The month of Samhain 2022

Witches’ New Year approaches. With that, I’m Autumn cleaning, creatively speaking, at least. Washing away the dust of the summer fires, sweeping this germ-ridden circle clogged with ash. I say this with every positive intention, which in the current climate of my sick house, it’s not so simple. Some things are outwith control, but I try flow with, around, through it. (I may have recited ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ a few too many times).
Starting with the writing. I’ve taken part in only a few invite-only opportunities. This year, it has been difficult to say no, but something I’ve had to learn to do fast. It’s been challenging; each opportunity offered has been for a great project, and I am profoundly grateful to be asked. Short fiction writing has been on the back burner, which was always this year’s plan to invest in my degree studies and researching/writing longer works. Moving on, a quick recap of my own books released and scheduled to tie up 2023:

Asylum Daughter
Novella
5th May 2022

Incesticide: Collected Horror
Short Fiction Collection
14th December 2022

Clan Witch: Found Shadows
Poetry and Drabble Collection
31st December 2022

There has been lots of work going on in Brazen Folk Horror, which I launched with Ruthann Jagge this year. Here we share regular updates on ‘The Making of Delevan House’. We have many plans to execute, so it’s a great space to follow. You are cordially invited! We expect you to put in some effort—get tight-lacing, break out the good cloak, your best finery, and you better buy an extravagant hat while you’re at it. It’ll be one hell of a ride! You will want to be watching for that pre-order date as soon as we announce it. In the meantime, come enjoy the brazen tease and seduction.

Well, it’s been tumultuous and stable on the homestead with no middle ground— a seesaw over starving shark-infested waters more than a rollercoaster. The pendulum never stops. My kids and I have been struggling with fresh ongoing health issues since the start of the year when we contracted that virus. It then came in for a second hit in July, which haven’t recovered from. Between chronic coughs requiring prescription medications, chronic fatigue and opportunistic germs that keep jumping on board because of compromised immune systems, it’s been a royal shitshow. With medical support services (the NHS) being abysmal. My family (I) also suffered another pregnancy loss. During the second bout of that virus, my baby’s heart stopped beating, and I gave birth four weeks later. We were (are) devastated.

Grief so intimate is a profound journey we carry with us throughout our time on the rock. Lives that were given a second chance coincided with the loss of my last baby, Averey. My family adopted a small flock of ex-commercial layers (Hens) from The British Hen Welfare Trust. I have shared little updates on their settling-in and shenanigans on social media. The ladies (our little Queens, as we call them. On account of naming them after Drag Queens: Jinkx Monsoon, Bimini bon boulash, Raja and Ginger Minj) are so very full of stories and have settled in as though they’ve always been part of the family. They are part of the clan. Some things are meant to be, and these Queens were never meant for slaughter.

Something about coming from 2021 into 2022 held promise and a thirst for change. More than a thirst, it was a drouth of dry agony. So many I know felt it—a need for rewiring, redirection, reinvention, or simply getting back on track. The year hasn’t quite lived up to the promise. Instead, it’s been more like treading water. Trying to stay afloat, and more, fighting to survive. I guess that’s life for the most part. An ongoing battle, with Jack-in-the-box obstacles springing forth at any given moment. Damn clowns. Tomorrow will be better.

The veil is thinning as the gears continue to cycle. There’s much reflection as we dare to lift the veil and step through the shadows, opening locked doors to visit with ghosts. This season welcomes the shadows, where the light and dark dance. It’s almost Samhain. Listen… whose voice can you hear calling from the ether?

Sweep the circle, burn the candles, lay out the feast, and set out coveted photographs and letters from the dead. They’ll be here soon. )O(

