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A Halloween Post: Spooky and Unexplained Events

Romance Writers Weekly with coffe cup underneath and a mocha foam heart in cupSince we’re one day away from Halloween, the Romance Writers Weekly crew have been asked about spooky and unexplained events. Have you ever seen a ghost or witnessed something paranormal? Received a sign from a loved one in the hereafter? If not, share the oddest thing that’s ever happened to you that you can’t explain.

Although, I love paranormal movies and books, I don’t seek out the other side.  It’s the old “be careful what you seek” mentality.  I do, however, believe my late father contacted me on two occasions after his passing. I’ve also been witness to a couple of events where a friend’s daughter reached out to her.

We stay on the same street on the Outer Banks each year on vacation and have come to know and love four families. Our children have grown up together. One couple lost their daughter to cancer back in January 2011. That summer on the beach, on Heather’s birthday, she sent word while we were Cloud formation that says "Hi"all on the beach.  Doesn’t get anymore dramitic than saying, “Hi” than in the clouds.  Luckily, I had my camera in my bag.  Never have I seen clouds in letters! It was the most amazing moment. Heather’s mother told us many other signs she’d received from her daughter since her passing.

As for me, my sign came as I drove home after my father had died in 2008. Here’s an excerpt from a short I wrote to always remember the details:

In the predawn light, I left for my house to gather some things for the long day lay ahead.  As I shifted the truck into reverse, tears welled and spilled down my cheeks.  “Just let me know you are okay, Dad,” I pleaded.

About to cross the railroad tracks almost home, a large bird shot out from the brush in front of the vehicle and then back across just as quickly, disappearing into the oblivion.  I gasped, recognizing it was a dove, a symbol of peace. He was at peace. The site of the incident felt as relevant as the type of bird, but I couldn’t grasp the significance at the time.

A few weeks later, I sat under the Crepe Myrtles during lunch break attempting to read, with little success.  I gave into my rambling thoughts, allowing the nature around me to guide them.  The sights and sounds of the warm June day reminded me of summer visits to Dad’s home place in South Carolina.  It was like home to me as well, the farmhouse, pasture of horses and the long sandy driveway that I loved to run down barefooted.

And then I cam to me…Across the road from his childhood home was a railroad track! The dove had appeared before me at the instant I crossed the tracks close to my own home! It could have been any species of bird at any point on the trip home… I now understood.  He was at peace and he was home!

Lighthearted in revelation, I sat there with tears of joy in my eyes.  Suddenly, a beautiful red cardinal lighted on the limb of the tree above me, so close, I could have touched him. He cocked his head sweetly, stared down at me and serenaded me with a sweet song…Yeah, Dad’s okay!

Not having read this in years, I’d forgotten some of the details which make it even more compelling now.

I hope you’ll hop over to visit  Brenda Margriet and if you’ve haven’t visited Leslie Hachtel  please go back and check out her post for this week.

Happy Halloween



Favorite Villains

This week, I asked the Romance Writers Weekly crew about Romance Writers Weekly with coffe cup underneath and a mocha foam heart in cupbad guys and girls. Villains: Literary, TV/Movie or even real life – Who do you love as a villain and why. Who do you despise and why?

To me a villain and an anti-hero are a hairsbreadth from one another.  On that note, my favorite anti-hero is Jax Teller of SOA (Sons of Anarchy. He doesn’t want to be Young Man on motercycle shown from behind wearing vest with MC club's logo of skullbad but lifestyle keeps forcing his hand. As hard as he tries, he can never escape the MC (motorcycle club) culture as well as how he was raised.  On the true villain side, Hannibal Lector from Silence of the lambs, is my top lister.  He’s a genius and so smooth as he compels victims into his web. If he wasn’t a killer, he’d make an awesome business man. His wit and draws people to him like a moth to a flame. (Pun intended if you know the story!) Yeah, he’s a schizoid, but you’d never know until he has you for dinner!

A villain I despise is The Joker in the movie, the Dark Knight. The late Heath Ledger did such a great job playing bat shit crazy I never finished watching the film. Jonathan Randall from Outlander is another type of evil character that shakes my core. He’s a masochist that should have been castrated without anesthesia.

It’s not unlike me to stop watching a show or movie because a villainBook Cover: Master of the Game. Show a diamond with dripping blood did something so reprehensible it killed my interest in the story. In The Shield, Vic Mackey killed a brother cop in the first episode. I flipped the channel and never looked back. When the bitch queen in Game of Thrones shoved the little boy off the ledge, I shoved her and the show off my DVR recording list. Too evil and vile too early and you risk losing me as a viewer or reader. Obviously, these acts didn’t detour most as these shows went on to be mega hits.

Villains and villainesses need to be multi-layered with a compelling motive in order for me to pull for them. Years ago, I read Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon (what a writer!) Kate Blackwell screwed everyone over to get to continue her family line the but the way Sheldon wrote her, you might not like her, but you understood her compulsion. Now let’s find out the lovely  Leslie Hachtel’s least favorite baddies.  And if you haven’t already visited historical author, A.S. Fenichel , on the hop, please check out her post.