A Halloween Treat: The Raven

Photo by John Walsh
The House of the Seven Gables. Photo by John Walsh.

Boy, has this month flown.

In case you don’t remember, I’m flying up to Salem, Massachusetts, this weekend to attend my very first writer’s conference—or Un-Conference, as it is called—hosted by the most excellent staff at Writer Unboxed.

Most excellent. When did Keanu Reeves start writing this blog?

But a rose is a rose is a rose, and the crew at WU is definitely the tops. The tops. Great. Now I’m channeling Cole Porter (and isn’t that Hemingway passed out in the corner?). Papa, can you hear me?

If you can’t tell, my mind is all over the map. I’m excited!

This much-needed vacation with a writerly emphasis (is it a vacation?…a writing retreat?…or a wonderful marriage of the two?) begins Saturday, with a 3:00 p.m. touchdown at Boston’s Logan Airport. There, I’ll meet my brother and his family for dinner, but not without first stopping at the south end of Boston Common to get a selfie with this guy, the newly erected statue of Edgar Allan Poe:

“Poe Returning to Boston,” Stephanie Rocknak’s sculpture honoring the author, at Edgar Allan Poe Square in Boston. Photo by Russ Rocknak.

He’s one of my favorite authors—pure genius—and to travel up there and not get a snapshot would be an atrocity. Afterward, a quick drive up to Salem, where I’ll stay at the historic Hawthorne Hotel and let the inspiration begin. I’ll keep you updated on all the highlights, of course.


Swift and Poe
A quick pit stop along the route to Salem, and there goes one item off my bucket list!

Hence, to celebrate this Halloween Week, as well as the future encounter with my hero of yore (albeit bronze), I leave you to ponder, weak and weary, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, followed by Watch Mojo’s top ten notes on the author and his masterpiece.

Happy Halloween! The next time you hear from me, I’ll be reporting live from Salem!




ML Swift is a writer of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult fiction, although he dabbles in many genres.

An Alzheimer’s caregiver for the past ten years, he has published several articles on The Alzheimer’s Reading Room, the largest online website catering to that community, and plans to write a novel about his experience in caregiving.

He resides in Florida with his dogs, Rameses and Buster, attempting to reclaim his side of the bed.

The Raven video by Trilobite Pictures.


22 thoughts on “A Halloween Treat: The Raven

    1. Al!

      It’s always good to see you…plenty of leg room for a dragon around here. Yes, this final week is very busy: paying bills, readying everything…wish you could’ve come! I’ll keep you posted.

    2. Gee, Mike! Would LOVE to tag along. I’ve always dreamed with knowing that part of the U.S. Maybe some day. They say as long as there is life, there is hope. 🙂

    3. It has been forever since I’ve been to that part of the country, and this will be the perfect time of the year…not too hot, not too cold. Really do wish you could have come. We have folks from Australia, Spain, England, and Canada coming…really going to be an international event. I’m thinking of something like a photo album post. Lots of pics!

  1. Swifty,

    So happy that you’re going to a conference. Have your pitch all polished up and ready to recite. I will love to hear all about it. I was thinking about signing off with “Party On.” but Alex beat me to it. If you see So-crates, tell him I said hi.

    1. Check back…I’m thinking of doing a pictorial post. A photo album of sorts…haven’t formulated it fully, but it’ll be something to commemorate the event. Thanks for coming by, Melissa.

    1. Thanks, Crystal, and good to see you! I grew up on all those macabre tales and tv shows (Tales from the Darkside, Alfred Hitchcock). I love to lose myself in them. 🙂 This is definitely going to be a great time.

  2. I can’t imagine a place more ripe with inspiration than Massachusetts in general and Salem in particular. I love that Poe statue and how the raven is coming to life from the suitcase – or Poe’s imagination. I hope you had a fabulous time at the conference!


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