From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Monday, August 30, 2010

Racing to beat a deadline.

Ok, so besides a little tweeking The Monster is basically done.

The 1st edits for The Darkness are schl'd to be done by Sept 8th and once that's done things for The Darkness should start to pick up speed as it's all down hill after that. I so can't wait to get that 1st edit in my hands =D

Amber's New Friend needs to be done and sitting on the editors desk by Oct 15th! Fuck. I'm almost there but Amber is turning out to be longer than I intended but I'm pushing to have it done within the next 15 days and now that The Monster is done I shouldn't have a problem.

I just wanted to touch base with you guys real quick, you'll be hearing from me in the next couple of day.
Til then!

Friday, August 27, 2010

DVD Pick of the Week: Alice Sweet Alice

Plotline: Alice Spages is a withdrawn 12-year-old girl who lives with her mother, Catherine, and her younger sister, Karen. Karen gets most of the attention from her mother, and Alice is often left out of the spotlight. But when Karen is found brutally murdered in a church before her first holy communion, all suspicions are turned towards Alice. But is a twelve-year-old girl really capable of such savagery? As more people begin to die at the hands of a merciless killer, Alice becomes more and more likely of a suspect.

Scariness Factor: The scariness factor in this movie is amazing. Director Alfred Sole uses lighting, music, the tension between the people in the movie, and suspense to crank up the fear. Another thing that is done really well is what your seeing is really not what’s going on.

Gross-Out Factor: N/A

Complaints: N/A

High Points: Alice is, no doubt a monster, her treatment of other people is alarming. Her tantrums and outburst will have you screaming quotes from Proverbs 23:13-14 and her mother’s denial will make you dizzy…and the thing is Alice knows this about her self. From early in the movie it seems like all Alice desperately wants is to take communion, as if this will be the very thing to save her. It’s extremely painful to watch her denied communion not once but twice. And on top of all we find out that this Alice is not the villain in this movie.

Personal Commentary: Alice Sweet Alice is the kind of horror films I grew up watching, which is why I have no patience sloppy storytelling, half ass directing and remakes of movies that should have never been made in the 1st place.

This is a slasher film but unlike most of the crap that is produced today that heavily relies on blood, gore, and nudity to hide the fact that you’re watching a movie that sucks because there's no plot or storyline…Alice Sweet Alice is a well thought out theatrical movie with excellent character development and compelling plot.

Bravo placed Alice Sweet Alice 89 on their 100 scariest movie moments for this scene…

However I vehemently disagree. The most frightening scene is the last scene, once we fully understand what has happened, once we see how close Alice was to her salvation, and then left to image what the rest of her life has in store for her.

Stars: 5 Stars

Where I rented it:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A different type of profile pic.

Inspired by the work of Joshua Hoffine

My photographer Misha Huntting, and her BFF Lauren Hoodenpyle who is an FX artist and I are gearing up for my photoshoot that will produce profile, website and book jacket pic that are having some people raise their eyebrows, while others are losing sleep over the fact that I refuse to conform to what mainstream society deems acceptable...And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Our guest today is none other than the amazingly beautiful & extremely talented Miss Misha Huntting. Let's get to know her and see what she's got to say...
When did your start career as a photographer?I started photography school when I was 18 and have been shooting ever since.

Do you believe in the expression “A picture is worth 1,000 words” and if so why? Sure, depends on the picture and I can’t think of a lot of photographers that have a thousand words for anything at all honestly. Visual expression is very different than verbal expression but a thousand words can be said about an image and it can be interpreted many ways. I feel this expression is best reserved for really good documentary photography and maybe not so much for duckface facebook downward angle bathroom shots….which I believe is 6 words…if you count duckface and facebook as one word.

Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in a picture?I think a person can get lucky, I think a person with talent sometimes can’t express it because they haven’t paid attention to the technicalities of their craft. I think a person can become too self involved or too self conscious to pick up something that is happening around them. I think there are as many answers to this question as there are people. I’ve seen pictures that a 4 year old took that were insightful and observant and I’ve seen pictures that a trained person took that are total crap. Sometimes its luck sometimes it’s more. However I would urge anyone who is considering selling their work to learn their craft extremely well and put some real work and critique into it before you skip to that point.

