I had originally considered “The First Hundred Years,” a pre-Romero zombie tale based on a Jamaican legend and originally published in my second prose collection, DARKER LOVES:  TALES OF MYSTERY AND REGRET.  But, as I thought further, I asked myself if a tropical setting would really be best for a story specifically read in October to help build a mood for the StrangeMissDRegionsupcoming Halloween season.  Instead, thought I, how about New York state in the Taconic Mountains, perhaps in Colonial times, in a town that’s not found on any maps and with — dare one suggest it — perhaps a Lovecraftian atmosphere to it?  And thus the story I finally chose for this month’s “First Sundays Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf August 14, 3, et al.) was “The Calm,” originally published in NEW MYTHOS LEGENDS in 1999 and later reprinted in my first prose collection, STRANGE MISTRESSES:  TALES OF WONDER AND ROMANCE.

First Sundays Prose is a monthly feature sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and host venue Boxcar Books and includes three featured readers for about fifteen minutes each, followed by a chance for audience members to read.  In fact this was the second time I was a featured reader, the first being at the second “First Sundays” ever in February last year (cf. February 4 2013) where I read THE TEARS OF ISIS’s “River Red” (first published in the 2009 Canadian anthology ESCAPE CLAUSE).  This month the other readers were Michael Manis, a visiting lecturer at Indiana University where he teaches creative writing and composition, with excerpts from a novel he’s currently working on set in 1870s Kansas, and Bloomington poet, prose writer, Writers Guild founding member, and chairperson emerita Patsy Rahn who read a scene from what will be a radio drama series based on the legend of Psyche and Eros.

More on the Writers Guild, including upcoming scheduled activities, can be found here.

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