Merrill’s Musical Musings: Ro’s Recs /Women Get Spooky

Ro’s Recs: Women in Metal 

Heavy Metal and Horror will forever be intertwined. Ever since the first notes were played by founding fathers Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, the two genres began a relationship that is symbiotic. Women didn’t always have a role front and center in the music, but that, my fellow horroraddicts, is changing. 

The women carrying the dark torch in music these days are inspirational and powerful. Their musical styles and their backgrounds may vary, but they’re continuing to prove that women can rock hard and they continue to explore the dark recesses of society that horror fans love to dwell in. Check out these bands and find some new favorites. 

Spiritbox, hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, features lead singer Courtney LaPlante, whose voice is absolutely mesmerizing. From their name to the imagery in their videos and their dark lyrics, Spiritbox is a horror fan’s dream band…

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Romantic Memories: The World of Suzie Wong

Meant to Be Press

Romantic Memories: The World of Suzie Wong

By Naching T. Kassa

Suzie Wong 2I adore romantic films. But as a person of color growing up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, finding a film that represented my culture was a daunting task. Most films, especially those made before the 60s, involved white protagonists. These couples faced adversity but, ultimately, wound up together and happy at the end.

Non-white protagonists weren’t so lucky. Most of the time, a person of color was the villain or a secondary character. If she/he was involved with the white character, the relationship often ended tragically. They either died or lost their love to the white character. No interracial relationship survived. If a story did have some sort of happily ever after ending, the person of color was played by a white woman in makeup.

Persons of color weren’t the only ones who suffered. Girls with “questionable morals”…

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Historian of Horror: The Answer, My Friend, is Bowen in the Wind

The Answer, My Friend, is Bowen in the Wind…

by Mark Orr

A strange title, you might think, but it’s one born of long hours of contemplation of a writer whose works I’ve read for decades, and yet have had a hard time getting a handle on for this contribution to my little corner of the Horror Addicts realm. Her ghostly yarns written under this pen name have been anthologized extensively, but have impacted the popular culture outside of the confines of literature remarkably little. Two of her historical romances were made into silent films with significant casts. A handful of her suspense novels, all written under one of her other several pseudonyms, Joseph Shearing, were filmed either as theatrical releases or for television in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Only three of her many spooky short stories appear to have been adapted into other media, either during her…

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Announcing: ‘Middle Eastern Literatures’

ArabLit & ArabLit Quarterly

As announced last week, there are new editors and a new board for the journal Middle Eastern Literatures:

As co-editor Nora Parr wrote in her announcement, “The journal has carved out an important space to explore the potential of a comparative literature that is not centered on Euro-America, and we are thrilled to carry out and even further this mission. Our role is to nurture ambitious and innovative scholarship, and we are committed to completing peer review within three months or less.”

To that end, the four co-editors have recruited a new board, and, they write, “The journal aims…

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#Blogtour – The Click of a Pebble by Barbara Spencer Day 3

Robbie's inspiration

Today I am delighted to welcome talented author, Barbara Spencer, to Robbie’s Inspiration for Day 3 of her The Click of a Pebble book tour hosted by WordCrafter Blog Tours.

You can find Day 1 here:

You can find Day 2 here:

The Series: Children of Zeus

‘Where Historical Fiction and Fantasy Collide’

My book here on Amazon

Click of a Pebble at Amazon

After a decade or more writing for children and young adults, I pretty much know my way around a children’s book. A couple of years ago, deciding I need a new challenge, I turned my attention to writing magical realism for adults.

But what is magical realism and how does it differ from fantasy? I think of fantasy as being set in a mythological world in which there are rules but maybe not the rules we subscribe to in our humdrum human world…

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Monday #Meditation #Motivation #Tarot

Writing and Music

Happy Monday! I have much to be thankful for after the struggles of the past week. The quote above really spoke to me. I do believe it to be truth.

Here is today’s meditation to start your day filled with positive energy. Enjoy!

The Tarot Cards for this week could not be more appropriate.

The Five of Swords indicates a battle of some sort, and for many, this past week was a huge battle for survival. The Five of Cups shows a situation may not have turned out like you wanted or that you are suffering some sort of loss. For those affected by the arctic storm that passed over, loss is part of the aftermath. But the Two of Wands wraps it up with future planning, progress and personal goals. It can also represent a decision of some sort. So, even though we’ve had some hard times, the days…

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Chasing Snowflakes

France & Vincent

jan7 and8th 041

January 15th, 2013…

I woke to snow this morning.  Not a lot, but it was a start. The child in me always feels that sense of wonder when I look out of the window on early morning snow. The world is pristine white, hushed and silent. It was still dark and the street lights gave the village a magical air that made me think immediately of wardrobes and fur coats. The inner child wanted to don the white furry cloak that still sits in its case in the top of the wardrobe and wander through the village while it awakened, like some arcane creature of myth.

