So! It has been quite the busy summer! Aside from kicking it back at the wonderful New England Authors Expo in July, I also had the chance to get in on the action of New Hampshire’s Granite State Comic Con! What a joy that was! I manned (or shall I say womaned?) the New England Horror Writers table with my fellow authors Scott Goudsward, Rob Watts, Gordon Bean, and Matthew Bartlett on September 13th and 14th, a midst a sea of Harley Quinns, Arya Starks, and Starlords. I even had a run-in with one of my worst fears…one that I couldn’t have even imagined would be present: a stilted devil clown that continued to haunt me no matter which direction I looked in. I had copies of my Monstrum Chronicles series present and was promoting the upcoming 3rd book in the series, Memento Mori. I made a few sales, enjoyed getting to know my fellow writers, and checked out some of the many other vendors at the show. (I came close to getting vampire fangs. Maybe next time?)
Welcome to this week’s Horror-Fail Friday! Each week, I’ll pick a game, a story, or a movie that doesn’t quite manage to capture the essence of dread or terror and allow you to discern for yourselves just why they aren’t as scary as they are comical.
A homeless man happens upon an abandoned house, has an encounter with some haunted news clippings, an aluminum foil man-piñata, and an undead version of the Batman villain, the Penguin. Don’t miss HarshlyCritical’s brief journey through this new Life After Us game. Yes, this is a series, sadly enough.
COOKING ADVENTURE #95: Peach Pie
In my mind, fall begins far before the official autumn solstice date late in the month of September. I celebrate my birthday at the end of August, usually doing something that I haven’t had the chance to do all summer long, and then…fall is here, to me anyway. The time between the end of August til the end of November is my time to party, to look forward to all the crafts I’ve been cataloging to do at a later date, to bake a ridiculous number of things… This is my favorite season. Which means more Cooking Adventures for you guys. Oh yeah. Celebration.
I’ve been quite bad with keeping up on blogs this summer. I don’t want to give excuses about work, and writing deadlines and such but that’s really what it all boils down to. And this autumn isn’t going to be any less busy for me. But, now that it isn’t five million degrees outside and a cool breeze blows through the window in my kitchen door, I feel justified in baking and cooking more often now. This season’s baking begins with a stellar recipe for a peach pie that I found from Two Peas & Their Pod. I’m a bit of a pie fiend and I wanted to attempt a fruit pie that I had never tried before. This did end up being more of a cooking “frolic” as it wasn’t very involved, but it was still very fun to make.
10 BOOKS THAT HAVE STAYED WITH ME
The Rules: in your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard–they don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Along with each, I’ve included a short message of what they taught me or why they stayed with me. Here we go:
1. Green Angel by Alice Hoffman (Taught me that a character can survive and rise out of grief after losing everything they once had)
Hello, hello! Incidentally, this is my 300th post on the Monstrum Chronicles blog and what better way to celebrate then with a good laugh. I’m going to be starting up a new weekly blog called “Horror-Fail Friday” in which we examine some tragic examples of horror gone wrong.
Today’s inaugural post is a video from Let’s Player HarshlyCritical. The game: Timore (which possibly rhymes with “Amore“). Yes, for all of you Dean Martin fans out there, you can start singing. In addition to a strange, unexplained name, we have a protagonist with no story who is wandering around an oddly constructed building with blood-covered (and I mean COVERED) walls. He’s pursued by Paintshop plus mannequins, licorice-flailing arms, and the diabolical flaming Timore, who looks like the bad guy from “The Final Sacrifice” with a red cloak.
Watch, laugh, and take notes, folks.
COOKING ADVENTURE # 94: Sharknado Cupcakes
Yes. ‘Tis I once again, returning for a rogue Cooking Adventure. I’ve honestly been up to my eyeballs trying to get everything ready for Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles and haven’t had any time to even cook new things! I’ve literally been subsisting off of the boring same ole, same ole for weeks. But last week, it was a special week, one of my absolutely favorite weeks in the year. It was SHARK WEEK, a time where the Discovery Channel dedicates the week to raising awareness about sharks and trying to portray them as the beautiful and magnificent creatures that they are, and not as nightmarish beasts. In my bid for a slightly more successful Shark Week party this year, I decided to up the ante by making some stellar Sharknado cupcakes in addition to a carved shark watermelon and cool blue cocktails. This proved to be just a little more in depth than I expected.
Yes. It has been quite some time. Much has happened in the last month or so. And while not all of the stories are fun, I would like to take a moment to focus on what has happened, what is happening, and what is going to happen. Call me the seer of seers, prognosticator of prognosticators…Wait. That’s from “Groundhog Day”.
Anyway, without getting all ‘Phil’sophical on you, I’ll get straight to what’s going to happen here in Katherineland.
It occurred to me recently that I have never fully explained why write these blogs. Sure, I love discovering new music and sharing my discoveries with people. I like to write and listen to them. But there is something more to it, something I hope you writers and readers will appreciate. I once remember looking at another author’s playlist of songs that she listened to while writing her book years ago. When she got to a certain song on her list, she put in parentheses next to it “Generic action music”. I remember being extremely annoyed by that. Not sure if it was a blast against the writing of action scenes in general or if it was against that genre of music (in this case it was Fat Boy Slim). The author has since changed the list, removing the random note. And while this author shall remain nameless (*cough*Stephanie Meyer *cough* *cough*), I would really like to take a moment and focus on just how important action scenes are in the books that require them and how a certain song can really fit in with the scene you have in mind.
When I listen to music as I’m writing, I’m not simply using it as background noise. It’s more than just a distraction from the world going on around me. I tend to visualize the scenes in my novels and, often, I will do this to the tune from a song whether it is instrumental or vocal. There are certain songs that I can close my eyes to and see everything that the characters are doing in time with the music. I suppose it could be seen as a form of synesthesia, although I wouldn’t say I’m seeing a specific color while listening to a specific song or hearing a specific voice. This generally happens when I’m writing an action scene more often than not.
COOKING ADVENTURE #93: Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
This has quite possibly got to be the miracle of all Cooking Adventures I’ve ever done. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much go wrong with a recipe and yet…turn out to be edible in the end. Literally everything I touched during this managed to go terribly. And what’s more…I was dictating most of what happened to a friend whilst doing it. It was my first “Cooking Adventure Live” attempt…and it proves that any outside distraction can have disastrous consequences. Well, maybe not “disastrous”. After all, they were edible in the end, ha ha. And they lasted me practically a week! I shall now dictate to you absolutely everything that happened during the Great Enchilada Meltdown. Be Prepared.
When I find a band that I can really get in sync with and start writing to easily, it’s essentially a giant celebration. I am a fan of many different kinds of music and I write a lot of very different genres, ranging from comedy to horror. Just about a month ago, I was working on a side project from my Monstrum Chronicles horror series in order to kind of recharge my writing batteries. Sometimes taking a break and working on a fun and utterly different project makes you able to see things with a clear head once again. And that’s just what it did for me. While working on that project, I came across this drop-dead gorgeous band called Stateless and a bountiful collection of songs that I’ve had on repeat for…a while now.
Stateless is an English electronic band that was founded in 2002. These guys have thought-provoking lyrics matched with some great beats and incredibly balanced harmonies. What really stuck out at me were the levels of beauty and grittiness that songs peaked at, able to sound really dark and tragic but also hopeful and lovely. Got to say that they are probably one of my favorite bands now. I absolutely love their stuff. It got so that I listened to them not only for the break story but also for Memento Mori and my apocalyptic novel, Cold Walls. I was thankfully able to include my four favorite songs from them in today’s Inspiration Through Music, along with what scenes played through my head as I listened to them. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy.