The Wendigo by Ogden Nash

In honor of tonight’s episode of Sleepy Hollow

“The Wendigo”, by Ogden Nash

The Wendigo,
The Wendigo!
Its eyes are ice and indigo!
Its blood is rank and yellowish!
Its voice is hoarse and bellowish!
Its tentacles are slithery,
And scummy,
Its lips are hungry blubbery,
And smacky,

The Wendigo,
The Wendigo!
I saw it just a friend ago!
Last night it lurked in Canada;
Tonight, on your veranada!
As you are lolling hammockwise
It contemplates you stomachwise.
You loll,
It contemplates,
It lollops.
The rest is merely gulps and gollops.


What we’re working on

Ari and I usually have 2-3 works in progress at any given time. We like having multiple drafts going because if we hit a wall with one work, we can set it aside for a while and pick up with something else. Sometimes, we need to put something aside because it’s a long work, like the Blood Bathory novels, and we need a break from it or we need to knock out a shorter work for a submission call. Sometimes we need to stop and think about where to next. Sometimes it just fizzles, which is usually a sign we need to back up and regroup — and rewrite!

Right now, we’re actively working on two drafts. One is the third novel in the Blood Bathory trilogy. I’d say we’re about 2/3rd finished. This is a manuscript that’s been stopped and restarted probably three times for various reasons, mainly due to the dynamic between the two leading characters not working out right. But we’ve finally got it right this time, and it’s rolling along.

The other one is a follow-up to Finding Forgiveness. When we introduced Carlos as Matt’s ex-lover, we intended him to be a minor character who provided some additional tension between Matt and Gil. However, he ended up with a larger role and a richer backstory, and now he’s getting his own book.

In Finding Forgiveness, Carlos mentions the man he lost because his feet and his eyes wandered too much. Obviously, he still carries a torch for that man, so we’re giving him a second chance to win back the man he loves.

Initially, Carlos was the name of the ranch hand whose mare was having trouble foaling, but when Matt’s ex arrived, I wanted to switch names and give the name Carlos to the character with the larger role because I’m a Welcome to Night Vale fan, and I adore Carlos the scientist.

We knew Carlos needed to be sexy in order to make Gil jealous. I remembered an interview I’d seen with Cecil Baldwin, who said he imagined Carlos the scientist as looking like a hot Brazilian model. It didn’t take much Googling to find my perfect Carlos: Beto Malfacini.



We’ve made pretty good progress on the draft despite real life-related interruptions, so we’re hoping to get it finished, polished, and submitted before the end of the year. Hopefully our readers will enjoy reading about Carlos’ story of old flames, redemption, and forgiveness.


Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration

To start on a random note, I really like my nails right now. I don’t normally go for pale colors, but I found a combo I wanted to try: In the Flesh with Vintage Confetti glitter coat on top. Both are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, which I’ve found wears pretty well. The glitter coat caught my attention first, and In the Flesh is a subtle pale pink that picks up one of the glitter colors, so I thought it would make a good foundation. I’m very pleased with the results!

Also, I’m trying hard to cut down on processed foods, but they make it really hard when they throw things like Lays potato chips in “Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese” flavor at me.

I’ve talked a bit about Herc’s Mercs: Line in the Sand before, but mostly I nattered about how Tom Hiddleston was the inspiration for Jon and then I veered off into talking about Herc 3. So I wanted to talk about visual inspiration, which we use a lot in our writing.

Choosing visual references for our characters helps us set a clear image of that character in our minds for ourselves and each other, which means we’re both on the same page in terms of physical description. Usually, we end up taunting each other and trying to whip each other’s muses into a frenzy by linking to sexy photos of the person we’re using as visual inspiration, which is fun if a little distracting. 😉 Continue reading “Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration”


Ten Years and Counting

I’m not doing NaBloPoMo because July is going to be a bit hectic for me, and I’ve never make the daily posting goal. But I saw a post from someone who is participating, and today’s prompt grabbed me.

Do you think of a decade as a short or long period of time? (Is the century a 10th full or a 10th empty!)

This prompt jumped out at me because Ari and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary of writing together next month. She jokes that we’ve lasted longer than some marriages. I’ve joked that we’ve become heterosexual life partners. But I never really been struck by the timespan until I saw that prompt.

Ten years. Dang.

In some ways, it feels like we just started writing together. We began by roleplaying together, and then we moved into writing fanfiction. I look at our stories and think, “It hasn’t been that long since we wrote that”. Then I look at the date on it, and I realize it’s been a lot longer than I thought!

