Monday, October 8, 2012
I was prompted by a friend's post on facebook about things that go bump in the night, toys that just start playing music, ghost stories, witches and vampires. Why would I do a post on such things on my blog here you ask? Well the eleven years I was in Cambodia I saw my real, fair share of paranormal activity. I heard ghost stories but witnessing was what really convinced me. There is a time when the other world does really try to contact us... Now for those of you who don't believe, fine. That's what works for you. BUT don't judge too harshly until you have lived in a country like Cambodia and seen what goes on. Now that I live back here in the USA you would think. There aren't ghost here... Right? Well it depends on who you are and what you believe. The state of Maine has it's fair share of ghost stories and hauntings. Wiscasset Maine I think is probably one of the most haunted towns in Maine with one street in particular that has four houses that are documented and that doesn't even include the other houses that have documented cases of hauntings . It's not like I go out looking for ghost stories, though I stayed at a haunted B&B last year on Halloween. I just enjoy keeping that avenue open to learn and to possibly witness hauntings, if you may. The Salem witch trials... I was once asked by a pastor when I told him I suffered from migraines. "Do you have anyone who was a witch in your family?" I was trying to figure what he was getting at. Later I learned he thought in his twisted thinking that because I had someone who was involved in the Salem Witch trials possibly brought some of the sin upon me. One of the lead families in the trials was the Putnam family. You had Young 12 year old Ann Putnam Jr who was daughter to Thomas and Ann Sr. They were key figures in the trial pointing fingers. An uncle of the young Ann was Joseph Putnam a defender. he being a defender of the ones accused could have endangered his life but he did what he thought what was right to the risk of himself being accused.I am related to him. My great great Grandmother was Ann Putnam. Her Granddaughter was Mary Anna Putnam Bronson who married George Reisner the great archaeologist. His Giza project is still going today at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Cario. He was my great uncle. I started learning about my very colorful family early in the 1980s when I started getting into genealogy. It seems genealogy and history go hand in hand and finding some of the more colorful history of our wonderful country. Do I think there were witches flying around on brooms in Salem? No ,I think that whole trial was a sad, very sad part of our history that was based on fear. Fear is a very powerful thing. Fear can snowball and if not caught can lead to deaths of the innocent. At the time of the Salem Witch Trials all of Massachusetts was under a theocracy. That means the church ran everything. You couldn't do anything that wasn't under the watchful eye of the church and the church fathers. They had watchers walking past homes peeping and keeping an eye. You had girs (probably mean girls) who may have decided they were pissed at so and so. Who really knows. I do know from reading letters of judges later, after the trail. They regret ever letting things get out of hand. People started pointing fingers and then it got out of hand. Hysteria is a very powerful weapon. Are there witches , were there witches? Yes. I firmly believe but those trials no and I don't think I suffer migraines because of witchcraft in my family. Ghost , we have a ghost at my house. I have not seen her. I have seen her do things. How do I know the ghost is a she? Well I'm pretty sure it's the former owner who died almost a year after I bought my house. That's when she started showing up. It's been like a presence that I have felt. A feeling that someone is near. Also I have been in my basement and all of a sudden, not once but many times my dryer comes flying open and then slams shut. I asked my husband and also people at Mysterious Destinations what the likely hood of that just happening, many times and they said "Nope" Just a week ago things started flying off my bookshelf. I yelled 'Quit it" and she stopped it. That was by far the most mischievous she has ever been. Once my oldest son Brendan brought Pat home to get some things so to sleep over his home he was renting a couple years ago. It was in the winter around midnight ,"The Witching hour".Pat came in,ran up to his room and got his clothes and went back out to the car. Brendan said to Pat. "What did Mom say?" Pat said "Nothing , why?" Brendan, "Cause she was standing looking out the window..." Pat "No she wasn't... she's sleeping" Brendan said "then who was the woman standing in the window if it wasn't Mom... " Last summer I had my two daughters and one of their friends staying so we had a full house. My daughter MaryKate's friend said more then once she felt someone watching her, heard noises when no one was in the house but her and also felt 'her' down in the basement. Do I fear Jan? No. I don't know why she started knocking my books down, maybe she was bored who knows. But I don't fear her. She was glad when i bought the house, even gave me a few things that meant a lot to her. maybe she will never so it again. I kinda hope not. I really like having a ghost. What does all this have to do with the Thin Veil between two worlds? This post was a little bit history which I love and a bit about what we can't explain or explain away. This time of year the veil seems to grow thin, allowing communication between the two worlds or for more hauntings or more activity. Also this time of year makes me think of scary movies or movies about the occult. One that has a favorite actress is "Practical Magic" I'm not so much into real scary movies any more but movies like the one mentioned I enjoy. Some of my favorite paranormal books or series: Anything by JR Ward. If you like vampires, well she is not your daughter's vampire stories. Once read you will be hooked. The Twilight series. Harry Potter. Jenny Crusie's "Maybe This Time" . It's a great ghost and love story. A new favorite author of mine Deborah Harkness. Her first book , 'A Discovery of Witches" and now "Shadow of Night". Both have everything you might want, a good old love story between two souls who aren't suppose to be together, witches, vampires, magic and history. So I will leave you with those thoughts as I listen to Stevie Nicks sing 'Crystal' and smell my soup cook on this cool fall afternoon...
Sunday, October 7, 2012
I woke to what we call ghost pages... It's when your pager for whatever reason opens up and starts to sound like it's going to tone out to a fire call... At the moment it's beautiful, blue skys and the leaves are a wonderful color. My thinking is get some writing done for hubby and then go for a 3 mile run with my son Ian. Then go apple picking... What have I been up to with my book(The Kings of Angkor)? Well it's a balancing game of what to use extra money for when I get my Fire Department Check every quarter. I have invested in some online promotion. Want to do a book signing but to fork out enough money even with a discount and purchase books and promotional material to go along with it... is a small King's Ransom . Also this week I will be finally booking my flight, I have credit with Orbitz. So I am going to see what kind of deal I can get for Dec. 26 or the 27 and fly over on Eva air. I am trying to get a banner add done up with "All About Romance" I want to do a month slot, see how it goes. Yesterday one of my sons said something about their brother's room that will be vacant when my second oldest son goes to Cambodia with his oldest brother in a month's time... I didn't want him to keep thinking he was moving in so I guess I busted his bubble. Told him my plans to turn the one of two rooms into my office/writing room... Well that didn't make him very happy and then son #4 was even more upset because he was planning on taking the loft bedroom so he will no longer have to share a bedroom with the youngest... So for a while I felt really guilty. What to do? How can I make this work and everyone will be happy? It's not going to happen because I will still be working from two places... my hallway desk and my bed. I wake up every morning, make my bed and spread out all my books, notes, etc... Where is that paper or book? At the end of the day I pile it all back up, some on my desk, some on my bedside stands... I have read about a lot of authors who are in the same spot as me. They write where ever they have room. Some are best selling writers. One I can't remember her name but she would write on her laptop as she waited for one of her children to finish his sports practice. I did that a couple weeks ago, but for the most part I participate, I am out there running with him so that doesn't work also I find my best time for writing is mornings. Unless it's a dreary Sunday and it's pouring... then I am writing all day long. So what do I do? I am going with my gut feeling. I am the Mom. I pay the bills. No matter what I do I am at one point or another on their list... so the room is MINE. I am going to take it over whenever that time comes and make it into my work space. A desk you ask? I am building a counter to go the length of the wall that will face out the window. That's the thing. That space has two rooms. When I bought the house back in June of 2007 with my cousin that space was a dirt floor shed/barn. The back room was like a guest room for summer time. Since then we have insulated it more on the floor cause it's all open underneath but the front room we added walls. My cousin Will designed a trapezoid window . When Bob and I got married that was his office but that didn't work. He is now up in the hallway under the loft stairs. My desk, a French, Louis the XVI style is facing out the window. I love windows BUT the desk just isn't comfortable to work at. That was an argument with #3 son. "Why do you need a window? You can have the front room of the barn." Me: "No, I want to have a window that I can see out of, not look up and see out BUT look across..." Oh well ,I am never going to make them entirely happy
Monday, October 1, 2012
The last two days of marathon writing made me think of how when I am writing it's like an itch I can't quite get at. I feel very frustrated. So the only way to get rid of that frustration is... you've got it I write. Yesterday I got twenty pages written. Blame it on the rain or thank god for the rain... For more then one reason but because it rained and I didn't feel compelled to be outside. Today I got three pages done plus some editing. Found after yesterday's writing stint that I had just kept writing and hadn't marked my parts for chapter headings. The only thing I did do as I wrote was correct spelling which drives me crazy if I see the words underlined in red. Writing for me once the characters start taking shape is like a drug. I can't get enough, I need to write and everything takes a back seat. If my door is shut leave me a lone. I get extremely frustrated and yansy if I have to go do something else. I am really not there but off in my own little world that I have created. So for the sake of others and my self I really should get that bunch of writing out of the way. I tend to be flighty when writing so the kids can ask me just about anything and I will probably agree or snap their heads off. But real life also beckons and I have to do wash, food shop, take care of the house and kids. Cook that would be a good idea if we want to eat since I don't have a maid any longer. Life in Cambodia, not Camden Maine. So why did I title my post Love and other drugs? Love of writing, needing to get it done but the more I wrote yesterday the more I wanted to write. Usually the itch ends and I can get on with my daytime routine. Not yesterday. I didn't even want to read. I wanted to write and that's the way it was when I wrote the first book. I had days like that. I found it rewarding and exhausting.
Monday, September 24, 2012
It's a solitary business, writing books. You have hours, days, weeks with non stop writing... hopefully. Then the book is finished and then the editing begins. While writing I am learning the ropes about promotion and e-publishing so I can e-publish the next book in the series plus other books. Promotion, getting your name out there so you have readers ready to read your next book. I am hard at work on # 2. Also working on another book so I can have at least a couple books out next year. Research is a needful thing also when writing. Some days that's all I do and get very little actual writing done. I am talking with my daughter about my trip to Cambodia and then going up to Siem Reap to visit Angkor Wat. Another author friend of mine, Kent Davis say he gets more research done when at home in the states. I am sure I do too BUT the whole idea of going to Angkor Wat is walking in the steps of the Kings. I was hoping to go this fall but I think I will wait till one of the New Years, Cambodia has 3. The regular New Year On Jan 1, then Chinese New Year and then Cambodian New Year. So we will see. When I do go I know I will have a lot to write about and to share photos. Till then I use the internet and my books that are now part of my library. So I will close for now and know I am hard at work on the second in the series.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Writing is so solitary, it's a creation that is done in the head of the author, he or she works on their story, typing away, crafting ,molding, erasing or in the case of computers deleting... I write ,I delete, I fashion words and phrases. Some days I get a lot of pages done, other days it's like pulling hen's teeth. I love the days that I have no interruptions and the words flow. I try not to get too crazy if I can't get what I want done. But I have many hats that I wear and writing is just one of them. This morning the sun calls me to go power walking. I look out my window and the intense shades of green, maybe there are fifty... Out there I see tinges of fall colors too that are gently sneaking in there. I know it was cold this morning when I crawled out of bed. As I wrote this morning I listened to Christina Perri and "A Thousand Years" A fitting song for what I am writing. I need music as I write, usually one song plays on my ipod over and over, it helps create a mood, blocks out sounds. So those are my thoughts on writing at the moment. Anyone who reads this have a wonderful Sunday!
Monday, September 3, 2012
Well Good Morning. It's a cloudy morning here in Maine but wait a few minutes and it may change! I found I am on sale through Amazon UK which is thrilling. Also in the Times of India which when I looked on their site saw: Our Heritage: Indiatimes is part of India's largest media and entertainment house, The Times Group. One of the most respected business houses in India, the 168-year-old group is a market driver across all media platforms. The group's brands include: The Times of India - World's largest broadsheet English daily So that is right from the horse's mouth. Since a lot of my back story is Indian based it's very cool that I am listed in one of their papers. Also I saw I was in a couple of Maine papers too so I was pretty excited last night before a Fire Works Detail for the CFD. I have been asked by friends and family if there will be a second book? Yes and a third. I am currently working on the second. I hope to have it done for release by next summer. BUT all good things take time and I want Anna's story to be bigger and better then the first. Summer was a very hard time to write. What with the children home for the summer from school it made my writing time a real creative lesson on time management. This week starting tomorrow the boys really go back to school. They started last Wednesday but the first day was just a half of day. When I can't get writing done I get really frustrated and I become scatter brained and can't sit because all my thoughts are bottled and I feel like I am going to explode. Like another writing friend put. When you can't write it's like having an itch that you can't scratch... that is so true and frustrating to the extreme. So yes, Anna's story will continue. I fell in love with her story and that of Princess Indradevi. The Love story between Indradevi and Jayavarman is older then you may think and that's where India comes in. I had some moments when writing the book that I can only describe as 'Oh Wow' moments because I wrote things about the characters. The modern day counterparts are pure fiction. The story line for their historical conterparts is fiction, my story but there is a lot that is true. I did a great deal of research when writing this book but sometimes I would just write and then research. Kinda Bass Ackwards... but what I found out after writing for a day is the backstory of what I just wrote was true and how in the world did I know what I just wrote because I never read anything on that subject prior. It was times like these that I had goose bumps going up and down my spine. Like any new author who wants to get his or her work out there, she has to learn the ropes of selling his or her work. Your publisher can only do so much. I think like a lot of other authors we tend to be shy and would rather just write. But if we want to sell our work we have to get out there and talk to people. Whether it be at book signings or just at a local ice cream stand. Talking about your book to complete strangers can be hard but you never know who you may be speaking to and it may be the break you were looking for. My days hopefully will settle down to a great writing schedule. Being on the Camden Maine FD gives me the freedom to stay home and write. I also have letters to write to bookstores and libraries. I do have my book in Camden's beautiful library. Some would say ' Oh, your book in a library, that's not encouraging sales...' Yes and no. There was many a time that I couldn't afford a book at that moment, found an author and later bought her books. Like one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Peters. Also I would like to mention ,in The Kings of Angkor Anna's uncle that is mentioned and her last name... That was my mother's family's name a couple generations back. The uncle who was an archeologist... that was mine. If you haven't read the book and don't know the answer to those two references , well you will have to read the book :-) So I will leave you. There is back information on research that I have done for the book and though it may seem dry it helps paint a bigger picture of my story and Anna's story.