Monstrous Monday: Crimson Peak



Do ghosts qualify as monsters?  How about the murderers who made them?

Cover art for Crimson Peak
Image permission through EPK.TV

Crimson Peak has both, and this delightfully Gothic Horror has the added bonus of some seriously shocking scenes.  Director Guillermo delTorro makes the most of the genre’s atmosphere to deliver what may be the best movie in its class this year. Drawing from sources like Rebecca and Wuthering Heights, delToro collaborates with screenwriter Matthew Robbins to create a place like no other, a place where the very earth bleeds.



Our heroine Edith Cushing is swept off her feet by the handsome and titled Baronet Sir Thomas Sharpe, but something is not quite right with her newfound love and his land.

Image Permission through EPK.TV
Image Permission through EPK.TV

Surrounded by strange happenings, and gifted with the ability to see ghosts, a grave warning from her mother’s ghost goes misunderstood until it is too late.

Image permission through EPK.TV


Thomas’ Sister Lucille seems to have an agenda of her own.  When new ghosts show up to haunt her in her new home, Edith knows all is not well, but will all of her revelations come too late to save her?




Image permission through EPK.TV










In her corner is would-be beau, Dr. Alan Michael.  Dr. Michael picked up her cause when things begin to not add up, and then it is a race against the clock to save Edith.  With winter closing in, Crimson Peak is swiftly becoming the most dangerous place for her in the world.

Overall this is the most enjoyable Gothic flick I have seen in a very long time.  I give it four and a half skulls, if not for horror, then for the full attention to detail and for being absolutely true to the Gothic genre. LOVE IT.


Fit Friday: Rainy Day Motivation

It can be hard to be motivated when the weather is nasty.  It’s true for spring just as much as winter.  So how can we stay motivated on those days when we really would rather just nap all day? Seeing as this weekend is forecast to be less than spectacular here in Northeast Oklahoma, I thought I’d put together some tips to help us all stay motivated.

  • If you don’t feel like going out, stay in and have a yoga day.  It may not be a full fledged workout, but it’s perfect for a recovery day, and will keep you limbered up.  Plus you won’t lose motivation, thinking you’ve already messed up.  Bonus: do some of the more challenging moves to boost your workout.  Warrior, Plank and Chair pose are all proven burners.
  • Fight the rainy day blahs with lights and upbeat music.  Start with the lighter stuff and move into harder driving music as you get warmed up.  Turn on the big overhead lights if you’re at home.  Sure, it’s a little more electricity, but if it helps keep you from skipping, it’s worth the extra pennies.
  • Promise yourself a fluffy sweater day AFTER you meet your workout goal.  Once you’ve done your workout, take some time to pamper yourself.  There could even be chocolate involved.
  • If you need to, and you’ve worked hard the rest of the week, go ahead and take the whole day to recover. Only do this if you can do it without guilt.  Treat yourself to a spa day at home, and really make relaxation the point of the day.  Make rainy days fun days, and they’ll become up days, instead of down days.

The real trick to conquering rainy day blahs is figuring out what it is about them that makes you feel less than energetic.  Some of us actually have conditions that seem worse when the weather changes.  If you can listen to your body, and your inner voice, it won’t take long for you to conquer anything that’s holding you back.  Even rainy days.

Victor Frankenstein Review

Picture of Blu-Ray cover for Victor Frankenstein
Image permission through EPK.TV




Of course we know the tale.  As Igor says in the opening scenes of Victor Frankenstein, the monster is more famous than the man.  If you watch this movie thinking it is a regular horror flick, you will likely be disappointed.

Shelley’s classic has always shown a deep philosophical bent.  This new treatment expounds on that and plays up the Gothic atmosphere and the emotional and psychological aspects of the story.  And then there is the casting.

Daniel Radcliffe makes a convincing, if conflicting Igor.  James McAvoy pulls in just enough arrogance and exuberance to make Dr. Frankenstein believable, and Andrew Scott portrays the Ahabesqe inspector Turpin.  Jessica Brown Findlay makes a lovely and lively Lorelai.

While it might not get a full five skulls, it gets four from me for its heavy Gothic leanings and the attention to motive.  It’s a little tame by American horror standards, but it makes up for it in stellar casting and great atmosphere.

After all, it is written by Max Landiss of American Ultra fame, and who happens to be legend John Landiss’ son.  That said, this film, directed by Paul McGuigan, did not set well with the critics at Rotten Tomatoes, and Roger Ebert wasn’t a fan either.

Me?  I like a conflict-ridden, english-actor-packed, gothic-horror-romance.  And, interestingly, if not ironically somebody in the film has two hearts.  (No spoilers here, though.) Not a bad flick for a Monstrous Monday.

