Category Archives: Events

THIS WRITING LIFE EPISODE 10: DAMNATIONLAND is up!

Episode 10 This Writing Life

This episode of This Writing Life road trips to Portland, Maine!

For me, being a writer means always studying other media—film, music, art, whatever. One of my favorite things to do is attend DAMNATIONLAND—a horror film festival which showcases short films by independent Maine filmmakers. I probably did more partying than studying…but come take the ride with me! Watch This Writing Life Episode 10: Damnationland here: https://youtu.be/1ro3aNkm89M

If you wanna do it for real? You can check out the dates for 2017 on the Damnationland FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/Damnationland/?ref=br_rs

Damnationland Art 2

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There’s a raptor in my mailbox!

Our tickets for Jurassic World: The Exhibition came today!

 

…going to Jurassic World!

Super excited that Nathan and I–along with our friend Bruce Shillinglaw (MAJOR paleontology nut!)–will be going to Jurassic World: The Exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in April.

Jurassic World Raptor

This is the exhibition’s North American premiere, and it’s probably the closest anyone’s going to come to Read the rest of this entry

My story “Crawl” now available in TRICKS AND TREATS, signings slated, check out the trailer!

Tricks and Treats Cover

Sometimes babysitting on Halloween in a centuries-old house isn’t a good idea.

My short story, “Crawl,” is now available in Tricks & Treats: A Collection of Spooky Tales by Connecticut Authors. Published by Books & Boos Press, it’s available at several bookstores in the state, but the easiest place to pick it up is probably on Amazon. You can get it in print or for Kindle here: https://amzn.com/0997932902

With a Foreword by writer Rob Watts, also in the collection are stories by Connecticut writers Stacey Longo (Amston), Melissa Crandall (Hebron), G. Elmer Munson (Vernon), Dan Foley (Manchester), John Valeri (Portland), and Ryanne Strong (Norwich), but what makes this collection really stand out is the appearance of a couple of lesser-heralded creepy stories by Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Twain’s rarely-discussed “The Californian’s Tale” is a ghost story (of sorts) that’s really about the nature of grief, while Stowe’s framed narrative (very typical of the ghost stories of the time) is one with a moral bent.

Gilman’s “The Giant Wistaria” (a personal fave of mine) is only one of three ghost stories she wrote; the other two, I believe, are “The Rocking Chair” and “The Yellow Wall-Paper.” “The Giant Wistaria” pre-dates her infamous “The Yellow Wall-Paper,” for which she’s most known, and it, too, has early feminist themes. It’s atmospheric and disturbing.

a-giant-wistaria

A giant wistaria vine.

Finishing out the book is John G.C. Brainard’s poem “Maniac’s Song.” Brainard was a poet and lawyer who was born and lived in Connecticut in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Come and meet the (still living, ha!) writers and hear some samples to whet your appetite for the spooky at a couple of pre-Halloween readings/signings! We’ll be 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 9 p.m. Here’s hoping I see you there!

Read more about this exciting seasonal collection in the Hartford Courant: http://www.courant.com/community/hebron/hc-ugc-article-new-halloween-anthology-comprised-of-all-conn-2016-09-05-story.html, and watch the official trailer here: https://youtu.be/GkaGyqts8oE

A FRANKENSTEIN of a weekend: Ro-Con 2, Scares that Care

Ro-Con 2 Logo

Cons! They are so much fun, but there are so many of them. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to have a choice on the same weekend—like this year; fortunately, it wasn’t hard (and it would have been), because circumstances beyond my control made the choice for me. I’ll be at Ro-Con 2 in Mystic, CT; my Dark Discussions  co-hosts will be at Scares that Care in Williamsburg, VA…but at both, we’ll be discussing Frankenstein.

Ro-Con 2 “showcases all that the geeky and creative communities of Southeastern Connecticut have to offer.” The weekend is packed with panels on everything from self-defense and research to costuming and geek dating. The con also includes a writing track.

My schedule (subject to change – this is according to what’s available now) is as follows:

Saturday, Noon: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading: I’ll be reading something from (probably) my most recently completed soon-to-be-published-in-Dark Passages 2 story “Mujina.” I’m not sure how many of us will be reading, but I know I’m joining the very awesome D.L. Carter!

Saturday, 3 p.m.: Submissions Workshop: Everything you need to know about the right way to submit your short stories to magazines or anthologies. Plenty of hand-outs! (Solo)

Saturday, 5 p.m.: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Television in the ‘70s and ‘80s: Everything from the Bionic Man’s Bigfoot Episode to Wizards and Warriors and the original Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark! (with Mario DiGiacomo and Ari Alpert)

Sunday, Noon: Stuff Your Stories: Metaphor, simile, theme, motif…all the basics to enrich your story. (Solo)

Sunday, 3 p.m.: Bad Endings: What makes a good ending for a story? That depends. (With Keith R.A. DeCandido and Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert)

The weekend will kick off for me when I’m on the “Lake Geneva, 200 Years Later” panel—a discussion of Frankenstein and that summer night during “The Year Without a Summer”—with Mario DiGiacomo and Keith R.A. DeCandido at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 22.

