Category Archives: Creative Nonfiction

Weird Dreams….

We all have weird dreams, don’t we? For example, several years ago (6 or 7?), I had a really odd dream about being in a crypt with skeletons. The next morning I wrote a story about it. That story turned into my book The Halley Branch.

Of course, we often have really odd experiences in waking life. A year ago I had a very weird experience in a cemetery, which you can read about here. The important part here, though, is that stench that went away the moment I turned, the smell of death. I have only smelled this scent in very old cemeteries, and not all ancient cemeteries at that, just a few. It is different from the smell of, say, a dead animal. It is a horrible stench.

OK, why do I bring up that old dream and my spooky experience from almost exactly a year ago?

Continue reading



Turkey Head

I was out the other day and came face to face with some aliens.  Really!  They were walking around the village of Dennis as if they owned the place.  An invasion fleet, I’m sure.  Yep, I came face to face with them, and they didn’t flinch.

And talking faces, they had blue faces.  Blue!  Can you imagine?  I mean, yes, we see blue faces in Sci-Fi, like some of the characters in the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  But how often do you come across real blue guys here on Earth?

Turkey head 2

And i think this guy had a trunk or something.  I mean, what is that thing?  Maybe a huge nose?  Here is another picture, hopefully better than the first.

What do you think?  An alien? Continue reading

What Was That? – Something I Saw

I was walking the dogs late Friday evening.  This is a small residential area on the shore of Swan Pond and, though we were walking after dark, it was well lit.  The walk goes around a short loop, with the total walk being a little less than a half of a mile, maybe closer to a third.

At one point on the walk, the street we were walking on dead ends at a T-intersection.  There is a totally empty lot (no house) on the corner and it is wooded behind the houses across the street from the “vertical” of the “T”, along the “straight”.

Idiana was sniffing around some bushes on the open lot, when Firyeo suddenly pulled like he wanted to chase something.  He stopped and watched, knowing he couldn’t catch whatever it was.  I looked up as soon as I felt the pull.  I saw something white at the edge of the road across from us, but it was moving very rapidly.  It disappeared behind the houses into the woods in less than a second.  Far less than a second – it was like a flash.  I did not hear or see it cross the road, but from Fiyero’s reaction and the position I first saw it, it had to have crossed the road.

What was it?

My first impulse was that it was a white plastic bag blowing in the wind.  A few problems, though.  yes, it was windy, very windy, but I could feel very little where we were.  Also, the roofs were not being ripped off of the houses.  If a bag was traveling that fast, I would expect there to be some wind damage.

It was too fast and too high up to be a rabbit.  Also, rabbits usually run in short spurts and then hide, not for long distances.

My next thought was a deer.  That is a strong possibility, but I can’t understand how it would have crossed the road without me hearing it.  Also, I have seen deer sprint away from me, and they do not move this fast.  I guess it is possible.  A white tail deer can reach a maximum of 30 mph.  That is still pretty darned fast, but this was far, far faster than a car on that road.  I also didn’t see a body, just the white, which, if a deer, would be the tail and hind quarters.  Odd.

In the summer there are falcons in the area, which are the fastest animals on Earth.  But at night?  In the winter?  And I heard no flapping.  The speed, though, made me think in this direction.  If it traveled 50 feet in a quarter of a second, that would put it at over 120 mph.  Falcon speed.  But being a falcon is very improbable.

My next thought was an owl.  There are several owls in the area.  I have heard them and seen some.  Several different species.  Owls can fly very silent and very fast.  A great horned owl, which can be found around here, can travel at over 40 mph/65 kph.    If it was an owl, it must have already had some momentum when it passed us.  Even 40 seems slow.  There have been a few times that I spooked an owl and watched it fly off.  This was much, much faster.  Still, in my opinion this is the most likely “suspect”.

But what if it were not a natural being?  Or at least not an Earthly being?  Perhaps it was a space alien.  How about a spirit?  Some supernatural being?  It could have been a magical creature.  As I said, the 40 mph of an owl seems slow.

What do you think I saw?

— —

The photo at the top is Swan Pond earlier in the winter when it was frozen over.  It was not frozen this weekend.  In fact, I went kayaking on Saturday…

Idina – Superhero!

(sniff, sniff, sniff, sniff)

Come on Idina!  Let’s go!

(sniff, sniff, sniff)

Come on!  I have to get back.  I’m working today.

(sniff, sniff)

Idina, now!  I can only be away for a minute.  I’m technically at work.

(sniff.  So am I.  sniff)

Come on, I have to prepare for an important meeting!

(sniff, sniff.  This is more important! sniff)

I’m earning money for kibble.  What’s more important than kibble?

(sniff, sniff.  I’m protecting us.  I’m saving us from harm. sniff)

Come on, Idina!  You’ve been sniffing those tracks for five minutes now!

(sniff, sniff.  This is very important!  I may be saving the world. sniff)

Idian, now!

(sniff, sniff.  World, nothing.  I’m making the Universe a safer place!  Nothing is more important.  Ouch.  Why did you have to tug so hard?)

Come on, Idina!

