Posted in Word Therapy

Focus, Nostalgia, and Research

Ugh. Last week sucked. Depending on how you look at it, I have a deep character flaw or an admirable character trait: I’m not afraid of confrontation and when I see something that I think is wrong, I say or do something. As a kid who was constantly bullied and didn’t have somebody stick up for me, it’s hard for me to let injustice go unnoticed. Be it when somebody tries to bully me online or nearly hits me in the school pickup line and then asks if I want to do something about it when I call him out, I lose my focus. I replay the scenario over and over in my head. I have to constantly tell myself there is nothing wrong with me and I didn’t do anything wrong. This consumes my mind and I have to work to take back control. With a few dark days between me and the last incident, writing and letting go is how I do that. For now I have accepted that we are living in the Upside Down. It is time to take the first step with my new story: Research.
Over the past month I have searched for pop culture that has brought me comfort as a kid (nostalgia and all). Movies like Star Wars, Sixteen Candles, and The Lost Boys defined my childhood. But what I have been remembering with fondness lately is Movie Macabre with host Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
Movie Macabre aired on Saturdays from 1981-1985. They showed B scary movies that starred horror staples Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. The films were pure camp. I remember loving The Blob and Swamp Thing (which didn’t air on Movie Macabre but is so good it deserves a viewing). With my new book I want to escape to this kind of darkness and tongue in cheek humor. I have been going through every episode and taking notes as to what make them stand out. So far I have come across an eight movie series that director Roger Corman based on Edgar Allen Poe tales. Poe is one of my favorite authors so this is one direction I will be heading into.
I also loved listening to old radio shows in my twenties that featured mystery and horror. These shows always left me feeling unsettled (which for some reason I like). I have started listening to the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Each podcast is read by a local news station in the fictional city of Night Vale. It is madness and doesn’t try to explain or apologize for it. I don’t even know how to explain it more than that but the lack of rules is refreshing.
I have been studying both Movie Macabre and Welcome to Night Vale, trying to find inspiration. I have also started listening to a writer’s panel podcast, courtesy of Nerdist. Trying to keep my mind hard at work with these and distracting myself from what is going on globally is hard (but sometimes necessary). My medicine is not helping as much these days but the good thing is I am still aware. My body feels like my nerve endings are on the outside, all my thoughts need to be expressed one way or another, and crying is more frequent. We all have our coping mechanisms and I am just trying to build up my roster.

Posted in Word Therapy

Friday Favorites (aka Where I blabber about things I love): Potterheads

When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out, I was in my twenties. I didn’t read them at first. I was given the first six by a co-worker because her children couldn’t get into the books (GASP) and I decided to give them a try. I read them in a matter of a few months. I remember my excitement when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out. I would see people in public with the 759 page book and I would have to stop myself from running over to gush about how good the books are. Almost 10 years later and I can now count my daughter as a Potterhead.
Before her ninth birthday, I had tried to convince my girl to try Harry Potter. She loves to read and Goosebumps was her first obsession with a book series (Oh how jealous I am that she is at the beginning of her book obsession!). And either out of spite (a very real possibility) or disinterest, she didn’t want to. But when a couple of friends started to read them, she informed me it was time. I eagerly pulled the entire collection out of a box in the garage (I really need a library in my house) and brought them to her. For her birthday I bought her her own paperback copy of The Sorcerer’s Stone so she could love it, dog ear it, write in it, etc. to her heart’s content.
Four months later and she’s on book number five. Her favorite character is Ginny Weasley. She watches the first four movies every weekend on repeat. Her Christmas list is all things Harry Potter. She talks about going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, asking me if they have Hogsmeade (they do) and if they have the 9 3/4 station (they do).
Before August I imagined how emotional I would get just walking through the entrance of The Wizarding World and seeing what J.K. Rowling created in person. Now I get to see it through Curls’ eyes and my husband is going to need a mop for the bucket load of tears I am going to cry on that day. And with my son halfway through the first book, it won’t be long before my family will be 100% Potterheads (hubby doesn’t have a choice).
I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!