Monday, February 28, 2011

Photographing Abandoned Places: Depth of Field & Texture


"Wish You Were Here!" If you want to portray that statement, you need to place the viewer in that space and understand just how vast something is or how contracted. You want to give them the texture so they can almost reach out and touch the setting.

Depth of field--showing how much distance there is in your photo's view.

This shot was a no-brainer. This abandoned stone shop had lots of weird rooms and strange places and every angle was good, but the thing that got me about it was looking through the building--a door through a door through a door through a window to the distant desert.














Before and After. (Before upping contrast and lowering brightness to bring out texture) Using a doorway to frame this shot above. It shows so much depth in the building and interest. It's like looking to the guts of a gumball machine. There was so much texture and so much architectural interest. A distant shot would have lost all this precious complexity into a giant gray blur.



Climbing up on the rocks, the slick perspective down the granite slivers showed the texture of the precarious perch and the shadows within the rocks show their size and depth and the length of them points to the distance. I just asked myself while up here, what impresses me most and that was the fact I hadn't fallen flat on my ass to the rocks below because it was so tricky and damp from the rain. So, I found a shot that said to you "hey, isn't this fucking stupid?" So, I shared what was inside my head with you visually.

When you're in a scene, just ask yourself, "what impresses me?" Enhance it!!!



This long wall pointed to the desert, but more importantly, the wall itself was interesting and crumbly and so I got a shot that accentuated just how long and complex it is going to the beauty in the distance as if it's pointing with its hand.

I will be sharing more photographing of abandoned places for you, especially now that I'm doing Sunday Adventure days on the blog, I want to teach you how to document these adventures I will be advising you to take all around the country. If you want to see more lessons in photography, use my photography tab at the top of the page.

Horror Movies Locations Revealed!



I love to do this: Look up cool movie locations. Just go to IMDB and look up a movie and scroll down and they give you details including filming location(s).

Ever wonder where some of your favorite horror movies were filmed? Some of these locations may surprise you. I’d like to hear which ones shocked you.

“Twilight” Most locations were in Oregon. I recognized a lot of them and they included Oregon City which I consider to be the scariest town I’ve ever been in and I’ve been in some crazy backwater mountainous towns in Appalachia. If you watch the movie, you can understand why I think Oregon is Nirvana.

“Rose Red” The exterior shots were from Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington. The interior shots were a giant set built indoors at a hanger at an abandoned Seattle Naval Base.

“Signs” Bensalem Township, PA. No surprise here. M. Knight loves his home state.

“30 Days of Night” New Zealand. They had to do a little to pump up the snow, as New Zealand wasn’t producing a lot, but filming was at the time of the year when it was winter there and summer here, so they had to go to the source.

“Burnt Offerings” at Dunsmuir House and Gardens in Oakland, CA. I thought the home for this movie was really creepy.

"Halloween" Pasadena, CA. No surprise here, they used a pile of leaves and a fan to make it look like Halloween, but still some shots showed bits of palm trees and endless greenery.

“The Covenant” Quebec and Nova Scotia Canada. Every time I see this movie, I feel like moving to Nova Scotia (another of my dream places to experience). Now that I know part of it was filmed there, I understand why I love the concept of this place so much. It’s probably as close to living in autumn most of the year as I could find.

“The Fog” (original) Point Reyes Lighthouse, northern California. Loved this lighthouse. When I first saw the movie, I wanted to be that totally cool DJ (well, except for the part where the ghosts attack).

“Gothika”
Quebec, Canada. This was dark and dank. Seems like Quebec is a real fav to film at, along with Vancouver. They’ve certainly got the mood and weather. Every movie I've ever seen filmed in either location--I totally loved.

“The Hills Have Eyes”
Victorville, CA. It’s funny, when I lived in Redondo Beach, I used to think the movie had to be done in Victorville, which is where all the guys liked to go motorcycle riding. Every time I went out that way, I was really worried about the hills and felt like I was in the movie.

“Jeepers Creepers” Bushnell, FL. I knew this one was in Florida for the movie, but I didn’t know they filmed it there. I figured they’d gone deeper into Alabama or Mississippi.

“The Omega Man” Los Angeles, CA. I figured it was probably mostly on sets, although in the opening scene when he’s driving around in the daytime. He gets out of his car and in the distance, you see a single car cross a street far away—oops!

“Salem’s Lot” (original) Eureka, CA. You know, in “Halloween” you knew it was filmed in California and not Indiana—there weren’t any autumn colors anywhere, just some dead leaves they threw at a fan and an occasional palm tree in the distance, but in this miniseries, I thought for sure it was filmed in the NE. Surprise!

“Session 9” Lynn, Massachusetts. I wasn’t surprised. Seemed like somewhere in the NE.

“Stir of Echoes” Chicago, IL. Felt like it.

“When a Stranger Calls”
(remake) Culver City, CA This was a big surprised to me. I got the movie (not because it was any good--it was awful), but I adored the house and setting.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

South Mountain Bigfoot?


Yeah, Julie and I had another adventure today. Expect to see more soon! I know, I know-we run into BF everywhere! Hee hee

Adventure Sunday: Dressing For Adventure!


(Using a photographer's fanny pack for my ghost equipment, above. You can also consider a fisherman's vest. Heels are optional, but always look good.)

This is the beginning of my Adventure Sunday series. I will be giving you lots of exciting ideas for little do-able adventures to spice up your life. Today, I'm focusing on the fashion of adventures for men and women.

In my own style department, I am a strange eclectic mix of "The Mummy," Victorian era, safari and beach gal. Makes no sense, but I make it work. I don't like designer shit and I don't like what everyone else is wearing or how they're wearing it. I find obscure items and I'm a thrifty lady, so I find things that are well made, versatile and can be mixed and matched easily. I'm also practical about what I use because the weather here in the desert is hell on earth--literally.

So, I'm going to share unusual finds with you and how I use them. MEN-DO NOT LEAVE! I plan on telling you what really turns me on! (This hat below is the first one!)


My buddy, Vinnie, had this hat that whenever we went on adventures, I'd want to steal it from him. He was kind enough to tell me where he got it and I ordered one excitedly. Each one is made differently and with old Brazilian canvas tarp with some writing and lots of aging on it. They have lightweight wires in them so when you stuff it into a suitcase, it bounces right back. The more rain you wear it in, the better. It's light enough to not sweat to death in it and yet keeps the sun from ruining my skin and my red locks. I think it makes me look rather Josh Gates too which is pretty wicked. I can't wait to age this baby and see it get even better. Any man who wears this hat instantly looks dangerous and hot!

My most favorite places to shop??? Army surplus, Eddie Bauer, Old Navy and Etsy.


(This is actually one I use as my everyday purse, it fits alongside my body like it was shaped for it and the canvas strap keeps it from sliding off my sloping shoulders. It goes with everything and I'm a casual gal, so it's fantastic. As well, tons of spots to put stuff including a mesh backside so it can double as my ghost hunting bag for equipment. Armysurplusstore)


(I love these shorts, lightweight, comfy, lots of pockets. I have a bunch of well worn army store cargoes, but these ones from Old Navy are great in our hot hot weather here).


