Tag Archives: cryptids

A Thousand Yesteryears, on Lisa Burton Radio #RRBC

 

Maggie Flynn was twelve years old the night she died. She was a victim of one of the worst engineering disasters in American History.

This is Lisa Burton Radio, and I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. “Welcome to the show, Maggie.”

Squeeeeeerrrrrooooooo

“Oh no. Don’t go away, Maggie. I need to put another quart of psychode into this ectomometer and turn the gain up to ten.

“There, are you still with us Maggie?”

“Um…I think so. Can you hear me? I’m still getting used to communicating between worlds.”

“You’re coming through loud and clear. I’m so honored to have you on the show. The story of the Silver Bridge disaster is well documented, but maybe you can fill our listeners in on it.”

“Well, I don’t really like thinking about it, but Caden—he’s my older brother—and I went shopping that night. He had to drive across the bridge to get to Gallipolis where they have the big department stores. I wanted to buy my mom and dad something for Christmas…even though I was worried about going outside…”

“It’s okay, Maggie.”

“I saw the something really horrible just a few days before. I still get nightmares thinking about it.”

“You’re in West Virginia, right?”

“Mmm-hmm. In Point Pleasant. That’s on the other side of the river from Gallipolis, Ohio. It’s a small town, located kind of where the Ohio and the Kanawha Rivers come together.”

“It’s terrible that this was during the Christmas season. I’m glad your brother survived. Maybe you can tell our listeners why you were so afraid.”

“That thing I saw…have you ever heard of the Mothman? There were over 100 people in my town who said they saw him the year before I died. That would be in 1967. I thought maybe it was all a bunch of make-believe but then I chased Mischief into the Witch Wood… Mischief is my Nana’s cat—a very bad cat—and the Witch Wood is a place behind Nana’s house where I sometimes played with my friends. It’s got lots of trees and stuff, and a gnarled old sycamore that looks like a witch.

“I was never afraid to be there alone, but then I saw the Mothman. He was hideous! With burning red eyes and huge wings. When he stood up he was like a giant. I was terrified he’d see me, so I hid.”

“Sounds like a good plan to me. I read somewhere that he only hangs out in an area called the TNT. What does TNT stand for?”

“My dad said it’s an old munitions dump left over from World War II. The Army abandoned it a long time ago, but it’s still got these weird bunkers built into the ground. We call them igloos. They’re really creepy and some of them still have old shells and chemicals and stuff in them. There are buildings too, but they’re ghosts like me…abandoned and crumbling. The whole place is a maze of woods, marshland and ponds—almost a whole city’s worth, it’s so huge! People in Point Pleasant say it’s where the Mothman lives, but he’s been spotted around town and on some of the back roads, too. After the Silver Bridge fell, a lot of people said the monster was to blame.”

“What about the legend of Chief Cornstalk? Is it possible the Mothman has nothing to do with the disaster, and it’s all this ancient curse?”

“Maybe. We learned about Chief Cornstalk in school. He was a great Shawnee Indian chief. My teacher said he fought against the settlers in the beginning but then became a friend of the white man. He was trying to make peace between the people of Point Pleasant and the Indian tribes when he was betrayed and killed by soldiers. I heard he cursed the town of Point Pleasant with his dying breath. Some people think that’s what caused all the floods we’ve had, why the Mothman showed up, and the bridge fell. My friend’s father lost his job when the riverboat people left…it was a big company and all kinds of people ended up out of work when they left Point Pleasant. I wasn’t around for that, but I heard the whispers afterward…

“Go ahead, Maggie.”

“There’s always been whispers around here. Even George Washington saw things he couldn’t explain when he scouted the area before the Revolutionary War…at least according to Mrs. Quiggly. She sells brown eggs outside of town and knows everyone’s business. She said Point Pleasant and the TNT are located on ley lines and that’s why we’ve got so many weird things happening like UFOs and the Mothman. It’s probably why the monster came back.”

“Is that why you returned too?”