What is your work schedule like when you're behind the lens? Well it’s a lot of hurry up and wait. First thing I need is coffee and since I’ve had Jimmy as my assistant I don’t do quite as much running around like a chicken with my head cut off first thing which is great, then I try to get my social face on even though I might be meeting a good handful of people I don’t know at all, shake hands and say hello explain what we’ll be doing with confidence in my voice. Then I fuss with the lights endlessly sometimes moving one no more than an inch 4 or 5 different times. After which I begin to shoot and crawl around from various vantage points. Then I get happy and excited if everyone feels it went well then I go home and immediately start editing the photos.

In your opinion, what makes photography an art? It’s still a creative tool. All mediums are creative tools in my eyes for the essence of creativity. However it is that a person wants to get across their creativity is an art in my opinion.

What is it about the horror genre that interests you?Well firstly it would be conditioning. I watched a lot of scary movies as a child and read a lot of scary books and enjoyed the thrill and the rush of being frightened, a lot in the same way as people enjoy roller coasters. My mother introduced me to some ghost stories and we went on cemetery outings and then I just went on from there on my own. Second, It’s the way I deal with my own fears. Some people don’t like to confront them I’ve always been as equally fascinated with things that scare me as frightened. Thirdly, a large portion of my interest in the horror genre is very simple. It’s a matter of taste. I enjoy the visual esthetics and the possibility for creative exploration in the grotesque. It’s reality, and it’s beautiful to me and no one could convince me otherwise.

OMFG, that’s exactly how I feel! From now on when people ask me that question I’ll be quoting you!

Do you remember the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
I remember the first subject matter I photographed that gave me that wild rush after most photo shoots these days. I was in a photography class and I was 14, so I got to really start thinking like a photographer for the first time. There was this multi million dollar home in my town that was having an open house. I walked in and thought I was in heaven. It was like the Beetlejuice house only better. There was a spiral staircase with a giant mural on the ceiling between the stairs of a bumblebee and a giant painting of a young dead looking girl holding a baby with a look on her face like she wanted to kill it. It was amazing. I was thinking to myself that these were going to be the best pictures of all time! Alas, some technical know how prevented them from being that but it was a lot of fun.

Can you tell us you’re funniest, scariest, most bizarre, or most touching story from one of your photo shoots?A lot of stuff leaps to mind, mostly abandoned building adventures. Those are my favorites, but I’m going to go with this one. I decided to take some band photos in a very sketchy motel on Aurora, frequented by hookers mostly (incase someone’s not from here). I thought it would be gritty, dirty and add something interesting. I tried to book a room over the phone many times but every time I called one they hung up on me. So we just started driving up and down Aurora asking for a room. The first 3 we went to said no because there was so many of us. I saw a few all brown lobbies with a really pungent smell of 70’s and cigarettes and in one of them, was a dead mini Christmas tree from 6 months earlier and really wanted to stay there but botched it by giving away that there were so many of us for one room.

We finally got to one that let us stay there with a man dressed straight out of the beat it video standing outside in a leather coat with an elastic waistband. The only way they would let us stay there is if we pretended it was just the singer and I. First of all we went into the wrong room to discover a man with boils all over his face, a hooker on the bed and 2 people shooting up in front of the t.v…..woops. So once we finally got our room we had to sneak everyone else in one at a time when the manager wasn’t looking, which unfortunately wasn’t very often. The room was alright I suppose, there was some 4x6 frames with tacky northwest art on the wall, a fold out couch and cable!! Which I don’t even have at home! But things were slightly off, like the various punched holes in the walls and that half the curtain rod was super glued to the wall and the other half was just dangling on the other end. It was definitely what I was looking for, we had a lot of laughs at the situations expense and when we finished shooting I wanted to get out of there asap. So we snuck everyone back into the van and the singer and I played it off like we were just having a quickie in there while the toothless manager in overalls proceeded to berate the singer for the duration of his suggested love making. With classic lines such as “Boy, if I had a girl like that I’d be in there allll night, I’d be foggin up the windows” Etc. It was bizarre circumstances for our working relationship but I still couldn’t stop laughing. That’s about it.

Holy crap that’s got to be the wickest story I have ever heard, no wonder you guys couldn’t stop laughing.

What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
When I got out of school I went to a few interviews and after that when someone feels uncomfortable with what I do, they always use the word “Edgy” “your work is so edgy” Gets pretty old. Although there has been a few who don’t even attempt to hide their distain and simply say “that’s scary” well spotted dumb shit.

LOL, I know right, it’s kinda the whole point.

Are you working on any projects that you would like to share with us?
Of course! I am working on a tarot deck currently that is going to be a gritty, underbelly of Americana. The themes are grotesque and ironic and a lot less metaphysical than most decks. I hope to be done with it by October, in time for Halloween.

Thank you so much for your time today =D

Thank you back =D

Advance purchases of a few of Misha's Tarot Cards such as the two below are available at:

To view other photo's in Misha's portfolio please visit:

Ordering infomation for the clutch bag, or one like it, in the last photo will be made availabe during the interview with Lauren Hoodenpyle. Thanks for checking in, check back for the DVD pick of the week.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Caucasian with some type of African American glazing.

So I was invited by a few friends to go hiking slash ghost hunting. Ok two problems with this. One I am not wandering around in the wilderness surrounded by dirt just to sleep on the ground covered in dirt with the icing on the cake being that we would be looking for ghost! Am I the only person in the world who watches horror movies? And two, I am not wandering around in the wildness surrounded by dirt just to sleep on the ground covered in dirt.

So I say, “I’m sorry but black people don’t do that.” And his reply was “Yeah but you’re not really black, you’re Caucasian with some type of African American glazing.” Yeah, yeah laugh it up. The only reason he is still breathing is because he’s one of those mixed kids his mom is black and dad white…and for some reason he says the most insane shit when it comes to race.

Oh my gosh you guys I got a surround sound system. I found it at a pawnshop when I was out on my monthly jewelry scavenger hunt and I paid less than $50.00 for it! It’s actually for a computer and when the manger was telling me the types of connectors and cables I needed to convert the SS from computer use to TV use he said “I guess if your just looking for something that will do for now this will be ok.”

So I get it home hook it up and its so loud it sounds like a fucking IMAX theater in my house! So I’m not really sure what he meant by it will do for now. I’m not kidding when I say it’s loud; you can feel the bass in your chest. I turned it all the way down to the line nest to the “off” line and its still loud enough to be heard from outside. Great that gives my neighbor yet something else to complain about =/ Movie Night will never be the same!

Check it out:

So here is the little sub woofer with the power button on top. It's cute isn't it =D

Here is the little speaker on the right. Look how little it is!

And look at the one hiding under the plant.

I can't remember what life was like before Surround Sound! Stay tuned for our DVD pick of the week!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Girl in the Cloak by Molly V.

So I was hired by an author to offer ghostwriting and story structure services, and at 11years old she is my youngest client so far. When she 1st started talking about the idea my very 1st thought was no.

Hold on…let me explain.

The lifestyle I enjoy does not present opportunities for me to interact with children on a consistent basis. The 1st half of my adult life was spent employed and jet setting as a sailor and I cuss like one. Because of me one of her very 1st sentences was “fucking blanket.” And trust me when I tell you this, her father was not at all pleased. Let’s not forget, as all of you are well aware, the fact I am entertained by the unsettling and the macabre and that’s the way I express my self creatively. So that’s why I was thinking that maybe I wasn’t the right person for her.

But as I listened to her plot line I realized three things that changed my mind. First off I can not tell you how incredibly awesome it feels to have someone completely trust you enough to completely hand over their work, and that fact alone changed my mind.

The 2nd thing is if I can pull this off, and by that I mean, taking her ideas and writing a story that is age appropriate in content, language, and dialog and making this story exactly how she images it, that was catapult my skills as a writer.

And the 3rd is developing better people skills. The clients who hire me thru Seattle Crystal Concierge don’t really care how I get the things they want done, as long as I get them done. So basically I’m working the way that I want and doing the things that best for me. When I hire someone to do a job for me whether it be an employee, intern, outside vendor or contractor I expect for things I want done to be done without question, and when it comes to my writing you can times that expectation by infinity. So with this new client I now have to wear that shoe on the other foot.

