gloomy and creepy stories to read

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In honour of a certain happening at the end of the month, I think it's time for another themed booklist

Around here we love a good gloomy story.  Creepy and fiendish are also welcome, although we do shy away from gore.  I've discovered the best horror writing to be in the children's literature section, mainly, I think, because children's literature can not rely on the hypnotic power of the standards in adult horror - sex and gore - and thus have to come up with an actual plot.

Here is an abbreviated tally of children's and young adult books that I have read and enjoyed over the past year or two and I think that you should read to somebody young and impressionable or older and appreciative of a good shiver.  Not all of them are strictly scary, although a few definitely are, but they all contain an acceptable level of creep and supernatural.  Loved them all.

  • Anything by Edward Gorey, although The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Evil Garden and The Beastly Baby are particularly worrisome.
  • Lisa Wheeler's Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children is delightfully dark, with the added thrill of being illustrated by fabulous Sophie Blackall.
  • Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grim is, admittedly, an exception to the generalization I made about gore being absent in children's horror writing.
  • Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book by Terry Jones is not strictly scary, but there is something delightfully nasty about squishing the fair folk.
  • Neil Gaiman's Coraline and The Graveyard Book are two of my all time favorites.
  • The Humming Room by Ellen Potter is more of a mystery, but it has some chilling moments.
  • P.J. Bracegirdle's The Joy of Spooking series is also good mysterious fun.
  • Doll Bones and The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Spiderwick Chronicles co-writer Holly Black.
  • The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West, with its creepy cellar and odd art.
  • Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, along the Spiderwick Chronicles vein of frightening and nasty fairyland creatures.
  • The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney are another exception to the lack of gore rule, and has super creepy illustrations.  Honestly, girl child won't even let me read the books around here.  I've had a nightmare or two myself.
  • Christopher Edge's Twelve Minutes to Midnight, suitably populated by insane asylum inmates, also a good mystery read.
  • The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier had me seriously worried while I was reading it.

I know you all have some recommendations of your own.  Please share in the comments so we can all check them out.

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home school snapshot : math with Hulk

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trees quilt

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Yesterday my brother in law got himself hitched, so last week I made them a quilt.  I didn't intend to start a queen sized patchwork quilt two weeks before the day but life is funny like that sometimes. 

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Apparently by the time I was done I had nothing left in me to take proper pictures... I don't think I could of chose an uglier part of my yard.  But, hey, queen sized quilt!  Not going to lie, it was a bit of a task.

There are about seventy stripes on the quilt, each one about ninety inches long.  It's over twenty seven feet around the outer edge, which is the sort of stat you keep in your mind when you are hand stitching the lining.  Each strip has a dark side and a light side.  I have some kooky idea that this represents trees in all seasons, although I leaned heavily on the autumn colours.  Trees were important, see, because bro bro and his bride met each other at the tree nursery they both worked at and because they're both pretty tall people (that last bit keeps making me laugh). 

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The wedding, by the way, was pretty fabulous, being out in the mountains in the fall.  And it was awesome getting to welcome in a new family member and see that brother in law of mine so damn happy. 

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I did not paint this doll

I did make it, though.  Fabric, stitching, and stuffing, that was all me.  I made a fleshie.

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Fleshie [fl-esh-e] NOUN : An unembellished three-dimensional art media in animal or human form to be used as a basic platform or canvas for an artist's work.

And then I handed the completed and unadorned fleshie over to my girl Kristin-the-Artist and she painted him with oils and added some wings. 


The Tooth Fairy (Who Watches You When You Sleep)

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I think he's beautiful.  It's all the gold.  You just know where he got all his gold from.

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Do you have any gold caps?

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Lookit his wings!  

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I think his red underoos are my favorite part.

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I believe The Tooth Fairy (Who Watches You When You Sleep) will be putting his application in for a local adjudicated art show in a couple of months.  I have still three more fleshies out with artists that I am eagerly looking forward to seeing again and what amazing transformation they have undergone.

In the meanwhile, supplies are limited, but I do have a couple fleshies that need some creative hands to have a go.  I believe they would also serve much of your primary voodoo needs, providing you could get your hands on some fingernails or a lock of hair of your intended... just putting that out there.  Contact me if you would like some details or want to know how to get your hands on a fleshie of your very own.