Friday, June 28, 2013


Hi, All,

Happy Friday!

The weekend is upon us and I hope all of you will step away from your computers for a little while at least to enjoy the great outdoors. For the past month I've been weaving in and out of storms, dementor attacks, tornado-like blustering winds, and temperature variations of thirty degrees. But as I look out my window the sun is shining... for the moment ... and the gusty lake front winds are forever blowing through the trees.

I'd like to thank all of you for you comments on Wednesday. It was rough, but your kind words and endless support got me through the worst of it. Last night I was up until 1:30 am putting the final touches on my newest query AND in a fit of creativity (Which I haven't had in AGES), I actually re-wrote my first page! Can you believe it? After YEARS of fine tuning my first page, I threw caution to the insane Chicago winds and started fresh.

Years of comments about my first page flooded my memory. SO much conflict. Half the critiques loved the first line, the others hated it. Too much backstory, not enough showing, Start with this, start with that ... you get the picture. So I rolled all that information up into a memory ball and typed away. I have to laugh about it now. I never looked back. I decided to wait until this morning before sending out the query. It just didn't seem right to do it at that hour with such tired eyes.

Will it be as wonderful as I thought it was earlier today? I hope so. I have yet to read it, but will when I finish this post.

Now for the actual post. LOL. Strange things have occurred in my condo over the past few years. But more so recently. Much more. Before I laughed it off to forgetfulness. We all lose a bit of our memory as age creeps up on us.

Lately, I've been blaming all these mishaps on a playful ghost. Misplaced gym locks over the winter. Clothes I KNEW I had left in a certain place mysteriously disappeared, and reappear days later. Certain papers or information I would look for, but couldn't find.

Odd, right?

So, for the past few months when things "disappeared"I'd call out to my ghost with an angry tone, then laugh about it. Exactly two days later, the mysteriously disappeared items would reappear. Key in spooky music now.

SERIOUSLY. I live in a hundred year old building. It was originally built as a luxury residential hotel. Need I say more.

Anyway two mishaps finally convinced me I have a playful spirit toying with me. First. Two weeks ago when I did laundry as usual, I came back to my bedroom to make the bed. One of the pillow cases was missing. I looked EVERYWHERE for it. I went back to the laundry room several times to see if it was there. No it wasn't.

I spouted off to the ghost, and used another case. TWO DAYS LATER, as I was making the bed, a thought popped into my head. Something/one put it there. I always use two pillows in one case for extra support, so I slipped my hand between the pillows. There neatly folded was the other case. I knew then I definitely had a ghost. Why? You ask. You probably think I had slipped it in their by mistake when making the bed.

No, I didn't. When I bring up my sheets from the laundry room I only fold the cases in half. This was was folded into a 8x6 inch rectangle. STRANGE....

Incident number two. Last weekend I had decided to bake banana muffins. I have all my recipes stacked in printouts in my kitchen. I leave them in a certain cupboard. As usual I reached in to pull them out. They were gone. Hmmm. I thought. I tore the kitchen apart. No recipes. I ransacked my office closet, thinking I may have left them in there. No.

For over an hour I looked and cursed the ghost. I knew it was him/her. I baked anyway. I used another recipe I had in a book and tweaked it.

TWO DAYS LATER ... My recipes appeared under a knitting project I had left on top of my file. I had looked under there at least THREE times previously. I laughed and THANKED my playful spirit. This spirit doesn't frighten me. I've always believed that spirits walk the earth. Too many sightings from the masses proves this. Thankfully my "pal" is playful. I talked to a friend about it. He enlightened me that perhaps this may be a child. I thought about it and decided it may very well be.

I have never seen my spirit. I honestly don't know how I'd react. But odd noises in the late hours have certainly occurred.

Has this every happened to you? Do spirits haunt your house or condo? I'd LOVE to know. This subject had always fascinated me. Does it fascinate you too? Food for thought over the weekend. LOL.

WEll all, that's it for today. Thanks again for your endless support and kindness. It is greatly appreciated!



  1. A ghost on a timetable.
    That is really freaky. Keep track of the occurrences. Might be a story in there.
    Glad you got your query ready again and boldly rewrote the first page. I bet when you go back and read it, it's awesome.
    Have a good weekend and hope you see some sunshine.

  2. I actually have seen spirits, but none of them have played with me. *pouts* Usually they just stand there and watch, then walk away.

    Actually the book I'm putting up right now is called Spirit, although it doesn't go into the "haunting" aspect.

  3. Hooray for the new first page and I think your ghost sounds mischevious and kinda fun :)

  4. Glad you nailed that query and first page. Strange happenings indeed at your place. As Alex suggests you should write them all down somewhere.

  5. I have never seen spirits on the bottles on the supermarket stores.
    I only drink water by the way,

    Have a good week-end.

  6. Nothing like a "playful spirit" to help you along with those rewrites. Here's to making that ms the very best!

  7. That's it, show 'em who's boss!! :)

    I've never experienced any sort of 'ghostly' occurrences, but I wouldn't rule it out as not being real.

    We live in a very interesting world, for those of us willing to open our eyes :)

    Have a great weekend!

  8. I've told my husband we have a ghost baby in the house. We've lived here seven and a half years and for all that time I have frequently heard a baby crying. Even before we had kids. I'm glad your spirit seems benign.

  9. Michael, that's wonderful you were able to rewrite your query.

    The house I grew up in was haunted. It was an older farm house and something must've happened in the dining room. I'd heard noises in there, knocks on the wall (my bathroom shared a wall), and once I saw someone walk through the room. It had a dark feeling to it, so I'm glad your ghost is playful.

  10. I wrote about a strange, ghostly experience at my mountain house last fall. It also involved pillow cases, believe it or not!

    But another explanation for the presence in your house is that you have someone living there on "the eighth day" -- when you aren't there! LOL! I couldn't resist, since I've just spent the last three months feverishly revising and editing that book and TODAY it was accepted and went into copy-editing. Hurray!

  11. The most hair pulling parts of rewrites: conflicting beta reports. Dealing with that right now. Make it faster; make it about I just make me a drink and think on it?

    Last month my son lost his earphones. We looked everywhere. I gave up, ordered a new pair and then my husband found them in the exact spot my son and I search at least twice each. My hubs says we didn;t look good enough...I blamed a poltergeist. Hey, I've heard that's the exact kind of behavior they think is funny!

  12. Funny how critiques and suggestions get stored in our brains and we process it combined with our thoughts and when we're ready, it just flows out. I hope the reading this morning was as good as the way you felt last night.

    As for spirits? Yes, my family has had incidents and similar to what you mention and some not so *nice*. I have my own thoughts on who and what they are. I don't want one living in my house, thank you.


  13. I've experienced strange things like that since I was a kid. I greatly prefer the moving of items versus insidious mind games or worse. Been there, done that more than once, which was what started me writing about the paranormal.

  14. Ooh I'm so glad you cracked your first page.

    Yes I believe in ghosts, and have lived in haunted houses. :-)

  15. The first house I bought as a single mom was haunted by an older gentlemen who died there. He liked me and my girls. But couldn't stand my boyfriend. I completely understand why.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  16. YAY! for finalizing the first page and query letter. Both are very difficult to nail down, indeed.

    Interesting spirit tale. When I was a teenager, I babysat in a house that was haunted. Strange things would happen. For instance, one time I was making blueberry muffins with the kids. Left the room for a minute with the kids, came back to find all the blueberries out of the mix. Um...apparently the spirit didn't like blueberries. ????

  17. I'm with Alex, there may be a story in there! I'm glad you were able to get your query finished. And a new first page? Wow!

  18. It has happened to me, just not that often. Once upon a time, there were strange noises coming from upstairs like steps when we knew nobody was there. Kind of eerie. Good your ghost is friendly.
    I bet your first page rocks. I have faith in you. :)

  19. It sounds like your ghost is playfully teasing you. Better than the hostile kind!! Best of luck with your query!

  20. At least you have a playful ghost! In the house I grew up in, I saw a little boy and it scared me to death. Years later, I told my mom about it and she described the little boy and said she saw his father with him. Then, my brother said he once heard someone screaming "daddy!" So, clearly, the same father and son stuck around the house!

  21. I love spooky stories especially the ones that seem to be true. At least the spirit seems playful not mean.

  22. Whoa I just typed a long email and I couldn't post your ghost or mine playing tricks?! Let's see if this works....
    I'll be back to comment I wrote you a book, lol

  23. Wow about us both with the hotels and the ghosts!! I am glad yours is playful. What kind of trick could you play on a ghost? I suspect it is a child, also. I have had a few encounters-all playful I was gently pushed at a fort that I heard was haunted. The TV show TAPS went there and there was footage of getting pushed where I was. I have smelled perfume and pipe tobacco at odd times. I yell at my grandmother and dad and say hello.
    Congrats on your new first page! I bet it is amazing~ I agree there might be a book with this ghost. I think there might be with mine ;D
    I'm going back to the hotel next week. Let's keep each other posted about our ghosts ;D Thanks for your wonderful comment! @>----------

  24. Yes! When I was young, the house we grew up in was haunted and things like that would happen to my sister. We'd hear footsteps coming up the stairs and in the hallway upstairs when no one was there, and I remember seeing the ghosts of a man and a boy. They looked like farmers. This all happened upstairs around Halloween time.

    When my mom got very angry with my sister, believing she hid the doorknob to her bedroom so she couldn't go into it, and later it was right in the door, my mom decided to get rid of the ghosts. She went to a fortune teller/witch and she told my mom what to do, which was to go around the house with a bundle of herbs and tell the ghosts to leave. We've had no incidents since then.

    I hope your ghosts remain only playful and not too annoying for you. Writer’s Mark

  25. This has never happened to me but I just love to read about this sort of thing. Fascinating!

    I hope you love your new first page even more when you go back to it. And I hope you are still enjoying some much needed sunshine there. :)

  26. Glad you got it done!

    I'm fairly certain that my house has some other residents. The noises usually happen if it's just me in the house, but I hear heavy footsteps on the staircase, in the hallways, and in the kitchen all the time. I don't think they're mean though :)

  27. Hi Michael .. I'm just glad you've been able to rationalise your spirit ... and realise they're having fun at your expense for a while .. til they find themselves woven into many MdiG stories or tales from walls ..

    Fascinating - and I'm very glad to read it hasn't stopped you sorting out your query and rewriting the first chapter ..

    Also that those dementing storms have disappeared ... today has dawned like a brilliant English summer's day - long may this last!

    Cheers Hilary

  28. You know when you put an item in a specific place, and return a few minutes later to find it missing, yet you know, without a doubt, that you left it there? Well, that's happened to me over the years. Other family members have also experienced similar occurrences. Somebody once said that the object slips into another dimension... whatever that means...?
    I actually think that lots of people have these types of experiences...
    And I'm sure that playful spirits are better than threatening ones!
    Writer In Transit

  29. My wife and I lived in a haunted house. Now I don't usually believe in those things, but "something" was in the air. I wrote about it once. If I find the blog article, I'll send it to you.

  30. ...that first page, first paragraph, first damn stanza is so utterly important, losing sleep over those handful of words is common, if not expected. I'm confident you nailed it.

    Those experiences from that other place...the one hiding just out of eyesight, needs jotted down and saved for future jargon. You just never know when it'll come in handy ;)


  31. I am happy to say that I've never been haunted by any spirits nor do I want to be!

  32. Michael and the friendly ghost. I see another novel coming on my friend. Has all the makings.

    Sadly, no, I've never encountered anything as mysterious as what you're experiencing. Now that I've moved into an 1880's building I'll be on the lookout.

    I read your previous post. I missed it as I've been so busy fixing my google problems. After this week's IWSG post I'll be off and running again with new look posts.

    I hope I didn't put you off too much with my critique of your novel/s. I hope your major tweakery will pay off for you. These days agents/editors are looking for a perfect product, rather unfair when you read about all the help our classic authors had. Except I read recently that Margaret Mitchell (Gone With the Wind) rewrote her first chapter 60 times!! In longhand!! I dips me lid to her.

    I'm sure you'll let us all know when you have some news...good or bad. In time, Michael...


  33. I missed the post you mentioned- sorry about that- glad to hear you found your mojo though!

  34. So you're having a haunting, huh? I could let my ghost hunter buddies check it out for ya, if they can afford to take all there stuff out there.

    I'll try to enjoy the outdoors this weekend, if the heat wave cools down some. :)

  35. The house I live in now seems devoid of ghosts, and I'm just a bit freaked out because all the noises and such must be intruders. I don't live in a great neighborhood.

    My son was away for three weeks and I had to get used to the house noises all over again. Freaky.

    I don't believe or disbelieve in ghosts or spirits. But, I know for sure I've had a few in my houses. Not scary to me, just something to get used to.

    Gotta let them know when the missing objects game is NOT a funny joke though.


  36. I love this. My mom, sister, and I used to hear voices and movement in our attic. The first time, Mom went up to check. No one was there. I've had a couple other experiences. Then a few years ago, in an old Galveston building, something threatening and ominous made my acquaintance. It was male, and totally engulfed me in a transparent cloud of darkness. As soon as I felt it, I left the room, walked downstairs, and left the building. The presence didn't leave me until I had crossed the street. I don't know what it was, but I never want to meet it again.

    I hope when you reread your new first page that it was even better than you thought :)

  37. Mischievous spirits! I'd love to live in such an old building...

  38. Yay for the rewrite! Id love tosee it. I think maybe your ghost could be a gift of inspiration for you.......story material! Christy

  39. Yay for the rewrite! Id love tosee it. I think maybe your ghost could be a gift of inspiration for you.......story material! Christy

  40. I'm a little late to the party, but I have had some experience with ghosts, mostly other people's hauntings (I do clearings for people and places as part of my day job).

    Really neat to see everyone's stories here.