Along Came A Spider

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Writing Prompt:

Use the first line of a nursery rhyme as the first line of a dark narrative


“The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.”

I couldn’t tell if the gravelly, far off voice was real or some strange echo inside my head. My leaded lids refused to open and confirm the source.

“Down came the rain”– the voice was most definitely real– “and washed the spider out.”

Still unable to open my eyes, I attempted to turn my head in the direction I thought the voice was approaching from. As uncooperative as my lids, my head more lolled to the side than actually turn. What the fuck? I felt drugged.

“Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.”

I jerked hard at the scrape of metal against stone and felt something bite into my wrist. Bound? I was bound? Breath sawed in and out of my lungs and I struggled harder. There was no give in the restraint. My whole body started shaking in response to the adrenaline dump my fight or flight response triggered.

“And the itsy bitsy spider crawled up the spout again.”

The speaker was in the room with me. I thrashed every which direction. I had to get out of here. Shit. Shit. Shitshitshitshitshit.

I felt something cold and sharp graze my cheek and I flinched instinctively before freezing. I continued to draw air in short, shallow puffs as the blade grazed across my face. Freed from the lethargy keeping them glued shut, I finally opened my eyes. If malice had a form, this would be it; a skeletal face with cold merciless eyes. I nearly screamed at just the sight. Then it smiled.

“This is the part where I lie to you and tell you you’ll be fine.”

And I screamed.


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Let’s Talk About Some Real S***

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Cannes-Can’s Corner

real shit, coloring page, christine ann nicolsStory time has always been my favorite time. I spent years listening to stories, soaking them in, letting them fill my veins. These days, I’m just as interested in telling a good story as I am in hearing one, and I’m told I have some doozies. I’m not sure if it’s an innate ability to get myself into trouble, or simply a talent for finding the bizarre in the mundane, but I often catch myself thinking the truth really is stranger than fiction. So if you ever find yourself wondering whether or not the stories I tell are true, remember, I’m really not that creative, I can’t make this shit up; that’s real life, and in Cannes-Can’s Corner, we talk about real shit.

Pop on over to my stream, I want to tell you a story. 

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I Read Until Dawn… Con

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Cannes-Can’s Corner

Well, Reading Until Dawn Con has come, and gone. Amidst the whirlwind of booze, book talk, booze, games, booze, more book talk, and let’s not forget the booze that was RUDC17, I even managed to keep my pants on. Though, if I’m being honest, I didn’t start with pants, so that might have had something to do with it.

Just as I did for RUDC‘s inaugural year, I left exhausted in the most wonderful way. On Sunday, while I rested Pickles and reflected on what it is that makes RUDC so special– Pickles is my liver– it occurred to me that the thing I enjoy most isn’t the swag, the games, or even the copious amounts of alcohol, it’s being in the space of people like me. rudc17, reading until dawn con, roselynn cannes, louise belcher costumePeople who love words and escaping to other worlds as much as I do. People who understand what I mean when I talk about the voices in my head. (Don’t worry, they don’t talk to me, just each other). People who fan so hard that they share my oddly specific knowledge of [insert obsession of choice here].

While I’m usually completely content with my own company (I’m never really alone; I have the voices), sometimes it’s fun to make obscure references I don’t have to explain; and it’s always nice not to feel like a raving lunatic when conversation turns to [again, insert obsession of choice here]; and, frankly, not all of my nearest and dearest share my zeal for Harry Potter (hard to believe, I know), but that’s just the way of it… Okay, my whole family loves Harry Potter (the books, not the movies) so that was a bad example; however, if you’ve ever been with a group of people who didn’t get it when you asked if they thought Trump’s hair was a horcrux, then you know what I’m talking about. You need to be around your people every once in a while.

My new marketing guru, Jennie Marts, talks about finding your tribe. I’ve never had a tribe. Partners in crime, sure, but never a tribe. I suppose that’s what RUDC is for me: the tribe I never knew I wanted.


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Booty!

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Welp, it only took me a year, but I finally had my Fallen teasers updated with the new website (yay adulting!). I’vefallen, fallen series, book one, teaser, roselynn cannes, persephone, cato posted the full collection under Fiction Fans so they’re accessible to all my beloved Cannes-Can’s. They’re there for sharing, so don’t hesitate to save and post them EVERYWHERE. Seriously, spread that shit like a mouth-herpes outbreak at a college beer pong tournament. I know that’s gross, but I fucking mean it.

