Cosy, Eerie, and Splendid, a writer’s blog

Spooky Film Recs 2021 — the Horror of Grief and Alienation

The final category of this year's horror collection is my favorite -- Grief and Alienation. For me, the most gut-wrenching horror is not about terror. It's about loss. My standard disclaimer: I prefer horror about people and relationships, with stories that emphasize...

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Spooky Film Recs 2021 — Survival Horror

This collection of films features protagonists with a strong will to live. The characters must dig deep and use their brains and brawn to negotiate the horror landscape. Ultimately, their stories are more about survival than transformation. A reminder: I prefer horror...

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Spooky Film Recs 2021 — Sci Fi Horror

'Tis the season for horror! Gather around, children -- today's offerings feature pandemics, ecological calamities, medical misdemeanors, and alien incursions. What fun! FULL DISCLOSURE: I crave horror about people and relationships, with stories that emphasize the...

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Spooky Reads for 2021

This year it's been far too easy to put a book down. Many of us have suffered from diminished attention span during the pandemic, of course, and accepting this has made it easier to let go of books that aren't working for me. Lately I've found it particularly...

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Green Man / Green Knight

I've seen The Green Knight. It's a dark film, often bizarre and at times inscrutable. You'll find little of the pageantry or romance we often associate with Arthurian films. You'll also find little in the way of schmaltz or Hollywood sparkle. This adaptation is gritty...

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July Tea and a Mountain Getaway

How I love to walk a wooded path! Last week Steve and I celebrated our 30th anniversary with three nights in Park City, Utah. We had great weather for our hiking and ultimately managed about 30 miles and 209 floors climbed. Though we did run into other hikers and...

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The Right Writing Retreat

Writing is hard work, especially when you must squeeze it in alongside the daily commitments of employment, relationships, domestic engineering, childrearing and pet wrangling. Sometimes the only way to get anything done is to abandon these commitments altogether! If...

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June Tea and a Book — Timeless, by Moira Croghan

Timeless is a celebration of Mackinac Island and its cottage architecture. The book includes historical context and gorgeous exterior and interior design photography -- perfect for fine coffee tables everywhere! That said, I must also tell you that this post is much...

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Smultronställe in St. Cross Churchyard, Oxford

In my previous post featuring the work of Eva Ibbotson, I enthused about a Swedish word found in one of her novels: smultronställe is a noun meaning that special place treasured or yet to be discovered. It could be an idyllic opening in the forest, a quiet beach, a...

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April Tea and a Book: Eva Ibbotson

I first encountered Eva Ibbotson in the YA section of our local Borders bookstore in the early 2000s -- back when I was teaching high school English (and Borders still existed). I began with A Countess Below Stairs and so enjoyed this story of a Russian countess...

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March Tea and a Book: Stella Gibbons

I am such a fan of Stella Gibbons, so it seems strange that I've only read four of her novels. You can see them above, except for The Woods in Winter, a strange yet endearing story I read on my kindle. Today I want to share Westwood, a story I struggled with and yet...

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February Tea and a Book: WWII Child Evacuee Stories

Recently I read When the War is Over, by Barbara Fox. This memoir of the author's mother, Gwenda Brady Gofton, focuses on her childhood years as a WWII evacuee in Cumbria. After a couple of false starts in other evacuation areas, Gwenda and her older brother Doug...

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