Appearance – Writing about Bumps in the Night and Other Frights

Writing about Bumps in the Night and Other Frights

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at 1:30pm

Gardner Neighborhood Library

137 E Shawnee Street

Gardner, KS 66030

In the spirit of Halloween fun, Kansas authors Lee Killough, Linda Madl, and Sheri L. McGathy discuss their fascination with the supernatural creatures, fantasy beings, and ghosts that inspired their writing. The authors will read from their works and answer questions about their writing and the things that give us all goose bumps.

Lee Killough is published in sci-fi and is known for her supernatural and urban fantasy mysteries. Linda Madl is published in historical romance and short stories, including several ghost stories. Sheri L. McGathy is published mainly in fantasy and has earned several awards for her work.

This and That

What have I been up to lately, you might ask? Or some of you might, that is. Best answer: Just taking a moment to catch my breath and refocus my goals.

It’s been a very busy year or two for me with little time to write. A truth that I hope to change soon. So, your next question might be, just what have I been doing that has postponed my writing? That’s a good question and I’ve really no good answer. Many things are happening in my little world that require my time and attention, leaving me little or no time to write, or maybe the better answer is leaving me too drained to write. But I do see the clouds lifting, by golly there really is sun hiding under there 🙂 Things change, responsibilities shift or fade, stress ebbs and flows depending on the situation and we adjust. Life goes on, as they say…who is THEY anyway? But THEY are right. Hopefully, we come away stronger from the experience.

As for now, I’ve begun plotting an Urban Fantasy Series. Short sets, sort of like the Adventures of… That feels good, just imagining the scenes. I’ve a little research to do before jumping in, but I think I’m ready. And I think I will finally have time to continue on my fantasy novel. Something that I’ve had to set aside, still in sight, but growing dusty from lack of attention. Returning to the WIP will be like revisiting an old and dear friend.

So, there you have it…a little this and that and no real excuses.

Now Doing Freelance Cover Art

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that I’m now doing freelance cover art design. Details and examples to come. If anyone is interested, please drop me a note and we’ll see what we can create!

Sample of an e-book short story cover I created. Book is available here.

‘Tis the Season….

I don’t know why, but as the years flow by I find that this time of year tends to leave me a little blue, this year more than usual. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe because it’s the first Christmas in a long time that the kids won’t be here or maybe it’s the realization that a Norman Rockwell Christmas really doesn’t exist. Or perhaps it’s simply time changes things and the magic I once knew and loved when I was young, has long since faded with my childhood.

When I was young, Christmas was a sort of breathless, tummy hurts with the waiting, eyes wide event. There was a sense of wonder attached to the season that has disappeared. Sometimes I catch glimpses of it through the wonder in my grandchildren’s eyes, but it’s fleeting.

I loved Christmas when I was a child, not just for the presents. Oh they were great, but I also loved the warmth of the season. People treated you differently at Christmas. Kinder. Both Ron and I loved all the bright lights up and down the streets, and the carolers, the Christmas stories told in church though church, the great Christmas specials on TV along with the yearly unveiling of the coveted Christmas LPs dusted off and played on Dad’s console. I can still recall the excitement and fear as we made the yearly trip to visit Santa Claus so we could whisper in his ear what we really, REALLY wanted for Christmas. Santa was the man; he could make it happen as long as he didn’t discover that we weren’t quite as good as we should have been.

Dad always took us to “see the lights,” around the city, usually Christmas Eve, and then it was off to bed because Santa wouldn’t come if we were awake! Voices from the kitchen and the aroma of cooking turkey lulled us to sleep.

Christmas day, up early and a race down the stairs to the living room. And then that pause on the fifth step as we took in the sight. Ron and I would always turn and look at each other with eyes wide and mouths open wider. No words necessary, the amazement on our faces said it all. Toys, toys, toys! All perfectly assembled with big bows – nothing to unwrap, no fuss, no muss. It never failed to amaze us that Santa could some how, some way, get all those toys down the chimney and neatly arranged around the Christmas tree.

We never lingered long in contemplation, though. Usually, it was every man for himself as we raced the rest of the way down the stairs and into that magical toyland! Of course, it was important to pause long enough to check the cookie plate, along with the milk glass, just to be sure it was all real…and wouldn’t you know, Santa had taken the time to eat a few and drink some milk, too. We’d literally laugh out loud when we saw the cookies and milk.


Our stockings usually hung off the stair rails, and normally bulged with oranges, apples, and nuts with a few candy treats hidden in the toes. Before we could really dive into the toys, Mom and Dad would come yawning from their room and then sit and watch us. Sometimes my grandparents would rise early to watch, as well.

I’ll never forget the Christmas Dad bought an aluminum Christmas tree, all silvery and sparkly. It stood in a stand that twirled round and round and played Christmas tunes. Dad also bought a rotating fan-like light that had four colors on the wheel and it changed the tree from red, to blue to green, yellow and back to red as both tree and light spun slowly round and round. I could sit and watch that tree for hours. It was truly magical.

My brother Ron loved Christmas lights. Didn’t matter whether on the tree or hung outside. He loved the lights. He probably managed to find the wonder in those twinkling bulbs until the day he died. I know my Dad loved the lights almost as much. I envied that childlike joy they possessed, and still do.

I do love Christmas lights, though we rarely make the Christmas Eve trek anymore. Fewer and fewer homes have the displays now and somehow the winter wonderland driving parks just don’t hold the same appeal.

When I was young, I especially loved to watch the lights when there was falling snow. You know the type, those big, fat flakes that encase the land in a sort of awed silence. It felt like I’d been transported to another realm and the lights were leading me to a wondrous place. I still feel that when it happens.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Christmas, but it really does tend to leave me a tad blue and more than a bit reflective the older I get. Being responsible for the magic had it’s own burdens, but that mantle has been passed on to my son and his wife. The true magic resides in my grandchildren’s eyes now.

With the passage of time comes change, some good, some bad. Nothing stays the same no matter how much we wish to freeze time. Loved ones leave us even as new loved ones arrive. Life is like that. This year it just feels truly different than all the others, and that is probably why I feel so melancholy.

I have discovered though, that memories are treasures that should be shared even while you’re busy creating new ones, especially Christmas memories …that elusive childhood magic lingers there, whether you are young or old, waiting for you to give it life. They are those Christmas lights in the snow, ready to lead you to your own to wondrous place.

Crosswind Live 1988 DVD Vintage Rock Band

Hi all,

Remaining members of the band known as Crosswind have put together a vintage rock DVD – One More Time Reunion, if you will – with Ron, Max, Jim, Tom and Steve.

The DVD is shipping now, click here.

The net proceeds from the sale of the DVDs will be used to create a memorial to Ron Noe and Max Davidson, Crosswind members who have, sadly, left us.

So, if you loved Crosswind, here’s your chance to revisit the memories.
Details: Crosswind Performance at The Blue River Pub in Manhattan, Kansas, 1988.
Please spread the word.

All About Bumps in the Night and Other Frights

All About Bumps in the Night and Other Frights

Linda Madl, Barbara Baldwin, Lee Killough and Sheri L. McGathy will be presenting the program:

 All About Bumps in the Night and Other Frights

on October 24, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Johnson County Library

Spring Hill Branch

109 S Webster Sttreet

Spring Hill, KS  66083

 They will be reading excerpts from Trespassing Time and Killer Karma as well as discussing theories and ideas that inspired their tales. There will be a question and answer session after the presentation where they will answer questions about their writing and talk more about ghosts.

New Release

Hi all, I just discovered that Wolfsinger Publications latest release, A Time To… Volume 3: The Best of The Lorelei Signal 2008 (Paperback), is out…. and much to my great pleasure and pride, has my story PROMISES in it! Very nice way to start the day!!

Here's the url

A Time To… Volume 3: The Best of The Lorelei Signal 2008 (Paperback):
Despite being the 'fairer' sex, women have long demonstrated that they possess great strength. They instinctively know there is a time for everything and they face it with Strength, Dignity and Determination. Following in the footsteps of our award nominated first volume; this collection will present you with women: Are willing to risk their souls to avenge a wrong done to another Are willing to risk their lives to challenge an unjust social system Are willing to risk their status to save others from walking blindly into danger Are willing to risk everything to save those who would ridicule them These are the stories selected as the Best of The Lorelei Signal 2008. Come in and share in their strengths, triumphs and sorrows. Remember there is always – A Time To…


Twice Upon an Eventide is a Dream Realm Finalist

Hi all, I found out late last night that "Twice Upon an Eventide" is a DRA (Dream Realm) 2008 finalist in the Anthology category.

I'm feeling rather overwhelmed yet very happy! This little duet, which has failed to garner many reviews has been very well received in competition, and for that, I am very thankful.

Anyway, that's the news! Fingers crossed Shannah and I do well in the next stage!


Writing News

I've turned in my Fairy Chapter for the upcoming Paranormal Writing Guide to be published by Dragon Moon Press and received word that WolfSinger Publications will be publishing my short story PROMISES in A TIME TO … Volume 3 – The Best of The Lorelei Signal 2008.

I don't have the release dates yet, but I will post them here as soon as I know!