Sunday, December 17, 2017

Gilda and the Prince is Now Published!

Last year, I was asked to write a story for an erotic horror anthology. It took me a while but I finally wrote a little story and sent it in. It was accepted and was due to be published around Halloween 2017.  Then the publisher closed and my story was orphaned, as seems to happen to me a lot in recent years. 

After a few months of not knowing what to do with my little science fiction horror erotic story, I decided to let Scarlett Publishing turn it into a little e-book. It will also be a little print book.

This is a short story, not a novel.

This is about a lonely woman who is a huge fan of a certain science fiction saga and as luck would have it, modern science might be able to help her merge her world of loneliness with her space opera geekery.

This story is about what happens!

I hope you all like it!

It's a great "stocking stuffer" for your fantasy-minded friends!

Gilda and The Prince   is available on several platforms.

Gilda and the Prince print version

The Last Jedi SPOILERS and My Own Review

My FIRST The Last Jedi Review!













Don't read any further if you've not seen The Last Jedi yet!
There are lots of spoilers in my comments. LOTS.

If you don't want the movie spoiled, don't read any further!!!!!!


December 16, 2017

Okay, it’s been a couple of days. I’ve had some deep thoughts. I’ve allowed myself to look at dozens of reviews by critics and fans alike.

It seems people are as deeply conflicted about this movie as Kylo Ren is conflicted about his emotions.

I am conflicted.

First of all, I liked it a lot. I may even grow to love it as I grew to love The Force Awakens after multiple viewings, despite its obvious flaws. I was very entertained with The Last Jedi. I had fun. I laughed, cried, cheered, and all of that and so did the rest of the audience at 6 pm on Thursday December 14 at the very first public screening in Toronto.

Yes, there are some things I did not like.


What's Next?
And weirdly, I have no excitement or expectation for the next installment of the saga. There was no cliff-hanger as all the other movies had with the obvious example that we may or may not know who Rey is and a couple of things like that. George Lucas himself said way back in the seventies when I used to hang on every interview that I could find that he had based Star Wars off the old westerns, the cliff-hangers, with the very obvious good guys and bad guys, and lots of action. All the movies left you wanting more. Sure, they blew up the Death Star back in 1977 but the movie ended with Darth Vader hurtling through space while the heroes were being recognized (well, except for Chewbacca). Was Vader going to live or die? Would he be back for more villainry? We didn’t know. (And there's a homage to that scene with Kylo Ren spinning around in his ship.)

In The Last Jedi ending, there’s no real sense of urgency or wonderment about what’s going to happen next and with whom? There are no questions we are waiting to hear the answers about. Rey and the gang ran away from Kylo Ren who was still having a bad day as this is still the same day for some reason, or at least, going into the next day. I believe it’s supposed to be about 18 hours later and the whole nearly three-hour movie takes place over about ten or so hours.So we know Kylo will follow them and likely get crushed by the rocks when then come down. Or perhaps he'll force-hold them up himself. But it's more of the same and perhaps less urgent for the audience. Hopefully, he'll turn around, go back to the ship, and do something else. 

Since I’ve only seen it once, I’m writing this review with that impression. I’m sure after I see it again, some things will become more clear to me, and others will be less clear.

Star Wars Fan Leaves His Own Mark
I will say, it’s obvious that Rian Johnson loves Star Wars. It’s also obvious that he’s chomping at the bit to create new ideas, new characters, and new sagas.

I’m not sure that he respected the icons that those of us who were teenagers lining up for Star Wars in 1977 really wanted to see and deal with.

I’m just going to mention a few impressions and they will likely be out of order.

Luke and the Lightsaber
I’ve spent two years crying and wondering what happened to Luke. I’ve spent two years wondering what his first words would be, and how he’d train Rey, and how much like Yoda and Obi Wan had he become? Was he still brash and impatient and whiney or was he a mature, wise old guy who’s all screwed up because his nephew is a psychopath like his dad.

We see Luke, Rey gives him the saber, and he throws it away.

I laughed. It was startling. It was funny and very unexpected. However, upon reflection, it was more like a Saturday Night Live gag (think Undercover Boss with Kylo Ren) than the Next Chapter of Star Wars. And so the wacky high jinks began.

