IF…

If we were having coffee…. I’d be asking about your day, week, job, family. I’d be listening, except when I first took that sip of coffee, and then I’d pretend I’d heard what you said. I would joke with you, laugh with you, and look out the window. I’d mention the weather. If we were having coffee I would often not know what to say and hold back the words I mean to speak. I’d be unsure, anxious, and I would sip my coffee to hide these things. I would listen. I would take it in. And I would tell you it’s been a wonderful time and that we should do it again. I would leave and go to my car and sing on the way home and get lost in my own world and replay the conversation. This is what i would do if we were having coffee.

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The Friday Find: Ride The Lightning

You pretty much know by now that I am a (super) King fan. I also happen to be a Metallica fan. And I love, love, LOVE, when worlds collide.

Kirk Hammett wrote a nifty little blog peice about his affinity for the great Stephen King and you can read it here.

I don’t regularly read Kirk’s blog, but I saw his post on Instagram (where I do follow him) and had to check it out. Since it was such an enjoyable read, I’m going to check out the rest of his stuff. I think the thing I appreciate most about his post is his genuine love of the horror genre, King, and the act of being a fan. Moreover, his tone is totally natural and he doesn’t speak down to the reader in any way. And then he spends some time connecting with his fans and answering questions. I appreciate that. I appreciate his genuiness and hope that I can be equally as genuine here.

So enjoy the article! And if I find more, I shall share!

A Tour of Books

So, you may or may not know that I’m a bit of a Stephen King fan. If you’re a fan as well, then you will be happy to know that he’s doing a little tour to promote his next book. You can find out more information about the tour here.

This tour seems to be bringing him out to the midwest quite a bit. I’m sure the folks out there will be fairly pleased since he doesn’t often do appearances out that way. I know there were some happy folks on the FB groups I’m a part of.

If you get to go, let me know how it was! I may be able to attend one and If I do I’ll post some photos and share the experience.

Happy trails, King fans.

He rubbed one hand over the expensive waterproof frabric of the coat, liking the feel. An elegant item. He tried again to think of how he’d come by it and couldn’t. Had he killed someone else? MIGHT have, friends and neighbors, might have; anything was possible when you were on vacation.
-Rose Madder by Stephen King

Here We Go Again

So, I guess I took a little unscheduled break. Basically, I got overwhelmed with life and forgot to just do the things I want to do.

So I’m back! And ready and to write about the things I like to write about in the style I like to write. F*ck the rest. No rules. No mercy. Well…. a little mercy. And some rules.

What I’m trying to say is… I just want to talk about the things I want to talk abut without telling myself I have to do any differently. And I’m going to write in the style I like to write in without telling myself that there’s some script I have to conform to.

I want to learn more about the world and the people around me. I want to watch ghost videos and homemade book trailers and see what kind of creativity the world has to offer.

I want to look outward instead of inward for a change. I want to see. I want to see.

And I’m here. And I’m ready. So lets explore!

Media Monday: Aliums In Connecticut

I think I’ve talked before about the need to understand something outside of myself and the desire to experience the other worldly. It’s why I’m so interested in the paranormal and the spooky. There’s a sense of another world and the temptation of touching it, if only for a brief moment, leaves me greedy.

So with that is the curiosity of life on other planets. Do I believe that there is life on other plants? Absolutely. The probability, while not overwhelming, does exist. The first Earth-sized planets were discovered back in 2011 and that was just the beginning. Now, do I believe that intelligent beings have traveled across the universe to visit us? A much harder question to answer. If I can quote Mulder for a moment “I want to believe.” Without true evidence though, I am torn. I accept the possibility and I enjoy reading about different theories but it is always with a huge slice of skepticism. I’m open to the possibility but question the lack of real evidence. however, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying all that the world has to offer, both obviously faked and others…. others leaving you saying “What if…..”

So first, I spent some time on youtube. You can find just a TON of crazy videos claiming to give the best evidence of alien encounters. So I looked up UFO’s in Connecticut and found this and this. “That’s a f@#ckin’ freakin’ UFO.” What I love about these is that the reaction is spot on. It makes me think that the video is real. Are the lights a UFO? Probably not. But I enjoy hearing people with that mixed reaction of laughter and trepidation. Like I said, it’s that elusive “What if?”

So, as with any youtube adventure, you start with one and jump to the next until you are thoroughly down the rabbit hole. I found this video where a guy has recorded his mother detailing an encounter their family had in 1969 in New Cannan, CT. In the video he is displaying a photograph taken by a Connecticut State Trooper in 1987. He also mentions the event in the interview with his mother. I looked up the picture and event and it’s actually a pretty amazing story that involves multiple witnesses across multiple towns.

