Sign up to get new blog posts in your inbox.
Sign up to get new blog posts in your inbox.
What makes a story frightening? Is the above photo one of a peaceful night in a quiet town, or a crime-scene about to happen?
I have begun work on the next book in my Hand of Magic series, titled "Ghosts." This has brought me to ask myself - what terrifies people? Not as in politics and who is President, or whether you will be able to pay your child's college tuition, but what would you cross the street to avoid? A clown...a cemetery...or maybe just a dark area where the streetlamp has burned out?
Years ago I was with my co-workers in our old office building. As we stood talking in a hallway, we witnessed the doorknob on a closed (and locked) door turn right/left, right/left. Puzzled, we entered the small room, but found it empty. As we returned to the hallway and stared at the re-locked door, the doorknob again turned right/left, right/left. The door itself did not move and a re-check of the office found it to still be empty. All this time later, I have never been able to explain what we witnessed. Here's the interesting thing - I was not frightened as I watched the doorknob move on its own. Maybe because I was with friends and it was the middle of the day, but I did not have any fear of whatever caused the motions.
Contrast that with my donut run a year ago. My favorite 24/hour donut drive-through is one exit from my home, and I frequently hit the drive-through at odd hours. Last winter I headed into work especially early because of an upcoming ice-storm. Other than a truck-stop, the area is rural, with woods behind the shop. Focused on my peppermint coffee and glazed donut, I pulled way from the drive-through and stopped my car behind the building so I could situate my coffee and put away my wallet.
Once I stuffed my wallet into my purse, I glanced around me to make sure I was not blocking any traffic. I realized there was no one around me and I had stopped my car closer to the woods than usual. The single streetlamp lit up my car, but it did not spread to the trees on my right. As I sat in my car, coffee in hand and heater cranked up, I became certain something was wrong. This was not a good place or a good time. From one breath to another, I was inexplicably afraid. Without thought, I took my foot off the brake and gunned it - luckily there were no cars nearby. Once on the road, I laughed at myself and cleaned up my spilled coffee. Of course, it was just my stress with the upcoming storm which had put me on edge, right? I continue to tell myself that, but when I go through the same drive-through after-hours, I do not stop behind the building. Ever.
So as I begin writing my ghost story, tell me what you think makes a scary story - maybe even share a story of your own in the comments below!
9/7/2019 0 Comments
Those of us not in the path of Dorian send those in the path our thoughts and prayers. I am going to keep this week's post short and sweet. Please utilize your Facebook check-in pages to keep us all updated on your safety. If you have pets, I have three resources for you. First, many hotels are pet friendly. Even if they are not normally pet friendly, they will bend the rules during disasters. Booking.com has a helpful link to search for those places where you will be certain to find a pet-friendly location. https://www.booking.com/pets/index.en-us.html?aid=309654;label=pet-friendly-english-en-caus-5UhDI2Om6bWFkmJHYqu2BgS236079791728:pl:ta:p1:p2:ac:ap1t1:neg:fi:tikwd-68110121:lp9013184:li:dec:dm;ws=&gclid=CjwKCAjwkqPrBRA3EiwAKdtwk4K_3pXDhNcNwv9muBUfNOGFB0HMFv08ytk0NN5KVtlNaxLaHDFq7xoCXPcQAvD_BwE#
Second, the Red Cross often has pet friendly shelters. Check out their Pet Disaster Preparedness as well as the ASPCA Disaster page. https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/pet-disaster-preparedness.html
Everyone - take Dorian seriously! Plan now and stay safe -
8/16/2019 0 Comments
Everyone, meet Jack. Jack came to me a little over a year ago, and I don't talk about what happened to him before then because it makes me want to hit someone over the head with a hammer. As you can see, Jack is now happy and healthy. He is also trouble, and has a tendency toward tipping over laundry baskets and running around with unmentionables flapping from his mouth like flags. This post is for the little man who stole my heart even as he unrolled the toilet paper throughout the kitchen.
I have a theory. My theory is that every single person in this country can do something to help rescue animals, and I'm going to prove it to you.
First of all, adopt, don't shop. We have all heard this saying, but what does it mean? It means forgo that perfect looking puppy with the exact breeding that your mom's dog had or your child wants, and do a little research. Whatever breed you desire, I guarantee there is a rescue out there with that breed. It may take time and you may wind up with an adult instead of a puppy, but it can be done. Also, open yourself up to other breeds and do NOT buy a dog because it is popular. Remember when 101 Dalmatians came out in the theater? Within a year shelters and rescue organizations were overwhelmed with families dropping off their high-strung spotted dogs because they had been found to be too much work.
Can't adopt? Consider fostering. I hear people say "I can't foster because I'll get too attached." Wouldn't that be nice? Seriously, if the worst thing that happens is that you keep the dog or cat, I'm okay with that risk. Kittens are an ideal way to ease into fostering. They are hysterical, low maintenance, and all they need is that spare bedroom in the back of the house that you aren't using anyway. Keep them safe and happy for a few months, then let the shelter/rescue find them permanent homes.
Can't foster? Donate money, food, or supplies. Many rescues/shelters have wish list pages. They don't just need dog food and cat litter, but paper towels, detergent - you name it, they need it. Remember your local rescue/shelter when you are getting rid of old towels, blankets and comforters. These make great bedding for animals, especially during wet or cold weather.
Can't donate physical goods? Consider giving up a few hours a week of your time. Walk a dog, play with a cat, or help clean cages. For the more creative, what about painting bright murals on the walls of the local animal shelter? If you like to talk, volunteer to answer phones. Are you good with computers or cameras? Help maintain the rescue/shelter's website, or take photos of the animals up for adoption so they can be posted on their website.
Can't donate your time? This one is my favorite. Donate your brain and your mouth. Educate yourself about the local rescues/shelters and talk them up. Do they have low-cost spay and neuter programs? What about a drive for donations on your birthday? Post these to social media and then bring those thoughts and factoids up in conversation with the bank teller, your neighbor, your co-workers. The worst that could happen is they ignore you, but the benefit could make all the difference for an animal.
By the way, those of you near Nashville, TN, - did you know Metro Animal Control has a fabulous web page with their wishlist and other great information? www.nashville.gov/Health-Department/Animal-Care-and-Control.aspx
There now, see how easy that was? Now it's your turn.
Who am I, and what makes my blog different? I believe that animal rescue, as hard as it is, can also be uplifting. Every tale I have ever written has animals as central characters. My goal is to provide practical, positive information for animal lovers, interspersed with helpful tips for writers (and writers-to-be). I will also share updates on upcoming books and my canine family. We all have stories to tell - let's get started!