Archive for » January, 2012 «

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

It’s been some time since I’ve mentioned it last, but you may remember that I have a third podcast with my friends Brother D and Need a Nickname Scott over at Mail Order Zombie. The show is called 1951 Down Place and it’s dedicated to Hammer Horror! With the release of The Woman in Black coming from the newly re-birthed Hammer Studios this weekend, I figured it would be a good time to start sharing my love off Hammer with you all.

Today, our firth episode hits the feeds with our lengthy discussion of “Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter”! This is a great episode, if I do say so myself. Then again, I’m biased as I’ve named “Kronos” as my third favorite Hammer flick of them all. We try and go fairly deep on the information side of things with these podcasts, so there’s a lot of information we’ve dug up from production notes, film makers and the like.

Check out Episode 5 over at the 1951 Down Place Website and please, let us know what you think! You can leave your comments at the site or email us through podcast@1951downplace.com or even give us a call at 765-203-1951!

Since I haven’t shared all of our episodes here at Bloody Good Horror, here’s the list of Hammer goodness available to you over on the feed:

Episode 1: The Horror of Dracula
Episode 2: The Curse of Frankenstein
Episode 3: The Hound of the Baskervilles
Episode 4: The Abominable Snowman

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Monday, January 30th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

I came to the “Justified” party a bit late, but it didn’t take long for me to get caught up in the cult of Raylan Givens. He’s a bad ass cowboy full of swagger, stuck in modern day Kentucky. Kicking ass, taking names and making the U.S. Marshall’s resemble what they used to be back in the Western’s of yore.

I wasn’t aware of the fact at first that the show was based on a character from Elmore Leonard. It really made sense once I knew though. I’ve always enjoyed the author’s crime capers that were converted to film and “Justified” seemed to really fit the style I can to know. The one caveat; I had never read an Elm ore Leonard novel before! I figured that since there were three books listed as Raylan Givens stories, what better place to start?

“Pronto” tells the story of Harry Arno, an aging Miami Bookie looking to get out of the biz. His mob connections don’t really retirement easy for him. After the feds plant stories that Harry has been skimming off the top of his bosses profits, Jimmy Cap and his thugs start to clamp down and Harry finds himself facing and good old fashioned whack job. Not quite the retirement Harry had in mind.
Enter Raylan Givens and the U.S. Marshalls, brought in to help keep Harry alive. Raylan sets up post to keep an eye on things, but Harry isn’t too keen on having him around. Much like the first time Harry and Raylan met six years earlier. That time, Raylan was taking Harry in for a Grand Jury testimony and Harry slipped his grasp. Harry gives Raylan the slip again and slips off to Italy to while away his retirement years.

The most apparent thing I noticed as I dove into the pages of “Pronto”; this isn’t quite “Justified”. That’s not to say it’s a bad story, it’s just a matter of not quite living up to what I had envisioned when I heard there was a Raylan Givens novel. For starters, the book has nothing to do with Harlan County. IN fact, a large chunk of it takes place in Italy. It does have the seed of what eventually grows into Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens in it. He’s still rootin’ tootin’ and doing his own version of modern cowboy; he’s just doing it in sunny Miami and later in picturesque Italy.

Pushing my unfair expectations aside, “Pronto” is still a solid little crime novel from Elmore Leonard, who is an expert at the crime novel. It has a slower pace that I would normally expect from such a book, but that gives us more time to sink our teeth into the characters, which is what this book is really about. It’s not some upbeat and hip caper where you watch the crook’s elaborate plan to abscond with millions of dollars; it’s about that crook himself. He’s a bit crotchety, yet still endearing in that he’s never done anything too horrible. After all, he’s just ripping off the mob, so who cares, right? The characters that he surrounds himself are well developed too. Joyce, the ex-stripper and now fashion model loves Harry, but she’s had about all she can stand of this mob nonsense. Even the late coming Robert Gee makes you feel for him and a short number of pages.

The real highlight comes from watching Raylan face off against the want-to-be hitman Tommy Bucks, sent to take care of Harry when the plot first starts to unfold. Tommy Bucks, coming from the motherland in Italy, sees the modern crime family to be a mess. He has visions of doing things the old way, which means making a name for yourself with violence and a cold hard edge. He’s single minded in his pursuit, which plays directly off of Raylan Givens and his single minded pursuit of doing what’s right. Together, you have two stony men trying to put tough guy each other and it makes for a pretty fun read.

Plot wise, nothing too unexpected happens in the course of “Pronto”. Things go by the numbers for the most part and it’s easy to see where things are going to end. With great characters and development going on, this works out to make for an entertaining story. It can make for a slow read at times though. There are some plodding stretches as we read along with Harry’s internal struggles, trying to make up his mind on how to handle his impending doom. Again, this is great for character development, but when you come into the book expecting something along the lines of the TV show; it takes some adjustment to get used to. Sure, they’re unfair expectations, but they’re expectations all the same.

If you’re looking for “Justified” the novel; this probably won’t trip your trigger. If you’re up for some great characters and the birth of Raylan Givens, then you should give it a read. I felt it was time well spent and a nice little romp. I can definitely see myself picking up the other two books in the not to distant future.

As an side; while I say this is pretty far removed from “Justified”, I think it is pretty safe to assume that “Pronto” could be seen as the prequel to the first episode. I have yet to go back and verify, but I think it’s a pretty easy logical jump to say that this book ends where the first ten minutes of the pilot episode begins. Without giving too many spoilers, for you diehard fans out there: I’d say the ending of “Pronto” is loosely what lands Raylan Givens back in Harlan County in the TV series.

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Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

That right there, is the 41 chapters I have mapped out for a writing project. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this one and now that I have a road map, it’s not quite so scary. All the same, this will be my biggest writing endeavor yet!

Wish me luck.

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Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

As you can see by the debris around here, I’ve kind of made it a point to step away from straight up movie reviews around here. It’s just one of those things where eventually you reach a point that watching and writing about movies starts to feel like work. I may be a special case; I like to think I’ve had a hell of a lot of output as far as movie essays go over the years. It just started to feel like I had gotten away from watching movies and such simply because I love watching movies and fallen into watching movies and such just because I needed content.

With that in mind, over the past few months I’ve been making a point to get back to watching movies simply for the thrill of it. To be honest, the experience has been pretty great! I’m back to watching flicks I wouldn’t normally consider and back to expanding my horizons into genres that I had somewhat ignored over the past few years. When the commercials for “Contraband” started to show up, it dawned on me that it had been some time since I’ve enjoyed a heist flick, so I figured why not. Turns out, going to see “Contraband” wasn’t such a bad idea! It also proved that it can be fun to do a write up about a movie, simply because I enjoyed the movie and felt like telling somebody about it.

Mark Whalberg is one of those actors that force my appreciation to hinge on the type of roll he’s playing. If he’s playing a straight up “Joe Normal” good guy, I get bored easily. If he’s a cop, it’s sometimes a good proposition, sometimes a bad one depending on the script. When he’s that affable “I’m a criminal, but deep down I’m a good guy” type of crime movie staple, I’m generally pretty happy. Seeing as he’s working as a retired smuggler trying to get counterfeit money into the States, I figured it was safe bet. The trailers for “Contraband” really focused on this aspect of the character so I was drawn in. The promises of an elaborate scheme and the threats to his family hit home for me. It looked good from the previews, but it was one of those situations that I feared they had shown us all of the good parts early on. In some ways they did; there’s not too many surprises going on here. Some solid acting helped smooth that over.

One of the highlights acting wise was Giovanni Ribisi as Tim Briggs. Ribisi is really good at playing off kilter characters and his tweaked out and far gone drug dealer/minor crime boss bit was well played. He came off as highly twitchy and a bit unhinged so when it came down to him doing something crazy like threatening Chris Farraday’s family; you believe he was going to do it. You also believed that if he did do it, it wasn’t going to be a gentle process either. They even gave the character a bit of depth showing how he changed slightly around his daughter and even that he might be out of his depth as the twists and turns started coming in. Ultimately, it was never quite certain what the outcome of “Tim Briggs” was going to be, which made it a lot of fun.

The biggest surprise to me was Ben Foster. I had seen the trailers for “Contraband” enough times to decide that I wanted to see the movie. I had no idea however that Foster was in this flick until he showed up on screen. The chances are high that this was totally my fault for not paying attention, but still struck me as a bit odd. Foster’s a good actor and a sizeable name these days. At least as big of a name as Ribisi; you would think they would play off of that a little more. Regardless, he was solid in this movie and likeable. Some other fairly known names showed up and put in good, if minor, acting jobs such as Lucas Hass and J. K. Simmons. The one that strikes me as odd is Kate Beckinsale. Not to say that she’s a bad actress or turned in a bad performance; it’s simply that she’s pulling a lot of press and talk show time for “Contraband” as it comes out. Ultimately? Her role in the film isn’t that big in the grand scheme of things, yet she gets touted as more of a star than say Ribisi and Foster. I’m sure there’s contract riders and the close release of “Underworld” to help explain it away though.

As far as heist movies go, “Contraband” was solid. There was nothing totally mind blowing or new going on here, but they hit the right notes and played them in tune. It was just complicated enough to keep it interesting but a bit light to match up to the reputation that they had built up for Chris Farraday’s smuggling skills. They told stories of Chris Farraday removing the motor and electronics from a Ferrari, the reassembling the chassis. Smuggle the separate parts into the country and the husk of a Ferrari, then putting it back together to avoid tariffs on a fully built Ferrari. The Panamanian counterfeit operation that plays the main plot point of “Contraband” is rather light in comparison. It was still fun to watch unfold. There was tension in the right spots and some bubbles of action here and there. Rather understated as a whole, but more realistic in hindsight.

“Contraband” as a whole turned out to be one of those movies that looked decent in the trailers, but turned out to be much better by the end of the film. I feel confident in saying that the movie turned out this way solely because of the action involved; everybody turned in pretty great performances and as I said, the action itself was a bit understated. It’s a decent night out at the movie for sure and worth your money even if you’re only a marginal Mark Whalburg fan. Granted, if Whalburg’s customary Bostonian tough guy act grates on your nerves? You probably won’t get much out of this movie because the role in itself is really nothing new for him.

For those that have seen the movie, I only have one real beef. That carpet cleaner they shoe-horned into the story sure made things wrap up nice and easy.

Friday, January 13th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

Every now and then, I stumble across a book in the most unlikely of ways. If you’re a listener of the Bloody Good Horror podcast, you’ve probably heard us mention that we mess about on TheChive while recording. It’s a photo blog if you’re not familiar, filled with everything from goofy pictures to cool HD stuff and everywhere in between. On one such day while browsing through a post, I saw the cover posted there to the left (I think, it’s all fuzzy now) and the word ‘horror’ and it caught my attention. Having never had a photo blog recommend a book to me, it looked interesting, so I threw it on the to read pile.

Back when I was first introduced to Ania Ahlborn, I discovered her twitter account and being a want-to-be self published author myself, I followed. You see, Ms. Ahlborn has had quite a bit of sales success with Seed. In fact, it was number one on Amazon’s horror charts for a bit. And she published it all herself. Not too shabby!

Jump ahead many months later, sitting on the computer during that sleepy time between Christmas and New Years. I still hadn’t gotten around to buying a copy of Seed but I just happened to notice that the author was giving away copies of the book for three days on Twitter. Seeing as I’d been wanting to check it out, I jumped at the chance and dug in right away. Two days later, I was done with the book, left well entertained and here we are. Since I don’t have this one slated for a Dad and his Weird Friends Episode as of yet, I’ll fill you in here.

From Amazon:

In the vine-twisted swamps of Louisiana, the shadows have teeth. Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head… and smiles. But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: “Daddy, I saw it too.” And then she begins to change. Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before. But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing. Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along. And it’s hungrier than ever.

As a good story should, the first thing to jump out at you in Ahlborn’s “Seed” is a family of well crafted characters. Jack Winter, a family man doing his best to support his family. Sure, he’s not perfect. He doesn’t need to be though, because he’s a good dad and a good husband. Then there’s Aimee. Written well to fit her back story of a formerly well to do southern daughter throwing off her families money for love and a family of her own. Abby, the older sister is a good kid, a good student and a happy older sister. Then, there’s Charlie. Charlie’s cute and precocious, she’s funny and adorable and quite obviously, the apple of her father’s eye.

Easily identifiable and more importantly, relatable, the Winters are any happy American family. They work hard, live happily with what little they have, and simply enjoy being together; A cast of characters that could easily be you or I. Since we can relate to these characters so well, when the darkness shows up, it’s not so much the things that scuttle about in the shadows that make our skin crawl in “Seed”, but the aftermath and the effect that that shadow has on the Winters as a whole. For fear of spoilers, I won’t go into specifics.

