Posts Tagged ‘photography’

ordinary

“Well the course, the chain of events, that would be the evidence, some say it’s coincidence
I say I found something greater than myself and started accepting it
And I can see, feel, taste and smell again
And I’m the only one with the hammer to break this shell I’m in
It’s gonna take me crackin’ this mirror to finally be myself again
Met my potential a long time ago, and I’m not stopping til I resemble him”

2016 was a weird year of ups and downs for me. A year of challenging myself to get back to being my best self, mentally and physically. A year of letting go of things I shouldn’t hold onto anymore, or embracing things that are better for me in the long run. I’ve had periods of productivity and somewhat success, and periods of doubt that stifles creativity to the point of madness.

And here I stand, ready to take on my dreams again. I keep saying it. I keep telling myself that I’ll get back to the important things, like writing. But now, I have no choice. It’s now or never, Angel. Kick that ass back into gear.

“I don’t know why,
But it’s like I can’t stay quiet.
This is my voice,
I can’t let it die inside me.”

I’m stepping into 2017 with big dreams. I’m exhausted, after barely surviving the constant ups and downs of 2016, but the desire to move forward is there.

Let’s make this our year, shall we?

-Angel

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horrorghoul

I, myself, am strange and unusual.” – Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved monsters. My mom proudly tells people the stories: I cut teeth watching the Universal Monsters. I had a treasured Wolfman I carried around named Wolfy. One of her favorite stories involves me sitting outside with a black pot making “potions” while our new neighbors moved in. I idolized Elvira instead of pop stars. I grew up with a special place in my heart for Frankenstein’s monster and hunted for ghosts. The same year I got my first cellphone, I got my first Ouija board. It’s safe to say I started out a weirdo.

By the time I was 13, I was obsessed with slasher movies. I had pictures of Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, and Jason Voorhees hanging in my locker. My older brother Ben took me to see Freddy VS Jason in theaters as my 13th birthday present. This was the point in my life it moved into obsession. I read horror. I watched horror. It started coming through in my art, in how I dressed, etc. Most importantly, I started writing horror.

For those who have never heard the story: When I was in the 8th grade, I had a nightmare, and this nightmare was so intense, I had to write it down just to cope with it. A few months later, in my Adavnced English class, we were assigned a project. We had to write a short story of oh-so-many pages or more. I was probably the most excited kid in the class. This was my chance to really prove myself. And the first thing that came to my mind was my nightmare. Which, luckily, I had written down.

So, I poured my heart into it. I made myself relive the awful nightmare, and then amplified it. It was already scary, and then I transformed it into something more, something that really made people uncomfortable. By the time it was finished, I was afraid to turn it in to my teacher. What if it backfired and I ended up in counseling? What if I ended up in trouble? Or she thought it was awful? I turned it in anyway along with the rest of my class and put it out of my mind.

Then next day, when I was in line for lunch, my teacher found me and pulled me aside, only telling me she needed to talk to me about my story. I knew this was it, and I was in trouble. But instead of being scolded, or finding out I was going to see the counselor instead of getting lunch, she told me that she loved my story. She had apparently been reading and grading our stories before she went to bed the night before, and had gotten through a few before she came to mine. After getting completely hooked into the story, once she was finished, she had to step outside for a few moments afterward to calm down. I was maybe 13 or 14, and I had done something pretty amazing for my age.

And then, she asked if she could let the other teachers read it, as well as read it to my class. I was shocked, but agreed. She said she’d read it to the other kids without naming who I was until it was finished.

This, my friends… This is the catalyst to my life. This is what took me from writing stories to keep my brain sane, to writing stories to keep my brain sane with the intent of making a career from them. I was so anxious waiting for her to read it, I didn’t think it could get worse. Until it did, the moment she started. I watched, fascinated, as my classmates reacted to my words. Kids that hated me and my own friends all on the edge of their seats. For something I had written.

I remember the overwhelmed feeling the minute she revealed I had written the story. For a brief moment, I was the talk of the school. They said I’d be the next Stephen King. I was on top of the world. She even kept the paper to read to her future classes.

To this day, it’s still one of the most unsettling stories I’ve written. I don’t want to give much away about it because I’d eventually like to rewrite it into something great.

horrorshelf

A few things in my horror collection.

I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I filled notebook after notebook. Printed hundreds and thousands of sheets of paper containing my words. I expanded my horror movies I watched, hunting desperately for something new at Movie Gallery. I worked in a haunted house as a scareactor. I bought books on writing. I studied it. I learned from people who understood the business better than I did. I kept at it and kept at it. I became involved with Ax Wound. 

Then, my life changed. I went to college. I got a real job. I got sick. I spent less time on writing, and even less time than that dedicated to my horror. And while losing myself because I wasn’t writing was bad enough, I think I lost just as much when horror got pushed aside.

I watched horror movies occasionally: sick days, sleepless nights, Halloween time, hanging out with like-minded friends. But nothing like I had done before. I spent a long time trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and then last year it really sunk in:

I had gotten into writing through horror. It had given me some of my passion. And when I got myself back to writing regularly, I hadn’t gotten myself back into horror as much. And there was a problem there. Something was missing there.

I’ve been trying to devote more time to myself and what I want and need in various aspects of my life lately. And horror is one of those things. It sounds so silly to some people – “You’re upset because you don’t spend so much time watching scary movies?” But when you don’t know the whole story, you don’t always understand.

Monsters and slashers and blood and gore, those are all part of me. This are all parts of who I am, and what I do as a writer. Sure, everything I write isn’t a horror story. But sometimes they could use a good dash of horror or darkness.

I’ve realized that if I’m going forward with this career, then I will need to go back  to the basics, for the love of horror.

~Angel

deadbeforethedayisgone

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything, and there’s a variety of reasons. I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. Changes, for better or worse. A torrent of good news and bad news leaving me overwhelmed. Luckily, I’ve been doing the opposite of what I typically do (which is wallowing in my own self pity while accomplishing nothing in the process.) I’ve been trying to focus on what’s best for me – for my health, for my happiness, for my future. I’ve been keeping a decent writing schedule and working on a new rough draft. I’m trying to nurture my body back into a state that I can properly function and not be quite so frequently sick. I’ve been trying to make sure that I do things to make Angel happy, instead of everyone else coming first 100% of the time.

But you know what sucks about this? I’m not used to it. And since I’m not used to treating myself a little better, it’s resulted in a mental assault on myself. Because I feel like I’m being selfish, and I don’t deserve to want what is best for me. I keep trying to push through, because I know I’m getting close to having my old self back – the version of myself that’s less broken, less corrupted. The Self I need right now. But it’s breaking through that barrier that’s tearing me apart. I know I’m almost there, but I know I’m fighting myself on it. I want to give up. Today was especially rough.

I started to doubt myself. How will I ever make it? In life? Against illness? How will I ever publish a novel? Why should I think I’ll ever sell another piece of art or get paid for another photo shoot? I’m not strong enough for this. It kept pounding in my head with each heart beat: I can’t do this.

Suddenly, I didn’t know if I could go on, period. Or if I did, if I could keep going with my life. Maybe it was time to give up on my childish dreams and finally grow up and join reality.

Until, I read this quote earlier:

 “Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.” – Wentworth Miller (please see his Facebook post here)

That post, by a man I already admire, really struck me. But that quote? Oh, that quote. That fueled the fires inside me.

So my goal? Stick to my writing schedule. Crank out chapter after chapter. Continue to work hard at the things I want. Because I persist, despite all the things that want to stop me.

This is the year I get to take control back. It hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure it won’t get easier any time soon. But I will persist.

Expect more soon.

~Angel

“In the face of such hopelessness as our eventual, unavoidable death, there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life.” – Kevin Smith, Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good.

kevinsmith

All week, I’ve devoted time when I get home to writing. I had a migraine, and still made myself power through outlining three chapters. The next night, after finishing my taxes, despite having another migraine, I started writing a few pages of a chapter. Not the word counts I need to have if I want to do this for a living, I know. But the point is that I’m making a routine for myself again, despite what my body wants me to do.

Why have I been so determined, even when I have been in rough shape the last several weeks?

