Reading, Writing and Subbing 2020

A little update since the sands are sure as hell quickening, if not entirely running away.

Reading this year has been pretty diverse, with an unintentional heavy focus on horror — of all flavours. I’ve also developed a taste for bizzaro horror, I’ve come across a few authors who have tickled me – a new (non) guilty pleasure for sure. If it’s gonna simultaneously grose me out and make me laugh my ass off, it’s a thumbs up!
Outwith proofreading, editing support and competition reading my ‘just for fun’ list, in no particular order, have included:


Richard Laymon – The Beast House Chronicles
Edward Lee – City Infernal (Series)
Kevin J. Kennedy – The Horror Collection (Anthology Series)
Jethro Punter – The Daydreamer Chronicles
Eleanor Merry – Dead Aware (Series)
RJ Roles – Girl’s Best Friend (Tangled Web Series)
Steve Stred – Ritual (Father of Lies Trilogy)
Matt Shaw – Deep Rooted Fetish (Short)
Duncan Ralston – In Every Dark Corner (Shorts Collection)
Darren Tarditi – Neigfrid (Novella)
Natasha Mostert – The Midnight Side (Novel)
Laurel K Hamilton – Anita Blake (Series)
K Trap Jones – Welcome to the Splatter Club (Anthology)
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
Ernest Cline – Armada
Christine Morgan – Lakehouse Infernal
Insignia Stories – Japanese Fantasy Drabbles
Liian Varus – Is Stranged
John Black – Growlers
Iron Faerie Publishing – Hawthorn & Ash (Anthology Series)
Iron Faerie Publishing – The Best of Iron Faerie Publishing 2019
Andrew Lennon – Life to Waste
Tim Lebbon – Eden
Saemund Sigfussion, Snorri Sturluson – The Poetic Edda & The Prose Edda

Writing wise, as per my previous posts, I’ve been subbing work out this year. When it comes to responding to open-calls and invites it can be a bit like having free time (which I never do) and swanning into a well stocked library – it’s easy to get lost and devoured by the stacks! Or, maybe a more precise analogy is the old ‘kid in a sweet shop!’

The submission opportunities out there are plentiful and you can’t write or, indeed, get accepted into them all.

I’ve naturally had a preference for small press/indie publishers. Responding to these opportunities is rather nice as it takes the work out of the book building/formatting side – which is an immense amount of work on the publishing side. I massively appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes of a quality publication and am truly grateful to a part of each one who’ve warmly accepted my (often) warped little terrors into their fold.

Designing stories with specific open calls as a target has helped reign in the ideas by having a set genre or word count to meet. It’s been beneficial as I oftentimes overwhelm myself with too many ideas that get scattered around as notes and poetry that may evolve, or not. Needless to say, responding to some of the opportunities has put my other WIPs on pause, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it gives those stories and characters more time to prove and maybe keeps the demon, Writers’ Block, at bay.

Some of my published (and to be published work) can be found within the catalogue of the below Publishers:

KJK Publishing: http://www.kevinjkennedy.co.uk/
The Macabre Ladies: https://macabreladies.wixsite.com/website
Books of Horror: https://www.facebook.com/groups/526308964218819
Insignia Stories: https://insigniastories.com/
Iron Faerie Publishing: https://ironfaeriepublishing.com/
Sirens Call Publications: http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/
The Reanimated Writers: https://www.reanimatedwriters.com/

Those currently available are updated on my ‘Books’ page and links for those to come will make an appearance in due course. The below two titles are releasing in September 15th (Dark Celebration) and September 28th (Southeast Asian Fantasy Drabbles.) I am grateful to have two pieces in each alongside a TOC of talented international writers. Both anthologies are available to preorder now from Amazon, worldwide.

Frozen Slack Still

A daughter held him, frozen.
Imitation of new dead still; only air flowing through functioning lungs.
Numb dumb in thought, inaction.
Painfilled love for this new grieving orphan.
The fallen favourite of a Mothers beloved brood.
There would be none of us had she not been; none of his Fatherhood.
A tangled barbed root from which we each came.
Some blessing amongst much insane.
Now there she lay, dead in a bed; frozen slack still.
An empty shell; once wishing well.
Dead in a bed, not even her own.
Eyes pouring in great damming floods; others uncomfortably dry as desert bone.
Through strangers’ hands she passes, between arctic fridges of steel.
Upon the final spin of the great Mothers wheel; scions on the side-lines awaiting the final reveal.
Embalmed, freshly robed in white; encased as a doll in her satin lined box.
A gift to the soil never to spoil.

© Natasha Sinclair

Lost Shadows: A collection…

My first mini collection has been published and is now live. Paperback and eBook available worldwide.

Link below.

‘Lost Shadows’ – Cover Reveal

Small poetry collection being released very soon, currently just awaiting the printed proof for final review before it goes live!

“This is a small eclectic collection from an Independent Scottish writer.

If you’re looking for inspirational poetry, words of deep wisdom, even good poetry, this book is probably not for you.

The contents are inspired by various topics including; mental ill health, relationships, lust, consumerism, commercialisation, veganism, family, death, politics and history.

While this collection is admittedly somewhat disjointed, it is also truly organic.”

Tease

She’s a tease.

The femme fatale disease.

Gaming with sultry eyes surprise.

Rose lips of fast lies.

Moaning ecstasy in sweet cries.

Throbbing sex lullabies.

She’s a tease to best please.

No sad begging of cheap release.

Call her out, she’ll flagrantly deny.

No longer look you in the eye.

© Natasha Sinclair

Damaged Goods


Discarded; damaged goods.

The lone whore bore foul, tainted, bastard fruit.

Shunned while still stunned from her whalers desertion.

Black lamb of the snow-white flock.

Abandoned for the call of the sea; another she.

Betty bid to follow suit with that ill seeded fruit.

As waves began to pour down her choking throat; peace called in tortured unforgiving song.

The final forbidden promise.

Lungs of fire burning; as blackened shadow blotted the sun.

A selfish rescue placed her back in hell; pulled from the mother’s largest well.

Need the ruined to give rest their good grace; a blinding disgrace.



© Natasha Sinclair. 2019.

Work in Progress

A couple of writing and publishing projects are currently underway so I thought I would drop a brief update here.

The second ‘Concoction’ anthology is one which is scheduled for release December 2019. This time the prompts are most distinctly Scottish and will feature the same three writers as the first volume; G G Flavell, Natasha Sinclair and Andrew Taylor. As before it is open genre so we should expect a unique eclectic mix of stories. There is potential for a fourth writer to be added to the bill, will just have to see on that one. The initial story submissions have started coming in though and it’s looking pretty good! You can’t beat a good wee Ceilidh!

It is also very likely I will be releasing a mini collection of poetry and drabbles this year. These pieces have already been written, some have been published and some have never seen the light of day beyond the notebook. One again an eclectic little mix of material. Very organic in nature, as with my own style of writing. Themes running through those collected so far include; depression, relationships, politics, sex, freedom, nature and more.

Please look out for updates via here and on my Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/NatashaSinclair/

Thank you, Natasha

Always Tomorrow

It was always tomorrow;
‘I’ll show you tomorrow.’
‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’
‘I’ll love you tomorrow.’
Youth melted away in lost tomorrows.
Wrinkled drying paper skin.
Tear tracks embedded as scars.
Black hair gone brittle broken grey.
Still, nothing or tomorrow.
Ruptured seams fraying.
Tomorrow was too far gone.
Lost in history; no catching it as it caught and dragged in the gale.
On black feathered wings, broken promises held in a wrecked heart.
Skipping beats and racing to catch up with itself; inadequate muscle.
The Crone took that tomorrow to the grave.
Cold, alone.
Still all’s said, ‘maybe tomorrow…’

© Natasha Sinclair

Blue Hew

My Daughter in NICU, 2014

This picture doesn’t look real…
Like there’s a filter; to enhance, to hide, deceive the eye.
Shielding a painful reality; it was a painful reality.
The mind, like the camera, does this all on its own.
This picture doesn’t look real…
A reflection of how it felt; a blue hew, a hazy dream.
Everything thrown out of balance.
A reality that swallowed you up, yet one that could barely be touched.
Spinning lost through electrical sparks.
A new reality at the edge of everything.
At the edge of all the mattered and all that didn’t.
A steady calm or frozen panic; so close to the same.
Something else on the edge; the blurred borderline where the unreal is real.

© Natasha Sinclair

Read more about our experience through NICU in my deeply personal memoir, ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: A story of love & survival through NICU.’

Venom for Men

“I wouldn’t piss on one if he was on fire.”

She hissed with such venom on each syllable.

That hate was imbedded deep; Men, what was the issue?

Those women married them, bore children to them, birthed them, raised them…

Copulators and mothers of abusive bastards.

Of course, it was her fault. It always was, that doomed double XX.

Such hate being passed through generations.

The kind of hate that rose your heart rate, made your bones grind, made you sweat.

Venomous and bitter more than mere words; the flames licked the air in forked tongue.

Man’s kiss; woman’s curse.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, all rights reserved