“Sort of. I’m worried about my friend, Eve. She’s all grown up now, an adult like Caden. Eve and her mother left town fifteen years ago after the bridge fell, but Eve came back. Her Aunt Rosie died and left Eve her house and the family hotel. The Parrish Hotel is kind of a landmark in town. Eve has to figure out what to do with the house and the hotel—she’s thinking of selling them—but there’s a bunch of stuff she doesn’t know that could get her into serious trouble. Aunt Rosie had all kinds of secrets and it’s all tied up with the night the bridge went down.

“Caden is looking out for Eve as best he can. I get the feeling they like each other—you know, boy-girl like?—but Caden has a bunch of secrets, too. He knows more about the Mothman than he’ll say, and there’s something really bad that happened back when he was a cop that has him messed up. Plus he blames himself for taking me out the night the bridge fell. Boys are so stupid! He won’t let go of the guilt. And Eve…”

“But if Eve is all grown up now, and she has Caden to look after her, she probably doesn’t have to worry.”

“I wish it were that simple, but there are so many bad things that happened back then, far more than I’ve said here. I can’t really talk about them the way I want to. Stupid rules about separating the dead from the living, you know? The bad stuff got buried and no one put the pieces together. I thought maybe they would go away but when Eve came back, all of it did, too. It isn’t just the Mothman. There’s something else—watching, and it all started that day when I chased Mischief into the woods.

“I…um…oh, I can’t say any more. Just please…you’ve got to let people know. Warn them. There’s something else in the woods, hidden behind Nana’s old house. Eve was my best friend, and she’s in Squeeeeeerrrrrooooooo

LB: Maggie? Are you still with us? <kick, thump> Maggie?

Folks, I think we’ve lost Maggie, and I need to stock up on psychode. You can get the whole story in a book called A Thousand Yesteryears, by Mae Clair. I’ll include all the details on the website. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.

***

Purchase Links A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS

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You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

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Craig here. I read this one some time ago, and gave it every bit of five stars. Absolutely wonderful book.

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The Idea Mill #16

There are a few new followers at Entertaining Stories, so I'll explain myself. Idea Mill posts occur sporadically whenever I have enough information. I get news pushed to me from various sources on topics that interest me. (Not presidential debates) When something strikes me, I save the article and post it here when I have three articles.

The hope is that something will kick your Muse in the pants, and you can enhance your next novel or short story.

The Idea Mill

Let's start off with a bit of experimental fabric. It contains small cameras, and has some kind of silicone “feelers” all over it. The fashion industry made it into a dress that can tell when someone is checking you out. The cameras recognize facial features and can distinguish between a gaze and someone looking into the distance. When the fabric detects a look, the feelers move to point at the looker.

This is a terrible idea on so many fronts. Girls want to be looked at. Boys want to look. Neither side wants to acknowledge the moment, and sure don't want to share it with the world. “Hey, my eyes are up here.” (What? I'm talking about beard stares.) you can read the article, and watch a video here.

This would make a great feature for aliens. Perhaps an occupied Earth has bands of freedom fighters scattered here and there. These aliens are going to be hard to sneak up on, because their feelers point at you if you look at them. Their team mates with the guns all turn… Mayhem.

This next one impresses me. A college kid took a whole bunch of Rubic's Cubes, and made a mural out of it. His Muse was Cardinal baseball great Stan Musial. The artwork is so good that the Cardinals acquired it and hung it in their clubhouse permanently. It really is impressive, and you should look at the image before you go. Click here.

I don't know how it relates to speculative fiction, but it adds a lot of credibility to a character with a special mind. Characters like this are interesting, and make good reading. They might solve a mystery using skills ordinary folks don't have. Remember he had to solve all those cubes, in exactly the right position, before putting them together in his mural.

Let's end this one with a crypdid. Something new on the cryptid front doesn't happen every day. A tourist was taking a cruise off the coast of Greece. He snapped a picture, and got something unexpected. It absolutely looks like a marine mammal of some kind. It's just that it's a previously unknown kind. Read the article here, and check out the picture yourself.

This article gets even more interesting, because several pods of whales were recently spotted that were listed as extinct. I nearly included them on the list, but a genuine cryptid trumps them. It goes to show that we don't know everything, and there is an awful lot of our planet we haven't explored.

There are any number of ways to go with a cryptid story. Some like them hungry and dangerous, others want to protect them from those who would collect them as trophies. Pick your hero and type away. Water is a great way to add danger. The risk of capsizing miles from shore, or drowning adds an extra layer.

My usual shtick is to come up with something that incorporates all three news items. This is going to be hard, because they don't all relate very well. Here goes nothing…

There is a competition held on a ship off the Greek Islands somewhere. Invitees are asked to bring their creations and compete in various categories. Mr. Special Mind checks out the girl in the dress that rats out his gaze. He solves a Rubic's Cube in seconds to impress her. She gives him the stink eye, and snaps a picture over his shoulder. The cryptid appears in the photo. The girl who invented the dress, and Mr. Special Mind team up to identify, then protect this amazing new creature. Possible romantic sub-plot.

What would you do with these news items? Do any of them inspire you to write about them? Would you use them as a story element in a different story? My conglomeration story sucks, but I'll shamelessly accept compliments anyway. That's how I roll.

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Something fun from Mae Clair

Hey readers, Mae Clair is doing a promotion and stopped by to tell us all about it. Mae loves cryptids, and blogs about them as well as featuring them in her fiction. I am driving home from Bigfoot country today, and really appreciate Mae promoting on this blog. You guys make her feel welcome today.

End of Summer Sale: Solstice Island by Mae Clair is FREE8/31 and 9/1

#cryptidfiction #romance #adventure

I know summer isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox rolls around mid-September, but by the time the calendar reads August 31, I’m already thinking fall. My husband and I will be closing our pool this coming weekend, Halloween stuff is stocked in most every store I visit, and the days are growing noticeably shorter. I live in the northeast where summer is much, much too short. Blink and it’s easy to miss. I love fall, but I thrive on summer. So…I’m lamenting the demise of my favorite season with an end of summer sale on SOLSTICE ISLAND, my breezy romantic adventure novella.


Why should you read it (other than the fact it’s like a shot of summer wrapped up inside Kindle pages)? I’m glad you asked.

The Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Solstice Island by Mae Clair:

10. You’ll meet a hot charter boat captain trying to live down his family legacy.


9. You’ll encounter a spunky heroine cryptozoologist, determined hot captain should embrace said family legacy and all the baggage that goes with it.


8. You’ll be able to impress your friends with your stunning new knowledge of cryptozoology.


7. You may find yourself struck by the uncontrollable urge to look up blurry images of strange creatures online or go on a cryptid hunt (think Loch Ness, Big Foot, and the Jersey Devil).


6. You’ll learn why you should never ignore a craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream.


5. The next time your boat is attacked by a rampaging sea monster, you’ll know precisely what to do.


4. You’ll be swept up in a tale of romance, adventure, and folklore.


3. You’ll uncover buried treasure, thwart a villain, and discover a new use for a boat oar.


2. As a 72 page novella, SOLSTICE ISLAND makes a quick end of summer read.

And the number one reason you should read SOLSTICE ISLAND:

1. It’s FREE on Amazon August 31 and September 1!

http://www.amazon.com/Solstice-Island-Mae-Clair-ebook/dp/B00JHN4EBC

 

SOLSTICE ISLAND Blurb:


Can an ancient leviathan work magic between a practical man and an idealistic woman?

Rylie Carswell is an amateur cryptozoologist in search of a mythical creature, the Sea Goliath. In order to reach Solstice Island, a location the ancient leviathan is rumored to haunt, she’s forced to hire charter boat captain, Daniel Decatur.

Initially, Daniel wants nothing to do with the trip or the fool woman waving double payment in his face. Convinced she’s yet another loony treasure hunter looking for gold on the remote island, he reluctantly agrees. An embittered neighbor wants to have his charter license yanked, so the extra cash will help him stay afloat.

It doesn’t take long for Daniel to realize Rylie is after the same beast his parents were tracking when they mysteriously vanished ten years earlier. He’s avoided all links to cryptozoology ever since, but the smart and sexy cryptid hunter has him second-guessing his oath and wondering what he’s signed on for.

