‘NetNet Mega-Size: news and reviews of new horror books, shorts, movies & TV; true ghost stories; an original song; paranormal nerd appreciation; 19th century ghost nonfiction; bigfoot, an invisible bird, a puppy named Weasley and more.

Okay, Gang. I imagine you’ve all noticed that I haven’t done a #NetNet roundup for a while. I have been grabbing some favorites since the last installment, and I just found a bunch more when I finally got caught up on my blog reading. There’s a lot of good stuff here, so I’ll add minimal commentary and just let you explore at will. If there’s no text link, click the pic to be taken to the post.

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FROM MATTHEW ALAN BENNETT, A GORGEOUSLY BLUESY ORIGINAL: RIVER CITY LIGHTS

You might as well listen while you look over the rest of my offerings. (Just remember to right click the links and open a new tab or window, in case WordPress chooses to ignore my instructions … again.)

Here’s the link to Matthew’s post about the backstory of the song.

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FROM EVA HALLOWEEN – 9 WINTER HORROR TALES TO KEEP YOU WARM

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FROM PATRICK KELLER: 15 REASONS TO BEFRIEND A PARANORMAL NERD TODAY!

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FROM TIM PRASIL: A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF 19TH-CENTURY NON-FICTION ABOUT GHOSTS

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FROM BRITT REINTS: INTERVIEW WITH A “PROFESSIONAL SCARER”

Margee wants to scare the crap out of you. And I don’t mean in that airy-fairy “scare you by pushing you out of your comfort zone” way.

I mean she wants you to scream because you think a zombie clown might be coming after you with a chainsaw.

Figuring out how to scare you is Margee Kerr’s job – she works for Pittsburgh’s notorious ScareHouse – and her passion. She’s researched, experimented, and earned advanced degrees on the subject.

Read the rest here: What Happiness Looks Like: Dr. Margee Kerr, Professional Scarer

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FROM HUNTER SHEA, WHO HAS BEEN A BUSY GUY: 

1) A thought provoking blog: Is Evil Real? An Exorcism In America

2) A new THRILLER novel, out from Pinnacle in paperback: The Montauk Monster

3) News on ANOTHER (horror) novel that will be available April 1st, The Waiting. Apparently this ghost story is based on true events. Here’s an excerpt and here’s a review.

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FROM ACADIA EINSTEIN: REVIEW OF THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND (ON HISTORY CHANNEL)

Acadia’s piece convinced me to give it a shot, and it turns out I really like it. There may be hope for this type of program.

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FROM CONNER THE DOG (COMPANION TO EMILY EINOLANDER): REVIEW OF INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2

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FROM JOSEPH PINTO: PUBLICATION IN MIDNIGHT ECHO, OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE AUSTRALIAN HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION

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Apparently it’s an all-ghost issue … and you all know how I love my ghosts. Here’s the link to his announcement at his blog.

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FROM HALLOWEEN GIRL: A REPORT ON AN APPEARANCE BY BIGFOOT “EXPERT,” RICK DYER & HIS “BIGFOOT CORPSE”

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FROM JONATHAN JANZ, WHO HAS ALSO BEEN A BUSY GUY:

1) Publication in Piercing The Darkness: A Charity Anthology for the Children’s Literacy Initiative (You’ve GOT to see the company he’s keeping these days.)

2)  A post that will make you say awww: Introducing the Sixth Member of Our Family: Weasley the Puppy

3) A new novel – this one a vampire western: Dust Devils

AND FROM ERIN SWEET AL-MEHAIRI – WHO CAN MAKE ME WANT TO READ A BOOK LIKE NO OTHER CAN – A REVIEW OF DUST DEVILS BY JONATHAN JANZ 

UPDATE: SHE FINISHED THE BOOK AND POSTED THE FINAL REVIEW AND AN INTERVIEW WITH JANZ – READ IT HERE 🙂

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FROM NINA D’ARCANGELA: A ROMANTIC STORY – THE BLOODY VALENTINE 

Can you feel it? My heart? It is beating solely for you; so strong – so swift; the rapid pump pulsing ever so swiftly through me.  My body pressed so close to your own; my soft fetid breath scampers across your sweet creamy skin.

Read the rest here: A Heart For Valentine’s Day

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FROM RAY YANEK, WHO GETS TWO SPOTLIGHTS FOR HIS RECENT BLOGS:

1) This one for being both timely and helpful: He’s a Character All Right … or at least I hope so. (It’s a great template for creating characters for fiction.)

2)  This one for just great writing in A Newbie Guide to the Digital Scent of Comic Books

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FROM CHRISTY, AT GHOSTS & GHOULS: ANOTHER GOOD TRUE-GHOST-STORY SUBMISSION

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FROM MICHAEL THOMAS-KNIGHT: THE TOP 5 HORROR MOVIE REMAKES

This is an elegant post, even though my favorite is only an honorable mention.

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OOPS, EVA GETS ANOTHER ONE: 5 GREAT HORROR FILMS BY FEMALE DIRECTORS

Read: Women in Horror: 5 Films to Watch on Netflix Instant

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AKA Monster

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FROM CRACKED.COM: 5 DISTURBING OLD-TIMEY ADS OBVIOUSLY CREATED BY ALIENS

Yes, the topic is a good one, but it was the actual writing that had me in near tears.

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Is the song done playing yet? I’ve saved the videos for last, so I wouldn’t cut that short.

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FROM MICHAEL LAIMO: 3 TEASER TRAILERS FOR HIS CHILLER NETWORK ADAPTATION OF DEEP IN THE DARKNESS

When I read it, back in 2004, Deep in the Darkness was one of the books that made me think, I can do this writing thing. (Wanna-be horror writers should not read Stephen King exclusively.)

See the other two here: Deep in the Darkness Movie Teasers – Coming May 2014

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AND FINALLY, FROM RANDOM VIEWING OF YOUTUBE VIDEOS, THE WORLD’S MOST BRAZENLY HIDDEN BIRD — THE COMMON POTOO

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There is no way I’m going to capture every great thing that happens in my personal web, let alone on the wider internet. The posts I feature here just happened to catch my eye. They resonated with me and whatever is going on in my life right now. And they are worth sharing.

‘NetNet

#NetNet

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wrimoprog 03/08/2014:  2 + 12 = 14/80


Summer drives: Sasquatch, a mysterious military vehicle and traffic jams.

In the vein of yesterday’s odds-n-ends post, I’ve found some tidbits and scraps to share. Weirdly (conveniently) they all have to do with traveling the roads of Minnesota.

MILLE LACS LAKE GIRLS’ WEEKEND:

Back in August, I hopped into the car with a friend, the lovely Caroline Burau, author of Life in the Hotseat: Answering 911 and Sugarfiend. I was actually combining two trips into one – Caroline wanted company as she sought out a childhood memory, and I was expected at my family’s girls’-weekend at the cabin.

On the way from St. Paul to Mille Lacs Lake, Caroline and I chatted, discussed and otherwise became embroiled in catching up with each other. Then – from the corner of my eye – I saw bigfoot lurking at the edge of the woods.

It is a testament to the patience of my friend that she turned the car around.

Imagine her relief when I was able to point out this:

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Of course we were both dressed in shorts and sandals, but we tramped through the field anyway so we could get a better look. I tore my ankle wide open on a tree stump. (‘Tried to snap a picture of the injury, but I missed. YOU try to photograph the back of your ankle with a cell phone.)

Bleeding staunched, we continued toward our destination.

Mille Lacs Lake is nothing compared to Superior, or even Ontario. It’s only 132,516 acres (536 km2), with a maximum depth of 42 feet.

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Still, it’s big enough to freak me out. From certain vantage points, you cannot see the opposite shore at all. And 42 feet seems deep enough to host at least a small lake monster … which kind of turns this lake cam into a monster-watch cam, doesn’t it?

mille lacs lake

click the pic to go to a ‘best of’ Mille Lacs photographic collection

By the way, this is the same lake that made national news in spring of 2013. A rare phenomenon called an Ice Tsunami or Ice Shove was recorded by a woman who emphatically states she grants “no use (of her video) without permission”. (Even though she has not disabled the embed code. Hmm.) Anyway. You can see the video here. (I presume it’s okay to share the link.) Please enjoy the raw Minnesota-ness of the video, and remember we don’t all sound like that.

No. Really. You should watch at least a little of the video – it’s bizarre and awesome all at once. Mute if necessary.

PS: There will be no pictures of anything that took place at official girls’ weekend.  What happens at the cabin, stays at the cabin.

(I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t even mention the Cha Cha Slide.)

HINKLEY FIRE MUSEUM ROADTRIP:

On September 1st, Ogre and I needed a get-away, so we headed for the Fire Museum in Hinkley, MN. On the way up, we stopped at a Lion’s park in one town and A&W in another. Because I am a child.

Once I’d been sufficiently stuffed with pizza burgers, we moved along, taking the back roads, of course. On one otherwise quiet stretch, we passed this:

It just emanated menace and secrecy. The fatigue-clad driver and his cohort were young and stony-faced, with their eyes hidden behind mirrored aviators.

Do you have any idea what this kind of vehicle is used for?

In Hinkley, we were surprised to find that we’d coincidentally chosen to make our visit to the museum on the 119th anniversary of the fire itself.

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On October 4th, I’ll share a video project made from information gathered that day at the museum. It will be the inaugural entry in an experimental new blog feature – The Friday Night Picture Show.

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TRAFFIC:

Just this last weekend, we drove to a wedding on Saturday and a Renaissance Festival on Sunday. Somehow we managed to keep in good spirits through the events, even though traffic in both cases was a bloody nightmare.

Going to the wedding should have been a half-hour drive. Ogre and I left the house at 3:00p, planning to mill about with other guests before the 4:00p ceremony.

We arrived at the country club in time to see a distant white speck on the other side of the expansive grounds, marching down what appeared to be a grassy aisle. We opted not to wait for the next shuttle cart. I kicked off my heels and we trotted over.

Luckily, it’s summer, so I wasn’t wearing stockings. Also luckily, it was the correct bride. (We found out later that there were at least three other weddings going on – all in opposite directions. Did you know that pretty much all brides look alike from a distance?)

After the stress and joy of the wedding, we expected to be very calm about going to the Ren Fest the next day.

In the morning we had a nice pancake breakfast for five. (Ogre, The Dog, The Boy, The Boy’s Buddy, and me.)  We left the apartment with the expectation of an hour’s drive ahead. We knew it would be snug in the little commuter car that Ogre drives – what with a 70+ pound dog AND two 6′ young men in the itty-bitty back seat, but we’re a close family.

The first 30 minutes went fine. Then traffic started to slow. Ninety minutes later, we saw this sign.

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I had ample time to photograph it.

In another 10 minutes, we were parked next to a similar sign (which I didn’t photograph, sadly.) It said,

Renaissance Festival
1 mile

The time was 1:42p when our front fender crossed into the same plane as that sign.

Ogre hit the trip odometer.

Wait for it …

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That’s POINT 1 mile, btw. One TENTH of a mile.

We got through the festival gate a little after 3p. Miraculously we were all still alive and smiling.

I told you we’re a close family.

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In search of the Linwood Woolly Beast: part II

In the wake of this week’s earlier, serious-er post – My obscure cryptid sighting: the goblin / devil / mothman / gargoyle. – I feel the need to be a little irreverant. (It is Friday, after all.) May you spot a fabulous cryptid of your own, if you are so inclined, this weekend.

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Not long ago, Mark Petruska of Mark My Words, blogged about the weird search terms people have used to end up at his place. (Circus Monkey With Guitar was my personal favorite.)

Because I keep a blog about the paranormal, ALL my search engine matches are pretty weird. The most embarrassing search to lead someone to me was “my first time with a prostitute” … but that’s what you get when you blog something titled: I met two prostitutes on my first day of work at the new hotel. (I’m a little surprised I haven’t gotten more strange hits thanks to my post: Sex and zombies. Where is my head these days?)

In truth, I was pretty dejected at the lack of craziness in my stats. When I was looking for search terms that stood out, however, I came across something interesting.

When I was just getting started on The Paranormalist, I  spent a lot of time  browsing the web, looking for potential topics to write about. I waded DEEP into the results Google returned for “Minnesota Paranormal.” Somewhere about the 10th or 11th page of results, I came across a brief reference to a cryptid I’d never heard of; one that supposedly prowled near my town. In a short, throw-away post at my baby-blog, I speculated on the nature of this obscure, absurd beast.

Since then, the following search terms have brought readers to my blog:

  • “linwood wooly beast” = 45 times
  • “linwood wooley beast” = 8 times
  • “linwood woolly beast” = 8 times
  • “woolly beast minnesota” = 3 times
  • “linwood wolly beast” = 3 times
  • “woolly beast linwood” = 2 times
  • “linwood wooly” = 2 times
  • “linwood mn paranormal” = 2 times
  • “lonwood wooley beast” = 2 times
  • “linwood wooley beast.” = 2 times
  • “haunted mn wooly beast” = 1 time
  • “the linwood wooley beast” = 1 time

That’s 79 searches, if you weren’t keeping count, for a creature that I had never heard of, and for which there are *were no real search results available.

*Wait! I just checked again and found the folks over at Camp Crypto have done a piece on The Linwood Wooly Beast since my initial search. How awesome is that?!? I think their theory on the creature’s actual identity is probably correct, but for the purposes of the remainder of this post, I’m going to ignore it. It’s more fun for me that way.

UPDATE 07/26/13: It seems Camp Crypto has gone belly up since I wrote this. A moment of silence, please, for another fallen paranormal blog.

For the record, they believed the beast was a misidentification of an albino deer.

linwood sign

An-y-way, today I went for a ride and took a couple of photographs of the beast’s supposed territory.

linwood roadside

I’m afraid, once again, I failed to obtain any photographic evidence.

Sigh.

By the way, I’m still looking for a special someone to do an “artist’s conception” of the creature.

What we know so far:

  • it is white
  • it is moose-sized
  • it has the head of a goat

Do I have any takers? Now I’ve even provided you with an accurate habitat in which to situate the beast.

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So, what is the best / worst search term that led someone to YOUR blog?

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July 2013 WriMoProg: 64+ 38.5= 102.5/145
[X + Y = Z / total-hours goal, where X = writing/editing time, Y= other writerly tasks.]