The Mystery of the Smoking Monks Chair

Smoking Monks 1

The Smoking Monks chair. Here, you can see the original cushions my mother made.

In the fall of 1979, my parents purchased a camp just a few miles into the Adirondack State Park (I’ve written about this before—see my entry, “Facing What Haunts You” on my wedding blog: https://journeytothecenteroftheearthwedding.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/facing-what-haunts-you/).

We found newspaper in the walls dating back to the Civil War, so we knew that the house, at the time, was a little over 200 years old. There were also several small structures on the property: an outhouse, a barn, and a woodshed. There was the magical presence of the stream and a potable spring a mile up the road, and there was also the magical presence of something else—lots and lots of antiques, old books, and artifacts of bygone eras.

It was those artifacts Read the rest of this entry

Reviewers find TRICKS AND TREATS a Halloween-y sweet!

Tricks and Treats: A Collection of Spooky Stories by Connecticut Authors, which includes my short story “Crawl,” has gotten a couple of great reviews! You can read them below.

this-is-horror-logo

THIS IS HORROR

http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/tricks-and-treats-a-collection-of-spooky-stories-by-connecticut-authors/

WILDMOO BOOKS

http://www.wildmoobooks.com/2016/09/let-horror-begin-first-spooky-read-of.html

“Rightfully Mine” is now available!

sanitarium-magazine-cover

My most recent flash fiction piece, “Rightfully Mine,” (which I wrote up at this year’s Kipling Retreat) joins several excellent stories and is now available in Sanitarium Magazine Issue #49! It’s an e-mag, so it’s inexpensive. You can get it at one of the links below and in the Google Play Store.

Amazon US (Kindle)

Amazon UK

Pocketmags

 

Next week: In time for Halloween: Manchester, Mystic CT readings for TRICKS AND TREATS

bank-square-books-logo

Come and meet the (still living, ha!) writers in Books & Boos’ anthology Tricks and Treats and hear some samples to whet your appetite for the spooky at a couple of pre-Halloween readings/signings!

whiton-library-reads-logo

I’ll be joined by John Valeri, Stacey Longo, Melissa Crandall, Ryanne Strong, and Dan Foley (or some combination thereof) at the Whiton branch of the Manchester library (N. Main Street) in Manchester, CT (http://library.townofmanchester.org/) on Monday, October 24, at 6:30 p.m.

We’ll also be at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT, on Wednesday, October 26, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wine and beer will be served at the event; specific details here: http://www.banksquarebooks.com/event/mystic-halloween-reading-tricks-and-treats-collection-spooky-stories-connecticut-authors

Here’s hoping I see you there!

Short Story Sunday: The Caves in Oregon

Refresh, Refresh Cover

The Caves in Oregon, Benjamin Percy

I first read this tale of a broken marriage a decade ago, and a recent re-read revealed it’s even better than I remembered. In this atmospheric tale, Percy is the master at connecting the geology of the earth with the geology of our complicated emotions and the intangible foundations that form our relationships.  Find it in Percy’s debut collection: Refresh, Refresh: Stories https://amzn.com/1555974856

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

sprouted pumpkin seeds 8

My husband, Nathan, sorting through sprouted pumpkin seeds–looking for a few to keep for planting.

My husband, Nathan, loves to carve pumpkins. Last year, we had a huge Halloween party, which resulted in him carving twenty or so of the things.

One of my favorite pleasures of fall is pumpkin seeds; I’ve figured out a way to separate them from their stringy innards that’s pretty easy (just soak the whole mess in warm water and the seeds pretty much float to the top). Then I brush them with a thin (very thin) coating of olive oil, roast them in the oven with spices (at around 300 degrees and until they’re crispy) and serve them with cocktails. It’s the perfect seasonal treat.

Last year, though, there were just too many seeds to roast. I ended up leaving a huge pot of them out on the back porch, and they sprouted!

Getting in on Dark Discussions: September 2016

1978's Piranha was the final film of Dark Discussions' KILLER FISH FEST.

1978’s Piranha was the final film of Dark Discussions’ KILLER FISH FEST.

September’s such an interesting month, because, here in New England, it’s a fluid transition between summer and autumn.

Dark Discussions‘ topics for September were just as transitory, taking us from the final days Read the rest of this entry

10 movies that wouldn’t be scary if you watched them on mute

Horror films rely on all sorts of tricks to induce their frights: jump scares, atmosphere, and creepy or gory visuals. They also rely on something else that’s often overlooked: sound.

Sound, including music, can play a key role in how scary something is. Consider, for example, Robert Wise’s 1963 The Haunting; one of the most terrifying moments in that film is the scene in which the girls huddle in their room as an infernal banging roams the hall. We never see the ghost; we simply hear it—and if one turned down the volume and watched that scene without any noise, it would just look like two women making goofy faces in a room.

That said, here are ten films that rely so heavily on sound or dialogue Read the rest of this entry

COASTAL CT magazine feature: Why is New England such a favored setting for horror?

Coastal Connecticut Fall 2016 Issue

The copy of the Fall 2016 issue of Coastal Connecticut that Tom Soboleski was nice enough to send!

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Connecticut Coastal magazine contributor Tom Soboleski for an article on why New England is the setting for so many horror stories—and the issue officially hits newsstands today!

The feature, “Who’s Afraid of New England? Everyone. Experts and authors explain our regional love of the macabre” appears in the Fall 2016 issue Read the rest of this entry

The Landmark Trust Properties: For writers, the perfect quiet places

kipling-retreat-01

The Kipling Carriage House. It was originally (obviously), where the carriages were kept, and we think that the kitchen was probably an add-on, although it was well integrated. According to the Landmark Properties, it was converted from a Carriage House to living quarters at some point. It is nicely modernized now, and the flow of the place feels organic.

Quiet time. It’s probably what’s most sought after by writers in terms of creation, next to, of course, inspiration. Sometimes, being at home in the middle of life—even if you’ve got an office or favorite spot to which you can retreat—isn’t going to give you either thing. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: