I wrote this poem back in January, which feels like a thousand years ago now. I held off posting it because I know how hard a year it’s been for doctors and how many of them have also succumb to an illness not yet understood, abandoned and devalued like so many of us chronically ill folks were long before Covid-19. But, given the attitudes towards disabled and chronically ill people in the US and the UK especially (“Just stay home!” or “Hurry up and die and decrease the surplus population!”), the people in retirement homes and other institutions left to die, the all too familiar plight of those with “Long Haul Covid”, and the continual dismissal of disabled and chronically ill voices in a time when we have real wisdom to offer–be it about finding yourself to still be ill when doctors can’t explain it or won’t believe it, coping with a reality that isn’t any less real just because we don’t want it to be or find it too hard to bear, or making due in isolation without adequate support systems–make this poem’s message all the more necessary. It’s my story and millions of others’; now, last year, and a thousand years before me. But I sincerely hope not a thousand years hence.Continue reading
Some of you may be familiar with my horror short, “East of the Midnight Sun, West of the Full Moon”, which is told from the point of view of a young Alaskan woman named Senka. Senka’s grandmother came to America when her family fled Europe to escape the Holocaust and this legacy both haunts and drives Senka as she sees history begin to repeat itself. While writing this story, I went down a research rabbithole into everything from average winter temperatures in Barrow, Alaska to how to kill vampires in various cultures’ mythologies to the history of antiziganism. Oh, the eyebrow raises my search history and open tabs would get. Continue reading
Did you know that many West Virginia coal miners volunteered for WWI because their life expectancy would actually go up? Continue reading
“It was Gate Night, the night before All Hallows’ Eve. Distant memories of the old stories nagged at me. During All Hallows’ Eve the veil between the world of the living and the word beyond was lifted. Our world and their world all blurred together like ink running on a page in my old primer when we schoolgirls would try to run home in the rain, shrieking and splashing up mud all the way.”
– Shannon Barnsley, Beneath Blair Mountain Continue reading
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all! As an Irish American, a mythology/religion major, and a pagan, I have a lot of complicated feelings about this holiday, but I do appreciate the chance to revel in the swirling, turbulent history of our world and my own family (and blast my Irish folk music without restraint). Continue reading
Merry met, my good readers. I have some excellent news. If you went to 1888’s website this weekend, you may have been greeted by my face. As some of you may recall, this summer I participated in the Summer Writing Project, an annual contest held by 1888, Black Hill Press, and JukePop. All summer long, writers serially updated novellas on everything from the escapades of wayward youth to space stations to caffeine outlawing dystopias.
My own novella was a mix of Urban Fantasy, Horror, and Historical Fiction set during the 1910s. Beneath Blair Mountain follows the story of Lara Rae Brecken, a West Viriginia girl trying to escape her fate, who finds herself face to face with the fair folk one cold October night. And, lo and behold, Beneath Blair Mountain, was one of three novellas selected by Black Hill Press for publication. Continue reading
So, as devoted readers may remember, I’m participating in the Summer Writing Project, a collaboration between serial writing venue JukePop, indie publisher Black Hill Press, and 1888center. My novella, Beneath Blair Mountain, is current holding fifth in the rankings, but I could use some love, whether you choose to read, comment, vote, share, or just give me a hearty thumbs up.
Beneath Blair Mountain is a fusion of Urban Fantasy/Horror/Mythic Fiction and Historical Fiction/American Gothic, so there should be something for everyone, whether they like myth, folk culture, rural Appalachia, dark fey, Edwardian period pieces, ghost stories, political and social commentary, Irish gunrunners, or American history. Here’s the description if you’re interested: Continue reading
As you may or may not have heard, Instagram has banned the hashtag #Goddess. While this move was allegedly to cut down on explicit content posted under the hashtag, Instagram has inadvertently stepped onto a landmine of sexism, ethnocentrism, religious discrimination, and censorship. Instagram previously tried to ban the hashtag #Curvy for the same reason and reversed the decision after the backlash they faced. Somehow, nobody at Instagram thought that “Goddess”, an arguably way more loaded term than “Curvy”, would have the same issue.
Yet issue there was. Immediately upon noticing the ban, myself and others took to Instagram and other social media platforms to protest. Hashtags like #Goddess, #BringBackTheGoddess, #BringBackGoddess, #GoddessTribe, #GoddessRising, and others took off on both Instagram and Twitter, some with thousands of posts already. There is also a Change.org petition to reverse Instagram’s ban on #Goddess. Articles about the ban can be found on The Mary Sue, The Daily Dot, Bustle, MTV, Seventeen, Daily Mail, eonline, and other sites. Religious news outlets such as The Wild Hunt also covered the issue and religious organizations such as CUUPS (the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans), The Asatru Community, Wicca Spirituality, and many others have also sounded off on Twitter. People are angry and with good reason. Continue reading