Petrichor

Storm just about to hit. Notice the weeds. Beyond that is a sugar beet field.

The distinct smell of rain this morning. Last night we had a thunderstorm move through. Actual rain. The ground is yet wet this morning. Normally, storms here that produce any rain last about five minutes, if that. The ground seems a sort of polka dot vista before the dryness wins again. It’s nearly true that when it rains here in Eastern Oregon, that you can actually walk between the rain drops. I’m not talking about the mountainous regions, of course. I did hear that Sumpter, Oregon, got two inches of rain and then some, in short measure this past eve, which prompted flooding worries. Flooding. When the heat has baked us into fire-exploding potential fuckholocausts from end to end.

I have been busy submitting, trying to ‘get my stuff out there’. That’s my vague yet precise goal, after all, as a writer. Getting my stuff out there for rejections galore or the rare acceptance.

It’s humid, I’m not used to humidity here and it’s befuddling me as I wring sweat from my shirt. Heat, fine, whatever, I can deal. I LIVED IN LAS VEGAS. I know heat! I also lived in SoCal, cheek and jowl against the Mojave. Heat, pavement, Joshua trees, oh yeah, baby. Humidity, no thanks. I’d like to speak to the manager in my most Karen of ways, please.

Submissions. It rained. I have lots of cucumbers and my pumpkins are ripening. I prepared one already for fall pies and such. I discovered my local PBS station GOT RID OF THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW because it’s gone. It’s not in the usual 4PM slot on Saturday. WTF is happening?? Oh the humanity! Yes, I know it’s streaming on blah blah, go slap yourself with a catfish. It was something I looked forward to every week. A little lovely treat, a visual delight. It’s seemingly replaced by some travel show. You have enough shows on travel, PBS. Bring back TGBBS. How dare you???!! It’s popular and kid-friendly, hello. I know, compared to real troubles and the world at large, this is a tiny nonsensical wail. But it seems that everything that makes life even a bit bearable gets canceled or ended or ruined or stopped or…Yeah, that’s just life, okay. Okay.

Started the FX series, the Americans. I’m enjoying it so far. Reached season two. Enjoying it is maybe not the right phrase. It’s pretty grim, serious, layered and complex. You have to pay attention. There’s also all the 80’s stuff that seems relevant now or always. Escalation with Russia, who’s got a nuke, who’s a real American, mouthy teenage kids. I’m really impressed with the two leads so far. Also some applause for whoever did the wigs for that show. It should be called Americans in Wigs.

I’d go into the return of masks but fuck me, it’s exhausting. The left needs to work up a public campaign that makes it seem that wearing a mask, getting the vaccine will own the libs like there’s no tomorrow. A 24/7 campaign, as relentless and tireless as anything from the right wing garbage-spewing factories. Facts and logic and reality, no. Tricks, psychological warfare, bribes, yes. That’s where we are now or have always been. People do no operate on logical, realistic lines. People who claim to do that…BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Please, just don’t. Have you met people? Go hang out on Twitter for a bit. Or peek at the comments section under anything.

Rain , submissions, no Great British, masks back, wigs on the Americans are outstanding.

Oh, also, on that show. Martha. She drives me batshit bonkers. Hate her. I hope she dies in a Russian industrial accident. But I adore Claudia, or Margot Martindale. More of her, please. She’s fantastic, fun to watch. I just want a show of her and Kerri Russell exchanging threats over plates of scrambled eggs. And then they solve crimes or something because you can’t build a series over two characters doing that, right? Right?

Oh hey, I have two short stories about to hit the indifferent public spheres. City Full of Rain, by LitMag and Blood and Bread will appear this October in Hellhound Magazine.

Jinxy

Oh….kay. Am wishing on stars and selling my soul to the devil at the crossroads at midnight. Cause. Why not. It can’t hurt and it might help.

Got through the second round of [bleep] and am WAITING OH MY LORDY DO YOU IDIOTS THINK I AM PATIENT OR SOMETHING? Just tell me. Ugh!

Tom Petty, you were right. The waiting is the hardest part.

It’s my b-day tomorrow. I’m old. Considering getting myself some Midori and watching movies all day. I have a trip coming up so don’t need to chance the local wilderness on a Friday, with the crazed shithouse rats that live around here and near here all competing for a spot in their vans down by one of the rivers.

