Friday, January 13, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Holy Guacamole! It's the Chupacabra!



El chupacabra, or just chupacabra, is a legendary cryptozoology creature that has been haunting various areas of the globe from the initial reports from Puerto Rico in March 1995. The term “chupacabra” is derived from Spanish, with chupar meaning “to suck” and cabra meaning “goat.”
In March and August 1995, attacks on more than 150 farm animals left officials dumbfounded. Eyewitness accounts in local newspapers spoke of a creature with a “reptilian body, oval head, bulging red eyes, fanged teeth, and long, darting tongue.” Farm animals in Puerto Rico were found to be drained of blood with puncture wounds in the neck, with no meat taken from the animals’ bodies. The situation in Puerto Rico reached such a fever pitch that Mayor Jose Soto recruited volunteers to hunt the creature weekly for nearly a year, with no success.
When chupacabras are reported, they usually fall into one of two categories. First, and most common in connection to the Puerto Rico incidents, is a chupacabra that is reptile-like in nature, with leathery greenish-gray skin and spines running down the spine of the back. Most ties it was said to be approximately three to four feet tall and bipedal – standing and hopping like a kangaroo.
The second that is considered the more common version of the chupacabra is more like a strange breed of wild dog or coyote. This version lacks the hair of a dog, but features the pronounced spinal ridge or “spikes” similar to the reptilian chupacabra. This four-legged, dog-like chupacabra is also known for fearsome fangs and claws used for draining animal’s blood. The “mark” of the chupacabra on the victims is typically one to three holes, and in the shape of an upside-down triangle where the three holes are apparent.
While the chupacabra or “goat sucker” seems to be a recent cryptozoology finding, the Mayans may have encountered this cryptoid centuries ago. In
Mayan mythology, it was known as the death bat or vampire bat. Stories reveal a creature with a bat or lizard-like face, two arms and the ability to turn into a statue during the day. The creature’s sharp snout even lends itself as a device that could suck blood from victims. Even more findings identify terms like “goat sucker” found in Mayan literature as early as 1400 B.C. No doubt, this must be the vampire bat, as it did suck blood, most times from animals.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Join Me at Marscon This Weekend



I will  be a guest at Marscon at the Doubletree Hotel, 50 Kingsmill Road in Williamsburg, Virginia this upcoming Martin Luther King Weekend (January 13th through 15th). I have my schedule (below), plus you can view what other panels, workshops and more will be happening during the convention: http://www.marscon.net/wp/index.php/marscon-2017-programming-schedule/

My schedule
Friday 9pm – Ghost Hunt--meet in the hotel lobby (yes, I am leading this and you can bring your own camera, camcorders and recorders to record for yourself too)

Saturday 10am – Fantastic Beasts and How to Write Them - How do you describe the movement of a dragon? What happens when a shapeshifter becomes a sea wyvern? These authors discuss the technicalities of creating larger than life creatures realistically. Panelists: Todd McCaffrey, Mari Mancusi, Pamela K. Kinney, D.C. McLaughlin

Saturday 2pm – Cosplay: Old School vs. New School - Before it became known as Cosplay it was simply known as Costuming - What is the difference or is there any? Panelists: Birdy, Erica Bortnick, Cheralyn Lambeth, Mera Babineaux, Pamela Kinney

Saturday 7pm – Dragons in Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction - Panelists will talk about how dragons are incorporated in these genre fiction and what makes the dragon a hot commodity for them. Panelists: Pamela K. Kinney, Margaret S. McGraw, Mari Mancusi, Joelle Presby

Sunday 10am – A World full of Monsters - From Blutbads to Zauberbiest, La Llorna & The Jersey Devil - join us as we explore the worlds of Grimm, Supernatural, and Teen Wolf and their use of the many creatures from history and other diverse cultures. Monsters such as the Kitsune of Japan, the Djinn of the Middle East, or the Chupacabra of Mexico and they have been used in these shows’ interpretations as well as some of the cultures that brought them. See what it takes to defend humanity from creatures that do more than just go bump in the night. Panelists: Pamela K. Kinney, D.C. McLaughlin

Sunday 12noon – Indie Publishing: Getting Known as an Author - Most people understand what marketing is, but far fewer understand the role that publicity pays in selling your work. One without the other often falls flat…but when your local newspaper won’t talk to you, how do you get publicity? Come hear how our experts do it. Panelists: Chris Kennedy, Pamela K. Kinney, Kim Headlee, Tabitha Grace Challis, D.C. McLaughlin

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Supernatural Friday: How Really Abominable is the Yeti?



With first snow of the year in my area, winter, the cold and all that snow made me think of a cryptid perfect for the first Supernatural Friday blog post of 2017. The Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman. So get a cup of hot chocolate, sit back with your computer, laptop, or tablet, and enjoy reading.
The Yeti is a cryptid creature that has long inhabited the remote and mostly uninhabited Himalayan Mountains, including Mount Everest, in central Asia, including Nepal, Tibet, China, and southern Russia. This being has been mainly seen as an erect bipedal animal, usually over six feet tall, with weight estimated between 200 and 400 pounds, covered with red to gray hair, and it makes a whistling sound, has a bad smell, and is usually nocturnal and secretive.
The Yeti has long been a revered figure in Himalayan mythology that predates Buddhism. The various peoples inhabiting Tibet and Nepal in the heart of the lofty range, which includes Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, do not see the Yeti as a proto-human type of creature but instead a man-like animal that seems to exist with supernatural powers. The Yeti comes and goes like a hairy ghost, just showing up rather than being found by tracking. Stories are told of the creature having been seen flying through the air; killing goats and other livestock; kidnapping young women who are taken back to a cave to rear children; and throwing stones at humans.
Even the indigenous names of the Yeti reflect its mythological character. In some regional dialects, it is known as Meh-Teh, or Migoi—translated as “wild man of the snows.” There had been one journalist stationed in Calcutta who mistranslated one of a Sherpa’s words for the Yeti as “filthy” – or in British empirical lingo – “Abominable.” This is no doubt where the term, Abominable Snowman came from.  The Tibetan word Yeti is a compound word that roughly translates as "bear of a rocky place," while another Tibetan name MichĂȘ means "man bear." The Sherpas call it Dzu-teh, translated "cattle bear" and is sometimes used to refer to the Himalayan brown bear. Bun Manchi is a Nepali word for "jungle man." Other names include Kang Admi or "snow man" which is sometimes combined as Metoh Kangmi or "man-bear snowman." Modern Yeti researchers, including mountaineer Reinhold Messner, believes that Yetis are actually bears that sometimes walk upright.
The Yeti's existence has long been known by Sherpas and other Himalayan inhabitants who observed the mysterious creature for thousands of years, including an account by Pliny the Elder, a Roman traveler, who wrote in Natural History in the first century AD: "Among the mountainous districts of the eastern parts of India…we find the Satyr, an animal of extraordinary swiftness. These go sometimes on four feet, and sometimes walk erect; they have also the features of a human being. Due to their swiftness, these creatures are never to be caught, except when they are either aged or sickly…. These people screech in a frightful manner; their bodies are covered with hair, their eyes are of a sea-green color, and their teeth like those of the dog."
The legend of the Yeti was first reported to the western world in 1832 in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal by British explorer B.H. Hodgson, who said his guides had previously spotted a hairy bipedal ape in the high mountains. Hodgson believed the red-haired creature was an orangutan.
1899 was the first recorded Yeti footprints. This was done by Laurence Waddell. He reported in his book Among the Himalayas that the footprints were left by a large upright hominid. Waddell was, like Hodgson, skeptical of the stories of the mysterious ape-man after talking to locals who had not actually seen a Yeti but had heard stories of them. Waddell figured the tracks were left by a bear. The first detailed sighting of the Yeti came from N.A. Tombazi, a Greek photographer on a British expedition to the Himalayas, He watched an upright hairy figure walk like that for a while, stopping on occasion to uproot or pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. He remembered to grab his camera to take a photo, but the Yeti had vanished by then.

Yeti, not unlike Sasquatch and other legendary cryptids fascinate up for years. And we feel safe, being indoors in our warm homes, reading about a monster that stalks the freezing cold, snow-ridden landscape of the Himalayan mountainous range. It can’t get us—right? But the next time you hear something outside of your home in the dead of night, where snow covers the land like some icy blanket and your breath leaves your mouth like frozen clouds, it might be smarter to stay in that warm bed instead of investigating those abominable sounds. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Get Out 2016-2017 Will Be a Better Year?



The New Year is more than saying goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. There are superstitions attached to this time of the year. 

But let’s talk about normal legends and myths. Open all doors at midnight, to let the old year escape without being stopped. Celebrate at midnight with as much noise as possible, for it’s not just for celebration, but to chase bad spirits away. Widespread superstition has it said that the Devil and other evil spirits hate the din and will run away. Church bells on a wedding day are rung originally for the same reason.



A kiss at midnight with those close to us and whom we hold in affection starts the New Year off right by making sure ties and affections stay the next year. If no kiss is exchanged, it will mean a year of coldness.


Bills must be paid off before midnight chimes to make sure the household does not start off in debt. Same goes for personal debt, as they must be settled before January 1 also.





It is said that the first person to enter your home after the New Year is the one who will influence how your year will go. It is best if the man comes bearing gifts in either silver coin, a lump of coal, a sprig of evergreen, some salt or a bit of bread. And he should be dark-hair, tall and good-looking to make it a good year. But if he’s a red-haired or a blond, well, he will bring nothing but a year of bad luck. As for a female first guest, she should be chased away before disaster hits the household. Hold the women off until a man cross your threshold. The first footer should knock and be let in, but never use a key to enter, even if he lives there. Then after he drops off his gifts and greets those within the walls, he should then exit by another door than the one he entered by.


Larders must be stocked and money in everyone’s wallet to guarantee prosperity.


Another thing about first footers, they can not have flat feet, be cross-eyed, or have eyebrows that meet in the middle (can this last one be a werewolf thing too, since a werewolf can be identified by having brows like this?). 


Another thing in regarding to good/bad luck for the New Year, is not to take anything out the first day, not even the garbage. If have presents, don’t even bring them in, but leave in the car until the second. This means don’t shake a rug out or take out empties. Some people say that it’s okay to take something out, long as something else was brought in first, most likely a first footer. 





Down South, people make black-eyed peas to serve New Year’s Day to get good luck and financial good fortune, especially to the diner. Other foods such as ham hocks, cabbage, and collard greens can be added, but there must be black-eyed peas as the key ingredient.





Other foods considered lucky are lentil soup (due to looking like coins), pork (pigs root forward while poultry scratches backwards and a cow stands still), and sauerkraut (I grew up with a Czechoslovakian mother, so I love this, as does my husband who is half Polish!). Definitely do not eat chicken or turkey the first day, since the birds scratch backwards, this means the diners will scratch in the dirt all year (meaning poverty).


Do a token amount of what you do at work (even if you’re off from your job and not near it even) on January 1st, but a small amount is enough, as to engage in a serious project that day is considered bad luck. Don’t even do your laundry or even wash dishes, as this may wash away you or your family members in the home (death) during the coming year.


Wear something new January 1st, to insure you receive more new garments during the year. Do not pay back loans or lend money or other precious items on the first day of the New Year, otherwise you’ll be paying out all year. Avoid crying too. That will mean that will be the tone of the next twelve months and do not, I stress, do not break anything the First, otherwise the rest of the year will a life of wreckage.


