All posts by katherinequevedo

Horror story acceptance!

I’ve officially sold a horror story, due to come out this fall!  People sometimes do a double-take when they hear I write horror.  I guess I don’t put off some sort of expected vibe, whatever that may be.  I’ll admit I was a skittish child, although I was raised by choice on a steady diet of dark animation.

As far as my exposure to creepy and twisted literature, I can still remember one of my sisters telling me about the classic story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs.  She spoke about it spoiler-free, but its impression upon her, complete with shudders and wincing, intrigued me.  I had to seek it out.  Reading it made quite an impression on me, a radical departure from my sheltered reading list as a sixth grader!  When this same sister told me about Roald Dahl’s adult short stories a few years later, I immediately got a collection from the library.  I’ve never forgotten how haunting some of those works are.

Then came Edgar Allan Poe.  A high school English teacher read us some of his works in October—and it’s no wonder that as an adult I decorate my living and dining rooms for Halloween every year in Poe themed décor.  In college I read “The Fall of the House of Usher” right before I went on a Halloween flashlight tour of the nearby Winchester Mystery House, which made the outing extra memorable.

Fall is such a perfect time for horror, so keep your eye out later this year for the horror anthology Nothing’s Sacred Vol. 4.  My story “My Little Sugar Plum” will be included.

An upcoming publication—for charity!

It’s been a while since I’ve focused on my poetry.  Although most of my writing is fiction, the main track I studied as an undergrad English major with a Creative Writing emphasis, believe it or not, was poetry.

So when I heard about the series Civilized Beasts, volumes of poetry to support wildlife, a cause near and dear to my heart, I knew I wanted to be involved.  The piece I wrote and sent in for Civilized Beasts Volume III was accepted!

A fun twist on this publication is that my bio will be in the form of verse.  Keep an eye out for more details.

Farewell to 2017

My oldest sister’s family has been visiting from San Diego, and it’s been a real treat having them here for Christmas!  It actually snowed a bit on Christmas Eve and stuck, so they lucked into a rare white Christmas for these parts.  We had fun singing carols while my mom plays the piano, decorating gingerbread houses, and going out to play laser tag.  For Christmas my parents gave me a copy of Kij Johnson’s story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, which they had her sign for me at a reading that I sadly missed because it conflicted with one of my classes.

Now I’ve been taking advantage of my school break to do some writerly things, including editing some of my stories and continuing to beta read a novel for a friend.  Earlier today a different friend introduced me to fellow speculative fiction writer Elizabeth Beechwood, founder of the Washington County Writers Forum, and a fun person to meet.  I’m looking forward to the second half of 2018, when I’ll graduate and finally have time to go to more writing events on a regular basis.

Magic, holiday and otherwise

This morning my family went on the Cinnamon Bear Cruise, a Portland holiday event that celebrates an adventure through the magical world of Maybeland.  After the magician’s performance, one of my sons asked me if there might be such a thing as real magic.

As a fantasy writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about magic:  magic systems, their rules, sources of it, good ways to reveal it.  Fiction writers of all genres specialize in immersing the reader in a created world so convincing, it feels real.  The senses are triggered.  Emotions are conjured.  Characters who do not exist elicit responses often more intense than those to the people we encounter every day.  Effectively, it is sleight of hand (of mind?).

As for my son’s question, I wanted to answer him truthfully and leave the door open to wonder.  I crouched to his eye level and said, “Maybe that magician just knows some really good trickery.”  Rather like my favorite writers.

A hopefully happy Halloween

October is usually my favorite month, but this year it’s been brutal for me for a variety of reasons.  Oh well, I’m determined to finish it up on a good note.  Tomorrow is Halloween, after all.