That cloak could tell many tales, of castles and clifftops, sea caves and magic, of Tintagel and Avalon. It could tell of friendships and beginnings and loving laughter…but it has yet to be worn in the snow.

However, there was another furry thing that…

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Scarlet Woman

France & Vincent

January 4th, 2013…

Ok, scarlet may be a slight misnomer if we are going to be chromatically accurate. In fact, as I sit here dripping colour onto the dog towel draped around my shoulders, I could as easily end up vermillion or ginger. Not that it matters. As long as it is vivid.

Oddly enough, given my age, I’m not covering grey hair. I have a few, of course, but would wear them, like the laughter lines, as a badge of honour… sort of a campaign medal for living. But great granny’s genes run strong and her hair stayed dark into her tenth decade. No.  Red hair is a statement of hair

It started a couple of years ago when my 52nd birthday came and went much the same way as all the others for the past couple of decades. Pretty much unremarked. I sort of thought, bugger it…

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Your Lovely Feet Gleamed Like Fish

Pablo Neruda – The Captain’s Verses (Carcanet, 2020)

Neruda. A legend. And yet, little known in the English language. Brian Cole, translator of The Captain’s Verses, wonders why.

I look at the picture of the man on the cover. He is well-fed, with a face at once warm and yet sceptical. He is dressed professorially, with a white shirt, tie, a woollen cardigan and a scarf. In the back are the bleached white walls of a Chilean village.

I realise it must be searing hot there. But Neruda is wearing a scarf.

Here, I think, lies the secret to Neruda’s lack of Anglophone readers. There is an unbearable heat to his poetry that makes us uncomfortable. We have to cast it off. We cannot bear it. We’ll wilt.

The Captain’s Verses were first published anonymously in 1952. Neruda was in the middle of leaving one wife for another, and…

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Kyrian Lyndon


Paul Catalano was shorter and pudgier than his brother, Tommy, was. He had a broad face, similar lightbrown eyes, lighter hair, and a prepossessing smile. He’d kissed me in a garage during a game of hide-and-seek when I was nine. It was a forceful peck on the side of my mouth. After a brief delay, I opened my mouth once or twice to say something and then dashed right out of there. In my daunted state, it was like fleeing the accursed grip of a murky tomb into the glare of the blinding sun.

In September of fifth grade, he walked up to me in school and hugged me. I didn’t know what to do with my arms. Another morning, I felt something at my back when I exited the coatroom, a mere graze, but it tickled me and caused me to jerk and jiggle, twisting as I turned…

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Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

No ghosts remembered

No permission sought for death

No pardon asked

No oaks will grow in grace here

Profit sang a louder song

The hedgerows have been uprooted. The avenue of stately oaks felled and carted away, mud-caked and unmourned by those whose hands did the deed. For the birds and small creatures to whom these trees were home, though, their demise would have meant something different. The fields around where the avenue once stood are now a morass of winter mud, unsheltered, barren of food or hiding places and full of vehicles.

They are building a high-speed rail link that seems to have become obsolete before it was ever begun. Adaptations to the way business and meetings now work remotely leave so many of us wondering if the money for the much-contested project would not be better spent on helping those people and services suffering through the current crisis…

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Deeper #writephoto

But I Smile Anyway...

Sue’s #WritePhoto Prompt:

It was mere seconds, but as I fell, it felt like time had slowed down.

I wondered how such beauty could be present at a time where my mind held thoughts not remotely beautiful.

The russets and golds on the leaves of the branch sticking out of the rocks.

The vibrant green of the plants surrounding it.

The sun, bouncing off the light stone of the wall.

The ripples creating their own music that grew louder as I drew closer to the water.

Then, the splash, followed by muffled sounds, as I sunk deeper into the water.

Tendrils from the underwater foliage threatened to wrap themselves around my limbs, but I fought them off.

Bubbles escaped my mouth as my body floated upwards, like an air-filled buoy.

I gasped for breath as my face broke the surface.

Invigorated, I swam to the edge and clambered out, soaking…

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Growing Bookworms – Does speed reading matter for kids

Writing to be Read

When I was ten years old, I was one of a handful of kids in my grade who were selected to attend a speed reading programme. We attended a separate class where we were given a machine with a screen that displayed a page of text. There was a solid covering which moved down the page, covering the text as it descended. I remember having to read quite quickly to finish reading a sentence before it disappeared. The speed with which the covering moved could be increased or decreased by twisting a knob on the side of the reading machine. This was under the control of the reading teacher.

Speed reading suited me and with practice I became a very quick reader. Some of the kids never took to the exercises and gave up quite quickly. I was keen to learn to read faster. Faster meant more books in a…

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