Celebrating October!!

This October I did a lot of things. I didn’t post as much as I wanted to, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have quite the spooky and wonderful October!

One of the highlights was watching Shane Dawson’s Episodes of the making of the Conspiracy pallet! Which I am saving up money for so I can purchase the bundle with the lipsticks and lip balms when they do a full restock in 2020. I was so excited when they announced that the collection was going to be permanent because it’s the first makeup I’ve ever been excited about buying and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Another big YouTube thing that happened was Markiplier’s: A Heist with Markiplier! I watched it and got every single ending and I was never more proud of one of my all time favorite You-tubers!

As for the spooky things I watched, I finally got to watch Annabel: Comes Home on a rental DVD with my sister. It was really nice because for some reason the dvd wouldn’t work in our tv DVD player, but it worked on the computer DVD player and we watched it being forced to sit closer then usual and it felt like a nice bonding experience with my sister.

I also watched The Exorcist tv show seasons 1 & 2, Uncanny Annie, They come Knocking, a weird movie called New Year, New You, and both seasons of Scream Queens. I enjoyed the majority of what I watched and it was for the most part a nicely spooky time for me.

Then, on November 3rd I went to six flags fright fest, which was fun, but there wasn’t that many monsters. I went with my sister her friend Tony and his nephew Andrew and really I barely know either of them so the only person I had to protect me from scares was myself. This lead for me to develop my own “I’m not scared” technique of smiling like a mannequin while walking in scare zones and being as ridged as possible while I’d get monsters growling in my ear. As well as staring down any monster in my sight, because if I see them coming I’m way less scared.

The whole time I meant to post about some of the movies I watched, but towards the last two weeks I got distracted and the last week of October and into November some personal things happened that lead me to have a short bought of anxiety and sadness. I got over it much more quickly then I have before and I feel great now. It’s just sometimes things happen that hit you hard when your not suspecting it.

All in all, I had an incredible October. I listened to my Halloween playlist non-stop. I added many songs to it (I love it even more now then ever). I wore my spooky earrings all month long (I’m in need of getting myself more cause you can never have too many spooky earrings). I bought two adorable Halloween mugs and I finally got an adorable Hocus Pocus Sweatshirt from Hot Topic that I had my eyes on since I first saw it. I also got another vampire t-shirt that I want to wear all the time.

I love October and I adore Halloween. Something about the spooky season lifts up my spirits and makes me feel so alive. I love how everyone puts on whatever costume they like and become macabre character versions of themselves. I love the horror and the exploration of all our greatest fears. I love the decorations and the dark vibe Halloween has. It’s a wonderful season and I enjoyed every moment of it!

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! What did you do for Halloween? Did you dress up? Did you watch some spooky films? How do you love to celebrate the season?

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The Ballad of Black Tom: A Review

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

Cover Rating: 9/10 Stars! I love this cover! I love the nods to Cthulhu in the tentacles. I love the contrast of the art piece. It’s just Tom holding his guitar looking like he’s about to go do something intense. The only word to describe this cover properly is badass.

Publisher: Tor

Publish Date: February 16th, 2016

Number of Pages: 149

Received: Through the Tor monthly sci-fi/fantasy book club

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

“People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?”

Opening Sentence: “People who move to New York always make the same mistake.”

Musings:

The Ballad of Black Tom is a wonderful nod to one of the greatest horror writers of all time H.P. Lovecraft. I haven’t read much of Lovecraft’s work, only The Call of Cthulhu, but I really enjoyed reading that story. It’s a good one. Lovecraft had a talent and passion for horror like no other. Even so, I could recognize the nods to Lovecraft’s style in the way the story was approached. Something not quite fantasy or sci-fi, but could only be explained as otherworldly. Even as it is very much set within the world we live in.

What I Loved:

The writing. Victor created atmosphere with the way he choose his details. He brought you into New York of the time period and it felt like you could smell the smoke. You could imagine the stares. The many white folk growing uncomfortable in the presence of a black man.

The places. I could imagine each place things occurred in my head. It wasn’t too much description, but just enough. When places were revisited more then once you could imagine that place again and it felt like the same place. The description was very well handled.

The story took after Lovecraft in a great way. This story was all it’s own, however it felt like a Lovecraft story. The way the horror was woven in. The way things go from kinda off to very wrong. It felt very much within the brand of Lovecraft and I really enjoyed that.