We all know I love comedy. And Star Wars has always had corny comedic moments but they are usually from Laurel and Hardy or rather, C3P0 and R2D2 and their new pal, BB8. The droids are the comedic touchstones or at least used to be.

However, the movie opens with Poe crank calling Hux and again, it’s like an SNL skit, not a real SW movie. Yes, I laughed, but setting Hux up as a doofus doesn’t make the bad guys seem really bad.

Milk Does a Body Good
My number one complaint: I HATED how they had Luke milk a creature in her breasts for his drink. Yes, I get that they were riffing on the blue milk from the first movie, but YIKES. That scene was horrible and I'm an erotic horror writer! I bet once Mark Hamill saw what they CGId in there for him, he was horrified too. That was NOT Star Wars. Not for Luke’s character. Maybe a minor character or a droid collecting the milk but not our Luke.

It also reminded me of the milk bar scene in Clockwork Orange, when Alex gets milk from a boob. Although, I guess it foreshadows Luke's dark side.

What's Your Age Again?
I didn’t mind Luke being a crusty old man even though age wise, he and Leia are supposed to be younger than I am right now but they feel like my grandparents in this movie. They are very old for late forties, early fifties. 

And how old is Kylo Ren in THIS movie? He aged backwards. They make him look like a teenager now. In The Force Awakens, I thought he acted about 18/19 but I figured he was late twenties since Adam Driver is now in his thirties. I didn’t think he and Rey could be twins because they looked about ten years apart in age in The Force Awakens. In The Last Jedi, Rey is almost older looking than Ben though it’s just the next day and it felt like they were setting them up to be twins like Luke and Leia. 

But of course, Rian won’t let us have that joy or obvious plot point. He had Kylo Ren tell her that she’s a nobody. I hope that Kylo is lying and I don’t doubt when Abrams comes back for 9, he’ll make Rey be who he had in mind all along, whoever that is. It still felt like that she is Leia and Han’s daughter in this movie though Ben Ren says no.

The Money Shot
I am torn about the shirtless Adam Driver scene. Of course, I loved it since Kylo Ren is my favourite character but it didn’t feel Star Wars, it felt exploitive even though I'm the target audience for that lovely exploiting. Also, when Rey was disgusted by his hotness, that threw out any Reylo romance some of us were wondering about in the back of our minds, but of course, she might be protesting too much, it's hard to say since Daisy isn't the strongest of actors. There is still something between them and that will be played out in 9. 

I don’t think any Star Wars character has been shirtless like that, I don't think, ever. Or maybe I didn't pay attention. The only main character I can think of that comes close is Leia running around in that bikini for a whole movie. But in the seventies/eighties, all movie women ran around in bikinis, so it wasn’t like it was a strange idea. But Kylo in his muscular hotness, whoa! 

Was hoping the doctor would come in and check on that lower hip wound...

I loved the mind stuff between Kylo and Rey. Love it so much. It was totally Star Wars and what I was hoping for.

I was confused about the Snoke stuff. I guess Rian hated the character and killed him off. We never got to see what training Kylo was supposed to get or even what Snoke wanted at all? So bizarre to toss away a villain like that. Not good story-telling in my book! Unless THAT Snoke was a hologram as well and he'll be back in 9!

We never saw Maize tell us about Luke’s saber or anything else that we thought we’d see. She just appears in a bubble for a minute. Maybe she’ll tell us stuff in 9 but we won’t care by then because everyone is dead.

Oh, My Darling Luke...
I’m torn about Luke’s storyline. I think that drama should have been saved for 9. Much of what was in 8 seemed like it should have been dragged out for 9 instead of dismissed or ignored. I hope Luke comes back as a Force Ghost at least. Who knows? Maybe he’s not dead at all? Maybe JJ Abrams will figure out how to make him Not Dead. Maybe that was the plan all along, that we think he dies  and spreads the Force out into the Universe, or maybe he's not dead at all and comes back stronger. 

I agree with many fans that this is not how Luke should have died. This is not how Luke should have evolved. But it’s Rian’s movie and he gets to do what he wants regardless of us emotional old people who loved Luke since we first saw him run out of his hut on Tatooine in 1977 and our expectations.

Like seriously, it was weird.

