Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Yeah, I know, I’m an awful blogger, but between RL, new boss at work and etc, I have excuses. Anyway, this weekend is MystiCon… the 24th-26 at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood in Roanaoke Va. I dig this con because it’s the first non-Carolinas con I got an invite too, it’s where the wife’s family is from on her mom’s side (as well as my aunt Mary Ann’s), and it’s in some beautiful country. My schedule is up on my FB page and y’all come see me. I’m working on the Civil War Ghosts of SC book… which has a deadline LOOMING.

 

Work has been hectic. The new Director is good, but wowza, I’m busier now than I was when I was interim. Y’all buy the books and I’ll try to do better with the whole blog thing…

Read Full Post »

What do y’all have planned for this weekend? Me and Rooster are heading up to Stone Mountain State Park up near Roaring Gap, NC…no NOT the one with the Confederates carved on the side. We will be on the Widows Creek Falls trail. It’s 2.5 miles and is rated strenuous… we will see how this goes. I’m a bit too fat and smoke WAY too much for anything strenuous, as Mt. Rogers proved. But 2.5 beats 8.5, so we will see. I’m packed and ready. Just need to buy some grub and some rope for the tarp over the hammock in case it rains.

On the writing front, I’m still retired/blocked. I’ve printed out all of the current fiction WIPs and non-fiction outlines to see if anything sparks off, but nothing yet.I have hope, but we will see.

Read Full Post »

Howdy from sunny SC…

Made it back home last night about 1030…left Louisville at about 130PM, so a 9 hour drive home after a 8 hour drive up on Friday. The drive up and back were both AWESOME!!! I-75 and I-64 were both smooth sailing with beautiful views…and of course I-40 and I-26 aren’t scenic slouches either. I was good and DIDN’T scrape off the con to go sightseeing, despite many temptations…Henry Clay’s estate, Boone’s Tavern, Cumberland Gap (and the tunnel), KY State Capitol, U of Louisville, UK, UT ,any of the dozens of rock cuts and river gorges, and etc… In fact we (Rachel and I) arrived geeked up and ready for a kick-butt weekend…SIGH.

We got to the hotel about 3 and went to check in to our King room that we reserved back in late March or Early April…and the wheels flew off… Ah the Fern Valley Conference Center and Hotel…a place I won’t go back to for folding money. The lady working the counter (who was nice, despite the rush of geeks, nerds, and writers that had engulfed her) told us that we had a room with 2 doubles..and that flicked my bic. I asked for a manager and was told that con staff had overbooked their rooms and were given the kings…despite reservations for con guests and etc. I asked about a comp’ed night or other resolution and was offered a room across the 4 lane road from the con. NOT a good option for 2 con guests. So, I took our keys and bitched the whole way…2 other visits with that same manager got me buptkis for my efforts. The room was ok, but only worth about $30/night NOT the $75 it had set us back. the main problem was the HEAT inside. I knew Louisville was in the same boat Chester was as far as heat went (and they say global warming’s a myth) but good LORD. The door handle to our room gave me a 1st degree burn when I opened it due to the fact that it was enclosed in glass and made to hold the heat. The vendor’s room was even worse as it was the dumping ground for all the AC exhaust and the pool was not drained. Now, imagine several hundred of the heavier folks you’ve see lately…many in costume OR dressed to sell books or other stuff…in this situation…it wasn’t good. But the panel rooms had AC and 3 of the 4 were well-marked…except for the one I had all my stuff in…of course.  But we survived, though my ghost story gig was a flop, due to the lack of programs.

As far as the actual event, a lack of programs made planning moot for Bill and I, so we decided to romp Louisville while Lexx and Siobhan did their panels (it was Siobhan’s first as a guest). We hit both dealer’s rooms and I got all manner of kewlness (over the course of the weekend)…2 art prints, 3 CDs, 2 books, 2 tee-shirts (one of which is for my dad’s b-day), 2 hand-carved wooded crosses, a DVD and an inflatable space shuttle for Katie. I also got 4 more books, another CD, a map of the mid-west for the US 64 book, 3 comics, and highway maps for KY and TN as well as the usual “ridin'” brochures. I also grabbed several business cards. I got to see Stephen Zimmer; writer of epic fantasy, screenwriter and more, who invited us to come as guests and invited us back, Bobby Nash; writer of neo-pulp and comics, and some other folks. I met Bertena Varney, author and contact for Scarefest, which I am going to try to be a guest at in August (Lucy, look her up on FB..she does vampire reference/non-fiction and wants to invite you too). I saw David Naughton, John Carpenter, Martin Kove,  Robert Carradine, Henry Winkler, who signed a book for Siobhan and induced a geek-out by her, and some other notables.  However, I can’t afford $20 per for signed pictures, so no autographs for me. I also drank some Wild Turkey and Bud Light, especially after Bill and I found Hunter S. Thompson’s boyhood home and I got some pix. Lexxx and Siobhan both kicked butt in their panels. Bill and I also drove over into Indiana over the JFK Bridge over the Ohio River. In addition to all this, we met up with Chad and Kim from Chester and Dale and Mary, two friends of Bill and Siobhan’s from Warcraft and went to the Louisville Slugger factory and tried to see the Da Vinci exhibit at the History Museum (sorry but $40 apiece was a bit steep). We then ate at The Old Spaghetti Factory… home of the best butter and cheese sauce in the WORLD and the site of my first date with my blushing bride way back in 1994 when the one in Charlotte was still open (There’s one in Nashville TN too… is it bad that I want to drive 8 or 10 hours just to go eat there again?). Dale and Mary are good folks. At check-out from the hotel, the manager took pity of us and gave me back $46 for the bait and switch and she even apologized for it.

All in all a good trip, if a bit long for a straight through drive. I hope to go back to Fandom Fest next year and back to Louisville this fall maybe.

Read Full Post »

Howdy-

As y’all know, I’m enchanted by the prospect of doing a NC to AZ road trip on one of the weirder roads I’ve stumbled across, US Route 64. This monster runs from Manteo, home of the famed “Lost Colony” out to AZ, but its last major intersection is with the former US Route 666 (now US Route 491), the famed Devil’s Highway.  As most of you know all too well, my longest (and I think best) short story features the folklore of old US 666 along with the Wild Hunt. Now, all the ghostly goings-on in said story are based on true accounts, so why is it filed as fiction? I  propose a new category: “Faction”. No, not the old term for party used by Madison, Hamilton and the other Founders, but a term better suited for use than historical fiction. Because, while I can’t PROVE beyond a reasonable doubt that the stories told about US 666 are true, I (and a reader) can accept them as fact. Much like readers have accepted that Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter is a novel with a factual frame, namely Lincoln’s real biography, not withstanding the outlandish or even falsehoods included therein. So let’s have 3 categories: Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Faction. Folks like myself, James Ellroy, Harry Turtledove, and others will thank you.

Read Full Post »

Outline for Newest Novel Idea—4/2011: REMEMBER TO TELL the ghost stories…not everyone lives and breathes this stuff…give sufficient detail but don’t overwhelm folks with your bloody brilliance…

Open inside the mind of a young man in modern southeastern Tennessee… fragments of a nightmare… stacks of burning sheep and piles of crops, unintelligible voice from nowhere, a hand swinging a stone, the sound of bare feet slapping on stone…darkness… then a man with a kind eyes, prominent nose, and bloody face muttering in an unfamiliar tongue… blazing sun and heat and dust in a press of people in odd clothes… he awakes in a frenzy of sheer terror, flailing around to the point that he knocks a water glass onto the clock radio and shorts it out in a flurry of sparks. We’ll be back with him in a bit.

Scene at Vatican on May Day in near future with Pope Adrian VIII (2nd English Pope, first in almost 1000 years) surrounded by leaders of several major Protestant faiths (William Murphy-Crest,Archbishop of Canterbury, Nahum Udall-Danton,President of the LDS, Ellison McGee, President of SBC, and Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Cyril VIII) following end of Vatican IV, which was marked by reunification of Anglicanism and Catholicism and an agreement to set up commission to explore he resolution of issues with Orthodoxy. Pope issues ex cathedra an apostolic constitution as both a papal bull and an encyclical titled In Amotio of Remnants of Gentilitas (on the Removal of the Remnants of Paganism) FIX THIS TRANSLATION via a live TV broadcast, in which it is announced that all Christians are urged to pray for all ghosts and etc (use full thesaurus) to go to their heavenly reward within the next six months (by All Souls Day) or risk damning these souls to eternal perdition. The throwaway comment that only the capture of Cain or the Wandering Jew by all the Wild Huntsmen about could stop the damnation goes without comment or note at the time.

Three months later (Ascension Sunday?)-

On wrap-up of summary, scene to academic office at small college… Dr. Kennedy Tolleson (universally known as Doc Kenn) who is America’s foremost expert on the paranormal, prolific author and commentator on all things ghostly, and winner of the James Randi Educational Foundation $1 million prize for proving the haunting of Ford’s Theater in Washington DC on live television under tightly controlled conditions. Following a rather obscene internal monologue, the phone rings with a summons from the White House…the known ghosts of both the White House and US Capitol have responded rather vigorously to the news from the Holy See and the President wants answers and to avoid a panic and has dispatched a plane to a nearby AFB to pick up Doc Kenn.

At the same time as the above, a huge number of men on horseback have gathered at a point of land in Cornwall, as we learn from one of the horsemen. We hear only snippets of their multi-lingual conversations, but can make out “Cain”, “Home”, “Jude” over the sounds of horses, metal on leather, and the sounds of horns.

Next day- Doc Kenn arrives at WH just in time to see Fala run down the hall in front of Oval Office and hear the barking as well as catch a glimpse of Lincoln walking down the hall…his escort mentions how creepy the place has been over last few weeks… knows it’s not “the settling of an old house or any of that crap”

Doc Kenn enters Oval Office and is greeted by President Broderick Robbins (D-VA) who is competent but is very harried due to the odd events at his home and office, Vice President Derrick-Phillipe (fix this name) Johnston (D-NY), a large black man who grew in Harlem and got rich playing center field for the Cubs and was World Series MVP when they won it about 15 years back and then went home and ran for the US House and admittedly “ain’t got time for this mythical bullshit” and Speaker of the House Mitchell Stinson (R-ID), a very conservative Protestant Republican who is very much convinced that a priest, not some ivory tower academic is the only solution to this problem. The

Senate Majority Leader, Calvin Jones (D-CA) had a heart attack after his encounter with a ghostly figure outside the Supreme Court Building (Old Capitol area?). Here we will be introduced to the most common hauntings from non-public areas of the White House AND US Capitol.

Doc Kenn is assigned Diana “Dora” Hills, a staffer from the National Security Council as a temporary aide and assigned an office at the Capitol near the VP’s office. She has top security clearance and is a former CIA field agent..and a stunningly well-built tall redhead who finds this assignment to be a waste of everyone’s time as this whole ghost thing is just mass hysteria. However, despite the 15 year age difference, she finds herself attracted to Doc Kenn on several levels. Just as the discussion wraps up, a gardener bursts into the Oval Office, pursued by a Secret Service agent with pistol drawn, who both breathlessly report the appearance of a lady in an old-timey ball gown wearing a turban in the Rose Garden wildly waving her arms and silently ranting. The agent fired 2 shots at the figure to no effect and the gardener has come to quit…saying that pulling weeds is no good if it upsets the dead.

Doc Kenn and Dora arrive at their office and he begins calling in his team of investigators, who we will meet shortly.

Meanwhile, we now join the various Wild Hunts all over Europe as they appear at all hours under various leaders…in Brittany, the ankou is seen with them. We hear some of the same snippets of conversations as before, with the noises of a hunt intermixed.

From both newspaper and local TV news accounts, local lore about ghost dogs, autos, horsemen and etc are all on the increase at all hours from DC south through the desert Southwest and into Southern California.

Back in north Georgia, our young man goes through his daily routine as grad student at small southern religious university (like Wofford or Erskine)….but the waking nightmares (or flashbacks to his past as both Cain AND the Wandering Jew) have begun to interfere with his carefully constructed world…(add both medieval and early modern aspects from each from web and books)…also, the reader will note the increase of wild geese on campus and throughout the town in general…

Back at the US Capitol, Doc Kenn’s team has gathered and completed their set-up…they include:

a computer and general technical guy (CS), an audio expert (MR), a video tech (BR), a general input monitor (AR), and an assistant researcher (BJ). During our review of the setup and intros, will examine some “public” haunts of Capitol. We will also meet a very unwelcoming Capitol Police officer named Jacob Mathesburg, a staunch Catholic who feels that all this ghost stuff is of the Devil and that the Pope was far too kind not to have condemned all wandering souls straight to Hell. He also calls the team “pagans” and devil worshippers and then storms off, after suffering at the hands of Dora. After set up is done, Doc Kenn and Dora go to dinner, take a stroll near Georgetown OR Bladensburg (either Braddock OR duelists) and etc… Officer Mathesburg decides to go kayaking on the Potomac to relax…and has an uncanny encounter at the 3 Sisters and drown, like CIA Director Bill Colby. In AM, the Washington Times call him the latest curse victim…the Post just mentions the argy-bargy with Doc Kenn in passing but no mention of curse.

The drowning triggers a media frenzy. The President dodges most questions on Doc by directing press to Speaker Stinson, but does admit to calling in Doc due to some odd events at both WH and Capitol. He ignores question from Fox News about the gardener’s account of ectoplasm on WH walls, blood in the water, and other outlandish fictions with a withering look. Doc Kenn is sequestered in office reviews tape and accounts from previous night and lets Dora run flack.

Wild Hunts of all sorts are reported on the Eastern Seaboard of the US and Canada from all over the web. (Check for Canadian analogues.) Local haunts are also becoming more active as well, especially in Georgia and Tennessee.

AT breakfast at his usual haunt, our young students hears an older couple discussing “Gabble Ratchets” …(tie to Cain, WJ via Gabriel’s Hounds) and all the pieces fall into place just as the weather goes to Hail (lol)… and hundreds of Huntsmen and their packs appear outside the town…their usual antics follow as the youth flees into the nearby hills on foot.

In DC, Doc Kenn makes his report to the Speaker and the President and Veep. With statement that activity has peaked and should soon return to normal, all hell breaks loose in Oval Office. Harding emerges from his closet, JFK appears at the French doors, FDR’s wheels chair is heard squeaking in the corridor outside, the stench of past fires waft through the room as does the cries of agonizing women (Mary Todd, Jackie, Frances Cleveland, Ida McKinley). LBJ is heard roaring from the restroom as well.

In hills of TN, boy is caught and torn to pieces by hunt at suitable site (Chickamauga?) and at same instance, Oval Office goes back to normal.

Book closes with Dora and Doc Kenn pre-coitus and with either 1st Biblical sign of Apocolypse OR birth of Antichrist (may be from folklore).

Read Full Post »

Here’s as far as I’ve gotten…

Open inside the mind of a young man in the modern rural South… fragments of a nightmare… a man with a kind eyes, prominent nose, and bloody face muttering in an unfamiliar tongue… blazing sun and heat and dust in a press of people in odd clothes… he awakes in a frenzy of sheer terror, flailing around to the point that he knocks a water glass onto the clock radio and shorts it out in a flurry of sparks. We’ll be back with him in a bit.

Scene at Vatican on May Day in near future with Pope Adrian VIII (2nd English Pope, first in almost 1000 years) surrounded by leaders of several major Protestant faiths (William Murphy-Crest,Archbishop of Canterbury, Nahum Udall-Danton,President of the LDS, Ellison McGee, President of SBC, and Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Cyril VIII) following end of Vatican IV, which was marked by reunification of Anglicanism and Catholicism and an agreement to set up commission to explore he resolution of issues with Orthodoxy. Pope issues ex cathedra an apostolic constitution as both a papal bull and an encyclical titled In Amotio of Remnants of Gentilitas (on the Removal of the Remnants of Paganism) via a live TV broadcast, in which it is announced that all Christians are urged to pray for all ghosts and etc (use full thesaurus) to go to their heavenly reward within the next six months (by All Souls Day) or risk damning these souls to eternal perdition. The throwaway comment that only the capture of Cain or the Wandering Jew by all the Wild Huntsmen about could stop the damnation goes without comment or note at the time.

On wrap-up of summary, scene to academic office at small college… Dr. Kennedy Tolleson (universally known as Doc Kenn) who is America’s foremost expert on the paranormal, prolific author and commentator on all things ghostly, and winner of the James Randi Educational Foundation $1 million prize for proving the haunting of Ford’s Theater in Washington DC on live television under tightly controlled conditions. Following a rather obscene internal monologue, the phone rings with a summons from the White House…the known ghosts of both the White House and US Capitol have responded rather vigorously to the news from the Holy See and the President wants answers and to avoid a panic and has dispatched a plane to a nearby AFB to pick up Doc Kenn.

At the same time as the above, a huge number of men on horseback have gathered at a point of land in Cornwall, as we learn from one of the horsemen. We hear only snippets of their multi-lingual conversations, but can make out “Cain”, “Home”, “Jude” over the sounds of horses, metal on leather, and the sounds of horns.

And…

Read Full Post »

Novel Outline

Well…after 3 books of non-fiction and a book of short stories…and dozens of burnt-out plot bunnies… I’m going to try a novel. Working on the sketch of an outline now…

May post it later today. Feel free to rip it to pieces…

Read Full Post »