Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Bad Apple Party: We took a bite out of Youth Caregiving!

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An edible centerpiece. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

With the first nine months of 2012 consumed by our wedding and honeymoon, everyone said I was crazy to do it: hold a signing and release party for my emerging dark YA novel Bad Apple, which was published by Vagabondage Press Books on September 25 (the day we happened to be flying home from Walt Disney World). Still, I love a good celebration, and I love to throw good celebrations. And with so much to be thankful for, the opportunity to hold a release and signing party—as well as a benefit for the American Association of Caregiving Youth, which I’d only just discovered—was a thing to be taken.

So, on November 17—the only day I could really do it (I’d have only about six weeks to plan and get the house ready, and any later would railroad into the Holidays)—forty or so friends and supporters gathered at my house to toast to Bad Apple and raise a few dollars for a cause close to my heart. The party alone generated close to one hundred dollars for the AACY: not bad with the biggest spending season of the year about to descend and in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which I know has cut into many of my friends’ wallets, not just with their own repairs but with reaching out to others who didn’t fare the storm as well.

Here are photos. Enjoy!

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We have a miniature cemetery we set up every year just outside our front stoop (it has been called “The Cemetery of Dismembered Dolls” in prior entries: https://kristipetersenschoonover.com/2010/10/21/the-cemetery-of-dismembered-dolls/). It is normally on display between September 15 until just after Halloween, but with the wedding and everything, it only got set up sometime in late October. Because Bad Apple is, after all, a horror novel, I thought it might be fun to leave it up for the party. Each year we add more pieces, but the candles are always present. It looks really neat after dark.

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The signing area.

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No party is complete without favors (or as my parents used to call them way back in the 1970s, “goody bags.”). My friend Suzanne Zuckerman and I worked hard to figure out what was going to go in them—items relative to the book—and she came over the night before to help me put them together. I had originally wanted the brown handled bags many apple orchards give out to happy pickers, but I couldn’t find any the right size that were in my budget, so I settled for plain brown paper lunch bags (also relevant to the book, since Scree makes brown bag lunches for herself and family members). It worked out perfectly.

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A long shot photo of everything that went into the bags. Each item had some relevance to Bad Apple.

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From left:
An apple-themed refrigerator memo pad, which Scree mentions: “Her magnetic “Shopping List” pad on the refrigerator reminded me that I was in my summer camp play next Thursday, I needed bright yellow tights, and I had to return my library book on hornets. At the bottom of the page, near some artwork of dancing apples, she had scrawled “beer.” (Page 6). A deck of cards, which feature prominently in the book: “Thanks to her friend Russell, Scree becomes obsessed with Speed Solitaire. I don’t know why I chose this particular card game—probably because it’s the only one I really know how to play, and, in fact, play quite often. Here’s how to play Solitaire Yukon, the type with which most people are familiar (when you really get into solitaire, you find there are several variations—you can learn about them all here: http://absolutist.com/solitaire/yukon_solitaire.html).” A Yankee Candle Red Apple Wreath scented tealight, which might be reminiscent of what Scree’s kitchen smells like: “I took over most of the domestic duties and lived in a daily caravan of dishes, cleaning products, and burnt apple pie crusts.” (Page 9)

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Suzanne Zuckerman handmade white chocolate hearts to mark one of the most significant phrases in the book: “She got broken, and nobody knew how to fix her…She had things wrong in her broken head, and that was because of her broken heart.” (Pages 182-183). The folio beneath the chocolates contained information about each item in the gift bag as well as instructions on how to play solitaire (one form of it, anyway) and a simplified recipe for Stained Glass Cookies, which are also discussed in the book.