Yes, My Kids are Vegan

I’m not particularly vocal about some things I care deeply about, especially not online. My personality has reactions built on trauma.
Speaking up has opened me up to attack (from childhood) so, I clam up tight, retreat inward — standard trauma response.
The everyday injustices towards our fellow earthlings is one such horror that I often wish I had the nerve to speak up about more.
I stopped consuming the flesh of murdered animals when I was 7 years old. I still feel guilty for the dead on my fork to that point, even if I was just a child raised to be ignorant to their suffering.
As a child, the hypocrisy was (is) taught through family, friends, society, schooling, and religion plagued me — how can one preach and teach of love and respect while dining over the mass slaughtered, butchered bodies of other living beings?
It made me soul-sick. I despise how much we, as a society, deceive our children. I was deceived.
Dairy was the last to be eliminated when I was 30 years old. Much of that was, again, ignorance. I am ashamed; the guilt of the suffering I paid for runs deep.
I paid for so many deaths, countless brutalities; I am responsible — the coward who didn’t hold the knife.
No single life is worth so many of theirs, especially when one does not depend on their deaths to live.
The brutal, bloody, unjust, inhumane, unnecessary deaths of children — of innocent fellow earthlings cannot be justified. Industries built on the systemic enslavement, rape and murder have much to answer for, and it seems never will because the atrocities are too widely accepted. With a blind eye and habits ingrained in children.
I can’t take back my part in it; none of us can. All I (we) can do is do better.
I’m raising vegan children. I’ve seen parents, such as myself, challenged by general ignorance on the matter. And I’ve had the quizzical looks when this fact has come to light. Why would I raise them any other way? Knowledge is power, right? So then, why wouldn’t I instil in them the truth from the onset? I know it makes society uncomfortable; we’re expected to fall in line, not disrupt the hypocritical peace, not be an inconvenience. That’s it right there; the truth of animal agriculture and the moral imperatives that the word ‘vegan’ rouses in consumers of animal products is that those truths are inconvenient. I don’t care for that. I care for justice and a moral compass that aligns with actions — isn’t that what we should be teaching children and ourselves?
Forget the (many) positives of a healthy, vegan lifestyle (because it’s not just a dietary choice) and consider the absurdity of the animal agriculture industry. If I was farming puppies in my garden to kill, skin, gut, and chop up and feed my children, I’d be deemed as evil, cruel, heartless, an unfit parent.… The accepted state of animal agriculture is far worse than that. Consider the proven decline in human health due to the consumption of products from that sector, not to mention the desperate climate crisis — to which this type of production and consumerism holds much of the responsibility. Every action, even when small, everyday ones — every action against this industry matters. And the choice to remain ignorant to it is unforgivable, surely.
Yes, my kids are vegan — it is not a choice.

‘Lost Shadows’ – Cover Reveal

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.”

Breakfast

It was never really a thing, certainly not a warm homely one. Definitely not when it was actually needed anyway. Just a cheap bar en-route to whatever institution one happened to be enslaved to at the time. Except on weekends, in those earlier years. The house would swell with the rotten sickening stench of animal fat disgustingly popping, spitting and bursting; angry, sticky and thick choking the atmosphere. It was a foul stench that took physical form and seemed to bind itself to my skin.

I could never srub the deathly remains of that off, a shower was never enough no matter how good the scrubbing brush reddening my skin, I can still feel it now. Murder victims at home in my pores.

Cheerfully they would chomp and grind down over fried slices of a processed baby cadaver. Some of which had been ground down and fused together with many other bits of cadavers. How many kills could be found in just one sausage?

I never got the idea of this breakfast. The weeks reward. Breaking fast with death, clogged up arteries, cancers, and the suffocating pores just for being in the vicinity. No one can say for sure what internal horrors are being born from this ghastly feast. The external ones, although denied, painfully obvious. All consumed with a smile and a misplaced, misrepresented sense of gratitude. I was the one being judged with disgust and distaste over a slice of dry toast and black coffee…

The irony of those who smugly declare, “Live and let live!”

We’re all ‘animal lovers after all, right?

Yeah, just as Dahmer ‘loved’ his meat…

I’m the abnormal one…

© Natasha Sinclair. All rights reserved.

Organic Steak

Firm steady grasp, I pulled the trigger. Proud and shaking from this first stun. The bolt punched hard at the confused bovine’s thick meat and skull. Dopamine rush from power. It’s a man’s job this; the provider, the killer. I’m the modern hunter in my murder house. Pupils dilate, silent screams from its desperate dying mouth. Just reflexes. Much too dumb to feel. Electrical impulses explode through this soon to be cadaver as it collapses. An almost dead weight thuds to the opening side of the cold steel box. Sticked, skinned, and disembowelled. High welfare organic steaks. It’s BBQ season.

© Natasha Sinclair