“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”: An Overview

Tonight, I laughed at my imminent comp exam as I nestled in a couch corner and picked up a book of Edith Wharton’s ghost stories. Had I structured my exam differently, it’s quite possible these stories would have made the exam cut, but as it stands they’re only extra, unrelated reading that’s taking away from the time I’ve been devoting reading The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction (which, by the way, is incredibly interesting in and of itself, but a harder piece about which to write a post).  My sister bought me Edith Wharton’s ghost stories last year for Christmas, but it’s taken me an entire year to write about one for my blog. This evening I sat down to a rather chilling tale called The Lady’s Maid’s Bell, and I decided I’d write a bit about it.  According to the text’s introduction, this is Wharton’s most ambiguous ghost story, and after reading it, I think I can surmise why. Since it’s hard to write about a story in much detail without giving away the ending, this analysis will contain spoilers.  If I were a better, or perhaps a more careful writer, I would be able to produce analysis without spoilers.  But as it stands, I think I’ll have to say a fair deal about the story to analyze it.

Continue reading ““The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”: An Overview”
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“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”: An Overview

Thoughts on Scribbling from the Apple Loft: Madness and Work in Various Texts

Of Shakespeare’s sister that Virginia Woolf imagines in A Room of One’s Own, Woolf speculates: “Perhaps she scribbled some pages up in an apple loft on the sly but was careful to hide them or set fire to them.”  For some scholars of women’s literature, it’s fairly common to assume that there was a vendetta against the combination of women and work in Anglo-American history, and that stifling the ability to work– often forbidding, particularly, artistic expression – resulted in concomitant madness for oppressed women.  It’s a common trope, although there were some significant historical exceptions to the rule.  I’m not an expert on the subject, but I’ve heard that Jane Austen had to hide her manuscript whenever a guest entered her room.  And one must wonder, as VW did, what happened to the likely expansive throng of brilliant, would-be  productive women who weren’t given a voice prior to, say, the Romantic or Victorian eras – or later.  As an unrelated heads up, there will be spoilers throughout this piece!  

Continue reading “Thoughts on Scribbling from the Apple Loft: Madness and Work in Various Texts”
Thoughts on Scribbling from the Apple Loft: Madness and Work in Various Texts

F.N.V. 4: Disappointment on a Winter’s Eve: My Spotify Letdown

        The overcast, early December day had lapsed into an opaque blue sky arching over a frigid winter night in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.  The lights shining out the window of the warm apartment in Indiana PA sliced through the tranquil darkness, penetrated the night. Inside the apartment, I reclined on a plush, brick-red chair while drinking tiny cup after tiny cup of Arabic coffee and conversing with a friend, and a friend of a friend I’d just met.  The conversation, initially engaging to me, started to lapse in and out of English,veering off into a tongue that I could not understand, much less speak myself.  As I listened to the melodic cadence of words, beautifully spoken but beyond my grasp, I instinctively did what any good,self-centered American would do; I reached for my phone, and started doing “taktaga,” which is an Arabic phrase (and some of the little Arabic I know) for the act of busying oneself on one’s smartphone. I planned on ejecting myself from the conversation for only a short moment or two, but as this story will demonstrate, the best laid plans are often not those that come to fruition.

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F.N.V. 4: Disappointment on a Winter’s Eve: My Spotify Letdown

F.N.V. 3: Songs of my Early Thirties: Part Two

Having not blogged in a long time, a week ago I put up a post about my top five most listened to songs of 2017, according to Spotify.  And I’ll be honest: I really enjoyed writing the post.  I will always love horror, but sometimes it’s an exciting sort of relief to blog about music, and the moments that add meaning to certain songs.  I enjoyed writing the piece so much, in fact, that I decided to do another installment.  Instead of writing about the top five most listened to songs of 2017, I’ll write about the next set of songs – my sixth through my tenth most listened to songs of that year. Music is one vehicle through which I create memoir, and I’m just self-centered enough to fathom that there are a few people who might care what songs I was listening to last year.  More horror posts hang on the horizon; they will be posted eventually.  But right now, I want to talk a little more about music.  So, here they are, my sixth through tenth most listened to songs of 2017, and the memories that accompany those songs.

Continue reading “F.N.V. 3: Songs of my Early Thirties: Part Two”
F.N.V. 3: Songs of my Early Thirties: Part Two

Friday Night Videos: Current Favorites — Songs of my Early Thirties, Part One.

This summer I posted a list of thirteen songs that make me think of my early twenties.  But time passes, and while I’m not exactly nearing the end of my thirties, I think it’s safe to say that I’m nearing the end of my early thirties.  I thought, because I’ve been struggling with writing lately, that l would throw up another Friday Night Video post, this time about music I listen to right now – music of my early thirties, to parallel the post about music from my early twenties.

Erie, PA, where I grew up, and where I’ve lived for most of my late twenties and early thirties.
Continue reading “Friday Night Videos: Current Favorites — Songs of my Early Thirties, Part One.”
Friday Night Videos: Current Favorites — Songs of my Early Thirties, Part One.

The Immortal Hulk: Rooting for and Fearing the Monster Within

By Michael Miller

Immortal Hulk 8
Photo Credit – Marvel Comics

Kalie is living in a state of perpetual business with all her PhD work, teaching, lesson planning, grading, and working her other job.  So, sadly, she hasn’t had much time for blogging lately.  We haven’t even finished The Haunting Of Hill House yet!  (Although we’re close.)  However, it’s Halloween and this is a horror blog so I thought a new post was needed.  With that in mind, this was the perfect day (and the perfect site) to discuss Al Ewing’s new series The Immortal Hulk, a comic unflinchingly merging the superhero and horror genre to uniquely unnerve its readers.  It is legitimately scary…but not in a jump-scare way.  The title’s true horror comes with what it forces the reader to consider and the dark, psychological unease rising from such contemplation. Continue reading “The Immortal Hulk: Rooting for and Fearing the Monster Within”

The Immortal Hulk: Rooting for and Fearing the Monster Within

Shanannigan’s First Fright: “In a Dark, Dark Wood…”

As part of a fantastic Christmas gift, Michael tracked down some contributors to my “My First Fright Series,” a series on my blog which I happen to love.  In this series, for which I started by writing about two of my earliest childhood fears, I ask other people to write about their earliest memories of feeling afraid.  The results tend to be an interesting, surprising, eclectic group of terrors.  I decided to save this one for the month of Halloween, since it has a really creepy vibe!  So, before delving into my Christmas Gift “My First Fright,” I’d like to extend a tremendous thank-you to my boyfriend, Michael, at My Comic Relief and today’s contributor, Shanannigan’s,for a fantastic re-telling of a first fright. Continue reading “Shanannigan’s First Fright: “In a Dark, Dark Wood…””

Shanannigan’s First Fright: “In a Dark, Dark Wood…”