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[Meme] Horror Movies

From [ profile] gwynnega:

Horror Movie I Hate: I was thinking I don't really hate horror movies, I generally find them wonderful, overrated, boring, or not something I will watch, but then I remembered The Cavern (2005) (aka WithIN). It was one of three similarly themed movies that came out around the same time, which includes The Descent (one of my absolute favorite movies, creepy as shit even before the "twist") and The Cave (much cheesier than The Descent, but also delightful; Lena Headey, Piper Perabo, and Daniel Dae Kim are hot as hell, and Cole Hauser plays his character like he was inspired by Vin Diesel's portrayal of Riddick [from their shared movie, Pitch Black]). Two were great experiences (and I rewatch them often), surely the third will be at least good fun.


Horror Movie I Think Is Overrated: Cabin in the Woods (2011). Whedon is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Some gorgeous shots, though.

Horror Movie I Think Is Underrated: Wild Country (2005) (Well, 2005 was certainly a horror movie year for me.) It's this quiet, lovely monster movie about some troubled teenagers hiking through the Scottish highlands, the baby they discover, and the monster hunting them. I love it so, and almost no one I've talked to about it has heard of it before I bring it up.

Horror Movie I Love: About five billion and one, but this very second, let's say The Relic (1997). It's not nearly as creepy as the book by Preston and Child, but I still love it.

Horror Movie I Could Watch on Repeat: About two billion and one, but pretty much always The Lost Boys (1987). I cannot tell you how many times I've watched it and could easily watch it multiple times in a row. (I have my fingers crossed that the pilot that was ordered is picked up for a show. I think the changes they're proposing are great.)

Horror Movie That Made Me Fall in Love with Horror Movies: The Howling (1981), a story which I've told all over the place, but I'll tell it again. It's the first horror movie I ever saw, when I was somewhere between ages 8 and 14, probably closer to 10. I don't remember when, exactly. We weren't allowed to watch horror movies when I was growing up, though I could read anything I wanted. (First horror book: Dracula adaptation when I was very young.) I was on the road with my dad one summer (he was a long-haul truck driver), we stopped at a truck stop for awhile, and while hanging out in the trucker's lounge, I ended up watching The Howling and 100% fell in love with horror movies and werewolves. (Dad does not remember this at all, he claims, which cracks me up.) After we left, as we were walking back through rows and rows of eighteen wheelers, I kept picturing werewolves running along the tops of the trailers, hunting people through the maze of rumbling machines, and in saying this, I can't believe I've never written that.

(I also saw a mummy movie that summer which had a scene that freaks me out to this day: people would rot or mold or something if they mummy touched them and the mummy, in collecting jewelry or something, reached into a shower to get a piece. Seriously, to this day I don't like to have my eyes closed in the shower or my back to the bathroom door, and I much prefer clear shower doors so I can see things coming.)

Horror Movie That Changed My Life: I mean, see above RE The Howling. Also, The Lost Boys, which brought so many wonderful people into my life, people I am still friends with nearly two decades after I saw it for the first time.

Guilty Pleasure: I love cheesy, ridiculous horror movies that are so bad they're good, so one of those, probably. I can't think of any off the top of my head that I would label a guilty pleasure, though.

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[travel] Wiscon

I'm headed back to Wiscon! This year, I'll be there from sometime Thursday afternoon through Tuesday morning. Let me know if you'll be there and you want to get together! My email is, and email is always the best way to reach me, but if you need my cell number, I'm happy to give that out too. (For Wiscon, but in general, too. If you want to be able to text me, let me know!)

I'm not doing a workshop this year, but I am on two panels.

Friday 230 - 345: The Unglamorous Life: Depression And Creativity: Depression is glamorized in media as this wonderful creative tool that gives artists some kind of insight into the deeper aspects of life. But how does depression work in real life with creative people? Is it a hindrance? A source of inspiration? Or just another tool in the artist's toolbox? M: Meghan Khoury. Kimber Gonzalez, Clara Cecilia Abnet Holden, Ana Hurtado, Carla M Lee

Saturday 230 - 345: Raising Our Voices: Podcasting as a medium has been heralded as the next talk radio, a democratization of social and political discussion space. But most of the well-known and popular speculative fiction podcasts feature and are created by white men. In this panel, we will look at how to promote marginalized voices in this space and how we should critique our listening choices. M: Renay. Rachel S Cordasco, Ellen Kuehnle, Ellen Kuehnle, Carla M Lee

I'm staying at the host hotel again this year (with Robyn Fleming this time) and can't wait to see everyone!

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[life] Happy New Year

Quick roundup of 2017: It was a dumpster fire. I did lots of volunteering, and sometimes that was terrible, but mostly it was good. I wrote 550k words, which was 50k over my goal. I was manic from August through, well, still manic now, but at least it is more under control than it was in August and September. Work stuff was wild the second half of the year. I traveled a ton and saw friends I don't get to see nearly enough.

I'm still working on moving my reading list to dreamwidth instead of livejournal for everyone who uses their accounts on DW, so if you see me unfriendly on you LJ, that's why. Let me know if you're not using DW.

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[life] 101 in 1001 v3 (May 15, 2017 to February 11, 2020)

OH HEY DID YOU REMEMBER I WAS DOING A 101 IN 1001? Because I certainly did not. Whoops. Version two was supposed to end this September, but I completely forgot to even finish filling out the lists, much less track them and do things. MY BAD. So as of May 15, I'm starting version three.

(Version 1, Version 2)

For now, I'm just brainstorming things for the list. Once I have that, I'll number and organize and track.

1001 Days
143 Weeks
33 Months

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[writing] Project List, May 2017

Another month, another list. Still have things out on submission, still nothing from this actual list. Useful! 

Current active projects:

1. Monsters in the Trees
Young adult horror. Friends, makeouts, and monsters in an isolated cabin. Status: Draft one on hold. Rewriting the outline.

2. Winter Cabin
New adult or adult paranormal romance. There are monsters in those snow-filled trees. Status: Feedback from early readers coming in, draft four well underway. Goal is still to submit this summer. 

3. Monsters and Music
Young adult horror. Ghosts and werewolves, oh my. (witches and dead people and haunted things, too.) Status: Rewriting the outline.

4. Frozen World Fantasy
Adult fantasy. Brainstorming and talking to JBJ, another fantasy author, about how to write a fantasy novel. Doing some research on the writing side, working through world building before I start outlining.

5. Marching Rock Band
New adult or adult contemporary romance. Drumlines and rock bands and romance. Status: Draft two on hold until Winter Cabin is complete and out on submission.

6. Siblings Saving the World
New adult or adult supernatural adventure. There are monsters in the world — and sometimes we become them. First draft in progress, but progress has slowed, so the new goal is to get it to early readers by this fall. 

7. Lovecraft Goes to College (short story)
Adult horror. The hounds are hunting, and they howl for you. Status: Expanding the outline, research.

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[gaming] Sims 3: The Rainbow Legacy 1.2 I Can Read Your Mind

Intro: Previously on the Rainbow Legacy we met our founder, Red Rainbow, a ridiculous, somewhat stereotypical vampire. (The theme of this legacy makes me laugh every time I think about it. I know, I know, I am easily entertained.) She ran around the gorgeous Moonlight Falls in all her red finery, making enemies of half the people she met, and flirting with the other half. So far, no spouse or potential heirs, but Red has her dream career and has made some romantic progress with Helen Hall. After a zombie attack gone awry, we return to Red Rainbow, Ridiculous Vampire.

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[reading] Review of TIGER IN THE HOT ZONE by Lauren Esker

Book: TIGER IN THE HOT ZONE by Lauren Esker (Amazon link)
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense
Series: Shifter Agents #4
USA Release Date: available now
Source: ARC from author
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Recommended?: Yes, yes, a billion times yes. You’ll get more out of the world building if you’ve read the others, but it absolutely stands alone, and is a fine place to start the series. It is absolutely the best book of the series, and I’ve loved each one a little more than the one before, so it’s a high bar to reach.

