The New York Times Spends 36 Hours in Pittsburgh

Beyond Pittsburgh’s pretty downtown, transformation and momentum reign, with former industrial areas giving way to restaurants, shops and art venues.

Click here to watch the just under 6 minute video.

MCCC Writers’ Club Seeks Submissions For 28th Annual Fiction And Poetry Contest

Blue Bell/Pottstown, PA The Writers’ Club at Montgomery County Community College is accepting submissions for its 28th Annual Fiction and Poetry Contest now through 2 p.m. on March 12. Mailed entries must be postmarked by March 5. The contest has categories for both poetry and fiction for MCCC students, as well as for alumni/faculty/staff /community residents. Prizes include $100 for first place, $75 for second, $50 for third and to $25 for fourth in each category.

Entries should be submitted to Associate Professor Patricia Nestler, English Department, Parkhouse Hall, Room 458, Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Emailed entries will not be accepted.

Guidelines for submitting poetry and fiction are as follows.

Submissions should be typed on 8.5 x11-inch paper; prose should be typed in in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. The maximum length is 3,000 words.

Name, address, email address and phone number must be typed on a separate title page, along with the category letter and contest entered (A1 MCCC student poetry; A2 MCCC student fiction; B1 non-student poetry; B2 non-student fiction). MCCC students must include their ID numbers for categories A1 and A2. On each subsequent page, the title of the work should be typed in the upper right-hand corner with the last four digits of the phone number from the title page.

The contestant’s name should not appear on any page except for the title page, and all pages should be numbered and clipped together. Contestants may only submit one entry per category and entries will not be returned.

Winners will be notified by email, and entries will not be returned.

For information, call 215-641-6369.

The Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild Presents: Storytelling Olio

Friday Sept. 19, 2014
7:30 PM
Lipkin Theatre
Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd.
Bethlehem, PA 18020

Storytelling Olio

An olio is a round-robin of storytelling.This year’s Olio will feature some of the best storytellers in and around the area including:
Black diamond (cards) Sasha Cheer (Pennsylvania Youth Storytelling Showcase Winner )
Black diamond (cards) Robin Reichert (Lehigh Valley)
Black diamond (cards)Judy England-McCarthy (New Jersey)
Black diamond (cards) Lynn Ruehlmann (Virginia)
Black diamond (cards)Bernie Libster (New Jersey)
Black diamond (cards) Jennings & Ponder (Featured National Storytellers)



Friday’s Storytelling Olio is part of
StoryFUSION Festival – September 19th – 21st 2014

Headliners: Jennings and Ponder
World folktales, duo narrative performance, interwoven with traditional music. Besides evening performances on Friday and Saturday, there will be workshops, free children’s show and story swaps.
For full schedule go to

Jennings & Ponder:
In a powerful blend of technique and soul, this Vermont couple presents traditional world folktales as duo narrative performance, interwoven with traditional Celtic music on harp and concertina. By combining their voices, sensibilities, and creative talents, the duo has developed a form of entertainment that is truly magical, with a unique ability to transcend boundaries.

Friday night – Rush Ticket $6

Lancaster Mayor: Advantages Of College Use Of Former Armory Site Outweigh Price

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology officials came to City Hall and asked the city to sell them the former National Guard armory site, Mayor Rick Gray’s answer was “no.”

The armory was an unexpected windfall for the city, but the city needed it badly.

The buildings which had been used to service military vehicles would become a new maintenance garage to replace the city’s crumbling facility.

But, eventually, college officials persuaded Gray an expansion of the technical school was in the best interests of the college and the surrounding neighborhood.

Read more:

York’s New Arts And Culture Liaison Hopes To Connect Artists, Community

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The words effortlessly pour out of Carla Christopher’s mouth whether she’s behind a mic reading an original poem, or sitting at a coffee table at New Grounds talking about arts in the City of York.

She’s no stranger to the talk or the mic, as she just completed a three-year stint as the city’s poet laureate.

But now, York has tasked her with a new goal — one that’s already near and dear to her heart: arts and culture liaison.

“Carla’s ability to connect to so many different people needed to be capitalized upon,” Mayor Kim Bracey said.

Read more:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Family Reading Night At The Salvation Army Of Pottstown

Family Reading Night

January 25th, 6:00pm – 7:30pm (approx)

The Salvation Army of Pottstown, 137 King Street – Story time, fun-style dinner, craft time, and each child leaves with a book to keep.  Adult(s) must accompany child(ren) throughout the evening.  Very budget friendly — it’s free!  48 spaces available, call to RSVP 610-326-1621.  This event is repeated on the 4th Friday of the month until May 2013.

Poe Fans Call An End To ‘Toaster’ Tradition

1848 Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe at 39, a...

Image via Wikipedia

BALTIMOREEdgar Allan Poe fans waited long past a midnight dreary, but it appears annual visits to the writer’s grave in Baltimore by a mysterious figure called the “Poe Toaster” shall occur nevermore.

Poe House and Museum Curator Jeff Jerome said early Thursday that die-hard fans waited hours past when the tribute bearer normally arrives. But the “Poe Toaster” was a no-show for a third year in a row, leaving another unanswered question in a mystery worthy of the writer’s legacy. Poe fans had said they would hold one last vigil this year before calling an end to the tradition.

“It’s over with,” Jerome said wearily. “It will probably hit me later, but I’m too tired now to feel anything else.”

It is thought that the tributes of an anonymous man wearing black clothes with a white scarf and a wide-brimmed hat, who leaves three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe’s original grave on the writer’s birthday, date to at least the 1940s. Late Wednesday, a crowd gathered outside the gates of the burial ground surrounding Westminster Hall to watch for the mysterious visitor, yet only three impersonators appeared, Jerome said.

