Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Camp Creepy Writers' Retreat is Nearly Full!

The Focus is on Writing!

September 22 - 24, 2017

TWO SPOTS LEFT as of September 20, 2017!

Did you blink and realize that you missed summer?

Did you spend your whole summer catering to your kids and friends and forgot to make some time for yourself?

Do you want one last gasp at writing in a nature setting before winter hits?

Peaceful, quiet, and in the woods by a lake, Camp Creepy is Canada's newest horror writers retreat!

Come to camp to work on your novel or screenplay.

Pick the brains of industry experts mass market novelist Sèphera Girón and Rue Morgue editor Monica S. Kuebler all weekend long. We are here for YOU!

There are two panels and there will be ghost stories at the lake.

There is free wi-fi.

The fee of $400 Canadian includes transportation from Toronto (four hours drive each way), meals, workshops, and accommodations.

A reduced fee is available if you're arranging your own transportation from wherever you are coming from.

Please bring your own booze as it's easier to bring what you enjoy instead of us trying to figure it out!

We have THREE spots left so hurry up and make your reservation today! Once these three spots are filled, our doors are shut.

When you register, you will be taken to the secret Camp Creepy Facebook group which has the menus, schedules, photographs of the estate, and more.

Register today and don't miss out on this amazing experience!


Monday, July 24, 2017

Gold Diggers and Narcissists: 90 Day Fiance Happily Ever After?

It's no secret to readers of this blog that I watch reality TV now and again. These days, my dirty little secret is 90 Day Fiancé and some of the other shows like it such as Married at First Sight. I'm glad that TLC is following some couples after the initial show because there are some real doozies on there.

I wasn't going to waste precious writing time blogging about the 90 Day Fiancé fiasco but then Sunday's episode (July 23, 2017) aired and I can't retain my thoughts any longer in my head or I'm going to explode. I thought if I went over to the Facebook page that it would be therapeutic and I could let them go, but no, I must express some thoughts about these train wreck couples before I go mad!

Pao and Russ
Pao and Russ are a disaster. She obviously is just using him for a green card. She doesn't care about his feelings or his career. She's said many times it's all about her career and she doesn't know what will happen between them. She knew where Russ lived and what he did before she came over. I feel sorry for Russ. Pao, her girlfriends, and her men friends all are assholes to Russ. Of course, Russ brought it on himself by going for a hot exotic woman. We all know how going for looks always ends no matter which way you're going. He's a Mormon but went for a spicy Latino who has no intention of being a Mormon. Right know there will be trouble. But young love, old love, once you fall for someone and truly love them, you'll do anything for them, even at the expense of self-respect,  money, and a career. We see many examples of this on the show.

Pao got scammed by her agent. Well, duh. Pao likely never double-checked with the agent and the agent probably didn't even know she'd actually moved there. I'm not sure, I don't remember. I usually don't watch this storyline, I find this couple boring since she's just a self-absorbed bitch and they are horribly mismatched.  So she thinks she can bully the agent into actually getting her work. Good luck. The only reason the agent spoke to her at all was because the TLC camera crew was filming it all. I thought it was pretty funny she wasn't even in the system. The agent doesn't care that she dyed her hair blond and how much it cost. Just another Latino model trying to make it in Miami. Welcome to Show Biz, Pao. You can't just walk in and get it just because you want it. Ask any of us!

Russ should go home and salvage his house and career and get a matchmaker to hook him up with a local gal or at least a gal who wants small town life, there are plenty out there. Pao should go back to Columbia since she won't be able to support herself in Miami unless she waitresses and lives with a bunch of friends or something like that.

Loren and Alexi
I hate this couple so much. They are so boring. If I'm lying on the couch or in bed when they are on, I fall asleep and then get mad that I missed the rest of the show. Of course, TLC airs these shows fifty times a week so it's easy to catch up. Loren is a liar. She proved that about the spiteful bachelorette party. That's likely only the first of many lies, I don't doubt. She constantly whines and is always crying. Yes, I'm sympathetic to her Tourette's Syndrome but holy smokes, you are married to the man of your dreams and you just lie and cry. And that whiny tone when she talks; I want to smack her.

Alexi is a whiny baby as well. It doesn't make sense that a mama's boy wants to move to another country. Yet now he wants mommy and daddy to join him in the new world. They don't want to come because they want to stay in their country with the other son. I think they know that this couple isn't going to last. I bet Alexi will break up with Loren because of the Tourette's Syndrome risk with a baby issue which apparently is news to Loren although a quick Google search shows you the information with the click of a mouse. Yep, I just did it. About three seconds to see that it's hereditary. Sheesh. They aren't a good match anyway. She's spoiled and doesn't respect his culture. He's a mama's boy that should have never flown from the nest. Whah, whah, whah.