Summary: When danger threatens the entire shifter world, two rivals are about to discover they have worse enemies than each other ...

Punk-haired reporter Peri Moreland, of the popular conspiracy blog Tell Me More!, has been a thorn in the side of the Shifter Crimes Bureau for years. In particular, Peri and her tell-all blog are a headache for tiger shifter Noah Easton, who runs the SCB's public affairs office ... otherwise known as their cover-up department. It's Noah's job to make sure normal humans don't find out about shifters—especially humans such as Peri Moreland, his beautiful and oh-so-sneaky nemesis.

But this time, Peri has stumbled upon a story even the SCB doesn't know about. Half-shifted bodies, dead of a mysterious illness, have been turning up around town. Peri connects the clues and before you can say "conspiracy theory," she's on the radar of a bunch of very bad people ... and the SCB.

Noah hasn't done field work in years; ever since a disastrous assignment years ago, he refuses to go out in the field or even carry a gun. But now he's got Peri to protect and a secret anti-shifter organization on his tail. They're out to kill anyone who gets in their way before their custom-engineered shifter plague can do its work. As the SCB's agents fall sick one by one, can two pariahs team up to save them all?


(Let’s just get the shallow out of the way first: holy hell, that cover model is smoking hot.)

This is much more of a thriller than a romance, though there is plenty of romance, too; for me, the balance is perfect. Peri and Noah have been subtly flirting for awhile as they keep running into each other at scenes where Noah is having to cover up the truth from Peri; we’re told this more than shown it, and my only complaint about the romance is that we didn’t get to see more of this previous slow build before they’re giving into their attraction, first for sex and then for a serious relationship. (This complaint is limited to the build of the romance itself; starting the book any earlier would have slowed down the thriller plot, and that would have been a bigger shame than missing out on some of the romantic development.)

I love both Peri and Noah as characters, together and apart, especially when they end up spending a little time with Peri’s past. I don’t know if the reveal about where she grew up was supposed to be a surprise or not; I figured it out very early on, but I grew up in a slightly similar background, so it is possible that I am extra sensitive to plots that have it coming. And the way Peri uses her prosthetic running leg in her adventures is fantastic. Watching her learn to rely on other people, to trust them despite the huge lies they’ve been telling her (understandably to protect their world) was fantastic, and I thought she changed in a very believable way.

Noah is a particularly compelling character, and probably my new favorite out of the entire series. He’s a black man who became a Shifter Agent because his parents started the entire organization, and he thinks it’s what they want for him, but he’s not particularly happy. In part because unlike the field agents who get to save lives, all he does is tell lies and destroy them to discredit humans who have seen too much. That would be a much worse position. His background was wonderful, too, the reasons he took himself out of the field, and how he struggles now that he’s been forced to return. He, too, grows throughout the story, and when we finally get to see his parents, their relationship with each other and with their son is warm and wonderful and exactly what I was hoping to see.

I don’t want to give away the plot, because it is a rollicking adventure, but it is generally very well paced, face and interesting. Things do slow down a little during the middle, when Peri and Noah end up alone together and then dealing with some of Peri’s past, but though I normally would have been put off by that de-escalation, this time it mostly felt like a nice little breather before the excitement of the plague story picked up again.

I loved this book, and how it expanded the world of this series, and I can’t wait for more. The ending itself is cheesy as hell, which is probably the lowest point in the story for me, but the rest of the story is so great I can’t really bring myself to care much about that ending. I love the world building and the characters, love the plot and the new shifters, love how much is answered by the end and how much is left open (though that means the wait for more is going to be excruciating), and I highly recommend you read this book and this series.

(Final bit of shallow: Noah is so hot, y’all, and so RIDICULOUS. He is a tiger shifter, and he wears a leather jacket with fucking tiger stripes. HOW HAVE YOU EVER KEPT A SECRET IN YOUR LIFE, NOAH? HOW? I love him so much.)

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