Sunday, September 27, 2015

Orbs or Not?

Happy Halloween

I seldom weigh in on the paranormal world controversies, but once in a while I decide maybe I will. What usually moves me is something that actually happens to me. Aunt Belle and I just shrug off comments from naysayers when we experience the paranormal and there's no one around to witness it. This happens to her and me both. Sometimes we're together and can "witness" for each other; sometimes we are solitary, like when I saw the naked ghost of Patrick at the Baker Hotel.
We are somewhat lucky, though, when we have a photo. The one I took last week shows what appears to be orbs. Are they? This is one photo that I'm on the fence about, sort of the way I'm on the fence as to orbs. However, I do lean towards rare orbs being actual ghosts or spirits, depending.
When Aunt Belle first dragged me ghost hunting twenty-five-plus years ago, most of our pictures were memorials of our visits somewhere. Once in a while we did capture something paranormal, and it usually shocked us at first, then we would feel really cool about the picture. Recently, when it seems half the population on earth is calling themselves ghost hunters, photos started appearing claiming they were of something paranormal. At first, I was one of those people who jumped up and down and screamed, "Look, I got orbs!" Then I started realizing the orbs were usually in a place I'd walked through and stirred up dust. Oops, all those little circles looked different after that.
Orbs are those little round circles you see in some photographs. Most of them are very light gray or white and you can see through them. Others are really dense and vary from white to dark gray. Once in a while a colored orb shows up. Some claim they see faces in these orbs and that makes them paranormal. Others debunk all orbs as dust particles.
I'll have to say that 99.9% of the orbs I see in photos are dust particles. I'm rather on the side of taking two photos in exactly the same place when I see something on that little digital screen. However, if it's dust, you can be sure that by the time you click that shutter a second time, the dust that reflected off your flash has gone elsewhere on the breeze. Even if you're in a closed up room, the movement of you walking will stir up dust and a tiny breeze to carry it.
Another thing that leans me toward believing some few orbs are truly ghosts or spirits is seeing them with my naked eye and then capturing them in a photograph. In the paranormal side of my life, I've seen thousands, maybe a million, so-called orbs that are dust. I've actually seen two or three dozen with my naked eye that there were no other explanation for than something paranormal. A ghost or spirit? I won't go that far because I'm not sure.
Billy and Lucy York and I saw a pretty blue orb out at Goshen Cemetery once. It danced up and down a pine tree for a long while. We were using 35mm cameras at the time, and neither of us had any film left. But we watched that little sucker for a long time, and since we were out in the middle of farm land, with very few houses around and none near us, there wasn't any way it could have been someone fooling us.
With the blue orb, I didn't feel any paranormal energy. However, another time I did, again at Goshen, and I looked all around me. Finally I was drawn to look down. I was standing right in front of a large yellow ball of light. It was at the toes of my shoes and was probably 18 inches across. It only lasted about five more seconds after I saw it. I was so awed, I forgot to take a picture, but as soon as it disappeared, I remembered my camera. No, it didn't show up in the picture, but it was there.
Kelly French-Kissing a Ghost
Last week, we were in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at a biker rally. Late Thursday night, we were at a bar where my daughter-in-law's cousin, Samantha Fish, was singing blues. (If you ever get a chance to see and hear the Samantha Fish Band, do go. She and the band are great!) I took pictures, and this one is me, my husband Barney, my son Kelly, and my son Joe. Kelly says he was french kissing a ghost in this picture <grin>. Anyway, I took lots of pictures that night, and this is the only one that showed orbs. I'm leaning toward it being paranormal for a couple reasons.
One, no orbs showed up in any other photos, so if there was a bunch of dust around, you would think it would photograph at least another time or two. Two, it's the feeling I got when I saw this photo. When I have feelings like that, it's usually paranormal.
So that's my feelings about orbs. Are they real? Once in a while.
What's going on with Silent Prey? It's still being read by one of my friends. When I get it back, I'll do an edit myself and send it to another friend. When will it be up? Sometime in October, I'm sure. You can count on one thing: it won't be for sale until I believe it's a wonderful book for my readers. That's a promise.
The photo above, as I said, was taken at the bike rally. Yeah, I'm an ex-biker babe, but we gave up motorcycles long ago. My son Joe, in the red shirt, and daughter-in-law, Lisa (taking the picture) ride a Harley. My grandsons Ransom and Bryan also ride bikes. Joe and Lisa rode their Harley to Arkansas, and I drove with my son and husband. Still, I got in a bike ride, and this is one of the rare pictures you will see of my when I'm just chilling.
Bike Riding in Fayetteville
OK, so the bike was bolted to the floor. The engine was on, and I got to shift and rrrrrrrrrrrr!
Just a few more days before the Veil starts thinning! You can bet the ghosts are saving energy to enjoy their month of easy communication. Get ready!
T. M.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sammi's Ghost

Sammi and Aunt Belle
I missed last week. I'll tell you why in the second part, where I report on my writing.
It hasn't changed since last week. I think my ghosts are laying low, resting for when the Veil starts thinning next month. That's when they can communicate more easily. Even cause mischief, but they're well aware of where the line is between teasing and irritation in my house; what will draw a laugh and what will get them disciplined if they cross it. 
Well, to be honest, Howard never seems to be inactive. Yesterday I was working in my office and he walked across the porch, in front of my window, several times. Once my little dog barked, which usually means there's someone at the front door and I haven't heard the doorbell. Since I'd just seen someone pass my window, I got up to check. Nope. I heard Howard chuckling. He loves to make me get up and look for him, especially since it verifies I've actually seen him.
If my activity slows down, though, I can usually count on Aunt Belle for a subject for the blog. When we talked a few days ago, she told me another tale about her daughter Sammi's ghost. That guy is the one I told y'all about a few blogs ago, who "lives" with Aunt Belle's daughter in the mobile home next door. It was also after Aunt Belle had told Sammi about Harold, the ghost she encountered when she went over to feed Sammi's animals.
"Sammi's ghost scared her the other day," Aunt Belle said to me in our phone conversation.
"Tell! Tell!" I said. "What did he do?"
Now, we aren't unsympathetic when a ghost scares someone. In fact, we march in and discipline the ghost, which Aunt Belle will do if Sammi can't handle things herself. We just like scary stories, so that's why I was excited to hear about this.
"When I told her about Harold, Sammi nodded and said, 'That's who it is, then.' She had thought that tall ghost she saw at the foot of her bed was her husband, Joey's, dad. This tall guy, Harold, also loves to play with the cats. They played back with him, and they ran through the house."
Since Sammi is quite the animal lover, she always has dogs or cats around. Recently, she brought a litter of kitten inside, since she was worried something would happen to them. The kittens are old enough to run around now, so Harold has lots of playmates.
"Sammi was in her bedroom and one of her cats came in and dove under the bed," Aunt Belle said. "Then something kept bumping against her bedroom door, really hard, making a loud noise. It kept  up so long, it really scared Sammi, because there was absolutely no one standing at that door to make that noise."
"Cool," I said with a laugh. "But not for Sammi, huh?"
"No, not for her. She said she tried to get the cat out from under the bed, and it wouldn't come at all. So even though she was scared, she got mad. She stood up and told Harold: 'Look, you can stay here if you behave yourself. But what you're doing is scaring me! So knock it off and don't do it again! Otherwise, you're out of here.'"
"Did it work?" I asked.
"Far as I know," Aunt Belle said. "Harold's behaved himself. I'm sure he knows we can banish him if he doesn't."
"What about Arthur?" I asked.
"I haven't seen him for a while. But that happens with him. He disappears for so long, I forget about him. Then he shows up again. He'll be back."
And he will. Even when we cross ghosts we encounter into the Light, they come back and visit us.
As to the writing, here's a sneak peak at a draft of the Silent Prey cover. Angela's got a really cool start on it, but she's looking for some sort of tree. Don't ask me. She knows what she wants and she won't finish the cover until she has it exactly right in her own mind. I'm a fumble-thinker (just made up that word, since I can do that as a writer) when it comes to designing something like that. I can write all day about it, but not envision things like she can.
Silent Prey Draft Cover
But I've begun calling this my Book from Hell. The thing is, I started it a couple years ago, got about a third of the way through, then set it aside for a while. There was a new Dead Man Mystery (Dead Man Ohio)

