Friday, June 22, 2018

Supernatural Friday: Crimson Rush-original poem

                 Enjoy my original poem, "The Crimson Rush," but please do not copy it and paste it elsewhere, share the link instead so others may enjoy it.
Crimson Rush

By
Pamela K. Kinney


So much red;
Delicious, lip-smacking
Liquid,
I want it
No, I need it.
The fountain of life
Beneath the flesh,
Beckoning,
Taunting,
Calling me,
Until,
I can’t help it
But sink fang
Into the softness
Drinking;
Rush of crimson,
Of daylight and life.
Leaving behind
The husk,
Flying away
To sleep the sleep
Of the addicted.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Author Appearance at Indie Urban Lit Fest at Richmond Library June 23, 2018

I'll be at the Indie Urban Lit Fest this Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The free event will be held at the main branch of the Richmond Public Library, 101 Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219. I will only have copies of my indie urban fantasy novel, How the Vortex  Changed My Life, for sale and signing. I will have copies of my other books in my tote with me-just ask me. But "Vortex" will be on the table only. Along with Larry--so do take a selfie with him and share on social media. 



 About it: The event will feature 50 independently published authors of urban fiction, romance, poetry, memoir, and motivational writing. Special guests include best-selling authors Nikki Turner, K’wan, and Silk White. Writing and publishing workshops, meet and greet with authors, book sales, and panel discussions will be held throughout the day, with live music by Tiara & Andrew and poetry performances in library park from 1-4. This event is free and open to the public. For more on it: http://rvalibrary.org/indie-urban-lit-fest/indie-urban-lit-fest/ or call the library at 804-646-4867. Map of area, with the library in middle. 





Friday, June 15, 2018

Supernatural Friday: Haunting Summer Solstice Battle (Original Poem)



Summer solstice is coming. Do ghosts wait for the dark of night, no matter how late? Or do they appear as usual? This original poem that I wrote (please share the blog link with your friends as the poem is copyrighted) is about one Civil War battlefield's nightly haunt on the upcoming solstice.


Haunting Summer Solstice Battle
By
Pamela K. Kinney


Only 19% visible;
the solstice moon
looks down
on the battlefield.
Silence,
except for crickets
in the humid night.
From both sides
comes pale, wisps of
shades on horseback
and many on foot.
The noise of battle erupting.
Out of sync,
no reality
Blue against gray,
Union against Confederate,
cannons booming and guns blasting.
The ectoplasmic war began late,
All due to the
longest day
of the year
Dawn,
the cock crows
and phantoms
vanish with the sun.
Until the next night…



http://www.hauntedhovel.com/images/antietambattlefield.jpg

Friday, June 08, 2018

Supernatural Friday: Tribute to a Dreamer of Halloween, October, and Martian Landscapes.

With a busy day, and since it was June 6th that Ray  Bradbury passed away, plus a remake of Fahrenheit 451 has been on HBO, I thought it would be nice to reshare this tribute I had written back in 2012. He is one of the few authors who inspired me to be a writer. Ray, a toast to you with a glass of dandelion wine.





Ray Bradbury
August 22, 1920 -June 6, 2012

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
~Ray Bradbury

Just a few days ago, a great teller of fantastic tales passed away, leaving us for that October Country beyond. When I heard the news, I was in shock, One of the authors I read since I was younger, who was one of those who inspired to keep on writing, no longer stepped on the ground of the same planet as me?  Memories of the few times I met him at conventions back in California assaulted me. No doubt now, he is able to walk along the Martian canals and see the planet with his own spirit that he told tales of in The Martian Chronicles. He will be able to be a boy again in that distant October Country, visit the mysterious carnival come to town, and climb that Halloween tree. Visit the vampires. See if the Illustrated Man still traveled the dusty roads. Taste dandelion wine again with angels.

He left us a legacy of stories that will never grow old, ones we can read over and over. I plan to read them again this summer in his memory. What better tribute I figure. He painted pictures for me with his words. Hook me with a hook better than any hook used by a young boy or girl going fishing along a creek on a hot summer afternoon. There’s comfort in his tales for me. A belief I can travel anywhere. That fantastical things do exist. Most of all, he pushed me even further to pen my own tales. I hope that one day when I step upon my own path to that October Country, I too will have left behind a legacy of words for others to cherish. It’s the only real tribute I feel I should give to him as a thank you for writing for us readers. For entertaining me and others.