In other ways, it feels like we’ve always been writing together. We’ve got this collaboration thing down cold, and our writing process is like a well-oiled machine. Well, except for the usual pitfalls, like when real life intervenes in some way. One of us is out of town, one of us gets sick, something’s going on with the family, etc. But we’re never lacking for plot bunnies or inspiration.

That’s not to say nothing ever goes wrong. Sometimes, an idea peters out, or we get distracted and lose our mojo for it by the time we get back to it, or the characters just aren’t gelling. We’ve got a trail of partial drafts and rewrites streaming in our wake. All I can say is thank God for folders in Google drive.

We don’t get to see each other in person except once a year, but we chat just about every night. Despite the constant contact, I can count on one hand with fingers left over the number of times we’ve gotten out of sorts with each other. We’ve never had a fight. There are plenty of times when one or the both of us are snarky or moody or pissy, but there’s always a reason external to our friendship, and we explain what it is. “It’s not you, it’s [family/work/general life stress]”. There’s no projection of whatever is really going on onto the other person.

Would that change if we saw each other more often? Maybe, but I doubt it. We joke that if we ever lived under the same roof, we’d sit in separate rooms and communicate through chat anyway or we’d just leave a cake outside the door and back away when we realize the other is in a bad mood. Neither of us are particularly extroverted, so we get each other’s need for space and privacy, and we communicate with honesty because we know we can. We have our own safe space.

So this particular decade has seemed both short and long, and while we won’t reach a centennial mark of writing together simply due to the limits of the human lifespan, I’d consider this  1/10th of a century full, not empty, and I’m hoping for as many more as possible.


Music Shuffle Meme


I didn’t get tagged; I just grabbed it because it looked interesting, and I’m not tagging anyone. REBELLION.

McKay’s iTunes Shuffle:

1. “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, The Mamas & the Papas
2. “Stand By Your Man”, Tammy Wynette
3. “King of Bohemia”, Richard Thompson
4. “Carolina in the Morning”, Brent Spiner (yes, Data. Yes, really.)
5. “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”, original Sound of Music soundtrack (movie version)
6. “Chow Mein and Bowling”, Michael Nesmith
7. “Beshighoozhi”, Wolf Spirit
8. “Waldo P. Emerson Jones”, the Archies
9. “Red and Black”, original London cast of Les Miserables
10. “Portrait”, Enya
11. “The Bells of Notre Dame”, The Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack
12. “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, Blue Oyster Cult
13. “Dancing Queen”, ABBA
14. “Over the Rainbow”, Glenn Miller
15. “Addicted to Love”, Tina Turner
16. “Old Joe’s Place”, A Mighty Wind soundtrack
17. “O Kurieh”, JoSH
18. “I Will Survive”, Gloria Gaynor
19. “Seven Days”, Sting
20. “Bob Robert’s Society Band”, Jimmy Buffett

Wow, could my iTunes make me look any less cool? But it’s a fair cop. I have a lot of movie/Broadway/TV soundtracks and music that predates 1980.


Update and Hearthstone

I’ve just done a little update to our site to include “Herc’s Mercs: The Bigger They Come” on  our list of novellas, and I’ve got a separate page for it set up on our series list as well. I also updated the reviews page.

This weekend, I’ve got a lull that will allow me to (finally!) finish the Herc’s Mercs 2 edits, so I think we’ll be submitting that next week. We don’t have anything coming out in May, but we do have a short story coming out from Dreamspinner Press in June! We’re participating in the Daily Dose again this year, and our entry, “Changing the Things You Can”, will be available on June 1.

In other, non-writing related news, I’ve gotten really into playing Blizzard’s new online card game, Hearthstone. I’ve played Blizzard games for well over ten years, starting with the original Warcraft games, and I’ve played World of Warcraft since launch in 2004. I’m also playing Diablo III pretty regularly since the new expansion came out last month. But really, it’s Hearthstone that’s got me sucked in right now.

I’ve never been particularly interested in card games before. I never got into Magic or anything like that, but Hearthstone is proving to be a lot more fun than I expected! I haven’t really built a killer deck yet, but I’ve been having fun with my priest deck lately. I played it some last week because one of the daily quests was to win two games with either a priest or paladin deck.

I ended up in a game against a hunter that was going pretty bad for me. I was down to about five HP while he** was still hovering around 20 (you start with 30). His mistake was starting to toss the “well played” emote*** at me prematurely because he obviously thought he was going to smash my face in, especially when he brought out a Gruul that gets +1 health and +1 attack at the end of every turn.

