The Malice in Memphis ghost story anthology is out! Hooray! It’s in trade paperback as well as in Ebook form on Amazon. Getting an anthology together even with a group like ours that meets once a month as well as critiques together can be challenging. Makes herding cats look like directing the Vienna Boys Choir.
Some people delivered their stories in the first week after the decision was made to concentrate on ghost stories. Some of our members, however, dawdled until we were about ready to throttle them. In the final analysis, getting good stories was more important than artificial deadlines.
We made our publication date before the rush to buy Christmas presents. Whew! Since both Memphis and ghosts are of major interest these days, the anthology would be a great Christmas present. Whatever royalty I might make will be more than eaten up by the copies I order to send to friends in Canada and the States.
If you have watched the dressage classes at the Olympics, you have seen the horses come down the center like dancers—one canter stride with the left lead, one with the right and so on. This is called a ‘flying change.’ Among my horse buddies, ‘flying change’ has come to mean an abrupt shift of subject.
So—flying change. This weekend was the annual horse show put on by the Nashoba Carriage Association in which horses and carriages drive obstacle courses, intricate patterns at different speeds, and even drive a cross country marathon. The horses range in size from miniatures to great big draft horses. The carriages run from two wheel Meadowbrooks to big elaborate steel Marathon carriages.
I tell my writer friends who write historicals that if they intend to have characters drive or ride in carriages, they really ought to come to the show and see real carriages and horses, and if possible, catch a ride with one of the drivers.
It’s much bumpier than you might think, and at a strong trot, can become hair-raising. And it is noisy! Romances often have lovers making love inside a fast carriage. They’re better coordinated then I am! How romantic is it to crack heads with your lover when you drive over an unexpected bump? Or to wind up on the floor when the carriage swerves around a sharp corner?
I absolutely love driving my big old Zoe horse. Did it yesterday, as a matter of fact. But I am fully aware that I am less in control than I am when I am in the saddle. Not that Zoe would agree. She hated being ridden and dumped me more times than I like to remember when I rode her. But she’d drive me to San Francisco and back quite happily. Horses are funny.
Back to the ghost stories… I hope you get them and enjoy them. We had a blast writing them. Every southerner has at least one ghost story. I think we have enough leftovers for a whole other book.