Sunday, May 26, 2019

May Book Club Day

This month the selection was the novel Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice.  I decided this time around to skip the movie version, as I've talked about it a few times before on here. (last year when I covered The Vampire Lestat in book club I talked about the movie version of Queen of the Damned)

plot:  It's a week until the big rock concert by the Vampire Lestat. Everyone in the world, be it human or supernatural is planning to attend. Some are going to experience the show, others are out to kill Lestat. As the week progresses, we learn that Akasha, the oldest living vampire, has awoken after thousands of years. She makes her way towards the gathering, destroying all in her path. We also learn of a common nightmare all the vampires, and many of the human psychics have been having repeatedly. They keep seeing two red haired twins and a burnt body. No one is certain what the meaning of the nightmare is? It isn't until after Lestat is kidnapped by Akasha, and turned into her personal steward, forced to kill for her, that the remaining vampires come together under one roof to learn the truth of the nightmares and their origins. Akasha feeling affronted by the remaining vampires, gives them an ultimatum.  They refuse, and a final showdown between them and Akasha begins.

Okay, so first off, this is one of those novels that has been studied in university courses and by professionals countless times in the last 30 years since the novel was written. I don't know how much I can actually add to it?

This book, which is book 3 of The Vampire Chronicles, is told through the eyes of many characters. From the main characters like Lestat, Jesse, and Maharet, down to minor "extras" like Baby Jenks. Keeping with a bit of a theme, it's like from Royalty down to the Commoner.
It's also the first major depart from a straightly solid vampire story into witchcraft and the outlining areas of other paranormal issues; with the story of the Twins and the Great Family. (something Anne Rice would expand on in other novels)

For me, the characters of Jesse, The Talamasca and the Twins -Maharet and Mekare, were the most interesting.  These are the witches and the paranormal researchers in the story. And the core of the two major family lines.

It's a very global thinking story. One that tackles the issues that were being faced in the 1980's when it was originally written. Issues we are only now really years later dealing with. A conscious thought that pointed out the flaws. The vampires gathered at the end; the survivors, are almost like a small version of the united nations. Each representing a "nation" so to speak. (Egypt, Rome, Iceland etc) and take on the responsibilities and perspective of such an enclave. A ruling factor advising the monarch.

It's almost visionary in the way Anne Rice describes the way Akasha sits undisturbed in front of screen after screen, connecting to the rest of the world without participating in it. Much like we do now with endless hours of internetting. It's hard to believe it was written 30 years ago before this was the norm. And Akasha's initial response to the images she sees, is equal to a child acting out on impulse learning that the information isn't always as it first appears.  Akasha is trapped not just physically as a statue for thousands of years, but emotionally in her stubbornness. Her need to be right even when she knows just how wrong she is; is one of her only driving desires for so much of the story.

Where as the second novel in the series, The Vampire Lestat, was a clear metaphor for paganism, this seems to be a note on feminism and what one would consider extremism.
It's very female centric. Parallel in the fact Akasha begins killing all the men in the areas she visits, while Maharet ignores all the male family members basically stating that they are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Choosing to focus her attention and wealth on the females of her family.
The story is about evolution as much as it is about political boundaries. It parallels the idea of evolution itself with "two great families", both coming from one root. The human descendants and the surviving vampires. Proving that everyone is connected and all is one. We are given a clearer version of this metaphoric truth through the eyes of Baby Jenks as she sees the webbing of souls upon her final death. The same webbing Akasha claims to have seen when she was turned in the beginning.

Unlike the first two novels, the male perspective is down played to the point Lestat is afraid to use his powers. To test just how strong he truly is. As we're reminded time and again in the story that history can repeat itself. It's almost as if he's not sure he wants to admit he could be capable of falling into the queen's viewpoint/actions on his own. Even the most powerful of the male vampires, seem to be in a more docile role. Khayman being forced to rape the twins by the King's order, while the King being controlled by Akasha. Marius, being trapped in ice and completely unable to help himself as he waits for Pandora to rescue him. Daniel the newly turned vampire, who is addicted to Armand's blood.

Okay, I'm going to end this here. I think I've said all I can without a degree in anything.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Cinema Files s1 p18

Cinema Files
page 18, chapter 18

Gumshoe Intermission

"Detective."  I nearly giggled as I walked across the street. Rudolph was still down the block beyond the crime scene tape paying the cab driver.

"No." Ryan said pointing at me. "Back behind the line Desdemona." he was over to me, his fingertips digging into my shoulders as he guided me back ten feet to the do not cross barrier. The smirk on his face letting me know it was all he could do not to light up. Oh trust me Detective Whitechapel, the feeling was mutual.

"Is it another drowning?" I asked searching every inch of his face before falling into his not really green not really blue eyes.

"How'd you even hear about this?" he shook his head blinking in disbelief crossing his arms. He was still holding his pen in his right hand as he began to fiddle with it. The pen nothing more than a blue streak teeter-tattering in the air by his shoulder.

"Is it?"

