Friday, June 27, 2014

Welcome MGCParanormal, the Newest Paranormal Investigation Group on the Gulf Coast!

There Is a New Paranormal Investigation Group on the Gulf Coast! 

Mississippi Gulf Coast Paranormal

I feel doubly lucky to be a part of it! When we say we're a "new" group, we only mean newly formed and named. We actually have two decades of collective experience and absolutely love working with each other. Executing plans to proceed full speed ahead, we have some exciting things planned for the near future and I'll be sure to keep you updated as to what, when, and where. One thing that sets us apart is that we have live web broadcast capabilities. You can log in an watch us conduct some of our investigations LIVE from your computer. We'll chat live with viewers throughout the process, and during breaks we'll answer questions on camera.

We cover the tri-state area of Southern Mississippi, Southern Alabama, and Southern Louisiana, and will travel further in special instances. We welcome you to drop by and check us out, just click on the link provided. There should be some recent EVP's (Electronic Voice Projections) up that will give you the shivers! 

Happy hunting! Ghost hunting, that is!


Monday, December 2, 2013

You Might Be a Ghost Hunter If . . .


Today, I wash clothes. Not because Monday is the traditional wash day in the South, left over from times when there were no Maytags or Kenmores and the wash was a day long ordeal of boiling clothes in large iron cauldrons to get them clean. The day red beans were seasoned and simmered all day long because they didn't need much attention while everyone was busy doing laundry. (How deeply ingrained is the hundred plus year old tradition? To this day many Southern cafes and diners serve red beans and rice for plate lunch specials.) But I digress. We were discussing my laziness. I mean exhaustion after Saturday night's investigation.

Ghost hunting can lead you into some unusual places, and may require unexpected equipment. I struggle with one such piece of 'equipment' right now as I try to peel the thermies out of the legs of my camouflage--(I'm almost six foot tall, mostly legs, so there's some serious arm-stretching peeling going on, maybe even an extended bare toe involved--lol). One must take great care not to punch oneself in the face when the two stretched-to-the-max pieces finally separate. The camouflage I was so tired the pants ended up one leg right, one leg wrong side out. I just wanted them off so I could crash in bed. Working in the cold can exhaust you that way, and we spent the hours of darkness working an extensive outdoor area in 34 degree weather. I'm lucky Hubby helped me untangle when I managed to get the camouflage shirt and thermal top underneath it caught up with my hair while trying to tug them off. (Still trying to figure out how my elbow got jammed into the shoulder section of a sleeve.) Everything wound up stuck over my face, arms pinned together overhead, no escaping no matter how much I flailed and twisted. I'm telling you, the situation got downright critical! I might have smothered or jerked myself bald if left on my own. Hubby swears he was clearing his throat--repeatedly-- and trapped in a darkened environment of my own making, I couldn't actually see him, so I can't accuse him of laughing.

I love history, particularly the local history of areas we investigate. This investigation involved a site in use since the 1920's, and not all of its history was pleasant. Some was quite tragic, involving the abuse--and deaths--of children. I'm always amazed, and sometimes saddened by the emotional energy left behind in such places. We got some interesting photographs, outdoor photography particularly tricky in the cold. You have to hold your breath while taking pics to avoid vapor from exhalations. I not only hold my breath, I use the screen view finder rather than the eye piece so I can extend the camera well away from my body. When all the pics, video, and audio are completed, I hope to share the results.

But right now I need to get back to washing my equipment. Going to need them this weekend at another historical site on the Mississippi-Tennessee line! And I need to head to the kitchen. I'm suddenly experiencing a relentless craving for red beans and rice!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello everyone! It's October, the month of creepy critters and goblins. Spirits and ghosts. Ghost hunting and seances.

When I mention what I love to do, I usually get two distinct reactions. One is for people to start sidling away from me, generally toward the closest door. Wish they'd stick around because they don't know what they're missing. The second one is a person's eyes light up . . . and they start asking questions. That I love because I get to share my experiences.

Yep, you guessed it! I ghost hunt! I just recently received word from Tennessee that my background check cleared, and I'm excited to head off on the first investigation this coming weekend.

But with age and mileage -- meaning my own -- a few problems arise on occasion. What kind of problems? Think we have the bones for one hilarious post here. Welcome to Runere Land!

When you're used to doing something on a regular basis, you run through a check list without thinking about it. The details have been ingrained by force of habit. But I was obligated elsewhere and had to rely on a family member who offered to run through the pre-hunt checklist for me.

Which meant I had to CREATE a check list! Over the phone. With another person scribbling their version of the instructions. Oh, the opportunities for error run rampant, and not just in translation. Hubby was my victim, I mean volunteer.

"Check the batteries in everything," I start, holding the phone steady against my shoulder with my chin, my hands busy with something else. I hear furious scribbling from the other end. It stops.

"Uh, what is everything?" I'm asked. "Exactly. I don't want to do this wrong."

"Both cameras," I say, tacking on after a bit, "You'll probably have to recharge the Nikon battery so it's full for the investigation, and buy an extra battery for the smaller digital. I can't remember the size. I just know the package when I see it." Dead silence. Wait. Was that a muttered, "Oh, like that helps". Only half pretending I didn't hear that I tell him, "You'll just have to check to see what kind."

 "They're different?" is finally hazarded over the line.

First item on the list and there is already a problem. I am now clutching the phone in my hand. Not that it helps. I decide to come back to that question later.

"Next, make sure the EVP room recorders are erased from the last investigation, and check the battery levels in each one. There should be eight units. Oh!" a thought pokes me out of the blue. "I have a new bulk package of batteries for them somewhere, so toss it in the ditty bag for me, please?" The scribbling sounds come much slower.

"How do you erase them?" That sounded a little peeved, but it was a good question. And maybe another problem. The instruction manuals got tossed when a g-kid spilled grape juice on them.

"Depends on whether it's the Sony units or the other units. I tell them apart by the little squigglies and shields on the tops," I offer helpfully. No way was I admitting that muscle memory was all I had to go on. Desperate, I close my eyes and imagine holding one, allowing my fingers to move as if operating it. "If it's one with the shield thingy on the front, you hold the almost small button, not the small small button, on the right side for three seconds . . .  .
. . . . Why don't I hear you writing? Never mind. I'll get someone else to drive and clear them on the way to the investigation site."

"Next?" is grumbled at me. I stick my tongue out. It's not like he can see me.

"See if the EMF detector is working. That's the hand held, white, wedge-shaped plastic thing with a fan of lights from green to yellow to orange to red on the top end. If it isn't working, change the battery, please? The small screwdriver to open the back is the zippered side pocket of the ditty bag." I relax a bit as scribbling sounds resume. "Pick a couple of extra nine volts for it. And new SD cards for the cameras. They can be minimal storage since I use a new one at each investigation."

A grunt comes over the line. I assume it's agreement and plow on. "My laptop battery has to be charged, so plug it in before you start doing anything else. Oh, and before I forget, toss the car charger in the ditty bag! Well, not toss. Hate when it gets tangled with all the other cords in there and I have to take every single thing out--" A throat being cleared ends my rant. "Put t in the small zippered inside pouch, please," I ask, my voice subdued.

"Put the drinks in the fridge, but leave the insulated bag out on the counter. That way they're chilling, but you see the bag so they don't get left behind. That should in turn remind you to add the Ziploc bag of  mini cheeses from the crisper drawer. And the cheeses remind you to tuck in the box of crackers. Crackers are salty, so tuck in cookies for a sweet. And maybe some fruit. But if you add fruit, I'll need one of the personal size wet wipes packages to get the sticky off my fingers. You got all that?"

"I've got a headache starting." Hmmm. You have to applaud honesty.

"And while you're out getting batteries and such, fill the truck and check the fluid levels. And make sure the g-kids haven't left any Happy Meal boxes or fishing tackle in the back seat. One is only embarrassing," I keep talking as I think, "but the other ends up being a trip to the emergency room to remove the treble hooks from someone's backside if they sit on a lure."  Did he just choke?

 "Oh.! Oh! Oh!" My enthusiasm is palpable. "MEL's coming with me, too! For the very first time!"

The ensuing silence is hostile. It all but pokes me in the ear.

"Who the hell is Mel?" explodes over the line. "How new is he? Has he been checked out? How do you know you won't be riding with some axe murderer or something? I thought I knew everyone in the group." Aw, he's worried about me! How cute after nearly thirty years! And maybe a tad jealous? The injury in his voice does as much as his next comment to negate that misconception."Somebody could take off with my truck while you're investigating!"

