Phantasy Friday: NaNoWriMo; Complete With Interruptions, Special Ones

National Novel Writing Month commenced the 1st — and it’s not too late to join in! The goal is 50 thousand words by the end of November. It can be a complete story, or the beginning of a story for those who write long. And it’s very achievable at 1,667 words a day! If you write the typical 2500 word chapter, you can have it done early. You can write by yourself purely on an honor system, or hook up with NaNo writing buddies. There are online pep talks and everything. Well, almost everything. There’s nothing for what happens at my house.

I’m doing NaNo for the first time. And I actually took into consideration the need to write extra words every day to cover weekends I’m ghost hunting. But the main thing NaNo does is prove you can write a novel in a month. Rough draft it may be; but they’re all rough drafts at the start. Give it a try! And if you do, buddy up with me. You can find me as Runere.

HOWEVER— it’s as if there’s a great conspiracy to keep me from completion. Despite all the wonderful encouragement you get from NaNo and writing buddies, I feel compelled to point out there are things NaNo has no control over. I’m going to give you a condensed version of interruptions from my household. I swear, it’s like watching a movie only to have a commercial break leap out at you during the deepest, most exciting part of the film! Certain situations have arisen that have me leaning toward a murder mystery next year. A perfect murder. With no bodies found. Lots of life insurance to collect. It’s about a writer who just can’t take any more interruptions . . .

Sorry. Plotting moment there.

Writing at a good pace on day one. This is pretty cool! You know, if a person sets this goal for each day you really could write a book a month! Enter my word count at the NaNo site.

Second day, scene: a chase ensues in a dark New Orleans alley, sounds and scents amplified by terror. My heroine looks up to see the nightmare version of my bad werewolves. It’s thick lips bare bloodied fangs as it prepares to speak. *snarl* “I can’t get the damn microwave to work right.”

Poof. Scene gone with a jolt. Wh-what? He wasn’t supposed to say that! And what happened to that gravelly, raspy voice I devised for him? I lean into the screen and peer closely at the words, trying to reclaim the momentum.  Hubby’s voice repeats, “The microwave won’t heat my soup.” I twist my head around and glare at him (probably resembling Linda Blair in The Exorcist. More than a little). He recoils at the sight and tries to shut the office door. But it’s too late. I stomp in to investigate. Turns out hubby thought he should adjust the temp control. We’ve only had this microwave for ten years. Why did he think it suddenly operated differently? Sigh.

Third day: I’m in the process of laying an intricate trail of clues. I’ve made notes, and it’s pretty cut and dried, so when I hear Hubby hollering for the dog outside the office window, it wasn’t too much of a distraction. Until he yelled, “Dixie!” for the third time. That penetrated. Dixie is in heat. I walk her on lead. Not Hubby. She listens to him. (Yeah, right. Like a teenage daughter with the hormonal hots for a bad boy with a fast car!) That hump-happy hound was probably off fornicating with every male in a ten-mile radius. Since I’d be the one stuck taking care of any puppies, you better believe I left a cloud of papers fluttering in my vapor trail on the way out! Found her and dragged her back inside before she went behind a bush with Romeo. Or Cisco. Or Pancho. Or Duke. Or that one I’ve never seen before. Or that little brown dog that humps my leg.

Fourth and Fifth days: Ghost hunting! Loved both nights of it. Did I ever expect to use my experience as a maritime captain during ghost hunting? No, never. But it turns outs this house was supposed to be haunted by an old sea captain. Things were quiet until I asked questions about Celestial Navigation and using a sextant for taking sun and star shots. We got a LOUD response then!

Back to NaNo on Sunday night. Hubby tried to help by cooking. Took me two hours to scrub that burned pan. We had doctor’s appointments out the wazoo on Monday; but I stayed up later to write. Had a migraine; gritted my teeth and wrote five hundred words while trying not to be ill.

But something happened this week that made me shut the computer down. It was just too much. I literally stayed in shock for a full day. Still get a little wobbly in the legs if I think about it too long while walking.

I got the phone call informing me I’m going to be a great-grandmother in June.

Yep. Full mental shutdown.

But after the initial shock wore off (two, maybe three days later!), I got really excited. Not many people get the opportunity to actually hold a person who will live so far past them in the future. I can’t wait to hold him or her, wrap them up in loving arms. To whisper in their ear to treat him or her self with care and respect because there will never be another one just like them. I’ll whisper to be sure to walk their own baby down to that certain tree near the pond.

That tree will be grown by then and I’ll be long gone. But I want that later baby’s father or mother — the baby I held — to press tiny hands to the bark and tell that little person, “Someone believed in me so much that she planted this tree the day I was born. For you to hang your swing from.”

Hope they both feel the love, because that’s truly the one thing that never changes, never dies. I’m thinking an Oak.


Visit Runere at Friend her on Facebook @ Runere McLain  Follow her on Twitter@RunereMcLain

The Lure of Old Cemeteries

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If you know me, you would know, I’m a scary cat when it comes to watching horror movies. At the same time. I have this passion for paranormal, witches, voodoo, and old cemeteries. The old ones are my favorite, aged, and covered with moss, and some defaced from weather, and climate.

When I visit an old cemetery I love the old crypts, or graves. Love to see their names and wonder  what their life was like when they were alive. A defaced and broken crypt is ideal for a scene in any paranormal story which might include a vampire, goul, ghost, or whatever your fantasy might take a writer.

So with this in mind, here are some great pictures of some crypts located somewhere in the deep south. Let your mind wonder, and your imagination run wild, and free.

The Mortuary

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This is a Victorian Mansion on Canal Street in New Orleans, It was originally built as a family home later sold to a Notary in 1923, and in 1928 information was brought to attention that it was purchased on on behalf of PJ McMahon which turned it into a grand funeral home. It has over a mile radius of graves and in between the year of 1930 to 2003 over 20,000 funerals took place and their body fluids flushed down the basement. Not to mention being surrounded by the city of the dead. It is documented by a paranormal investigation team. Now it has switched hands and is a Haunted House and only opened at Halloween. For what you mean, they turned it into a HAUNTED HOUSE. I’ve been to see this place of wonder at night, and my daughter screaming to me that she seen a ghost in the cemetery connected to the house as we pulled away. It sent shivers down my spine. And the legend

Ghost at the La Belle Bed & Breakfast

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So many ghost stories, center around New Orleans, but we have our own ghost and culture for the country folks in, Picayune, MS.  At the Bed and Breakfast which is no longer a B&B, this beautiful home was constructed in 1904 as a private residence, a boarding house, and at one point brunch to Sunday worshippers from nearby churches.

When Penny and Linden(no last name) bought the place it was in horrible condition. They worked for months, and when you first walk in the wall paper you’ll see in the pictures are now back to the original paper. The old wood walls has been restored, and the B&B is beautiful for visitors as well as the owners giving you a country welcome, and a spoiling. The thing is, the old place has more than the great owners. There is a smoker in the bathroom. A customer reported to Penny once, I swear I haven’t smoked in your bathroom, but somebody did. Penny remarked… Ahh, it’s just my ghost, If you tell it to leave … the cigarette smoke dissolves.

Another event, was a woman’s slippers were moved when she awakened the next morning. She put her slippers back on the floor straight, and later when she returned to her room, again the slippers were askew. She reported the drama to Penny and Linden, who just shrug their shoulders and said, ahh pay it no never-mind, it’s just our ghost.

A woman pulled up with anther woman for some function, and the driver happened to be a sensitive. The passenger jumped out and said, “let’s go.” And the driver replied upset, and anxious. “NO, I don’t think I’ll be coming in. There something in that house.” She told Penny how the woman reacted.

All was done with a friendly smile and replied with humor. “There is nothing to be afraid of.. it’s just my friendly ghost.”

One night, Penny woke up in the middle of the night running to the kitchen thinking she left a roast in the oven. The closer she was to the kitchen the smell of a roast cooking dissipated into nothingness. This has happened on more than one occasion.

I know all of this to be true. I never seen a ghost before, but I have house sat for 2 different Christmas’s. The first Christmas was uneventful, but the second. I bought blue slippers(seems the ghost had a preference.) nothing happened. But, when I made the bed in the other room. Every time I passed, it looked like someone had lay upon the coverlet with the indention of a body, even on the pillow. I went into the room repeatedly to repair the bed only to return to the same disorder. (I loved it.)

I would run over once and awhile to help Penny clean the place if someone special was coming over, and I would talk to the ghost. I’ve always wanted to see one, and I thought. They can tell how much I love the place. Surely they will let me see them. But to my heartache. I never received the honor, just the honor of the shadows of their presence.

I was working at my job, and Linden came in looking for me. He told me, I have something to talk to you about. So I came from behind the counter, and thinking something was wrong immediately fear raced down my spine. I asked him in a choked voice as the hairs raised at the base of my neck, and it alerted the goose-bump squad to come to attention if everything was ok?

Linden grabbed my forearms and looked at me. “your going to be upset.”

I gulped a sick feeling hit my stomach as if I turned into gusher volcano about to erupt. I said, “Ok, tell me.”

He then begin his tale… I was sitting watching Television in the back area, and when he looked up he seen the old woman coming from the hallway and she walked through the French Doors. I almost died in jealousy, but I was tickled at the same time. I wanted to run over and go say  I want to see, please. In one of the pictures you’ll see the French Doors, she was coming towards you.

So here is my story, and a few pictures of a beautiful haunted B&B in Picayune.

The Love of Writing

Hello everyone. Happy Dark Thursday. I love writing Paranormal Fantasy, and Sci-fi and along those lines. The creating process is an adventure in itself. I’m a panster, I write by the seat of my pants.  I’ve tried to write with a plot outline, but it only turns into scratch paper. My mentor Christine Feehan is the same way. First I’ll find a great name, and general idea and I begin. The story unravels as I write. Sometimes I might get an idea but it doesn’t mean the character’s listen sometimes they get a mind of their  own, or something will happen, and you’ll  just as surprised that it’s happening. I think that is awesome.

I can’t wait to be published, but I also don’t want it to stop there. I was fearful at one time thinking I might only have one story in me. Well, I found out that’s not true.  I have all kinds of characters in my head. It’s so exciting. It’s like being on a high, and your rushing to catch it because it feels so good.

I really miss not posting parts of a story. Ahh well, we can’t have everything, but I’ll fight to have as much of it as possible. Never give up your dreams. When you get them.. get a one.. Life moves in the positive.. and you’ll always get what you wish for.. by living it in your mind.

I love these pictures. The woman is awesome with her hair, and the dark lips. You can do so much with her. Enjoy.

Moonday’s Heroic Hunk in History: Henry & Katherine Howard

     Moonday’s Heroic Hunk was to have been short this week. I’m doing NaNoWriMo and am unfortunately behind (read that WAY behind). Also, this is another of Henry VIII’s very short marriages but I got too involved with the story. Henry was almost fifty when, in July of 1540, he annulled his marriage to Anne of Cleves and married Katherine Howard who was twenty or so. Their marriage lasted less than two years and ended with the beheading for treason (read that adultery against the king) of a silly young girl.

Katherine Howard

      Katherine Howard, the daughter of a poor younger son of the Duke of Norfolk, had been sent to live with the Dowager Duchess as her ward. The Duchess, however, was often busy at court and provided little supervision for her wards. Consequently, Catherine was neither intelligent nor well-educated like her first cousin Anne Boleyn and she did not possess the skills or maturity to make her way at court.
     Catherine apparently had two affairs in her very early youth while with the Duchess. Her first affair was actually a dalliance with Henry Manox , her music teacher. Her relationship with Frances Dereham was far more serious—they called each other “husband” and “wife.” Their actions may have constituted a precontract of marriage which should have prevented Catherine’s marrying King Henry.
      The fall of this particular bride was especially poignant. When the Duchess discovered Katherine’s misbehavior, she removed her from her household and sent her to Court as a lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves. The downfall of her first cousin, Anne Boleyn (Queen #2), had placed the Howard family out of favor.   They didn’t care who they threw into Henry’s path to regain favor and restore the Catholic faith—and Katherine had caught the King’s eye. As the King’s courtship of Katherine progressed, so did their influence.

Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk

  Katherine’s motto “No other wish but his” was ill-chosen. On her arrival at Court, she and the handsome and popular Thomas Culpepper had hooked up briefly. After Katherine married the King, Lady Rochford (the widow of George Boleyn, Anne’s brother who was unjustly accused of and executed for incest with Anne) assisted the couple with their assignations. (Rita’s Note: One wonders at her motivation.)
      Imagine young Katherine’s predicament. Henry, still convinced of his appeal to women, weighed in at about 300 pounds. While married to Anne, he had fallen during a joust and injured his leg. Ten+ years later the festering wound had ulcerated and the foul-smelling discharge had to be drained every day. Katherine not only had to submit to Henry’s frequent efforts to secure an heir but her fertility was monitored by the whole Court. It is not surprising that she turned to Culpepper.
      Unfortunately, her past caught up with her. In addition to folks from her past who knew about her indiscretions, both Manox and Dereham appeared at Court and demanded and were given positions in her household. By November of 1541, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, presented Henry with evidence of her adultery. A substantial part of the evidence against her was obtained by torturing Culpepper and Dereham. In December, both men were executed for treason (Culpepper by beheading and Dereham was hung, drawn, and quartered) and their heads were placed atop London Bridge.

 Poor Katherine’s family had deserted her, Cranmer was after her head, and the King had spurned her. In January, Parliament passed the bill of attainder against her and by February she was imprisoned in the Tower. The hours before her execution on February 13th were spent practicing placing her head on the block.
     She required assistance to climb the scaffold. Facing execution, she asked for mercy for her family and prayers for herself. The executioner took her head with one stroke of the axe and she was buried in the same chapel as her Cousin Anne. A plaque commemorates her death. She never confessed to infidelity.
      Two stories are connected with her death. Her last words were reported to be: “I die a Queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper.” The other relates to her ghost wandering in Hampton Court to the Chapel where she tried unsuccessfully to reach Henry who was in the Chapel. On a personal note, when I visited Hampton Court the area outside the Chapel was icy cold. It was May. Next week, we bid Henry VIII goodbye. ‘Til Moonday, Rita Bay

230 am – Random Thoughts

Once again, it’s time for the insomnia report from RomanceMama!  ODG, why can I not sleep when the rest of the world does??? But lucky for you, I want to write and yet have the heaves at the thought of wrestling a few more words out of my sullen lil B of a heroine at this hour.  So, I shall blog.

A few things I want to say (and y’all can’t stop me! Ha! I have a keyboard and I’m not afraid to use it):

1.  The utter lunacy of certain celebrities overwhelms me.  One example: Whoopi Goldberg — loved Ghost, but then again, Swayze was in it, what’s not to love — has announced that Polanski, who pled guilty to having sex with a 13 year old he gave quaaludes and alcohol to, didn’t commit what she calls “rape rape”.  She said other cultures don’t look at 13 year olds the same way we do.  Uh-uh. Right. And some cultures approve of female  circumcision/genital mutilation. And some say you can sell your daughters. Heck, even “honor killings” of women go in some cultures.  So hi, ho, let’s all jump in on those.  NO! The point is that for all its faults, the US stands as a beacon of hope to women around the world, just because we don’t look at female children the way their culture does.  And drugging someone a fraction of your age so you can sodomize her is wrong. I don’t care who you are or how artistic your vision is.  Forget the age issue even.  When you take away someone’s ability to say no, by threat, force, or inebriation, it is rape rape.  End of story.

2. Ok, I loved Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was a parody. It was funny.  But as RomanceMama has learned to her chagrin, just cause it’s funny once doesn’t mean you keep doing it. Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters, not as funny the second time someone pulled this stunt.  Now they have announced Little Women and Werewolves??? ODG, no.  I can see that this is now a subgenre.  Becky Sharp as a witch (well, that goes without saying.) Cathy, Heathcliff and the Banshee. Scarlett and Edward Cullen (Gone with the Volvo?).  No, people. Know when to say no.

3.  Are you all aware that Lisa Kleypas and Liz Carlyle are both in the NYT top 5??? Obviously, historical romance ain’t dead.  They say that when the economy tanks, war seems imminent, and all is despair, people just want to read HEA’s and forget their problems.  And there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

4, Team Edward. Enough said.

Oh, heck with it. I’ll just post a picture.  In honor of sfcatty and her wide-ranging taste in YouTube videos, here is Christopher Meloni!


Patrick Swayze

Who could forget him in Dirty Dancing?  We never had such hot guys to dance with when I went to camp!   He was so seductive!  And Ghost?  All I can say is that scene with the pottery wheel was almost too much for my heart to take.  He will be missed.  He was one of a kind. patrick-swayze

REST IN PEACE, PATRICK and thanks for the memories (and Thanks for To Wong Foo, too!- another great movie)

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