Friday, May 31, 2013

Much Ado - Whedon Style

"How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!" - Leonata

"Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never" - Balthasar

These two quotes are of course from my favorite Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing. It has be revitalized into what will know doubt be an amazing film by Joss Whedon. How could it not be with Amy Acker as Beatrice, Alexis Denisof as Benedict (both picture above), Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, Frank Kranz as Claudio (both pictured left below), Clark Gregg (picture right below) as Leonata, and many more of the Whedon players. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the story behind Much Ado, it is a comedy about two couples: Benedick and Beatrice (the main couple), and Claudio and Hero (the secondary couple). Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a very "merry war"; they are both very witty, sarcastic, and proclaim their disdain of love. Then there is Claudio and Hero. They are the sweet young people who fall into that stereotypical "puppy love." Hero and Claudio provide the main arc for the plot but the relationship between the bickering Benedick and Beatrice is what makes Much Ado so amazing. This is what allows it to be my favorite play; Benedick and Beatrice argue with such wit and wisdom. It is the best example (in my mind) of a journey from disdain to sincere love and affection with an amazing sense of humor along the way. I can't WAIT to see what all Joss has done with this play!

It's pretty obvious to you all (at least I would hope) that this movie is the ultimate "fan-girl" movie for me. My love for Much Ado goes farther beyond just enjoying the words of the play. In 10th grade when we read the play we spent almost an entire semester getting to the core of it. This including us breaking off into groups and filming scenes from the film. We also went to the AFI Silver Theatre in Downtown Silver Spring for a special showing of the 1993 version of it featuring Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Denzel Washington, and Keanu Reeves. That version I definitely enjoyed but something about Keanu as Don John didn't sit well with me. The Whedon version is going to be amazing though just for the fact that it was filmed in 12 days in Joss Whedon's backyard. No, that's not figuratively speaking I mean literally parts were filmed in his backyard. How can anyone not love that man??

A week from today is when the film is officially released and you can bet when it's released nationwide on the 21st I will be in line for the midnight showing! I was talking to some friends online yesterday about how excited I am for this film (perhaps a little too long about it), and I mentioned how I haven't "fan-girled" this hard about a movie in a really long time. Perhaps the last time was when the original LOTR came out (yes I totally dressed up as an elf, the whole deal).  

Images and Information found on the International Movie Datbase (IMDB):

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wait, So I'm Going to be a Wife?!

This past Friday marked exactly one year until our wedding. It's an exciting time getting to plan what is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. Pretty much everything is planned. We have the dresses all ordered, venues booked, photographer booked, DJ booked, and all the other loose ends starting to be tied up. Yes, I know it is a year away but what did you expect from a control freak like me? This weekend especially we got a lot of details hammered down, including finally getting our engagement photos done.

Now I was very torn about doing them. Personally I think they come out cheesy and too nauseatingly cute. Also why would I pay a photographer to take photos and I didn't even want to be taken in the first place of us holding hands walking off into the sunset or a close up of the ring? Vomit. But, Grant's brother who is a budding photographer and journalist decided he wanted to take them for us. So I decided that we would do them to both help him with his porfolio and appease my family who constantly kept bugging us to get them done. *cough* Ashley *cough*

The results actually turned out pretty awesome. I was even allowed to wield some sharp objects including an axe. That right there was worth it. So we did the stereotypical pictures where we looked longingly into each others' eyes, and the walking hand in hand but also did a lot of different shots (of course starting out you know I was rocking a Firefly shirt). The best ones were those that were taken in between the posed shots and those were the ones that I posted most of. I've made the album public so my blog followers that I'm not facebook friends with can see. Visit our album here.

Through all of the planning, talking, and pictures related to our wedding, it struck me: I'm going to be a wife. The fact that I was getting married sunk in a while ago and I had come to terms with it. My views had changed on the subject since I had met that right person for me. But becoming a wife? That's a whole other ball game. That word is just something that I thought would never be applied to me. Girlfriend was fine, fiance was fine, but wife? There is something about that word that sends both excitement and chills through my body.

No doubt the shock of the word will wear off soon of because the fact of the matter is: it's just a word. I am still Sam no matter what label I have and the same applies to Grant. He is my Grant and I am his Sam. Those are really the only labels that matter to us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Natural Disasters

The air was still as we sat close together in the hallway of the school building. An eerie draft blew through the open doors as the sound of the sirens began to wail. The wind kicked up and with it came what sounded like a freight train. I strained my neck around the corner to see if I could see the monster that was barreling towards the school but was pulled gently back against the wall by my teacher. The wind howled louder and the train sound rang in all of our ears. Many of the kids were crying or clinging onto their teachers for solace.

The sound of shattering glass resounded over the wind and even I clasped my hands over my ears to block out the sound. The lights went out and the other kids' screams were drowned out by the train barreling over us. There was a green tint to the air around us as the monster train quickly passed over us. The sound soon subsided, the howling wind turned back to a light breeze, and everything grew lighter around us. Once again I attempted to go look out of the windows but was once again scolded by the teacher.
That story happened back when I was in second grade and a tornado passed through the town in Maryland where my elementary school was. Living through that experience is the reason I became so fascinated with natural disasters, such as tornadoes. We were lucky that the tornado didn't do as much damage as it could have. There are a lot of people who aren't so lucky, like what we just saw in OK on Monday. Natural disasters bring about death and destruction where ever they go but there is something about them that fascinates me.

After my experience in second grade I vowed to research and find out everything I could about tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, and the like. I checked out pretty much every weather book in the local library and spent my afternoons surrounded by them. The Magic School Bus at this time had all different weather and other disaster episodes and I officially became obsessed. I went through different phases of which I like more. First it was tornadoes and I wanted to be a tornado chaser when I grew up. Then it was simply thunderstorms so I wanted to be a meteorologist. Last it was earthquakes and volcanoes so I wanted to be a seismologist. Eventually though the volcano obsession lead to a Pompeii obsession which ultimately lead to me wanting to study archaeology and dead bodies (read my post "Dead and Buried" from last December to learn more about this transition).

Living in Maryland, we only experience the occasional tornado and the edges of some hurricanes. That is until almost two years ago when I experienced my first earthquake. It was back when I was working both at Radius and at the museum. I had gone home to grab a quick lunch after work and then head to the museum. I was sitting in my house (I still lived with my parents at the time) in the basement, against the wall that face the hill. There was this loud rumbling and then the house literally starting rocking back and forth. Immediately all that research I had done as a kid kicked in and I went to the sturdiest doorway in the house.

Experiencing the earthquake jolted my fascination for earthquakes and volcanoes back and I went into research mode again. My first project for my Grad Program I even designed a way to predict the future impact of existing active/dormant volcanoes by using Mount St. Helen's as a model. This fascination with natural disasters though is of course also sympathetic to the fact that many of these natural disasters decimate lives. They're called disasters for a reason. Still there is something about the power behind these monsters and the process that forms them that has always left me in awe.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Relaxation and Clarity

There is something so soothing about lying on a beach in the hot sun while listening to the waves crashing on the shore. The smell and feel of the salt water in the air only heightens the soothing quality of the beach. It is the perfect spot to let go of all the stress and burdens of life. It is also the perfect spot for inspiration to strike and those creative juices to start flowing.

This past week Grant and I did just that: we went camping at the beach, Assateague Island to be exact. We camped under the starts, enjoyed food cooked over the fire, and relaxed. Yes you heard me correctly: I actually relaxed. My mind was free of all the work, bills, school projects, and anything else that stressed me out. My body was able to finally let itself completely relax and enjoy the sun and sand. Though it enjoyed it a little too much as I got pretty burned on this trip.

We spent a lot of the trip just walking on the beach, exploring the trails on the island, and enjoying the beauty of the horses around us. For those of you who don't know Assateague Island is just West of Ocean City Maryland and is known for the horses the fill its beaches. It is 37 miles long and two-thirds of the island is in Maryland while the other third is in Virginia. The Maryland section contains the majority of Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park. The Virginia section contains the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge where the horses swim from. Some of you might have read Misty of Chincoteague when you were younger; these are the islands the book takes place on. In the picture below you can see the horses walking across the beach.

Now that I am back from vacation I have that new found clarity to get all my work done. I still have a two week break before I start my next class so I will fill my free time with working on the edits to Summer's Hollow as well as doing a lot of reading. So far it is going swimmingly and I hope to have it done by the end of the Summer (maybe sooner but I don't want to fall into the same trap as last time). In fact while on the beach we even burned the few print copies of the problematic draft (which I refer to it as) and it was extremely liberating.