"MEL's not a who, MEL's a what," I snap. "He's the larger yellow handheld unit with needle EMF gauges and temperature recording capabilities. With a bottle cap shaped thingy on top with a wire poking out of it. But you have to open the box to see him. You can open it, but don't you dare take him out. Put him --gently!-- in the ditty bag on top of the rubber-banded tablets and pens. But you know what? This check list thing is not working. And when I get home the first thing I'm going to do is kick your truck!"

Good writing everyone!

Author Paula Hardin is part of the continuing #Tag! You're It! Introductory blog hop. Both of us would appreciate your popping over to her blog to check out her answers to four questions. Here's her blog address:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tag, You're It! #Tag you're it Blog Hop

First of all, thanks to Jeff Adkins for tagging me so I could participate in this introductory bog hop! And I have to congratulate him on officially launching the venue to showcase one particular piece of his many talents, graphic design.

So welcome to the world JP ADKINS DESIGNS!Seriously, you should check out his work! It's fantastic!

I'm just going to jump in and tackle the questions he tagged me with, and hope no one is too bored by my answers. If you read something here that sparks a question, don't be shy. Feel free to ask. I love sharing things I've experienced or learned. I hope you'll share with me as well . . .

Here we go:

      1.) What are you working on right now?

At the moment several things, each in a different stage of development.  The recent loss of a lovely woman in the publishing industry left her partner--another incredible individual--deciding she couldn't carry on with the business alone. But using the same care and integrity they published with, they made sure everyone had an immediate revision of rights on stories published with them. I intend to expand each one, and submit one or two the other publishers, while self-pubbing the others.

Currently however, I’m concentrating on a series based on some ‘gifts’ I received while doing paranormal research. (Yes, I’m a serious ghost hunter who works with a TAPS associated paranormal investigation group, as well as a paranormal writer!  I’m very fortunate to be invited to unusual places and events, and experience them in ways most individuals rarely do.) That gift? It was genuine Voodoo blessing dolls, one for each day of the week, each with unique meaning and intent! I’m working hard to make the projected October release date for BLACK DOLL, book one of the Silent Doll Series a reality! Based in New Orleans, a city steeped in the metaphysical, each book in the series begins with the anonymous delivery of a Voodoo doll.

I also have a non-fiction reference book near completion that I’m excited about! Titled OF A PARANORMAL PERSUASION: Using Fact to Create a Believable Paranormal World it contains working information about ghost hunting. The types of hauntings, indications of a haunting, ghost hunting equipment from infrared camera systems, digital cameras, EVP’s (Electronic Voice Projections) and the recorders used to effectively capture them, to ELF (Extra Low Frequency) light and sound units and how they’re used on site, plus debunking methods (because serious ghost hunters are first and foremost debunkers!).  Debunking includes explanations of paradoilia and audio matrixing, and how they possibly play into suspected hauntings. Another section has factual information on Werewolves in cultures around the globe (bet you thought only vampires were world-wide, didn’t you? lol) -- as well as North American Shapeshifters and a brief look at Native American Ritual. It covers Voodoo as it pertains to New Orleans, Voodoo ritual items, and takes a different look at Marie Leveau. The Wiccan section describes the different types of witches, wiccan tools, grimoirs and spellbooks, dress and circles, alphabet and redes. My hope is it will offer a comprehensive compilation for authors to find those details that make their stories real for their readers by offering them insight and better understanding.

  2.) How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Well, huh. How to answer that? Apart from loving to implement the unusual and that 'what if' element, I think it differs due to believable detail from hands-on, personal experience. Of sharing enough about paranormal subject matter to make the reader go, “Wow! I never knew that!” or “OMG! I never thought about it like that before. That could actually be possible or true!”

But the way I know I'm finally on track is when a beta reader says, “I never saw that coming!” followed by a quick “I have GOT to read the rest of that! How soon can you send it to me?”

            3.) Why do you write what you do? 

I can’t help laughing with this question! I blame ---um, I mean credit certain members of my family for my interest in story-telling. As far as the paranormal part? I’m from Scots-Irish stock, and trace my lineage back to Clan MacLain of Loch Buie, Scotland. I’ll tell you there’s a standing stone circle on Clan property, that our family runs long on Solitary Hereditarys, with a few members who can literally ease a fever by touch or talk the fire out of a burn--- 
then allow you to draw your own conclusions.

1              4.) How does your writing process work?

It’s the trigger that gets me first. At times a story comes to me complete. I thank my muse with copious offerings of chocolate when that happens.

