Inspiration Through Music: Abzu Soundtrack

ABZÛ cover art

At least once in your lifetime, you’ve put on the radio in your car or on the internet or your digital music player and went about your daily activities. Somewhere within the mix of songs you listened to, there came that one song, the one that made you stop and listen in awe to it, one that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It impressed you, thrilled you, made you want to listen to it over and over again. Years ago, I found that feeling with Austin Wintory’s soundtrack to the game “Journey”. It was plaintive, arresting, and called to a deeper part of me. Now, I’ve found a similar impression again with Wintory’s soundtrack to the game “Abzu”.

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Horror FAVE Friday: Inside by Playdead

I’ve been waiting years for this one. YEARS.

I didn’t get to try Playdead’s first game, Limbo, until well after it had released. I still fell head-over-heels in love with it. Everything from the monochromatic environments, to the ambient soundtrack, to the simple side-scrolling puzzle platforming… Limbo remained one of my favorite games to play for several years and the Limbo soundtrack, composed by Martin Stig Andersen, is my absolute favorite writing music (even though there are only six tracks). When I heard that Playdead was developing a new game, the mysterious INSIDE, I knew it would be just as atmospheric and somehow even more intense than its predecessor. I couldn’t have been more right.

Utilizing splashes of red here and there while keeping mostly to greyscale, the game features an unnamed boy as he creeps through woods, farmyards, water, and industrial locations, all while hiding and being chased by an unknown faction of people. The game hooks you early on by showing this group taking a van full of people away in the rain to an undisclosed location. You’re then sent into a pulse-pounding chase as you’re spotted and forced to flee, dodging gunfire and snarling dogs.

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New England Authors Expo 2016 a.k.a. The Adventures of Blind Katherine

This is a story about why you should always, always, always have a spare pair of eyeglasses if you are as blind as a bat. Fair warning, there may be some cussing involved here.

Wednesday was my third New England Authors Expo, a collaborative author event in Danvers, Massachusetts at the Danversport Yacht Club. Authors, publishers, editors, and illustrators alike congregate to network, sell their wares, and this year, attend panel discussions about topics such as marketing and editing. I’ve had lots of fun attending the last two NEAE events, have met some great writer friends at them, and have usually sold enough to make it worth going back every year.

This year, I really wanted to step it up. While my newest novella hasn’t released yet, I decided that I would make some gifty items in order to promote it and the rest of my Monstrum Chronicles series. I spent hours upon hours making faux bloodstained book page art, drawing chimera bookmarks, crafting faux bloodvial necklaces, and even making some pretty cool book page coasters and pins. I had fun doing it but it left me exhausted the night before and as a result, I only got four hours of sleep.

That next morning, I spent another three hours putting the final touches on things and getting packed. I was late getting out the door, which put me behind in my estimation for when I’d get to the Expo. It was a three hour commute, which is fine usually. I had some killer 70’s and 80’s one hit wonders to groove to on my way. There’s a certain inner sanctuary one reaches while belting out Haddaway’s “What is Love” while flying down I-95. That is, until the other drivers turn into assholes and start weaving in and out of lanes as though they are vehicular dolphins. I quickly transform into the equivalent of a Great White Shark stuck inside a manta ray. My car isn’t exactly formidable, and I possess quite the road rage…

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New Home Adventures: Katherine vs. Tesla the Spider

Moving into a new house comes with all sorts of adjustments. I’ve lived on the coast for the last six years in an apartment that didn’t have any insects or arachnids. It was SUPER rare to ever see one inside. Moving inland to a house with all kinds of nooks and crannies means that I get to see them all the time. Oh boy!

But seriously now, I’m sick and tired of it.

I’ve only been here for three weeks and in that time, I believe I’ve neutralized more insects and spiders than I ever had to deal with during my tenure at my apartment. The biggest concern for me are the ants, which I’ve pretty well taken care of. But now, I’ve discovered a whole host of other creepy crawlies finding their way inside…somehow.

The other day, I left my skylight open (with a screen) and came home to find three wasps in the house. The bathroom and kitchen attract everything from moths and gnats, to earwigs and stinkbugs.

And let’s not forget about the spiders.

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New House Update!

my house

I have finally done it. I’ve bought a house, moved in, and am now going through the arduous challenge of turning it into a comfortable, safe, and familiar place to live. For those of you who have moved before, you know what kind of a task this is. For those of you who don’t…let’s just say that it’s a process and can be a stressful one at that.

Don’t get me wrong; I love my new home. There are post and beam ceilings, beautiful wooden floors, a nice deck, a three story barn, and many other lovely things. There are also lots of spiders, things to be cleaned, a lawn to be mowed, and many other things in need of attention. This has kept me going non-stop for the last few weeks. Which means I haven’t had much time for writing…or blog posts unfortunately.

I’m unbelievably sad that I haven’t been able to keep up on posts for the first half of the year. I hope when I’m a little more rested and perhaps summer isn’t in full swing that I’ll be able to really spend some time posting. I also haven’t written anything in a couple weeks and that is one of the things that makes me feel antsy.

Writing is not just a job; it’s a passion and it’s a calming influence. When I can’t write, I get upset, which is reasonable. I’m currently in the editing process of “The Collection”, painstakingly going over it time and again with advice from my writing group on what to alter. I had hoped it would be finished by the New England Authors Expo at the end of July, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. If anything, I’m going to shoot for a late August release date. At 60 pages, it’s a rather short read, but it’s one that I have put my all into, probably one of my favorite pieces that I’ve written. I want so badly to share it with everyone! And I can’t wait to start working on the follow up series for it… Oh yes. There are plans there.

New England Authors Expo: I was getting to that. July 27th, I’m going to be at a table at the Expo in the Danversport Yacht Club in Danvers, MA once more selling my wares. I’m going to have a few other things available besides books (bookmarks, perhaps t-shirts…?), so definitely stop by and check things out! The event goes from 4-9.

I realize that I’ve been saying over and over how I want to get back to writing posts and I haven’t been able to and I apologize for that. I want more than anything to be able to get back to a routine with Inspiration Through Music and Cooking Adventure posts. We’ll start seeing them hopefully return in regularity in August after the book show.

Until then, I could use some positive vibes exiling the creepy arachnids from my home.

Thanks in advance!


Writer Thoughts Thursday: Productivity


This week has been absolutely wonderful. I’ve had a chance almost every day to sit down and either write or edit and I couldn’t be happier about it. It goes without saying; being able to get your feelings and thoughts down on paper is a cathartic experience. When I have days (sometimes weeks) where I don’t have time to write, I start to get very upset and am often sad. This entire ordeal with la maison (yes, I found one!) has kept me on the go for several weeks, driving hither and thither to check on inspections and take education courses and sign documents. It’s all well worth it; I’ve just missed my time to myself.

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Bangor Toy and Comic Con Recap


photo courtesy of Jennifer Hobbs


I’ve been quite busy being sick, and working, and writing up a storm! While I haven’t made much way on the “finding a house” front, I’m still looking and hope to find something that will prove to be a lovely home for Lemon Jelly and I. I also spent the last weekend hanging out with fellow writing geeks (and possibly several freaks) at Bangor Toy and Comic Con!

This was my first time doing this particular Con, although I am no stranger to the Comic Con scene. I’ve done three now and have found that the experience only gets better and better. The first thing one should know about working a Comic Con is that there is a lot of visual stimuli, a feast for the eyes, if you will. I spent much of my two days observing the array of colorful costumes (some of which you cannot unsee) and soaking in the energized atmosphere.

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Horror-FAVE Friday: Downfall Remake

I am very particular about my horror. I’m not always a fan of gory films, books, and games. I usually avoid many of the cookie-cutter slasher types, and the bad excuses to parade around guts and blood. I do, however, really enjoy a good psychological horror where the protagonist isn’t entirely sure that everything their seeing is real.

I was introduced to a game called The Cat Lady a few years ago, made by Harvest Games, and immediately fell in love with the story, the protagonist, and the overall feel of it. Not too long after, I discovered their first game, an indirect prequel to The Cat Lady, titled Downfall. It follows the story of Joe Davis, a troubled man who has taken his wife, Ivy, on an impromptu romantic getaway to the Quiet Haven hotel. After a falling out and a twisted dream, Joe awakens to discover that Ivy has disappeared and that Quiet Haven is not all that it appears to be. That’s where the game gets really, really good. The game follows Joe through the mysterious rooms of Quiet Haven, into places that seem more nightmare and dream than real. Behind it all lurks the mysterious entity of Sophie, a creature who Joe must kill four memories of in order to save Ivy.

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Inspiration Through Music: Unravel Soundtrack

This week, I’ve fallen in love with a new and beautiful game called Unravel by Electronic Arts. In it, you play as a little anthropomorphic yarn boy named Yarny, who traverses a picturesque world of fond memories. There are lots of violent video games on the market right now, so it always makes me feel warm and tingly inside when I’m introduced to something that is based around a unique and more wonderful idea. The idea in Unravel? To reconnect, whether it be with the past, or with people you’ve lost touch with or with places you’ve begun to forget about. It’s a magical and refreshing experience, one that I haven’t felt since I first played Journey.

Unravel’s soundtrack is a collaboration by two Swedish musicians, Henrik Oja and Frida Johansson. The nostalgia present in each track, blended with the stunning visuals of the game makes one feel as though they are really running along the seaside, exploring mountains, and sailing through the treetops. Not only is it immersive, it also easily makes you feel lost inside each narrative that Yarny traverses. Today I’ll be sharing four songs from the unofficial Unravel soundtrack and writing what I see when I listen to them.

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Writer Thoughts Thursday: Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block.

It’s this feeling magnified by ten thousand.

As well as some of this…


…and lots of this…

21 GIFs To Express Your Rage If Iggy Azalea Wins The Best Rap Album Grammy

That’s almost all that needs to be said.

I’m currently experiencing one of my worst bouts with the evil beast known as Writer’s Block. I have tried time and time again to work on this specific project of mine but find that it’s hard for me to put myself into the scene. No matter the music I listen to (or don’t listen to), no matter the mood I’m in, and no matter how much cleaning I do to try and facilitate some ideas, I just can’t seem to get a grip on what I want to write.

So I’ve made it to that pivotal moment where one has to force themselves to do it and deal with the crappiness of its quality just to get going.

Sometimes, I forget it doesn’t have to be perfect.

First, it needs to be finished. There is always an after event for editing where one can rip the guts out of a book and put everything back together the way it’s meant to be.

This isn’t that time. Sometimes, it is impossible to find inspiration to work on something no matter what you do. Only one thing can be done.

So… here goes. Forcing it. Ugh.