I have been wanting to read Kevin Smith’s memoir for a little while now, and after meeting him in Reno, it’s become a mission I have been set on. Finally, I got my (signed) copy and dove right in. That’s where I found the quote above. And it hit me. I met him during a very bad disease flare. I finally got his book, and was reading this quote, during ANOTHER bad disease flare. It resonated with me. The more I thought on it, the more I read it, the more it became something I felt I needed to read.

It isn’t as though I haven’t had similar bursts of motivation, or even inspiration based on a similar concept. But it’s the fact that someone I admired so much, that brought so much happiness when I was so miserable, had written this quote, and I had read it while yet again miserable…

It sparked the motivation I needed.

I will die. Everyone does. And what scares me more than the idea of dying, is feeling like I’ve wasted life and talent and drive. I can BE the person I want to be. I just have to DO IT.

So I’ve been writing, and keeping up with Wandering NerdGirl, and trying revive Hail to the Geek, Baby (which I haven’t had time to post on in FOREVER), and rebuilding my photography portfolio to take it in a direction I’d like it to be in. I’m working on cutting out soda again (UGH) and eating healthier options so my body is treated better. I’ve been working on myself and working at my dreams. And it feels pretty damn good.

Speaking of taking pictures for my portfolio…:

Some pictures my best friend, Brittaney, and I took the weekend before.

So, yeah. I’m doing things. And stuff. And trying to get somewhere again. Because I’m tired of talking about things and not doing enough of them. Health and depression can back off. It’s time for me to everything I can, while I can.

~Angel

Please Note: All photos in this post are mine, and I haven’t had time to properly watermark any. Don’t take any without my consent or proper credit, please.

On that note, prepare for A LOT of photos.

I’ve been going to Orlando once a year for the past three years now, since I first started to get sick. It’s been my happy little escape from the chaos of the world I normally inhabit. But, I normally go in late Spring or Summer, so this was my first trip down when the Halloween festivities are taking place at Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

I’m going to break this up into at least two posts, starting now with Universal Studios (which was the beginning of and best part of the entire trip.)

So, let’s begin, shall we?

I cannot talk about going to Universal in fall 2014 without mentioning that I FINALLY GOT TO SEE DIAGON ALLEY! And it was breathtaking.

King’s Cross Station, which is where you could board the Hogwarts Express to Hogsmeade.

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If you look around in London, whether you’re a fan of the books or films, you can find a certain grumpy house elf peaking out of one of the windows. This was one of my favorite little details. You had to know he was there to look for him.

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It’s a dream come true to get to ride the Hogwarts Express finally. It’s a different experience depending if you ride it to Hogsmeade or to London. To Hogsmeade was probably my favorite.

Then, there is Diagon Alley itself:

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

IT MAKES THE SOUND OF THE BRICKS MOVING LIKE IN THE MOVIE AND IT MAKES ALL THE GEEKY OVERLOAD JOY HAPPEN.

I don't think I've seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

I don’t think I’ve seen a picture yet that truly does justice to that dragon. Wherever you stand, you think that could be a real dragon. The detail is mind-blowing.

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I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I've heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

I absolutely loved the Escape from Gringotts ride. I was lucky, because it was dead when I went to ride for the first time, and I was able to pretty much just walk straight onto the ride. And it was a great ride, from the line getting you into the story to the ride itself. I’ve heard mixed opinions. But I adored it.

Now, Universal Studios does something at their parks in September and October called Halloween Horror Nights. It’s basically where they set up somewhere around eight houses and, this year, four scare zones. They also have a few shows special for the night. And I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass to get into three of this years houses before the event itself. The houses I visited: Halloween, Dollhouse of the Damned, and From Dusk Till Dawn.

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Halloween: This is, indeed, based off oh John Carpenter’s horror movie, Halloween, about Michael Myers. It’s specifically focused on the first film, though there are nods to the other movies in the series – including Halloween 3, surprisingly enough.

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This seems like a random weird image, but it's from a section of the house that makes you feel like you're in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger's sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface's white shirt.

This seems like a random weird image, but it’s from a section of the house that makes you feel like you’re in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger’s sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface’s white shirt.

I was having a horror-movie-junkie fan girl moment in the entire Halloween house, but the next house – Dollhouse of the Damned – was probably my favorite house, because it was so visually stimulating. This house was a concept house rather than a house based off of a film.

