All posts tagged: astronomy

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 in 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 springtime scare?

Strange Happenings in March

March 3rd Moxie available for streaming on Netflix. A shy teenager transforms into an activist that uses her voice to call out the school for sexism with some inspiration from her mother’s rebellious past to start a revolution. I wish a movie like this came out when I was in high school. Murder Among the Mormons available for streaming on Netflix. “The murders sent further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries were found destroyed in the vehicle of the victim, Hofmann, a renowned collector of rare documents, including the infamous “White Salamander” letter – an artifact whose contents threatened to shake the very foundations of the LDS Church.” Both of the directors for this documentary, Jared Hess (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “Nacho Libre”) and Tyler Measom (“An Honest Liar”) were raised LDS, so having their perspective on the murders and ensuing controversy will be interesting. March 11th New York City Ballet is hosting a digital spring season, with the first event, Three Sides of Balanchine, set to run from February …

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 …

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, songs that were used in a movie set during winter, or songs that 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. My 2020 additions to the list are ‘Tis the Damn Season by Taylor Swift, Holy by Justin Bieber, and Danse Macabre performed by Béla Fleck with Ben Solle. Winter Playlist: Winter- Tori Amos This Year’s Love- Davis Gray Daughters- John Mayer Transatlanticism- Death Cab for Cutie Danse Macabre- Béla Fleck with Ben Solle 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 ‘Tis the …

Saturn and Jupiter

My humble view of yesterday’s conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter from my driveway. Peering at it glimmering through the tangle of branches was like looking ahead at 2021. It’s right in front of us, and yet there is so much standing in the way of the typical new year hope and wonder.

Strange Happenings in November

If Halloween is any indication, the holidays are going to be a lot quieter this year. I myself canceled my annual family party and left my candy bowl out on the porch so trick or treaters could help themselves. For a Saturday, there were far fewer trick or treaters than usual (probably a good thing!) Thanksgiving will undoubtedly be unusually subdued as well. So I’m trying to replace the things that aren’t possible with new things. An avant-garde home improvement project, a Pinterest art project, finally scrapbooking family photos, and participating in Nanowrimo for the first time are few things I plan on keeping busy during the holidays. I’m still looking for ideas, so I’d love to hear how you’re coping! November 1st All Saints Day November 5th Paranormal streaming on Netflix. “Based on the novels of Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik and set in the 1960s, Netflix’s first original series from Egypt revolves around a hematologist who finds himself haunted by a ghost who may be tied to his past.” November 10th Mercury at …