eldritchhobbit: (Default)
Just in case your Monday needs a smile, here's my niece.

eldritchhobbit: (Headstone/wings)
Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.
- Carl Sandburg

When I went to Colonial Williamsburg last month, I stopped by one of the places that over the decades has inspired in me endless fascination, the Historic Jamestowne archaeological site. I took these photos there. I find both of these markers to be both chilling and poignant. This first marker is found in the graveyard at the Jamestown Memorial Church.

This one sits in a very small and sequestered family plot accessible on the Jamestown Island drive. The inscription at the foot of the grave reads as follows: "Here lyeth the body of Edward Travis who departed this life the 12th day of November in the Year of our Lord 1700."

eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/trick or treat)
First, a quick FYI for you H.P. Lovecraft fans. The Lovecraftian Science blog is focusing on the extra spooky stuff this month, with delicious posts such as "The Science of Reanimation, Part I" (yes, more is coming!). Don't miss it.

Now, what could possibly be better than fun at a pumpkin patch in October? Yes, this is gratuitous niece picspam. Have some Kaitlyn goodness.

Three little ghostesses
Sitting on postesses,
Eating buttered toastesses,
Greasing their fistesses,
Up to their wristesses,
Oh, what beastesses,
To make such feastesses!

- Anonymous, quoted in Trick or Treat
by Emily Gwathmey and Suzanne Slesin

eldritchhobbit: (Lovecraftian)
Every year, my parents send their granddog, the fabulous Virginia, a Halloween costume for her to wear (as well as treats to bribe her to model for pictures).

This year, my brilliant parents outdid themselves, creating and accessorizing a most remarkable costume. I invite you to behold Virginia as H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu, first introduced in the short story "The Call of Cthulhu", which was published in Weird Tales in 1928.

Under the ocean, she waits until the stars are right...

Halloween 2015

Halloween 2015

She was well compensated with treats both during and after her photo session. :)

Under this cut are pictures of some of her previous costumes from recent Halloweens. )

As always, you can see many more pictures of Virginia here.
eldritchhobbit: (Doctor Who)
To put a smile in your day (I hope), here's Kaitlyn on her swing.


Under the cut is a photo taken last month of my sweetheart, our four-legged gal, and yours truly. )
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween)
Today I bring you the "Gratuitous Niece Picspam" edition of the Halloween Countdown. I just can't help myself.

Kaitlyn's having a good October. She's been hanging around pumpkin patches and singing, as you can see, to complement her costume as Anna from Frozen.

Kaitlyn Pumpkin Patch Kaitlyn as Anna in Frozen

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."
- Henry David Thoreau

Kaitlyn Pumpkin Patch

"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see."
- Linus, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
eldritchhobbit: (Longmire)
Every year, my parents send their granddog, the fabulous Virginia, a Halloween costume for her to wear (as well as treats to bribe her to model for pictures).

This year, my brilliant parents outdid themselves, sewing and accessorizing a most remarkable costume. I invite you to behold Virginia as one of our favorite contemporary characters, Sheriff Longmire of the award-winning Walt Longmire book series by Craig Johnson and the television show it inspired.

Virginia as Sheriff Longmire

Virginia as Sheriff Longmire

“I don't trust people who don't like animals. Hell, animals are the finest people I know.”
The Dark Horse (Walt Longmire #5) by Craig Johnson

Under this cut are pictures of some of her previous costumes from recent Halloweens. )

As always, you can see many more pictures of Virginia here.
eldritchhobbit: (Hunger Games)
Here's a recap of the links to my London photos I've shared in recent posts:
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
The Whitechapel Ripper Walk
Loncon 3/Worldcon
The Museum of London

The new semester is kicking off, but I wanted to make a quick fly-by post today to say that the latest (October 2014) issue of Reason Magazine is on newsstands now, and it includes my six-page feature "Not Your Parents' Dystopias: Millennial fondness for worlds gone wrong."

From Reason Magazine

When it goes online in the future, I'll post a link.

I'll be catching up on my replies to comments shortly. I hope you have a great day!
eldritchhobbit: (Ripper/suspicion)
I had quite a bit of archive-y, research-y, rambly fun before Worldcon. As for London, beyond the Sherlock Holmes Museum, I managed to drop by the Museum of London (my photos are here) and several Holmesian spots, such as Arthur Conan Doyle's home on Upper Wimpole Street (where he wrote the first five Sherlock Holmes short stories), St. Bart's Hospital (where Holmes and Watson first met and, in the BBC's Sherlock, where Sherlock fell), etc.

Arthur Conan Doyle's home on Upper Wimpole Street in London. He wrote the first five Sherlock Holmes short stories here while practicing as an ophthalmologist. St. Bart's Hospital in London

In one of the most amazing experiences of my trip, I was privileged to get to spend an afternoon one-on-one in Whitechapel with noted Ripperologist Richard Jones. I've annotated my photos to try to explain where we went and why. (Alas, I didn't take photos inside the Royal London Hospital Museum and Archives, which was utterly fascinating.) Even if you're not specifically interested in the subject of Jack the Ripper and the Autumn of Terror, you may find the historical architecture worth a look.

Here is the "virtual tour" of Whitechapel I've constructed with my photos and explanations.

I'll leave you with a teaser: this is the beautiful tile work inside The Ten Bells Pub, which has been standing since 1752 and remains largely unchanged on the inside from its condition in 1888, when it reportedly served at least two victims traditionally attributed to Jack the Ripper, Annie Chapman and Mary Jane Kelly.


I'll be posting very soon about Worldcon/Loncon 3 itself. Thanks for letting me share! :)
eldritchhobbit: (Holmes/Paget)
Quick note, FYI: The latest Humble Bookperk Bundle from HarperCollins, featuring DRM-free, multiformat ebooks available for pay-what-you-want rates, includes works by two of my favorite authors, namely The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold and American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Check it out! (Thanks to Curtis.)

My new semesters begin next week at Lenoir-Rhyne University (where I'll be teaching the "Monsters and Mad Science" seminar for both undergraduate and graduate students) and Mythgard Institute (where I'll be offering the M.A.-level "Science Fiction, Part I: From Modern Beginnings to the Golden Age"), so I'm gearing up for those. In the meantime, I'm also trying to upload, label, and caption my photos from London.

Recreation of the Sitting Room in 221b Baker Street

One of the first things I did in London was make a pilgrimage to the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street. It was amazing. Here are all of my photos from the museum with full descriptions.

The original cane chair used by the artist Sidney Paget for his illustration of Sherlock Holmes in "The Greek Interpreter."

More very soon, I promise! Thanks for letting me share. :)
eldritchhobbit: (HP/Snape/Tori)
This week's StarShipSofa includes the second installment of my three-part "History of the Genre" special about reading Harry Potter in a Native American context. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!
Part 1 is here on Episode 340
Part 2 is here on Episode 345
A complete list of links for my podcasting work to date is available here.

In other news, I have a newsprint manicure and a book, and I took a photo of them. So there.

A good book and a good manicure
eldritchhobbit: (VA/Meet VA)
Our dear Virginia is most patient with me.
(Never fear, she got treats out of the deal!)

There's the lounging glamor shot...

Virginia in May 2014

The outdoorsy art shot...

Virginia in May 2014

The action shot with J.J. Abrams-esque lens flare (let's pretend I meant to do that)...

Virginia in May 2014

And the closeup!

Virginia in May 2014
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/trick or treat)
Every year, my parents send their granddog, the fabulous Virginia, a Halloween costume for her to wear (as well as treats to bribe her to model for pictures). This year, my brilliant mother outdid herself, sewing a most remarkable costume indeed. I invite you to behold Virginia as the Great Detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Her creed is this: Once you have eliminated the inedible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be a treat.

Virginia as The Great Detective, Halloween 2013

Virginia as The Great Detective, Halloween 2013

To see Virginia in Dr. Watson attire, check out this Sherlockian post.

Under this cut are pictures of some of her previous costumes from recent Halloweens. )

As always, you can see many more pictures of Virginia here.

In honor of Virginia's costume, I offer a Halloween-appropriate excerpt from one of my favorite Holmesian stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" (1910):

I had hardly settled in my chair before I was conscious of a thick, musky odour, subtle and nauseous. At the very first whiff of it my brain and my imagination were beyond all control. A thick, black cloud swirled before my eyes, and my mind told me that in this cloud, unseen as yet, but about to spring out upon my appalled senses, lurked all that was vaguely horrible, all that was monstrous and inconceivably wicked in the universe. Vague shapes swirled and swam amid the dark cloud-bank, each a menace and a warning of something coming, the advent of some unspeakable dweller upon the threshold, whose very shadow would blast my soul. A freezing horror took possession of me. I felt that my hair was rising, that my eyes were protruding, that my mouth was opened, and my tongue like leather. The turmoil within my brain was such that something must surely snap. I tried to scream and was vaguely aware of some hoarse croak which was my own voice, but distant and detached from myself. At the same moment, in some effort of escape, I broke through that cloud of despair and had a glimpse of Holmes’s face, white, rigid, and drawn with horror—the very look which I had seen upon the features of the dead.

* Read the complete story of "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot" here.
* Listen to an unabridged audio reading of the story here.
eldritchhobbit: (SF/Exploring space)
Believe it or not, I really am going to catch up on comments shortly. I apologize for falling behind.

For now, here's wee little Kaitlyn and her "Science!" shirt (which some unspeakably geeky relative gave to her). I dare you not to hear Thomas Dolby in your head for at least the next hour.

All together now: "Science!"