I did manage to write this week. Got Army of Flamingos polished up and sent forth into that weird novella territory. I didn’t number the pages but I don’t normally do that for a book-length anything. I hope in the NINE FREAKING MONTHS or that one eternity later, from Spongebob, that it doesn’t detract from the wonderment of my tale. It did say nine months to respond. But. There are a shit ton of submissions to read. I get it. I get it!

My garden has some splendid spots. My tomato plant is a BEAST. I love it! I don’t even like tomatoes. But. I can do things with fresh ones. And can freeze them handy enough. Punkins are percolating. Peppers are peppering along. Flowers are preparing to bloom. I’ve been drying my sage and oregano, need to tackle the cilantro. As in dry it or figure out how to preserve it.

So yes. I have books out. On Amazon and elsewhere. Aftermath: Boise, Idaho is a sentient zombies fun romp. The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane is sort of Doomsday meets Mad Max meets a Judi Dench and her friends movie meets the Brothers Grimm. As in their uncensored tales, with cannibals and mothers beating on their dead children to make them behave and…uh huh. Make me a happy birthday person and pick one or the other or both up. Read them on your Kindle and leave me a review! Yay!

Jinx

I know there’s no such thing as jinxes. I know this. My brain know it. The rest of me, eh, no so much. I am always wary of speaking or writing of something before it happens. Like a job interview. Do not tell anyone or even admit you have one before the interview. Otherwise, IT WILL GO BADLY.

Anyone else have this one? You don’t talk about something important or just ordinary [like a job interview] before you get the results or it will GO BADLY.

Anyway! Yes, I have a job interview or rather, a process to get to a job. A series of steps, as it were. I’m on step two. If I get through [this next task], it’s on to other steps. Hurray. The good thing is: I can do this job from home. I don’t have to deal with anything but equipment going nutty. Or a bad internet connection that day. As the internet works most days here, not really concerned that way. My computer works fairly well. I can even hook cameras and headsets up without much trouble. Go me! Normally I am such a Luddite. But it’s just plugging stuff into the USB ports, so…yeah. I can totally do that. I am the master of plugging stuff into USB ports. You betcha.

I’ve tried this before, what sort of job I’m trying to land now. I failed so miserably at it. Ugh! Could not get the equipment to work. But this time, I am ready, more or less. I’m being vague because of the whole jinx thing.

I have books out. Aftermath: Boise, Idaho deals with sentient zombies and our intrepid, pragmatic heroine, Hannah. The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane pits three elderly, but thoroughly fabulous sisters, each in their own way, against a beat-up cannibal bikers. The Werewolves limp into what’s left of Fallon, Nevada, after their own epic showdown with a rival gang, the Glitterbugs. But wait, there’s a third gang of law and order church ladies looking to restore everything called the Snitty Ratballs. There’s also a lion roaming around, double and triple crosses and alliances formed to fight a common foe!

I had a lot of fun writing both of those. I tried to balance between the absurd, the comedic and the horrible. I think I did okay. Both are available on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.

Rocks

Around Nyssa, Oregon

I took the three dogs and drove toward Owyhee State Park here in Eastern Oregon. It was a truly GORGEOUS day. And there were oodles of people. On a Thursday. Fuuuuuuuuudgepops!

The back way to the park also had road construction. With detours. Fine, whatever, I know the roads are laid out like a grid, can’t stop me, state of Oregon. Woot woot, gonna get where I wanna go, baby.

Yes, I collected some red lava rocks and didn’t find anything spectacular or shiny or magical. I let the three dogs romp in the river, I threw sticks for them, I let them sniff and hunt a bit, as dogs are wont to do. My favorite spots sported tents and sullen campers setting up camps. Fudgepops!!

I also saw some buffalo, as they raise them around here and a field full of sassy, darling goats.

On the way home, same detour…except I had to drive almost to Nyssa to get on Clark Boulevard to get back home. Ah yes, the same boulevard featured in my second novel– House on Clark Boulevard. I even think I saw the old house where I used to live so long ago and in a time of far away. It’s run down, looks deserted but a car was parked there. But that has to be the house. It’s on the correct side of the road, there’s the space where the pasture used to be, the house itself has the same shape I remember. But no chicken coop or other buildings left behind the house. The trees are gone or pulled down or have fallen. Is that the house? Is my memory right or very very wrong? Mm.