And there’s been plenty to enjoy.  Taking my kids to the pumpkin patch is always one of my favorite parts of fall.  Then earlier this month, on Friday the 13th, my husband and I double-dated with one of my best friends from high school and her husband by trying our luck in an escape room.  I’ve been wanting to do one ever since I first heard about them.  It was great fun, although the room we picked only has about a 35% success rate, and I’m sorry to report we did not help increase that percentage.

I also made progress on a story rewrite.

And finally, I bought huge bags of Halloween candy during my lunch break today.  Way more than we’re likely to give out.  Which means, leftovers!  Muahaha…

Team bonding in a bookstore

My MBA program places a huge emphasis on team projects, and I’d like to share one recent team experience that took place in my local Powell’s bookstore.  We met up and essentially created a bonding exercise on the spot.

Here’s how it works:  Each team member picks a different aisle at random and has 10 minutes to find 2 books whose title reveals something about yourself.  Then, if there’s still time, find a copy of your favorite book (from any aisle) to share as well.  When time’s up, all come back together and sit down to discuss your selections.  It’s a literary get-to-know-you exercise applied in a team setting to establish a dynamic of trust!

My team took photos of our chosen book covers and talked about them over coffee (or in my case, a cookie). Earlier, when it came to picking an aisle, my eyes fell upon Young Adult / Star Wars & Pop Culture.

Aisle in Powell's bookstore

Other team members picked aisles like Self-Help and Western Religions.

Here are the titles I found:

Super Human
Some days I feel like this!
The Girl In Between
Other days, not so much.  More like this.

 

New Orleans wrap-up

The nighttime cemetery tour was great fun.  The graveyards definitely have a different feel between daytime and nighttime.  Observe:

Katherine Quevedo in New Orleans cemetery - daytime
Daytime.
New Orleans cemetery with shovel
Nighttime, broken shovel spotted…
Katherine Quevedo in New Orleans cemetery - nighttime
Eek!

In all seriousness, though, the scariest thing on the tour was actually an enormous spider we saw up close in its web in a tree!

But let’s leave on a less terrifying note.  Here are some random photos from the trip.

And finally, in honor of my Edgar Allan Poe themed Halloween decorations I’ve been putting up around the house…

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New Orleans – Days 4 and 5

Yesterday I was fortunate to get a big conference commitment out of the way early in the schedule, plus we had a rather long lunch break.  A coworker and I booked it over to Jackson Square, which was lovely (and extremely hot, with no shade cover).  We walked through the St. Louis Cathedral, a different style than the one I went to in Buenos Aires but lovely as well.

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The Mississippi River was right nearby, with large ships passing each other.  Later on in the evening I saw a bit of Fulton Street.

Tonight I’m going on a flashlight cemetery tour!  Then tomorrow I fly home. It’s been a great adventure these past couple of months, but I’m looking forward to getting back to a routine and spending a lot more time with my family.

New Orleans – Days 2 and 3

Yesterday I took a swamp boat tour and got to see some American alligators in their natural habitat!

Katherine Quevedo on Bayou swamp boat

Now, I have loved crocodilians ever since I was a Zoo Teen volunteer at the Oregon Zoo, so a highlight for me was getting to hold this little cutie (I was assured the tape on his snout doesn’t hurt him):

Katherine Quevedo holding gator

That evening I saw some jazz on Bourbon Street.

Bourbon St. jazz club

Then earlier today during a conference break I took a streetcar out to the Garden District and walked through the lovely neighborhood.

garden-district-house.jpg

I ended up in Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

lafayette-cemetery-no-1.jpg

I finished up the day with a beignet.

beignets.jpg

Tomorrow I’ll be very busy with conference happenings.  That’s it for now!

New Orleans – Day 1

I have arrived in New Orleans, my first time here.  A highlight for me was checking out the Hotel Monteleone, whose lobby has a neat display of books by authors who have stayed at the hotel or even mentioned it in their work.

Hotel Monteleone Book Display

Then my coworker and I lucked into seats at the hotel’s Carousel rotating bar!

Katherine Quevedo at the Carousel Bar