All posts filed under: Strange Thoughts

A White, Blinding Terror

Over the winter I noticed a pattern in much of my writing A lot of it was centered around the night and darkness. I was also using the word night a lot, leaning on it for easy rhymes. The same went for dark. So I’ve been challenging myself to write about night and darkness without actually using either word. Recently I passed through my first haunted house of the Halloween season, and in taking my own advice, jotted down some notes on what parts of the experience left the strongest impression. It’s one of my favorites, a haunted trail that with elaborate scenes and structures. By far the part of the night that stuck with me the most was two completely contrasting scenes paired together. The first was a wooden shack, pitch black inside that, as usual, I found myself leading my group into. As I groped through the darkness, feeling the walls for a door to escape to, I realized that we were actually in a slowly narrowing hallway, the wall on my right …

Haunted House Tips

One of my favorite fall activities each year is reaching and attending haunted houses. I love seeing the different themes and ideas the various groups who run them come with year over year. I always take not of the few details that each one will use to set the each scene in a particular time or place. Below are a few tips to make the most out of your own haunted house visit, I’d love to hear about some of you favorite haunts! Do some research Some haunted houses are designed for all ages, and others are more geared towards older children and adults. A haunt’s website will give you an idea of whether it is a good fit for you. Doing research in advance can also lead you to new places to try. In the past we’ve discovered haunted houses that exclusively featured kids, haunted mazes, historical sites, and outdoor trails. Make a Schedule My husband and I like to visit multiple haunted houses each October. Since the number of nights each one is …

Early Birds

Every few months I bring my dogs to a groomer who operates out of a small storefront in a strip mall. I typically schedule them for an early morning appointment so I can run errands while they get groomed, and then pick them up by noon. I’ve noticed on my last few trips another early riser, a large group of black vultures roosting on the roofs of the stores and on top of the parking lot lights. Not entirely unsurprising, since vultures are known to feed out of dumpsters in populated areas.  I used to look at their early morning presence as an interesting curiosity, until I spent some time reading up on them, and learned that they occasionally will corner a baby deer or cow, stun it by gouging out its eyes, and then swarm in for the kill. Now I look at them with a greater degree of respect, and hope they stay on top of the buildings.

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 …

Alaska Reading List

By the time this posts I will be in Alaska, on a cruise ship sailing through the inner passage way. In between watching for wildlife, photographing glaciers, and a railway tour of the Yukon, I plan on taking some time to restart my reading habit. I’ve come up with a cold weather/Alaska themed reading list to start while on this trip. It’s probable long enough to carry me all the way through the fall season, but at least I have plenty of options while I’m traveling. My blog will be on a little break for the next week while I travel, but I will still have a daily quote each morning. Frankenstein 30 Days of Night The Call of the Wild/White Fang Into the Wild The Cloud Atlas Polar Nights Shutter Island Murder on the Orient Express

Creature Feature Starring Autumn Arachnids

Before I moved to North Carolina four years ago one of my co-workers gave me a warning: “It’s nice down there” she said, “but all the bugs are bigger.” I should have known that warning would apply to the spiders as well. Since I arrived here in Charlotte, I’ve noticed the brightly colored arachnids known as fall spiders emerge each September, spinning large webs spanning up to three feet in height and usually a foot across. I’ve always wondered why these creatures seem to appear at the beginning of fall, only to disappear again by November. A quick search of the internet reveals a slightly unsettling explanation. It turns out that these spiders are around all year, and are just more active during their mating season, which starts in September. This is actually true for many species, including house spiders. In fact, if you think you notice more spiders in your home during the fall, you can rest assured knowing that they are actually there all year round, and are emerging from the corners and …

Point and Click

During a study break my senior year of college I noticed a link to an online game that a friend had posted on Facebook, and gave it a look out of curiosity. Although, calling it a game really doesn’t do it justice, 99 Rooms is really more of an interactive piece of art. Developed from photography of abandoned spaces in East Berlin and released in 2004, it is an atmospheric point and click game that has players complete a task to advance through each room. It was the perfect distraction after a long week of tests, simple to play, but eerie and immersive. In my search to find more games like it, I stumbled upon the game review website jayisgames.com. It was a huge resource for online games, with reviews, tips and walk throughs. By combing the site I found many other unusual games to play, and I was hooked. Some were simple “on the rails” point and click experiences, and others were more challenging and interactive with multiple outcomes. I was hooked. When writing …

Dr. Goodnight

No matter what I’m doing, I’m listening. Especially at work. I can type an email, answer a call, fill out a report, and eavesdrop on a conversation with ease. And since I have an unusual job that includes high level work, like overseeing the debt collections efforts for 15 managers, and the more entry level task of manning a reception desk at the same time, I overhear a lot. Last week an executive waiting for the elevator turned to the colleague he with and said, “I think this meeting is going to go well, but it’s a shame Dr. Goodnight couldn’t make it.” Dr. Goodnight? Who the hell is that? I have mentioned before that I can’t name the gigantic corporation I work for, but I can assure you, we are not in the healthcare industry. And what a name, fit for a Bond villain, or perhaps an assassin. Now I want to name every villian I write in a story Dr. Goodnight.

Lunch Break Playlist

This summer I’ve been locked in a battle of epic proportions with my building’s management company over the air conditioning. Despite the fact that everyone in the office is walking around and sweaters, I can’t get them to raise the temp above 69 degrees. It may not sound very cold, but it feels frigid after sitting at a desk for eight hours! Consequently, I prefer eating my lunch outside on the patio, headphones on, catching up on blogs I follow while I enjoy some fresh air and thaw out. This week I’ve been listing to a witchy playlist inspired by Netflix’s The Chilling Adventure’s of Sabrina, which I’ve been catching up on in the mornings before work. It’s definitely making me pine for fall and Halloween! Check out my playlist, and comment below if you have a witchy song you would add!   Witchy Playlist A Little Wicked, Valerie Broussard I Put a Spell on You, Brigitte Wickens Teeth, Lady Gaga Suspiria, Goblin Cry Little Sister, Marilyn Manson Circles Out of Salt, Snow Ghosts Black Magic Woman, VCTRYS The Way That I Feel, Danielle Parente Empire, Shakira Bad Things, Jace …

When Words Fail

Every time a mass shooting occurs, I try to write a poem about how I feel. It never works The words never come together. The next best thing I can do is go someplace peaceful, preferably near water.  I find the sound of gently lapping water soothing, as many people do. It’s not quite enough to soothe the empty hollowness I feel every time I see another news story, but it helps. ********** I started writing this on Saturday after reading about the El Paso Texas shooting. I woke up on Sunday only to discovery there had been another in Dayton, Ohio. I didn’t have the heart to finish. I think my feelings at this point are best summed up by Conan O’Brian’s reaction to the Las Vegas shooting in 2017: