Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Today, the sky is gray with various shades of black and blue punched through. It looks bruised and half-dead. Thunder rumbles, reverberating through my stairwell and I hope it might storm. I have been waiting for a day where the sun isn't poking through the cotton white clouds of the usual joyful Charleston sky and finally, I got it. Rain is a perfect excuse to tuck myself away into the corners of my couch, grab a blanket, and flip on countless hours of horror movies.

The ominous Charleston sky.

Save the slasher flicks for Halloween because summer has its own set of thematic horror. Sitting on my balcony breathing in the thick June air, I conjured up a list of my top nine favorite warm-weather monster movies that will be sure to give you chills. Grab a pina-colada and turn out the lights for this summer monster movie fest! 

9. The Ruins
Monster: Ancient Evil Vines
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: Self-mutilation with a breathtaking Mexican jungle backdrop.
If You Liked This You Might Like: Apocolypto

8. Black Water

Giant Aussie Croc
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: The prehistoric reptile slowly poking his head out from the murky black swamp.
If You Liked This You Might Like: Lake Placid

7. Cloverfield

Pacific Ocean Alien
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: New York's skyline exploding on a warm late May night.
If You Liked This You Might Like: Super8

 6. The Cabin In The Woods

Monster: Mutant Backwood Hilbillies
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: Any of the plentiful humorous lines the co-ed cabin campers spit as they fight off the inevitable: death.
If You Liked This You Might Like: The Evil Dead

5. The Descent

Monster: Cave Crawlers
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: In a space too small for a child, a daring young woman wedges herself between two boulders in a hot, dark, steamy cave, unable to escape.
If You Liked This You Might Like: The Ruins

4. Predator

Monster: Tropical Beast
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: Schwarzenegger fist-fighting the monster in a lush Central American jungle.
If You Liked This You Might Like: Alien

3. Jaws

Great White Shark
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: We're gonna need a bigger boat, enough said.
If You Liked This You Might Like: The Shallows

2. Jurassic Park 
Monster: Dinosaurs, lots of them
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: T-Rex blinking his beady eyes in the rear view mirror of the Jeep as the rain pounds against the ground.
If You Liked This You Might Like: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

1. Pan's Labyrinth  

Monster: The Pale Man
Favorite Scary Summer Scene: Ophelia's enchanting encounter with the naked guy over dinner.
If You Liked This You Might Like: The Labyrinth

Honorable mentions from great rainy day memories of yore:
Rosemary's Baby, Chronicle, and The Beach

This summer, make use of those dismal days by taking a load off and diving into your dark side. 

Monday, June 19, 2017


"Its Carolyn not Caroline!"

Just like Coraline Jones, the protagonist of Neil Gaiman's dark fantasy novella, I find myself relentlessly reminding people of my name. When I bent back the cover again in 2016, I remembered how it felt to be a young girl, determined to discover the world and explore the darkest nooks and crannies. Today, Coraline perpetuates my creativity as I use it to inspire my own middle-grade fiction novel and it awakens my notion of what it really means to be brave.


What is Coraline About? 
Coraline Jones is a young girl with a perilous taste for adventure. Despite warnings from musical field mice and talking black cats, her curiosity catapults her into a dystopian alternate-reality where her 'other mother' wants her to live forever. To make things right, Coraline sets out on a quest of bravery where she must win a malefic game to avoid a terrible fate.

My Favorite Quote:
"Being brave doesn't mean you aren't scared. Being brave means you are scared, really scared, badly scared, and you do the right thing anyway."

Why Did I Choose Coraline?
Coraline, in a way, chose me. Growing up, I was always more of a well dressed tom-boy who would rather catch bugs and salamanders in the pond than play with Barbies. I'll never forget when one of the neighborhood girls tattled on me because I refused to play dolls with her. When my mother asked me why, I told her "I like being a little girl. Why would I want to pretend to be a grown up?"


Like Coraline, I have always felt an overwhelming sense of wonder and thrive off pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Having a courageous female lead who explores her independence, curiosity, and whimsy empowers me and reminds me to let my imagination run wild. 

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