Sirens by Kris Freestone

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The humans above felt fear when passing by the rocks on the edge of the beach. Arctica watched the others rise to the surface to sing their song and draw in humans. She saw the bodies pulled down through salt water drenched in dark blood and the hunters devour them with sharp teeth.

Arctica had only tasted human meat once in her life, but settled for the less violently caught fish in the sea. The blood from the other creatures in the sea made eating a meal less of a chore. Human blood in her mouth had touched a strange and savage part within Arctica. She temporarily joined the other human hunters in the siren’s call, then backed out when a man caved into the group seduction when she caught a reflection of herself in the water. The irises of her eyes were red and sharp teeth appeared to be more fierce than ever. She stared at the incoming victim, glanced at the other mermaids, then pushed herself off the damp rock.

Blood dyed the water above as the rain made small dents in the surface. It was then Arctica vowed to stick to more humane ways. The life of a siren was not for her.

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Flash fiction piece written off the cuff during Meet Your Evil Girlfriend event.

Meet Your Evil Girlfriend: Kris Freestone

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Attended the official facebook chat for Evil Girlfriend Media, which had a long series of questions + decided to put my answers to good use.

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Q: What inspired your story?

A: As for what inspired ‘From Safety to Where’…I was in a very very very dark place. I was reeling from being hurt by someone I thought I could trust as a friend + let someone too close. There’s a lot of surprisingly personal details in the story. I wanted to tackle the age old forbidden interest, tie in the Russian mafia + set it i n a strip club to make it exciting. Then I drank a lot of wine + threw myself into it completely. I unleashed some personal demons, offed characters who were the mirror image of those who had hurt me + ran w/ it.

In my piece, it’s not strong romance, it’s subtle. I like the unrequited, complicated + forbidden. It might have needed to be more obvious but I like where I left it.

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Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

A: I’m a restless soul who moves too much + am creative by nature. I’m an artist + author, only recently broke into art being printed in a book too. Otherwise when I’ve got writer’s block, as I do now, I sink my teeth into art. All sorts of mediums are what I like; oil pastels, coloured pencils, watercolour, chalk, pencil, charcoal – you name it. Overall I’m just an creative + eccentric artist.

I’ve been writing for sixteen years. I mostly was a bookworm + Clive Barker was my first true horror author. I wrote mainly for myself, shared w/ friends, wrote under a pen name I won’t share + constantly try to teach myself new skills. It wasn’t til a year + a half ago I entered the horror field truly despite reading it a lot.

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Q: Hasn’t the genre jumped the shark, reached critical mass, and exploded like a pair of 5.56’s to the brain pan, yet? If not what do YOU being to the genre that is exciting and fresh?

A: Nah, zombies haven’t jumped the shark. Something new + different each day. Keeping the humanity in writing zombie fiction is the key.

I really wasn’t into zombies at all until a good friend of mine nudged me into watching the original Dawn of the Dead. Then I started thinking. Zombie fiction, at it’s core + if it’s done properly is really about humanity, loss + consumerism. It’s a very strangely dark thing.It’s not just about the horror or the dead attacking.

Zombie fiction is about pushing humans to their limitations + seeing what they will do in a situation. That is how I view it. I like seeing the psychological effects. Possibilities are endless.

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Q: What was the most difficult part about starting a book if you already have an idea in your head? How do you move forward?

A: The most difficult part isn’t getting an idea or starting a book. It’s usuall deciding where it will lead to + how the loose ends will be tied up.

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Q: What’s the STRANGEST book you’ve ever read?

A: House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski.

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Q: how do YOU break through writer’s block? Also, when you write… do you just write everything out? Or do you chart, map, etc. your ideas and string them together later.?

A: Wine. I’ll be nice + let into a good secret. Skip ahead. Sometimes I’ll write scenes in chunks or all over the place + string it together. It really is my secret. I get stuck + move on. It’s like a pile of flash fiction w/ different titles, but it’s all really one novel in pieces.

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Q: Why don’t you tell us about your writing process?

A: My writing process involves absolutely no outlines b/c I have never been able to do them very well. It involves a little bit or a lot of wine, dragging up demons + personal situations. Mostly I play a get to know you on my characters + fill out a Q+A for them in their voice that is fifteen pages long by the time it’s done. Then I let the character I’m exploring drag me along. And no, I’m not schizophrenic. It gets me in trouble when my character clams up.

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Q: I’ve heard of a lot of writers who like to write with wine, is this a common writing process?

A: Maybe it has something to do w/ dragging inner demons out? Or maybe it’s to relax enough to be creative enough. I’m not sure. I wish I could say that alcohol doesn’t help when you’re blocked, but it does. It also helps to write w/ instrumental music that fits the piece you’re writing. I see I am the opposite w/ others using coffee. I am able to write sober though! And now I sound like an alcoholic.

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Q: Is there room for humor in end-of the-world lit or is it serious business?

