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RECAP: Ravens & Crows with Daryl Marston 11/15/18

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/liveparanormal/2018/11/16/darly-marston-on-ravens-crows-on-liveparanormalcom

On Thursday, November 15th, 2018 at 8pm ET, I had the pleasure of having Daryl Marston of The American Ghost Hunter Show & Breaking Paranormal on the show. We talked about some great stuff including his work with ParanormalWarehouse.com, hauntings during the holidays, and even shared a few laughs about different shenanigans that occur during paranormal investigations!

This Little Light of Mine

If you know me well, which most of you do, if you had to name two things I love it would be theatre and the paranormal. Theatre has been a part of my life for over 20 years, and it isn’t going anywhere soon. The paranormal found me, so to speak, and it’s been at the forefront of my mind since I was a kid. Regardless of where I end up in life, those two things will always be important to me.

I will say 99% of the people in these communities are amazing and fantastic. But that 1%…not so much. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It just means our personalities are quite different and it wasn’t a good mix. However, that 1% has gone out of their way to hurt and break my spirit it seems. Like, they need to put me in my place.

Why does that 1% get more attention than the other 99% who are amazing to me? Maybe it’s because I once trusted them? I need to stop focusing so much on the people who have hurt me. I’ve noticed a pattern with those who end up hurting me, and it usually goes along like this:

  • They aggressively insert themselves into my life to become my friend
  • They do a lot of favors for me
  • In turn, they expect me to go to bat for them in ridiculous circumstances because of said favors
  • When I can’t deliver or don’t meet their standards when I do go to bat for them, they leave quite dramatically
  • Thus follows about a year’s worth of petty drama and a one-sided pissing contest

Now that I’ve noticed the signs early on, I’m usually pretty good at picking this up. When this happens, I divert myself away from the person as soon as possible. But what happened to giving people chances? Nope. Not doing it anymore.

I’ve put myself out there to the extent now that my light faded for a bit. But, it’s time to let that shine. If that means certain people aren’t invited to the party, so be it. I’d rather have just 1-2 friends who are awesome than 50+ friends who take advantage of my weaknesses and vulnerabilities for their personal gain.

Let your light shine, and don’t you dare let someone else put it out.

Remember What is Imminent

I love cemeteries. Not in a spooky sort of way, but instead I find them a fascinating place. As you walk the grounds of a cemetery, there are hundreds of people beneath your feet. These people used to be mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, husbands, wives, and friends. They each have a story of their own to tell, and many of their stories have been whisked away by the cruelty of time.

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Grave marker in the road at El Campo Santa cemetery in Old Town San Diego.

When I go to a cemetery, I’m pretty solemn. I take time to look and pay my respects to as many people as I can. Why? For they have embarked upon a journey that I am so nervous about; death. As we know, death is imminent. It’s going to happen to all of us, but we don’t know when or how it will come to us. Perhaps it will be a car accident, or a bout with a serious illness. Who knows?

Death not only makes me uneasy, but becoming anonymous in time also makes me nervous. I’m already well aware of how insignificant I am in comparison to this vast universe, but I still want my story to be known after I’m gone. I’m sure the people interred and buried in the cemeteries probably had similar thoughts while they were alive. And yet, here they are, with their names on headstones with few words to tell their story.

Different cultures view cemeteries in their own way, and I find it beautiful. In some places, you’ll find people having picnics and letting their kids play among the headstones. In other places, you’ll find people in mourning and solemn. Both are okay.

One of my favorite places in San Diego was Pioneer Park. There, you’ll see a clump of headstones in the back corner of the park, along with some suspicious sinkholes throughout the lawn. In classic “Poltergeist” dramatics, they moved the headstones but not the bodies. In Old Town San Diego, the El Campo Santo Cemetery is one of the oldest in the city, and it was shrunken down when the road was developed. This meant they paved over the bodies. All that is left to mark where the bodies lie are spikes in the pavement and sidewalk.

Pioneer Park, San Diego

Pioneer Park, San Diego

So where does that put us in the timeline of the human race? Are we destined to be remembered for the first 50-100 years of our life, and then doomed to be paved over with a road above us with a simple spike to mark our location, or even have our tombstones moved and our final resting place turned into a park. But by the time that happens, our immediate family and even a generation or two of descendants might not even care. We will probably stop caring at the moment of our last breath because, hey, we’re dead. If consciousness doesn’t survive, then that’s it. We’re just a body. If our consciousness survives and we indeed have an afterlife, will this bother us?

After moving to Raleigh, NC and having southern cemeteries more accessible to me, I found a world of difference in how this part of the United States deals with death. For example, Oakwood Cemetery is massive. Then there is City Cemetery and Mount Hope Cemetery, all created to help deal with the growing numbers of bodies, and to give people a final resting place who weren’t treated well or respected in life. The design is quite beautiful and dramatic, and something I hadn’t encountered in the cemeteries in California where your final resting place might be a sacrifice to urban development.

