29 September 2014

Talking to Yourself

A man went to the doctor.  "Doctor, I keep talking to myself."
"Does it disturb your family?"
"No, I'm single."
"Then it disturbs you?"
"No, Doctor, it's just that I'm so . . . so . . . boring!"
-Russian Joke

13 September 2014

The Real Ghostly Dance

In a recent post, I told the Japanese folktale of the haunted temple.  As it turns out, the story is true . . . from a certain point of view.  There really was a monk who spent the night in the temple, who really heard sounds, and who really saw ghostly visions.

But they were not, of course, ghosts.

The world-famous painter and artist, Tosa Mitsunobu, heard the monk's story, and went to investigate.  As it was daylight, he saw the room clearly, and he noticed  that someone had drawn figures of ghosts and horrible demons.  Through cracks in the wall, a phosphorescent mildew had grown, lighting the figures with an unearthly glow.  Settling down amidst the rat droppings that covered the floor (thus indicating that the monk was hearing rats, not ghosts), the artist began to sketch these figures, becoming one of the most celebrated artists in Japanese history.

03 September 2014

Book Contract

I have some awesome news!  My publisher and I have finalized a contract for my second book, tentatively titled Giants:  Legends and Lore of Goliaths.  I am super excited about this one, and cannot wait to keep you all posted!

27 August 2014

The Ghostly Dance

Near Fushimi stands an old, abandoned temple.  Known as the Shozenji temple, for many centuries it has been believed that the temple was occupied by hundreds - if not thousands - of spirits.  The story comes from an old vagabond priest who, needing a place to stay, sought shelter in the deserted temple one rainy evening.

The sound of the rain and wind, which usually lulled him to sleep, only kept the priest awake.  Soon, however, another sound drifted from the upper room of the temple, a sound which filled the old priest with a growing dread, for though the temple seemed unoccupied, he clearly heard the sound of shuffling feet.  Grabbing a torch, the priest said a prayer and slowly climbed the steps to the upper room.

When he got to the room, the priest let out a shriek.  There, in the darkness of the temple, were ghostly, glowing shapes of hideous demons and deformed spirits.  The priest, not wishing to encounter one of them, fled from the temple and, that very night, warned everyone in the town of his supernatural visions.

-Japanese Legend