Merry Meet All,
I am a bookcase thief. I am really. In the last few months, I have convinced my mother to give up two bookcases that I am sure she needed too to give to me to be a holding cell for all my books. There are two built in bookcases that are crammed with books with four shelves each. Then I have a third wooden bookcase in my bedroom with three shelves, filled with books.
I am addicted to the written word. I guess I have made that obvious. I collect books for help with my writing, research or to just enjoy and read. I enjoy the books I read for research too. I have books from when I was younger though most books are recent.
I have a certain order to how I organize the books on my shelves. To look at it all, you would think you had walked into a bookstore or library. On the highest top shelf of my bookcase, are the classic literature books, followed by some horror novels, then poetry and writers manuals. The bottom shelf holds the miscellaneous books. The second bookcase contains my books on Wicca and witchcraft and pagan magazines. Yes I am organized about my books. It helps as there are so many. Books are wonderful and I also love books more than Kindle or Kobo or whatever. I prefer to hold a real book in my hand, smell the print, feel the texture of the page. I hope bookstores never become a thing of the past.
Merry Meet All,
Last night as I waited in a chilly metro shelter, I received the dreaded news that Metro Transit might be going on strike. I spun around and was like, what? I hoped it wasn’t true and probably held the fears of many people who depend on the metro transit for transportation. I was unhappy with the news and after a forty-minute wait for the bus I needed to take me home, I decided I would talk to the bus driver about that.
I boarded the bus and had my say. He was in a stressed mood and with a stern look on his face, told me to behave or get off the bus. I was not about to leave and I barked back at him. He left me with no way to get a word in edgewise. He reminded me of a bulldog.
As I was exiting the bus, he apologized and told me the strike was out of his control and he shared my concerns as he had a family of his own to care for. He didn’t want to go on strike. I shared his concerns. I do not work and do not make much money but I do depend heavily on Metro Transit to get around. I am unhappy about this. On February 2nd, they may officially be on strike. I heard of a woman with two small kids who were forced to wait two hours in the cold for the bus after missing it by minutes. That is an example of what people are forced to endure. The ones without cars. I think it’s a sad reflection of the Metro Transit employers who are also looking to remove all the rights and conditions that the Metro Transit employees have tried so hard to attain. That is why they are going on strike.
I hope that an agreement is reached between the employees and the staff at Metro Transit before February 2nd. If not, I might have to dust off my metaphorical broomstick. It saves on gas. I wish that was the style of transportation for the future.
Merry Meet All,
Recently I watched the movie War Horse, against my better judgement, with a friend. I am trying to put it out of mind. The movie seemed contrived and unauthentic in parts. The movie was a sad portrayal of animal exploitation in a war. I wish I did not see the movie. I do not recommend it to viewers. I can also count on one hand how many people were in the audience. I love horses and most animals. The amount of cruelty the horses endured was heart wrenching.
I fail to see the point of a movie that depicts such animal exploitation. It was hard to watch and earned my tears of heartbreak. I do not know if it was trying to be so dismal on purpose, but I am glad that it was just a movie. It seemed so real-the amount of suffering of the horses, not just the horse Joey.
I will not watch this when it comes out on dvd and blue ray. Perhaps Hollywood is running out of original ideas and now resorts to animal cruelty to fill theaters for money. That is a sad statement but perhaps it is accurate too.
Merry Meet All,
This weekend I made an elemental altar cloth. I have wanted to make one for a long time. I am proud of it. It turned out beautifully.
It is not difficult to do. Once you figure out the size, whether it be circular, oval or square, you divide the quarters up into four sections. For mine, earth was green, air was yellow, south was fire, and water was blue. The picture above shows the quarter sections. The prints on the material portray the individual quarters.
Now, the trick with sewing an altar cloth of the elements, is that you have to keep in mind that the quarters need to match. When you sew on the wrong side facing up, arrange everything where it needs to be before sewing. I stitched the air and water quarters the wrong way three times before putting the quarters in correctly. When you sew them together, prearrange it the right way to save the pain of seam ripping for three hours. Once that is done, sew it all together. You then have the option of binding with ribbons or bias tape, and lining your altar cloth. The choices are up to you. I added a blue embroidered pentacle in the center of the cloth. Be sure to make the quarters attach neatly in the center of the altar cloth.
When you are done, you can wash the altar cloth or just put it on your altar. There is more helpful information on about.com. Enjoy!
Merry Meet All,
Today I am going to talk about the books I have found to be the most beneficial in writing on the subject of the paranormal. I love the paranormal. It is fascinating to me. Hopefully it holds the same amount of fascination for many others.
Here is a list of books to read to get a good background on the subject. Novels, especially the classics, are great to read to study how to write about the paranormal. Dracula by Bram Stoker should lurk on everyone’s bookcase who want to write a horror novel. It is a classic. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Best Ghost Stories by Stephen Hrennan. Some other books to read (that I don’t own, but have read) are Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin and Amityville Horror. Pay attention to the writers’ craft and develop your own original voice. Read widely in the genre you have chosen to write in. Chilling Tales anthology by Michael Kelly and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. Watch the movie of Something Wicked This Way Comes. You will be awake all night.
Once you have read those books, you may have ideas spinning around in your head and want to try to write a short story or a novel. I recommend also buying the books and not borrowing them. I do this because if I want to read or refer to a chapter or a page, I simply pluck the book from my stuffed bookcase and it’s there. I do not need to travel to a bookstore or library in the rain or snow and waste two hours. I like to support small bookstores. Go ahead and get some cool bookends. Dragons, unicorns, whatever strikes your fancy.
Get a good dictionary and thesaurus. Learn your grammar. (I need to.) Don’t be afraid to set a story in a region you are fond of. That can make your story original! You want to be original.
A list of useful books:
The First 50 pages by Jeff Gerke
Writing the Paranormal Novel by Steven Harper
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King
On Writing Horror by the Horror Writers Association
OXford Canadian A-Z of Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Formatting and Submitting your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino
That may seem like a lot to read, but it is important to get the basics down. I hope this inspires you to pen your own great story. You may be the next Charlotte Bronte or Percy Bysshe Shelley. Good luck!