Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Self Doubt Runs Rampant

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So, lately I have been having some serious self doubts about myself and my abilities. All my abilities…as a parent, grandparent, partner, writer, artist…

It started in November. It just started as a small inkling behind the eyes…a small thought here and there. A doubt in judgement here and there, and it just escalated.

Then I was sitting here the night before last working on something and I thought…should I continue to even try? My book is far from being as perfect as I want it. My writing doesn’t feel as smooth anymore. I have lost many followers and readers.

Should I keep my Zoe Ambler persona, all the time and work. Should I just let it go? Should I refocus elsewhere?

I am feeling very inadequate of late. Its a nagging feeling that is bringing me down more and more. I can attribute some of it to the holiday season. I always get a little depressed this time of year, no matter how well things are going.

However, I dont seem very productive. Mind you, we are all busy this time of year. This is a big book time. Here I am with the promise of a new book, yet not producing the final product.

I have family things going on that I was not prepared for.

I just have to question myself on why I keep up with things when I seem to be failing and falling behind. Am I disappointing anyone? The answer to that may leave me in tears.

I had a dream. I have talent. I am squandering it, I know. I am just not finding it within myself to chase these things. I feel so very let down.

Perhaps after the holidays I will feel better…if not, some hard decisions will have to be made.

Take care, my sweets~

Friday, November 24, 2017

Movie Review: Wolf Creek 1,2 & Series

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Wolf Creek 1 & 2





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Wolf Creek the Series (one season)


I took a day to myself to re-watch some of my favorite movies from Down Under. Australia puts out some really great horror movies, and movies based on actual events.

This review covers the Wolf Creek movies and the single season series. Each starts with the mention that it is based on actual events. And its is pretty accurate. Australia has a large amount of serial killers that have never been caught.

Young people flock to the Outback to take in the brilliant scenery and hitchhike around the country. Hence, so many go missing. Predators hone in one this, making these young ones easy targets. Included in the opening credits of the movies is the line ‘30,000 people go missing in Australia every year, 90% are found, 10% are never found.’ So, foul play runs rampant.

There are proven ‘backpack serial killers’ that have been caught, but how many copy cats go unchecked? And some of those that have been caught are so brutal to their victims. Australia is a vast land, as harsh as it is beautiful.

So, on with the reviews.

Wolf Creek movies 1 and 2, and the short series are some of my favorites. It is the villain I seem to root for, because, in my little head, he is just the best. Mick Taylor is a relentlessly brutal serial killer. He targets tourists. He views them as pigs that just need to be eliminated from ‘his’ country.

Mick has the absolute best maniacal snicker/chuckle I have ever heard. Actor John Jarret captures this character so well, I could never picture the character of Mick Taylor played by anyone else.

The good news is, Wolf Creek 3 is in post production.

Wolf Creek introduces us to Mick. It shows his relentless pursuit of those he deems as trash and a mar on his country. Foreigners are not welcome in his country. So, as a ‘pest eliminator’, he does his job. He takes great joy in this endeavor.

Wolf Creek 2 is much the same, showing just how gruesome this man can be. He is hilarious, however. Creepy, but hilarious. Some of his one liners had me in stitches, but, you have to remember, I am a fan of villains. Also, that snicker/chuckle. It makes me smile.

The short Season of Wolf Creek that was developed was also so perfect. This time, we got to see what drives Mick to do the things he does. We learn of his past, getting a glimpse into why he does what he does, and just how his mind got so warped.

The movies and the series are quite gruesome for the faint of heart. There really isn’t a fear factor as far a jump scares. It is more about sitting on the edge of your seat as the gore happens, because you can nearly feel the pain of Mick victims as he does what he does. He is quite creative and twisted. No one really gets a ‘clean death’.

So if you are up for a really charismatic villain and a lot of gruesome edge of your seat gore, I highly recommend checking these movies and the series out. You wont be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday card time...

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So the holiday season is upon us once again. One of my favorite things about the season is receiving mail and cards. I also really dig sending them as well, because I find some truly entertaining cards.

As I often do throughout the year, I invite you to email me your address at zoe.ambler5@gmail.com, or send me your contact info via my ‘Contact’ page. My home address is listed there as well, if you want to just jump write in and shoot me a snail mail.

I have quite a few people I correspond with now, and more is always welcome. Sometimes you may get several letters back to back, sometimes I am a little slow. However, I answer all letters, and when I send cards, they are usually pretty unique.

So please help make this old hags holidays a little brighter and become one of my pen pals. You wont regret it. ~.^

zoe.ambler5@gmail.com

Zoe Ambler – 2300 Moates Road, Enterprise AL 36330

Love you guys to bits!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sick mama, sick fur-babies...


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Howdy All…

I’d love to be able to tell you all is right in the world in Zoe-Land, but alas, it is not.

