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Peter Stipe – The Good Life in Williamsburg Virginia 05/04/18

Peter Stipe

Nearly four years ago, as my wife and I began to plan for retirement, we decided to move south from New England.  Both of our children had studied music at the Shenandoah University Conservatory and they were settled into music careers in Virginia and Washington, DC.  It made sense to find a new place to live near to both of them.

We wanted a town with a rich historical tradition, with lots of opportunities to become involved in the arts, and with luck maybe even a college environment.  We settled on Williamsburg.  Everyone knows about Colonial Williamsburg and of course there’s the College of William and Mary.  I have discovered that the variety of arts available is also rewarding.

Within months of moving I became a member of the Yorktown Arts Foundation and had my artwork on display in On The Hill Gallery in the neighboring town of Yorktown.  I joined two local writer’s groups and was working with a local independent publisher to get my first book published.  My wife joined the Williamsburg Women’s Chorus and was preparing for her first concert.

In the short time since we moved to Williamsburg my involvement with these artistic pursuits has expanded.  I served three years on the board of the Yorktown Arts Foundation, one year as the president.  My art has been on display in local shows.  I have sold books at writers’ conferences and book fairs, spoken about my books and my writing at meetings of local groups, and now have two books published with a third ready to begin the editorial process.  It seems like there is always a concert or a play or some other event happening in town.

I’m still a newcomer to Virginia and I miss New England.  I go back often to visit friends and for special artistic and sports events there.  But I love my life immersed in the arts in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Peter Stipe is the author of Finding Our Way; a collection of short stories, and The Art of Love, a novel.  Both books are available from Amazon and from high-tide-publications.com and from   Peter Stipe.com   Facebook: PeterGStipe

 

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Vic Brown – The Vampire Next Door – April 13, 2018

Vic Brown

Just because the reclusive woman who lives next door, and the somewhat strange man who works in the cubicle next to yours look pretty normal, it doesn’t mean they aren’t vampires. The ancient cliché, “Looks can be deceiving,” is never truer than in the world of “the undead.” You are invited to banish from your mind all the Hollywood images, the ones with long fangs where canine teeth belong, slitted eyes that look like they belong on a serpent, the formal evening dress with red velvet lining on a black cape, skin of alabaster white, haughty but impeccable manners. You know the type; right out of central casting.

Sorry. You’ve been misled. Vampires can look like Joe the plumber or Sally, who works in Filene’s Basement. While they can blend in with any population, their most distinguishing characteristic are their special powers. Before providing you a list of some of their powers—and there are many—we need to create a frame of reference.

Vampire blog readers are well aware that these creatures are the result of a mutant gene in their DNA. Unless and until that gene is shocked into action, the carrier will remain a mortal human. Once activated, however, the gene will cause the victim to stop aging. This represents a continuing trial, as, after some years, friends, family, and colleagues will begin to notice the absence of aging. That necessitates the vampire disappear—he/she must move to a new location and create a new persona. After doing that a few hundred times, it becomes a loathsome necessity.

Most vampires are driven, periodically, into “the hunting,” when they must drink blood. The great majority live off of domestic and wild animals. Red wine can tide them over for brief periods. But after some years (which vary by individual vampire) they are driven to drink the blood of a human. Most have developed the art of drinking enough to slake their need without killing the victim, but the more vulgar of the species don’t ration themselves.

Special powers vary from the most difficult, such as the transfer of one’s consciousness to another being, becoming invisible, and causing a fatal condition in a victim, to focusing a spot beam on an object, causing it to become red hot, or causing doors to open and close, cars to start, and the like. A vampire acquires the mid- and high-capability powers through study, practice, and diligence.

In our next blog we will examine the nature and characteristics of vampires, with a special focus on them as sexual athletes. But are they lovers? Tune in next week. . . .

 

Vic Brown lives in Williamsburg, VA and is under contract to High Tide Publications, Inc. He is the author of two vampire novels and a soon-to-be-published memoir, Sleeve an’ Me.  One of his novels, Viking Lady, won grand prize in the Maryland Writers’ Association’s annual novel contest. He is currently working on a novel about a paleoanthropologist, Chandler Reynolds, working a dig near Johannesburg, South Africa. She encounters the last living humanoid from a long-deceased race that dates back many thousands of years, and. . . .