NEW ROOM Winchester Mystery House – A “new” room has been discovered at the Winchester Mystery House, the former Victorian mansion of Sarah Winchester. Heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, a spiritualist told her to keep adding rooms. So the restless spirits of murdered gunshot victims wouldn’t haunt her. After the 1906 earthquake, she boarded up sections of her house, thinking evil spirits were responsible for her being trapped there. The new room, which is an attic space, had been boarded up since she died in 1922. The preservation team found a pump organ, Victorian couch, dress form, sewing machine and paintings.



Here is a re-post of one of my most popular blog entries from last year. I wonder what 2015 will bring? Enjoy! 

BABY NEW YEAR – In the first few days of the New Year, I look back and I look forward. This year marks my second decade living in San Francisco. I remember crossing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time, traveling down Divisidero, where a profusion of electric Muni bus lines crossed overhead. Initially, I was struck by the grit of Ninth and Market. But, over time, I formed a big picture of distinct neighborhoods that are little cities in their own right. If I’ve done anything right, I’ve shown up and worked hard when I got here. If I’ve done anything wrong, I’ve acted hastily without thinking things through first. Here in The City, there is new and old everywhere, just look around as you walk down Market Street. Lots that stood vacant for over a decade, are suddenly springing forth luxury high rise condos, from freshly tilled ground. Or at the corner of 16th Street and Dolores, there sits the Mission, which was an outpost of colonial Spaniards in 1776. The baby New Year holds the promise of arriving as a newborn, in a big wide world to learn about all the wonderful possibilities, fresh and brand-new. I wonder, what new adventure will 2014 bring? I have no idea what the future holds.


The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1)The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR – It takes an author with a great deal of daring to attempt a tale with such an epic scope as this one. In Jean M Auel’s novel, entitled ‘The Clan of the Cave Bear’, she explores the imagined interaction of our Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal ancestors. Based on interviews I have read, she was greatly inspired by research and archaeology, such as the Chauvet cave (see my blog for related posts). If you love high concept or historical fiction, you owe it to yourself to read this book!

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Dawn of ArtDawn of Art by Jean-Marie Chauvet
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

DAWN OF ART – Imagine spelunking in France, stumbling upon a cave filled with wondrous charcoal and ocher paintings, later realizing the environment had remained untouched for 30,000 years! The book, entitled ‘Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave’, includes over 100 pages of stunning photographs of this magnificent art. The writer in me finds imagining the lives of our early human ancestors–their life struggles, obvious spiritually and amazing talents–absolutely enthralling. This discovery led archeologists and historians to reformulate theories of the evolution of human art. At different times, the caves seemed to have been dwelled by humans, as well as cave bears. For a related post, check out ‘The Cave of Forgotten Dreams’, go visit my blog.…

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SUMMER SOLSTICE – Twice per year, the planet literally tilts on its axis, from one extreme to another. Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, important in terms of culture (Saturnalia, Christmas, Hogmanay, New Year’s). But, summer holds a special significance as the longest day of the year. I was born in summer, it’s a season of long lazy days, catching fireflies in a jar and running through sprinklers, under prismatic cascading water droplets. Imagine Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream–in the realm of Fairyland, prancing around the woodland at dusk–under the light of the moon. It’s something I’ve been told more than once about my writing. And, I love hearing it, because that’s what I strive for! I hope to create stories with a sense of magic, as if they were being told around a campfire, on the shortest night of the year. 



The following is a snippet from a longer article on the Huffington Post. I have always found Alig to be a fascinating infamous celebrity. The stuff from which horrific nightmares are made.

’90s New York nightlife icon and Club Kids co-founder Michael Alig is slated to be released from prison on May 5 after serving 17 years for the murder of friend and fellow club kid Andre “Angel” Melendez in 1996.
Alig, whose story was documented in the film “Party Monster,” will reportedly not immediately re-enter the club scene as a way of life. According to Black Book:
His transition to the real world will be eased by a support group who, for the most part, have stuck by him for more than a decade and a half. Michael has never used a computer or cellphone but he has remained keenly aware of the world we live in. There is no chance that he will return to clubs as a way of life, but he will paint and write, and as always, try to impact the way we think.
Alig’s release comes at a interesting time, with a resurgence in New York nightlife occurring following the regulatory and velvet-roped nature of the scene throughout the 2000s.
Alig has also been active on Twitter recently, using the editor of his memoir to communicate his thoughts to the outside world.