Because there is no way on God’s green earth that I will be able to speak to her the way I’ve been known to speak to adults without having her mother put a gun to my head and pulling the trigger, I’m kind of looking forward to this project.

I need to be able to interact with children, understand them at their level, and be aware of their presence so that my friends don’t cringe every time I start talking. I need to be able to knock it down a notch and write a creepy little story that the whole family can enjoy, I mean for the love of God, The Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson is rated PG-13. The more I think about it the more and more I’m glad that I said yes!

She has given me permission to post her both her story and what I’ve added to it on my blog, and hopefully she’ll post it on hers as well. With out further a due let me present to you the 1st section of Molly V's: The Girl in the Cloak

Molly's Raw Talent:

“I was a happy little girl...”Rain started to say. “I was lost in a forest fire and my parents did not send a rescue search party for me”She looked up at the night sky.then she closed her eyes.”then when they found me,the put me with new parents,witch made me stressed.then when i was 17,i left.”She paused and then continued to speak."but when I had my real dad, he gave me a black cloak and magic buttons.I thought he was joking...”she opened her eyes and stared down at the cloaks button."my new mom said to through it away,but I said a plain “No”.she started to yell at me.”She sighed.”then one night I left with my white t-shirt,torn jeans,converse and my cloak.then thats when I turned evil.”she opened her mouth and felt her sharp fang.

Molly's Cloak with my devilish details:

Rain was walking through the dark quiet forest; she took long deep breaths to draw in the fresh air of the night.

Rain had been a happy girl and she smiled to herself when her fingers ran across one of the buttons on the cloak her father had given her. When he gave her black cloak he mischievously told her that the buttons were magic and then they both started laughing because Rain mistakenly thought her dad was joking.

A tear left her eye as she looked up at the night sky and then closed her eyes. When Rain had been a young girl she and her family were camping in this forest. They had pitched their tent and gone to bed. But it wasn’t the sun that woke them up, it was the noise of stampeding animals. When they opened the tent to see what was going on they saw deer, a huge black bear and four mountain lions all running together.

Rain thought that it was very scary for animals running next to the ones that they would normally hunt, when she turned to see why all the animals were running together and her answer came before she could ask it. The forest was on fire.

In the fear and confusion for survival Rain and her parent got separated. When she was running for her life Rain tripped and fell into a deep muddy ditch. She hit her head and passed out. Because everything around the trench Rain had fallen into was wet, it saved her from the fire.

Rain was awakened by the panic shouts in her ear and light slaps on her face of a firefighter, and it wasn’t until she was in the hospital that she learned her parents had perished. Rain enjoyed walking alone in the woods because it gave her time to think but really it was because this was the last place that she had been with her family.

Rain’s extraordinary beauty was a gift from her parent, but since their death it had become Rain’s curse. Her foster mother was so mean to her that Rain was willing to bet that Cinderella lived a better life. Her foster mother was always telling Rain how ugly she was, fed her the smallest meals, and forced her to sit at the table and watch her real children eat large meals and delicious looking deserts that made her mouth water and her stomach growl.

One night of her 17th birthday her little foster brother opened the closet door to where Rain was force to sleep. He looked very sad and scared at the same time. Tucked secretly away in his pajama bottoms was a half eaten fried chicken breast and a piece of smushed chocolate cake. Way more food than she had been given for dinner.

Both children started to cry and through her tears Rain ate the chicken so fast she almost chocked. Rain had only taken two bites of the sweet cake when the wicked evil witch queen snatched open the door. She was so mad that she slapped her real son in the face really hard two times in a row. Then she grabbed Rain by the hair and dragged her down the stairs and threw her outside into the rainy night. Rain was only wearing a torn pair of jeans and a t-shirt. She ran across the back yard and got inside the doghouse to keep dry.

One of the girls threw Rain’s black high-top Converse out of her bedroom window down to her, when she left the cover of the horrible smelling doghouse to get the shoes the next thing the girl had thrown out of the window made Rain stand still, barefoot and breathless in the freezing rain. It was her black cloak.

