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Tag Archive: Deborah J Hughes



It’s been quite a while since I last posted and as usual it’s because there’s been a lot going on! My life gets busier and busier. It also seems to be getting harder. Definitely not easier. The older we get, the more we must deal with, especially when it comes to the loss of loved ones. My last blog post was about the sudden loss of my young nephew. We are still dealing with that, our grief, our shock and disbelief and most of all…MISSING his physical presence in our lives. Since then I’ve received countless messages from people in a similar situation…they lost a loved one and now they want to connect with their spirit. They NEED to KNOW for absolute SURE that their loved one is okay.

I am here to tell you this…this I KNOW: our loved ones in spirit do NOT forget about us and they sure as heck to not LEAVE us. They just don’t. They CAN’T because we are all connected spiritually to each other. We share in the same essence of LIFE…the spiritual force of GOD. Now we have many names for God and it doesn’t matter what name is used…he/she/it/Universal Force/Knowing One/Great Spirit/Allah…etc. It all boils down to the same thing. Argue with me if you will and it matters not. It is what it is. Bold statement to make but I’m feeling bold today. I write what spirit moves me to write and today spirit (God) is telling me to write this. So I did.

I have lost many loved ones from physical life…to include many pets!…and even knowing they are in spirit, LIVING on and by no means gone, I still miss them. I still grief for the loss of their physical presence. I offer myself comfort by imagining them in spirit as I expect them to be…gloriously happy! It gives me some measure of peace but doesn’t take away the disappointment I feel for no longer sharing physical life with them.

I must remind you of this…we AGREED to these terms when we entered this life. We KNEW the score, what it would be like to come here, the fact that we were not going to be happy all the time and living a life filled with riches, our every want satisfied. We had that OVER THERE (on the “other side” as we like to call it). We entered this life to experience things…feelings of all types, conditions of all sorts. Some were born to feel what it’s like to be rich and famous, to have anything they want, others were born to experience what it is like to have NOTHING. Whatever life you are living…THAT IS WHAT YOU WERE BORN TO EXPERIENCE. Don’t like it? CHANGE it. Easy to say, difficult to do! Actually, to be honest, it isn’t difficult to change the conditions of your life but it is NEARLY impossible to change your MINDS about it! We THINK we are stuck with the life we are leading and so we are indeed stuck. Nothing is hard unless we make it hard. Being human, conditioned to believe as we do, we make everything HARD! We hear about rags-to-riches stories and we hear about miracles and we think…yeah, that won’t happen to me. And so it doesn’t. Goodness…I am sounding a bit like the people who wrote “The Secret” and how the “law of attraction” can work for you!  But you know what? That particular law has worked for countless people! People who overcame the limitations of their minds to experience the change they WANTED. I am here to tell you this…I am struggling right along with you!

I think there is nothing more disappointing than to KNOW something and yet not put that knowledge to use! Example. I am a writer. I’ve wanted to write since I was eight years old. That’s when I wrote my very first story (which I still remember quite well!!). Since that first story, I’ve been OBSESSED with writing. There was a time when I couldn’t STAND seeing a blank paper or computer screen in front of me…I HAD to fill them with words, stories! I am CONSTANTLY making up stories in my head. This obsession tells me that I was BORN TO BE A WRITER! This I KNOW. Yet, and get this, I didn’t publish my first book until I was 48 years old! What?!!!! True story. AND I did it myself. Rejection letters from literary agents nearly destroyed my belief that being a writer was my life calling! Then along came Amazon with the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program and suddenly there was no obstacle left to achieving my dream. I do believe that Amazon’s self-publishing program was created to help all of us writers realize a dream. Great, wonderful. Now my dreams have changed a bit and I am looking for READERS! (sigh) Once we reach one goal, we immediately make another, one a bit more challenging than the last! That’s not a bad thing, we are SUPPOSED to be doing that, but golly gee, if only things could get easier once in a while! So here’s my point: I KNOW I was meant to be a writer and I am. I write. I have NINE published books. It matters not that I published them myself or with a small independent publisher. I have PHYSICAL books that I can hold and that were created by me! Yay! Hurrah! BUT (and here’s the kicker) now I want readers to read my books! Not just because I believe my books can help them in many ways but because I want to make a living from doing what I love (seriously, don’t we all?). I don’t expect nor want a lavish life, just a comfortable one where I’m not constantly struggling to pay bills! I’m not out to be greedy. I don’t want much…I just want to lead a comfortable life and I want to have the ability to help others when they need a little help. I KNOW this is possible. I KNOW that if I can just force my limited-thinking brain to accept that this is NOT unreasonable, then I will find all the readers I want for my books! And sometimes it’s even happened. And then for some reason, I put the brakes on the whole thing. Ugh! WHY do I do that?

As much as I believe my stories will help people in some way…by showing them how to connect with spirit and even deal with all the aspects of dealing with spirit…I start second-guessing my ability, my stories, my readers and so on and so on. I will get a five-star, glowing review for one of my books and will be over the moon about it and then I will get a scathing one-star review and go plummeting back to earth, crash landing into despair and muddling about there until another five-star review pulls me out of the mess. It’s exhausting and it’s annoying. I don’t know why I can’t get it through my head that my stories are worthy of being read. They MUST be or they wouldn’t be in existence. It’s that nasty little voice that sneaks into my mind telling me that there are lots of things in existence that seem to have no purpose that causes all the problems. THAT voice, my dear friends, is our EGO. We all were saddled with one…a requirement to enter the earth plane and experience physical existence. Our Ego tears us down, builds us up, determines what we believe, don’t believe, accept, don’t accept, love, hate…etc. It’s a big, big deal to learn how to live peacefully with our Ego. It keeps us grounded in disbelief or sends us flying into flights of fancy and sometimes, when we get it right, we live the life we want! If only I could figure out that last bit on a regular basis! (sigh)

So anyway, here we are. Living a life that some of us are happy with and some of us aren’t. For the most part I’m pretty happy with my life. BUT, I do wish my books were best sellers! (smile) I’m still working on making that dream a reality. I’m not sure why my Ego keeps putting the brakes on that particular dream. I guess it’s a life lesson I have not yet mastered (obviously). Not too long ago I had a Bookbub promotion for my book NO MATTER WHAT. The story is based on reincarnation…which I DO believe in by the way! I wanted to show HOW reincarnation works and how it affects our life and I wanted to show that through a story. That promotion led to over 19,000 ebook downloads! My book made it to the number ONE slot for “Free books” in the Kindle store. I was over the moon excited! Then the promotion was over and the downloads plummeted to just a few books and then down to even fewer books and here I am, back where I started, wondering if I will ever “make it” as a writer. So yeah, I get it about how hard it is to change the conditions of our life. The upside is this: I KNOW it will eventually change, I just have to figure out HOW to make the change. Once I figure it all out, I’ll let ya know how I did it!

So back to our loved ones in spirit. There are many “there” (I put that in parenthesis because being in spirit means to be in a different state of consciousness, a different dimension of experience and not a physical location far from us) that I love and miss. My grandparents are two of them…my Nana and Grampy. I adored them. I loved them with my whole heart and mind and soul. I still do! Their passing into spirit was the hardest, saddest periods of my life. I have other times like that ahead and I dread it. I don’t have any easier time dealing with loss than those who don’t believe they can connect with spirits. As many times as I’ve connected with my Nana and Grampy and many others, I still struggle with my feelings of missing them. Despite KNOWING they are fine and connecting with them many times, I want what we all want…their physical presence. I have to tell you, though, that I’ve had some amazing experiences and continue to get them. My grandparents come through for me all the time. I think about them so much that they enter my consciousness often and give me physical signs of their presence. It’s quite comforting and I love knowing they are around…but I still miss them in the physical sense.

What I am trying to convey in this post is this: No matter how limiting your mind (Ego, belief), you CAN connect with your loved ones in spirit and you CAN change the conditions of your life. You CAN. We all…each and every single one of us…have the ability to connect with spirit and live the life we want. It’s DOING it that’s the problem. You’d think connecting once would make it easier to connect again but it isn’t. Not if your Ego, belief, is creating a problem. Like for me with my books. You’d think making it to the NUMBER ONE slot on Amazon’s best seller list would make it easier to do it again and even stay there but no, that’s not the case. Something happens to make me doubt the situation (like a scathing review!) and sales plummet! As for connecting with spirit, I’ve done it enough that I don’t have many problems with it anymore. Not for myself anyway. I shy away from connecting with loved ones for others. Not because I don’t believe I can but because I worry that maybe I’m not bringing the message through properly. After all, communicating with spirit is not done the same way as we communicate with each other in the physical world. Spirit connects with us through our consciousness and they do it through EMOTION and that is conveyed symbolically. Learning the process takes lots of practice. I have it down pretty good with my Nana and Grampy but when it comes to other people, I get a little shy about it. Meaning my Ego gets in the way! Annoying.

With all the messages I get from grieving people pleading with me to help them connect with someone they have lost physically, I have this to say: You CAN connect with them and are doing it more often than you think! For example, those dreams you get about a loved one in spirit…quite REAL! BUT, let me caution you here…if you have a dream where they are suffering…that is not from them! That is your EGO getting in the way, making you think they are suffering. I promise you, your loved ones are NOT suffering! If you LOVED them, they are LOVED by GOD as well. Your love comes from the Divine Source. If YOU wouldn’t make them suffer, God sure as heck won’t either! I promise you. Now, as for people who do evil deeds…they will totally regret those deeds once they are back in their spiritual form and consciously connected with their soul. They will be very sad for what they did and they’ll be back (via reincarnation) to make amends. That’s how it works. Hard as that might be to accept, even people who do evil deeds have people who love them! They don’t love what they DID but they love the PERSON (their soul…which is pure).

I don’t want to ramble on too much more and make this post too long so I’m going to bring this to a close. In my next post…which I promise won’t take forever to be published…I will help you understand your connection to spirit and how you can recognize when your loved ones in spirit are with you! Until then, I send you loving light and peace, I wish for you to be showered in love and I pray you figure out how to live the life you WANT! More than anything, I wish for those who are suffering grief to feel some measure of peace in knowing their loved ones are NEAR and they are truly okay. More than okay. They are THRIVING with the life force of God. Blessings to all!! May your lives move ever Onward and upward!!

 

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Haunting GroundHi everyone! Wow, two posts in as many weeks! I’m on a roll (smile). My next one is going to cover some of the more common questions I receive on this blog concerning ghost problems and contacting loved ones in spirit, I promise, but this post is to announce the release of my newest book in the Tess Schafer-Medium series Haunting Ground! This is book 6 of the series though each book is a “stand alone”…meaning you don’t have to read them in order. BUT doing does help with understanding the characters’ development and what they’ve gone through. I’m actually finding it quite challenging to write a series in which I don’t give away much of the plot from other books!

The Tess Schafer-Medium series, as I’ve mentioned before, is my way of telling stories that incorporate the things I’ve learned over the years concerning the paranormal. They are the kinds of stories that I like to read! Honestly, is there anything more fascinating than talking to departed loved ones and dealing with spirit guides, angels and the like? Since I’ve done those things, it just seems right and natural for me to write stories including them!

The FarmhouseMy seven years in a haunted house (pictured on the left of this sentence with an awesome ORB!) incited my interest in paranormal matters and I’ve been fascinated ever since. The more I learn, the more I WANT to learn! As for that spooky old farmhouse…well, it’s gone now. But the spirits that inhabited it…no, I don’t think they are gone. Maybe someday I’ll explore THAT in a book!

Now, as for my main character, Tess, she is not ME (many people write in to ask that very question!)….she’s way more talented and patient than I am! BUT, there’s certainly a lot of me in her. Even so, she’s developing all on her own and now when I sit down to write her stories, I feel I am merely taking dictation! Half the time I have no idea what’s going on. Then when I do figure it out, I’m like…Whoa! No way! (smile) Just like Tess.

64033_327215633993497_2023270865_nEver since the first book Be Still, My Love, I’ve been wondering about the man who killed Tess’s husband. Now, this series began because I wanted a tragedy to mark my character’s life and send it off into a whole new direction. Besides, I was curious as to how a medium handles death. Also, like Tess, I was mad at my spirit guide! Though my dissatisfaction was because my guide did not protect one of my cats when I specifically asked her to do so! I’m over it, for the most part, though I am still bummed that Milo is gone…and now more recently my cats Odd and Sassy. So anyway, Tess’s husband Mike was killed by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. He ran a red light and crashed his car into Mike’s, killing them both. Also killed in that crash was Tess’s dog Tootsie.

Hidden Voices (1562x2500)So, in Be Still, My Love, it’s been two years since the accident and Tess is still grieving. She’s still mad. Her psychiatrist and her friends suggest she go on a vacation, get out of her house of memories. And she does…to a haunted resort on the coast of Maine! Since I grew up in Maine and I think its a beautiful and intriguing state, I couldn’t think of a better setting for the story. I had no plans to make a series. But while writing that story, Tess learns of another supernatural mystery shadowing the town of Bucksport, Maine (my hometown!). The town’s founder, she learns, has a graveside monument that is marked by a witch. As to that, Bucksport really exists and there really is a monument on Jonathan Buck’s grave with markings supposedly made by a witch’s curse! Well…I wanted to explore that story with Tess and so we did in book two Hidden Voices. Tess found her OWN STORY about that monument and a series was born!

Vanquishing Ghosts (Amazon)In the third book, Vanquishing Ghosts, Tess has decided to make Bucksport her home. There are lots of ghosts there needing her help (the town is absolutely RICH with history!), so how can she walk away from them? The problem, of course, is that the house she’s just bought is seriously haunted! By a bad spirit no less! In this story I was definitely exploring a bit of the dark side! So anyway, she and her boyfriend Kade (yes, she’s moving on!) investigate the situation and go through a lot of interesting paranormal situations. They do manage to vanquish the ghosts but her house will NEVER be free of them! Why? Well, I guess I’ll have to keep writing to find out and people will have to keep reading if they too want to know! (smile)

Rosemary's Ghosts (angel) 10-19-13Book four, Rosemary’s Ghosts, came to me in a flash of inspiration. I was riding with my husband on a business trip and it just plopped into my brain and I couldn’t wait to start writing! Despite knowing MOST of the plot, however, I still discovered some surprises along the way. This book was really an experiment for me as I took Tess way outside her normal reality. It was quite a bizarre situation she found herself in and yet it did a lot to help build her character! Besides, I don’t think that’s all done. Not yet. Seems to me that some things from that book are going to pop up in later stories. We’ll see.

Ghost Trouble (ebook) 5-7-14Book five, Ghost Trouble, is Kade’s story. I wanted to write a ghost story involving someone who isn’t a sort of “expert” in the field. With Tess around all the time, he pretty much has nothing more than a supportive role when figuring out what the paranormal hijinks are all about. But with her out of the picture…what will he do? Also, he had some issues needing closure. Kade was in the Marine and had to separate after sixteen years of service because of injuries sustained in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan. Everyone in the Humvee he was traveling in died except for him. That’s a lot to deal with! So we dealt with it.

And so now I’ve written Haunting Ground. Tess has gone back to where her story began and she’s finally going to learn “the rest of the story.” There’s always another side to every situation. Tess knew her side…but what was HIS…the man who killed her husband and dog…what’s HIS story? As usual nothing goes smoothly and she’s as confused as ever when the paranormal activity commences. Dealing with death truly is one of the hardest things we have to endure in life and Tess’s gift of speaking to those who have crossed over really does help to bring about healing. In this story that rings true more so than any of the others.

So, anyway, I wanted to write a quick post about what’s going on with my books! So today, Sunday the 25th of January 2015, Haunting Ground will be available for Kindle readers. In celebration of that fact, Be Still, My Love will be FREE for two days (the 25th and 26th of January)! Book two, Hidden Voices and book three, Vanquishing Ghosts will be reduced to 99 cents at 8 am on Sunday the 25th and will slowly increase in increments back to it’s original price of 2.99 by 8 pm on Monday the 26th of January. I know I announced this in my last blog post but I just wanted to give a bit more of an explanation of the series and refresh memories of those who are reading them! I promise future posts won’t all be about my books. Since these are so dear to me, however, I wanted to share my excitement with you all!

ghostsAs for future posts, I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about and then it hit me. The many, many comments I receive on this blog are quite similar, many of them sharing a common problem or request. This gave me the idea of tackling the more common concerns in future posts. Stuff like how to KNOW when a loved one is around, how to get rid of a pesky ghost, how to talk to spirits…on and on. This is why most people come to this blog and so that is what I’ll focus on…answers to questions that most of you drop by to ask!

Before I close out, I want to wish all of you a very blessed 2015! I hope this year brings wondrous, glorious things your way! May peace and loving light be with you all!


100_4043I’ve been so busy lately that I don’t even know what day it is, let alone remember the date! Although I thought life would become more enjoyable than challenging as I moved up in age, the opposite seems to be happening! Then again, my family is a LOT bigger than it used to be and I’ve somehow taken on more responsibilities, so I guess I should have realized that things were not going to slow down or get easy…ever!

One thing I have going on is that I’m writing TWO new books! At first they were neck in neck…I’d work on one book for awhile and then go to the other and work on that one. I was on chapter five with both books when one of them just took off, and now I’m totally caught up in the story and can’t tear myself away from it long enough to work on the other one (which I totally do love by the way!!!). It’s just become too urgent!

The one going wild on me is book six of the Tess Schafer-Medium series. Today I thought of a title for it…Tortured Souls. Although Tess has her hands full dealing with real life issues, she’s also got things going on in the spirit world that need just as much of her time and attention. What strikes me about this is the fact that the book’s premise is probably more true than it is fictional! Fact is, just as we are caught up in our own drama of worry and concern, so can those in spirit!

Whether we are “here” in the physical world or “there” in the spirit world, we are just as focused in our needs and desires as ever! What I enjoy so much about my Tess Schafer-Medium series is that I feel like my character Tess and I are on this amazing spiritual journey together! The stories unfold in ways that are constantly surprising me. My characters feel as real to me as my “real life” peeps and I have to wonder sometimes…perhaps they do exist in an alternate reality! Yeah, that’s what my brain does on occasion…it goes “out there” in it’s meanderings.

So anyway, back to my busy life. My husband and I have decided to downsize our lives and live simpler…we really do work hard at complicating our lives, don’t we? I mean…we buy all these things that we later look at and wonder…what did I need this for. The truly sad part is where those things we thought we just HAD to have end up. They go to the “give away” pile or the “donation” pile or the garbage bin if I think no one will want it (and again I wonder why I ever did!). So anyway, we’ve been renovating our house in the hopes of making it more appealing to possible buyers and weeding through our things, packing away what isn’t necessary (which turns out to be an incredible amount of stuff!), and along with all that we are trying to keep up with the yard work…trimming, weeding, pruning, raking, mowing, etc… Yeah, busy times. Oh, and I’m also trying to write TWO books and deal with all the drama that comes from having a large family!

As I was working on a title for my newest “Tess” book (as I unofficially call the series), I thought about what my character is dealing with…people who are tortured by emotional pain and loss of loved ones (both in this life and the next) and I thought, she’s trying to help these poor tortured souls…and waalaaa…a title! But isn’t it the truth of the world? We deal with emotional pain and mental trauma all the dang time. There’s just always something going on. Life is hard. It really is. It often sucks. Can’t anything ever go RIGHT? But on the flip side…life can be pretty darn thrilling!

2013-10-05 16.46.10We’ve gone on a few camping trips over the summer and we’ve taken some of our grandchildren with us on a couple of them. We enjoyed that so much that it helped to put things back in a more positive perspective. The joys in our lives are no doubt our kids (though at times they can certainly be our “pain”!!) and our grandkids. We’ve also had some great times with friends (angels on earth!). In addition, like right now…the world is exploding with color as the Fall moves in for a short visit (here in Maine, nothing lasts long, especially not the seasons and most certainly not the weather!). Amid all the crap life deals out, there is also amazing beauty and joyful moments.

I know many people like to knock concepts like “The Secret” but you know, the fact is…we really do have the most influence over our own lives and how things play out. Where our FOCUS goes, our energy flows. If we FOCUS on the crap, all we see is crap. We find what we look for and when we are dealing with crap, we EXPECT more crap and so, of course, we LOOK for it! The opposite is true as well. When great things happen to us, it seems that MORE great things happen and life is grand…nothing can go wrong! Until it does. And there we are, right back to the crap, focusing on it, looking for it and ultimately finding it. There we languish through the muck of strife until something good happens and we are once again living the good life! It’s an endless cycle isn’t it?

So anyway, after doing all the work we’ve been doing on our house and around the yard (it sure is looking good around here!!), we learn that the housing market just isn’t going to support a sale of the sort we need. Not right now. Although I was initially disappointed, I have finally managed to stop the mental tirade that was not only bumming me out but giving me stress. I am now telling myself what I KNOW to be true…when things don’t go the way we hope, it’s because something BETTER is in store for us! In every instance where things didn’t SEEM to go right for me, they ended up being the best things to have happened!

100_4065The more we TRUST in the universe (which, of course, operates through God) to take good care of us, the faster things work out! Seriously, I don’t believe our purpose for existence is to live through crap. My belief on the matter is that one of our life tasks (for I am sure there are many!) is to figure out how to eliminate it. One way we can make that to happen is to change our FOCUS and trust in the fact that we are meant, truly meant, to experience Heaven on Earth. It’s not an easy task to accomplish. In fact, most of us might manage, at best, a few fleeting moments of joy. Even so, despite the difficulty in doing so, constant PEACE is achievable. I KNOW it. So, based on this knowledge, I’m trying my best to silence my Ego’s negativity and let the Universe (God) do its thing! Which can only be something wonderful because that’s what God is all about! Our poor tortured souls (of our own doing) are meant to be joyful and at peace. What a rough road our souls often travel in this journey through life!

