Blog

Tales of the Bizarre (And Other Things)

Here you’ll find ghost stories and flirting with death stories. You’ll also find my thoughts about writing, living on the gorgeous Oregon coast, traveling to other beautiful places, pets/kids (which are sometimes the same thing), DIY fails, and an unshakable belief that love conquers all.

Fellow authors…if you’ve got a spooky story to share, email me with a guest post (solasbeir at gmail dot com). I’ll feature you, your post, and your book. The post should be about 500-750 words, and can either be about a (mostly true) brush with the supernatural, a crazy adventure, or a creepy tale you’ve made up. Don’t forget to share the cover of your book, your photo, a short bio, your book’s description, and social media and buy links.

I do believe it’s time for an adventure…
August 7, 2017

How we cheated death twice in one weekend. Read more…

Free Writing Workshop!
July 29, 2017:

Join me August 4 & 11 to share ghost stories and learn about writing scary stories. Read more…

Writer’s Block
July 23, 2017:

How to combat writer’s block. Tips from author Heather Douglas. Read more…

More Sunset Empire
July 10, 2017:

A new excerpt from Sunset Empire and fun at Lucy’s Books! Read more…

Signing at Lucy’s Books
July 3, 2017:

That time when one of my characters got a job at a bookstore. Read more…

Writing Place
June 26, 2017:

My writing desk and the things that keep me inspired. Read more…

Just One Smile
June 18, 2017:

An excerpt from my short story, Just One Smile. Read more…

City of Books
June 10, 2017:

Seize the book. Read more…

Fine, We’ll Do It Ourselves
June 3, 2017:

Maybe Wonder Woman is the hero America needs right now. Read more…

New Pitcher Plant Excerpt
May 26, 2017:

Thanks for your support! Here’s a new excerpt from Pitcher Plant. Read more…

Pitcher Plant Release Day!
May 12, 2017:

It’s launch day for Pitcher Plant! Join the party. Read more…

Pitcher Plant Cover Reveal!
May 4, 2017

The cover reveal for my new suspense novel, set on the Oregon coast! Read more…

Worthy Causes
April 29, 2017

Two great educational programs worth supporting. Read more…

Beach Town
April 15, 2017

Seaside, the charming setting of my new suspense novel. Read more…

In Praise of Editors
March 30, 2017

Why editors are essential to writers. Read more…

Literacy & Little Free Libraries
March 24, 2017

Little free libraries auctioned for a great cause: a library card for every child. Read more…

Diving with Sharks
March 11, 2017

What I did on my birthday. Carpe diem. Read more…

Ghost Stories at the Library
March 5, 2017

Writing fiction and swapping ghost stories. Read more…

Monster in the Woods
February 24, 2017:

A new excerpt from Sunset Empire, and a free writing workshop. Read more…

Finished
February 19, 2017:

A thought-provoking essay on writing from author Diana Kirk. Read more…

Words of Wisdom
February 12, 2017:

Advice for aspiring writers. Read more…

How I Found My Publisher
February 4, 2017:

How a successful pitch on #PitMad and a solid query letter landed me a publishing deal. Read more…

Books & Bread
January 29, 2017:

Eat Local, Read Local. Come meet North Coast authors at the Blue Scorcher Bakery. Read more…

#WhyIMarch
January 20, 2017:

A post on why I’m marching with the resistance on January 21. Because there are too many reasons to write on a single sign. Read more…

News on Pitcher Plant
January 11, 2017:

Great news! Pitcher Plant is being published this spring! Read more…

Favorite Reads of 2016
December 19, 2016:

Some of my favorite books of 2016, and what’s on my to-read list for 2017. Read more…

Perfect for a Cold Day
December 8, 2016:

A crazy easy recipe for shortbread. You’re welcome. Read more…

Sunset Empire Launch!
December 4, 2016:

Exciting news: Secrets and Shadows is a bestseller and Sunset Empire is now available as a paperback! Read more…

Secrets & Shadows Launch!
November 30, 2016:

It’s launch day for the Secrets and Shadows box set! Get your copy and read an excerpt from Sunset Empire. Read more…

Secrets & Shadows, Part 3
November 25, 2016:

Meet three more amazing authors from the Secrets and Shadows box set! Read more…

Secrets & Shadows, Part 2
November 18, 2016:

Meet three more bestselling authors from the Secrets & Shadows box set! Read more…

Secrets & Shadows, Part 1
November 11, 2016:

Today I’m introducing you to three of the wonderful authors in our new YA box set. Read more…

Big News!
November 5, 2016:

Sunset Empire is being published in a new young adult box set, Secrets & Shadows! Read more…

October 18, 2016:

My blog is going on hiatus for the next two weeks because I’m working to meet a deadline on a super secret project I can’t wait to tell you about. Big news coming soon.