Chantal and Pedro
Speaking of whiney babies, Chantal is the biggest spoiled brat diva I've ever seen which means she's also a whiny baby. Well, that's not true that she's the biggest I've ever seen, I've encountered a lot of divas in my time, but still, she IS pretty much at the top. She forces Pedro to lie to her parents for ninety days. They already sensed something shady about it all, duh. I'm a parent, we always know when someone's up to something whether we say anything about it. So they automatically think Pedro is a lying asshole when it's THEIR DAUGHTER who is the lying asshole.

I can't hold my tongue, Chantal is so spoiled and entitled I can't stand it. She demands a $5000 ring. Why? Where is all this money coming from that she's secretly sponsoring and caring for him, all that paperwork, their apartment, new cars, he has $2000 in gaming systems and on and on. Yet, with all her riches as she's from a rich family from what it looks like, she has to bully a man that she knows comes from poverty.

Why were the parents and Chantal such assholes? They see how dirt poor these people are and yet call them selfish because Pedro brought a few dresses, toiletries and laptops. Of course a good son is going to treat the family. It's just what some people do if the mom is struggling. If a child can treat the parent, why not?

The apartment the mom moved into cost about $200 a month. So what? That's nothing if you're buying rings and cars and having two weddings and flying ten people to the Dominican Republic for week in a hotel. God. Instead of Chantal's family feeling proud that a few trinkets bring such joy, a son being proud and showing how he's the man now with his wife and ability to do both, they are so angry feeling like these people are stealing from them somehow. Hell, they were the ones who made Pedro sign a pre-nup that what is his is his and what is Chantal's is Chantal's. So fuck off! What is wrong with tossing a few bucks to poor people who seemed to appreciate it.

Yes, they likely shouldn't have served chicken feet but they knew they were dealing with snobby assholes and it was the only way they could "get back" in a gentle way. How utterly rude and assholish that the family didn't even get out of the car to see the grandmother who worked all day for their feast. Holy shit. What fucking snobby assholes. I'm still angry. Yes, they are crazy Americans. 

They are representative of a type of typical tourist Americans who make the rest of the world hate them including all the fantastic typical tourist Americans. I saw this entitled type all the time when I waitressed at CN Tower and Skydome. UGH. They are the main reason I had to write. They likely go to church and donate but god forbid they have the opportunity to help real live people, even to just say hello and spend a few hours in a shack and appreciate how THEY don't have to ever live this way but these people have no choice. What assholes.

This relationship won't last. I think Pedro actually loves Chantal but he'll eventually tire of her diva ways and cheat. Chantal is just a selfish asshole and will likely dump him because her parents will tell her to even though she lied so much about getting married in the first place. Her parents will never trust Pedro and it's all Chantal's fault and if they are too lazy to learn about cultures where sons take care of their mothers, then they can just go back to their self-absorbed little castle. They should appreciate how hard Pedro works (two jobs) and that he wants to take care of his family. It shows true character and that he would be a good father and provider. Selfish Chantal and hubby Pedro live in a fine place in an expensive city and have costly clothes, nails, hair, cars, jewelry...what's a couple of hundred bucks when they likely spend that on a night out at the bar?

Now, down to my two favourite couples. Well, not favourite but the ones I watch this show for because sometimes my jaw falls onto the floor.

Anfisa and Jorge
Danielle and Mohamad

First of all, Anfisa and Mohamad are classic cases of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Syndrome, not that I'm a shrink or anything. But I think their actions speak for themselves.

Danielle and Jorge are classic targets, enablers, people who often get caught in the web of hypnotic vampire spiders.

It is so obvious that both Anfisa and Mohamad latched onto people who they thought were multi-millionaires who would take care of them. They thought they could pretend to love the people since the pay was good. However, when they arrived and realized these people weren't like the Kardashians, they played mind games and bided their time until the green card was obtained and then, bye-bye.

Both Jorge and Danielle didn't have the endless cash supply the con artists were hoping for so ugliness ensued. Which makes for great television. Danielle is her own special kind of nuts and Jorge is just a nice guy with low self-esteem who thought he could play Wolf of Wall Street but hooked a true psycho instead of just a pretty Russian girl who wanted to come over and be treated well. Jorge just had bad luck. He's young and likely had too much cash too fast and then it was gone and she won't let him make more because she's so stupid that she doesn't understand why he's not with her 24/7 yet he has to go to work to get the money for the life she demands! What the hell?