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Pretzels: “Finally, she pulled out not a piece of paper, but the back of a pretzel package. “I thought,” she said, “that for our wedding favors, we would make pretzels and tie them with white and orange ribbons… I reached my hand out to take the article from her.
She smiled. “They were a very important part of the marriage ceremony, like, way back four hundred years ago when the world was so much more connected to nature,” she said. “I thought since it was in an orchard and everything—” (Pages 34-35). And Green Apple Candy Corn, Caramel Candy Corn, and Caramels, since I really didn’t have time to make full-blown candy apples (and they would not have traveled well): “I understood needing crates of apples, to eat, to make pies, cider, caramel apples, tarts, spice cakes, cookies, slices for Beckitt—there were never enough apples to supply the masses, because they had so many intricate uses.” (Page 54)

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Pushpins: “That was frustrating, sometimes, too, because of the colors of the pushpins. The general store, down by the lake, was an antique, all squeaky boards and the overpowering odor of chicken feed and rusty metal. It didn’t have what anyone would call a diverse selection of products, and that included pushpins: They didn’t carry the clear ones. All they had were boxes of the multi-colored ones. I had to buy several boxes because if I was tacking up a green shirt with green pins, I might need twelve green pieces to do it, and, very often, there weren’t twelve of one color per box. It was okay if I had colors that complemented the color of the shirt, but even then, I had to watch the balance: yellow pins or red pins were okay for an orange shirt, but three yellow pins and seven red pins together were not okay for that one orange shirt. Sometimes, the pushpins popped clear of the wall, and if they did that, I ripped all my shirts down and swore at them and threatened to put them in boxes if they didn’t behave.” (Page 29)

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Our foyer, lit for the event. What’s creepy is that this picture almost looks like the Bad Apple cover.

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Scott and Trisha Wooldridge came all the way from Massachusetts for the party! Trisha is the President of Broad Universe. Her YA novel, The Kelpie, is forthcoming from Spencer Hill Press in 2013.

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The spread in the dining room. We had another table of food in the kitchen, but I don’t think anyone got a shot of that. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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My cousin Maryanne—who has been coming down to help me get ready for parties for at least 13 years, possibly longer—and my friend Manzino, whom I met back when I was doing community theatre in 1995.

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A small display in my living room.

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Me, Maryanne, and Nathan. LOVE his Dr. Who bowtie!

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Nathan and Suzanne.

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Oh, my. Let the partying begin.

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Scott Wooldridge took charge of thawing the shrimp. He is all kinds of awesome!

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A gathering in the living room. From left, Jim—a friend from Pencils! Days—Suzanne and Adam Zuckerman, Nathan, and my dear writing friend Al, who writes under AJ Profeta. He and I also go back to Pencils! In 2005.

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A close-up of the signing table. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Adam and Suzanne. I have known both of them since 2001, when I volunteered at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

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Carla and her husband Frank. I have known Carla since Middle School, possibly earlier.

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Adam, Manzino, and my friend Jen L, whom I’ve also known since 2001 and my days at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. My favorite memory of hanging out with Jen is watching “Mommy Dearest” in her old West Haven apartment (she hasn’t lived there in many years). Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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AJ O’Connell, who was in the original Pencils! Writing Workshop with me beginning in 2004 and who is now the author of Beware the Hawk from Vagabondage Press Books, me, and Michael Klous, whom I’ve known since probably First Grade.

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Me and my friend Dawn. Dawn and I grew up in the same church back in New Milford, and she and her family used to come to our place up in the Adirondacks all the time. She was also my babysitter who corrupted us back in the early 1980s by letting us listen to Hall and Oates while she worked on her Gregg shorthand homework. Ha! The things I remember!

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Nathan.

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Our friends Melissa and Marc.

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Greg Logsted, author of several books including Something Happened, with my housemate, Charles.

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From left, Lauren, Maureen, Maryanne, and Rob. Rob and I edit Read Short Fiction together, although this year he had school and I had the wedding so we’ll be getting back on track with it very soon.

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Manzino and Jen L.

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Another shot of the dining room spread. Half of it has been consumed at this point.

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Jim, me, and Al.

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Another shot of Jim, me, and Al. This was just before they were ready to head out.

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Melissa, Mark, and me.

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Me and Mo.

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Maureen and Suzanne.

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Maureen and Suzanne.

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From left, Nanette Blake, Scott, and Jen Connic. Nanette was my editor at Vagabondage Press Books who is responsible for Bad Apple being the book it is today. Jen Connic, at right, is a journalist. Nanette, Jen C and I met way back in Pencils! Writing Workshop days.

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This photo of AJ, me, and Nanette is a fave—not only are we all wearing these really awesome hair ponytailers that Nanette and AJ made for the three of us to wear (they are in the “theme” colors of the book Bad Apple—cool, right?), but this represents the coming of the book full circle. Nanette and AJ and I were on the retreat in Maine at which I started the first draft of the book—Labor Day Weekend, 2005. I started the book on that Friday, and on Saturday afternoon, they heard the very first paragraphs of the raw draft.

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Manzino and Jen.

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Manzino and Scott.

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Me and Lori. I have known Lori since 2000. After the second draft of Bad Apple was completed (late 2005), I read the entire thing into a cassette recorder (Spring, 2006), and then took it to a CD conversion place to have the whole book put on audio (ah, the days when you had to outsource everything because you couldn’t do it on your home computer!) Lori listened to the entire CD set. When I told her Bad Apple was coming out, she was very excited to realize it was the same book (which she told me she loved) she had listened to way back when.

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Me and Jen L.

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The Crow’s Nest Writing Group and then some: from left, Lauren (whom we affectionately call L2—you’ll see why in a minute), Greg, Jen and Rob Mayette (Jen was a bridesmaid in my wedding), me, and Lauren Baratz-Logsted, author of several books including Vertigo and, with her daughter, the YA series The Sisters 8.

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My cousin Maryanne built her first fire. She was very proud of it!

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A color shot of the fire. She did an awesome job.

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At some point, we ended up hitting the absinthe. Of course, Nathan did the honors.

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Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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The ritual of the sugar cube and water. We have an actual drip pourer for the ice water, but at this point in the night it was just too much work. Let’s face it—sometimes the sink is easier (and after everything we’d been drinking, it didn’t really matter).

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My friend Billy—whom I’ve known since grade school—meets my kitchen lamp (I like to call it the E.T. lamp since it’s similar to the one that hangs in their kitchen). Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Billy and Manzino. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Carl, Nathan, and Billy.

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Jen and Maureen. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Me, signing a book for Jen Connic. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Maureen and Suzanne.

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Me at the signing table—here’s where you get a really good shot of the awesome hairpiece that AJ and Nanette made for me. I am definitely going to be wearing it again, because I love its affect. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Dear Lord. I have no idea what they are doing. But I do know it was probably inspired by strong drink.

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Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Manzino and Jen L. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Rob and Jen Mayette. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Me and Carla at the signing table. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Getting ready to read from Bad Apple. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Me and Suzanne.

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Adam and Billy. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Nathan wishes me luck. I love this picture—it’s sweet. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Manzino and Suzanne. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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An overhead shot of the display table. The stack of white sheets at the front are copies of the awesome review Sci-Fi Saturday Night gave me for Bad Apple. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Nathan and Maureen. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Me at the signing table. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Manzino and Suzanne. Making fish faces. Or something. I seem to remember pix similar to this at my wedding, but at that time, the funeral flowers that were around our wedding cake were involved.

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Jen, Maureen, and Maryanne. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Carl, Nathan, and Billy. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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The flowers at the center of one of the tables. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Reading from Bad Apple. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Listening to a reading of Bad Apple. From left: Maureen, AJ, Nanette, Carla, Frank. Standing: Michael. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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A great shot of Jen. Photo by Suzanne Zuckerman.

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Toasting with Absinthe.

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Billy and Suzanne.

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There’s a story behind this. This candle, which is out front in The Cemetery of Dismembered Dolls, was lit about an hour before the party, at 6 p.m. on Saturday November 17. Here’s a shot of it before the event.

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Believe it or not, here is the same candle, burning at 1:13 p.m. the next day. It didn’t burn out until the wee hours of Monday morning—sometime between 1 a.m., when I went to bed, and 6 a.m., when I got up. It was just interesting that this candle burned for the party and the whole next day (when I got up to discover my friends Adam, Suzanne, and Manzino had been up earlier and had cleaned the entire kitchen and that Charles had made cinnamon rolls and coffee), as well as into that evening. A good omen.

