I Think the Universe’s Trying To Tell Me Something…


Yesterday, I was excited to see a bag of Doritos on sale at Walmart with my birthday on it. Naturally, I had to buy the chips, thinking the universe’s trying to tell me something.

Flash forward to being in the passenger seat while dad was driving. I glanced up quickly and noticed GHOST written on the back window. The light gray words  were faded, reminding me of the time I saw a ghost appear in the full length mirror when I was a kid.

My mind started racing:

  • Will I turn into a ghost on my birthday???
  • Will I see a ghost on my birthday???
  • Is a ghost trying to contact me RIGHT NOW???
  • Oh please, please, please don’t. I can’t handle ghosts right now. I wouldn’t be able to help.
  • Why write ‘ghost’ though? Why not just appear?
  • Am I losing it???


Wanting to see if I was crazy or not, I blurted out to my dad, “I see ‘ghost’ written on your back window.” He gave me a look (lol) then glanced himself through the rear view mirror. He started laughing then explained how there was a liquor bottle with the word ‘ghost’ in the brand name in his car.

I thought about that even though I couldn’t see the bottle in the back, nor was there an outline of a bottle  with the words I saw in the back window. But that explanation was less scary than a ghost trying to contact me…I still say the universe is trying to tell me something though. I keep having vivid dreams of places I visited frequently in my childhood and I’ve had a few dreams of some deceased relatives. I’m talking to them in my dreams, but the second I wake up, I can’t remember the conversations. I can only remember the overall things that happened in the dreams and how it made me feel.

What do you guys think? Was ‘ghost’ just something from a liquor bottle? Or is someone/something trying to send me a message?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Am I Crazy? Absolutely! Let Me Tell You About My Ghost Tour!

I’m crazy, and that’s okay. Being normal is boring. Last year I went to Florida and convinced my cousins to help me search for alligators. Two lived in the marsh right in the house development we were staying in! Now, I convinced my co-worker Leigh to take a ghost tour with me. We believe in ghosts, so it was absolutely, positively fun yet  terrifying.

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During our Sharpsburg Civil War Ghost Tour, Mark P. Brugh was our tour guide. He’s a local historian. He gave us much insight on the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam. That day the town of Sharpsburg only saw red, only saw blood, only saw death.

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This looks like a perfect normal alley, but it’s haunted by three children and a waving man. The tour started at 8pm and ended around 9:30pm. I held it together when there was light…

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…but the dark totally played with my head. By then, we had heard about three ghost stories. I’m such a scaredy cat; it doesn’t take much to scare me hee hee.

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Mark told us that this corner of the brick building has the most paranormal activity. He encouraged us to take turns taking pictures to see if we could get a glimpse of a ghost or orb!

The Children’s Alley ghost tour was so spooky that Leigh and I plan to go back to Sharpsburg to attend Mark’s The Confederate Soldiers’ Passageway Tour soon. I’m shaking in my boots.

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That night I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were being watched…a battered gray cat with a limp followed us throughout the night. First, it crept across a creepy yard. Then, the cat ended up walking in the alley behind us. When we reached the end, it sat there and watched us cross the street. I swear minutes later, I turned my head to find that weird looking cat hovering up the sidewalk, not even ten feet from us!

Why do you think it was following the crowd? Do you believe in ghosts?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby


Finding Motivation (My Curiosity of Blair Witch Project Helped With That)

Finding inspiration for story ideas can be found anywhere. I just happened to get inspired at work. Sitting at a desk all day in a office forces me to daydream hee hee. The other day I was talking to my coworkers Sarah and Leigh. We were comparing local ghost stories and urban legends. Even in the broad daylight, I was terrified. It’s so fun scaring yourself!

Sarah is awesome. She’s a writer like me, and I go to her for quirky random facts. She understands that I’m an oddball and doesn’t try to change me. I can always appreciate that. I want to thank her for the shout out she gave me on her blog 🙂 And, I think it’s cool that she attempted to film a horror movie in school. I admire anyone who’s not afraid to put themselves out there.

My first potential project involves The Blair Witch Project. Living in West Virginia, I’m only about twenty minutes away from Burkittsville, MD. Does a witch truly haunt those woods? Is it a hoax? If someone were to make up an urban legend, why would it be for that small town?

Being an INTJ, my mind is always full of questions. I need to know these answers to this urban legend even if I just make something up–hence why I write fiction. It’d be fun to create something involving a group of people investigating The Blair Witch woods only to find trouble, of course. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t write dark fiction…

I’m a bit crazy and I believe you only live once, so I keep debating if I’d ever step foot in those woods. I mean, a part of me believes the legend. The risk is I wouldn’t make it out of the forest. Crazy! Crazy! Crazy! That’s the only thing holding me back. I like my life. I don’t want to disappear. I don’t want to die. I’m a bit crazy but I’m not stupid.

The last session of my Comic  Art class ended tonight. There’s so many ways I could create this fictional project:

  • As a comic book
  • As a graphic novel
  • As a short story
  • As a novel or novella
  • As an article, pitching it to blog/magazine editors
  • As a screenplay
  • As a short film

So many options! Ideas aren’t copyrighted, so I better hurry up and make a decision to get to work!

My second idea for a project stems from the fact that my boss has this “window” in his office. He can see us, but we can’t see him, like a two-way mirror. My mind started playing tricks on me, Alfred Hitchcock as my inspiration. What if a character is plotting each person’s death as he watches them one by one through the “window”?

What if questions are awesome, especially if you have an active imagination. I was lucky to find motivation the other day. I took a hiatus on writing to focus on comics. After talking to my coworkers, I want to start putting pen to paper again. I want to scare my readers to the point they need a light on in order to fall asleep. If only I could be the next female Stephen King…

If you’ve heard of The Blair Witch Project, what’s your take on it? Do you think it’s real? Fake? Exaggerated?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby


Halloween Blog Bash–The 10 Spookiest Urban Legends

halloween%20blog%20bashUrban legends reveal our deepest, darkest fears. Some people dismiss them, but is that wise? Even if urban legends are a bit of exaggeration, there could be some truth to them. Here’s the top 10 spookiest urban legends I’ve ever heard (and let me tell ya, I’m a huge scaredy cat):

1.  Bloody Mary

A group of friends stood in front of a mirror and said “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary” repeatedly. After 13 times, something scary happened. Some survived. Some didn’t.

2.  The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

A babysitter, who’s a teenager, kept getting prank calls from a creepy guy. He kept asking, “Have you checked the children?” After calling the cops, she discovered the creep was actually in the house!

3.  The Killer In the Backseat

A woman rode alone late at night. She’s scared because another car was riding fast with its high beams on. She tried to get away from the maniac–or was he really a maniac? Perhaps he was trying to warn her that a killer was in the back seat of her car!

4.  The Dead Boyfriend

A couple is at Lovers’ Lane late at night, making out. He left to use the bathroom in the bushes. After a long wait, the girl panicked. All of a sudden, she heard scraping on the roof of the car (almost like footsteps). She found her boyfriend hung from a tree.

5.  Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn On the Light?

A girl was in her dorm room, lights off about ready to fall asleep. She thought she sensed someone else in the room but talked herself out of it. When she woke up the next morning, she discovered a dead body. Written with blood on the walls “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?”

6.  Mothman Sightings in Point Pleasant, WV

From November 15, 1966 to December 15, 1967 the community of Point Pleasant spotted the Mothman (Man-Sized Bird…Creature…Something). One sighting even happened in the year 2000.

7.  Monkey’s Paw

A person found a lucky charm, a monkey’s paw. He was granted 3 wishes. Be careful what you wish for. Instead of good things happening, there was a twist with every wish–a twist that made him suffer.

8.  The Dead Body Under the Mattress

A couple checked into a hotel room, which had a foul smell. They couldn’t take the stench anymore and called the front desk to complain. The staff took off the mattress and discovered something terrible: a dead woman’s body had been stuffed in the box spring of the bed.

9.  Buried Alive

A man, thought to be dead, was buried. Bad news–he wasn’t really dead. Scratch marks were found on the coffin lid as though he tried to escape his painful, slow, lonely death.

10.  What Do You Mean It’s Not a Halloween Prop?

A group of people went to a Haunted Fairgrounds for Halloween. People were dressed up in costumes and the area was decorated. Wow, the prop on the tree looked really authentic. A body hung from a tree. Only this body wasn’t in costume…this body wasn’t part of the Halloween event. This person had committed suicide.

Are there any urban legends that truly scare you?

