Monday, October 29, 2012

10/12 Media of the Month: V/H/S

Horror fans rejoice! I was recently alerted to this indie horror movie by a warped friend of mine (*waves at Michan*) and I've gotta say, V/H/S was a lot of fun to watch. The movie is comprised of 6 horrifying vignettes--each one directed by a different director. Delicious gory mayhem. And surprisingly underexposed. If you're a fan of horror movies and you're looking for something fresh and new, don't pass this movie up! It'll be sure to please this Halloween, I guarantee it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Smexxxy Friday (More Tarantino)

I'm sorry but...this just makes me sob with laughter every time I watch it. Fucking Grindhouse. I love Quentin Tarantino! Thanksgiving and Don't are my favorites. Hoping all you minions have a fantabulous Halloween this year! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who hates angst?

Modern readers shy away from angst, methinks. *sigh* But when done correctly, angst can be one of my most favorite things to read!

Some of my more recent favorites: Jhumpa Lairi, Toni Morrison, and Khaled Housseini. However most scholars would not call these writers "angst." There's a difference between describing a cultural/racial/feminist disadvantage and whining about the mundane (which "angst" tends to be) Traditional angst: Sylvia Plath, Tennessee Williams, J. D. Salinger, etc. 

I guess angst appeals to me because the crux of it centers around the "outsider looking in" idea. And as a black queer female, I'm drawn to that! 

Angst-ridden stories are more "real" to me. Perhaps, because they speak closer to my life experiences. Life is not a picnic. Shit happens. And I prefer reading about the grit and the sweat than the crap where everyone gets a cookie at the end. The human condition is ugly. People are ugly. You can run away from these unpleasant realities or you can try to clean it up. Naturally, I attempt to clean "the shit" by writing about it. 

There's REAL angst (Khaled Housseini's "A Thousand Splendid Suns" or Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart") and then there's "lite angst" (F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" etc.) However who's to say one person's life-experience is more angsty/socially relevant than another's? But it would be nice to read more angst that does not involve privileged teenagers and or their suburbanite parents. I'm just sayin.' do we really need another version of American Beauty? 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Smexxxy Friday (From Dusk Till Dawn)

Hell yesssssssssssss! Selma Hayek before she...y'know...turns into a vampire and kills everybody.

Aforementioned killing of everybody... 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cosmic Horror (a la Lovecraft)

Time for another horror lesson, minions. It is important to keep to a certain "style" when you're writing literary horror. There are expected tropes and rules to follow. After I finished writing my tentacle story, I went to THIS WEBSITE  to double-check my math. The editor who inspired my tentacle WIP had asked for a "Lovecraftian" style. Little did she know I'm a huge fan of cosmic horror and absurdist/existential philosophy. Angst, Nihilism, and Psychological Trauma are my favorite toys to play with! Authentic "Lovecratftian-inspired" works must have these themes! Some of my favorite tropes of the genre:

1. The apocalyptic log.  Bwahaha, oh god! This article cracked me up (especially the picture of the dude getting eaten by the crocodile) I think South Park made fun of this with the killer guinea pig episode. Why must the terrorized victim always record everything in a diary/video? Obviously, so we (the audience) can see it as if the events are occurring in "real time." The absurdity of this trope makes it all the more entertaining! In real life, I DOUBT a frightened person is actually going to do this. "Hey Mr. Monster, can you hold on a second? Lemme grab my camera or pen so I can record all the gorey shit you're doing. Yes, that's a better angle. OK please continue devouring my legs now. Thanks."

2. The Eldritch Abomination. So at the heart of every Lovecraftian story is its monster. Your monster can't be a serial killer or a brainless werewolf, zombie, vampire, [insert any other clich├ęd creature here]. Your monster has got to be something so fantastical and strange, it mind-rapes the other characters just by existing in the story! An Eldritch Abomination has no logical purpose but to destroy everything around it and or to drive the other characters insane. These otherworldly creatures live in different realms and operate in an alternate universe. Eldritch Abominations are worshipped as God-like or Satan-like entities because most humans are too insignificant to pose a threat. And since the Eldritch Abomination's motivations are rarely explained, there is seldom a resolution at the story's conclusion.

