Sunday, November 1, 2015

Going for 50k

I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo this year, but writing's been a bit slow recently. Over the summer, I completed a 90k futuristic novel (under a different pen name) and revising it and shopping it around has taken up some time.

But I've been itching to write again. My WIP list is more than a dozen stories long, and a few of them have been niggling at my brain. All at the same time. Like a school of fish in a feeding frenzy! I don't know how many times I started to write one, and then moved to another. I couldn't seem to quite dig in, with too many wanting attention at once.

So I wrote a couple of short stories. And then started yet another new story.

I knew I needed to commit to just one, so I signed up for NaNo with the tentative title of Bad Moon on the Rise. Then, the next day, I changed the story to An Ill Wind.

Yes, I was having a commitment problem. But I spent last week in prep mode, focusing on An Ill Wind. After sharing the story idea with a crit partner years ago, she urged me to write this story. We were out for dinner one night, and she even chose a man at a nearby table for one of the characters for the story, lol. I kept her email encouraging me to write it. And now it's time. The story's lolly-gagged in my head long enough, taking up room that I need for new stories.

I'm waiting on word for five different submissions (three are under other pen names, all three different!) so if I get good news for the two Cate Masters stories, I'll be sharing that here. :)

Otherwise, it will be a quiet month. I'm always open to guests, though, so if you have news you want to share on my blog - new or old news, either is fine - shoot me an email and we can set up a date.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hauntings in central Pennsylvania

It's well known that a visit to Gettysburg might be your best chance of bumping into a spirit in Pennsylvania, but not all ghosts haunt the Civil War town. In central Pennsylvania, some are closer than you think!

Several sites in Carlisle have fairly active ghosts. On the Army War College campus sits the Hessian Powder Magazine, the guard house built in 1777 by captured Hessian, who were then imprisoned inside it.

Since 9/11, you must go through inspection at the outside gate to gain access to the campus - sad, because I used to freely ride my bike through there.

But the guards were very nice, and gave me a map to find the building.

I didn't realize it was a museum that you could go inside. This door marked "Open" doesn't look creepy, does it?

Once you're inside, there are displays such as this one.

I was the only person visiting the museum that day, so being inside alone made these statues a little creepy, too!

Farther back sits this creepy, narrow hallway.

And that's when your neck hairs start to tingle. Because down that hallway are the prison cells where Hessians were locked up.

And that's where the sounds come from at night. Moaning, groaning and clanging echo across the War College grounds.

Some claim to have seen a soldier outside.

But one man got an unexpected shock when he went down that hallway to investigate, and looked through the window of the door. Looking back at him were the Hessian prisoners from 1777.

I have to admit, I'd read this story before, and jumped when I looked inside the last cell and saw this.

Don't laugh - you'd have been startled too! lol

On the way out, there was a locked door with an opening high in the door, so I raised my camera and shot inside.

Nothing there but a few stored items, but it gives you an idea of how small those cells are.

I was hoping to capture an orb, too, but no luck.
On the square in Carlisle, the old Cumberland County Courthouse is a pretty sight.

Those who work inside have some scary stories to tell.

One woman says she'll never work late by herself again after hearing slamming doors up and down the hallway.

You can hear other stories about this building on the Nov. 4 episode of SyFy's "Ghost Hunters."

That same "Ghost Hunters" episode will also feature stories about the old Cumberland County Prison.

The grandboys like the place because it resembles a castle. But the prisoners who were locked up there didn't like it much, but apparently some still hang around.

One worker reports seeing a pair of boots walk down the hall, with no body attached.

There are many more such spine-tingling tales in the midstate, so if you're up for a ghost hunt, come and visit!

For now, that wraps up this year's Halloween party. Thanks to all the authors who've shared their spooky tales, tasty treat recipes and their own books! I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Treats in a hurry

If you need some Halloween treats fast, this recipe will come in handy.