A Halloween Whirlwind

A whirlwind. That’s what it’s felt like since the release of Little Paranoias: Stories. But like Pecos Bill, I’m here to ride the storm!

First, I want to extend a huge thanks to everyone who preordered, purchased, read, reviewed, and/or promoted Little Paranoias this past week. It’s been amazing and I love seeing what all of you thought!

And if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, you can find it in ebook and paperback on Amazon.

Within the whirlwind, though, were a few pieces that I wanted to make sure all of you saw. Check out the list below to see interviews, news, and some new stories!

As you can see, I’ve been all over the place; but it’s all been worth it. Now that the dust has settled a bit, I plan to keep at it on Book #3.

Thanks for reading!

New eZine: Check Out Two Flash Pieces From Me in “The Sirens Call”

I’m happy to announce that I have two flash pieces in the latest issue of The Sirens Call, a horror ezine which you can read for FREE online!

The two stories included are “I Never Knew Your Name” — which first appeared in The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales — and “The Note on the Door,” a new story I wrote this past summer. Both stories were inspired by my morning walk to work. I wonder if I can dedicate a story to a neighborhood block, what with all the inspiration its given me.

I’m proud to share space with several writers in this month’s issue. The Sirens Call: Halloween Screams and Other Dark Things will keep the spirit of the Halloween season going for weeks to come.

Check out Issue 41 of The Sirens Call for FREE right here — and let me know what you think!

Out Now: “The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales”

I’m happy to announce that The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

the crow's gift and other tales by sonora taylor
Cover Art by Doug Puller

The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales features four stories of connections and their consequences. It includes “The Crow’s Gift,” “I Love Your Work,” “I Never Knew Your Name,” and “All the Pieces Coming Together” (note — you can still read “All the Pieces Coming Together” for free on the blog).

The collection came together with a lot of help. It features gorgeous artwork from Doug Puller, who drew the cover, title page illustration, and page breaks. The stories were also edited by Evelyn Duffy, who did an excellent job to help complete the stories with her edits, notes, and work. I thank them both for their amazing work.

I’m very excited to share this collection with you. You can purchase the collection on Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook). I hope you enjoy it, and I also hope you’ll leave a review once you’ve finished it. Thank you all for reading!

The Crow’s Gift: Table of Contents

Today is a busy day, both with writing and my day job. It’s been a busy several days, but with the writing at least, it’s the sort of busy that brings me joy.

The weekend was especially productive. I got All the Pieces Coming Together from my editor, and spent most of Sunday revising it based on her notes. On that note, if you are a newer writer like me, I must emphasize how important it is to have an editor — a professional one, not simply someone who proofreads or beta-reads. I’ve had two stories edited thus far, and both have been improved by that step — not just in grammar and style, but in bringing to the surface deeper meanings and themes that I couldn’t find on my own. Even though we write in solitude, at the end of the day, it’s a team effort between writer and reader.

Because of those busy hours, I have less to share today than on Tuesdays past. In lieu of a longer post, I’d like to share the current table of contents for The Crow’s Gift and Other Tales. Three of the stories will go to my editor this week, including I Never Knew Your Name, so it may look quite different once it appears in the collection. I’m excited to see where it goes, and the same goes for the other pieces waiting to make the journey from my own computer. I will keep all of you posted on the progress of the collection over the coming weeks — including its cover.

The Crow’s Gift, and Other Tales

  1. The Crow’s Gift
  2. I Love Your Work
  3. The Campus Coffee Shop
  4. All the Pieces Coming Together
  5. I Never Knew Your Name

I Never Knew Your Name

My daily commute includes many familiar faces, all of them strangers. Being so familiar with people I will never know inspired me to write the following short story, about a woman who sees one person every day, yet only wonders about them, saying nothing more to them than “Hello.” Is she supposed to know them? Was she ever supposed to? Was it better that she didn’t?

**

I Never Knew Your Name

Cities are unique in that they’re filled with familiar strangers. There are enough people that you can sift through them anonymously, yet also enough people doing the same thing as you, or going the same way you’re going, that you recognize them in everything but name.

That is how I knew you. For while I saw you every day, I never knew your name.

I saw you on my way to work, as I see many. We surely all recognize each other, but only you made eye contact with me. Only you smiled. Only you said, “Good morning, ma’am.”

And though I normally find comfort in familiar strangers keeping their distance, I too smiled at you. I too waved. And I too said, “Good morning.”

Thus began our friendship, and that is where it stayed. We’d pass each other, smile, wave, and say “Good morning.” No more, no less.

No one else spoke to you, and you spoke to no one. I wondered what connected us apart from all the others. I’d never seen you anywhere but that sidewalk. I’d never seen anyone else speak to you. I’d never seen you speak to them.

Perhaps you didn’t want them to see you. Perhaps I saw you by accident.

You appeared very suddenly. I saw you on the way to work, then promptly forgot you. I only thought of my morning paper, with its distraught headline: a child was missing. Children had gone missing before. I turned the page and read the comics.

I continued to see you. We would say good morning. You’d walk by others in silence. I would read my paper. Two children went missing. I read the comics, but thought of the three children who were now gone. Where did they go?

I began to think of you even when we didn’t share a sidewalk. I’d seen you so often, you were almost my friend. One whose name I didn’t know. As we passed each other, I’d wonder things about you. Where were you from? Why were you walking opposite the workflow? Did you work at night?

One child missing. The other three had yet to be found.

No one else spoke to you. No one else even waved to you. Could they see you? Were you a ghost? A spirit? A floating friend to greet me hello each morning?

Three more children missing. One of the first to go missing had been found. She’d been by a riverbank and she looked … empty. Like the life had been vacuumed from her. Or, I thought as I read the paper, like her soul had been drained.

Were you responsible?

Like many familiar strangers, you began to flicker out of my routine. Days would go by where I wouldn’t see you, and I thought you’d left. But then you’d reappear. We’d smile, and wave, and say, “Good morning.” You never said anything more. Maybe you knew better.

More children were found. They all looked like the drained girl. A few more disappeared, but now people were on to the attacker. Less children went missing.

I saw you less and less.

Soon no children went missing. The news moved on to celebrities and politicians.

Soon you were gone forever. And I never knew your name.

Fin