All posts tagged: astronomy

Strange Happenings in April (Social Distancing Edition)

The abundance of free time many of us have found ourselves with has in a way, created a strange new pressure. We should be making the most of our newfound leisure time, shouldn’t we? But many experts caution against throwing ourselves into too many activities at once. This extra spare time comes at the cost of life as we knew it, and there is nothing wrong with taking time to rest, process, and feel grief for the way life was. No matter how you choose to spend the time this month, whether it’s starting a new hobby or binging twelve seasons of a show you’ve never watched, create a new routine for yourself, and find things to look forward to. I’ve got a whole list of possibilities below, let me know if you have any I can add! April 1st Start of National Poetry Writing Month! If you have ever wanted to try writing poetry, today is the perfect day to start! Visit the NaPoWriMo site daily for featured poets, prompts, and the poetry posted …

Searching for Springtime Scares

I like to align a lot of my writing with the seasons, since I take a lot of inspiration from nature. Spring is usually a challenge for me, as I prefer darker themes and imagery. How do you make sunshine and budding flowers scary? I might be able to take some tips from a hugely successful horror movie that premiered last March. Jordan Peele’s Us featured warm weather, picturesque settings, and children. Peele contrasts these elements with dark tunnels, and a nighttime confrontation between the protagonist’s family and terrifying, murderous versions of themselves. I can also take  literary inspiration from some classic short stories.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is centered around a sunny room. And of course, Shirely Jackson’s famously unsettling The Lottery, detailing the horrifying tradition of a small New England town each June. What’s your favorite spring time scare?

Strange Happenings in March

March holds much to look forward to. The start of spring, the year’s first super moon, and the one day a year restaurants list a boiled dinner as the day’s special. There’s also new books to read and new shows to watch while we wait out the wind and rain that usually make up winter’s last gasps. March 1st We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry on shelves. Set in Danvers, Massachusetts during the 1989, a high school field hockey team discovers witchcraft may be the key to a winning season. Since I grew up in a small Massachusetts town and also played field hockey in high school, I am absolutely looking forward to reading this book! My team certainly could have used a little magic to break our cycle of losing seasons. Dispatches from Elsewhere begins on AMC. A departure from much of Jason Segal’s previous work, ‘Dispatches’ follows four people from different walks of life who’s lives are changed by a puzzle that opens them up to a world of possibility and magic. …

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 …

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.

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 …

Strange Happenings in December

December is typically a month that horror fans and Halloween enthusiasts bemoan as the glitter encrusted, eggnog soaked, saccharine month of Christmas. I myself don’t mind the holiday itself, but the commercials, crowds, parties, and over wrought feel goodness that leads up to it can really wear me out. Well fear not grinches, because there are plenty of things in December for us to look forward to. There’s Krampusnatch and the winter solstice to celebrate ( I’ll show you how as the month goes on), one more Friday the 13th, the brightest meteor shower of the year, and darker entertainment to enjoy. I’ve even got a list of Christmas horror movies at the bottom of this post. So muster up some enthusiasm worthy of Gomez Addams, and enjoy December your way. December 5th Not much is known about the origins of the European holiday Krampusnatch, but we do know that it is celebrated the night of December 5th, before the feast of Saint Nicholas. The holiday pays homage to Krampus, the hairy, horned companion of …

Strange Happenings in September

Each month I look for TV shows, movies, and events to look forward to.  September 2 Labor Day September 3rd Søren Sveistrup’s new book Chestnut Man on shelves. Known for writing the global hit television show The Killing, this Sveistrup’s debut novel. September 6 IT Chapter 2 in theaters. 27 years later, Pennywise rises again to taunt and terrifying the grownup Losers Club. September 10th Stephen King’s The Institute on shelves. King has written over 60 best sellers, and his latest offering is set in a mysterious institute in Minneapolis conducting terrifying experiments on children with paranormal gifts. September 13 Freaks released in theaters. According to imdb.com, Freaks follows Chloe, who “discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control.” Apparently the less you know going in the better. September 14 Full Moon September 18 Fathom Events Three from Hell and Devils Rejects double feature in theaters. The latest chapter in Rob Zombies ultra-violent saga, 3 From Hell will reunite Baby Firefly, Captain …

Strange Happenings in August

Each month I look for TV shows, movies, and events to look forward to.  August 1 No One Saw a Thing premieres on SundanceTV. The 6 part series examines an unsolved and unusual death in the 1980s. A resident was shot dead in front of almost 60 townspeople in Skidmore, Mo. All of them continue to claim they didn’t see a thing. August 2nd Them That Follow in theaters. The film centers around a forbidden love in a Pentecostal church in the Appalachia that uses the reptiles to worship. August 5th Harry Houdini stays underwater for 1.5 hours in a casket before escaping in 1926. August 8 Two Sentence Horror Stories, a new horror anthology series, premieres on the CW. The series will be comprised of eight half hour episodes focusing on universal social and primal fears. August 9th Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark in theaters. In her family mansion, young Sarah Bellows turns her tortured life and horrible secrets into a series of scary stories. These terrifying tales soon have a way of …