Category Archives: Events
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!
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.
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
If citizen science appeals to you and you love birds or have always wanted to have an excuse to start birdwatching, this Saturday, May 5, is a golden opportunity!
Global Bird Day is a “virtual” event in which participants take as little as 10 minutes in their favorite spots—even in their backyards—and count the number of birds and species. Participants then log what they’ve seen in Ebird. This effort is important, because it shows the ornithologists at Cornell a real-time snapshot of which birds are where—especially now, when we are in spring migration, which got off to a late start due to the colder-than-normal weather patterns.
Participating is easy; you can do as little or as much as you want, and a free Ebird account takes just a couple of minutes to set up. You can download an app, too, if you prefer—but you don’t have to. You can do it the old fashioned way, like I do: take a notebook and a pen and record it later.
Nathan and I are hitting up four locations; the first one will be easy, because it’s our back yard (thanks to 18 feeders, we get 14 species on a slow day). We’ll head up to hike a few miles through Audubon Bent of the River in Southbury, visit the nature preserve behind our favorite cemetery in Bridgewater (we’re hoping for lots of water species), and spend the remainder of the day at another preserve in Brookfield.
If you’d like more information on how to participate, visit https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-5-may-2018.
If you’ve got Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo invites (we do), those are probably at the end of the day, so you can still do both! Don’t miss out!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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)
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/
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!
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…
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.