Watching how Anfisa treats Jorge makes me sad. I understand how he's hypnotized and likely really did have a lot of money, once, but blew it all on her. She never lets him go to work so how is he supposed to make money? She cost him big deals even while the show was filming. I'm sure once he pissed off suppliers or whatever, he lost connections, business and now he's in debt. Her constant demands and abuse drained his bank account, cost him jobs, his health, his self-esteem. Yet he still loves her. No. He loves the demon who hypnotized him with great sex and promises in another land. But once she got here, the mask came off and she became the demon she was all along. But he doesn't quite see it yet. He will, I hope. He keeps hoping the original Anfisa will return but she won't because she never existed. The Jorge-beating gaslighting mind-fucker she is now is her true self.
Her word salads, her mind games, her control actions, deleting his phone, kicking him out of his own apartment that he pays for and why? Who even knows? She's crazy like all narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths are. And she's barely twenty! Yet, he is beguiled. And that's how these demons survive.

Just like Danielle. She STILL has the hots for Mohammad, you can tell by her blush when she speaks of him, even though they only had sex once and he's running around with a million different women. She's hypnotized as well by the original guy she thought she knew. But she lied about her money situation, lost her job, and he took off.

Neither Jorge or Danielle are innocent in the mix either but they don't deserve what was done to them.

Both Anfisa and Mohamad should be deported. They came to the United States and mind-fucked US citizens and blew through their money. There's even footage of Anfisa physically assaulting Jorge on camera on two separate occasions. Who knows how much she beats him behind closed doors? The way she treats him on camera is disgusting. It's so sad to see him bullied and he doesn't know what to do. She needs to be arrested, jailed, and then deported. She's just a gold digger.

Mohamad just wanted a green card, he would have liked to have been a gold digger and no doubt, he will land on some woman's bed, and perhaps has been all along, but maybe not now that his life has been on TV. I've heard rumours he's deported but I'm not sure. I haven't peeked at spoilers when I can help it.

Why Watch This Mess?
Learning about con artists, love fraud, and so on is always a good idea. Watching these shows, no matter how scripted, can show different ways that people get conned, from spouses conning each other, to families conning families, even the agent conning Pao.

Learning about red flags is always a valuable tool. No matter how obvious some actions look from the "outside," no one ever knows what it's like to be the target on the inside. No one can understand the seductions behind closed doors, the promises to do better, the rewards of the sex that had been deprived. Good-hearted people are hypnotized by demons every day. Learning the signs can keep it from being you!

Consider watching 90 Day Fiance, Happily Ever After? school work, a lesson in human nature, especially if you're rushing into a marriage or cohabitation with a stranger!

I began watching the show just because I was curious to see if people would actually get married and why. It's been on for a while.  However, these couples from last season were so bizarre there's a whole new season about the aftermath on TLC.

What do you think about these couples? Will any of them survive and grow into a healthy marriage?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sephera Giron Reading on May 17 at Chizine Series

Sèphera Girón will be reading at the Chizine Reading Series at The Round in Kensington Market, Toronto, on Wednesday, May 16 at 8 pm. Other guest readers include Andrew Robertson, Michael Kelly, and Heather Spears! Please come on out and support Canadian authors! This event is FREE!

In other news, our latest episode of the Great Lakes Horror Company Podcast presented by The Library of the Damned is up! We are now not only on iTunes but on Stitcher as well! Give us a listen. This latest episode features an interview with author John Palisano and has a roundtable about rejection letters with Andrew Robertson, Julianne Snow, Danann Hawes, and Sèphera Girón.

Rejection Letters Podcast link

 I will be sending out the first edition of my new newsletter at the end of the week. Please sign up for it today by using the form at the top right-hand corner of this page. It will include news about my work and some freebies.

 Also, please come check me out on Patreon.

My patrons keep me busy by making sure I hit my deadlines and continually provide new content. I upload all the drafts of my stories and novels for my patrons. I have little videos and of course, completely exclusive blogs that no one else gets to see. You have access to over 100 posts and all the previous rewards for your donation level no matter when you join. If you donate $10 a month or more for over three months, you will be acknowledged in all books that have acknowledgments that are written during the time you pledged.

Sephera's World Patreon

Sunday, April 23, 2017

No Stokercon for Me!

It is with deep regret that I am cancelling my Stokercon 2017 appearance and workshop on the Queen Mary.

There are several reasons but one of the major ones is that the United States political situation seems rather unstable over the next couple of weeks and I don't want to get trapped in California with no way home to Toronto.

I will stay on the East Coast for now.

You may find me at:

Niagara Falls Comicon, Niagara Falls Ontario, June 2 - 4  I'll be at the Horror Writers Association booth.

Necon, Rhode Island, July 20 - 23

You can keep up with my writing and acting projects by joining my Patreon!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Kong: Skull Island Thoughts





Last night was kind of funny. I had seen Kong: Skull Island in the afternoon and was all hyped up to write a little blog post about it. As I settled in, I heard a groan and saw all my bookcases begin to lean over. I ran over to protect the TV and books fell like rain on me and the floor as the bookcases exploded. I felt like King Kong battling books.

I was already battling a cold and now the subsequent dust and clean up has exasperated my illness. But that doesn't mean I can't finally settle in to write a few words about Kong: Skull Island as I cough and sneeze with the cold that's circling the city and now it's my turn to suffer.

Love My Kong
I had been cautiously excited to see this movie, as I am about all movies I'm excited like a little kid inside about but ultimately end up disappointed.

Kong didn't disappoint this Great Ape fan. Whew. Seeing it in 3D was even better and it was still playing in one of the big theaters. There were six of us in the theater.

I loved the music. It was an fantastic blend of music that was written about Viet Nam and around the  time of Viet Nam. I remembered all of it. I was a teen and heard radios in stores and at friends' houses and watched the news with the horrors of the war. Weston Osche posted on Facebook that he went to buy the soundtrack and none of that great music is on it. Boo!

The story takes place in the seventies after a little snippet from 1945.

John Goodman and his team of nerds with an army escort is going to look for ... monsters.

They toss around some bombs, which is so typical in these movies. They don't do a flyover first to see what's down there, they just start dropping bombs. And wouldn't you know, they get one furious gorilla raging at them. Somehow he is able to catch the planes and kill some soldiers. Like how cats can catch birds. I kept wondering in my head, why is there only one gorilla? Where's the tribe for backup?

Well, luckily our gang runs into a guy who speaks English and he tells them All the Things. Whew for that! Otherwise, our gang likely would have become stew or maybe sacrificed to Kong by the tribe that doesn't speak English, like in other movies.

End of an Era
I loved how they made the movie in the seventies. Just before technology exploded but enough technology for some things. That was a good call. Cumbersome film cameras, whining flashes, walkie-talkies, tapes.I like how they stayed on Kong Island. Although, who knows, maybe they go back to get him for New York? Who knows? We know he's not dead because he's in more movies coming out over the next couple of years. Since he has no children, it has to be him.

They had some nice touches with some characters. We cared about most of them. However, the snap in Lieutenant Colonel Packard wasn't truly believable. It was weird how he was obsessed. I suspect there's a missing scene earlier in the movie that we'll see in some deleted scenes on the DVD that gives him a little more character development or motivation. It wasn't believable that he'd risk everyone to fight a gorilla that's over 125 feet tall when it's already proven that nothing, not bullets, bombs, fires, torches, helicopters, can do any real damage to Kong. The Lieutenant had no plan like a booby trap. Yes, he's trained to go down fighting, and yes, he took it upon himself to get revenge for his men, yet he's the one who dropped the bombs to upset Kong and the rest of the creatures to begin with. Sheesh.

It wasn't really clear or set-up why Kong liked the woman since she was far too small for him to even see what she was, (I'm sure gorillas don't have very good eyesight), or do anything with besides hold and eat and pull apart. I guess the story had to do that in case they come back for him in a future movie with her as a lure.  He's way too big to bring to New York. It would be impossible. Where would you put him? I won't believe it if they bring this version of Kong to New York.

I liked the character of Marlow. The name isn't lost on me.  I'm glad they used him as they did.

Things that Bugged Me
No bugs. Like, surely there were tons of horrific bugs in this place. even mosquitoes, flies. They showed huge flies on the yak, so those things would be cruising around.

No sense of the weather. Everyone was dressed differently. Though often soaking wet with swamp water or mud or worse, no one seemed cold, itchy, disgusted, or hot or a bug magnet. Have you ever watched Naked and Afraid? That's one of my favourite shows. Those people are coated with bug bites and freeze to death even in the jungle. But in the this movie, I guess the climate was comfortable for everyone. No sweating, no thirst, no heat rash, or sunburns.

No sense of awe. Okay, if I saw an ape as tall as a skyscraper with a mouth full of teeth with each tooth as long as a car, and he's pissed as hell and wants to kill me, I'd be freaked, I'd be awed, scared, shaking, one seemed to think it was weird that this giant ape exists. Sure they talk about it.  There's even a running gag, "Uh, aren't we going to about this?" Even in Jurassic Park, people are awestruck by seeing a dinosaur, whether from a distance or chasing them. You can't tell me that in real life, that Colonel would risk the life of all after he saw even one of those skull lizard things? Seriously? He already knows he has no weapons so what's he doing? They know there are flying creatures too. Sheesh. No fear. No awe.

No warning. Okay, there are a couple of scenes where Kong SNEAKS UP ON PEOPLE. Like seriously. Something that huge doesn't just sneak up on you no matter what you're doing. The best parts of Jurassic Park are when the vibrations of the T-Rex is felt, long before it's seen. The sense of knowing something is coming, but what? From where? How big is it to jiggle that drink or that car? Wouldn't Kong rumble whether he's in a tree or breaking trees by walking or just walking? Kong's way bigger than any T-Rex. So you'd hear him. He can't surprise you. No way.

