Miranda, The Ghost Next Door

miranda1I read a book about a ghost named Miranda, when I was about 12, and I’ve been haunted by it ever since. I could not remember the title, the author or anything else very helpful. But, it seems I had a lot more in my mental storage than I thought.

On impulse I searched for “Miranda ghost book” today and I found it! I was sure it was the same book as soon as I saw the book cover! I felt that connection to myself from so long ago. I remember how I felt then. A feeling of loss, sadness and the drive to never forget Miranda. I even decided I would name my first daughter, Miranda. (I never had a daughter but today I’ve read at least two other women named their daughter Miranda based on this book).

The book was written by Wylly Folk St. John and is titled The Ghost Next Door.

The best place to read more about Wylly Folk St. John was all the blog posts and photos from  Elizabeth Harper, her great-niece.

I don’t have a clear memory of the facts from the story but all the feelings are still there. Looking into the book again today the feelings are coming back, almost as fresh as the day I turned the last page when I was reading the book.

The book seems to be out of print now. Maybe the publishers thought the story had become too dated to sell. There is another edition but it lacks the illustration from Trina Schart Hyman.

wylly-folk-st-johns-obituary-pg-14wylly-folk-st-john-obituary-pg-2-used3

GoodReads: Wylly Folk St. John

GoodReads: The Ghost Next Door

Sherry Alston had never been told about her dead half-sister Miranda. So when Sherry came to visit her Aunt Judith, no one could explain the odd things that started to happen. Who was the elusive friend Sherry said she saw in the garden? Was she an imaginary playmate – or could she be the ghost of Miranda who had drowned in the pond years ago? Uncanny reminders of Miranda began to turn up – a blue rose, a lost riding whip…

Wylly Folk St. John’s house has been preserved as part of the historic preservation society.

Amazon: Wylly Folk St. John

Disney made her Secrets of the Pirates’ Inn into a TV movie. I found the full movie (1969) on YouTube.

18 Personal Service Home Business Ideas

home biz ideas

Personal Concierge

People who run their own home based business as a personal shopper, running errands for other people, are also known as a concierge service. Concierge are the people who work in fancy hotels, making sure the guest have all the extras they need. The concierge would book tours, order them a taxi or a limousine, whatever comes up. It’s a wonderful thing to have someone you can count on to help you with the little extras, if you have a lot on your plate, need help and can afford to pay for it.

Photographer

Take photos of people at events. Photograph pets for their owners. Learn a little more about light and shadows then look for work as a professional photographer. You don’t need the expense of your own darkroom or developing film now so photography can be a simple home business.

Event Planner

Weddings, family reunions, local business events, there are endless events going on all the time if you track down the sources. Talk to a veteran event planner and see if you can apprentice while you get the hang of things and build your list of contacts and sources for cakes, flowers, party supplies and etc.

Local Newsletter Publisher

Your local area may already have a local newsletter, distributed in stores and other businesses in the area. If so, consider formatting your newsletter online instead. But, gather businesses who want to reach more customers and provide the content to fill the newsletter with news, tips, stories, events, and ads.

Packing and Unpacking Service

Not only can you work with real estate agents to provide a welcome to new people moving into the neighbourhood but you can offer your own service to help people pack to move or unpack when they move into their new house.

Pet Sitter/ Walker

If you like animals offer to pet sit for the evening or a weekend (or longer if you are able to). This may be in your own home or you may come to the home of the animal. If you can, offer extras like pet grooming.

Yard Work

Whether it’s raking leaves, shovelling snow, cleaning a pool for Spring… there is always outside yard work to be done.

Internet Services

Building a website is not the job it used to be. These days you can spend some time learning the software and put up a finished site in an hour. Not everyone wants to do this however and those people will pay to have someone do it for them. You can also set up their online portfolio with social media accounts. Offer Internet lessons to teach them how to use social media and update their site too.

Tutoring

What’s your best subject? Offer your services to parents with school children who need some extra help and your expertise. English, math, science… but don’t forget piano playing, sewing and other skills you have.

Collectibles

The idea isn’t to build up a collection for yourself but to find and add to the collections of others. Pick items which you have an interest in and know something about then search for them online, in second hand shops and from other collectors who may want to sell. Connect yourself to people who collect and want what you can find for them.

Graffiti Removal

Here, a local business is told to remove graffiti within a specified amount of days. This is left for the business owner to do and if it is not removed in time the city will fine them. So, graffiti, especially when it continues over time, is a problem and a headache. Watch for the businesses which tend to be hit and offer to clean it up. You could even get a contract to come out weekly and take that headache away for them.

