ThursdayDoors: The Basilica

HudsonDoorsGoing back in time again, this time to a wedding in an abandoned factory in Hudson New York. The Basilica – once a forge and foundry for steel railways, then briefly a glue factory – now spends its semi-retirement as an events venue.




Founded in 1662, the town of Hudson thrived as a whaling and then manufacturing town for well over a hundred years until the late 19th century.  Once the manufacturers disappeared the town slipped into “the unlikely setting for a world of prostitution, gambling, murder, and government corruption—with more than a touch of the Keystone Kops thrown in.” This according to Bruce Edwards Hall, the author of Diamond Street, The Story of the Little Town with the Big Red Light District.

Apparently he wasn’t exaggerating because in 1951 then Governor Dewey had to send in troops to run the varmints out of town or lock them up.  Old West shenanigans in an otherwise quaint dairyland – gotta love it!


The inside of the factory the day before the wedding (trees had just been delivered)


The inside during the wedding – quite magical isn’t it?  During the reception a thunderstorm rumbled and flashed overhead and the roof leaked!

In the mid-eighties the town began to revive, thanks to an unlikely group of modern day pioneers.  Antiques dealers.  They were followed by artists and nouveau cuisine restaurant owners.  Today many urban couples have summer homes either in Hudson or the surrounding area which they rent via Airbnb. But we stayed outside of town on an organic farm.  I’ve always been a sucker for cows, chickens and pigs.

What’s the most unusual destination wedding you’ve been to?

This post was inspired by Norm Frampton’s #ThursdayDoors event.  Check out other doors here.

My Favorite Part of Writing


Golden Poison Dart Frog. Cute but how do I fit him into my plot?

My favorite part of starting a new novel is the research.  Truth be told, I probably add unnecessary elements to my stories just so I can research something like “poison dart frogs” and find out their venom is used for treating stomach ulcers (oh yeah – gotta fit that into the plot!!)  Some stories don’t require a lot of research but when you have a protagonist like Fi Butters, a lover of all things odd and curious, you’ve got to keep your mind and a Google window open. That’s what happens when your characters are much smarter than you are, folks! 


From the Giant Red Haired Cannibals – one of my most popular posts for mystifying reasons.

Of course, with the first Flipka book it was easy. The story is set primarily in Nevada, home to Giant Red-haired Cannibals, mysterious rock formations, prehistoric fish, whorehouses, nuclear fallout, Area 51, desert rats (the human kind), conspiracy theorists, UFOs, the Burning Man festival, the Virginia City Camel races, tumbleweed filled graveyards, the Cartwrights, plenty of goof ball politicians and, of course, Vegas. It’s a regular cornucopia of bizzarities waiting to be explored.

So you can understand my trepidation at setting the first part of Flipka 2 in the area near Hudson New York, home to farms and cows and cheese.  What delicious oddities about Dairyland could Fi Butters manage to fit into one of her long rambling asides? 


Said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper (mercenary hired by the British) who lost his head to a loose canon during a “nameless battle” near Sleepy Hollow

Well, luckily a headless horseman haunts that area, inspiring Washington Irving to write his classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  The problem is, I currently have no idea how to fit a headless Revolutionary War trooper into Flipka 2.  A possible rival to Professor Lopinski?

The good news is you can find plenty of oddities anywhere.  The problem, how to fit them into your story! What sort of things have you stumbled upon while researching a novel that you just had to fit into a plot?

BTW:  I’m considering adding a page to the blog for promoting writers who have specials going on their books or an upcoming release.  What do you think?  Would you be interested in participating?