It kept me in the halloween mood. Even if this story didn’t creep me out. It did feel very horror-esque. It reminded me of what I love most about the season. What horror does. Tom is a man fighting to stay a good man. Just trying to survive, but when someone gets pushed too far you have to wonder what they’ll do when they just don’t care anymore.

Grey morality. I love books where morality isn’t black and white. In life morality isn’t black and white. Humans are the most terrifying of creatures. That is something I will always keep in mind. It isn’t just the actions Tom takes. It’s the actions of others that lead him to make the choices he did. We all like to think we are completely independent, but how you are treated in life is often majorly impactful on how you choose to act. Even that thought can be terrifying.

The guitar case. For some reason the simplicity of Tom carrying this guitar, the mystery of it made me more and more intrigued by the story. It’s not anything grand and yet the connection between it, Tom, his father, and magic is undeniable. I really loved that about this book.

Final Thoughts:

The Ballad of Black Tom is well worth the read. It’s perfect to put you in the mood for this dark holiday season. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, and horror all rolled into one. I think Lovecraft is smiling in his grave with the thought of inspiring such a atmospheric horror novel written in his honor.

About the Author:

Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle’s DESTROYER.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.

He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.

He can be kind of hard to reach, but he still loves you.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments. Let me know any horror recommendations you may have for me. I’d love to put together a list.

-Till next time!

Murder House

Enticed by a price

Cheaper then any other

For a house of grandeur

Whose outside was beautiful

The inside hid great and dreadful horrors

Horrors that make your insides twist

Make what you’ve eaten want to come out

Yet, you didn’t know so you bought

You bought and for a while All was fine

Till you heard scratches in the walls

Screams you’d thought were nightmares

Crumbs appear where you’d thought you’d cleaned up

Things disappearing and reappearing where you didn’t have them placed

You convince yourself

I’m paranoid

Everything is fine

Yet the subtle insanity creeps into you

Until things escalate in slow calculation

The smallest drop of blood on the carpet

A scratch on the wall your sure wasn’t there before

Loud breathing above you as you sleep alone

Yet you still think it was a dream

Then suddenly it grows bolder

You have scratches on your body

Bruises you don’t remember receiving

You step on a piece of shattered glass

Yet you hadn’t dropped anything since you arrived

You start your bath and leave to get something to eat and you come back to scalding water

You run through your mind every small event

They twist into each other and your mind starts to crack

Broken lights that shouldn’t be broken

That one drop of blood to that stench of urine

The stench you’d smell sitting in the living room

Your hand holding the remote searching for just the right thing to watch

the crack becomes a fracture and you put your head in your hands

You scream and scream and you hear laughter and you scream and scream and tears fall as you scream

When it comes for you from behind you had finally gone quiet, but it whispers in your ear

And then it leaves you alone

Because it is not done playing

You’ve had enough you try to leave

You make it outside

Spend a week away with a friend

Then you come back

Because it sounds like a nightmare and you’ve never before been afraid of the dark

That was the last time you’d ever leave that house

And the monster laughs and laughs and laughs

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little poem. It was fun to write. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Featuring October’s Ya Releases

I need to preface this by saying.. this is and isn’t an anticipated reads post. Last month I didn’t have the time to come up with an Anticipated reads post like I usually come up with one. Things have been crazy, and maybe I admit to a little indulgence when it comes to sleep. When I say this I mean sometimes past 8 hours. It actually has a tendency to make me more tired instead of less or just as tired if I have less sleep. Anyway, I didn’t get it done, but I did make a list of the books I wanted to read. Sadly, I don’t have time to talk about them. For that I apologize.

Here they all are, enjoy all the gorgeous covers! There are quite a few this month!

Looking at all these books, all 49 of them, I can’t help but feel guilty. I have so much to say about them. Just no time to say it. I have to move on to next months releases. It’s been hard recently and I’ve been re-configuring how to be productive to the best of my abilities. It isn’t really an excuse. I don’t know how many of you look forward to these posts, but they mean a lot to me. Anyway I promise I’ll have a November post up. I’ll do my best to keep up with these as well as I can.

Thanks for reading! What book are you looking forward to most this month? Which cover above caught your eye?

-Till next time!

What Halloween Means to Me

Halloween is a time where children especially enjoy dressing up and getting ready to go grab themselves as much candy as they can. However.. as simple as that is. There is something more to Halloween then that. Especially to me.