Accompanying all of this is an easy flowing writing style that makes for a quick read. I have problems when books hit a lull and the story’s pace slows to a crawl. Here, I never encountered such problems. This isn’t a story where there is constant carnage around every turn; in fact, it’s a bit of a pot boiler as you get to know the family and the gradual problems they have to face. Never does this get bogged down to where the reading feels like a chore. The landscapes and scenery are well spelled out, though not integral to the story. There are always more details to latch on to that makes the world of Jack Winters, past and present, feel real.

As you can see, I thought quite highly of “Seed”. I knocked this out in two short days and resulted in at least one late night turning pages. I didn’t come across any problems between the covers of “Seed”; there are no pot holes to speak of and the emotional weight that comes as the story unfolds is what we’re truly here to read and it works well. If there’s anything I would have liked to have seen different, those items would be minor and inconsequential to the book as a whole. For instance, I enjoyed the character of Jack’s friend Reagan who was brought in a few times. Where I thought he might be contributing something significant to the tale later on, he serves as a minor sounding board that sort of disappears. Again, nothing at all that harms the story; just a character I thought would have turned into something more significant. We hear a lot of mention of Aimee’s father but never really meet him, though her mother was bad enough. As you can see, any issues I had with “Seed” were minor and had only to do with small characters!

To wrap up, “Seed” is a fine foray into horror for Ania Ahlborn. Keep in mind, this is Ahlborn’s first novel AND it’s self published. Had I not known that going in, I’d have never known. It’s fully edited, well formatted and all together a professional and finished book. It has a lot of style and is well written and left me feeling positive that I’ll be looking for more from her in the future. Even more importantly…I’ll be expecting more from her in the future. I feel pretty certain that she’s going to have some more good horror novels coming for us that are only going to get better as she goes. With “Seed”, we get a warm look at a family and a punch to the gut as we watch them go through their own personal little hell. In the end, you can feel good knowing that Ahlborn doesn’t pull that punch either; for horror fans, you’ll be happy with where this journey goes.

If this sounds up your alley, you can purchase “Seed” for a mere $2.99 at Amazon.com For the time being, the book is available exclusively on the Kindle through Amazon. If you take a glance at Ania’s blog however you’ll see thatboth “Seed” and Ms. Ahlborn’s next novel “The Neighbors” have been picked up by Amazon’s new publishing houses, so print versions will be coming soon!

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell


Not to get over excited…but this is the most fiction I’ve churned out in ages. Feels good too.

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Monday, January 09th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

I’m not just a podcaster, I’m a listener too! That sounds pretty ‘infomercial-ish’ doesn’t it? That’s okay. In addition recording three shows, I listen to quite a few as well, dedicated to any number of subjects. As you can imagine, a big podcast topic for myself is books. Enter the Sword and Laser Podcast!

Hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, S&L puts out a new episode near weekly, chock full of book news, book discussion and more. Being familiar with Veronica Belmont from her days on TekZilla and Revision3, it was initially her name that drew me in. It was the ease that her and Tom worked together and the good discussions and handy info that kept me around. My favorite part of S&L has to be their calendar and new segments. Genre book news can be scattered all over the internet depending on their publishers and Veronica and Tom do a good job of pulling all the interesting stuff together. Their book discussions as great, but as of late their reading books I haven’t gotten to as of yet, so I tend to gloss over those.

In addition to a great podcast, they have a thriving Goodreads Community with a lot of good discussion threads as well. I’ve found a lot of information on book releases and recommendations from those boards alone.

For a moment of fawning fanboyism, you could say that Veronica & Tom’s work on Sword and Laser is what inspired me to start Dad and his Weird Friends. Enjoying their fun of being able to geek out on a good book, I figured I wanted to do the same! And since they already had a great formula, I tried hard to come up with a concept that complimented that as opposed to borrowed from it.

The Sword and Laser Podcast. If you like the books we’ve been covering on Dad and his Weird Friends, you’ll like this one too.

Saturday, January 07th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

This past Christmas, I received a shiny new Kindle Fire and I was pretty ecstatic. Having received the newly named Kindle Keyboard the previous year, I was already a full blown member of the Kindle Cult.

