Friday, August 26, 2016

My Thoughts On The Conjuring II

Hello, everyone!

I wanted to get back into writing blog posts, so I decided to write a bit of a movie review.  Well, of sorts....  This blog is really for my journey from project to publishing, but I thought I would change it up, especially since my projects have been slow going.

I grew up on a steady diet of horror movies.  While my mother was working, my older brothers watched us girls in the house.  We often played card games, heard music, and watched movies together.  We had more freedoms than most kids, but we handled it responsibly.  The worst thing we did was watch rated R movies.  At five, I remember watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre with my brother who is ten years older.  I wasn't frightened by any of the movies I saw.  I was intrigued, and I began to really love the genre.

As a teen and young adult, there was a big boom in shows concerning paranormal themes.  I ate them up, watching all of the ones that I could; Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, Scariest Places on Earth, Most Haunted, etc.  Having my own supernatural experiences as a child and teen, these shows cemented my own experiences in my mind and gave me a type of validation of sorts.  None of these shows were ever as scary as the real thing for me, so I wasn't effected negatively by them, just intrigued.

The reason I mention these things is because some people cannot tolerate something even the slightest bit scary.  If you cannot, then the Conjuring II is not a movie for you.  It can be traumatic for people who are fearful to watch these types of movies.  I wasn't even born when The Exorcist was released, but I remember hearing stories that watching the movie made people sick.  Many had to run out of the movie theaters before it was over.  If one has such a raw reaction to this kind of content, it is better to miss it than to watch it and be tormented by the mental replay of its scenes in your mind.

However, if you are like me, this movie, which is based on reality, this movie can reaffirm one's beliefs in an afterlife.  I have been a fan of the Warrens since watching Paranormal State where Lorraine Warren was a regular consultant.  Although I wasn't fully in the Catholic Church back then, the show depicted how Catholics deal with the paranormal.  I found it so interesting, because again, these people who were tormented by spiritual warfare in their homes were reflections of my own experience, and there was a bit of a kinship as if those who have experienced these things are apart of a community.  I will add that some movies are even too much for me.  I still haven't seen The Exorcist.  I refuse to see it.

The Conjuring II was excellent in my humble opinion.  It was a great sequel that stands alone in and of itself.  Beside the usual jump scares, the plot was well developed and the characters really leave a lasting impression long after the film is over.  Most of us can relate to the overwhelmed single mom, the bullied child, the abandonment issues associated with a absentee father, etc.  The Catholic values of the Warrens' relationship was really depicted nicely throughout and quite endearing.

While the first Conjuring surrounded the family being tormented, this one gave Ed and Lorraine a larger role in the plot.  From my viewpoint, it really depicted the struggle to follow God's will.  The Warrens' found a mission in helping families tormented by demons.  They were two of the chosen few who were trusted to investigate cases for the Catholic Church which isn't a small feat.  The Church doesn't just trust anyone really to investigate such things, especially people who aren't clergy.  The subplot aside from the haunting really featured the struggle in following the will of God and the toll it takes on the family.  Remember, demons don't respect personal boundaries or aren't limited to one household.

Anyone can watch this film and be fully entertained.  However, there is more to this film than a scary movie.  It is based on real life events.  For a Catholic, this movie really affirms the power of the faith and puts spiritual warfare into perspective.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Personal Update

Hello, everyone.

I want to thank everyone who has been checking in on my blog and website, waiting for updates and new releases.  Special thanks to those who enjoyed my writing and felt the need to contact me.  I'm always surprised to hear from readers.  I haven't updated my blog or website or written a newsletter in months but faithful readers have continued to visit, and I think it's amazing!

First, I wanted to say that there have been significant delays in the writing of Wicked Voices, so much so that I had to make a blog post.  Many personal circumstances have taken up my time since I started writing, and those personal concerns take precedence over any writing projects.  Sometimes life takes turns, and those abrupt changes create blockages.  Any plans I have made to pick up the pace have failed.  I'm hoping that the near future is a bit more conducive to the creative process.  I expected to finish Wicked Voices by Winter 2016/17, but it is looking like it will be delayed until Spring 2017.

Second, it has been brought to my attention that those who purchased Wicked Love within the first few months of release may have not received Chapter 24.  This problem exists only on Nook downloads.  Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Smashwords have no issues with this.  No one has emailed me, requesting the chapter, but I looked into it.  If the chapter is missing, it is as easily as archiving the book and re-downloading it after a few days.  The missing chapter will appear.

Thank you all so much for your patience and support for my writings.  I hope to release better works in the future, so we can continue our literary adventures.