For more information on Ro-Con 2 and to get tickets, visit here: http://ro-con-2.blogspot.com/

Scares That Care Logo

Meanwhile, approximately eight hours south at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Williamsburg, VA, the Dark Discussions Team will be paneling “Discussing Frankenstein” at Scares That Care. This third annual 501(c)(3) event is completely for the benefit of families with ill children or women with breast cancer; according to their website, to date they’ve donated over $100,000 to various organizations.

The Scares That Care Weekend has something for everyone: a 5K race, celebrity appearances, writer readings, film showings, zombie hunts, panels, seminars…you name it, they’ve got it. The Dark Discussions crew will have a table and raffle off items to help raise money for the cause, and co-hosts Eric, Mike, Phil, and Patrick Lacey’s “Discussing Frankenstein” panel will take place from 11 a.m. – Noon on Saturday, July 23. Philip and Patrick will also be reading from their work at some point during the weekend.

Find out more about Scares That Care—and get the weekend’s complete schedule of offerings—here: http://scaresthatcareweekend.com/

If you’re in or near either of these events, stop in and say hello. And if not? I hope you have one happy Frankenstein of a weekend!

Hunting for Ghosts: Real or Otherwise Pix!

 

Nathan and I spent our Saturday at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, MA, giving presentations as part of their Hunting for Ghosts: Real or Otherwise event. I talked about the nature of the ghost story (and how to go about writing one) and Nathan discussed paranormal investigation and the occult. We had a nice turnout and met some interesting people…and it was fun to present at the same event together, because that rarely happens. Here are a few photos.

 

 

Sometimes these events are more about fun than they are about the event itself…

Writers: I wrote in the Twain House library—and you can, too!

Get a feel for what writing in Twain’s library is like in this special episode of my Youtube series THIS WRITING LIFE.

I’ve been more focused on producing work so far this year than ever, and while that’s entailed not doing so many cons, it’s also entailed looking for new, cool places to hang out and write.

The Mark Twain House in Hartford, as part of its mission to be a local resource for area writers, opens Twain’s library up for three hours of writing time Read the rest of this entry

Vote for your favorite at the Maritime Aquarium’s 2015 Festival of Lighthouses!

011 Lighthouse

This Ray Touch Pool is one of the many stunning details in Nancy Todd of West Haven, CT’s, “Droste Pointe” entry.

The 2015 Festival of Lighthouses is up and running at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT (where I am a volunteer Gallery Ambassador, in case readers of this blog don’t know)! This year’s 14th annual exhibit features 22 large models crafted by artists from Connecticut and New York.

You can visit the lighthouse exhibit, which is included with regular admission, Read the rest of this entry

SNOWBOUND: WITH ZOMBIES now available; pix from release event!

Me and writer Gregory Norris in the field near the bee hives at the SNOWBOUND: WITH ZOMBIES anthology release event at the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, MA. Photo by Judi Calhoun.

Me and writer Gregory Norris in the field near the bee hives at the SNOWBOUND: WITH ZOMBIES anthology release event at the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, MA. Photo by Judi Calhoun.

Winter’s right around the corner, so there’s nothing more perfect than announcing that Snowbound: with Zombies, a collection of horror stories inspired by the supernatural tales of the poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whitter, is now available! The official release event held at the 327-year-old birthplace museum in the barn and carriage house was a great success (see pix below)!

All proceeds will go to the museum.

Snowbound with Zombies - Tales of the Supernatural Cover

The anthology contains my short story “Shreds of Black,” which is based on Whittier’s poem, “Telling the Bees.” It appears with twenty-two other works by John McIlveen, Peter Rawlik, Christopher Golden, Scott Goudsward, Morven Westfield, Celia Thaxter, Stuart Conover, W.H. Pugmire, Roxanne Dent, Ken Faig Jr., Judi Calhoun, Tracy L. Carbone, KH Vaughn, Joseph A. Citro, Karen Dent, Hannah Gonsman, David Bernard, Michelle Souliere, Gregory L. Norris, and Faye Ringel.

The book can be purchased Read the rest of this entry

GET SNOWBOUND WITH ZOMBIES AT FREE EVENT THIS SATURDAY!

Whittier Birthplace Curator Gus Reusch shares a curious tale about a dime found in the museum.

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I’m thrilled to announce that the anthology Snowbound with Zombies, a collection of horror stories inspired by the supernatural tales of the poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whitter, will be released at a free special event this weekend.

The event will take place Saturday September 26 at the Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, Massachusetts, from 1 PM to 3 PM. All proceeds will benefit the 327-year-old birthplace museum, which is a favorite educational field trip destination for students of all ages in the Haverhill area.

Read the rest of this entry

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