Out of the cave, back into the light…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

It’s been a long, dark, chaotic, and painful couple of years. In that time, some good things were born, but were in no condition -much like their creators- to thrive on their own. Until now.

My novella, Driving Through the Desert, was released in April through Thunderstorm Books. Two young kids journey to hell and back without ever leaving Nevada.

An exclusive EL track, “Infidel”, was released last month on the Electronic Saviors 2 compilation (Metropolis Records). An incredibly worthwhile cause and about a gajillion hours worth of killer industrial music by…well, everyone.

Ego Likeness has been raising funds (thanks to our amazing fans) through Kickstarter, and will be re-releasing our first (near impossible to find) album Dragonfly. All kinds of bonuses and packages. Please check it out!

The final Compass EP, EAST, is now available for pre-order and will be shipping in JUNE. We owe you guys a lot for making you wait so long, so it’s actually more of a full-length, than an EP. Two brand new EL tracks, a cover, and seven incredible remixes by Komor Kommando, Terrorfakt, Angelspit, Bella Morte, ThouShaltNot, The Dark Clan, and Rick Burnett.

Look for an upcoming single, “Treacherous Thing”, and the new full-length, Know Thine Enemy, later this year.

EL will be performing a great deal this year. Check the website or FB pages for shows and tour info.

Voodoo Press will be releasing the German edition of Isabel Burning later this year, and the Isabel Burning prequel will be out early 2013 on Raw Dog Screaming Press.

So many other projects in the works, I can hardly keep my days straight, but when it rains it pours, and I’ll take a flood over a drought any day.

Thank you, friends and fans, for your patience and support and love. Time to thrive.

Celebrity Death and Why it’s Okay for It to Matter

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12th, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

So, Whitney Houston has died. Yes, she’d become a train wreck and yes, maybe you saw it coming.  Maybe you were a fan, maybe not.   Either way, western society at large appears to be mourning this loss, as we have mourned the loss of actors, writers, singers, dancers, athletes, and artists before her.  And as I’m certain we will again.  At least, some of us.

Personally, since I was not born with a metal spoon shoved through my face, listening to Skinny Puppy or 7 Seconds straight out of the womb, I, like most rural/suburban children, grew up on pop music.  We didn’t have cable, so no MTV for me unless I went to stay at my dad’s, but we did have radio and American Top 40.  I didn’t check my facts on this (if only there was a tool that could allow me to quickly and conveniently obtain random facts and information by simply typing in key words and clicking some buttons…) but I want to say it was around 1986 when Whitney Houston first broke into the charts.  She was so young and vibrant and pretty and damn, did she have a voice! Wow. (If you’re under 30 and never witnessed that era of her career, check it out. It’s a far cry from who she appeared to be in that reality TV abomination).  I was twelve and I wanted to do three things in life: make maps, write books, and sing.  And she appeared and she was so very good, and I knew I wanted to do what she did.  I remained a fan for the next few years (though by 14 or 15 I was hesitant to ever admit as much to my cool new punk rock friends, some of whom -unbeknownst to me- were also still listening to Michael Jackson and Madonna behind closed doors).  As I got older and my musical tastes shifted and grew, it seemed normal to stop paying as much attention to some of the musical idols of my childhood. I never stopped liking her, I just didn’t go out of my way to listen.

So when I heard the news last night (at the goth club), did I shed a tear?  No.  But it did make me feel weird, even a little sad.  I couldn’t counter the overwhelming responses of “well, who didn’t see that coming?” except to say that it did seem like she’d pulled her shit together over the past few months, which was information that I couldn’t definitively back up, as I was only basing it on bits and pieces from news and magazines.  But still…

We may be forgiving of our celebrities, but we definitely do not forget.

Okay, so yeah…sad, weird feelings. But the point of this was not actually to eulogize Whitney Houston.  This is about the discussion that has many times been spawned by the death of a celebrity: you didn’t know this person? Why do you care?

It’s a valid question. People that I don’t know die every minute of every day and I can’t pretend I care.  In the time it took me to type that sentence, like 300,000 people may have died (I’m a slow typist) and see? I don’t care.

But why do I care when a stranger whose name I know dies?

Because they weren’t really a stranger.  Did I know her personally? Nope.  Did she know or care about me?  Nope.  But she wasn’t a stranger to me.  Just like Kurt Vonnegut Jr, or Carl Sagan, or Michael Jackson, or Etta James, or John Lennon, or Michael Hutchence, or myriad other artists and celebrities that I have felt weird or sad over, or even shed tears (see: Vonnegut. Also, I rue the day Jeremy Irons, Bob Geldof, Bill Murray, or Leonard Cohen die.  I may be inconsolable).

If one of the purposes of art is to affect your life, your views, your modes of thought, your emotions, then why wouldn’t the sudden absence of that art affect you, as well?  And no, the death of the artist doesn’t dissolve or negate the art they already created, but to separate the two, for me personally, seems unnatural.  Even if you’re a dick in real life or a drug-addict or what have you, you’re still the person who made this thing that has affected me in a profound way.  We are defined, more than anything, by our actions…by the things we do.  The rest is just noise.

So when you go away (especially young or suddenly), there is a void.  Certainly not the same void that your family and close friends would feel, but a void nonetheless.

Star Wars fans, think about this: how mad and upset and betrayed did you feel when George Lucas fucked up the original trilogy after all those years?  It was like killing a little piece of your childhood.  But really, it did not belong to us.  It’s always been his to alter, or destroy.  Or was it?

