Katy Mann – Writer
Writing and reviewing horror fiction, because I love scary stories!
Scary Dog

Scary dog, SDRandCo via morgueFile


One of my friends claims I repel technology. Nothing personal, but things just go wrong when I’m around.  TV’s flick off, I take my computer down to the Geek Squad at Best Buy every three weeks, etc.


Since I am a writer, this is inconvenient. I need to have a working computer in order to write my books, right?


Last weekend my mouse stopped working.  The built-in mouse on the keyboard worked, but the electronic hand-held mouse did not.


So I packed up my computer (again) and lugged it down to Best Buy. They confirmed that the mouse I bought one year and three weeks ago did not work and suggested I buy a new one.


I went to pick out a new mouse and also checked out the Kindle covers. I selected a Kindle cover that was on sale and got in line with my mouse and Kindle cover.


Mind you, this is inside of a Best Buy store.


When I got in line, a pit bull jumped on me.


Yes.  Someone had brought their pit bull into Best Buy.  Why not, right?  The guy pulled the dog down (it had its paws almost on my shoulders) and went back to talking to his friend.




I called for a manager but in the end, because this man said the animal was a service dog, there was nothing she could or would do since the dog didn’t bite me.


But she did give me the Kindle cover for free.


The next day, my friend said it was a sign from God, who apparently didn’t want me to even buy electronics, much less use them.


Cerberus in a Best Buy.  Not a good sign.  But as Cerberus is supposed to be guarding the entrance to the underworld, maybe not so bad.  Maybe I should look into investing in a good quality pen.  But not from Best Buy.


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Book dinosaur

Book dinosaur, reading



When I first started telling my friends about the book I was writing, I was surprised to learn that only one of them had an e-reader.  The rest read printed books.


I read both print and ebooks.


I find that I primarily buy print books that I want to make notes in and plan to keep.  And of course, the impulse buys in bookstores are printed books.  Right now, I think that about one third of my new books are hard copies, and the other two-thirds are digital.


I believe that e-readers, like all technology, will stop working and become outdated at some point in the future, and the “content,” as the books are often called, we have loaded onto them will be lost.


Plus there is the troublesome fact that we don’t actually own this “content” we purchase.  We are renting digital rights, which can be withdrawn at any time.


But still I was surprised to find that only one of all the people I knew read regularly on an e-reader.


My audience had just become very much like these friends I have never met in person, the ones out there reading and writing in this ether, in the space between us.  Transmitting thoughts, words and ideas over an invisible electronic ocean.


So my book will being transmitted through space via waves and frequencies I don’t fully comprehend, through the magic of Internet retailers.


Yet I will trust my finished work to it, a balancing act between the new and old worlds of reading.


And I will keep print copies.



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Fall Trees lit from below

Fall Trees lit from below



The Coming of Spooky Season


The first of September.


It’s the beginning of the shift from the bright season to the spooky season. The date used to mean going back to school, and this is what still shows on calendars and the annoyingly repetitious TV and print ads, but now it means so much more for me.


Fall is one of the transitional seasons, and it’s my favorite time of the year.  In the Midwestern world I used to occupy, it meant gradually dropping temperatures.  You could feel the shift in the air around you as the wind would start to pick up at night, blasting its way around my building, shaking the windows.


For me, autumn is when the night time forces of nature make their presence known.


I start to hear the skittle of fallen leaves being blown in circles on the sidewalks. This happens simultaneously with the sound of the wind worrying the dead and dying leaves that still cling to their branches, displaying spectacular new hues in their death throes as they change colors in the trees above me.


Even sunlight itself begins to change. Not as bright, not as warming as in previous months.


Back in Chicago, the waves racing across Lake Michigan seemed to look more gray and slate-like, cold and deadly to whoever dared venture onto it.  Then the water would begin to solidify into ice, and the freezing that started at the shore would extend outwards, never reaching the middle, but going far from the shore.  The glacial white, uneven top of this lake ice would be solid until the familiar roar of the ice breaking in the spring.


I love this time of year.


There are memories from childhood, of hunting for costumes in dime stores and for pumpkins at the local farm stands.  Now I generally buy my pumpkins at a farmer’s market or Trader Joe’s, but back in the Midwest we could drive out into the countryside and walk out into the fields.


Even the food changes.  “New” menu items are heralded in restaurants, though they seem familiar from previous years’ menus.  Weirdly shaped squash and wonderfully bizarre-looking root vegetables show up in the farmers market and are featured in the food magazines that come to me through the mail.


Out here in California, where seasonal changes are more subtle, autum is heralded in part by the appearance of those hokey, holiday magazines at the supermarket checkout stand.  I always buy one or two because this year I will use that decorating idea, or I will try that cute recipe with fingers popping up out of a graveyard sheet cake.  Yes, I really will.


And you?  What does the coming of fall mean to you?  Do you have rituals that you go through each year?


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