Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY 2011!



The last one for 2010 asks about New Year's.

1. When did they first celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square in New York City?

2. What should someone do first thing on New Year's Day morning for good luck?

3. What are you doing for New Year's Eve?

4. What legend about New Year's do you know.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS--A Writer's Christmas Poem to the Tune of Night before Christmas

A Genre Writer's Christmas
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,
Chomping down on a tasty victim.
The hero appeared, stunning in purple;
Well, that's the writer's favorite color,
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.
The writer just shook her head
And 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!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Four Questions Friday asks about your plans for this Christmas weekend. Merry Christmas!

1. Which day do you celebrate with family--Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

2. What is one tradition you do at Christmas only?

3. Do you plan to wake up early Christmas morning?

4. Are you going away or staying home for Christmas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Interviewing Deborah Painter

Today, I am interviewing fellow author and good friend, Deborah Painter about her and her new book, Forry, the Life of Forrest J. Ackerman.

Pamela: Please tell us about your latest book.

Deborah: Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman, from McFarland & Company, Incorporated, Publishers, was published in November 2010 and sold out its first printing before December. More will be printed. I credit that to the immense popularity of the loving, kind, funny and tremendously intelligent subject of the book. It was intended as an intimate biography of Mr. Science Fiction, the guy who coined the term “Sci-Fi:”

If Jules Verne is the father of Science Fiction and Mary Shelley is the mother, Forrest J Ackerman is definitely one of their children. A collector extraordinaire, an author, agent, editor, archivist, historian, public speaker, actor, and promoter, Forry’s influence on generations is inestimable. He was wearing costumes to conventions when no one else was; literally, he and his girlfriend Myrtle Douglas invented science fiction convention costuming for the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Forry was the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, published by James Warren’s Warren Publishing Company, among four other magazines. He was the recipient of the “Grimmy” from the televised Horror Hall of Fame in 1990, and he was the first person ever to be awarded a Hugo Award in 1953 at that year’s Worldcon. He received the award for Number One Fan Personality. He created “Vampirella”.

I could go on about the amazing things this man did. But instead of just talking about him and writing articles about him, as I have done for many, many years, I wrote this book.

McFarland’s book description is: “Forrest J Ackerman (1916-2008) was an author, archivist, agent, actor, promoter, and editor of the iconic fan magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland; a founder of science fiction fandom; and one of the world’s foremost collectors of sci-fi, horror and fantasy films, literature, and memorabilia. This biography begins with a foreword by Joe Moe, Ackerman’s caregiver and close friend since 1982. It documents Ackerman’s lifelong dedication to his work in both literature and film; his interests, travels, relationships and associations with famous personalities; and his lasting impact on popular culture. Primary research material includes letters given by Ackerman to the author during their long friendship, and numerous reminiscences from Ackerman’s friends, fans and colleagues.”

Pamela: What can we expect from you in the future?

Deborah: In the near future, I am finishing a book on horses in film; a critical examination of what the horse symbolizes. Also, plenty of magazine articles and books!!

Pamela: What motivated you to start writing?

Deborah: I can’t remember a time when I did not write. I was dictating stories to my parents and older siblings when I was six. When I learned to actually write, I would create little stories illustrated with crayon and bound together with yarn. Oscar the Owl’s Life is a very early, unpublished work.

Pamela: What kind of research do you do?

Deborah: For my day job, I research wetlands, streams, topography and soils for wetland delineations and water quality permitting purposes, and do detailed reports on the environmental impacts of a project on its human and nonhuman surroundings, for Federal documents. For my freelance writing, I research film history, film technology, animals, equitation, geology, history and paleontology.

Pamela: Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

Deborah: I just go with the flow.

Pamela: Where do your ideas come from?

Deborah: Everywhere…..people I talk to and places I visit.

Pamela: Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?

Deborah: My father, Floyd Eugene Painter, my mother, Kay Sewell Painter, and Forrest James Ackerman, all wrote. My mother was a poet (unpublished, I am sad to say) and my father wrote journal articles for archaeological publications and wrote several books on archaeology. Daddy and Mama nurtured my love of books, bought plenty of them for me, and encouraged me to write. I used them as role models in my writing. Forry Ackerman helped me get started in magazines and kept on featuring my works in his magazines and I used him as a role model as well.

Pamela: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Deborah: Yes!

Pamela: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Deborah: Sharing what I have discovered and finding out that there are others like my subject matter as much as I do!

Pamela: Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)

Deborah: I grew up in the Navy town of Norfolk, Virginia and my father was a marine engineer and archaeologist. My mother was a homemaker. I have a brother and a sister. I earned two degrees in biology from Old Dominion University and my hobbies are photography, rock and fossil collecting, horseback riding, monster movies and studying metaphysics.

Pamela: Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

Deborah: There will be people in your life that will not understand your writing or why you want to do it; will resent the time you spend doing it, and will say your writing is stupid or that there are better things you should be doing with your time. Ignore the criticism. Keep on working and believe in your work and yourself. Do your homework; find out about markets and connect with the publishers.

Pamela: Tell us your website, MySpace, Blog, any urls so the readers can find out more about you.

Deborah: I talk too much about myself in Deborah Painter’s Writing News, which is my web site, and I also have a Facebook page: Look for me with the sunglasses standing next to a motion picture actor, also in shades.

13.) Now for something fun:

Pamela: Chocolate or vanilla?

Deborah: Chocolate.

Pamela: Favorite thing to do?

Deborah: A walk in the woods or comfy indoors front of a fire? A walk in the woods. Hey, I’m a wetland scientist!! My problem is that I like to eat chocolate before and after the walk.

Pamela: All time favorite book?

Deborah: Cases of the Reincarnation Type: Twelve Cases in Thailand and Burma by Ian Stevenson.

Pamela: Favorite color?

Deborah: Green.

Pamela: Do you like science fiction, fantasy or horror?

Deborah: If I did not like them, I certainly would never have written so much coverage of science fiction, fantasy and horror conventions and films/television over the years, and would never have heard of Forry Ackerman. Perish the thought!!

Pamela: All time favorite actor?

Deborah: Lon Chaney Senior.

Pamela: Actress?

Deborah: Jean Harlow.

Pamela: Favorite TV show?

Deborah: My Favorite Martian. A fun and underrated series well acted by Bill Bixby and Ray Walston. There is a lot of wisdom in that TV program.

Pamela: Favorite Movie?

Deborah: Gee, there are so many great films. If I have to pick just one, I will go with King Kong. I mean the 1933 RKO Radio version with Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. (Is there another version?) I love the picture for its intrinsic qualities… it’s just an excellent piece of cinema. It’s a perfectly paced adventure movie with a magnificent score. I feel a personal connection to it, too, through the many times I visited the stop motion animation models used in the film, the brontosaurus, pteranodon, stegosaurus and one of the Kong models.

Pamela: What makes you laugh out loud?

Deborah: Stupid (clean) jokes and funny animal antics.

Pamela: If you could go anywhere in the universe where would that be?

Deborah: I want to go to Los Feliz Boulevard near Griffith Park, Los Angeles, and look at the mountains looming up in front of me as I head east toward Glendale.

Pamela: A secret desire?

Deborah: That’s what it is! Secret.

Buy the book at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Second Weird Wednesday

While out taking pictures for current ghost book I am working on, I saw this at Jefferson Hotel. An alligator decorated for Christmas. Very weird.

Weird Wednesday

How weird for Christmas is this? A frog dressed in Dickins attire?

Friday, December 17, 2010


Four Questions Friday asks questions about what you know about Christmas.

1. What is the scariest legend or myth you know about anything to do with Christmas?

2. What year did Rudoplh first appear and in what?

3. Since there was a real St. Nicholas bgehind the Santa Claus legend, what good thing did he do, and what was his occupation?

4. What can you tell us about the mistletoe?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Now this is warped. A man with a gun, obviously a hunter, has bagged Santa Claus!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa's Evil Twin

Christmas is more than a holly jolly time. It can also be a scary time of the year, just like Halloween. Spirits and monsters haunt this time of year as much as at the end of October. Like at Charles Dicken's The Christmas Carol.
One of these is "Santa's evil twin." I'm talking about Krampus. In many areas of the world, it is said that St. Nicholas has a companion. This companion is Krampus, though another version is Black Peter, or Zarte Piet or Zwarte Piet. Black Peter is associated with the Netherlands. Black Peter may be do to the Muslins--hence the dark skin.
But Krampus isn't a man though. He has horns, goat hair, hooves, and claws. Just like a demon. His job is to accompany St. Nicholas and to warn and punish bad children. He is said to carry a basket on his back where he will place the bad children and take them to Hell to be tossed into the pit.
Krampus originates from Krampen--meaning claw. Youg men dressed up in goat skins and masks they spend two weeks making and on December 5th go out to scare all and carry out "birching," mainly on young girls.
Tonight, when you cuddle up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and popcorn before your television to watch "Christmas Story," or A Christmas Carol," or any other Christmas flick, make sure all the windows and doors in your home are locked tight. For that shadow cast upon the glass may not be from the tree outside, but something waiting. Waiting to toss you into a basket and take to Hell.
Have you been naughty or nice?

Friday, December 10, 2010


Four Questions Friday asks about your favorite Christmas songs.

1. What is your ultimate favorite song?

2. What is one Christmas song you hate and wish you never hear again?

3. What is one subject you never heard used in a Christmas song?

4. Where is the one place you wish they would not play Christmas songs?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


What cats would like to be doing--bundle up and make snowcats. Not my cats! They rather be indoors, nice and warm.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Christmas is fast approaching and Four Questions Friday asks you about gifts and what the holidays mean to you.

1. What does the holidays mean to you?

2. If you could have anything at Christmas or Hanukkah, or whatever you celebrate, what would you like?

3. What book as a gift do you like to see under the tree come Christmas morning? Or do you want to see an ereader, and what kind?

4. What gift to the world would you like to give if you had magical powers and could do so?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Christmas is coming and yeah, we all want to see Santa Claus, but not this one!