Technically, it was not ours.  But I don’t think art really works that way.  You put something into the world and if it creeps slowly or comes storming into people’s lives, then it belongs to them, too.  You can’t tell someone not to let your art affect them.  If it does, it does, and you’ll never be able to take what it means to that person away.

So when the art, or the artist, is permanently altered, or destroyed, it seems like a pretty natural reaction to mourn it.  Everything we surround ourselves with, things we covet, things we own, are symbols.  They are representations of our beliefs and emotions and experiences.  They are nostalgic and let us remember times in our lives that might otherwise fade from memory.  They give us things to wish for.  They give us reminders of what we’ve done and what we want to do.  They are icons.

These icons are different for everyone, so this isn’t a question of whether or not you were a fan of this person or that person…it’s, hopefully, one of many possible answers to the question of why it might matter to you when a famous (stranger) person dies.  Because you make your icons part of you.  And though you more than likely never knew the person, you knew what they represented to you, and that is something reasonable to miss.

The Valley

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

The Valley

“The day we’ve long feared has come,” Father said, and the crowd quaked and held their neighbors tight.

“The Great Enemy is preparing to destroy what we have built.” He paused and looked among his kin, his western mountain tribe.

“All you common fathers must come forward, prepared to give your lives for our land, for our survival. And all you common sons must be ready to become men. Men who will offer themselves in defense of our way of life.”

The women cried.

“And all you common mothers and daughters and wives…you must prepare yourselves for that sacrifice, should those terrible days come upon you. You must be willing to feed our hungry men, and tend to our wounded. You must be willing to provide to your families that which has always, until now, been provided by your men. This is your contribution to our cause.”

The crowd whispered amongst themselves and nodded their heads in agreement.

“But there is something we must do which may prove to be most difficult, something that will require us to cast aside our pride and tradition. We will be joining forces with Those Across the Valley.”

The crowd gasped and protested, shaking their heads in disbelief.

“We will call a truce,” Father said, and so it was.

And in spite of their age-old hatred of Those Across the Valley, the tribe knew what needed to be done, and nodded in silent agreement with their patriarch.

It was a harrowing journey down the western mountain, and to traverse the valley, itself, left Father’s few chosen men on edge, for they all knew that were they to ever meet the Great Enemy – the one that threatened not only their way of life, but Those Across the Valley’s lives, as well – that it would be there in the wide-open rift between the mountains, where they were exposed.

They moved quietly through the night, the safest time. The elders of the group had seen this place before, and remarked how drastically it had changed, the ravages of time, the debris and fallout of past battles. It had become far worse than they had ever seen. But it was the younger faction that stared wide-eyed at the dark, massive gorge and the eastern mountain before them with fear in their sheltered hearts.

High above them, across the valley, was the tribe they’d been taught to hate since they could remember. They were to go there now and make peace.

Father said it would take no less than two armies to defeat the Great Enemy.

Father said that they should stand firm, but be willing to hold their hats in their hands as a gesture of respect.

Father said it was possible that the members of the opposing tribe were not as terrible as they’d been depicted for ages, and that it was possible that Those Across the Valley had taught their young to feel the very same way about them.

It was eerily quiet in the valley. A small stream of light came from somewhere in the north, but it was scarcely enough to help them maneuver around the ruins. Dust storms whipped up out of nowhere it seemed, but the group carried on, undeterred by the harsh conditions.

By daybreak they had reached the base of the mountain. The younger men had no basis for comparison, but the elders knew how lucky they’d been to make it across without encountering the Great Enemy.

They were met with cold stares from Those Across the Valley, but they were not threatened.

They learned that the patriarch from their tribe had portended the same thing.

He’d told his tribe that they’d be coming, and there would be no place for strife.

And so the truce was called and both tribes set about putting their prejudices aside in preparation of war.

On both sides of the valley, forts were built, look-out towers erected, traps set precariously along the ragged, uneven ledges of the mountains. The women gathered food and medical supplies where they could find them and began stockpiling the larders. Covert messengers bravely ran correspondence across the valley under the cover of night. Intelligence hid in caves far to the north, where the Great Enemy had oft been sighted, but it was not until the mysterious false light that came each evening, before darkness fell, that the Great Enemy would began plotting with his advisors.

What, on this night, Intelligence heard came as a shock to both tribes.

“There is dissent among the ranks. The Great Enemy sounds displeased with his advisor’s strategies,” Intelligence reported. “There is fighting within their tribe, and talk that The Great Enemy may be no more than a figurehead.”

A wave of cheers washed over the tribes, and could be heard from both sides of the valley.

But the Fathers were not so joyous.

“No, we must not pull our forces back. The Great Enemy is not gone, but merely wears a different face. We will proceed with our mission.”

So as the tribes stayed the course, preparing to defend their land, a very different sort of war was being waged in the north.


“So when are they coming?” asked The Great Enemy.

“The day after tomorrow,” said the First Advisor. “If you aren’t going to waste their time, that is.”

“I’m not wasting anyone’s time. This is what you wanted and I’m tired of fighting you.”

“You should want it, too,” said the Second Advisor.

“I just want peace, goddammit,” The Great Enemy said. “I was content with the way things were, but now I just want peace.”


The strategy would need to change. The Fathers were concerned over news of dissension within The Great Enemy’s camp, for where there was dissension there was unpredictability. And during times of war, unpredictability was a very dangerous thing.

It seemed The Great Enemy’s troops would be arriving the day after tomorrow and there was little time to waste. The Fathers met in secret later that evening to devise a new plan.

