Category Archives: Blog

The Changes Continue

Last month, I detailed in a blog entry that I was looking to make some changes for the content that I put out. Those changes have been going along slowly (as I knew that they would), but I’ve been gradually tweaking things to get them more to where I want them.

The latest of those changes, and the one that if I’m being honest I’m the most nervous to make, is that I’m going to be moving away from the the “creepypasta” format entirely.

To me, creepypastas are the candy bars of the horror genre. They’re great while you consume them, but they don’t last very long and they don’t satisfy as much as a full meal. I am in no way saying that there’s anything wrong with creepypastas. I enjoy them. It’s just not the style that’s for me.

Like I said, I’m a bit nervous about this decision. Those types of stories have been the most popular when it comes to narration sales, and I’m now cutting that out completely. It’s giving up the closest thing there is to a sure thing in this corner of the writing business.

The types of horror stories that I want to write don’t really translate well into the creepypasta style, though, and that’s where this decision comes in. I’d rather lean into what I enjoy the most and what I feel that I do best rather than stay the course for the guaranteed income.

For reference, the types of stories that I want to focus on are more like The Suicide Engineer and All the Stars in the Sky. Stories like those pull from a more personal place, and I think that they’re stronger for it. There’s more layers to these stories than it first appears. It’s that depth that I want to focus on going forward. Sure, I’ll still do fun ones, especially for The Underlayers, but it won’t where I spend the majority of my time.

To all the narrators that have used my content in the past, thank you for doing so. The things that I write will still be available for narration purposes. That’s not changing. The content itself and the way it’s presented will be, though. As I said in an earlier blog, one of the things that I’m interested in is creating content that translates better into YouTube and podcast format than standard creepypastas and stories. I’m going to be examining that even closer going forward.

Hopefully readers, narrators, and everyone else choose to stick around through the changes. I hope to provide you with better stories, ones that present you with the horror that you’re looking for while also being memorable rather than disposable.

What’s in the Pipeline

I hope that everyone’s January is going great!

It’s been a while, so I thought that an update regarding upcoming content might be in order.

The first thing to note is that starting about, oh, ten minutes ago, a new microhorror story will be posted on the site every day for the next twenty-one days. Each of these will be tied in with a card from the major arcana in a tarot deck. I have a lot of fun with these, as it’s a challenge to keep things short (there are few things in the world that I love as much as the sound of my own voice) and the constantly changing topics gets my creative juices flowing.

A big reason that I’m doing this is because I’m currently working on longer stories and projects than I typically do. I’ve had some ideas floating around for a while and put them aside in favor of shorter stories to keep producing content, but the time has come to get these longer ones finished. This started with The Wolf Below and Above, which is currently available on the website.

Here’s a preview of what’s coming up:

Waltzing Matilda – A new type of vampire story designed for the Covid era. Traditionally vampires have been closely associated with sickness and plague, and that connection is something that I’m going to explore in a modern context.

Untitled Bingo’s Circus Extravaganza Podcast Story – As you can guess from the ‘Untitled’ part, I don’t have a name for this one yet. It’s a story being told in the style of a true crime podcast, and it explores the dark rumors and horrible events surrounding the children’s show Bingo’s Circus Extravaganza.

The Light Over Broken Bend – The story of a mysterious giant white light that appeared over the town of Broken Bend, North Dakota in the 1980s. It chronicles not just that night, but also the decades that followed. Without going into too much detail, it combines both alien and Lovecraftian elements.

Premium Deductible – A woman with agoraphobia is told that she has to prove that her condition is legitimate by keeping a small white box in her apartment for three days. The box is the source of horrors and nightmares, but escaping isn’t an option for her.

The Insanity Equation – A mathematical equation that drives anyone who sees or hears it insane.

I’m working on a number of other projects as well, but I’m not ready to talk about them quite yet. I’m also taking requests, so if there’s a specific type of story that you’d like me to tackle (ghosts, monsters, cosmic horror, rules-based, demonic, etc.), let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Have a great one!

