5th Halloween-Poem Contest – Jury introduction – and Start Up

Sounds like fun. A Halloween tradition!

Writer's Treasure Chest

Picture courtesy of: http://preventioncdnndg.org/



I am honored to announce that the following authors have agreed to participate as judges in the jury who will decide on the winners of the contest:

Author Raymond Walker
Author Sherry Perkins
Author A. J. Alexander

Thank you, authors, for your effort to be part of this contest!

There will be three winners in the 4th Halloween poem contest. Each of them is free to choose from the following prizes:

Signed Paperbacks with a T-Shirt of Hiding from the Light  – OR – Winter’s Ghost – OR –  The Painting written by Raymond Walker
E-book of A Horse by Any Other Name: A Doctor Butterbaugh Mystery  – OR – E-book of A Girl and Her Dog: A Short Story – OR –  At the End of the Rainbow – OR –  What you wished for,  written by Sherry Perkins

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Welcome to Cole Manor

Anyone who loves cats will LOVE this blog.

Cats of Cole Manor

This site is dedicated to three of the most interesting cats I’ve ever met! Joey, Simon, and Beatriz! As I continue to reside at Cole Manor, I endeavor to chronicle their lives in all their splendor!

This is Simon Eugene Banks (pronounced Bonks) the Third resting in the arms of his favorite person. Simon is very affectionate toward anyone who doesn’t live in the Manor. He is very chill and usually spends his time staring out the living room window.

Simon, like most cats, likes to hide in boxes!

Simon has this weird quirk where he will scratch on objects like he’s trying to bury something. Nothing is safe. Here you can see him pawing at the litter tub.

Simon loves purses! He loves to claw them, rest on them, and investigate them for goodies. Lady Cole has had a few purses ruined in this manner, so she has taken…

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“Giant Redwood Trees of California” by Albert Bierstadt: Sublime Art, The American Frontier, and The History of Redwood Trees

A must read!


A LONG, LONG TIME AGO, PLANTS AND ANIMALS WERE PEOPLE. So the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok story goes. One of those was Coyote, who made the world from the Sonoma Mountaintop. The elders of Coyote’s village became giant redwood trees, and they were coloured blood-red to remind everyone that we are all intertwined. If you look towards the west coast, you can still see the red giants standing.

Greg Sarris, chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, tells this and other powerful tales alongside his collection of essays which underline the similarities between the mistreatment and genocide of coastal Indigenous peoples and the logging of redwood forests. It is estimated that up to 96% of California’s giant redwoods were logged. Sarris accounts that for the Indigenous people the rate of survival – at 0.07% – was even more dismal. As vast stretches of redwoods were logged for the…

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A Lunch Date With Zombies

Vampire Maman

A Lunch Date With Zombies

Fridays are usually my lunch hunt date. I switched things up this week and took Cody, my young “Vampire in Training” out with me today.

Lunch dates are fun ways for Vampires to hunt right out in the open. They involve fun, flirting, a bit of seduction and just enough blood to get you going for the weekend ahead. And regular humans never even suspect. They just leave the situation feeling warm and fuzzy, a little tired, and they think they’ve, well, you know.

Cody and I had arranged to meet an old friend of mine at my office with an associate of his. They were Lobbyist for the farming industry (after all we’re in the State Capitol and in the largest agricultural state).  Mike and Melissa. I’m in public relations and do work for them from time to time.

Cody is shy by nature, a…

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Juliette’s Monday Book Club: A Trio of Escapes – Fiction, Travel, Poetry

Vampire Maman

Under Currents

By Nora Roberts


I’m currently reading Under Currents.

I’ve been reading books by Nora Roberts for years. I’ve loved her stand alone books. I’ve loved the trilogies. The books in the J.D. Robb In Death Series are my absolute favorites.

This one is different. Below is the official description but that doesn’t describe this book completely. I had a difficult time reading the first few chapters. The descriptions of violence and brutal child abuse were graphic and disturbing. Sure, I read a lot of horror but this was beyond that. I’m not saying don’t read it. Stories of abuse need to be told. Stories of surviving need to be told. Stories of overcoming such horrors need to be told.

Do I like the book? So far so good. I’m still reading. That’s a beautiful thing.

Official Description: For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold…

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Captured Bride: A weird little story of romance (sort of), personal growth, and Vampires.

Vampire Maman

Captured Bride: A weird little story of romance (sort of), personal growth, and Vampires.

I was minding my own business, outside tending my herb garden, when someone throws a blanket over my head, hauls me up on a horse and takes me to God only knows where.

After what seemed like forever, combined with a lot of screaming and cursing on my part, we stopped.

When the blanked was taken off I found myself in a hilltop sort of mini castle. It was absolutely beautiful. Standing in front of me was a tall man with golden hair. He certainlly was handsome but I was not in the mood to ponder his good looks.

“What the Hell is going on?” I was in no mood for making all nice.

“You are to be my bride,” he said in a serious voice.

“I don’t think so. You don’t even know me.”


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Did the Code Hurt the Marx Brothers?


“I sure wish these bean counters would let us be funny again!”

The origin of this post: A few days ago someone on social media asserted with enormous confidence, that “the Code hurt the Marx Brothers” (meaning, if you’re new to such things, that the Motion Picture Production Code, a.k.a. the Hays Code, which began to be strictly enforced in 1934, was what damaged the team’s later films.) I had never looked at the question in quite that way before, and I think most people who think about it don’t.

Thanks to TCM and the Film Forum, I became something of an aficionado of pre-Code films. There are many genres that were deeply affected when the Code started to be applied more severely. Horror became less gory and gruesome. Gangster movies became less crude and violent. Melodramas, which were frequently about pre-marital sex and pregnancy out of wedlock…

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A Vampire’s Guide to Friday the 13th

Vampire Maman

fart joke

Many people believe the negative origin of “Friday the 13th” comes from the demise of the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th. Some say the roots are more ancient, perhaps connected to the Last Supper or maybe even earlier events.

I’m not superstitious and generally have little or no patience with superstitions.

Or as my friend Adam, who is a Werewolf, would say, “SHIT, when Friday the 13th is on a full moon all of the crazies come out of the woodwork.”

I’ll make sure to stay away from the woodwork, and Werewolves.

What about the 11th? 9/11 was worse than what happened to the Templars/ What about the 23rd or the 17th. Halloween is on the 31st. Like the 13th they’re prime numbers.

But if the prime number theory was true, which it isn’t then 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47…

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For Keeps


The mermaid watched the human’s ship go down. People screamed for help. Some people swore. The quiet ones cried.

The mermaid was one with the water. She was one with the waves. If anyone looked her way, they would see just the tangled green of her dreadlocks and assume it was nothing but seaweed. They wouldn’t see her cold, fish-like eyes. They wouldn’t see the iridescent scaling on her cheeks.

She stayed away from the sinking boat. If she came too close, it would only cause problems.

The mermaid wasn’t stupid. She had seen the problems such behavior caused.

Yet, she didn’t swim away.

Not even when the screaming and the swearing and the crying slowly died away. She stayed hidden in her waves and waited for the inevitable silence that would fall.

And it fell.

It always fell.

The humans lay unmoving, unswimming in the water.

The mermaid ducked…

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