Getting Naked in Public
October 13, 2016:

When you write, you bare your soul. Read more…

Majority Rules
October 5, 2016:

A lesson on democracy goes awry. Read more…

Ghosts of My Ghost
September 30, 2016:

Meet Gideon For-mukwai, author of The Science of Story Selling. Read more…

Take Stock
September 23, 2016:

Now and again when life gets busy, I find I need to step back and think about what I’m doing and where I’m headed. Read more…

Urine Sample
September 17, 2016:

A cautionary tale: one dog, one flip-flop, and an impossible task. Read more…

Rejection
September 9, 2016:

When you’re a writer, rejection is part of the job. Read more…

Waterbug
September 2, 2016:

I’d much rather swim in a cold lake with my son than sit on shore watching him have fun without me. Read more…

The Smart Mouth Book Club
August 27, 2016:

On why I love my book club. Read more…

Haunted Mansion?
August 19, 2016:

A tour of the house that inspired Sunset Empire. Read more…

Stuff, Part II
August 12, 2016:

On material goods versus virtual goods. Read more…

Harassed
August 3, 2016:

Not everyone can simply quit their job if they encounter a hostile workplace. Read more…

That Was Then, This Is Now
July 29, 2016:

A conversation with a thirteen-year-old about Pokémon and politics. Read more…

Phobia
7/22/2016:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And clowns. And maybe spiders. Read more…

So, You Want to be a Writer…
7/15/2016:

In which I answer a reader’s question about how I became a writer. Read more…

Thirteen
7/8/2016:

On feeling thankful to have children. Even if they are teenagers. Read more…

Tellin’ Stories
6/30/2016:

Writing fiction may be a socially acceptable form of lying, but it sure is fun. Read more…

Open for Business
6/23/2016:

I’m embarking on a new adventure: opening a business. Read more…

Go Jump in a Lake
6/16/2016:

On finding light in darkness. Read more…

Cool
6/10/2016:

There’s nothing like feeling the wind flow through your hair as you cruise along at 15 miles per hour. Read more…

Misadventure
6/2/2016:

It’s not an adventure unless someone comes back soaked or injured. (The someone usually being me.) Read more…

Cursed
5/26/2016:

A slice of pizza, killer heels, and a lesson in humility. Read more…

Raven Girl
5/19/2016:

#TBT A story about a girl, a raven, and some crackers. Read more…

What We Leave Behind
5/13/2016:

A list of what we’ll take in a natural disaster, and what we’ll have to leave behind. I’m afraid the piranha will be a goner. Read more…

Smarty Pants
5/5/2016:

I thought I wanted a smart dog, but now I’m not so sure. I joke that the next time I get a dog, I want one that’s dumb and lazy. I’m only partly kidding. Read more…

Beautiful Women
4/28/2016:

An essay on politics, unicorns, and critical thinking. I’m not going to tell you who you should vote for—that’s your prerogative. I will challenge you to think critically though. You’ve been warned. Read more…

These Are The Days
4/21/2016:

These are the days made for living, and I don’t want to waste a single one. Read more…

Be This Guy
4/15/2016:

Am I the person who skips off happily when somebody does something nice for me? Or do I take time to express my appreciation? Read more…

Save Yourself
4/8/2016:

Be strong enough to save yourself, but brave enough to ask for help. Read more…

Pest Control
4/1/2016:

A short story in honor of April Fool’s Day. A seasoned assassin finds her breach of etiquette isn’t the only snafu at a friend’s party. Read more…

Stuff
3/25/2016:

I have this fantasy where I get rid of all my stuff and live in a tiny house. It’s a charming cottage, with cedar shingles and flowers blooming in window boxes. Most importantly, it’s free of clutter. Read more…

Unsolicited
3/18/2016:

Here’s the moral to the story: sometimes you need to quit listening to bad advice and quit worrying about what everyone else thinks, and just do what’s best for you. Read more…

Forty…Something
3/11/2016:

A birthday manifesto and a laundry list of things I’ve survived. Read more…

The Naked Old Man and the Cabbie
3/4/2016:

In which I share some thoughts about traveling. Also, about a naked old man. Read more…

Monsters of the PNW: Colossal Claude
2/26/2016:

Part three of the Monsters of the PNW series…and my very own Oregon coast sea monster. Read more…

Monsters of the PNW: Bandage Man
2/19/2016:

Part two of the Monsters of the PNW series, in which I introduce an urban legend you’ve probably never heard of. Read more…

Monsters of the PNW: Sasquatch
2/12/2016:

The main focus of this blog thus far has been on ghosts. I think it’s time we discussed monsters. First up, sasquatch. Read more…

Nightmare Doll
2/5/2016:

Some people like dolls. Me, not so much. Not after the nightmares. Read more…

Favors From the Dead
1/29/2016:

Do ghosts feel protective of the living? Maybe they do. Read more…

Pipe Dreams and Synchronicity
1/22/2016:

Ever had a dream that seemed to come true? It’s a weird experience. Read more…

Crying Ghost
1/14/2016:

I heard a new ghost story this week. Check it out–it’s a doozy. Read more…

Hope and a Tiny Elephant
1/8/2016:

Synchronicity is the idea that there are meaningful patterns of coincidences that occur in life. When I’ve encountered synchronicities, there’s often a sense of déjà vu, like I’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone. Read more…