intruding on writing Silent Prey. So I wrote it and another set of diaries, plus my annual Halloween story. Then I got back to Silent Prey. I don't know how many of you are also writers, but we are a weird bunch. I had a horrible time returning to this book, but I love the story. However, the edits are a drain. I'm finding things that are inconsistent and places the writing could be lots stronger. So instead of glossing it over and publishing it, I kept it here in my hot little fingers.
Thus far, Angela has read it and offered some really constructive advice. I've done my edit on her critique and am getting the book ready for two more readers before I put it up for sale. I'm picky, picky. I want my books to be a fantastic read for y'all, and I won't publish them until I'm satisfied I've met that goal. Soon, though, soon.
And that's my excuse for missing last week, the edits on the Book from Hell. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Aunt Belle and I are sneaking away to an undisclosed site in November. Once or twice a year, I drag her off so we can do like we did in the "old days," just her and me and the ghosts. I'll need a rest after the Spirit Fest! See y'all there!

Are you getting excited about Halloween yet? I am! Hopefully, my ghosts will pull some antics for me to write about in here. They love prowling during the thin Veil!
T. M.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Dead" Quiet

One of these days I'll sit down and see how many "nothing much happened" posts I have in a year. This is another one of those, although as usual, I'll qualify that. A day hardly ever goes by here in my house without me glimpsing an apparition. A lot of times it's just Howard; other times, I'm not sure who I see. So if ghosts scare you, you wouldn't want to spend much time here in my home.
Even more frequent than the glimpses are when I feel paranormal energy. It's usually pretty strong, if I pay attention to it. Otherwise, I slough it off as part of the normal daily activities here. Right now, my office ghost, Martha, is standing on my right side. I can feel some of her energy, and it's a few degrees colder than my left side from my shoulder down my leg. I'm fairly certain it's Martha, anyway. Sometimes Angela's ghost, Alan, comes over to see what I'm up to. He visits on Saturday a lot, since that's usually the day I'm writing my blog, even though I don't always get it up before Sunday. So it could be him; I haven't tuned into whomever it is to identify my observer.
Dancer September 2015
We have a new little rescue dog, Dancer. She's a yorkie/schnauzer/dachshund mix, a little over two years old. When she came to live with us, she wasn't used to ghosts or spirits. I noticed her staring at various places in the house where I knew some of my residents hung out, an expression on her little face that showed both puzzlement and a hint if fear. Since I've been so darned busy writing, my house is long overdue for a cleansing.
One weekend Dancer got really ill. I took her to my vet, Rachel, who didn't find anything seriously wrong. Rachel did give her some pain medicine, since poor Dancer had made the mistake of getting too close to Tuffy a few days earlier, when Tuffy was eating. My son's lab-mix Tuffy is one of those dogs who doesn't like another dog close to his food. He snapped at poor Dancer. She had a bloody ear, and Rachel thought maybe there was some bruising from that encounter. She also gave Dancer a shot for a gastro-intestinal disturbance, because Dancer was hardly eating.
I didn't want to take any chances, so when I brought her home, I tied one of my protection packets on Dancer's collar. She was completely herself by the next morning, except I continued her pain meds for a few days, as well as putting antibiotic salve on her little ear. She seems fine now, and when I do see her look at what might be one of the paranormal boarders, it's just a cursory glance.
So was it the medicine or the protection packet? As I've said before, I don't even attempt to explain the paranormal. It's unexplainable. So whichever it was, I'm glad my little girl is back up to snuff.
Huh. Now someone is on my left side. I'm fairly certain that's Alan. That's where he usually stands, while Martha prefers my right side. Although Angela and Alan live at least a half-mile away, Alan's such a strong ghost that I swear he can zone in on what I'm doing over here, even at that distance. (Well, Angela lives there, and Alan abides with her.)
So that's just an overview of some of the things that go on in the Simmons household even in the "dead" quiet times.
I typed THE END on Silent Prey this week! Yippee and a Texas-size EEEHAW! But my readers and I will be putting in a lot of editing time before the book is ready for me to ask someone to pay actual money for it. I want it to be a fantastic read for y'all, and I'm lucky enough to have people I can count upon to help me made that happen. Soon, though, soon.
My cover goddess Angela had a nasty computer crash! She's fairly certain she saved nearly everything from the cover shoot, though. However, she's as picky about her covers as I am my books, so she's only slowly revealing her preliminary work to us through her Facebook page. She told me yesterday she had an epiphany about what she wanted, so that's the only reason we have a glimpse at this point.
I'm also toying with the Halloween story. I know my general premise, and I'm about ready to start writing. That's always the fun part! So in amidst all the editing work and the final Beckham Spirit Fest 2015 plans, I'll be enjoying part of every day, also.
Halloween's almost here, too! The veil is going to start thinning soon. Stay safe!
T. M.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Alan the Anguished Ghost

Alan Reading Over My Shoulder

First, a follow up from last week's blog about Aunt Belle's Harold ghost. A reader asked me how Aunt Belle's daughter, Sammi, reacted when she found out about the new ghost in her house. Actually, Aunt Belle said, she took it well and thoughtfully.
"I've seen this man," Sammi said. "I only saw him as a shadow, though, and from the shape, I thought it was Joey's father." Joey is Sammi's husband, and his father passed away a year or so ago. "He's tall and slender, right?"
"Yes," Aunt Belle told her. "But it's not Joey's dad. It's this Harold guy."
"I've seen him a lot," Sammi replied. "All over our mobile home. Huh."
Aunt Belle also said that Sammi is fine with us coming over to her home to see if we can contact Arthur Morgan, in order not to disturb Aunt Belle's husband. So we're hoping to get that set up one day soon.
Now, as to the subject ghost in today's blog. Readers who have been following me for the past few years will recognize Alan, the ghost who "lives" with my cover goddess and friend, Angela Rogers. Alan is a very strong ghost, and he makes no bones about his feelings sometimes. He also needs a dose of discipline now and then, but this isn't about one of those times.
Recently, I was reading one of the chapters for my current work in progress, Silent Prey. It happened to be a chapter where the characters were discussing an earlier incident involving "Allen." Although we were at my house, I immediately felt Angela's Alan crawling all over me with his energy. She and I looked at each other and laughed, then explained to our friend Amanda what was going on.
"He's all excited, jumping up and down," Angela said. "He's saying, 'I'm in her book! I'm in her book!'" It didn't seem to matter that the names were spelled differently. It was an Alan as far as Angela's Alan was concerned.
Later, Angela took the earlier chapters of Silent Prey with her on vacation, to read and give me some feedback. She was still reading when she got home, and when we talked, she was again laughing about Alan.
"I got to the point where the monster attacks, and Alan was reading over my shoulder. All of a sudden, he started yelling in a really anguished tone, 'I got disemboweled! I got disemboweled!' He's still upset about that."
I laughed with her. Sorry, Alan, you'll just have to get over it. I'm not changing my story because of you. But I'm glad you got such a nice visual from what you read. J
Anyway, there you have a teaser of what's going to happen in the book.
Silent Prey will be heading out for editing feedback this coming week! As soon as Angela is ready, we'll show you the cover. It will probably be sometime in mid-September before the book is up for sale.
I've also started my Halloween story, so hopefully, I'll have it ready in October. Then? Well, then another Ghost Hunting Diary and Dead Man Mystery.
Halloween's on its way! And so is our Beckham Spirit Fest for 2015 on October 3 in Mineola, TX. Check out who to contact for tickets at:! And our Facebook events page at:
See y'all next week, if the creek don't rise.
T. M.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Aunt Belle's Silly Harold Ghost

Yep, I know I'm on the verge of breaking my vow of putting up a blog each week the rest of the year. But Aunt Belle was here! So I have a valid excuse. We spent one day checking out estate and garage sales and another day at my grandson's birthday celebration.

Me, Ransom, Aunt Belle
(No idea why I'm bending over!
Guess I was laughing at the Scantily-Clad
Photographer at Redneck Heaven.)

In addition to a couple things that happened to us, she also told me some ghosts stories for your enjoyment. You only get the one this week, and it's about Harold, who she's sure tried to fool her about his name. It happened in her daughter Sammi's mobile home, which is next door to her.

Sammi and Aunt Belle
(Don't we choose good meeting places?)

Here it is in (sort of) Aunt Belle's own words:
Sammi and I take turns leaving for more than a few hours, since we have to take care of my husband and her daddy, Terry. It was my RayeLynn's birthday (my great-great-granddaughter and Sammi's granddaughter), and Sammi left to visit Terrell and go to the party. She would stay overnight, so I took care of her pets. I brought her little dog over to my place, but went over to hers when it was time to feed her cats.
Oh, does Sammi have ghosts there! She's told me about things being moved around a lot. Sometimes they reappear, sometimes they don't. One morning, she woke up and found a can of sloppy joe mix on the washing machine. She asked her husband, Joey, why he took that can out of the pantry and put it there. Joey swore it hadn't been him. Now, a can like that is fairly heavy, so it takes a ghost with some abilities to move it.
Anyway, I haven't even told Sammi about the ghost I saw yet. I went over the next morning after she left to feed the cats. And there was a man sitting on her couch! Joey had, of course, gone with Sammi, so there wasn't supposed to be anyone home. The man was a full-bodied apparition, wearing jeans and a plaid shirt like my daddy used to wear. Despite the fact he was sitting down, I could tell he was a rather tall man and sort of slender.
"Hello," I said. "I'm Belle."
He said, "Hello. My name is Harold Foster." Then he smirked at me.
I just looked at him, because I didn't believe him. I fed the cats as I was thinking about him, but when I got ready to leave, he was gone. The more I thought about that smirk, the more I realized his name was not Foster. I'm fairly certain his first name is indeed Harold, but I believe his last name is Fisher. I'm going to do some research on him in the book I got from the Chamber lady and see if I can find him listed.

Sadly, I had to take Aunt Belle back to her responsibilities on Sunday, and we again met her daughter Sammi halfway in between the journey. I'm sure they are going to have a good talk on the way back, maybe one that Sammi won't really enjoy. You see, Sammi's just not real comfortable with ghosts, although she does see them. After all, she's her mother's daughter.
Sammi brought her son, David, with her. He was Aunt Belle's first grandson and she always calls him Buckwheat. If I recall, he once had a cowlick like that little guy on television when we were in our younger years. You can't see it now, though.

Aunt Belle, David, Sammi

Are any of my readers of an age to remember who Buckwheat was?
As to the writing, well, I'll just say it. I hate changing computer programs, but it didn't appear Windows was giving us much choice. So I installed Windows 10. Ha! Everyone said it was a good program. I guess it is, but it sure gave me fits until I figured out why it was locking all my documents files! If any of y'all have the same problem, you have to sign in every time as administrator. At least, that's what I've had to do to get them unlocked and be able to save the changes.
Therefore, there wasn't a whole lot of writing done this week, given my wanting to enjoy Aunt Belle's visit. But I figured it out, so I'm back to writing again.
I intend to have Silent Prey finished this week, for sure. If the creek don't rise. (Does anyone remember who said that?)
We're selling tickets still for our Beckham Spirit Fest, which will be Aunt Belle's next trip to visit. I'll also have my friend Dianna Miller and her buddy, Earl, with me then. For the tickets, get 'em while they're hot!
As I leave you, here are a couple more pics of the party.
The Family

The Riders Leaving


See you again soon.
T. M.

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