Things That Go Bump In The Night – Possessed Possessions

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Ever look at a doll and swear that it was in a different position five minutes ago? Have the sensation that the eyes of the carving you picked up on vacation were staring right at you no matter where you went in the room? Did heavy footsteps in the middle of the night start the same time that you brought home that bargain upright piano at the garage sale? Keep seeing shadows out of the corner of your eye since you inherited great-grandma’s wedding ring? Congratulations! You may now be the proud owner of a possessed possession.

There is a theory among people who study the paranormal that items can be haunted. Energies attach themselves to objects. When the object is moved to a new location, the ghost, demon, or whatever has attached, moves with it. Movies play this up as “cursed object” that brings nothing but bad luck or evil events until it is destroyed by the hero, sending whatever foul spirit inhabiting it back to Hell. But how do people deal with them in real life? There are several options —

  1. Spiritual cleansing
  2. Ring it with salt to lock in the spirit to a small area
  3. Get rid of it, hoping the spirit goes with it
  4. Bury it
  5. Submerge it in running water.
  6. Burn it

Believe it or not, there are people who seek out haunted objects. John Zaffis, aka the Godfather of the Paranormal, has a museum of haunted items he has been given over time. If you’re interested in starting your own collection, you can find items on eBay.

Think carefully before you bring home that knickknack.









Con-Volution 2017, or Me and My Big Mouth

I went to Con-Volution last weekend and had fun.

This year I had planned to be an attendee.  No workshops, no Masquerade.  After an emotionally intense few months, I wanted to go and hang out with friends and just be.

Unfortunately, I had to work at my day job until 4:30 PM.  By then the route from the South Bay to San Ramon was its usual tangle of traffic jams, so I didn’t get registered until 6:30. I ran into Fiona Jayde, Chip, and Melissa Snark and had dinner.  Then it was off to the Meet the Guests.

Con-Volution 2017 Masquerade
Photo by David Price

While at the panel, I ran into Phil and Kathy Gust.  They mentioned that due to a technical snafu, they hadn’t received any Masquerade preregistrations.  They weren’t sure if they’d have enough people for the show.  I opened my mouth to say “Gee, that’s horrible.”  What came out was “I brought a hallway costume.  I could go onstage if you can get music.”  My mouth clearly needs to check in with my brain more.

I managed to make it to one panel that evening – “Pounded in the Posterior: Selected Readings from Chuck Tingle.”  I can see this become a tradition at conventions like the readings of “The Eye of Argon.”

Saturday I performed in the Masquerade.  Big thanks to Denise Tanaka for making a Target run for some finishing touches for the costume.  The rest of the evening was spent at parties and hanging out.

Con-Volution 2017 Charity Crochet Porg

Sunday I caught up with fellow fiber fans at the Brunching Needles gathering.  I also attending J. M. Frey’s book release party for City By Night.  Then I went to the Charity Auction.  I managed to keep from bidding on the crochet porg I donated.  I did not manage to stop from bidding on other items.

There are a few other things that happened that I can’t talk about yet, but will soon. It was a fun weekend.




Rest in Peace, ElizaBeth

This was supposed to be a post about the fun time I had at Con-Volution.  There will be a post later about it.

I was at lunch with my mom today when I got a message from my friend Elanor.  “I was just looking at Facebook.  I saw a post from ElizaBeth Gilligan’s son.  She passed away last night in her sleep.”

I swallowed, shocked.

For those of you who don’t recognize the name, ElizaBeth was a fixture at BayCon.  She was the author of Silken Magic series as well as many short stories.  My connection to her is she edited the Alterna-Teas, and was the first person that I sold a short story to.

She was a sweetheart.  There are no other words.  I can’t say our relationship went past me submitting the story, but one night at BayCon, she saw me eating alone.  She waved me over and asked me to join them.  I spent the evening chatting with her family until I had to leave for a panel. She made sure that I felt included.

Rest in Peace, ElizaBeth.  You will be missed.

Laser Focus

I’m hard at work on my edit.  I thought that I wrote relatively clean and strong prose.  I quickly learned otherwise.  While I haven’t removed any entire scenes, I’ve chopped out about 3,000 words and will be cutting more.  I’ve focused in on fixing those problems.

So focused, I forgot that I needed to post last week.  Oops.

I’ve looked at my schedule for the rest of the month and made the decision I won’t be posting again until the 9th.  I’ll be doing my usual Things That Go Bump In The Night series.  After that, I may have something to announce.

So see you all in October.

Developmental Editing

Two weeks ago, I dove head first into my developmental edit for Chaos Wolf.  It has been enlightening, to say the least.

I won’t subject your eyes to the sea of red I’m wading through. There are many comments that I’m in the process of absorbing. I’ve come to the conclusion that when I’m on, I am on.  But when I am off, I am definitely off.  I’m about equal parts on and off at the moment.  I’m at about the half-way point.  Right now I’m fixing the small things.  There are comments that I have skipped over because I’m going to have to put a lot of thought into how to fix it, and I don’t want to vapor lock when I could be making progress.

In a case of synchronicity, I listened to a podcast earlier this week about developmental editors, and are they really necessary.  In his opinion, they are not.  A good “first reader” should be able to provide the same input and not cost you a thing.

I arched an eyebrow.  Then I deleted that podcast from my phone.  I have given my story to beta readers and first readers.  While they have given me invaluable advice, they have not given me the in-depth information that my developmental editor has.  And I can’t ask them to.  They have helped point out problem areas.  I do not expect them to go over the document with a fine-toothed comb, strengthening language the way this edit has done.

Perhaps with his writing process, he can do this. With my writing process, I cannot. I would not hesitate in recommending a developmental editor, such as Michelle Dunbar.

I Will Not Be Silent

Normally on Fridays, I’d be posting a list of fun links.  Not this week. I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to address the events in Charlottesville, NC.  No, thinking isn’t right. I’ve felt an overwhelming need to.

When I started this blog, I decided that it would be a politics-free zone.  I wasn’t going to bring up my personal beliefs.  I was going to stick to writing and knitting and pictures of my cats.

Then the election of 2016 happened.  More or less, I stuck to what I had decided my blog would be, despite my feelings on our elected president.  Other than a few comments and likes on Facebook, I kept quiet.  I expressed my support in other ways, such as making donations  and knitting pussyhats.  My friends know my politics and my beliefs, and I thought that was enough.

Then Charlottesville happened.  I watched in horror the people marching in the streets with torches, the slogans being shouted, the car being driven into a crowd of peaceful counter-protesters.  If it had been in black-and-white, I would have thought it was 1930s Germany, not modern day America. And I realized that what I was doing wasn’t enough.

Now let’s get one thing straight.  I don’t want to be talking about Nazis, Neo-Nazis, the Alt-Right, or whatever they are branding themselves this week to normalize themselves.  Because this isn’t normal.  We fought in wars against what they espouse – racism, genocide, and flat-out hatred of our fellow humans.

But I am going to talk about it. Because silence is equal to consent and agreement in these peoples’s mind. I am not going to be silent.

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