(Doesn't seem practical? I got this bustier tank but it's ideal for here in AZ. I can wear it under my safari vest from Old Navy and remain cool but still look like a gal.)

Okay, men, so let's talk about you, shall we?


(These paratrooper shorts from the armysurplusstore are hot! I love men in cargoes, but especially soft and worn ones--they look wonderful on men's butts!)


(Pocketwatch--mysterious, sexy, steampunk, intriguing. If I saw a guy pull out one of these babies, it would definitely make me want to know what makes him tick!)


(Men, henleys always always always look hot on you! Shove the sleeves up, leave a couple buttons open.

Men: Shop at Eddie Bauer, Old Navy and Army Surplus (no--not camouflage-that scares women away!) But, do think of the outdoorsy and deeper colors like browns/dark grays/black/olive/slate blue-gray.**

Ultimately, guys, every woman loves black tees and jeans!)


Men AND women: How about carrying your laptop in something other than that miserable black bag that it came with or the ones you find cheap in the store. This one is sexy and sharp and $35.95.

Hey, I said these were clothes for adventures, but I wear them every day because life is one big adventure. Don't miss next Sunday when I teach you how to make every day an adventure. As the weather gets a bit more spring-like, I will tell you about awesome unknown things you can do in your neck of the woods for a one day adventure and then some plans this summer for weekend adventures. Yes, the coming new season of "Destination Truth" has gotten me all excited to ask questions, seek answers and do it in wicked cool places!

Speaking of adventures, I'm taking one today with Julie from Above-The-Norm: Bizarre Arizona. Expect some videos coming up of our day of adventures.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trolls! Can't Get Enough? Here's More!



This is out on Netflix (above). Bless my Norwegian brothers who made this film! I'm so excited. I've waited my whole life for a movie about Trolls. My father told me as a child that trolls were used to frighten children into behaving. This movie looks like it might just frighten adults into--running! Looks like fun and I have yet to see a Scandinavian film I don't totally get!

Here's the premise according to IMDB: A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.






(above: Troll dolls. My favorite troll ever--a statue made by artist Kim Graham. A video of creepy disturbing trolls)

According to Wikipedia, a troll is a “member of a fearsome race of creatures from Norse mythology…human-like folk of the wilderness, living underground in hills, caves or mounds…A cunning and deceitful people, living in the woodlands or mountains. Trolls come in many different shapes and forms, and are generally not fair to behold, even though the female trollkonor, or sometimes even male trolls, could appear very attractive until a character spotted their tail. Trolls were often said to be able to change their appearance, and did so in order to trick humans into doing what they wanted. For example, a troll may present a beautiful appearance in order to trick a character into following them into their mountain home, then hold the character captive for year.”

I became obsessed with trolls from my father who came from Norway. He had a reverence when speaking about the mythical creatures. I also grew up in the time period of troll dolls. Admittedly, I didn’t like the bright happy colors. I wanted trolls to be something that should remain hidden beneath a bridge, lurking in the shadows, haunting the forest caves where they scare away other creatures. I’d love to see someone do a scary movie with trolls that is worthy of the dark creepy aspects of them instead of the gremlin-looking badly automated beings of past movies that make you giggle instead of cringe.

Literature about trolls:

Short stories:
“The Billy Goats Gruff”
“Peer Gynt”


Troll limericks


Novel:
“Lord of the Rings”

Contemporary: Online, a troll is someone who wanders from site to site leaving grumpy-pants negative messages. Obviously, a term referring to coming out from under his bridge to gobble up the passersby. Luckily, there are no trolls in my blog’s followers, must be a sign of luck.

Movies Based on Murderers


It's a stellar lineup. Hard to believe this many emotionally and mentally crippled people walk the earth, but they do and we keep adding more and more as the decades pass. Seems like nowadays the old-fashioned serial killers who stalked and killed individually and then left BTK or Zodiac-type notes for the police and press are going by way of the lunatics with high-powered rifles hitting a mall at Christmastime. Ironically, it was the former that inspired these bizarre and unnerving movies (below) and the latter whose names you forget a week later, never to be thought of again. It's poetic justice since they probably thought it would immortalize them. It's truly disturbing and yet, in a way, seeing these movies sort of helps one to realize that we should be prepared and live defensively. After all, the killer could be in the apartment next door, beside you on the bus, or stalking you on a quiet country drive.

If you enjoy movies based on real life incidents, here's some movies and some serial killers that really make you wonder about the evolutionary process of man. Thankfully, the justice system snagged them all, with the exception of the Zodiac and that's one I'd like to feature in a future post.

I lived through the Nightstalker Richard Ramirez era myself in the 80s living in the LA area. I remember triple checking the sliding door and windows. At the time, I had a stalker so it made it even creepier. Nothing like sleeping with no air-conditioning in the summer and the windows closed, but I survived. Ironically, he was supposed to have been sighted in a yellow Corolla, which what I drove. For a time there, I had cops cruising alongside me on the LA freeways checking me out. Well, apparently I don't look like the "type," so I never got pulled over.

Perhaps watching these movies is a form of problem solving and imaging our own scenarios for survival. Without further interruption--here's your viewing list and the killers who inspired the films:

“Monster” Aileen Carol Wuornos killed 7 men in Florida, executed in 2002. (A female serial killer is an amazing thing when you think of it. It seems to go against nature since women's instinct is to create and support life. Perhaps Ms Wuornos couldn't produce estrogen?).

“Citizen X” Russian mass murderer Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo who killed 52 women and children in the Soviet Union executed 1994. (This butt-lick managed to get past the crippled criminal system in the Soviet Union for years and keep murdering. The justice system there basically killed the last victims. Lesson: Don't expect policing in a communist-run country).

“Zodiac” Zodiac Killer, a Northern California killer in the 60s, never found, left taunting letters, claimed he murdered 37. (Never found. Sometimes, I think with California's justice system, they should just put up a sign saying "kill here--we never convict!" Even if they found him, he'd probably get 3 warm meals a day in a cell the rest of his miserable life and do interviews for cheesy news shows like the Octumom and other famous-for-nothings)

“Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Psycho” “Silence of the Lambs,” “The Strangers” “Ed Gein” Ed Gein in the 1940s and 1950s exumed bodies to use and killed women, died in prison mental hospital. (This dickless dude was apparently inspiring for a lot of movies because he didn't just dig up dead bodies and kill folks, he used them for parts to make things.)

“Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, convicted of 13 murders in the 1980s in California, on death row. (A real poster child for birth control)

“Gacy," “To Catch a Killer” John Wayne Gacy, raped and murdered 33 boys and men in the 1970s, in 1994 he was executed. His brain was removed and examined and nothing unusual found (something tells me the rotten parts won’t be found in the architecture of the brain, but perhaps in the seat of the soul)

“Dahmer” Jeffrey Dahmer, killed 17 men and boys. (In 1994 he was thankfully beaten to death in prison)

“The Deliberate Stranger”
Ted Bundy, over 30 murders in the 70s, executed in 1989. (Supposedly one of those cute friendly guys you'd never suspect. I think I sat next to a dozen guys like this in junior high. Makes me wonder what they're doing now...)