So far, sounds like your first day might be best spent in bed after letting in that dark-haired man. But you need to get up to examine the weather that first day. Yes, even the weather can make things bad or good. Like if the wind comes from the south, times ahead will be prosperous times and great weather for all year. But if the wind comes from the north, that means bad weather all year. Wind from the east brings famine and calamities with it while from the west, it brings milk and fish a-plenty, but will also see the death of an important person. No wind, a joyous and prosperous year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My Radio Interview and Reading Archived

For those who weren't able to hear my interview and reading ("Monster in the Closet") on Speculative Fiction Cantina, you can here the entire radio show at http://ow.ly/2c0c3071ftj


Friday, December 23, 2016

Supernatural Friday: "A Genre Writer's Christmas" (My Christmas Gift to All)



"A Genre Writer's Christmas"
By
Pamela K. Kinney

It was the night before Christmas,
And this writer was busy plotting
When all of a sudden--
Her characters came to life!
There was the monster from her novel,
It was chomping on a tasty victim.
The hero appeared, stunning in purple;
Well, that's the writer's favorite color, of course!
What did you expect: white?
He grabbed a sharpened pencil to duel with the fiend
When the heroine popped in midair and dropped down,
Into a container overflowing with paper clips.
Drowning, a clip in her mouth, she cried out for help,
And who do you think rescued her?
Not the hero, oh no!
He was trying to make time with a statue of a gargoyle,
That stood guard over the writer's laptop
For he had a thing for beings made of stone
The monster rushed right over in a flash,
Not to kill her or eat her,
No, with a gentle paw, he helped her up.
And arm in arm, both vanished to the monster's lair
Where in chapter eleven, they got it on hot and heavy—
Wait a moment…did you expect to read the scene?
No, this Christmas poem is rated PG.
The writer just shook her head,
With a click of the mouse, saved the story.
The hero dissipated, no more to be seen,
Well, not until chapter twelve, anyway.
With a sigh, the writer stood, snatching up her coffee cup,
Time to join the family and reality,
The story could wait for another time.
Because it's Christmas after all:
Merry Christmas to all and to all, a magical night!


I'm Being Interviewed, Plus Doing Reading Tonight on Speculative Fiction Cantina



I will be interviewed on the Speculative Fiction Cantina
tonight, December 23rd at 6:00 PM Eastern Time. For times in other areas: Central: 5:00 P.M. Mountain: 4:00 P.M. and Pacific: 3:00 P.M.
I will be doing a 5–8 minute live reading from Spectre Nightmares and Visitations, out of Spectre Nightmares and Visitations.
Author Randy Anderson will be interviewed too and do a reading.

The link for the show is:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writestream/2016/12/23/the-speculative-fiction-cantina-with-pamela-k-kinney-and-randy-anderson

"The Speculative Fiction Cantina is an internet radio program on the Writestream Radio Network that airs every Friday at 6:00 P.M. Eastern. It lasts approximately an hour, and the format they use has two writers
on to interview. Also, the writers are asked to do a 5-8 minute live reading out of one of their works. They look for speculative fiction writers (science fiction, fantasy (and all its subgenres), horror, alt history, steampunk, cyberpunk, dieselpunk, etc.)".

Come relax from the stress of the holidays and enjoy the readings and interviews.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Supernatural Friday: Winter Solstice Magic (Original Poem)

Winter Solstice Magic

By

Pamela K. Kinney

(please do not take the poem off as it is my original work, but share the link to the poem here with all your friends)




Chilly air,

Snowing falling,
Evergreen trees,
Sun above-though no warmth though.

Look through the mistletoe,
And see the fairies dancing
Deer are leaping,
Sharing the space with wolves and foxes
Birds are singing,
Snowdrops blooming;
That normally don’t
Winter wonderland.

It is the winter solstice,
Everyone is celebrating
Magic sparkling,
In twirling snowflakes.

Hush! Not a word,
Watch the winter solstice party
For one sound from us,
 And they will scatter,
The magic will dissipate,
With a silent winter solstice
Being all that you will have.