I have always been fascinated with the supernatural, especially ghosts.  They show up in the best stories, from Hamlet to The Shining to Battlestar Galactica to Beauty and the Beast, and have been used by the most amazing writers from Charles Dickens through Toni Morrison.

When I was young, I had the Scholastic Book of Ghosts, which you can read in its entirety here. (Thanks internet!)   I paged through it a hundred times when I was a kid, learning about ghost pirates and demon dogs, doppelgangers, haunted battlefields and sacred burials.

We all realize, as we get older, that haunting can take on many forms, and that the restless dead have nothing on the words and memories we each carry with us.  A slamming cupboard, a garden decoration, an innocent word, can cause flashbacks as frightening any phantom.   If we are lucky, psychologists, therapists, and friends can be our real-life ghost hunters.

Suffering, as Vincent said in the pilot, “. . . will make you stronger,” and it can . . . eventually, with the right type of support, but suffering can also make a person brittle.  Trauma can fuel addiction, end friendships, end careers, break up marriages.  If you are at the end of your rope, if you are hurting, if you need help, please call the Crisis Hotline – (775) 784-8090 or 1 (800) 273-8255

Catherine is haunted by what she has endured.  And now, without further ado, Home: Chapter 14.




In the middle of an emergency, do you know what you would do?

No, neither do I.

I’ve recently been to Birth Emergencies Skills Training, (if you are a midwife or birth assistant it is WORTH the money!)  Birth is usually fine, but every once in awhile there is an emergency, something you NEVER want to happen, but out of the hospital, the midwife has to know what to do.  I went to BEST training to get ready for emergencies, because they will happen, and I have to know I’ll be ready.

In 11th grade, I read A Handmaid’s Tale, and from then on, I have always wondered what I would do if I found myself in Offred’s shoes. Could I shut myself down and stay quiet in hopes saving my child?  I’d like to think I could, but after watching the first episode of the Netflix series, I’m not so certain.

Dystopian fiction allows you to wonder what you would do when the worst happens.

If you are looking for some dystopian fiction for some light summer reading, you can check out Cosmo’s “12 Dystopian Books You Should Read if You Like The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Catherine is living her own dystopian nightmare and is trying to figure out how and when to keep her secrets.  She’s trying to figure out what to do when everyday seems to be an emergency.

I hope you enjoy the chapter.

And now, without further ado, Home: Chapter 13

New Characters

Holy crap, here we are at something I dread — creating a new character.  I don’t do it too often because, A., you want Catherine and Vincent.  I get that, in spades.  Not many fanfic writers can weave in new people that are compelling.  Carole’s The Iron Behind the Velvet characters are my favorite exception.    B., Introducing new characters feels like I am floundering in an uncertain universe with no parameters.  The show sketches Catherine, Vincent, Father, Mouse, Jamie, etc. for us.   When writing a new person, it feels like I’m trying to find him or her with no idea what that person could look like.


D.C., the people that brought you Batman, The Joker, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and the Big-Blue-Boy-Scout, (Superman), had this wonderful role playing game that contained the best character generator I have ever used. Each character had motivation – Thirst for justice (Batman), madness (Two-Face), thrill-seeking (Green Arrow).  The gamemakers also gave points for flaws – obsession (Batman, again),  disabling fears (Martian Manhunter’s fear of fire), and so on.  It was really a great game and a fantastic lesson in character development.

I talked a little before about hating Mary Sues, so I am introducing you to Marc Morrissey and Frank Dunn with a lot of trepidation, but with the firm reassurance that I have tried to make them as real as I know how. I promise they are just a part of the story, not the story.  Chapter 10 will be back with our beloved couple again.

So, without further ado, Home: Chapter 9