So now I ask you: What place allows you to relax and provides you with clarity?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Maternal Influence

I know I don't talk much about my family on here, since there are a lot of things I keep private, but this year for Mother's Day I want to introduce you to the two most amazing women in the my life: my Mom and my Bestemor (which for those of you who don't know is Norwegian for Grandmother).

June 2011
We'll start with my Bestemor since that is where we came from. She came over to this country with her parents and her three brothers when she was 12 years old. Norway was occupied by the Nazis and they even set up camp a few yards from my Great Grandparents' house. It was just not safe, so they journeyed to America for a new start. After a few years of being teased for her accent and adjusting to a new life, she assimilated and met my Grandfather. They fell in love and got married after he returned from the Navy. They had 5 beautiful daughters including my mom, the second youngest. Each of the daughters had kids, giving Bestemor ten grandkids.

My cousin Ashley (who is my MOH in my wedding and practically my sister) and I were the first born. To say we were spoiled by our Grandparents would be an understatement. Each of us though latched on to one: Ash to Granddaddy and I to Bestemor. To this day whenever I am around my Bestemor a feeling of comfort washes over me. There is nothing in this world that she wouldn't do for me and the feeling goes both ways.

Then there's my mother, the woman who gave birth to me. She is my rock, my role model, and that one person I can go to no matter what. Of course there are times that we fight, bicker, and argue. This is because we both are very passionate and we are both always right (Hahaha). She is one of the strongest, smart, and opinionated person I know.  I am a lot like her in a lot of ways but most traits I get from my father. Growing up I heard a lot of "You are so like your father" but what I didn't get from him I definitely got from my mother.

This past Thursday I took her shopping for an early Mother's Day present and we got stuck in traffic. She was yelling at the idiots around us for not driving right and I couldn't help but start laughing. My driving I DEFINITELY picked up from her. As we shopped around the store uttering a lot of "ugh", "who would wear that", and "oh that's cute but why isn't it in my size?" This was the first time in a while that I had hung out with just my Mom in a long time that didn't involve me having a nervous break down in a waiting room (that's a long story, but don't worry I'm perfectly fine now).

Like my Bestemor there is nothing my Mom wouldn't do for me and there is nothing that I couldn't come to her about. These two women are the reason I am the way I am. I wouldn't trade them for anyone in the world and I am happy to call them my Mom and Bestemor.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Abercrombie Experience

I have never been thin, I will never be thin, and I have since embraced that fact. I am healthy, I work out, I eat right, and I am finally happy with my body. When I was younger though, I had major body issues. I was never what you would call "fat" but I was never skinny either. I just flat out didn't like my body. My thighs disgusted me, the rolls in my tummy annoyed me, and my large chest made me think about breast reduction many times. Then cue high school when everyone's worried about what they're wearing and how good they looked in it. Usually I wasn't into being like everyone else but this is when the "Polo Craze" was big so I decided that I wanted to have one too. I wanted to feel pretty like all the other kids in school.

My friend and I journeyed to the local mall to get our polos so we can be the cool 16 year olds like everyone else. She wanted to go into Abercrombie even though I was cool with just to JcPenny or some other department store. The smell of that place alone made me want to turn around and leave but I journeyed back to where the polo shirts were. There was one that was this really pretty aqua color and I decided I had saved up enough money from my summer job to buy it.

Like I said I was never overly fat, but I did have a fairly large chest so I mostly wore large/extra-large shirts. While looking through the rack of polo shirts, I couldn't find anything larger than a size large and even that looked like it was made for a pre-teen with no figure. A saleswoman came up and asked me if I needed any help.

"Where do you keep your extra-large sizes?" I asked.

"Oh they are over there on the top of the shelf," she pointed to the 9 foot tall shelving unit, "We don't want it to look like fat people shop in our stores."

I looked incredulously at her thinking to myself, "Did she really just say that?" Part of me thought of something witty to say back while the other self-conscious part of me was crying on the inside. My responses was to simply turn and walk out of that store. To this day I have never stepped in one again.

This story of my experience is why I'm not surprised at all about these new allegations that are coming out about Abercrombie. At the time I wish I had done something more than sent a letter to the store manager (to which I never got an answer back) but the fact was I guess I just didn't care to start a fight. If they didn't want me shopping at their store than fine, but to say something like "we don't want it so LOOK like fat people shop at our stores" did strike something in me.

At 16 I was too worried about other things going on and was able to brush it off. Needless to say I stuck with stores that offered realistic sizes and didn't shun anyone for shopping in their stores. The sinking feeling in my stomach whenever I walk passed an Abercrombie and the words of that saleswoman echoing in my head will always be there. THAT I can't brush off.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Social Media Experiment

The Experiment

There have been a couple of articles and stories coming out lately of people blindly sharing things on the web without even reading the article or doing a quick fact search to see if it is true. This really angers me as we live in a world where the internet is readily available for fact checking purposes. So since I finished my final geodatabase project the other night, yesterday I decided to start on another mini project for myself. I'd been wanting to do it for a while and after my friend Renee posted a link and a status about the very thing I'm talking about, I just had to do it.

I posted a fake bible verse as if it were true and waited to see the response. This is the gem I found from a blog called "Fake Bible Verses":

"In the season of the Lord I shalt not fear the reaper, neither under the sun, nor the wind, nor the rain. I shalt live like He doth." - Adverbs 14:1

Of course this is not a bible verse, but in fact adapted lyrics from my favorite song: Don't Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. It was way too perfect not to post. Now this was in no way trying to mock the bible, it was simply to point out that anyone can blindly post something that is untrue and pass it off as true. So I put it up, sat back, and waited for the "likes" and "comments"

The Results

After I put up the fake bible verse I got quite a few messages from people saying how funny it was, how they liked the Blue Oyster Cult reference, and how they loved the Book of Adverbs (many Schoolhouse Rock jokes were made). No one though blindly "liked" it or commented on it. So I figured one of two thing happened: either BOC's song is so popular that most people got the joke or no one really cared enough about my status.

One would think then that was it, that the experiment turned more into a laugh with a bunch of friends. The sad thing was as I was proving my point, my newsfeed was FLOODED with more misinformation. People sharing quotes that were misquoted, proverbs that certain Native American tribes would never say, news stories that were never fact checked, and stupid "warnings" from the local police that never happened. The fact of the matter (ha!) is that this will never stop. We live in a society where sharing information is only a click of the mouse away; where everyone wants things instantly and doesn't bother to check things first. It's sad that if they had simply taken  a few minutes more to check or even simply googled the story they would've found it was false. Of course sometimes it is hard to tell what is true or not. The simple solution: don't share it.

The internet is our modern day campfire; instead of telling tall tales while surrounding the flames we spread them around the internet. Just like the myths and legends back in the day were twisted and changed by word of mouth, so are they today. We have created our own set of myths and legends by playing an insanely large game of "telephone" over the internet.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bloody Inspiration

Horror is my obsession; vivid horror is even better. It is my goal in life to paint pictures in your mind that you will never forget. There are some lines from books/stories that have inspired Summer's Hollow and today I would like to share them with you. Some you might recognize, others maybe not, but I guarantee you won't forget them when you close your eyes at night.

“Sometimes a light glimmered out of the physician's eyes, burning blue and ominous, like the reflection of a furnace, or, let us say, like one of those gleams of ghastly fire that darted from Bunyan's awful doorway in the hill-side, and quivered on the pilgrim's face.” - Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
“Wendy? Darling? Light, of my life. I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your  brains in.” - Stephen King, The Shining
 “Dead fields under a November sky, scattered rose petals brown and turning up at the  edges, empty pools scummed with algae, rot, decomposition, dust... ”  - Stephen King, Pet Sematary
 “That above all else. They did not look out their windows. No matter what noises or dreadful possibilities, no matter how awful the unknown, there was an even worse thing: to look the Gorgon in the face.” - Stephen King, Salem's Lot
 "There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.” - Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death
 “He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.” - Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
 “Through all this horror my cat stalked unperturbed. Once I saw him monstrously perched atop a mountain of bones, and wondered at the secrets that might lie behind his yellow eyes.” - H.P. Lovecraft, The Rats in the Walls