I was taken down by a terrible stomach/intestinal flu for the last few days. Today is the first day I have felt remotely like myself. It was horrible though. Absolutely horrible.

On top of that, three out of six of my kitty cats are sick with upper-respiratory infections. Quinn and Baxter are doing alright, but Spencer, my baby, isn’t doing that great. He had a trip to the vet yesterday for some steroids, antibiotics, eye drops and a ‘Camel Hump’ (IV solution placed sub dermally at between the shoulder and neck area to keep the baby hydrated). He is not eating, drinking or using the litter.

Today I found the poor little man laboring by breathing out of his mouth and drooling horribly, so back to the vet he went. Thankfully, it’s nothing as alarming as my heart and head seemed to make it. He has developed a sore in his mouth, hence the drooling, and he simply can’t breathe from his little nose being stopped up, so that’s why he is breathing through his mouth. The vet said to continue with the daily anti-biotic, try to temp him to eat some soft food or tuna that has been heated in the microwave just enough to make it stinky (if a cat can’t smell it, they won’t eat it) and keep watch over him.

Jeffrey has the sneezes, but he also has allergies, so that may be his reason for sneezing. He isn’t showing any other signs of being sick. He is grumpier than usual though. Sid and Seifer are just fine, however. We are attributing their good health to the fact that they are used to being outdoors, and have heartier immune systems.

Yesterday marked the midway point for NaNoWriMo. I am working really well on my writing, my word count grows every day. I will surpass the 50k mark well before the 30th.

On a more depressing note, as a Municipal Liaison, attendance at the libraries this year is nearly none existent. In the whole month, I have had one participant show for an event. I did note, however, that participation in my entire region is way down from previous years. People who have not participated in the group Write-Ins, but still wrote from home or work, updating their word counts, are not even participating in writing at all this year. Donations are way down. I had a long talk with the library director this evening about it, and he said numbers for their events are way down as well.

I have to mention here, that working with both the director and event planner here at the county libraries (this county has like 5 libraries) has been wonderful. These guys are so accommodating. They have helped me since day one of being a Municipal Liaison 3 years ago.

We are sort of chalking up everything to being ‘2017, the bad year for everything possible’.

Gaming news…there really isn’t any. I have been avoiding my game for the most part because I tend to lose too much focus on NaNoWriMo when I try to do both, as they are both writing based. My little character is slumbering with her hubby, being quiet for once.

Well, that’s our little game of catch up for now. I’ll try not to take so long before my next post, and will keep updates on Spencer.

Be sweet, my lovelies ~

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Who’s on my Bookcase: Mira Grant

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Seanan McGuire, AKA Mira Grant; photo by Carol Billingsley

Mira Grant is the pen name for Seanan McGuire. Using both names, she had produced some of the most wonderful books.

Today, we will look at her work under the Mira Grant pen name.

My first experience was at the insistence of a friend of what a good zombie book ‘Feed’ was. I, however, couldn’t sit and read through it due to some of the politics in the book. My brain just couldn’t wrap around it.

I put it down and came back to it at a later day, and BOOM! I was hooked. By that time, the second book in the trilogy was out, ‘Deadline’, so my ravenous eyes devoured that book as well.

Then came the patient wait for ‘Blackout’, the book to close it all together.










































Mind you, Ms. Grant is also a pro at the short story/novella style of writing as well. To go along with the Feed trilogy, she also put out the following novellas:
  • Please Do Not Taunt The Octopus
  • The Day The Dead Came To Show And Tell
  • How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea
  • The Last Stand Of The California Browncoats
  • Countdown
  • Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box

Now, mind you, all these little novellas fall into the Feed universe, so they may intertwine, loop and reveal some details here and there.
This woman has a very unique take on the zombie apocalypse and how it would start. That’s what I love about it…it has an actual, really in-depth reason for the whole ‘dead munching on the living’ scenario. This woman does her homework.

Next comes the Parasite trilogy. Parasite, Symbiont and Chimera. I have made my way through Parasite so far, and love it. I haven’t finished the trilogy yet, but based on the first book, hot damn.





































And finally, Mira Grant has a new book out. ‘Into the Drowning Deep’. I really want to get through the Parasite trilogy before I dive into her newest.

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Mira Grant is one of those writers that knows how to hook you with a unique prospective on old topics. She managed to meld zombies, politics and a peak into the future so superbly.

Sadly, I have not read any of the books written under her true name, Seanan McGuire. My best friend has read them and loves them. It’s a huge collection of books, however, and I need more time to work on one name at a time.

I highly recommend the ‘Feed’ trilogy and all the novellas that go with it.

Five huge stars!!!

Happy reading, my darlings!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

When things just don't go right...

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So the past few days have been a little annoying for me. Things just don’t seem to be lining up right and running smoothly.

