The Sun emits a solar flare on October 2, 2014.
I frakkin’ LOVE the Sun.
It’s here! The day is here! The beautifully spooky BEWARE THE WILD hits shelves today! You can buy it here, here, here, here, and here. We dare you to read the first chapter without becoming immediately hooked.
JULIE MURPHY: Ever seen the movie THE CONJURING? I grew up down the street from the house that the film was based off of. The Lindley Street Haunting is one of the most well-documented poltergeist cases of all time. It all started with the Goodin family, primarily their adopted daughter, Marcia. Even the famous paranormal investigating duo Ed and Lorraine Warren. Reliable sources (like policemen and firefighters) who had all been in the house reported strange activity from mysterious pounding to the family cat saying things like, “Bye-bye!” Was it all a hoax? Decide for yourself.
KATIE COTUGNO: When I was in high school, my parents bought a weird decrepit old farmhouse from a woman whose ex-husband was supposedly an exiled brigadier in the IRA who was hiding out in the US—my dad loved this idea, of course, but the rest of us never really paid attention to it. The house had this stupid 1980s intercom/phone system that was somehow hooked up to the electric, so that when the power went out the phones would go, too. During the Northeast Blackout of 2003, I was stuck in Manhattan and tried to call home to say I was alive, but I figured I’d never be able to get through. It rang like 20 times before I finally heard my mom’s voice. “How did you get this number?” she asked, sounded rattled. “What do you mean?” I said. “I called the house.” Turned out there was a LITERAL, ACTUAL RED PHONE hidden in a far corner of our huge, sketchy dirt-and-stone basement—one that somehow knew the difference between routine blown fuses and widespread national emergencies, and kicked on accordingly. My dad ripped it out of the wall the next day.
LINDSAY SMITH: In Oklahoma, even our urban legends were hand-me-downs, recycled myths, same old same old rerun has-been worn-out ghost stories. Crybaby bridge, murder house, Cherokee burial grounds, women in white, ghost lights on the rusty train tracks. So I made up my own—backstories and tragedies. I needed them to fit the ghosts I kept seeing.
LIVIA BLACKBURNE: Be careful walking alone by the Rio Grande at night. The spirit of La Llorona wanders the bosque weeping for her children. If she sees you, she’ll drown you in the river as well.
AMBER LOUGH: As the story goes, three boys were ran over by a logging truck on an empty stretch of road near Charleston. They were buried behind a Baptist Church along the same road. If you knock on the church door three times, and say “We want to see the lights” then repeat this process three times, the lights will appear to you on the stretch of road.
CORINNE DUYVIS: Six heads adorn the House with the Heads in Amsterdam—the heads of ill-fated robbers. Once, a maid was home alone; when the first robber stuck his head into the kitchen, she chopped it off with an axe and dragged the headless body inside. “The coast is clear,” she called out in a low voice, and one by one the other robbers peeked inside…
JENNY MARTIN: I grew up in a tiny, sleepy town in Northwest Oklahoma, and in 1947, one of the deadliest tornadoes in American History, an F5 twister, leveled most of it. Woodward’s hospital survived, and many of the hundreds of wounded and dead were taken there the night the twister hit. There was a little girl named Joan Gay Croft, who survived, and she and her sister were also taken there, to its basement, that night. Although their aunt checked on them during the night, the next day Joan was gone. She vanished without a trace and has never been seen since. It’s been one of the town’s spookiest bits of my town’s history, and in 1993, Robert Stack and his Unsolved Mysteries show came to Woodward and filmed a segment on it. They even came to the old hospital to shoot and my granddad was in the segment. At the time, my family owned the old, abandoned hospital and used it as a warehouse for the family business. When I was little, my house was riiiiiight behind it, on the same lot, and the place totally creeps me out now. Some people still say it’s haunted, but I never saw any sign of Joan. But I still think about her, and wonder what happened to this little lost girl.
ANNIE MCGOUGH: For a while when I was little, my family lived in this old farm house. I was in fifth grade and had a bunch of friends over for a sleepover—cake, Dirty Dancing, singing along to TLC, all that good stuff. I woke up sometime early in the morning; it was bright out, but no one else was awake at that point (not even my mom) so I’m guessing it was like 6am.What woke me up was someone saying my name. I sat up in my sleeping bag, thinking it was one of the other girls who needed the bathroom or something. But when I looked around, they were all still asleep. No Mom around, either. But I still heard someone calling my name: “Annie. Annie. Come outside, Annie. Come outside, Annie.”Then I thought “oh shit, someone got outside,” but no one was at the big picture window (again, totally bright out, I could see into the fields) and no one was at the door. But I kept hearing “Annie. Annie. Come outside, Annie.”So I did what any overwhelmed eleven-year-old would do: I lay back down, curled up in my sleeping bag, shut my eyes and pretended I didn’t hear anything and eventually fell back to sleep.Later that morning I expected someone to say they were hiding in the kitchen and playing a joke, but no one mentioned anything about weird voices. So now I always assume it was either me still dreaming (even though I remember being totally lucid) or some creepy force trying to get me to follow.
JESSICA CORRA: When I was in high school, the community theatre was housed in a defunct church with attached parsonage where the director’s daughter lived. Supposedly it wasn’t used as a church since the last priest stationed there had gone crazy and stored some kids in the attic where he’d tortured and killed them, and you could still see child-sized handprints if you went up there, but I never did, and their ghosts haunted the church.
ROBIN TALLEY: In Bedford, Va., there’s a place people call the Seven Gates of Hell. The story goes that there are 7 gates on an old abandoned farm. As you drive through each gate, things get creepier and creepier. At the 5th gate, all electronics stop working — your car, your cell phone, even your watch. If you make it through the 7th gate, you go straight to tell. (Or the non-abandoned farm’s owner comes out to wave a shotgun around and scare you. One or the other!)
E.K. JOHNSTON: Just because no one has ever found the secret tunnel under the Van Egmond House (Egmondville, Ontario), doesn’t mean it’s not there.
TESS SHARPE: So my family was part of this giant camping group, and the kids were left with a grandmotherly-type while the parents did other stuff. This lady decided it’d be a GREAT idea to tell the kids about the basket lady, which is the monster who lives in the woods who weaves little children who run away from camp skins into baskets. Of course, instantly on hearing this, I got so terrified I ran away from camp. I don’t think that was my intention, I think I was meaning to run to find my mother, but I got all turned around and ended up wandering around the woods for awhile before I was found. Luckily, not by the basket-lady, but by my very worried mother.
CHRISTA DESIR: In our town, the school children are warned not to jump on the manhole covers at recess. Evidently, one time a girl was jumping on one, it busted open and she fell. Even though they sent several people after her, they never found her. Beware the MANHOLE.
Now, run don’t walk, and pick up your copy of BEWARE THE WILD!
I love these girls so much I’m stealing all of these ideas for future novels.
Here’s lookin’ at you palegirlinthecity, amberlough, christadesir, corinneduyvis, andimjulie, jmartinlibrary, Jessica Corra, ekjohnston , katiecotugno, lindsaysmithdc, liviablackburne, sharpegirl, & robintalley.
And tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 22) is the release event at Mysteryscape Books in Kansas City!
Over the weekend, @clevermanka and I were bemoaning the scarcity of chipmunks in Kansas, at least where we live. Then, this morning, while watching our flocks of LBBs (Little Brown Birds), baby squirrels (no adults to be seen), cardinals, blue jays, grackles, and mice (adult and baby - they are a cute but unfortunate side-effect of feeding the animals), I noticed rustling grass beneath the bird feeders. Couldn’t quite discern who was doing the rustling (I *really* need to mow the grass), so I grabbed a pair of binoculars.
Lo and behold! It was a large-ish chipmunk-ey looking guy, with wide white stripes down both sides (bordered with thin black lines) and a single black stripe down the center of the back. No stripes on the golden-furred head - the indication of a chipmunk vs. a ground squirrel - and a thin but furry tail about body-length. Getting chubby in preparation for winter.
Oh, and did I mention CUTE like WHOAH? I mean, just LOOK AT IT. I thought our baby squirrels were cute… well, they totally are. But this guy? *ded*
I’m hoping this is a momma, and we’ll have a crop of baaaby ground squirrels next summer. Rodents are the cutest things ever.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Chipmunk and a Ground Squirrel. Another source - and this one suggests that maybe we have a hybrid chipmunk-squirrel (five black stripes, but none on head).
"Oh Death," by Jen Titus, from Supernatural. Just wow. This song accompanies one of the best moments of the show.
Holy shit, Anthony Weiner actually said something important.
It’s a miracle!
That’s been the Republican strategy since day one of Obama’s presidency. Block the President at every turn, then blame him for not getting anything done. In fact, here’s Newt Gingrich openly admitting to it.
That’s why Republicans block jobs bills — so they can blame Obama for the economy still sucking. They’ve blocked budgets, resulting in a government shutdown that they then tried to blame on Obama. They’ve tried over and over again to block Obamacare, and complain that it’s a failure as they work their asses off to try to make it fail.
It’s kindergarten politics, and we need to vote these schmucks out in November. A bunch of white guys throwing temper tantrums and shouting NO! to everything just because they don’t like the president is no way to run a government, especially if we’re going to continue to pretend to be one of the greatest nations on earth.
