Friday, December 27, 2013

Critical Mass

We have all heard this term before. How if many people all over the world begin to feel one way, they will create a critical mass and shift the goings on of the planet to their way of thinking. What "they" don't tell you is that it takes decades to accomplish. I think there is another form of critical mass thinking and that is more personal. For a while now I have been thinking about a better way of doing things. My Critical Mass thinking is about my own life. I know what needs to be done and if I think about it enough I will eventually do something about it. I will end up seeing my way clear to doing these things that I know have to happen.

This is what I've been up to lately. I need to do three major things:

First and foremost, I need to expand my life expectancy by starting a walking regimen. This has to be followed by a second day and a third and then eventually enough days strung together to make it into a habit. This is one of the hardest things for me to do. I've done it before with some success, but I've always gotten out of the habit at some point. This time I cannot get out of the habit. It needs to continue if I am to continue.

Second, I need to rid myself of all nonsense in my life. By nonsense I mean things that take up my time that serve no purpose, like advertising, television, crafting, buying the new latest gadget, especially when the old one works perfectly well yet. To this I will add getting rid of everything that doesn't work, like the electric company and the phone company, and the everything that doesn't fit into our lifestyle. Getting rid of bills for things that happened years ago.

Third, I need to read more, I need to write more, and I need to create more. These are going to be the things that will sustain me and all of us in the years to come. When the monetary system of our country collapses under it's own unbalanced weight, the people who will be ready to take on the challenges of the future will be those who have information and those who have learned to live without. Story of my life!

So I begin again! Today!

Cindy Koch-Krol

Haunting inside my own mind!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Ghost of Dixboro

For my new Nanowrimo book, I have chosen the novelization of the screenplay that I wrote a few years ago for Script Frenzy called "The Ghost of Dixboro." This story is based on a sworn deposition given in front of William Perry Esq. Justice of the Peace in Washtenaw County Michigan on December 8, 1845. So yes, it's a true story.

Here is the text of the deposition:

"On Saturday night, the 27th of September, between seven and eight o'clock I was standing in front of the window of said house; my wife had stepped into Mrs. Hammond's about two rods distant, my two little boys were in the back yard, for I had passed through the house (to the front yard) and was combing my hair, when I saw a light through the window.
"I put my hand on the window sill and looked in; (I) saw a woman with a candlestick in her hand in which was a candle burning. She held it in her left hand. She was a middling sized woman, wore a loose gown, had a white cloth around her head, her right hand clasped in her clothes near the waist. She was s little bent forward, her eyes large and much sunken, very pale indeed; her lips projected and her teeth showed some.
"She moved slowly across the the floor until she entered the bedroom and the door closed. I then went up and opened the bedroom door, and all was dark. I stepped forward and lighted a candle with a match, looked forward but saw no one, not heard any noise, except just before I opened the bedroom door I thought I heard one of the bureau drawers open and shut.
"I spoke of what I had seen several days after, and then learned for the first time that the house in which I then lived had been previously occupied by a Willow Mulholland, and that she died there.
"The second time I saw her was in October about one o'clock in the morning. I got up, started to go our of the back door. As I opened the bedroom door it was light in the outer room. I saw no candle, but I saw the same woman that I had seen before. I was about five feel from her. She said, 'Don't touch me--touch me not.'
"I stepped back a little and asked her what she wanted. She said, 'He has got it. He robbed me little by little, until they kilt me! They kilt me! Now he has got it all!' I then asked her who had it all. She said, 'James, James, yes James had got it at last, but it won't do him long. Joseph! Oh, Joseph! I wish Joseph would come away.' Then all was dark and still.
October--"The third time I saw her, I awoke int he night, know not what hour, the bedroom was entirely light. I saw no candle, but saw the same woman. She said, 'James can't hurt me any more. No! he can't. I am out of his reach. Why don't they get Joseph away? Oh, my boy! Why not come away?' And all was dark and still.
October--"The fourth time I saw her about eleven o'clock P.M. I was sitting with my feet on the stove hearth. My family had retired and I was eating a lunch, when all at once the front door stood open, and I saw the same woman i the door supported in the arms of a man whom I knew. She said nothing, but the man said, 'She is dying. She will die.' And all disappeared and the door closed without noise.
October--"The fifth time I saw her was a little after sunrise. I came out of the house to go to my work, and I saw the same woman in the front yard. She said, 'I wanted Joseph to keep my papers, but they are _____,' Here something seemed to stop her utterance. Then she said, 'Joseph! Joseph! I fear something will befall my boy.' And all was gone.
October--"The sixth time I saw her was near midnight. It was the same woman standing in the bedroom. The room was again light as before, no candle was visible. I looked at my wife, fearing she might awake. She then raised her hand and said, 'She will not awake." She seemed to be in great pain; she leaned over and grasped her bowels in one hand and in the other held a phial containing a liquid. I asked her what it was. 'The doctor said it was Balm of Gilead,' she replied, and all disappeared.
October--"The seventh time I saw her, I was working at a little bench, which was standing in the room, and which I worked on evenings. I saw the same woman. 'I wanted to tell James something, but I could not, I could not.' I asked her what she wanted to tell. 'Oh! He gave me a great deal of trouble in my mind,' she replied. (A note on the affidavit explained that Martha referred to the man to whom she was engaged while she was a widow, but broke the engagement in accordance with her friends' wishes.) 'O they kilt me! They kilt me! she repeated several times. I walked forward and tried to reach her but she kept the same distance from me. I asked her if she had taken anything that had killed her. She answered, 'Oh, I don't _____ Oh, I don't ______' The froth in her mouth seemed to stop her utterance. Then she said, 'Oh, they kilt me.' I asked her, 'Who killed you?' 'I will show you,' she said. Then she went out of the back door near the fence, and I followed her. There I saw two men whom I knew, standing. They looked cast down and dejected. I saw them begin at the feet and melt down like lead melting until they were entirely melted; then a blue blaze two inches thick burned over the surface of the melted mass. Then all began bubbling up like lime slacking. I turned to see where the woman was, but she was gone. I looked back again and all was gone and dark. "The next time I saw the woman was in the backyard, about five o'clock P.M. She said, 'I want you to tell James to repent. Oh! if he would repent. But he won't, he can't. John was a bad man,' and muttered something I could not understand. She then said, 'Do you know where Frain's Lake is?' Then she asked another question of much importance, and said 'Don't tell of that.' (Van Woert later revealed that this latter question pertained to a well at the corner of Main and Mill Streets, near Martha Mulholland's house.)
"I asked her if I should inform the public on the two men that she said had killed her. She replied, 'There will be a time. The time is coming. The time will come. But oh, their end! Their end! Their wicked end! She muttered something about Joseph, and all was dark.
"The last time I saw her was on the sixth of November, about midnight, in the bedroom. She was dressed in white; her hands hung down by her side; she stood very straight and looked very pale. She said, 'I don't want anybody here, I don't want anybody here," and muttered over something I did not understand, except now and then the word Joseph. She then said, 'I wanted to tell a secret, and I thought I had.' And all was gone and dark." (The Van Woerts moved out of the house the next day.
"In all her conversations, she used the Irish accent; intermixed in all her conversations was the expression very often repeated, "They have Kilt me, oh, they have kilt me! and also the name Joseph."
The above was duly sworn to before William Perry Esq. at Ann Arbor, December 8, 1845.

The following two paragraphs were added at the end of one of the old copies of Van Woert's affidavit:

"As may be expected, the excitement which these strange events have given rise to, has started many reports, doubtless, entirely unfounded, and exaggerated things which may have some foundation in truth. Consequently they have been the basis of several prosecutions for slanders, none of them however, are leveled at Van Woert. Several trials it is understood are to take place in March and at that time some further developments most probably, some will confirm or dissipate suspicion.
"One fact will suffice to show the tendency of the human mind to the varvelious particularly when thusly excited. Mr. Sillson the famous magnetist from Detroit has been on the ground reaping a harvest of success from the soil of credulity and excitement thus prepared."

And now you know the rest of the story!!!

And you wondered why I call this blog "Haunts!"