As a paranormal investigator, I find cemeteries to be really quiet, and not at all very haunted. If you were a ghost, would you want to stick around your final resting place, or would you want to go out and explore the world, maybe even scare the bejesus out of a few people? When I take people on tours, I try to uphold cemetery etiquette as best I can and keep everything as respectful as one can be. At the end of the day, we still have to respect people regardless of whether they are alive or dead. It means being discreet if you want to try spirit communication, not messing with the tombs or headstones, moving flowers, screaming, yelling, drinking, debauchery, etc.

Whatever adventure lies ahead of us after our time of living has completed, I hope it’s as peaceful as cemeteries make it seem.

3 Years Ago I Thought My Life was Ruined

“I’m gonna take a deep breath.
Gonna hold my head up.
Gonna put my shoulders back,
And look you straight in the eye.
I’m gonna flirt with somebody
When they walk by.
I’m gonna sing out . . .
Sing out.”
On this day, three years ago, someone who I thought was a friend did something awful. About a month after I moved to Raleigh, before July 23rd I found myself newly single because my ex couldn’t take the drama anymore associated with my job. Then on the evening of July 23rd, 2013, I found out on Facebook fan page that I was now unemployed after a month long of silence and dealing with a gag order placed on me, taking the brunt of some God awful online bullying, and thousands of miles away from any support system I had. I thought my life was completely ruined. I was sitting alone in an apartment full of boxes and I couldn’t stop crying. After taking phone calls from people checking on me, I had to pick myself off the floor. Music had always been a form of therapy, and the first song I found myself listened to was “I’m Here” from The Color Purple. In the midst of my tears, I told myself that I would get through this and be a stronger person from the experience. I was at my lowest point. My mother came into town within a day to help me through it. I cried every day over the whole ordeal for a good 6 months. I gained weight. I nearly gave up on myself.
Well, it’s taken about three years, but I’m finally okay. After losing that job, getting publicly mocked and slandered on Twitter by grown adults, becoming nearly homeless, and having people who SWORE to be my friend turn their backs on me, it ended up being the best damn thing that ever happened to me. It was in that moment that I made the decision to continue to work on my book, and take it one day at a time. Things were so bad that I considered suicide. But for my mother’s sake, I made a promise to just take it one day at a time and find an outlet to work through the feelings of pain, betrayal, confusion, and self-loathing. Had I not worked on that book, The Haunted Actor, I wouldn’t have become a published author with The Haunting of the Tenth Avenue Theater. I wouldn’t have met the incredible people from the con scene, and I wouldn’t have met the incredible women who make up my team in NC. I lost a lot on July 23, 2013, but I have gained so much since then. I never thought I could live off of full-time writing, but it has happened. I never thought I could find love again, but it has happened. I never thought I would be living off of my passion for theatre, but it has happened.
“I believe I have inside of me
Everything that i need to live a bountiful life.
With all the love alive in me
I’ll stand as tall as the tallest tree.
And I’m thankful for everyday that I’m given,
Both the easy and hard ones I’m livin'”
Was the journey easy? No. I lost my mother about a year and a half ago. My mother was my biggest cheerleader, and I still feel the void every day. It’s not getting any easier, I’ve become more accustomed to the loss and getting used to it.
On Saturday night, July 23rd, 2016, I got to see The Color Purple on Broadway. It feels like this chapter of my life has come full circle, and now I’m celebrating. As I watched Danielle Brooks rock it as Sofia, Cynthia Ervio sing her heart out and receive standing ovations, and Heather Headley (a Broadway legend) sing within a few feet from me, I thought about a lyric from the show, “Look what God has done…” and savored every minute of it. Then, tonight, I’ll be seeing Hamilton, which has become a show that has meant so much to me. Hamilton has really hit it home for me that we have a limited time here, and I need to do something big to positively impact the world around me. Whether it’s telling the stories of people around me through writing and acting, or helping those less fortunate through volunteer work and donating to charity, the story I want to leave behind holds love, truth, friendship, and family.
For the first time in three years, I can afford to go on not just one, but several vacations. I’m back on track with my student loans, if not better than before. My income is better than it ever has been before. My team is doing great, and overall, things are so wonderful. Had I not had that devastating moment three years ago, I wouldn’t have the incredible blessings that I have today. I’ve learned a lot, cried a lot, bled a lot…well, I’ve been through a lot. I’ve made so many new friends and have a family here in NC. From my team members; Beth, Amy, Maeve, Amanda, to the theatre community, they have all blessed my life so much.
If you’re going through an awful time right now, while it may not seem like it, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve also learned that the people who try to work against you finally get their comeuppance. You may not like the timing, but it eventually happens. The universe has a way of evening things out to restore balance.
“But most of all
I’m thankful for
Loving who i really am.
I’m beautiful.
Yes, I’m beautiful,
And I’m here”