Gotta Keep Killing in the Family
Luke was facing off against his own nephew. He couldn’t kill him when he was a child or so the convoluted storyline went which may or may not have been lies by Snoke or Luke or Ben so why does he do it now when Kylo Ren is an adult and even stronger? And why wouldn’t Luke go and try to talk to Ben instead of trying to kill him? Why didn’t Luke at least go see his sister and comfort her over the death of Han?

I have soooo many questions about that motivation of Hologram Luke VS Kylo and the Bad Guys. Yes, I heard Luke say he couldn’t go by himself in person and do it, yet somehow he could do it as a distant hologram? I don’t get it at all. There was no indication that Yoda and Obi Wan and perhaps even Anakin were mists in his cells who helped him battle.

Maybe I’ll figure it out better when I see it again.

Porgs and Others
 I thought I’d hate the porgs but I didn’t. They were used wisely.

Captain Phasma was wasted. I had looked forward to seeing her climb out of the trash pit and perhaps facing off against Finn but nope.

I teared up every time Carrie Fisher was onscreen. I didn’t really like the superman bit but I’m sure it will grow on me.

I really liked the mother/son connection stuff.

I was pleased to see Billie Lourd in there quite a bit. I wonder if they’ll expand her in 9?

I could have totally done without the Finn and Rose subplot. There were too many stories. I like Finn and Rose but man, it was too much when we want to see what’s going down with Luke/Rey/Kylo.

3D Rocks
I saw it in 3D with AVX sound and it was fantastic! But I love 3D so can’t speak for people who don’t love it. I thought it was well done. Certainly this was an amazing spectacle with tons of action and creatures, planets and ships. Very cool!

I was thoroughly entertained although, like I said, a few moments of boredom or “man this is taking too long.” I went to the bathroom near what I thought was the end, around the time they got to the sandy place. Dorian filled me in after the movie and I hadn’t missed any plot.

There was a spot where I thought for sure they were going to end it, and I was going to scream and cry like when Rey held the lightsaber out to Luke in TFA, but then it kept going. I was happy it kept going but then was on edge because I knew it wouldn’t be long before it was over. But like I said, no real cliff-hanger.

Mark Hamill Had Great Acting
I thought Mark Hamill was amazing with some of the best acting of his career though I will admit I laughed at one spot inappropriately because his acting was so over the top in one tiny shot and that with the 3D it was like he was the Joker having a meltdown. I’m sure on my TV and not in 3D, it won’t look so manic though he certainly portrayed going mad with excellence!

So, I was conflicted when I watched the ending. I need to see it again because I was so overwhelmed with emotion and spectacle and 3D and see how I feel. I wanted Luke to hang around longer. I wanted him to train Rey, see Leia, give Kylo shit and so on instead of just hanging out on the mountain and dying. 

Or was he dead all along? 

Instead of giving us a side plot that wasn’t necessary with Finn and Rose, Rian could have spent more time with us watching Luke unravel after he tried to kill his nephew. 

So Many Questions
When did Ben leave the Academy? What did Ben do? Did he get up right away after he saw Luke standing over him and burn the place down? Did Ben come into Carrie-like rage powers and things blew up around him? When did he become Kylo Ren? When did he get his helmet? Will we see the metamorphosis flashback in 9? Maybe we’ll never know. This is, after-all the second part of a three-part story so there will still be unanswered questions and more mysteries.

Adam Driver was amazing. I was worried he’d overact or be too sucky or something, but he was spot on as the spoiled son with anger issues of Leia and Han.

Mark Hamill and Adam Driver play my favourite characters in the saga so it might be bias but I think they did the best jobs in the whole movie. They were really immersed. I never felt like they were just sitting around the Craft table moments earlier before stepping into their scenes, though they could have been, I don’t know.

I totally get why Driver isolated himself from the rest of the cast during filming. It's still the same day/next day/day after so Kylo is still angry and humiliated and now he's without a teacher and only partly trained  (whatever THAT means!) so he can't be joking around the Craft table with Hamill who had tried to kill him and then who will try to kill him again in an uncle nephew standoff. Kylo has to keep his rage intact and it totally shows on the screen. So good job, Adam Driver for staying isolated, it paid off.

If the story had gone how I had hoped, which was Rey spending weeks training with Luke and Kylo spending weeks training with Snoke, then that would be different. But this was all intensive, still the same day story stuff.

I was disappointed that there were no Knights of Ren. I wanted to know what had happened, who Ben left with and why and how they formed the Knights of Ren. I guess we’ll discover that in 9 since it’s only the next day. I’m sure when Kylo gets to make some kind of pompous speech to Rey, he’ll tell her about the Knights and we’ll discover if they are part of the First Order or what?

Science and Stuff
I’m not really nerdy enough to care about all the bad science and massive plot holes and logistics of space stuff. However, even I raised my eyebrow at a couple of things.

I’m going to wrap this up for now. I could go on forever about what I loved and what I’m conflicted about in The Last Jedi.

Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, it’s a great movie but merely one person’s vision of how the saga continues. If I hadn’t been looking forward to some answers, I would have enjoyed it more. If I hadn’t been losing my mind about what happened with Luke for decades, I wouldn’t have that sense of disappointment I have right now. I bet they edit that breast milk scene and it will never be seen again. I guess they have to smack us in the head that Luke is still a whiny baby. Jeeze, then everyone wonders why Kylo Ren is a whiny baby. Look at his uncle and grandfather.

Why did Snoke demand Kylo Ren get the map to Skywalker in TFA? What business did they have that they didn’t do? Or did he just want to kill him? Why? It seems like Luke is just sitting around doing nothing for the past couple of years or however long it was since Ben ran away. I’ll have to look up these timelines. Maybe Snoke's kid was at the academy and was killed and now Snoke wants revenge on Luke. I'm not convinced that Snoke is dead.
 The more I think about it, the more I’m sure that Kylo Ren is lying to Rey about her parentage. He’s just trying to put her down like when he sneered, “You…A Scavenger…” in TFA. That was my first thought when he said it in the movie as well. He's lying. Why should he tell her the truth?

I know that Rian is trying to change our vision of what The Force is and tells us, in true Disney fashion, that anyone can use it, but in the end, I think Abrams will take the story back to Rey being a Skywalker and Jedis being trained how to master The Force in a proactive manner.

That’s tonight’s musings. I’m sure I’ll change my mind in an hour.               

May the Force Be With You! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Getting Excited for The Last Jedi

No spoilers for The Last Jedi as I know NOTHING!
Spoilers for The Force Awakens, of course!

So it's been a couple of years. I've watched The Force Awakens a couple of times and some scenes, namely Kylo Ren scenes, many times. 

My favourite scenes are:

Kylo Torturing Rey
Kylo reading Rey's mind and she ends up reading his. 

There is so much in that scene that could lead to so many directions in the plot.

First, there is a sexual tension. They each think the other is hot. Kylo doesn't want to hurt her or he'd be angrier.

They might be brother and sister, or cousins, or something else somehow related which follows the Luke and Leia twins’ plot line. And we all can agree that The Force Awkens is pretty much A New Hope so I’m sure originally they were very much related.  I’m sure that has changed over the past two years as fan theories about “Reylo” abound.

We see The Darkside in Rey as she spits out Kylo's most secret pain. 

Although some people scoff at the use of lighting, I love how lighting is used throughout the whole movie, especially when Kylo Ren kills Han Solo.

I've written before how delighted I was when Kylo Ren removed his mask and wasn't a robot or demon. He was a very nice-looking man. In soft focus, Adam Driver looks like a Disney Prince.  And Kylo Ren has my favourite kind of hair: dark, long, and wavy. I'm sure Rey was delighted as well. 

Rey and Kyo Ren in the Woods
Rey in the woods after she has The Vision and Kylo Ren appears like a velociraptor from Jurassic World. I'd just seen Jurassic World the previous summer so dinosaurs in the forest were on my mind. I love how he holds his lightsaber against her. It's rather erotic yet scary at the same time. It reinforces that Kylo Ren is a psychopath if we haven't figured it out yet. I love how he scoops her up and carries her back to his Bat Plane like a Universal Pictures Monster.

I love his arrogance when he calls off the hunt for BB8. He thinks that he has all the answers, but he screwed up badly. He didn’t realize that he’d actually like her when he mind probes her later on. Poor Kylo is having a bad day and it’s barely begun.

Rey's Vision
The first time I saw this scene, I immediately thought of Hellraiser movies when the walls split open to reveal the Cenobites. I still think of it every time. I love when Luke’s hand touches R2D2. The first time I saw that, I thought we’d see Luke very soon. Boy, was I wrong! I still say that’s the Millennium Falcon flying away from Jakku. Other people say it was a trash ship or another ship. I still say it’s the MF! So Rey may be Ben’s sister or Luke’s daughter and Leia hid her so that Ben wouldn’t find her since he was turning to Snope and the Dark Side.

The LightSaber Battle
I love this fight scene between Kylo Ren and Rey. I love the music swelling as she pulls out the lightsaber from the snowbank even though it’s so hokey and corny and unsurprising. I thought for SURE Luke would walk out from the woods and do battle with Kylo Ren. Nope.

I love when Kylo and Rey have the blue saber up and red down in the snow as they come to a standstill. It’s scary and sexy.

I love when he says, “You need a teacher.” The whole scene has erotic undertones upon frequent viewing.

I love her face when she’s turning to the Dark Side. On first viewing, I thought she was channeling the Light Side of the Force but now I believe she’s channeling the Dark Side. So possibly a Skywalker.

It’s great when she’s circling Kylo Ren who is dying in the snow from his blaster wound in the abdomen and everything else, and she could totally take him out. Her look is pure evil. She hates him but she also is attracted to him, curious and doesn’t want to kill him just yet. Does she feel the pull of a brother? A cousin? A romantic attraction? Does she want to torture him, slice him up piece by piece? He could really be Darth Vader with no legs and arms.

But Chewbacca flies up in the MF. Is Han Solo on board? Did Chewy save him? Was the HS death a set-up between Han and Kylo to fool Snope and somehow get Kylo trained to the Light Side? Is Kylo The Last Jedi and Rey the new Darth Vader? Will the Knights of Ren join the Rebellion?

The End Scene
This scene traumatized me. It sounds like it traumatized Mark Hamill as well when he read the script for the first time. I had waited nearly forty years to find out what happened to Luke and the movie ended just as we saw him for the first time. FFS! It was so frustrating!

The Last Jedi Thoughts

I’ve spent the past two years going back and forth about various theories about where I think the story will go. The thing is, whatever they present as The Last Jedi, may or may not be even close to what was pitched years before. The writers may have noticed fans expectations and theories and tweaked plots/characters to avoid any Jar Jar situations.

So when it comes to Kylo Ren, who knows what happened with his story arc over the years? At first, he wasn’t well received and now, he’s likely the most popular new personality in the franchise.

I go back to the idea that I am torn in half about if he goes dark or light. However, to go light, he has to get a ton of forgiveness as he’s murdered tons of people. It’s not plausible he could be The Last Jedi. Hopefully he’ll get dark and evil and twisted. I’ve seen many fan theories and artwork over the year. Some maybe true, some may not. However, like any soap opera, comic book villain, he has to lose his handsome looks. The face scar is the beginning. He’ll likely lose a hand to be in step with the rest of the family. And some legs will likely go, if not this movie, the next one.

I like the idea of a romance between Rey and Kylo. That would be so cool. I wish there could be a parallel universe where that happens for a few weeks and then one of them has to die. However, for the Last Jedi, I’m sure they continue to battle. Maybe Rey will lose a hand.

Han Solo may come back. He may not have died. Kylo Ren Ben might have Force Healed him as he fell. You never know. And Chewbacca was in on it which is why he only wounded Kylo instead of  killing him. Doubtful but you never know.

Will Kylo Ren and General Leia have a light saber battle? What will Leia do about Han’s death? Or is he dead? Will there be a funeral? Flashbacks? Are there any flashbacks with Han and Luke discussing Ben or Rey or anything else? Is Rey Han Solo’s daughter with Laura Dern?

I imagine Luke trains Rey and they go back to see Leia. There is a Plan to take down the First Order. Leia and Rey have to confront Kylo at some point. Kylo continues his training with Snope. He is conflicted but eventually grows darker with rage at himself and the galaxy. He has to face off against Luke but I don’t know if they will drag that out to the third movie.

Will Billy Lourd be used more in the second movie? Will she become more prominent in the third movie as they have to replace Leia’s iconic role with another similar type person unless that’s Laura Dern?

Is Finn born to the Force?

I’m not too invested in the other stories as you can tell.

