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stellacoulson

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Stella Coulson - Author of Whitby After Dark Volume 1. I am a green eyed brunette (sometimes red) who loves writing both stories and poetry. Currently working on a fantasy/paranormal novel. I've been told on more than one occasion that I am weird (thank you very much) which I don't mind being, now that I'm grown up. I've given up long ago what people think of me. I am a big reader - I adore books, painting, writing, poetry and meditation. I am a contradiction when it comes to science vrs spirituality. I have in the past been spiritual which in principle doesn't adhere to Science, but at the same time I'm a keen Darwinist and a believer in Evolution. I adore Steampunk and I prefer Tesla to Edison. If eternal life ever was possible and came into fruition, I'd spend it learning all I could and watching the world evolve, technology expand and possibly seeing mankind colonize on other worlds. I would see as much of the world as I could and learn new languages, skills and abilities. Would only accept such a gift though if I could share it with someone - For I'd rather live a short life having loved than a eternity without it. My Philosophy... I believe happiness depend on those we help and who we bring into our lives, than material superficial gain (for that is fleeting). I adore animals, particularly cats and dogs. To learn from others to move forward and (try lol) not wallow in self indulgent pity. I aspire to be a better person and the friends I have help me be who I am each and every day. I adore many types of music from industrial, metal, rock, blues, orchestral to musicals. Some of my favorite musicals being Phantom of the Opera and Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Audio chapter of my Fantasy Novella 'Whitby After Dark -Volume 1'

Writing by Moonlight

I only seem to be able to write when the sun has gone down. I wonder if other writers have this quirk or if it's my own unique malfunction. I was thinking about this today when attempting to write a chapter today. Something about sunlight saps the eerie out of writing a macabre tale. Perhaps it's just the setting of a mood, because it does inspire that facet of our primal nature when the stars are out and moonlight plays upon a velvet sky. Examining this closer, maybe it is the quiet and how it soothes the subconscious, allowing my mind to breathe, without the hustle and bustle of daylight. It's not impossible to write during such bright hours, but writers block does tend to hit me before sunset hours. As such 90% of my Novella Whitby After Dark - Volume 1 was written by moonlight.

Bedroom Library

For a writer, a bedroom is a sanctuary, a haven, a place to get away from the hustle and busy of the mundane world and write. I made an off the cuff remark on my facebook saying "I'd love to just have a bed put in the middle of a Library and have that be my bedroom". I said it at first jokingly, but considering it at a closer angle, I now rather adore this idea.
My bedroom in its present incarnation pretty close to that concept, considering how many books are in this room. The room needs more shelves to give it that truly library feel.
I've filled all four of my bookshelves to the brim and have had to put the rest pilled up by walls, under bed, in closet etc. Presently the room is two sides of walk in closet spaces, floor to ceiling bookshelf,large window taking up another and a decent sized bed taking up the other. This all stores my vintage clothes, wardrobe, makeup, cat toys, graphic novels. I work from my laptop, so that is pretty much my office, even though there is an actual one downstairs.
The idea of a bedroom library appeals since my happy place is a Library, so what could be more fitting!

