Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer 2016

It's been a hot summer here on East Mountain and the surrounding areas, with temperatures often hovering from the low to mid 90s. For those of you of the Celsius persuasion that translates to temperatures well above 32 degrees. It's been a rainy summer though; and although that can be a good thing, it has kept the air quite humid, which only adds to the discomfort. It could be worse though; I've seen temperatures much hotter than this. Still, it's enough to turn any goth's fancy to Halloween. It's coming folks. It really is!

The season has not only provided warm temperatures, but has ushered some major changes into my life. As I mentioned in my previous post, my elderly parents arrived here in late April and my father passed from this Earth just a little over two weeks later. My sister, who lives out in the country, has taken on our mom's primary care. I generally get out there once or twice per week in order to either give Sis and my brother-in- law a much needed break, or to watch Mom while they go out and try to function. Leaving her alone is not an option even though she is recovering from her hip injury and is becoming more mobile.

I can only imagine what it's like being in my mother's position. She grew up and spent her entire life living in New England and is now living here in the American South; this, after being jettisoned from a rehabilitation center and being flown here within days. Although she doesn't quite come out and say it, I know that she has some discomforts adjusting to the local culture and life in the country. Still, she has a lot to look forward to as she recently bought a mobile home, which will soon be moved and attached to the house she's currently living in. 

It's really an attractive dwelling that comes complete with an electric fire place, kitchen, master bedroom, living room and a second-floor loft, which I'll be able to stay in from time to time in order to keep her company and give my sister a break. Mom is looking forward to this new arrangement as it will give her more privacy and a sense of being at home without compromising any of the care and surveillance she requires. 

It goes without saying that my mother's presence has changed the overall flow of my life. Yes, it partially accounts for my absence from the blogging world, but my lack of post ideas has a lot to do with it too. Oh yes, I was out one day and was suddenly struck with several ideas for blog posts, but by the time I arrived home I had forgotten what they were. Don't you just hate t when that happens? 

Some of you may recall that I left you hanging with a partial story contribution during this year's Vampire's Day Soiree, sponsored by Holly B. Strange over at Holly's Horrorland.
If you're new to this blog and would like to know more of what I'm talking about, you can find that post here.

At the time, I commented to some of my readers that the full story will be available when I publish my next book. Well, I'm getting closer to that goal as I just finished a piece called A Fall From Grace: The First Hunt, which is the third in my Fall From Grace series. The first two pieces in the series appear in my book, Tales of Dark Romance and Horror. As you can probably guess, the third entry once again features the beautifully seductive but deadly vampire, Lady Andrea, as well as a new cohort. Other stories slated for the new book include Horror in the Tunnel, from which February's cliff hanger was derived, a ghost story involving a cemetery caretaker (imagine that!), a Krampus piece and the tale of an old man trying to evade the Grim Reaper. 

I have two more stories to write and then I'll get back into the publishing phase; after which, my promise to those I left hanging will be fulfilled. I readily admit that I'm not the fastest writer in the world. I simply don't have the discipline to assign myself specific hours to sit down and write. I write when feeling inspired, and that doesn't happen every day of the week. Still, I'm looking forward to this second publication and hope to accomplish it before the passage of too much more time. For those interested, you can learn more about my book, Tales of Dark Romance and Horror by following this link.

I'm still following through on my goal of watching all the episodes of the original Dark Shadows. Last night I watched episode 447. Now I'm aware that there are literally hundreds of episodes remaining and that I may never finish them at the rate I'm going. But for me, the point isn't finishing the series as much as it is simply having it to enjoy as a nighttime treat.--and at this point, all I can say is wow! Barnabas Collins sure does have an evil streak!

The book I'm currently reading is Anne Rice's Prince Lestat. The novel is her much celebrated return to the Vampire Chronicles. Although I've always been a fan of her material, I'm a bit disappointed because this piece is moving too slow for me. I'm well over 200 pages into the novel and it seems that she's still setting up the story by introducing the characters and/or refreshing the reader on the roles they played in previous publications. Lestat himself has only made a brief appearance so far. Considering the good reviews I've read, things should pick up soon. In the meanwhile, I will persevere. 

As for other news, there isn't much. Summer nights here on East Mountain are beautiful. It is a wonderful thing to gaze into the cemetery under the full moon. The grave markers and monuments cast an eerie shadow in the moonlight while the fireflies dance above the deceased, all to the chorus of thousands or even millions of katydids. Things are peaceful here--as they should be. There is beauty in darkness.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great to hear from you again! And your mom is VERY lucky; she gets to keep as much independence as she can, but still has her children close and available to give her any assistance she needs.

    Good luck with your new book! As I said before, if you decide you need a proofreader, I'm available. :-)

    And I think it's funny that I got sooooo far ahead of you with Dark Shadows before Hulu ran out of episodes for me to watch (and it was still free)! My last viewing was Episode 452; since then I have been unable to find any of them online. Talk about a cliffhanger that doesn't end...

  2. I'm not having any problem finding Dark Shadows episidesg at Netflix. The trick is that you have to get them on DVD. Someone at Netflix once admitted to me that they have much more available on DVD than streaming. This certainly seems to be the case.

    I have a friend who used to be an editor at the University Press here locally. He's been editing this new material for me. All I have to do is buy him a few ales at happy hour and he's happy. Truth be told however, I completely forgot about your kind offer. I will keep it in mind, Lucretia. I don't know how to contact you privately though.

    Thanks for the comments!

    1. Thanks for the info on "Dark Shadows" at Netflix, I will have to check that out! :-)

      My e-mail address is; feel free to e-mail me anytime.

    2. You're very welcome, Lucretia. And thank you!

  3. I would watch this show while my mother would iron clothes. Back then everything need to be ironed. Even diapers. The neighbor girl had the Dark Shadows board game. The winner of the game got to wear Barnabas Collins ring.

    1. What a nice prize for winning the game. Barnabas' ring is quite impressive. And yes, a lot has changed since those days.

  4. 32 degrees! Good grief, I'd die. ;)

    I'm glad your mother will be able to have a little place that of her own, but still safe for her.

    I'm thrilled to hear you've only got a few more stories to write and then will publish again! I think writing when you feel like it instead of by a strict schedule is a much more sensible way to write. Just reading your last paragraph on this post gave me goosebumps. I'd love to see your cemetery sometime - preferably in the winter. lol

  5. I'm sorry for the late response, Insomniac. I haven't been to this page in awhile, so I missed your comment.

    Yes, the cemeteries here can be quite beautiful during the winter months as well, but things are a little less quiet because the trees don't have their foliage. Also, you'll not hear any katydids singing. You have to put up with the summer's heat in order to be treated to their nightly symphony.

    As for the writing, I'm now down to one more story before I begin work on publishing. Things are moving along.