Monthly Archives: October 2011

Music to tease your monster friends.

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I am a brat and as such when I hear a song about supernatural being I wonder why these don’t wind up in people’s books. Why doesn’t Bella have ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ as her ring tone for Jacob? Or “It’s a Deadman’s Party’ for the Cullens?

If I was Anita Blake I would get all the weres together and learn the dance to ‘Vampires Are Alive’ and ask Asher and Jean Claude to Dance Macabre and then play it.

Wouldn’t you?

So for songs to use as ring tones, add to your i-pod, or play in your club to tease and torment your supernatural friends or lovers please feel free to pick from the thirteen songs I have complied for your enjoyment.

If you’re only going to watch one video then please watch Vampires Are Alive it’s hysterical.

Bloodletting by Concrete Blond

Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon

Witchcraft by Book of Love

Vampires Are Alive by DJ BoBo

Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran

Almost anything by HIM- but here are three which I really like.

Join Me In Death

Bleed Well

Wings of a Butterfly

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve – think shape shifters

Bad Moon Rising – CCR

Who Wants Live Forever – Queen

Thriller- Michael Jackson

It’s A Dead Man’s Party- Oingo Boingo

So what songs did I miss? If you had a boyfriend, girl friend, or plucky sidekick who was supernatural what kind music would you play to make them blush and squirm?

Happy Halloween!

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Foreign Film Friday

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For my last Halloween horror movie fix I give you three new choices.

High Lane is a French horror movie about a group of young adults who go mountain climbing and there is a psycho killer waiting for them. The views were beautiful- it was filmed in Croatia and if heights and the possibility of falling scare you then this will be a very scary movie. I found it more gross then scary. I didn’t jump at anything, but did look away at some of the blood.

My big issue is the people did something horrendously stupid to get into the situation, and then they kept doing stupid stuff, which means I spent a lot of time yelling at the TV. While there wasn’t out right male bashing I don’t think the writer or director holds testosterone filled males in high regard.

The killer is great- huge, scary, vicious, mentally disturbed, and his movements are very animalistic almost like a gorilla. He’s almost worth watching the movie for.
One woman does go crazy and kick butt at one point, but remember my friends when you are beating up a psycho killer you don’t stop until they’re dead, because they will come after you.

It’s not a horrible movie, but I won’t watch it a second time.

For all of my amazing followers I sacrificed 3 hours of my life- 3 hours I can’t get back so I could review a truly horrible movie. Bandh Darwaza is a Bollywood horror movie from the late 70’s or early 80’s. There is singing and dancing as all Bollywood movies, which wasn’t good. The monster was a vampire who wasn’t scary and the ‘heroes’ in the movie were amazingly stupid and not likable. If you love really bad bad bad horror movies and maybe drinking during them then please go for it. Other wise just say no to Bandh Darwaza.

Finally a really good movie. Re-cycle, a Chinese movie, definitely has scary elements in it. I held my breath. I jumped. I almost made my husband sit next to me on the couch. This movie will be especially scary for writers!

Ting-Yin is a writer who gets sucked into a world of abandoned things including half formed characters. The plot is gripping, the visual effects are striking (except for the falling), the acting is great, and I was emotionally drawn into the movie. Re-cycle isn’t a classic horror movie, but much more of a psychological horror/ suspense movie. I liked it a lot and I highly recommend it. And when you’re done, be careful that your abandoned characters don’t come for you while your sleeping.

Have a wonderful a spooky Halloween.

Wise, Witty, and Wacky Wednesday

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Today I have a special treat for you, my new friend and blogging buddy Myndi Shafer is guest posting today to worn us of the dangers of an seemingly innocent frozen treat.

Popsicles. I love ’em. For so many reasons. So sit your butt down while I wax
poetic about the virtues of the rainbow colored family of frozen treats.

#1: They’re dangerous. You don’t think so? Listen to this: They’re cold. So cold,
that if you eat them too quickly, you run the risk of freezing your brain plumb off.
PLUMB OFF, people. I swear I’ve had this nearly happen to me multiple times,
and while in the moment it’s terrifying, after it’s over…whew! What a rush. The
danger factor is definitely a perk, especially for those of us who wish we were into
extreme sports, but aren’t. I never feel quite as dangerous as I do when there’s a
popsicle in my hand.

