Category Archives: Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m grateful fo all of my readers! Thank you so much for supporting me.

From our house to yours … wishing you a happy day spent with loved ones.

~ Krissi, Charles, Nathan and the cats, Poe & Mikey

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

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Celebrate with me!

Writer John Palisano recently posted the following on Facebook:

Just got an email from NanoWrimo stating that ‘every’ writer would rather ‘have written’ than ‘write’ and that writing is painful and such.

I disagree. I love being in the zone. I love tapping away at the keyboard, the story flowing out like music. It’s one of my favorite things in the world. It doesn’t hurt. It’s not painful. It’s not a struggle to make happen, most of the time.

I’m not the only one, am I?

No, he’s definitely not the only one. There is nothing like being in that zone. That vanishing into a world in my head and staying there with my characters, living out whatever fantasy I want (no matter how outlandish), the words just flying out of me as easily as drunken conversation. It’s almost like being on a magical vacation; the outside world recedes. I obsess over whatever topic, setting, or interesting object that the story is about. I avoid bills, cleaning, laundry and just about anything else I can get away with for the sake of art, and hey, if I have to function because I can’t get out of something, it’s an excuse to mentally tune-out.

On the flip side, if the fiction is really just a channel for something sad, stressful, and overwhelming I’m trying to process, it can be gut-wrenching. I fail to eat for however long it takes to get it done, I avoid correspondence or contact with anyone as much as I can, I question every single choice I’ve ever made in my life or even why I exist at all. And I usually cry a lot.

This isn’t the case with every piece I write, but it was the case with a piece I finished this morning. It’s been the greatest week of my life in a long, long time, but it’s also been balls-on anxiety and other not-so-pleasant emotions since Tuesday.

A few of you out there are aware of this. It’s official–the first draft is done, and I have set myself free! I’ve not only written a very solid story (yes, it still has to go through revision and critique, but I don’t invest in that on a spiritual level), I’ve emotionally worked through what I was processing. I feel completely unburdened and can have some fun now—I can focus on cleaning my house, doing the shopping for Thanksgiving, and wrapping some Christmas gifts (I shop all year, so it’s never really too early to start).

I’m having a glass of wine in a nice hot bath to celebrate. I encourage you all to celebrate with me in whatever way you see fit! If you’re waiting to hear from me, you will soon. And oh my God, where are the cheese and crackers because I’m starving.

Have a great week!

Jinkies! It’s a haunted toaster oven!

Haunted Toaster Oven

The toaster oven in question. I have no idea how old it is, but it’s…OLD.

Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, I think it’s safe to say that you’ve probably had at least one thing happen to you that defies explanation.

Do I believe in the supernatural? Yes, I do. I have since I had something I had no explanation for happen to me in college back in 1989 (which is too terrifying for me to write about. I think there’s maybe one interview someplace in which I bring it up, but that’s it); and in 2007, on a dark road late at night, a person in a white runner’s outfit ran in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes, and, heart racing, I leapt from the driver’s seat to find out if the person was okay.

There was no person in white runner’s shorts, and there was no sound of the crunching of leaves in the nearby woods.

I called “hello?” without response.

There was no one on that road but me.

No head-scratching experiences since then—until last week.

I was with my sister and brother and their families at my aunt’s house for what you might call an early Thanksgiving. In its glory days, the three-family house was the social center of a large Italian family. There were Sunday dinners, all-nighter New Year’s Eves, endless pinochle games, summer picnics in the screen house, fresh vegetables from the garden and jugs of plain awful homemade wine. The generations that were responsible for all of that are pretty much gone, but the house, built very early in the 20th century, still stands.

So does a bunch of stuff in the basement.

My brother and his family were rummaging around down there, finding things like original Burger King Star Wars glassware in mint condition, century-old cookbooks, and Disney board games no one’s seen since the 1950s.

I was standing in the kitchen. Just as I saw them emerge from the basement, I heard the bell on the ancient toaster oven go off.

My first thought was that my aunt—who is now suffering from a form of dementia—had perhaps gotten up and come into the kitchen and turned on the toaster oven. I knew, though, that this wasn’t possible—I’d just spent the past hour with her, and she hadn’t moved from her chair.

