Monday Musings: Visiting Part of Historic Shirley, MA

On Saturday, we went to the Ales and Trails Brewfest here in Shirley, MA. It was small- only three breweries, a hard cider maker, a local restaurant serving wine samples, and a couple food trucks, along with several bands for entertainment. It was fun, in spite of the small size, and we found a few new brews to like, and a new ale house to try. One of the breweries is still in the building stage, but we’ll be looking out for them to finish up and open. They had a coffee milk stout that was really good. If you know my beer taste, you will be aware that I am usually not a big fan of dark beers. I find them to heavy and the dark roasted malts leave a burnt taste in my mouth that I find unpleasant. But this one was really good. So good that after tasting the Bald Man’s sample, I went back to get my own.

The event was a fundraiser for the restoration work going on at the Old Town Hall in the historic center of Shirley. The old Shirley Meeting House is there, as well. The Meeting House has been restored, and the work is ongoing at the Town Hall. Both buildings were open during the brewfest. The Town Hall isn’t much right now, but the Meeting House is lovely (that’s it in the header picture). We were lucky to get in on a tour going on, and got to see a lot neat stuff. The hall itself has a lovely pipe organ, and I got to play it a little bit! That was cool! We got to see the inside of the organ, as well as the walls on the stairs leading up to the hand pump that drove the pipes where the people who operated the pump would carve their name and date into the wall. The first Shirley library is on the second floor and has a children’s section as well as adult books. The books had covers hand sewn onto them to preserve them. I also got to ring the bell in the bell tower. It was fun and I learned a lot.

Here are a few pictures:

This is the main room with the pipe organ. The acoustics are beautiful in there. Reminds me of a couple of the same sort of meeting house rooms and small churches I sang in with the chorale. I plan on attending the Christmas Vespers in December.

These are pictures of the library on the second floor.

It was a fun afternoon, and we will definitely be back next year!


Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition.

Medusa “Deuce” Grainger is smart, confident, and as good a pilot as she is a poker player. A freelance shuttle jockey working for an independent terraforming company, she’s left her former life, and her father, behind. Mostly.

Now, her AI has downloaded another Personality off a wrecked ship, and he’s acting oddly ever since. Someone wants to sabotage her friend’s company out of business, evidence of tampering is being corrupted, and people have died.  With an investigation looming that could shut down the company and cut off her main source of income, Deuce needs to figure out what’s going on. And she needs to do it fast, because there’s more at stake than anyone realizes.

Two’s Company is listed on Goodreads. If you like what you see above, I’d appreciate you adding it to your Want To Read list. Thanks!

Available now :

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After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here



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A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.




tn_Survival of the Fittest (Front Cover)

A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.





In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here

Five and Daemonthumb

Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?

Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here


Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.

Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.