Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Cruising around the internet, researching, of course, *coughs* I found this question in a forum: Does anyone have proof that ghosts exist? As you can imagine, there was a wide variety in the response. And, while I don’t know what the person who posted the question was looking for, it made me wonder. What do you consider “proof?”
            I know many people point to photo, video, or audio recordings as proof. But I’ve also heard this evidence explained away as doctored material, a trick of the light, or background noise. For me, personal encounters are the most compelling. But, as I discuss in On Haunted Ground, someone sufficiently set against believing in the spirit world can explain away even direct interaction with an entity as “a coincidence.” So, I guess for me, it comes down to having a little faith. Faith that # 1, I’m not crazy, and # 2, this world is bigger and more complex than I’ll ever truly understand.

So, do you believe? If so, what convinced you?

Are you a disbeliever? What would it take to change your mind?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fun Time!!!!

First Grade Drawing - PRICELESS!
A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for her homework assignment. 

The teacher graded it and the child took it home. 

She returned to school the next day with the following note: 

Dear Ms. Davis, 

I want to be perfectly clear on my child's homework illustration. 
It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint surrounded by male customers with money. 
I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. 
This drawing is of me selling a shovel. 


Mrs. Harrington

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How About That

Did you know that you can look up a list of “symptoms” of a haunted houses online? I’m not sure why this surprised me, after all, you can also find a list of signs you need a new job, have fallen in love, or are addicted to pizza. So, why not? About.com has a list of 16 signs your house may be haunted. They are:
Possible Signals
Unexplained Noises
Doors and Cabinets Opening and Closing
Lights/electronics turning on and off by themselves
Items disappearing and reappearing Also called DOPler effect (Disappearing Object Phenomenon)
Unexplained Shadows
Odd Animal Behavior
Feeling of Being Watched

            Stronger Signals
Mild Psychokinetic Phenomena- Actually seeing a door close or light switch off.
Feeling of being touched
Hearing cries or whispers
Cold or Hot Spots
Unexplained Smells

        Very Strong Signals
Moving or levitating objects
Physical Assault
Other Physical Evidence – Unexplained writing, handprints, etc

And guess what? I’ve experienced 15 of these in my own home. And all fifteen are detailed in On Haunted Ground.  What about you? According to this list, what are the odds that your house/office/favorite hangout is haunted?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Judging a Book by It's Cover.

Over the weekend my publisher sent me the back cover of On Haunted Groundfor final approval and it got me thinking: What grabs your attention on a jacket cover? A tempting summary of the plot? An excerpt from the book? A tag line followed by advanced praise? Something else entirely? Let me know your thoughts!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Grins and Giggles

I know we have several new faces, but occasionally on Fridays I like to take a break from ghosts and writing posts and just share some funny emails I've recieved over the years. (Yes, I keep them.)  This one is a classic I got back in '09. Enjoy!

You got to love a cop with a sense of humor.

Recently, the Chula Vista Police Department ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, "Community Policing." One of the civilian e-mail participants posed the following question, "I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

"First of all, let me tell you this...it's not easy. In Chula Vista , we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

Another popular one is, "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licenses and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

STATUTES: When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to "harass" some people.

Next time you are in my town, give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can harass me." It's one of our favorites.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Hey Gang! I'm over at I'm a Reader, Not a Writer today, so stop by for a visit. There is a prize involved... See ya there!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cards, Flowers and...Ghosts?

            When you think about February 14th, I’m sure candy and stuffed teddy bears come to mind. But what about a massacre? The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre happened in Chicago in 1929. The basic story is that a group of gangsters were waiting in a garage for a large shipment of booze, (this was during prohibition) when several men in police uniform busted in, disarmed the crooks, and had them all face the wall. But, instead of arresting them, the “police officers” then pulled out machine guns and shot them all to death.
            Since all of the men killed belonged to the “Bugs” Moran gang, suspicion naturally fell on his rival, Al Capone. But, since Al was in Florida at the time of the murders, he was never convicted.
            Of course, no story about brutal murders that have went unsolved would be complete without ghosts. The garage where the massacre occurred has been torn down, but people still claim to hear the sounds of machine gun fire and men shouting in the area. Supposedly animals get very agitated in the area, and sensitive people feel the overwhelming sense of terror. There are also many purported ghost photos of the area.
            I, personally, have never been there. But if you happen to be in the area, a ghost tour might be a less conventional Valentine’s night out.  J     

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Library....

   As an aspiring new author, I know I should encourage everyone to rush out and buy a copy of every book they love, and an extra copy for their best friends... But I'm poor and the library is my friend. Most of the time. I am now discovering the drawbacks of using the public library.  A book I have been waiting on for a year just hit shelves at the end of January. And..... I'm still waiting.....in a long line. Gah! I hate waiting. But of course the day I break down and but the book, I'll get a notice that it's ready for me to pick up at the library. AHHHHHHHHHH! Okay, I'm done now.  Happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Disagree!

            I recently read a blog post by a fellow author that claimed writer’s block does not exist. Since I am currently suffering form a terrible case of it, I respectfully disagree. The author of the post went on to say that when the characters in your story stop “talking” to you, it is time for you to take the wheel and decide where the story goes next. I have rewritten several chapters because I tried this and the characters didn’t like the path I chose. It resulted in my main character not speaking to me for weeks. And so, again, I disagree.
            But that is the wonderful/terrible/maddening thing about writing. We can both be 100% right. There is no fool-proof method, and no wrong way to write. If I tried to write a story the same way my daughter does, I’d lose my mind. She, on the other hand, can’t use any of the methods that work well for me. And that’s okay.
            Back to the blog I read: After declaring that writer’s block did not exist, the blog author went on to list several tips on how she works through “the sludge,” and slow points in her narrative. I fully plan to try most of these methods out. You see, just because no two writers are the same, it doesn’t mean that we can’t learn a thing or two from each other. Even if we don’t always agree.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Calling All Writers

Spencer Hill Press is currently looking for som awesome stories to publish in their second short story anthology. The theme this time is holiday tradition. So put on your creative thinking caps  and come up with the  real reasons behind any holiday tradition that captures your imagination. For more details, check out their website.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What's in a Name?

            Sometimes, a character will pop in my head, introduce him/herself, and tell me their life stories. And other times…. I know there is somebody, who does something, but I have no idea who or what.
            So this has me thinking. How important are names to you, the reader? Do you like everyone to have a simple, easy to remember name, or an impossible to pronounce name with layers of meaning? What about titles? What grabs your attention, or does it even matter as long as the artwork on the cover is awesome?  As always, I welcome your comments. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It’s Angelina’s Secret’s Birthday!!!! I know, some of you pre-ordered and started the festivities early, which is fine, of course. But since it is officially launch day, help yourself to some virtual punch, cookie cake, and of course take a few balloons home with you. (Angelina recommends the yellow ones.) And when your friends ask why you have pink confetti in your hair, be sure to tell them what the special occasion is!!!