CRY BABY BRIDGE Cover Reveal!
Our Fifth Collection is
Out October 3, 2023
Our Fifth Anniversary Collection of Utter Speculation
is creeping up a dark road toward you
with stories from
Ray Daley, Ef Deal, William J. Donahue, River Eno, Derek Heath, Jean Jentilet, Dori Lumpkin, Jeff Provine, Brent Salish and Cat Voleur
At the edge of every town there’s an old bridge that people tell stories about. Car crashes on prom night. Pregnant women meeting their doom. Children falling into the rushing water below. No one knows if these stories are true, but everyone knows someone who’s experienced something strange there.
Welcome to Cry Baby Bridge.
If you venture here at the right time of year, on the right kind of night, you might hear a baby crying in the wind. You might see some things you didn’t believe were real. You might return with some stories to tell too, if you are lucky enough to leave.
In our fifth collection of utter speculation, we offer ten stories of ten bridges, each with its own secret. If you venture here, you will find some things that stay with you forever, and you might decide to stay away from that bridge on the edge of town.
To celebrate we'll be giving away ebooks of the previous four collections of utter speculation AND the entire collection. To be eligible to win, sign up here and make a note if you are already a follower of our newsletter.
Spec Pub at LA Horror Con
Our friends at Archive of the Odd will be offering two Speculation Publication anthologies at their table at the LA Horror Convention. Stop by their table and see the other great titles Archive of the Odd is carrying!
Writers Block by River Eno
Em dashes over En dashes…and the dreaded hyphen!
Dashes in general seem to be a bit confusing—for the novice and the seasoned writer. (See what I just did there? And look what I just did here—parentheses! We’ll talk about those another time.) For now, I want to look at the similarities and the differences between dashes, and what even is a hyphen anyway?
Let’s start with the hyphen, the shortest dash (-). We use a hyphen to join two or more words (often compound adjectives) that have a combined meaning, like, merry-go-round, deep-fried, close-up and double-check. That’s the hyphen’s job, to join, combine or glue together.
Sometimes we see a hyphen bringing last names into a wonderful unit, as in, Daniel Day-Lewis or Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
No spaces around a hyphen! They like to snuggle close to their words, like glue or like family!
Next, the en dash or sometimes referred to as the short dash, but slightly wider than the hyphen (–). We use the en dash to indicate a range or span of numbers or time. You can read it as representing the words “to” or “through.”
“World War I, known as the Great War, was 1914-1918.”
“She served as president between 1980-1996.”
“Please read chapters 1-14 for the test on Friday.”
No spaces around an en dash either. These dashes love to be close!
Last, the ever-popular em dash, the biggest of the dashes (—), is many times used in pairs, like parentheses and commas, to mark off supplementary information that isn’t essential to the sentence.
Ex: “Their wedding—all three hours outdoors—was the most beautiful ceremony I’d ever been to.”
An em dash can also be used as a break in a sentence, the same way we’d use a semicolon or colon, and used this way is for emphasis.
Ex: “I wasn’t going to leave him—they couldn’t make me.”
An em dash is almost always written without spaces on either side, although some style guides (and the UK) do recommend spaces, but when in doubt, don’t space. No spaces are a bit more universal and gives a cleaner look to your piece of writing. And remember, the information given with em dashes is superfluous, so use them sparingly or risk bogging down your piece with digressions or side comments that can lose your reader’s attention or pull them out of the story.
The Extras with Susan Tulio
As summer days drift away and the leaves begin to turn, so does my choice in books. I find myself transitioning from fun, light summer reads to some of the deeper more intense works of fiction. One such book that comes to mind is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.
It is a vibrant read that begins in France, 1714. Addie LaRue is an extraordinary character who makes a Faustian bargain that grants her eternal life. Sounds wonderful right? The only downfall is, that she will be forgotten by everyone that she meets. There is a strange turn of events however, that happens after three hundred years have passed. I’m not going to reveal anything else. It’s best to read knowing nothing more.
Even though I find this book hard to put down, I choose to slowly savor each new adventure, unlike my beach reads that I tend to devour. As the nights turn crisp, and my taste in books change, so does my pallet.
One of late summer’s finest fruits is the pear. I like anjou and bartlett best. Strawberries and watermelon had dominated most of my summer salads, but now I am ready for something sweet and tart with a new blend of textures. The autumn pear salad is a combination of delicate lettuces, crunchy nuts, sweet pears, tart craisins and salty parmesan.
It is perfect for lunch or as a side at dinner. Enjoy.
The Autumn Pear Salad
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ Tbsp finely diced shallot
¼ tsp salt + ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped walnuts
Spring salad & Spinach blend
Shaved parmesan cheese
2 Pears, sliced thin (Bartlett or Anjou)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
I like to make the dressing ahead of time, sometimes even a day or two, so that the flavors meld together. Toss into a blender all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette dressing. Blend mixture until creamy. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. If you don’t have a blender, add all ingredients to a bowl except the EVOO and mix together. Slowly add the EVOO, whisking the ingredients together until creamy. Stick with dark balsamic vinegar. It has a stronger flavor that works best with this salad.
Into a bowl add your lettuce blend and sliced pears. Pears tend to turn brown so don’t slice too far in advance. Top with dried cranberries and shaved parmesan. (Gorgonzola or goat cheese can also be substituted.) Add the walnuts. I like to use Emerald brand glazed walnuts or glazed pecans. Pistachios are a great alternative as well. Dress the salad right before serving. You can also add a protein. Chicken or salmon works best with this salad. For a vegan option, substitute the cheese with “vegan feta” which is easy to find and tofu for protein.
I found this recipe on the cookingclassy.com website in 2019 and have adapted it for my family ever since.
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