#2: Adding to the danger factor is this little fact: They melt. You have to eat
them quickly (running the risk of destroying brain matter), and if you don’t, they
melt. All over your hands, your clothes. Leaving you sticky and stained. You
walk a fine line while eating popsicles. Too fast, dead brain. Too slow,
permanently stained garments. Sure, your hands will wash, but facts are facts:
Red Cherry and Blueberry flavored popsicles stain forever. Some people think
that souls are the only thing that are eternal. I say souls, and popsicle stains.

#3: Danger isn’t the only thing that makes popsicles so attractive. They’re sweet,
but not in a heavy, ice-creamy way. Don’t get me wrong. I love ice-cream. I do.
But sometimes you just don’t want a creamy, sugary concoction resting in your
gut. Sometimes you want an artificially flavored, high-fructose corn-syrup
sweetened watery-frozen concoction instead. *raises hand and jumps up and
down a little* I do! I do!

#4: The thing that sets popsicles aside from the standard ice-cream cone is this:
The jokes. The popsicle takes the cake for this fact alone. Because the popsicle is
a giver. It doesn’t simply satisfy our child-like pallets, or our need to live
dangerously. No, the popsicle wants to invest in our minds by asking us
questions. Questions we have to wait to get the answers to until our tasty treat is
gone. Questions that not only make us think, but make us laugh. Oh, dearest
reader. This is the sign of a true friend.
Take a couple of these gems, straight from the sticks that I collected today (there
is a small chance this post was brought on by a four-month old fetus demanding
popsicles, and the sticks might be the evidence) as examples:
Why did the baseball fan give the house a pair of sneakers? Because he wanted to
see a home run. *ba-dum-bum*

What do you call a pony that surfs? A seahorse. *giggle, snort*

What did Mr. and Mrs. Steak name their son? Chuck. *snicker*

And so, my friendlies, let us all revel in the wonder that is the popsicle. I wish
you all happy weekends with dye-stained tongues, non-frozen brains, and new
jokes to share with your friends.

To find out more about Myndi check out her blog Myndi’s Awesome Blog

So what is your favorite popsicle? Mine the lime ones from Trader Joes.

Music and Musings Monday

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Creating Diversity Tip Five: Don’t be afraid to offend people.
Redheads are often portrayed as sultry nymphomaniacs. No one minds writing us this way. Those of you who know me can just be quiet!

No one worries about offending redheads, and yet we bite our finger nails with fear about possibly offending someone of a different color, religion, or sexual orientation. Why? We are all people and while we should try not to stereotype people sometimes it just works.

Your bad guy could be any color, but when you close your eyes you see a skin head with a scar across his face. Your sexy black hero can dance if you want him too.

Whenever you say all X people are Y, you are stereotyping. When you say, Greg a Cree Indian raised by his grandfather in the mountains makes his living leading tours and tracking, you’re not stereotyping. Now if his cousin Paul who grew up in Cincinnati and is a lawyer can magically track, then we have a problem.

Some traits are true, and while not true of everyone can be true of some. Do all lesbians have short hair, bind their chests, and identify as male? No, but some do, and if your character does that doesn’t mean you’re stereotyping. Is your gay character flamboyant and a fabulous dresser? Maybe, why not. But his boyfriend could be a muscular cop whom no one would guess is gay and whose idea of dressing up is a button-down flannel shirt.

A good way to not offend people: be specific. Know your character, what drives them and where they are from. Is your Indian man third generation or eighth? What tribe is your Native American from? How accepting of gays is his family? These things make a difference, and the more specific, you are the fewer generalities you’ll use and the less chance of offending people.
Characters in stories are larger then life, and as long as you’re not saying this is how it is for all of “them,” then why not have your white southern belle scared when the guy in gang clothes comes into her shop. Then give him a teacup dog and polite manners to go with the tattoos covering his arms.