And we’ll be hearing more from the woman on the right side in the picture, because she (Nicolle Wallace) is now one of The View's new co-hosts, along with comedienne Rosie Perez, comedienne Rosie O'Donnell, and comedienne Whoopi Goldberg.
the pro-life movement can be summed up by the fact that one of my friends who’s pregnant was taking the bus home from downtown when all the people from the March for Life were also leaving and she asked a young girl sitting in the priority seating if she could sit down because she’s pregnant and the girl replied, “well I’m really tired, i was at the march all day.”
Are you fucking joking
What most people don’t know, that they should, is that practically every food you buy in a store for consumption by humans is genetically modified food. There are no wild seedless watermelons, there’s no wild cows, there’s no long-stem roses growing in the wild …
We have systematically genetically modified all the foods, the vegetables and animals, that we have eaten ever since we cultivated them. It’s called artificial selection. That’s how we genetically modify them. So now that we can do it in a lab, all of a sudden, you’re going to complain?
So we are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs. I don’t have a problem with that because we’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years. So, chill out.
Even the Sun is getting into the Halloween spirit this year. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) just captured these awesome images of solar activity that make it look like the Sun has decided to dress up as the solar system’s largest, creepiest jack-o’-lantern.
The SDO has three instruments. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager studies the magnetic field on the Sun’s surface. The Atmospheric Imaging Assembly is designed to study the solar corona, taking images 1.3 solar diameters in multiple wavelengths. The Extreme ultraviolet Variability Experiment is designed to investigate the varying spectrum of the Sun’s radiant energy and its interaction with the environment.
The goal of the SDO is to combine the data from these three instruments to improve our understanding of the solar physics that drives activity in the Sun’s atmosphere, which in turn drives space weather in the heliosphere and on the surface of planets.
Great discussion about the literary canon, sexism, and The Hunger Games.
Read them all here, I felt like this should be remembered somewhere because it’s really good.
If you try to tell me the Hunger Games isn’t good enough to go toe-to-toe with shit like 1984, Lord of the Flies, and Farenheit 451 then we are gonna have to throw the fuck down
#oh it’s just a love triangle#NO IT’S ABOUT THE DEMEANING NARRATIVE GIRLS ARE FORCED TO PLAY#AS OBJECTS AND ROMANTICS#TRIVIAL AND SHALLOW AND RULED BY PASSIONS#IT’S ABOUT HOW MUCH OF KATNISS’S LIFE GETS WARPED THROUGH THE LENS OF TRITE TEENAGE ROMANCE#WHEN ALL SHE WANTS TO DO IS BE HER OWN WOMAN#AND PROTECT HER OWN FAMILY#literally the female relationships in the book are devalued by everyone#the capital doesn’t give a fuck she’s doing all this for her sister they wanna see her smooch peeta#and isn’t it fucking hilarious that that’s what hollywood’s serving us as well???#ISN’T GODDAMN FUNNY#i will fight people about the hunger games forever don’t you test me
All of this is an awesome read
And maybe I’ll have to actually read the Hunger Games now…
OKAY AND ANOTHER THING CUZ I’M STILL EXCITED about the hunger games is how much of it is about exploitation and denial of agency, how katniss’s body is absolutely a microcosm of her cause and her nation. it’s about the exploitation of resources, about control, control, control, of image, of options.
katniss is handled—she fights for her very most basic right to live and keep alive her family like the starved districts she comes from and so she accepts—has to accept— the role the capitol and later the rebellion itself lays out for her. step here. shoot this. sacrifice that. obey. and smile! and as she’s dragged through her paces so too is the exploited underclass, step for step…. and critics don’t notice, critics dismiss it, as we dismiss women and we dismiss girls.
we’re complicit in the exploitation of women. we’re complicit in the exploitation of the working class, in the consumption of cheap labor, in the consumption of bodies. these are comfortable narratives, lies we’re happy to buy— the author wrote for tv. she knows what sells and why, and she rips it all up and shows you how it works from the awful bleeding underside and still to promote the movie girls are sold capitol makeup.
katniss’s world, her whole story, is a brutally direct allegory of the society in which collins wrote her books.
what a kick in the teeth.
The prison-industrial complex is just a myth…right?
Jesus he didn’t even have us do the damn math. He just said it.
…yeah. I suppose there’s no point in finding flowery rhetoric for it. “Putting people in jail is good for business” is pretty much the size of it.
So, he’s PROUD of imprisoning people for drug use… because MONEY. He’s a Democrat… can you even imagine what the Republicans in his state must be like? I’m feeling a little hopeless about the two major parties in the US.