A sense of place

The first chapter of my serialized novelA Coven in Essex County, was published last month, and the second chapter was published recently. It’s probably about time I made a post about them.

In the first chapters, I attempted to create a sense of place, to highlight the town and a confined space within it. The Bridgeford Manor is a looming building in Innsmouth’s historic landscape. It was built on a fortune earned through negotiation with beings more ancient than Innsmouth’s occupants.

I don’t think I did a particularly good job. It’s too bad, because some of my favorite books employ well developed domiciles to house their stories. I’ve decided to make a brief list of inspirations:

White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

Set in a bed and breakfast in Dover, White is for Witching is a creepy, erotic, chilling, and strangely comforting story of girls and women making their own places and bodily interactions.

Paradise, Toni Morrison

A New York Times article described Paradise as being about “Worthy Women, Unredeemable Men.” I cannot agree entirely, but this story about women making their own lives after existences defined by men, and the interloping forces of the community that seeks to engulf and control them, paints a varied and complex picture that is defined by and expands well beyond the house it is set in.

The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin is about much more than a childhood home, but some of the lush flashbacks in the novel are set against a richly imagined house that becomes more symbolic than its mythologically inspired decorations as the protagonist ages.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

I’m not linking Jane Eyre, because… it’s Jane freaking Eyre. (And I doubt Bronte’s collecting those royalty checks.) There’s a lot to be said about this classic. Namely by me, on uncomfortable dates, after 2 or more glasses of wine. But one thing that is not talked about enough: the role houses play in the novel, before and after Lowood. Described in no small detail, the buildings where Jane lives with the families she is thrust into play as much a role housing her feelings as her drab wardrobe and quiet mannerisms.

That’s all for now.

J.M.

Announcement

It’s old news at this point, but on June 21st, the emerging literary website Visitant. However, I failed to post it on my author blog, so here it is: The official announcement!

Visitant will be publishing my novel, “A Coven in Essex County”, in serialized monthly installments. You can read the first one here: https://visitantlit.com/2016/06/21/a-coven-in-essex-county-part-1/

I completed this novel last year, and the bulk was written while I was working in a museum in the Rocky Mountains. It’s set in the fictional town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts invented by H.P. Lovecraft. The story’s intro has a pretty good overview, so I won’t rehash that, but I am so excited to share these women’s stories.

As each installment is posted, I will also be sharing a little bit about the research that went into the book, or about the personal experiences that inspired each chapter/woman. Be assured that I have been all of these women, as cheesy as that sounds. The circumstances are often far outside my own (for instance, I have never been married, much less against my will), but their reactions to them, their personalities, often have much in common with myself.

Please, enjoy!

J.M.

New Projects

I am pleased to announce that this month I have launched two new projects! The most relevant one is Architectonic Sketchbook, a blog featuring flash fiction inspired by architecture. Fiction will post every Wednesday (with a little luck), followed by an explanation of where the architectural featured in the post are from a day later. The first post is called ‘Evidence of Fire.’ I will post the fiction below, just to give you a taste of the writing exercises I am doing weekly:Continue reading “New Projects”

On the Ute and NW Shoshone in North West Utah

I wrote this article for the museum currently employing me. It’s about the groups of people moving through and living for part of the year in Park City area before white settlement. It has been published in the Park Record:Continue reading “On the Ute and NW Shoshone in North West Utah”

A Bit of a Gothic Mystery.

I have been in my new home all of 24 days, and have already discovered a mystery that needs uncovering! My little room resides inside of a large, expensive home in a subdivision populated by much the same. Nestled into the valley about four miles from the place I work, there are no streetlights here, and no sidewalks. While this neighborhood is still a city address, the city limits technically stop at a white barn just over two miles away.

The area surrounding my neighborhood is desolate-looking. Not empty, just depopulated. The structures that crop up occasionally from the landscape are always far back from the road, and most often seasonally occupied, or only used once a week, in the case of the places of worship that neighbor each other across the highway.Continue reading “A Bit of a Gothic Mystery.”

End of NaNoWriMo, Start of Something New

Congratulations to those that wrote during NaNoWriMo this year, and kudos to those that won!

This year, I did not beat NaNoWriMo. I did not finish last year, either. However, I did begin and get well into a new novel, which I am utterly smitten with. I feel successful, anyway.Continue reading “End of NaNoWriMo, Start of Something New”

New Month, New Novel

Last year, I published a sneak peak of my novel on my original personal blog, Babe in Armor. To celebrate this year’s NaNoWriMo, I have decided to republish it on this blog. This novel will be completed, just not this month! This year, I go a completely different direction: into the realm of Historical Supernatural Horror.Continue reading “New Month, New Novel”