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London. My home away from home. The first time I visited England I felt like I’d been there before. Immediately I went off on my own to explore the wonders of this amazing, bustling city. As I’ve heard the same about the streets of New York; keep up with the pace or get the hell out of the way. This is the truest of statements, I can attest.

In the Spring of 1997 I went to live in London for a college semester. I wanted this more than anything, and I worked my ass off to save as much money…

When Unexpected Good Things Happen To Good People

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This morning began as any other; I got out of bed, used the bathroom, got dressed and headed to the kitchen for morning tea. On the way to the kitchen, I noticed that the mail had come, and several pieces of it were scattered on the floor by the door. See, I’m one of the very lucky few who live in a neighborhood with mail slots in our doors or entryways, so the mail comes directly into the house. Spoiled, I know. However, I’m also one of the few who tips the mailman yearly, at Christmastime. …

When Quitting Your Job Is The Best Decision You Can Make

This here is the true story of the best time I quit a job. Notice I didn’t say the first time, nor would it be the last, but it was certainly the best…

“I’m not just the President, I’m also a client.” Sound familiar? That would be the marketing slogan for HCM AKA Hair Club For Men, and in the late 1990’s, never in the world did I think I would become a part of it…

After moving back to my hometown, I was looking for a stable, steady job I could count on . This was pre-internet, so doing…

Premier: adj. first in rank or importance

Photo by Me

Full disclosure: I was fully prepared to rip this author to shreds, purely based on a number of reviews I had read prior to reading the book. But from sentence one, I was engrossed, enthralled and enraptured at the unfolding of our beloved Shirley’s life, warts and all. It is crystal clear to me now that the reason why the second biography of Shirley Jackson, 2016’s A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin has received all the glowing reviews is because they didn’t read this one first.

When I posted Private Demons on…

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The way I remember the date of this encounter is from the headlines in the newspaper about the 1994 Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident. See, I was working in the gift shop of the Hilton Hotel in Portland, Oregon at the time, so this was huge local news for us. We sold as many newspapers as we did $5.00 packs of cigarettes (which was an absolute astronomical price at the time).

In 1994, The Hilton was considered one of the nicest hotels in the downtown area, and many celebrities would stay there because of its close proximity to all the amenities…

Thus begins a brand new series of stories about my mini-brushes with celebrities, bands, musical acts and the like. I have long wanted to write about these encounters, and I hope you enjoy them. Some details may be fuzzy, some aspects I may have forgotten, but every word in these stories is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

It had to be round about 1997–1998 when I saw Colin Hay at a pub with a performing space barely large enough for one man with a guitar and a microphone — wait, was there even a microphone…

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How do you fall out of love with your record collection, you ask? I never have. It’s just that with a busy life, some things have to take a back seat. In my case, it was playing and enjoying my records — on a personal level. Sure, I’m a vinyl dealer and have to test-listen to records all the time. But it isn’t the same as playing for enjoyment, for emotional solace and for a good ol’ fashioned impromptu dance party for one.

See, I had thought to stop selling records at the first of this year. Very fortunately for…

The Renaissance of a Literary Witch

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When answering the over-asked question “where do you get your ideas from?” Shirley offered up this morsel:

From Come Along With Me: Experience and Fiction:

“…perhaps the most useful thing about being a writer of fiction is that nothing is ever wasted; all experience is good for something; you tend to see everything as a potential structure of words. One of my daughters made this abruptly clear to me when she came not long ago into the kitchen where I was trying to get the door of our terrible old refrigerator open; it always stuck when the weather was wet…

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson 1997 Edition

Having previously never read I Am Legend, I thought now would be an opportune time, especially in the current socio-politic state of the world. I’m very glad I did because it was a very eye-opening, educational and thought provoking read.

I Am Legend was written in 1954 if you can believe it, making it 63 years old. And it’s as remarkable today as it was then. Perhaps even more so, because it doesn’t feel like Science Fiction, it feels more like a possibility.

Forget what you’ve seen in the classic 1971 film…

Having just immersed myself in both the book and the film Somewhere In Time, I felt it was absolutely necessary to dedicate a post to them both. Incidentally, the original title for the book is Bid Time Return by the masterful Richard Matheson. The was changed for the film to make it more accessible, although I prefer the original (of course, don’t I always??). However, I’m happy to report that Matheson also wrote the screenplay, which is why it translates so well to the big screen.

Melanie-Shaun Striker

Lifetime writer. Bookseller, vinyl junkie & fountain pen geek. Expanding my writing slowly...too slowly.

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