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Me. Photo by Jen Connic. I think it was Nanette who said, ‘this is the quintessential Kaye picture.’ I’m not sure about that, but I certainly do agree with my sister Missie who said, ‘I don’t know why but you totally remind me of Aunt Sylvia’ (one of my red-haired aunts who always had a bouffant, a cigarette and a glass of wine and died many years ago).

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The Sad Truth about Christmas Tree Ornaments

01 Penguin Christmas Ornaments

We always open a couple of small gifts on Christmas Eve. In 2005, Nathan was living in his apartment about a mile down the road from where we live now. He stopped by on Christmas Eve with a couple of gifts for me, and one of them was this pair of penguins ornament. I remember being very excited—it was our second Christmas together, and his putting our names together on an ornament—especially since they were penguins, which he knew were my favorite—meant he believed he was going to be in my life for a long, long, time. I still keep it in the original box—which is, actually, a clear plastic container that once contained fudge.

In many homes, Christmas trees are integral to the season.

For us, the “work” part is choosing one, bringing it home, and setting it up (and making sure the kitties don’t view it as a big plaything). The “fun” part is decorating. We open a bottle of wine, spread out the refreshments, fire up the Christmas music—and unwrap our ornaments.

02 Small Christmas Tree

Our tree last year. It was tiny and only has room for about a quarter of our ornaments—at the time, we thought we’d be moving, and we didn’t want to unpack everything, since most of it was already relocation-ready.

There’s a story for each one. A story about a glass star ornament Nathan still has:

“Every year my mother and I used to buy an ornament – and they could never be very expensive, because we were so poor. One day we were walking through the Acme supermarket, and they had these beautiful little mirror ornaments for a dollar a piece. And I found a little angel and I said, “this is what I want my ornament to be this year.” So we picked it up and we were carrying it back to the register, and I dropped it. And it broke. And I was so upset. We went back to the bin and looked through all the other ornaments, but they didn’t have another one. So we put the little angel back in the ornaments and I brought home this star. Just before Christmas, we were back in the Acme to shop because we were getting ready for Christmas dinner, and I saw the little angel, broken, still in the ornaments. Nobody had bought it because it was damaged, so I took my Christmas money and I bought the little angel ’cuz I felt bad for it.”

He no longer has the angel—he used parts of her to make a piece of artwork, which he gave to one of his teachers. But he still has the star, and it’s a story he tells me every year.

It reveals much about the way he grew up, his family traditions, his personality, his likes and dislikes.

03 Large Christmas Tree

Me, Christmas, 1974, in front of my parents’ massive Christmas tree. Dad had designed and built the house to have an enormous cathedral ceiling (not really done back in the late 60s), and that meant that every year we had anywhere from an 18 to a 22-foot tree.

Ornaments aren’t just things we hang on our trees. They help us understand the people we love and the people who came before us; they provide a window into cultures past; they’re a means for keeping our memories alive.

The sad truth, though: they get broken. They get lost in a move. They’re destroyed in flood or fire. When there are no ornaments to hang, there are no longer stories to tell.

Or, someone dies. A grandparent, a parent. We inherit their ornaments—but the stories that person told about them are taken to the grave.

Last year, as part of The Goodbye Project, I was jettisoning objects in my house—but carefully photographing them, recording the memories that go with them before I let them go. I decided it was time for me to start a log about my ornaments.

This way, when they go (or I do), something will be left behind.

Below, some of the ornaments on 2011’s tree—and a trip down memory lane.

04 French Horn Christmas Ornament

My mother would usually bake cookies for her friends and associates, but some years, she made other things, like ornaments. This French Horn was part of her cookie platter gifting in 1977—it was one of many instruments that came in a “crafting” kit with colored markers: the purchaser used the markers to color the plastic ornaments, creating a “stained glass” effect. The horn is clear now, because over the years, the color has faded.