The Curious Case of the Lunging Man

As I’m starting this, I’m realizing that I’m going to need to put a bit of a disclaimer on it.

If you’ve seen my work before, you know that I write horror stories.  I’ve been doing that seriously for about, oh, three to four years now.  There was a lot of time before that spent just jotting down stories for fun, but it’s been the last few years that I’ve really put my nose to the grindstone and started along the path of making a second career out of it.

Because of this, I’m worried that you’ll think that this is just another story being spun out of my imagination.  That is, after all, what I do.

What I need you to understand is that this isn’t a work of fiction.  This is an actual series of events that have happened in my life in particular and in the lives of my immediate family members as a whole.  It’s not a part of my Underlayers series, or some weirdly meta experimental horror.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s start with the background information.  Two years ago this month, my wife and I purchased a house.  It was a long time coming.  We had suffered through the meat grinder known as the American apartment rental system, where every year the rent had continued to steadily increase and the benefits of being a renter continued to decrease.  I say ‘decrease’, but what I really mean is ‘go down the shitter’.  If you’ve been a renter in the last couple of decades you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Despite the punches to the face that our savings account took over and over again, we finally managed to scrape enough together to be able to get a house.  To say that we were ecstatic would be an understatement.  It was priced much lower than similar houses in the same area as it needed some work done, and since we didn’t mind pushing up our sleeves and putting in that needed work it was a perfect situation.  The house even managed to pass the FHA inspection so we were able to lock in a lower interest rate than we would typically have been approved for.

Lower per-month payment?  Check.  Family-friendly neighborhood?  Check.  More space and an actual honest-to-goodness yard?  Check and check.

If you’ve read my story A House, you’ve actually read the general layout for our house.  It’s a split-level home that was built in the 1950s.  Three bedrooms and a bathroom on the upstairs level, the living room and kitchen on the main level, and a basement that has been converted into a family room and a laundry room on the lower level.  It’s a pretty typical layout for that style of house.

Something that you need to know but will probably sound strange at first is that my wife and I don’t sleep in the same bedroom.  She is the absolute love of my life, and I can’t even imagine what things would be like without her, but holy shit does she snore.  It’s like the noise a train makes as it goes through a tunnel, except the train never seems to emerge from that tunnel in this case.  And me?  Good God.  Have you ever seen that movie Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones?  My snoring is right up there with the scene where the volcano begins erupting through the city streets.

We suffered through each other’s snoring for a while, but it became clear quickly that it wasn’t working.  After a long discussion, we came to the decision that we needed to have separate corners to retreat to when we wanted to pass out.  Every other possible moment is spent with each other.  During our unconscious periods, though, we stay the hell away from each other.  It’s worked out incredibly well, and as odd as it seems, it’s made our marriage even stronger.

This did, however, make it a bit tricky when it came to selecting bedrooms.  We have four kids, two teenagers, a five-year-old, and a three-year-old.  The two teenagers needed their own rooms as they were likely to murder each other if they were in the same enclosed space for long periods of time.  Our plan for the house is to create two additional bedrooms, a plan that we’re currently in the process of carrying out, but obviously that long term plan didn’t matter when we first moved in.  It was eventually decided that my wife would share a room with the two young ones for a while.  They can sleep through anything, so the snoring wasn’t an issue, and I also wouldn’t be waking anyone up when I had to get ready for work in the early hours of the morning.

I ended up choosing the family room to sleep in.  It had been so long since I had a bed that I could only sleep on a couch or in a chair, and that was the room that my personal chair had been put in.  I miss that chair.  It met an untimely end right around the time that we got a Great Dane named Agatha and she decided that she needed to sleep right on top of me at all times.  For the sake of our furniture and my spine I’m very glad that she eventually stopped doing that.

If you’re using the story A House as a guide, the room I sleep in is the one where the walls bled and is at the bottom of the steps that the girl dragged the father up by his mouth.  That never actually happened, obviously, but my youngest daughter is five and is in a temperamental phase so hey, you never know.

