Four Days and Three Nights of Pagan Music, Workshops, Vending, and Festivities.
Born of one man’s vision, this festival will take place at Cherokee Farms in LaFayette Georgia over the Memorial Day Weekend, 2016.
An interesting post about what goes on behind the scenes.
You may have seen archivists on television helping people to discover their roots in old records or talking to historians (or detectives!). But you might be wondering what archivists do the rest of the day. Even if you visit an archives – and we hope you will – a lot of what we do goes on behind the scenes.
In this post, we’ll give you a sneak peek into the daily tasks of the archivist. It’s important for you to know what we do because the materials we preserve for the future belong to everyone. These records don’t just tell us where we came from; they also contain evidence used to make current decisions that will affect our lives now and in the future.
Knowing how archivists work can also help you as a researcher in using archives. Archivists use terminology and techniques that are unique to their profession. An…
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I woke up this morning to the word ‘freedom’ in my mind. How wonderful I thought this is a day to project freedom. I was asked by Priya’s dad (not her real name) if I could take care of her this morning and drop her to school at 10:30am rather than regular time at 8:40am. Priya my autistic student that attends my after school program and is absolutely beautiful. Hmmm- That’s a strange request I thought. I was happy to care for her however confused about why the school would ask her to come late. He texted me that the teacher asked the JK students to come at 10:30 because the Senior kindergarten students were having graduation. So this morning I did have to pass by the school at 8:40am and noticed ALL the kids were on their way to school – as usual. The parents, students and teachers were dressed up, handing…
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The Dark Geisha’s latest.
It is finally here! Seems so long since I’ve posted about my own book release. This one is especially close to my heart as it is a collection of Southern Gothic horror short stories inspired by my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
Not familiar with Southern Gothic? It’s a genre of Gothic fiction unique to American literature set in the American South. (Although I’ve taken a few liberties…) Commonly featured are characters who may dabble in hoodoo and conjure magic–like my great-aunt. Other characters practice more devious or violent acts. But all of them are deeply flawed, disturbed or eccentric characters. Much of Southern Gothic focuses on the macabre and grotesque. Maybe that’s why I love the genre.
It isn’t all foreboding haunted plantations, either. Also featured are warped rural–and sometimes urban–communities that reflect the morals, or lack thereof, of the…
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Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you were upset upon waking to discover it didn’t happen? Have you ever had a nightmare so vivid you felt lucky to escape into the real world upon waking? What if the dreams and nightmares were more than our imaginations at work? What if they were real?
This is a short story based upon that idea…
A Vivid Nightmare
By Violet Tempest
Robin knew her husband was up when she felt the bed jostle. He always rose earlier than she did so she drifted back to sleep. Light shown through the cracks of the bathroom door, water gushed from the faucet before turning into a shower of rain. Those were the normal sounds of his morning routine and her mind automatically blocked out the sounds allowing her to drift back to sleep.
In what seemed like moments later the bed moved again, and she rolled over to see her husband lying there beside her with only his face peeking above the comforter. With his eyes closed, his chest rose softly under the covers. He’d fallen back asleep.
She wiped the sleep from her eyes and furrowed her brow. What’s he doing back in bed? She reached over and gently shook him. “Hun, why did get back in bed?”
“What are you talking about?” He asked. His words slurred from sleep.“You got up not long ago, took a shower, and walked out of the bedroom. So what are you doing back in bed? Do you feel okay?” Her voice full of concern.
“No, I didn’t. Now go back to sleep.” He snapped back.
What the hell is his problem? She thought as anger started to simmer within her. Still confused and concerned that he might not be well she shook him again. And again she received a harsh reply.
“What is wrong with you?” Her husband asked.
“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?” She reached over and pulled the covers off him. That’s when his eyes went from hazel to two bright red orbs that shined in the dark room.
With a sharp inhale she tried to move away from him.
He reached out and grabbed her arm, pulling her closer before rolling over on top of her. She found herself pinned between him and the bed. That’s when she realized he wasn’t her husband. Gone was the handsome face that had grown softer with age, and in its place was one with distorted features covered with dark brown, slimy skin. The nose she had always found cute and sexy had turned flat with just slits to breathe. The full tender lips, whose touch still sent her over the edge with pleasure during their love making, were replaced by thin, black skin that reminded her of a snake’s mouth.