I’ve been eyeing the new tablet since that exciting press conference that Amazon put on last year and have been planning on getting once from the start. My quests up front though were a bit conflicted. The biggest question of them all; could I give up reading on e-ink. That’s a tough call to make as I happened to feel that e-ink revolutionized ‘electronic reading’ already. It was easier on the eyes and the battery life was amazing. Another question I had; would I actually be able to use the Fire as a full fledged tablet. Internet browsing, games, apps, etc. etc…Would it satisfy over other tools such as an iPad or a bunch of Android tablets? And the final question…would the weight and battery life be a factor. Having spent a good two weeks with the tablet now, my questions are now answered and over all…I’m pretty thrilled with said answers.

Tablet Vs. E-Ink

My biggest concern going in was if I would still enjoy reading on Kindle Fire. As you can see with the podcasts and everything else…I read a lot. Normally, you can guarantee I’ll get in at least an hour of reading every day, more commonly up to two hours in a full day. So it was a pretty major thing to work out.

By default, I wasn’t in love with reading on the Fire. It wasn’t horrible by any means, but reading black text on a glaring white background is a definite adjustment when you’re used to a year of reading on e-ink. Thankfully, this is a quick and easy fix though. With a couple of clicks, I was able to adjust the display style to white text on a black background, which was a good fit for myself. (You can also set to black text on an off white background, but the black was the magic ticket or me.) With the options dialed in, read was nice and I was good to go.

Keep in mind; these are all a matter of personal taste, so your mileage may vary. You could be perfectly fine with the default settings and I know in the case of my wife…it was fine for her as well. After reading a book or two, I noticed another problem that was starting to creep in with reader; it was heavy. When compared side by side to the Kindle Keyboard, the Fire has a huge weight difference. This is to be expected since the device is packing a lot more hardware in there, but still and adjustment all the same. I always read in bed before falling asleep. Lying on your back, holding the Fire up to read, it starts to weigh down over time. This is easily remedied by shifting position, but it was a problem I never had to deal with on the Keyboard.

With all of these considerations, for straight up reading, I wound up going back to the trusty old Kindle Keyboard. It’s light, it’s e-ink screen is great and hard to pass up. Really, there is nothing about the Kindle Keyboard (Also known as the K3) that I would change as far as straight up readers go. It goes with me everywhere, so weight is a factor. Another big factor? I can read to my heart’s content and still only have to plug-in the K3 once every other month for a charger. With heavy use, the Fire lasts me a day.

Now, having said all that… don’t you dare walk away thinking that I wound up not liking the Kindle Fire. That’s not the truth at all. For a straight up E-Reader, I prefer the classic K3. When looking at the Kindle Fire as a tablet? For that function, I’ve been nothing but happy.

The Tablet

For starters; I’m not a user that would consider a tablet a ‘need’. When contemplating a tablet, I’m thinking pure luxury item. I want to browse the web, I want to play games and I want to watch movies. For those items, the Kindle Fire works great.

Paired with the ‘free paid app every day’ program at Amazon, I’m to the point that I have games lined up in my account that I haven’t even downloaded yet. From what I have played, the games all run quite well on the Fire’s hardware and make for a good time. Some are buggy mind you…my mahjong game that you see in the top picture, it decides to crash out at random every now and again. I’d place that blame on the developers and not the Fire itself.

For movies, I’ve yet to pony up the $80 a year for the Amazon Prime account, so I rely a lot on my Netflix account. Again, this works great. Paired with a nifty Android Video player app that I found called BS Player, I can now play all my local divx and MKV files straight from a shared folder on my PC as well. Without transcoding too. (< — That’s a big deal.) The video playback is surprisingly good, even on 720p encoding videos. Mix in the gesture based controls, and I’m pretty happy.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Fire’s Silk Web Browser and I’ll be honest…I don’t really get the technology. I.E. I don’t know what’s supposed to be special about the Silk Web Browser. That’s okay though. For my needs of browsing forum boards, reading blogs and stuff like that? It works pretty great. It’s fast, though no faster than say… the browser on my phone, but still fast enough.

Okay, I’ll be honest… It works pretty great reading web comics in bed.

In The End

Ultimately, the Kindle Fire; it’s a great tablet for $200. I’m not going to be jumping into a $600 iPad any time soon and frankly…I don’t really need to. The Fire covers my needs, centered around media consumption, quite well. The Fire could have some use in my day job as far as productivity and such, but again, it’s not a need. Many in the corporate world are in love with the status symbol of an iPad when they’re in a meeting, but my cell phone works just as well for that, so I see no need to lug the fire into a conference room with me. I’m not too worried about remaining a two device man with my Kindle Keyboard and my Kindle Fire…both server specific needs, and they serve them pretty damn well.

You’ll have to pry my Kindle Keyboard from my cold dead fingers though.

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Friday, January 06th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

For those of you that didn’t follow my antics over at Bloody Good Horror in my absence, you may not know that I started a new podcast called the “Dad and his Weird Friends Podcast”. A lot of you that did play along have asked why “Dad and his Weird Friends”; it’s mostly because myself (being the ‘Dad’ in the equation’) and my friends (being the ‘Weird Friends’) tend to sit around talking about books. A lot. At least we used to!

Anywho…

The show is going great and this episode dedicated to Richard Kadrey’s “Sandman Slim” marks my fifth episode! My guest for this time around is Carly, a blogger over at Bloody Good Horror, whom I’ve known through the website for a couple of years now. When I first started putting together the plans for a book podcast early last year, Carly was one of the first to volunteer and we quickly agreed that “Sandman Slim” should be the book we discuss. Sadly, those first plans fell through but gladly; Carly was more than happy to come back and talk about more “Sandman Slim”!

I was first introduced to this series a year or two ago by one of the original and offline “Weird Friends” Punkin Donuts. I’d dare say he’s an even bigger book nerd than myself and most of the time, his tastes coincide right along with mine. (Except for “The Doomsday Book”. *cough*) At the time, I’d never heard of Kadrey which was nobody’s fault but my own. The author has had several novels out including “Butcher Bird: A Novel of the Dominion”and “Metrophage” as well as a huge number of short stories and magazine articles. I just hadn’t been introduced until P.D. hooked us up.

Once you’ve listened to Carly and I’s discussion of “Sandman Slim” in Dad and his Weird Friends Episode 5, I think it’s a safe and easy assumption that I’ll be jumping in to each of the books as they come out. As it stands, you can already get your grubby little paws on the next two books “Kill the Dead” and “Aloha From Hell”. A little internet detective work says there may even be a fourth book in the works as well. I think you could say it’s a safe and easy assumption that Carly will be coming back to talk about books two and three as well!


If you’ve missed the first four episodes of the Dad and his Weird Friends podcast, fear not! Since our the new show has become an official spin-off of the Bloody Good Horror Podcast, our old episodes are automatically added to the Bloody Good Horror Classics! For just fifty cents, you can journey back and listen to discussions on any and all of your favorite books. Are you looking for an RSS feed? Dad and his Weird Friends is published on the Bloody Good Horror feed! With one click, you’ll receive updates on three great shows!


Friday, January 06th, 2012 | Author: Casey Criswell

As is apparant from the cobwebs around here… I’ve suffered from a long bout of writers block and frustration. Never a pleasant experience and hard to overcome. With the onset of the new year, I figure I wasn’t quite ready to leat “Cinema Fromage” die quite yet, so as resolutions and such go, I’m back. Granted…I don’t know that I’ll ever bet back to the full time movie reviews of the days of yore, but that’s okay. On to bigger and better things.

One thing that’s always helped me over come a writing funk has been new tools. Something like a shiny new pen or a brand spanking new notebook set the old brain to tingling a bit. Now… I know this isn’t the end all be all solution, or I would have been back a lot sooner. It does help to inspire. So, imagine my excitement when I started to wrap my head around the fact that I have to start 2012 putting my writing muscle back to work and one of my oldest friends hands me that awesome fountain pen showcased above as a gift on New Years Eve!

A sign from above maybe? It’s a sign that Chris knows me well and seems to have some faith in me as a writer. Can’t shake a stick at that!

Being an overzealous fans of ink pens and such, much like myself, Chris took the plunge about a year ago and bought himself a pen lathe. He was a bit nervous at the start, but it didn’t take long for him to be turning out some pretty spectacular pens from a variety of different material! Some exotic, some more common, some not even wood at all! I myself, am a big fan of fountain pens; I do a lot of my writing longhand with such an instrument. With this in mind, when Chris stumbled across an extra special material on one of his jobs…he figure it was a must for a fountain pen for me, and “The Chronic Writer” was born.

All that said… the pen as actually spurred me into trying to dust off the notebook and putting words to paper. It’s not much yet; a few paragraphs here and there. It’s a daily affair so far though, and that’s what counts.

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