The Liebster Award

 

Liebster Award

Thank you to electrobeth for nominating my site for a Liebster award, which celebrates new blogs. It’s quite the honour.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Display the Liebester Award on your blog.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions your nominator has asked.
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers with less than 1000 followers.
  • Ask them 11 new questions or the same ones you were asked.
  • Let the bloggers you nominate know!
  • Copy the rules into your post.

So, here goes!

11 Random Facts About Me
  1. I am a technical writer
  2. I have a cat who bullies all other living creatures in the neighborhood
  3. I have an irrational fear of fish and other sea creatures that are not mammals
  4. I am obsessed with fairytales – Grimm’s tales, to be more specific
  5. I hate wearing socks
  6. I got married in a movie theatre that was built in 1932 (it’s so beautiful!)
  7. I have a master’s degree in Film Studies – my thesis is titled Women in Slashers Then and Now: Survival, Trauma, and the Diminishing Power of the Close-Up
  8. I have had two children’s poems published in a book of nursery rhymes
  9. I hated the book Divergent and did not finish it
  10. I read too much Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews in my younger years
  11. I don’t have Facebook, Twitter, or any other popular social media
11 Q & A from my Nominator
  1. What made you start your blog? Although technical writing is a great, steady, job – it can be a bit dull. I needed a creative outlet, and writing stories had always been a hobby of mine. Problem was, I never finished them. And then I discovered flash fiction, so here we are.
  2. How do you de-stress after a long day? I have two strategies: curl up with a book or graphic novel, with some soothing background music; or curl up with my husband and binge-watch some of our favourite TV shows.
  3. What fascinates you? Society’s obsession with social media – well, it both fascinates and frustrates me. Unplug people!
  4. If you could meet any famous person (dead or alive) who would it be? Robin Wood (deceased). He is my favourite film theorist and the reason I fell in love with horror cinema. We could have a critical (but Geeky) discussion about slasher flicks. It’d be a dream come true.
  5. What is your biggest fear? Fish. AH! I hate them. Why are their eyes so far apart?!
  6. If you could live in a fictional world what one would it be and why? Hmm, as it turns out I read and watch too much horror/dystopia and subsequently only seem to engage with terrible fictional worlds I would not want to live in. I guess I’d have to choose Halloween Town of The Nightmare Before Christmas because it could be Halloween all year round.
  7. Who is your favourite fictional family? The Addams Family (from the original TV series, not the movies – although, I did like those too).
  8. If you could be any animal what would you be and why? I guess a cat because they just do whatever they want all the time.
  9. If someone was going to make a film about your life who would play you and why? Ignoring the physical, maybe Christina Ricci because she seems strange enough.
  10. What is your favourite type of weather? Early Autumn (read: sweater weather and fallen leaves).
  11. What would be your dream job? Novelist. And I’d want a weird creepy old cabin too.
My Nominations:

50 Flash Fiction

AA Czostedt

A Drop in Time

Books and Hot Tea

Douglas Graham Purdy

Fix of Fiction

Jody’s World

Thank you to all of these awesome bloggers for giving me something to read each day. If you choose to accept, follow the rules aforementioned, and here are your 11 questions:

  1. How did you come up with your blog concept?
  2. What inspires you to keep blogging?
  3. What are you currently reading (or most recently read)?
  4. What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
  5. Are you a night owl or a morning bird?
  6. What in your life are you most proud of?
  7. Who is your hero?
  8. Do you have a phobia? If so, what is it?
  9. If you were to write the story of you, what genre would it be and why?
  10. What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?
  11. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Generation Slasher

Jessica gasped lightly. A shadow lingered in her peripheral vision, and she had to hold her breath to keep calm; to keep from screaming. Her heart rate increased and tiny pools of sweat emerged from under her bangs. She could feel her pulse in her neck; a constant thud that she was sure must be visible, if not audible. Her stomach churned. She suddenly regretted the mixture of popcorn and soda she substituted for a freshly cooked meal. The room had always had a chill in it, but now Jessica could barely contain her shivering. Her teeth even wanted to chatter, although she had clenched them with such force it seemed more likely that they might crush under the weight of her fear.