Well, I’d better get back to work. I have a million theories and they change by the minute. I’ve tried to avoid the TV spots but I’ve seen bits and pieces by accident. Hopefully there are no real spoilers in the teasers.

I'll know all in just over a week. 


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Halloween Happenings with Sèphera Girón

No automatic alt text available.

I have been invited to Vaughan Fan Con!

I will have a table where I will be reading tarot cards and selling Weird Tales of Terror! I'm giving a presentation on Ghost Hunting at 1 pm on October 21. 

On October 26, we are officially launching Group Hex 2! We are also celebrating Halloween with Drag Queens and readings at Glad Day Bookstore. The event is FREE so please come on by and listen to us creep you out for an hour or so.

Hot off the press just in time for Halloween, Group Hex 2 is finally here!

On October 27, Good Job Sally, a Toronto dance company, is holding a fund-raiser at BDX studios in Toronto at 819 Bloor Street at Yonge and Bloor. The event is FREE but is pay what you can! Since interest has already been huge, they are running two shows that night.

The show itself is a story with a few pieces choreographed by Dorian Grant and performed by members of the Good Job Sally Dance Company. There will be some raffles to help with fund-raising. Although they are performing this night a short show, the goal is to raise money to mount a full show at a proper theatre as they did last year to rave reviews.

On October 27th, get Grimm with Good Job Sally as they welcome you to their twisted fairy tale party. Find out what happens when a trickster Fairy, sly Wolf, “charming” Prince and unsuspecting Beauty get together for an evening of mystery, mischief and… murder! 

Kick off Halloween weekend with your favourite creepy, crawly dance ensemble as we perform an original mini-show just for you! With a special guest performance by the Giggle Queens (

Friday, October 27th
Doors open at 7pm
Show starts at 7:30pm
Pay What You Can (at the door - min $5)
BDX Studio
819 Yonge Street (Toronto)

Sponsored by BDX - Byfield Dance Experience

We'll be having a bake sale, as well as a silent auction with some fantastic prizes to bid on including:
- an 11-Week Session of Hip Hop or Tap for 2 at BDX Studio (a $700 value)
- a package of 2 Private Dance Lessons in Any Style with GJS Artistic Director, Dorian Grant (a $120 value)
- and more!

All proceeds will be going towards Good Job Sally’s sophomore theatre production set to hit the stage in late 2018.

Follow us on Instagram for some behind-the-scenes fun: @goodjobsally

We can't wait to see you!


So there you have it! Readings and dancing from some of Toronto's finest talent! Come on out or if you can't come out, consider buying a copy of Group Hex 2 and donating a buck or two to Good Job Sally!

We managed one last quick trip up to Canada's Wonderland last week before the season is over.
One day I'll get the nerve up to apply to be a tarot reader at their Halloween Haunt attractions.

The line for Vortex was too long....

Nothing says "scary" like riding Leviathan!

Spiders from Mars

Friday, October 6, 2017

Halloween Treats and Tricks! Free Scary Books!

Happy Halloween!

I have a few things to share with you!

First, the FREEBIES!

On October 7 and 8, you can enjoy FREE copies of the ebook of Captured Souls!

Captured Souls was first published by Samhain Horror and edited by Don D'Auria a couple of years ago. Scarlett Publishing has now released it as both an ebook and print book.

Please enjoy the FREE ebook of Captured Souls but you must download it on Saturday or Sunday from to get it.

On Saturday, October 7, you can download a FREE ebook of A Penny Saved! This book is only free for one day as it was already free for several days recently.

This was the last book that Samhain Horror published by me. It is also edited by Don D'Auria.

I have a brand new story in this special Halloween bundle! There are tons of award-winning authors in this bag of horrors, so grab it today!

Don't forget you can order Intersections: Six Tales of Ouija Horror anytime!
My novella is about the magicians Danny and Annie and their hijinks with an ouija board.

You can read a bunch of scary stories by award-winning authors in Group Hex 1 which is still on a HUGE sale of .99 for the ebook! It's also available in print for only $10!

Don't forget that leaving reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, no matter if you like the book or hate it, greatly helps your favourite authors to rise in the rankings! We appreciate all of your reviews. We realize it takes time out of your life to read a book and review it, so thank you!

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.