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to register for Reading Until Dawn Con. Party with me in person and collect a plethora of booty while you’re at it! (Like, pirate’s booty, not literal booty; get your minds out of the gutter). Anyhoo, RUDC is in less than two weeks, which means pantsless dancing is bound to ensue; you don’t want to miss it.

Reading Until Dawn Con (#RUDC17) – Denver, CO; June 3, 2017

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Pillow Fort Included

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pillow fort, rudc17, coloringJune 3rd– and, therefore, Reading Until Dawn Con— is less than three weeks away. Please excuse me while I squee myself.

(SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!)

Okay, I think I’m done. (We’ll see). Anyhoo! It’s not too late to register. Join me and my cast of characters. The plushies, not the fictional char– You know what?It doesn’t matter, they’ll all be there: plushies and fictional characters alike.

Cannes-Can’s special pillow fort edition of Story Corner will include coloring; readings of a few of my favorite scenes from Fallen, Book 1 in the Fallen Series; nursery rhymes (naturally); and the pilot debut of Real Shit, personal narratives as modern day fairy tales (they’re going to have morals and everything).

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

** Ahem **

Join me at Reading Until Dawn Con, I want to tell you a story.


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Swag It and Bag It

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reading until dawn con, rudc, swag, roselynn cannesGuess who sponsored the bags for Reading Until Dawn Con?

If you did not guess me, then you are terrible at this game. Check it out! All author and reader attendees will be receiving one of our slick RUDC17 bags. I’ve ordered these same ones previously and they’re very durable; like, you could carry your books in there *wink*

In other RUDC news, I will be hosting Cannes-Can’s Story Corner at the RUDC pillow fort! Come join me for gin, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite childhood stories in addition to some custom original content. Be there, or be square my friends.

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It Comes in a Tank Top

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reading until dawn con, rudc17, tank top, larissa ioneApril showers bring May flowers. And what do Mayflowers bring? Author-Reader Cons! (Or something like that).

Anyhoo, Reading Until Dawn Con is fast approaching and shirts are now available. This year my prayers were answered: it comes in a tank top. Amen-hallelujah! You bet your ass I already got mine. Now it’s your turn. If tank tops aren’t your thing, it’s also available in men’s and women’s t-shirts. No matter which style blows your dress up, get yours here.

In related news, did you know that you can help determine which games we play at RUDC this year? (Probably not because I never finished that post). Well, you can and your feedback is encouraged. And let’s be honest, as long as drinking is involved and I’m not required to wear pants, I’ll probably be into it. Check out RUDC‘s list of prospective games or suggest your own, just get involved. For full details, see RUDC’s official post Help Pick the Games for RUDC17.

See where else you can stalk me (online or in person) so we can share our mutual love for gin and lament over our mutual disdain for pants. Love your collective faces (you know, figuratively) my delightful Cannes-Cans!


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It’s Game Time: Reading Until Dawn Con 2017

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rudc15, rudc, reading until dawn con, featured author, roselynn cannesHappy Wednesday my delightful Cannes-Cans! I have some super exciting news: you can win a paid registration for Reading Until Dawn Con (RUDC) and come party with me!!! Squeeeeeeeeee!

Casey Harris-Parks announced the giveaway during a book chat with Tamara from Shelf Addiction. Listen to the podcast here to get pumped for RUDC and get your instructions for contest entry.

RUDC17 will be held Saturday, June 3rd in Denver, and it’s a little different than other cons. When I say a little, I mean a lot different. Rather than discussion panels and classes, RUDC has games and booze. This is so my kind of con. Oh, and did I mention that the fabulous Larissa Ione is emceeing this event? Are you freaking kidding me?! She’s not even my usual genre, but she’s fantastic! I think I love her. I mean that in a totally platonic, not creepy at all kind of way.


