The Harbinger of Gloom Street

Harbinger cover

Once upon a time, two odd things happened. Two things that would,  years later, come together to form a most unusual story and its podcast.
But first: SPOILER ALERT. You might want to go listen to the story first (26 minutes, for free), or even buy the Kindle ebook from Amazon. ($.99 US, or the UK equivalent).
Okay, so here’s the first thing that happened that influenced the story: My husband and I bought a modest house in Satellite beach, Florida, two blocks from the shore and close enough to Cape Canaveral to watch the Space Shuttle take off. We moved in in the dry(-ish) season; Florida was  suffering through a drought. Finally, when the rains came, they weren’t kidding around. The back yard flooded in what seemed like a Biblical downpour, and when the rain let up enough to no longer be deafening, we heard an unusual sound — no, sounds — coming from the back yard. It was pitch black out, and we had no lights back there. What we did have, it seemed to us, was a flock of sheep that had materialized out of thin air.
We thought we’d gone nuts!
But no; it was a flock of bleating frogs. They had lain dormant for months under our St Augustine grass, just waiting to be rehydrated.
Then, years later, I had a dream. Like many of my dreams, it was about house-hunting. Don’t ask why I dream of house-hunting; I just do. Anyway, the realtor in my dream took us to see a house that looked like the one I write about in Fogland.  Strange house, pretty cool, thought no more about it — until two days later, when I saw the house on the BBC! There it was, the house from my dream:
So it was that when Mark Capell, awesome author of “Cafe Insomniac” and other books, asked me to write a story for his Fogland project, my mind took a giant leap back to the flock of frogs from nowhere, and then to the House in the Clouds. I’m glad he loved the story, and proud to be part of the Fogland Project. And the podcast he made is wickedly good!

3 responses

  1. As great as the fictional account was, the real-life background of it is even better 🙂 That’s so cool.

  2. COOL!! I too have recurring dreams about shopping for a new house. More often, it’s the nightmare of learning Tim already bought one and we have to move, and I am mortified at having to pack up and move again and pay closing costs etc. – and the house is always huge, old, in need of repair, and far from town. Nancy Kress, by the way, used a frog-counting stint by locals (helping scientists tally declining frog populations) in her story “Frog Walk.”

  3. “Frog Watch” by Nancy Kress -+- “After her husband Jason, a policeman, is killed in the line of duty, Meg Knowles first attempts suicide and then wants to retreat from other people. She winds up living on the outskirts of the Marshall G. Portwell Wetlands Preserve (actually, a swamp) in Georgia, where she is on Frog Watch. Nightly, she monitors the calls of five species of frogs. She finds that there are more frogs in this swamp than similar areas and they have no deformities. Even odder are her neighbors. Great story from one of the best” SFRevu Review

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