Kong: Skull Island features the tallest incarnation of Kong in an American film, standing approximately 104 feet (31.6 meters) tall, while Peter Jackson's Kong was only 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall by comparison. The tallest incarnation of Kong overall is the one featured in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), which stood approximately 147 feet (45 meters) tall. 

How Big is Too Big?
Sometimes I felt that Kong was just too huge. One minute a helicopter can fly into his mouth, judging by this shot, yet the girl fills his palm. But that's me. I'm picky because I love these movies and like to notice behind the scenes stuff like height discrepancies.

I totally recommend Kong: Skull Island! I loved it. The soundtrack is fantastic. The special effects rock. The story is good. I was only a little depressed about how they lured him out and then tried to kill him as he got some good shots in himself. He lives at the end and I liked that. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Toronto Comicon 2017 with Darth Maul and Stuart

Toronto Comicon 2017 

March 17 - 19, 2017 

The Horror Writers Association Booth 117

Come by and say hi!

Oh, Kylo, why don't you ever just want to go hang out over a cup of coffee and discuss how you don't need to make yet another Death Star?

 Is Han trying to tell us something? You? Me? What does he want?

Oh, I see, you're turning on me...again.

I had been looking forward to seeing Kevin "Stuart" Sussman ever since he was announced! Big Bang Theory is one of my favourite shows for modern day current comedy. In fact, it is one of my "I want to write for this show" bucket lists, which I'm missing the boat on since I wouldn'teven know how to submit. Just like wanting to write an episode of Carnivale back in the day, or a Star Wars Kylo Ren/Luke Skywalker spinoff book. I guess I'm like Stuart in that way. Will never get to that next level.

I watch TBBT all the time. I had it on earlier. I was on a panel about The Big Bang Theory a couple of years ago at a convention, I think it might have been Ad Astra. So, yeah, it was cool to see one of them up close. I always feel sorry for Stuart. I actually get angry at the gang sometimes with how they treat him. There's also a weird pervy undertone to Stuart that comes out rarely, but you can see it in early episodes. Like when he whips out his phone to take Leonard's photo for the Hall of Fame as the only guy to get a date while actually in the comic book store. I think the time he and Raj hang out in the Wolowitz's hot tub is one of the best. It's creepy and hilarious.

 I actually got a front row seat. That's what happens when you spend an hour in line! Kevin Sussman was really good and the interviewer was good. Sussman actually seems like he's a lot like Stuart in real life which, to me, is endearing. He was joking about how he kept going off track in the interview. I was going to tell him if I'd had the nerve to put up my hand, that I'm the same way in interviews, it's that ADHD thing! He was clever and kept the conversation lively. We heard little stories and it was all great fun. He doesn't seem like he has a "star" attitude at all.

Of course, as always, my phone pictures are terrible even though I was in the front row. I need to invest in a good camera. A small good camera.

This lovely Kylo came by the booth. I told her to come back when I had my corset on. Apparently, she did when I was seeing Keven Sussman. Maybe she'll come back on Sunday afternoon! She was a good sport!

 This Kylo was fantastic. She had a big saber scar on her face.

 Brad Middleton and Alessia Giacomo are holding down the fort at the Horror Writers Association Booth for the morning and afternoon shift. Of course, I totally forgot to take pictures of other people actually at the booth, like Tonya Liburd, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime and Andrew Robertson. Most of us are back on Sunday so come on by! I was side-tracked by my celebrity crushes and Kylo Rens.

This Kylo Mom had a great outfit that you can't see here. Great stockings, garters, and all that. I'm pretty sure these are all her kids! 

I was happy to see Ray Park, who played Darth Maul, in real life on Friday night. I went to his panel, I didn't actually get to talk to him or anything.

I've babbled on before about Darth Maul. How excited I had been for Darth Maul, how furious I was when he was killed so quickly and that horrorshow Jar Jar jarred me into oblivion and I actually hated Star Wars for a while and almost didn't see The Force Awakens. Yes, I'm aware Darth Maul has a life in spinoff books and TV shows, but he sure didn't in the major movies. At any rate, decades later, I'm willing to forgive that movie since I don't remember much about it anymore. I wore one of my Darth Maul watches and a Kylo Ren shirt. 
 Ray Park's work is great. He's in other movies as well. His talk was really good. He told stories about several movies. Some of the audience questions lended themselves to fun stories.

Han Solo in carbonite was right across from us the whole time. As is a little silver Kylo Ren figure for $299 plus tax. The Han Solo means no one sees our booth because everyone is taking pictures in front of it. We do what we can!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Women in Horror Month Party and You're Invited!


We are preparing an amazing night of entertainment and fun. There will be authors reading very scary stories. There will be burlesque dancing and other acts. There will be a raffle with great prizes.

A merchandise table will be selling books and art for your convenience.

I, Sèphera Girón, will be reading tarot cards with my usual combination of numerology, astrology, tarot cards, and quick peek at your palm. You can buy a ticket at the merchandise table and then come see me. Together we'll unravel what the future holds for you! Get there early so that you don't miss out!

Women in Horror Month goes for the month of February. 
Although you should be reading horror every day, make an extra effort to check out some new and old favourites! 

These days, authors greatly appreciate it if you leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. It doesn't have to be a five-star review. Any star review helps your favourite authors get noticed!

The Great Lakes Horror Company is excited to bring you our Women in Horror Month celebration on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at See-Scape in Toronto!

We are looking forward to celebrating with you!

Pick up a copy of Intersections TODAY!

I am having a lot of fun writing for my Patrons on Patreon! Come join us! I'm working on a science fiction book and several short stories. I also blog a few times a week and share information about my career that only people on Patreon get to know!

For pledges of $10 or more, you get your name in the acknowledgments of my new book!

I ran into Kylo Ren in the Virtual Reality room at GenreCon in Guelph last weekend. 

Oh, Kylo! Why did you do that to me? I would have made a good evil queen of The Knights of Ren!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sephera at GenreCon in Guelph

This weekend I'll be at Genre Con in Guelph, Ontario! GenreCon
The Horror Writers Association Ontario Chapter will be in the dealer's room all weekend.

My own personal schedule:
1:00 The Art of Horror
 2:30 How to be a Horror Writer
5 - 7 Horror Writers Association booth in Dealer's Room

11 - 1 Horror Writers Association booth in Dealer's Room
If you want to see me on Sunday, make sure you come by the booth before one on Sunday!

If you are cosplaying Kylo Ren, make sure you come by the booth while I'm there so I can take your picture for my Kylo Ren collection!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror

Sèphera Girón reads the beginning of her story "The Next Big Thing" which is in the Ouija board anthology, Intersections.

"The Next Big Thing" is told through a series of diary entries scrawled by a young street kid turned magician. No matter what her schtick, she's always looking for the next big thing. She also wonders about magic; how much is an illusion, and how much is real?

Intersections is the brainchild of Megan Hart and Rob E. Boley who founded Howling Unicorn Press and wanted to do an anthology about Ouija boards. They asked the rest of us to participate in their madness and we agreed. Together there are six authors in the anthology. Our only guideline was that the story had to have an ouija board in it somewhere. What has resulted is a book containing six very different creepy, disturbing novellas.

The subject matter was a challenge for me as I'm afraid of ouija boards. Yes, I've used them now and again at haunted houses but not for anything personal. Not in years and years. I didn't want to write a story about an ouija board that was about actually using the board. I was afraid I'd channel something. I also didn't want to write about something that had already come through and was hanging out here. So I veered way away from the ideas of evil boards and thought about my Witch Upon a Star series.

Our main character Annie/Felicity/Fleeceya is not from the Witch Upon a Star series. She's her own character and looking for magic, real magic. She learns about the little town of Hermana which is like a cross between Salem and Cassadaga. She visits a couple of characters from the series. I thought it would be fun to combine the worlds, briefly. and see what happens. "The Next Big Thing" was born.

You can now order both print and ebook versions of Intersections on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and Barnes and Noble.

Kerry Lipp
Megan Hart
Brad C. Hodson
Chris Marrs
Sephera Giron
Rob E. Boley 

Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror was released on Friday, January 13, 2017, during a Full Moon! 

If you happen to read any of it, please leave a review, good or bad, on Amazon and/or Goodreads as it helps to push the book placement higher! Thank you! 

This week also saw the release of  Group Hex Vol. 1 which was edited by Andrew Robertson. This anthology is a collection from members of the Horror Writers Association Ontario Chapter! Our launch party was amazing!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Thoughts

I don't own copy right to any of these images. 

You may call them "Hollywood Royalty" but Debbie Reynolds was a real live working mom. If you've ever been on a film set, you know how long the days can be. Having your own kids on set must have been quite difficult yet glorious at the same time. Having your husband leave you for Liz Taylor...ouch!

Hard to believe how they were pretty much the same age when they starred in what would become popular beloved movies that would make them immortal or at least stars for several generations.

Debbie Reynolds had her hands full with that little bundle of energy, might as well wear her out with some dancing! Getting paid is even better! (Sound familiar?)

 They had an amazing bond. I've known a couple of other mother-child relationships that are similar. I can understand why Debbie had to continue to help Carrie even in the afterlife. They had interesting lives that were tragic, horrifying, happy, and amazing. No one can say that Aries and that Libra didn't grab life by the balls and live every day to the fullest, for better or worse.