I think that it’s always interesting how we view UFO sightings by police officers, members of the military, and pilots and sometimes more believable. I’m sure it’s because we hold these individuals in a position of authority and assume that they have more objective viewpoints. Police officers in particular are trained in that Joe Friday style of “Just the facts, ma’am.” So we look at their stories with a greater degree of believability, even if only subconsciously.

Now, I also found this video with visible lights and some very dramatic music. I’d prefer the video without the music. Visitations by extraterrestrial life is dramatic enough on it’s own.

And then we have this gem. A found-footage style film that could actually be quite a bit of fun if not for…. well.. you’ll see in segment 2 should you decide to watch.

I’ll end the journey there for now because youtube is full of twists and turns and there’s plenty more to be found and share with you all. No mater what you call them, aliens, the greys, EBEs, or encounters of the third kind, it’s a fun idea to explore and converse about. I haven’t ventured into blog land to see what others think on this topic, but I think that might be interesting. The sharing of ideas is why we’re hear, after all, isn’t it?

Stephen King Book Club: Lisey’s Story

“Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King

What’s it about? You can read the full synopsis here. This is the story of Lisey Landon (obviously, right?). We start in the present day, where Lisey is cleaning out the work-space of her writer husband, Scott, and then travel through time to learn the tale of their love and how Lisey saved Scott (on more than one occasion.) It’s a beautiful and honest story about love and marriage. But even more so, it’s an exploration of the things we share with others and the secrets we keep within ourselves. Also, there may be a little bit of travel to an alternate dimension. I mean, nothing adds spice to marriage quite like inter-dimensional travel, wouldn’t yous say?

Why choose this book? King himself has called this one of his most well written books. And it really is. The play on language creates lovely texture to this woven tale. That sounds cliche. however, I say “woven” because this story truly feels like picking up a thread and following it to the end, wherever that may be. It’s a personal favorite of mine. But beyond that, the many layers and relationships in this book provide a solid discussion for a book club and this unique tale will be yet another side of King for the avid fan to discover.

What to discuss/questions: For a book that is so critically acclaimed, I had a terrible time finding any questions on any sites. It’s what made me want to post possible discussion questions on this blog for others to hopefully find helpful in their own book club discussion. As always, though, Hodder & Stoughton did not let me down. Here’s a few of mine:

  • In the very beginning of the book, King says “This is for your first good book… the one that got under you like a magic carpet and lifted you right off the ground.” What was the first book that did that for you?
  • What were your thoughts on Booya Moon?
  • This story is as much about marriage as it about other family relationships. What were your thoughts about the sibling relationships that existed between Lisey and her sisters and between Scott and his bother?
  • As is typical in King novels, Scott Landon is a famous writer. How does he compare to other author characters in other King books?
  • This story is also about language. In what ways does King talk about language? (Phrases, old sayings, the secret language within a marriage)
  • Music is also a powerful element in this book. What were your thoughts on Scott’s taste and Kings inclusion of the different songs? In what ways does music play a part in your own life?

Constant discussion questions:

  • Who was your favorite character and why?
  • What was your favorite part?
  • What were some of your favorite quotes?
  • On a scale from 1-5, how did you rate this book? (This is always the opening question)

Make it fun! I had an absolute blast with this discussion. Firstly, we had a Hank Williams station on Pandora playing in the background. I’m all about ambiance. And we also had a fairly small group for this meeting. Which allowed me to create a bool hunt for each participant. I know, awesome, right? (If you’re unsure what a bool hunt is, the book will explain it for ya.) I was nervous that people might find it cheesy, but it ended up being a ton of fun. The book club discussions are held in a local bookstore and so I was able to use clues that were tailored to each person (and I even created a few generic ones just in case someone new decided to show up.) They were small bools with just 3 stations. I bought old timey glass Coca-Cola soda bottles for the prizes. There’s no RC cola anymore, so instead, I had Moxie in addition to the Coca-Cola. If you’ve never been to Maine and never had Moxie, I suggest you treat yourself. It tastes a little bit like NyQuil mixed with battery acid at first, but you’ll grow to love it as I have.

Our discussion:

We had 4 individuals in the discussion (including myself) with an overall book rating of 4.5 out of 5. Yeah, people loved this book. Due to the group being small, we really delved into our favorite scenes and our favorite moments. I shared my favorite quote (of any King book) which is “Darkness loves him. He dances with it like a lover and the moon comes up over the purple hills and what was sweet, smells sour. Smells like poison.” We all loved the imagery of Booya Moon and talked at length about how it must look. I hadn’t discussed this book with many people prior to this and I was excited that the others loved Booya Moon as much as I did. Even the scary parts. I almost gave away a Dark Tower spoiler to one of the members that’s currently following the path of the beam, but caught myself just in time. Thank goodness, too! I wouldn’t forgive myself for spoiling the road to the tower for anyone! This book can be intimidating in size (few King books aren’t) but I do highly recommend it as a read for you and for your group. Until next time!