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 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!


Cooking Adventure: Soft Chocolate Mocha Cookie Bites


God, how I’ve missed this.

It’s been months…MONTHS since I’ve had time to lose myself in the groove of making something intricate in the kitchen. Of course, I’ve cooked the occasional steak or chicken dish for dinner but never one I felt I could call truly creative. This is the first time in months I’ve had fun baking something.

As I’ve stated in nearly all my blogs this year, I’ve been going through some stressful changes. I’m a week away from closing on my first house and have been feverishly working on my novella, “The Collection” in order to have it ready to print in July. Today in particular, I was really feeling the pressure. I’ve been packing my apartment up bit by bit for over a week, my life slowly being boxed away and the place I’ve called home for the last five years is beginning to feel less and less so.

Similarly at my job, one of my wonderful co-workers is moving on to bigger and brighter things with a new job. I decided very last minute that I’d make him something as a going away gift. I’d seen a recipe for some Mocha Crinkle Cookies on Pinterest yesterday and decided that those would be the perfect thing to try. They are an uncomplicated cookie, one that doesn’t take too long to make and that I don’t have to stress about as far as clean up is concerned.

And damn if they’re not f-ing delicious.

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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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On Being Sick…Again

For some reason, 2016 is really kicking my butt. This is the third time I’ve been sick so far this year. I haven’t been reckless with my eating or drinking, I haven’t been running around outside without a jacket, and I haven’t been spending time among hordes of sickly children. I don’t even like to spend time among hordes of non-sick children. I have, however, been stressed about things; the blog is one of them.

Last year, I took a year off from publishing anything and decided to focus on the Monstrum Chronicles blog more. I posted Literary Cooking Adventures, videos which took anywhere from four to five hours to film, edit, and post; Inspiration Through Music; and Horror-FAIL Fridays… They were fun and I had lots of time to work on them because I wasn’t dedicating myself to trying to finish any lengthy WIP’s. In 2012, my first year doing the blog, I kept up the blog posts AND wrote and released a new book.

This year, it’s been different. I can’t find the same energy I had four years ago to be able to multi-task and do all of those things at once. It, of course, doesn’t help that I’ve been sick and worried about things, one of which is finding a house. But, most of all, it’s that I’ve been finding it hard to find time to write. When I do manage to carve out a minute or two, I realize that it’s also the same day that I was supposed to have written a blog post. Or I get a migraine. Or I’m on the brink of sneezing my entire face off and am exhausted. And usually, I won’t write anything.

Yes, I realize this is a bit of a whiny post and for that, I apologize. I wanted to fill readers in on why there haven’t been many posts this year and to assure you that, once I’ve settled things with the house, am feeling healthy and energized once more, and feel confident that I can keep up with weekly blog posts, I will resume doing so. For now though, I ask that you be patient with me, that you allow me the time I need to get my ducks in a row (what kind of an OCD dingleberry puts ducks in a row anyway?) and stay tuned. I hope I’m able to at least post something once in a while, but I know it won’t be weekly and there might not be any rhyme or reason to it.

Thank you and I hope you are all having a good 2016 so far.


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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