(OK, OK, I guess the Universe can take care of itself for a couple of hours while you’re working. )

True story.  or so it would seem from her body language ;)


The Fall

Waterfall - bottom

I paused, looking down at the damp piece of granite.  It wasn’t the stone itself, or its worth as a foothold, that gave me pause, it was the large drop just past it.  When it comes to heights, I’m not much of a risk taker.  Some may snicker at that statement seeing the extreme places I’ve skied or hiked, but for the most part, if there is a large, sudden drop, I tend to stay away from the edge unless I am guaranteed a good handhold and better foothold (or am on skis ;) ).  This drop looked huge, but it was the best path and the foothold looked solid. Continue reading

Throwback – Political Encounters


On Monday I hinted that there were further stories involving Secretary Kerry, the Secret Service and big name politicians.  Yes, there are.  First, a little background.

I live in New Hampshire.  Anyone who has paid attention to US presidential politics may know that this means that anyone hoping to become the President of the United States spends a lot of time in my state.  In various events, house parties, fund raisers, open speeches and rallies I have seen Congresspeople, sitting Senators, former Senators, future Senators, Governors (past present and future), cabinet members (past, present and future) and Presidents (former, present and future).  I’ve shaken many hands and have stood inches away from a Senator giving a speech (I tried to hide in a corner and he came and stood next to me; I’m not sure why…).  So seeing high level politicians and the Secret Service is a normal part of NH life.  I also once saw, during his brief retirement, Secretary Kerry speak  to a small gathering on Nantucket.  I think the topic was the environment.

But today’s story is a little different. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday – Fireball


Running from the storm

The picture has nothing to do with the story except a storm coming across Lake Erie….

We were gathered outside on a warm early August evening waiting for the show to begin.  August!  It was just so weird to my young brain to be waiting for fireworks in August.  The Fourth of July seemed a million years away, lost in some foggy past, so why were we having Fourth of July fireworks?

People all up and down lake Erie still talk about the Fourth of July Storm of ’69.  Many of the lakefront towns sustained major damage.  42 people died and over a quarter of a million were without power.  There were sustained winds of over 100 mph.  The flooding and devastation were unimaginable.

I was with my brother and some friends in the schoolyard just a short distance from our house on that fateful National Holiday.  We had climbed onto the backstop of the baseball diamond (well, the big kids did, I tried) to get a better view of the expected fireworks.  And fireworks arrived – lightning rained down on the town creating great sparks as transformers, trees and houses were hit.

The run home against the wind was the scariest time of my young life.  There were times I felt I couldn’t move, like I was being blown backwards by that 100 mph wind.  Yes, at five I was pretty light and perhaps I could have been blown away.  Back home we stayed inside and watched the lightning dance and the trees fall.

A million years later, on that warm August evening, we were waiting for those long delayed fireworks to begin.  Just as it was beginning to get dark a fireball appeared overhead.  It streaked across the sky seeming to follow the curvature of the Earth before it disappeared out of site.  The few people there clapped and whistled.  What a great start of the show!  But it wasn’t.  More people arrived and finally, 15 minutes later, the real firework show began.  I assumed it was something special the town did to try to make up for the long delay.  It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that it was impossible – no fireworks exist that loos anything like the fireball.

As an adult I always assumed it was just a dream.  I have strange memories from my early childhood that I know aren’t really true, just misinterpretations based on suggestions and my imagination as much as fact.  But this seemed so different since it was etched so clearly in my mind.

It was perhaps 40 years after the events when I was with my brother and we were chatting about asteroids, meteors and such hitting the Earth.  I asked if he remembered the “Fourth of July” fireball, which was actually in August.  He then described it exactly as I remembered it.  It was etched in his seven year old mind as strongly as it was in my five year old mind, only he was old enough to know it wasn’t part of the fireworks display.  It was real, it did happen.

What was it?  I’ve searched for reports of one that night, but have always come up zip.  Still, I guess it was a big meteor or fireball.  All I know is that I’ve never seen anything like it since.

— — —

Yes, more random memories from my very early childhood…..

Throwback Thursday – Swift’s Hollow


This is actually a double throwback event!  The very long snippet below was written in early 2010, so it’s six years old.  It was the start of a childhood memory about Swift’s Hollow, aka Gore Orphanage.  I’ve written about Gore Orphanage in the past and wrote a short story based on the legends.  As I said in the one post, it was a major part of my youth.  I had planned on a major rewrite of this little snippet, but I think it’s fun to look at it as I wrote it over six years ago, totally unedited.

— — —

It was a hot day.  Not the crisp, sparkling heat of July that makes you want to go out and enjoy yourself after the disappointment of the typical cool and bland Ohio Spring.  No, this was the dull, moist heat that only comes in August.  A dog-lazy heat.  In my child’s mind I always thought of the dog days of August as the days so hot and humid that nobody with any sense, not even a dog, would willingly go out.

Of course nobody ever accused an 11 year old boy of having any sense. Continue reading




I remember, in my youth, coming across patches of three pedaled white flowers, the beautiful Trillium, and knowing it was Spring.  The special allure is a treat only of memory and the past, for the flowers aren’t to be found in New Hampshire.

On the wooded hill behind my house are patches of little plants.  Velvety dark tri-pedaled flowers have appeared at the top of their stems.  They are still Trilliums, just a different sort.  Pretty, but to be left alone, Stinking Benjamins are not to be sniffed lightly. Continue reading

Studio Reorganization, Part II

New Studio

About 2 weeks ago I put up a post about my “studio” reorganization.  I post a picture of the old layout (see below), with it’s Rick Wakeman influenced circle of keyboards.  Of course most of those keyboards weren’t being used, but who cares?  It looked impressive.  Just look at the photo below this paragraph. Continue reading