"Not discussing this with you now." he replied as the pen fell hurdling to the ground, him needing to pick it up. This of course gave me a full view of the victim. Which of course he'd known. It was by the looks of it, another drowning. A motel maid was laying on the ground beside her cleaning cart, her hair wet, the bucket knocked off the bottom of the cart, rolls of toilet paper muddy and crumpled, a few sets of rubber cleaning gloves stuck to the middle shelf of the cart frozen in mid-fall. "Serious. Unless you're a witness or police, you can't be here right now."

"We will talk about it later." I said as Detective Ryan Whitechapel gave me another of his smirks.

"Oh indeed we will." his tone was smoky and playful. I blushed as he winked before his attention was taken again. Rudolph had finally caught up to the scene. I left Rudolph trying to get access to the witnesses, his press id only slightly the magick key he'd expected.  Even though it was late, nearly 1am, I didn't feel like going all the way home again, so I headed to Vincent's.  His house is a two story five bedroom tucked in the north end of town. Did I forget to mention Vincent came from a wealthy family. Not rich by today's standards, but comfortable enough to not have to worry for the next few decades. Taking my glasses off I brushed a stray bug that had smashed into them as I rang the doorbell.

"Dessie?"  Vincent looked curious to see me at that hour.

"You alone?"

"Lucky for you I am." he side stepped for me to enter. "Everything okay? There's nothing wrong at the mini mall is there? "

"Everything's fine. The cafe is fine, the store is fine. I was just at another crime scene with Rudolph and Ryan." I answered as I took my shoes off before even thinking about crossing the hallway to the livingroom.

"There is a bad joke in there somewhere. I'm just too tired to come up with it. Wait, another crime scene?" he locked the door behind me. "You want a drink?"

"I'm good. Did I wake you?" I dropped my purse on the edge of the large chair nearest the livingroom door, my jacket on top of that. I noticed Vincent was wearing his grey pajama bottoms and t-shirt he favoured. He ran his hand through his short dark hair yawning.

"Not yet. I was just heading there now. Was just about to lock up. " He leaned against the back of the sofa. "How did you end up at another crime scene?"

"Was with Rudolph when his boss at the paper called told him to cover it." I sat down then on the sofa turning to look at Vincent. "Just an odd evening. First, Rudolph stalked me at the grocery store, then we started to have dinner where he proceeded to con me into doing his job for him next two weeks, then he dragged me to the crime scene where he just forgot about me. Okay, he didn't really drag me there, I wanted to go but..."

"He stalked you?" the tone in Vincent's voice was I think shock, as it was interrupted by more yawning.

"Sort of. He told me at dinner he likes me. That's weird right?" I bit my lip trying to process the whole evening.

"Life is weird."  he relied. "You get a good look at the victim?"  I nodded as I watched him scratch his stomach.

"Same killer I'm more than sure of it. Get this, drowned in a bucket."  I stood again to put my jacket back on.

"Na. Just stay. It's 1am already."  he turned to get me a blanket from the hall closet.

"You sure?"  he nodded another yawn.

"Just know the alarm is set for 7am."

Tune in again for another installment of the Cinema Files starring your up story. Weird is as weird does.)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Coffee Talk May 7th 2019

Spudguns!, how's it where you are today? Good, spiffy sweet.

I had mentioned way back I believe nearly two months ago, about a few "What that Movie Inspired Me to Do".  So the other week I took another stab at one of the failed recipes, and once again, it just became a mess. It got me thinking about the fact, when I started the whole concept of that series of posts for this blog, I had originally wanted to cover everything it inspired. Not just recipes. Granted, recipes became the most common and just tied in with it the easiest. Usually the first thing that popped into my head because pretty much every movie/tv show has food or food related moments.

I've also been gearing up for Hallowe'en crafting season, which starts in July. That's when the crafting supplies for Fall/Hallowe'en start appearing in stores, and then of course late August we start with the treats and decorations and costumes etc.

You follow so far? Great. I knew you could.

Full disclosure, I am definitely no Martha Stewart, so this next while should be interesting. But, you already know this if you at all saw the Nightmare on Elm Street house I made way way way back in like the first couple of What that Movie Inspired posts.  My crafting skills are worse than my kitchen skills.

And for those waiting for the serials, I should have one of them up this weekend.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

May Night Bleeds Book

Spudguns!, it's a new month and that means a new selection for book club/movie club. This month's selection is Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice. The third novel in the Vampire Chronicles. 

It's simple, read the book, blog about it, and if you're inspired to cook/bake/craft etc something because of it, add that to your post. You must have a blog to join in. If you do, let me know by leaving a comment with your post link to either this post or on the actual day's post.  The blog post must be current - in this case May 2019.

The deadline is as always, the last Sunday of the month, in this case Sunday May 26th 2019.

Since there is a movie version of this as well, watching the movie is optional. But, the movie version of Queen of the Damned, only covers half the novel.

And as always, if you are in the Thunder Bay area and would like to join me for the physical book club, just let me know.