Wait…what?  You want to know about the monster?  Well, let’s just say that there was more than one, and that THE monster was definitely larger than life, and almost as tragic as he should have been.

Look for a new Monstrous Monday post next week.  Though they won’t always be film reviews, they will be related to the Gothic Fiction, Film and Television Genres, as well as anything related.  We’ll try to keep it fresh, and with any luck, we’ll find lots of great local stuff for our readers in Oklahoma.

Until then darlings, stay mysterious…


Fitness Friday

Finding the junction of fit and food is the biggest help one can have in the quest for a healthier lifestyle.  Who does one listen to?  Who can one really trust in the miasma of information (some good, and some arguably not-so-good) on the internet?  I’d like to know too, so why not take you along with me?

I’m thinking of doing a regular feature here on the blog that will help folks sort out the real good from the stuff that just wants to sell you crap.  In addition, I am upping my work on the lifestyle book I want to create.  The working title is Scary Good Life.  It might change later, it’s still in the planning and recipe development stage now.  This book is being designed to help the reader build his or her own menu, action routine, and goal schedule, in order to build a lifestyle to keep themselves fit and fulfilled.  The meals will come in right around 400 calories each.  This means that even if one eats four meals a day, they still only take in 1600 calories.  1600 calories is a 400 calorie savings off the standard 2000 calorie diet, and if one only eats three, they save a whopping 800 calories.

The idea is to present meals so satisfying and yummy, that there is no excruciating diet to worry about.  There is no calorie counting, and once the lifestyle is embraced and put into action for a while, the occasional splurge isn’t going to kill your results.

I will be talking with nutritionists and fitness experts (as I am not in any way an expert at the moment) to build the system and bring all of the parts together in a comprehensive manual.

If you would like to weigh in on the project, have recipes or insights to share, or questions about the project, you can drop me a line at I’ll be tickled to hear from you.  Until next time…

Be Well


Yuletide Newsletter and Book 2

Hiya folks,

Getting around to working on Book 2 and finishing up the Yuletide 2015 newsletter!  Finally!  It’s been a whirlwind semester again, but I think I came through (mostly) unscathed.  I can’t wait to see what all is in store for Max and the mystery girl.  The world has changed while she was out, and Max may have some ‘splaining to do.

Until the New Year… Be well my friends, and know there is a candle in the window.  Somewhere.  Not here, because I have no window-sills.  Ciao!

Book Cover Upgrade and Midterms

Time Flies! (1)

So October is breathing down the back of my neck and I still have some work to do on the book, there are midterms coming up the next two weeks, and I have a book release to plan.  Oh yeah, and the uber spectacular Halloween issue of the newsletter to complete. Wow!  It seems this upcoming month is going to be a little bit busy!

It will be well worth it though, especially with my latest news.  The cover for Bone Sliver is getting a pre-release upgrade!  I received word from Travis over at ProBookCovers that he will have a draft for me to look at in a few days!  Woohoo!

I would love to handle this myself, but the visual arts are still a little bit sketchy for me yet.  Plus, st such a reasonable price, and in such a speedy time-frame, what’s not to love? I’ve seen his work, and it is very good. My friend Dennis McDonald recommended him, and those covers are just–wow.

If you can, come and join me in Sand Springs for the release party on Halloween.  The tentative location is at Earth and Soul on Second Street.  The proprietor is just a wonderful person, and everyone there is absolutely beautiful.

Well, I suppose I’d better get back to work.  I am so stoked!

Love y’all!


An Aspiring Writer’s Life, Summer 2014

If I thought summer was going to be slow and relaxing, I think I have another thing coming.  With Intermediate Algebra class and learning the ins and outs of self-publishing, along with novel revisions, photography practice, class scheduling for fall, gardening and chores, I’m not sure just how much relaxing is going to get done.  Ah well,plenty of time to relax after I’m dead (maybe).

In the fall, (If I pass Intermediate Algebra) it’s on to Brit Lit II and Math for Critical Thinking, Photoshop, Speech, and possibly either French or Journalism.  Now, on to the revisions!

New Photos Coming Soon!

Once the Photos I’ve done for class are released, I will be building an online portfolio right here on the site! It’s going to be a little scary putting it all out there like that, but I hope any rookie mistakes will be forgiven, and that I will grow a lot from these first few.

The photos in the new gallery will be in black and white and developed from actual 35 mm film. Then they’ll be scanned in. The process is both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. You have no idea what the shot will look like when it comes through this (comparatively) time consuming process. My photograms and first abstract seem promising, but then I’m an amateur right now, so what do I know? The professor said it was good, and it got full marks, but again who really knows?

So as always, your comments and critiques are welcome and most appreciated.