Shark Week 2020: Maine’s First Fatal Shark Attack

Photo by Elianne Dipp on Pexels.com

Here it is: Shark Week 2020. This has long been one of my favorite times of the year, mainly because I have an excuse to profess my undying love for sharks for an entire week. Though this year, the week has been tainted by a sad and unfortunate tragedy in Maine’s waters. No more than a couple weeks ago, a woman was swimming off of an island in southern Maine with her daughter and was attacked by a great white shark. The undisputed theory behind the attack was that this woman was misidentified as a seal because of her wet suit and its exploratory bite caused enough damage for her to die of blood loss. It is Maine’s first fatal shark attack on record.

The media exploded around this event. While most articles published do a good job of explaining the rarity of not only being attacked by a shark but also the regularity of sharks visiting our waters and how normal this has become, there have been other articles that have sensationalized the attack and painted a negative portrait about sharks. It’s no secret that when Jaws was released as a summer blockbuster in 1975, it created waves of terror with the concept of a large predator stalking innocent people at beaches. People were afraid to go in the water. Others chartered fishing boats in order to go out and catch sharks in an effort to cull their own fears about these ancient beasts. It practically destroyed the great white shark population in the north east Atlantic ocean and has perpetuated acts of “shark culling” in several other countries, namely parts of Australia, and South Africa.

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New posts, new book, new everything!

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We’re changing things up a bit here at The *all new* Kat at Night blog. Along with re-branding comes serving new content for the masses. I’ve decided on a few different blog series to incorporate into The Kat at Night that might be some fun for both me and you. I also have a new book coming out in the fall which we’ll talk about a little bit, as well as some upcoming events you can find me at in the spring!

But now, a moment to speak about old series posts here. I will not be continuing Inspiration Through Music, though I would like to incorporate a music-themed blog here on the site. Cooking Adventures will be getting a bit of a make-over in that I will be returning to blogging my adventures versus vlogging them. My video equipment is unfortunately outdated and unable to make a video in a timely fashion. The last Cooking Adventure video I made took me nearly a week to edit because of corrupting video files. Suffice to say, I will try to provide plenty of photos to illustrate the future adventures well.

Now, onto new blog series!

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Spring and the OWC

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Spring might finally be here after all. Today, on this fine Thursday, the temperature is supposed to get up into the fifties! Which means the remnants of this week’s snowstorms will probably all melt. Fine by me. I don’t know about all of you but I am DYING for warm weather. I’ve also had this indescribable craving to put my hands into some soil and start gardening. I’m not a green thumb by any means…so this is strange for me.

The beginning of winter is usually when I get excited about spending time cloistered indoors with a hot cup of coffee and that orange dusky light next to my writing space. I like to imagine that I’m going to have all kinds of time to work on various writing projects (including the blog) and in the end, it rarely turns out that way. In fact, there is a point in about mid-February where I become sick and tired of the Maine winter and long for sun and warmer temperatures. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

As a writer, I’m still searching to find my optimal writing conditions or let’s just shorten it to the OWC. Most writers will tell you that they need to carve out any writing time they can, anywhere they can because trying to write while working a full time job, spending time with family and friends, and taking care of a house doesn’t leave much time in between for scheduled writing blocks. The thing is, I believe you do your best writing when you have a space you feel comfortable in, where you can’t be interrupted or side-tracked. Scraps of paper here and there can only get you so far. You still need a block of time to knit it all together, even if those moments are few and far between.

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Busy Sickly Update…

That feeling you get after you’ve been in bed with a terrible headache ALL WEEKEND…and now, it’s your day to go back to work and you SUDDENLY feel better?

That’s been my weekend, folks.

I managed to get the most demonic headache, a combination of sinus, stress, and muscle all rolled up in a ball and tossed at my head. The sinus part was caused by a Calamondin tree that I have in my apartment (or should I say “had”). The Calamondin is a strange mini fruit tree that has a tiny orange fruit that tastes much like a lime. For some reason, despite it being November, this tree has been rapidly blooming and growing more little oranges. Our weather here in Maine has been warmer than it should be and for some reason, this tree is just absolutely loving it. Problem is that the pollen from these little flowers is super potent and my entire apartment smells like them. One day of sitting here breathing it in made my head feel like I was in Willy Wonka’s tunnel of craziness. The tree is now at my parent’s house after my mom gratefully came and picked it up.

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Port-Con Recap

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(Pictured from left to right: Top; Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffill. Bottom: Dale Phillips, Katherine Silva)

This past weekend, I battled hordes of cosplaying people and visited Port-Con, an annual convention celebrating geek culture in South Portland. This was my second time doing an event like this and so naturally, I was a little nervous about some things going in. For one, I was pretty sure that some of the costumes I saw, I wouldn’t be able to unsee (I’m referring to you, man in the pink spandex suit). Some were outrageous, some were super cool, and some were unidentifiable for me. There were lots of anime characters at this con, which is one of the areas I’m not too versed on. I was able to recognize some video game characters here and there and some obvious Doctor Who impersonators (of which there were many). Didn’t see any Harry Potter which struck me as odd, though.

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PORT-CON THIS WEEKEND!

Guess where I am today?

PORT-CON!

That’s right! For all of you living, visiting, or passing through the Portland, Maine area, be sure to swing in to the Double Tree Hotel across from the Maine Mall and check out this celebration of Maine’s geek culture. Basically…anyone who loves anime, comic books, superheroes, horror, Doctor Who, video games and various other things will be THRILLED.

I was lucky enough to join some of my fantastic New England Horror Writers colleagues this weekend as we present at a few panels and have our books for sale at the show. I’m joined by Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Dale Philips, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffil. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other panels being offered (one of which is about world building) and also looking forward to spending some much needed time promoting my latest release, “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.

We’ll be doing 3 panels over the weekend, one each day.

Friday 2 pm: The Basics of Getting Published

Saturday 2 pm: The Pros and Cons of Writer’s Groups (I’m in this one!)

Sunday 3 pm: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (I’m also in this one!)

Check out the Port-Con website for more information about the event, when to catch our panels, and where you can find our table in the Artist Alley!

Hope to see you here this weekend!

~KSilva

Snow-pocalypse: Winter Storm Writing Fun

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So, if you live in Maine (or anywhere in New England for that matter), this picture above probably describes how you felt today. On three separate occasions today, I spent time digging out my door from impending snowdrifts, and even futilely attempted to dig out the staircase at ground level before the wind filled it all back in again.

Doing all that work in the bitter cold and cutting wind was, however, a welcome experience for me. Why? Because as I’ve now sat down with a nice hot cup of tea, I’ve returned to an apocalyptic story set during the Maine winter that I’d begun a couple years ago and lost my focus on. The characters have been speaking to me for a while as I’ve been working on other projects and I know I can’t ignore them any longer. I feel as though I’ve found the right mood, the right voice, and the right way to tell this story now and I can’t wait to really buckle down and work on it.

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Midcoast Halloween Readings – Thomaston

Reading 2014 Thomaston

Tomorrow night is the last night of our Halloween readings. Please come and be a part of this wonderful and unique event. Highlands Coffee House in Thomaston has allowed us to use their space free of charge tomorrow evening and it would be lovely if we could give them some business to show our appreciation. Not to mention, there will be five very grateful authors waiting to chill and thrill you with their most excellent scary stories! We’d love to see you!

If you can’t make it tomorrow, please do us a kindness and tell your friends and family about it if they live in the area. We’d appreciate it very much. Thank you!

https://www.facebook.com/events/695446007215374/

~KSilva

The Liger Plague by Joseph Souza, a review

Colonel Tag Winters races against the clock to figure out who could have unleashed a deadly virus on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. Roving gangs of murderous survivors, hoards of infected, and time are all against him through this glorious page-turner. Souza’s latest novel is a spectacle of beautiful and gruesome imagery, from the gorgeous Portland skyline and Maine’s rocky coasts to the gory, blood-soaked homes and roads of the fictitious Cooke Island. Accompanied by a cantankerous old islander, Versa, and a peppy sharp-shooting boy, Fez, Winters risks life and limb to save those he loves and get to the bottom of who could have released the Liger Plague. Having just finished reading Matheson’s “I Am Legend”, I’m reminded of the frightening realism of existing in a place of chaos, madness, and danger all on one’s own. Winters endures a mental tug-of-war battle weighing his own humanity against the prospect of killing innocents to keep those he loves safe. I will definitely be reading Book 2 when it comes out!

Want a copy? You can find it here on Amazon. And guess what? It’s 99 cents for a limited time!

~KSilva

Maine Literary Awards Finalist!

I woke up this morning with a migraine. I ended up going back to bed for an hour to get rid of it, sipping at weak coffee, and eating a rather crispy pumpkin muffin.

I drove to work behind someone who was afraid of slight bends in the road. He’d slow down whenever he came to one… and he wasn’t even going the speed limit.

All day at work, I kept saying the opposite of what I meant to say. It got so that I couldn’t even get one sentence out without something not sounding right.

But when I got home, I received some of the best news I’ve ever had. My second novel, Aequitas: Book 2 of The Monstrum Chronicles was nominated in the speculative fiction category at the 2013 Maine Literary Awards. I’m blown away… completely blown away. They said that there were a hundred entries for the various categories. To be one of the finalists in the Maine Literary Awards along with such names as Paul Doiron and Monica Wood and countless others is a tremendous honor. A fellow author with whom I’m thankful to have been introduced to, Jeff Foltz, is one of my fellow nominees. I’m so glad that I can share that category with such a wonderfully talented author.

The awards ceremony is May 30th! I’ll be there to rub elbows with some pretty awesome people and sit trembling as they announce the winners. Words can’t describe how excited I am. Seriously. Excited.

Haven’t checked out my Monstrum Chronicles series yet? Aequitas can be found here on Amazon! Give it a peek!

~KSilva