 My heart aches for Billie Lourd who lost her mom and grandmom at the same time over Christmas. 

Billy Lourd is in The Force Awakens. You can see her standing behind General Organa in a few shots.

Billy Lourd has been working on her own rising star on Scream Queens where she plays Chanel #3 to Emma Roberts' Chanel #1.

For weeks I meant to write a blog about Billie Lourd and her ear muffs in Scream Queens and what a funny, quirky homage to her mom that is. I also was going to write about how cool it is that Billie is in The Force Awakens and the new untitled one with her mom, The Princess, The General! But I had a lot of work and kept putting it off and now, two ladies are dead.

It's been over a week yet I'm having difficulty getting motivated, difficulty doing much. But I'm getting there. After all, it's not like I ever met any of them. I never knew them or talked to them. However, like thousands of other people, both ladies played varied roles in the backdrop of my own life.

Pinball Wizard
One one level, I'm sad, devastated, torn apart. But on the other level, my brain is bouncing in a thousand directions, sad, mad, glad, excited, disappointed, like a giant pinball machine. My ADHD is really bad these past three months or so and these deaths are so bizarre, and sad, and yet not unexpected, but short life is, and so suddenly we can just collapse when other times we wouldn't have. Like Bowie, Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Huston, Jimi Hendrix...and so on, and those are famous people we thought would be around much longer. Then there are our personal friends and family and pets who have left us.

As a writer, I need to pull myself back together and gather more motivation than ever to finish my space opera and other novels. All these people got shit done, which is why we mourn, if not them, the loss of their art forever. We remember what they had created that became a touchstone to various parts of our lives and personalities and realize there will never be any new touchstones from them on our path.

Carrie Fisher was only six years older than me, five really...I'm fifty-four, almost fifty-five. She was sixty on her death.

I loved Carrie, obviously. For Princess Leia, for being a feisty author and screenwriter, and for surviving so long.

Good Morning
I loved Debbie Reynolds which many might not know. I loved Singing in the Rain and the tap numbers. I used to sing that "Good Morning" song to my babies every day, still do, decades later. In learning more about her personal life, I share more in common with Debbie Reynolds that I imagined. Her horrible divorces sound like mine. Her eternal optimism is like mine. She had to wrangle Carrie Fisher and more. She's a role model for sure.

I had posted this meme of Princess Leia and R2D2 before Debbie Reynolds died. We lost Kenny Baker in August. Mark Hamill was pretty shaken up about it when he addressed Kenny's death in his talk at Fan Expo. I can't imagine how he is right now over Carrie and Debbie. He must be in pieces.

I was going to write a blog when Carrie Fisher died but was too upset. And then Debbie Reynolds died as well. So I was speechless, as was and is, everyone still.

My Facebook Live babble about Carrie Fisher's death

My Facebook post on December 26, 2016
I'm one year older than George Michael and five years younger than Carrie Fisher. I don't blame the year 2016, (which is a nine which represents endings, btw) as we are all getting older and so people will fall ill and die. The day Carrie Fisher had her heart attack on the plane, a 10-year-old girl was flying from Canada to Ireland on Air Canada and she had a heart attack on the plane and died. Even though "the future is now," we can see that heart failure is still a huge thing.

My dad "dropped dead" on a Friday the Thirteenth two years ago, much like Carrie Fisher. He "died" for many minutes until they were able to bring him back and then they "put him on ice" for twenty-four hours to rest his brain while they tried to figure out why he collapsed and only a day or two later did they diagnose heart attack. I imagined that they put Carrie Fisher on ice in the same way and by Wednesday, we'll know for sure if she's going to make it, much as the timeline was for my dad who ended up with a triple bypass and was back to the gym within a few weeks.

Carrie collapsed on a plane, dad collapsed at the gym and they were able to receive aggressive help and with modern technology, return from the dead.