Halloween is a time where everything that you are or want to be can come out to play. It’s where your fears come to the forefront and everything that makes your gut twist takes center stage. It makes your darkest fantasies come to mind and play out in front of you in the shadows. That monster under your bed feels very real during this one month.. or day for those of you who don’t engage in halloween festivities in the month leading up to it.

It’s a time when me and my sister feel the closest. We both love Halloween equally as much. It’s our lifeblood. All year we watch horror movies in the house. Yet, this one month we make it a point to watch as many as we can together. Way back when my tiptoe into horror was watching paranormal investigation with my sister. Then slowly I let myself sit down and watch.. really watch.. horror movies. As time went on I learned something about my fear and now I don’t feel it. Not like before. I crave horror movies now. I adore watching people play scary games (especially with a story). I have a blast listening to halloween music. Halloween is something that really brings out my happiness.

You know what else is cool about Halloween? Because anyone can be anything it is a time where EVERYONE is accepted. Anyone can dress up. Anyone can be who they want to be. It’s all in good fun. We acknowledge that we are all human beings living afraid on Halloween. We embrace our fears. Raise a glass to them. Thank them for keeping us alive. From keeping us living from doing something too stupid. Hoping that we aren’t touched by what fears us, but knowing we will be during this time, because that’s the point.

During this one time of the year I embrace the dark. I consider it even. What makes it real. What makes us afraid of it. Then I realize humans are the real monsters and in my mind I take a dance with my own fearful imaginings. Who, but us, celebrates all that is death, decay, bloody, and awful for a whole month? Not any creatures that I can name. It’s just us. Yet, it’s glorious.. because illusion and beauty and pain and fantasy all come out to play. We pay to experience horror and be fooled by people just like us scaring in suits and behind masks. We are good at it too both actor and participant. Because the actor becomes what we fear something otherworldly and dark. Yet we decide for just a little while to suspend our disbelief and wonder.. what if our nightmares came to life?

That is what Halloween means to me. It Letting go and setting your demons free. Embracing your humanity. Embracing the one thing that binds us all.. death.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

-Till next time!

Watching Visage: Jackspeticeye Playthrough

disclaimer *Jack is playing an early access version so some of my criticism might be things that are fixed for the full game*

As a horror junkie, I try every year to watch the play throughs of the years most anticipated horror games. Jack’s thumbnail describes Visage as one of the most terrifying games in years, but sadly, I didn’t get scared once. Honestly, I think I’m immune to horror that is too complacent.. with little story. Basically, a spooky house with the rare ghostly appearance doesn’t do it for me. Plus, hearing jack struggle with controls and the weird storage system brought me out of it. For the first time, a game gave me a headache with all the camera flashing. I had to stop watching after a while.

I was thrown off a lot because while there is a small bit of story the nuggets were too small and while I get that they were trying not to overdo things I honestly think that it made it feel underdeveloped. It felt like the player had to do too much tedious things with very little direction and in the end there didn’t feel like a real point to it.

I don’t know maybe I’m a little spoiled when it comes to horror. I’m really passionate about the horror games I’ve watched in the past that I think were so well done. Games like Until Dawn, doki doki literature club, Resident evil 7, outlast, and the amnesia games. In light of those.. each with moments that terrified me to the point of me jumping and throwing my phone.. except doki doki.. that’s more psychological horror. Visage didn’t scare me at any point. I feel bad. I really wanted it to be good, but I could not get into it. Sadly this game is not my cup of tea.

I would go on, but the thing is I’ve pretty much covered everything. That makes me really sad to say. Watching this is watching a lot of opening drawers and a lot of picking up items and a lot of imagining things happening and little small cheap horror cliches that are freaky in real life, but I’m tired of seeing them in so many movies and horror games. I appreciate what they were trying to do I really do, but for me it didn’t work. I’m sadly pretty disappointed.

Thanks for reading! What are some of your favorite horror games? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

-Till next time!

Watching Death Note: The Netflix Version

On October 2nd, I decided it was a good time to watch a movie on Netflix because it would be the last day I would have it. So I chose Death Note. I loved the anime when I watched it way back and I thought why not?

I think that making such an epic anime and trying to condense it into a movie length was a bit of a mistake. It missed so much of what made Death note so good. If I had watched the movie without knowing what the anime was like, I probably would have enjoyed it so much more, but knowing the anime, this version of it felt like a pale comparison.