I said something to Maryanne. She said, “Sometimes that bell just goes off.” And it is possible someone could have jostled it earlier in the day, when we were all cooking in the kitchen.

Then I touched it, and it was hot.

Which would’ve been fine—except that it was unplugged.

I called my husband Nathan, who’s a retired paranormal investigator. He gave me a list of things to check, so we all discussed the possibilities: was it sitting in direct sunlight? No. It’s over the spot in the basement where the furnace is, so are the cabinets underneath hot from heat that could be coming up through the floor? No. Did Uncle Lou, who came over to the area a few minutes prior to get a glass of water, use the toaster oven? We asked; the answer was no. Had either of my brother’s sons played with it? We asked; no, and anyway, they were down in the basement the whole time. A toaster oven might retain heat. Has it been used in the past twelve hours? No; its last use was two days prior, and no toaster oven retains heat for over 48 hours. Could it have a short? Well, sure, yes, but how does a toaster oven, which doesn’t have any battery back-up, have a short and get hot when there’s no power source?

So there you have it. Absolutely no explanation. If anybody has any ideas, I’m all ears. Otherwise? I’m chalking this one up to the supernatural.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween, everyone! 

Puffer Fish Tank Cemetery

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s home for puffer fish and horseshoe crabs gets a sprinkling for the season.

…Oh no! Scary panties…

SHINING PANTIES 1 - Label

Halloween may be all about showing off your best costume…but that doesn’t mean the parts of you people don’t see shouldn’t scare up some fun, too!

I was surfing around on Hot Topic and came across this irresistible The Shining hipster panty set: https://www.hottopic.com/product/the-shining-hipster-panty-set/11428991.html Read the rest of this entry

A Watery Halloween Treat!

Creepy stuff at bottom of lake

These are plants at the bottom of a lake, but look closely at the one on the right — it looks like a skeleton clinging to something.

I got a very special treat recently—I95 Rock’s Ethan Carey, who’s probably just about the only other person as obsessed with Candlewood Lake’s creepy legends as I am—cited a blog post of mine on his blog here:

http://i95rock.com/those-that-stayed-behind-beneath-candlewood-lake/ and here: http://i95rock.com/dont-panic-stories-of-a-candlewood-lake-monster-are-simply-urban-legends/

It’s great to know these legends are being shared—it’s what keeps them alive. The original post about all of the legends is here: https://wordpress.com/post/kristipetersenschoonover.com/9576 or where it was originally published at the New England Horror Writers blog here: http://nehw.blogspot.com/2016/08/legends-of-candlewood-lake-guest-blog.html

I have plans, eventually, to put together an entire short story collection based on these urban legends, but at the moment I only have a few pieces. The good news is that the drowned souls legend to which Carey refers does have a short story based on it: it’s called “Rightfully Mine,” and it appeared in Sanitarium Magazine Issue #49—which is out of print, so if you’d like to read it, just send me an email on my Contact page and I’ll send the story straight to your Inbox!

Kristi and Chuck Candlewood Lake

Me (left) and my brother Chuck swimming in Candlewood Lake. This was taken in either 1981 or 1982, so I would’ve been 10 or 11.

My Odyssey with 2001; see it in IMAX through November 11!

2001 50th anniversary Film Poster

I wasn’t born yet when Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey changed the world, but thanks to the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, I was able to experience what it must have been like to be there—and I even got to meet the film’s star, Keir Dullea!

Kristi in Front of IMAX

Me, outside the IMAX theater entrance at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

When my housemate, Charles, heard this was coming, he was excited…not that he hadn’t already been to a few showings in New York and elsewhere this year already. But it is a film that had a profound affect on him. He saw it multiple times when it opened in 1968, and he not only has the program that he bought the first time he went to see the film, he has other ephemera as well. And there was also something special about this presentation in particular.