“Helter Skelter” Charles Manson gang, orchestrated his commune members to kill several people in California, still in prison.(And on the news whenever they can interview the ball-sac)

“The Boston Strangler” Albert Desalvo, the Boston Strangler of 13 women in the 1960s, 1973 was found murdered in prison. (Once again, a prisoner did our work for us))

“Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer” (Really disturbing movie) Henry Lee Lucas, could have killed 350-600 people. George Bush, Governor of Texas comminuted his death sentence (WTF????) He died of natural causes in prison (I sure hope that natural cause was a pillow to his face)

“Summer of Sam” Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, terrorized New York in the 70s with a gun to unsuspecting people, killing 6, wounding more. (Really, pathetic loser. Couldn't really face his victims, just lifted a gun and aimed)

“The Hillside Strangler” Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono. Bianchi was also suspected in the alphabet murders—yet another film based on that. These cousins in the 1970s pretended to be cops to lure women and teens to torture and kill them, both carrying on their life sentences. (Yet another bad thing that resulted in a good thing in that a lot of women were more critical about who was a supposed cop)

“Speck” Richard Speck, raped and killed 8 nurses in the 1960s, died of a heart attack while in prison before turning 50. (Thankfully we didn't have to give him free food and health care for another 30 years!)

“Green River Killer”
Gary Ridgway, over 50 women killed, incarcerated. (I'm not sure about this justice system, I think 50 female relatives of those women in a room alone with him-might just do the trick more expeditiously)

Tomorrow, enjoy my little modeling show for you of what to add to your ghost hunting wardrobe--men and women both.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lonely on a Friday Night: Join Us! Don't Miss Sunday's Post!



Sunday I'm starting a new series of dressing for adventure. It sounds kind of crazy, but it's going to be fun for men and women--both sexes included. I'm hoping to expand on this with local adventure ideas for people in different parts of the country so you can have a weekend adventure like Destination Truth's Josh Gates, but without having to eat rotten thousand year old eggs, traveling 15 hours on a plane, and riding around in a jalopy that breaks down (that is, unless your car is on its last leg).

It's that time again, Friday night. If you're bored, lonely or just want some interesting and unusual conversation, join us here and comment back and forth. I'm your hostess all evening. You may begin...

Ghost Adventures New Episode: Drinking Game!


("Ghost Town" I love finding new young talent--Alana Holcombe from YouTube-listen to the entire song--it will haunt you)

Well, don't know what's up with the promoter, but he said goodbye a while back until the fall season for GA, but hey, a new Valentine's episode, then a new Salem one and now one tonight at an active place I've been in Jerome, AZ! I won't complain. Keep `em coming boyz!

Now, I've stayed at the Jerome Grand, way up in a little old mining town in the AZ desert. This hotel was once used as a hospital for the miners there when the town was actively mining. At the time, I was with family and not doing a hunt, but woke up all night long to someone coughing just inside the door of my room. Very clearly. I got up many times and looked out into the empty hallway. One time, as I turned away from closing the door and going back to bed, the coughing occurred directly behind me. I was a bit annoyed and said, "Please cough somewhere else." I fell back asleep and didn't hear it again. Don't know if the miner was being polite, but at least it ceased.

From a psychic point of view, the place seemed very much a typical residual haunting site, but there were a few times there, where I sensed a bit of intelligence, like when I asked it to quit coughing.

As well, a man was supposedly crushed by the elevator, so there's a creepy death factor there, as well which I am sure Zak will take full advantage of.

Tonight's drinking game is same as last week. Go to my good buddy, "The Liquor Guy" and see what the suggested drinks are. This classy dude knows his stuff. I got some great ones last week from him that are in my recipe file now.

Rules:
1. Stay home.
2. Take a drink for every "bro," "dude, "man," every time Zak thinks he's touched by the unseen and every time Aaron's mouth comes unhinged in horror.

Tonight is another "Lonely on a Friday Night," so feel free to come in and out as you wish and chit chat. Anyone who's bored or lonely, hang out with me.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bedtime Confessions


You were three years old and it was bedtime. It was not just a huge disruption for you, but even more so for your parents.

The ritual might have gone like this:

Warm milk
hot bath
tooth brushing
pony ride to the bedroom
story time
special stuffed animals
light on in the closet
tucking in the edges of the sheets and blankets
kiss to the forehead
door left open.

You're an adult now, right? Bedtime fears are for babies!

It's time for a little confessional. Which have you done as an adult?

try not to let your hand or leg hang off the side of the bed

see a shape in the dark and turn away, afraid to keep looking

remove clothing you have hanging over something because it looks like a person

leave the TV on timer while falling asleep

wake from a nightmare and get up and leave the room so you don't fall asleep again and finish it

sleep hugging a pillow

can't fall asleep because you're finally alone with your thoughts with no distractions for the first time in the entire day

certain a noise is someone breaking in

get up and lock the bedroom door so there's one more barrier from the intruder

change the channel from a horror movie to comedy so you have no nightmares

turn the light on in the bathroom so you don't see weird shapes in your room

Sex Up Your Blog

I love blogging! Not only did I find my tribe I could not find here in conservative Phoenix, but I also got the courage to get published and leave a miserable marriage. Seriously, it has changed my life. I live on the opposite side of the country from what little family I have left. My ex's family pretty much just dropped off the earth when I divorced him. So, my family is what I make it and the blog world has become a family of choice.

One thing I love about y'all is how kind people are. When I wanted to know about adsense and how it works, I asked Courtney from Haunt Jaunts. When I sent Max Evel a picture of my face,he turned it into an amazing profile pic. When I was struggling with a new look for my blog, Cullan from Strange State made me this wicked banner at the top of the page. Jeremy from olivezombies made stylish zombie art of me. Recently, I noticed a blogger had tabs and begged him to tell me and Sam Hain at The Halloween Blues told me how. Along the way, people have been amazingly helpful and I don't mind admitting when I have no freaking clue what I'm doing. Bloggers jump in and offer knowledge readily. I love these folks!

I'd like to share some of the love. Let me give you some tips about sexing up your blog. Mine has gone from very standard boring fare to something I am much more proud of and that I think shows what I'm like, organized and multitasking, sassy and unexpected. The things I learned along the way, I will share with you. I don't believe in keeping people in the dark. I have zero competitive bones in my body. So, I am going to help you make your blog awesome and sexy and this is a great time to do it because generally the blog world gets slow through spring until summer gets so hot, people retreat inside again and start thinking about Halloween. On average, the Samhain bug hits people around late July/Early August. By the time the rush comes back to the blog world, you could be attracting attention.

I will begin with the tips about tabs. We all have been asking each other, "how the fuck do I make tabs?" Thank you, Sam Hain at The Halloween Blues for explaining this to me. I will try to make it clear as he made it for me:

First, decide what tabs you want like, "humor," "photos," and "videos."