The major thing to take away from this is that the room that I sleep in is isolated from the bedrooms.  Just keep that information filed away for later.

During the first year we lived in the house, the same little girl I just mentioned insisted that she saw a man in the upstairs hallway.  Because of the layout of the house that hallway doesn’t get much natural light, so it’s perpetually filled with shadows.  Every so often she would just point up at it from the living room and ask who the man was or inform us that the man was there.  Each time that she did this there was, of course, no one in the hallway.

In case you’re curious, her insistence that she was seeing someone that wasn’t there was the inspiration for my story Nighty Night.

I honestly don’t know if I believe in ghosts.  Most of the time I don’t think about them at all, which now that I think about it is kind of strange given that I write horror-based fiction.  Although maybe it’s not that strange given that I don’t do much with spirits.  Whatever the case, I usually just dismiss reports of them as people’s imaginations running amok.

Still, there’s always that lingering doubt, you know?

Because of this, I did as much research as possible on our new house.  I looked into city records, I researched past residents,and I went through the paperwork we had received when we had purchased the property.  I found nothing.  No evidence of anyone having died in or around the house, nothing strange about the site itself, nothing.  Eventually our daughter stopped saying that she saw the man in the hallway, and the whole thing was forgotten about.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  Suddenly both our daughter and our three-year-old son start saying that there is a ghost that hides under their beds. They don’t seem scared at all about it; it’s just something that they say is happening.  There isn’t anything under their beds except for roughly a gazillion stuffed animals.

Now we’re taking a smaller jump forward to two nights ago.  I spent most of the evening working on a particularly frustrating story that just wasn’t coming together for me.  I’m actually still working on that story at the time I’m writing this.  Sometimes stories fall into place quickly and easily for me, sometimes I have to really focus in on them to get them worked out, and on very rare occasions such as this one I have to fight the damn thing into submission over time.

I finally gave up for the night and got ready to go to sleep.  I knew from experience that if I tried to push the story too far I would just start to hate it and give up on it.  It was better to let it simmer for a while.

I laid down on my very comfortable new chair that I got right before Christmas.  It’s one of those chairs that has a permanent footrest so you can basically lay down across it with your upper body held up by the back cushion.  There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s the best chair that I’ve ever owned.  Since it’s also the biggest one I get into shoving matches with Agatha, who seems to believe that she’s entitled to it since she’s such a large dog.  On this particular night, though, she was already laying down on her designated leather chair so I didn’t have to get into a pre-sleep wrestling match with her.

I had Alexa turn off the lights, I turned on both my fan and the black-screen YouTube video of falling rain that I play each night, and I prepared for my long winter’s nap.

At the moment that I started drifting off, I saw something moving on the stairs leading up to the kitchen.  It all happened in a split second and I wasn’t able to get a good look at it before I was startled back to fully awake and it was gone.  The shape had been human-like but short.  I’m a terrible judge of both height and distance, but if I had to take a guess I’d say that it was around four feet tall.  I think that it had its arms extended outward, but I’m really not sure about that.

Just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone.  My heart was racing due to me being startled, so I sat there for a moment while I waited for myself to calm down.  I had no doubt that my mind had played a trick on me as I was in the haze of pre-sleep.

Here’s the thing, though: Agatha had sat up in her chair.  She was staring directly at the stairs, and while she hadn’t barked or left her seat, there was no doubt that something had gotten her attention.  Instead of curling back up into what I’ve described in the past as a ‘puddle of dog’, she instead laid her head down on the chair’s armrest so that she was still pointed towards the stairs.

That would normally be the point in a horror movie where you’re yelling at the screen for the character to get the hell out of there.  This is, however, real life, so when something weird like this happens you can very easily convince yourself that of course you didn’t see anything, and of course it’s a coincidence that the dog got riled.  Normally I would have gone down that path, but instead I chose a more logical one.  The door at the top of the stairs leads into the kitchen.  The light in the kitchen is kept on overnight as a safety precaution.  I must have seen the shadow of someone walking through the kitchen as it passed under the door.

Unfortunately, I was pretty awake at that point.  I picked up my phone and checked my email and Twitter feed.  I had a new story scheduled to release on my website the next day, so I also went ahead and checked my website to make sure that it was set up properly.  I’m notorious for incorrectly setting up schedules for content.

I haven’t been able to connect what I found when I logged into my account, and I’m certain that it really doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of this story.  It’s just that it kind of feels connected because of the jump scare my mind had decided to give me and the fact that I write horror stories.  I dunno, you be the judge.

The first page that pops up on my screen when I log into my website is the analytics page, including a graph showing the number of visitors and views.  The numbers it was showing me were much, much higher than is typical.  I’m talking roughly six times the usual daily numbers.  Keep in mind that I had checked it less than an hour before I decided to go to sleep.  The numbers had skyrocketed during that short amount of time.  I’m really not sure what caused the jump, either, as I hadn’t released any new content that day.

Eventually I got tired enough to try going back to sleep.  I plugged my phone back into the charger and made sure to put it up out of reach of Agatha.  She’s mostly gotten past that annoying phase where Great Dane’s chew everything they can get their mouths around, but she had already crushed one phone in the past so I don’t take any chances.  I got comfortable in my chair again and closed my eyes.

A moment later I opened them again wearily, and I saw the figure again.  This time it was on the other side of the room from my chair, and it immediately came rushing towards me.  Its body was still blurry, but I got a better look at its face this time.  It had pupiless white eyes that were the size of softballs, and while I couldn’t make out the features the entire head had an angular look to it.  Its arms were outstretched as it lunged at me.

I know that I said something.  I can’t remember the exact word, but it was something along the lines of “Stop” or “Hey”.  Whatever the case, I woke up completely again.  The figure was once again gone, and Agatha was out of her chair and growling.

Using the ol’ logic again, this is the order of events that makes sense.  I start to fall asleep, and once again my mind plays tricks on me in my nearly-asleep state and I think I see a mystery figure coming towards me.  Startled, I exclaim something, which in turn sets off the dog.

Here’s the thing, though.  I’ve replayed this a thousand times in my head, and while I certainly can’t be sure, I would swear that I opened my eyes and saw the figure after I heard Agatha start to growl, not before.

To add one last wrinkle to all of this, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I think that this wasn’t the first time that I’ve seen this particular figure.  I have a vague memory of waking up in the middle of the night and seeing it standing next to the bar that’s built into one wall of the family room.  I don’t recall what I did when I saw it, but I assume that I was still out of it and fell back asleep.

For me to have seen it from that point of view, it would have had to have been after we had gotten some new furniture in the family room but before we rearranged it.  That would put it sometime between seven and ten months ago, which was after my daughter had stopped saying that she saw a man in the upstairs hallway but before she and her brother began telling us that ghosts live under their beds.

In my head I’ve taken to calling the figure the Lunging Man.  What can I say?  I’m a writer, and that brings with it a flair for the dramatic.  Besides, it seems like a fitting name given all the rapid movement forward that I witnessed.  Or thought I witnessed.  Talking about possible (even probable) sleep hallucinations gets complicated to describe.

It’s probably a good argument to make that since I write horror stories, I’m likely more prone to my brain going rogue and doing this sort of thing to me.  When you spend so much time with a particular type of subject material, it’s bound to catch up with you from time to time.

That doesn’t explain my kids’ talking about invisible men and ghosts when my wife and I go out of our way not to expose them to that kind of thing at such a young age.  It also doesn’t explain Agatha’s reactions, either.  She isn’t what I would describe as a smart dog, but she’s also not prone to random responses like she displayed, either.

Nothing happened last night, and I was able to sleep through the night peacefully.  So who knows.  Perhaps it was what Scrooge declares Marley to be, an undigested bit of beef.  Maybe it’s just overthinking caused by exhaustion combined with the frustration of my lack of progress on a story.

Or maybe, just maybe, given that there are more things in heaven and Earth , Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, my house is home to the Lunging Man.  There’s a certain Great Dane that seems to think so.