Cindy K.-K.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sand Hill Cranes and other Inspirations

Do you know how beautiful these birds are? Jeff and I have been seeing them on our trips through the U.P. They stand in the fields of wheat and in the ditches and behind the tree lines. They are always a pleasant surprise. There are flocks of them in the farm lands around Sault Ste. Marie and along M-28. On our last trip we saw two of them crossing the road ahead of us. When our truck got too close they lifted their six foot wings and glided, long legs down to the edge of the road and out of our way. I will never forget that sight. I reached for the camera but was too late.

Have you ever thought that you should live your life through the eye of the lens so you won't miss any opportunities to capture a beautiful moment like that? I prefer to capture things on the page. That's why I'm a writer and not a photographer.

Take this farm for example. This is taken on U.S. 31 just north of Acme. Gorgeous? Yeah, how would I describe this scene in print?

I have taken the summer off from writing, or so I've been telling people. I've gotten a lot of sewing done during this time. I finished the Josh Groban Quilt wanna see it?

This is the whole finished quilt and below is a detail of it after he signed it!! Yeah, he did!

I'm going to do more of these! I love face quilts.

During our last trip to the U.P. during that season in Michigan called "Road Construction," I saw something that I had never thought about before. We have all seen those road side crosses put out by grieving loved ones to mark the place where someone has perished in an accident. The construction crew had to dig one of them up and had it leaning against a tree on the other side of a ditch. I had never thought about how big these crosses are, most of which buried in the ground. It was four feet long and was chopped into a sharp point so it could more easily be driven into the ground. I looked at the thing and thought at once about what a great tool it would make for killing a vampire. I told this to Jeff and Soon we were brain storming about the story line. I had to begin writing it at once!

The only writing tools I had in the truck at the time was a spiral notebook which I was using as a journal and a pen. I rarely write fiction with anything but my lap top these days. But I was compelled.

I have to say that I enjoyed the process and when I got home I typed the story into my shorts file. I don't think I changed a word of it. Those of you who have read me know that I am fairly wordy. But this didn't seem to have too many unnecessary words at all. Writing long hand tends to make one choose the language a bit more carefully. I need to explore this idea more thoroughly.

Now, as soon as I can, I need to research where to send this story. Who out there is publishing Vampire fiction? I dare say, I'll find someone! I hope it's original enough. Vampire fiction seems to be everywhere, which is why I hesitated to write any. I've been burned by this before. I wrote a World War II novel once and then found out it was unpublishable because there were too many non-fiction WWII books coming out and they were better and more unbelievable than the fiction.

Meanwhile I'm gearing up a story for Nanowrimo this year. More on that later. I still have two or three more sewing projects to finish up before the fall season kicks in and writing starts again in earnest.

Haunting from my handwritten Journal,

Cindy K.-K.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rejections are Rolling In!

Yep, I've started a new file for rejection letters from my novels. I had a huge file folder full of rejection letters from a few years ago when I was freelancing. I didn't use them as wallpaper but I couldn't see destroying them either. I'm quite proud of the list of newspapers, magazines, agents, and publishing houses that have rejected me!

It's just a part of this business and not even an important one. I'm not going to state which great authors were rejected over and over before finally winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It's too common of a story, and I like stories that are more unique.

I just finished the final edits of "The Wolves that Watch" and it is now completely ready to send full versions of it out to publishers and agents. I've been sending queries for a few months now. We shall see what happens.

In the mean time, can't let any grass grow! I've been working in my mind on two more books. One is the second in the Tessa Gates series, and the other is a Utopian dream book. Maybe I should tell you about them both and let you, my dedicated readers decide. I want to write them both before the end of the year, and before I start edits on the first Tessa Gates book, Working title: Tessa's Travels. (For more on this story check out Tessa's Blog, see link to the right.)

The sequel to Tessa's Travels is going to be working titled, something about Minnesota. Tessa and Woofy continue on their trek to find the most unusual food in the country, eat it and report on it. Tess and Woofy travel with her new adopted brother in their newly acquired Motor home. By the time the reader is finished reading Tessa's Travels they will know the supernatural nature of Woofy and his link with Tess, but their adventure will continue. They will become enmeshed in other interesting species and creatures. While in Minnesota Tess and Woofy become separated in the woods and their bond is tested as Woofy's life is endangered this time.

The other book is about two people again, who find each other. The man, years ago when he was a teenager, had been given a tarot card reading which turned out to be prophetic. He was told that he would meet a woman whom he would marry and would literally not be able to take his eyes off of her. But he was to be careful of her, because this woman would have secrets. He would have to let go of nearly everything he had grown to be in order to overcome her secrets and be with her. He dismissed the whole reading from his mind, to all outward appearance, meanwhile making every decision in his life as if the reading were absolutely true. Then as he is nearing his 30th birthday, she appears.

She walks into his life and he cannot take his eyes off of her. She is taken aback by this rude stranger and challenges him to keep staring by walking right up to him and talking with him. He does not back down.

Several days later, this man has taken matters into his own hands. He has taken his life savings and started his own business. He puts out a help wanted sign and she applies for the job. Later she tells him that if he couldn't take his eyes off her she thought it was only right that he pay her for the privilege. They begin their friendship and then a relationship, and then a love affair. But what is her secret? What does he have to fear from this woman? And what will it mean to him and his family, and the entire little town in which he has lived his entire life? And where does the Utopian dream come into it? Wait and see.

Like I said, I want to finish writing both of these books before the end of this year. I'll write one during Nanowrimo, and the other one I will start on now.

Sorry, I have to choose, I can't wait for a poll! Maybe next time, followers! Although, Pie Lady, if you would like to give me your thoughts at once, I'd love them!

Also, is there anyone out there who likes to do graphic design and who would like to help me with a design for the cover for "The Wolves that Watch." I'm thinking that maybe a socket wrench on top of a piano with drops of blood on the keyboard, or maybe two wolves feeding on a deer. Or maybe a raccoon walking along a road behind a jogging girl. Just thinking out loud!

Have a good week, and I'll write again with my progress in a while. Cindy K-K.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sights while Editing!

Here is what I look at while I edit my latest novel. And yes, I have been editing The Wolves that Watch for almost an entire year now. I've gotten a few other things done in that year. I had another Nanowrimo victory and wrote most of the novel about the Border Babes. It's a kind of an unpleasant novel though, so it was a hard one to write. My friend Kathy Atwater has agreed to proof-read Wolves for me though, so we are almost finished with that.

I've also gotten some quilting accomplished, finished some old projects, started a few new ones, same old/same old. I took up drawing Zentangles.

And I started a new pattern designing business, Quiltlynx Designs. See my new link to the right.

The patterns are only available at Interquilten for the time being. But they each have their own UPC code so it's a possibility that they could be distributed farther. That's on the agenda.

What else is new? I'm like Buckaroo Bonzai, going in several different directions at once! Do you all remember that movie? Did you ever see it? I love that movie. It's the only movie that I ever bought more than one copy of. I had it on Beta Max, then bought it on VHF, and then recently found it on DVD. If I ever get a Blu Ray player I'll have to buy it again. It's my movie version of the White Album!

I just finished reading the Orchardist last night and found it to be a wholey unsatisfying book. There was a lot left unsaid at the end. But then I found that to be true in much of the book. I think if it were to be made into a movie it would be a quiet movie similar to New World where the characters to speak to each other in intimate whispers befitting the peaceful nature of the orchard where they live and work. Also I kept wanting the loose ends to be tied up in the story, like where did Talmadge's sister go? Was she really abducted by Michaelson like it was hinted at? Or did Talmadge's sister, whose first name was Elizabeth, have noting to do with the Elizabeth that appears in Della's flashbacks. I didn't want Elizabeth to have been abducted by Michaelson, but at the same time I thought it would be right for Talmadge to develop a deep caring for Elizabeth's possible offspring. It's very complicated but also very simple. The fact that not everything is spelled out leads to much speculation on the part of the reader.

That's my update, I hope all you readers and movie goers out there are enjoying yourselves. Love, Cindy