Terror spread throughout her as she tried to scream.
Before she knew it she couldn’t breathe. The covers consumed her, suffocating her, and with each movement she made to get free they held her tighter. Somehow she managed to get out from underneath them.
Once she was free she jumped out of bed and ran from the bedroom into the lighted living room where her husband sat reading. Her body shook with terror as she stood there, unable to make a sound. He looked up from the paper, instantly dropping it he stood up, walked over to her, asking what was wrong. She shook her head and started to cry as he placed his strong, work-worn hands around her, embracing her in his arms. He kissed her gently on the forehead and whispered she was safe now.
She felt the terror ease away as she let her husband continue to hold her, comforted in the knowledge that the man she loved was there, and it had all been a bad dream. With her cheek against his strong chest she told him about the nightmare she’d endured, not leaving out a single detail.
“I know it was just a bad dream, but it felt so real.” She spoke the words as she lifted her face to meet his lips she was sure would be there to greet her.
His grip tightened around her. He lowered his mouth to hers and just before the loving kiss she needed, and anticipated could be granted, he spoke. “Oh but it was real my darling, and this time you won’t get away.”
She screamed as she looked into the face from the bedroom and realized that nightmares can be real.
Sharing this blog post by Skulls in the Stars. Have you wondered about the rest of Bram Stoker’s works? We have all heard of Dracula, but he also wrote other novels. This post is about The Jewel of Seven Stars.
Late at night, barrister Malcolm Ross is awakened from a pleasant dream by a pounding on his door. A policeman is waiting for him there, with an urgent summons from Margaret Trelawny, a young woman whom Ross had recently met and become enamored with. Margaret’s father Abel, a noted collector of ancient Egyptian antiquities, has succumbed to a mysterious illness, rendering him comatose. Worse, at the same time he has suffered an even more mysterious life-threatening injury. In desperation, Margaret has summoned Ross, the only man she feels she can trust, to help her protect her father from an unknown threat.
So begins the novel The Jewel of Seven Stars, written in 1903 by the master of horror fiction, Bram Stoker.
Stoker is, of course, best known for his influential 1897 novel Dracula, which really sparked the…
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Small rooms where I curled up in the corner to read the book I pulled off one of the crowded shelves. The musty scent of old books surrounded me as I delved into the new adventure the book provided. Every now and then I’d be brought back to the present by the creaking floorboards from another room where my mom browsed for the books she would read that week. That is how I fell in love with libraries.
I didn’t realize until I was grown that not everyone had experienced a library like that. Until then it didn’t dawn on me how unique that library was, and still is. Thankfully Summerville still has The Henry Timrod Libary. In fact, this past weekend I, and my daughter, joined other Summerville locals to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Timrod.
It had been years since I had set foot in there. What with growing up and life taking me down my path, I had forgotten to carve out space to step back in time. See that is what happens when you visit this library. Nothing is kept on computers, they still have a card catalog, and membership is kept in handwritten journals.
The floorboards still creak, the shelves are still full of books, and the Librarian still shushes you if you’re loud. The only thing that has really changed are the books, current best selling authors have taken the place of those from forty years ago.
This library can trace its roots back to 1897 when a group of young Summerville women formed a reading circle. They donated books from the circle to a select membership that would eventually find a permanent home.
It wasn’t until 1915 when that happened. The current building was built on land donated by the town, and on April 15, 1915 the Henry Timrod Library opened its doors to the public. As it was then, it is still funded completely by memberships, fundraising, and donations.
Summerville does have a public library, the George H. Seago branch of the Dorchester County Library System. It has a lot to offer our community, and if you look back at through my posts you will see where it is the library that is supposed to be haunted.
While the Timrod does not hold that distinction I can assure you that on Saturday April 11th, 2015 when I walked through its doors I sensed the little girl I was, still there, curled up in the corner, reading one of her favorite books.
Some advice on life from Diary of a Mad Nanoer.
Have you ever tried writing with a headache? I have. It doesn’t work too well. That’s why I have been absent the last few days. I have been fighting a bad one.
At first, I thought I might not say anything about it. However, if you have ever suffered from a headache, you know how hard it can be to do anything. You might even be beating yourself up over it. I know I was. But you don’t have to, and neither do I. It’s okay not to write when you don’t feel well.
As much as I keep telling you not to beat yourself up over something like this, it is hard for me to follow my own advice. I just feel so guilty. Is that the way you do?
Tell yourself it’s okay. You may have to do it more than once. In fact, you probably will. Tell…
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Another great blog post about being a panelist at con’s. I really like #1 and it’s great advice.
Yesterday I spoke about the bad things you hear and see on panels during a convention. You can read all about it Here. Take your time. I’ll wait. I need to refill my coffee cup anyway.
Today (after better sleep and much more coffee), I am going to share with you some of the great things I have seen during panels at conventions. I’ve been going to cons on and off for the past dozen years, and have had quite a bit of fun during them. This is what I look for when either on a panel or going to a panel:
6. A nice mix of panelists.
As much as I love being on panels with authors I know, I’m sure it gets boring for an audience when we spend the time acting like goofballs and tossing out inside jokes here and there. Ideally, a panel of five…
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A great blog on panel etiquette. One day I hope to have to remember these points. Thank you Armand for the insights.
I just got back from another great MidSouth Convention held in Memphis, and as usual I took away a lot of good and some bad from it. Today I’ll talk about the bad, because I still haven’t had enough coffee as I sit down and write this post, and the 13 hour ride home Sunday into Monday is still kicking my ass…
There are a few bad things I saw on panels, and not just this weekend. It seems like every convention I go to, or anytime I talk with another writer who’s done quite a few conventions like I have, these things come up, so I’m here to be a jerk and point out what you really shouldn’t be doing if you’re lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel with your peers. Luckily, only a couple of these came up this past weekend, and for the…
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South Carolina, a place full of mystery and beauty.
Click on the link below to see pictures of 20 places to see.
A time of rebirth.
Throughout nature, you see signs of life renewing.
Trees sprout new leaves, plants form fresh buds, and animals seek out a mate.
We humans, on the other hand, tend to pass all of this by. We are in such a rush to get to work where we keep our attention focused on the task that provides us with a regular paycheck. When we are not at work most of us are busy cleaning the house, mowing the grass, restocking our homes by sprinting from store to store. How many of us actually take the time to stop, notice the new leaves, the fresh buds, and the baby animals that will born or hatch in a few weeks?
Nature has a wonderful way of reminding us to enjoy life.
It’s a shame few of us listen.
Some interesting tidbits about South Carolina. Thank you Lake and Main for the post.
Wow this month flew by. In my mind it was only a couple of days ago when I posted the first in this month’s series and now we are at the end. I hope you have enjoyed meeting the lovely ladies of horror I’ve introduced so far, and the final author for this series will delight you as well.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Blair Westfall:
Blair Westfall is a writer living in the historic Charleston area. With roots in Salem, home of the infamous witch trials, she seems destined to write horror. Blair’s interest in ghosts and the supernatural began when her family moved to a Louisiana town near New Orleans.
The family spent time in the French Quarter and visited the haunted plantations of the river roads. By the age of ten, she fell in love with the creature features from Hammer Films. Classic horror cinema combined with the ghostly pirate tales she heard while living in the tropics solidified her interest in the supernatural before the age of thirteen.
Blair tried her hand at novel writing in adolescence when the rainy season kept her trapped indoors for months on end. After living in Germany during her teens, her interests expanded to fairy tales. She now writes fairy tales, neo-Gothic horror, romantic neo-Gothic stories, contemporary fantasy, romantic paranormal, and horror.
Blair and I thought you might enjoy a sample of her work, so she sent me a short story and we are forgoing the interview. (Hey, we’re women, we’re writers, and we’re unpredictable. That’s one of the reasons we are suited for Horror.) After you read this tale you can pop on over to her blog http://blairwestfall.blogspot.com/ be sure to leave her a comment. We authors LOVE comments.
By Blair Westfall
He moved through the halls of the newspaper headquarters without anyone challenging his presence. He knew everyone was too busy to pay attention. With his slight frame and cheap black glasses, he always came in under the radar.
Life was good that way.
When he arrived at his favorite reporter’s old office, he glanced around the hall again. He was still alone. Everyone either attended yet another press conference or huddled around a television to hear the latest information.
He made sure his medical gloves were nice and tight before entering trying the knob. The knob turned with ease, probably left unlocked by a janitor. He liked it when people were careless.
Empty offices were perfect places to make phone calls. He propped his feet up on the empty desk, enjoying the lemon scented cleaner lingering in the office. He wanted to hum while dialing the number, but did not want to alert anyone to his presence.
Wayne answered the other end of the line. “Hello.”
“It’s almost time,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea for you to call me. My parents just left! One of them could have answered the phone.” Wayne said.
“How are we supposed to coordinate if I can’t call you?” The key in dealing with sidekicks was to remain calm. Alpha wolves only growled when needed. “Besides, I’m calling you from a secure location in case the police check my phone records.”
“What about my records?” Wayne asked.
“Just say this call was about your freelance camera work. Can you remember that?”
Wayne sounded like a sidekick who was starting to have doubts. A nervous number two man was problematic. The point of a sidekick was keeping him around long enough to get caught.
“Wayne, I’m sensing something’s wrong. I thought you wanted to be the big hero?”
“I just want to be a success,” Wayne said.
“Then you’re in luck. It’s time to complete my vision.”
“So you’ll give me your confession on camera?” Wayne asked.
He thought Wayne sounded excited. Excitement was good. “I promised and I will,” he lied. “We have some things to care of first.”
“What sort of things?”
He found himself annoyed, but he maintained composure. “Wayne don’t be nervous. I need you. You’re a part of my vision. You’re a part of everything. You’re important to me.”
The key was to make the sidekick feel assured.
“You aren’t going to mention me in your confession, right?”
“Of course not,” he said, knowing there would be no confession. “No one will know about our friendship.”
“So what do you need?” Wayne asked.
What he needed was to speed the phone call along. The Atlanta rush hour was a nightmare. “I chose some targets. We have work to do.”
“That’s something I meant to ask you about,” Wayne said.
He tried not to groan. Hesitant sidekicks asked too many questions. “What is it you need to know, Wayne?”
“Why are we switching to adults? They can fight back!”
He hated explaining himself to a lowly sidekick. Wayne frustrated him enough to bring on a migraine at times. He pushed his glasses up on his nose before continuing to pacify the person who would take all the blame. Not that his sidekick was innocent, but he knew Wayne was not the one in charge.
“As I explained, you change your MO every now and then to keep investigators in a state of confusion. I’ve done this and it works.”
“Is that really why we killed that girl? To change the MO?”
“Yes Wayne. I need you to focus. You have a target to lure and dump in the water.”
“Wait a minute, you want me to dump the body on my own?”
“You’ve dumped bodies before.”
“Yeah, with you there.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow in the same cemetery where we met last time. Same time. Pleasure talking to you, Wayne.” He hung up as his sidekick began to protest the plan.
He sat in the silence of the drab office, pleased with himself. He picked the perfect apprentice to take the blame. He smiled a broad, happy smile with his feet resting on top of the oak desk that had clearly seen better days.
There was a knock at the door. He immediately prepared to seem meek. “I’m here. That is you isn’t it?”
The door opened. “Why are we meeting in my old office?” The reporter asked as he entered the sparse room. “I don’t usually meet my sources at the paper anyway. The Atlanta Constitution is not exactly the most private place in the world in case you haven’t noticed,” said the reporter, staring at him.
“Oh, I’m sitting at your desk,” he said to the reporter, keeping his voice mild. “Sorry about that.” He rose from the chair and moved to stand beside the blank wall where photos and awards once hung.
“What do you have for me?” The reporter ask, as he plopped down in his old office chair.
“These FBI men, the ones they are calling ‘profilers,’ said the killer will be a con artist with access to the children,” he said, knowing the reporter would have every detail already.
“And?” The reporter asked, suddenly seeming interested.
“Well, this could be nothing, but there’s a freelance photographer. He’s been trying to book children. Something seems wrong this guy.”
“You have my attention,” said the reporter.
A few minutes later he left the offices of the newspaper. Planting the seed of a story was nice and easy. By the time his sidekick was in custody, he would be on his way to Washington State with his belongings in a moving van. Just like the end of his time in California, he knew when the authorities were too close. The time to move on and leave the sidekick to handle the consequences was at hand.
