Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Screw the Devil

Sunday afternoon, I took a break from working on my latest project—a script for a new Dark Shadows audio drama—to do a little caching. Headed down to the Devil's Tramping Ground, about 45 minutes south of here, with my neighbors Paul and Jamie, looking to pick up geocache #2,000.

The Devil's Tramping Ground is one of those fabled spots where nothing grows, and reportedly, if anything is left there overnight, it will mysteriously disappear. Well, I don't know about that, but after a solid hour of hunting, we were unable to turn up the cache. I suspect the devil stole it—probably disguised as Boy Scouts cleaning up trash in the area. The site itself is fairly unremarkable; if you didn't know it was the Devil's Tramping Ground, you'd mistake it for just another clearing—albeit in this case, a clearing with "Screw the Devil" etched in the ground.

Anyhoo, the afternoon was far from a waste. I picked up #2,000 at a nearby cemetery, so at least it was suitably grim (though the cache is called Scout's Honor—whoa). Have snagged a few caches since, so I'm on the journey to #3,000, which will no doubt be quite some time coming, since I've pretty much gotten all the local caches that don't require a bunch of traveling to get to.

So now, it's back to the script, which is progressing quite well...at least as far as ye humble author is concerned.

How about a little fire, Devil?

Grabbing cache #2,000

The nearby cemetery at Scout's Honor

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sunburn, Spiders, and Savannah

Have returned from a very relaxing trip to Hilton Head, SC, with Mrs Death and some good friends of ours from Chicago. Geocaches aplenty (right about 50, which gives me a total of 1,994), some good food and drink, and a wee bit of red skin. Nothing serious, as that 30-caliber sunscreen is kind of like wrapping one's self in an Egyptian burial shroud. Spent a day in Savannah, GA, in the historical district, which I really loved; always knew Savannah had a long and colorful history, but no idea how rich until we went on one of those touristy but enjoyable and informative trolley tours. Even managed to be productive—got several pages done on my new Dark Shadows script, which is due in the not-too-distant future.

One of the most impressive sights of the trip was the web of a nephila (golden orb) spider, which extended from the top of the second floor of an old house to the ground — about 20 ft. high and 15 ft. wide. The spider itself was almost the size of my hand. At least he was pretty far up there and disinclined to come down and pay me a visit. However, while hunting for a geocache in the woods, I was proceeding along leisurely, keeping my eyes on the ground, and when I looked up, there was a big old nephila spider, about six inches from my face. "Dude!" I cried, and backed up quickly. The spider had a very distinctive "M" on its abdomen, in a nice script font; something I would never have noticed had I not seen it at such uncomfortably close range.

One of the caches I hunted was guarded by an alligator. Fortunately, Mr. Gator contented himself out in the middle of his pond. He was probably quite full from the last cachers he et.

I figured that, after having had several days off from work, it would be smart to ease myself back into the schedule by taking the afternoon off today, but for unknown reasons, this idea didn't seem consistent with the boss's reasoning. Sheesh! Well, it was good while it lasted.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New DARK SHADOWS Dramas Forthcoming

Dark Shadows: Curse of the Pharaoh, the audio drama I wrote for Big Finish Productions, should be hitting the street any day now. It stars original TV-series cast members Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard and Marie Wallace as Egyptologist Gretchen Warwick.

From the Big Finish promo page:

"Marie Wallace is full of enthusiasm for her new character, Gretchen: 'When I received the script, I read it from beginning to end and was so intrigued by the character of Gretchen. She had all the qualities that make a person interesting, compelling, fascinating, and out of the ordinary. Such fun to play! And of course, to then work opposite Nancy Barrett, with whom I hadn’t been on camera for many a year, why, I couldn’t ask for anything more… Until the next script comes along!'"

For more news, including ordering info, about this and several forthcoming Dark Shadows audio dramas, visit the Big Finish news page.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Shapes in the Illusive Night" in INHUMAN #4

I'm thrilled to discover that artist and editor Allen Koszowski is publishing issue #4 of Inhuman magazine, to feature my short story, "Shapes in the Illusive Night." I had written the tale many years ago (2002, if I'm not mistaken), and Allen K. bought it for the magazine, but due to various situations, it looked entirely possible that Inhuman had met its demise. Happily, it has not, and I hope the publication will be back on track for a long, rewarding future. In its short run of three issues, it had become one of my all-time favorite small press endeavors. So good to see new life being breathed into it—and to be a part of the new issue. Check out Allen's Web site for more information and to order the issue: Allen K's Inhuman Magazine

Spent most of this week working on a possible new short story collection. Unfortunately, Mrs Death is not doing well, health-wise, which has been a major source of concern and slowed my work somewhat. But writing-wise, all is in good shape at the moment. Hoping and praying it will work that way for Mrs Death as well.

Monday, September 7, 2009


...mostly in a good way. Lots of activity keeping me busy — most notably, the possibility of a new short story collection and a new Dark Shadows audio drama script. Deadlines, as always, are a bit tight. Keeps me focused, I reckon...

The Labor Day weekend, at least, has been fairly relaxing. On Friday night, next-door neighbors Paul & Jamie and friend David Foxworth went out on an excellent night-caching run to Lake Higgins. Love hitting the trail to find night caches; such unique character and atmosphere. Then, Saturday, Paul accompanied me to Martinsville for a big caching trip. Stayed at my mom's, found caches in Danville, Martinsville, and Eden; hiked, hiked, and hiked; then we did some hiking. Holy cows...the feetses were a little sore. But then today, went with Paul and his lovely wife Jamie to Gibson Park, over near High Point, and hiked...hiked...hiked...and hiked — yes, you guessed it, for a passel of caches. Undertook numerous enjoyable terrain challenges, found some cool loot, and drank a few beers. No complaints about any of that. Not one bit.

The feetses, though, kinda ache.