Any quotes from your favorite stories that inspire you? (and yes that picture is me having fun with fake blood for Halloween back in '09)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bloody Friday

Happy Bloody Friday, everyone! Yes I know that today isn't the official release of Summer's Hollow anymore but hey May 3rd in the book is after all Bloody Friday in the world of Summer's Hollow. Also, to my loves that entered my giveaway I am still honoring that, so without further ado the lucky one of receive a signed copy of Summer's Hollow when it is released is:

Congrats! I shall keep you updated and will get you your promised signed copy! I can't wait to iron out these final edits and release my baby to the world! This is my baby, I have been working on it for over seven years. With that being said, it is STILL a baby which is why I'm going through these final edits. This is my first full length novel and to say that I have struggled with it is an understatement.I will continue to struggle though until it is perfect. I don't want you guys to read something that is sub-par.

For today I wanted to share with you a little "prequel" if you will to Summer's Hollow. This is the short story that I wrote back in 10th grade for a World History project that inspired my book. The year was 1645....

1876 illustration of the courtroom of the Mary Walcott trial.

Annora Pascal sat in the sitting room of her lavishly furnished castle, staring at the picture on the coffee table of her late husband, Grant Pascal. She sighed deeply as she swept a piece of loose auburn hair out of her face. She looked out the big bay window down onto the serfs working away below in the fields. She saw a man riding up on a horse, only to be turned away by the doorman.
            She figured that it was another man wishing for her hand in marriage, or in other words, wanting to control her land. She would never let a man control her land. So what if the men in the village thought she was wrong to not have a man protecting her, she could protect herself.
            She smiled proudly and stood up, the hem of her maroon dress falling to the ground as she did. She walked over to the door, and walked out into the hallway with maroon draperies all along the walls. Shortly after her husband died she had the whole castle refurnished from the ugly puke green that used to adorn it. 
            She walked to the top of the stairs, but stopped as she heard hushed voices below. She couldn't make out what they were saying, but she recognized the voices right away. One voice belonged to the knight Sir Radulfus and the other belonged to one of the serfs that worked in the house.
            “I don’t see why she won’t accept my protection, she’ll be wiped out in an instant if I don’t help her,” Radulfus whispered.
            “Yes sir I agree, but she claims she can protect herself,” the serf said, “Which makes me wonder…”
            “Whether she might be a witch or not?” Radulfus whispered even quieter, “I was wondering the same thing.”
            “But how do we prove it if she is?”
            “If we can catch her doing something out of place we can get rid of her and get a man to be in charge of the manor, because she doesn’t seem to be interested in marriage…”
            Annora gasped to herself quietly and rushed down the hall to her sleeping quarters. Was this true? Did they really think her a witch, or, did they just not like her to be in charge of such a large piece of land. She reached her sleeping quarters and collapsed on the peach sheets of her canopy bed.
            She heard footsteps come up the steps and she heard them go down the hall to the sitting room. She held her breath as she heard them moving around in the room. She heard the opening of the chest, and moving of furniture, and then suddenly everything went silent. Then she heard laughing, but not laughing at a joke, triumphant laughing.
            What could they have found in there that could show that she was a witch? She listened carefully, still lying on her stomach, on the bed; she listened to footsteps traveling back down the staircase.
            She scrambled to the window next to her dresser and looked down onto the village where Radulfus and the serf were running. The church was just letting out, and the priest was standing at the door, shaking people’s hands as they left. Radulfus ran up to the priest and handed him something; though Annora didn’t know what it was. From what she could see, the crowd coming out of the church stopped and looked back at the priest who appeared to be yelling at them.
            She was getting scared; what had Radulfus shown the priest? Why now was the crowd of people running out of the village and up to the castle, led by the priest and Radulfus? She turned away from the window, closing her eyes and breathing quickly.
Her heart thumped in her chest as she sat down on the bed. She heard thumping at the door, she knew the villagers had arrived.
            She ran out of her bedroom and into the hallway and looked over the banister at the crowd that was now flooding in the door and starting up the staircase. Radulfus was in the lead holding up a book as though it was the Bible. She suddenly realized what it was: her journal. Women didn’t usually read or write, but her mother had taught her at a young age in secret, but that was enough for them to think she was a witch.
