Labor Day

Hey, everyone. Today is Labor Day here in America, a holiday originally created to celebrate America’s workforce. In more recent years, it’s more of an “End of Summer” event.

Whether you’re enjoying a cookout with friends, spending time at the beach or poolside, camping with your family, or just relaxing, I hope you enjoy the day.

Mystery Monday will return next week with a post about (you guessed it) a notorious leader in America’s labor force.

I’ll return tomorrow with a Tuesday Book Review.

Mysterious Sound #MysteryMonday

Hey, everyone. It’s been a while since I wrote a Mystery Monday post. A few days ago, I was reminded of a mystery that happened right in my back yard. I wrote the original post several years ago. With it being October and nearing Halloween, I decided to repost. Hope you enjoy it.

Goblins and great pumpkins. Trick-or-treats and haunted houses. Bats flying about. Witches on broomsticks. Halloween is always a good time for an old-fashioned ghost story.

My encounters with the unexplained are due more to an over-active imagination. Such as the time I thought I saw a werewolf. Or when my cousin and I convinced ourselves a ghost was after us. Once I was even on the lookout for a headless horseman in the woods near our home.

However, I had one strange occurrence several years ago that I can’t explain. Nor can anyone who was present that night.

In October 1980, my family hosted an outdoor chili supper. We invited friends and neighbors. The following year, we expanded it to include an art exhibit. It became an annual event where my brother and some of his classmates from The University of Texas would display their latest works.

A highlight of these annual events was a Saturday night bonfire. Starting in late summer, we gathered tree limbs and scrap lumber and piled them in an open field. By October, it was large enough for a nice bonfire.

One year, a few days before Halloween, we gathered in our pasture. About fifteen adults were present. We stood around the fire, enjoying the conversation. Since it was in October, I’m sure a few people had a ghost story to share.

The winds were still. The moonless night sky glistened with stars. Traffic was sparse on our country road in those days. The only sounds came from the crackling of the fire and soft-spoken conversations.

We had been outdoors for an hour or so when it happened.

A noise.

A strange noise.

An inexplicable noise lasting twenty seconds at most.

Conversations ceased. Everyone asked in unison, “WHAT WAS THAT?”

“It sounded like a dragonfly flew next to my ear,” someone said.

Another person joked it may have been a UFO, while another thought it was the trill of a nighthawk.

The closest thing I could think of was the sound of a plane’s landing gear being lowered.

No one could agree on the source A single dragonfly can’t buzz fifteen people’s ears at the same time. At any rate, dragonflies aren’t around in late October. Most discredited the nighthawk theory. We didn’t see any strange objects in the sky. (Nor any aircraft.) As for me, to hear the landing gear sound,  I would have needed to be inside a plane.

After a few minutes of speculation, most of us continued our conversations. One person took the opportunity to go inside the house on the pretense of checking on his son. He didn’t return.

Life gets busy. Years passed without us hosting the annual event until my brother and his friends revised the art show several years ago. In 2013, friends gathered at our place. Several of those attending were present on that night in the early eighties.

Times change. Instead of a cookout, we went out for dinner at a local restaurant. A fire pit replaced the larger bonfire. But in the course of the weekend, we discussed the mysterious sound heard long ago.

People often tend to embellish stories such as these. Not this one. Those of us who were there still stand by our original story. We heard a strange sound. No one could identify it. We can’t pinpoint the origin. Although we can’t agree on an exact description, it’s safe to say it wasn’t our imagination.

Perhaps we’ll never know what was behind the mystery at the bonfire, but one thing is certain. It makes a good story to tell while sitting around a fire at Halloween.

Welcome, October #ThursdayThoughts

Hey, everyone. It’s the first of October, which is my favorite month of the year.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I’ve been on vacation this week. For the first time in several years, we’re having fall-like weather. Lows in the fifties, highs in the mid-seventies to low-eighties. Yesterday, I took advantage of the temps to sit on my porch for a while.

Leaves are still mostly green, but a little color starting to show.

Look at those crystal clear skies. And speaking of that, tonight is the Full Harvest Moon. Here’s a shot I took of a full moon in 2013. This was actually in November.

Yes, I have a fascination with full moons. You couldn’t tell it by my blog header, could you? This year, October treats us to a second one on the 31st. It’s known as a blue moon.

In yesterday’s WIP Wednesday post, I shared the playlist for my upcoming short story, House of Sorrow. It’s the prequel to the first Legends of Madeira book, Cold Dark Night. I won’t tell you a lot, but let’s say full moons play into that story.

Although I haven’t written a lot of new words this week, it’s been productive. I’ve edited, designed a book cover, and written the first draft of the dreaded book blurb.

What’s your week been like? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

Week in Review

Hey, everyone. Happy first Friday of March. When Bob Dylan wrote The Times They Are a Changin, he spoke the truth. Changes are inevitable. Some good, others not so good.

But change is in the air. We are moving from winter into spring (for which I am happy).

When the weather permits, I enjoy sitting on my front porch. It’s quite and peaceful – a great place to relax, read, or just sit and think. But my view recently changed.

Our new neighbors cleared out the underbrush from their property line and trimmed trees. So now, I have an even better view than before. I took this photo of the sunrise early last Saturday. A few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to see the sun peaking over the horizon. This is a good change.

Speaking of change, are you ready for Daylight Saving Time? I don’t mind the extra light in the evenings, but it means once again I’ll be leaving the house when it’s still dark. Not only that it takes my body weeks to adjust to losing an hour.

Why can’t more states be like Arizona and refuse to participate in the change? In reality, we’re not “saving” anything. There’s still the same amount of light and darkness each day.

But enough of my ranting. Are you ready for this week’s links?

On this site:

On Story Empire

On Other Sites:

Week In Review

Wow! It’s already Friday again. Not that I’m complaining, especially since I have a three-day weekend coming up. But time is flying and we’re already over halfway through January. Not to mention I waited until Thursday night to write Friday’s post.

Our weather has been a little crazy of late (nothing new for Texas). Not much cold but we had storms last Friday night that ushered in a cold front. Saturday was one of those days when it was best to stay indoors. The weather cleared late in the afternoon. We had a heavy frost overnight, but fog and clouds moved in just before sunrise. The result was this:

Okay, not the best photo in the world, but I was standing on my front porch in shirt sleeves and wearing slippers!

So now, enough about me. Here are this week’s links:

On this site:

On Story Empire:

From Other Sites: