An excerpt from “Bobby Boyd’s Bad Eyes.” Inwood Indiana: Reaping (August 2016).
I had to apologize to Izzy for doubting him. Sure enough, that pony could play.
His name was Molasses and that’s what color he was, although his mane was as black as Bobby’s eyes. He stood just outside the back of the house with his head poking through an open window. We sat at a round table pushed up against the wall. When it was Molasses’ turn to play, Bobby would hold the cards up to him and he would nuzzle one to throw down. Every so often Bobby would feed him an apple slice or a baby carrot from a bowl under the table.
Now, a poker-playing pony is an amazing sight, but one that wins the game? I have to say, it was a little humbling. I’d never been a great poker player anyway, so I took it all in stride. Cal, on the other hand, got really mad. He had laid out a full house, sure that he had the winning hand. When Bobby showed the table Molasses’ straight flush, Cal turned as pink as a cat’s tongue. He cussed and shoved his chips across the table. One bounced up and hit the pony on the muzzle.
Bobby came across the table at Cal. The man would have gotten an ass-shining for sure if Izzy and Dennis hadn’t pulled Bobby off him. That kind of put a damper on the whole proceeding, so Dennis and Cal struck out for home. Izzy made as if to go too, but I hung back.
“I’ll bring her home,” Bobby told him.
I could see Izzy wasn’t comfortable leaving me there but I didn’t care. I grinned and waggled my fingers at him. Hit the road, Cuz!
I watched the jeep’s taillights disappear into the darkness, then stood on the porch listening to the crickets. The sound washed over me, followed by a tidal wave of despair. For a moment, I felt the urge to run up the long, rocky driveway. I changed my mind, Izzy, I wanted to shout.
Tom Petty was right. The waiting IS the hardest part.
This is a screenshot of my Submittable queue. Some of these pieces have been "in-progress" since June.
If patience is a virtue, I'm a wicked woman.
Like many writers, I hoard words and phrases.
I keep mine in idea notebooks. I have about twenty of them tucked away in drawers and on shelves, in my purse and in my car, and in my laptop bag.
You never know when inspiration will strike and you'll need to record it. Sometimes I use the memo app or voice recorder on my phone, but I prefer to put pen to paper when I receive a message from my muse.
This notebook is unusual. It contains typed ideas. Sometimes I write bits of verse or prose on scraps of paper, old envelopes, sticky notes, or faded receipts. Those are hard to keep up with (they flutter away like confetti at a parade), so I transcribe them into a Word document and print them for future use.
I added a little flourish to this photo to show how magical it feels when I open one of my notebooks for an unused idea.
How do you keep track of your ideas?
Anyone who knows me knows that October is my favorite month. I'm a Halloween fiend!
In honor of All Hallows' Eve, I present to you a list of scary books I recommend for the season (in no particular order):
1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
2. The Shining by Stephen King
3. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
4. Dark Companions by Ramsey Campbell
5. Salem's Lot by Stephen King
6. The Other by Thomas Tryon
7. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Also try the collected works of Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft.
Check out The Year's Best Horror Stories edited by Karl Edward Wagner (1980-1994).
My story "Two Spells" appears in a special edition of Weirdbook this month. It's the tale of two granny witches and a coal miner in early 20th-century Appalachia.
Some authors this magazine has published in the course of its history: Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Joe Lansdale, Robert E. Howard, Joseph Payne Brennan, L. Sprague de Camp, Briam Lumley, Dennis Etchison, Tanith Lee, Steve Rasnic Tem, and artist J.K. Potter.
I hope you'll check it out at Amazon or Wildside Press!
I'll be reading at Sugar Hill Brewing Company Sunday, September 10, at 4:00 p.m. I'd love to see you there!
Shotgun Honey has published my flash fiction piece "Bomb Diggity."
It's a little different from my usual work. Warning: If you're easily offended, this is not for you. If you enjoy quirky fiction, proceed.
Shotgun Honey publishes very short crime stories and calls itself Fiction with a Kick.
August 9 is National Book Lover's Day. Celebrate by supporting your local authors!
I'm happy to announce that I've been asked to be the official writer in residence for Sugar Hill Brewing Company.
We'll be announcing some literary events in the coming months.
Click here to visit the Sugar Hill website.
I'm kinda over the moon right now!
I just learned that one of my short stories will be published in a magazine that has featured the work of STEPHEN KING and RAMSEY CAMPBELL, my two favorite horror authors.
This award-winning magazine, which has been around since the sixties, has published other well-known horror and fantasy heavy hitters I admire. :)
I believe the publication date will be October, but don't have any other details to share right now.
Thank you to The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature for publishing my short story “Sparks and Vinegar.” You can read the entire story here.
The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature started publishing fine literature more than two decades ago. In its earliest incarnation it was known as the Eastern North Carolina Literary Journal. Today The Dead Mule is owned and operated by Robert and Valerie MacEwan.
Origin of its name: No good Southern fiction is complete without a dead mule. This phrase was inspired by comments from Harley Dartt and Jerry Mills.
My poem "Office Escape" is published in the July 2017 edition of Contemporary Haibun Online.
CHO is a quarterly journal of contemporary English language haibun. The editor is Bob Lucky.
I'm pleased to have my poem "Eleionomae" appear in the Summer Solstice 2017 edition of Eternal Haunted Summer.
This journal features poetry, short fiction, and essays about the gods, goddesses, heroes, myths, and folklore of the world. Rebecca Buchanan is the editor.
Little Free Library is at the playground at A. R. Matthews Park in St. Paul, VA.
Juniors from Girl Scout Troop #189 helped with this project. Kudos, ladies!
Take A Book/Leave A Book!
Although I've dabbled in haibun, I still have a lot to learn about this literary form.
However, I am happy to report that one of my pieces has been accepted by a journal for publication in July.
Click HERE to book Neva to read, speak, or lead a workshop at your next event.
Today I received notice that my poem "Eleionomae" will be published in June. I'll post details at that time.
Copyright © 2016 Neva Bryan - All Rights Reserved.Contents of this site including text and media may not be reproduced without prior written consent.