As I head toward the finish in “Tortured Souls”, I wonder how my character and I are going to get there and it marvels me the way my life often parallels the story I’m writing. The truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction! Speaking of which…that movie Stranger Than Fiction really strikes a chord in me as a writer. I do feel like that sometimes…like my characters really exist in some alternate reality that I just happen to be channeling. In fact, I often feel like that’s what I’m doing when I write my books…I channel them. I’m just like a first-time reader when writing my stories, I’m as eager as they are to learn what’s going to happen next!

Okay, my meanderings are over. Now I’ll address those who are reading my Tess Schafer-Medium series….if you are interested in being informed when the next book is coming out and you are not following this blog (because I will announce it in a future blog post), then click on my contact page and give me your email. I’ll use it ONLY to send out information on what’s happening with my books or maybe appearances I’ll be engaging in…we (my husband and I) are hoping to go on a few road trips in the near future!! I won’t give your email to any lists or marketers and I won’t bother you with anything other than book/appearance updates. Also, because I did mention I was working on two books…I wanted to let you know that the other one is a romance (if I’m not reading paranormal stories then I’m reading romances!!). However, though it’s a romance, I did include a ghost (couldn’t resist!). It’s actually a spin-off from another book I wrote titled “Deceptive Hearts” which will be released around the same time!  So, yeah, lots going on. Thank you God for inspiring the stories and giving me the ability to write them!!!

Until next time…Peace Out and Blessings to All!!


NDEI recently watched this video clip on Youtube that was posted in the blog Theosophy Watch and it really got me to thinking about the death experience and our reason for being here. I don’t know about you but I truly believe we live on after experiencing physical death. Our true essence is our “spirit” (our soul) and the soul cannot die. It’s been scientifically proven that we are beings of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. So there you have it!

Another thing is all the experiences countless millions (over the many years since humans walked the earth) have had involving ghosts, angels, near death experiences (NDEs), profound dreams, amazing spiritual phenomena, spirit contact, out of body experiences and so on. How can any of us say with certainty that dead is dead and that’s it? Honestly, the evidence stacked against that belief is too numerous to dismiss.

As for myself, I’ve experienced way too many of the above mentioned things to not believe in life after death. The one thing that has ever really bothered me most about “death” is those that happened violently. I just feel so awful for those people…imagining the horror and pain they must have endured before the relief of death. I would like to believe that even for them…the death experience was as peaceful as those who experienced a NDE have claimed it to be! Many spirits have claimed that their death wasn’t as bad for them as it seemed to us (the living). I guess we could liken it to the pain of childbirth (something I have experienced three times…without pain-killing drugs or epidurals!). As bad as the pain is…once the baby is out in the world, the pain is gone and all is forgotten. In fact, most of us (me!) were ready to do it again! I’d like to believe that even violent, painful deaths are like that. The memory like a bad dream that quickly fades into obscurity. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the spirit leaves the body when the trauma becomes too bad to endure and so they don’t really experience the worst of it. It’s a nice thought.

As for the video. It seems in all NDEs, the person wanting to cross over is told it isn’t time and that they must come back. So this tells me that those who didn’t come back…CHOSE to stay “over there”. It was their time and they were ready to move on (whether their loved ones left behind like it or not, unfortunately!). My grandfather suffered a stroke and was in a coma for several days before it was decided to remove him from life support. I really believe Grampy WANTED to move on but there we all were (his eight kids and numerous grandkids…me included!) begging him to hold on. Even though the doctors claimed he was “brain dead” it was a tough decision to “pull the plug”. The worry is always there if they did the right thing. Well, I managed to contact my grandfather through the process of automatic writing (scoff if you want but it really works and is an excellent form of communication with the other side!!). Now, I didn’t know anything about Grampy being removed from life support. I was in the military at the time and had already returned to my base when that decision was made. The family decided not to tell me how “it all went down” because my mom knew I’d be mad and she didn’t want me to be upset with her (she signed the order giving permission for the hospital to do the deed). First thing my Grampy did was tell me to let my mom know they had made the right decision. He said it was what he wanted but they wouldn’t let him go and he felt guilty about wanting to move on. (When they let the hospital remove him from life support, he saw that as his family giving him permission to do what he wanted. And he went. Happily.) There was more to the message and none of it made sense to me. In fact, I didn’t even want to tell my mother about it because I thought it would upset her. But she wheedled it out of me and when she got upset, I said, “See? I told you you wouldn’t like it!” and she said, “But I do. It’s exactly what I needed to hear!” Now my Nana (she died 3 months after Grampy)…she went the way I want to go. She died in her sleep and I am sure it was a very peaceful process for her. Much as I hated to lose them (it devastated me!), I only want what makes them happy and they are happy “over there”. Besides, they visit me often, they keeps tabs on the family and I feel their love every time I think about them. In spirit there is no separation.

So anyway, I went to read the Theosophy Watch blog and watched this video and I thought it a great topic for my own blog so I’ve reposted the video here. Though it is one woman’s “death” experience and sounds like so many other accounts of NDEs…going through a tunnel, seeing a light, being greeted…it also had a little something new that I found intriguing. She was told to come back and be a “light” in the world. She says that those (who are open to the spirit world) act as anchors for the “light” (God?) to come into our physical world. I found that quite interesting. She sounds like such a nice lady. Her voice is peaceful and you know she isn’t making it up. She just isn’t. It’s a little over five minutes and well worth the watch! Check it out.

So what do you think? She certainly doesn’t make death sound terrible and even though she was going through a horrific thing (her husband was choking her to death), she made no mention of that. None of it mattered. Amazing.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this! Until next time…Blessings to all and Peace Out!


I’ve been interested in the paranormal since I was a little girl. Living in a haunted house will do that to you. Weird stuff happens and once you get over the terror of it, you begin to look for understanding. Here’s the thing…I KNOW that house was haunted. Ghosts lived there with us and the older I got, the more I wanted to know WHY. After we moved out of that house, I continued to read up on things but my paranormal experiences sort of cooled off for a bit. My prophetic dreams stopped occurring and though we had a few bizarre events happen in our new house (sink faucet coming on full blast, burners on the gas stove spontaneously lighting, a blender suddenly springing into action), things were relatively quiet. I was mostly involved with reading palms at this point and studying up on how such a thing could be so darned accurate! Ever had your palms read…by a LEGITIMATE palm reader? You should. Your palm is like your personal memoir. Fascinating stuff.

So anyway, life chilled for a bit on the paranormal end but then I joined the Air Force and was sent to Korea for a year. I had to leave my infant son (my first born!) and that was tough. Let me tell you, it was rip-your-heart-0ut TOUGH. I did a lot of drinking when I first got there. Thought it would get my mind off my baby. It didn’t of course. In fact, it made things worse. Then one night I started telling some friends about my living in a haunted house and they wanted to know it all. When I got to the parts about using the Ouija board, they got the bright idea that we should do that. And so my paranormal experiences began to happen again. We had some really interesting conversations on that Ouija. Let me tell you. Now, I know people will say that it’s evil and all that and I suppose it can be. After all, the Ouija opens a door to the other side. One must be responsible when opening doors like that! Unfortunately, not many people take the necessary precautions to ensure no negative entities come through. I’ve always been careful and can proudly say that I’ve not had any negative experiences with the Ouija. It honestly is one of the EASIEST forms of spirit contact. Maybe because people treat it like a game and so they let their guards down, lower their defenses and relaxes the all-protective EGO. When you truly ALLOW spirit contact to happen…it will.

After my year in Korea was over, I reunited with my son…now 18 months old, walking, talking … doing all those things he wasn’t doing when I left him (he stayed with my parents for the year I was away for his dad went to Korea the same time as I did). Upon my return to the States, my husband and I initiated divorce proceedings (they had a saying in Korea that those stationed over there would come back single if they were married, married if they were single and if neither of those applied then they probably became alcoholics … and yes, there were a few exceptions to this rule, I wasn’t one of them).  For awhile it was just me and my son and it was wonderful to reconnect with him. I thought he was pretty fascinating. He talked very well for his age and so we could actually have conversations. One day he comes to me (he’s not yet two remember) and says, “Mommy, where is my wife? I miss her.” And so began a bizarre period of time where my son was obsessed about his life “as a man” and death. One night while tucking him into bed, he looked so very sad and I asked him what was wrong. He says, “I don’t want to die again. I don’t like it.” Can you imagine how I felt during conversations like this? He was only two. What to say? For the next three years, my son continued to talk about things that happened to him “when he was a man”.  When he was four, he started talking about his time in the military as a pilot in the Korean war! Now, I ask you…what would he know about such things? I did not watch war movies and neither did he. We were living in Germany by this time and didn’t even have television! So, because of that, I began to read up on reincarnation. The whole subject totally fascinated me and still does. I even wrote a book in which reincarnation plays a big role (No Matter What which I hope to have published in ebook by October!! Just in time for Halloween!)

My son was three when I remarried and I was pregnant with my second child when we arrived in Germany. My paranormal endeavors went on another hiatus. We came back to the States with three kids…two daughters were born while I was stationed in Germany. As it happened, I went through yet another marriage break-up (do you know how high the divorce rate is with military members!? It’s a tough life). This break-up really devastated me. My first divorce was quite friendly. We didn’t fight, we just didn’t suit as a couple. But my second one…boy, it brought me down to my lowest points. When your life is falling apart, you can cry about it (which I did in excess!) or you can try to pull yourself together and get on with it. This I did eventually do but I went through quite the spiritual reformation while doing it. I needed to know WHY things happened the way they did. I needed to understand why my life was so messed up! Divorce can really damage your sense of self-worth and totally ruin your self-esteem (not to mention the financial devastation which is another whole set of worries!). I hit a critical low period in my life and turned to God for help. I began studying about angels (they are so awesome!!) and I began to truly believe that God takes care of us if we let him. When we try to control things ourselves without God’s help, well, that’s when things go awry. Little miracles began to happen (I’ve blogged about some of it, see God, Money, Faith) My belief factor went up and things got better and better. It was during this time that I discovered Automatic Writing.

Automatic Writing is allowing spirit to speak to you through hand writing. You can also allow them to come through on the keyboard. It’s basically a form of channeling. As I didn’t have a keyboard at the time (home computers hadn’t put in an appearance much at this point), I used a notepad and a pencil. I meditated (another thing I was learning to do!) and then I started writing! Many spirits came through and brought messages that were helpful. I moved from Automatic Writing to channeling a beautiful spirit I called Sheila (yes, I use her in my book Be Still, My Love and in its sequel Hidden Voices which will be out soon!). I didn’t use a pen and paper with her, I just allowed her to speak through me. I was remarried by this time and my new husband was quite involved with this process. We were both fascinated by Sheila and the things she told us. I had some really amazing experiences with her. Now, I have to tell you that I often questioned these experiences and wondered if it were all coming from my imagination. But I also have to tell you that while Sheila was speaking, I was thinking all sorts of things…ever try to talk and say one thing while having a completely different conversation go on in your head at the same time? This happened quite a bit because I often speculated on the things Sheila shared. Half the time I missed what she was saying because I was busying trying to counter something else she’d said! (we taped every session so I wouldn’t miss out on anything). It was an eye-opening experience and all of it was getting me more and more involved in the world of the paranormal.