05 Rescuers Christmas Ornament 1

Bernard from Disney’s The Rescuers—my favorite of the Disney cartoon films when I was a kid. This Bernard is actually from the second film, The Rescuers: Down Under, and was issued as part of McDonald’s Happy Meals in 1990. I did not, however, get him back then; I’m pretty sure I found him at a tag sale in 1997—that year would have been my first Christmas in Charles’ house. He was on the tree every year except for 2010—although I was sure I’d packed him, I suddenly couldn’t find him. The fact that I’d somehow lost him haunted me—every time I held him in my hands, I’d remember how I dressed up as Bianca (and my brother was Bernard) for Halloween in 1977, the poster of The Rescuers I used to have on my closet door, which came in the mail with the Disney book when I was in 2nd Grade and I was home very sick from school. It was like having lost the ornament I was losing a piece of my childhood. But as we were taking down last year’s tree, I found him! It turns out he was still wrapped up in tissue paper in my ornament box; somehow, he’d gotten missed and never made it to the tree. I was so thrilled. I’ll be sure to never lose him again.

06 Grand Hotel Ornament

A prop from New Fairfield, Connecticut’s Gateway’s Candlewood Playhouse production of Grand Hotel. I worked at the theatre running spots and/or props from September through November, 1993. I didn’t deliberately keep this key—there were several hotel keys because they’d often get lost or actors would bring them back to their dressing rooms and forget to return them. After the show had been loaded out, our costume mistress Karen found this in the dressing room and returned it to me, since I was in charge of props. The show had already left, so I ended up keeping it in my desk drawer. At the end of the season, I threw everything in the drawer in my box, so the key ended up coming home with me. Still, I’m proud to hang this on my tree as it’s the one memento I have left of that Fall. Gateway’s Candlewood Playhouse, in fact, no longer exists—after 35 years in business, it shuttered in 1998 due to lack of area interest–you can read about that here: http://www.backstage.com/bso/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=692416.
The property was sold, the buildings were razed, and a Stop & Shop now stands on the spot.

07 Kristi Gateway's Candlewood Playhouse

Me in the backstage area at Gateway’s Candlewood Playhouse, October, 1993. They used to call me the Prop Tart.

08 Kissing Birds Ornament

This ornament is one of my most treasured possessions. I was married for almost three years back in the early 1990s, and our first Christmas was 1994. It was, up until that time, the best Christmas I’d ever had—but Chris and I never had a tree; our apartment was too small. Someone gave us this as a wedding gift, and I just threw it in a drawer and kept it. It didn’t actually see its first Christmas tree until after I was divorced in Christmas 1997. I doubt Chris even knows I still have it. But I still put it on my tree, because it brings back nice memories of the fun times in my first marriage.

09 Our Old Apartment Bethel

My apartment with my first husband Chris in Bethel, Connecticut, 1994. The place was really too small for us to have a decent-sized tree, so we never had one.

10 Disney's Polynesian Ornament

Every year between 2005 and 2008, I visited Walt Disney World. I wish I had gotten one of these resort ornaments for each of my trips (2005-2007 I stayed in the Port Orleans Riverside). 2008, however, was a special year. My father had died in 2008, and the Polynesian resort was his favorite place to stay (as well as mine). I took a trip with my friends Rob and Jen Winston Mayette. Rob and Jen got engaged on that trip.

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Me, Rob, and Jen in the Polynesian Resort’s gardens.

12 Disney's Contemporary Ornament

In August of 2008, my friend Meghan and I went to stay in her late parents’ favorite Disney resort—the Contemporary. We had a ball on that trip. All I remember is sitting on the balcony drinking wine and watching the fireworks and waking up to the thrum of the monorail coursing through the A-Tower building.

13 Me and Meghan Contemporary Check-in desk

My friend Megan and I check in to the Contemporary, August, 2008.

14 Happy Feet Christmas Ornament

This Happy Feet Hallmark Keepsake Ornament was a gift from my co-worker, Linda, in 2006. Before my office shrank to a third of its workforce, a couple of days before Christmas was a magical affair—we’d all exchange gifts and then have a party after hours. Those days were lots of fun! This ornament also brings back the fond memory of that year in which Nathan was my hero: I really, really, really wanted the Mumbles Build-a-Bear, but they were in such high demand they couldn’t keep them in the stores for more than ten minutes. Nathan ended up paying off a store employee to call him the second one came in—and Mumbles arrived!

15 Happy Feet Hallmark Ornament

Here is the Keepsake Ornament on my desk. As you can see, I couldn’t wait to unwrap it! I still keep it in the original box.

16 Three Penguin Tree Ornaments

My co-worker Linda gave me this Keepsake Ornament in 2005. Every time I see it, I fondly recall those old office celebrations and some of the funny stories that went with them—like the time somebody had to run out and get more wine.

17 Party at Work

Here’s a shot of the table during our after-hours gathering in 2006. It was always like Christmas all day long when we used to do that. Some years we’d do Secret Santa; other years, a swap auction.

18 Al's Woodworking Snowman Tree Ornament

My friend Al is one of the most amazing woodcrafters you’ve ever seen; one of his passions in life is to work in his woodshop, in which he makes Christmas gifts for friends year-round. In 2007, Al gave each of his friends a cellophane bag of hand-made wooden ornaments. This is one of them. Every time I hang these on my tree I remember the many great parties Pencils! Writing Workshop used to have at his home—in 2005 the Mexican Fiesta, the countless Rejection Slip burning parties, the Christmas parties—there were so many. A party at Al and later Al and his late wife MaryAnn’s (see their wedding, below) was always a magical weekend in Norwalk, Connecticut. I’d leave on Friday after work and not come home until Sunday.

19 - Al and MaryAnn's Wedding

Al, who fashioned the robot ornament, and MaryAnn on their wedding day, August, 2007. The ornaments bring back fond memories of that day as well—they were wed in their back yard.

20 Me and Vance dancing

Here, I cut a rug with fellow writer and friend Vance at Al and MaryAnn’s wedding, August, 2007.

21 Penguin Christmas Tree Ornament

2007 was a big penguin year for me. Nathan went out and bought me all of these penguin ornaments, as well as statues for the mantel. Every time I look at these or hang them on the tree, I remember what a strange year that was—it was the year my father was dying and, in fact, was Dad’s last Christmas, though we didn’t know it yet. Nathan was very supportive of me during that year, so hanging these on the tree always makes me think of the good times we’ve had together and how lucky I am—it also reminds me of how magical it is to use my penguin dishes, which I also got that year for Christmas (see below).

22 Penguin Dishes

Nathan and Charles bought me this complete set of service for 2007.

23 Penguin Crystal Glass Ornament

In 2008, Nathan bought me this crystal penguin ornament. It reminds me of that Christmas season—I spent every night, almost, down in the basement at the Tiki Bar, wrapping gifts and listening to Christmas music. That was an awesome Christmas.

24 Angevine and Beach Tree Ornaments

Almost every year, we visit Angevine’s Tree Farm in Warren, Connecticut, where my family has been cutting down its own Christmas trees for forty years. Angevine’s has a small shop with ornaments, and in 1997 (the first Christmas I lived in Charles’ house), we made a tradition to buy an ornament that represented whatever the “theme” of the prior year had been. At the time we’d planned on moving to Florida, so not only was that the last time I was going to see Angevine’s, it was the first time I’d be spending a Christmas in the warmth (supposedly, 2012). These ornaments, then, were the ones I selected for 2011.

Video: A brief tour of the shop at Angevine’s Tree Farm, November 27, 2010. This is where we purchase our annual ornaments. Enjoy the organ!

