Monthly Archives: December 2014

Top 13 Horror Movies of 2014

Hunter Shea

This is the second go around with this post for me. You see, I spent 2 hours this weekend putting together a comprehensive list of my 13 favorite horror flix for 2014. The kicker is that WordPress lost the post entirely. To my credit, I didn’t cry or curse or break anything.

So, here I am again, once bitten, twice shy. My reviews are short and sweet this time around, but you’ll all get the point.

I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to find 13 horror movies worth noting this year. As of July, Oculus was my top pick. Egads! Thankfully, things picked up in the second half and I had a good group to choose from.

So, before WordPress deletes this post and me in the process, on with the show!

#13 – ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE

Funny, dark, twisted and downright strange at times. Come for…

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In Memory

Bobcat

Merry meet all,

I announce with some sadness that the president of the HWA, or the Horror Writers Association, has passed. He is missed by many and is remembered well. I never knew him but since this blog is about the paranormal and I am a member of the Horror Writers Association, it deserves mentioning here. Last night, I read the entirety of the Horror Writers Association newsletter which focused mostly on Rocky Wood. It is understandable. He made great stride in helping this genre remain afloat alongside the more common genres of fiction. We owe him a great deal. A new president is appointed now and she has big ‘horror’ shoes to fill. I am sure she will prove herself quite capable.

I have a fresh print out of my novel and I am already bleeding red ink all over it. I have a lot of work to do in a short time since a publishing company is opening for submissions in February. I have hard work ahead of me but if I devote my every minute of my life to this task, I shall hopefully be a success and make it in time. That is my plan. Like Rocky Wood would have wanted, since he championed young hopeful writers, I shall work my hardest. I am inspired besides the tedious editing I have to do. I think a writer has to be in love with his or her story to be able to work this hard on it.

I have a few ideas on what I might write after I finish this project. I usually have many projects I work on at the same time. I’d like to write something apocalyptic set in the future, more poems, more non-fiction for the pagan publications. I don’t know why and not questioning it too deeply, but it comes naturally to write about witchcraft. I go with it. Why resist it??

In Pleasant Bay, the rabbits’ fur has turned white, the moose are past rutting season, some of the critters are hibernating and some are migrating south, like the geese and the whales. The snowy ice packs drift over the ocean surface. Winter, the time of the Crone, has arrived. There is no snow here in Halifax but I know that in January, we will see snow. Dress warm, sip organic sider and hot chocolate, and return to this blog often for more exciting posts.

Happy New Year!!
Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2473

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Edits

Book of Shadows

Merry meet all,

Merry Yule everyone!! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday. Mine was quiet but I had a lovely dinner with my family yesterday. 

On Yule eve, I received the final edits from Nathalie, the owner of her business Girl & Cat Publishing. I was elated to receive the final edits from her and to also receive a huge two-page long email from her detailing the ways I can improve the manuscript. I am very grateful to her for her assistance. I am also grateful that she worked on Yule eve to get the edits to me. Wow that was nice of her when most people wouldn’t do that for you- let alone for free. 

I have a lot of work to do on my final revision on my novel. But it is a good kind of work. If I do all the edits she recommended, I will have a GREAT book. I look forward to getting started very soon. I have a lot of work to do in a short time. Maybe  I shall hide out at the new library here in town. That’s a great idea. 

I also want to recommend Nathalie Andrews of Girl and Cat Publishing to anyone who is penning their own masterpiece. She is amazing, elegant, honest and comes with a razor sharp insight into your writing. So mean business when you deal with her!! 

I’ll keep posting here on updates about how my novel is going. I wish you all a Happy New Year!! 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch

http://www.girlandcat.com/home.html

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Story of the Paranormal

Beautiful View

Merry meet all,

 Now that you are more familiar with this amazing tiny fishing village and all it has to offer, I am going to focus more on the story itself and show more of how it relates to the town. Pleasant Bay is where I spent most of my life. So naturally I would be inspired to write a story there. I am the first one to do set a novel there. I felt that a lot of the same old folklore had been told about the ghost stories in Halifax. We needed a new transfusion. I hope this novel is that transfusion. 

I have nothing against the local folklore. It is great but it is the same tired story every time. That is also one reason why I wrote this story. I wanted to tell something fresh and new. I didn’t know I had this story: the plot, the characters, in me. It came as a total shock to me. I never planned it. 

The story came to me as a flash of inspiration. In my mind for some reason, I pictured a woman running from a ghost in a house in Cape Breton then I sat down to figure out why I had that image in my head. Two years, lots of coffee and thought, and some drafts later, here I am. 

I am happy with the way it is going. I still have some kinks to work out but that is the trial of an author. It’s a good problem to have. Like having 50 books in your personal library but you try to have time to get to them. Like I do. 

The paranormal is a hot topic today. My story deals heavily with the paranormal. You can’t take the ghost out of the story. Or there is no story. Yes my ghost (Jonathan Fraser) has something to say. So I let him have his day. I don’t know why it is such a hot topic right now but it’s cool. A shift in the global community perspective? I can’t think of the word right now that I want but I think you’ll know what I mean. I know people seek fantasy for an escape. It’s hard to say why the paranormal is so hot right now. 

Magic, witchcraft and Wicca are of course, very popular right now too and I hope it stays that way for years to come. That is also another important part of the story. Rosemary uses magic to help her solve the ghost’s death mystery. She also uses magic to deal with, converse with, and learn more about the ghost. She uses a magic candleholder that can ignite without a match or lighter when she says magic words.

 

The ghost Jonathan Fraser haunts the basement of the house. He hides a horrifying secret and it is up to Rosemary to discover through the course of the novel just what is hidden in the basement. Why the leaking water drips on the floor and why something hard and white is starting to show through the floorboards. Will she find out in time? 

The freedom  an author has…. it’s seductive. There are so many ways to tell stories and so many ways to write them. If you don’t believe me, then browse the shelves of your local bookstore and you’ll see what I mean. 

I just think that, and this is just my opinion, that unlike strictly literary fiction, you have so much more freedom within the genre to write a certain genre paranormal story. I think any author can write something special. I love my story and I know I have to work on it, but to have discovered this story was within me was an eye-opener!!!

Stay posted. 

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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The Wild Life

Crow3

Merry meet all,

Today I’m going to talk about the different types of wild life out there. The range in the wildlife is one of the chief reasons why I visit.

 

Moose

Moose

This photo is courtesy of http://www.aspybay.ca. Moose happily inhabit the woods. They graze peacefully, on the trees’ bark and grass. I have seen lots of moose, young and old, in herds or alone, and during the day and at night. They are beautiful, majestic, and peaceful. I have never been harmed by a moose. I have seen them a lot in the woods. Their young are cute and the adult moose are a wonder to behold.

Foxes

Foxy

I have seen a few foxes in the woods. They are small, with red fur and bright eyes. They hunt rabbits and one of them even befriended my grandfather. I am not kidding. Foxes are small, cute but please do respect wildlife.

Rabbits

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I have seen rabbits during different times of the year. They change their fur colour according to the season. They are so cute and likely quite happy to be living in their element. They come close to the main house like the other animals that live in the forest.

Bobcats

Bobcat

I have seen a bobcat once. The bobcat posed for then disappeared into the trees’ shelter The bobcat was beautiful and blended in well with the natural hues and shades of the wild brush. You almost wouldn’t have known it was there. The bobcats hunt rabbits, mice, voles and birds.

Coyotes

coyote

I have not seen a coyote mercifully. These critters are not as friendly. A coyote ate a woman who was currently at that time well, you know, at that time of month. They do small blood and that alerts them to prey. It is best to keep a healthy distance from coyotes. Whatever you do, stand your ground.

Squirrels

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Nova Scotia itself is overrun with squirrels and cute birds too that happily and greedily compete for seed in the feeder. They do it here in Halifax in my garden and at the feeders in Pleasant Bay. Out there, there is no shortage of food for them. The squirrels even plant seeds in the ground, a storage system that my sister often benefits from, amused by their antics.

Eagles and Hawks- and Owls

Eagle

The eagles soar over the ocean for fish. The hawks circle above my sister’s chicken coop, plotting to catch an unwary hen. Hawks are smaller than eagles. Like moose, eagles are majestic and strong. I have never seen their nests but the nests are probably up somewhere high. Eagles are easy to identify by their remarkable wings. They too are a sight to behold. Pleasant Bay has also been visited by rare birds. I will try to get the photo to show you.

