All posts tagged: astronomy

Strange Happenings in October

For Halloween aficionados, there is a bit of a debate on when spooky season officially starts. Is it July fifth, the day after summer’s major holiday? Or maybe mid August, when Halloween merchandise appeared in craft and home decor stores. Some attribute it to September first or the first day of fall. But by October first, everyone can agree, spooky season is in full swing. October 1st The Pit by Tara Borin on shelves. “Set in a small-town, sub-Arctic dive bar, this debut poetry collection explores the complexities of addiction and the person beneath, and the possibility of finding home and community in unexpected places.” Bingo Hell streaming on Amazon Prime. “Something terrifying has made itself at home in the quiet barrio of Oak Springs, and with each new cry of “Bingo!” another victim falls prey to its diabolical presence. As the cash prizes increase and the body count steadily rises, Lupita must face the frightening realization that this game is truly winner-takes-all.” October 7 Draconids Meteor Shower. If you steep out to watch, you’ll …

Dear God, It Has Teeth

I’ve been enjoying working from home for the last six months, and it’s been a fantastic change for me. The one thing I do miss about working in an office is all of the strange encounters I had with clients at my last job. Many of them served as inspiration for my flash fiction and poetry, like the one below, which I originally posted a few years ago. ********* Every story and poem I write is in some way inspired by a real life experience, none more so then a short story I wrote earlier this month. I work for a company that sublets office space, and part of my job is to drop off mail to each tenant in those suites. We have one new tenant that received a huge shipment of medical supplies when they moved in, boxes of all shapes and sizes. Including one, heavy man sized box. A few weeks after that shipment I stopped by the suite to drop of a small amount of mail. No one was around, and …

Strange Happenings in June

June is here, bringing whole list of spooky books, movies, and poetry to look forward to, along with the summer solstice! What are you looking forward to? June 1st The Shape of Darkness on shelves “A struggling silhouette artist in Victorian Bath seeks out a renowned child spirit medium in order to speak to the dead – and to try and identify their killers – in this beguiling new tale from the queen of Gothic fiction, Laura Purcell” June 8th World Oceans Day. Celebrate virtually with the United Nations, a beach walk if you live near the ocean, or enjoy some ASMR ocean waves. June 15th The Vault by Andrés Cerpa on shelves. “Andrés Cerpa’s sophomore collection grapples with loss, grief, and the disassociation that can come with being a survivor. Everything normal becomes slightly strange, things feel far away and unsteady. In these poems, Cerpa exhibits restraint and care, each thought purposefully positioned on the page. His work is somber, reflective, and deeply moving.” June 19th Juneteenth. Also known as Freedom Day and Liberation …

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 …