Ghostbusters 2016: My Review

It seems that my thoughts on the latest “Ghostbusters” movie has been waited on with bated breath! I will also say that this is one of the rare times that I have made an effort to see a movie on opening weekend. I did this mainly for the fact that I didn’t want to wait to see the movie, and the two “Ghostbusters” movies are my absolute favorites. In other words, I’m a “Ghostbusters” fan girl. Yes, I’m a paranormal investigator and I love “Ghostbusters.”

First, are any of the “Ghostbusters” movies true to actual paranormal investigating? Of course not. There are a few nods to the actual practice of ghost hunting, but it’s an exaggerated portrayal to what we actually do. No, there are no proton packs. No, we can’t actually contain a real ghost. No, we don’t have the uniforms. We have t-shirts, but not the suits.

"Ghostbusters" 2016 - Columbia Pictures

“Ghostbusters” 2016 – Columbia Pictures

Okay, now that we have that out-of-the-way, I want to say this: THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME! When it was first announced that there would be a reboot of the classic movie with an all-female Ghostbusters team, there was massive skepticism. I will admit that I was uneasy about the idea. After I saw the trailer, which featured a lot of slapstick comedy, I became a little more excited, but I was still worried that the movie wouldn’t meet my expectations. Already, women in the paranormal field have a really hard time, and female-driven movies have a hard time in the entertainment industry as it is.

Let me tell you that this movie is fantastic. While it is a reboot, it is unique all on its own. There are cameos from the original “Ghostbusters” cast, and there are enough nods to the original that satisfied my inner fan girl. I got a little choked up seeing Egon’s cameo, but I won’t spoil it for anyone. It was refreshing to see Melissa McCarthy in this strong lead, as well as see Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones. But the standout star to me was Kate McKinnon, who was the perfect blend of Egon and Venkman. I can’t forget Chris Hemsworth as the HILARIOUS receptionist who isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, but he is so adorable and endearing that you can’t help but love him.

In other words, go see this movie! It is worth your ticket price and your time. Whether you like the paranormal or not, you will be entertained and talking about the movie long after you come home from the theater.

Also, make sure you stay through to the end of the credits. There is an end credits scene that will make any longtime Ghostbusters fan squeal with delight!

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments and vote in the poll!

RavenCon 2016

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I have the honor of returning to RavenCon for the second year in a row! If you’re in Williamsburg, VA this weekend, please stop by the DoubleTree Hotel on Kingsmill Road!

Here is my complete schedule for the weekend:

Friday 4/29:
6 pm (Panel) Marketing & Branding for the Author / Room 8
7 pm (Opening Ceremony) Large Auditorium
8 pm (Reading) Room J
10 pm (Panel) How to Self-Publish on a Budget / Room F

Saturday 4/30:
10 am (Panel) Self-Publishing Doesn’t Mean Solo Publishing / Room E
1 pm (Signing) Dealers Room
5 pm (Panel) Podcasting / Room G
8 pm (Soapbox) Room J
11 pm (Panel) X-Files: The Truth is… ummm… Somewhere? / Room G 

Sunday 5/1:
11 am (Panel) The Economics of Self-Publishing / Room 8

San Diego & Raleigh: My Home(s) Sweet Home(s)

I’m currently in San Diego, CA right now to give “The Haunting of the Tenth Avenue Theater” a proper launch! Tonight at 7:30pm, I’ll be doing a signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore and tomorrow night there will be a launch party at the site where the book takes place. You can still join the party and RSVP! The party tomorrow, October 24, 2015 starts at 8pm.

bee-map

It’s been almost three years since I left my beloved Southern California home. It’s rather odd still to see a North Carolina license plate on my car and no longer having a valid California driver’s license. Everyday, I dream of heading back out west. But, at the same time, I’ve made some attachments in North Carolina. The Tar Heel State is starting to grow on me and feel more like home. I can certainly do things in NC that I’m not able to do in California, like be a part-time writer and work a full time job and still be able to pay my bills.

A few years ago, I would have said moving to Raleigh was the worst decision I ever made. But had the move not happened, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have become the writer I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t be a published author. Crazy how the world works sometimes.

For the first time since I moved, I actually miss North Carolina. Perhaps it’s because Chris is there, but Raleigh has its own charm. I do hope to move back to California someday, or at least make some more visits. But for now, I guess I’ll just consider myself a bi-coastal transient still trying to find her place in this world.