Entering the Dark Half of the Year in Dark and Difficult Times

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[A candle in a teal lantern on the windowsill burns against the darkness and backlights the silhouette of a small pumpkin as two dala horses cast shadows]

I don’t have the words tonight, with so much death, hate, and sorrow weighing on the world, but, especially in such a dark time, I want to honor and acknowledge those beyond the veil, be they at peace, searching for something before they can move on, or hungry for justice and a reckoning for the wrongs history has yet to right or is all too eager to commit again.
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Lessons from History (and a Midnight Research Rabbithole)

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

In-Betweens, Thin Veils, and a Ghost Story or Two

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The infirmary at Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury NH, photo by Shannon Barnsley, October 2012.

“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

We Will Go Home Across the Mountains


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

Published Author Happy Dance

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Cover art by Mariya Suzuki

Merry met again, my good readers. For those of you following the saga of my Appalachian Urban Fantasy novella, you’ll be happy to know that Beneath Blair Mountain is out! You can find it on Amazon and Goodreads or read more about it on 1888’s website. Continue reading

From Blair Mountain to Black Hill

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