But anyway…had to take the very long and winding way back home with three wet dogs. What a lovely smell a wet dog has. But I also had some new rocks. Good day. What a good day that was.

Owyhee River
Molly about to plunge into the river.

Pig Bait

Wheat field, with storm coming in, last year

It’s May. The weather is either FREEZING, WINDY HELL or hey, it’s warm out. Garden is planted, got a new blueberry plant to go with the one from last year.

So have been not writing that much. But. Have been thinking about it. Does that count? Yes, it does.

So saw this blip about Baker City, Oregon and how it’s now a sanctuary city against…wokeness. I. Um? Ahem. Not an Onion article or a satire piece in the sedate New Yorker. The mayor, with crazy glazed eyes, did an interview on Fuck It Fearnews. Where she blatted on about entire Pacific Northwest cities burning down, Antifa not welcome in Baker and…the usual bullshit you can hear from your red-hatted relatives. Seattle is gone? Portland is now just ashes? We’re kinda short on cities here in the Pacific Northwest. Eugene? Is it Eugene she’s shrilling about?

Yes, so!

This utter stinking lunacy gave me an IDEA. What if…what if someone deliberately trolled the red-hats, got them so wound up that one of them actually decided to ‘do something about it’. And it’s a trap. Baited with ‘go ahead, look me up, if you dare’ rhetoric implied. As Americans are off their damn rockers right now and do actually find people to shoot or run over or…Yeah, my brain, it just goes there.

Sometimes you have to take those wild ass far right news blips and turn them into horror tales for this post-modern trying to return to the actual fucking Dark Ages timeline we’re in now. Yeppity yep.

I am fully vaccinated. There’s that.

Been up since two. My brain is a swirly whirly sludge of huh? right now. But I noticed I had not posted for a while and hey, I do have a rough draft, two now, done of a short story I’m called Pig Bait. I rather enjoyed writing it. I haven’t enjoyed writing for a long time.

All righty! It’s gorgeous outside so I need to obsessively check my seedlings and yank the sprinkler to a dry spot. All my flower seeds sprouted! The cat is also doing well. In case you were worried. You know who you are.

Jimmy’s Jar Collection, cont.

Good morning. How ya doin’? It’s spring and the garden doth call. Doth it call for thee as well? Okay, before I descend into faux Shakespeare-King James Bible meanderings– I have a short story out in the Ghastling, number 13.

Jimmy’s Jar collection is a tale of two cousins in an Idaho graveyard trying to catch ghosts in canning jars.

Check it out! Also, go check out past issues of the Ghastling. If you like short stories that deal with the macabre and strange and spooky, or even if you don’t, you might find some writing you really enjoy. Cheers!

Ambitions

Hi and hello. I am going to try to record my work in audio formats, which should be a fun learning experience for all. I am also going to stop being a chickenshit and get…A PATREON PAGE. Why not. I have stuff to offer. It’s a way to get my works out there.

I am not good with technology so this will be a challenge. And since the weather refuses to not be wintery, which is freezing all my plants…yeah, should jump with a WTF, let’s do this! rebel yell into the nearest canyon. All righty then! Onward, upward, woot woot.

https://www.patreon.com/annwuehler

Snow and Vampires

Morning snow

Welp, it snowed. I do mean snowed. Lots of snowflakes in a condensed set of days. We got winter all of a sudden. Not a teasing slight whitening of the ground that was gone in an hour as the temps shot up to fifty. Oh no. No. Inches of the stuff. Inches in the valleys, feet in the various mountains in all directions. Sorry, daughter of a farmer, the weather fascinates and controls me.

So! Did not even get an interview for this job I happened to see listed in the local paper for an English instructor. Yeah. I was a bit late turning in my packet, however. As the paper didn’t bother to check due dates, either. But hey, I turned it in, anyway and…yeah, not even an interview, just a form email. I expected this. I knew this was going to happen when I rushed it into HR, as this is the local community college and the HR person was all fake sympathy and we’ll put this on the pile but no promises it will even get looked at. Whee. Lesson? CHECK DATES. I also managed to gather everything asked for in a very short span of time. I’m going to take a victory lap on that, because even a loss is celebrated as a win these days.