Remember you can’t make everyone happy, no matter what you do, so why try? Write your story, celebrate diversity, and be creative.

Tell me about a character you’ve thought of writing, but have been too afraid to because you don’t want to offend anyone.

Which stereotypes about you/people of your race, religion, or sexual orientation do you hate? Which ones do you encourage? Which ones are true about you or someone you know?

Drama Queen from Denmark, singer DQ

Foreign Film Friday

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I watched three movies this week to share with all of you.

The first, Grimm, is a Dutch film the back cover led me to believe that it was a story about two adults trying to survive when they land in a fairy tale world- kind of an adult Hansel and Gretel. I have no idea what it was, and yes I could see bits of fairy tales in the ‘story’ but it was really weird- and you’ve already seen movies I like so this is saying something.

The plot didn’t make sense. I didn’t like the characters and didn’t care if they lived or died. And it was creepy and not in a fun ‘OH MY GOD what’s behind that door’ way, but in a ‘hey do you think the brother and sister are having sex?’ way. YUCK ;P

My second movie is The Devils Backbone, a Spanish ghost story. It takes place in an orphanage around WWII- we aren’t given a specific date. Carlos comes to the orphanage and quickly finds out about ‘the one who sighs’ the ghost of a young boy who was murdered.

This is a really good ghost story. There were some creepy parts, I jumped at a few places, and was fully involved in the story. Good acting, good plots, nicely filmed, and the kids acting in it were great. I don’t know if I would put it at horror- but if you like murder mystery/ ghost stories then you should watch The Devils Backbone.

I didn’t finish my third pick, and not because it was bad- Jekyll is turning out to be a great show- but it is a 6 hour BBC mini-series and I had to go to bed- but I didn’t want to.

Jekyll is a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it is well done and the complicated plot is easy to follow. So far I wouldn’t call it a horror, but it does have a classic ‘monster’ in it. It is suspenseful, intruding, and we always wonder what Mr. Hyde, the darkest part of us, will do next.
It makes me question to what lengths we all go to cage and control our own Mr. Hydes.

As a side note- there are ‘American’ characters in the show- and I love seeing how the British portray Americans and our accents- super fun.

Once I finish it I’ll pop back in and give a full review. But so far I’d say- rent this mini-series.

My son is seventeen today.

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My son is seventeen today. Who let that happen? I want to write something poignant and funny, but it just isn’t flowing like that this morning.

Some days I’m shocked when this young man walks into the room towering over me and saying, Hey mom what’s there to eat?” I keep expecting to see my young son and his little sister belly crawl across the floor in camo and face paint. And while I might still see Logan doing that he couldn’t talk Tala into it any more.

I don’t miss those days- I was there for them, every single one. My husband and I chose to have me stay at home. We chose to live with one car, no cable, no insurance, and just above poverty level so I could stay home and home school our kids. When I see Logan I know it was all worth it.
I gave myself until my kids turned 25 to decided if I had done a good job as a parent. I know I’ve made mistakes- I can easily list them- but over all I’ve done a good job, and I know this because my son is awesome.

Logan is everything I had hoped he would be- kind, thoughtful, respectful, strong, intelligent, self-assured, independent, self-motivated, and adventurous.
When Logan was a baby I was holding him up in front of a mirror and he was smiling at himself the way babies do, and I remember thinking I hope he always looks in the mirror and feels that way about himself, and I think he does.

I also said- while pregnant- that Calvin’s parent (from Calvin and Hobbs- just didn’t appreciate him enough. I have regretted saying that- as I think my son has stopped my heart dozen of times as he climbed light poles, jumped from the top of one play structure to another, fell from twenty feet in the air doing aerial silks, did basic training with Sea Cadets in another state, studies parkour or free running, and next year he wants to go to Kenya. KENYA! None of us even have a passport, but my son is headed so far away I won’t even be able to reach him if he needs me. Not that he will. But still- I will be freaking out.