If troops were as powerful as Intelligence gathered, then drastic measures would need to be employed.

The tribes would not surrender their home, their land, but if that landscape needed to change for the good of their civilization, then change it must.

The Great Enemy and his army would come through the valley, and when they did, the tribes would be waiting.

They would sacrifice one of the mountains and bury the enemy alive.


“I can’t even imagine where they’ll start. This is unreal,” said the First Advisor, as she surveyed the valley.

“How did you ever let it come to this?” said the Second Advisor.

“This is my home, my realm,” said the Great Enemy. “Time passes and you can’t expect things to stay the same. I wish you could just let it be.”


The decision of which mountain would be sacrificed was not an easy one, emotionally, for either tribe. However, the practicality of engineering prevailed and it was decided that the eastern mountain’s foundations had not held up as well to erosion and changes in the land and would be the easier of the two to fell.

From then on, the tribe of the eastern mountain would cease to be Those Across the Valley. They would become as one with the tribe of the west; their Fathers to be as brothers.

But there would be a greater loss than that of a mountain. It was the bravest of each tribe that stepped forward to be there on the eastern mountain to see the collapse through. There was hope – there was, and is, always hope – that these soldiers might be agile enough, quick enough, strong enough to survive the avalanche, but each understood the realities of such a monumental task.

To say farewell to their loved ones was too morbid, like foretelling a death sentence, but to not would risk leaving too many loose ends. Too many broken hearts. In the end, each soldier said what was in his heart, and that was the best anyone could ask for.

At first light, their world would change forever.


They heard the coming of the troops from miles away, it seemed. They had one chance, and one chance only, to claim victory and they readied themselves for whatever would come. There were no tears, no protests, only strength and resolve. The tribes had made their Fathers proud.

There was nothing else to do but wait.


“Why don’t we start over here,” a strange woman’s voice bellowed.

The tribes imagined her to be a general. She was clearly in charge.

“Go ahead,” the Great Enemy said. “You’re going to do whatever you want anyway.”

God, they’re here to help you!” This time, it was the familiar voice of the First Advisor.

“This isn’t helping!” the Great Enemy yelled back. “I gave you everything you ever asked for and now you come in here and try to take away what’s mine? Well, that’s just perfect.”

The General held her troops back while the Great Enemy and his advisor argued.

That’s it,” cried the Second Advisor, “You can do this without me. I’m leaving!”

The General sent one of the soldiers after her.

One soldier and one advisor down, they were moving into the valley.

The tribes silently readied themselves.

The Great Enemy, his First Advisor and the General made their way through the debris and dust first, closer and closer, with the troops not far behind.

They never heard the battle cry over their own footfalls.

Now was the time.

The mountain began to crumble and the tribesmen ran with all of their might as the Advisor and the General screamed and covered their heads with their arms.

Oh my god! They’re everywhere!” the General cried, coughing, suffocating.

The tribe’s soldiers lunged for the safety of the western mountain, crashing into The Great Enemy’s army as they leapt and ran. The enemy troops thrashed around wildly and retreated in the chaos.

Jesus Christ, dad!” shouted the First Advisor. “There are mice everywhere! Do you see how you’ve been living? Hundreds of mice just living in these piles of trash!”

The Great Enemy himself had evaded the collapse and was heading north, presumably back to his camp.

“It’s not trash, goddammit!” he shot back. “It’s my stuff. It belongs to me!”

“It’s trash, dad! Mouse-infested trash! And you’ve already driven out one daughter with it. You want to drive me out too?”

The General-woman regained her composure and motioned for the cleaning crew to wait outside.

“He’s not ready,” she said to one of the crew, her hand cupped over her nose and mouth to escape the stench. “We can’t force him to throw this stuff away. Just tell the rest of them that it’s done. We’re calling it off.”

“God, dad…at least let’s get the mice out of here,” the daughter-advisor pleaded.

“What for?” the man who had once been, but was no longer, The Great Enemy said. “All of this stuff belongs just as much to them now as it does to me.”

The daughter brushed years of dust and skin cells, hair and waste and lint from her face and arms. She kicked a path through the empty cans, the water-damaged boxes and plastic bags and torn up books and shredded shirts, and shook her head.

Fine,” she said as she waded towards the door through twenty years of her father’s life. “Live in your mountains of trash. You win. I surrender.”

The once and former Great Enemy waved his hand, dismissing her from his lonely kingdom, and turned away, coughing up dust from his own collection of memories and debris.

And with that, a chorus of victory cheers rose from the ravaged lands – one that could be heard as far away as the kitchen.


This can be downloaded as a epub document for portable devices here.

Copyright Donna Lynch 2011


Posted in Uncategorized on October 14th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment


Donna Lynch

The travelers came from the edge of the black woods, dragging their unnatural feet and hooves and claws through the brush as though the briers and thistles were rendered impotent against their leathery flesh. They descended upon the golden field en masse, and in no apparent order of command. If there was indeed a leader, then it was guiding them from a realm beyond our own. That I ever saw the horrific army pains my soul beyond measure.

I am a battlefield doctor, first and foremost, and I am a son and a fiancé. I am an educated man and I reckon I am a religious man now, which is what war will do, though if there was ever any doubt, it has been erased by the sight of such a hellish company. I hate that I have seen them with my waking eyes, for I will never see anything else when my eyes are closed. But most of all I hate that they saw me and would spare my life only to impart their purpose and intent to me by some indescribable means.