Read more:

Raven’s Rage, Order Of The Claw Available October 13th!

Philadelphia author Kerry L. Marzock’s second novel, Raven’s Rage, Order Of The Claw will be available starting Tuesday, October 13th.  You can order her novel from   Get this awesome horror novel just in time for Halloween!  For more information on Kerry, see my interview under the Literature Category.

Ravens-Rage, Order Of The Claw

Edgar Allan Poe Gets Overdue Funeral In Baltimore On Sunday

I am sure most of us were exposed to Edgar Allan Poe in school.  I remember reading his poetry and stories in English class.  I have visited his grave in Baltimore.

This talented but tortured soul had his life cut tragically short at the age of 40.  I often wonder how much more people like Poe would have contributed if they had lived a normal life span. 

After 160 years, Edgar Allan Poe is getting a proper funeral.  Actually two.  Tickets were sold and 350 people are expected to attend each service tomorrow. 

A replica of Edgar was made so there is a body to boot.  It will lie in state for 12 hours prior to the funerals for public viewing. 

Actor John Astin will be the master of ceremonies for the event.  How appropriate!  He was Gomez Addams on the Addams Family if you have forgotten!

RIP Edgar Allan Poe.

A Good October Poem :)


I know a brute
who eats rotten fruit,
farmers hogs
and occasionally stray dogs.

He doesn’t make a fuss
over sores that pus,
or body odor so foul
it’s like a hundred dead owls.

His revolting smile
makes my stomach churn bile.
His gums have begun oozing,
it’s my lunch that I’m losing.

His breath could rot wood
and kill Red Riding Hood.
Bring strong men to their knees
begging spare their lives please.

His hair has more lice
than a sewer has mice.
His hands comb like big rakes
then it snows with great flakes.

Sometime he farts a great melody,
but usually it’s silent and deadly.
He can belch a great chorus
and clear an acre of forest.

But he’s not unhappy in the least
since his wife’s the Wicked Witch of the East.
Wasn’t she squashed by a house you say?
Yes, so he killed Scarecrow and used all his hay.

Then Cowardly Lion who just got his courage,
was all chopped up and added to the porridge.
Dorothy and Toto were next on the list,
so he ground them to a pulp with his big giant fist.

What about the Tinman, what happened to him?
Well he’s the brute I’m talking about, his name is Tim.
He wore the costume so all would not see,
the monster inside who just wanted to live free.

So how do I know him, am I his friend?
No, I’m just a fly on the wall whose life’s coming to an end.
Heed my warning; you’re not in Kansas anymore.
This land of Oz hides grisly creatures galore.


By: Jessica Schmidt

One On One With Philadelphia Novelist Kerry L. Marzock


By Roy Keeler

I had the pleasure to break bread with and interview author Kerry L. Marzock recently.  Kerry is a novelist in the horror genre and poet extraordinaire.  We sat down to talk about where she has been, where she is headed and all things in between.

Kerry’s second novel, Raven’s Rage, Order of the Claw is due to be released on or around October 13th.  This is the sequel to Raven’s Way and prequel to Raven Unleashed.  The trilogy takes place in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley in familiar places like Valley Forge Park, Eastern State Penitentiary and the Wissahickon Valley.  You can read the series in order or you can read the books individually.  Each novel stands alone but there are recurring characters who have “survived” the previous tales.

What can you expect from a Kerry L. Marzock novel?  Crisp dialogue, strong characters, great action and romance (but don’t expect Jane Austin, think Rocky Horror).  Her writing contains all the key elements of a great story which will hold your interest from the first page until the last.

Kerry’s first novel, Raven’s Way, was published in 2006 after 6 months of writing and 3-4 months of editing.  Her current book, Raven’s Rage, Order of the Claw took far longer to complete and has been her most challenging creative effort to date.  Sheer determination made Kerry stick
with this book until it was completed including several detours and taking an extended break to recapture her muse.

Kerry started out writing poetry.  She joined the Soul Asylum Poetry and Publishing family in 2004.  Prior to joining the team at Soul Asylum, Kerry published a book of poetry titled Sea of Emotion under the Publish America label.  As Kerry’s poems became longer, she decided it was time write her first novel.

Pennsylvania born and raised, Kerry started writing stories at the tender age of 5 about Disney characters and super heroes.  A voracious reader, Kerry is a big horror and science fiction fan.  She described herself as a kid who liked to get lost in a good book.  Kerry also has a collection of over one hundred werewolf novels!

Kerry took a long break from writing due to a lack of confidence.  She resumed writing while recuperating from a serious medical condition.  Kerry decided it was time to do the things she always wanted to do!  Writing was at the top of the list.  Bolstered by good feedback from posting her poetry online, Kerry has moved forward and never looked back.  Kerry has been greatly inspired by author Laurell K. Hamilton and particularly her New York Times best selling Anita Blake series.  Anita Blake gave Kerry the push to do the Raven trilogy.

Kerry has several chapters written for Raven Unleashed (book 3).  She also has another book in the works called Scrolls of Sorrow.  Instead of traditional chapters, Scrolls of Sorrow is divided into scrolls.  Each scroll includes a poem.  Kerry is hoping for a summer 2010 release date according to her blog!  She also has an unreleased book of poetry and short stories called Along A Burning Highway.  The poetry is light to dark.  My personal favorite is her dark poetry!  Kerry works full time so all this prolific writing takes place on nights and weekends.

I asked Kerry what her greatest reward has been as an author.  She quickly answered holding a copy of Raven’s Way in her hand.

Kerry is a fascinating person and an incredible writer.  I encourage you to check out her books!

You can learn more about Kerry L. Marzock and order her books from

Kerry has a blog which you can find at