The Corpse in the Cask–From the Encyclopedia of Urban Legends

The Corpse in the Cask–From the Encyclopedia of Urban Legends

I find The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand to be captivating and comprehensive. Countless urban legends are meticulously alphabetized by title. I enjoy the atmosphere that many of these tales evoke and wanted to share one with you:

The Corpse in the Cask

In this legend, an English family discovers a barrelful of rum stored in the basement of an old house they recently purchased. Over the course of a year or two they consume the rum in drinks and cooking; then they cut the barrel in half to use it as a planter. Inside they find the body of a man who had been shipped home from the colonies long ago, preserved in spirits.

     Corpses of fallen military officers and other officials were, in fact, sometimes returned to England inside barrels of wine or other spirits. Even Lord Nelson’s body was preserved in a barrel of brandy after he fell at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and in that container was sent back to England for burial. One tradition claims that sailors drilled into the barrel and sipped out some of the brandy with straws, giving rise to the expression “tapping the admiral.” 

     “The Corpse in the Cask” is similar to American legends about bodies found in city water tanks, and it is also reminiscent of various legends about accidental cannibalism. 

 

 

My Favorite Halloween Poems

My Favorite Halloween Poems

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Tee hee hee, it’s only my favorite season of the year! Meh to winter, spring, and summer–autumn is my time.

I delight in the cooling temperatures, pursuing the aisles for everything black and orange. In the wintertime, I like to listen to carols but for Halloween, I love to fall into the rhymes of a spooky verse.

All Souls’ Night, 1917
Hortense King Flexner

You heap the logs and try to fill
The little room with words and cheer,
But silent feet are on the hill,
Across the window veiled eyes peer.
The hosts of lovers, young in death,
Go seeking down the world to-night,
Remembering faces, warmth and breath—
And they shall seek till it is light.
Then let the white-flaked logs burn low,
Lest those who drift before the storm
See gladness on our hearth and know
There is no flame can make them warm.

I love how these verses evoke the somberness of season with a concise eloquence. It doesn’t take several stanzas to build such a mood–it’s present from the first line.

Theme in Yellow
Carl Sandburg

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Who isn’t transported their grandpa’s farm in the heart of October? This poem is rich with imagery.

Dusk in Autumn
Sara Teasdale

The moon is like a scimitar,
A little silver scimitar,
A-drifting down the sky.
And near beside it is a star,
A timid twinkling golden star,
That watches likes an eye.

And thro’ the nursery window-pane
The witches have a fire again,
Just like the ones we make,—
And now I know they’re having tea,
I wish they’d give a cup to me,
With witches’ currant cake.

I love the story within, this reminds me of a Halloween poem that you would find on a vintage postcard.

I do hope that these poems get you into the spirit ❤ I tend to have a theme with my favorites. I prefer poems that short and snappy, that don’t require intense buildup. It’s easy for me to be distracted, but all three of these poems suck me into their eerie worlds.

Sweet Halloween Tidings

Credit:

Poems found on poets.org

Gorgeous Gothic image found on pixabay.com

February Rain, Finally Complete

February Rain, Finally Complete

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When editing a manuscript it is ridiculously easy to become blind to your own errors. Many of my mistakes slip by, even though I’ve really sharpen my editing skills. I’m still nothing close to perfect, English is just far too difficult to understand sometimes.

The more I learn, the less I know.

For example, I’m still struggling to fully differentiate between farther and further. This is probably one example of probably 10 other questions I’m currently researching. I’ve used both words in my own speaking interchangeably, but I’m starting to suspect now that many of those uses were incorrect.

With February Rain, the manuscript was edited numerous times, but when the printed book came out, a few errors stood out like a sore thumb. Thankfully, I was able to catch them and update the book in the amazon store.

After reviewing my newest printed copy, I can say with probably 95% confidence, the book is error-free. I’m one of those writers who will never ever claim to know everything there is to know. I’m always studying and striving to improve my skills and techniques, and I don’t think I’ve ever be perfect, even if I spend the next 50 years locked on a mountain with a bunch of grammar books. If that happened, I’m sure my language would find itself 50 years out of date, since language and always evolving and also, there is always and will be something new to learn.

Reading this version of the book without errors, I was finally able to dive into the poems. I really love this book because I’m still in so much love with the poems. Yes, I am the author, but I do not feel biased, because I usually hate everything that I write when I read it a short while later. I was very surprised to find that I still adore these poems and the images of other realities that it evokes within me. I usually question if I am capable of writing anything interesting, but I am still fascinated with February Rain. 

My Self-Published Baby: February Rain

My Self-Published Baby: February Rain

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Not the most articulate stream of thoughts but exactly how I’m feeling today, now that I am holding my self-published book, February Rain. It is so surreal to stare at this book, something come to life from the depths of my mind. I am in absolute awe of it, and find it strange to look at something and feel this instant burst of happiness.

It’s weird for me since so many things annoy me, this sensation of joy is just an odd feeling. But I feel such warmth and happiness from this book, and this is precisely why I self-published it.

I don’t mind if I don’t sell a single copy, I am just so happy to see it come to life.

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Ahhh I just love how sleek and polished the cover looks. I had such trouble making it appear professional but I am so happy to see that it came out really nice.

Fighting My Fear of Creativity

Fighting My Fear of Creativity

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I’ve chosen to take the plunge and self-publish a collection of poems that I’ve been working on. However, I’ve been terrified since I decided to do this. Panic sits in the center of my chest whenever I ponder the thought, and my breaking becomes shallow.

I’m fighting with myself hard, because I just want to hide. I never feel like my creativity is worth it, I never believe that anyone would want to read anything I’ve written. My reasoning for self-publishing isn’t even to be successful, or to have anything amazing come out of it. I just want to prove to myself that I can finish my creative projects. I always sabotage myself when I’m about to finish a creative project–I just can’t shake the worthlessness. I think my reasoning for self-publishing is reasonable, it isn’t based on anything outlandish. It’s a personal reason too (which I think is wise) so there isn’t any reason to “fail” aside from not doing it at all.

But I am so scared, I think because if one person were to buy the book and they hated it, I’d feel so crushed by it. I’m always scared about what others think, even now I’m hyperventilating in my room, just thinking about the thought of self-publishing. I am so ridiculous! So many books get published every month, no one would even see my stuff…but I am still terrified.

Excuse me while I go hide under the covers *_____*

image credit: pixabay.com

Sparking Joy in the New Year

Sparking Joy in the New Year

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I’ve owned Marie Kondo’s books for a while now, but have failed to take the time to read them. I often feel too rushed to curl up with a book. But after enjoying one episode of her new Netflix series, I pushed myself to make time to read. It’s always going to be busy and I no longer want this to be an excuse anymore.

I’m intrigued by Marie’s KonMari organizational method because of its different approach. I’ve never completed any of the steps of KonMari before and sure enough, I’ve never been able to master being organized. If I see myself constantly failing at something, I’m one of those people who isn’t stubborn in the slightest. If I keep screwing up, I’m sure I’m the common denominator and I’m more than happy to abandon everything I know and try something different.

The main discrepancy between my old approach and the KonMari method is the focus. In the past, I would just focus on cleaning rooms. Marie says that this avenue doesn’t work–cleaning rooms is mostly shuffling stuff from one room to another. And this is accurate, as I mainly just stuff things where I can. No surprise, the mess always returns. Nowadays, I just don’t have the time to keep redoing my work, so I’ve just stopped cleaning. I’m sure an outsider would call this laziness, for me it’s frustration. The work I do is undone, it’s my fault it’s undone, and I don’t know how to make it better. I know it’s me, I know I’m not doing something correctly, but I don’t have time to just keep wasting my time.

Hence why I’ve turned to really delving into the KonMari method–to have an expert tell me what to do to get on track. What’s great about books is that the expert can be there in spirit, guiding you on a better path. What I love about reading Marie’s book, Spark Joy is that she is not stating the obvious. Many of her insights are completely illuminating, and I’ve found myself asking new questions about my organizational process.

My biggest question has been: what sparks joy in my life?

Sadly, I don’t have the slightest insight into what possessions give me joy. I’ve always seen my clutter as an enemy, it’s tough to think about it in a positive way. But I see why I have so much stuff, because it’s impossible for me to discern what I really treasure. I can tell that this will be a process and that I’m going to have to work on it every day. Well, at least it’s the new year and I can’t think of a more timely moment to begin a new journey.