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Chaosynthesis: Sequence #1
A new year delivers another calendar—a new spark?—and on the other side of that coin, its own lovely new batch of trials to overcome. The beginning of a new year often feels suspiciously like a B-side track to the old year’s dusty vinyl album, and the chords of its zeitgeist seldom properly strike until the spring or sometime thereabout.
As human creatures, we retain the ability to press through times of transition, to rebuild and reconfigure for the future. So ensues that rocky climb to perseverance we’ve all read so much about, and the tales to inevitably unfold.
I have a few tales of my own, to say the least. Welcome to the Chaos Synthesizer.
This is Tommy B. Smith, author of Poisonous, The Mourner’s Cradle, and the coming of rage novel, Anybody Want to Play WAR? As well, the short story collection Pieces of Chaos, which collects a variety of past works featured in various magazines and anthologies throughout the years, tales of horror, dark fiction, and oddities, along with material exclusive to this volume.
As a writer, my latest venture is the Black Carmenia series. Here you’ll find a blend of Southern horror with what some reviewers have described as psychological horror, and last but certainly not least, cosmic horror.
The first book, New Era, is already out in digital and paperback.
The story of the Black Carmenia, a rare specimen of flower with unusual and potentially deadly properties, began with New Era, and now it continues with Oblivion’s Child, available in digital format as of now, with official paperback release forthcoming.
You can find it here:
The storm came down, incredible in its fury. When the clouds parted, even the sun’s brilliance could not dispel the darkest spaces to persist.
Nine-year-old Zander sees the outlines of the monsters in the darkness. Against his mounting fears, he cannot elude them, nor escape the madness of the day when his mother tried to drown him in the bath.
She never gave him a true name, only a Z with X’s behind it, and promised him to the void.
For Zander, his grandmother, and his catatonic Aunt Helen in their beachfront house on the Florida shoreline, the tide has shifted—the tide of a turbulent cosmic sea, its dark currents murmuring chaos.
Trigger warning: Parts of this book touch upon themes of abuse, physical and emotional.
Obviously, I appreciate any and all of you who take the time to leave a quick Amazon review for Oblivion’s Child, New Era, or any other works you’ve enjoyed, dearest fiends.
Wrong Way Cemetery
A few of you may already be aware that I have visited and researched a multitude of cemeteries across the years and territories. I made a recent special visit to one anomalous entry in the batch, St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rayne, Louisiana, on the first day of 2023.
As I have indicated in the past, and particularly during the experiment that became the 2019 documentary Road Between Worlds, a cemetery might be viewed as a place of beginnings rather than endings.
For the most part, you’ll find a cemetery’s stones facing east. This is due to burial practices in pagan and subsequent Judeo-Christian traditions incorporating the east-west burial direction, with the departed facing the rising sun.
St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Rayne, also known as “Wrong Way Cemetery,” is a curious exception. Contrary to every known cemetery of its kind, the graves are situated north-south.
The likely culprit? Confusion.
The town originated from the original settlement of Poupeville, shifted north to become Rayne in the late nineteenth century. During this process, residents transported the church on massive wooden wheels, relocating the burial plots as well. The original church bell hangs in the church of Rayne, directly across from St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
Due to the history and concerns of flooding complications, the majority of cemeteries in the region are above-ground.
The old St. Joseph’s Cemetery lies across the road from a newer development. On my initial visit, I discovered the tombstones actually faced east-west like that of any other cemetery, and then I noticed the contrary position of the older cemetery across the street.
I had intended to capture a photo of the cemetery’s position versus the sun, but the first day of January proved to be a gray day in Rayne, Louisiana, also touted as the frog capital of the world.
I will be appearing at a number of events throughout 2023. Those confirmed are below, with more to follow.
March 31-April 2, 2023: AuthorCon II, presented by Scares That Care in Williamsburg, VA.
June 3-4, 2023: Fort Smith Comic Con in Fort Smith, AR.
June 15-18, 2023: StokerCon in Pittsburgh, PA.
June 30-July 2, 2023: SoonerCon in Norman, OK.
July 14-16, 2023: Imaginarium in Louisville, KY.
In the meantime, you’ll find future updates at http://tommybsmith.net.
And of course, if you:
If you like, you can also follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/penofchaos
And/or my author page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authortommybsmith
Until the next.
Love and Destruction,