I couldn’t even get into the way they designed Ryuk. They could have gone in a much better direction with the way they designed his face.

Is it scary? Yes. But they made it look more cartoonish then the anime.. I don’t know how? They tried for realism and got the opposite. I look at Ryuk and I get taken out of the story because I don’t really believe that he would look like this.

The biggest issue I had with this movie however.. is that it white-washes a story very much set in Japanese culture. It white-washed the whole thing and it wasn’t good as a movie at all. Yeah, some of the visuals were interesting. But the whole story was lost. The culture of Death Note and everything that made it great was striped away.

We don’t need another white guy playing the role that’s meant to be Japanese or any other culture. There is too much of that. I don’t have anything against the actors themselves, but who decided to do so in the first place. From that moment on.. the whole entire story was ruined. They could have made a much better story if they’d decided to hire people that are actually Japanese and care about Japanese culture and want to tell the story right.

So.. instead of watching Death Note on Netflix, I’m going to see if I can watch the 2006 version of the movie that is done right.

Something I would have done in the first place if I had known. It’s so nice to look at this poster and feel that L looks like L.. If I can find and watch this maybe I’ll do another post on the Japanese version of the movie.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.

-Till next time!

Creating the Ultimate Halloween Playlist

I woke up this morning feeling so good.. Recently, I’ve woken up like that a LOT and it feels fantastic. Honestly, right before October I was in a huge Christmas mood and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fully get into the spirit of October, but I needn’t have worried. I am in such a horror mood right now and I am loving it!

Honestly, there is one song in particular that inspired me to make a Halloween playlist for the first time.. it’s called ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ by Avenged Sevenfold. Anyone who knows me in real life would ask me what happened to me that I ended up listening to bands like this and started really enjoying them. I mean, EDM will always have my heart, but it really does feel good to rock out to some of these songs. Anyway, when I heard ‘A Little Piece of Heaven’ for the first time I smiled from ear to ear, because it was perfect for Halloween. Absolutely perfect! I highly recommend giving it a listen..unless you don’t like songs that have strong language then don’t give it a listen, but you have to try and listen to those first few notes and tell me that it’s not pure halloween music.

Anyway, after that I had to make a playlist of songs that made me feel like I was in a Halloween experience. Songs that brought memories of going to freight night and dressing up as a kid trick or treating. Songs that brought to the surface what Halloween represents to me. A dark, celebratory time of facing fear in the eye without blinking. Of letting ourselves accept fear as a part of our lives that we shouldn’t turn away from. A time where we are a little bit braver. A time where there is a very real twisted magic in the air. Where our darkest imaginings walk free. A time where we are open with ourselves and each other that yes we are terrified. We are all terrified of something. Yet, we can express that terror and laugh about it and enjoy times with people we care about.

So this playlist is something special to me. I don’t know if I’ll be ‘done’ with it.. I don’t think I’m ever ‘done’ with a playlist. But, I will send you all the link to it here!

It has some classic Halloween songs. You can’t have a Halloween playlist without Thriller or This is Halloween. If you have any recommendations of some of your favorite Halloween jams to add to it let me know. Listening to this playlist makes me feel so happy. It feels so celebratory of a part of me that doesn’t come to life, but a very short time of a year. No matter what I want to enjoy this time. So I will. Because life.. life is far to short to let go of what’s good when it’s found.

Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoy the playlist. I hope that it reminds you all of the joy of Halloween. A time where belief and reality have a very thin line. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! Have a wonderful spooky month ahead!

-Till next time!

My Top 10 Favorite Horror Movies

I’m in a really fantastic mood right now. It’s spooky month and I am so ready to live my best life watching some spooky movies and play throughs of horror games. One thing that surprises a lot of people when I mention this after getting to know me is that I ADORE horror movies and the whole genre in general. I love spooky shows, and spooky books, and going to six flags horror nights (when I have the chance). It’s something that I live for.

So I am so excited to share with you all my top 10 horror movies in no particular order:

1. Mama

So this is my favorite horror movie. I know I said no particular order, but I had to mention Mama first. I love it for so many reasons. It’s a family movie. I don’t mean it’s not scary.. I just mean it’s about family. Two sisters being raised by a ghost found in the woods to be taken in by a family and followed closely by their ghost mom. This makes it sound weirder then it is. Actually this movie made me cry the first few times I watched it. It’s so good!

