Author Archives: kristipetersenschoonover
On one of my many sojourns to Austin, Texas, I was lucky enough to attend the annual Bat Fest, which in 2019 will be held Saturday, August 24, from 4 p.m. to midnight on the Congress Avenue Bridge downtown.
What is that, you ask?
Texas is famous for its bat colonies, and the state is home to 32 species. In fact, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Read the rest of this entry
Dark Discussions’ fourth annual Meetup in Mystic, Connecticut was a huge success! The DD crew and our friends from The Dorkening enjoyed a couple of meals and a flick, in this case, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.
Want to know what we thought about Tarantino’s latest Read the rest of this entry
It’s often been said that anything that is stunningly beautiful is also incredibly dangerous, and that’s probably no more true anywhere in the world than it is on Maui’s Hana Highway.
Built in the 1920s, the nearly 65-mile road takes almost a full day to travel from end to end. Along the way Read the rest of this entry
I’ll be signing copies of my book The Shadows Behind up at Howe Caverns this Saturday, August 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main lodge.
Anyone who purchases a copy at the event this weekend will receive a bonus book—Twisted Routes—free! The book contains one special edition and one unpublished piece, set at Howe Caverns and at Paradox Lake (near Fort Ticonderoga, which also figures prominently in the story).
Beyond that, Howe Caverns is a wonderful place to spend a day or an overnight. Aside from the sheer beauty of the property, there are plenty of activities. The 90-minute traditional cave tour features Read the rest of this entry
…I didn’t like being interrupted while I was writing back then, either. This was taken in the early 1970s. I wrote my first “short story” when I was about five (which I might still have someplace–it was about a tree who killed itself and consisted of a couple of drawings and three sentences), so this photo makes sense for that time frame.
It’s been said that smell is the strongest of the human senses in terms of its connection to memory; that a smell can bring back a person, place, or emotion more effectively than any of the other senses.
But I’d argue that music is right up there with smell in terms of evoking certain memories. How many times have you heard a song and thought, “oh man, every time I hear this I think of [insert memory here]”?
While my mother was a musical person (this is really an understatement since music was her career), she was also very careful about what kinds of music she’d let her kids listen to. We were pretty much relegated to show tunes, orchestral and choir pieces, film scores, and the Maranatha! brand of Christian music that was on the rise in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Anything outside of that—and especially secular rock music—was pretty much a “no-no.”
This doesn’t mean, though, that we kids didn’t find clever ways to get everything from Madonna to Def Leppard into the house. We used to put the stuff on cassettes and give it some moral-sounding label, like “Children’s Hymns.” No one had any idea.
Until one of our babysitters gave us the cassette Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D and someone didn’t hide it well.
Somehow—perhaps it was because I was the oldest—I was the one that was responsible for smoothing the waters. I explained to her that this was funny; that it was completely innocent because it made fun of modern songs. She not only bought it, she was open to listening to it.
To my surprise, she enjoyed the album. What shocked me most was that her favorite song was “Nature Trail to Hell”; the tune not only had the word ‘hell’ in it, it was pretty graphic in skewering the gory slasher movie phenomenon that was all the rage in the mid-1980s.
There was some kind of irony Read the rest of this entry
My first job out of college was as an obituary writer for the Putnam Reporter Dispatch in Carmel, NY.
Obituary writer! You’re thinking, “like someone who writes those long things in The New York Times!” Well, you’re right, but not really. I was more of a compiler than anything else. Nowadays, it’s more common that the families write up a tribute, give it to the funeral home, and then get charged to run it in the newspaper.
Back in the early 1990s, nearly all obituaries were put together Read the rest of this entry
If, last year, you watched the first season of AMC’s The Terror, then you have an idea of what this post is about: an exhibit about the mysterious fate of 1845’s vanished Franklin Expedition, the most infamous of Britain’s attempts to find the Northwest Passage.
For those of you who don’t know, the NP was a fabled Read the rest of this entry