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Don’t Keep Quiet

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Trump has been in office for less than two weeks and at every turn I feel like we’re seeing the beginnings of some 1984-Animal Farm Orwellian alt-reality turned actual reality. His cabinet appointments leave a lot to be desired and his executive orders, thus far, raise the hairs on the back of my neck and turn my stomach. If recklessly plowing forward with his plans to build the wall and the unofficial-official “Muslim Ban” are where he’s starting with domestic and foreign policy, I shudder to think where we’ll be in six months. Minority registries? Internment camps? And let’s not forget that he’s already placed gag orders on government scientists and removed a number of advocacy and information links– including climate change, LGBT+, health care, civil rights– from the White House website. While none of these things are inherently surprising, as CNN so callously pointed out, they are no less distressing. It all begs the disturbing question, what– or who– is next?

Trump has singled out plenty of targets and while I don’t know which one he’ll focus on next, I’d like to note that there is something to feel hopeful about: people are speaking out. Political paradies, such as the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee have been unrelenting in their criticisms of Trump and his new policies. Prominent scientists, like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, are vocalizing their support of the scientific community and standing firm in their adamance that facts are not subjective nor political and they will not be bullied into silence. Rogue NASA, EPA, and National Parks Services social media accounts have already popped up in a stunningly fast response to Trump’s gag order. I will note, that there are some inherent dangers with rogue accounts (appropriately mused over in the linked Forbes article), yet, their very existence speaks volumes of the current political climate. Rogue reporting exists as a necessity in the face of censorship, and it has been clear from the start that Trump’s tolerance for unfavorable reporting is nil. The tighter he pulls the restrictions, the more rogue and satirical reporting we will see in response.

It’s frightening to watch the changes already sweeping the nation, though it’s more frightening how many people are still denying what’s happening in front of our very eyes. Still, I am ever inspired by the acts of solidarity in the face of injustice. I can’t speak about the growing resistance without mentioning the global Women’s Marches the day after Trump’s inauguration or the protests at the airports following the refugee ban, both of which serve as a reminder that people are prepared to act in the face of Trump’s despotism. It is imperative as a country that we maintain this unity. Trump’s messages, the orders he’s signed into place, are meant to divide us. As we move forward, it will be easy to slip back into complacency, to focus only on those policies that immediately impact us, but we must remain ever vigilant. To be silent benefits no one.

 


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Remember…

Remember…

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It’s Friday. I would normally be posting this week’s Cards Against Humanity Flash Fiction, but today is January 20th, 2017– Inauguration Day– and I couldn’t bring myself to write something light-hearted on a day when so many people are so very afraid.

election day, 2016, trump, trump presidency, guy fawkes

Rather than espousing all the reasons I believe our fears for Donald Trump’s presidency are founded, I will simply say let us hope for the best while preparing for the worst. I hardly want to catastrophize, but it would be foolish to ignore the red flags. On November 8th, 2016 we voted into office a man who has by his words and actions made clear that he does not respect or care about women; ethnic minorities; immigrants; the LGBQT community; the disabled; the poor, working, and middle classes; the environment– have I missed anyone or anything?– and the reality is that no matter what happens during his presidency, by our very electing him, we’ve changed things irrevocably. The world’s view of us, our view of ourselves, has been tarnished.

Now, if a hit to our reputation and our egos is the worst that comes from Trump’s presidency, I will be grateful, but I can’t rest my hat on that. Trump’s censorship of the media has already begun. Take it seriously, keeping people uninformed and fearful is a powerful manipulation tactic. It also leaves plenty of room to insert propaganda supporting his own personal agenda and we’d better believe that he absolutely will: scapegoating was a base ingredient in his campaign strategy, be very wary of the hype. It’s in our nature to think in terms of us versus them; however, when we dehumanize entire groups of people, we are able to justify all manner of atrocities. Without a doubt, a time will come when we will be faced with the choice of turning a blind eye or standing together for the equality and dignity of a few. All Trump need do is make good on any one of his campaign promises. Remember, any and all threats to the civil liberties of one group are of concern to the entire population. We cannot hide behind the false belief that “it doesn’t affect me.” Maybe today it doesn’t, but that does not mean to say that the same will be true tomorrow.

I wish I could finish this post on a more hopeful or optimistic note– at the very least, I wish I could offer some insight or closure– but the truth is, I’m just as anxious as many of you. There’s nothing I can say that doesn’t feel horribly cliched or falsely positive at this moment, so I suppose I will simply end by saying that this isn’t over. Words have always been my weapon of choice and it seems to me I will have ample opportunity to use them in the coming years.


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