My Red Lipstick

my red lipstick is not an invitation
a motivation or
an inspiration, sure, but
my red lipstick is not for you
it’s mine all mine
i like the way it outlines
my cupid’s bow in stark relief
and it brings me to that place where i feel
every movement of my mouth
every word
every smile
as if each and every one was made of rubies
full of passion and fire and blood
i like the mark it leaves on my cup
and the way it makes me notice–
not you, mind you–
the way it makes me notice
every little thing i do
my war paint saturates
and i choose the shade by the color name
because i’ll wear strength or cherry or l’amour
but there’s no way in hell i’m just wearing number 017
or fire engine
there’s nothing to extinguish baby
because my red lipstick
it ain’t for you
it’s all for me
marking up my territory
from cup to couplet
it’s my outlet
and don’t you dare
for even one second
try to claim my war paint

Stina Writes Notes to Dead People #2

Dear Victor Hugo,

Les Mis was turned into a musical, and then a film that earned $18 million on opening day.

…you like irony, right?



Stina Writes Notes to Dead People #1

Dear Thomas Jefferson,






Thank you all so much. Reactions to Inferna and some amazing art!

Wow. All I can say is thank you.

Ha, we all know I’m more long-winded than that. Here we go.

The response to my short story Inferna and the incredible cover art by my father Tom has been overwhelming. I’m getting messages upon messages praising the story (my favorite so far being my sister’s conclusion that I am, in fact, made of “creepypasta”), and I can’t begin to describe how thrilled I am to have disturbed and frightened so many of you so thoroughly. I was so proud of this story the first time I wrote it, and after so many revisions, that pride has only increased. Knowing, too, that this story will always be free for anyone who wants to read it (insert disclaimers about creepypastaness here) reminds me how powerful storytelling really is. It isn’t about the money or the exposure; it’s about the story, and the continual support and encouragement from all of you ensures that my writing will always be about the story.

In fact, a very good friend and talented artist sent me this interpretation of my character Death. How cool is this?


Raithe does commission work, and you should definitely jump on that opportunity. She’s a remarkable artist (as you can clearly see!) and a wonderful friend. Naps in the Library is a much cooler place with her art in it, and I want to thank her profusely for this piece.

I’m taking a bit of a break from writing horror at the moment, but will be back with more writing soon. Between my day job and my work toward getting certified to teach high school, I’m a pretty busy lady, but the stories are still flowing, and I can’t wait to share them with you.

You guys are so, so incredible, and I am so lucky to have such talented, wonderful people to share my stories with. Thank you, from the very bottom of my twisted little heart.


As promised, the entirely free short story with a never before seen ending and BRAND NEW original artwork from my father, Tom Vincent.

For the story behind Inferna, click here.

Download Inferna as an epub or mobi file.

Download ereaders for your desktop if you don’t have a device! Kindle, Nook, and Stanza are a few options!

Thank you all, from the very bottom of my heart. Please feel free to share this story!

The Story Behind “Inferna” and Why It Will ALWAYS Be Free For You

So I’m going to try to have this posted by Halloween. We’ll see what happens. I’ll tell my little story here so you guys know why this is important to me.

Once upon a time, I entered a short story contest. Winning stories would be published in something free for download. I won this contest. First place, in fact. The whole situation changed, however, when a publisher found the contest and it was decided that the compilation would be sold.

I retracted my permission to publish the story when the publisher and I couldn’t come to an agreement about the terms of the contract. This was a bit of a disappointment, but it was much more important to me to do what I felt was right with regard to my story and my copyright than to be able to say “I am a published writer.”

In the spirit of maintaining the integrity of this story, which was always intended to be free of charge so that people could read it whenever they wanted to, I’m going to be posting this story myself. In addition (since he already broke the news on Facebook I guess it’s okay to spill the beans about the BIG SECRET SURPRISE), my father Tom Vincent, former colorist for Marvel and various other comic book companies, will be providing brand new original artwork for my story.

This is a horror story called Inferna that is, I think, the best short story I’ve written to date. It does have some gore/violence, deals with some disturbing material, and has one of the creepiest creatures to ever pop out of my brain. I’m incredibly proud of this work, and because of this, I’m making a promise.

Inferna will always be available for free, no matter what.

If, one day, I decide to include Inferna in some collection that is sold for money, it’s still going to be available for free on my website. This story, with new original artwork and a different ending than the one the publishers saw, will be posted to Naps in the Library, my personal website, as soon as the artwork and formatting is complete. We’re hoping to have it ready for Halloween.

Please feel free to share this story. Email it to people. Download it to your e-readers. Print it out and sneak it into people’s briefcases and backpacks. Staple it to your company’s bulletin board. Tape it to the inside of a bathroom stall. Stick copies of it under people’s windshield wipers. Anything that you want to do to share this work, you can do, but only under the following conditions as defined under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) Law:

  1. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
  2. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  3. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

For the full legal code, click here.

If, after reading this story, you feel like it was worth paying for, do one of two things for me. Either go out and buy a book for someone (either give it to someone you know or donate it to a library), or make a monetary donation for whatever you think this story was worth to the charity of your choice. Some great options are The Make A Wish Foundation, The Trevor Project, and CARE. None of the aforementioned charities have in any way endorsed me or my writing. I just really like those organizations.

I did not write Inferna to make money off of it. I wrote it because I had a story to tell, and I wanted to share it with others. Inferna will, as long as I’m alive to make sure of it, be available for free. If you think it’s worth some money, send a donation or give someone a book.

Stay tuned, and thank you for supporting the creative process, you wonderful people.

Slight delay with Inferna

Sorry for the delay, folks. We recently had a death in the family that’s pushed our production back a bit. Inferna and accompanying materials will be posted as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.