Accepted by Princeton, rejected by Princeton’s creative writing program: one outsider’s experience

I’d like to send you back in time: it’s 2006, and I’m a naive highschooler in Texarkana. I had just accepted Princeton’s unexpected but very appreciated admission offer and was excited – “just won the lottery” excited – to study creative fiction as an undergraduate student.

During my first semester in the orange bubble*, I sent a fiction sample to the writing program, crossed my fingers, waited … Continue reading

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Haunted Teapot: Why I Haven’t Written a Blog Post Lately

Wowie! It’s been a long time since my last blog post. There’s a good reason for that. A couple months ago, a friend of my great uncle sent me a teapot. It had a cryptic note in it, so I assumed that it was cursed, because people are weirdly enigmatic around cursed artifacts. Anyway, I barely know the guy (heck, I barely know my great uncle!), and I had every reason to mistrust the teapot, but I ignored common sense and used it to brew tea anyway. That was probably a bad idea, because the teapot’s whistle sounded like a tormented scream, which bothered my neighbors. After a few pots of jasmine green, I started having spooky visions. Instead of telling literally anybody that I needed help (spooky visions are never healthy, ok?), I just allowed the teapot to torment me, read the cryptic message again and again and again, and drank more tea. Continue reading

Meeting Mister Shadow Body: another poem about sleep paralysis

Twenty years ago,
emerging from a dream
(now long forgotten),
awake but frozen –
yes, paralyzed!
(except for my eyes) –
I saw him pacing
in the hall, a phantom,
3-D silhouette,
Mister Shadow Body.
I was not scared then.
Terror came later
as he returned again
again again again.
Because Shadow Body
sightings are just
misfirings in my brain,
the more I learned
about evil,
the more evil he became.

Yes, I wrote another poem about sleep paralysis. Don’t worry, it hasn’t been bad lately, thanks to … ROSIE! At night, she scares the monsters away.

Obligatory science: During the REM cycle, when people dream, “Hypnopompic Continue reading

A Haunting From The Past :D

Spooky alert! I was Skyping with my mom tonight, when this happened:

Mom
‎11‎:‎48‎ ‎PM
So, today I got a weird email from the person who now owns our Tex home (note – we lived in this house for 3 years when I was a teen)…. she & her husband wanted to know if we ever experienced anything strange at the home because her 6 yr old apparently has.‏

me
‎11‎:‎49‎ ‎PM
What kind of weird things?

Mom
‎11‎:‎50‎ ‎PM
Oooooooo, oooooooo‏
She did not explain.‏ She just introduced herself then asked if we had.‏

We have a mystery, Watson! I hope the new family didn’t pull up the living room floorboards, because my brother and I hid secret notes under them. Nothing scary, though. I think? It’s hard to remember. Would Teen Little Badger put spooky notes under the floorboards? Oh dear …

A Night at the Haunted Menger Hotel

For a blog called “Little Badger Diary,” this place lacks autobiographical posts. That oversight changes today!

San Antonio has a decent share of legendary ghosts and haunted buildings. To celebrate the year’s end, my father and I took a late-night tour (Sisters Grimm Dinner and Ghost Tour) of haunted historical San Antonio. Wearing a black dress with petticoats, our charming guide led us from the Alamo to a prison-turned-Holiday Inn. The whole experience took four hours, including dinner, and was well worth the fee. Here are some highlights of the night, captured by my dad’s Kodak EasyShare C330 (2005)! I modded the camera with a SpectralFind lens. The SpectralFind lens is a must-have for any ghost/cryptid hunter, since it amplifies the preternatural waves that are emitted by spirits and Bigfoot eyes.


Corridor

Sallie White, a regular ghost at the Menger, often walks through this hall. A former chambermaid, she sometimes enters rooms at night and cleans, to the horror of sleeping guests. I hope she followed me home, because my house is messy. Continue reading

Mimi and Her Ouija Board

When I lived in Vermont as a tween, my family rented the Hope House in picturesque Castleton. It was built 165 years ago by a local legend well-known for his landscapes. The property is now owned by Castleton State College, and perhaps that’s a good thing …

The Hope House, Courtesy of Castleton State College.

Hope House, courtesy of Castleton State College

 

Inspired by rumors that students of the Victorian-era medical college robbed graves, my brother and I liked to pretend that dead doctors still scoured the town for body parts.

We had a babysitter named Mimi who only came really late at night (as tweens, we were perfectly safe during the day!). A thirty-something, rather lovely woman with hair to her waist, a pretty pierced nose, and intensely blue eyes, she behaved more like a big sister than an authority figure, and we loved her. One night, we told Mimi about our macabre games and begged her to summon ghosts with us. Together, we drew an Ouija board on red construction paper with a Sharpie marker. Then, we dimmed the lights and stacked our hands on a polished stone over the makeshift board.

“Come spirits, come spirits!” Mimi said. “Speak to us!” Suddenly, the stone moved quickly, as if possessed. It spelled:

 

C
L
E
A
N

 

Y
O
U
R

 

R
O
O
M

 

Mimi was a joker. She’s still playing a joke on us, actually, with my parents’ cooperation. They say we never had a babysitter, even late at night.