IMAX ad placard

When 2001: A Space Odyssey opened in 1968, it was shown in 70 mm Cinerama. I’m no film history expert, but Cinerama in the late 1960s was shown on a large, curved screen and is considered a lynch pin in the development of the widescreen format we have today (if you’d like to know more about this, visit here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/movies/long-before-imax-the-curious-tale-of-cinerama.html)

As far as I know, the MA’s presentation may be one of the closest anyone will get to experiencing the movie the way it was intended: Read the rest of this entry

What the hell is Disney Bounding and can it be practical?

Alice in Wonderland Melissa at The Attic

Me and Melissa at the Farewell Brunch at The Attic at Disney’s Boardwalk. I’m in my Alice in Wonderland Disney Bound. She made her dress herself!

Let’s face it—we Disney fanatics love to play dress up. Disney Bounding—the art of dressing to suggest your favorite character without copying it directly—hit my radar shortly after, a few years ago, the Disney Parks didn’t want adults going to the parks in costumes that were too close to the “real thing,” which might confuse guests (truth be told, it was probably around way before that, but that’s when I became aware of it).

I’d been to the parks a few times and seen some pretty amazing and creative outfits, but they were mostly pieces that Read the rest of this entry

Independent Girl Does the Hula: Why The Writing Life is worth it

Suzanne's Dashboard Hula Girl

My friend Suzanne’s dashboard hula girl! What’s cooler than this?

Recently, I was in Rhode Island with my college friends and fellow writers, Heather Sullivan and Kaitlyn Downing. Late in the night and deep into a few glasses of wine, the conversation turned toward disappointments in life, or more specifically, the disappointments in this thrill ride we call The Writing Life—you are up up up one day, and down down down the next.

In the past couple of years, my productivity has crashed, largely due to personal issues—there have been some publishing triumphs, but in terms of feeling the joy of writing, the joy of creating, since 2015, it’s been down down down. Every piece has been a struggle. Heather and Kaitlyn assured me that I’m one of the most prolific writers they know, and that the ease of engagement was bound to return at some point.

What they don’t know is Read the rest of this entry

Check out JURASSIC WORLD: The Exhibition!

Jurassic World: The Exhibition Banner

Jurassic Park celebrates 25 this year. Where were you? I saw it at the Opera House on Washington Square in Newport, RI, with a couple of friends, and I’ll never forget it.

I’d never seen such realistic, majestic, terrifying dinosaurs—I burst into tears of joy when the Brachiosaurus lumbered onto the scene, and the raptors scared me so badly I slept with the lights on. I’ve been a dinosaur lover since I was a little girl, but nothing…I mean nothing…has blown my mind like that since.

Until the opportunity to visit Jurassic World: The Exhibition presented itself last year. Everyone in the whole world thinks that all the cool stuff comes to the Northeast, but the reality is, it’s rare when limited engagements show up within reasonable driving distance from my home. When we found out it was going to be in Philadelphia—just under four hours from me—we were in (with the full VIP ticket package, which included souvenir photos and books and all kinds of extra perks) and we were taking our friend Bruce Shillinglaw—a thirty-year volunteer at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk—with us. We knew there was going to be nothing quite like visiting Jurassic World with a dinosaur expert (he’s a really humble guy and would probably argue that statement, but I’m sorry, no one I know knows more about dinosaurs than he does)…and we were right! In honor of this weekend’s release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, you can tag along on our super-science field trip to the Franklin Institute in the video below.

Mosasaur

Nathan, me and Bruce are surprised by a mighty mosasaur! I like this pic especially because you can see the JW staff member who “runs the show” in the movie in the background. She kinda dresses like I do at the Norwalk Aquarium when I’m working. Super cool!

Ahhh, if there were only another exhibition to go to! But there isn’t this year, so the three of us (along with a few friends) will be seeing Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in IMAX 3D tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. (and yes, I’m wearing my official Jurassic Park: 25th Anniversary Jurassic World dress I just picked up at Torrid).

Want a more full experience of what the exhibit was like? Below my video, there is a link to a FABULOUS, clear, high-def complete walk-through put together by the guys at the Jurassic Park Podcast.

Happy T-Rexing!

 

Franklin Institute Jurassic World: The Exhibition walk-through by the Jurassic Park Podcast

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