Whales and Seals

Whales frolic in the waves and show off for the tourists during the whale tours. I have had the chance to witness these beautiful creatures when I have been out on the tours. They play, splash, dive, leap and soak up the sun. This was my experience when I was on the whale tour:

I was out on a whale-watching cruise years ago. I stood on the boat and looked out around me. The sky was clear, the day was warm, and the calm ocean waves lapped the boat. I surveyed the looming mountains above the shore. The mountains stretched three thousand meters into the sea. Cows grazed in the field. Gannets dove over the ocean surface. The deep cool ocean water surrounded us. I was suddenly gripped with a feeling. I felt small, tiny even, in the midst of the ocean and the mountains. I did not want to know how deep the ocean water was. If whales swam its waters, then I assumed the ocean was extremely deep.

The seals give birth on the ice. The ocean is always covered with ice in the winter. If it is quiet at the beach, you can hear the ice packs bang into each other.

Bears frequent the woods out there. My sister also keeps chickens and raises some of them for meat and some for their eggs. They are free range and will let you pet them.

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There are horses, dogs and cats too. Here are some photos:

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Cows, too:

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I saw a salamander in the basement. We rescued him.

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I fully acknowledge the copyright of these photos. Not all of them are mine. 

I hope this encourages you to visit the strange and beautiful fishing village of Pleasant Bay. Blessed Be

Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Nature Rest

CIMG0699

Merry Meet All,

My sister and her husband, Niki + Jeremy Pike, run a cabin-rental business in Pleasant Bay. If you are so inclined for a week’s stay in such a magickal, imaginative, and natural restful place, you’ve come to the right place. The link below tells you more about it. 

I hope you tale the opportunity to review the link and consider staying there for a vacation. It is far but it is worth it!! Of course, the best time to visit is in the summer. Right now, it’s nearing Yule. But save up and take a well-earned vacation in the heart of the Highlands!!

 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/VacationRentalReview-g1523026-d2062083-Cliff_Waters_Vacation_Properties_Nova_Scotia-Pleasant_Bay_Cape_Breton_Island_Nova_Sco.html

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Pleasant Bay

The house I used as inspiration for the story

The house I used as inspiration for the story

Merry meet all,

Pleasant Bay is a rural community located past Cheticamp, Cape Breton. The people there have lived here for generations. My family has had that land for six generations. Little has changed about the place. The two-room schoolhouse that my Mother attended is still there. My  niece attends the school. The boats bob in the harbour and people still use wood stoves to heat their homes. The place has a rural, rustic majestic charm to it. I love it there. 

You need a car and wood to survive there. You need a car to be able to get to places and you need a good wood pile to heat your home. You have to worry more about heating your home in the fall, winter and spring. A cord of wood costs $200. Then you rally your friends and family to help you stack the wood. Shown here:

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The wildlife offers entertainment. Moose, foxes, coyotes, bears and rabbits frolic in the woods. There is hiking to do and relaxing at the beach. In the summer, the mosquitoes and black flies feast on your blood like seriously rabid tiny vampires. Whales splash in the ocean. 

a sea side scene

In our crazy, hectic society in the urban areas, it can be a relief to get away to the countryside for quiet and serenity. You may not have the best internet connection but you don’t need it there. Pleasant Bay will snare your heart and your imagination. 

The best time for visiting this place really is in the summer. Collect seashells, herbs and pebble stones at the beach.Learn more about gathering berries such as elderberry and blueberry. They grow plentiful and wild. Explore the nature trails. Reconnect with yourself. See? – lots to do. 

The key is to be open to a new experience and to be willing to be 450 kms away from an urban environment. Pleasant Bay is at the end of the road of the island. You get out and explore. That’s the fun of it. So where will you be spending your vacation time?

Blessings, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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Honouring the Sacred

Trees*

Merry meet all,

I am upset with the Harper Gov’t. My grandfather was born in Pleasant Bay in October 1919. Hegrew up in the same tiny fishing village that I visit and cherish. There is no grocery store, no gas station there and if the government that is so obsessedwith greed and oil get their way, they will drive the people out of this sacredvisually stunning community that is a sacred rare gem. The earth is so purethere. But the government is cutting down the post office hours here inefforts to drive people away and force then out west to the bloody oilcraze that Harper initiated. He is the Devil. I hate him. He is againsteverything I believe in. If he has his way, nothing will be green anymore.

I found a salamander in the basement, heard woodpeckers inthe woods and walked near the ocean. The place is beautiful and is the mainreason why so many people here so far have resisted the government trying toforce them to leave. These small communities are the back bone of society. Theyare hard to replace once lost. Nothing is treasured or valued anymore. Land inthe family and family is not valued anymore. We have lost much and forgotten much. We need to rememberour values. They can’t succeed in what they want to achieve. The hand ofmachinery and greed has got to stop.

If you own land especially in such a beautiful area as this then you have everything you need. A strip mall in a grungy neighbourhood is not better. It has no value. There is nothing on earth like the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. I am smitten and my heart belongs to the Highlands. My heart will always be here.

We have to resist and stand for what we believe in. I will fight forvalues and a clean earth and remembering what should be for the benefit of thepeople. Not the few.

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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My favourite spots of the mystical woods of Pleasant Bay

 

CIMG0684

Merry meet all,

I have been visiting Pleasant Bay since I was eleven. ( A long time ago) The land has been in our family for six generations. I thought I would share my favourite spots with you all. 

#1 Red River Beach Everyone loves the beach, right? I do. I love Red River beach for its stunning panoramic views, the ocean that stretches out forever, and the huge beach perfect for holding bonfires, or just suntanning, strolling along the water and searching for sea shells. I love it. I have to hike back up the steep hill to get up to the main road but it is worth it. 

Beautiful View

#2 Pleasant Bay is all about rustic lookoffs, steep dangerous cliffs, and beautiful ocean views, not to mention the wildlife. But my other favourite spot has to be Cliffwaters. We built the main house in 1986. The house is lovely and centred quite literally smack in the gorgeous woods. I love to stroll down the bank and explore the woods. I know every inch of the place. I know where the cabin called The Spinning Jenny is. I know every old spruce tree and the steep bank across the field. I have burned brush, watched foxes, rabbits and moose graze. I love walking in the shaded spruce woods area. There is a little path that feels truly magickal. The earth is littered by animal bones, pine cones, pine needles, and the sweet scent of the earth. It is a touch of heaven. 

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#3 Down the road from Cliffwaters, is another awesome spot. My sister and her husband were married there. My grandparents were married there. It is the most beautiful spot on earth. I like walking across the bridge and watching the rough waters below tumble down to the ocean. I can catch trout there and just watch the water. I am sure bears visit that spot. I can see why they would. The cows used to graze at Pollet’s Cove and then come up the road and visit the main house. Moose often graze near the house and sometimes walk right up the front deck. I have had the gift of observing the moose whether alone, with young or in a herd. Rare sight. 

Beautiful View

#4 The next place I love is the other main house. My grandparents used to live in it. I also love this spot for the rustic country charm. The house feels like a real country house. But the other cool thing is the ravine and the old trees. I don’t know what it is about old trees that I love so much. I also enjoy strolling up the road because I love the ocean harbour view. It is hard not to. I don’t know how many times I strolled up that road. It is always so quiet and serene. This about wraps it up for my favourite spots of Pleasant Bay. Here are some more shots:

You need a wood stove here for survival

You need a wood stove here for survival

Moose leave this behind as a calling card

Moose leave this behind as a calling card

Dead trees pic

Truly creepy woods with lots of unsettling energy

bobcat1

A bobcat pauses from his hunting of mice and voles to pose for the camera

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

 

 

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Sacred Space

CIMG1881

Merry meet all,

Looking for a quiet retreat for magic? I have just the spot. You may have to travel a long way to reach this paradise, but once you’re there, it’s worth it. Once you view the tumbling ancient mountains and vast ocean, you will believe that you stepped in to a dream.

Nestled snugly at the base of the ancient mountains of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Pleasant Bay captures the hearts of people who travel from around the world to discover the stunning nature and picturesque scenery this tiny fishing village is renowned for. It is truly nature at its’ unparalleled best.

While driving to Pleasant Bay along the Cabot Trail, guests should drive leisurely to appreciate the scenic look offs, rugged coastlines and the mountains that plunge 300 meters deep into the water. Pleasant Bay is one of the most photographed spots in the world.

The beauty of Pleasant Bay is the perfect spot in the world for photography and magic. The main house was built by May and Alfred Timmons, my grandparents, in 1986. They had a working farm with a barn and farm animals. The house itself is a unique part of Pleasant Bay that lends evidence of beautiful and expert craftsmanship. It is set on the side of a mountain with a clear view of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and spectacular sunsets. The land has been in the Timmons family for six generations.

There are many activities that people can do once they tear their eyes off of the scenery. Crab fests are held once a year by the local fire department. Guests can purchase crab straight off the wharf at the local harbor and bring them back to the cottage to cook up by the campfire. Hikes are a popular activity of guests and so is simply appreciating the gorgeous panoramic views. For truly adventurous guests, there are whale cruises, kayaking, and sailing. People can bring their own kayaks and boats.

A diversity of wildlife brightens the landscape- hawks, seals, rabbits, partridges, squirrels and chipmunks, songbirds and foxes. A guest may be surprised to find a moose peering in the windows of the main cottage at dawn. Guests can watch bald eagles afloat on sea breezes on early mornings. Fishermen’s boats bob in the water for fresh mackerel or haddock. Pilot, fin, minke, humpback and right whales mingle with sailboats and kayaks.

Pleasant Bay has the largest stand of old-growth Acadian forests this side of Quebec. When a guest walks in the 300-year-old sugar maple woods, they may feel as if the place is alive with magic and elves and fairies step from the mists. A Lone Sheiling Trail holds a replica of a Scottish crofter’s hut. The energy is thick in the air and one can almost sense the timeless age of the massive mountains. These woods lie in the National Park. A guest can get a Cape Breton Highlands National Park Entry Pass that allows access to dozens of hiking trails.

The Whale Interpretive Center hosts a museum and gift shop for whale lovers. The Whale Intepretive Center offer day passes available at the front desk. There is a life-size model of the resident pilot whale Hook and tanks of live samples of ocean life and exhibits, facts, and histories of whale hunts.

Pollett’s Cove is a major attraction. People from the world over arrive to experience the world-renowned hiking trail to test their physical stamina. Most people have hiked there and told their friends. It is a trial of endurance and weary hikers return with a heightened sense of spiritual renewal. It is an exhilarating hike.

Once a person has tried the lobster, done some hiking and hopefully kayaking and still has energy, there is still more to do. There are loads of stones to gather for crystal work. Mint grows by the brook and is strong and fresh in scent. The beach stretches as far as one can dare imagine and the ocean is inviting. Whale-watching, kayaking and sailing is at your own risk- I know of some brave ‘sailors’ whose kayaks were tipped by playful pilot whales!

I enjoy collecting the mint that grows at the brook and storing it because the mint there is especially powerful. I recently watched a red sun sink behind a tranquil turquoise blue ocean, found seashells and rocks for my tumbler to transform into gemstones, crab shells, wood. I watched a hummingbird, saw a crane sitting in a lake, and I felt ‘hugged’ by the massive ancient mountains around me. I caught a tadpole and was visited by a large bull moose, was awed by flashing lightning and thunder, and felt captivated by the whales and seals splashing in the rough ocean waves a few feet from our boat. The whale pod had a calf pilot whale.

If this is not getting close to nature, I don’t know what is.

I keep little simple trinkets I discover on my path along the beach and the woodlands. I cleanse, purify and store crab shells, periwinkles, bone or wood or crystals to my altar in Halifax. They carry some of the energy with them, even sand to fill my cauldron.

Sometimes, I let things go or keep them. I recapture on film the stunning sunsets, the grace and majesty of the moose and whales, and the scents of wildflowers, roses, spruce and earthy thistles wound into one scent-heaven.

The fields of flowers waist-deep high often scratch my legs. The mosquitoes and black flies feast on me but I endure it believing that I am fortunate to be there. Bats catch the insects and I watch the bats fly at night, at dusk. 

I feel at peace when I explore the woods. The saucy squirrels, moose and chickadees accompany me on my trips through these magical woods. I invite anyone to discover the beautiful wilderness. Pleasant Bay may capture your heart and soul so much that you find yourself returning or never leaving.

Now, that’s magic. This is my sacred space. I would love to hear about what you call your own sacred space. 

Blessed Be, Lady Spiderwitch )O(

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