Local Tours

Your town will have something interesting to see. Even if you can’t think of anything, there is a reason people are coming to your town. Find it. Offer yourself as tour guide and then… go a bit farther. Offer a walking tour of your town and talk about the history, the paranormal, the UFOs, the ghosts and hauntings. Work with people who run local events, have a bed and breakfast or other tourist related businesses – don’t forget great sources like the local library and museum too.

Home Staging

You may not want to clean someone;s house but you could help set up homes for sale. Look at their curb appeal, see what could be touched up and make to look better for the sale inside and outside too.

Personal Chef

Not a caterer who cooks for parties and events, but a personal chef who cooks for a family (or someone alone and needing a specific diet). You do the shopping and cook it too. Preparation could be at your own home but the idea is to serve the food hot in their home.

Clothing Repair

Can you sew? People need cuffs hemmed, buttons sewn on and rips and tears repaired. If you can do alterations add that to your list of services.

Bookkeeping

Even with the software out there to make keeping books easier, someone still needs to pull it all together on a regular basis. You could have a few businesses (even other home businesses) who you visit weekly to gather the paperwork, sort it out and enter it into the system.

Office Plant Maintenance

Find which businesses keep plants and offer your service to maintain them: water, prune them and fertilize.

Elder Care

Seniors living alone need company and help with things like running errands and organizing.

Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Authors I Have Liked

This post is a place to share the books and authors I really have enjoyed. I follow most of these writers on Twitter as well. I like to see how their writing routine works – when they’re actually writing and not just talking to hopeful writers. I also hear about what they are working on and what’s coming next in the series. Plus, they announce contests on Twitter and their websites too.

My favourite books in the paranormal/ urban fantasy genre have humour along with vampires, dragons, werewolves, witches, ghosts, and all the rest. The humour brings a story and especially a character, to life for me. Without humour they seem kind of flat on the page. Even a villain can have a wicked sense of humour.

I don’t like a lot of sex either. It just gets boring pretty fast. I write my own erotica and romance so it could be I’m just taking it for granted or smothered in the stuff when it comes to reading it. When it comes to sex in books I usually skip it. If a book has a lot of sex scenes and I’m turning a page, then another page and still another couple of pages after that, I lose interest. Too much mucking around with sex and the action and the storyline suffer for it.

The Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Writers I have Liked (So Far)

Reader Groups

Read Some Reviews and Find New Writers to Try

Seeking Ghost Hunter

Here’s another ad for a ghost hunter in Ontario.

Haunt ad

What Halton Paranormal Group is looking for in a ghost hunter:

• Technically inclined: The team works with lots of equipment including video cameras, still cameras, voice recorders and K2 meters. The ideal candidate would need to be comfortable working with this equipment and the footage they collect.

• Fearless: Halton Paranormal’s investigations are conducted at night, often in abandoned buildings with no electricity or light sources. If you’re afraid of the dark, creepy buildings or unexplained noises, you need not apply.

• Quiet: A lot of the investigation requires sitting for long periods listening and observing. A quiet, still individual would be well suited for ghost hunting.

• Trustworthy: Ghost hunting requires trust between all the team members so they can accurately gauge their observations and experiences while investigating a potentially haunted area.

• Belief in ghosts: Not necessary. The group always tries to debunk its findings.

via Toronto-area paranormal investigators seek ghost hunter – thestar.com.

History and Culture Enthusiast Wanted

Another interesting job for a writer (though this isn’t a paying job) is someone who works for a paranormal society. What would that job description read like? Read on to find out.

Our team is currently seeking one or more individuals who have a passionate interest or background in historical & genealogical research. Those wishing to express interest in this position are required to have access to historical archives, libraries, as well as an in-depth knowledge of Atlantic Canadian History & Culture. If selected, applicants will have the option of helping with field research; however, this is not a requirement of the position.

Those interested in the position are expected to have read and understood our mission statement and related information, most of which can be found here: http://www.maritimeparanormal.ca/about-2/. As well, applicants should be aware that we are a not-for-profit organization; all members contribute on a volunteer basis and there is no monetary compensation for this position.

Successful applicants will be expected to demonstrate strong critical thinking skills, historical accuracy, objectivity, as well as a professional demeanor. Bilingualism is considered an asset but is not required.

Duties:

  • Researching & preparing information pertaining to land records or deeds
  • Researching & preparing information pertaining to historical events
  • Researching & preparing obscure, forgotten, or “dark” history
  • Genealogical Research
  • Cold calling historians, archives, and museums
  • Compiling paranormal claims, stories, and folklore
  • Producing related content for our website

If you have previously contacted us about becoming a member of our team, your application is still on file and will be considered. Please feel free to send another email if you’d like to add any information that specifically relates to the above position.

Please forward all applications to: justin@maritimeparanormal.ca

Thanks for your interest!

via Maritime Paranormal™ ~ East Coast Canada ~ | Nova Scotia | New Brunswick | PEI |.

Get Some Inspiration from Jeannie in a Bottle

Jeannie in a Bottle writes posts with a unique slant:

How to Hunt for Ghosts at the Office During your Downtime

 How to Perform an Exorcism in your Spare Time

10 Signs you are Living in a Haunted House

A Bumbling Idiot’s Guide to Ghost Hunting

How to Battle the Closet Monster

Let’s Put an End to Zombie Prejudice

This is just a list of her posts with a paranormal slant. There are 270 posts, written in 16 months, on her HubPages account. That’s prolific!

It Seems the Bookie Brunch is Over

I disovered the Bookie Brunch while writing a post about book hoarding… I mean keeping, for HubPages.

It seems to be about a year since anything new was added to the Bookie Brunch schedule. But, I liked the ideas. I would like to hear the discussions, literary, bookish and readers talking about books too.

Bookie Brunch on YouTube:

Special project, founded by Sasha Soren (‘Random Magic’). Bookie Brunch is a weekly meet-up, held every Sunday, where book bloggers can have a cup of tea and chat about a particular bookie question of interest. Pull up a chair and feel free to join us! Current series from July 2011 through December 2011. Every Sunday. Feel free to drop by and have a cup of tea and enjoy some good company. Will try to collect all Bookie Brunch videos at the channel, to make it easy to find them, and have separate, special playlist just for BB!

Questions from past Bookie Brunches:

Question: Are books better with or without love triangles?
Related topics: Do you root for a particular character in the love triangle? If so, why? What is your favorite literary love triangle?

Question: Do you prefer e-books or print copies of novels, and why?
Related topics to consider: Do you have a specific e-reader that you prefer? Why did you choose that particular e-reader, did you try any others, and what were your experiences with them?

Read moreIt Seems the Bookie Brunch is Over

For International Zine Month

I made a zine, once. I didn’t distribute it. So I’m the only one who knows about it. But, the process was fun. Before I had a computer I hand wrote the contents, doodled and cut and pasted the rest. Then put my pages together with a cover. It was about the paranormal and the unexplained. I don’t have it now. Sometime during many moves from one town to another city, it disappeared. I’d do it again. It was a great way to be free with my creativity.

July is International Zine Month  (Facebook) – Set up a zine reading, a zine swap, a cut and paste party, a zine fest, or even a simple zine workshop at your local library or community center. Write a letter to every zine you read, leave your zine at random places around town like buses, bathrooms or universities. Order zines directly from the creator, make a shirt with iron on letters that says “ask me about zines”, make buttons with phrases like “zines saved my life” or “do you read zines”. Send out zine fliers with your mail or leave them around your town. Approach shops in your town about carrying zines, donate to zine libraries…..

Resources:

24 Hour Zine Thing

WikiBooks: Zine Making

Zine Wiki

Love Letters to Irony

Nobody Cares About your Stupid Zine Podcast

We Make Zines

Overglued

Broken Pencil

CanZine

Zine World

Google Groups: alt.zines

Sticky Institute

Flickr: Art Zines

Flickr: Zinesters

Flickr: Illustrated Zines

Yahoo Groups: Zine Geeks

Independent Publishing Resource Center

Live Journal: Zinesters

Live Journal: Zine Scene

Zine Mobile

The Book of Zines

The Paper Trail Interview Series (On hiatus?)

Asking for Trouble

Zine Library

Toronto Zine Library

Zines for Lunch

Robert Street: Anchor Archive Zine Library

Arrow Archive

These Things That People Make

Zine Dream

Facebook: Fanzines

DIY Bookbinding

E-Zinez: The Handbook of Ezine Publishing

Is There a Happy Medium?

I think the main problem with ghost hunting and people trying to prove there are ghosts is the fact that we just don’t have the knowledge of how to see them in a way that works for the living mind. Maybe it will be some certain technology that will come along. Or maybe our minds have to evolve in some different way. More likely, I think we just are not meant to see what is left of life once it passes on into death. We are the living and that is where we are meant to be right now.

What do you believe about ghosts? Whether you have seen a ghost, felt a presence or had any kind of experience, or not, would you want to be a psychic and not have control over having paranormal experiences? Write mini story about a character who is terrified by the ghosts she sees.  Is there a happy ending or is it a tragedy?