George Michael, from what I understand so far, had his heart attack while he was asleep, so no one knew nor could help him. It was too late to perform aggressive treatment on him.
I'm not sure what my point is, just that I'm sad about all these heart attacks. They are scary things, how they strike out of nowhere. My dad was the picture of health, no symptoms, never smoked, never did drugs, doesn't drink, works out every day for eighty years, eats very healthy, and boom, down he went. Of course, at 85, something is going to get you but he survived the operation and is just as vibrant and energetic as always as he single-handedly takes care of my mom who has Alzheimer's. But he had NO symptoms, no warnings, nothing. He just remembered one minute he's in the shower after a swimming workout, the next, he's strapped to a bed days later with a million tubes coming out of him. I'm grateful my parents are still here and I was able to enjoy them for Christmas by playing games on the Wii and making them watch a huge portion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens while we waited for my older son and his girlfriend to arrive.
I'm very sorry for everyone who lost loved ones this year, any year, and had a sad Christmas.
I don't think there are any more celebrities dying than usual, it's just that there are more of them and we are all aging.
I suspect Carrie Fisher will pull through and survive a few more years, she's one crusty strong woman. It's a shame George Michael left us so soon, of course, I'm of the age, his peer, who always enjoyed his music and antics.
I feel sad about that little girl who died on the plane going to Ireland for Christmas.
We never know when our number is up. People sometimes wonder why I'm living what looks to be a rather crazy life right now, but really, I've learned over the past few years really hard lessons about not putting up with narcissistic assholes, not putting up with alcoholics who are hell bent on destroying every holiday (I don't think they start off wanting to destroy the day but alcohol is an ugly poison that brings out hate and irrational emotions), not working at shitty jobs for shitty pay so that others get rich off my back, and focussing on putting my efforts into jobs that help people learn about themselves and their own skills (editing, tarot reading, patient acting, proctoring) and volunteer work that helps and encourages other writers to reach for the stars.
If I drop dead of a heart attack, and no doubt I will, I don't want regrets about how I meant to "do that later" yet "later" never came.
Later is NOW. Live your life authentically. You never know when you're going to drop dead. You can have all the money in the world but it means nothing when you're dead. All you have is your legacy and any children you may have had to carry on your memory.

January 7, 2017
I'm sad at the wars, terrorism, the hatred for refugees which shit, any one of us is but one step away from being a refugee in these modern times. Doesn't it make sense to help others? Pay it forward? Same with health care? Healthy people make for healthy citizens, soldiers, educators, scientists, and artists. Education helps people be informed beyond their tunnel vision interests, and affordable education puts it within reach of all of us.

I'm sad at toddlers shooting people. What a horrible way to begin a life.

I'm sad at so much racism and hate. At the horrific names so-called American people flung at their own President for the past eight years, how many of those same people worship the Golden Calf and will wonder why the oceans will flood us and fires will consume the earth. Hey, it's all starting all ready and I'm not even a Christian or Jew or believe that the Bible is no more than a cool story to keep the kids in line. I'm scared, people. Why is there snow in New Orleans but we still have grass in Toronto, Canada in early January? Sure it's minus 11 today and we WILL get tons of snow, we have been dumped on a few times this year. But it gets so weirdly warm in between. The birds don't fly away anymore. It's unnerving.

Utopia and The MotherShip
When I was a kid, I thought by the time I was an adult, we'd have world peace, no more racism, no more sexism, the bombs would have been dismantled, people could afford to live in nice places with plenty left over to raise families and go on vacations, and so much more. I even named my first cat, Utopian Hope.  But we went backwards. Like in Planet of the Apes. Goddamit all to hell,  we went backwards.

I heard there were close to 200 beloved celebrity deaths in 2017 not to mention personal friends and families. I think a lot of those people, like Carrie and Debbie, rushed back to the MotherShip before shit got real down here. The astronaut from some plant, Bowie, kicked off the year with dropping dead out of nowhere. Carrie ended it, on that plane, where she really died. She left for that MotherShip where the cool kids are and mom knew the party there is way better than here. Yes, I know the "pastor from MASH" also died. Does that tell you anything?

There was a year where a ton of horror writers died.

A lot of psychics and metaphysical people died within a few months stretch a couple of years ago. I knew a few. Very weird, sudden, and one youngish death. I felt that year that those New Agey people were dying to prepare the way for the rest of us for whatever happens next. Utopia? A Mother Ship? Heaven? Hell? New World Order?

2016 is a nine. Endings. So much ended last year. That leaves new things to open up in 2017, a one year. New beginnings for those of us left behind, not quite ready for that ship yet.

And I sure as hell don't mean that Scientology Ship either, but that rant is for another time. I always loved Leah Remini and I love her even more now with her new show on A and E. So what if she gets money doing this. She was gaslighted her entire life by everyone she loved and trusted. She has to rebuild her life, her mind, after it was fucked over for most of her life. Anyway, good luck to her and I hope she's with us for a long time and that those Scientology freaks get dismantled. I had run-ins in my late teens with them and knew as a teenager they were a scary, dangerous cult, so why did it take my entire life for someone to blow the whistle on these con artists? Good for you, Leah! Hell hath no fury!

2017 is a good year for squashing cults and recognizing liars and when people are gaslighting you! Wake up and SEE and then take action towards building a safe, strong world for all of us.

And the United States, you are welcome to your New World Order. I want no part of it. And it's too bad because, in my personal life plan, I should be moving to Manhattan this year. Nope. Never.

May the Force Be With You, Always
Let's all live life to the fullest, maybe not QUITE as full as Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, but having a sense of humour and trying to get along, somewhat, would serve us all well.