That’s One Way to Get My Attention
12/30/2015:

You wouldn’t think bath time with toddlers could be creepy. But it can be, if you live in a haunted house. Read more…

Christmas Eve Ghost
12/22/2015:

It’s the ghost of Christmas Eve…and I think my son has the shine. Read more…

The Shadow Man
12/18/2015:

When I’m into a story, nothing can stop me from writing. Not even a ghost. Read more…

Rise of the Golden Aura
12/11/2015:

Today I want to introduce you to Chanrithy Him, author of Rise of the Golden Aura, a story that reimagines vampires. Chanrithy told me about Asian vampire mythology and how that contrasts with Western vampires. Her novel was inspired partly by the first Queen of Cambodia and the legend surrounding her being a Naga (Dragon) princess. Read more…

There’s Something in the Basement
Posted 12/3/2015:

The fluorescent lights were dim, making the room seem darker than it should have been. I got a strong feeling, like I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t welcome. Unnerved, I grabbed what I needed in a hurry and got out of there. Read more…

El Fantasma de la Madrugada
Posted 11/27/2015:

Check out this great story about a ghost in a radio station, shared with me by Mike Nettleton, author of The Shotgun Kiss. Read more…

Haunted Rocking Chair
Posted 11/20/2015

The following stories were shared with me by a reader named Cathee, about some creepy experiences she’s had. If you’ve got a spooky story to share, you can email me at solasbeir@gmail.com. Read more…

Purge
Posted 11/11/2015

The hardest part was psychological—not panicking while holding your breath. I was mentally prepared for the challenge. What I wasn’t ready for was an equipment failure forty feet below the surface. Read more…

Kitchen Apparition
Posted 11/6/2015

At a recent book festival, I had the pleasure of sharing an author table with Carolyn J. Rose, a mystery writer living near Portland. Not only is Carolyn hilarious, she is a fellow Firefly fan and Wildcat, and she likes ghost stories. When she told me about her own encounter with the supernatural, I begged her to write a guest post for my blog. Read more…

The Ghost of Klindt’s Booksellers
Posted 10/30/2015

The scenic town of The Dalles is located along the banks of the Columbia River, and as Oregon’s oldest bookstore, Klindt’s Booksellers is a gem in the community. They’ve been selling books, stationery, journals, and office supplies since 1870, and the original floors, cabinets, and bookshelves remain intact. They even have their own ghost. Read more…

My Worst Nighmare
Posted 10/23/2015

Usually, my nightmares aren’t too bad, but every now and again there’s one that stays with me long after I’ve woken. I’ve never forgotten the worst one. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen, asleep or awake. Read more…

Nosy Bathroom Ghost
Posted 10/14/2015

If ghosts exist, how do they spend their time? Are they mindless apparitions, reliving the last moments of their lives, or self-aware, watching us live ours? Read more…

The Ghost of Old Main
Posted 10/9/2015

Academia is the last place I’d expect to encounter the supernatural. While working at the University of Arizona, a school dedicated to scientific inquiry, I had a number of experiences I can’t explain. Read more…

Creeping in the Dark
Posted 10/2/2015

Today I’m thrilled to introduce Sheri Levy, author of Seven Days to Goodbye. Sheri has a wonderfully spooky post to share with you all. Read more…

A Tale of Two Houses
Posted 9/25/2015

One house was lovely. The other was evil. Read more…

Bloody Mary’s Mirror
Posted 9/18/2015

Julie Dawn, author of Yosemite Rising, shares her version of a familiar urban myth. I remember hearing about Bloody Mary in the fourth grade, standing with my friends in a school bathroom with the lights off as we tried it. Read more…

The Thing in the Closet
Posted 9/11/2015

You’ll never sleep with the closet door open again. You’re welcome. Read more…

Things We Don’t Like to Talk About
Posted 9/4/2015

There’s a reason stories like this don’t end up on the news, and that’s because they really freak people out around here. Navajo friends I had growing up would barely talk about skinwalkers, even the adults. Read more…

Whistle
Posted 8/28/2015

I froze, the whistle on my own lips dying as my hands clenched the wheel. I wasn’t alone in the car. Read more…

Ping Pong Paddle
Posted 8/21/2015

When I was in second grade, I got into big trouble at school. Read more…

Dressed in Shadows
Posted 8/15/2015

Today I’m featuring Honey Perkel, a fellow author on the Oregon coast. Honey will be sharing about her brush with the supernatural, which relates to her son, Brian, who passed away four years ago. Read more…

The Old Hag
Posted 8/8/2015

Like my grandmother, my father told me scary stories, and I loved hearing them. He too had a ghostly encounter at the house where they lived when he was young. Read more…

My Grandma Is Cooler Than Your Grandma (Though I Might Be Biased)
Posted 8/1/2015

I wouldn’t say my family is psychic, but we’re not exactly normal. Let’s just say we’re sensitive to certain things, and as a result, we’ve got a lot of creepy stories to tell. Maybe it’s because of our Scottish heritage, our ties to the old world. Or maybe we’re just tuned in. Read more…

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2012