Then this marriage went really bad. I can’t say what happened, it’s all so very personal but I will say that I didn’t really know the man I married. Looking back on it, I don’t regret a thing, no matter how bad it got, because it has all led me to where I am now and I like where I am. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Though I wish my kids hadn’t had to go through all that crap too. Life lessons are HARD! For awhile I was mad at God and even the poor angels. I couldn’t understand  how they would let things get so bad. After all the prophetic dreams, all the channeling work, the messages from spirit…WHY did this crap have to happen? Once that marriage ended, my life began to really turn around. It’s been all up hill from there, I’m happy to report! I found the man of my dreams and he’s very understanding about my paranormal interests. He’s also very supportive of my writing and he’s been the BEST father to our kids.

They say that the third time is the charm…for me it took four. But what a CHARM it is! When I started work again on my paranormal thriller “No Matter What”, I began to get more involved with the paranormal world.  Although I had dabbled some with the Tarot cards, I didn’t really get involved with them until I started work on this story. One of my characters was a Tarot reader and I wanted to understand more about it (so my character would sound legitimate) and suddenly I became fascinated with them. They really are quite amazing. I also began to study Numerology (another thing the character in my story liked to do!). Again…the way these things work in our lives is truly amazing!!

When our military careers came to a close (my husband did 28 years and I did 20) and we retired, I figured I’d have more time to write. Not so. We got busy running a small campground which we thought would make a great retirement plan and I found myself too busy to write. But, I did continue with the Tarot cards, palm reading and Numerology studies! When we finally decided to close the campground (it’s a tough world when it comes to running your own business!!!), I found myself having more time to write. I began to edit No Matter What and then I found the Spiritualist church! When family members who have passed on into the great hereafter came through during the “messages from spirit” part of the service, I knew this was the church for me. I signed up for their mediumship class, went on ghost hunting adventures and learned about table tipping! This is yet another form of spirit contact. You simply put your hands flat on the top of a table (must be evenly proportioned…round or square) and invite spirits to come through and and talk to you by “tipping the table”. What fun we’ve had with this!! Table tipping is truly an adventure in the paranormal. We’ve gotten the table to spin, walk or slide across the floor, tip nearly to the floor (without falling!) and rock back and forth. A few times we’ve had the table tip up (usually onto two legs) and then stay there. No matter how hard we tried to get it to fall back onto its legs, we couldn’t do it! Truly…is that fascinating or what?

I’ve had tons of experiences, too many to mention, and they have all led me to the interests I now have. These interests come through in my writing. People write to me and ask me if I am Tess Schafer (the main character of Be Still, My Love) and I guess I have to say yes, to some degree. She has a lot of me in her. But she’s better! A better medium anyway. I love to make up stories. It’s natural to make up stories that involve things that interest me. The paranormal has interested me most of my life and that is why I write about it. I also love to read about it! What about you? Do you like to read about the paranormal? Why? Do you write about it? Share with us your books if you do! Share your stories or your blogs. The people who come to this blog do so because of the paranormal content (right?) so if you’ve something to share, please do!!

Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!


Last night I watched a show I recorded on my DVR (love the DVR!!) about an exorcism of a young boy believed to be possessed by the devil.  The documentary was called “In the Grip of Evil” and it was supposed to be the inspiration for author William Peter Blatty‘s “The Exorcist“.  Of course the show gave an accounting of the events which took place (based on journal documentations of the exorcism) and included a commentary from a believer’s standpoint (one of the priests who took part in the exorcism) and a non-believer’s standpoint (someone supposedly more “educated” and thus more believable).  Actually, I think there were a couple of people trying to dispute the idea that possession can actually occur.  It really annoys me when people try to pass off strange events (especially those not easily explained) as a “hallucination”.  Really?  Isn’t life itself a hallucination?  So anyway…

What creeped me out a bit watching that show was the part where the bed started shaking.  You know what? That really does happen.  And it’s freaky as all hell.

I’m not sure how old I was when I experienced one of the creepy-odd events in that old farmhouse, but I’m going to guess I was about twelve.  I’d say it’s a pretty good guess because I was reading quite a bit by this point (all my mom’s Harlequin and Silhouette romance books), and I know it occurred before we accepted that the house was haunted … otherwise, I think I would have been terrified out of my freakin mind!

My parents were having a “get together” of friends and family (they liked to play guitars and sing).  The five of us kids were banished to the upstairs bedrooms.  Not in the mood to play, especially with my younger siblings (I was the oldest of five), I grabbed a book and headed for my parents’ room to read.  My rambunctious sibs played in the other two bedrooms and left me alone.

Although I got a little nervous sometimes while hanging out in my parents’ bedroom (you know, that spine-tingly, something-doesn’t-feel-right feeling), I really wanted to be on my own so I could read undisturbed.  I made myself comfortable on the bed, pillows propped behind me, and was soon lost in the story.  I have to tell you, when I’m reading, my mind is fully engaged and I don’t notice anything going on around me.  I’m not sure how long it was before the slight tremors in the bed made my hands shake and thus, interrupted my reading.  Curious, I lifted my head and took note.  The tremors were slight at first.  More like a strong vibration.  I wondered what could be causing it but I wasn’t scared at this point.  I was more intrigued than anything.  After a few minutes, I figured the shaking had to be caused by the kids running around in the next room and went back to my book.  The shaking grew worse.

Okay, now I knew something was definitely up.  Slight tremors I could explain away, big-time shaking…not so much.  As the bed shaking grew worse (they came in spurts), I immediately suspected that it had to be my brother (whom I will refer to as “J”) because he was always up to some mischief and the others were too small to make the bed do anything. My parents had a wrought-iron bed at the time…it was a heavy-assed bed…and it was up pretty high from the floor.  There was lots of crawl space underneath it (I know because it was always a favorite hiding spot when playing hide-and-go-seek). I set the book down, twisted around onto my stomach and then leaned over the edge to take a look.

While hanging there peering at empty space (definitely no visible bodies or anything else for that matter), the bed shook hard and I had to grab at the mattress to keep from falling off.  Now I’m scared.  What the hell?  No, I’m sure I didn’t think those exact words, but I sure am thinking them today!!  I pushed myself back up in a sitting position and considered my dilemma.  I wanted to get off the bed, but I wasn’t sure if it was safe to do so.  While pondering this, a spool of thread … green, I believe … started rolling across the floor.  I have no idea where the spool came from.  It rolled from beneath the window on the wall to my left toward the wall on my right.  I watched it with growing unease.  The spool rolled slowly at first and then gained speed, banging into the wall, bouncing off, going still then taking off for the opposite wall where it would do the same thing.  Sometimes the damned thing would stop just before hitting the wall…rest for a few seconds and then go flying across the room as if someone had just whacked the crap out of it.  The bed tremors continued but at this point I was more worried about the self-propelling spool of thread! Although I was scared to death, I somehow managed to crawl to the end of the bed so I could see if maybe one of the cats was causing the spool ruckus.  Nope.  No cats.  No kids.  Nothing. Which of course, it couldn’t be “nothing” could it?

Although I was quite young, I knew…I KNEW…that a spool of thread shouldn’t act the way that one was acting.  The fast and slow rolls, the bounce off the wall into an abrupt stop.  No, it wasn’t normal.  When it once again bounced off the wall on my right (the furthest wall from the bed) and then rolled slowly toward me, my trepidation grew in one heart-pounding leap.  The spool rolled slow and steady until it was under the bed.  Then it stopped.  I waited.  Nothing.  Finally, I HAD to know…and I forced myself to lean over the bed to look, though this time I had a tight hold of the foot rail.  No WAY was I getting tossed off that bed!  Honestly, I thought it showed an extreme act of courage to do that!  I STILL think as much!! As soon as my eyes found that stupid spool, it shot out and hit the wall to the left, bounced off, stopped and then rolled slowly toward the open bedroom doorway.  It stopped just at the threshold.

After a few seconds of waiting (the spool rocked a little but it stayed in place), I found my voice and called out to my siblings.  It was J who came to the door.  I was holding the wrought-iron foot-rail and praying for dear life at this point.  “Go get mom!”  It took some convincing…okay pleading…but something (probably my terrified expression, or perhaps the panic in my voice) told J I wasn’t playing around and he finally took off down the stairs.  The bed shaking had stopped as soon as J came to the door and the spool remained still.

After a bit of convincing (my mom didn’t want to respond to J’s summons at first) she finally came up the stairs and stood in the doorway, “What?” Although she was quite annoyed to be called upstairs, thank God she came!

I pointed to the spool of thread.  “That spool was rolling around the room all by itself.”

Mom looked down, saw the spool and picked it up.  “One of the cats was probably playing with it.”

“There aren’t any cats in the room.  And the bed is shaking.”

“Well it’s probably vibration from the music.”

Really?  Then why did it stop?  The music was going strong downstairs…no vibration to be had.  I scrambled off the bed and exited my parents’ room before Mom could disappear down the stairs.  I was afraid to go in there after that but I would do so if someone else were with me.  It seemed the bed wouldn’t shake if there was more than two people in the room.

I tried an experiment after we started communicating with the spirits (about a couple years later) and actually went to my parents’ room to see if anything would happen.  When the bed began to shake, I was “gone, baby gone” … out that door in no-time-flat.  No more experiments for me!  My mom had similar bed-shaking experiences.  As for my dad, he never complained about the bed shaking but he did complain about something shaking him!  Once he joined the “this house is haunted” band-wagon (something he resisted for quite some time as my dad was a hard-core, no-nonsense sort of person), a move to a new place became imminent.  None of us wanted to be there anymore.  I hadn’t wanted to be there since the “monster” incident I wrote about in Part II so I was pretty ecstatic about leaving.

I can’t say at what point we began to blame the ghosts for all the strange things happening in that house but I can tell you, once we became aware of such a possibility, we really started noticing things. Yes, I know…our imaginations could have been fueled by our beliefs but even so…that doesn’t explain HOW some of the things that happened there, happened there.  To this day I wonder.  Why?  What was the point in it all? What do they want? Where are they?  Why are they still there? (the house is gone, but they are still there…I KNOW it).

So, that’s my shaking-bed story.  What say you?  Ever have anything like that happen to you?  I tell you, I can’t look at a spool of thread and not think about this story.  It’s as freaky now as it was then.  But it wasn’t just a spool of thread that developed a life of its own…no. Heck, freakin no.  I’ll leave those stories for future posts.

That’s it for now!  Tune in again for Part IV if you dare! (smile)  Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time, Blessings to all and Peace Out!


I found a YA book series called “44” that I really enjoy and so I wrote to the author Jools Sinclair to let her know.  It’s one of the perks we enjoy in the world today…having the technology to contact an author almost instantly!  Nowadays you can “friend” them on Facebook, “follow” them on Twitter, email them directly or subscribe to their websites and blogs.  I love the connectedness of it all.  Well, at least sometimes I do!