This is the last day for the Halloween Blog Bash! Please check out Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer’s blog to read his reviews on scary movies and books or anything related to Halloween.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby


I’m Proud Of My Brother For Making the Junior Olympics!!!

photoMy little brother is following in my footsteps. Well, I can’t really call him little anymore hee hee. Anyway, RJ’s on a track team that was able to qualify for the Junior Olympics held in Michigan. I’m so proud of him! The feature will be in The Journal newspaper soon, so I can’t wait to read it.

Hopefully, the team can raise enough donations to be able to travel there. It would suck to qualify, then not be able to attend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can get these young men to Detroit. It’s always cool to see accomplishments in the local paper, especially by young people (our future).

RJ’s the farthest on the left, and my cousin Marquel is standing beside him. It’s funny because me and RJ are 13 years apart, and we have nothing in common. I’m a big ole introvert and a self-proclaimed geek. He’s a charming, popular athlete.

Wishing him and the rest of the team best of luck!

As a writer, I’m definitely observing the process of raising money for a particular goal. You never know when a story idea or a sub-plot can come in handy. So far, they’ve been trying to find sponsors, will have a feature in the paper (hopefully, some locals will want to help), and had a car wash (hopefully more events are planned). Guys, it may be time to have an auction for your time–if all the teen TV shows can do it, then why can’t it happen in real life hee hee.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Why Do Crushes Revert You Back To Junior High?

Crushes come and go. But while you have them, you get intense feelings for someone, butterflies in your stomach, insert any corny description hee hee…

In school, I was a pretty private person. I wouldn’t reveal my crushes to anyone, not even my family or friends. One day in the 12th grade, I got the bright idea to engage in girl talk with my two classmates Katie and Janice. We had a couple classes together and they were always cool towards me.

I confessed that I had a crush on Junior H., a junior in our Business Law class. He was a class clown (back then, I was attracted to anyone who could make me laugh). He looked like a younger, cuter version of John Malkovich. It felt good to get that off my chest. I figured we could have a secret amongst ourselves and something to gossip about when we were bored with the lecture.

That same day at lunch, I walked to the line to get food (it must have been stromboli or pizza day because anything else I always ate cookies and chips from the vending machines). Junior H. was seated with a group of friends. With a huge, sneaky grin, he said, “Hey Yawatta” in a sing-songy voice. Taken aback, I said “hi”. He had never acknowledged my presence outside of class before; that should have been my first clue that something was up. My second clue–he wouldn’t stop staring at me with his goofy smile. His eyes followed me through the line. To tell you the truth, I couldn’t even tell you if his friends were snickering or not because I only focused on his odd behavior.

Well let me tell ya, the girls informed me that they had told him my secret. I was flabbergasted; I didn’t want him to know. How embarrassing! Everyone in our class already knew Junior H. had a crush on the triplets, Brianna and Bridget, even though he had no shot in hell. Our Business Law classmates and teacher always teased him about it. He took it all in stride, never missing an opportunity to flirt with them.

That day and for the rest of 2nd semester, the class and Ms. Williams-Grant picked on Junior H. and me about my crush. I appreciated that he was nice about the situation. He could’ve turned into an arrogant douchebag, but that wasn’t his style. Every day she’d point out how much I was a catch (how embarrassing!) and would encourage him to take me to prom. Good times. Good times.

Even though that experience happened, it didn’t discourage me in college from revealing who my crushes were. Sometimes it feels good to get it off your chest. To put the ball in someone else’s court and if nothing happens, then it’s easier to move on.

Yesterday reminded me of this incident because I confessed that I used to have a crush on someone, with the girl thinking maybe I never stopped liking the guy. I had been alone with two girls; its a guy we all know. Will it be a repeat of Business Law class?

Anyone have any funny or interesting experiences to share about revealing your crush on a person?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Wait. What? We Never Dated

I was minding my own business in my room when my freshmen roommate walked in, drunk. She was giddy because she had just partied with a bunch of guys I graduated high school with. Then out of nowhere, she said (well, slurred her speech hee hee), “I met your ex. He’s so sweet.”

Say what now? I never dated in school; I didn’t even get the courage to flirt with the opposite sex until my college years LOL. Intrigued by this new development, I asked her who it was. Her response: “Why ask a question you already know the answer to?” So, I had to play the guessing game for about 15 minutes. Good times. Good times.

Finally, she gave me a name. I told her that he wasn’t my ex because we never dated. She called me bitchy for not claiming him. Then, she told me everything he had said at the party about “us.”

