Dead Club House

Dead Club House
Haunted House in Cambridge

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dredging Trailer is Up

Tuesday I uploaded the Dredging the Choptank book trailer on YouTube.  So far, the video has had 33 views and one comment.  Check it out and look for the head of the woman by Dana's (the guy in the white jacket) head in his close up.

Telling ghost stories in the swamp

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In the midst of life there is death

Sad day today.  My friend Todd's Mom's memorial service was held today.  His Mom Peggy was a very cool woman and her memory will be kept alive through all our memories of her.
Appreciate your parents for timing is fleeting.

Dredging the Choptank website

Background photo of Blackwater Wildlife Refuge (below)
oh, and I bought the domain:
Across the top in green or red font like book cover:  Dredging the Choptank
Buttons underneath – clouds if I can – same font? - with links to home, text, history, contact pages
In text boxes below (same font?):
Chilling and mysterious folklore comes to life in this supernatural thriller about a writer investigating ghost legend in a town in denial.  Stakes are raised when the writer protagonist discovers a Native American burial ground under an Eastern Shore jail and begins hallucinating black shapes and undulating snakes.  This poltergeist fable is based upon the spirit myth of Dorchester County as well as the author’s personal ghost narrative.   Like a parable with a little bit of dangerous truth, except for the final chapter, the stories are true.
There’s a ghost inside all of us, just dying to get out.

Fall 2010 News:
·        Local Authors Reading, Wednesday, September 29, 7pm, Barnes & Noble, Oliver Street
·        Reading, Tuesday, October 12, 5:30pm, Red Canoe Bookstore, Harford Road
·        Upload of the Dredging the Choptank trailer on YouTube, a film by Anthony Scimonelli and featuring Kimberley Lynne, B. Thomas Rinaldi, Dana Whipkey and Dave Kiefaber, September 28

Thumbnail of book cover and link to Amazon

Text page:  Text box over background image
Chapter One, Haunted Hunting

Once, in a place that seems outside time, I wrote a ghost walking tour for a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As I collected local folklore, a Cambridge resident named Mr. Travis told me this ghost story that happened in his hunting lodge. Hunting’s popular on the Eastern Shore; it’s rural enough for its populace to still use weapons to catch dinner.
“It wasn’t much,” Travis said of the lodge. “Just a couple of bedrooms and a kitchen and a bathroom. Up on stilts because of all the flooding.” The house stood on its stilts on isolated Aisquith Island in the haunted, southern underbelly of Dorchester County. Aisquith hovers only a few feet above sea level, floating between miles of wet fen and the Honga River. Before the lodge was built, its low woodlands were the sacred ground of a Native American Indian graveyard. Before John Smith showed up in 1608, indigenous people had developed a millennia of civilization, and, in the history of this country, live conquering people plow dead people under.
Travis says he regularly hears children laughing when there’s nothing but cattails and marsh holes for miles, and every time he returns to the lodge, the salt shaker has inexplicably spilled over. Things happen there.
One of Travis’ friends stayed with his young son in the lodge. The son got up in the middle of night to get a glass of water in the kitchen. The mattress spring squeaked, and an owl hooted outside. In the living room, a strange man rocked in the rocker. He wore a plaid shirt and blue jeans and had a black plait of braided hair. He was strange only because the boy didn’t know him. He thought perhaps the man was one of his father’s hunting buddies; the ways of the adult world were still a mystery to the boy.
“Hello,” said the boy. The rocker creaked. The man seemed to have shape and weight, like a living man.
The man nodded, and when the boy returned from the kitchen, the man was gone.
The boy tapped his sleeping father. “Where did the man go, Dad?” He asked. “The man in the living room. He looked so real.”
They searched the lodge house and found no one. They looked outside into the wavering, dark pitch of the Eastern Shore night. One lone green ball of light glided over the undulating marsh grass and then vanished. The son asked to leave.

There’s no sanctuary from the past; not even our living rooms are safe. I’m scared to look into my Baltimore living room late at night for fear of seeing even briefly into another dimension. My friend Korinne once slept on my couch and awoke to see a man seated in my arts and craft era sliding rocker.
“Didn’t that freak you out?” I asked the next morning, aghast.
“No,” she said, smiling and sipping coffee. “He seemed very happy to be here.”
“What’d he look like?” I stuttered.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she said calmly. “Older guy, white, I think he was wearing a dinner jacket.”
I realized that my ghost stories and Travis’ ghost stories match the collective archetype, that they’re not singular but fall into the same pattern as the rest of humanity.
Korinne was born in Detroit and lives in New Hampshire. She has the long blonde hair of a mermaid and the terrible gift of prescience. She says that something big is going to happen to me, but something happens to everyone.

An audio posting of me reading a different chapter (which one?) – if I can record that in time
Image on top of gravestone in Christ Church graveyard?

History Page: 
Text box over background:
From Chapter Six of Dredging the Choptank:
I asked my friend Terri the difference between a historian and a folklorist. She put down the newspaper she was reading and said, “A tie.” She’s from Brooklyn, and she speaks her mind. Even when she’s sleepy, she has fire in her eyes.

Text box over background:
Author Kimberley Lynne has been writing since she was nine.  “I began writing to figure out reality and I’m still trying to parse that out,” says Lynne.
Lynne is a graduate of Loyola University with a B.A. in English/Fine Arts.  She is currently enrolled in University of Baltimore’s M.F.A. Creative Writing and Publication Design program.  Thirty-five productions of her plays have been produced in Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York and Minneapolis.  Lynne is a member of Actors’ Equity and the Dramatist Guild.
In spring 2003, the Dorchester Arts Council commissioned Lynne to write a ghost walking tour of High Street in Cambridge, Maryland.  (That ghost tour is still operating out of the DAC.)  From the collection of all that folklore, Lynne developed her first novel, Dredging the Choptank, the story of a writer who is swept away by a river spirit. 
Loyola University’s publishing house, Apprentice House, published Dredging the Choptank in May 2010.  Lynne hopes one day to be sold in her alma mater’s bookstore.

Contact page: need text box?  Image of Blackwater?
Image of me reading over background image
Links to:
YouTube and trailer

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Wood Nymph

I wrote a ghost novel called Dredging the Choptank, a combination of Dorchester County folklore mixed with my personal spectral experience and my friends’ personal phantom experience.
This past May, my videographer Anthony, three actors, my buddy Raine and I traveled east to the Green Briar Swamp by Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in the belly of Dorchester County to film the book’s trailer.  The Native American Indians call the Green Briar Swamp a thin place or an area where the curtain between us and the spiritual world is flimsy.  Dogs don’t go in there.  People disappear there, their footprints just stop.  Much of the county’s ghost folklore stems from that tangled web of briar and marsh.  Anthony first thought that we could film anywhere but I insisted that we film somewhere in Dorchester where the water table rises up to your ankles.  That water soaks the stories of the county and its energy is palpable.  We drove past Cambridge and off a country road onto a weeded track leading through the woods.  The world fell away and flocks of dragonflies and mosquitoes followed us.  We stopped by an emerald green pond. When Anthony did the sound check, the wind ruffled my skirts.  The sense of being watched was so intense that we finished filming in less than two hours.  Hornets circled us.  Poison ivy grew hip high.  Quicksand pockets bubbled.  Something wiggled in the murk of the pond water. 
Anthony got good footage, including some shots of the forest floor.  In the video, something in the wind moves the vegetation and makes it seem alive.  Branches and marsh grass seem to reach for me.  After viewing the first cut, Raine suggested that Anthony layer some footage over a section where her husband Dana was pretending to be dead with fake blood dripping out of his mouth.  So Anthony layered the forest floor footage over Dana and something amazing happened.  In that second version not only was Dana mottled with the floor texture but a tiny perfectly beautiful head of what seems to be a woman floated right next to his right ear.  She seems to be listening with her pixie head tipped.  She looks porcelain.  She looks like a doll.  When I first saw her, I freaked out and didn’t want to use my home pc for a while.  I didn’t want to watch the trailer again but I showed it to Raine, Dana and Dave.  I told Anthony.  He’s surprised as I am.
I’m loading the trailer onto YouTube this week.  Look in the video for the wood creature who is grinning at Dana.   My friend Korinne thinks that the nymph is looking at him and thinking:  yum, food.
I took this photograph of Dana right before Anthony filmed him.
When the trailer is uploaded, I'll add a link.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shadows on a Cave Wall