Warning: A family legacy, glowing plankton and rough waters.

About Mae Clair:

Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. As an adult, she stumbled onto the field of cryptozoology and realized there were others like her who loved speculating about weird and wonderful creatures.

Her blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair, features a weekly post each Monday where she examines a different myth or urban legend. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who will factor into an upcoming series of novels.

As a writer, she pens tales of romantic mystery flavored with a twist of myth or folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, Mae lives in Pennsylvania. Her passions include cats, history and exploring old graveyards. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website and Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Sign up for Mae’s Newsletter

Download SOLSTICE ISLAND Free from:

Amazon

Add SOLSTICE ISLAND to your Goodreads TBR

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Researching a novel, by Mae Clair

I have something fun for you again today. Mae Clair and I are blogging about researching your novel today. You know the drill, my post will appear at From the Pen of Mae Clair.

Settings, Research and the Mothman by Mae Clair

 

A huge thanks to C. S. Boyack for inviting me to be a guest on his highly entertaining blog. I’m not sure where or when we originally connected in the blogosphere, but I’ve found he’s always got some interesting slice-of-life musing or observation to share. Craig is also a guest on my blog, From the Pen of Mae Clair today, so be sure to hop over and give him a shout-out if you can!

 

As an author, I primarily write romantic suspense and mysteries, but I’ve got a strong slant for most things mythical. I’m also mildly obsessed with folklore, cryptozoology (think Nessie and Big Foot) and urban legends. Every Monday I run a post called “Mythical Monday,” in which I blog about some aspect of the ethereal world, or shine the spotlight on a beastie of legend.

 

And that leads me to my topic for today. Strange as the segue may seem, I wanted to share some thoughts on research. I presently have four releases on the market with a fifth, MYTH AND MAGIC, due to publish on June 9th through the Lyrical Press imprint of Kensington Publishing. With each of those novels, I created fictional settings and towns. I never wanted to use an actual “place” because that would involve research. Ugh!

But a while back, I developed an idea for a novel spun around the legend of the Mothman. Remember that cryptozoology thing I mentioned? Well, for those who might not be familiar, the Mothman is a winged humanoid (cryptid) who plagued Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966-1967. You might remember the Mothman Chronicles with Richard Gere—a movie based on the bestselling book by John Keel. Hundreds of people reported seeing the Mothman in Point Pleasant, and also among the abandoned buildings and “igloos” of a nearby old WWII munitions storage facility. Now a wildlife management area, that facility is known locally as “The TNT.”

How could I realistically write a book about the Mothman without visiting Point Pleasant? Sure I could research the area online, haunt Google Earth sites, and read all the books I could get my hands on—all of which I did. But without visiting Point Pleasant and the TNT, I felt I couldn’t accurately capture the flavor of the area. For the first time, I would be writing a novel with an established town as the setting, and I wanted to do it justice.

So I convinced my husband we should take an extended weekend trip to Point Pleasant. You won’t find touristy attractions there, or hotels catering to spa-like leisure activities, but you will find a town that has changed dramatically since 1967.

It isn’t just the legend of the Mothman that haunts the area, but also the memory of the Silver Bridge—an eyebar suspension bridge that spanned the Ohio River between Point Pleasant and Gallipolis, Ohio. On December 15, 1967, at the height of rush hour traffic, that bridge collapsed into the icy river below, claiming 46 lives.

For someone who routinely fictionalized settings, learning to pay tribute to the spirit of an established town and its history—good and bad—was an action I’m glad I took. Fortunately, I live on the East Coast, so the drive was only a little over six hours each way.

What about you? How much research would you do for a WIP,or how much have you done? How important do you rank author research when writing, or even, reading a novel?

 

The book I mentioned above will be ready for submission to my publisher in the next two weeks. In the meantime, should you like to take a glance at any of my current releases—ranging from time/travel paranormal romance, to contemporary romantic suspense/mystery, I invite you to check out my Author Page on Amazon.

Thanks again to Craig for allowing me to take over his blog for the day. Any Mothman or urban legend fans out there?

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website

Blog

Twitter (@MaeClair1)
Google+

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads

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