Poetry – Just a Poe Boy (or Girl)

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If Edgar had a muse
to hassle and abuse,
why not I?

Enter those raven’s wings
and all terrible things
from finer days gone by.

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Poetry – Malice

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This little poem was inspired by a middle grade book series called “Malice” by Chris Wooding. I liked the world that was created, and decided to capture just a bit of it in poetry (my favorite line is the “mushroom lamps” one):

Malice
By: Maranda Russell

Take the evening train
into the cavernous abyss.
Light up the darkness
with your mushroom lamps
and a fist full
of round trip tickets.

Review of Netflix’s “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”

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Last night I watched the first episode of the new Netflix series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, based on the comic books that also inspired the 90’s tv show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. I was a big fan of the 90’s show, so I have been waiting with excitement to check out the new series, however, after watching the first episode, it is clear that this new version is much, much darker and less light-hearted than the older tv show!

I do like the new show so far, so I am not necessarily complaining, but I want to warn everyone that if you are looking for something similar to the Melissa Joan Hart Sabrina, you will not find that! I was initially a little bummed that Salem doesn’t really talk in this version, but I think it actually fits better into the show considering how somber this show is compared to the previous one.

I do like the actress they cast as Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka). I’m not huge on Ross Lynch playing Harvey, but maybe that is just because every time I see him I still see Austin from Austin & Ally. I felt like they did try to find actresses who resembled the 90’s versions of Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda, although Zelda is not nearly as likeable and is kind of mean instead of just serious and scholarly like the older adaptation. I do enjoy the character of Ambrose quite a bit and feel it was a good addition.

I have seen some viewers complain about the satanism elements included in this new show, and I can see why some people would find that upsetting, although it doesn’t bother me personally. Although, as someone interested in paganism and Wicca, I hope that viewers of this show don’t start thinking everyone into witchcraft is into satanism – a stereotype that has already existed far too long.

I do plan to watch the rest of the series and enjoy it, but as more of a horror/dark fantasy series than a comedy or silly teenage drama.

TV Blackout Poetry: American Horror Story

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Last night while I was watching the 4th season of American Horror Story (Freak Show), I had the idea to write a poem using a similar technique to the “blackout poetry” idea, but instead of using print, I would take a few random phrases or words from the tv show I was watching and put them together to make a poem. It was pretty fun and I do like what I came up with:

American Horror Story
By: Maranda Russell

Laundry detergent commercials
offer their brand of oddity
to the outside world.
Should you hear
sirens call,
remember,
nice don’t pay the bills!

So what do you guys think of my idea? Do you like the resulting poem? It is odd, but I like it.

New Art Markers, Reborn Doll Halloween Outfit, and Sleepy Hollow Action Figure!

Today is just going to be a fun post where I share some cool stuff I got recently! First off, we have these new art markers that I bought with the prize money I received from a recent art contest win. It has been so much fun experimenting with them so far:

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While I was at Walmart yesterday, I saw an adorable newborn-sized Halloween black cat sleeper and had to get it for my reborn doll Anya. I haven’t been as invested lately in my reborn dolls, but like all of my hobbies, my interest tends to come and go:

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And lastly, I finally got this Headless Horseman action figure from the 1999 Sleepy Hollow horror movie (starring two of my favorites, Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci)! I already had the Ichabod Crane figure, but this one is probably even cooler. It comes with two heads that snap on, the skull as you can see in the photo, and the Christopher Walken head next to the figure:

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Not exactly life-changing, but here you go…

I really wanted to write some kind of deep, thoughtful post that would make you all say “wow” and possibly change a few lives…but unfortunately, I have absolutely no inspiration for that type of thing right now, so instead, I’m just going to share a few personal things that are going on and¬†one of my recent artworks. Hope that will do ok.

First off, I do want to say that I am thrilled that it looks like several of my artworks will be featured in an upcoming book entitled “Uncommon Minds, A collection of poetry and prose created by individuals on the autism spectrum”. Also, I have a few poems that will be featured in a poetry anthology coming out before too long (I will share more details on that when I can). So luckily, my art and writing career seems to be flourishing and that makes me exceptionally happy. My next goal for my art is to have at least one piece exhibited in an art museum. It gives me something to work towards ūüôā

I am also hoping that if my health improves enough I may be able to teach art/writing classes for kids once again. I really miss working with kids and just having fun with them. Unfortunately, this plan is on hiatus until my fibromyalgia and chronic infections calm down a bit. I have been given 5 courses of antibiotics for various infections since the beginning of November (a couple of the antibiotics I was allergic to which caused even more issues), so needless to say, my health has not been all that great. However, I am thankful to have such a great husband to look after me and that I am able to work at home.

As promised here is one of my recent artworks entitled “Red Eye Fright”. It was inspired by a collection of short horror stories I was reading recently. I wish I could find a book of horror stories that I actually found scary. Sometimes I think I have become immune to terror.

"Red Eye Fright"
“Red Eye Fright”

To see more of my art, or to purchase this piece, feel free to visit my ebay seller page or just search for “MRuss art” on ebay.

Skeleton Creek book #4 ‘The Raven’

I’ve really enjoyed reading the Skeleton Creek young adult series of books by Patrick Carman.¬† I actually came upon the first volume while looking through the books at our local Goodwill store.¬† I couldn’t really tell what it was about, since there was nothing written on either cover about the story, but it seemed like a scary tale and I do love horror, so I picked it up and gave it a try.

I immediately liked the main character Ryan, mostly because he is a fellow lover of words who strives to be a great writer.¬† I was surprised to find how much I liked the secondary character, Sarah, who is Ryan’s best friend and his partner in crime.¬† Although Ryan is smart and likeable, Sarah is brave, ferocious and determined to a fault.¬† Her passion for video-making and getting in trouble often puts her in the spotlight and in some ways outshines the reserved, cautious Ryan.

The¬†fourth book in this series, ‘The Raven’ carries on with Sarah and Ryan’s adventures as they seek to unravel the mysteries of a secret organization called ‘The Crossbones’.¬† Like the prior novels in the series, this book has accompanying video clips that you can actually watch online, a hook to be sure, but an effective one.¬† Of course,¬†I was¬†halfway through the first book¬†before¬†I figured out that the website was real…guess I’m just too old to keep up with the current trends in technology!

Anyhow, it seems that this last book tied up all the loose ends, so I’m not sure if the series will continue or not, but it has been an entertaining journey.¬† Several things I have really liked about the series include:

  • The videos…a great tool to get reluctant readers, or those who are constantly attached to the computer to sit down and actually read a book!
  • The journeys that Sarah makes to real-life haunted places looking for clues.¬† Each stop has it’s own little docu-drama and appeals to ghosthunters like me!
  • The entire series, and the last book in particular, have a real connection to Edgar Allan Poe (my favorite writer of all time).¬† It is a fitting tribute to the reigning master of horror, mystery and science fiction stories.¬† It’s always great to see an author who finds a way to interest current youth in classic authors.