And then it came. The man jumped out his hiding spot and pounced on the half naked teenage girl. She screamed as the knife penetrated deeper and deeper.

Jessica let out a yelp, and although it was embarrassing, she was glad she had. Now she could breathe again. Unable to watch the gore unfold on the huge screen before her, she squeezed her eyelids shut and tried not to imagine anything worse than what might actually be happening.

Beside her, Erin burst into laughter. It was genuine, but those who didn’t know her might find it obnoxious. Suddenly, Jessica was hiding not only from the blood bath on the screen, but from the other moviegoers who might be getting irritated with her friend.

“Shh,” she whispered, still refusing to open her eyes.

“Oh, please” Erin retorted. Her voice was lowered but it was certainly not a whisper.

The credits began to roll, cued in by the last victim’s fading scream and the rising level of the ominous theme song that had been a staple of the franchise for the last decade.

“That was the worst one. I tell ya, no more. I’m done with these sequels,” Erin blurted as they hustled out of the packed, dark, cinema.

“It was scary. And gory. That seems like it’s exactly your thing.” Jessica was feeling more like herself now that the film was over.

“Not even! It was just a hack. An imposter of the greats.”

Jessica rolled her eyes, knowing she was in for a long walk home.

“Think about it,” Erin started, “There was all the typical slasher icons: it had the maniac in a mask who is human but borders on the supernatural in his ability to kill, fight, and not die. It had the mixed bag of unsupervised teenage pals: a jock, a nerd who is cooler than he lets on, and two hot girls, one a bit more… promiscuous… than the other.”

Jessica nodded, wondering exactly where this was going.

“Then we have the setting – secluded getaway with a killer on the loose. But, of course, the kids don’t know that because they’re too wrapped up in their teenage love-triangle bullshit to listen to the news. Wrong place, wrong time. One by one, they get the axe.”

“Yeah, I’d say that about sums it up. All of them.”

“That’s my point. Those are the main ingredients – nay, the required ingredients to put together a slasher. It’s what you do with all the in-between that makes it a great film, or a waste of everyone’s time. This one was of the latter category.”

“Okay, so what makes any of these great? As you say, it’s all formulaic. The purpose it to make us squirm, and I do. Mission accomplished. Success.”

“No. It’s not that simple. Horror movies are made for horror fans. The people squealing next to us are the people we dragged with us.”

They turned off of Main St. and the wind picked up. Erin kept talking.

“Horror fans don’t watch it to scream. We watch for a bunch of different reasons; personally, I watch for the final girl, which this film severely lacked. The ‘no survivors’ angle seems original, until you realize that with no survivors there’s no story. No one to route for, route against, laugh at, identify with. All of that is embodied by the final girl; or, on the very rare and generally unsuccessful occasion, the final boy. Either way, that archetype is essential. I wanna see some girl that everyone underestimated kick some ass.”

“Wouldn’t that also be predictable?” Jessica couldn’t help but ask.

“Maybe. But it depends what you do with her.

There are two types of slasher films. You’ve got your run-of-the-mill reactionary film. Typical of the 70s, and it’s all about punishment. It’s a reaction against the civil rights movement, women’s lib, gay rights and anything else that was considered leftist or unnatural. All those things get knifed. The black guy, the sexual women or any form of sexual activity. Whatever isn’t the typical picture of 50s suburbia. In those films you’ve got a virgin for a final girl. She’s hope for the traditional values. Usually she’s even kind of a damsel in distress and she gets rescued.

Then you’ve got your progressive films which are all about the Other fighting back against the monster who represents social oppression. There, you get a badass final girl. She isn’t going to take shit, she’s smart, and she’s capable and she wins. It’s not luck, it’s strategy.”

Jessica pondered on that for a minute and was surprised by how much sense it made to her. Erin caught a glimpse of that in her eyes and smiled, pleased with her persuasive argument skills.

“You see,” she added, “horror is all about living vicariously through these characters. But that doesn’t mean we’re all masochists.”

“I might be. You don’t really drag me here. I could say no. I like the scares and I watch to squirm,” Jessica finally admitted.

Erin laughed. “Yeah, I guess you might be, then.”

Shyla Fairfax-Owen ©