11th consecutive nanowrimo win!

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerI achieved the coveted 50K word count on Monday night, with only 48 words to spare… yikes.  My novel is not complete but I feel like it needs quite a bit more editing to get it to a coherent enough place to figure out an ending, therefore The Mist that Falls at Night is now a page under the Works in Progress tab.

While I would like to finish this still having some idea of what’s going on, I think I am going to sit on it a bit before trying to do some editing.  But that’s okay, because I have a lot of other things I want to work on, including a new edition of The Art Kids, an omnibus edition of the first three Wolf Point books, and finishing the second Wolf Point prequel novella.  I have a feeling I’ll be needing to make some New Year’s resolutions in order to get all this done!

writing music

Like most writers, I enjoy listening to music while I write.  But you gotta have music that fits your writing mood!  I often also prefer music without lyrics – pop music makes me want to sing and dance so it really doesn’t help me when I write.  This Nanowrimo I already have a few go-to artists and albums.

  • Ludovico Einaudi – I heard one of his songs on an 8tracks playlist, and became an instant fan.  (The song was “Primavera” and it’s on my Scavengers playlist).  I’ve downloaded his albums Elements and Divenire and they are both lovely.  I’ve used them for my teen yoga classes as well.
  • Nox Arcana – Great music if you write horror or otherwise “dark” fiction.  They have a ton of albums, all with different themes.  Need a soundtrack for writing a haunted house story?  Try Darklore Manor or House of Nightmares.  How about a historical vampire tale? Try Winter’s Knight or Transylvania.  Creepy circus story?  The Theatre of Illusion or Carnival of Souls.  This does sound like soundtrack music and there are occasional (distracting) vocals, but definitely good mood music.
  • Zoe Keating – At one point I downloaded all the music from Maggie Steifvater’s writing playlists, and this cello artist was one of my favorites from all that music (there was a lot).  It’s all instrumental and because the cello is a low instrument, it isn’t distracting.

I have a few of my writing soundtracks posted over on 8tracks for your listening pleasure!  Hopefully I’ll put up my “Misty Mix” before month’s end.

What music do you like to listen to when you write?

nanowrimo 2016 progress update

I neglected to post here about my Nanowrimo novel for this year…

Lately I’ve found the Mandela Effect rather fascinating, and I wanted to write something that would incorporate it somehow.  Yet without a firm idea, I instead decide to create a creep-tastic cover that might inspire me.  I scrolled through the sample covers on Canva and found this one: The Mist That Falls At Night.  Well, the title might need a little tweaking, but for now it is the title of my work in progress!  I changed up the background photo (mostly so I wouldn’t have to pay for it) with this one from Pixabay, and voila:

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I’m really digging it, and although my story idea has so far not been as easy writing as I’m used to (especially considering I actually did some outlining!!), I think I’ll be able to go the distance with this one.  Last year was sort of a bust, since I ended up writing mostly a random assortment of fanfiction rather than the next Wolf Point novel, but I’m back on track this year.  So far I’m keeping up with the word count…

31 Days of Halloween, Days 28-31

It’s been a busy weekend, and I haven’t had time to post (or watch many horror movies, for that matter…).  But I did do many things to celebrate Halloween so here they are!

On Saturday morning I ran in the Costume Dash 5K, which was my only costumed event of this year.  My friend dressed as a cookie and I dressed as a carton of milk.  There were lots of Mario Karts, mermaids, and super heroes.  It was fun puzzling out what some of the costumes were meant to be, and I got a pretty good time (for me, anyway) of 36 minutes.

Saturday afternoon involved a hike to the Freetown State Forest in Fall River, MA (home of Lizzie Borden!).  This forest is located in the Bridgewater Triangle, a hotspot of strange paranormal events.  Specific to the forest:

  • Creatures called Pukwedgies by the Wampanoag are claimed to roam there, causing all kinds of dangerous mischief such as kidnapping people or pushing them off cliffs (to their deaths).
  • The quarry (which I visited) is a site where many people claimed to feel a sense of foreboding, and a number of suicides have occurred there.  Also, President Ronald Reagan apparently saw a UFO here?
  • UFOs, Pukwedgies, and apparently Bigfoot have all been sighted here.
  • A number of murders have occurred in the forest.  One missing girl was found dead and tied to a tree, and a prostitute was found brutally murdered (murdered by her pimp, who was also a Satanist).  In 2001, two bodies riddled with bullets were found on Bell Rock Road (which we drove down to get to the hiking trails…).
  • Other reports of Satanic cult activity, reports of an aggressive pack of dogs, an escaped emu, and as recently as May of this year, wire was found stretched across the trails at a height meant to decapitate dirt-bike riders.  Yikes!
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Not far into the trail, we came across what I call the “Death Camper” – a totally trashed trailer inside a locked fenced-in area.

Later we watched a few fun Halloween movies: Teen Witch (again) and Hocus Pocus.

Last night I attended Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns, which involved lots of professional pumpkin carving.  There were some amazing horror movie themed pumpkins, such as this one:

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mv5bmtm2otm1mty5nf5bml5banbnxkftztcwnjawmzkymq-_v1_uy268_cr20182268_al_Then last night I watched a doozy of a horror (?) movie called Brain Damage.  The description called it “surreal” and I certainly got that… It’s about Aylmer, some weird phallic-looking worm, that can give people drug-like trips.  In exchange, while you’re high, Aylmer likes to eat brains.  He also likes to sing… There were some bizarre deaths, including one where a girl goes to give Aylmer’s host a BJ and instead ends up with Aylmer in her mouth.  Just bizarre all around.  Recommendations if you enjoyed this one?  The only one that comes to mind is Eraserhead

Tonight will probably involve watching The Walking Dead, so I will leave you with a simple Happy Halloween!

31 Days of Halloween, Day 27: The Fog (2005)

the-fog-2005-16361A rewatch for inspiring my upcoming Nanowrimo novel, which will involve mist and fog…

This movie is surprising less about fog and more about people catching on fire and turning into mummies and ice?  Apparently the fog is so cold it freezes people?  The fog kinda reminds me of the sandstorm in The Mummy movies, as it can turn into a face.  It can also suck people right out of windows, but closing the door will keep it out!

What’s scary about fog is what you can’t see.  Here’s what you can see in the fog: pirate ships, ghosts, an entire tableau of a horrific event that happened in this little coastal town a hundred years ago.

Personally, I like this remake better than the original, which I found kind of… boring – it’s more centered around the storyline involving the radio station. Maggie Grace’s character was not in the original movie, and it almost makes the radio station plotline with Selma Blair superfluous (although I will concede that Selma Blair is no Jamie Lee Curtis!).

Recommendation time:

  • The Mist (2007) – There’s some creepy shit in this fog, way creepier than anything in either of The Fog movies.  Big things.  Prehistoric things.
  • Pontypool (2008) – Really the only similarity here is that this movie takes place largely in a radio station, but this is a pretty creepy ass movie – if you watch any of the movies on this list, make this be the One.
  • Silent Hill (2006) – While the fog here isn’t what the characters are battling, it certainly marks the territory of Silent Hill and adds to the strange atmosphere.

31 Days of Halloween, Day 26: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

large_yfqsgzw6aqymbjieiq0y9eb1rglAfter mentioning this in my recommendations a few days ago, I realized it was high time to give this one a re-watch.

This is still one of my favorite “the beginning of the apocalypse” scenes ever.  And then when they finally get to the mall and the Muzak version of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” is playing?  The lounge cover of Disturbed’s “Down with the Sickness” played later in the movie is awesome as well.

I really love the group dynamics in this movie, how the original survivors meet up with the mall cops and then a second group of survivors.  I love seeing Phil – I mean, Ty Burrell – play a super dickhead.  I also really like Sarah Polley as an actress.  The moments of terror are interspersed with lighter moments, which is something many horror movie remakes don’t seem to realize is needed.

The one change from the original that I wasn’t so fond of was making the zombies fast.  While it does add a lot of scariness, I just feel like zombies should be slow!  But who really is to say how fast or slow real zombies would be, so I can forgive it.

On that note, I’m going to recommend movies with fast zombies:

  • 28 Days Later (2002) – At least they explained the speedy zombies, by not calling them zombies and instead calling it the Rage virus.
  • World War Z (2013) – This was explained in great detail in the book (can’t remember if they mention it in the movie) – about how the zombie virus wants to spread quickly, hence new zombies being faster, and also how the zombies slow with colder temperatures, hence people fleeing to Canada.
  • Zombieland (2009) – This is more comedy than horror but a great ride all the same.

31 Days of Halloween, Day 25 – The Purge: Election Year

purge3_posterartSomehow, this wasn’t as frightening as the real-life election year we’ve got going on.  I had a hard time paying attention to the politicians debating Purge Night on something like the 20th year of its occurrence, until a car blasting Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” rolled down the middle of an empty street and three chicks in masks carrying guns got out.

The Purge movies are always great for creepy masked people.  This time we have an insane Uncle Sam and a psycho Statue of Liberty and a blood-spattered Abe Lincoln.  And they’re Russian, come to America just to enjoy Purge Night!  I even understood some of their swearing!

The timeline seems a bit off in this movie.  The first Purge movie (in which the main character of this movie, Presidential candidate Charlie Roan watched her family die) took place in 2019, 18 years ago.  The Purge: Anarchy took place in 2023, but apparently has had a huge impact on this particular election?  13 years later?  (When Frank Grillo has only aged two years?)

The Purge movies are also great for having people seem like victims when they turn out to be pretty awful themselves.  For a while this seemed super conservatives vs. liberals, the conservatives with their NRA supporters enjoying their guns to hunt down this female presidential candidate, who seems to have the backing of the minorities.  But naturally, things are not what they seem.  And even the Catholic Church gets involved, as they seem to have in this election.

If you’re not into watching the real-life horror on the news, vote for some of these films:

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) – Is this what they mean when they say “Make America Great Again”?
  • FDR: American Badass (2012) – I actually haven’t seen this, but it’s going into my Netflix queue, because FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT FIGHTING NAZI WEREWOLVES.
  • Freddy vs. Jason (2003) – If you’re tired of The Donald vs. Hilary…
  • The Hunger Games (2012) – (Interesting how so many of these I’m recommending came out the last election year??).  Instead of Purging, this government randomly selects 2 children from each district to enter a fight to the death.  The only unfortunate thing about these movies is how Hollywood glossed over the horror of children murdering each other and made this basically what the Capitol showed as entertainment.
  • The Running Man (1987) – Based on a Stephen King story about criminals (“runners”) who have to survive professional hunters in order to be pardoned by the state, it’s interesting that this movie is set in 2017… A hint of what’s coming?