The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits by Juleigh Howard-Hobson nominated for Rhysling Award

The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits

by Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Blue bottles hanging from a tree won’t hold
a ghost forever. Trees will die, branches
will break, blue bottles will fall. I’ve been told
that after a bottle shatters, what was
inside it is unrecognizable
as a ghost anymore, having been turned
into a cold mass of hate over all
that time stuck in that blue prison, concerned
with one thing and only one: revenge on
whoever hung those bottles. Ghosts can take
as long as they need to find a person,
and they always do, living or dead, makes
no difference. A ghost, once freed from its glass
will ruthlessly avenge its bottled past.

Juleigh’s poem has been nominated for the Rhysling Award, which is given out annually by the Science Fiction Poetry Association, which publishes and promotes genre-oriented verse. A big, well-deserved congratulations go out to Juleigh and all of the other nominees.

As far as I can tell, the only ones not happy about it are the ghosts, who are tired of looking at the world through cerulean-colored glass, perhaps.

“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” first appeared in The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology this year (2021) along with verse by two other poets and almost 400 pages of lovely, dark short stories on subjects ranging from grave robbing to gargoyles, from the leech-people apocalypse to leprechauns … and so much more.


“The Problem with the Bottling of Troublesome Spirits” © 2021 Juleigh Howard-Hobson. Used with permission of the author.

The Lost Librarian’s Grave Ebook on Sale for $/£ 0.99 on Amazon!

I put The Lost Librarian’s Grave ebook on sale for $0.99 (or £0.99) on Amazon through their “Countdown Deal” the platform will let one periodically run. So if you’ve been thinking of picking up the ebook and haven’t yet, it’ll be almost 80% off until December 25th.*

Thus far, interest has been brisk, which pleases me, and I’m knocking around some ideas for the next book, which I’m going to get started with as soon as my husband’s holiday vacation ends in early January.

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season thus far and that the fun continues.


* If you have already read the anthology, I’d greatly appreciate a short review on Amazon if you have the inclination. “I liked it,” or “It wasn’t completely awful,” etc. would be lovely. 🙂

The Lost Librarian’s Grave Promotional Graphics

Some promotional graphics for The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology. If you are a reviewer or are otherwise spreading the word, please feel free to use and modify these graphics for your review or post.

E-Book Cover (500 x 800 pixels)

E-Book Cover (1600 x 2560 Pixels)

Paperback Front Cover (500 x 752 Pixels)

Paperback Back Cover (500 x 720 Pixels)

Book Graphic (666 x 1122 Pixels)

Received The Lost Librarian’s Grave Paperback Proof Copy Today

I received a proof copy of The Lost Librarian’s Grave from Amazon today with a matte cover. I’m happy with how it came out, though I do think I’m going to move the “Tales of Madness…” over to the left just a tad and the “Edited by” over a bit to the left as well, near that outside rusty talon.

I have a bunch of points on the credit card I use for Amazon, so I ordered a second copy, this time with a glossy cover. While, like I said, I’m pleased with this cover, the colors aren’t as vibrant as I expected. Amazon says that the glossy covers tend to have more vibrant colors, so we’ll see.

Also, I went with cream-colored paper instead of the white paper for the second copy, so I could see the difference. I probably wouldn’t have gone to all of this trouble if I didn’t have the points.

I’ll post again when I get the second copy and the paperback will go live soon after that. In the meantime, for those who prefer to read ebooks, the anthology can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited and of course can be all yours for $4.99, though I’ll probably be doing a sale soon.

The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Table of Contents Reveal

Our debut ebook anthology is going to be available on Amazon in a couple of days, so I thought this would be a fun time to post our table of contents.

The book contains 36 short stories, including one novella, and four poems. It is a sizeable tome!

What is more, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you’ll be able to read the ebook for free. Of course one can buy the Grave for $4.99, though I’m planning on running a sale for October.

The book has the usual table of contents listing the stories and poems in the order they appear, but we also collected up the stories by theme under happy categories such as “Demon-Haunted World,” and “The Dead, the Mad, and the Terrified,” and (of course) “A Murder of Gargoyles.” A few of them, naturally, could go in more than one category but as editor I had to make the final call and I did!

The idea is that some people like to read anthologies in order and other people like to skip around the book. So we provided a guide for both sorts of readers. (I’m a skip around type of reader.)

