It’s time for another group posting of the IWSG: Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.
IWSG is the brainchild of our noble Ninja Captain and leader Alex J. Cavanaugh!
Our hashtag is @IWSG
The awesome co-hosts today are:
Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley!
Please visit their blogs and thank them for volunteering their time.
Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open – fantasy/hero lost is the genre/theme. We have changed the word count! It’s now 3000-6000 words. See the site for full details.
Because IWSG is about supporting other writers, today I’d like to do something a little different. I’m spreading the news about Bish Denham’s new novel, The Bowl and the Stone. Because, as many of you know, Bish is always supporting and cheering on her fellow authors. It seems fitting to shine a light on her newest accomplishment.
Please give a big cheer for:
Pirates. Explorers. And spooky ghost hunters.
It’s 1962. Sam and her best friend, Nick, have the whole island of St. John, in the U. S. Virgin Islands, as their playground. They’ve got 240 year-old sugar plantation ruins to explore, beaches to swim, and trails to hike.
But when a man disappears like a vapor right in front of them, they must confront a scary new reality. They’re being haunted. By whom? And why? He’s even creeping into Nick’s dreams.
They need help, but the one who might be able to give it is Trumps, a reclusive hunchback who doesn’t like people, especially kids. Are Sam and Nick brave enough to face him? And if they do, will he listen to them?
As carefree summer games turn into eerie hauntings, Sam and Nick learn more about themselves and life than they could ever have imagined.
Available now at:
St. John in 1962
What was is like growing up in the Virgin Islands in the 1950s and 1960s? My story, The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands, takes place on St. John in 1962. Things were quite different then, than they are now.
Cruz Bay, St. John, 1970s
Following old, Danish trails, roads were bulldozed through around 1950, and the first Willys Jeep arrived in 1952. In 1956, after buying about two-thirds of the island, Laurance Rockefeller donated the land to the National Park. 24-hour electricity from St. Thomas, sent through an underwater cable, was made available to people in Cruz Bay by 1958. However, for most of the island, people used kerosene lamps and were without indoor running water. By 1960 a telephone line arrived, but only places like the police station, the clinic, and a few businesses had them. It wasn’t until 1962-63, that fiber optics made it easier to have a phone, but not everyone wanted or could afford one.
Television came to St. Thomas in 1961. Before that time, a good external antenna could pick up a station out of Puerto Rico and you could watch American shows dubbed in Spanish. As it was, very few people had TVs. There were two movie theatres on St. Thomas, but nothing on St. John. The main source for information, entertainment, and communication was through the one radio station out of St. Thomas, and the mail.
By 1962 many of the roads remained unpaved and required a 4-wheel drive vehicle to traverse, and lots of people still got from one place to another on donkey, horseback, or by foot.
With a total population of around a thousand, everyone knew everyone. It was safe for children to explore the island on their own; they knew if they did anything wrong, word would reach their parents long before they got back home.
Life was simple, uncomplicated, and filled with magic and wonder. Twelve-year-olds Sam and her best friend Nick, couldn’t have a better setting in which play imaginary games, explore 250 year-old sugar plantation ruins, and swim pristine white-sand beaches. But when a ghost begins to haunt them, their carefree summer games turn into a whole new reality.
Cruz Bay, 2004.
About the Author
Bish Denham, whose mother’s side of the family has been in the Caribbean for over one hundred years, was raised in the U. S. Virgin Islands. She still has lots of family living there whom she visits regularly.
She says, “Growing up in the islands was like living inside a history book. Columbus named the islands, Sir Francis Drake sailed through the area, and Alexander Hamilton was raised on St. Croix. The ruins of hundreds of sugar plantations, built with the sweat and blood of slave labor, litter the islands. Then there were the pirates who plied the waters. It is within this atmosphere of wonder and mystery, that I grew up. Life for me was magical, and through my writing I hope to pass on some of that magic.”
The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Islands,is her third book and second novel. You can find Anansi and Company: Retold Jamaican Tales and A Lizard’s Tail, at Amazon.com.