A Halloween treat!

Published 1:36 pm Wednesday, October 20, 2021

As most everyone knows by now I am a writer. I write mainly for the audiobook medium mainly because that seems to be the way the future of books is heading. Also, at the end of each of my columns I give away one free audiobook to the person that has the quickest response in using the code. Well, now everyone will get a chance to own a free copy of any of my horror treats. All you have to do is send me an email requesting either “The Book of M,” which has vampires, werewolves, monsters, and so many others packed throughout. Not only that, the book is 13 hours long! However, if you would rather have a more centered book that runs four hours, you can choose the first of the wolf by night book titled “Shimmer of the Silver Moon.” The book takes place in the 1890s when Theodore Roosevelt was police commissioner of New York. Throughout the book you will get to see what it would be like if Tr, Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison, J.P Morgan, and others lived in a world where werewolves roamed. It’s an exciting book filled with action, suspense, and of course mystery  The book is sure to please anyone of the genre.
Now to my road to the Halloween column.
I remember sitting in elementary school and our teacher, Mrs. Dykes, showing a small video called the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It was a cartoon but I was intrigued by the idea of a headless man terrorizing a small town. I eventually found the book and read it from cover to cover. It was written by Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859). Born and raised in Manhattan to a merchant family, Irving made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Old-style. He temporarily moved to England for the family business in 1815 where he achieved fame with the publication of “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon,” Gent. Serialized from 1819–20. He continued to publish regularly throughout his life, and he completed a five-volume biography of George Washington just eight months before his death at age 76 in Tarrytown, N.Y.
Upon reading the book my imagination went wild. And years and years later I featured the headless man prominently in my own books titled “M.” Then the movie with Johnny Depp came out and in my humble opinion one of his best and not only because one of my favorite Hammer actors appears in it (Christopher Lee). The TV show “Sleepy Hollow” hit the air and I was hooked. If you have not seen either of these put these on your Halloween list to watch. Also, grab the book. You will love it and it’s a fairly quick read. And as promised here is my email address to claim your free book of “M” or “Wolf by Night” book. Timsimpson2008@gmail.com. You have until Halloween to claim your free book.  

An Adventure to Remember

A couple of weeks ago my seven-year-old son Eli and I loaded up the car and headed off on an October adventure. After the trip was done I figure I clocked a total of 18 hours driving time.

First on the list was to see my favorite museum, the Edgar Allan Poe museum in Richmond, Va. I love the little town of Richmond and the museum is chocked full of Poe’s belongings. He had spent a lot of time there and so it felt really good walking the same streets in which he walked. There are even two black cats that hang around there and I was told they are very skittish, however as soon as we made our way to the courtyard one came straight for me and wanted some attention to which I readily gave. 

Our nest was also in Richmond. It’s a cemetery that holds the remains of James Monroe. He has fast become one of my favorite presidents. Of course good old TR still holds the number one spot. The cemetery is magnificent. It looks like something straight out of a gothic horror movie. Crypts that are enormous. Statues, monuments, and marble decorate the entire grounds. But alas we could not locate dear old Monroe. We walked until we nearly collapsed for at least an hour and a half. The grounds have more hills than a golf course. However, there is always next year. My new mission is to locate his grave.

The next day we rose early and headed toward Washington DC. It is an hour and forty minutes from Richmond and the drive was terrible. Early on we made good time but around eight the traffic going into Washington was insane. But once we hit the bridge going into DC I saw the Washington monument and the Lincoln memorial and I was suddenly overcome with emotion. I felt chills run up my arms. I did forget how tedious the drive through Washington can be but we made the best of it and Eli was overjoyed and amazed at how tall the Washington monument actually is in person. The Lincoln Memorial has always been my favorite and I was surprised at how gorgeous the WWII memorial is that was not there when I was last there. We could only see the White House from a very great distance as most of the roads around it were shut off. Well, given who is in there now, this came as no surprise. We could not hang out in Washington for too long because we had a reservation for the Poe house in Baltimore, Md.

I have to say I did not like the downtown parts of Maryland. The streets are narrow and very congested and to that the fact that half of the street was blocked by construction. It was a nightmare to try and navigate around the honking cars, people staggering out in front of vehicles, and of course people stopping me begging for money. But there was something there I had to see and that was Pore’s gravesite. Legend has it that Poe was buried in an unmarked grave after his death. He had nowhere near the recognition he has today. But once his worst critic began writing scathing reviews of Poe and his work people became interesting, so much so they exhumed his body and moved it to the church where it now rests. Funny story, when they pulled the wooden coffin from the ground it was said to have opened and Poe came out freaking all in attendance. Sounds like Poe. From there, also in Baltimore but in a part of town that did not look as though the Avengers had just saved the world from an alien enemy. It could have been the spray painting on the side of one of the walls that read “No shoot zone”; it did have a cute blue heart painted above it. The Poe house is small but that is to be expected for the time in which it was built. However, it was worth admission to roam the rooms in which Poe moved about and even worth admission. One thing about our trip through Baltimore is I sure appreciate living here in Tennessee. 

The next day was our last and on the way home we stopped off at Jamestown, Eli was excited that he got to stop in the oldest town in America. This is where we were born as a nation. We walked where the settlers walked. The foundations to the old buildings are still there. The church house and even a cannon are still pretty much intact. We had a wonderful time there walking with the ghost of these poor people that suffered so long, some to the point of starving and being forced to eat horses, dogs, and even each other.  All in all, we had a wonderful time. I would recommend any of these places to anyone with a love of Poe or just history in general. Once we returned we felt as though we needed a vacation from our vacation. 

Just something to ponder.