A Message to Everyone

Hello!

The holidays are in full swing here at the Sprague house, and between two young children bouncing off the walls excitedly and two teenagers trying hard not to be excited for anything, it’s never boring around here.

I have a rare moment of quiet currently, and I want to use it to wish everyone happy holidays. I truly hope that you and yours are happy and healthier now and in the future.

To everyone that has been a part of this year’s journey with me as a reader, a fellow writer, a narrator, a content creator, a critic, a well-wisher, or simply a site visitor, thank you. From a writing perspective this has been the best year I’ve ever had, and it’s completely thanks to you folks. For that, I can never thank you enough.

I can only hope that next year is just as great, and that you continue to join me on this wild ride.

I’ll be continuing to post content through the holidays, both for the Underlayers and in general. I hope that you’ll enjoy it. There will even be a Christmas appearance of a certain flexible monster from Nighty Night.

Again, thank you to everyone for everything this year, and have a fantastic holiday season.

Future Writings and a Collaboration

A few days ago I posted that there would be changes to how I’ll be featuring my content, and this blog entry (announcement? statement? royal decree?) is sort of a continuation of that.

I’ve been taking stock of how things have been going over the past year, and that has led to me considering how I want to proceed going into the next one. A big part of that is mapping out a path to where I want to be as opposed to where I’m at.

My big project for 2023 is the Underlayers. The gist of it is it’s a large web of stories that are all interconnected. It started this year with connecting seven stories that set the stage for the main event (I call those stories Prelude to the Underlayers for categorizing purposes).

The Underlayers is going to be broken up into two parts. The first part is the main storyline, which will be a continuing plotline featuring the major characters as they traverse the dying and rotting realities that are the Underlayers. The second part is a series of stories called Bleeds; these are horror stories that take place in the main reality that are caused by the Underlayers being opened, but are more standalone in nature.

I have the majority of this sketched out and the main plot beats are more or less in place. All that’s left to do is the writing itself. This will be starting next week and will be going on for the foreseeable future.

It’s a big project, but hey, I wrote a novel and released it on this site chapter by chapter in the course of a month, so it’s not like I don’t enjoy challenges.

This is where the first part of this blog entry connects with the Underlayers. The question I’ve been rattling around in my brain is what do I want to do with this project. I’ve thought about it long and hard, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I want it to be featured in an audio format to enhance its presentation as much as possible.

I’m looking to partner with someone that would be interested in taking this peculiar journey with me by narrating these stories. I work with a number of narrators on a regular basis, but this is a bit different. It can’t be done the usual way where a content creator picks and chooses individual stories. The series wouldn’t make sense if that was the case. I would need to work with someone that is willing to take them all on as they come.

I’m not saying that only my content could be featured or anything close to that. Of course not, that would be crazy. I’m not even asking that you drop everything when I have a new story ready. All that I’m looking for is someone that is interested and hopefully excited to offer a serialized story to their listeners and/or viewers.

I’m also not asking anyone to walk into this blind. As I said, I have the general story worked out and what can loosely be called a storyboard set up. There are also the seven stories in the Prelude; they’re good examples of my style and how I approach my storytelling. I’m more than happy to sit down and have a long and detailed conversation about where I see this going and to also talk about what this partner’s goals and needs are. This would be a two-way street, after all.

I’ll still be writing stories that aren’t connected to the Underlayers project that will be available for narration. That isn’t changing. I’d be lying if I said that the Underlayers isn’t a major priority for me, though. I’m looking at it as a challenge, as a time to flex my creative muscles, and as an opportunity.

If you’re someone that’s interested in talking about a possible collaboration on this, please, send me a message through my contact form. Even if one or both of us ends up feeling like it’s not the right fit, it’s worth exploring if it is.

I hope everyone out there is having a great holiday season, and from both myself and my family, thank you for all the amazing support this year. It has meant the world to us.

Changes to Content

Hello!

I hope everyone is doing great this holiday season. We’re rapidly approaching the end of the year, and during my admittedly small amount of free time, I’ve been looking back on how things have gone in 2022. While I’ve mostly been happy with it, I’m going to being making some changes in hopes of making 2023 a smoother year for content.

One of my biggest headaches this year, and I’m sure that other content creators dealing in written content will understand this, was my content being taken and used without permission. This is especially true when it comes to YouTube content creators.

Over the past two months alone, I’ve had to file over fifty copyright claims through YouTube. The annual number is through the roof. I absolutely hate making these claims. It’s time-consuming, it requires constant searching through videos, and, frankly, I don’t like affecting other content creators negatively even if they’re using my content without permission. Unfortunately, it’s the only way to protect my copyrights and honor my agreements with content creators who have actually contacted me about using my stories.

The majority of these issues are coming from people taking content from CreepyPasta.com when I post stories there. Because of this, I will no longer be regularly posting on that site. Sure, I’ll probably put up a story here and there for the fun of it, but I will no longer be making regular postings on that site.

Instead, I’ll be putting all of my original content on my site (timothysprague.com). This was the first thing that I wanted to inform everyone about, because if you’re looking for new content from me, it’s going to all be centralized here instead of on other sites.

I’m also going to be changing the content that I produce. I enjoy writing horror short stories, and I will continue to do so, but I’m going to be focusing a lot of content specifically for audio narration. I’ve done a lot of research over the past year, listening to a lot of horror podcasts and YouTube narrations, and I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of the content is lacking.

This isn’t due to the narrators themselves. There are some truly fantastic ones out there, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of them. The lacking content is due to the material being narrated.

You can have the absolute best short story, one that is critically acclaimed and breaks all viewing records, but it can absolutely suck when it’s narrated for a YouTube video. This is because of the difference in types of media. A large number of written stories don’t translate well into spoken form. They loose a lot of what makes them special.

I’m going to be doing a lot of content creation that is specifically designed for audio narration. Scripts, stories that allow for creative choices by the audio narrator, things that take advantage of audio cues, etc. In my opinion the entirety of horror narration can be elevated by better synergy between the writer and the narrator, and that’s what I’m hoping to achieve. It’s certainly what I’m going to work towards.

I’ve always offered custom content to creators, and I’ll continue to offer that as well. The only change to that is I’m going to be more detailed in my questions to tailor the project even more towards the content creator’s wants.

Long story short: if you enjoy my content, or want to use it in the future, my website is the place to find it. Just shoot me over a message through the contact form if don’t already have my email address if there’s anything that you’d like to use.

Thank you, and have a great rest of the year!

The Great Experiment Comes to an End

First things first, happy Halloween to everyone!

Not to sound like a cliché, but I can’t believe that October is already coming to an end. I have absolutely no idea where this month went. Quite the ‘here one minute, gone the next’ scenario.

This was, by far, my biggest month in terms of content creation. I just ran the math, and it ended up being the following:

31 Microhorror Stories
4 Short Stories

Huh, that doesn’t look nearly as impressive when it’s written out as I hoped that it would. Hold on, let me work with it for a second.

31 Daily Microhorror Stories
4 Short Stories published across multiple platforms, including audio narration by content creators

There! It means the exact same thing as the first listing, but man, those numbers look a lot more impressive. Smoke and mirrors, baby, smoke and mirrors!

For everyone that kept coming back for more during October, I thank you wholeheartedly. I hope that I’ve kept you entertained.

So here’s the question that I’ve been asking myself the last few days: where the hell do I go from here? I’ve got a number of things that I’m working on for December, but not much for November.

I think the answer to my question is to relax a bit, drop the amount of work done during the month, and have some fun with the writing that I do.

I’ve been wanting to write some more humorous horror stories, so it feels like that this is the perfect time to do so. It’s also been a while since I’ve done anything really, I dunno, experimental with a story.

To put it bluntly, the reason for that is the experimental stuff doesn’t tend to perform as well as the more traditional horror. One of my favorite stories that I’ve ever written is called A House. It’s available in my Nightmares We Share anthology on Amazon (cheap plug), and it revolves around a house where a horrific series of paranormal murders have taken place. It’s told in a much different way than any of my other stories, and I think it’s some of my best work.

