“Haunted Happenings” Grand Parade (Salem, MA) — New England Nomad

Date Of Event: October 3, 2019 (held annually the first week of October) Location: Downtown Salem (Congress St, Derby St, Front St, Washington St, Essex St, Salem Common) Summary: Salem’s Chamber Of Commerce kicked off the month long “Haunted Happenings” celebration for the month of October. Scores of heroes, monsters and kids came together to […]

via “Haunted Happenings” Grand Parade (Salem, MA) — New England Nomad

Update: October 6, 2019, 3:49 p.m. CDT, Foray Back into Short Stories and Horror

Selfie with Lotus in background near Arkansas Post, September 4, 2019

Yesterday, I did no serious writing, taking only some notes during the course of the day.  Most of the day was spent still putting up a few things after my recent move to Arkansas and doing a lot of laundry. I did come up with some ideas regarding some short stories I put on the back burner a year or so ago after deciding to focus my efforts on my upcoming sci-fi novel Shadows and Stars.

Over the last few days, I have been checking the stats for my negligible sales of my various short story collections. I thought it would be a good idea to produce a second edition of The Scent and other Stories  after adding my short story recently published by FictionontheWeb.co.uk, “Be-Bye”. I thought of finishing another neglected story and adding it to A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror also.  Then I went back over my drafts and decided that I need to need to finish up several stories, over the next several months, and put some on them into their own collections.

I have had plans to write some more stories featuring Quinn Gallagher, who appears in two of my shorts in The Scent and Other Stories and put them in their own collection with the working title of Tales of Quinn. As with the two stories where he is featured (“The Scent” and “The Slightest of Indiscretions’), these stories will be about the ups and downs of Quinn’s love life. Of course, “The Scent” and “The Slightest of Indiscretions” will be included in the collection. The one I will probably work on a bit in the next few days will be “Désirée”. I have ideas flowing for it now.  I have not decided whether he will be seen in the background of one entitled “Fleur-de-Lis”, set in the Philippines in the late 1980’s. “Fleur-de-lis” is not far from completion.

Another group of stories that I have in mind are ones featuring Malcolm Flynn. Malcolm has not yet appeared as a character in any of my short stories, though he might be mentioned offhandedly in one or two at most. He is an important character in my horror novel The Man Who Escaped from Hell, which I intend complete just after I finish Shadows and Stars. I already have 80,000+ words for The Man Who Escaped from Hell, and was working on it until a few months ago, when the ideas for Shadows and Stars started pouring in and I was struggling to come up with any for The Man Who… So, I decided to focus on Shadows and Stars and come back to The Man Who… 

Malcolm is a single, early-middle-age writer living in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is known in the clubs and social scene in Corpus in the early 2000’s, when some of the later action in the The Man Who… takes place. He becomes a close personal friend of the The Man Who…‘s main character, Jake Brody. I use conversations between him and Jake to bring out the inner turmoil of Jake and to give the reader a different perspective on Jake. I have always intended to have Malcolm feature in his own short stories, but not to gather them in a collection, although that’s not entirely ruled out.  As with Quinn, a lot of the Malcolm stories will focus on the ups and downs of Malcolm’s Byzantine love-life,  but it also feature some stories from the Corpus Christi club scene in the early 2000’s. I have always had it in the back of my mind to make Malcolm an important character in his own right, and I may do that yet, though I have no novels planned where he is the main character.  Malcolm is an easy-going, savvy, Casanova-type. who usually wears a black suit sans tie, with a solid-color shirt, usually black or deep red. Often he wears a silk handkerchief in his coat pocket and he smokes small Nicaraguan cigars.

Currently, I have planned three stories to feature Malcolm: “American Dream”, “Nancy”, and “Carole.” I hope to finish “American Dream” before too long.

I have a few more science-fiction and horror stories in mind. One I hope to finish soon has the working title of “Charades”. It involves what happens to a captured alien general after his space fleet loses a battle with Earth forces over Denver.

Father Urbain Grandier, 1627

Two others are “Father Lactance”, a historical fiction which involves the witchcraft trial of Father Urbain Grandier in Loudun, France in 1634. Another, also based in history, is “Beneath Castle Bathory” (working title).  This involves the historical Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who is accused of the torture and murder of dozens of young servant girls, if not hundreds, around 1600-1612. Several movies and books have been written on both Father Grandier and Countess Bathory.  I intend to give my take on each story. “Father Lactance” is not far from completion. I have yet to complete a first draft of “Beneath Castle Bathory”. Eventually, I will probably add them, as well as “Charades” to my collection A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror.

The only thing preventing me from finishing “Father Lactance” is that I want to read Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun before completing it, so that I can further nail down the historical details and background.

Elizabeth, Countess Bathory

Anyway, most of the writing I did yesterday was jotting down some notes about my plans for upcoming short stories, which I did in my notebook for Shadows and Stars. I had intended to come up with and jot down some ideas for Shadows and Stars, but ended up writing down ideas for my short stories. Most of these I did while at dinner at El Canaveral Mexican Grill in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

El Canaveral has good food. It may be (I don’t really know for certain) part of the same chain as Ameca in DeWitt, Arkansas.  Some of the menu items are the same. I had the pollo sabroso with rice and beans and a side of nopales (prickly-pear cactus) followed by a dish of Mexican apple pie. I do miss New Mexican and Texas cuisine. Nopales are commonly served scrambled with eggs for breakfast in south Texas.  They can be found in other dishes as well.

I have always loved short stories, especially scary or mysterious ones, like the ones written by Poe or Conan-Doyle. This is one reason I decide to publish a weekly horror story or poem from the nineteenth or early twentieth century on this website each Saturday night at 8:00 pm. (Central time) in what I call “The Saturday Night Special”. Watch for it. Coming up on the 12th is Poe’s “Ligeia”.

Anyway, that’s my update for today.

Hasta luego.

Update: GoFundMe account for Murray Arviso

Photo of Murray Arviso

Murray Arviso, 2019

Today, I received a link via email about a former (as of August) co-worker of mine named Murray Arviso. Murray is in the Maintenance Division at Chaco Culture National Historic Park, where he has worked for around twenty years. Murray is in a bad health situation and will not be able to walk for a while. His family needs financial help to build a ramp for his wheelchair. Ironically, under normal circumstances, Murray is quite capable of building a ramp. Now that he needs one himself, he is not physically capable of doing it. A ramp is inexpensive compared to a lot of medical needs, so anything you can give will go a long way.

If you would like to help out, follow this link to Murray Arviso’s GoFundMe page, which explains the situation. This condition started a few months ago and has been worsening. Donating even a little bit will help.  Here is the note that came with the link:

Hello

I thought you might be interested in supporting this GoFundMe, https://www.gofundme.com/f/expenses-for-home-ramp-amp-home-medical-supplies?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet.

Even a small donation could help Colleen Arviso reach their fundraising goal. And if you can’t make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word.

Thanks for taking a look!

If you can’t help out financially, at least spread this word to as many people as you can.
Murray with granddaughter?

Murray Arviso

“Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night…” is Available on Amazon Kindle

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover is a collection of my poetry written from the mid-80’s to mid-90s, a turbulent, fluid time in my life in many ways, but especially romantically. I have taken many of the poems written during those years and compiled them into a dark narrative capturing the emotional turmoil of a narrator who descends from romantic love for a woman into a lonely world of alcohol and night clubs, where his only love is the night that envelopes him psychologically, emotionally, and physically.  It is about 110 print pages in length and lavishly illustrated with photos I found in the public domain (no, those are not photos of me or of my former paramours).

You can read samples of it and my other works at my Amazon author’s page:  Amazon.com/author/philslattery.

I have tried to make this a wonderful experience for the reader, exploring the bliss of love to the depths of despair and then to resignation to one’s fate in an existential crisis.

Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads or other social media!

While there, you might want to check out my other work on relationships: The Scent and Other Stories.  In this collection of short stories, I explore the dark, sometimes violent, sometimes twisted, sometimes touching side of love, the side kept not only from public view, but sometimes from our mates. Set in the modern era, these stories range from regretting losing a lover to forbidden interracial love in the hills of 1970’s Kentucky to a mother’s deathbed confession in present-day New Mexico to debating pursuing a hateful man’s wife to the callous manipulation of a lover in Texas.

Two reviews have warm praise for Nocturne…:

J. Muckley calls it “Beautiful, Sad, Authentic and Vulnerable Look at Love and Loss” and gives it five stars, saying:

Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover by Phil Slattery is a deep and raw “picture” of experiencing love and lovers of varying type, capturing the moments of ecstasy and pain in a most beautiful way.

Slattery speaks with one voice as his words and pictures depict the full range of human love and loss that both tempts the soul to engage and urges the heart to resist. His opening quote by Augustine of Hippo captures this work perfectly: “I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love…I sought what I might love, in love with loving.”  –Augustine of Hippo

The poems are mostly untitled and written in free verse form. The reader meanders through the past relationships as they ebb and flow through varying stages. The introduction poem tells of the types of poem you will soon encounter:
nights of love
full of life and laughter
as empty as an empty
bottle

The poem closes:
Bring me to that ultimate pleasure
in your all-consuming eyes.
Let us become one
and share the horrors of this
world

All in all, Nocturne, is a beautiful but sad read that speaks to the reality of love and holds nothing back. It engages the mind and the heart longing for lasting, meaningful love that always seems just outside of its reach.

P.S. Winn calls it “Great Poems with Pictures”, gives it four stars, and says:

I like this author’s poems which have a great feel to them. The book is about love but a lot more is included inside the pages. I like the photos the author included to enhance the poetry. A few of the poems held descriptive words about nature and I enjoyed the way the picture author paints in the readers mind is also displayed in the photographs that correspond with the words.

Check back frequently for updates.