Inside the Spiegeltent.

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Thank you to everyone who attended my Story Shop reading today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It was an unforgettable experience. Once again I was reminded of how wonderfully supportive the Edinburgh literary community is, and I was especially grateful for everyone who took a moment out of your day to let me tell you a story.

I hope to tell you many more!

The full text and audio excerpt of my story “Leftovers” are available on the City of Literature Trust’s website.

My publications and other appearances are listed on my “Fiction” page.

Story Shop 2014

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I am thrilled to announce that I will be reading my story “Leftovers” for Story Shop 2014, hosted by the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Story Shop is a series of daily 10-minute flash fiction and short story readings by local emerging writers.

My reading is on Wednesday the 13th of August at 4pm in the Guardian Spiegeltent. Drop by for a free story!

“Paper Turtles” – a story by Halsted M. Bernard

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My story “Paper Turtles” has been published in Innsmouth Magazine: 15. An earlier version of this story was written for performance at my first Writers’ Bloc show for Halloween 2012. I am so pleased that my weird little tale about animal ghosts found a home in the last-ever issue of Innsmouth Magazine.

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Cover illustration: Anja Millen

Innsmouth Magazine: 15 is available for purchase in print directly from Innsmouth Free Press as well as Amazon UK, Amazon US, and Barnes & Noble.

Innsmouth Magazine: 15 is also available in digital formats. The ePub can be purchased through Smashwords for 50% off through the 31st of July with the code SSW50. The Mobi version is in the Kindle UK and Kindle US stores.

If you enjoy it, please share it on your social media sites of choice. You can also add Innsmouth Magazine: 15 to your to-read lists on Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari.

Writers’ Bloc at the Science Festival.

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Writers’ Bloc at the Science Festival

Writers’ Bloc returns to the Edinburgh International Science Festival for The Culture Collider, an exploration of weird science and stranger arts. The show starts at 8pm on Sunday the 13th of April in the Red Lecture Theatre, Summerhall.

I will be reading a new story. Hope to see you there.

[more info · tickets · more of my fiction]

Fifty-fifty-fifty and burning all your money.

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So I’m drifting on a sea of sadness and the only way I know how to get out of it is to shove this “too busy for [thing I like to do]” stupidity off the raft.

Last year I didn’t read many books or see many films, so this year I’m aiming to consume 50 of each. Throw your favourites at me in the comments.

And today I decided to add another goal onto that: I want 50 rejection letters for my writing. I’d rather get 50 acceptances, of course, but rejection means I’m submitting stories which means I’m writing stories which means I’m doing what I love. I’ll be tallying it up on my fiction page if you want to follow along.

Yesterday I finished the first draft of my story for Bloc’s show in the Edinburgh International Science Festival. As per usual, my first idea completely morphed into something else. It’s become a pattern: the first idea is the cocoon that turns into the butterfly. Or, in my case, the slipstream moth.

My Bloc pal Bram a/k/a Texture is always creating interesting, evocative stuff. He announced his new poetry video a few weeks ago but I just made the mental space to sit down and appreciate it. I was mesmerised. Tell me what you think. And please share it if you enjoy it.

“Your Hands” – A Story by Halsted M. Bernard

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your hands

About ten years ago, I became a zombie. I got better, of course, but it was a scary time for me. (Zombies can feel fear. It’s a revelation, I know.)

About ten years ago, I picked a scab and became a zombie. It was such an innocent, childish thing, that scab-picking, and as a result I contracted a massive staph infection that hung on for months and impacted every aspect of my life.

In fact, it might have been the trigger for my adult-onset celiac disease. It is impossible to know, but since my myriad problems surrounding gluten began shortly after the several courses of antibiotics I had to take to kill off the staph, it is a distinct possibility.

About ten years ago, when I became a zombie, I wrote a lot so I didn’t go insane. It’s one thing to have your body stolen and corrupted, and another entirely to lose your mind too. Something I wrote during that dark time was published this spring in Map Literary. It’s called “Your Hands” and here is an excerpt:

You know the dark continent on the outside of your left ankle. You know its terrain, terrain that must not be touched except with ointment and bandages, terrain that cannot stand to be covered by socks or shoes. You know what lives there, the unseen enemy you fight carefully, gingerly, engaging it in the shower with the high-pressure setting, holding the metal head in your better hand, aiming the boiling water and cringing as it hits.

If you enjoy it, please share it.