All posts filed under: Strange Thoughts

Spring Anticipation

It’s just getting to the point where the days are getting noticeably longer, and I am eagerly anticipating spring. I love the sparseness of winter, but the short days and cold Carolina rain definitely cut into the time I can spend outside enjoying after work nature walks and weekend hikes. The light greens and pastels of spring may not match my personal aesthetic, but I always enjoy taking them in when visiting nature parks and botanical gardens. I also enjoy trying to spot some of the creepy crawlers lurking among the fresh leaves and fragrant flowers. The brightness of spring also informs my writing. Monsters and villains always seem their most terrifying when they are infiltrating idillic settings, don’t they?

Top 5 Winter Thrillers and Horror Movies

I love horror movies and thrillers set in winter. In some of the best, the winter weather can act as a second antagonist, trapping the hero of the movie. In others, it offers up gorgeous cinematography to serve as a poetic back drop for the story to unfold in. Below are some of my favorites, I’d love to hear about yours. Fargo The Cohen brothers set their thriller/black comedy in Minnesota during the late 80s, and use the expanse of long roads and barren, snowy landscapes in between cities and towns to their advantage. I’ve never seen headlights used as a plot device so well. Insomnia Unlike the rest of the movies on this list, much of Insomnia’s atmosphere relies on the perpetual daylight of summer in Alaska. It haunts Al Pacino’s weary detective relents as he hunts an unsettlingly friendly suspected serial killer. The Shining Based on the classic horror novel by Stephen King, the remote Overlook hotel that provides the setting for the film has an interesting duality. It is both a sanctuary …

My Strangest Source of Writing Inspiration (so far)

When I posted my poem Rites, the reception for it was amazing. “A lovely evocation of the cycle of life, through the rituals that lead us.” wrote one commenter. It’s a solemn piece of writing, and so far, the only poem I have written that touches upon religious themes. Which makes the inspiration for it seem so silly, since I got the idea initial idea from a jar of body scrub. The scent is graveyard, and site I bought it from, witchbabysoap.com, describes it as smelling like, “a freshly dug grave, coffin satin, and carefully arranged funeral flowers on a warm spring afternoon.” It seemed so weird and morbid, I just had to try it. When the scrub arrived in the mail, I noticed the three words, Flowers, Dirt, Coffin Satin, on the label. I decided to play around with them in a repeating poetry form, and settled on a villanelle. It immediately took on a more serious tone as I incorporated the repetitive form and though more about all the times we encounter flowers …

Blood Orange Lemonade

There aren’t many fruits that I look forward to being in season during the winter, but blood oranges are definitely one of them. In season roughly November through May in the US,depending on where they are grown, they usually show up at my grocery store around mid January, but I start keeping an eye out for them in December. One of my favorite things to make with them is a flavored lemonade. It’s a little work, but more then worth it. I top mine with Blavod vodka for an extra kick (and macabre color), but it’s refreshing on its own as well. Blood Orange Lemonade: 1 cup blood orange juice – squeezed from about about four oranges 1 cup lemon juice- squeezed from about ten small lemons 1/4 cup orange juice- squeezed from one orange 3 cups water 3/4 cup simple syrup One blood orange sliced One lemon sliced Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit for at least an hour. Top with vodka for an extra kick.

Australia Burning

When I watch horror movies, I tend the favor supernatural films versus the ultra realistic. Given a choice, I’d rather watch a movie about a haunted house than a home invasion. There is something about the possibility of the plot unfolding in real life that makes them harder to watch. The forest fires in Australia are an example of a real life horror story, and the photo above is the best image I’ve seen that depicts the full scale of the disaster.  The largest blaze, The Gospers Mountain fire, was ignited by a lightning strike in October and burned for three months before being contained. Many other fires are still burning. Over 16 million acres have scorched, much more then the roughly 2 million acres that burned in California in 2018, and the Amazon last year. The smoke plume from the fires has discolored the sky over South America, and traveled all way around the globe back to Australia. This article by the New York Times gives the full picture of the devastation. If you …

Playing Your Bones: Three Versions of One Poem

I often scroll through Pinterest for inspiration while working on my poetry. During one search for new ideas, the above image caught my attention immediately, and the phrase “play your bones like a xylophone” popped into my head. Determined to use it in a poem, I tried it out in a quick senryu: Senryu 55 tonight I will dream about playing your bones like a xylophone I liked it, but it felt a little incomplete. I decided to try it in an elfchen next. Bone Xylophone I’m dreaming about playing your bones like a xylophone tonight feverishly I liked this version better, but since I was having fun experimenting, I wrote a third poem in the form of a triolet. Playing your bones tonight I’m dreaming about playing your bones like a xylophone your vertebrae jingling tonight I’m dreaming diabolically scheming carving your tombstone tonight I’m dreaming about playing your bones like a xylophone So far this version is my favorite, but I’m curious to see how many more I can come up with using …

Winter Songs

I like eggnog, but I can’t drink it as is. I always need to add a little milk, or it’s too rich for me. The same goes for Christmas carols. I need to break them up with some songs that just make me think of winter. Songs about winter, that were used in a movie set during winter, or just played a lot during the winter season get mixed in my Christmas playlist to break up all the Christmas cheer. When the holidays are over, they make a great playlist on their own. Winter Playlist: Winter- Tori Amos This Year’s Love- Davis Gray Daughters- John Mayer Transatlanticism- Death Cab for Cutie If I Ain’t Got You- Alicia Keys Palace- Sam Smith Into the Mystic- Van Morrison Ophelia- The Lumineers Poison and Wine- The Civil Wars The A Team- Ed Sheeran I Put a Spell on You- Brigitte Wickens Winter Song- Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson Winter- Josh Radin Alive- Chris Daughtry This is Me- Keisha Rise Up- Andra Day From Now On- Zac Brown Band …

End of Year Wrap Up

Every December I read the same article by David Wong from cracked.com, 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person, to get myself motivated for the new year and set goals. He originally wrote it in 2012, and since then it has received over 25 million views, and cracked.com has been reposting every year since. This time, I needed to reread it more then ever. This is the first year in quite a while that I have totally failed to achieve my New Year’s Resolution. And by fail, I mean barely tried. My goal was to submit my writing to poetry journals and websites for publication, and I quit after three rejections. Which is ridiculous, because I know better. I know that it will take patience, diligence, and many submissions to find the one publication that my work is the right fit for. Which brings me back to Wong’s article. The part that always resonated with me the most is this quote: I’m asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? …

Three Quiet Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

December has turned out to be a bit more busy and stressful then I anticipated. Since tonight is the winter solstice, I’ve found a few quiet, relaxing ways to celebrate tonight. Make your own dried oranges for ornaments or a solstice wreath I shared instructions for drying orange slices last week, and you can use them to decorate in several ways. Thread them with a little string and hang them on your Christmas tree as ornaments, and the lights will make the glow gorgeous sunset hues. Another way to use them is by decorating a solstice wreath. I ultimately bought a fake wreath to attach mine too (I’ll redecorate it every year!) but you could follow the instructions here for making one with a wire hanger. Releasing ceremony The more formal version of this ritual is to write down on a small piece paper, in red ink, either something you want to leave behind in the new year, or something you want to gain in the new year. Then you burn the paper with a …

Senryu 47 – L. Stevens

Originally posted on FREE VERSE REVOLUTION:
my fingers retreat curling into the warm spot your hand abandoned ? ? L. Stevens is an intj who loves learning about everything and filing it away for later. She finished second in little infinite’s first haiku contest and her poetry been featured by Pack Poetry and Free Verse Revolution. She writes short stories and poetry about the moon, darkness, and anything else lurking in the deep abyss of her imagination. Occasionally, rays of light shine through her work to contrast the shadows.