A: There always has to be humour! It’s even better when it’s dare humour or simply a commentary from a character in the story.

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Q: What does your zombie track consist of?

A: Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts album + a variety of soundtrack music fine tuned on a playlist.

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Q: What would be your weapon of choice and where would you hole up for the apocalypse?

A: My current apartment is best as the windows are ghetto + painted shut. The glass is very thick too. Unfortunately it’s a small walk to a a shopping district. I’d board up the windows first though w/ a small section able to see through + put a piece of tape over. A machete is best for close contact, but I’d rather not be that close to a zombie. I think better for close contact is a dagger to pierce through the temple + to the brain.

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Q: What is your ideal apocalypse meal?

A: Best meal…anything canned, nothing frozen as I’m sure it’s gross w/o power…ugh, time for me to start a garden in case of an apocalypse for me! I’m going to fall victim to what would happen to be in an apocalypse if I don’t eat. Stress makes me have to force down food, apocalypse = ultimate stress.

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Q: Who is your favourite zombie author?

A: I’m enjoying Dani Fredsti + Rhiannon Frater lately when it comes to zombie authors.

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Q: Which kind of zombies are in your stories, fast-moving, or slow?

A: Depends on the stage of the zombie’s depletion. I use common sense on this one; it depends upon how long they have been dead or rotting. The newer ones can move quickly, but at human pace + it also depends on their muscle mass. The slower ones are the older ones that have been rotting longer.

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Q: How do you feel about gore in your work? Do you like to describe ooey gooey entrails or do you like your work to be a little more delicate. If there’s a middle ground, lets hear about it.

A: I love gore to a certain extent. In a strange way it can be described beautifully in a horrific manner. Middle ground is best for that reason. There’s a ‘delicate’ balance in that I think.

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Q: There is a lot to writing a short story and to some it comes naturally while books are a huge investment in time and effort. Which do you prefer to write, short stories or sweeping novels?

A: It took me a long time to get adjusted to short stories. I do prefer writing longer sweeping novels, although I haven’t written one in years since making the switch. I like being able to develop the characters better + their relationships.

Feed the Zombies: An all you can read feast

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Why wait until Turkey day? For one day, Wednesday, November 27th, you will be able to gorge yourself on zombie ebooks by your favorite authors for only .99 each. Join us for this fun filled event where you will be able to stop in and ask authors anything you can think of.

First Activation – D. A. Wearmouth
Autumn: The Human Condition – David Moody
Last Bastion of the Living – Rhiannon Frater
The Infection – Craig DiLouie
Domain of the Dead- Iain McKinnon
Downfall and Betrayal – Michael S Gardner
The Forgotten – Jackie Druga
Six Feet From Hell: Crisis – Joseph A. Coley
Game of Straws Origins – SB Knight
Beyond the Barriers – Tim W. Long
Fish to Die For (666 Fish) – Keith Milstead
The Undead Situation – Eloise J. Knapp
Roms, Bombs & Zoms – Katie Cord (Evil Girlfriend Media)
Epic Apocalypse – Apocalyptic Box Set ($1.99) James Cook, John O’Brien, Joe McKinney, Armand Rosamilia, Heath Stallcup, Shawn Chesser, and Mark Tufo.

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I will be joining in the question + answer segment for Evil Girlfriend Media. Kind of excited for this as I love a few of these authors. This will be the second question + answer I will be participating in. I did one last week. It was kind of fun to answer questions, give feedback to others.

It surprised me to hear someone pin point my contribution to Roms, Bombs & Zoms as the piece that kept them wondering. I’m contemplating continuing Ava’s journey. Feel quite flattered.

A better entry to follow.

Announcement on my main piece.

Rejection…

tumblr_m35koeCKMX1r2o04io2_250It’s been almost a week since I was seriously deflated. I spent a majority of the past week questioning my writing ability + ideas due to the unfortunate rejection to the Clive Barker anthology. Mainly b/c I’d thought I’d come up w/ very original ideas + concepts. This is a piece that I’d have to completely rewrite since I cannot use the mention of Nightbreed or Midian as they are of Barker’s creation. Not sure when I will get the courage up to even start reading End of All Days again or able to edit. Until a few days ago I was completely unable to write at all (minus the review on Dallas Buyers Club below).

Found out others are curious about what happens to Ava in From Safety to Where (published in Roms, Bombs & Zoms). I had been contemplating adding more of her story in Just Like Honey (story collection), this may give me the extra push. I need to start working on my character building again + stop using my writer’s block as an excuse (even though it does happen + wine hasn’t been working recently).

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Still trying to find a job + becoming seriously frustrated. Two more checks to tide me over, then start to freak out some more. Thankfully I’m not the one to get next week’s rent as I caught the prior week’s. Tomorrow I need to call somewhere I got an interview at to see where they’re at. I would love love love a job at a used bookstore more than words can express.

tumblr_mvbhycuL3N1suzl23o1_250Then there’s the day of doom pending. I don’t look my age at all, but on Thursday I am another year older. I’m thinking starting Thursday I will officially title it an ‘unbirthday’ from here on out. I’m thankful though b/c have family + friends who love me, a roof over my head + fighting chance. There’s someone in my life who thinks I’m absolutely beautiful w/ my flaws + all. There’s others who don’t have such things.