1. Go to your dashboard.
2. Click on "edit posts"
3. Go down your lists of past posts to find ones that you wish to call "humor"
4. Click on edit to the left of the post's title.
5. Scroll down and there is a box that says "labels for this post" write "humor"
6. Now, click on "publish post" (don't worry, it will keep it in the original date it was put up on the blog).
7. Now, finish finding your other "humor" posts and labeling them.
8. When you're ready to make a tab, go above and click on "design"
9. At the top of your page's design, click on "add a gadget"
10. In the pop-up window, scroll down and choose "Link List"
11. Ignore the title box
12. You may choose to sort tabs alphabetically or use drop down menu to choose other option.
13. Where it asks for New Site URL, put this: your blog's address/search/label/humor
14. Where it asks for "new site name" put "humor"
15. Now click on "add to list"
16. Now click on "save"
You have just added your first tab. All others will be done the same way with a new tab name such as "photos" or "videos"

Now, let's talk about sexing your blog. I might be using some of your own blogs as examples, but don't cringe. This is purely for reasons of admiration and examples of what to do. Since y'all taught me so much, I'm sharing the examples you've created:

Keep it simple, smartie:
This is Bubba's Place showcases his poetry. It's so simple in appearance that it magically relaxes you the minute you get there. He did not spaz it out which is brilliant. Lesson: If you have a comedy or frenetically crazy blog, you can make it visually bright, confusing like a nightclub, otherwise if your blog is about written content, consider keeping it very simple to showcase the writing and if it's more about video and pics, make it dark and sleek to make them pop.

Showcase your biz and impress people that you are legitimate: Paranormal World Blog not only showcases Gregory Branson-Trent's wickedly awesome books, but it makes it easy to see that the man running this blog knows his paranormal stuff. It's kind of like credentials first. Lesson: If you have a biz, don't ignore it. It makes you legitimate to talk about your subject matter. Make it prominent but not obnoxious so curious people can click and connect.

Be classy, be professional, look Hollywood sharp: Max Evel has this pegged. He isn't afraid to change it up and evolve. That tweaking of it helps to bring in new colors, new images, and it's still simple enough to showcase the wickedly cool vids he always finds and shares. Lesson: Consider the entire layout of the page, organize sidebars, make it simple to find content with tabs, keep it all within your theme and no extra bullshit that distracts and makes it tough. You might want to put up other blogs buttons, but consider just putting them on your blog list so people can see what you read. His blog feels like a nightclub which is perfect for his content and his devilish character.

The Banner that makes it possible for newcomers to know immediately all about you:
The best example of this is Bigfoot Lunch Club. It says it simply and easily. You know what you've found before having to read content. Lesson: No one wants to study the page and all its entries to figure out what the blog is about. If the title doesn't say it (like "Ghost Hunting Theories") then put a phrase at the top to specify it quickly and easily.

Curiosity brings you in: Above-The-Norm: Bizarre Arizona does this. It's classy and simple, but the photo at the top visually draws you down and you feel like you know immediately what this place is about. Lesson: Whether it's a stylish banner, photo or saying--you draw people in with the top of your page.

Organized, clean, compartmentalized, straightforward: I'm a Virgo and I appreciate seeing things in compartments, neatly separated, evenly proportioned. I feel like I'm in a neat post modern home when I go to The Halloween Blues blog. Lesson: When the eye travels the page, it needs to find the compartments nicely balanced and easy to find and know how to get to content quickly. If you want people to go deeper into your blog, make the content easy to find and logically organized.

Know yourself. Portray yourself. Share your style:Gnostalgia is literary, classy, and it has a theme that suits all spiritual/paranormal type of writing and all things steampunk that these savvy reviewers cover with a hint of a Victorian library to its feel. They know their content and they know their audience and I always feel welcome arriving there. Lesson: Do not forget your own personal style. All your components and influences come together. Steampunk/books=Gnostalgia.

Over the top, very professional and ridiculously attractive blog with a big audience Octoberfarm is run by someone who is an amazing cook, flea market enthusiast who lives in an autumn/Halloween feeling witchy world all year round. It feels like bits and pieces of "Practical Magic" meets Martha Stewart's Halloween specials. She knows her loves and it shows in every thing that decorates her blog and all its content. She has an adorable chow-chow, Teddy, who is part of her postings and every day a new recipe that blows your mind away. People are sucked into this blog because it's like going to mom's home for Thanksgiving, it's beautiful, it's fragrant, it's nurturing, it's an amazing getaway. Lesson: Your followers are loyal family members and they want to be part of an idyllic family with unconditional love and warmth and comfort and none of the insanity of real families.

Labels can neaten up your blog and free space, make it easier for people to find your shit: Strange State is a brilliant use of labels (left hand side). I often go to blogs and wonder what the person has written about. Those labels down the side of the page help me to find his UFO posts, his other subjects. Instead of tones of stuff to read, it's straightforward and simple to find what I want to read about. Lesson: When Cullan puts up a post on this blog--it's all about the post. Thankfully, because he finds the most wicked awesome paranormal stuff. I so appreciate his intellect on the subject and his sense of humor--very much what I want! It's slender and simple to read, not too lengthy, very thought provoking and you are not distracted by doo-dads and watchamathings.

Manageable bits and pieces/proper use of dark background/light writing: I love when someone has a blog that allows me to just hop in and out and enjoy a little retreat without having to work for it. If you want to do bits and pieces to tantalize and keep the look of the blog simple and nondistracting, try The Misadventures of HalloweeNut. Lesson: This is a good example of the dark background/light writing rule: Dark backgrounds with light writing should generally be used for brief writing and to showcase pictures and videos. For lots of text and not a lot of visuals, don't hurt the eyes and use light to medium background with dark writing. In the case of his blog, this was the ideal combo!

I've given you a lot to think about. One of the first places to consider looking is at your template and colors and fonts. Sometimes, mistakes make it work. Just look at the background on my blog. It's an old background my son put on long ago when I had a different look. I put the new colors on the text blocks and the new banner and it kept bothering me that I had the old background that didn't seem to match. But, over time I realized that by not being too matchy-matchy, it actually gave the page more interest and character, kind of like the weird old abandoned places I enter that have bizarre wallpaper. It makes everything else seem to pop, whereas if I made it to match the text blocks it would make the text blur away to the background instead of looking like blocks popping forward against a clashing surface.

Don't be afraid to test things and get reactions, ask for help. Consider your own personal tastes, the purpose of your blog, whether it should be frenetic and wild like a party or calm and zen-like, organized and neat or loose and flowing. I admit to being out of sorts in blogs that are too busy when the subject is something introspective like poetry or lyrics or witty short comments about life. I also don't feel at all comfortable in a blog that is simple and symmetric and blank, but the subject is about comics and video games. If you have a lot crazy and wild stuff, consider making the blog crazy and wild. Some blogs need caffeine; others need Valium.

Look at your blog like a theme party. If you were having a theme party at your house, you would consider the decorations, costuming, food choices, invitations--everything in keeping. Stay in keeping with the intent of your blog and how you write it. If you have flowery writing and a super metallic modern looking blog, you are not jiving. Be yourself in every way. We can tell the blogs that are genuine because bits of the real person shows through from color choices to pictures to wording and humor or mystery and anonymity. In other words, ultimately, be true to yourself!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Syfy Happenings and My Upcoming Josh Showcase!



Tonight, new season of "Ghost Hunters" (yawn) Did I mention "Ghost Hunters" is starting ANOTHER season tonight? At this point, I think some viewers wouldn't mind watching them pick lint from their bellybuttons. Personally, they showed no growth or change in all those, what is it--7 seasons??? I say "off with their heads!" It's not entertaining and it's not even informative anymore. It's like taking Algebra for the fifth time, all I hear from the teacher when he speaks is "wah wah wah wah wah." All I hear when Steve explains the haunting to Tango is "wah wah wah wah wah." And, at the end of the episode during reveal, Jason will say for the umpteenth time "and things of that nature."


(Josh's head on Indiana's body)

On the bright side, my favorite guilty pleasure, "Destination Truth" has a live episode kicking off its new season on the 17th of March looking for Banshees in Ireland--wahoo! God, I want his job! No, I'd rather be his sidekick. Expect me to launch the show with its own goofy show-day fun. You know how FoF I do the tank top shots and then LAUGH episodes? For GA I do music videos and the drinking game? Well, Josh baby needs his own showcase and I'm going to give it to him like only Autumnforest can when she's stalking, ahem, admiring someone. You'll have to see what I have planned on St. Patty's Day.



I hope you're watching "Face-Off" on Syfy Channel. I am addicted to it. I find myself rooting for certain participants. I really loved last week's when they were designing new horror movie villains. This week, they are going to do old-age makeup.

Syfy has announced a new show in conjunction with one of the most disliked Top Chef contestants who was rather young and cocky but a damn good cook! He was very much into the new technology of cooking using rather space-age appearing techniques. Here's what they have to say about this one--I like the idea and will be following it avidly:

"Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen."  The series, premiering March 22, follows Marcel as he dreams up creative menus and produces extraordinary events and celebrations for all types of occasions while having to use every ounce of imagination and scientific experimentation in order to deliver a once in a lifetime experience. 

Syfy still needs me to orchestrate my brilliant paranormal show concept, but for now I will watch their other programs and amuse myself until they decide to get serious about their ratings.

Let's Write a Horror Short-Now!


It's Wednesday and the new thing is us writing a horror short. I will begin with an opening, each of you come on and consecutively add to the last guy's piece. Keep it short. I want you to try to do it in a sentence or two.

First, here's last Wednesday's. If you liked someone's addition, click on their name and go to their blogs. These are some of my favorite bloggers! I'd like to see more of you jump on this time and show your hidden talents for horror.

ME: "Locked inside the blackened room, he felt the walls, pounding, waiting to feel a door, but there was none."

Eric “Bubba: Alder: He tried to remain calm, struggling to remember how he'd got there in the first place.

He walked slowly about the room until he bumped into something very near where he figured the middle of the room would be.

He reached out to feel what it was...


HalloweeNut: His hand grasped a dry, hard lump about the size of a baby's head. it was...


Gnostalgia: "Damn! This is giant bat guano!"


Cullan Hudson: A sudden shriek erupted from the darkness, followed closely by a thunderous flapping that stirred the dust around.


Anadae Quenyan Effro: ……. by the time they had entered the centre hall, the sound of rocks scraping against rocks, probably from the roughly hewn stone blocks weighing many tonnes a piece, abruptly sounded from within the walls, creating quite a clamour amongst the surrounding forest's wild life. But, then again, strange goings-on were legendary, especially from this Scottish ruin, allegedly built by goblins' hands …

Lost In Idaho: His heart was pounding in his throat. Gasping for air, he remembered the lighter in his pocket. He flicked, flicked, flicked until the flame whithered up, revealing...

Monkey Man: ....his own face in a mirror but it was what the reflection next to him that made his mouth as dry as the Arizona desert and the chill run through his veins.

Echo: An enemy, it was a face of his enemy. He knew that squaring off to fight a mirror opponent can be worse than fighting a real foe.



Okay, so this is the new one for this week:

"Something growled lowly behind him, but Jack could not turn to see it. He was tied tightly to the tree, in the dark forest, completely deprived of even the tiniest shaft of light."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Son's Blog: The Desert Fallout Journal


My son started a blog and I'm thrilled that he did. He's an accomplished artist and writer. He not only photographs abandoned sites, but he makes videos from them that are mesmerizing.

The Desert Fallout Journal
is a fantastic concept. He covers photographers of abandoned sites, zombie and dark-themed video games, video art of abandoned sites, the process of writing his end-of-world novel "Latitudes of Flint and Dust," and many more other things including Cold War era influences, atomic influences, the crumbling infrastructure of the baby boomers that his generation has grown up in, the boomtowns gone bust.

His art can be found showcased at his website and his hilarious YouTube videos and other videos can be found on YouTube under "beatemorburnem" (line from "Night of the Living Dead").

My son is a complex man who recently graduated from college with honors with a Fine Arts degree with an emphasis on video. I have watched him run his own t-shirt and logo design business in high school and do a winning job of making a profit, watched him go through gifted program his whole life and maintain an amazing GPA, and have admired him produce jaw-dropping short films and even a few commercials he filmed and edited.

There is just about nothing he won't try. And, his writing makes me very envious. I am a mother, I must brag, but he's turning 23 and I still am waiting or the terrible 2's, but they never came.

You will find his blog a fantastic getaway. If you think my blog is thought provoking, his is equally well-defined. He knows himself well and his influences, from being raised in the desert to his mother dragging him around to abandoned and haunted sites and getting him into the horror genre. He has taken horror to a new level that only a man with great insight into the psychology of horror could do.

Honestly, I cannot wait to read his novel when it's published later this year. Enjoy his blog. Just one visit and you will know what he's like right away.

Mind Fuck Tuesday: "Hutchison Effect" MIND BLOWING!



This video--watch the whole freaking thing because it will blow your mind. I admit to a monster crush on Tesla, but it could be replaced by a man named Hutchison and something he created called the "Hutchison Effect."

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Paranormal Bucket List!


Ordinary people want pictures of themselves in front of Disneyland and on the beach. Oh, not me, unless of course a UFO crashed into Disneyland and the beach had a Montauk Monster wash up on its shore.

I thought I would entertain you and myself with a top 10 paranormal bucket list I had assembled. One thing I know about life is that I would go into these situations with certain expectations and goals and come back with completely different ones. I will include you in on what I naively hope to achieve in each of these adventures.

I am very curious to hear what you might put on our own bucket lists. Please share. I will put these in order of what I would most like to do and descending order of importance.

1. Ghost hunt in my childhood home to communicate with the Civil War soldiers, my father, mother, brother, sister and family friend who all vowed to haunt it. My expectations going into this are that my family, knowing I seek answers from the other side and swearing they would haunt it, would give me some serious signs of their presence. If they do not, I might consider hanging up my ghost bag.

2. Hunt for Bigfoot in British Columbia/Vancouver Island. This would not be a stroll into the woods, set some trap cameras and high tail it out. I would want to seriously hike in, spend an extended period of time making a base camp, as well as a single camp alone as bait. My ultimate dream is to witness this creature for myself. I would like to leave with some kind of proof of stalking and maybe some signs he was there, such a footprints or sounds.

3. Camp in the Suicide Forest. This is purely for the adrenalin ghost hunter and nature lover aspect of myself. I love camping and the woods there look like you could get positively lost. The thought that others have died around there and the emotion that would generate atop of a volcanic area intrigues me. I know I would be psychically on alert, but I wonder if it might heighten my skills. Purely for the creep factor, this might be the one place I sleep that would freak me out even if I never showed it, I would feel it inside.

4. Examine and hunt at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum where ideal haunting conditions exist. This location will be the basis of the spirit vessels book as an example of the ideal conditions for a perfect haunted building. I would like to touch it, walk it, and hunt it as alone as possible so I can gather clear information without others around me who will penetrate my readings with their own residual.

5. Touch a genuine crystal skull. This is purely as a psychic and specifically a psychometrist. Quartz is a fantastic holder of energy and memories. I would very much like to discover what I get off one of these babies. For that matter, could I please be allowed into museums to touch artifacts? Pretty please... I usually get chewed out for touching the cases!

6. Perform a ghost hunt in a castle that is unoccupied by others. I simply want the opportunity to walk the history, feel it, see it, hear it, understand it. Without anyone to make me stray, I could get a very good collective picture of events and know just where to go and when to get the best action. The very construction of these buildings makes them great retainers of history. It would be a fantastic read.

7. Some time to study and examine Skinwalker Ranch in Utah and come to my own conclusions about the conditions there and what might have been there or is still there where supposedly a cluster of freaky creatures emerged from portals, UFOs were seen regularly and poltergeist-like activity.

8. Examine a crop circle. This is for context. I would like to walk around, examine the area, examine the way it looks and feels, walk it, see what it was like to create it and try to see if there is any residual I can pick up psychically. I also am curious if standing in the pattern might do something in a kind of feng shui manner to the human body. I have always laughed at crop circles, but I would like to really experience one before pushing it off as all hoaxes.

9. A night on doll island in Mexico. This is for my own freaking entertainment. The idea of walking around in the dark with thousands of creepy dirty nasty dolls staring me sounds like trial by fire. As someone who reads objects, I know that dolls being on the receiving end of attention, have a directed memory and emotion held in them that is rather potent. I think a collection of them, surrounded by water and its churning efforts might actually generate something rather disturbing.

10. UFO hunt in Peru. I suppose I could have said Florida or Phoenix, but I have a theory about Peru because it is a huge mining country and I think they go hand in hand. I also think that given the Nazca lines, if UFOs are aliens, this should be one of their ways of knowing where they've been.

I have a million other smaller things, but these are ones that call to me strongly.

What Kind of Ghost Hunter Are You?

First, I wanted to start with this wicked cool book trailer that my son, Alex, created (he did the book cover too) for my upcoming book "Was That a Ghost?" that helps folks to know if what happened to them was paranormal or not. The book will be coming out on Nook/Kindle in a couple weeks. I will keep you updated. Love this trailer! Very cool!


Let's look at the types of ghost hunters:

Preoccupied by/fear death: (example Steve Gonsalves TAPS “Ghost Hunters”)
These hunters often present as young hunters, goth types, those with grief/depression issues chronically, those who’ve come close to death through illness or accident, and those who carry a preoccupation of thoughts about death and dying. Their motivations are vast, but they all fall within the realm of fear of death and a need to prove to themselves there is an afterlife.
The strengths of these hunters are an openness to the possibilities, they don’t generally fear the concept of ghosts, in fact, they are excited about it, and they are morbidly fascinated with places of death, types of death, and how people were killed and so therefore not squeamish.
The weaknesses about these types of hunters are that they’re often not eager to take on a leadership role, will often believe anyone who seems wise such as psychics or experienced hunters, and are sometimes hard to motivate to stay on task.
The best role in your group for this type is documentation. These hunters are very good at focusing when given a task of concentration such as keeping notes, documenting times and readings, writing down observations. When they’re given a task it often times keeps them from focusing on their inner world in their mind where they run a constant conversation that takes them off task.


Unanswered questions/Seeking a Truth:
(example Jason Hawes TAPS “Ghost Hunters”)
These hunters often present themselves as logic-minded people who are quick to tell you they don’t believe in ghosts and supernatural. Still, they have experienced something their logic can’t explain. They’re in search of debunking skills, pondering all the approaches to ghost hunting—knocking them off their list one by one as they dispute the false logic in others' belief systems. What they’re often left with is more questions than answers. Nothing seems to ring true to them.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters is that they can’t be taken in by anything or anyone, are quick to debunk, and won’t get carried away with fear.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are that their minds are not open to accepting what anyone says, they need to experience something and apply their own logic to come to a reasonable conclusion, and they don’t like to be followers.
The best role in your group for this type is debunking. These hunters will go to great lengths to not look stupid by finding explainable reasons behind what’s happening. They’re pit bulls when it comes to using logic to explain anything that happens.

Adrenalin jockey: (example Zak Bagans “Ghost Adventures”)
The strengths of these kinds of hunters is that no place is too creepy, no height too tall, no spider too scary. They're ready to go and go now!
The weaknesses of these types are that they often times don't take guidance well, they think they know how to do it and when to do it and will often times disregard instructions.
The best role in your group for this type is reconnaissance. They should be the ones to test the site, check out the rickety stairs first, poke around a dirty basement, crawl in a tight space, and generally protect the group from any unexpected squatters or other dangers like rusty nails sticking out of boards or unstable railings. Some would also say that these types of hunters are ideal for taunting and they certainly are, if you’re of a mind to taunt.

History buffs/romantics: (example Yvette Fielding “Most Haunted”)These types of hunters want to explore historic sites, feel the floorboards, stand where others have stood, knowing that generations have gone by, events have occurred, and the ambiance is exciting to them.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are they are great at finding neat locations, love to take photos, and are usually the most charming representative for the group with clients.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they’re the most likely to not like poking around in the darkness, crawlspaces, or sitting for long periods of time in the dark.
The best role in your group for this type is researcher. These type of hunters would like nothing more than an afternoon at the library or registrar for the city to look up titles and histories of buildings. They want to know all the romantic details of the illustrious past of the dead or the location. You can be sure that they won’t just take someone’s story about a location as fact, they want to know the “true unvarnished” history.

Pious/Righteous Minister: (example "demonologist" Lorraine Warren)
These hunters enter the field in order to prove to people that ghosts exist, that they know just what they are, and that others must accept what they say without question. They have THE TRUTH. They're the experts.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are that they can work independently. In fact, they’d really prefer to do their own thing because no one else is doing it right.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they tend to overtake a group, try to become leader, insist things be done their way, and completely poo-poo anyone else’s viewpoint causing a lot of infighting.
The best role in your group for this type is as a consultant. This is someone you want to call in, but you don’t want to lead the group.

Psychic sensitives/caretakers: (example Ryan Buell “Paranormal State”) These types of hunters are often time psychics, empaths, sensitives, and caretakers. They have a tendency to want to protect and help others.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are they take their time in locations and let their senses dictate where to go. They have great patience. They keep care of the others on the team.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they let their emotions rule their actions. They become involved in the group’s dynamics as a peacemaker and have dark and sullen moods and withdraw upon occasion.
The best role in your group for this type is EVP sessions. Honestly, I’ve found that people with tender hearts and sensitivity, especially nurses, teachers, mothers, and psychics are excellent at getting responses on audio.

