Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Churches & Cemeteries

Neglected and abandoned graveyards can be found everywhere in the world. Headstones as lost and forgotten as the lives they were set to remember. Churches whose once devout congregations have dwindled to nothing, leaving their houses of worship to waste away into nothingness, eventually to be swallowed up by the earth from which they sprang. It’s really quite sad.

Church in Louisianna by Rick Galvan on Flickr

Church in Louisianna by Rick Galvan on Flickr

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Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Amusement Parks

For some reason, abandoned amusement parks have more of an apocalyptic feel than other places or things. Giggles and grins are silenced and wiped away; screams of delight hauntingly echo in the derelict spaces. The thrill of adventure now only half-forgotten memories of a time long ago.

Aerial view of abandoned Spreepark Plänterwald, Berlin, Germany on MSN-Germany.

Aerial view of abandoned Spreepark Plänterwald, Berlin, Germany on MSN-Germany.

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Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Kitchens

I’ve long been fascinated with kitchens, the older the more interesting. I love to cook and often imagine how difficult it must’ve been in centuries past. While I appreciate intact or refurbished ancient cooking chambers – they help me tremendously while writing scenes for my characters – there’s just something inherently intriguing about these lost and forgotten, totally abandoned and derelict kitchens.

Although the house was inhabited until the 1950's, it looks as if little was done to it in the 20th century. This kitchen range must have seen many decades of use. Photo by Virginia Knight on

Although the house was inhabited until the 1950’s, it looks as if little was done to it in the 20th century. This kitchen range must have seen many decades of use. Photo by Virginia Knight on

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Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Hotels

I always wonder what happened to drive away business. Was it poor management, an economic downturn, or did someone die on the property and the hauntings have scared off all the customers? It’s really quite sad to see such beautiful craftsmanship gone to waste in some of these properties.

An old and abandoned hotel in the center of Odessa. by Roland Geider

An old and abandoned hotel in the center of Odessa by Roland Geider

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Defiance, Syfy’s New Futuristic Series

I had no idea a new series was about to suck me in when I turned it to the Syfy channel a couple of nights ago (Mon. 4/15/13), looking for the next episode of another series. Mr. Lis’Anne and I totally forgot last week was the season finale of that one. We’ve been impatiently awaiting the return of Falling Skies and I wondered what we were going to do with our thumb-twiddling time while in series limbo.

Defiance-SyFy | Lis'Anne Harris

I sure hope this new show, Defiance, Continue reading

Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Railways

My Uncle Bobby was a locomotive engineer on the former Baltimore & Ohio, now known as the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, aka CSX. He retired several years ago, but his great love for all things train-related infected everyone in the family. It’s sad to see so many abandoned rail lines, but there’s also something innately compelling, something that draws me to these forlorn, derelict pieces of history. Sometimes I need to immerse myself in what was and is no longer.

Abandoned Railway Cutting in Otley by TJ Blackwell

This overgrown stone bridge once spanned a twin-track section of the former railway branch line connecting Otley and Pool to Arthington, Burley and Menston. The route of the trackbed makes for a great walk at this time of year; full of greenery and wildlife amid the crumbling railway remains. Photo by TJBlackwell

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Sweet Liberation, Visuals for the Reader

I’ve searched for months for images to match what I saw in my mind as I wrote Sweet Liberation. None of these are perfect, but each one speaks to me. Imagination is a wondrous, fascinating, and sometimes crazy thing. People often ask from where my stories come. I don’t know how to explain it really, other than, it’s like a movie scrolling through my mind. I “see” everything, hear, smell, taste, and even feel what each of my characters experiences. I do my best to describe the most important facets of every scene without going overboard.

What you see as you read may be totally different than what I saw, and that’s okay. So long as you enjoy what your mind conjures. Of their own accord, these images are pretty cool and each has a tale to tell. Speculate away! Continue reading

My Strange Afflictions, Part 3

Continued from Cause and Effect – My Strange Afflictions, Part 2

* I’m sorry I’ve strung these parts out. Had I left it all together it would’ve made for a very long story all in one sitting.

In the mean time, Dr. J, my primary, referred me to Gastroenterology at our university hospital because I’ve been on omeprazole for over 6 years and I’ve been having break-through GERD. I went to Dr. X on December 17th, 2012. Her physician’s assistant examined me first. He found a mass the size of a grapefruit (don’t they always seem to be that size?) in my abdomen below, above, and to the right of my belly button. Continue reading

My Strange Afflictions, Part 2

Continued from Cause and Effect – My Strange Afflictions, Part 1

I was so disgusted with my family physician  (I’d been with her for 15 years) that I went to her when I made it home, got a year’s worth of refills for the beta-blocker and never saw her again. We moved down to Florida permanently in August 2004. A few weeks later, I got a job as a cashier at Cracker Barrel. I’d always wanted to work there (I’m a people person 🙂 ), but the stress on my back from standing on my feet for 8 or more hours a day was too much. (The back issue is from a birth defect – another bizarre, interesting story.) And I didn’t feel good at all. I was anxious all the time and couldn’t figure out why I always felt so bad. A co-worker suggested I go to her doctor so I made the appointment. The last day I worked at CB, my husband found me sitting in my van in the parking lot crying. Continue reading

My Strange Afflictions, Part 1

Obviously, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster for a long time due to some weird, rare things going wrong in my body. I’m telling my story now because I’ve shared it with very few people and there is an explanation for my oft-times erratic thought processes. My close family and two or three very dear friends know all of it, but I didn’t want to be one of those who bores others to death with every single one of their health woes. I do hope that by my telling, anyone who has medical issues not being taken seriously by their physician will do as I did. Keep pushing until you get the right diagnosis. Don’t settle for treating your symptoms; fight for a cure. If you have to argue with your doctor, don’t be afraid! They don’t know everything even though they like to make you think they do. Continue reading