Trying to look at things optimistically. It’s a little on the tough side.

I’ve been doing watercolour, oil pastels, ink + drawing lately. I don’t have a scanner, but I might post some of the images when I take them w/ my phone. On that note, I’m going to continue watching some Louis CK stand-up + continue my oil pastel piece. If I get out two job applications before I unwind after that, I’ll be pleased w/ myself.

XO.

(Images: The Golden Girls, The United States of Tara, The Golden Girls)

Dallas Buyers Club – Film Review

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I had heard high praised for Dallas Buyers Club before it was released to the public and remained a little skeptical. Small bit of information before I begin my review; my uncle died of AIDS nearly eight years ago and saw his final days. The gruesome, depressing depletion of a human being dying of a deadly disease. This made me apprehensive about seeing a film that I knew would strike home, but I don’t regret a single second of the film.

mmc-dallasDallas Buyers Club opened up and introduced a very narrow minded Ron Woodruff. It was shocking to see a very thin and almost unrecognizable Matthew McConaughey. Seeing it in previews and photos was nothing compared to seeing him in action. His descent into the reality of facing HIV/AIDS was raw and powerful.  His co-workers and so-called friends segregated because of the fear of the disease with little being known about it at the time.  Research on the disease and treatment were still ongoing with testings of heavy doses of AZT.

The judgment upon Woodruff was impressed because by reputation AIDS/HIV was only spread among homosexuals and drug addicts. He goes into the world of drugs briefly to escape the reality of his disease. Woodruff submerges himself into the research of alternate methods for AZT when he is denied when wanting to join in the test subjects for AZT. He discovers the HIV/AIDS virus is also transmitted through unprotected sex and is the root of his disease.

dallas-buyers-club-jared-leto.Along the way he meets the eccentric and genuinely sweet transgender Rayon. At this point Woodruff is extremely homophobic. Rayon is portrayed by Jared Leto, starved to the bone for the role, and nearly unrecognizable. Rayon is not innocent by any means  – drug addicted and dying of AIDS/HIV. Despite it all, Rayon is the shining beacon of light. The humour and the heart of it all. If Rayon had been portrayed by anyone else, it would have been injustice. She makes Woodruff look past his homophobia and make him look at things in a new light.

The most heartbreaking scene was between Rayon and her father. Then the speech in front of the mirror. It all struck me harder due to my own experiences and seeing someone personally dying of AIDS. The breakdown of everyone after Rayon’s downfall was powerful. It struck harder than I’d expected. She changes Woodruff in unexpected ways.

1401543_740651205949095_907638579_oIn short, this is a beautifully made film that makes one think. It makes you think about what you choose to bring into your own body and the effects it has on you. It makes you want to review the history of AIDS/HIV and the strives it has made.

 

It is eyeopening and brilliant. It really made me think. In fact, I am seeing it again within the next week.

I give this film five stars out of five.

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This film is currently in limited showings. I happened to be lucky enough to view it in Dallas, Texas of all places.

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Rated R for language, adult content, drug use and nudity.

a brief flicker of light amidst an ocean of darkness…

Drinking > Diet Coke
Watching > Family Guy

Officially waiting on two short stories on whether they were rejected or accepted. I sincerely hate the waiting game when it comes to this.

Roms, Bombs + Zoms was officially released on November 1, 2013. Still absolutely make the video for my excerpt. I did find this nifty little image w/ an small excerpt from my piece in print/ebook. Not sure when it is in print yet.

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You can find my piece in Roms, Bombs and Zoms on amazon kindle. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the print release date.

In other news, I came up w/ an amalgamation for writing + illustration. It might take me a few months to make it more concrete though. Excited for this b/c it could get me somewhere. Resumed work on Just Like Honey, but the the ideas aren’t quite flowing there. Editing, shaping what I have are all I can do for now. Issue is that there’s already been interest from a publisher, but life has heavily gotten in the way. I am hoping that this move will have a good effect on me.

GH Lulu frustratedI am not participating in NaNoWriMo 2013 b/c of all the life changes. I just moved to Dallas, Texas + am looking for a new job.  Instead of NaNoWriMo, I have resumed work on Neverland + am turning it into a novella. I was unable to complete it as a short story b/c it left too much unsaid + unwritten.

For future notice to those who think they’ll get some followers by leaving rude comments on my entries; it won’t work b/c I have the ability to reject any comment I please. I just mostly laugh + think about what an ass they are.

Maybe some photos of my unworthy artwork I’ve been producing. Mostly sketches, watercolour + etc. Nothing I’m impressed w/.

Time to draw, then work on Neverland.