Some how I have managed to keep my ass in my chair and let my son be who he is and explore the world. How did I do it? It’s easy. I didn’t watch. I sat with my back to Logan and as other mom’s would gasp with fear as he made it ¾ up a light pole I would listen, and wait to find out if he needed me. I kept my fears and worries to myself- well other then ranting to my husband- and I let my son be who he is. And I think it’s the greatest thing I have ever done.

Music and Musings Monday

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Create Diversity Tip four: Take classes!
I’ve found several classes offered through writers groups on how to write realistic characters. They have offered, gay, Native American, victims, Latina, psychopaths, police officers, and others. I hope we will be seeing more of these classes. Join an RWA group and get on the class mailing list, this way you’ll always know what’s being offered.
You can also take classes from the local college; some libraries have lectures they offer; and community classes are also available.
Did I miss anything? What are your tips for researching other cultures?
Your Monday Music is from Finland with a trio Apocoliptica, Ville Valo lead singer for HIM, and Lauri Ylonen from Rasmus. It’s a beautiful song; it always gives me chills.

And just in case you didn’t see it before- here’s a class on diversity being offered.

The Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter of RWA Presents

Latina Heroines
Presented by Dr. Charley Ferrer
http://www.romance-ffp.com/event.cfm?EventID=423
WHEN: October 24, 2011 through October 26, 2011
WHAT: Not all Latinas are the same. Mexicans, Puerto Rican, Columbian, Dominicans, Spaniards–we’re all different. Like Brits and Americans. Add to that the cultural bias, religion, sexuality, regional quirks and the individual’s ability to straddle two cultures as she tries to assimilate to the American way of life and still respect the old world traditions of her parents, and you have the hilarious situations just waiting to happen.

WHERE: This workshop will be conducted via a Yahoo! email loop. Email invitations will be sent 48 hours prior to the beginning of the workshop.
HOW: Just register for the workshop and complete the payment process via PayPal. The cost is $5.00 for FFnP members and $7.00 for non-FFnP members. Payment is due at the time of registration.
Refunds /credits are determined on a case by case basis. If a class should be canceled, then participants have a choice of a credit to be applied to a future workshop or a refund.
REGISTRATION: http://www.romance-ffp.com/nonMemberWorkshopRegistration.cfm?EventID=423 {you might want to do a Tiny URL http://www.tinyurl.com here, so the link is small enough to be on one line}

WHO: Dr. Charley Ferrer is a clinical sexologist and psychotherapist with over 15 years experience. She produces and hosts a TV Talk Show called PLEASURE on relationships and sexuality. She’s an award-winning author with eight books on sexuality and self-empowerment. Her new books BDSM FOR WRITERS and BDSM THE NAKED TRUTH were released June 17, 2011.
Dr. Charley teaches psychology & human asexuality courses at Rutgers University and lectures throughout the US and Latin America on various topics dealing with sexuality. She’s the sex expert for various TV/Radio shows. She writes for newspapers & magazines, including Fox News Latino, where her first live interview was providing relationship advice to the royal couple. In her spare time, Dr. Charley enjoys traveling and exploring ancient ruins and conducting research. She has created a Yahoo Group for BDSM writers to share their knowledge and learn from each other.
For 2012, she’s hosting a BDSM FOR WRITERS Conference in New York City where authors will not only receive information but gain a little hands-on experience. Plus she’s hosting a BDSM Writers Contest for published and unpublished authors starting September.
Please feel free to visit her site http://www.bdsmforwriters.com or for general information about sexuality http://www.instituteofpleasure.org.

Foreign Film Friday

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I have three very different horror movies for you to pick from today. I hope you find one you like, and make sure to tell me if you ever watch any of the movies I post here. I’d love to know if you enjoyed it.