Thank you Kierce Sevren for the interview. It is an honor to know, and work with, you. I hope that after reading the post you will pop over to her blog and follow her.
Love and horror are two things that might not make a whole lot of sense being put in the same sentence normally, but in the month of February, we make an exception. February is not just for lovers on Valentine’s Day, it’s also been set aside to give some dedicated air space for women who write horror stories. Yes, you’ve probably heard by now that women can write horror stories too, and that they’re good at it! It’s true, I even know a few of these female horror writers personally. They’re great gals, not scary at all. *wink*
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The third week of February is drawing to a close and it’s time to showcase another author for WIHM. This week I would like to introduce you to a special lady. One I met a few years back. I won’t go into all the details about how we met but I would like to say this lady has influenced my writing and inspired me to further my craft in a way no one had before. Her writing blew me away then and continues to do so.
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Kierce Sevren.
Bio: Kierce Sevren is a smart ass who enjoys picking at the festering wounds society tries to hide. She likes watching the world wince, and it doesn’t bother her at all to be told that her stories are creepy. Kierce recalls the highest compliment paid to her was of one reader who felt compelled to go to church after reading one of her stories – one which she could only stand reading in the sunlight.
She’s a new writer who’s had work published in several anthologies, and happily shares bindings with Eden Royce and Violet Tempest, among others. Writing is not her day job, yet, it’s her passion. One day she hope to change the day job to writing ratio.
Most people look at us as if we plan on offering them up for sacrifice when they find out we write horror. It’s rather amusing, really it is. So the first question I asked Kierce was:
“How did you find yourself in the genre?”
I would say I fell into writing horror naturally. Gravity – it’s a bitch. I don’t know if I would call it a passion or just a really haphazard compulsion, but I tend to take a large amount of pleasure in pointing out the horrors of reality. There’s an honesty to admitting that the real world is scary, that people aren’t intrinsically good, and despite all good intentions things often go horribly wrong. When I write, I find that despite my good intentions, my stories tend to lean toward the horror side of the genres. Romances, science fiction stories, or fantasy, it doesn’t matter how my stories start out, before long I’m throwing things in there that scare them and push them to the edge of what they thought possible.
Mythology, especially from cultures that are not exactly mainstream also fascinate me. They’re stories that tell a part of our history, as well if not better than our actual history books do, and if you look at them you’ll see that by-in-large, they’re horror stories. They’re filled with heroes battling “evil” forces, sometimes even gods, and often elements of humanity. There’s a lot to be learned from that guy who some time ago didn’t quite win his battle. The horror of living in this world has plagued humanity since the beginning, as many myths and folk tales tell us, so perhaps it’s only natural to write scary stories.
Interesting and very through. Thanks Kierce. :)
Now, what makes your heart race? What makes you keep the lights on at night? What makes your soul scream?
What scares me the most is the possible little evils that exist at every turn. A darkened hallway with the one too few working bulbs could possibly hide an intruder. Anything can happen to you as you walk home, once the trains have stopped running for the night. Every shadow hides something ready to steal you from this life, this world. Waking up one day to find your precious child gone. What scares me is what’s possible.
Wow! You hit that one dead on. I think that’s an answer we can all relate too.
What are you currently working on and what is available to purchase?
While I love writing short stories, I’m currently working on expanding my skills out enough to write a full length novel which is a science fiction twist on a Cherokee mythology. I hope to finish this by the end of this year.
I have three short stories out:
Beyond the Torii in Mocha Memoir Press’s In the Blood Stream Anthology
The Skin Thief in Mocha Memoir Press’s The Grotesquerie Anthology
Autonomous Trafficking in Dark Hall Press’s Techno Horror Anthology
Thank you Kierce for taking time out of your day to let us get a peek inside the world of Kierce Severn.
Find Kierce’s work at:
Why am I sharing this blog? After-all, this is a place for ghosts, scary legends, and also a little bit of history. This is not a place for stuff about school…or is it?
Horror does happen in real life, and what this teacher writes about is the horror of seeing young people throwing their futures away. Of not caring about themselves. And that dear friend is the true horror of life.
Reach out and let the young person in your life know that you understand the horror they face on a daily basis, and that you will not let them go through it alone. By being there for them you can help them through their private hell.
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