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Jamie Davis Writes

A Journal for Non-Fiction Writers

Who knew? I actually published two more books this year. One was a journal for paralegals, and the second is a journal for my fellow non-fiction writers. It can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jamie-whitmer/non-fiction-writers-journal/paperback/product-22982625.html

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Product Page for Non-Fiction Writer’s Journal
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Journal for Non-Fiction Writers

The index system is absolutely crucial to me for finding my notes.

Pictured below, is a sample of the daily content section.

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Non-Fiction Writer’s Journal – Sample Interior Daily Content Pages

Lastly, I made a special index section for you to keep track of important events and your progress throughout the year. Accountability much?

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Special Index Section For Managing Your Annual Goals
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Back pages of Non-Fiction Writer’s Journal

I hope you love it as much as I do, and that it keeps you on track. If your purchase, please drop me a line and give me your feedback!

On My Bookshelf: Scary Stories Treasury, by Alvin Schwartz

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Scary Stories Treasury, by Alvin Schwartz

If you are a child of the 1980s, Alvin Schwartz’s holy trinity of scary stories for children likely gave your library card a decent amount of exercise. I recently sat down one winter’s evening to revisit the tales. These Boo Men would have given T.S. Eliot a case of the Hoo-Has! (And perhaps you’re alive/And perhaps you’re dead/Hoo ha ha – http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n16/mark-ford/i-gotta-use-words).

I did not remember Stephen Gammell’s illustrations being so terrifying, but many of them truly are!

My favorite tales from “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” which is the first installment of the seriesinclude “The Thing;” “Cold as Clay,” “The Guests,” and “Room For One More.” I loved that these all involved ghost stories or premonitions of death. Arguably, as an adult reader, the stories that foretell death are truly the most terrifying tales in the bunch. In “The Thing,” the boy touches the wraith to see if he is real, is followed home by said wraith, and is seemingly marked for death, succumbing within the year. Whether or not the laying of hands on The Thing is what caused his death, or not remains open for debate. What I mean is, if the boy did not actually touch the wraith, would the premonition not have come to pass? Could he have escaped death, or was it coming for him nonetheless, no matter what he did?

For instance, the character in “Room for One More,” has a dream of a hearse pulling up in the driveway, and the driver looks at him and says: “There is room for one more.” He thinks that he is dreaming. He goes into work the next day and finishes his day. He goes to leave the office and presses the button for the elevator. Inside, stands the driver of the hearse. “There is room for one more,” he says. The man declines, and the elevator goes on to crash and everyone dies. The man somehow escaped death because he remembered his dream and did not go when summoned. But does he escape without consequence? When death comes again, will he be even more pissed?

Deep questions.

These stories are based on folklore, and had to have an origin, mind you. Once, when the world was young, maybe the veil was thinner, and death marched openly, and gave you a fighting chance if you were cunning enough to be paying attention and heeded his warning. Death as a forerunner. Hmm…

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” contains a story that is straight out of a horror movie, and if I ever write a horror script, I will make this scene my own. “One Sunday Morning” is the tale of Ida and what she sees when she is awakened in the dead of night by the church bell. Those of you who know firsthand that one of the scariest places you can ever be is inside the darkened sanctuary of a church at night will be creeped out beyond belief by this short tale. What do they get up to in there during the dead of night? You don’t want to know. And you certainly don’t want to be there for it! The Annotations about this little piece of folklore state: “this tale is rooted in the ancient belief that the night belongs to the dead and that places of worship are haunted after dark.” I have no doubt.

“Scary Stories 3” contains two very chilling tales of death’s arrival: “The Appointment,” which is apparently another ancient tale (this one is based on a young man seeing death in the marketplace in Damascus), and “Like Cat’s Eyes,” which reminds me of what happens in the 1990s movie “Ghost,” when the bad men die. CREEPY AS ALL GET OUT!

If you have not picked up this series since you were ten years old, I highly recommend that you treat yourself to a new look as an adult. But not if you are alone at night in your house. Don’t get crazy.

 

 

 

The Walk Up (2016) — infraredrobert

J. N. Adam Memorial Hospital — Perrysburg, New York After determining that the loud, repetitive banging we were hearing was just a door blowing in the morning breeze, we approached the hospital entrance – on our guard…just in case Modified Nikon D100 (Near infrared capture) More of my work can be seen here J. N. Adam Hospital and Tuberculosis Sanitarium

via The Walk Up (2016) — infraredrobert

AMAZING WORK OVER HERE! Go check it out!!

 

On My Bookshelf: The Bertie Project, by Alexander McCall Smith

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The Bertie Project – Alexander McCall Smith

This is the latest installment in the 44 Scotland Street Series. Much like the Isabel Dalhousie series, nothing much happens. This is not to say that the books are about NOTHING. Not so. They are about life. This is my favorite series by Smith.

Alexander McCall Smith sometimes seems to me to be to literature what the great Observational Comics are to comedy. Not always funny, per se, but masters at telling stories about “real” life. And how timely some of these stories are.

In this installment, Smith cracks wise a bit about political correctness, and how everything is out of bounds now “interdicted by self-appointed guardians of sensitivity.” Domenica and Angus have a conversation on which she remarks “Now we’ve come to expect that everybody we see wants to kill us.” A most interesting remark.

Smith is one of my favorite authors, and I think I have read just about every book he has published. Beautiful, beautiful, words.

I was nearly in tears when I thought one of the characters was dying. Although, the description of his last thoughts is perfect. If we must go, please let it be like this:  Page 159 –

“He was aware of movement; some pressure on his arms, as if somebody were pulling him, and for a few moments he resented that there should be this intrusion. But then he felt sleep claim him, and all sensation drained away, faded, and he no longer cared. So this was what it was like to die: it was an abandonment, a giving up, an allowing of life to drain away. It did not mater, he thought. It did not matter.”

The Irene/Stuart relationship is getting interesting and very controversial. I was not in agreement with Stuart’s choice, but I bet many others are.

Lastly, a piece of advice from our friends across the pond:  “Never eat at a restaurant called Momma’s.” Now that remark, I would normally have to take umbrage against. However, I have not eaten at any such establishment called “Momma’s,” although growing up, we often visited “Mama’s.” Well, obviously that’s just different.

Lovely time!

Historic Hotel – Baxter Hotel: Bozeman, MT

Unfortunately for me, The Baxter is no longer functioning as a hotel. However, they do special events, and lease commercial and residential space. There are dining options on site. My choice was The Bacchus Pub, and it was fantastic!

Is it haunted? I have no idea, but would love to hear from anyone who has stories!

Here are a few of my photos from August 2016:

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Baxter Hotel – downtown Bozeman, MT
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Historic Baxter Hotel in downtown Bozeman, MT
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National Register of Historic Places – Baxter Hotel, downtown Bozeman, MT
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Lobby (Baxter Hotel – Bozeman, MT)
Baxter Hotel - Bozeman, MT
Ceiling Detail in Lobby (Baxter Hotel – Bozeman MT)
Baxter Hotel - Bozeman, MT
Baxter Hotel – Historic Sign in Lobby
Dining

http://www.bacchuspubbozeman.com

On My Bookshelf: Deadfall Hotel, by Steve Rasnic Tem

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Deadfall Hotel, by Steve Rasnic Tem

I read this book for the second time this year, and it was almost even more enjoyable! I highly recommend this one for those of you who like your literary fiction on the “haunted” side. I can’t help but be vaguely reminded of the animated “Hotel Transylvania” film franchises (which I enjoyed, thank you very much), although this really is not a romping good time at all (though it is not without hope and redemption).

The author can go a little surreal on you from time, and certainly does with the whole cat thing, but “The King of the Cats” in Chapter 3 is just about as perfect as it gets if you want to see an example of how to write the ordinary into sheer horror (how can a little kitty be scary, you ask? Just read.).

I have underlined so many passages, but I will leave you with this to chew on from Page 284:

Most ordinary people, certainly, were monsters…They dreamed all their lives, and in almost every instance they settled for something less than what they dreamed. They took the job they could get, they married the person who would have them, they did the things they knew they could do without pain or humiliation. They lived haunted by the ends to come…They settled.”

If that doesn’t concisely sum up contemporary real-deal American Horror, I don’t know what does. “This is what we have. You do what you can do.”

Wow.

Some of My Favorite Photos From Missouri State Pen & Tooele Hospital

Throwback to traveling days for Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums. A sampling of some of my favorite photos!

Missouri State Pen

 

Tooele Hospital 

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To purchase your copy of Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums, head on over to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Haunted-Asylums-Prisons-Sanatoriums-Institutions/dp/073873750X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

On My Bookshelf: Stoker’s Manuscript, by Royce Prouty

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Stoker’s Manuscript

For full synopsis, see: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-15855-1

Royce Prouty penned this debut in 2013 and was a Bram Stoker Award Nominee for “first novels.” What a fun/scary ride! I love a book about a book, but throw the legendary Dracul family in the mix, and you have me up at night turning pages!

The elements that really worked for me were: the idea that an informer with inside knowledge into the Dracul family/vampire culture was actually giving Bram Stoker notes when he was writing “Dracula;” the idea that there were missing pieces from Stoker’s manuscript that needed to be found; that God created the vampire first before he created man, and after seeing what he did, gave man a soul; and the personalities/dialogue scenes between Radu/Joseph and Vlad/Joseph.

I’m not sure if this is what people call “fan fiction,” but if it is, I’m thinking this is the first piece of fan fiction that I enjoyed. Definitely time and money well spent!

Garnet Ghost Town – MT

“Never built to last.” Yet last it did.

A short look into MT’s most intact ghost town. Gold ore boomtown circa 1898 – population 1,000. By 1905, only 150 remained.

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Arriving – Garnet Ghost Town
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Welcome – Garnet Ghost Town
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Outside

 

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Looking In
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Okay, we know that I am wearing a green jacket, and it has been reflected back in the above photo. So who is this in the window all in black?! (We think it is the back side of Bob). 

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J.H. Wells Hotel

And yes, I think it is haunted!

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Outside looking in – J.H. Wells Hotel (Garnet Ghost Town)

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Inside the old Garnet Jail

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Back view of the J.H. Wells Hotel – Garnet Ghost Town

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Flooded mine shaft – Garnet Ghost Town

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