Strolling through the city of ghosts Mine and others Life lessening; remnants many The only commodities exponentially growing The less-ness and the dead Faces curl by, mighty and mellow Jesting jesters Secret stalkers Smooth and lined Chiselling the face of ages Charcoal sketches in a dusty book My neck cranes from the tarmac To sandstone stretching skyward Behind blacked shades I hasten a look Faces carved into stone statues Corrosion of time changes their masks And I see you there Dancing among the gargoyles Faces I’ve known Faces I’ve kissed Faces long dismissed Echoes of ancient conversations Undertows hidden behind music Soothing ears and fears with every pluck and stroke Muffling hyper consternation Rapid beats in the throat Lost words imprint the atmosphere Bare toes curl into the black cracked pavement They keep remaking it Covering the splits The old tracks; spectre paths Undertows ripple underfoot Soon only remnants shall remain Ruptured I’m one of them; a mere echo In this Undertow City.
From this tomb
I look at the massacre
I’ve made of myself
Taking in every ripple of depression
The marches of its succession
Binging and fasting like waves sloshing
Overwhelming loose skin
Drinking in the scars
Grooves deeper than can be seen
Slashes from the blade
Tracks worn into this sick façade
Embedded in the tomb
For me, there’s no room
Depressions refusal to be released
Sagging waves of torment
Dropping into the scalding water
Reddening surface and silver deep
Just lie back let it sink in
Conquer the concave slave
Drench black-eyed face under
Revell in the nearing thunder
I can see through my corpse to the decomposition
My life’s mission
Taking in their rot
I’m rotting alive
No need to be a giver
They keep taking
Clawing at the veins
Sucking my blood with straws
Lie back further
Steer across the landscape
It ain’t too horrifying from this angle
The sags tighten
Silver streaks lighten
Red fades to blush
Embrace the incoming hush
I’ll lie here
Lie to myself for a while
Let the silver lining twinkle
A perspective shift
A momentary lift.
© Natasha Sinclair
A little update since the sands are sure as hell quickening, if not entirely running away.
Reading this year has been pretty diverse, with an unintentional heavy focus on horror of all flavours. I’ve also developed a taste for bizzaro horror. I’ve come across a few authors who have tickled me — a new (non) guilty pleasure for sure. If it’s gonna simultaneously gross me out and make me laugh my ass off, it’s a thumbs up!
Outwith proofreading, editing and competition reading my ‘just for fun’ list, in no particular order, have included:
Richard Laymon – The Beast House Chronicles
Edward Lee – City Infernal (Series)
Kevin J. Kennedy – The Horror Collection (Anthology Series)
Jethro Punter – The Daydreamer Chronicles
Eleanor Merry – Dead Aware (Series)
RJ Roles – Girl’s Best Friend (Tangled Web Series)
Steve Stred – Ritual (Father of Lies Trilogy)
Matt Shaw – Deep Rooted Fetish (Short)
Duncan Ralston – In Every Dark Corner (Shorts Collection)
Darren Tarditi – Neigfrid (Novella)
Natasha Mostert – The Midnight Side (Novel)
Laurel K Hamilton – Anita Blake (Series)
K Trap Jones – Welcome to the Splatter Club (Anthology)
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
Ernest Cline – Armada
Christine Morgan – Lakehouse Infernal
Insignia Stories – Japanese Fantasy Drabbles
Liian Varus – Is Stranged
John Black – Growlers
Iron Faerie Publishing – Hawthorn & Ash (Anthology Series)
Iron Faerie Publishing – The Best of Iron Faerie Publishing 2019
Andrew Lennon – Life to Waste
Tim Lebbon – Eden
Saemund Sigfussion, Snorri Sturluson – The Poetic Edda & The Prose Edda
Writing wise, as per my previous posts, I’ve been subbing work out this year. When it comes to responding to open-calls and invites it can be a bit like having free time (which I never do) and swanning into a well stocked library — it’s easy to get lost and devoured by the stacks! Or, maybe a more precise analogy is the old ‘kid in a sweet shop’!
The submission opportunities are plentiful and you can’t write or, indeed, get accepted into them all.
I’ve naturally had a preference for small press/indie publishers. Responding to these opportunities is rather nice as it takes the work out of the book building/formatting side — which is an immense amount of work on the publishing side. I massively appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes of a quality publication and am truly grateful to a part of each one who’ve warmly accepted my (often) warped little terrors into their fold.
Designing stories with specific open calls as a target has helped reign in the ideas by having a set genre or word count to meet. It’s been beneficial as I oftentimes overwhelm myself with too many ideas that get scattered around as notes and poetry that may evolve, or not. Needless to say, responding to some of the opportunities has put my other WIPs on pause, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it gives those stories and characters more time to prove and maybe keeps the demon, Writers’ Block, at bay.
Some of my published (and to be published work) can be found within the catalogue of the below Publishers:
KJK Publishing: http://www.kevinjkennedy.co.uk/
The Macabre Ladies: https://macabreladies.wixsite.com/website
Books of Horror: https://www.facebook.com/groups/526308964218819
Insignia Stories: https://insigniastories.com/
Iron Faerie Publishing: https://ironfaeriepublishing.com/
Sirens Call Publications: http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/
The Reanimated Writers: https://www.reanimatedwriters.com/
Those currently available are updated on my ‘Books’ page and links for those to come will make an appearance in due course. The below two titles are releasing in September 15th (Dark Celebration) and September 28th (Southeast Asian Fantasy Drabbles). I am grateful to have two pieces in each alongside a TOC of talented international writers. Both anthologies are available to preorder now from Amazon, worldwide.
A daughter held him, frozen. Imitation of new dead still; only air flowing through functioning lungs. Numb dumb in thought, inaction. Painfilled love for this new grieving orphan. The fallen favourite of a Mothers beloved brood. There would be none of us had she not been; none of his Fatherhood. A tangled barbed root from which we each came. Some blessing amongst much insane. Now there she lay, dead in a bed; frozen slack still. An empty shell; once wishing well. Dead in a bed, not even her own. Eyes pouring in great damming floods; others uncomfortably dry as desert bone. Through strangers’ hands she passes, between arctic fridges of steel. Upon the final spin of the great Mothers wheel; scions on the side-lines awaiting the final reveal. Embalmed, freshly robed in white; encased as a doll in her satin lined box. A gift to the soil never to spoil. © Natasha Sinclair
My first mini collection has been published and is now live. Paperback and eBook available worldwide.
Small poetry collection being released very soon, currently just awaiting the printed proof for final review before it goes live!
“This is a small eclectic collection from an Independent Scottish writer.
If you’re looking for inspirational poetry, words of deep wisdom, even good poetry, this book is probably not for you.
The contents are inspired by various topics including; mental ill health, relationships, lust, consumerism, commercialisation, veganism, family, death, politics and history.
While this collection is admittedly somewhat disjointed, it is also truly organic.”
She’s a tease.
The femme fatale disease.
Gaming with sultry eyes surprise.
Rose lips of fast lies.
Moaning ecstasy in sweet cries.
Throbbing sex lullabies.
She’s a tease to best please.
No sad begging of cheap release.
Call her out, she’ll flagrantly deny.
No longer look you in the eye.
© Natasha Sinclair
Discarded; damaged goods.
The lone whore bore foul, tainted, bastard fruit.
Shunned while still stunned from her whalers desertion.
Black lamb of the snow-white flock.
Abandoned for the call of the sea; another she.
Betty bid to follow suit with that ill seeded fruit.
As waves began to pour down her choking throat; peace called in tortured unforgiving song.
The final forbidden promise.
Lungs of fire burning; as blackened shadow blotted the sun.
A selfish rescue placed her back in hell; pulled from the mother’s largest well.
Need the ruined to give rest their good grace; a blinding disgrace.
© Natasha Sinclair. 2019.
A couple of writing and publishing projects are currently underway so I thought I would drop a brief update here.
The second ‘Concoction’ anthology is one which is scheduled for release December 2019. This time the prompts are most distinctly Scottish and will feature the same three writers as the first volume; G G Flavell, Natasha Sinclair and Andrew Taylor. As before it is open genre so we should expect a unique eclectic mix of stories. There is potential for a fourth writer to be added to the bill, will just have to see on that one. The initial story submissions have started coming in though and it’s looking pretty good! You can’t beat a good wee Ceilidh!
It is also very likely I will be releasing a mini collection of poetry and drabbles this year. These pieces have already been written, some have been published and some have never seen the light of day beyond the notebook. One again an eclectic little mix of material. Very organic in nature, as with my own style of writing. Themes running through those collected so far include; depression, relationships, politics, sex, freedom, nature and more.
Please look out for updates via here and on my Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/NatashaSinclair/
Thank you, Natasha
It was always tomorrow; ‘I’ll show you tomorrow.’ ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ ‘I’ll love you tomorrow.’ Youth melted away in lost tomorrows. Wrinkled drying paper skin. Tear tracks embedded as scars. Black hair gone brittle broken grey. Still, nothing or tomorrow. Ruptured seams fraying. Tomorrow was too far gone. Lost in history; no catching it as it caught and dragged in the gale. On black feathered wings, broken promises held in a wrecked heart. Skipping beats and racing to catch up with itself; inadequate muscle. The Crone took that tomorrow to the grave. Cold, alone. Still all’s said, ‘maybe tomorrow…’ © Natasha Sinclair