Kaitlyn in her "Science!" shirt Kaitlyn in her "Science!" shirt
eldritchhobbit: (Books)
Kaitlyn's books go with her everywhere, even a blustery spring day at the park.

Thatta girl!

Kaitlyn at the Park on a Windy Day Kaitlyn at the Park on a Windy Day
eldritchhobbit: (Tori/winter)
May you and yours enjoy the blessings of the season!

December 2012

Heartfelt gratitude to those of you who have sent snailmail and e-messages my way. And thanks to all of you for the lasting gift of your friendship!
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/trick or treat)
Every year, my parents send their granddog, the fabulous Virginia, a Halloween costume for her to wear (as well as treats to bribe her to model for pictures). This year she is a banana split. That's right: a banana split. *wink*

Virginia Halloween 2012

Under this cut are pictures of some of her previous costumes from recent Halloweens. )

As always, you can see more pictures of Virginia here.

I hope you enjoy the Text of the Day!

"Sonnet 100"
by Fulke Greville, Lord Brooke (1554-1628)

In night when colors all to black are cast,
Distinction lost, or gone down with the light;
The eye a watch to inward senses placed,
Not seeing, yet still having powers of sight,

Gives vain alarums to the inward sense,
Where fear stirred up with witty tyranny,
Confounds all powers, and thorough self-offense,
Doth forge and raise impossibility:

Such as in thick depriving darknesses,
Proper reflections of the error be,
And images of self-confusednesses,
Which hurt imaginations only see;

And from this nothing seen, tells news of devils,
Which but expressions be of inward evils.
eldritchhobbit: (Halloween/Haunted)
And we're off! Tomorrow begins the 2012 Countdown to Halloween. I hope you'll join me every day. If you have friends who might be interested in this countdown, please invite them to join us!

Be sure to check out other blogs that likewise are celebrating Halloween all October long. The wonderful Countdown to Halloween 2012 is a clearinghouse site that links to this and other blogs with similar month-long posts.

Happy early birthday wishes to [livejournal.com profile] fenice_fu, [livejournal.com profile] saladinahmed, [livejournal.com profile] coalitiongirl, [livejournal.com profile] fory_san, [livejournal.com profile] seren_ccd, [livejournal.com profile] boojumlol, [livejournal.com profile] grisemalkin, [livejournal.com profile] shadowkittykat_, [livejournal.com profile] marill_chan, [livejournal.com profile] vulpine137, [livejournal.com profile] witchcat07, [livejournal.com profile] aota, [livejournal.com profile] wallhaditcoming, [livejournal.com profile] bookwoman2009, [livejournal.com profile] jinjifore, [livejournal.com profile] edroxy, [livejournal.com profile] gracious_anne, [livejournal.com profile] lindajsingleton, and [livejournal.com profile] xtrustisyoursx. May all of you enjoy many happy returns of the day and a fabulous year to come!

Now, because this isn't exactly new content, I wanted to post this the day before my proper Halloween Countdown begins. I do hope it helps get you into the mood!

I created the following virtual campus ghost tour for my countdown in 2008. Many of my readers are new, and I hope you will find this to be fun; for those of you who read my post previously, I hope you will enjoy revisiting the spooky haunts of Lenoir-Rhyne University.

Ghost Tour: There is a Halloween tradition at my husband's school, Lenoir-Rhyne University, of a "campus ghost tour" during which the guides share local folklore, campus legends, and creepy stories. Thanks to the generosity of the good people at Lenoir-Rhyne, I now have all of those spooky tales to share with you. I have taken pictures around the campus to illustrate the stories, so that I may lead you through the tour virtually.

Without further ado, I would like to invite you to join me for a virtual "campus ghost tour" of Lenoir-Rhyne.

Ghost Tour Introduction: Most of the buildings on the Lenoir-Rhyne campus have acquired a ghost, gremlin, spirit, or legend that has lingered from year to year. Some of the legends have been exaggerated or miscommunicated through the years. The ghosts and spirits that you’ll learn about now are as official, as documented, as close to recollection as possible. Most of the ghosts that you'll read about have been witnessed either by security officers, students, alumni, or others who visit the university. The older spirits, say from 1979 or before, have been included in the oral history of Lenoir-Rhyne College, Traces, which is available by special permission from the archives in the university library. Throughout the years, several articles in the college paper have accounted for the ghosts in our buildings, and the local newspapers have even run stories about them.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University sign

I'm brave! Take me on the ghost tour! )

Let's conclude with Emily Dickinson:

One need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one's own self encounter
In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror's least.

The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O'erlooking a superior spectre
More near.
eldritchhobbit: (VA/Meet VA)
Thanks to everyone for being so kind about our sweet girl. I'm most grateful for the good wishes you've been sending in her direction.

Here's a quick update. )

I took this picture of her this morning:


Here's another photo from this morning, as she settled in for her customary nap. )

We're very optimistic about how her treatment is going. Thank you again for keeping her in your thoughts!


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