I don’t confront people, but if I ever saw him on campus, I would’ve brought this lie up. Not rude. Not straightforward–no need for him to put his guard up. I would’ve probably joked about it to see how he reacted. I never got the chance because I don’t think he attended WVU (only his friends did, which I never saw them on campus either).

Fast forward, 10 years later. I joked with my cousin that she should invite him to hang out with us at my class reunion (she is friends with him). She told me to leave him alone because we could never be friends.

Say what now? What did I do? Is he upset over something imaginary?

I’m still disappointed that our class reunion was canceled indefinitely. If I wasn’t lazy, I would so try to plan one hee hee.

Any theories why he told my roommate we were exes (she said she told the guys that me and her lived together. That’s what started the topic of our “relationship”)?

  • Too drunk to think straight?
  • To get my attention?
  • A joke taken seriously?
  • Didn’t think she would really tell me?
  • Etc?

It’s funny because Bones had a funny episode where Vincent is going around telling all the ladies he works with that he’s sorry for telling his friends that he slept with them. That he had been drunk. I just chalked my old friend’s (ex?) behavior to that. Still doesn’t explain why we could never be friends.

Oh well, that’s one mystery that will never be solved.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

You Ain’t Haagen-Dazs

Have you ever been at the counter and regretted your decision to buy something? That’s exactly what happened to me last night. I attended my writer’s group meeting, and someone had mentioned that we should order since we’re using the cafe. Okay, that’s fine. However, out of six only three stood up. This was even after we announced we just came from Beasley’s Bookstore for dinner. That’s why I like to call us The Charles Town Chumps hee hee.

Skippers is popular for its ice cream–think the hard kind like Baskins Robbins. Very delicious. However, $6.10 is way too much for three measly scoops of ice cream. Even Dairy Queen isn’t outrageous like that.

When he told me the price, I almost fainted. I did a double-take, wide-eyed. That’s probably why he smiled so hard. He swiped my card, and all I could think was I’m a huge sucker. Twice in one day. I would have canceled my order, but there was a long line behind me, and I don’t want to be that girl. I’m cheap, but the world doesn’t need to know that. I kept thinking how all the different brands of ice cream in the frozen section of the grocery store aren’t priced too high–and they are big cartons. Skippers is not Ben & Jerry or Haagen-Dazs.

For next time, I know to stay away from the ice cream. It’s very delicious but NOT worth the price. For a struggling artist like me, $6.10 empties my bank account hee hee. Can you imagine if I said, “Hey mom, sorry you didn’t get a Mother’s Day present from me. I brought ice cream. I guess that’s just how the cookie crumbles.”

Would you have canceled your order or sucked it up and kept your mouth shut?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Read A Spooky Ghost Story And Help Sponsor A Leader Dog!


Hello! And a big thanks to Yawatta for having me as a guest on her blog!

I am pleased to announce that my book, The Legend of Rachel Petersen, has been released through Damnation Books, and I plan on donating a portion of my book’s proceeds to The Leader Dogs for the Blind, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan. This organization has been training Leader Dogs and placing them with blind people, free of charge, since 1939, and they have achieved this amazing feat all from donations.

I know all too well, both their generosity and the impact of their invaluable services. Furthering that statement, I also understand first handedly how strongly the visually impaired faithfully depend, trust, and rely on their dogs, whereas my older brother, Gene, has been blind since birth, and is on his third canine companion. As kids, my brother and I were constantly hand in hand. We went everywhere together. I was, in fact, Gene’s first Leader Dog!

We don’t get to visit each other as often as we would like, since Gene resides three hundred miles away in Philadelphia. However, the times I have visited my brother, I was impressed on how well Gene’s dog guided his blind master through the streets of the City of Brotherly Love. It’s absolutely amazing how smart these animals are. The people in Michigan do a fantastic job in training these Leader Dogs. Valor, Gene’s latest dog, is a beautiful Black Labrador Retriever, and when my brother puts the harness on Valor, that dog knows it is time to work. He even seems to enjoy riding the subway.

I live in a rural area of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and being the avid outdoorsman that I am, I spend a great deal of time in the woods, mostly within walking distance of my home. Last year, I came upon a lone grave in the woods, which inspired my paranormal tale. From years of weathering, the inscription was barely legible, it read, “Rachel Peterson, 1801 to 1899”. I changed the spelling of the last name and made my ghost character a young girl, which I feel gives the story a more realistic touch, while making the tale that much spookier.

But what is really ironic, and eerily enough, my story evolves around 39-year-old sports writer Christian Kane, who becomes outraged when The Pittsburgh Post Gazette overlooks him for a well-deserved promotion. Kane quits the Paper and moves to the country to write fiction. Inspiration flows from a grave he stumbles upon in the woods, with the headstone having the dates 1851 to 1863, which means the girl died during the Civil War. He is then compelled to pen The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating and horrific story based on the dead twelve-year-old girl laid to rest beneath the weathered tombstone. His book quickly climbs the Best Seller lists; then Hollywood makes it in to a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous, but only to have Rachel rise from the grave, seeking revenge on him for slandering her name! Or does she?

The Legend of Rachel Petersen is available both as an e-file at Damnation Books, http://www.damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=135 , or visit my website, http://www.jtbaroni.com  . However, I forewarn any potential readers, I wrote this story with a mature audience in mind; it does contain adult content, and one scene in particular may be disturbing for young readers. Two specific stories  majorly influenced my plot structure, The Devil’s Advocate and The Sixth Sense; both of which are my all time favorite movies. Therefore, two unforeseen twists come out of nowhere at the end of the story and smack you upside the head.

I would like to graciously thank everyone who helps support my cause; raising a puppy to Leader Dog status is extremely expensive, averaging forty five thousand dollars per sponsored dog.

In conclusion, thanks again for having me, Yawatta, and I hope everybody enjoys my novel!

JT Baroni

What Would You Do For Free Chic-Fil-A Food?

If two ladies in a cow costume walked into a Chic-Fil-A restaurant, what would you do?  Applaud them?  Heckle them?  Trip them over?  Avoid eye contact?  Scream “Moo”?

For about two years now, someone has asked me to dress up like a cow with her on a certain day to receive a free menu item from Chic-Fil-A.  I want to say on Wednesdays.

I’m the type of person who doesn’t like being out of my comfort zone.  And, I weigh the pros and cons of every action before doing it, probably why I move slow.

  • PROS-free food (their nuggets and walnut brownies are so delicious)
  • could be a funny story to add to my Book of Observations
  • did I already mention free food?
  • could say I’ve done something most haven’t.  I like being unique
  • economy is still pretty rough, so people gotta do what they gotta do
  • CONS-free food would probably be something I don’t like; I’m a very picky eater
  • wouldn’t travel to Washington DC (about an hour and 10 minutes away) to do this

As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons.  So what’s stopping me?  I was tempted to do it (even though the person who keeps asking probably doesn’t believe me) until she told me it’d be a full cow costume where she’d be in the front section, and I’d be stuck as the butt.

Say what now?  I’m not claustrophobic by any means, but there’s no way I’m letting someone’s butt in my face.  I mean–literally in my face.  Could I even breathe in a costume like that?

I can picture me fainting from lack of oxygen and having us fall onto the floor.  The head and top half of the cow’s body would shake and try to get up while the legs, tail, and butt would lay lifeless.

When the medics arrive, they’d have to give me CPR.  When I’d wake up, I’d keep repeating, “I’m a cow.  I’m a cow.”  They’d probably have me committed.  I couldn’t really blame them; I can even picture The Journal newspaper covering the event on the front page.

The only way I would ever consider doing this is if we went to the Chic-Fil-A in Jefferson County, and if we didn’t have to dress up in a full cow costume.  I could muster up the courage to wear a cow head without it being Halloween.  So, if this person is still interested, let me know hee hee.

Then again, if I’d do something silly, crazy, fun like this, I should go balls to the wall.  We’d need as many stares and whispers about us as possible.  I’m talking customers snapping pics of us and posting it on Facebook, or making a video on YouTube–West Virginians know how to have fun too.

I can picture workers behind the counter questioning the manager’s sales promotion and calling us suckers for participating in it.  Maybe it’d even make their day or put a smile on their face.  Either way, they better give me my free order if I do this.

For the writers out there–if you get asked to do something, don’t automatically dismiss it.  You don’t have to do it, but it’s fun to think “what if…”  Let the scenario play in a story of yours.

  • I usually write dramas, but I’m sure I could fit this funny subplot into a story one day.  Thanks-you know who-for giving me the idea!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby