Monday, October 11, 2010


One of my favorite times of year. There is a fresh produce stand within walking distance of my place. They have ginormous pumpkins as well as plenty of fruits and veggies. I might carve up a jack-o-lantern. Haven't done that in a few years.

So I am not going to the Celtic isles for Halloween as hoped. Between looking after Mom and the sudden demand for my book, it just was not going to work out. Thought about a repeat trip to New Orleans for the vampire ball, but if I flew there I should have gone all the way to Scotland.

I am sure I can find some outrageous Halloween gathering in Manhattan or elsewhere.

This past Saturday at the Liberty States Fiction Writers meeting, the guest was Mark Sarro, founder and lead investigator of the Chester County Paranormal Research Society. Sarro talked about a few of his experiences and notable sites of hauntings such as Gettysburg.

I've been to Gettysburg, it was a pretty happy time. Stayed at the Herr Tavern, I think. They had a great bananas foster cheesecake. Took in a ghost tour as well as other history stops. I don't have the video of the trip anymore but I remember the stories. The thing is most ghost stories are extensions of real history. You don't have to believe in the supernatural at all, the real interesting part comes from what the tale reflects about the actual people and events of the day.

I think I mentioned in a prior post I found some commonality between the ghost stories in Gettysburg with the stories I heard down in Fredericksburg, Va. Both towns saw major Civil War battles but not every ghost story is about a battle.

Sarro said some interesting things about TV shows about ghosts. There is a lot of hokum in the media these days done to boost ratings. Some shows have investigators that try to "bully" ghosts by trash-talking them. That's just sad on so many levels.

But Sarro said even Ghost Hunters, which has a decent reputation, has been caught in staged chicanery.

Anyway, this month is fueling me with energy for those rewrites on Black Saturday. Got a suggestion on a possible editor to hire to comb through my novel. I want to be in a position by December to send the book to those who requested a look.

I am considering hosting a pre-holiday season party. I have a number of new recipes I'd like to whip up and yes there will be dessert. I must redeem myself for the Labor Day brownie fiasco. I know people still ate and enjoyed them, but I can do better.

I'd like to take a crack at making different pies, flavored creme brulee, serving up some mulled wine and even some homemade egg nog. My thinking is the longer things remain tough with the economy, the more I should try to do good things for folks I know. Keep your calendars handy, I will pick a day soon.

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Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away