Odds and Ends is a collection of many of Lori Lopez’ writing from a variety of publications. Lori has included short stories, poems and a few stories that are 100 words or less. The last format is one of my favorites because I think it tends to be to most challenging for a writer and really shows what can be done with so few words. Lori Lopez states it plainly herself in her disclaimer “Odds and Ends isn’t necessarily a collection of happy endings”. That was the truth, plain and simple. From the first story Headcase she proves her case, happy endings are to be found elsewhere. Headcase gives Odds and Ends a solid and strong start and this was a story I really enjoyed.
Odds and Ends is filled with characters that are by all rights loners, geeks, oddballs, on the outs with society, or you could say what some might call strange, even different. They are not your typical character and it’s a connection I saw after just a few stories. These are the people who you see and wonder if life is strange for them because you can tell they are just a bit odd themselves. Lori Lopez often has a strong women or girl as the main character, or a strong side kick. The stories in Odds and Ends vary from horror mixed with humor to horror that is sarcastic. Many stories poke fun at society or the poor way the government is operating. Other times it’s how twisted we all are toward one another. All of these topics were fun to me and I couldn’t help but laugh a time or two.
Stories that really stood out for me include: The Eyes have it, Bugged (one of the 100 word stories), The Door, and Chill Factor, last but not least Drop Dead Fred. They are poetic and dark and stories that say so much. The following is a favorite sentences from Drop Dead Fred. “I feel weighed down, as if the world has become too heavy and my flesh too delicate for the strain. As if the air could bruise me.” They way Lori writes, chooses her words and arranges them is great. The further I went into Odds and Ends the more I enjoyed it. The Dim Bulb may be my favorite story of them all. A man has been hired to sit and guard a corridor. It’s a simple task, just sit and make sure the lights stay on. He and his co-workers work around the clock for the company to ensure the lights are always on. At the conclusion of the story it becomes painfully obvious why the lights need to be on and the twist is fantastic. If you want a book full of stories that aren’t the usual or typical horror stories then this is your book. It was full of surprises and I loved the time I spent in Lori Lopez’ world.
Length: 522 Pages
Release date: December 29, 2014
Blurb: What terrors lurk in the blackest regions of a cellar, amidst dusty cobwebbed shelves, in the glass jars and metal cans of a hopelessly abnormal mind? These odds and ends are both odd and contain endings. As in the real world, not everything ends well. Sometimes it is all about finding a glimmer of light in the shadows, or being forewarned. Sometimes, the candle’s flame blows out!
An assortment of the weird and wonderfully grim are displayed for your fear and amusement. Whether you like quiet horror, humorous horror, stark horror, monstrous in-your-face horror, you’ll find what scares you here. Twenty-six diverse tales and clusters of flash stories or drabbles fit together between dark poems and brief witfully pithy essays on women writing Horror like pieces of a macabre jigsaw puzzle devised by a single madwoman, Lori R. Lopez.
Among the “Odds And Ends” . . . a devilish jack-in-the-box helps a young woman get even. Two little girls face-off in “Nemeses”. A very old baby is released from its jar at a museum in “Jar Baby”. Spaghetti comes to life in “Bloodwyrm”. A trainride takes one fellow on a harrowing journey toward “Fate”. A man and woman are reunited by the same curse that tore them apart in “The Fruit Of Thy Womb”. A weakling finds a dreadful “Cereal Box Surprise” at the bottom of the package. Ladies play a lethal hand of cards in “Mindless”. A couple wakes up to discover an enormous cobweb filling the house in “Spider Soup”. Falling asleep could end the world in “Awake”, while painting portraits takes a nightmarish turn for an artist in “Deathbed”. A girl watches her friends disappear on a darkly sinister beach at “The Vanishing Point”, and much much more. The print edition features peculiar illustrations by the author.
DISCLAIMER: “ODDS AND ENDS isn’t necessarily a collection of happy endings. Not even the fairytales I write always end happily ever after. It will make you think and feel. If you want an uplifting book, go read HOW TO TRAIN YOUR GERBIL.” ~ Lori R. Lopez
WARNING: This collection is a mixed bag, and a few of the stories are not for the more squeamish!
Lori R. Lopez, Biography-
Lori R. Lopez is the author of ODDS AND ENDS: A DARK COLLECTION, CHOCOLATE-COVERED EYES, AN ILL WIND BLOWS, THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ, POETIC REFLECTIONS: THE QUEEN OF HATS, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, OUT-OF-MIND EXPERIENCES, THE FAIRY FLY, MONSTROSITIES, JUGULAR and more. A resident of Southern California, she is an author, poet, artist, columnist, actress, songwriter, musician; also an activist for conservation, children and animal rights.
Stories and verse have appeared on Hellnotes and Halloween Forevermore, in THE HORROR ZINE MAGAZINE, THE SIRENS CALL E-Zine and anthologies such as JOURNALS OF HORROR: FOUND FICTION, DEAD HARVEST, TERROR TRAIN, TOYS IN THE ATTIC: A COLLECTION OF EVIL PLAYTHINGS, CURSED CURIOSITIES, CELLAR DOOR III: ANIMALS (Editor’s Choice Award winner), BONES II, UNDEAD LEGACY, GHOSTS: REVENGE, WE ARE DUST AND SHADOW, INDIANA HORROR REVIEW 2014, MIRAGES: TALES FROM AUTHORS OF THE MACABRE, MASTERS OF HORROR: DAMNED IF YOU DON’T, DARLINGS OF DECAY, I BELIEVE IN WEREWOLVES, THIRSTY ARE THE DAMNED, and SCARE PACKAGE: 14 TALES OF TERROR. Fifteen of Lori’s poems were published for an anthology titled IN DARKNESS WE PLAY.
Lori has received honors for her prose, poetry, and art. She was named on an Examiner.com list of “92 HORROR AUTHORS YOU NEED TO READ RIGHT NOW” for WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH 2014. She was also featured on Horror Addicts and Promote Horror.com for WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH 2015.
Connect with Lori Lopez at the following links