War had been impending for a very long time, they said. They had travelled across many centuries and many, vast planes before finally reaching this place in this very moment. And now they would come, in the midst of our own battle, and when they were done, there would be a great loss of life on both sides. They said that there would be few remaining that could claim to have witnessed the mêlée, and those still standing at the end would certainly be thought mad, myself included, except I would not truly be mad, not in the sense that one could only hope for in these circumstances. I could not hope to be blissfully unaware or like a child dreaming of mythical lands, nor could I hope to be void of any thought or emotion. I would be left lucid yet unable to rationalise the encounter away, and forever scarred and haunted by what I’d seen.

But I am to be their liaison to this ravaged world. They said they chose me not for any metaphysical reason, but because of what I do. I am a doctor, and this intrigues them greatly. And I am educated enough to perceive what they say to me, and to see them when others cannot. They are imperceptible to us at most angles, only being seen when light and shadow cast just right. The unmerciful heat has aided me greatly, creating mirages in the distance, allowing me to see them when they come.

The men were blazing in the July heat, and I would have been too if my blood was not so chilled by their presence. The travellers lurked just beyond the rocks at the edge of the field, waiting for the first shot since daybreak to sound. Some of the boys thought they had the advantage, climbing up the boulders to get an eagle’s eye view of the enemy, but they were blind and exposed to the creatures that surrounded them at all sides. There must have been fifty of them at least; some bore animalistic traits: patches of coarse hair, claws, fangs and tusks, hooves and hoary eyes set to the sides of the head; while others were nightmarishly humanoid, the size and shape of two men bound together in some unnatural, asymmetrical manner. I have witnessed some horrendous things since becoming a physician, but nothing so abominable as this demon horde. Between the casualties of war and this devilish vision, I do not know which was worse.

It was my hope that amidst the chaos of war, I might be able to disappear. I even caught myself wishing for an injury, and I tried my best to perish the thought, as I, of all people, have seen what battlefield injuries can become, especially in the humid summer air, but I could not escape.

My unit had commandeered a small farm house near a creek as an infirmary for as long as we could keep the enemy at bay, although who the enemy was, I could no longer say. The conditions were far from pristine, but I was grateful to be out of the dreadful tent, with it’s humid swarms of mosquitoes and flies. I was compelled to express my gratitude for small favours, but then held my tongue as I remembered the wretched boy on my table, his calf riddled with buckshot, the wounds already beginning to writhe with stinking, viscous insect larvae.

He asked to be blindfolded before the procedure, “just in case he came to”, and I obliged. His eyes covered, and his gullet warm with whiskey, I held the chloroform sponge beneath his trembling mouth, and when he was still, I set to the most unpleasant task of taking his leg.

It was an unusually quiet night, the sort that does not come often in times of war, so I would not waste it pondering the serenity, rather simply experience it. Exhausted from the gruesome procedure, I found myself weak in the knees and decided to venture to the creek under the cover of darkness, wishing it could wash the horror away. I should have thought better of it, but my mind was as fatigued as my body and in the slivers of moonlight that poured between the trees, the creatures wasted precious little time making themselves known to me.

If human suffering, cruelty, and pain were to have a voice, it would still not be as horrendous as that which came from the monsters. They spoke as one entity, the frequency of that collective voice like an echoing sickness, paralysing my aching limbs and rendering me helpless.

I listened, their words forever scarring my very soul, and though I would not have thought it possible, the commands they gave terrified and sickened me even more deeply than their existence ever did.

The horde had already found the young soldier’s severed leg in the burn pit -I had not the strength to light the fire that night- and I watched with unimaginable disgust as they devoured every sheath of tissue, every sinew, and the very last fragments of bone. But it was much too small a bounty for the ravenous clan, and it was understood that they would need more.

I pleaded with the soulless beasts to find another means. Why, I implored, could they not acquire their own food? The battlefield, after all, was filled with the sick and dying. Why was my assistance necessary? I was merely one fragile, impotent being in the shadow of demons.

But it would seem that even those from the bowels of hell are bound to the laws of their realm, and for the creatures to take their meat by force or by their own hands was expressly forbidden. It would be, they said, the inception of a war that would not end until our world was in ruins. Until then, they would wait in the spaces between light and dark, they would travel in the void between our world and theirs, and they would feed, but only on that which was given to them. I was to be the one who gave them such gifts.

And if I refused? Then they would have no choice but to wage that war, and turn every man, woman, and child into a slave or into meat.

So, you see, it was for the good of mankind that I began altering the soldiers. Occasionally, I could manage to abscond with an entire body, but there were oft times far too many eyes aware of the fallen brethren, and I could not reasonably account for a missing corpse. The acquisition of arms and legs, however, grew easier with each passing day.

When my supply of chloroform ran out, I turned to ether, but when the ether ran out, the unfortunate souls upon my table nearly went mad with pain and fear. I can only imagine how awful it must have been for those young men. The sound of the saw and the burnt, metallic smell of blood and heated bone could ruin the bravest of soldiers. I, myself, never became accustomed.

The unit had thinned substantially by August. One by one, crippled soldiers were discharged into the care of their bewildered families, who would now bear the burden of an incomplete son or brother or father who could no longer care for themselves. It was said that those men lost more than their limbs. Much, much more.

