Spring, Horror, and Puppy Dog Tales

Spring is on my mind. Yesterday, while cycling, I heard frog song and saw newborn long-lashed calves and a waddling squadron of goslings. A Facebook friend reported sightings of tulips pushing up through the ground. Today, the clocks sprung forward, although early morning light already brightens the bedroom, luring me from my comfy cocoon.

So inspired, I recently wrote a short story about spring. A pond frog goes ashore to experience spring on land. “Pond Frog & Robin,” a picture book story (ages 4-8), is written in the vein of “Blue Bear & Snow Toad” but without the rhyme.

I have notes for summer and autumn versions too. But, now, with frog song in my head, a celebration of spring is due.

Here’s an excerpt:

The pond ice melted, and the sun warmed the water again. Soon, fish ripples circled across the top.

In the reeds, from little jelly eggs, fat black tadpoles emerged. They grew and grew, and their tails shrunk. Four legs appeared. Then their skin turned a shade of green, and bulbous eyes popped out on their heads.

*****

While I’d love to present myself as a children’s writer, I dabble in other genres too.

Would you believe horror? Oddly, I don’t like being scared. “Jaws” disturbed me for years, and I freaked watching “The Village, ” throwing the bucket of popcorn into the air. But, that’s the movies.

I find the literary genre compelling for exploring the abstracts of good and evil and the many grays in between. Supernatural characters just take it to another level, but beware: monsters can also be humane and, inversely, humans can be monstrous.

(And you thought I just liked froggies and daffodils.)

Anyhow, in this genre, I have a flash fiction piece coming out next week (March 20) in The Crimson Pact. This anthology features 26 stories, including one from fantasy superstar, Larry Correia, a NY Times bestselling author. A wonderful selection of interesting, well-told stories, ultimately united by the over-arching idea that demons have been unleashed upon the universe.

My flash, “Inside Monastic Walls,” is set in Greece at one of the monasteries atop the otherworldly Meteora.  It’s a showdown when a demon arrives on the scene. I won’t tell you who wins.

*****

Just to mix it up, I have a couple more recent pieces intended for a general audience. The June 2011 issue of “Dog Fancy” will feature a narrative about hiking with my dogs, complete with one of my photos. A follow-up article on dog hiking supplies has an ETA of sometime this fall.

*****

I’d love to tell you about the novel and hiking guide in progress, but spring is calling me. Clear, blue skies. Budding aspens. Cabin-feverish dogs.  A lonely bike hanging from a rafter.

I’m getting my butt out of this chair.

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2 thoughts on “Spring, Horror, and Puppy Dog Tales

  1. Jim W says:

    Very much enjoyed your soliloquy. Your insights on humanity and monsters was spot on and your children’s book storytelling superb!!

  2. Paul Genesse says:

    I like your ramblings. Keep them coming . . .

    Paul Genesse
    Editor of The Crimson Pact
    http://www.thecrimsonpact.com

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