Halloween Short Story

Today, like most Wednesdays, will be spent with college related work. I must also pack and prepare for my weekend signings in New Orleans on Friday and Saturday. Thursday will be spent visiting schools and libraries on the way there, doing the endless networking that we authors have to do.

Anyway, since today is Halloween, I thought I’d post a murder/horror story I had written in the past. I set the story in Dallas, Texas. Let me know what you think of it. (rickeyp@bayou.com).


Evil is a true thing in Mexico. It goes about on its own legs. Maybe some day it will come to you. Maybe it already has

Mason’s Halloween Preparation

Meet my grandson, Mason Alexander Shelby. He will be three in January. I predict he will receive lots of books in his life as gifts. He calls me popi, a term of endearment I borrowed from my Cuban friends when I lived in South Florida. He finally decided on his Halloween costume. Here it is:

mason 023

New School Booking

Today, I booked a program with Cypress Point Elementary School in Monroe, LA. The librarian, Ms. Jackie Ford, also purchased two copies through the school. That program will be Dec. 6. I also took a load of books to Geneva Academy, a great private school here in Monroe. The rest of the day has been spent with book business related tasks. Boring stuff, but it has to be done.

Here so little now, I find I have more and more chores to do around the house. I especially need to clean and organize my office. I’ve got tons of paper stuff to cull through, file, or throw away. Magazines and books that need to be shelved correctly. Some piles of junk items that need to go. If I haven’t used it in three years, I suppose I never will, so they are dispensable. I need to have a yard sale, but that takes time too. Like I said, boring stuff. We’ve got a nice large and older house, and if I could put in the time and work and expense it needs, it would look first class. But, since I’m still working in a survival mentality with my new career as a full-time writer, the fixing up of the house will have to wait.

I love Halloween, though I missed all the local parties this year due to weariness and my self-imposed hyper-extended schedule. I hope some good horror movies are on tonight and tomorrow. Nothing like blood and gore and psychological horror on Halloween to lift the spirits. My favorite in the past was an hour of 60-second horror movies. I want to make a few of those before I die, and I’ve already started some scripts for them. The idea of a film using a minute’s scene of total horror seems so cool. I plan on doing a search of some 60 second films on the Web later tonight.

To post something worth reading, I decided to post a Halloween poem I wrote last year.


The moon is waxing full on
Our first Halloween,

New Book Idea:

Fall is officially here, and with it the promise of winter. I can feel the cold creeping into my house a little more each day. Today, is university day, from 1:00 until nearly 9:00 pm. I’m going to spend a couple of hours writing on my play this morning, and then prepare a lesson on the Harlem Renaissance for my English 206 class at ULM.

Thanks to Bonnie Barnes, my Texas friend and technical media specialist, my personal Web page has a new look! Please let me know what you think about it.


Augusta Jane Evans: A Famous Civil War Author

While in Mobile, I came across the grave in Magnolia Cemetery of the South’s most famous woman novelist, and certainly Mobile’s most famou, during the Civil War. I took a photo of that sacred spot. It is posted below. There’s a well-written article written by Mobile’s John Sledge you should go to for more information on his author: http://www.americanartists.org/art/article_augusta_jane_evans.htm I have a copy of her biography and a copy of Macaria, or Altars of Sacrifice, written in 1863. According to Sledge, the novel was published “in true Confederate fashion in Richmond, the novel was printed on wrapping paper with wallpaper covers. Macaria was popular among both rebels and Yankees. Union officers banned the book and burned confiscated copies.” Though admittedly the novel was a propaganda piece, I admire her spunk. The novel was a wartime best seller, and was dedicated to the Army of the Southern Confederacy. After the war, she was active in the movement to erect Confederate monuments. Drew Faust, in his introduction to Macaria, says that she continued to publish “almost until her death in 1909.” I think more should be written about her.


Return from Texarcana

I had a wonderful, though very tiring, trip this weekend. I spent a long day at the Books-A-Million in Texarcana, but it was a sell-out and that’s what matters most. I’ve already been invited back with my next books. I spent the night there in the Holiday Inn on State Line. A state convention of the teachers for the magnet schools of Texas were also at the hotel and they were having meetings today. Ironically, the hotel for the Texas teachers was in the Arkansas portion of Texarkana. It must be awkward at times to live in a city that is in two states. I drove back to Monroe this morning, wrote a TGIF article on the Civil War in Indian Territory and tended to some emails. Of course, I came back to the UNFINISHED work and chores I meant to get done before my trip. Below is a photo taken at my Texarcana signing. On easels I have the framed poster that Pelican Publishing made me and a copy of the only actual photo in existence of Jim Limber.


More on Hemingway

Today has been spent researching and preparing for my college classes which I must go teach in just a few minutes. My office is trashed. I’ve got to get myself organized. I’m spending too much time looking for stuff! Anyway, in today’s entry I wanted to share the fruits of my research this morning: some quotes of Ernest Hemingway that I gleaned from Hatcher’s book, Papa Hemingway. Hemingway and Cormac McCarthy are without a doubt my favorite writers. I’ve read everything in print by both authors–and more than once. It was because of a reading of “A Clean Well Lighted Place” in my college 102 class that I became an English major and plunged headlong into literature and into writing.

Mobile, Alabama

This Friday, I’ll be at the Books-A-Million in Texarcana. Hopefully, it will go as well as my other BAM signings have gone. Today, I finished another children’s book, The Little Confederate’s ABC Book, and sent it to my publisher. Along with my other books, it should do very well.