So anyway, after reading 44 Book 3 in the series (by the way, Book 1 is FREE!), I contacted Jools and asked her if she’d be willing to do an interview.  She said, “Yes”!!  Even though she’s busy with the recent publication of Book 4 and all the hoopla involved with that AND she’s working on Book 5, she still took some precious time to answer my questions.

Before we get into the interview, I’d just like to give a bit of background on the “44” series.  It begins when seventeen-year-old Abby Craig plunges into an ice-covered lake and drowns.  She is declared dead and for 44 whole minutes remains thusly.  But then, miraculously, she wakes up and the world as she knew it is different to her.  She can’t see colors, memories have been erased, and her friends all hate her.  The love of her life, Jesse, is acting strange and as if that isn’t all bad enough, she begins to have visions of a killer.  Her life, Abby soon comes to realize, is changed forever.

Seriously, as you get into the books, you really come to care for poor Abby and are intrigued by the characters surrounding her.  It’s a decent series and I hope Jools has many more stories for Abby to endure!

I’ve always been intrigued by people who have “come back to life” after suffering through a period of death.  It surely must be life-altering.  Many people who have done so seem to develop psychic skills or spiritual connections they hadn’t experienced before their “death”.  This is really a topic right up my alley.  And because of that, I just HAD to contact Jools again and get to know her better.

So, without further ado, here’s her interview! (Gosh, a poet and didn’t know it…sorry, couldn’t resist).

Jools:  Deb, first off thank you SO much for inviting me to your fantastic blog. It is an honor to be here!

Me: Thank YOU, Jools, for agreeing to the interview!! So tell us, what inspired you to write the “44” book series?

Jools:  I’ve always been interested in stories about psychic abilities, whether it’s a novel or TV show or article or movie. I love those type of stories and I’m sure that everything I’ve read and watched over the years has inspired me in one way or another.

Another huge inspiration is living here in Bend, Oregon. Bend is such a great and interesting town. It’s a little off the radar and full of eclectic people and surrounded by lush, natural beauty. I knew it would make a great setting for a novel and a series and had wanted to write about it for a few years, even before I started the series.

And finally, I guess having a few paranormal events happen in my life probably fueled my interest in writing about such things.

Me: What kind of books do you like to read? Do you have a favorite?

Jools: Honestly, it would be hard to choose a favorite. I’m an avid reader and read in all genres (except Sci Fi!). But I will say that Ernest Hemingway has always been a huge inspiration. A few years ago I had a “Hemingway Summer,” and read all his books and short stories. I love his style, which is stark and blunt, and I love how he experienced life to the fullest and then wrote about those experiences. One of my very favorite books is Old Man and the Sea, which I reread every few years.

I love short stories too, and am a huge fan of Ron Carlson, Amy Tan, Stephen King, Antonia Nelson to name just a few. I also love mysteries and thrillers and non-fiction as well. Of course, a good ghost story is always exciting!

Me: Totally agree with you about the ghost stories, they sure can be exciting! What is your favorite movie and/or TV show?

Jools:  I love movies and have to admit that I watch a lot of them! Usually you can find me in front of my large HD TV late at night after I’ve closed the lap top and my eyes are aching and blurry from writing all day!

My taste is pretty eclectic and I’m all over the board, depending on my mood. Some nights I’m like Abby in that I want to watch old black and white movies, like Out of the Past, Ten Little Indians, Casablanca, The Stranger. But I also love Hannibal,  Gosford Park, and The Godfather. And, of course, I especially love ghost stories, with the 1989 BBC version of The Woman in Black topping my list.

There are also some amazing TV series out there too…Madmen, Justified, Game of Thrones. I’m also into Downton Abby these days, which I mention in Book Four.

Me:  I totally love Downton Abby!  Granted, it’s not spooky, but it’s epic and a great depiction of the aristocracy in an era gone by and those that served them. But let’s get back to you! How many books do you hope to write in this series?

Jools: I’m not too sure. As long as I feel there still is a fresh energy in the series and a story to tell, I’ll just keep writing them. I love the characters and what’s happening, so I’ll go as long as it feels right. I feel that there’s probably enough there for a few more years.

Me: That’s awesome to hear! I’m quite excited to read more of Abby’s adventures.  So, why did you pick the location you did for your books?

I was born in Los Angeles, raised in the San Fernando Valley, and then lived in the Portland area for a while. So when I finally got to Bend, it was incredible. I walked outside and saw seven snowy mountains in the distance. You can go kayaking on the river before breakfast, hike on a trail in town on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s just an entirely different way of living and I love it.

The small city is pretty cool as well. So I thought, why not add a little bit of a paranormal to a story based here? Plus, I like to write what I know. I know Bend pretty well now. It helps a lot living here.

Me: I think it’s great that your stories take place in your home town.  I’m doing the same thing now with my own Tess Schafer, Medium series (an idea totally inspired by you, by the way!). So, what do the “locals” think of your books?

Jools: I’ve heard from a few fans who love the books and I was invited on the local morning show, Good Morning Central Oregon, and was interviewed. The host, Kristi Miller, was amazing and a fan and once I got over my nervousness, it was a blast! So I would have to say it’s been great so far!

Me: How totally cool to have a local television show recognize you for what you are doing!  That must have been an awesome experience! So tell us, Jools, do you believe in ghosts?

Jools: You bet I do! But I’m like Abby…I keep my eyes down and make sure they don’t catch me staring at them! And I really, really believe in them about one in the morning, walking through the dark living room to the kitchen for a midnight snack! Yikes! Sometimes I just give up on the snack plan if the goose bumps get too intense.

Me:  I do wonder sometimes if writing about ghosts conjures them up.  It sure enough seems that way on occasion!  Obviously ghosts scare you, does anything else?

Jools:  Rattlesnakes, paddling in a canoe on a large lake in the wind, grizzly bears, and sharks when I’m trying to relax in tropical waters. My list used to be much longer, but I’ve learned that it’s important to move past my fear so I’ve cut down on a few of them.

Me:  That’s really pretty cool that you are cutting down on your fears.  I think it’s something many of us need to work on…fear can really have a stranglehold on our lives sometimes.  You’ve just released Book 4 in your series and you say on your blog Jools Sinclair that you are working on Book 5.  Just how often do you write?

Jools:  Well, pretty close to every day. I do take about two weeks off after I’ve finished a book, but even then I’m thinking about the next story. Since I’m working on 44 Book Five now, with a release date of August 1, I will be at the computer every day for a lot of hours until it’s published.

As the book unfolds, the hours I write each day increase. The first few weeks I’m writing maybe only 4 hours a day. Then it’s 5 or 6. And then, during the last few weeks before publication, I go into an insane mode where I’m writing and editing from morning until night. It’s a crazy time, but quite magical, because in those last few weeks I literally never leave the story or the characters. I wake up, start writing, and stop late into the night. And no matter what I do for the rest of the time, the characters and scenes don’t stop talking to me. I’m right there with them until publication.

Me:  Yeah, a writer’s life can be all-consuming! What advice would you give to the fledgling writers hoping to publish, or the newbie writers struggling to get their books noticed?

Jools:  Follow your bliss. It’s the best advice I’ve ever heard (Joseph Campbell) and it applies to everything, including becoming a successful author.

If you’re a writer, make sure you love doing it, that it calls to you from the depths of a dark night, that there is no choice whether you write the story in your head or not. That you shake when you write those emotional scenes. That you feel something very special, very intense, very satisfying deep down after putting in a long day with your words.

If those things are happening for you, if you are following your bliss by writing your stories, then you’re already there. No advice needed.

Me:  Great advice!  Truer words are not often spoken!  So, I’m quite curious, what do you do in your spare time?

Jools: I love to cook, eat great food, watch my favorite international soccer teams play (Go, Barcelona!), watch movies, go to concerts, hike up in the mountains in the summer and snowshoe through forests during winter, kayak and canoe down rivers and across lakes. I love traveling, and love the Southwest and hiking in red rock country. I also love going to Europe and even though I don’t get there as much as I would like to, I am obsessed with reading blogs about Florence and Paris and Barcelona and always have a plan for returning in the works.

But lately, spare time is hard to come by so most everything I just mentioned is on the back burner! But that’s okay since it feels incredible to be doing what I love and I’m so very appreciative that I get to write for a living!

Me: Those all sound like very nice activities!  Especially the cooking and eating great food! (smile)  I’ve been to Barcelona, Paris and Florence (while serving in the military) and all three cities are beautiful.  I too hope to return again someday. Thank you so much, Jools, for stopping by for a chat!  I look forward to all your future writing projects.  You ever have a yen to visit again, please let me know.  You are always welcome. 

Jools:  Thank you SO much, Deb, for inviting me to visit your amazing blog! I think you’ve got quite a special hometown too and love how you’re writing about it!

So that concludes my chat with Jools.  She sounds like an amazing person, doesn’t she?  You can visit her blog Jools Sinclair  and/or follow her on Twitter: Jools Sinclair.  Feel free to leave a question or comment!  I’m sure Jools would love to hear from you.  I know that I would!  Until next time, blessings to all and Peace Out!


In part one of my “Living With Ghosts” blog series, I introduced the spooky old farmhouse my family moved into when I was seven.  Any place with such a colorful history as that house is bound to have a few ghosts, right?  Although the house was old, the wiring bad, the facilities outdated and so on and so forth, my parents moved there because they didn’t have much money and the rent was dirt cheap.  With five small children to support, they thought it was a great deal.  And it was…if only we didn’t have to share the place with unseen specters!  Although I was only seven years old when we moved there, the place had such an impact on me that my memories are quite vivid.  Some of it I wish I could forget.

Since the house had been empty for quite a while, my parents had to do some extensive cleanup and repair work to get it inhabitable.  I remember my first visit to that house as if it were yesterday.  My mom let me tag along with her and a friend during one of their cleaning expeditions.  Their main agenda for the day was to pull several layers of old wallpaper from the walls so new wallpaper could be applied.  I remember that the walls were made of wood laths covered in plaster mixed with animal hair.  The stuff was crumbling from age and my parents replaced a lot of it with sheetrock (drywall).  I can still recall my thoughts on the house the first time I entered it.  The place was darned right gloomy.  It was also quite chilly inside despite the warm spring day outside.  There wasn’t a lot of lighting in the house (the wiring needed quite a bit of updating).  My mom told me that the bedrooms were upstairs and that mine was the last room on the left.  Although I remember feeling uncomfortable going upstairs by myself, I was eager to see my room and so up the stairs I went.  The room that would become my brothers’ bedroom was at the top of the stairs to the left, my parents’ room straight ahead.  There were no windows in my brothers’ room so it was quite dark in there and I had to go through their room to get to mine.  The door to my future bedroom was partially open and I could see that it was lit bright with sunlight.  I raced through the gloom to my future bedroom and was glad to see we had two large windows.  They faced the right side of the house and the river a couple hundred yards down the hill.  The room was filled with furniture (antiques!) and I remember being delighted by the mirrored dresser.  It had all sorts of neat little drawers and I sat before it to explore each one.

I wasn’t in the room very long when I heard someone coming up behind me.  I thought it was my mother.  I turned to ask her if the dresser was going to stay in the room for us to use but no one was there.  It puzzled me to find the room empty for I was sure someone had walked up behind me.  Though reluctant, I went and checked out the other two bedrooms.  I glanced toward the “dark room” (see Part I) but no WAY was I going to peak in there.  Both bedrooms were empty.  Feeling jittery but having no justification for concern, I returned to my exploration of the dresser.  A few minutes later, I had the strongest feeling someone was standing right behind me and my back crawled with unease.  Remember, I was only seven … I didn’t know about ghosts and had no clue why I felt as if someone was in the room with me even though I couldn’t see anyone.  It frightened me beyond measure and I no longer had any desire to explore my room and the furniture within it (the room was packed with lots of old stuff!).  Although I wanted to rejoin my mother, I was afraid to go through the room beyond, especially as I had to pass the dark room to do so (its entrance was a few feet to the left of my door).  I figured whoever was up here with me had to be hiding in there as I’d checked everywhere else.

It was quite a quandary I found myself in for I didn’t dare to leave, I was too scared to stay and I wasn’t sure if I should be making any noise since I didn’t want to attract their attention.  But then I’d made enough noise up to that point, I finally figured they already knew I was there anyway and began calling for my mother.  She kept answering with a “What?” but she didn’t come up the stairs and I didn’t dare go down them.  Finally, after repeating “Mom!” several times with escalating panic, my mother’s head appeared as she came up the stairs just far enough to see me (the top of the stairs was all open so you could see the last few steps from any vantage point).  “What?”

Why I didn’t tell her I was scared, I don’t know, instead I asked her if I could keep the dresser.  She said no, it wasn’t ours to use and before she could turn to go back downstairs, I ran to join her.  Although I really wanted to explore that house, I was too afraid to do so after that.  I did not feel comfortable there.  And the feeling was to remain for the next seven years!

When we finally moved in, the house didn’t seem so scary with the five of us kids running through the place.  My mom and dad always seemed to have company so the house was usually overrun with people.  Even so, I remember feeling like someone was watching me all the danged time.  I usually blamed the feeling on my brother (three years younger than me and quite the pest).  I was so sure he was hiding and spying.  Who else would it be?  Stuff began to disappear almost right away.  It was a common occurrence to have my parents complain about something they couldn’t find (they weren’t the only ones but our stuff being lost was naturally blamed on our inattention and thoughtlessness).  Of course my parents blamed us kids for their lost items (sometimes we would find them, in some strange obscure place, but oftentimes we did not).  I still wonder where they went? Countless times my dad gathered us together to demand we tell him where the latest missing item was “or else!”.  The fact we were all punished when the culprit didn’t speak up always had us kids mad at each other for not fessing up.  Of course, most of the time my poor brother “J” (I’ll just give him an initial as I haven’t asked him if he’s okay with me using his name!) was thought to be the guilty one.  There was a lot of “the blame game” going on, I can tell you that!  The atmosphere was, at times, quite negative.  Not all the time, of course.  Looking back on it, I truly believe the negative atmosphere happened when the spirits were about.  We did have spells of time where they seemed to be absent.  Why they came and went, who knows?

Since we put the missing stuff down to one of us (kids) being the culprit, we weren’t yet aware of the ghosts.  The first year or so living there, anything out of the ordinary happening was explained away.  “It’s cold in here because the walls are built solid and doesn’t allow the summer heat in (the slatted walls filled with horsehair plaster and no insulation told a different story!), the noises we sometimes heard were the house “settling” or it was one of the cats … perhaps even a mouse.  What else could it be?  The feeling of being watched, of not being alone…well, that was hard to explain.  Sometimes I would think it was J but when I knew where he was, I didn’t know what to make of it. The doors being found open (so common an occurrence that it often went without comment), well, it HAD to be one of us kids opening those doors…right? Actually, as I grew older, if my dad got up in the morning and found a door open (meaning the front door, the cellar door or the door to the attached barn), well he usually blamed it on me because I was often the last one to bed!  It boggled my mind that my dad would actually believe I could leave those doors open and head on to bed.  I didn’t feel safe as it was!  In fact, I often doubled checked the doors because I had so many nightmares of us being killed in our sleep! Yeah, my imagination worked overtime while living there.

My fear of that house began in earnest the night my mother went to play Bingo with a friend, leaving us kids at the house with my dad and her friend’s husband.  Ranging from the ages of one to eight by this time, the five of us kids were having a grand ole time playing on the stairs that night.  We were sliding down the narrow stairway on our butts, our bellies, our backs…however we could manage to do so.  We were making quite a racket, I know that much.  The main part of the stairway came to a small landing that then turned right (if coming down) with two more steps to the kitchen. We were confining our “slide” to the landing.  Above this landing was a small window.  I was too short to see out the window if standing under it.  From the back of the house where the window was located, I would guess it was about seven feet up from the ground for it was higher than my dad and he is six feet tall.  It was built flush with the house, no sill, no framing (I feel these facts are important, you’ll see why).  My dad and his friend were sitting at the kitchen table talking … just a few feet from the stairwell entranceway (they must have been happy to have us all occupied in one place so they didn’t mind all the noise we were making).  For once all five of us kids were having a good time together, no fighting, just fun.  We had no worries.

I had just completed my run down the stairs and turned to start back up them when I saw my sister about four steps down from the top.  She sat frozen in place, her dark brown eyes wide with fright, her mouth open in a silent scream.  She was about three at the time.  My two youngest brothers were on the steps behind her, laughing and playing, they were ages one and two (yeah, my mom had us all pretty close together!).  My brother J was a couple steps below my sister and on his way up.  He saw her strange stance and turned to see what she was looking at.  He immediately began screaming in terror and turned to make a mad scramble up the stairs, practically bowling my sister over in his haste.  My two youngest brothers turned to look as soon as they heard J scream and whatever was in the area above my head, they saw it too and began to scream right along with J as they scrambled after him up the stairs.  I did look above me but I saw nothing.  Whatever was terrifying them had to be in the window.  I remember the top of my head started crawling with unease, as if a thousand spiders and just landed there!  I was scared to freakin death and didn’t even know why.  All I knew was that my siblings were seeing something pretty danged awful.  Once my brothers started screaming, my sister found her voice and she let out the loudest, high pitched screech.  That alone would make your hair stand on end!

My dad stood up and looked at me.  “What’s wrong with the kids?  Go get your sister.”

With my dad standing near the stairwell, I felt a little braver and so I crouched low and ran up the stairs to get her.  I picked her up, her little body stiff as a board and she grabbed me as if I were saving her life.  I turned then to look at the window, afraid to see what they saw.  Nothing was there.  As I started down the stairs to my dad, my brothers scrambled down with me, all three of them crying with fright.

My dad took my terrified sister and did his best to comfort her.  It took a while to calm her down and, his patience wearing thin, he told the boys to stop their racket as well.  Of course he looked to me, the oldest of the bunch, for an explanation.  I had none.

Once my sister’s cries calmed to hiccups, my dad asked her again why she was scared.

“Red eyes, red eyes.”  That’s all she would say and then she buried her head in his shoulder.

Now my brother J (five at the time) spoke up.  “There was a monster in the window!”  My other two brothers began to cry again as they repeated the word “monster” and moved closer to dad and I for protection.  My dad put my sister in my arms and motioned to his friend to follow him.  They grabbed a flashlight and headed out the door.  The five of us kids huddled together in the kitchen and waited.  I envisioned my father being eaten by this monster my siblings saw and wondered if I’d be able to save us from the same fate.  Yeah, young minds!  After awhile, my dad returned from his investigation.  He said there was nothing outside the window that he could see.  His conclusion?  My sister and brothers must have seen a reflection of themselves in the window. I knew, even at eight, that such an explanation made no sense.  We’d been playing on those stairs for quite a while, why hadn’t our reflections bothered us from the beginning?  And seriously, what’s so danged scary about our reflections?  Geez! Totally subdued and frightened, the five of us kids went into the living room to huddle together on the couch.  While my dad and his friend sat back down at the kitchen table to continue their discussion (as if nothing had happened!), I asked my siblings about what they saw.  We spoke quietly among ourselves, knowing my dad would get upset if he heard us talking about monsters.  All four of them saw it.  The two oldest were adamant that they saw a face with red eyes. My brother J said the eyes were glowing and the face was scary.

Even though my dad didn’t find the “monster” we all knew it was out there and from that moment on, I was terrified of that house.  Now I knew something else was there with us.  Now I knew why I always felt as if something were in the room with me even though I couldn’t see it.  Now I knew what was opening the doors, taking things, making strange noises and moving stuff.  We had a monster.  It wasn’t much of a relief to later learn the monster was actually a ghost … and it wasn’t just one … no … there were, in fact, several and one of them was bad!

Okay, I’m done for now!  I’m trying to limit each post to to one or two ghostly incidents in order to keep the story relatively short!  Hope you visit again for Part III  …  if you dare! (smile)  Until then, blessings to all and Peace Out!


Last year I started this blog and since my interests (among many!) are attracted to anything dealing with the paranormal/supernatural and the books I write also include such subject matter, it was only natural that I would blog about that stuff too.  I became interested in matters of the “unknown” and “mysterious” when me and my family moved into a haunted old farm house back when I was seven years old.  I’ve always said I would write a book about our experiences there but, interesting though various events were, I’m not sure I could keep the page-gripping momentum going through an entire book.  I mean…there’s no final big show down or climatic end…we simply moved out.  We had had enough.  I do, however, have a great “novel” idea for a future book which will be loosely based on our experience there.  One of these days I’ll actually get down to writing “The Haunted Farm House” (or whatever I end up calling it) but that book will be a work of fiction and I would love to share what REALLY happened.  What better way to do that than a blog series!

Now, all my earliest blog posts were about my experiences in that house but I sort of crammed them all together as it seemed once the dam broke on my reminiscences, I wanted to get it all out there quickly.  So instead of reposting those, I’m going to rehash all the same stories again, minus the eager blog-post-overload I engaged in before!  This way, I can really convey what it is we experienced and maybe explore my own thoughts on it a little more … now that I know what I know!

For this post, I want to give a little history about the house, what I remember of it (I was 7 when we moved in and I was 14 when we moved out).  Despite the many years that have past, my memories are still pretty vivid and I continue to dream about that place to this day … thirty plus years later!  A homestead has been on the property since settlers began arriving in the area back in the 1760s.  The place used to be a farm (thus we dubbed our home “the farmhouse”) and many tragic events happened there.  Barns were struck by lightening at least twice that I know of and many animals were killed.  Although many adults died on the property (remember, it’s been settled a long time!), several children died there as well (I can’t tell you how it was they died but I do know that one of them drowned in a well which was filled in afterwards, thank God!).  We even uncovered a story about one of the house’s inhabitants being tarred and feathered by the town!

So, how do we know about some of the folks who died on our property or in our home?  Because they are buried in a tomb a couple hundred yards behind the house.  The inscriptions of eleven people are engraved in the granite stone facings of the tomb’s front wall (the rest of the tomb was buried in a mound of dirt long since overgrown with grass and brush).  A small rusted metal door about three feet high and two feet wide was it’s access point.  When curiosity led us to that tomb, I remember the door was slightly ajar.  A few years later (I was about 12 I think), I would actually have the nerve (or stupidity) to enter it!  My mother tells me that TWELVE people were actually laid to rest in that tomb.  She did a lot of research on the property when we finally accepted that it was haunted and sadly, all those research papers were given to a friend who then lost them! No matter, what happened in that house prior to our living there was not as much a concern to us as what happened after we moved in!  Though I suppose past events certainly affected future ones!  For one thing, there has to be a reason why all those spirits chose to hang around in our dimension rather than moving on in their spiritual journey.  When I say “all those spirits” I have to explain here that we figured somewhere along the line that four spirits shared our home with us.  One of them was not a good one.  I think if you are a bad person in physical life, you aren’t going to suddenly become good in the afterlife.  Probably this is why that particular spirit hangs out in our dimension (sometimes called “plane” in other writings on this subject).  I mean, what’s his alternative?  Hell?

The house was two stories high.  The first floor mainly consisted of the living room (where the oil stove was located and the only source of heat for the entire house!) and the kitchen.  Both rooms were spacious and nearly the same size.  A huge cast iron stove pretty much dominated the kitchen.  It was fueled by oil on one side (it was my job to fill the oil can…a chore that meant a trip down a long creepy spider infested corridor in the old barn) and propane gas on the other side.  The stove top on the oil burning side was smooth and flat, almost like a griddle.  It took quite a while to heat up so we mostly used it as a source of heat for the kitchen.  We also used this side to slowly boil down sap for maple syrup.  It was perfect for that job!  The propane side was used for most all the cooking.  The oven was a learning experience to cook in as it was hard to regulate the heat.  But as I loved to cook and my mother was okay with my kitchen experimentations, I did learn how to use it!  I remember the door to that oven was heavy cast iron and in later years it would play a part in an accident involving BOTH my parents!  A small pantry was off the kitchen and this is where the old cast iron sink covered in worn porcelain was located.  It had a faucet you had to pump to get water!  In today’s day and age, that would be considered rather “novel” but we found it out-dated and my father was quick to replace it!  I know that one of the more recent of the past residents (prior to our moving in) had died in the pantry.  This room more than any of the others always creeped me out the most, probably because I had to go in there so much.  I HATED that room and unfortunately, this is where the dishes needed to be washed (also my chore) and where all the food and dishes were stored.  The refrigerator was in there as well.  My little dog Tippy didn’t like to go in the pantry and so I couldn’t use him as a “deflector” for the spirits while I was in there.  I usually had to bribe one of my siblings (I have three brothers and a sister all younger than me) to come in there with me as I felt safer when I wasn’t alone.  I needed them to watch my back for I always felt like someone was in there with me, standing at my back, breathing on my neck.  It sent chills down my spine (that really happens!) and it seemed my flesh was always crawling with discomfort.

The one bathroom was off the kitchen (sharing a wall with the pantry).  It didn’t have any lighting and I hated it.  Of course my parents put a lamp in there but the light did nothing to dispel the creep factor.  Who knows what that room was before it was converted (before indoor plumbing, there was an outhouse).  Another room, which eventually became my bedroom when I got older, was also off the kitchen … you actually had to enter this room to get to the bathroom.  Another doorway to this room connected to the front hallway and directly across that was another entry to the living room.  So basically you could run circles through all the rooms on the first floor.  No doors were on any of these entrances and that was probably to allow heat to circulate throughout.  Next to the doorway between the kitchen and living room were two other doors.  Coming from the living room, the one on the left went out to the barn and the one straight ahead went down to the cellar.  Though the five of us kids played in the barn all the time (it was chock full of old antiques!), we were terrified of the cellar.  Since the door wouldn’t stay closed, my parents used to keep a butter knife stuck in the door frame to keep it from opening.  The cellar had a dirt floor, it was damp down there and cold…always cold, no matter the season.  It also had a room built down there…near the center…that looked like a tomb.  In fact, we called it the “tomb room”.  It had an arched ceiling and was constructed entirely of bricks.  We later found out that bodies were sometimes kept in this room until they could be transported to the tomb or buried!

The stairway to the second floor was off the kitchen and above the cellar staircase.  Since it was an enclosed staircase, it had a door down in the kitchen and in the winter we closed off the upstairs and the seven of us all crowded downstairs to stay warm.  I have to admit here that I loved the winters in that house the most!  It seemed that paranormal activity was not so busy in the winter and the house was actually warm!  Maybe the spirits didn’t bother us so much because we were all together and happy and that somehow helped to ward off their activity.  Who knows?

On the second floor were four rooms.  Straight ahead of the stairs was my parents’ room.  There was a “window” in the wall in my parents’ room to what we dubbed “the dark room”.  We always found it peculiar that someone would put a window (no glass, however, just a gaping black hole) between two rooms.  To the left of the stairs was an open room which was where my brothers slept.  My sister and I had the bedroom at the end of their room.  The doorway to the dark room was in my brothers’ room and I will tell you that the five of us kids were quite scared of it.  It was dark in there because there was no outside window (my mother hung a picture over the hole so no light could enter from their room either).  A light fixture hung from the ceiling (right next to it was the access door to the crawl space under the roof) but we never kept a light in there because my parents used the room to store some of the old furniture left in the house that we had no plans to use.  It was the ultimate dare for us kids to go in that room.  Needless to say, most of us didn’t take up the challenge and if we did, it wasn’t for long.  My mother hung a curtain over the doorway and the thing moved often.  I tell you, that room had some negative vibes attached to it.  In my mother’s research, we learned that a handicapped child was kept in there!  Back in the day, people with disabilities were kept hidden from public view.  Thank God we don’t do that anymore!!

The upstairs was usually cool in temperature no matter the weather but I feel that most of the spirits hung out in my parents’ bedroom more so than the other two.  At least for me, that’s where I experienced the most paranormal activity on the second floor.  On either side of the stairwell were cubby holes that actually were crawl spaces between the bedroom walls and the roof.  My parents used these crawl spaces for storage but us kids did play in there on occasion.  Though we did get creeped out over time and stopped going in there.  It could have been our over-active imaginations but then again, we were just small kids and ghosts were unknown entities to us.  When we were in those cubby holes and feeling like someone else was in there with us, we beat a hasty retreat, scared though we didn’t know why.  We just KNEW something wasn’t right.  The feeling wasn’t always there, however, in the beginning.  Maybe over time our continued use of the cubby holes attracted their attention or maybe they became so attached to us they followed us everywhere and so it felt more and more uncomfortable as time went on.

So that’s the complete layout of the house.  As for the location, it was built slightly back from the road on a level area midway up a hill (we had no nearby neighbors as this was farm country).  Below us was the Orland River (an often used route for Native American Indians which peppered the entire Orland region at one time!).  The Orland River ran past our property to Alamoosook Lake and it was here (on the surrounding shores of the lake and the banks of the river) that several Indian burial grounds were located.  At one time the Red Paint Indians inhabited the area.  They were a mysterious tribe that disappeared several thousand years ago.  They were called the Red Paint Indians (later called the Maritime Archaic) because their burial sites were filled with red ocher (a bi-product of hematite).  I can’t help but wonder if that house was located near another Indian burial site not yet discovered?  Pure conjecture on my part, but it is possible.  But anyway … a large field surrounded our house (our landlord “hayed” it during the late summer) and then the land rose sharply and became heavily wooded.  Across the street from our house was a pasture where our landlord kept a few horses, a couple cows and a mean ole bull (at least for a couple of the years that we lived there).  In the winter the animals were taken away and we loved to go over there and slide down the hill on our sleds.  I can say that the pasture was free of spirits and that is probably why we loved playing over there so much.

I do believe that some areas are conducive to paranormal activity.  I’ve since learned that there are “ley lines” networking across the earth and at certain connection points, these ley lines are believed by some to create a sort of “portal” to the other side.  I truly believe that the area where our farmhouse was located (it has since been torn down and no trace of it remains) is a “hot” spot for supernatural activity.  Even now, when we pass by there, I get the creeps.  My skin crawls and I know they are still there.  It doesn’t matter that the house is gone.  They are not.  And they continue to plague my dreams.

So, that’s it for this post.  I wanted to introduce our infamous old house first and then concentrate on particular paranormal events that happened there in future posts.  The picture I’ve included was taken during a nighttime visit there a few years back (a couple years before it was tore down).  My brother was big into “ghost hunting” at the time and he convinced me to go with him to the farmhouse.  I don’t know how he managed to talk me into it.  I truly believe something bad hangs out there and I was really worried about it following me home!  The two windows on the second floor is where my old bedroom was located (the small window below went to the pantry).  You can see the orb clear as day.  Now, I know there’s a lot of controversy about orbs but my gut tells me some of them really are spiritual energy centers … and that’s what spirits are in the most simplest terms…we are all beings of energy!  Certainly a lot of so-called orbs captured on film are specks of dirt, bugs, moisture drops, etc.  But not all of them.  This orb…it’s one of THEM.  I KNOW it.  They wanted me to know they were still there.  And they knew who we were.  I felt that with as much certainly as I felt the goosebumps on my arms and the standing hairs on my neck.

I saw the orb in the review screen on my camera and hightailed it for the car.  I yelled for my brother to “Come on let’s get out of here, we need to leave NOW!” and he of course took his sweet time.  Before getting into the car he stopped to take a picture of it.  My mother and husband were waiting inside with me.  My brother looked at the review screen on his camera and hurried (finally!) to show us what he had captured.  The car was surrounded by orbs.  Unfortunately, the computer those pictures were downloaded to crashed on us and all the pictures were lost.  Bummer that.  I tell you, I FELT them.  And though I’m not so scared of spirits as I was when I was a kid, I still am afraid of THEM.  Or at least I am of one of them.  Needless to say, I did a lot of protection prayers as we sped away!

Okay, NOW I’m done!  In my next post, I’ll explain a particularly scary event that changed everything for me … turning our home from a fun place to live (the yard was our oyster!) to a chilling place of fear.  Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!

The Stephen King Influence


I read an article on Stephen King recently and it made me think about how much this man, whom I only met briefly, has influenced my life.  Sure, he’s provided countless hours of reading enjoyment, but he has done so much more than that.

I was in the eighth grade when I read his book Carrie.  It was my first foray into horror as I was mostly reading romances at this point.  But since Stephen King lived in the same state as I did, and not far away from me at that, I figured I needed to read something from Maine’s celebrated author. Besides, a couple friends suggested I read it! I was hooked from page one (good for him to have such a great hook!!). So it was that one day during school, I finished my classwork early and decided to pull my book out and read a few pages.  My math teacher (who also happened to be the school principal) Mr. Mercer, hunkered down beside my desk (I think he was impressed that I was reading a book!) and asked me what I was reading.  I showed him.  He took the book from me and leafed through it.  I could tell from the expression on his face that he was not impressed (sorry Mr. King!).