But the creatures were kept sated and, most importantly, our civilization continued, and man remained unaware of the constant threat of annihilation that surrounded him. It seemed man was far too busy destroying himself to see what horrors awaited just beyond our realm, so you can only imagine my dismay when I was taken from my post in the farmhouse -my demonic abattoir- and imprisoned like a rabid animal for my efforts. I was fighting a different war, I maintained. I was saving far more lives than I destroyed. I had selflessly taken on a weighty task that no man should ever have to shoulder alone all for the good of humanity. Yet, in the eyes of my peers, I was a butcher, a madman, and a criminal. I was a demon, like my invisible charges. I call to them from my cage, begging that they should show themselves, but they do not oblige. Not yet.

I am told that it is my madness that has saved me from the gallows, but I believe I have secretly been spared because of my bravery and sacrifice. And though I am presently held captive, I know in my very soul that the horde will come again and I will be rewarded for my services. All I must do now is wait.


This can be downloaded as a epub document for portable devices here.

Copyright Donna Lynch 2011

Sparrow House

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Sparrow House
Donna Lynch 2006

“Welcome to your new home, Lucy,” the nurse with the little round face said cheerily. “Well, your new home for at least the next sixty to ninety days.”

That was the deal: no jail time since it was her first offense- or at least the first offense for which she’d been busted- but a pleasant two to three month vacation at Sparrow House Rehabilitation Center.

The staff seemed friendly enough that first morning, but she’d heard they always seem friendly in the beginning. Maybe this place was different. She flipped through a glossy brochure as the guard waited with her for the nurse to return with admission papers.

Has addiction left you feeling hollow inside?
Do you feel like there’s nothing left for you?
Sparrow House can help.

She read about the modern rooms, the athletic center and swimming pool, the high standard of care and the cutting edge drug treatment programs. They even had relaxing gardens and an aviary.

“Wow. Birds,” Lucy whispered dryly to herself, wondering if there would ever be a day that she gave a damn about something like that.

“I know what you’re thinking, Lucy,” the nurse said with a kind smile and soothing voice as she reappeared at the desk. “You’re frightened. You have no idea what’s waiting on the other side of these doors. And all you know right now is that you don’t care about a garden or some silly birds. You just want to know when you can get your next dosage of methadone. You just want to know when it’s going to stop hurting. And the answer is soon. But in the meantime, some people find that it’s nicer to have a distraction from the pain. You know, someplace safe, where they can think. And who knows? Maybe with some time, you’ll be one of those people.”

Lucy nodded, uncertain if she wanted to laugh or cry.

Over the next few weeks Lucy aligned herself with a routine that included private therapy, group therapy, drug education, and physicals, but still she was not comfortable in her new home. It had been impossible for her to make any friends when everyone she met was either moved to a different building, or seemed too disconnected to communicate with. In fact, as the days went on she began to feel like everyone around her was half-dead. The only exception was Nan.

Nan was the nurse who admitted her, and the one who continued to care for her. She listened as Lucy told her about her life as a heroin addict. She did not judge her when she saw her track marks (“I see much, much worse everyday, dear,” she’d said). She expressed empathy when Lucy confessed to feeling alone at Sparrow House.

“What is it with everyone here? They all seem…empty. Like something’s missing from their eyes. They all just sit in the garden, staring at the sky.”
“It’s the P.T., dear.”

“I don’t understand,” Lucy said, her voice trembling.

“The treatment. When you poison yourself, you develop a sickness in your soul. And we’ve learned that it never fully heals. It’s more than just damage to your body or your mind; it’s your spirit, honey. And here at Sparrow House we believe that spirits are much too precious to destroy like that. So our doctors found a way to keep those spirits safe.”

“What are you talking about? Some sort of religious thing?”

“No, honey. No religious ties here. We use what we call Psychopomp Treatment, or P.T.”

Lucy shook her head in confusion.

“It will all make sense when it’s your turn. You have to trust them. You are your own worst enemy my dear. The only way to keep your spirit safe is if we send it back where it came from.”

Terrified, Lucy asked at least a hundred more questions, but would get no more clear answers. She asked questions as they led her from her room, across the grounds, and into the aviary. She asked questions as they stripped her and prepared her for the epidural. She asked questions still as they strapped her to the gurney and gently made small incisions throughout her abdomen and chest. But as they wheeled her into the next room with it’s vaulted ceilings, open skylights, and hundreds of ravens, crows, and sparrows, she was silent. And as the birds descended upon her, burrowing through the flesh and muscle in her opened, sterile wounds, they took back the fragile, wounded thing inside of her, and she understood.


This can be downloaded as a epub document for portable devices here.

In addition to the occasional blog posts, I will be posting old and new short stories here regularly. While these works are free, we always appreciate support in the form of donations (see Donation tab above) or by spreading the word. Thanks! Enjoy!

Sparrow House

Copyright Donna Lynch 2006

Flayed open, for all the world to see…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

How terrifying it is to finally see.
I thought it was the death of my grandmother that sent me over the edge. I was certain, because there must have been a reason for my change and the only thing that had changed in my life was her existence. And god, how I loved her.
If I could, I’d apologize to her now. I thought she was the catalyst, and I was profoundly mistaken.

How terrifying it is to finally see the signs compiled neatly in a row.

I remembered arbitrarily deciding to stop taking the medication I was given for depression and anxiety, but I couldn’t remember why.
I remembered the time I made my husband, at random, reinforce a large painting that hung on the wall above the couch because I, at random, decided that it was going to fall on our cat and kill her, but I don’t remember why.
I remembered having to cancel plans as I walked out the door because I was certain that someone was going to shoot our cat as she sat in the window of our second-floor apartment, but I don’t remember what could have possibly put that thought in my head.
I remember nightly panic attacks during which I was convinced I was about to suffer an aneurysm and die. Sometimes it still happens, but my brain has traded the aneurysm for Meningitis. And every time, when it’s over, I simply cannot remember why I was so afraid.
I remember, only in vague pictures, drinking so much that I had no issue putting myself in destructive, dangerous, and humiliating situations, ones that I am too ashamed to write down.
I remember feeling like my tongue had gone numb, and then disintegrated.
I remember feeling like I’m not real.

But what I didn’t remember was that all of these thing began to happen before my grandmother died. When my husband pointed this out to me, I was mortified at how blind I’d been.

The truth is, I don’t want to be sick.
I don’t want to hate waking up.
I don’t want to hate going to sleep.
I don’t want to fear that everyone I love will leave.
I don’t want food to constantly make my stomach hurt.
I don’t want to have made all of these wrong moves.
I don’t want to lose my credibility.
I don’t want to drive my car off a bridge.

But I am, I do, I have, and goddamn — do I think about it every single day.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this or if I’ll ever share it. If you’re reading this, then I will undoubtedly have thrown myself into a panic moments after hitting the share button on facebook. It’s amazing how I can hate myself so much, yet still feel important enough to presume that anyone wants to read this. Maybe I don’t want people to think they are alone in this. Maybe I don’t want to be alone in this.

I lose myself. I lose time. Sometimes, when I’m onstage singing, the end of the song comes and I can’t remember it. I wonder for a second if I got the words right, because I can’t remember anything I just did. And sometimes, time just goes away. I’m 36 years old and I have trouble remembering what I dreamt and what really happened.

I cry when I drive. A lot. Late at night, in my car, I scream as loudly as I can, because I just don’t know what else to do. There are so few ways to release the pressure, or so I think. Things are not so good these days. I’ve forgotten how to really love things. I tear holes in my skin. I don’t know why, but I can’t stop. I think I need to see the pain manifest, otherwise it’s too much to keep inside.

I dream constantly about a witch that lives in my mouth. She will ultimately murder me, but not until she’s done whatever it is she’s doing in there. I think she might be made of years of shame and rage and sadness that I collected in my mouth, as if I had a caul.

I was just diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. When I talk about knowing your demon’s name, well, that’s the name of mine. Some people will say that labels aren’t important. I’ve said it, myself, but I needed to know this. I needed a name.

I’ve lived with it’s accomplices for a long time: Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

I was institutionalized as a teenager. When I was released, nothing had changed. I hadn’t changed.

When I was younger, I wore these things like a badge, desperately looking for something to set me apart, because I always lived apart, isolated and lonely, but now I would give anything to make them go away. Sometimes, people ask me if I’m afraid I’d lose my creativity if I got better. I tell them that I’m not creative because I’m unstable. I’m creative despite being unstable.

When it takes years for us to put out a new album or book – it’s because I’m sick. I’m surrounded by some of the most prolific artists I’ve ever met, and I am ashamed that I can’t do what they do. I’m ashamed of my fear.

I’m not writing this to garner sympathy or attention. I’m writing it so I can see it. I can admit it. I’m committed to getting help, even though I really want to give up. I’m in a psychiatrist’s care, and am exploring additional types of therapy.
Things might never be wonderful, but they can be better than this, and I’m going to figure out how. Maybe someone else will read this and do the same.

hell is here…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27th, 2010 by admin – 8 Comments

I haven’t been writing much. I haven’t been creating, I haven’t been making many trips to the well. It’s been a year since I went to the quarries, and possibly longer since I went to my big, black chromium mine. I haven’t been back to the desert or New Orleans or Savannah since the fall, though I did spend two weeks at sea in January, which is better than nothing. But all in all, it’s been a while since I’ve done much of anything other than commune with demons.

They are around me all the time these days, in my head and in my heart. They’ve torn me open and put my insides on display on facebook and on stage. They’ve left me so marred that, at times, that I’m no longer recognizable to my closest friends and family. They toy with me as though all the years I’ve spent writing about strength and power and personal responsibility have meant nothing. They show me what it is to feel whole, then rip me in half. They fill me with a sense of faith and belief, then drain me until there is nothing left. They give me prophecy, then make me painfully aware that I know nothing. Who knew demons could be so very Zen? For me they have embodied everything and nothing.

I hate them.

I can’t imagine my world without them.

To be sure, I have not become a zealot, or a newly-religious girl. This has nothing to do with Hell or Satan or any other fairy tales other than the ones I am made of. To be sure, this is what happens when you are not true to yourself, when you fight the things that linger in your heart, when you lie to yourself about fear and pain. These are the doors you open, and when you do, you invite all manner of creature in. And goddamn, do they ever come in. They come like a fucking army, like a flood.

But the doors are open, the wounds that I carelessly stitched up years ago are open, and my heart -such as it is- is open. I’m letting them in, letting them through, to do their worst. Because I know it’s the only way I will ever be unafraid. It’s the only way I will heal.

The only way out is through.

And if my flood took you down, I can only tell you how sorry I am, and that it took me down, too. The sea that remains is deep and rough, it is filled with loss and demons and monsters and myth, but it will teach us to be strong. It will teach us what to fear and what to disregard. It will teach us what matters and what means very little.

My demons are teaching me, and though the lessons are ugly and brutal, they are lessons still, and I will listen.

I will learn.

13 Things I Have Learned on Tour

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16th, 2009 by admin – 3 Comments

A little less than a month ago, my band Ego Likeness headed out on the road with our friends from Charlottesville VA, Bella Morte, and a lovely group from Los Angeles called Versailles.