Sleeping Beauty's Darker Original Tale

The original Disney animation captured the feel of the Grim’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’/’Little Briar Rose’ and the even darker original tale was very different to the sleeping Beauty we know. The name Briar Rose come from Charles Perrault’s ‘La Belle au bois dormant’. Perrault version was the first to introduce the basis of the Bad Fairy (popularly known today as Maleficent.), as the original not not include a Bad Fairy. The Bad Fairy element is kept in the popular Grim Brother’s version. If you have not read Giambattista Basile, then you will be shocked at how dark and twisted the tale truly is. Much has been softened and romanticized in later versions. Thankfully the Perrault and Grim’s addition of the Bad Fairy add that essential dark element that would have been otherwise missing without her. The Bad Fairy is so iconic because she stands out of the pretty Fairytale and embodies the darkness hidden within. Thus it still is a dark fairytale although more subtle and more palatable to children and moral sensibility. Why was it made more subtle, you may indeed ask, because so many elements of the original are very shocking. The original ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was Giambattista Basile’s ‘Sun, Moon and Talia’ in where a King and a Queen had their child’s horoscope read by wise astrologers who far saw that the baby Talia would be endanger by a splinter of flax from a spindle. Her father ordered that all spinning wheels be banned from his lands. Unfortunately an old woman is unaware and shows the teenage Talia how to use the spinning wheel (she had never seen a spinning wheel before and was fascinated by it). She pricks her finger and falls into a deep sleep. Her parents abandon her in a castle where a King finds her sleeping. He tries to awaken her but instead of finding her help or kissing her as with later versions, he does the unthinkable, he has sex with her while she is sleeping. He then abandons her and returns to his kingdom. Poor sleeping Talia becomes pregnant as a result of her rape by the King. She somehow gives birth to twins. One of the babies tries to feed and not knowing where sucks on his mother’s finger, thus removing the flax and Talia is awoken to find two beautiful babies. She calls them ‘Sun’ and ‘Moon’. The King can’t get Talia out of his mind and return to rape Talia again but is shocked to find that instead of finding her asleep, she is awake with two babies his then knew to be his own. He confesses to Talia to how the babies cape to exist, that he had sex with her while she slept. The naive sheltered young woman forgives him, beause in those days woman had so little rights and was probably more scared to be left alone rather than focus on the reality that the horrid man had raped her. The King vows to return to Talia and go back to his Castle to meet with his … Wife (in Perrault’s version it is his mother). Yes the king not only raped Sleeping Beauty but he was a married adulterous swine too. I’m sure you think this story couldn’t get any more twisted. His wife the Queen, hears the stupid King mention the names Sun, Moon and Talia and the Queen’s mind quickly becomes suspicious of her husband.husband. Talia come to their Kingdom and the Queen is understandably enraged, but she does the unforgivable, she orders that the cook kill, cook the twins to her husband. later at dinner, the Queen smiles as the Kings eats his dinner. She feels triumphant as she reveals that he is eating his Mistress and his own children. Talia is kept prisoner and is ready to be burnt alive. The Queen had saved her for last. The King finds the Queen about to burn Talia alive and has the Queen thrown into the flames instead. He is about to order the death of the Cook, but the Cook reveals that it was two lambs and that he had kept the twins hidden from the blood thirsty Queen. The King marries Talia and they live twistedly happily ever after. 

 

My version of 'Sleeping Beauty' has The Bad Fairy as the antihero who ends up saving the princess from a wicked young king who attempted to defile the sleeping beauty but is stopped by the ‘Bad Fairy’ who is an outcast from her kind due to her performing darker elements of magics. 

 

Here are a few of my favorite re imaginings of some of my favorite  dark tales;

 

~Wicked the life and Times of The Wicked Witch by Gregory Mature

~Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister by Gregory Mature

~The 10th Kingdom by Kathryn Wesley

~The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

Remembering Deathnote

 

Image

‘Death Note’ will be my favorite anime. Even though I know what is going to occur in episode 25, it still gets to me. I understand Kira’/Light’s Pov a little in the first episode, but ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’ in Light’s case. I wonder how many people would want a Shinigami and a Death Note of their own! Death note still asks many important questions on morality – If we had the power to kill all the bad people in the world, should we? Is giving up our soul to oblivion worth the sacrifice of changing the world? Can the path of good intentions lead a good person to be a worse monster then those he intends to dispatch? L is not only my favorite character in anime, but one of my favorite tv (my case dvd) characters. Intriguing character – Flawed, eccentric, moral and highly intelligent. As different as he was from Light, they also had a lot in common. They were both incredibly cerebral men who wished in their own ways to make the world a better place. Light was L’s dark mirror in many aspects. Adored the chemistry of danger and admiration between the warring pair. I found this series fascinating and powerful.