Mr. Mercer snaps the book shut and looks at me.  I squirm uncomfortably beneath that stare.  It wasn’t good, that look.  I wondered what could be the problem?  Finally he shakes the book at me, his eyes narrowed in displeasure.  “I don’t want to see filth like this in my classroom again.  You put this book away and if I see it again, I will take it away from you.”  He handed me the book though it was pretty clear he wanted nothing more than to toss it into the garbage.  “I can’t believe your parents are letting you read this.  Do they know what you are reading?”

Truly, I was at a loss.  What exactly, was wrong with the book?  He didn’t read but bits and snatches so how could he know anything about it to pass judgment like that?  I asked him what was wrong with the book and he would not clarify. He was too disappointed in me to give me any more of his attention.  I had committed an unforgivable sin apparently.  So, I took the book home and told my mom what happened.  She rolled her eyes, unimpressed with Mr. Mercer’s viewpoint.  Maybe he didn’t like books with blood in it.  I don’t know, but it made me aware of how something simple like a choice of reading material can sway someone’s opinion of you.  In return, however, my opinion of Mr. Mercer had dropped a little as well.  Clearly the man had a closed mind!  No doubt he was thinking that I clearly had a trashed one!

The next Stephen King book I read was The Shining.  I was once again enthralled.  I couldn’t put the book down and it scared the crap out of me (especially as I was living in a haunted house at the time!).   I mention this because it is this book that will later play a very important part in my life choices!

In the fourth grade a new girl joined our class.  Her name was Katrina and we became very good friends.  Her parents bought a lodge right on Alamoosic Lake which was only about a mile from where I lived.  They rented out rooms for overnight guests and catered many parties there.  Katrina and I initially pitched in helping with those parties and eventually we became their only “hired” help (not much in the way of pay but we sure did have a good time!).  Katrina and I helped in all aspects of their catering business.  We assisted with preparing the food and serving it.  We were also pretty much in charge of the clean up afterwards. Looking back on it, I see they (her parents) had a pretty good deal going on! Cheap labor that was really worth something!  We worked hard and took pride in what we were doing.  And if we were treated to a movie or an ice cream or a twenty dollar bill now and then, cool!!

So, one summer we are catering to an all day party…the works were being served…seafood (we did live on the coast of Maine after all!) to include lobsters, crabs and steamed clams.  Katrina and I decided the person funding the party must be rich to afford all that expensive food.  So, I’m behind the buffet table keeping watch, ensuring nothing ran low, when a man makes his way through the line that looks an awful lot like Stephen King.  I stare at him, realize that I’m staring and glance away.  Trying to pretend at this point that I am only interested in the food dishes before me, I listened as he talked with the woman following behind him in the line.  She asked him when his next book was due out. He replied.  Can’t say what he said because my jaw dropped open as realization hit that the man looked like Stephen King because he WAS Stephen King.  I raced into the kitchen.  “Katrina, I think Stephen King is here!”  She doesn’t believe me. I drag her out to the buffet table.  He’s near the end of the table at this point and as soon as she sees him, she knows I’m telling the truth.  Something about our manner must have caught his attention because he looked up at us and smiled. If he thought our behavior strange, he didn’t let on that he thought so.  I know we were looking like two star-struck idiots.  We stood there, still as trees, staring at him with our mouths hanging open and our eyes wide with wonder.  He was, after all, our very first sighting of a celebrity in the flesh.

Embarrassed to be caught staring thusly, Katrina and I turn and flee back into the kitchen, making a bee line for her father. “Dad,” says Katrina, “who is paying for this party?  Did you know that Stephen King is here?” Her father, unimpressed with our excitement and even less so with the name, stared at us and said, “Who?”  We impatiently tell him who Stephen King is and he wrinkles up his forehead as he goes into deep thought.  Truly, I remember this day as if it were yesterday.  Finally he says, “Well, it seems that I do recall something of the man being well known.”  He then pulls a folded check out of his shirt pocket and reads the name on it.  “Well,” he says, “what do you know.  It is Stephen King.”  He shows us the check.  Katrina says, “Oh my God!  You have to have him sign my book.” (Which she hadn’t even bothered to read mind you! Yes, I was very jealous that she was going to get an autographed book and I, who read his books and loved them…who recognized him in line and informed her that he was there…I was going to get nothing).  Katrina raced out of the kitchen and went to retrieve her book.  I, in the mean time, went back out to the dining room so I could watch this person who wrote books that scared the living daylights out of me.  I had to know…was he normal?  What kind of person thought stuff up like that?  Did he consider himself better than those not quite so successful as he? Lots of things went through my mind, I was curious and so I watched him, his every move.

I have to add here that he seemed like a very pleasant man.  His son was quite small then and running happily about the place.  Stephen King chased him as any father would.  They laughed, they had fun.  At one point his son ran passed the buffet table and Mr. King chased after him saying, “Earth to Owen, Earth to Owen!” and then when he finally managed to catch him, he swung him up into the air as little Owen squealed in delight. People constantly bothered him and he was courteous to them all.  He didn’t act weird or bizarre or eerie or anything like the books he produced.  Now, is that passing judgement on someone or what?  Talk about judging a book by its cover, it seems we also judge a writer by his books!

Finally I see Katrina’s dad come out of the kitchen with her book in his hand.  He strides right up to Mr. King (who is still trying to eat his dinner) and asks him if he’ll sign his daughter’s book.  Katrina is hiding in the kitchen, peaking from the doorway.  I go in and tell her how lucky she is to be getting an autographed book.  Slightly miffed, I begin scrubbing pots.  Katrina pitches in to help.  Soon we are both giggling over sudsy water and how we can’t wait to tell everyone at school that we worked at Stephen King’s party.  The kitchen door opens behind us and Katrina’s dad booms in a very loud voice, “Girls, guess who wants to meet you?”  We swing around, our hands dripping in dirty water, suds up to our elbows and stare open mouthed as Stephen King comes over to us and gives a slight bow.  A bow! To us. “Ladies,” he says, “it is a pleasure to meet you and I want to thank you for the excellent job you are doing with this party.”  He holds his hand out and I put my slippery wet hand into his.  He then gallantly raises it to his mouth and kisses the back of it.  He does the same to Katrina.  He asks us which books we’ve read.  I hid my smirk as Katrina admits that she’s just starting The Shining (the book he signed).  I proudly tell him that I’ve read Carrie, Salem’s Lot and The Shining.  He smiles, he’s pleasant, friendly, engaging. Then he says, with regret in his voice (certainly an inflection he put there just for us), “Well, girls, I must get back to my guests.  Thank you again for all your hard work and for reading my books.”  And he was gone.

As I wanted to be a writer at this point in my life, I thought to myself, “Someday, I’m going to be just like that when I’m a rich and famous author!”

On my eighteenth birthday, I went out on my first date (yes, you read that right…I was pathetically lacking in the romance department my entire venture through high school) and he (my date) took me to see The Shining.  I fell in love with the scenery of Colorado (where the movie was shot).  I decided right then and there that I would someday go to Colorado.  And so, indirectly, Stephen King was about to influence one of the most monumental decisions of my life.

A year after graduating high school, I joined the Air Force.  Because they had so many people wanting to go in, I had to wait for a job to open up.  I waited for nine months and then got the call.  My recruiter tells me that a career field has just opened to women.  I would be working outside building munitions (yes, that means things that blow up!).  At the time, I had worked so many office jobs through high school that I wanted something more exciting than a desk to work at.  He tells me that I will be a pioneer, paving the way for future women to follow.  All quite grand to be sure.  But…bombs?  No.  I tell him that I’m not sure that’s what I had in mind when I said I didn’t want to be sitting behind a desk. But then he says, “Well, you’ll be attending technical school in Denver, Colorado. I’ve heard it’s really a nice school.”  I’m sure, thinking back, that the recruiter had no clue on whether the base was nice or not.  It didn’t matter.  I wanted to go to Colorado!  “I’ll take the job.”

While attending basic training, I was taken aside, led into a private room and a man of high rank tried to convince me to change my job choice to something else.  I listened to his spiel and then asked, “Where is the school for this job?”  He says, “California.”  I said, “But I don’t want to go to California, I want to go to Colorado.”  He looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind.  “You are making a career choice based on where the school is located?”  Okay, he can look at me like I’m a moron, I don’t care.  I was determined.  I was going to Colorado.  Truly, he just sat there and looked at me as if I’d suddenly grown a second head and one not so appealing at that!  I figured out many years later why.  Building bombs was not a fun job.  At least, not for me.  In fact, I pretty much hated it for most of my 20 year military career. And that, being stuck in a job I did not enjoy, I can now say was Stephen King’s fault!

I read his book The Stand when I was stationed at a military base in Virginia.  I think it was around 1986.  As I was reading the book one day (people were dying en mass of a flu epidemic in the book) the news came on.  People were dying of a flu epidemic!  I remember being a little freaked out at the coincidence.  Mr. King, I thought, is a smart man!  Thank God we didn’t lose our world population. Still, the book inspired me, and I began writing again.  I wrote my first story at the age of eight.  I was sure I would be an author, a published one within a few years of graduating high school.  But, the Air Force took over my life and then my kids and so it went.  But after reading The Stand, I dug out my old notebooks and began again to dream my dream.

I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, when I read Stephen King’s “On Writing“.  I started the book while my husband was in surgery.  I remember laughing a lot (who knew the master of the macabre had such a great sense of humor?) and getting curious looks from the others sharing the waiting room with me.  Finally I had to go in search of a highlighter.  Good stuff to remember!  I found a store, bought a yellow highlighter and a pen and went back to the waiting room so I could mark my favorite passages and quotes.  There were a lot.

Not long before this, I rediscovered a manuscript I’d started in high school (my first “horror”…inspired after reading Stephen King’s “The Shining”) and thought it must be the universe telling me I needed to finish that story.  It was laying on the bed when I got home from work.  I recognized the notebook right away and wondered why it was there.  I hadn’t seen it in over ten years! (my husband had gone digging for a notebook and of all the notebooks I’d packed away, he pulled that one out and tossed it on the bed).  A friend who knew I was working on a book bought me King’s “On Writing” thinking it would help. It did.  I became more inspired than ever to finish that book!  Someday I will publish “No Matter What”.  But first to get my “Be Still, My Love” out into the reading public.

I’m excited about the pending publication of my book (I’ve decided to join the ranks of other author hopefuls and publish it myself).  It’s been a long journey for me but considering the person from whom I’ve been inspired and influenced, I figure it’s a good omen.  I watched an interview King gave one time and he said, (paraphrasing somewhat) “If a story grabs you and excites you and you can’t wait to write it down…well, then you probably have the potential for a best-seller on your hands.”  That pretty much describes most of the books I’ve written so far! (the first part that is…about the story grabbing me with its hurry to be written down…but not, unfortunately, the second part…yet).  There is one particular quote from Stephen King’s book “On Writing” that really stuck with me all these years.  He said, “If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?”  He’s got me there.  Writing is the one thing I’ve been doing almost all my life.  It’s been something of an obsession.  So, it must be my God given gift.  Can’t think what else it could be!  So, thanks, Stephen King, I think I will…take your advice and use my God given gift.

How about you?  Are you using your God given gift?

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