My fancy Antique typewriter? Well, I had many a plan for writing fun with it. So, the significant other and myself sat down yesterday morning to clean it up and replace the tape.  Only, said significant other is the type who needs to know all about the inner workings of things. He broke something. The typewriter is now useless unless I can find someone local who can work on a vintage typewriter. I think I found someone, I mean, he advertises typewriter repair…but what is on his web-page a newer examples. We shall see come Monday. Until then, I have been kind of giving Mr I Have To Know What This Little Piece Of Metal Does is getting the silent treatment.

My NaNoWriMo projects. This year, I am feeling overwhelmed. Nothing has changed since last year, I just feel stressed for some reason. I am also torn between plotting and pantsing. I mean, I have 15 stories and outlines on my external drive to choose from, but do I want to go that route, or do I want to sit down on November 1st and just start typing with abandon?

Online gaming. My character and her husband have been planning a special celebration. It is being done in both the role play writing forum and in a live Discord channel chat this evening. I have had the role play writing thread started like two weeks ago, and there are only 4 participants out of 16. Its aggravating. Now, some people in are group just don’t have time to sit down and write a long form role play segment. However, I have given ample time to just make a single post of their character interacting. Tonight, we will see how the live event goes. I will be disappointed, and I’ll admit, pretty hurt, if people don’t come and play it out, seeing as they gather for nearly every other event, especially in Discord, where we can have music and live talk rather than just typing. We shall see.

We are actually getting cooler weather here in the south. I admit, I am torn. I miss my heat, however, the cooler temperatures are nice. Especially at night because all the cats want to cuddle with me in bed. The downfall of the cooler temperatures is the bugs. Most bugs go die or hibernate or whatever…except roaches. I am getting crazy amounts of roaches and water-bugs coming into the house. Now, its not uncommon for them to get in in the summer due to the cow field and crops on this little back road. But, I am getting a lot more than usual. The moment you open the door they fly in. And spiders…a lot more spiders. Thanks to the cats, we aren’t having any problems with field mice…yet. An assortment of wild critters have been trying to get into the garbage can lately, like possums and raccoons, but that’s pretty normal. The coyote packs are bigger this year, and making all kinds of racket in the back at the treeline at night. All that I can deal with…except the bugs. Ew.

I have a feral mama cat and a single kitten that I have been feeding. I place food on both the front and back porch every evening for them when I bring my rowdy bunch in. I know where the mama cat is keeping herself and the kitten during the day, and for hiding, but I would like to bring them into a safer area, closer to the house, with better conditions. I plan on having the two men in this house build the kittehs a shelter big enough for both mama and baby, blankets and to keep food and water inside for them. Its just a matter of getting the men-folk to get off their butts and doing it.

Well, I suppose I have whined enough for now. My next post will be a review of a show or two I’ve managed to sit down and watch. Currently I am watching the second season of Stranger Things. Love that show.

Be sweet, my darlings!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tats, Good Friends and Writing

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So, above you can see my two latest tattoos. I call them my zombknee’s. Mind you, they are still in their icky stage, right before the peel. Today, all I can say is ‘itch, itch, itch’ and ‘moisturize, moisturize, moisturize’. They itch so badly. And I had to wear pants today instead of my usual shorts because I had to adult.

However, when adulting, someone needs to speak up and remind me that that doesn’t mean I can get away with wearing a white shirt. Yes, said shirt now has a food stain on it. ~facepalms~ What makes it so irritating is that it was my final bite…right before I put my left overs in the to-go boxes. ~cries~

Said food stain came from an awesome afternoon with a wonderful friend. I had met her online years ago on the NaNoWriMo website Regional Forums. We didn’t meet face to face until the next year when I volunteered to be a Municipal Liaison. Since then, we have met, had Write-Ins and enjoy nice little sneak away lunches just the two of us.

We usually indulge in an Indian food place down in Dothan. I don’t think anyone else in my house enjoys it, so it works for me for getting a little variety. Today I actually tried a different appetizer and entrée. Go me for trying new things!!

Today I tried the vegetable fritters with two different chutney sauces, and my entrée was Butter Chicken. I usually have Samosas and Beef Biryani. I was pleasantly surprised with my choice. And my friend really helped me a lot, because decisions are not an easy thing for me when trying new things. She knows what is what, how spicy I should go, and explained what true Indian curry was. It was great. And we had great conversation. Always a good time with her, and hopefully she will be able to get back to her writing for NaNoWriMo. We both have been feeling the lulls in our work.

I am undecided on what I am working on for NaNoWriMo this year. When updating my novel page on the website, I placed up a book series I have in my head. Its erotica. Now, however, I am leaning toward a short story compilation of brand new stories. I love doing compilations. My only issue is sometimes I get sidetracked and my theme goes off the rails. I want to do a horror/thriller compilation. I have a ton of good ideas for that in my head, and it may be easier for me to focus on several smaller chunk stories than working on what will become a series of books.

Decisions, decisions.

Well, that’s all for now, darlings…be sweet!