Feeding or Fighting the Monster Within: The True Message of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

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Gigantic in stature, yet uncouth and distorted in its proportions; his face was concealed by long locks of hair, but one cast hand was extended, in colour and apparent texture like that of a mummy. There was never a vision so horrible in his face, of such loathsome yet appalling hideousness.

~ Frankenstein, 1818

I have a confession to make.

In high school, I read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. But until recently, I had never read “Frankenstein”.

I know. How is it possible that the girl who loves all things horror and devotes the entire month of October to writing blog posts about her favourite movie monsters — Frankenstein included — has never read what must be considered the literal mother of the horror genre?

In 2018, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic horror novel “Frankenstein”, or “The Modern Prometheus”, celebrates its 200th anniversary. And last fall, I decided it was time that I finally read the novel which is credited with legitimizing horror in literature.

Published in January 1818, “Frankenstein” was, if you’ll pardon the pun, an entirely different breed of monster. Not only was this the kind of tale that had never been mainstream before, it was also written by a woman.

At age 19 in 1816, Mary legally wed famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and after his death in 1822, she devoted herself to publishing and sharing her husband’s works. But it was Mary herself and her dark, Gothic tale of science fiction horror which would be immortalized in history forever.

Mary published Frankenstein anonymously, and many believed her husband to be the author. She penned a number of novels in her relatively short and tragic 53 years, but it was her definitive man-playing-God tale — the result of a rainy afternoon ghost story session with friends (1816) during which it was suggested that all try their hand at writing a horror narrative of their own — that she is remembered for.

Now, there are a lot of friendly preferential debates out there, including some which will be familiar to my regular readers: Pepsi or Coke? Addams Family or Munsters? Sam or Dean? But even more common is the age-old question — book or movie? Continue reading

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Bury His Word In Your Heart

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I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

~ Psalms 119:10-12 Continue reading

SyfyWire.com Collector Showcase: My Scooby Doo Collection

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Every once in a while, I get to do something really fun. Last month, I was featured in Syfy Wire’s Collectors Showcase. Or I should say, my Scooby Doo collection was!

I’ve loved the Syfy channel since back when it was still SciFi, and I’ve followed Syfy Wire on Twitter for many years. So when they put out a call to collectors for a chance to be featured on their website, how could I resist? I mean, I have a closet full of Scooby Doos!

Happily, I was selected to have my collection immortalized and shared online with other geek, nerd and toy enthusiasts, and here is the result!

Syfy Wire Collectors Showcase: A Massive Trove of Scooby Doo Treasures

Please do click through to the Syfy Wire site to have a look, but I’ve also gone ahead and included the entire interview (with photos!) here on my own blog. I decided to do screen grabs of the article to give you a break from reading grey text on a black background. Continue reading

With the Measure You Use to Forgive, You Will Be Forgiven

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All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.

~ Acts 10:43

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

~ Mark 11:25 Continue reading

Gallery Feature: “Pacific Tree Frog”

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There’s no better feeling for an artist than placing another commission piece in the “done” pile. And happily, that’s what I’ve just done.

More wildlife to feature today, this time in the guise of the Pacific Tree Frog.

As with most tree frogs, the Pacific Tree variety is very petite and cute. Measuring in at a whopping 3/4 to 2 inches long, they are one of the smallest amphibians on the North American West Coast.

Apart from its tiny stature, this tree frog has two distinctive features: a dark eye stripe (or as I like to call it, a bandit mask), and sticky rounded toe pads which help the frog grip and climb. Their toes have less webbing between them than some other frogs, which makes their toes look extra long. Continue reading

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

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“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Continue reading

Gallery Feature: “Seagull”

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Who knew that there were so many different kinds of seagulls!

This is what I learned when a friend commissioned me to paint her one last fall. (Mentioned in the August post Gallery Feature: “Northern Leopard Frog”)

Someone says “seagull” and you think you know what they look like. But trust me, you don’t. Even seagulls of the same variety can look very, very different.

When I began this commission back in September, I did what any good artist would do — started stalking the local seagulls, of course. Driving slowly through parking lots, walking down by the beach, etc. And then just sitting and observing the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between birds. And you know something? I actually came away from this project with a new appreciation for these lovely creatures. Continue reading

You Are Never Alone

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The beginning of a New Year, in many ways, signifies a great renewal and rebirth. It’s a good time to try and let go of the negative things in your life, and look towards the future and better times.

So many people are struggling. And just because we can’t always see it, doesn’t mean that there aren’t those around us who suffer in silence.

It’s far too easy to be swallowed up by despair. To feel like we’re alone. Or that no one cares. But Jesus promises that we are never alone. Continue reading

“The Story of Mankind”: A Hollywood PSA: Was Anybody Listening?

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“History is the mighty Tower of Experience, which Time has built amidst the endless fields of bygone ages. It is no easy task to reach the top of this ancient structure and get the benefit of the full view. There is no elevator, but young feet are strong and it can be done.” ~ Hendrik van Loon (forward from “The Story of Mankind”)

Would it surprise you to learn that Vincent Price once portrayed the Devil in a film? Probably not, I’m sure. After all, the Master of the Macabre forever endeared himself to us all by playing such devious characters as Roderick Usher in “House of Usher”; sadistic witch hunter Matthew Hopkins in “The Conqueror Worm“; and my personal favourite, the charming Frederick Loren in “The House on Haunted Hill“.

But when distinguished actor Vincent Price took on the role of the impeccably dressed, silver-tongued, debonair Devil himself in 1957, it was for a very different kind of picture.

Irwin Allen’s “The Story of Mankind” is based on the classic children’s book written by Hendrik Van Loon in 1921, and is a film unlike any other film I’ve ever seen. It was released November 8, 1957, and it boasts an impressive cast of Hollywood talent, or as this poster advertises, “The Biggest Star Cast Ever On One Screen!”. Continue reading

Decking the Halls

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I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

~ Charles Dickens

Merry Christmas, dear readers!

Here we are with another Christmas upon us. My decorations have been up since mid-November, but in my defense, I really do ascribe to the Charles Dickens quote above — I try to keep Christmas in my heart all year round.

And perhaps that is why I get so excited to decorate, and want to start as soon as I respectfully can. I’m grateful for Canadian Thanksgiving happening in October, because as soon as I take a quiet pause for Remembrance Day on November 11, there’s nothing standing in the way of me and the tinsel. Continue reading