Bookthief

Copyright book thefts are the bane of publishers and authors. Contray to popular thought, most authors are not as afluent as readers may think. To my astonishment it is not just the top 20 best sellers who are suffering, but the small publishing houses and indie authors. I found myself a vicim of this alarming trend a year back and to my annoyence, again this week. I urge all authors to make regular searches online to check for illegal downloads of their work. To my disgust I have found several bloggers sharing my work illegally. I am far from a millionaire and I’m saddened by the lack of respect these individuals have for an authors work. Please can those sharing free download links check that the links are alowed by the authors.

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom

Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom - Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata Re-reading the magnificent Graphic novel series - Death Note Death Note, Vol. 1 Boredom (Death Note, #1) by Tsugumi Ohba. I love both this and its anime series and live action feature films. My taste in books has always been eclectic - From classic Victorian literature,Regency, Science Fiction, Fantasy,Gothic romance, Norse/Greek/Roman mythology,Greek plays, Elizabethan plays,history, biographies, poetry, mysteries, horror, thrillers and graphic novels. Death Note will always will be my favorite anime. Even though I know what is going to occur in episode 25, it still gets to me. I understand Kira'/Light's Pov a little in the first episode, but 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' in Light's case. I wonder how many people would want a Shinigami and a Death Note of their own! Death note still asks many important questions on morality - If we had the power to kill all the bad people in the world, should we? Is giving up our soul to oblivion worth the sacrifice of changing the world? Can the path of good intentions lead a good person to be a worse monster then those he intends to dispatch? L is not only my favorite character in anime, but one of my favorite tv (my case dvd) characters. Intriguing character - Flawed, eccentric, moral and highly intelligent. As different as he was from Light, they also had a lot in common. They were both incredibly cerebral men who wished in their own ways to make the world a better place. Light was L's dark mirror in many aspects. Adored the chemistry of danger and admiration between the warring pair. I found this series fascinating and powerful.

Raising Steam

Raising Steam - Terry Pratchett Touching, surprising and thoroughly addictive novel. Full of humor, comedic insights and strong characters. An intelligent fantasy. Terry Pratchett is an author that never fails to miss the mark. He knows how to write fantasy and he writes it well. An extraordinary book *****

Go Ask Malice: A Slayer's Diary

Go Ask Malice: A Slayer's Diary - Robert Joseph Levy, Joss Whedon Go Ask Malice: A Slayer’s Diary by Robert Joseph Levy, a Book Review by Stella Coulsonwas at the time of reading, a complete surprise. I have read many tv and movie tie in novels. Some are good, some less impressive and a few wonderful in their own right. This falls under the latter. Its remarkable how Levy is able to write so closely to the adolescent female voice. It showed incredible empathy. Also have to add that the attention to Buffyverse detail is on point too. The journey with our protagonist, Faith is quite a ride; From Faith's lovers, her 1st Watcher, her home life and events that forged her into a Warrior. Faith is full of understandable rage, strength coupled with vulnerability. As we experience the world through her eyes, we may love her, hate her, or maybe both. Either way this novel made an impact on me. I would recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy. This book is a great read, full or escapism and emotion.

The Dead Game

The Dead Game - Susanne   Leist The Dead Game by Susanne Liest Book Review by Stella Coulson

A compelling spine chilling paranormal thriller in which Linda arrives in a Town called ‘Oasis’, a seemingly sleepy town where nothing is as it appears to be and may be the home of Vampires. Liest’s Vampires aren’t your conventional Vampire, for there are more then one type living in scenic Town. Some have no regard for human life and are dangerous monstrous psychopaths of the worst kind; While another of a more Noble nature can co- exist with humans, as well as human Vampire hybrid offspring.
Oasis is charming, inviting, and Liest paints such a wonderful picture that you can almost catch the scent of the ocean and feel you are actually at ‘End House’. ‘End House’ itself is the beautiful unnerving decaying house that seems like a place that Dickens’s Miss Havisham would have lived. The picture Liest paints of her world is beautifully written and the experience is almost tactile. From her description of opulent homes to the quaint stores, she lulls you into a state of calm, and then pulls you deeper into darkness which lurks beneath.