2. Get Out

This movie deserves all the applause it gets. It touches on so many interesting elements. At first I had no clue where it was going, but when all becomes revealed at the end.. it has one amazing ending. Plus, it has some elements of humor in it and in a horror I really appreciate that. It was tastefully done.

3. The Conjuring 2

Of the movies in The Conjuring Universe this is the one that will be playing in my house almost twice a month. It’s such a fun movie. The romantic elements are really sweet and then the actual story is interesting. I really love this one.

4. Veronica

This is a horror movie completely in Spanish. I could not find subtitles for it so it made me feel really good about my Spanish skill to realize I didn’t really need it. I love the visuals in this movie. I also love just in general how creepy and awesome it was. It was a horror movie done right. I really enjoyed it.

5. It

I honestly think they did a really good job with this adaption of ‘it’ it actually made me laugh? I love when horror makes me laugh. All I can think of is the image in my head of Pennywise and how awful it is. Very well done.

6. A Quiet Place

They did an AMAZING job with this movie. The way they played with sound was awesome. It actually impacted me emotionally. It made me think of so many things about what living in a world like that would be like. Plus it is another family movie.. and they dynamics of it were just so well done.

7. Carrie

This movie is a classic and most of the time I don’t like older films, but this movie was genuinely really good. It genuinely made me feel something and I cared about the characters. There is no other version of this I can accept out there.

8. The Lost Boys

Another classic.. for me I love this because I can hear the music in my head just by looking at the poster. It’s a really great movie. I just have so many memories of watching over and over with my sister and this one has to make this list.

9. The Amityville Horror

I’m showing the (2005) version with Ryan Reynolds because I love Ryan, but honestly.. most versions work here.. I’ve watched a ton of Amityville movies.. some terrible.. some great. I can’t really recall them all they all bleed together, but I can honestly say that the story of this house is one that will haunt the world into eternity.. this list wouldn’t be right without it.

10. The Ring (all of them)

I love the ring movies.. I love the imagery of something crawling out of your television screen and into real life. I love the video that started it all. I love all of it. It’s not the best in the world, but for me.. I really love it as a whole.

Honorable mentions:

11. The Grudge

I have to mention this movie.. it’s one of the first I actually forced myself to watch and I was hiding behind my hands disturbed. I watched it with my uncle and my cousins.. it’s one of the few memories I have with my uncle so it is still special to me.

12. It Follows

I finally watched this.. maybe two weeks ago. But an old friend of mine asked me and everyone else he knew to watch it (almost 2 years ago) and the entire time all I could think that the movie was so him in every way. It’s a good movie.. not my style, but 12 was always both of our favorite numbers and in a way.. watching this and talking about this feels like commemorating him and the impression he made on my life in a nice way. It just feels right.

13. The Boy

The Boy.. and Annabelle.. all the creepy dolls of horror.. I adore those movies. I have to mention them. The Boy was really well done and it’s on par with Annabelle as my favorites of this genre of horror.

Thanks for reading! What made me really happy was to realize that even though this list is long.. there are so many other movies I could have mentioned. I feel really good about myself.. like I am the horror junkie I proclaim myself to be. This puts me in the best mood ever for Halloween. I feel proud.

What are your favorite horror films?

October Plans

Usually right now, I’d be writing a TBR post, but now that I don’t have Netgalley on my back making sure I read certain books is not something I can do. I mean I could try, but I want to live in my freedom for a while!

So instead, I want to talk about what I have planned for October.

It’s spooky month so.. of course there are a few things I HAVE to do. One.. read at least one spooky book.. it will probably be Merciless.. that pink witchy book has been calling my name for over a year now. Two.. I will be writing as much as I can towards my psychological horror novel. Three.. is to watch at least one horror movie/play-through of a horror game every weekend.. maybe I will do a post about what I watch each weekend.. that might be fun.. Four.. It’s my blogoversery month!!! On October 14th, 2018 my blog will be 2 years old!!!! I have a very very special thank you post discussing just how important this blog has become to me in the past two years.

Other then all of that, I don’t really know what to expect for this month. Life has thrown at me so many twists and turns recently that I really don’t know what to do sometimes other then go with the flow of it. Either way no matter what comes my way this month I’m determined to tackle it!

Thanks for reading! What are your plans for October? What are your currently reading? What book do you think your going to pick up next?

-Till next time!