It got curbstomped when it was submitted to CreepyPasta.com. It was a harsh lesson about how different audiences require different stories. I wouldn’t say that I’ve played it safe since then, as stories like The Devil’s Tone and The Suicide Engineer have switched around not only topics but formats. If I’m being honest, though, I haven’t really gone all-out mad scientist with a story since then.

With November being a slower month, maybe it’s time to take off the gloves and get weird again.

A Hard Story to Write

I’m not sure how much of this blog entry is going to make sense, so I apologize for that up front.

Ever since I was a kid and first expressed my interest in becoming a writer, I heard over and over again that the best stories are the ones that come from inside of you. To me, that’s always meant that you take parts of your real life and use them to craft a more fantastical story so that no matter how far out the story gets, it has an anchor in reality.

I don’t know if I think that anymore. I just finished the final edits on a new short story, All the Stars in the Sky. This story was different than all the others that I’ve ever written. This one actually hurt to write.

My wife and I have four children, two teenagers and two young ones. Abby is five now, but when she was born she gave us quite a scare. She was born premature, so much so that she spent the first month of her life in the NICU. She was very tiny, and there was the very real possibility that we could lose her.

The absolute worst moment of my life was when she was born and there was no crying. That was followed by the best moment when she eventually yelled out after the doctor and nurse worked with her for a few minutes.

Things ended up working out, of course. She’s now a wild and intelligent child that can melt your heart and infuriate every bone in your body in equal measure.

The thing is, I don’t think that I ever really processed those feelings of fear and helplessness from her early days. There just wasn’t time. I had to keep working during the week to support my family, and between that and driving back and forth to see Abby in the hospital I was in a perpetual state of exhaustion. Then she came home and there wasn’t time to sleep, let alone think.

All those forgotten feelings came bursting up while I was writing All the Stars in the Sky. It isn’t a similar story to the real life experience, but there was something about it that unearthed everything from inside of me. Even now as I’m sitting at my desk I feel emotionally and physically drained. I’ve never written from this deep within before.

I’m not going to spoil it so I’m going to be vague here, but I think that’s why I put two returning characters in it that I didn’t originally intend to. I needed some old friends to take the journey with me.

I’ll be releasing All the Stars in the Sky soon. I think it’s one of the better pieces that I’ve ever written. I also think that, for me, it’s one of the most important. Hopefully the people who read it enjoy it, but even if they don’t, I’m glad to have written it.

I Really Don’t Know What to Say

The title pretty much says it all.

This morning, I received an email from a friend of mine with a picture attached to it. Here’s that picture.

My three most recent stories, Nighty Night, The Suicide Engineer, and Room for Two are currently the three highest rated stories with over 100 reviews in the history of CreepyPasta.com.

This was something of a shock, as I don’t pay attention to ratings. Like a lot of writers, I just assume that everything I write is terrible and is being judged as such. Finding out that people really are enjoying the stories warms the cockles of my heart and has absolutely made my day.

Do I expect this to last? Nah, not really. I’m a pessimist like that. All good things and whatnot. Still, I don’t know if this is something that anyone else has ever accomplished, so even if it’s short-lived it’s something that I consider to be pretty darn cool.

To everyone that has read and rated my stories, I greatly appreciate it and can’t thank you enough for your support. It means the world to me. There was a while there where no matter how much I grinded away at writing it didn’t seem to matter. I didn’t feel like my writing was progressing, and it really seemed like it would never be noticed by more than a handful of people. I got so discouraged that I completely stopped for a number of years.

This last year everything has changed. I’m now a professional writer, which is all that I’ve ever wanted to be, and people are seeking me out instead of the other way around. That just blows my mind.

I know exactly who to thank for that, and it’s you, the readers. All that I’ve ever wanted to be is a storyteller and all I’ve ever wanted to do is entertain people. Thank you so much for allowing me to become that person.