Day 10

Day 10 complete! Today’s practice was much shorter. 18/19 minutes. Though shorter than the other videos, I was ok with it. Today when I woke up I was almost trying to talk myself out of it. ‘Oh it’s Sunday, sleep in, do Day 10 tomorrow.’ Instead I got up and did it. If I start talking myself out of something… it means I won’t do it. So, I reminded myself, this is for my health. I’ve made progress in my getting rid of the weight journey. I’m noticing changes… KEEP GOING! Also, this is good for my mental well-being. I’m still grieving. Yoga seems to help calm my mind. I’ve been working my arse off and I need to keep going. It’s paying off!

Keeping in the theme of the Victorian Era, I LOVE Victorian gothic novels and Penny Dreadfuls. We were at the Bloodsuckers exhibit at The ROM yesterday (highly recommend this exhibit) and there was a section showing gothic novels and I felt myself starting to nerd out. Actually, I nerded out over the entire exhibit.

A little Penny Dreadful factoid. When newspapers and publishers started to print serials (aka Penny Dreadfuls, Penny Bloods, Penny Horrible, Penny Awful etc.) the literacy rate in the UK and North America went up!

If you aren’t familiar with Victorian Gothic novels (though you may be and unaware of it), some titles are Varney the Vampire, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and Carmilla.

Here is an interesting article if you want to learn a bit more about Victorian Gothic Novels.

Day 9

Day 9! Are you sick of me yet? Guess what… 21 more days of this! Yah! A huge reason I’m doing this is for my health. I need to lose weight and get my cholesterol down. When I added yoga into my workouts before, it made a huge difference and to be honest, doing yoga now, I feel much better already!

Something I’ve been interested in for a really long time is Memento Mori, aka Death Photography. This was a very popular practice in the Victorian era, along with Spiritualism. Both of these are fascinating to me.
The BBC has a good article (if you want the Coles note version). Give it a read. There are also a lot of fakes or photos that are confused for Memento Mori. Portrait photography was very, very popular, but methods of taking photos were slow and tedious and many times subjects had to stay still for long periods of time in order to get a crisp photo. To help, stands were used to help clients keep their heads still. There are a bunch of those photos circulating and being labeled or mislabeled as Memento Mori photos. Don’t be fooled!

The photo of the young lady laid out in the coffin is Memento Mori. The second photo is showing traditional Victorian portrait photography.

Redheads Writing in Cafes — why are the crows avoiding me?

Today is the day. If I don’t get a photo of the crows or the Raven, I will need to find somewhere in Toronto where they congregate. Why must they torment me? I can hear them and see them in other people’s yards. When I try to make my way towards them to take a picture, they take off. All I ask is you come visit our front yard and let me get some good photographs of you. What I wouldn’t do right now for my DSLR right now and a zoom lens.


My intention today was to sit on the covered porch to write, but the temperature suddenly dropped and big, gray clouds started rolling in. I moved to the kitchen table and can actually see a wall of rain heading towards us. Have you ever been outside when this happens, especially when you have nowhere to go? I have, it’s not always a fun experience. I’d much rather be watching it from the safety of inside.

I’ve decided to give myself permission to take a few days off. Not sleeping well due to the futon from hell, I’m tired. When I get home tomorrow, I will likely take a long, hot shower, throw in my laundry and then watch 1950s, sci-fi b-movies.  Maybe I can convince my love to order in. I’ve been away from him for a week and a half and it will feel good to be with him again. I have to say I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive partner. It doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes.

Blogging every day has been fun and a great way to wake up my brain each day, but I’m not sure I can continue to do it daily. I have realized that I definitely need to blog more often. I still have plans to vlog, but for now, will continue to blog. My priority is to get a solid first draft of my novel done, then I can figure out vlogging and the youtube channel I keep talking about.

The other thing that evades me are the books I am looking for. We checked a few places in town and was not able to find them. It looks like a trip to the Reference Library will be happening upon my return. In all honesty, I need to go there on a regular basis to research and write.



Because of the pending rain, the crows have disappeared again. Off to find shelter and to stay dry. They are intelligent creatures and I’m sure decided that the redhead isn’t going to capture their image. You just wait crows, I may not capture your image today, but I will one day.



Redheads Writing in Cafes — I’m back on the front porch

When I started to write my novel Freaks and Grimm, I decided in the early stages, that it would be based in a small town. The town I grew up in is my inspiration, along with the house and neighbourhood I grew up in. Down the street from where I lived is a huge Victorian, with a wrap around porch, gable trim, and amazing stained glass. There was and still is, something about that house that is creepy. I have always believed it was filled with ghosts and because of this, the house has become a character in my novel.  There are a few other buildings in town that inspire me and I hope to get photos of them before I leave. I took some photos of the Victorian and had to be stealthy since there was some guy sitting on the front porch.


Next time I come to my parents, I am going to bring my DSLR. I didn’t bring it this time since I was taking the bus and had to make decisions on what to I could actually carry. Next time I will bring just my tablet so I can also bring my camera. I need to document some of the creepiness here and get better photos of the crows. I’ve tried to capture them with my phone, but a zoom lens would be optimal. Also, they seem to sense when I’m trying to take a photo and fly away. Are crows really camera shy?


I’m by nature a night owl. I begin to feel my artistic energy later on in the day and am always finding inspiration when the sun goes down. When you are in a small town… being a night owl just doesn’t work out since everything literally shuts down at 6 pm, with the exception of the 24-hour grocery store and the Tim Horton’s. Neither of these is appealing to me for places I want to write. My parents are early to bed, early to rise and I am worried that I will make too much noise and disturb their sleep and by 10 pm, I’m in my room watching YouTube videos. I’ve gotten so used to heading to bed at the witching hour, that I am really missing it. I’m also really missing my fella right now.

While I’m looking after my Mom, I’m also doing all of the cooking. This means, that all of their meals are Vegan. I wasn’t sure how this would sit with my father, but so far, I’ve had zero complaints. It may have been my famous chili or the tasty stir fry that has won them over. Tonight I am making my ‘are you sure there isn’t meat in this’ pasta sauce. I wonder if he will argue with me again on whether or not there is meat in the sauce. Mom is also realizing her diet needs to change and though she won’t go Vegan (yet), she is considering being Vegetarian. She is also cutting dairy out of her diet.


Today I had four goals. So far… I’ve accomplished two of them.

  1. Write while on the deck. So far… no rain. — Doing that right now!
  2. Get a good picture of the crows and raven. — So far, no luck. They seem to be in hiding at the moment.
  3. Tell you to subscribe to my website at so you get notified when I post. My latest series is Redheads Writing in Cafes. — DONE!
  4. Not burst into flames when I go outside. — The sun is still out. I’m still trying to not combust.

Until tomorrow…. Stay ghoulish.

/nb I couldn’t resist adding the photo of my Dad’s dog Flash. I love Beagles! Flash is spoiled and a dog filled with old man charm.