Yesterday I was fortunate enough to read Edgar Allan Poe’s “MS. Found in a Bottle,” a short story he wrote while living in the West Baltimore house. It’s said this story of a storm-tossed ship launched Mr. Poe’s career as a weaver of strange and eerie tales.
Much more frightening was opening my own work and reading from my novella “Love Letters & Gingerbread” or a fragment of the short story inspired by my volunteering at Poe House, a story about a ghost named Jacky.
I read as part of the Poe House and Museum‘s monthly Author Series. The room was full on a busy day. Remember, the house is tiny, so small the fire marshal allows only 10 or so to crowd into the largest room of the house, the master bedroom. That’s where I read. Mr. Poe’s words entranced us all, I think, in a story full of danger and dread as the narrator, “having no other inducement than a kind of nervous restlessness which haunted me like a fiend,” embarks on this doomed journey.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to read Mr. Poe in his own house. I felt a sort of connection between the place, the stories and the room full of visitors who came to hear it read.
I’m visiting the Linthicum branch of the Anne Arundel County Library next Tuesday 10 am to 12 noon to talk about my writing and research. Should be fun.