Inspirations for Creepy

I love creepy. The spookier the better. In trying to figure out what to write next, I decided to give the Cobalt world a break and work on something dark and eerie (like Cobalt wasn’t?). I’m still working out the details, and trying to decide between two different story ideas that are taking shape.

Like many people, I’m inspired by other stories, music, and imagery. The following are a few of my favorite spooky inspirations. For some reason, I find myself really looking forward to Halloween now.

Neil Gaiman’s Coralineย is just like an old-fashioned ghost story complete with nightmarish illustrations. The movie didn’t disappoint either. Would have scared the crap out of me as a kid.

I just finished reading this one. The Ocean at the End of the Laneย had its creepy moments, but was, overall, a beautiful story written by an amazing author.

I read this book as an adult and had nightmares. I can’t see the upcoming movie being as creepy as the stories in this book and its sequels, but maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Stolen Babies knows how to do creepy when it comes to music and costumes. Heavily influenced by Oingo Boingo and Tim Burton, this band brings graveyards or nightmare carnivals to mind. Grubbery is about a couple of hillbilly cannibals who get a dose of karma when they find out their dinner doesn’t like being dug out of their graves. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of my friends on Facebook posted this great link on a gorgeous photo project that brings Grimms’ fairy tales to life, and provides more than enough inspiration for surreal settings and spooky forests.

And then…

Like her sister before her, this creepy 8-year-old left a bunch of scary photos on my phone that she edited herself.

She also touched up this one of her sister, which is creepy in a different way.

Do you have any other spooky or disturbing books, movies, or pictures to add to my list?

Meanwhile, Cobaltย is on an editor’s desk awaiting approval or rejection and my fingers are cramping up from weeks of crossing them. Cross some of yours for me too, please!

Steamphone Shenanigans (Steam Powered Giraffe fans will see what I did there)

Just like Lia’s thing is to troll my manuscript, it seems Emily’s thing is to leave all kinds of crazy pictures on my phone. She’ll frequently steal borrow my phone for Snapchat and Instagram, and I never know what I’m going to see when I get it back. The following are a few of my recent favorites:

Oh, and hey guys, look what I did to my new leather phone case! I glued some gears on it and called it steampunk. It’s the closest I’ve come to steampunk in freaking forever.

Our 2013 in pictures

Blogging the other day was so much fun I decided to do it again! I thought I’d make some kind of year in review thing. No weighty resolutions, nothing fancy – just a buttload of pictures of memorable things that happened in 2013. But some funny things first…

A friend sent this to me from this fun blog. I died. Because everyone loves grammarrrrtically correct pirates.

Don’t you hate it when Michael Buble messes with your presents?
And now. Lots of fun things happened this past year that I didn’t have my camera handy for, such as when we went to Lagoon and I decided to put my phone in a locker after it fell out of my pocket on a roller coaster (thank goodness it was picked up by a park employee). Most of the time, however, I obnoxiously have my phone on hand to get lots of embarrassing pictures.
Like when I had too many kids to fit on the church steps on Easter.
Or when the kids did weird things at a museum.
We found strange but friendly livestock in our neighborhood.
And snakes!
Someone finally got a job and made something of her life.
And someone got really weird outside the mall.
I turned the big 4-0…
And we had a couple other important birthdays. ๐Ÿ™‚
The cats discovered they’re comfortable to sit on.
And I discovered a pretty (but uncomfortable) couch for $16 at Savers!
I lost weight (but not too much).
The girls freaked out over meeting this famous YouTuber in Salt Lake City (same time as the Lagoon trip), mostly known for his hilarious life stories.
We went on a midnight hike and picnic in the desert…
And brought home a cool pet!
Some of us suffered horrendous injuries.
And Emily kind of went insane or something.
We got lost in a lot of corn mazes. I mean A LOT. I didn’t know there was so much corn in Idaho, I thought it was supposed to be potatoes?
And we geeked out over some pretty awesome movies.
All in all, 2013 was a pretty good year, and I’m excited to see what 2014 will bring!
While I was looking up a good Olan Rogers video to link to, I found this new video he posted about his Eat A Slice With Me tour. Wow. He’s just an amazing guy. Apparently our part of the tour was a bit of a turning point for him, which he starts mentioning about four minutes in, and there are clips of the hours-long line we stood in. Worth every minute.
And now I’d better stop procrastinating on an assignment that’s due in the morning! Have a wonderful, happy new year, all you nice peeps. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are Steampunks in Reno!!

No funny last Monday because EVERYONE IS GETTING MARRIED and EVERYONE IS IN TOWN, so I’ve been a busy mama. But I wanted to share a fun thing the kids and I did last Friday. My friend Erica Mulkey (known by her performing name as Unwoman, and she’s playing with Amanda Palmer in San Francisco this week, epic squee!) was in Reno, and she put on a lovely show for the local steampunks. So I dusted off my corset, the kids borrowed some of my clothes, and off we went… There really need to be more of “my people” here to attract more talent like Erica; on the other hand, I kinda like us being a rarity, as the shows are so affordable whenever they do happen to drift this way.

I got a few clips of her playing, although most of it had to be edited out because of my phone camera’s bad sound quality. Oh, look at my little dorks jumping around in the background!

And then we went to Walmart afterward, and a little bit of this happened:

So speaking of Unwoman, Alyssa and I interviewed her a while back on Behind the Steam, in case you missed it…

And speaking of Behind the Steam, we just put up a review for Abney Park’s newest album Ancient World, which is one of the last podcasts with crappy audio (I think we still have one more recorded with our old equipment) since I have a new mic and Alyssa has better recording software. We recently did a really fun (meaning bugshiz insane) interview with an overseas steampunk personality, and another one with one of my favorite bands, and we have a few more scheduled that have me fangirling all over the place!

Listen to two of my favorite songs off Ancient World and you’ll see why I was so excited to review the album!

Oh, what’s that…? I have to go make dinner now? I have to do laundry and clean the house? But I was so happy here! *sigh* Real life calleth. I’m going to be in Boise next week seeing my mom’s new house, so I probably won’t be blogging until I get back. Until then, give mama some comments! Done anything weird lately?

Whoa. I’m actually POSTING?!

After several weeks of being a non-existent blogger, I would have liked to post something other than more funny pictures for Monday – like maybe Lia punking Cobalt. But these are pretty good anyway!

YES. This is my Oreo!

Oh holy cow. I’m not the only one who cleans like this? Except I have a clean laundry COUCH, not merely a basket…

You don’t even know how much I want this tree in my yard:

ย ย 

The expression on Diane Walker’s face was pretty much my expression when I saw this picture:

Artist: Emmy Cicierega

The first time I saw the “ERMAHGERD” meme, it killed me!

My kids used to look at me like this when they were babies. They still do, actually, but it’s not as cute. I’ll forever regret not getting a picture taken like this. But there’s always grandkids!

And finally. Oh holy cow, this girl’s too funny! But yeah, a few weeks ago I accidentally chewed on a spider egg sac, and this was my reaction!

Source: warrioronlydude

Okay, now that we got the silliness out of the way…I haven’t heard from many of my blogging friends in a while. What’s everyone up to? Any books finished? Started? Other writing milestones, such as requests, rejections, tears of joy, cries of frustration?

I spent the last three nights working graveyard to get re-acquainted at Denny’s. I needed to warm up a little, but in some ways it feels like I’ve never left, even though I haven’t worked there in over two years. The newer servers who didn’t know me from before had a crash-course introduction to my brand of unintentional insanity. I managed to launch a server tray over the food counter into the kitchen, nearly decapitating the cooks (I still don’t know how it happened). I got hot fudge in my hair two nights in a row, despite never making anything with hot fudge in it. I forgot to put the lid on the blender when making a strawberry milkshake and miraculously avoided getting shake on my person (but it got everywhere else)! And surprisingly, my foot held up pretty well (although I was limping like mad the first two nights), so I think it was a sprain rather than a break.

Now on either Wednesday or Thursday, I plan on getting back to the writing topic in my blog. You are all welcome to kick my butt if I drop off the face of the earth again!

Groban is Awesome, Yo

I hope everyone’s having a funny Monday. If you’re having the usual kind of Monday, please to let me fix it for you.

This has been around a while, but I remembered it when a Josh Groban song came on my playlist. My love for Josh increased exponentially after I saw this video:

Dear Mr. Groban: Please sing my Facebook statuses. It will be worth it. Please.

Now for the pictures! (Since Lia hasn’t punked my WIP in forever)

This is the progression of my facial expressions when my hubby comes home with chocolate.

I yoinked the next one from Lia’s tumblr. Her tags always crack me up! (You’ll have to click on it to see)


That last one, a nice segue out of the funny and into my personal ramblings. ๐Ÿ™‚ Because there was just this one person in particular who seemed almost affronted that I had the audacity to think I could be an author!

So, the small press submissions are going along swimmingly. I got a request for a partial the other day, and surprisingly I didn’t break any toes! (But I did kinda blow out my voicebox in a most unprofessional manner.) Even if it ends up being a rejection, it’s always nice to get that small affirmation that you did something right and caught someone’s attention.

Now I’m off to do some laundry. It’s been a challenge doing stuff without a water heater, but it’s not as bad as I’d thought. Next week I plan on putting up a hysterical video on how I do the laundry sans machinery.

Until then, remember…

Monday FUN

I’m going to do something a little different today, since Lia hasn’t punked my WIP lately and my funny pictures have temporarily run dry. I do have a funny to share. The other day, I re-posted this video when my friend Josh put it on his Facebook, which led some of my friends to think I’m goth. That gave me a little bit of a giggle, because knew it would create panic and confusion amongst my friends (yes, I’m exaggerating). I was sort of goth in high school, except at that time I was way too shy to deviate very much from the norm. Mostly I was just really awkward, wore black all the time, and listened to a lot of music goths liked. But I avoided any type of social scene that would force me out of my comfort zone and make me talk to people I didn’t know very well!

The same is true of me today, except I’ve traded the black clothing for brown and tan, stripes, and gears. I still listen to strange music, and I’d much rather stay at home with my face in a book than engage in the scary act of talking to people I don’t know well. The ironic thing is, I’ve been thrust into the steampunk scene more than I’d ever expected would happen, and it’s exciting as well as scary, but it’s a secret that you won’t find out any more about until next month!

Anyway, Josh is from Vernian Process and a San Francisco-based DJ, and he and some friends put together this humorous video for a goth show there. I died when I saw Josh’s disdainful facial expressions; everyone wondered how they could film this without bursting into laughter; my kids took notes and gleefully practiced the “step over your dead friend” moves.

And another funny to share: A delightful bit of fun called Steam Powered Giraffe. My 13-year-old Emily found out about these guys a couple weeks ago and they’re now her favorite group. This is when I start to question my involvement in the genre and feel like I really suck as a steampunk: I’ve been into it for years, but there are still groups and authors I’ve never heard of! And how could I not have heard of these talented guys before now?

My boys could watch these videos over and over, wondering if they’re really robots! They don’t believe me when I tell them they’re just regular guys who’ve attended mime and theater classes to learn their moves.

They’re from San Diego and have done shows at the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Fair, Legoland, and many other events and locations. If you’re from the San Diego area and have seen these guys out and about, let me know. I’ll try to control my jealousy!

Oh looky, I did find a few funnies after all! You made it all the way through my post, so you get a prize…

This is totally me when my laptop gives me that notification. Totally me. Gotta run off and find my power cord!

Okee, I’m going to go be crazy somewhere else now. Maybe get in a bit of writing sometime today…Oh, and go check out my post on ANWA’s blog about this little movie that’s just come out. You might have heard of it…