I’ve been touring regularly since 2005, so this wasn’t my first rodeo by any means. It wasn’t the longest tour EL has done, but it did span the country, which is always preferable. I sure do love driving through the desert.

I could take a few moments now to outline the ins and outs of touring, but Martin Atkins already wrote that book, and his anecdotes include things like Japan and John Lydon, and mine do not.

Instead, I figure I’ll just share some of the key observations and learning experiences of the past month. If you are in a band, and are hoping to learn a thing or two about touring from said experiences, you will likely be disappointed. I would suggest you purchase Mr Atkins’ book, or even better…stop fucking around on Facebook and book yourself some shows.

Anyone else…enjoy, or something…


1. I love being the driver of my van for many reasons, but mostly because it means I also get to play iPod DJ. And if that means we segue from Foetus to Justin Timberlake to Toto to Clutch to Leonard Cohen to Whitesnake to Apop to Cheap Trick to IAMX…well then, I suggest rolling with it lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the velvet rope outside my club.
And by ‘outside’, I mean ‘outside’ and by ‘velvet rope’, I mean ‘ the door’ and by ‘club’, I mean ‘of my van’.

2. Little known fact: Interstate 10, which is the southern most route one can take across this great nation, coast to coast, was engineered by The Devil to test man’s physical and mental fortitude. The highway is peppered with various challenges and pitfalls, including The Never Ending Construction Zone, Nearly Fatal Monotony Corridor, The Molasses Swamp, and Texas.

3. Tony: He doesn’t fuck around. He gets shit done.

4. Best cell phone game ever when you are bored or driving? It’s called ‘BZZZZ’ and it involves your front pants pocket and a few equally bored friends who have your number and unlimited text plans. The more players the better, and that’s all I’m saying about that.

5. When Andy asks if you want to see his new ‘belt buckle’, ALWAYS say no.

6. Awesome mirrored cop sunglasses are awesome because you can’t see in, but I can totally see out. Live with that.

7. Everyone has a price. Mine floats somewhere between $35 and $17,000, depending.

8. Next time, Tetanus shot FIRST…THEN drunken pole dancing on the rusty water pipe in the laundry room of your friend’s apartment building in Hollywood.

9. I would not only frequent, but would totally consider working at a club called The Rusty Pole.

10. Drinking an $8 bottle of rum with the grounds keeper in the parking lot of the San Antonio motel under the freeway that gives you black lung?
Eff yeah…cheaper than your hi-brow “Bacardi” or your so-called “Captain” and waaaaay more anecdotal for cocktail parties or at Thanksgiving dinner.

11. Speaking of tequila…you can order a margarita in San Antonio larger than your head. That’s 60oz, 11 shots of tequila, my Chickens! This isn’t some mythological being like Chupacabras or Polar Bears…it’s real. I’ve seen it. Tyler saw it, Dianna saw it, hell…we all saw it…right there, at the river walk in San Antonio TX. Turns out you can procure one for a hefty price and 90 minutes later you’re roaming the streets of downtown SATX (which I still don’t know how to pronounce) randomly riding the elevator at the Hyatt and getting dirty looks from the night watchman at the Alamo…which, ironically, I did not remember the next day.

12. Dear Sketchy Hooker Motel in Kansas City,
If you REALLY don’t want people lounging by your stagnant, sludge-filled swimming pool, drinking beer at 3AM, might I suggest something that is slightly more obvious a deterrent than your CLOSED sign, padlocked gate, and iron perimeter fencing. That was SO not hard to scale, even in the dark, and even after all that whiskey.
A Concerned Guest

13. When you tour with other bands, and the stars line up just right, you get close really fast, and that is exactly what happened here, at least for me. So it’s really jarring that first day after a tour ends when you wake up and the 7 or 12 or however many people you were living with everyday for an extended period of time are gone, as though they all died in a freak coal mining accident or something. It’s quite an adjustment, which is why I’ve found that if you steal something really valuable from each person, it makes the transition a little easier.

And as a side note to Andy…I honestly did not know your insulin was in your suitcase when I took it, so if you want it back just text me. Quickly and repeatedly. And in the subject line, just put ‘BZZZZ’.

(Miss you guys!)


11.25 Steven Archer DJs at Assimilate, The Chameleon Club, Lancaster PA


Early 2010 EGO LIKENESS’ 4th full length album BREEDLESS (Metropolis Records)
and the final EP in the Compass series EAST

More to follow…


Posted in Uncategorized on October 6th, 2009 by admin – 6 Comments

I have a secret.

I don’t have eyebrows.

There. I’ve said it. Now you all know.

I mean, I have eyebrows, but they are so blonde and weird and noncommittal that they aren’t worth fooling with, so I shave them off and draw them back on in black.

It freaks people out to see me without them, especially my husband, who says he can’t tell if I’m happy, sad, or angry until I draw them back on. I find this amusing…but of course, you’d never know to look at me.

So, this post is about make-up, because I love make-up. I don’t claim to be a professional, but a lay person with years of experience crafting my face to look the way I like. I like the way it smells, and the way it feels. It hurts my soul when I see people with poorly applied make-up. I once saw an interview with Dolly Parton where she said that whenever she’s in Hollywood, she sleeps in full make-up just in case there’s a fire and the paparazzi show up. This is just one of the myriad reasons I love Dolly Parton. But I digress…

We went to Philadelphia on Friday to shoot the cover for the North EP with one Mr Kyle Cassidy. After years of friendship and numerous photo sessions, I still can’t believe our good fortune in knowing and working with Kyle and Trillian. I see them as one of those couples that everyone wishes they were friends with- the sort of couple that F Scott Fitzgerald would have written about. Not the screwed up protagonist couple, but the stable couple who is always throwing fabulous parties or inviting you to their beautiful cottage on the French Riviera for the entire month of July.

So, make-up…photos…Kyle. Yes.

We needed the cover to be cold, of course. Frozen, actually. Downright frigid. So Kyle enlisted the help of Vince Miles, an incredible make up artist, to come and freeze us up. And with his airbrush and skillful hand, that is what he did.

Vince airbrushing me. Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Vince airbrushing me. Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Steven getting frozen. Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Steven getting frozen. Photo by Kyle Cassidy

Kyle and us.

Kyle and us.

And finally…

The end result…

Ego Likeness - North EP. Photo by Kyle Cassidy. Make up by Vincent Miles. Graphics by Steven Archer

Ego Likeness - North EP. Photo by Kyle Cassidy. Make up by Vincent Miles. Graphics by Steven Archer

This is why I love make-up.

And for the record, I did my own eyebrows.

For interested parties, the EP can be ordered here.

For more on Kyle and Vince-



The Process (now with more bees!)

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27th, 2009 by admin – 12 Comments

When I started this blog, I truly intended to write in it a bit more frequently, but life keeps getting in the way of my social networking. How am I supposed to keep up with Myspace, Facebook, Vampire Freaks, and Live Journal when I have to leave the house? Not to mention all of the online geography games I like to play. And what about my drinking? Fortunately, there’s always time for whiskey. I am of Welsh and Irish descent, after all.

So between packing and moving and writing and recording we have been busy bees. Speaking of bees, I was stung by one yesterday. He got me right on my middle finger, which is now considerably larger than my other fingers and incredibly itchy. I don’t think I’ve had a bee sting since I was about eight, and at one point I was trying to decide if they really hurt as much as I remember, or if the pain was magnified by little kid glasses. Well, I can tell you now -it hurts like a mother. Steven said, “Well, if it’s any consolation, that bee is dead now.” But to me, all that means is that the bee is feeling no more pain (or whatever sort of suffering it is to be a bee), while I still am. But I can’t really be upset. He was just being a bee, doing his bee-y things. Viva la bee. And now I’m going to stop saying bee.

The new album is nearly done. It’s dark. Darker than I expected, darker than our previous material. But I trust our instincts and I trust our audience to be open to what we’ve done. It’s been a difficult labor in many ways, but well worth the pain. I recently had to come to terms with the fact that I do not like writing songs. I love performing them, and I love that they are ours. I love touring. I don’t even mind recording, though it’s not my favorite step in the process. But song writing turns me into a fire-spewing demon, and I pity my husband or anyone else that may ever have to work with me. It’s odd, since I enjoy writing just about anything else. But songs do not come easily to me, and that -in the past- has made me question if I’m doing the right thing.

Which of course, is a ridiculous way of looking at things. Steven pointed out that it would be silly to believe that you need to love every second of every step on your path in order to know you’re on the right one. I’m not sure why I didn’t see it that way before. I mean, I love touring. Just love it. I never questioned if it was a good use of my time and my life, because I knew in an instant that it was. That said, I do not love the napping-nights, as I call them. Those nights where you have just enough time at the hotel for a shower and a brief nap before the day starts all over again. I am a sad, pathetic creature at 5 AM, especially when we only got into the room two hours before. I do not love being exhausted and malnourished for weeks at a stretch. I do not love when our van starts making a noise I am unfamiliar with (and when you’ve driven one vehicle across the country eight times -I logged 50,000 miles last year alone- you know every single noise). I especially do not love it when that happens in the mountains or desert. I do not love driving through the Rockies or the Sierra Nevadas during blizzards, or through the Mojave in a dust storm, or through midwest ice storms and tornadoes, or southern tropical storms where the rain is coming in horizontally. I am a relatively skilled driver, but these were some terrifying moments.

Yet I wouldn’t trade them. And I wouldn’t trade the song writing either. I’m proud of the work we do, no matter how difficult it is to produce at times. But it’s all part of the process. Years ago I had a process cross tattooed on my shoulder to remind me of this very thing, well before I ever imagined myself traveling around the world performing songs that we wrote. Sometimes I forget it’s there, but most of the time it serves its purpose. I’m remembering to accept and enjoy the process more and more.

And speaking of bees touring:

Tour Dates- Autumn 2009

9.25-27 Steven Archer & Donna Lynch will be reading and vending books, art & music along with Raw Dog Screaming Press at HORRORFIND WEEKEND, Hunt Valley Marriott, Hunt Valley MD

9.30 Ego Likeness w/ NEW MODEL ARMY, The Rock n Roll Hotel, DC


10.24 The 2nd Annual Vampire Ball, The Masonic Temple, Flint MI
(feat. Voltaire & The Hellblinki Sextet)

10.25 The Nite Light Cafe, Berwyn IL

10.26 The Darkroom, Chicago IL

10.28 Davey’s Uptown, Kansas City MO

10.29 Teatro Scarpino, Fayetteville AR

10.30 The Stafford, Bryan TX

10.31 Atomix, San Antonio TX

11.5 Uncle Paulie’s Pub, El Paso TX

11.6 Mardi Gras, Scottsdale AZ

11.7 Bar Sinister, Hollywood CA

11.10 Elysium, Austin TX

11.11 Rocbar, Houston TX

11.13 The Howlin Wolf, New Orleans LA

11.14 The Rutledge, Nashville TN