Years ago, I stood on a balcony around midnight at the Ritz Carlton Dana Point, facing the Pacific.  To my right, north, beyond the end of the hotel building, a grassy slope rose up from a cliff above a skinny inlet.  On a lawn across the thin squiggle of bay was a tent:  big, white, billowing, for a party or a wedding maybe.  The wind blew and the staked lines flapped.  When I had walked out onto the balcony, the tent seemed dark, but as I turned it suddenly was brightly lit from within.  Shadows of figures waltzed inside, weaving, undulating on the walls, fleeting, happy.  I watched them for a while and returned to bed.
I wondered why the women wore full skirts and the men tails.  Maybe it was a costumed event.
The next day I mentioned the party to the hotel’s conference manager and she was confused.  The tent had been erected a day early for a party that was happening that evening.  The tent had been empty the night before.  The tent had no electrical source. 
I could not have seen what I had seen.
The mysterious light inside the tent had an orange sepia tint, very beautiful, far away and pressed right up against my heart all at the same time.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Considering the brand that is me

Website designer Simon Fong has been developing my Kimberley Lynne (KLL) website since December and he should have it up in a few weeks.  Since I don’t need a 2nd general KLL website and my definition as an artist is more diverse than the crazy ghost lady author of my novel Dredging the Choptank (DTC), for the midterm, I’ll create a website specifically for the book, and that site will sustain the ghost blog I described in last week’s homework.
Simon’s design for the KLL website is black background towards bottom and photo of me across top in front of red with navigation buttons halfway between me and the text.  I must ask him what fonts he used but looks like Times Roman.  All the pages match the home page (home, works, about Kim, reviews, contact, shop).  Text frame boxes are oriented to left with book cover icon to right.  Do I match that format?
What is the goal of the DTC site?  Direct people to readings, sell the book, sell the book, and sell the book.  Where should the visitor’s eye go when they enter?  To the book cover icon and link to Amazon?
Home page – Dredging the Choptank title in upper right header
  • Background image of divine proportion spiral?  A waterspout kills the book’s protagonist.  There are national weather sites with tons of free images of tornadoes. 
  • What background color would pop out the book cover best?  Black or red are too much like Simon’s design.  A close up of the Blackwater swamp sky?  The photo below from the back of Blackwater Refuge and a mile from most of the stories?  An extreme close up of a Christ Church graveyard gravestone?   All pages should have the same background.
  • What typography?  Match the Dredging cover?  I must ask publisher Kevin Atticks about the book cover fonts.  What color fonts?  Straw to match the grass in front of the Howard House on the cover?
Description of the book in a text box to the middle left.  Should the box be tawny to match the grass in foreground of the Blackwater shot?
Recent readings in another text box underneath that but offset.
Book cover with link to Amazon to the right, along with link to the YouTube book trailer.

4 Interior pages – navigation buttons across top and always there on every page.  What do the buttons look like?  Cartoon ghost?  Skulls?  Unevenly shaped clouds against the Cambridge sky?  Labels:  home, text, blog, history, contact, shop
Text page:  a chapter of text (Chilled Wind Chapter Three, the reading one) and sound audio of me reading another chapter (maybe The What chapter.)  I can record in the AV media lab or the theater.  I had thought about a separate photo page but I think I’d rather scatter photo images throughout.  On the text page, next to text frame, will be some photo of a Cambridge ghost locale:  the Big Liz bridge, Hannah Madier’s grave in Trappe, the Christ Church graveyard, or Spring Valley.
Ghost Blog page:  The photo of the Howard House from the cover at the top of the blog?  Transfer the test ghost stories from this blog to that?  Cajole friends to write their versions of their DTC book stories?  Is that dicey?  I need to talk to Greg Seagle at Towson about precedence of collecting folklore on blogs.  The ghost tips from my pagan friend Korinne can be blogged because Korinne can blog as well.
History page:  I don’t think my bio should be identical to the text on About Kim page in the KLL website.  Maybe this history is more about the evolution of the book and my resume specifically as a writer?  Place a photo of me at the Red Canoe reading in the middle surrounded by text?  Does the text go in a spiral on this page? 
Contact page:
Followed by a photo of me reading the book? 
Links to:
·         Apprentice house
·         Red canoe
·         UB Barnes and Noble
·         The turning wheel
·         CityLit
·         YouTube and trailer

Across bottom of all pages:  Copyright Kimberley Lynne 2010 All rights reserved

The Rosetta Stone

When I designed props for a production of Waiting for Lefty years ago, I bought a small radio for the character of the newspaper man.  I bought it with my own funds because the show budget was so tight.  I don’t think it worked when I bought it; I think I found it in a Fells Point antique store.  It’s a Philco brand tube radio from the thirties with an oak chest that’s open in the back, a dial with frozen hands, and a curved handle on its top.  It sat for nearly a decade, silent and unplugged in my living room.
Then one night as I wrote upstairs and my housemate Terri knitted on the living room couch, it began to make noises.  Its dial lights didn’t come on but it emitted static that was wet and constant with the drone of many voices underneath, distant, fogged, and urgent. 
Terri called me downstairs.  “Make it stop!”  she squealed.
I stood helpless.  “How the hell am I going to do that?”  I strained, listening, trying to decipher words but the static was too thick and the voices too far.  I needed a Rosetta Stone.  “What do you want me to do?”  I asked it.
“It’s not stopping.  It’s not plugged in!”  Terri was still clutching her knitting needles.
Herb/spice sage, Salvia genus that is part of the mint family, is lit in dried bundles to smudge, cleanse and purify, based on a Native American tradition.  Terri and I burned a sage bundle around the radio and down the stairs to the basement.  By the time we returned from the basement, the static wails had subsided. 
Every once in a while the radio will spurt one short blurt of bubbling static but the voices have not returned.  Good thing.  I need a translator.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Scary Angel

Scary Angel surfaced out of a box of random props during a production of a play of mine called In My Tribe about a murderer who begins stalking a woman by stealing objects from her house. In an early script, the murderer stole a German Santa but we couldn’t find a Germanic Claus for the show. Director Gareth brought in a box of Christmas decorations for the set and buried beneath a wreath was Scary Angel. The actor portraying the protagonist was frightened by Scary Angel, so I changed the text and German Santa became Scary Angel. At the end of the production, Gareth gave the statue to me, and I put her on the radiator by the front door of my house.

Marianne, the actor who played the protagonist in Tribe, moved in with me for a while during her divorce and Scary Angel still unnerved her. That’s why she had named the statue Scary Angel in rehearsal.

For reasons I can’t comprehend, Marianne wanted Scary Angel to face the living room, but every time she pivoted the statue Scary Angel would turn towards the door. We never caught Scary Angel in the act of moving but we weren’t turning her towards the door. One afternoon while I was out, Marianne shifted Scary Angel to face the living room, went upstairs, came back down and Scary Angel was facing the front door. This freaked out Marianne.

“If she wants to protect the house that way,” I said when I got home, “let her.”

Scary Angel still stands guard, facing my front door.

1 online site/project you'd be interested in learning

I want to create a ghost story blog site for my recently-published novel Dredging the Choptank in which the protagonist is overwhelmed by a river spirit. Ghost stories are powerful folklore and America likes being scared. But people are hesitant to admit their spiritual experiences, so I’d like to reward bloggers with some sort of positive reinforcement, encouraging more posting. I’d like to know how to send an email to a blogger automatically when they post a story. Can I capture their email addresses?

I’m not decided what I might send them but here are some ideas:

• A certificate might be lame: congratulations! You are perpetrating folklore!

• I’m going to ask my pagan friend if she can give me tips on dealing with a spectral presence in the house. I know some but I wonder if Korinne could somehow get looped into responding to the bloggers. How could I send some to her email?

• A coupon for a discounted Dredging at the Red Canoe: they sell my book on commission and I can ask Nicole if they’d honor that.

• Some ghost image: I’m considering creating some sort of sketched ghost icon for the blog, a mascot as it were, but that might be too silly. Or I look for an archetypal image that doesn’t have copyright restrictions.

• A clue: maybe bloggers receive an emailed clue to a game or scavenger hunt at some haunted spot. Do I really want to hide stuff in Greenmont Cemetery?

• An improvisation yes/and game: what if one blogger starts the ghost story and others finish it?

Could my ghost story postings have hyperlinks to different endings?

The blog would have links to:

• My website that is in development now (and I should find out how to update it),

• The book trailer that I’m about to upload onto YouTube,

• My publisher Apprentice House,

• Maryland Spiritual Association maybe: I need to talk to their president.

And I need to learn how to decorate the blog with prettier layout and creepier fonts.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Homework due 9/13/10 - one terrib** writer's site

I don't like posting this; I don't like saying that anyone's work is terrible because someone must have expended energy and thought on it.  Still, the site I'm citing is certainly not interesting or compelling.

I found this British writer's site through Playwrights on theWeb, an international database of playwrights. 
Her name is Marion Baraitser and she can be found at

Her website title is a series of descriptives stacked like stones without mortar:  award-winning commissioned published playwright, sans commas and capitalization.  I've been commissioned and I don't include that in the definition of myself.  I usually add that dubious commission honor to individual work. 

Clearly from this blog's lacking decoration, I'm just learning the ways of flash but Ms. Baraitser's site's layout is very dull:  all black and white, one lone typewriter image, no background, no texture, and no subpages.  The information spools down in a long list.  Not even the arrival of a new section merits a bolding. 

The layout is confusing as well; funny how the absence of bullets leaves one feeling adrift.  In the Review section, I assume that all those seemingly random compliments refer back to The Crystal Den production mentioned in the first mention from The Evening Standard but I can't be sure.  In the Awards section, I don't know for what merit she received those accommendations.  I am baffled why she defines her work as Available Work; as opposed to her not available work?  There's a typo and she lists one play twice.  I feel sure that information is missing from the Other Publications section.  Do the British notate magazines differently?

The shame is her mostly historical plays sound worth reading and in 1996 she founded her own press, Loki Books.  She just needs a better web designer or an EPub class.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Homework due 9/13/10 - hypertext narrative

24 hours with someone you know . . . by Philippa J. Burne follows a young protagonist in a search for her cousin in a group house.  Although the hypertext links take the reader and the protagonist to various possibilities of the day, she never finds the cousin.  If you follow the hypertext options all the way to the party, the story ends with morning.  I'm not too sure what the protagonist looks like and I assume her gender from some shopping options.  The house mates are hostilely interchangeable at first meeting and a bit much to track until they spend one-on-one time with the protagonist.  The design is clean and the text is paired with interestingly composed black and white photographs.  I don't know if this is standard format, but the first page has only one plot option.  A walk-through-the-neighborhood page has an intriguing description of dumping ashes by a river but that plot line is not followed.  Several pages return to the same page, in a looping circle of time.
If the goal of hypertext is to demonstrate the fleeting and splintered journey through time, this story does just that.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Homework due 9/13/10 - excellent online literary journal

Online literary journal Eclectica has been posting a wide range of work for fourteen years.  What impressed me the most about this magazine is its variety:  the summer issue boasts a diverse menu of fiction (from novella to short story), poetry, nonfiction, travel writing, reviews, and interviews.  Eclectica doesn't focus exclusively on language either; each issue features a visual artist whose work is paired with posted writing.  Reveiw site Bookfox listed Eclectica as number one in its top twelve online literary journals. Althought the Eclectica editors seem very serious about writing, there are hints of whimsy:  a special poetry feature encourages poets to use four prechosen words in submitted work.  The site design is very clean:  sketched icons like the typewriter above decorate each section page.  The fonts are easy to read but I don't know if I like the header font (very modern with big spacing) right up against the Times Roman list of authors.  I was also confused why the Salon section that was named as "commentary" seemed to be the pairing of a poem with a short story.  The site is easy to navigate, and very specific Writers' Guidelines are posted.  I feel sure that I will submit, although they do not pay and warn that they will edit work.  They also are not "interested in previously published work" and acquire First North American Serial Rights, "non-exclusive use of Electronic Rights, will all rights reverting to the author upon publication."

Homework due 9/13/10 - cool writer's site

Joe's Groovy Work
My playwright buddy Joe Dennison's site is a marketing tool; a visitor can view his work and contact the artist.  Joe describes himself as "a painter trapped in the body of a playwright" and has posted a variety of genre, ranging from his oils to his poetry.  I like the scroll of his artwork on the home page and his floating head.  I particularly like his head when it extends off the edge of the page.  The site is easy to navigate.  Links on the JoePaints page connect viewers to the galleries where he has shown his work and links on the JoePlays page connect to local theatres that have produced his work.  I found his explanation of visual and verbal influences interesting, but I know him.  I enjoy his artwork; it speaks in a swirling way that sometimes is dizzying and sometimes is grounding.  I like that he refuses to name his bastard paintings; they namelessly howl.  I will suggest to him that he should post his play synopses on the JoePlays page.  The JoePhotos page contains photographs of his artwork so maybe that should merge with the JoePaints page.  When I searched in Bing under his name, his site wasn't listed.  Joe is a very funny man; his humor is reflected on his site (especially in the JoePorn page).  That light hearted tone lends the sense that Joe would be (and is) an easy collaborator.