the United States and the Caribbean who were devastated by Hurricane Matthew. The American Red Cross is always one of the first agencies on the scene, helping folks out.