My latest story, “Midnight for Clementine,” is available now in Christmas Gothic Short Stories, an anthology for fans of dark and macabre winter holiday tales (a la Gremlins and The Nightmare Before Christmas). My story delves into a world of ornaments, figurines, and other decorations. That’s right, it’s a glimpse into the secret life of inanimate objects (the topic I’m teaching next month through Hugo House!).
This story stems from my longtime fascination with holiday décor. As a kid, I’d play with the seasonal figurines my parents distributed around the living room and dining room throughout the year—the Halloween candles shaped like ghosts, the plush Easter rabbit in a dress holding her surly, swaddled bunny, and most of all, the Christmas decorations. Tree ornaments, nutcrackers, the nativity scene, and a special doll collection that only made an appearance in December! I couldn’t resist. In grade school one year, I ordered a book called The Glass Mermaid by Susan Clymer, in which the human protagonist shrinks down (like in the ballet adaptation of The Nutcracker) and travels through the trunk of a Christmas tree to have an adventure. Well, I preferred the possibilities of venturing up the tree itself.
Years later, thanks to my writer’s group, I was inspired to revisit those memories and create this story for our annual Christmas party. Now, I’m so excited to be included in this beautiful anthology.