“Don’t you think that it’s strange that the older residents
Don’t come out at all during the day?” asked Shana.

(Page Sec1:43).

This is among many questions the reader will ask and wonder, as they are drawn deeper within a Town with its own share of secrets. We discover that creatures of the night with beautiful faces, a sea of death lying upon the beautiful golden sands and are lead into a fantastic paranormal mystery. Mystery is just one of the genres the Author uses to blend into her gripping paranormal tale. She also uses horror, noir and many other elements and it works extremely well.

‘’Todd stepped back and looked into her eyes, “Why are you
wandering around alone? There are evil things lurking in the
dark…ready to pounce on unsuspecting mortals.”
His eyes were open very wide, revealing a wild—maybe
even deranged—look. For a fleeting second she felt afraid of
him, until she realized that it was concern she was seeing reflected in his dark eyes.’’

We then are lead to question ‘who can she trust’. Are her friends, loved ones all that they appear? Is it a case of paranoia or are her instincts trying to tell us something. The air of intensity and wonder keeps the reader on edge.

(Page Sec1:29).

The characters; Let us star off with our protagonist Linda - She is independent, sweet and very easy to like. She’s someone who you’d like to have as a friend. She is a real girl who has her own hang ups and flaws - This makes her endearing. The End House you could almost call a character in itself, much like the chilling unnerving Hotel in the Shining. It seems alive, dark, evil and full of bad intentions. It is a jarring sight in comparison to its Town Oasis, a tranquil idyllic sleepy place that one would at first think live up to its name. Think of the End House as Oasis’ very own picture of Dorian Grey in the attic. You see the hidden darkness manifest corporally as evil decaying twisted ruin.
Todd our delicious arrogant eye candy, has an air of self importance about him. I imagine it may annoy some, but he his intellect and charm make up for it. He reads the Wall Street Journal and is described as Greek God like in appearance, is articulate, powerful and affluent. Confidence is attractive and he has a lot of it. Of course I’d gladly smack him in the jaw if I were Linda. It works for his character and is interesting for the story.
The Dead Game is a page turner, elegantly written, full of suspense and is a enjoyable novel and well worth a read.

Maskerade

Maskerade - Terry Pratchett A humorous take upon [a:Gaston Leroux|9057|Gaston Leroux|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1207312409p2/9057.jpg]famous novel [b:The Phantom of the Opera|480204|The Phantom of the Opera|Gaston Leroux|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327867727s/480204.jpg|2259720] which has been adapted into plays, silent movie, musical and many film adaptations. The story follows our heroine Agnes Nitt who struggles to be famous within the Opera House despite being the most talented person there. You see - Agnes has the gift of being able to vocalize two unique song performances simultaneously. In essence, she can harmonize with herself. The Opera House is not unaware of Agnes' talent but due to her Rubanesque physique, she is deemed to not have 'star quality'. Her friend Christine (yup that one) is her mirror opposite - Completely devoid of talent, but conventionally beautiful. As a reader following (and as a former 'fat girl')our heroine, we find it frustrating at just how stupid people truly are. This is very much the Author [a:Terry Pratchett|1654|Terry Pratchett|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1235562205p2/1654.jpg] showing the reader the way society treats people who aren't physically the society norm. The story also follows Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg who are searching for 'a third Witch' since their associate Magret stupidly got herself married and believe Agnes shows great promise.Agnes must choose between the worlds of music and magic, her dreams or the ones yet taken.This is a wonderful commentary on musical theatre and society. The novel is filled with amusing references the Musical adaptation, great characters and a fantastic story.The perfect musical operatic magical satire :)