Edinburgh, City of the Dead and the power of storytelling

Even before I came to Scotland, I was already familiar with ghost stories and dark history of the country. Fascinating as it is coming from the pages of a book, it is however a completely different feeling when you actually find yourself on the streets of those cities that each hold a different fragment of that darkness that made Edinburgh known as the one city with the darkest history and chain of events in Scotland, if not in the world. I visited Edinburgh a few times, walking down the Royal Mile and admiring the greatness of the Scott Monument, among other things, and only recetnly I stumbled upon a book that tells the story of this place in a different way than other historical factual driven books. It is entitled Edinburgh, City of the Dead and is compiled of several chapters that begin with telling a story of historical characters as an introduction to a more complex telling of the dark events that made Edinburgh what it is today, with dark tourism rising each year offering its visitors tours through the dark corners where ghosts were still present, eager to tell their story to whoever wants to listen. Now, I do read a lot, but what fascinated me about this book is the genuine storytelling approach of the author, Jan-Andrew Henderson, to the overall historic topic. As I already mentioned, each chapter begins with telling a story of different event which is important for the part of history covere there, and it is preciesly that kind of a novel-like retelling of history that caught my attention. And mind you, dark history it is! from witch trials to Templars to today’s existence of Freemasons,other secret societies, Wiccans, Satanists and such, you can’t help wondering how  can this city be so remarkably beautiful and so monstrous at the same time. I read the book in one evening, and now I am eager to find out even more about the topic, about the way of life that actually still exists today, but in a more civilised fashion, about the ghosts that still haunt dark alleys and old houses, some of them demolished in the 19th century, while others survived and were converted into shops and interactive guided tours like the ones of Edinburgh Dungeons. And it is all because of a book 🙂

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Did you know that Edinburgh today has the greatest and rising population of people practising Paganism and Satanism, and people practising magic, either black or white? And that sometimes, even though they still do it in secret, secluded places, sometimes they even advertise by giving adds in newspapers? That is a fun and interesting fact! But the point of mentioning all this is the fact that the city has embraced that darkness connected to it and converted it into educational and fun events for everyone who visits Edinburgh, and that most of the people living there are going back to their roots of respecting nature rather than other religions imposed to them throughout history and in the modern world today.

After this, I will definitely have a different feel of Edinburgh next time I visit it! Can’t wait! 🙂

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Exploring Stirling

I have a couple of days off and I decided to go out and explore Stirling some more. It is a beautiful Gothic town, you can encounter stories about people and history every step of the way. I got a book on haunted places, crimes that occured here and ghost stories. True or not, they are interesting and in the next few posts, I am going to tell you these stories through my photographs. I hope you will like them as much as I like them, and one day choose to visit this Gothic gem of a town situated in Central Scotland 🙂 

 

Overwhelmed by the world around me

You know that feeling when you feel a rush of all sorts of emotions crawling through your body with amazing speed of light and tickling sensation under your skin? When you are so overwhelmed by everything around you and you don’t know whether to laugh or cry or scream, all at the same time! I remembered a beautiful memory from the past and that made me feel like that. It changes your perception, that old feeling of familiarity and love for people that were a part of your life at any given moment, no matter how long. You cope with loss, and when you transcend that dimension where loss is just one of those emotions that you feel, and instead you experience love with such intensity that it feels like flying..kinda like Alice in Wonderland! I was nominated for that week of positive thinking by my friends on FB, and even though I avoid these things, I agreed to do this one. Why? Because I think that we all need a bit of positive thinking, if not a lot, in our lives. I noticed that I do see positive stuff happening all around me more than before, so the outcome of this challenge is a positive one. I think I am going to do it after this challenge officially ends, because I’ve seen it work, there is a positive mark that is left on people who choose to read my experiences, and it is a beautiful thing to inspire and encourage people to do something nice, something positive that will enrich the lives of others rather than destroy them. Go out, smell the early spring morning air and enjoy life! I forgot how to do it, and was recently reminded of it again, and it is that beautiful, intense feeling of being overwhelmed by the world around you! I learned that it never goes away, it just needs to be awaken from time to time. 

Plus, sunny days in Scotland and some new wolf statues around town make it all even better! 😉

   

 

Goodbye Terry Pratchett

The world has lost yet another great writer. It is always sad to witness these things, as a fan, as a person and a writer, in one generation. I am thankful that people like Terry Pratchett and Ray Bradbury were a part of my life through their works because it was them that taught me valuable life lessons that formed my character, whispering in my ear that it is ok to be myself. Different. Creative. Courageous. To be free. Thank you, you will never be forgotten.

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On Tuesday morning, I was telling my best friend about going to see Neil Gaiman the day before. I told him that he talked about Terry having Alzheimer’s and I got the impression that Terry didn’t have long to live. I told him, it was something about the way Neil paused, not looking up, and there was a kinetic emotion that I experienced in the crowd. I can’t speak for Neil or how he was feeling at that moment, but in my mind, there was a great sadness. I felt it myself. I was not surprised when his passing was announced today, because I already had the impression it was coming soon. For that, I say thank you to Neil for softening the blow today.

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REVIEW: Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers By Michael McCarty

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We all grew up eagerly absorbing the works of Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, John Carpenter and the likes, allowing their words and actions to shape our lives, and our character. They all taught us to appreciate literature, film and art in any other form. We witnessed the birth of the dark and the weird, and we realized that our nightmares can come to life and haunt us through novels, short stories, feature films and representations on the big screen. Modern Mythmakers is a thorough account of life’s works of some of the most famous and legendary writers, directors and actors presented in 35 interviews (with 5 additional interviews included in the eBook edition). It raises nostalgia in the minds of science fiction and horror fans and has the ability to create a generation of new fans and followers, in that way continuing to build a long lasting tradition and showing appreciation for some of the classics of science fiction and horror, that helped us form a new way of looking at the world in which we live in. Interesting interviews, masterfully compiled together, give us an almost historical overview of the development of horror and science fiction genres from their birth, through early years and puberty, and firmly growing up in one amazing creature, an antagonist in the arts. Author Michael McCarty successfully combines his love for the genre and documenting things as they are through a set of interesting and humorous questions, each set beginning with a quote that highlights the importance of an interview in question. This approach to interviewing his victims is particularly interesting, especially when following and comparing different answers given to a few of the same questions that McCarty poses to authors, directors, actors and scream queens throughout the collection. It gives us an insight into various and multi-layered relationships between filming, writing and acting that the readers can relate to as well. This collection also offers advice on different styles of writing, and gives an account of some of the important issues and differences when it comes to publishing one’s own work in the past and today, which is a recommendation enough to make it a part of the regular cast on your bookshelves and on your e-readers. A concise and rich overview like this one, full of information and shared experiences on how it is to be a film maker and a writer, should be a compulsory reading for fans and researchers, for future generations and genre enthusiasts, equally bearing in mind an important message communicated through this collection: always try and do your best, and never give up on your dreams.

Get Michael McCarty’s MODERN MYTHMAKERS right now for the special launch price of only $0.99: http://getbook.at/ModernMythmakers

For more info and reviews visit Crystal Lake Publishing:http://www.crystallakepub.com/modern-mythmakers.php
Or join their Facebook Event:https://www.facebook.com/events/870415133001252

This Writer is Sponsored by Herself

This is an interesting topic regarding money and writing. I never thought about it like that. It was always me that had to support myself no matter what I do, and having a man occasionally invading my life didn’t change that. Either they didn’t have the money for such endeavors as sponsoring their loved one to become a writer, or they had money, but I didn’t want them to do a thing like that. It was always a normal thing for me, that if I needed money, I would go and get a job and earn it myself. Basically people would call it pride, but I call it a normal thinking due to the fact that I am the only one who took care of myself and learned how to do it since I left home at 18. I’m 32 now, and have gained valuable experience so far in that field, at first financing my MA doing the job that I hated but that somehow stays with you because working behind a bar in my country is basically the quickest job that you can find and it pays well, when they decide to pay you. Wild wild West out there. But still, it is an experience that you learn from and you learn about people, management, even politics and sometimes the forbidden things. Well, often. That mixture of learning everything about it over a period of time, and all the other perks that come with the territory, encouraged me to start writing again, and I am really happy about that. Just to be clear, I am my own sponsor. Like this article says, I am not looking for a man for his money or sponsorship, I am looking for a man who will be brave enough not to do it, and respect my decisions about it, brave enough to handle me for a longer period of time. I’m being optimistic:) And if he is dark, tall, handsome, intelligent, weird..in one word, special, it would help;)

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

the-lovers-tarot-card So I now look for partners with a job, a car, a driver’s license, and a good sense of humor.

Kelly Sundberg, Brevity‘s managing editor, responds to recent posts here and on Salon:

For almost nine years, I was married to a man who was our family’s primary source of income. During this time, I finished my undergraduate degree, had a baby, completed an MFA, and wrote the first draft of my memoir. You could say—I guess—that my then-husband sponsored me during that time. Still, although he was the primary breadwinner, I didn’t spend my days lounging around sipping mimosas in puddles of sunshine while lazily scrawling my manuscript. Things were still tough, and the day that I walked out on my marriage, I said firmly and clearly to anyone who would listen: I will never be financially dependent on my partner again.

Judging by my Facebook…

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