Preface: How I Found the Grave of a Lost Librarian.

“The Savage Night” by Pedro Iniguez

“Inside a Refrigerator” by Adrian Ludens

“Medusa’s Mirror” by Paul L. Bates

“The Maze of Moonlight and Mirrors” by Gerri Leen (poem)

“Ocular” by Nidheesh Samant

“Voyage of the PFV-4” by David Rose

“The Infinity of Worse” by Ken Hueler

“Snake and Sinew, Flame and Bone” by Amanda Cecelia Lang

“They Never Left” by Matthew McKiernan

“Face to Face” by Tom Leveen

“The Problem of Bottling Troublesome Spirits” by Juleigh Howard-Hobson (poem)

“Rathbone” by Zach Ellenberger

“The Ocean’s Misfortune” by Alison McBain

“The Jump” by Pauline Yates

“Good Boy Anyway” by Briana Una McGuckin

“Bottled Rage” by Owen Auch

“Death, and the Scent of Tea” by Cheryl Zaidan

“The Artist” by Mike Murphy

“The Woman in the Wallpaper” by Gregory L. Norris

“Gargoyles of the World, Unite!” by Mary Jo Rabe

“The Grotesque” by Rhonda Parrish (poem)

“Devil’s Oak” by Mary Leoson

“The Day in Gold” by Adele Gardner

“He Gets Hungry Sometimes” by Carol Gyzander

“Valhalla is a Lie” by Benjamin Thomas

“Aegir’s Son” by Edward Ahern

“Butterflies of the Longest Night” by Russell Hemmell

“Odd Job Tom” by Eddie Generous

“Penance” by J.V. Gachs

“Cold Storage” by Jude Reid

“Nature versus Nurture” by Gerri Leen (poem)

“Three Bad Things” by Kathy Kingston

“Blooms of Darkness” by Melissa Miles

“Among Stars and Stones” by Brandon Barrows

“The Little People” by Kurt Newton

“A Bed Both Long and Narrow” by Sipora Coffelt

“The Clearing” by Helen Power

“The Binding of Chrysanthoula” by Angeliki Radou

“The Glorious Protection of Angels” by Michelle Ann King

“Mother Winter” by Matthew Chabin

I will post again once the ebook becomes available in a couple of days. After that, I’ll be working on the paperback version, which I’m planning on publishing later in October.

The Lost Librarian’s Grave: Back Cover Text

We’re putting the finishing touches on The Lost Librarian’s Grave ebook, and Don and I finished sorting out the book description, which we put near the beginning of the ebook. This description will also be on the back cover of the paperback, which I’m working on now..

I also added the black and white illustration on the same page of the ebook. I don’t necessary think you need to wear protective gear when reading this lovely book, but I’m not seeing it isn’t a good idea either.

Welcome, mortal. You have finally discovered that place they told you about where hope crawls off to die.

Where sorcery, vile experiments, and the supernatural are as real as killers from around the corner and those things you cannot see that buzz and wriggle and chew narrow, twisting tunnels under your skin and inside your skull.

Surrender to the unclean darkness living in this malevolent tome. Treat yourself to a bevy of tales where revenge, greed, and malice are the orders of the day and watchwords of pitiless night.

Travel through blood-stained vistas set in forgotten pasts, along rolling centuries of iron and pain, into the strange apocalypses of our present day and several possible near futures. Enjoy this diverse collection of horror, leavened with an osseous dusting of bizarre adventures, verse, and weird fiction written by a loose cabal of thirty-nine authors from around the world.

Unearth… The Lost Librarian’s Grave!

The Lost Librarian’s Grave Title Page Reveal

Work continues on The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology, and I’ll be hard at it for the rest of the month. Today I’m formatting the ebook, which will run into tomorrow as well.

I’m the meantime, I took a screenshot of the title page, which I think is pretty nifty, but of course I biased. As is often the case, click on the image if you want to see a larger picture.

Back to work!

Tweaked the Ebook Cover for The Lost Librarians Grave

Work continues on The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror and weird fiction anthology, which is good because October will be here before we know it. Today I tweaked the ebook cover a little, giving the gargoyle a bit of an aura or glowing effect, as well as a few other things.

