Hello, children of the dark. I hope those of you who mark Thanksgiving (in whatever form) had a fruitful day; I certainly have many American friends who go all-in!
As you read this, I will actually be out of the country for the first time since early June 2019. The husband and I are finally going on a post-covid trip abroad, settling in Rome for a week. And I am so excited. We both desperately need this break, so that’s what I’m thankful for!
Despite growing up surrounded by Italians and attending an all-girls Dominican convent school, I have yet to spend much time in Italy. It was the one place people back home thought I’d head for when I moved to Europe but, beyond the odd day trip and a week in Sicily, I’ve seen very little of the country. On the other hand, my husband has seen pretty much all of it. Rome is his favourite city, and there is much he wants to show me. For me, there was one stipulation for the trip: I had to do a day trip to Pompeii. I HAD to. I was obsessed with the story of that ill-fated city throughout my young years – Pompeii and the Bermuda Triangle, for some reason (of course I would write the dark stuff, huh?) – and I’m so glad we have the time to do it.
Personally, I’m also looking forward to an injection of fresh air, fresh thinking, fresh creativity. The last few years have been really stagnant for me creatively, which is no surprise given all that’s been going on – burnout and lockdown included – so I’m hoping to soak up inspiration in the Eternal City. Come back renewed, reinforced. Ready.
What are your Rome tips? Tweet me @novicenovelist or – if you are among the hordes leaving the newly-crowned Muskland – I’m also now on Mastodon at [email protected].
To this week’s Trembling main course, and Matthew Tyrer brings us the creepiest of little boys. This is followed by three delicious quick bites:
- Cassandra Daucus gets in the motherly spirit
- Josh Clark takes us below the surface, and
- Akshay Patwardhan is taken over by the spirit of running.
If these stories inspire you to get writing, you’ll find details on how to submit to us over here. Remember, we’re currently CLOSED to short story submissions, but are always seeking drabbles – that’s a complete story in exactly 100 words, and a real test of your craft. We’re looking for anything darkly speculative in genres including horror, scifi, fantasy, mythology, folklore. What makes you tremble in the dark? Let us know.
But now, it’s over to you, Stuart.