3. The Complete Breakdown of the Human Psyche. No link for this one--pretty self-explanatory, don't you think? Some examples of this would be movies like 1408, Black Swan, Sucker Punch, and Psycho. A Lovecraftian horror story psychologically BREAKS its characters. And I do enjoy breaking my characters! I fuck with them to the point their minds literally snap and they go mad. This breakdown should occur slowly...gradually. You let the reader witness the full devolution from start to finish. Increase the intensity over time until the climax and then ram your character into the ground so they are left twitching, dazed, and unresponsive! It's fun to write and fun to read! Psychological horror is a personal favorite of mine! It relieves a lot of my stress to torture my fictional characters, ha! 

4. The Existential Angst, Absurdism, and Absence of Religion. Not going to get "wonky" on you (Paul Ryan reference, heh!) but to understand Lovecraft you have to understand a little bit about philosophy. When I started reading Lovecraft in high school, I also started reading Nietzsche, Kant, and Jung. (Yes...I was a hardcore nerd even in high school, minions) I can't explain these philosophical principles in detail (it would take too long and my attention-span is too short) but in a nutshell the Lovecraftian philosophy is this: human life is meaningless and the pursuit to find meaning is and of itself a meaningless exercise. Get it? Got it? No? Check out the links. Think Franz Kafka or Albert Camus. That'll give you a better idea what I'm talking about. 

So yeah. My tentacle story has all four of these principles. However unlike most horror stories, I caved and wrote a happily-ever-after ending. *sigh* It just would have been too depressing (and I think less marketable) had I wrote a true absurdist conclusion where everyone dies at the end. Aaaaand since this story is technically an erotic romance, I do intend to publish it at a small-press. That is, IF I can finish my query letter before Halloween. Ughhh! I really did enjoy writing this story and if it ever sees the light of day, I will be inspired to write more erotic horror! It is 50K words! I cannot believe I wrote it in such a short period of time! Over and out, minions! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fiction Snob

This term was applied to me recently. And you know what? I'm proud to be a "fiction snob." I've been reading for as long as I could hold a book--and I kinda know now what I like and what I don't. I'm the type of reader who reads an entire book in one sitting. I'm fast. If I'm feeling motivated, I can read two books in a day. My tastes vary--I like non-fiction and fiction equally, but I'm very particular about fiction. I don't like fiction that does not make me think. Or fiction that just sits there like a blob on the page and doesn't move. Your book can't only be about your characters "doing stuff." I want a deeper message. Engage me. Teach me something. Force me to re-categorize my cognitive schemas. Show me a different point of view. My brain likes to be put to use. If that makes me a "snob" then I'll proudly wave that flag! Perhaps I'm pretentious. My nickname in high school was "The Incredible Socrates." But I've always enjoyed thinking. And written words are like food for my brain. 

Sharing ideas. Communication. All wonderful things for (blowhard) writers like me! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Smexxxy Friday (Fever)

I'm referring to the new micro-flash anthology I purchased yesterday. Literary erotica, minions. A thousand times YES! It's about damn time! This anthology reads like poetry. Each little nibble is 100 words long--and there are 100 of them. So if you dig beautiful poetry and erotica, go ahead and buy this book! It's only $3. Buy HERE.  Me gusta! *swoon* 

Although I read tons of erotic novels, I don't like 90% of what I read. Most of it can I put this nicely? Cheap? Fluff? Predictable? But due to my fondness for smut, I continue buying it. 

I don't want to read about two bodies doing X and Y. That's boring and unimaginative. I also don't want to read a syrupy romance about a Scottish Highlander/Vampire King/Rich Executive/Bad Boy who is tamed by Virginal Girl Next Door either. Most heterosexual erotica bores me to tears because I just don't find these hypersexualized alpha male tropes sexy. 

M/M (yaoi) was my thing in high school. Now that I'm an adult I can see how most M/M borderlines offensive fetish-ing of gay men. Real LGBT characters/authors are so rare, I've given up looking for them. So I settle for LesBi erotica these days. I prefer erotica that focuses more on women and less on penis-worship. Also, I just happen to think women are sexier than men. *grin* Any author who appreciates the unique beauty/sexuality of a woman's body gets major fangirl points from me! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Smexxxy Friday

I've been lazy as hell for the past two or three weeks. Haven't updated my blog in like forever. Sorry, minions. Since I can't embed the video here, click on the link if you want to see this week's Smexxxy Friday offering. Hint: it involves massive hemorrhaging and blatant pornographic double entendres. 

Yes, Alucard is one sexy vampire! 

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