Reposts/Reblog Shares

Victorian Monsters

A concise summary on some Victorian Monster types and archetypes. Recommend it for any horror enthusiast out there. Please remember to give it a thumbs up on the author’s page if you like this read.

Andrew McDowell

I’ve always been a fan of horror fiction, and every October I watch scary movies all month long. During my first semester at St. Mary’s College, I took a Freshman Seminar called Victorian Monsters and Modern Monstrosities. Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black introduced us (we came to be known as “Marvelous Monsters”) to six archetypes. With each we read a corresponding literary classic:

  1. Freak – Frankenstein
  2. Madwoman – Jane Eyre
  3. Schizo – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  4. Horrorscape – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  5. Deviant – Dracula
  6. Animagi – The Island of Dr. Moreau

Here are some of my notes from the start of the seminar regarding core themes:

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Indeed these archetypes reflect Victorian social fears and limits. Yet there is something about what’s considered monstrous that draws people in. We delight in feeling terrified. We are interested in the unknown. During Victorian times revolutions were underway in science and philosophy. The establishment clashed with…

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Ponderings

Throwing Covid’s Crown Back at it: My Experience with COVID-19

I read recently that COVID-19 (the present coronavirus the world is dealing with) looks like it has a bunch of crowns on the stems of its protrusions. Corona means crown in Latin, hence the crown virus (or coronavirus). Please see a CDC article here that explains the history of this lingua in much better, nuanced detail than I can currently explain.

The saint was recently diagnosed with what the medical staff assumed is one of the more contagious variants now going around the United States. I, in turn, started showing symptoms of it about a week later, but am still waiting on my lab results to confirm. I am fairly certain I have it though, and am nearing the tail end of my quarantine. For the first time in about a week, I can move my eyes around and not feel pain and I can also think more clearly and breathe a little bit more easily.

One of the most alarming symptoms I had was a possible blood clot in my foot. My right foot was hurting one night while laying in bed; I told the nurse practitioner (np) I saw the next day it had felt like I had worn a bad fitting pair of shoes. The pain went away a few hours later, so thankfully my body took care of it independently. The np said that COVID-19 can cause blood clots, which can in turn lead to strokes. About a week prior to seeing me, the np said she had a female patient around my age who had a stroke from COVID. So yes, it can even happen to us young millennials.

I also had what the np said was “Covid Brain”, or basically not being able to think clearly, reacting slowly, recalling memories slower than usual, etc. So, not only does the beast of COVID-19 affect the blood system and breathing, it can affect the nervous system as well (hence changes in taste, smell, etc.). I call shenanigans.

I’m sharing this as one brief human story of COVID among millions. Please continue to protect yourselves and others by washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing. Even if your neighbors down the street are partying it up and built an extension onto their house to throw said parties (yes, I do speak from experience), do it anyway. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Also, in final closing, I found on Twitter a great channel that promotes the historic preservation and ongoing research and education of the Holocaust, particularly the Auschwitz Memorial. I encourage you to check it out, and add it to your feed. It’s a daily reminder of what can happen when we let hate win. Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet Troops 76 years ago this past January. That isn’t so very long ago now, is it?

Never forget. Speak up against evil; do not let it win.

Ponderings

Holocaust Remembrance Week 🕯️✡️

I’m a bit late, but wanted to do at least a small remembrance on my blog. Never forget.


NEVER SHALL I FORGET – BY ELIE WIESEL

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live
as long as God Himself.
Never.

Never Shall I Forget from Night by Elie Wiesel.
Copyright © 1958 by Les Editions de Minuit.
Translation copyright © 2006 by Marion Wiesel.

https://www.ushmm.org/remember/days-of-remembrance/resources/calendar

Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Author Update: Go Biden, BLM, WIP and Reaching 400 Followers

The saint and I were walking our dog recently around our neighborhood. When returning home, I picked up one of those pesky advertisement newspapers that people like to deposit on your driveway so you can then put it promptly into the recycling bin. Kind of like when someone leaves a flier on your windshield–it’s just too kind of them to give you an extra chore to do that day. A woman passed by, walking briskly and offered us a wide smile.

“Three more days, right? Can’t wait!” she chirped. I realized she was recognizing us as the owner of the Biden Harris 2021 sign, standing next to our BLM flag. We had decided to leave the election sign up until at least the inauguration; the BLM flag up for all eternity. Stalwart resolutions against the Trump flags and signs we had seen scattered haphazardly around our area. I had recently applied a coat of fabric paint to the flag, freshening its sun bleached surface.

“Y-yeah,” I replied, my shy nature ever present amongst, well, everyone since birth. Let’s be honest.

“Go Biden!”

“Go Biden!” I returned, offering a smile and a wave as she returned to achieve her walking goals.

One successful human interaction, in the bag.

***

Just a little story, showing there are still nice people out there, encouraging one another to stick it out. Over the past year, I have witnessed the good (peaceful BLM marches) to the bad (see recent Capitol atrocity) play out around me, with the pandemic lingering above the stage, ever present. We are living in a crescendo of history, forces pitting themselves against each other, people drawing lines of a social Civil War that’s amping up across capitols nationwide.

On my current WIP (GOTD), I am nearing the 45,000 word mark. I’m not much for word counts–I think a story is as long as it needs to be–but it serves as a helpful indicator to show how far I’ve come through my starts, stops and rewrites. I’ve probably broken all the “rules” of writing six times to Sunday by now, but that’s alright. What matters is the final product.

I’ve gone ahead and updated my website, and posted a brief teaser of my next book under “Works in Progress.” I hope you’ll give it a read, a like and an encouraging air high five from six feet away. I’ll be sure to return the encouragement. We all need that, don’t we? And in final news, Peregrine Arc reached 400 subscribers the other day. Similar feelings with follower counts as with word counts, but a useful marker all the same.

How is your writing going? Are you taking care of yourself? Growing a little more every day? Update us in the comments below. Cheers and happy writing. Stay out of the stagnant water of ignorance and hatred—go forth and flourish!

Inspiring Quotes

Author: Inspirational Quote (Dr. Keller)

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”

― Dr. Helen Keller

Taken from a National Geographic YouTube post: “March 2nd, 1887– Anne Sullivan starts teaching Helen Keller who was six at the time.”

Blogmas 2019, Christianity: My Journey & Thoughts

Blogmas Day 20 – 22: Morning Prayer for Prisoners (D. Bonhoffer)🙏

I came across a snippet of this prayer while reading a book. I looked it up and found what I believe is the complete version. The words really struck me and reminded me a lot of the Psalms. I’m passing on the prayer to anyone who needs encouragement and prayer themselves. Pass it forward, if you’d like.

To read more about Dietrich Bonhoffer, click here. Mr. Bonhoffer coined the term “cheap grace.” One day I will read a biography on the man. And I may try to memorize the below and/or put it in my writing room.

Mr. Bonhoffer died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. He was a man who knew and lived St. Paul’s famous words: “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Meditate, chew and listen.

Continue reading “Blogmas Day 20 – 22: Morning Prayer for Prisoners (D. Bonhoffer)🙏”

Fellow Authors, Reposts/Reblog Shares

#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Devil in the Wind by Frank Prem

 

Check it out, Arcians and consider supporting a fellow author. I realized after reading Devil in the Wind’s blurb that 1.) It sounds very interesting and 2.) I know next to nothing about Australia. Thus I need to read and learn about these bush fires of 2009.

I pre-ordered my copy. Check out the links for more information. I’m adding this eagerly to my summer reading stack. ☺️📚📚📚

The Write Stuff

Hi, Folks! It’s #ShareAReviewDay Tuesday again, and our guest this morning is Frank Prem. Frank is sharing a review from his poetic anthology, Devil in the Wind. After reading this, I’m sold. I’ve pre-ordered this one to add to my collection of poetry anthologies, and I suspect many of you will as well. Thanks for checking it out today, and for sharing far and wide, as well. 

REVIEW:

Mick rated Devil In The Wind5.0 out of 5 stars on Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44440062-devil-in-the-wind

Like Frank’s previous book, Small Town Kid, this collection of poems tells a story of rural and small town Australia. But the similarities between the two books end there.

Whereas the previous collection was a celebration of boyhood in Frank’s hometown, this is an account of the dreadful bushfires of February 2009 that swept through parts of Southern Australia, the area that is home to the author…

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Contest Entries

Flash Fiction: Parade of Clowns

My flash fiction for Carrot Ranch. Mosey on over and see what all the hubbub’s about. Charli’s got some contests coming up, too, so check it out.

Continue reading “Flash Fiction: Parade of Clowns”