The Halloween Phoenix Returns

image of a phoenix tattooRoughly two years ago, I mused about being a phoenix. To quote that post, “Like the mythic phoenix, (remember Fawkes in the Harry Potter books) I have burst into flames, reduced to a pile of ashes.” And, like Fawkes, it was about time for me to do it again. I suppose it’s partly the impending NaNoWriMo that is encouraging me to revisit this blog.

Where the Hell did I Go?!

I’ve been stuck. Lost. Down a rabbit hole. Hiding under blankets. Eating my feelings. All of the above.

Being truthful about mental illness is difficult, especially when I was deep in the dark places. In the fall of 2016, I hit my emotional rock bottom. I withdrew from society, experienced cycles of insomnia and over-sleeping, and ate dump-truck-loads of my feelings. After weeks of crying every day, I took everyone’s advice and visited my doctor who prescribed anti-depressants.

It took weeks to get the dose right, but eventually I found relief. I began to emerge into the world, and perform tasks I’d been too distraught to face. At that point, I could not write, partly because I wasn’t strong enough to face the “truths” that are authorial requirements, and partly because the anti-depressants affected my concentration and short-term memory.

In March, I found the strength to make some tough changes to get my life back on track. I dabbled in a group-therapy endeavor, and I started to count my calories. I scoured YouTube, Stitcher, and experimented with various meditation apps, in search of the most useful guided meditations to help me with my journey.

Since March, I’ve lost roughly thirty pounds. I can’t thank my son enough for buying me a Fitbit for my birthday, which not only helped with the weight-loss journey, but has also encouraged me to get walking. I love my Fitbit, because it’s the first weight-loss/health-improvement app/device that uses encouragement rather than bullying. This weight-loss has helped me to feel better, physically and emotionally, and has helped my knee to get significantly better. I still drive around with my cane in my car, but I rarely use it.

That’s right. You read that correctly. I RARELY USE MY CANE!

What a journey! Remember, in that last blog post, I wrote, “I’ve come to the emotional conclusion that I will never be ‘better’ in the true sense of the word. The cane will be a permanent accessory.”

Now I can do things for myself again, including mowing my own lawn, shoveling my own driveway, and cleaning my own house. I even bought a snow-blower, something I’ve been afraid of for years.

Two years ago, I also began the process of updating my will. That endeavor ground to a halt when I learned that without a divorce, my will would not be as binding as I wanted. So I abandoned the will upgrade, and focused on moving ahead with the divorce, again!

Taking charge of this huge aspect of my “old life”, combined with the aforementioned changes, helped me to journey to a new, happy, content, calm place. So much so, that I’ve begun the process of reducing (and possibly quitting) my anti-depressants. Suddenly, I have feelings again. And, most importantly, I NEED TO WRITE AGAIN.

The icing on the cake … drumroll … I’m divorced!  This status became official on October 20, 2017. Time to plan a party.

But first, enough blogging. I need to sketch an outline for my NaNoWriMo novel. I know, I left it until the last minute.

Expect posts about my progress throughout November.

It’s Time to Nominate for the Aurora Awards

Hello fans and friends!

I published 2 short stories this year which are also eligible to be nominated. Their category of eligibility is: “2016 – Best Short Fiction – English”

The stories are:

“Lost Flesh” which appeared in the anthology Lazarus Risen, Edited by Hayden Trenholm and Michael Rimar, Bundoran Press, Nov 2016.


“Dallas’s Booth” which appeared in the anthology Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law, Laksa Media Groups Inc., August 2016.

We authors find it difficult to choose a “favourite” story, but if cornered I would suggest “Lost Flesh”. Unfortunately, I am unable to place a free story on my website this year.

Anyone who is either a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen can submit a nomination form for the Aurora Awards. You may select up to 3 nominees in each category. All selections will be given equal weight.

The CSFFA charges a membership fee ($10) to nominate OR to vote. Everyone who becomes a member will be emailed a packet of the five finalists in each category, (once they’re chosen) so you’re essentially getting many books for $10!

The top five works in each category with the most nominations will be placed on the final ballot.

All nominations, on-line or mail-in, must be received by 11:59PM ET May 6th, 2017.

Thank you for your consideration…Suzanne

Suzanne’s ConFusion 2017 Schedule

It’s been a while since my last post! But I’m back, just in time for the beginning of the 2017 convention season.

ConFusion takes place at the Sheraton in Novi, Michigan from January 19-22, 2017.

Friday, January 20
5:00PM – 6:00PM Haven’t We Been Here Before?  Why is New England such an attractive setting for the horrific? Panelists: Michael Cieslak, Suzanne Church, Lesley Conner, Joe Hill, and Mallory O’Meara [Keweenaw]
8:00PM – 9:00PM All Things Onder and the Ed Greenwood Group (TEGG)   Panelists: Suzanne Church (M), Gregory A. Wilson, Elizabeth Shack, Deanna Laver, and Brandon Draga [Petoskey].

Saturday, January 21
4:00PM – 5:00PM Autograph Session   Come and get your books signed! [St. Clair]
6:00PM – 7:00PM Readings  Suzanne will be reading from her Hellmaw fiction. Panelists: Suzanne Church, Sarah Gailey, and Gregory A. Wilson. [Keweenaw]

Sunday, January 22
12:00PM – 1:00PM Here’s What They Did to My Baby!   Authors tell the tale of the publishing process from their perspective. Panelists: Patrick S. Tomlinson (M), Cameron McClure, Suzanne Church, Jim C. Hines [St. Clair]
1:00PM – 2:00PM Romantic Leads   What makes a good romantic lead? Panelists: Courtney Schafer (M), Sara Dobie Bauer, Suzanne Church, Seleste deLaney / Julie Particka, Amal El-Mohtar, Gail Carriger [Leelanau]

I hope to see you at the con!