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Archive for December, 2012

THE END IS NIGH!

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Of the year, that is. Since we all survived the Mayan apocalypse and rebuilt our fractured world (go with me on this…it will really throw the kids for a loop later on), it’s time to make peace with the year we’ve had and look to the future and see what the year has in store for us.

For me, it’s been a hell of a year, but as many good things have happened as not so good. I’m ready for a new start in a lucky numbered year. It’s a year of great things to come. Let’s show 2012 to the door and welcome in 2013.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Even the Spammers are Getting Lazy

December 16, 2012 3 comments

This is the time of year that seems to encompass a ton of frenetic energy with the almost obsessive-compulsive desire to linger in bed with a book, or just to spend some serious quality time with a comfy pillow and the blankets pulled up to your chin.

Hmm. After writing that, I’m reconsidering my work space….maybe I should relocate to the bed?

STOP!

See what I mean? Crazy thoughts of laziness intruding all over the place this time of year. I’m thinking that we all have the hibernation instinct. I know my body seems to attract junk food as if it were trying to get together insulation for a long winter’s nap. (Seriously, body, we don’t do this and there is absolutely no need for a massive plate of nachos and a bucket of margarita. You’re just going to knock yourself into a carb coma and….wait. You sneaky little bastard…)

But, despite it all, I’ve been writing on a potentially massive WIP and I’ve been creating new content out the wazoo while I have both the time and the brain cells to rub together. A part of blog maintenance is checking the comments spam filter. It’s kind of like cleaning out the drain after a shower; no one really wants to do it, and you could leave it there, but if you do it now, it’s less gross than in the morning. Like the helpful shower drain, sometimes things get caught in the spam filter that are legitimate comments, so before I hit the delete button, I always scan over them. This time, I couldn’t help but laugh.

spam 2

click for a larger image to read the insanity

spam 1

click for a larger image to read the insanity.

Even the spammers are getting lazy! Aside from the standard SEO nonsense, apparently my SLaR on A Discovery of Witches actually translates into a review of laptop computers and somehow also relates to a decision between Zune and iPod? And talking about my dad dying was a …comic strip? It’s not like the kitschy little comment about appreciating my writing or even how hot my content is, and the squirrelly ones about learning new things on blogs from StumbleUpon and thanking me for not having re-hashed material. I know they’re bullshit, but they seem legit when you scan through quickly. Let’s get back to the old days when I actually had to read more than a word or two to determine if it was poorly translated garbage, if it was even remotely related to the post and let’s get back to stumping me to see if the ol’ bullshit meter still works. Bring your best shot, spammers! My filter is empty, and I’m going to start publicly shaming the really horrible ones. Let’s see if you can get out of the winter slumps and earn your posting pennies.

Something Like a Review – The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker

I have been a fan of horror since the first time a book gave me chills and I spent much of the night watching the shifting shadows. My love of horror movies came second, but only because I wasn’t really allowed to watch them. (In a mark of the lost art of parenting, or perhaps a bit of said parenting done to the extreme, I led a sheltered movie/TV life for a long time. A long time.) When I watched something scary, it was because my parents had gone out for a while and my sister was in bed. I could read scary books without being chastised, and my mom supported my habit every spring when she’d take me to the used bookstore to load up for the summer. I’m sure that what I was buying mattered less to her than the fact that I was a good kid, I was reading and this would keep me entertained and quiet while my parents were working.

When I walked out with my brown paper grocery bag of books, I can assure you there was no happier kid in the world. I’d dig in voraciously at first, then start to pace myself since I knew they had to last three whole months. Did I mention that I was a compulsive reader even then? Even then, nothing was better than hunkering down with a book that gave you goosebumps in spite of the summer heat, or one that made the slow gathering dusk a torture of fearful anticipation.

I wish I’d read this book way back then, but I probably would have passed it up because it’s such a slim book. (I was totally a size queen when it came to books. Page count meant a lot – the more pages, the longer it would take, the more I’d get out of that one book, leaving so much more room for other books!) I’m glad I found the recommendation…wherever it was that I saw it. While I have less consideration for the size of the book (beyond whether it would be a better dead-tree purchase worthy of occupying shelf space, or more comfortable to lug around in an e-reader), I’m not sure this would have caught my eye if I’d seen it on the shelf. The length of the story, however, belies the quality of the story within it.

This book is analogous to the puzzle box within it; it is the gateway between worlds, bridging the gap between the horror novel(la) and the horror movie. What impressed me about it the most was the crisp visuals, cinematic style, the tight narrative and how closely it was followed when “Hellraiser” was created. It almost seems as though this book may have only needed formatting changes to create the script, and that’s part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much. The caveat of this is that I could be bringing prior knowledge to the table when reading this story. There is history with the movie I can’t entirely disengage from my understanding of the story, so the reader who’d never been exposed to the Hellraiser movies might find contention with the story’s deceptively sparse style. I can’t be sure I wouldn’t have thought the same way back before I’d become acquainted with Pinhead and his cohorts.

This was a quick, grim, sordid little tale that whetted my appetite for more Clive Barker. I’ve read a couple of stories of his before (I think), but usually in anthology form where my brain tends to shift into neutral when it comes to remembering which story belongs to whom. I can tell you about them, just not from which pen they flowed.

All in all, for the horror buff, for the 80’s horror movie fans, I’d highly recommend this book. For those who just want a scary story, I’d recommend it, but understand that if you’re not familiar with the franchise, you could be disappointed because it is quick and short.

Medium: Dead-tree version from… umm… somewhere? Maybe Amazon? Maybe a brick and mortar? I can’t remember.

Other: Multiple versions also available from Amazon.com

Overall rating: 4 stars

Potential re-read: Probably. It’s so skinny, I could read it on a free Sunday snuggled in bed with a cuppa.

Dead-tree worthy?: Yes. Sometimes, I just go with my gut and snag the dead tree version even if I’m not 100% sure about the story. This is one of those times I was right. Go me!

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