Also: enjoy Universal's dumpsters.

Also: enjoy Universal’s trash cans.

 

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.

 

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.

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Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.

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There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child's Play.

There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child’s Play.

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The last house we visited behind-the-scenes that day was From Dusk Till Dawn, based off of both the original movie, but also very heavily inspired by the newer TV series. While it was a very cool house, it was probably my least favorite of the three.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.

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Someone isn't having a good birthday.

Someone isn’t having a good birthday.

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So, that night, after all the house photo-taking goodness, my mother and I got to attend Halloween Horror Nights 24. There are two shows, one is a Bill & Ted Halloween show, which we didn’t attend. But I did go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show live, and it was AMAZING. I love RHPS and the show was incredible. Probably one of my all time favorites I’ve seen.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.

There were also the four scare zones set up in the streets:

The Purge

The Purge zone

The Purge zone

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The Bayou of Blood:

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FACE OFF: In The Flesh (Make-up looks from the show, recreated by some of the artists from the show!)

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One of my favorite parts of Halloween Horror Nights was the MASKerade: Unstitched zone.

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I think it’s super underrated, because a lot of people were claiming it was boring. But I loved it. Yeah, I wasn’t shaking in my Stormtrooper Vans over people in gowns, on stilts, wearing masks. BUT it was so beautiful and eerie at night in such a fantastic way. It sent my artsy brain into overdrive. I was sketching a day or two later when I was doing laundry:

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.

 

So, there you have it. The epic wonderful highlights of my two days at Universal. I will have a post in a few days about Disney World itself. Plus, lots of health updates – not the best of them, either. So stay tuned.

~Angel

Saturday was the annual birthday party for myself and Brittaney – the big twenty-four. But this year, we combined it into a Doctor Who watch party since the new series started the night before my birthday. Here we go:

Setting up the nacho bar.

Setting up the nacho bar.

Deadpool wants the Queso.

Deadpool wants the Queso.

...seriously, those were some guarded nachos.

…seriously, those were some guarded nachos.

Henry the Friendly Dalek

Henry the Friendly Dalek

Even miss Addy was there.

Even miss Addy was there.

TARDIS CAKE OF GLORIOUS AWESOME!

TARDIS CAKE OF GLORIOUS AWESOME!

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It was a fun party. And for my actual birthday, the boyfriend (Taylor) and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy in IMAX 3D. It was my third time watching it, but first time in IMAX 3D and I must say – it was freaking INCREDIBLE! Definitely worth watching in IMAX 3D.

Well, that’s it for today. More to come soon!

~Angel

mypeople

[And since we know that dreams are dead,

and life turns plans up on their head,

I will plan to be a bum,

so I just might become someone.]

Here is yet another project update to let everyone know what’s going on:

Interview: Friday I wrapped up a two part interview about fun things like Sjogren’s, writing, travel, etc. Should be a good read whenever they’re up and ready. I’ll be sure to post a link whenever it’s up.

Writing: Even when it isn’t at the most appropriate time, I am always greatly to my muse for poking around in my brain and making me want to write. The last two days have been like that. I’ve been keeping a pen and note pad in my pocket while I’m at work, because scenes are just playing out in my head for a new story, as well as current projects, and I have to jot them down. I’m also about to start serious revisions on my project, code name BM, that I’ve been working on for publication. Cross all crossable things that this goes well.

Plus, I’m going to enter a nonfiction writing contest. I doubt I will win, but I think trying will be good for me. Get back into that mode of submitting and getting over this recent fear of people reading my work. I used to be confident. Now I’m constantly worried about not being good enough, despite any positive feedback. I need to relax a little.

Art: I made myself do a sketch, just one little sketch, last night. I’m out of practice. I have projects I need to be working on, but I just don’t have much faith in myself and it makes me put things off. I need to let go of that worry and just accept that the only way to improve is to continue practicing.

Photography: I’m so behind on shoots it’s ridiculous, but I’m working on it. Most of the problem is time management related. I’m putting projects together at least, so that’s always good.

 

So, that’s about it for right now. A lot, and yet nothing much. Now, back to the muse.

~Angel