I also decided to put some author names on the cover. It was very hard to decide* so the three of us each picked our favorite story–none of us liked the same one the best. This was easy for Don, a bit harder for Occasum, and very hard for me because I liked all the stories and had several favorites for differing reasons.

Then I added another author because I have misspelled their name now about a dozen times, and while not a huge deal it seemed a way of balancing the scales and achieving some literary Maat. Finally, we all agreed that we had to put Matthew Chabin on the cover because his ten thousand word-and-then-some “Mother Winter” is by far the longest story in the anthology, besides being a great read with an ending I thought very suitable for wrapping up our anthology.

I wanted seven names, because everyone knows that seven is a lucky number, and since all of the authors belong on the cover, I rolled a die twice and left the decision to good Renenet.

As always, suggestions and feedback are appreciated. I’m still toying with the idea of taking the “33” out as well as a couple of other things.


* Again, for purposes of Maat, I decided that the other twenty-seven authors and three poets should be on the front cover too, even if the only people who know it are you and me. So I typed in the remaining thirty names, then occluded them by means of technology both vast and dark. The scales are balanced!

Writing Prompt #4: Book you are reading paired with random text

Today’s writing prompt comes from your own reading, because what you read can fuel your own writing, either deep within the opaque corners of one’s mind and-or self-consciously, welling up to the surface of things.

First, consider the cover of whatever book you are currently reading as general inspiration. See where the artwork takes you in the quest to create something new. You can also work in the text too if that proves useful.

I’m currently reading Under Twin Suns, an anthology inspired by Robert W. Chambers work, edited by James Chambers and published by Hippocampus Press. Pretty nice cover!

Second, pick a book of any sort, go to a random page and pick one sentence, again at random. Work that sentence as an ingredient into the soup that is your new creation.

I picked a random book from my collection, closed my eyes, opened the volume and plunked my finger down on the page. I opened my eyes and read, “Behind these apocryphal tales is the visionary technique of rising in the Planes.”

You can simply work the sentence into your work in progress—with proper attribution of course—or unlike Mr. Nero the Cat, you can try and think out of the box.

Some ideas that quickly come to mind as I type this are:

  • Sprinkle all of the words in your sentence throughout your text. This is what I did for a bit of microfiction I wrote back in 2019 called “I Want My Blanket,” that appeared in Sloth, published by the good folks at Black Hare Press.
  • Write down each word on a separate scrap of paper. You can then manipulate the words in various ways for your project. For example, you can pick one piece at random, use the word in your project, pick another word, and so on. Another possibility is to allow the scraps to fall and only use the ones that are face up or are face down, etc. William S. Burroughs liked to perform various manipulations with words using methods like these as well as many others.
  • Instead of using the words from the sentence you picked, try and find synonyms, antonyms, or (if possible) homonyms for some of the words.

If you came up with something using prompt, please let me know in the comments. I’d like to read your masterpiece!

“The Binding of Chrysanthoula,” by Angeliki Radou, hexes The Lost Librarian’s Grave horror anthology with a sweet, moonlit smile

The Lost Librarian’s Grave—coming October 1, 2021.

Angeliki Radou graces our anthology with her satisfying, short horror story, “The Binding of Chrysanthoula.” Our tale opens with Katerina watching her beloved daughter—the eponymous Chrysanthoula—whither way.* She is losing weight fast, her hair is falling out, and no seems able to help her. Not even a string of big city doctors.

Katerina is not a woman to give up, certainly not on her daughter as she hovers on the brink of death. Will she solve the mystery of Chrysanthoula’s illness? Will the girl live? All will be revealed this October in the thrice-damned pages of The Lost Librarian’s Grave!

Angeliki was born in Greece. She studied Journalism and has published six books in Greek, including a young adult series, The Dark Stories of Young Poe.

She is a member of the nyctophili.gr writing team, and her latest book is entitled Ghost in the Snow: Spirits, Legends and Burial Customs in Japan, from Editions Momentum.

She currently resides in Athens with her husband and two children.

We are proud that “The Binding of Chrysanthoula” is Angeliki’s first published story to appear in English. A fine thing indeed to grace the blasted grave of our lost librarian!


* Angeliki’s Goodreads page defaults to Greek. If you are like me and it is all Greek to you, there are a couple of ways to switch the language. An easy way is to right-click, which will bring up a “translate” option.