            Radulfus neared the top of the step, and Annora made to run, but stepped on the edge of her long dress and fell forward. She landed on the floor and bit her tongue as her chin thumped onto the carpet. She tasted blood in her mouth and she spat it out. She felt a hand tighten around her ankle, pulling her backwards towards the top of the steps. She turned around as she was being pulled to see that it was Radulfus. She tried to kick him away, but he was much stronger than her for he was a knight.
            “Please Radulfus!” Annora pleaded, “Don’t do this! You know it’s not true!”
            “Not true!?” Radulfus laughed maliciously, “I hold the proof in my hand.”
            He extended the journal above the banister so that the crowd could see it. They let out a cheer of agreement as Radulfus seized Annora up by the neck of her dress and held her draped over the banister. She winced as blood dribbled from her mouth.
            “Is this who we want as our ruler?” Radulfus yelled to the crowd.
            “No!” they all exclaimed.
            “Should she pay for her sinful practices?”
            “Yes!” the crowd exclaimed again.
            “What should her punishment be?” Radulfus yelled pulling her up from the banister, still holding the neck of her dress.
            “Burn her! Burn her!” they chanted.
            Radulfus then started to drag her down the staircase by the neck of her dress so that her legs thumped down the steps behind him. He treated her like a rag doll, like she was worthless, the exact opposite he was taught. He was taught about code of conduct, Chivalry, to respect women, to protect them, but that was all thrown to the wind as he dragged her to the bottom of the steps.
            The crowd parted as he dragged her out the big castle door and across the drawbridge, all while she struggled to get out of his grip. He dragged her all the way down to the village square, while the crowd followed like a pack of dogs. He threw her onto the pedestal in the middle of the square. A bunch of peasant men came out of nowhere, carrying a large wooden post. They set the wooden post up behind her and each of them took one end of a long piece of braided rope and tied her tightly to the post.
            She struggled to get free, but the more she struggled the tighter the rope dug into the wrists. They tied her feet to the post as children ran up to her and hurled rotten fruit at her. She was quickly covered in rotten food and the flies were attracted to the smell and began to feast on it.
            “You ready to watch her burn?!” Radulfus called out as he raised a torch out in front of him.
            “Yeah!” they all screamed.
            “Does the witch have any last words?” he asked mockingly.
            Annora said nothing as she looked down at the wooden pedestal below. Tears fell from her red eyes onto the weather beaten wood and the crowd cheered Radulfus on. He laughed a hideous laugh.
            “Well if that’s all then why don’t we get it over with?!”
            “Burn her! Burn her! Burn her!” the crowd chanted all while Radulfus inched the torch closer and closer to the wood that the peasants placed around her feet.
 The torch finally connected with the wood and the flames leaped from the wood to her dress, burning it away fast. She barely heard the crowd chanting as the roaring flames covered her body, engulfing her in a hellish bonfire. She screamed loudly as her flesh was singed away from the bone, as her organs began to cook inside her. She screamed so loud, that they could even hear her above their chants and the roar of the fire.  
            She felt like this was hell, paying for everything she had ever done. But what had she done? Nothing, she had done nothing wrong in her life. So why must she pay? She felt everything drift away as if she was drifting up, up away from everything. Pain still consumed every inch of what was left of her body. Everything went silent as she drifted away, but she kept repeating one thing over and over in her mind or what was left of it: God forgive them. 


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Dead and the Living

Many of you know that my future father in law has been in the hospital recovering from a double bypass surgery. He is doing very well and is now recovering at home. On Sunday we visited him when he was still at the hospital. He was at Washington Hospital Center in D.C. and to get there we drove through the city. We passed Walter Reed Medical Center (the old one) and it brought up memories of going to the museum there and seeing all the medical mysteries. I started to tell Grant about my experience there and watching the autopsies.

He then asked me a question that I had to stop and think about for a second. He asked: "How does watching autopsies and seeing dead bodies not bother you but hospitals do?" It's true, hospitals making me nervous. Something about sick people with tubes sticking all through them really unnerves me, but dead bodies I'm fine with. The way I explained it to Grant is that I can deal with dead bodies because they're just that: a dead body. They're a shell; there's no soul in them. They are simply flesh and bone. The soul moves on and the left over is just matter. I can deal with that. Hence why at one point I wanted to be a Medical Examiner.

The concept of what makes people tick and getting down to the cause of that intrigues me. What stopped me was going to medical school because I would have to do a medical rotation in a hospital. I had no desire to work with people that were alive. Dead bodies on the other hand I can easily deal with because in my mind they're not people anymore. I don't mean that to sound harsh but that's just how I see it. Once a person's soul leaves the body they are just that, the body.

It is no secret that I have a fascination with the dead. Those of you who have read my fiction know that I take those concepts of death and make them part of life as bloody as it is sometimes. My book Summer's Hollow is no exception. It focuses on the dead, the living and all those in between.

In case you missed it yesterday I had to postpone the release of Summer's Hollow due to some editing problems. I promise though that it will be well worth the wait once everything is sorted out. Writing novels can be very complex at times; this is one of those times. :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Release Date of Summer's Hollow Postponed

To all my faithful readers, unfortunately I am not going to be releasing Summer's Hollow this Friday. There have been some problems that have arisen with it and I am working to fix them all. If you REALLY want to read it there will be a DRAFT version of it available on Kindle for $0.99 just know that it is a work in progress.

I expect that Summer's Hollow will be all shiny, new, and ready to go around mid-Summer. Writing, like anything else is about the journey and what a journey this continues to be! Luckily I have the amazingly talented friend to help me fix all the little kinks. She is beyond awesome and I promise you when it's done it will be worth the wait!

In the mean time I of course will continue to post my deliciously bloody stories this week as this Friday is in fact Bloody Friday! 

Make sure you pass along this update to everyone, and feel free to continue to enter the giveaway I still want your guys' feedback on my blog. The winner will still get a signed copy from me when it is officially released. Love you all! (and Happy Beltane to all who celebrate)

Crimson Wave

             Melinda was lying in bed, sweat pouring down her pale forehead and her stiff limbs. The candle placed by her bedside was now down to a stub, perched in a pool of hot wax that was flooding onto the table. Her breathing was as erratic as the flashes of lightning outside her window. Her lips were a pale blue and her hair was now wet from the cold sweat. The stench of death seemed to hover around the room, waiting to extend its long fingers and embrace Melinda.
            The Bible on her bed was opened to Psalm 23; its red ribbon flipped over on the sheet like a streak of crimson blood. The tips of her fingers, lying lifelessly on the hot sheet, were changing from white to pale blue. Outside her window rolling green hills were covered by the shadows of the dark clouds overhead, as the sheep grazed on the emerald grass, oblivious to the imminent storm.
             Just then there was a noise at the door, and she turned her stiff neck to see the a man walking in with a long black cloak on, the hood pulled up so she couldn’t see his face. He seemed to glide over to her beside, and look at her with eyes not visible to her.
            “I don’t remember asking for a priest,” Melinda said wearily.
            The figure didn’t say anything. He just went down on his knee by her bedside and she frowned and looked at him in question. His face was focused on her face, and when she touched the Bible with the tips of her fingers, he seemed to flinch and she found this very weird. Then suddenly as a long corpse-looking finger protruded from the sleeve of the figure’s cloak, she shuddered.
            “You’re not a priest are you,” she whimpered as his hand was revealed completely out of the sleeve, “Oh God…”
            “Actually quite the opposite,” the figure said in a deep voice.
            He then pulled the hood all the way down to reveal a twisted, pale green face. His eyes were wrinkled, along with the rest of his forehead, and his lips were bright red, covering up monstrous fangs. Melinda attempted to pick up the Bible, but she was too weak, and ended up knocking it off the bed.
            “Get away,” she said, shaking all over, “Get away unclean spirit…”
            “This is the only way for you to survive. You do want to survive right? Go on to lead a healthy life? Well when I’m through with you you’ll have a very long one. Well not so much life, as a very long death,” he said as he cocked his fangs and bore down on her.     
            She screamed aloud as his long fangs pierced her skin, and punctured her jugular vein. The pain was unbearable as he drained her of blood, drop by drop. Her head grew extremely light, the room started to spin, as she heard the rain start to come down outside. She was aware of the demon’s fangs retracting out of her neck, leaving her to lie there on the bed, but the next thing she knew she was seeing darkness.