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Carlyn Beccia
Author & illustrator. Editor of The Grim Historian. My latest books — MONSTROUS: THE LORE, GORE, & SCIENCE and THEY LOST THEIR HEADS. Contact:

Welcome to my bright corner of the internet. That’s me to the left, hoping the camera doesn’t steal my soul. (Spinning fast helps.)

This TOC will help you find the topics that interest you. These are not necessarily my most popular stories. But they are the ones that I put…

Artwork: © Carlyn Beccia |

Dear Charlotte,

I read your poem yesterday. My first reaction was to swell with pride. How such beauty and pain could spring forth from a heart untouched by life’s triumphs and tragedies. You are an old soul.

But my second reaction was fear. Fear that you are embarking on a…

“Style F” theatrical release poster for the 1931 film Dracula | Public Domain

Some of the scariest films in history terrify us because they contain a kernel of truth. The following classic films may celebrate legendary monsters, but if you peel back the storylines…you will find some real-life phenomena.

Photo by Nadezhda Moryak from Pexels

A plastic cup does not make most men feel sexy. At least Marc* was less than enthused when his nurse handed him one at his fertility appointment.

Days earlier, Marc filled out the required questionnaire asking him personal questions ranging from his family’s fertility history to the frequency of his…

Artwork: © Carlyn Beccia |

I can hear the breathless giddiness in Samantha* voice as soon as she speaks. Samantha has another "crush." And by crush, I mean she adores someone who will never return her affections.

Over the following months, she talks about her crush incessantly. I gently point out to her that infatuations…

Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

“Bored reading material for a bunch of uneducated idiots.”

That is what J. Edgar* called my writing. (I was more offended by “the uneducated idiots” accusation. My readers are brilliant.)

I didn’t respond to his insult. I could have cracked jokes like I always do. Since most of my “readers”…

Artwork: © Carlyn Beccia |

Humans have long been dependent on nature's resources. In the nineteenth century, that one precious commodity was whale oil.

Whale oil was essential to making soaps, leather, lubricate machinery, and most importantly, light lamps throughout the world. Whales even changed fashion. …

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels

I had lunch recently with my friend Sarah* when the conversation went off the rails. Or at least to a third rail. Sarah informed me that she plans to get pregnant with the next guy she dates. …

Woman with a Hat, 1905. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art | Public Domain

It couldn't have been easy for Mrs. Matisse. She got gussied up in her best dress, wore an extravagant hat, and kept her head turned in a classical pose for hour upon hour.

And what did she get for her efforts? A green nose.

Her embarrassment did not stop there…

Artwork: © Carlyn Beccia |

My friend Beth* called me on Sunday with a request I have got before — she needed help writing her breakup text to Pete.* I say "help," but I rewrote the whole damn thing. (Beth, you will thank me later for red penning your maudlin comparison to you as Penelope…

Carlyn Beccia

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