Currently, I toil over a new novel. It’s called the Vampire Bride and it started off as rather cutesy-sweet and now it’s fallen into the groove of not so cutesy and not sweet at all. I’m having fun writing it. I have not had fun with writing for near a year so this feels so utterly freaking good. It’s first person unreliable narrator blah dee blah. My vampires are based off evolution and science, bwha ha ha. I won’t go into it but I at least tried to make them not so much supernatural as a distant cousin of humans. Rather like dogs and bears had a common ancestor way back when. Kinda like that. Yep. And I really like Madeline, my vampire bride. She’s sassy! I also only have a vague idea where this is headed. Fun! Of course it’s JUST the first draft yet.

Oh and to end this– my FOURTH NOVEL, The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane, will be out soon. Like March or April! I go from zombies running the world– Aftermath: Boise, Idaho-– to cannibal bikers versus elderly sisters in the wastelands of Fallon, Nevada after a nuclear fuckitall world war. Sounds grim? No, it’s not! I did write some grim versions of this, but the final version is more a dark faerytale than the Road on steroids. Yay! It’s a mix of the movie Doomsday and Chekhov’s Three Sisters except my three sisters actually do get to go to Moscow, so to speak. Well, maybe they do? Mm!

Oh yeah, that not gonna matter we’re gonna vote for our king Trumpie impeachment thing. Seven GOPers did vote he was guilty. That’s a big deal, it is. No, really. Maybe next time, in criminal trials, he’ll be…And I’m out. I just am hopeless that fuckmonkey will ever face any actual consequences. Maybe he will? Maybe next time? And then that song from Cabaret goes through my head.

Liza, baby, take it away: Maybe This Time – Full Song – Cabaret 1972 – Liza Minnelli – YouTube

Groundhog Late Date Vampire Writing Splurge

Happy new month. May it not seem as long as January. Holy cats, what a long damn January that was.

I am writing again! The clog in my inner writing bowels has cleared out and I am pooping out words in a steady fashion. Too gross? Eh, but that’s how it feels. Like something that was bottled up, became unbottled. I even started a new novel. The Vampire Bride. It’s set in La Grande, Oregon and the story…is, I don’t know. I have a vague idea where our faulty narrator vampire gal ends up in a cage but maybe not. I also cross the streams and added James from Bailey, in my Oregon Gothic collection. He’s also a vampire. I know. Vampires??? But. They’re not sparkly, they’re more organic creatures than supernatural ones and…uh huh. I’m having fun writing it. Isn’t that great?? Writing is fun??!! What??!!

Also, my fourth novel is on deck, with a cover chosen. The Remarkable Women of Brokenheart Lane. Cannibal bikers, elderly sisters, a lion, in a post-nuclear strikes world…in what’s left of Nevada. I’m calling it a dark faery tale. It wrote itself…Ever had that happen? When a story or poem or play or whatever just…rumbles out of you. You just type, allowing whatever story or scrap or epic essay on irrigation and modern man, to arrange itself as it wants. You’re just the conduit, the recorder. It arrives from some alien dimension inside your tricksy head. Bada binga bam. That’s what Remarkable Women was like. I just got out of its way finally. It patted me on the head, cleared its throat and threw itself onto the page. Those three sisters wanted their tale told, the bikers wished to state their case, the church ladies of the apocalypse…well.

My grandfather’s birthday was on the second of Feb. He was born 02/02/02. That would have made him around 119 if he were still around.

And my last little thing– I saw this job posting for an English instructor at the local community college. I saw this advertised in the local very small hometown paper, last Thursday. I gathered my materials and got my packet ready, then noticed the date it was due. Oh dear. However! I took my packet of stuff to the HR there and turned it in anyway. They accepted it, with the caveat I might not be considered and I said that was so much better than what I had expected. I had expected an outright refusal. So. We’ll see. I have no luck at all with this place but hey, turning my stuff in late for a job I am actually trained for, and have professional expertise in…we’ll see.