Pushed By The Wind, Pelted By The Rain (StokerCon 2018)

After having an awesome time at last year’s StokerCon, I decided to jump down the rabbit hole yet again and travel to Providence, Rhode Island for this year’s con. It wasn’t easy; I had to take two flights just to get there, all while hoping to avoid a looming nor’easter that could have left me stranded at an airport. Lady Luck was on my side, however. I arrived in Providence the day before the storm and left the day after it passed through. The storm raged outside throughout the entire con, which admittedly added to the atmosphere of a gathering to celebrate all things horror. I think attendance may have suffered as a result of the terrible weather, but that didn’t stop the rest of us from enjoying what StokerCon had to offer. (more…)

Take A Look, It’s In A Book

I was a bookworm growing up.  I was one of those kids who enjoyed extra books outside of school, and I happily took advantage of classroom libraries during school.  Back in my day, I didn’t have a Nintendo 3DS, a tablet, or a smart phone.  Books were the portable entertainment systems during my childhood.  Sure, I received a Game Boy from Santa one Christmas (I earned it – I didn’t dropkick anyone that year), but that thing went through 4 AA batteries like Homer Simpson on a doughnut binge.  Books were the most reliable and consistent way to spend time engaging your imagination.  I believe they still are, despite the distraction of modern gadgets and some bothersome thing called “the internet.”

I read through so many books as a kid it’s almost impossible for me to put together a comprehensive list of all my childhood books.  There are some titles I know I read but can’t recall anything.  For example, I know I read Welcome to Dead House by R.L. Stine, which is book 1 of the once popular Goosebumps series, but I can’t tell you the basic plot unless I look it up.  I can, however, recall elements from The Haunted Mask, which is book 11 in Goosebumps.  It’s the same thing with other series I enjoyed as a child: Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins (my love of mysteries started early), Choose Your Own Adventure, Amelia Bedelia, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Berenstain Bears, and more.  Some stories I remember clearly, while others vaguely or not at all.  So I wondered: Which books do I remember best from my childhood? And why? After a few days of reflecting upon my early years (minus all the embarrassing moments, like wearing an eye-patch to school for a week after injuring my eye – pirate jokes got old real fast), I created a list of five books that even my faulty memory can’t erase: