Stories in the ‘Burgh: Shifting Focus

You know that saying: if you want to hear a joke, tell life your plans? Well, the same goes pghfor writing content for side projects, apparently.

This is the time of year when I take a hard look at what I’m doing with The Book Haunt, promptly make excessive plans, and then just as quickly get spectacularly derailed. In August 2017, I had plans for creating a whole folklore/occult arm for this site. While I still would love to do that, I have to examine what my schedule allows for; this has led me to question what I want—and what I hope readers will get—out of this site.

All of my ideas, passion, and drive for this project revolve around diving into book culture, telling stories, talking to people, and reading critically. More recently, I realized I had been sorely neglecting the stories to be found right here in Pittsburgh, an incredibly literary, spooky city that inspired me to start The Book Haunt to begin with. These experiences are always rooted in spending time in small businesses that help make Pittsburgh what it is.

Black Forge Coffee House in Allentown is a black metal culture hub that brews a wicked cup of coffee (and whose employees don’t look at me weirdly when I ask for hot chocolate in ninety-degree weather). The Weeping Glass is a shop of curiosities that revolves around strange antiques, almost ethereal art, and a killer sense of style. Both businesses actively support other businesses and artists, and give back to the community. These places inspire me, and these are the stories I want to tell.

The book reviews will remain. The interviews will remain. But The Book Haunt wouldn’t be here at all without Pittsburgh, and I want to tell a small part of the story of my favorite city in the world. Otherwise, I’ll be digging in, making more time for this site, and see where these plans take me.

Oh yeah, and did I mention? I just got back from working with medieval manuscripts for a week. You and I both know that beyond warrants a write-up.

Like so many amazing things in Pittsburgh, I’m experimenting with what I do here to see what sticks. I can only hope I’m making something worthwhile.

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