Monthly Archives: October 2014

Slightly anti-climactic

I had a bit of serendipity today. After my last post, when I saw that IT was playing on Spike today while my kids were at school, I figured I should probably go ahead and see it. I kind of wish I hadn’t. Not because it was scary but because it wasn’t. I’d built it up in my head to be a bit more wow than a kaiju arrow crab. Even Shelob and Aragog had more bite to them.

Apparently, I’m only really scared by movies aimed at children. Well, that’s all right by me I guess. It does mean relentless teasing my my husband and kids but that’s fine too. Hellraiser? no problem. Candyman, Halloween, Psycho? no problem. Scared little lost alien? problem. Wet furry mogwai? problem. And there was this movie that I’m not exactly sure was a real movie but I saw it when I was very very little (I think) and it may all have been in my head but it was about a tree that ate people? I do remember a root or branch coming up through the plumbing. That freaked me out for a long long time.


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Scary Movie Season

I love horror movies. I love the ones so campy they’re silly, the jump scare movies, the psychological scare movies, the purposely funny scary movies – I do love them all. Well, most all. I do avoid Nightmare on Elm Street if only because my nightmares are already way too vivid. My favorites are 28 Days Later, Candyman, the Hellraiser series, and Shawn of the Dead. Those are the movies I’ll go out of my way to watch if I can.

I started pretty young with the great classics. Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and their ilk cemented the horror genre’s place in my heart (at least on screen). Off screen – Barker, King, and Rickman did the same.

There is one movie though that I have never seen. On purpose, I have never seen It. I did read the book about 30 times over the years (so many times that the damn thing fell apart on me). Which is why I never watched the movie. Someday, I do need to watch it – it’s got one of my all time favorite actors in a role that absolutely gives me the chills. Oddly, it is one of the movies that my horror-avoiding husband has seen and sometimes he teases me a little bit over my aversion to this movie. It freaked me out in ways I can’t even put words to. The first time I read it, I threw it across the room. I’ve never done that to another book before or since.

Right now, I’m watching The Dark Half and reminiscing about my other favorite horror movies. What horror movie is your favorite? What movie have you avoided?

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National Novel Writing Month, for those who don’t know. I at least attempt it every year and have since 2008? I think. I don’t remember anymore how many years I’ve done it but it seems like a long time. My youngest was still pretty darn little but not tiny. I don’t “win” every year but I do more often than not and, even when I don’t, at least I was writing daily consistently.

It seems like every year, about this time (starting mid-September through October), my creativity, motivation, and drive crash while my doubts and all the angsty crap that goes with them flourish. Knowing it’s all related and all part of them same thing that happens every year doesn’t change it or stop it from sucking me in.

And every year about this time, I talk myself into Nanowrimo. 50,000 words in the span of 30 days. It is remarkably doable. And, having that goal in a place that sort of holds you accountable make it easier for me. I love deadlines. I work so much better – the writing is cleaner and crisper when I have a deadline. Nearly every year, I finish a rough draft of a novel, meeting the goal word count a few days before Thanksgiving.

My novel, Guardian of the Gods, started out as a Nano novel. It’s been through a lot of drafts and edits between then and now of course but that’s all part of the process. I have three other novels looking for homes and two of those were also Nano projects (though one has so little left of the original that I’m not sure it counts anymore and one took me well into December to finish). I don’t keep all my nano projects – there are a couple that I’ve scrapped entirely for the time being.

I am, of course, doing it again this year. I don’t plot, outline, or plan much going into Nanowrimo. I’ve got some backstory figured out and a list of characters and that’s pretty much it. I start November 1st with a blank document and see where it takes me. Sometimes the journey is a good one, others not so much, but it is always a good jump start for me after the general blah that sets in every year. Hopefully, this year’s project will be fun and I can manage to write my poor characters into some horrible corner just to see how they weasel out of it – I don’t always keep those interludes in the final product but there is no faster or cleaner way to figure out who the characters really are than to throw them into something nasty and see what happens. I almost feel bad for them.

I’ve got a stronger sense this year of what I want to do – at least tonally. This year is something post-apocalyptic (*sort of). When I wrote Guardian of the Gods, all I had to start with was one sentence: Jaffine monster hunter. Jaffine being Thosha’s (the main character) race. It turned out pretty good in the end and I hope this new one will too. For the time being, I’m calling it Demonborn (unless a better title occurs to me later). I know my main character a little bit and that’s enough for me. I can’t wait to get started but I have a lot of things to do between now and november so I have the time to commit (plus then I won’t want to just get writing already).

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Nineteen Years

It’s been nineteen years today since my mom died. It doesn’t feel like it’s really been that long. I have gotten better at dealing with all the mad and the sad that generally swamps me this time of year but none of it is gone or even really lessened. You’d think it would.

My mom was pretty awesome. She wasn’t perfect but she was awesome. She liked to make people smile, to make them happy. She created awesome things out of not much at all. In many ways, I am still striving to be like her and I’ll probably always be. There are far worse role models out there.

As usual, I’m not exactly sure what to do with myself. The kids are at my husband’s parents’ house and I’m looking for a good movie to watch. I’ll probably play Gabriel Knight again (trying for a perfect score). This time I’m playing for me as I’ve already finished my review (find it here).

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It’s Coming Back!

Years ago, I remember sitting on the couch next to my mother every week and watching Twin Peaks. Maybe more than half of it went over my head then but I was pretty young. A few months before it premiered, we moved across the country from Washington State to Pennsylvania. I missed Seattle a great deal and it was, to me, like having a little bit of home every week.

A few years later, I started making her morning coffee and she always told me it was a damn fine cup of coffee. I’m certain that it wasn’t, at least initially, but it was something just between us, a shared memory, a connection. A few years after that, I drove several hours to visit my best friend at his college for their Lynch marathon weekend. What Lynch weekend would be complete without Twin Peaks? At the time, for me, it was bittersweet, hard enough that I struggled not to be a little puddle of useless. It was very near the time of the first anniversary of my mother’s death.

It’s gotten easier with time – or else I’d never be able to watch any of the things I love so much. It still makes me think of her but not in a weepy way but a warm and fuzzy way.

Hearing that there will be new episodes, not a remake or re-release, but new episodes from the bizarrely brilliant minds that started it is a total geekgasm for me. I may actually have to get showtime just so I don’t miss a minute. I can’t wait to see where all those characters are twenty five years later. I know my mom would be thrilled. I am. I can’t wait to see where they’re going to go with it.

Now, I’m going to go make myself a damn fine cup of coffee and maybe watch a little Fire Walk With Me while the boys are in school.

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Halloween things!

This is one of my favorite times of year, when I get to pull out all my boxes of spooky, creepy, and cute Halloween things and make new ones! When I was younger, my mom and I used to make a lot of Halloween decorations and gifts for people. It’s a very fond memory of mine. It’s a little harder to do that with my kids as neither has the patience and neither likes to get messy and it seems I am incapable of making things without making a mess.

This week, I made something for the Geek Girl Project blog. I think, if my mom was here, it probably would have come out a bit differently but mostly because she was the one with all the artistic ability. She’d have made the Witch King’s flail out of clay or paper mache. And she probably would have been able to make the glorious face mask piece which I did not even attempt.

I have a couple of other crafty things coming up (after I finish them anyway) but this one is pretty neat. And easy. If I can do it, anyone can. Click on him to get directions.DIY Nazgul


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