All posts filed under: Strange Thoughts

Reconciling the Thanksgiving Day Myth

Much like Columbus Day, more and more Americans are experiencing a more fraught and complicated relationship with Thanksgiving. Particularly in 2020, the knowledge that this American tradition is based on more myth than historical fact, and obscures the fraught and violent relationship that early colonists had with Native Americans is tough to reconcile. I don’t want to dissect that relationship too much here, mainly because there are so many articles, like this one here, that already have better than I can. I’m posting a call to action instead. If this year has taught me anything about social justice, it’s that education of a social justice issue must be matched with action. It’s not enough to know how Native Americans have been wronged, actions to assist them are needed too. So I’m taking a cue from actress Hilary Burton, and donating masks to Native American reservations that need them. These communities have been hit especially hard by COVID-19, and donated masks will help greatly. Below are addresses where donated masks can be sent, originally posted on …

Now Available: As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

I’m thrilled to announce that an anthology that two of my poems were included in, As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad, is now available on Amazon. Thank you so much to the editors for including my poetry! Indie Blu(e) Publishing is thrilled to announce that As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad in now available on Amazon … Now Available: As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

How Haunted Houses Prepared Me For Emergancies

Every time I visit a haunted house, one thing inevitable occurs. No matter how big the group I walk through with is, I always wind up taking the lead at some point.  Usually this occurs during the dreaded pitch black room/maze/hallway that most haunted houses feature. Everyone freezes, as I slowly edge forward and feel for the wall. This is undesirable to most, since each dark room has the possibility of a hidden ghoul waiting to pop out. Some of the really sly houses leave it empty, and let the anticipation heighten exponentially as you move further in. Occasionally the floor has been altered and sinks, or fishing wire is hung from the ceiling (to simulate spider webs). The sudden surface changes and sensations are very disorienting. But I love pushing ahead to see what hidden scares are in the dark rooms. Until 10:30 am on Friday, June 8th, this was not a skill that had real life applications. That morning, I was kneeling in front of a filing cabinet in a storage closet searching …

Macabre Beginnings

If I had to trace my fascination with true crime stories, horror, science fiction, and thrillers back to the beginning, the start would be at the public library in Bristol, RI. My grandparents lived there, and growing up I stayed with them often in the summer with my two sisters. One of the staples of those stays, among visits to Colt State Park and Newport Creamery, were trips to the library. My sisters and I would typically take out the maximum amount of books allowed, and spend the majority of our time reading. By the time I was in 5th grade, we had exhausted all the options for our age group and graduated from the children’s section in the basement to the adult section on the first floor. This is where I discovered my first true crime novel. I can’t remember the title now, but it was centered around a local newscaster who was stalked and eventually killed by a jealous husband. I was fascinated. I wasn’t allowed to watch any TV or movies with …

The Butcherbird

There are a few zoos and parks in the Charlotte area that I visit repeatedly, and every time I go back to one I tell myself the same thing. I am not taking pictures this time. But I do anyways, unable to ignore the compulsion to document every place that I visit with a photo essay. My last visit to the Carolina Raptor Center was no different. I promised myself that I wouldn’t leave with 40 pictures of birds I have already seen multiple times, and a few hours later there I was, angling for the best shots of my favorite vultures. At one point I realized I had been left behind by my husband and sister, and hurried around a corner to catch up. I found them in front of a new display housing a new bird, no larger then a sparrow, hopping around on a thin branch. “Who’s this cute little guy?” I asked. “It’s not cute”, my husband solemnly intoned. “Read the sign.” “Fun Fact” the sign chirped. “We impale our prey!” It turns out the …

Halloween Mood Board and Writing Prompts

Over 2,000 years ago, Celtic pagans celebrated their New Year on November 1st. Called Samhain, it was considered the end of summer and the arrival of the dark half of the year. The night before, they would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward of ghosts. Celtic pagans believed that at this time of year the veil between the world of the living and the dead became thinner then at any other time of the year, and the ghosts returned to walk among the living. As time past, and and Christianity was introduced to the region, those traditions were merged with other Roman and Christian holidays into one day of celebration known as Halloween. In the colonial US, Halloween was celebrated sporadicly in some regions, spurred mainly by European immigrants in southern states, mainly as harvest festivals where ghost stories where told. It wasn’t until a flood of Irish immigrants, fleeing to the US to escape the Potato Famine in the middle of the 19th century, that this changed. The Irish brought their beloved Celtic …

Autumn Writing Prompts and Mood Board

I really had fun coming up with prompts to go along with my harvest mood board last month, so I decided continue to create a list of prompts for the first Wednesday of every month. September is all about the official start of fall, but for me, also the start of the school year. Students may have resumed studies weeks ago here in North Carolina, but when I was in school years ago in Massachusetts, school wasn’t in full swing until the week after Labor Day. Autumn Writing Prompts Smoky lavender skiesThe scent of weather turningMisty rainMushroom bloomsAn orchard of crooked treesScarlet foliageLeaves crunching underfootA breeze sneaking under a tweed jacketSteam curling over teacupsWhispers in the library

Harvest Writing Prompts and Mood Board

I’ve been making some digital mood boards for writing inspiration. They’re fun to create, even if it’s verging on procrastinating instead of productivity. I came up with some writing prompts to go with this harvest themed board, let me know if they spark any creativity. Dark drinks The fading sun Blackberry stains Dancing with fireflies A hidden star Swept clean Crushed herbs