Get a Classic New England Chill: hear Scott Thomas’ ghost stories here

Alternate Ghost Girl Urn & Willow Cover Scott Thomas

The strikingly-rendered, atmospheric tales in Scott Thomas’ Urn & Willow are set all over 1700’s and 1800’s New England. If you are looking for classic, chilling ghost stories to read as winter sets in, these are it—and you can listen to “Betsy, Olive and Agnes” on Scary Scribes here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paranormaleh/2012/11/25/scary-scribes-ep-10

Scott Thomas is the author of 8 short story collections, which include URN AND WILLOW, QUILL AND CANDLE, MIDNIGHT IN NEW ENGLAND, WESTERMEAD, THE GARDEN OF GHOSTS, and OVER THE DARKENING FIELDS. He is also the author of the fantasy novel FELLENGREY.

He has seen print in numerous anthologies, such as THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR #15, THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR #22, THE GHOST IN THE GAZEBO, LEVIATHAN #3, OTHERWORLDLY MAINE, and THE SOLARIS BOOK OF NEW FANTASY. His work appears with that of his brother Jeffrey Thomas in PUNKTOWN: SHADES OF GREY and THE SEA OF FLESH AND ASH.

Scott and his girlfriend Peggy live in coastal Maine.

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Scott Thomas.

Chilling New England Ghost Stories by Scott Thomas tonight on Scary Scribes!

Dark Regions Press URN & WILLOW Cover

The strikingly-rendered, atmospheric tales in Scott Thomas’ Urn & Willow are set all over 1700’s and 1800’s New England. If you are looking for classic, chilling ghost stories to read as winter sets in, these are it—and you get to hear some tonight on Scary Scribes! Tune in at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, November 25, here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paranormaleh/2012/11/25/scary-scribes-ep-10

Scott Thomas is the author of 8 short story collections, which include URN AND WILLOW, QUILL AND CANDLE, MIDNIGHT IN NEW ENGLAND, WESTERMEAD, THE GARDEN OF GHOSTS, and OVER THE DARKENING FIELDS. He is also the author of the fantasy novel FELLENGREY.

He has seen print in numerous anthologies, such as THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR #15, THE YEAR’S BEST HORROR #22, THE GHOST IN THE GAZEBO, LEVIATHAN #3, OTHERWORLDLY MAINE, and THE SOLARIS BOOK OF NEW FANTASY. His work appears with that of his brother Jeffrey Thomas in PUNKTOWN: SHADES OF GREY and THE SEA OF FLESH AND ASH.

Scott and his girlfriend Peggy live in coastal Maine.

Scott Thomas URN AND WILLOW PHOTO

Scott Thomas.

Happy Thanksgiving…here’s dessert!

There’s a short story I read when I was really young (probably under the age of 10) by O. Henry. If you’ve never read O. Henry (actually, that was a pen name) or have never heard anyone discuss him, than you might not be aware that he was best known for his “twist” endings.

You have, hopefully though, at one Christmas time in your life, heard or read his famous piece, “The Gift of the Magi.”

This short I I’d read years ago, called “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen,” also deals with the theme of sacrifice for another. Since I can’t replicate the experience of a home-baked pumpkin or apple pie on my blog, I thought this haunting little tale might be a great substitute finish on your Holiday meals. Happy Thanksgiving!

“Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen”

http://www.literaturecollection.com/a/o_henry/211/

TalkingHead: “Right Where Mother” by Toni Verita

Talking Head Right Where Mother Cove

I get a number of interesting emails through my website. A few weeks ago, I received an email from a filmmaker in Italy named Toni Verita. Toni is working on a series called TalkingHeads, in which he blends poetry, short fiction, music and animated Barbie-esque dolls in short films, and he wrote to ask if I might like to contribute one of my stories to his series.

Of course, I was thrilled. These films are gorgeously unsettling, and I was honored to be asked. Although Hurricane Sandy (we were without power for a week) interrupted things a bit, finally, I was able to record my piece “Right Where Mother Left It” and render it into Toni’s hands.

You can see TalkingHead 23, “Right Where Mother,” below. It’s about three minutes long.

http://youtu.be/Egj_y0cOPM4

Right Where Mother/TalkingHead 23/a short film by Toni Verità

written and narrated by Kristi Petersen Schoonover
composer Steve Reich / 18 Musicians
avid editor Toni Verità
made in Quinnipak

If you like what you see, enjoy more over at Toni’s YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/antonioverita?feature=watch. He is also on Facebook.

I’m looking forward to working with Toni again in the future—we’re talking about a couple of interesting things, so hopefully they work out. Stay tuned!

Did you miss Nathan on My Ghost Story? See Segment Here.

NathanonMyGhostStoryScreenShot

If you missed Friday night’s airing of the Bio Channel’s My Ghost Story’s Episode 48, which featured Nathan as part of Poughkeepsie Paranormal and IndyPara [Independent Paranormal] investigating the Hudson Valley, New York’s historic Patchett House, you can catch the 10-minute segment on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/r42N9cbQoLQ. Thank you, Robert Dean Vassar for the upload!

I was lucky enough to get to watch its premiere, and am pleased to report there was one EVP that gave me the chills. Enjoy!

A brand new ghost story in LIMN Literary & Arts Journal!

LIMN Halloween Issue LOGO

With all the craziness this year, I haven’t written much. However, “May You Grow Old and Bitter”—penned in March—is now available in LIMN Literary & Arts Journal’s special Halloween Issue. I’m honored the story is alongside a few other specially-selected spooky pieces, among them “The Dying Eye” by Carmen Tudor. Enjoy!

Here is where the issue is located:

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/

If, for some reason, it has moved, here are the permalinks to each piece (including mine):

Poetry: “All Hallows’ Eve” by William Trebell

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/all-hallows-eve-by-william-tribell/

Fiction: “May You Grow Old and Bitter” by Kristi Petersen Schoonover

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/may-you-grow-old-and-bitter-by-kristi-petersen-schoonover/

Fiction: “Greener” by Andrew Bud Adams

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/greener-by-andrew-bud-adams/

Poetry: “Halloween Sestina” by Martin Elster

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/halloween-sestina-by-martin-elster/

Fiction: “The Dying Eye” by Carmen Tudor

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/the-dying-eye-by-carmen-tudor

Poetry: “Marsha Griggs” by Ron Heacock

http://limnliterary.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/marsha-griggs-by-ron-heacock

On reading in Haunted Cemeteries…

HauntedConnecticutCemetery1

Me, camped out in a haunted cemetery while live on the air for the Bad Apple episode of Scary Scribes, October 22, 2012.

We’d been promising an exclusive taste of the first few pages of my novel, Bad Apple, to Scary Scribes listeners for awhile. We got to do that on Episode 8: Paranormal Eh? Meets Scary Scribes…from a haunted cemetery.

The show went as planned, but after the episode went to archive, downloaders contacted Terry, noting they were hearing static followed by a woman’s voice (a woman’s voice that wasn’t mine). Could this be an EVP [electronic voice phenomena—an unexplained voice, attributed to a ghostly presence, heard on a recording which wasn’t audible when the recording was made]? Or is it simply an errant cell phone transmission? You’ll hear it toward the end of the podcast. To me, it sounds like it could be the latter, but either way, it’s eerie, so I’m not so sure I’ll be reading in any haunted cemeteries again anytime soon.

Here’s the link to listen to the episode:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/paranormaleh/2012/10/22/paranormal-eh-radio-meets-scary-scribes

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

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Nathan on Bio’s My Ghost Story tonight!

My Ghost Story Logo

Nathan (my husband) will be on Episode 48 of My Ghost Story tonight (Friday, November 09, 2012). The show airs at 9 p.m. on the Bio (Biography) Channel.

The segment in which he’s featured explores The Patchett House, a structure in Montgomery, NY, which is on the National Register of Historic Places for its role as a tavern in the 19th Century. This fine example of Victorian, Colonial and Federalist architectural styles is, today, the home of the Wallkill River School of Art. It is said to be haunted (by who or what, I don’t know –you’ll have to watch to find out) due to the frequent unexplained movement of objects, disembodied voices and other phenomena.

Nathan serves as the historian on this case, which he worked on with Hudson Valley investigative team IndyPara (Independent Parananormal). Team members include Donna Parish-Bischoff and Teri Garofolo.

Hope you can tune in!

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