Kibakichi is a Japanese movie about demons and a samurai werewolf. The fight scenes have everything you want in a cheesy Japanese movie: swords, wire work, cheesy sound effects , and spurting blood. The bummer- the movie is long and the fight scenes are at the beginning and end, leaving a large chunk of plot and backstory in the middle- it’s good, interesting, and beautifully shot but I was expecting more action in a horror movie. BUT the ‘bad guys’ are dressed like Goth/matrix/samurai and are super cool. Leather/vinyl coats, long pony tails, and the whole badass vibe going on.
This is a fun movie, not a great one, however both my husband and I got interesting story ideas watching this movie. So go watch it. Have fun. And be inspired. There is so much urban fantasy/paranormal out there right now, this movie can give you a fresh look and unique ideas for your story ideas.
This movie is great IF you like bad camoy horror movies- other wise try one of my other picks for today.
Here’s the trailer
http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/kibakichi

Cold Prey is an AWESOME horror movie. Five friends go snowboarding for spring break- it’s a Norwegian movie- something happens (I won’t give it away) and they have to take refuge in an abandoned hotel where there is a psycho waiting for them.
This film is well acted. The woman are intelligent and they never do the high pitched horror movie scream. The one thing they do wrong is important to the plot so it can be forgiven. I jumped at several place. They built the tension really well and didn’t throw something at you at every opportunity.
This is a great slasher flick, if you liked the original Friday the 13th and Halloween then you will like Cold Prey.

Thirst is a Korean vampire movie. It’s unique in that the focus is more on human nature then the horror aspect of being a vampire. Kang-ho Song, is the lead playing a priest who volunteers for a drug test and winds up as a vampire. Chang-wook Park directs. I will pick up movies by either of these people.
It’s a dark creepy movie, not for children and you might want to watch it first before deciding if you want your teen to see it. There are some very disturbing scenes.

Want more foreign films? Go check out Subtitled Online

Wise, Witty, and Wacky Wednesday

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“There is nothing new under the sun.”

We all know this is true. Oh, sure, they make things shinier and put more stuff together.

Have you seen the new Kindle Fire- I’m super excited!

However, the point is that things are put together in new ways but we repeat the same things over and over. Canoes, bikes, wagons, cars, trains, and space shuttles are all transportation. Not a new idea. People have always wanted to go from one place to another and to go as far and as fast as they can. Yes, these are unique, but their basic idea is the same. It is the person making the item that makes it new, exciting, and original.
Cake has been around for centuries. However, an individual can make a basic vanilla cake something extraordinary.

This is true in writing. Joseph Campbell talks about how there are basic archetypal stories that we keep telling and retelling. This isn’t a bad thing; obviously people like these story archetypes, because we keep buying books.

So what makes something unique? You do. The author, artist, cook, speaker, teacher, poet, designer, builder, or storyteller. What makes what you do unique is you. Your perspective, vision, choices, it’s all about you.

So don’t worry if ‘it’s been done before’ we all know it has been done before many, many times. Gather up that basic structure and put your unique self into it.

Monday Music and Musings

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Create Diversity Tip Three: basic research
I fear today’s tip isn’t very exciting, but basic research isn’t always very exciting. If you want to write about a place or people you don’t know, get yourself to the library and start researching. Now I will share a secret–get children’s books. While adult travel books do have some important information, children’s books have more sensory information: colors, sights, sounds, etc. This will help your book more than knowing the twenty top mid-range hotels in a city.

There is also a video series I like: ‘Families of the World.’ Each country has its own video, and there are two different families per country. You get to see a typical day in the household, including school, meals, and jobs.
My other tip for basic research: travel shows. You didn’t see that coming did you? I bet you’re shocked and amazed. But better then just any travel show, watch No Reservations and Bizarre Foods. Both of the hosts interact with the local people, go to local markets, and describe everything they are doing.


Don’t forget the food. I live in a college city, which means I’m lucky enough to have lots of different ethnic restaurants around. Check your local paper or phone book and see what options you have available to you. If they don’t have what you need, try cooking a dish from the culture you’re researching. Sunday’s at Moosewood is my favorite multi-cultural cook book, but head out to the library or search the internet for websites.

Find someone on the internet who knows the culture–either because they lived some place or have visited there. Reach out and ask, and those of you answering questions don’t get snippy, just smile and know that someone is trying to learn something new and answer the question.

For you Music Monday song I offer you a sweet sappy love song from Azerbaijan Running Scared by Eldar & Nigar