From the very beginning the wicked evil witch queen had tried to steel and destroy Rain’s cloak, and Rain had not seen it for years, so to see it floating down to the ground like snow from heaven meant that one of the girls had hidden it away and kept it safe. This made Rain both very grateful and very sad at the same time.

She retrieved her shoes and cloak and put them on, she turned to look into the bedroom window and knew all three of her foster sisters and brother was watching her from the dark. She kissed her hand and threw the kiss towards the window, repeated the act with her other hand, then she put her hands flat together like she was praying and took a bow of thanks.

She pulled the hood of her cloak up over her head and turned and walked away. Her foster siblings knew that they would never see Rain again and as she walked through the gate to promised safety she could hear them cry.

As Rain walked away from her little private Hell on earth she smiled revealing for the 1st time since her parents death her long sharp fangs, and that was the night Rain decided to use her father’s gift of magic for evil.

She loves it so far and approved of almost everything, I have to remove the word Hell. Doh! You can take the girl out of the sea...

Please check back every Monday as the approved sections will be update and posted =D

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

At all cost stay true to yourself, and your vision

So we’re back on track with The Darkness. One of the 1st things that was said to me at the very beginning of this process was how writing the story is the easy part, now the hard part begins. I cannot tell you how painfully true that is.

Once your story begins the transformation from story to book you have a ton of other crafts involved to make that book come true which means there are a lot of other creative forces involved.

The last two months has been extremely stressful because someone else’s vision started to creep through and it's a very different vision than mine. Though I have been writing for years this is 1st book and I am very excited and humbled to be here and I was not prepared for this process.

So when suggestions and ideas were made that I wasn’t 100 and 10% supportive of, I tried to be accommodating. Before I knew it these other creative forces started to eclipse mine and I was losing the control over what I wanted The Darkness to look and read like. This person has been in the industry for decades and was only offering different points of views and visions. However knowing that did not prevent it from feeling like a hostile takeover.

Because I was so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings I did not say anything and I was miserable, I was bitching to my friends, my sister lost patience with me and basically told me to stop calling her to whine and deal with it and I had a headache for almost a week straight.

Everyone knows that I’m Stephen King’s # 1 fan, and that my admiration for Dean Koontz boarders on stalker status and because the late Octavia E. Butler lived in the same state as I do…well those records have been sealed. There are books written by them that I’ve read and didn’t like, and a few I didn’t finish and there is no way in hell that I can read more than about 6 pages of Clive Barker’s work. But do you think they give a rats ass about what I think, I mean who the hell I am?

My point is no matter what you need to fight for your voice and your story once you get to this process because if you don’t you’ll release a book you’re less than happy with. The author’s mentioned above took and still receive tons of criticism and bad reviews…but they wrote stories that are true to their vision and idea’s, and where are they now? Living in gated communities protected from stalker fans like me.

I spent almost six days trying to find a way to explain to the powers that be that our creative visions are different and don’t fit well together because I wanted to be careful. I didn’t want to express my concerns the way I did when I was venting to friends or be as frustrated as I was right before when my sister hung up on me.

So after rewriting and rewriting my concerns, explaining how I felt and requesting that my vision...mine, be realized I sent the email.

I tried; I really did do the best that I could not to step on toes or hurt anyone's feelings. I spent six and a half years sailing with the 7th fleet along side some of the meanest men in America and I have learned how to use my words as weapons, so I really did try not to be mean or hurtful so that no one would be upset and that my point was made and heard …but it happened anyway.

My friend told me that “Telling someone you're not 100% happy with their work or with your working relationship is never easy and it’s expected that someone’s feeling will be hurt. You just say what you have to say to get your story written and published the way you envision it and everyone will be Happy in the end.”

It was extremely hard to send that email, I’m not happy that I made someone feel bad, but it needed to happen so that I could stay true to family, my friends, myself and to The Darkness, so I had to step up to the plate and say something and as my fellow writer or artist I hope you do too and because that’s my wish for you, in closing I would like to quote my friend once more because it just doesn’t apply to me.

It's YOUR Story. You’re a GREAT Writer. Have Faith in that.