Free Colleen
The website of
journalist and author
Colleen Shaddox

Truth. Justice. Elegant prose.

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New and Upcoming

American Gothic

Essay in the Hartford Courant about my adventures in homesteading.

Essay in Unruly Catholic Women Writers, Vol. 2. SUNY Press

Brief Grislys. Two pieces of short fiction in the new horror anthology, though I am not a horror writer. I’d say these are more exercises in wiseassery, with a bit of the supernatural sprinkled on top.

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It’s my website so I get to say …

Just in time for Halloween:
The Weird Zone

“It’s probably kids,” Officer Ross said.

“If you could have heard the laughter—it was blood-curdling,” Mary Jo insisted.

He smiled patiently. “You need some rest. Can anyone help you with this ... ?“ At a loss for words, he indicated the animal entrails (Ross suspected cat) spewed all over the patio.

“I’ll do it,” said Sophie.

Sophie, Mary Jo, and a third actor were staying at the Barnes cottage. It sat in a row of tumbledown places where Sherman Playhouse boarded its casts. The Weird Zone, Ross called it. These people all had overactive imaginations. This neighborhood produced the strangest calls.

“Don’t, Sophie. It’s too horrible,” said Mary Jo.

“Doing Strindberg in Fort Lauderdale during spring break is horrible,” replied Sophie. “This is just messy. By the way, Officer, what percentage of your unsolved cases do you attribute to kids?”

“Most of them. And I’m seldom wrong,” Ross said, hitching up his belt.

“Then I’m honored to be here for such a rare event,” Sophie chirped.

“Are you saying you know who did this?” the cop asked.

“Not who. What. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Officer.”

The rest of the story, and another by yours truly, is in Brief Grislys, a horror anthology with a cute, cuddly cover.

10.15.14 » things I said

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Great stuff

Wendell Berry is a farmer, a writer and a Christian — and better at each of those callings than I am.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

» great old stuff