Shared Storytelling: Advent Ghosts 2022


Image from “Rattle,” my story for 2018

Via my friend Loren Eaton:

Dear writerly friends, welcome to Advent Ghosts 2022, the thirteenth annual shared storytelling event at ISLF. Thirteen may not be an auspicious number in genre fiction, but it represents something of an enduring tradition for this humble little blog. Over the years, a group of us have celebrated that peculiarly British tradition of telling spooky stories right before Christmas. Smithsonian Magazinehas an informative article about the practice, and you can learn more yourself by reading selections such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s “Old Nurse’s Story,” Algernon Blackwood’s “The Kit-Bag,” or E.F. Benson’s “Between the Lights.” To get more of an idea of what we do here, though, check out Neil Gaiman’s “Nicholas Was …”This little story clocks in at exactly 100 words — which is exactly what our tales do as well. We welcome anyone, and the rules are simple:

1) Email me at ISawLightningFall [at] gmail [dot] com.
2) Pen a scary story that’s exactly 100-words long — no more, no less.
3) Post the story to your blog on Saturday, December 17, and email the link to me. Hosting on ISLF is available for those without blogs or anyone who wants to write under a pseudonym. (Don’t worry, you’ll retain copyright!)
4) While you should feel free to write whatever you want to, know that I reserve the right to put a content warning on any story that I think needs it.

If you’re new to the group and would like to see some examples, give last year’s stories a gander.

Search tag “Advent Ghosts” to read all of my 100-word stories for this project over the years on Esse Diem. Then join us!

Appalachians Know “The Look” of The Flooding

The link to Silas House’s op ed should function as a “gift article” and not be subject to a paywall. — EDG

I had to study awhile to figure out why Mae Amburgey seemed so familiar to me. I realized it was because I had seen that same look on my mother’s face when we escaped the flood all those years ago. Hers is the face of so many who have come before her and who will come after, of all people who have had to fight to survive. I’m haunted by the weariness and determination in the eyes of Chloe Adams. Hers are the eyes of so many children from all over the world who are powerless against others’ greed.

They are my people not only because they are Appalachian, like me, but because they are human beings. They are familiar faces because they are all of us, caught in the clutches of entities that have more rights than we do as individuals, including companies that so often get favors from politicians like McConnell and Paul, neither of whom have even shown up in the devastated place they are meant to represent. (McConnell said he planned to visit the region, and Paul said at a Louisville news conference that he would “try and get out there as soon as we can.”) They are ourselves and our children and our grandchildren in the near future; the climate crisis is happening now.

Silas House, The Washington Post, August 5, 2022

Photo credit: Larry Adams