The problem? I was at ten mana and had a mind control card in my hand (which costs ten mana). I mind controlled his Gruul away from him and whittled his health down to 14. He played a card with “taunt”, which means it acts like a shield; you can’t hit the player until that card is out of the way. At that point, I was still at 5 HP against his 14, and he started “well played”-ing me again because (I assume) he thought I wouldn’t be able to get through the taunt card and get to him before he got to me.

The problem? I had #2 of 2 mind control cards in my hand and the Gruul had gotten its +1/+1 up to where it had 14 attack. So I mind controlled his taunt card over to me and beat him with his own Gruul. (No, I didn’t get to keep it permanently.)

I think the moral of this story is not to be a dick and start “well played”-ing your opponent until you’ve actually won the game. Also, luck of the draw, man. Luck of the draw. That was my most epic win, even beating out the game where my opponent and I got each other down to 1 HP and I only won because they ran out of moves and it was my turn.


** I say “he” because the hunter avatar is a male character from Warcraft; I don’t know the actual gender of the player.

*** You’d think this would be a good thing, but I’ve read on the Blizzard forums where players are actually using the emote to be dicks and mock their opponent before demolishing them.


Must See TV

So the fall television schedule is starting up soon, and Ari and I have been deciding what we’re going to watch this season. Unsurprisingly, we end up watching a lot of the same shows, which makes things interesting when we’re in chat, watching the show together while living in separate states. It results in a lot of random “OMGWTF Did you see that??” and a gamut of emoticons. 😀

This week, season 4 of Haven begins on the SyFy channel. We’ve both been watching this series since the beginning and are still squeeful fangirls over it. It’s the only show I’ve seen where an OT3 (one true threesome) between the lead characters could actually work, because while Audrey is attracted to/cares for both Nathan and Duke and vice versa, there is something going on between Nathan and Duke as well. It’s like one minute, they’re both “I hate you so much” and the next, they’re all “OMG you’re in danger! I must save you, my woobie!” And they touch each other and get up in each other’s personal space in very non-platonic ways.

Above and beyond all that, the premise of the show is engaging, there’s an over-reaching story arc that is fascinating, and the monster of the week episodes are well-done. Haven has consistently remained on my must-see list for years, and that’s not easy to do.

Grimm will be starting up again next month, which has both me and Ari cheering because as much as we both love Nick and Monroe (such a woobie!), we are drawn to Captain Renard like moths to a flame because he’s one of those snarky, dark-haired, big-nosed antiheroes we so love. As with Haven, Grimm has an on-going arc with monster of the week type episodes. I always find it interesting to see how they’re going to incorporate new elements of fairy tales and folklore with the new creatures they introduce, and the makeup and SFX are amazingly well done. It’s rather like a police procedural meets Grimm’s fairy tales with political intrigue thrown in for good measure.

One of the new shows we’re looking forward to is Sleepy Hollow, which premieres next week. For one thing, both of us like the legend. For another, Ichabod is hot. For me personally, I’ll watch anything with Clancy Brown in it even if he only lasts five minutes, as the show’s trailer suggests. I’ve been in love with that man since seeing  Highlander back in the day. I’m hoping that a) it’s a good interpretation of the legend and b) Fox lets it last for more than one season if it is good.

One show that’s on my watch list but not Ari’s is Survivor, which I’ve been a fan of since season 1. This season brings back former participants — including Rupert, who has been one of my favorites since the Pearl Island season — paired off against their loved ones. It’s an interesting twist, although it could go horribly wrong. I hope relationships aren’t ruined over the course of the season, because this show can get brutal when people start getting caught up in the “outwit, outlast, outplay” mindset.

Then next month, I’ll start haunting (hee) TCM and AMC for classic horror movie marathons; I love it when I stumble across Hammer movie or Vincent Price marathons. I’ll also pull out my classic horror movie DVDs and watch those all month. I’m much more of a classic horror fan, meaning the 1920s-1970s. I especially avoid the modern slasher movies (Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc) and torture porn (Hostel, Saw, The Devil’s Rejects). Give me Christopher Lee grappling with Peter Cushing any day!

Which reminds me! I do plan to give Dracula a shot because it’s Dracula. ‘Nuff said. Vampires in general and Dracula in particular are my favorite horror icons, and I could write a whole post about the evolution of the vampire based on what it represents on a cultural level… but not today. Suffice to say, I’ll give anything about vampires and/or with “Dracula” in the title a fair shot. If it sucks (hee), I’ll complain bitterly about it and grab my Lugosi and Lee versions to soothe my soul.