Show me/I want to believe: (example Dave Tango, TAPS “Ghost Hunters”)
These types of hunters haven’t yet experienced a paranormal event, but they desperately want to. They want to see something that makes them believe. They want to know what it’s like to feel something unexplainable.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are they’re very eager. They’ll do anything, go anywhere, try anything. They have endless energy.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they think everything is a ghost. They startle easy. They don’t have a body of experience or knowledge to be beneficial yet.
The best role in your group for this type is tech work. These are the ideal people to review film and audio searching with great detail for any sign of anything.

You’re probably going to ask me, "Autumnforest, what kind of ghost hunter are you?"

The three I haven’t been are preoccupied by/fear death, pious/righteous Minister one, and the show me/I want to be believe.

I have been a little bit of the psychic/sensitive/caretaker, Adrenalin jockey, history buff/romantic.

My primary role is definitely the unanswered questions/seeking a truth.

That’s probably why I have a “Ghost Hunting Theories” blog.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Patterson-Gimlin Revisited



(Patterson-Gimlin film, 1967, Northern California)

I came across the Patterson-Gimlin film again recently. It's got to be one of my biggest tormenters. Why? Because my entire life, I always poo-poo'd the concept that this was genuine film. No one ever gets such extraordinary things on film and if they did, people would rush into the woods like madmen wanting to capture the beast.

It wasn't until the past 10 years or so that I've looked at the film differently. BF, after all, is not like an elusive ghost. It is a real biological creature that could be captured on film (although there are those who believe he is popping in and out of other dimensions).

I think what bothers me the most about the film is that going about debunking it is much like debunking ghostly evidence. To the outsider, it can be disputed too easily, but to the person who was there in the context, it is forever burned into their memory; they know the context, they know that they saw, smell and heard and they also know it was the genuine thing.

So, I feel some compassion now for Patterson and Gimlin when I view the film. I think about how I would feel if I got amazing ghostly evidence and people shot it down. In fact, Ben Hansen from “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files” and I were talking, he mentioned how film can make people either believe something completely or say that it was easily faked with modern movie-making techniques. It has a polarizing effect.

This film is definitely polarizing.

One thing I talk about extensively in my upcoming book “Was That a Ghost?” is taking the context into account when looking at your encounter; taking into consideration your belief system and your explanatory style when evaluating an encounter. I am going to try to do the same here with the film.

Belief: I do believe in Bigfoot, not sure if I believe in the film (partially objective)

Context: I will review the context in which the film was taken (below).

Explanatory style: In comparing the pros and cons, I will try not to interject any belief system and keep myself objective (below).

The truth is, we must judge on just this case and not anything else. You might believe in ghosts, but each hunting case has to be handled very objectively. You know you believe in ghosts, but that does not have to mean that everything that happens is ghostly. Same here. I believe in BF and that will remain whether or not this film proves to me to be authentic.

This film, in other words, will not be the only thing that makes or breaks my belief.

I thought I should step away from a strange gut feeling that it's authentic when my head says it can't be. I figured I'd break down what bugs me about the film and what intrigues me about it and play “good guy/bad guy” with it.

What bugs me...

Why doesn't the creature react to horses and men shuffling after him? Surely, BF has not seen horses or such huge beasts, other than bears, before. Patterson clearly chases after him too, but BF just strides away like “whatever dudes!

Why is the face so hairy? I didn't expect to see the face covered completely in hair. I thought it would be more leathery like apes and have large bare areas.

How possible is it that these two men went looking for BF and actually found him? Had they been camping and filming their fun vacation and captured it, I would have believed them so much more.

No apparent calluses on elbows or knees. I'm not sure I know that much about how BF lives, but it seems to me that areas like elbows and knees would be worn down and callused from life outdoors, kneeling, leaning, and sleeping on the forest floor.

Why is his fur sooooo silky? I have long curly hair. When I go camping and lay down on the forest floor, my hair is filled with bits of leaves and all kinds of shit and it will stay there for days if I don't brush out my hair. I doubt BF has a groomer, but damn! His hair looks fine and not matted or dirty.

Most females in primate groups/man tend to stay with the children while the men do the scavenging. Why is this BF female wandering around alone? Where is her tribe? They should be social creatures if they are like their relatives.

Timing. She seemed a bit caught in the act by these men, but two men on horseback clomping through the woods, leaping over boulder-lined streams would be heard by her and she would have been leaving before they even got close and she wouldn't be taking a parallel trek to them, she would have high-tailed it away from them so that they see her backside. This chick BF seems to be doing the runway walk at a beauty pageant.

What intrigues me...

That this creature has pendulous fur-covered breasts is intriguing. It was a touch that one would not expect and men would likely, if designing a costume, just stick on some tits, not thinking about a mature female who has breast fed and not worn a bra her whole life. This is no silicone lady, she's the real deal in the chest department.

The location. It was a creek area and would likely be a spot where she might do some fishing or drinking.

They ran out of film. Really, if you were going to do this, you'd put this film early on the reel while the batteries are fresh. You wouldn't wait until the end of film to record it. They could have chased after BF and gotten even more film.

Profit. It didn't seem as if the men made a lot of money off the film. There was no Tom Biscardi'ish handling of the evidence that made it hard for anyone to view it or asking for cash to study it. They didn't go on a crazy publicity tour or anything else that would profit off such a find.

The head turn. This impressed me because up until now she seems to give a shit they're there, walking away at her own pace, but when she does look over her shoulder at them, it reminded me instantly of apes at the zoo that check you out as they walk away. They know not to completely ignore their stalkers.

The filming place. This one gets me because most of those hokey faked BF vids are deep in the woods where bushes and brambles, trees and thicket blot out the creature's details so we can't pick apart its authenticity. For 1967, for these men to create a hoax like this and have the cajones to put BF out in the open like that with a very well-captured view of the entire body in full-blooming sunlight was either really cocky or just freaking lucky timing.

If I could just have a few minutes with Gimlin, I'd want to ask him this:

"Dude, when Patterson had you wandering the woods looking for BF, did he lead the way that day? Did he seem pressured to get there at a certain time? Did he see the creature first? And, how far in did you follow it after you filmed it?"

I know my brilliant followers can add to this list of "bugs me" and "intrigues me." Feel free to do so. You know I love stimulating conversation on paranormal subjects.





(ape walks like man)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coming Up WIth New Post Ideas!


Coming Up With New Post Ideas
I've been doing my blog for 3 years now and I do 2 posts most days. How??? I know, I know, I don't have a life. It isn't actually all that time-consuming. I usually put a week or two ahead in the queue so I can kick back. So, one day a week I brainstorm and my brain is fairly active.

Here are some things I've done over the years that made my posting easier:

1. Consider having “series.” Look at my tabs across the top of my blog--those are just some series. Say, every Wednesday you do “Who Dunnit Wednesday?” and discuss a famous crime that was never solved. Maybe on Sunday you put up, “Why My Family is Dysfunctional Sunday” based on what you observe about our family by Sunday after being with them all weekend. Series are something readers enjoy because they think, “oh yeah, it's ridiculous music video Monday!”

2. Use your Followers. That sounded harsh, huh? No, use them in a good way. Pick out a follower who intrigues you or has a really awesome blog and interview them and showcase their blog. We all want to learn where the cool places are to hang out and who's the next new interesting blogger.

3. Check out where you're cruising. You daily go onto the Internet in search of stuff (other than porn), so what are you finding? One day, I was wandering onto one site, ended up on another, opened a link and found something wicked cool that fascinated me. I then took that video embed, copied it, pasted it into a document and went online to learn more about this subject. Your serendipitous information is a sign. If you went “oh wow!” so will others.

4. Search your past. The past of your blog, that is. Go back to some early posts and elaborate on some of the subjects you did back then. Sometimes, a new attitude about the topic makes it informative and new.

5. Photograph, make videos. People love vlogs and why not do a little face-to-face video or show people your perspective driving to work and the ass clowns on the road. How about photographing what's beautiful or even ugly about where you live. If you have a horror blog, go to a cemetery or an abandoned building or even a scary looking sewer tunnel and do some artsy shots.

6. Take them with you. I enjoy taking my road trips and ghost hunts because I can do pics and videos to take everyone along with me. I can even stop at a cheesy gift store and get local AZ specialty gifts like rattlesnake eggs and cactus jelly and use them for giveaways. If you're going to do something unusual like ice fishing or go somewhere weird like on a glider plane, take the followers with you!

7. Do top 10 lists. Give your top 10 favorite slasher films list, let others give you theirs.

8. Look into the world of art, music and videos. Go to YouTube and Itunes and other places and type in a key word or two. Find out if there is music just about zombies, find homemade zombie videos, artists on Etsy making zombie items. Do an entire zombie arts post from it.

9. Give a “what if” scenario. Interactive posts are the best. People feel compelled to respond and you get a conversation going. Try asking “what if you could only take 2 people with you on an island for the rest of your life, who would they be and why?”

10. Introduce the child you. Put up a childhood picture and discuss when you first started your interest in the subject you now blog about.

11. Movie and book reviews. You're already seeing movies and reading books (I hope), so tell us about it.

I always say that the more of your true personality that shows on a blog, the better. People don't read blogs to be lectured at like they're in a classroom. They want to hear your POV on something, maybe get a chuckle, maybe learn something new, maybe just check in with someone they feel affection for. We do become friends over time and so bring them in on your buddy conversational style.

The first time I let a swear word fling on my blog, I realized it was my blog because I had spent 26 years of marriage with someone who hated for a woman to cuss and I had to come up with ways of clamping my mouth shut when I stubbed a toe. Now, I could finally express myself the way I do inside my head, but get to share that insane content with others. It's liberating and it also is endearing and real.

Endearing and real should always be the goal of a good blog.

Ben: I Miss You!


You know, I'm a lovable person. I think everyone is a little prize to be opened and cherished, to draw light to their strengths and find their weaknesses endearing. Some people, however, earn a special place in my heart because they have some amazing qualities that show their spot on the evolutionary scale shows promise for the future. Some of those qualities?

Curiosity and intelligence
Humor and ability to laugh at oneself, as well
Saying you'll do something and doing it
Whatever you find yourself doing, doing it 110%

Ben Hansen of "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" on SyFy channel is one such evolutionary divergence that proves we are headed in the right direction. Production companies, editing and cable channel's directives aside, this guy is just there and real and smart and hopeful and earnest and seriously knows his paranormal world. He was not an actor hoping to get a show. He was an investigator hoping to get a sponsor to investigate the big stuff.



Sure, I've had a secret crush on him and am known to put on my Fact or Faked tank top for every review of the show, but then I also do music videos and drinking games for Ghost Adventures, so me showcasing shows I take pleasure in is not unusual.

Still, he is oh so tall and handsome, with that boyish grin and blue eyes. He is funny, smart, a fantastic conversationalist and with such a wide variety of knowledge, can talk about anything.

I was telling him of some episodes I'd love to see them do and he was thinking along the same lines and said they were already developing these ideas. He even knows what us viewers really want to know more about.

I am anxiously awaiting season 2 and hoping that they are into the groove and ready to take it to the next level. I remember not liking Destination Truth the first season and then falling in love halfway through the second season and being addicted by the third season. I am hoping to see the same affliction with FoF and since I liked the first season, I expect it to just get better.

Best of all, I'll get to see Ben again (sigh).

You can expect when the season fires up, I will be doing my reviews of the show the next day with the tank top shots and an honest review. I hold no punches even though I have a crush on the man. I also will no doubt be primed to do some more of my LAUGH episodes (tab at the top of the blog) because that show just makes it so easy with its video reviews. If we're lucky, he will drop in time and again like he did last season and comment with the commenters.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lonely on a Friday Night--Join Us Here!


Hey, I'm in all evening, hanging out. Come and go as you wish. Make chit chat. Stay awhile. I want to hear from you if you're lonely tonight too. Oh, and do have your Travel Channel on to see the GA Salem episode--see my earlier post today for the drinking game instructions. This episode should be worth a buzz or two. You may begin commenting now.

GHOST ADVENTURES--DRINKING GAME--NEW EPISODE!


(Witchy Woman done a cappella by Calmwaters23 on YouTube. This dude has serious talent. I figured since the Travel Channel promoters left me in the dark about this episode, I'd leave the Eagles in the dark too! You won't miss a thing, this version rocks!)

I don't know whazzup with the promoters, but they said goodbye for the season and see y'all next fall with the new season and then they burped up the Valentine's episode without warning and now a Salem episode that is new. The season isn't on, but apparently they had some straggler episodes?? I'm not going to complain! God, I miss new episodes of GA!

The boyz are hitting Salem. You knew this would have to happen and with Zak being a superstitious type, he's going to be all heebie jeebies, might be calling on an incubus or being burned at the stake (even though they were hung actually).

Drinking game tonight will have a new twist. I'm going to give you the rules and send you to my buddy The Liquor Guy to find out what the drink(s) are suggested. He has a classy, witty and wicked site for people who are interested in all things liquor

Rules:
1. Stay Home.
2. Take a sip (or gulp) for every "bro," "dude," "man," every time Zak thinks he got touched by a ghost and every time Aaron's mouth becomes unhinged in horror.

Tonight is going to rock! There's something about Zak and the dudes in Salem that gets me all excited for a good time and lots of chuckles. Don't forget--tonight is Lonely on a Friday Night. Join me on here all evening. I'll be here to hostess if you want to drop in and leave comments and chat.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tomorrow "Ghost Adventures" New Episode!


Tomorrow morning you will find a post as I usually have on Friday mornings when there is a new GA episode--a music video (great find!) and a drinking game with a new twist. There will also be a Lonely on a Friday Night as usual where you can come on and comment back and forth and chit chat all evening or just pop in and out if you like. I thought I'd warn you about the GA episode. The season was over but they surprised us with the Valentine's Special and now this one which is Salem! Yes, Zak baby in witch country. Sounds superstitious and hilarious!

Wicked Cool Site to Help Writers and Bloggers!


You have a blog and sometimes go blank on what to write. You should add some new content, but it's so much effort. What if you could jump onto a site that shows you lots of eager writers who want to promote their books? What if you could interview them by email and showcase their book, allowing you to have an easy post and content that makes people take your love of your blog's subject matter seriously?

What if you're a writer who wants their book to get noticed, the word to be spread through the blogs? You can put your book's info on here for bloggers to decide if they'd like to showcase your book and interview you.

This site, "BlogTour" is brilliant!

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