Thank you, Ray Bradbury, you will never be forgotten. You will always be there with the others who inspired me years ago: Edgar Allan Poe, HP. Lovecraft, Anne McCaffrey, JRR Tolkien, and Shirley Jackson, plus others.  Most of all, thank you for giving us all the gift of your imagination; a most precious gift indeed.



Friday, June 01, 2018

Supernatural Friday: So, June Is More than a Hot Month




Where did the first month of summer, June, get its name? In Old English, this month was often referred to as simply “midsummer month.” Today being June 1st, there is more to the month than the end of spring and beginning of summer.

In Greek mythology, the month may come due to Hera, known in Roman as Juno. In Roman myth, she is the patron goddess of Rome. She is shown alternately as a cruel goddess in Virgil’s Aeneid, and the goddess of marriage and childbirth. In fact, summer weddings are still very popular, and they may have started because of the blessing that this goddess bestowed on those who got married in her sacred month.


In ancient Roman religion and mythJanus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is Connected to the month June too.  The relationship between Janus and  the Greek goddess Juno is defined by the closeness of the notions of beginning and transition and the functions of conception and delivery, result of youth and vital force.



This Roman god is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. In other words, sounds like Gemini twins in the zodiac, which is connected to birthdays end of May through a portion of June. Gemini people are thought to be two-faced in their personalities.

Janus presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace. The gates of a building in Rome named after him, not a temple as it is often called, but an open enclosure with gates at each end, were opened in time of war, and closed to mark the arrival of peace (which did not happen very often). As a god of transitions, he had functions pertaining to birth and to journeys and exchange, and in his association with Portunus, a similar harbor and gateway god, he was concerned with travelling, trading and shipping. The ancient Greeks had no equivalent to Janus, whom the Romans claimed as distinctively their own.

The function god of beginnings has been clearly expressed in numerous ancient sources, among them most notably Cicero, Ovid, and Varro. As a god of motion, Janus looks after passages, causes actions to start and presides over all beginnings. Since movement and change are interconnected, he has a double nature, symbolized in his two headed image. He has under his tutelage the stepping in and out of the door of homes.

According to myth Janus was the first to mint coins and the as, first coin of the liberal series, bears his effigy on one face.

Representing time, Janus was worshipped at the beginnings of the harvest and planting times, as well as at marriages, deaths and other beginnings. He represented the middle ground between barbarism and civilization, rural and urban space, youth and adulthood. Having jurisdiction over beginnings Janus had an intrinsic association with omens and auspices.


The birthstone of June is the pearl. Arabian legend say pearls are drops of the moon that the oyster has fallen in love with. The Chinese believed that the pearl came from the brain of a dragon. 


As we forge ahead into June, thinking of the end of school, summer, end of spring, summer vacation, the beach or pool, and amusement parks, it is interesting to learn there is more to June than the mundane.



Thursday, May 24, 2018

Supernatural Friday: Mermaids and Mermen Are Just Fish Stories, Right?


Mermaids and even mermen, are legendary beings of the sea, the upper part human, the lower half from the waist down, a fish’s tail.  In the book, Arabian Nights, mermaids are described as having "moon faces and hair like a woman's, but their hands and feet were in their bellies and they had tails like fishes." Currently, a TV show on Freeform, Siren, is a paranormal with mermaids. Season One just finished. A movie that won the Academy Award for Best Picture this year, The Shape of Water, obviously inspired by a movie from the 50s, The Creature of the Black Lagoon (another merman), shows these beings of the sea are not slowing down.


Creatures half-human and half-fish in form have been in stories for thousands of years. The Babylonian deity, Era or Oannes, the Fish-god is depicted as having a bearded head with a crown and a body like a man, but from the waist downwards he has the shape of a fish." Greek mythology contains stories of the god Triton, the merman messenger of the sea. Several modern religions including Hinduism and Candomble (an Afro-Brazilian belief) worship mermaid goddesses to this day. There is the 1836 tale by Hans Christian Anderson, “The Little Mermaid, which became a Disney movie and one of its princesses. You can read the original story HERE. It is not sweet and lovely fairytale, but can be scary, most of all, she kills herself.

Mermaids can wander on land, as told in many tales. But they must be very careful not to lose their fish tail while wandering about on land, because without it they would be unable to return to their underwater realm. Same goes for selkies—only it is their sealskin. 
In folklore, mermaids became associated with misfortune and death, luring errant sailors off course and even onto rocky shoals. This happened in Greek myths, with the sirens. Some say it was their siren songs that these creatures could lure the men in. 