Other times it’s a thought, a dream, a piece of overheard conversation, even a question from someone that makes me think Boy, would that make a great story. Could that make a great story? Where’s my tablet to jot down research questions to make sure it’s solid. For those times it turns into copious offerings of chocolate to tempt my stubborn muse to show herself to help make things interesting and cohesive. Either way, Hershey and Godiva love me. Probably should buy stock in both to recoup at least part of the expenditure. Okay, okay! We’re being honest here and I already admitted to being Irish. Sometimes I twist the top off a bottle of Canadian Mist. Just whiskey, no water; mixing them only ruins them both. Three fingers straight into a stubby glass. Ice cubes tend to get tossed back at you.

My overall writing process is to first write down the high points of the idea that caused the spark so I don’t forget them. Then I think about what type of character/characters would best tell the tale. Then I think about the story itself. Let it steep in my mind so plot points bubble up. To give potential problems and those fanged plot monkeys that always leap out at you a chance to surface and be dealt with early. I examine my story and characters critically from every angle, even absurd ones. Study my possible story for structural flaws, then address them.  Finally, I try to write it so that it lives and breathes and slips into the heart, imagination, and emotions.

And that’s just the rough draft. Then come the fifteen re-writes and editing sessions where the real work lies!

Readers are intelligent, and aren’t afraid to call you out on something. Try to gloss over something rather than deal with it, and get ready for them to let you know about it. I like my characters to have a few flaws--just like the rest of us humans out here. A person ceases to make mistakes only when they’re dead, and that’s because they simply don’t have opportunity to make mistakes any longer.  I try to ensure even my worst villain has some redeeming grace, because no one is totally good, and no one is totally bad.

Sometimes things work out, sometimes the Word file ends up pushed to the background when things don't mesh as well as they should the first time out. Or admittedly, something newer and shinier catches my attention for a while.

But each of these stories demands to be told, and it's part and parcel of why I love to write!

Thank you for taking time from your busy day to visit with me. I appreciate the good company! I have some really pretty 'book thongs' looking for new homes. Two will go to random commentors as another way of saying thank you!

Good writing, everyone!

(Hmmm. I'm tentatively tagging Rita Bay, Jamie Farrell, and Paula Hardin! I know these ladies have so much to share about their publishing journeys! I'll get their links up by the end of the day)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hey everyone! Welcome to my blog of new writing beginnings! The first few posts will be quick and relatively painless, a warm-up for what lies ahead. Hope to keep you entertained with posts and guests so you come back to visit again and again. And more importantly share something about yourself!

The two things I'm asked most is 1) if my name carries any particular meaning, and 2) how to pronounce it. So we'll get that out of the way first then get down to real business.

Runere is actually an old Druidic term meaning whisperer or storyteller.  Two of my older relatives and I would exchange stories when I was a kid to keep each other entertained. That they missed the old country would come through on occasion with words and nicknames. (It wasn't just me that got tagged with a nickname either. An uncle named Harold was called Brody no matter how often he insisted that wasn't his name. Think they missed Scotland much? lol) I'd get one of those elbow nudges to the ribs after a storytelling session, and feel so proud when they'd say, "Quite the runere you're turning out to be." The nickname caught and stuck. I use it with my writing as a thank-you and to honor the ones who taught me how magical a world of words can be.

Pronunciation? Simple really. Roo--nyeer, with a long e. Accent on the last syllable, it begins with the same sound as the Russian word 'nyet'.

But none of that is important. Here's what I'm so excited about!

I'm thrilled to be working with a cover artist for the release of BLACK DOLL, book one of The Silent Doll Series. The cover makes it so much more real. It's going to be even more of a thrill to share it and I hope to do so here in the next few days! Keep an eye out for excerpts too!

There will be a cover reveal party, a pre-release party or two with book markers (actually letter beaded, ribbon book thongs with crystal sliders and/or trinkets to fit girls' and guys' preferences). Why more than one party? Because I'm going to have to do something to get rid of all the nervous energy waiting for BLACK DOLL to come out! Then we'll have the release party with book give-a-ways as well as book thongs!

I was wondering if there is a particular day of the week you like for blogs? This will be a once a week fun venture, sometimes sharing things other than just author news or writing information, so if you have a favorite day let me know in a comment and we'll randomly pick a name to send out that first book thong!

Thanks for stopping by! Join me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!

~Runere McLain~

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Welcome to a brand new blog. It may get bumpy, but it will be fun!

Cover reveals and excerpts coming soon!

As always, good writing!