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Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting the Chills

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. It's so good to have you stop by. I do so love your visits and, no, this isn't some Hotel California kind of moment. You can check out and leave any time you'd like. Trust me.

Chilling Films:

I finally watched The Woman in Black Saturday night and loved it. It did everything for me that I wanted it to do, much like the promise of a good roller coaster. I love a good Haunted House/Ghost story, as I've reported in the past. I started the film at 9:00 pm and turned out most of the lights in the living room/kitchen area. My poor wife fled immediately. She was reading her Kindle, so she headed for the master bedroom. School is out for the teachers, too, don'tcha' know, so my teacher-wife will be doing as much reading as she can during the summer.

Now, many of you might be saying, "C'mon, the film wasn't scary at all!". Remember, I really don't watch that many horror films, due to my family not appreciating the genre, so I have to enjoy 'em while I can. Although, I should say that this might be changing. My oldest took his brother to see the big Prometheus film on Friday, along with a bunch of his buddies, and is hoping to take me today (Sunday afternoon). They all watched Alien before they went. For those of you just back from a half year vacation on another planet and unaware of the significance, Prometheus is an unofficial prequel. Director Ridley Scott will not confirm it, but it is. So, perhaps my boys shall soon join me on the dark side.

In any event, The Woman in Black gave me a solid 10-12 real chills, and I love that. Some were expected and I suppose some might say came with too much warning, but they were good. For you Potter fans, I thought it was a good step beyond the Harry Potter series for Mr. Radcliffe. I don't like it when actors get type casted, so hopefully the performance will allow him to have a career beyond the wand. And, no, I didn't once think he would whip it out in order to do battle with that dreadful woman in black.

Chilling Research:

For those of you who have been by recently, you are aware that I have just completed the first draft of a new project involving ghosts. I was able to write the thing without doing a boatload of research first; however, I did realize that I would need to do some, delving into some dark subject matter in order to get specific about some of the plot. I started doing this Saturday morning. I had to research black magic; Satanism; rituals; and ritual items such as black candles and singing bowls to name but a few. Usually, I have my lap top in plain sight of others; however, not this time. I was seated at the head of the dining room table with my back against a wall, in order to hide what I was viewing. Some of the visuals were unpleasant.

With that being stated, have you had to do any research that made you uncomfortable? Anything unsavory? It doesn't have to be in the darkness either. Do you recall the Aaron Sorkin television series Sports Night that he did before The West Wing? Do you remember the episode where the reporter had to accompany a group of hunters on a deer trip? He was so upset because he thought hunting wasn't a sport, but just plain mean. Your research could have been like that. Have you had to research subjects that made you uncomfortable that way?

I'm just curious. You see, I would much rather talk to you than get back to my research... ;)

By the way, the boys and I did see Prometheus Sunday afternoon. I wrote this post earlier and have just gotten home after the film. I liked it. It was gripping, pretty well done and did everything that it needed to in order to be a fitting origin story. I only wished that I had sat with those high schoolers and watched Alien again on Friday. It might have helped my memory. That and, of course, it would have gotten me out of work at my day job.

We'll talk soon. 


  1. Hey, Jimmy, I went and saw Alien in the theater, and needed a stiff drink after. I thought--at that time--was the scariest movie I had seen.

    I'm gonna have to get The Woman In Black, for sure. I keep forgetting about it. I think Radcliff is an exceptional actor. Good for him for doing something outside of a type-cast.

    Have a great one... and hopefully your wife will come out of the closet--er--yeah.

  2. I've had to do research on demonology for my Elemental series. All I can say is there are some twisted people out there.

    Every time I finished doing my research for the day, I sat down and watched something light and funny before I went to bed to counteract all the evil. :)

  3. I haven't had to research anything unsavory for my fiction, but I've had to in college for papers and projects. I agree with Maria: I'd have to go read or watch something funny or lighthearted afterwards!

  4. I am such a huge fan of the Alien movies! Aliens is one of my absolute faves!! Get away from her you… (Sorry, I get all Sigourney just thinking about them!). I'll have to go see Prometheus, not that I get to the movies much tho :(

    I did a little research for my 1st book. It was more for my world building and I delved into the lore of Hell for it. It was so interesting that I got caught up in it for almost 2wks! There's so much amazing facts out there!

  5. I am so embarrassed, but I have never seen the Alien movies. I've never seen Godfather either. Isn't that horrible?

  6. Hey Jimmy,

    So much to comment on here. I haven't seen either of these movies but really want to see both (especially need to see Prometheus on the big screen, but with a toddler, it's quite the juggle to get out to the theatres. Keep your fingers crossed for me :)

    As to your research question, my response isn't really unsavory (but funny you should mention your bit of research after I mentioned the Satanic Bible at my post). And it was sort of "chicken or egg." I actually spent almost a month camping in the mountains in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of mushroom hunters. It was Morel season at the time and there was big money to be made. Let me tell you, there were some interesting characters in that group. And yes indeed, a novel to be written about it.

    Hope you have a good week. Oh, and I like the blurb for your new story.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  7. I just saw Prometheus last night - very entertaining. And thanks for the recommendation for the Woman In Black, that's totally my kind of movie.

    Most of my research tends to be unsavory, based on the kind of stuff I write... :) I'm amazed the FBI hasn't shown up at my door!

  8. I thought the Prometheus clips looked familiar. I do like the Aliens' movies. Looking forward to it being out on DVD/Netflix so I can watch it when the kids are in bed.

    I had a character beat up pretty bad and I had to actually research broken bones (never had one myself). I ended up viewing a nasty clip of some kids in a shopping cart (probably thinking they were on Jackass). It took a nice dive off of a set of cement stairs and when the lead kid stood up, his arm was shaped like an "S". I was quite grossed out by it. I count that in my "unpleasant writing research experiences". For the most part I enjoy my research, especially when I'm looking up ancient history, mythology, and paranormal stuff. Sometimes I get too deep into the research and forget to translate it into my writing.

  9. Hi James!

    My, you have been busy. I haven't seen Woman in Black, but will put it on my list. Need to make sure I have company for that one methinks!

    I have done a lot of unsavoury research for my writing, mainly on the psychology of serial killers and psychopathic behaviour. It is fascinating - I can read crime fiction incessently, yet 'real' crime gives me nightmares and scares the hell out of me!

    Speak soon,


  10. Hey Jimmy! Good to know about Woman in Bloack. I've had it sitting next to my TV for a few days and haven't been in the mood for it. But I'll take your word for it and give it a go.
    Prometheus does look good, but sadly I probably won't get to check it out til DVD, and that loses some effect when it's not on the big screen. Ho-hum.
    But no, never did any disturbing research. Not my thing. I can imagine how unsettling it is, so I don't envy you there.
    Have a great weekend!

  11. I loved The Woman in Black when I went to see if a few months back. For it being a 12 here it was definitely one scary film. Very eerie. I must read the book though.


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