Monday, October 9, 2017

Welcome to the Dark Side

This blog has been sitting here for a couple of years now, waiting, biding its time. Thankfully, something someone said to me the other day sparked it's revival and helped me to put down the last puzzle piece.

When I first had the idea for this blog I knew that I wanted to incorporate horror and ghost stories with the lighthearted twist of baking. You can't be dark all the time and, well, you do need something help fuel those sleepless nights spent listening for footsteps on the stairs. A coworker caught me by surprise one day by saying he'd heard that I write horror. Then he asked if I had a website and I faltered. I did have a blog, I told him, but it wasn't anything to do with my writing of horror or my love of ghost stories and folklore. I went back to entering inventory but the question lingered.

Then I took a bit of a break and scanned Instagram. I scrolled past an artist's work and, again, I was reminded of this little blog and what I'd originally planned for it. The artist focuses on Irish myths and I felt a delicious little shudder when I mentioned in a comment one of my favorite Irish myths that I've been exploring the past couple of years for a story idea.


The last spark that ignited the resurrection of this blog was a conversation with one of my cousins. She asked about my story that was published last year and, in doing so, asked if I'd had anything else published. I laughed. I had; a cookie recipe in a horror magazine. Yes, you read that right. It all came back to me : The Dark Side Bakery. A place to collect folklore and ghost stories, write about my own writing ventures, and post recipes and experiments into the realm of gluten free baking.

And here I am, at the beginning of October, putting the finishing touches on the beginnings on this project. What better month to start a spooky blog, get back into my love of creepy folklore, and dig out my pots and pans and whip up something sweet and ooey-gooey to munch on while doing edits on my almost-complete first horror novel?

I so very happy to have you here and I hope you'll enjoy wandering the back alleys, abandoned houses, castle walls, library attics and museum basements with me. Please feel free to email me at jstantonchandler (at) gmail (dot) com or leave me a message on any post to share any scary stories you may dig up in your own research.

And, by all means, grab yourself another cookie, warm up your coffee, and let's gather by the fireplace for some story telling. There's a storm blowing in and you don't want to be caught out in it.

"It was a dark and stormy night...."

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Good things are in store...

... just hang tight!

I'm busy working on a new story, Dear Reader. It crept in when I least expected it and it has no plan whatsoever. Each time I sit down to write, it gives me just a glimmer of what's to come and I'm learning the plot with each word I type.

I'm excited to share more! Just...not yet.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Well, hello there!

I'm not sure if anyone is reading this little cyber chronicle yet, but if you are, I apologize for the looooong delay in posts! I am unashamed to say that life got in the way, as it should. Life is more important than blogging. I hope you all know that.

As for life, it has been good! Thanksgiving was quiet, relaxing, populated by too much food, decorating the bungalow for Christmas, and punctuated with a trip to the beach yesterday evening. Though we worked Friday, it still seemed like a long (and much needed) weekend. I hope your weekend was fantastic and your Thanksgiving (if you celebrated) was filled with, well, giving thanks.

Not much has been happening in the realm of speculative fiction. My other projects have taken up all my available time but for good reasons. For one, they are the beginnings of some Christmas gifts and I need to have them all completed by the 23rd. For another, they have really shed light on the whether-tos and the why-fors that I craft in the first place. I know, sounds strange and mysterious, eh? Well, trust me, I'll talk more about THAT come January.

For now, I just want to bask in the season of GIVING. That's how I like to view Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. A time to give of our time, our talents, ourselves. A time to spend time with those that mean the most to us. A time to let them know we are thankful.

I believe in my last post I mentioned my participation in NaNoWriMo. Ha! It was a valiant effort but, alas, I failed to produce a NaNo novel again this year. But I don't mind. The passion, the drive, and the time weren't there. And I am unashamed to say I didn't win. No worries. I now know what I want to devote my writing time to and it is NOT the novel I'd planned for NaNo! Yay decisions!!

More on that in January too :D

I did read a wonderful story by Susan Hill. I'm sure you've heard of it, maybe even seen the movie which, of course, I missed. "The Woman in Black" is a beautifully written gothic tale that really does send goose-pimples up your spine. It was chilling without causing insomnia and the ending was SUPERB! It was one of those stories that you just know there's something else coming but you don't know what. And then Hill hits you with the final blow. I'm pretty sure I gasped out loud and may have even yelled "NO!" at least once. Even if you've seen the movie (which I heard wasn't all that grand), don't let that dissuade you from picking up a copy of the original. The prose is lovely and Hill really grabs you and pulls you in. It's atmospheric and perfect for a cold, rainy night. I read it in two days so it won't take up too much of your holiday time!

Happy reading, writing, crafting, and merry making!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

National Novel Writers Month and Me

Yep. It's official. I am participating in NaNoWriMo.

However, it's not a conventional participation. This year I decided to work on my own terms, see what I come up with.

I'm in the middle of a nonfiction piece at the moment and it's begging to be finished by the first of the year. Which of course means the second DRAFT wants to be finished by the first of the year and will be edited throughout the rest of said year!

I don't mind being on the rim of NaNo. I find it much more comfortable there than in the thick of things. Long ago, I abandoned that frantic search for Best Seller-dom. Sure, I'd LOVE one of my novels to make that lovely list. Who wouldn't? But right now, I'm focusing on enjoying the process, on dipping my toes back into the murky, mysterious waters of writing and seeking knowledge from those who have gone before. I suppose you could say, in returning to my roots, I've found a lot I don't know and a lot I want to explore.

Here's to all you WriMos out there! Best of luck to you in writing and constructing new worlds. Hmm, I wonder if we should abandon "good luck" in favor of something more theatrical. Like "break a pencil!"


Friday, March 20, 2015

Testing, testing...

Ah ha!

Signs of life. Or at least, partial life. Right now, this is just an experiment. I hope it will turn into something more. I need a place to wander around the blog-verse and collect all the nerdy finery I can digest! Plus, it's been a long time since I've really sat and ruminated over the need for darkness in story, the true roll of a villain, and what speculative fiction really means. Bonus: I need an excuse to bake and a place to show off those mad kitchen skills!

So...hooray new blog! Hooray nerd-dom! And hooray geekery!

Here's to all those who love all things nerdy,

Welcome to the Dark Side

This blog has been sitting here for a couple of years now, waiting, biding its time. Thankfully, something someone said to me the other day ...