Mermen also have a frightening reputation for summoning storms, sinking ships and drowning sailors. Such as the Blue Men of the Minch, whom are said to dwell in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. They look like ordinary men (from the waist up anyway) except for their blue-tinted skin and gray beards. Local lore claims that before laying siege to a ship, the Blue Men will challenge its captain to a rhyming contest. Now if the captain is quick enough of wit and agile enough of tongue, he can outsmart the Blue Men and save his sailors from a watery grave. Another merman-like male being is the sorcerous Finman. it is said the Finwife began life as a mermaid. Their myth comes from the Orkney Islands. The story goes that they are mistrusted by mortals and have magic. That they have unparallel boating skills, as well power over storm and sea. These beings are also noted shapeshiftersThe Finfolk were truly amphibious. The Finfolk led a nomadic lifestyle, but spent long Orkney winters in the luxury of Finfolkaheem, a majestic city of unknown location, supposed to be at the bottom of the sea. The tales of storytellers tell that this fantastic undersea kingdom has massive crystal halls and ornate gardens of multi-colored seaweed. Lit by the phosphorescent glow of the sea, Finfolkaheem was decorated with swathes of draped curtains whose colors shifted like the ever-changing shades of the "Merry Dancers" - the Aurora Borealis. Towers of glistening white coral spiraled upwards, encrusted with pearls and precious gemstones. The kingdom was so rich that giant pearls were littered everywhere, often ground up by the merfolk to provide the powder that was scattered over the mermaids' tails to give them their sparkling sheen. In the waters surrounding Finfolkaheem, the Finfolk raised sea-cattle and magical sea-horses. Like the true gentry of their underwater world, they herded whales - from which they extracted milk - and, mounted on their aquatic steeds, would often hunt the animals of the sea using otters in place of dogs.

During summertime, the Finfolk returned to Orkney. It is there that they took up residence on their magical island home, Hildaland - one of Orkney's magical vanishing islands. it has been said that Hildaland was later taken from the Finfolk and renamed Eynhallow. 
Two distinct of these kinds of fairy folk are within the ranks of the Finfolk - the Finman and the Finwife. Though tales of the Finmen make up most of the bulk of the folklore and are standard in their descriptions of the gloomy creatures. 



Like fairies of the land on the Orkney Islands, they also steal away mortals. Once caught, they spirit away their captives and transport them to their hidden island homes. It in these places that the unfortunate mortals are forced to remain for the rest of their days, usually as wife or husband of one of the Finfolk. It is no doubt, how the people of Orkney Island explained drowning deaths.



Japanese legends have a version of merfolk called kappa. Said to reside in Japanese lakes, coasts and rivers, these child-size water spirits appear more animal than human, with simian faces and tortoise shells on their backs. Like the Blue Men, the kappa sometimes interacts with humans and challenge them to games of skill in which the penalty for losing is death. Kappa are said to have an appetite for children and those foolish enough to swim alone in remote places — but they especially prize fresh cucumbers. 

P.T. Barnum displayed the Feejee Mermaid in the 1840s, becoming one of his most popular attractions. People paid 50 cents, hoping to see a long-limbed, fish-tailed beauty combing her hair. Instead, they saw a grotesque fake corpse a few feet long, with the torso, head and limbs of a monkey and the bottom part of a fish. To modern eyes it was an obvious fake, but it fooled and intrigued many at the time.


Today, it is said manatees and even dugongs may have been the animals mistaken for being mermaids and mermen. Dugongs are enormous vegetarians can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific. Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behavior— though the dugong's tail is fluked like a whale's. There are three species of manatee, distinguished primarily by where they live. The West Indian manatee ranges along the North American east coast from Florida to Brazil. The Amazonian manatee species inhabit the Amazon River and the African manatee swims along the west coast and rivers of Africa. Manatees are large, slow-moving animals that frequent coastal waters and rivers. These attributes make them vulnerable to hunters seeking their hides, oil, and bones. Manatee numbers declined throughout the last century, mostly because of hunting pressure. Today, manatees are at-risk. Though protected by laws, they still face threats. The gentle beasts are often accidentally hit by motorboats in ever more crowded waters, and sometimes become entangled in fishing nets. Both the dugong and the manatee are related to the elephant, although the giant land animal is not at all similar in appearance or behavior.

Whether real or not, Mermaids and mermen still fascinate us  from all the books, TV shows, movies, and more that have and will continue to come out.

Science Fiction Yard Sale Saturday, May 26, 2018 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Just heard that the Science Fiction Yard Sale was in the Virginia Pilot today and the owner of the home, Liz Albitz, and Starfleet Atlantic president Joy Dean, were interviewed on a local news channel in Hampton Roads last right. You can watch it HERE. Last time after 20 years for this annual event, so come on down and check all the vendors out this Saturday, May 26th. I'll be there, selling my books and Paranormal World Seekers DVDs, plus some other things, too.






Buy a copy of this urban fantasy novel, get it signed, and you will also get a stuffed eyeball!



Thursday, May 17, 2018

Supernatural Friday: However You Call It, It’s Still Aswang to Me!




The Aswang is a flesh-eating, shapeshifting monster. During the day, Aswangs appear as regular townspeople. Although they’re shy and somewhat reclusive, they can have jobs, friends, and even families. It’s at night people have to worry, for Aswangs shift into eerie predatory forms and go hunting for human prey, preferring children and pregnant women for their flesh and blood.

The Aswang is a cryptid born out of Philippine folklore. Stories of this terrifying creature date back as far back as the 16th century, when Spanish explorers created the first written record of the monster. The explorers noted that of all the monsters in the Philippine folklore, the Aswang was the most feared by native people.

The creature’s name comes from the Sanskrit word “asura,” meaning demon. This terrifying monster is also sometimes called the tik-tik or the wak-wak. These names come from the sinister sounds the monster is said to make while hunting.

It can take the form of a woman during the day, but at night, it might appear as a bird, a pig, or a dog. Different regional versions of the creature are said to take different forms. The tik-tik and wak-wak become large birds, while the zegben (sometimes described simply as a companion of the monster) takes on the form of a Tasmanian devil. And as I stated earlier, these monsters have also been reported shifting into pigs and dogs. No matter which animal form it takes, the Aswang differs from a regular animal in various disturbing ways. Most Aswangs have long, proboscis-like tongues, and are frequently described as walking with their feet backward. They have also been depicted as being so thin that they can hide behind bamboo posts. Both the wak-wak version of the Aswang and the manananggals, a different monster, leave behind half of their human torso when they transform into a predatory form during the night.

Besides shapeshifting, Aswangs also can transform into other objects. It’s common for an Aswang to transform plant material into a doppelganger of one of its victims, to hide the evidence of its feeding habits from locals. These doppelgangers might replace corpses, which Aswangs often consume, or they might replace living people. If the doppelganger replaces a living person, it will return to the person’s home, get sick, and die.

Another tactic Aswangs use to disguise themselves is to use sinister vocal tricks. The closer fearsome predator draws to its victim, its call grows quieter and quieter, so its victim is tricked into thinking the monster is getting further away.

The Aswang’s hunting prowess is almost as frightening as its ability to hide itself in plain sight. Aswangs do like to dine on corpses, fetuses, and small children. They often appear at funeral wakes or at the bedside of pregnant women to eat. The Aswang uses its proboscis like tongue to suck blood from its victims or suck a fetus from a pregnant woman’s womb. They also have superhuman strength during the nighttime.

A person transforms into this deadly predator by tying a fertilized chicken egg to his or her stomach. After some time, the chick passes from the egg into the stomach. Once this has happened, the remaining eggshell is buried in a bamboo tube, along with coconut oil and chicken dung. The person now has the powers of an Aswang.

A dying Aswang can also pass its powers along to someone else if it wishes. The Aswang holds its mouth close to a chosen person, and the chick inside the monster’s stomach hops into the mouth of the new person.

The first step towards ridding a town of this deadly assailant is identifying the monster. There are several ways in which you can do this. Aswangs generally have bloodshot eyes, since they have been awake hunting all night. In addition, it is said that if you look directly into an Aswang’s eyes, your reflection will appear upside-down. The most common method of detecting Aswangs, however, involves using albularyos oil, a special oil made of coconuts and holy plants. This oil is said to boil whenever an Aswang is near.

Aswangs are repelled by garlic and religious artifacts like western vampires are, and are at their weakest during the day, while in human form. They can be killed by decapitation or by being struck with a whip made from a sting ray’s tail.