What Buffy the Vampire Slayer can teach us about mental illness

“The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.”

I’ve been thinking of those words a lot lately. With the recent losses of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, a general sense of darkness in the world as we’ve come to know it, and my own ongoing struggles with depression and anxiety, struggles that ebb and flow from still and calm to crashing, crushing waves, those famous words uttered by Buffy Summers in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 5 episode “The Gift” are etched in that part of my gut where I most feel my own mental illness.

Courtesy of Syfy Wire.

‘The Candidate’: THR’s 1972 Review

Few films could be more neatly timed for the political convention season than Warner Bros.’ The Candidate, a Redford-Ritchie production starring Robert Redford as a liberal aspirant to the U.S. Senate, and with Michael Ritchie in the director’s chair. The two had teamed before, of course, on the successful Downhill Racer. Here, with notably more in terms of production values, story content, and sheer scope, the outlook is even more promising.

A little slice of 1972 pop culture courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

The Best, Worst, and Weirdest Adaptations of Dracula

May 26, 1897, saw the publication of Dracula, a gothic horror novel written by Irish author Bram Stoker. The book was not a commercial hit upon release, although critics of the time compared it with mighty praise to writers like Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë. Arthur Conan Doyle was a fan too. Over the next few decades, cinema was born, and directors latched onto Dracula as a means to explore the origins of horror film.

Courtesy of Syfy Wire.

Serbian village hopes its vampire will rival Dracula as tourist draw

A Serbian village, inspired by Dracula tourism in neighboring Romania, is hoping to capitalize on its own vampire legend.

As yet, an unmarked grave that could be that of Petar Blagojevic, a peasant who died in 1725, is not quite the spectacle of Bran Castle, which has become known as the home of Dracula and attracts visitors from around the world.

But that is not stopping the villagers of Kisiljevo, around 100 km (60 miles) east of Belgrade, from dreaming big.

Courtesy of Reuters.

The Bewitching Time Warp of Transylvania, Romania

It’s a bright August morning, and I’ve just begun driving around this achingly scenic part of central Romania, where the green hills are dotted with giant conical haystacks. As I make my way from one hamlet to another, occasionally stopping to peek inside magnificent 13th-century churches that once doubled as citadels, the welcome is not exactly warm. Pretty much everyone I pass—farmers weeding their fields by hand, groups of kids playing by the roadside, stooped women in head scarves carrying bags of tomatoes—sizes me up with a severe, wary look that seems to be some kind of Transylvanian Death Stare. Granted, whenever I pause to speak with anyone, the stern facade crumbles quickly; one young guy in a tracksuit cheerfully shows me how to scale a stone wall so that I can look around an abandoned medieval rectory. But in the next village, the intense glowers begin anew.

Courtesy of Condé Nast Traveler.

Look Back: Top Selling Albums of 1972

Recordings made by some of the biggest classic rock artists of the era dominated the list of 1972’s top-selling albums in the U.S. The chart, compiled by the former music industry trade magazine, Record World, features several all-time classics among the year’s Top 20 sellers, including legendary albums by Jethro Tull, the Rolling Stones, Yes and Neil Young.

Courtesy of Best Classic Bands.

Use a Placeholder in Your Writing to Keep From Getting Stuck

Sometimes the hardest part about writing isn’t finding ideas or knowing how to begin, it’s maintaining a flow so you actually finish what you started. It’s not quite total writer’s block since you’re already on the move, but a writer’s road block, if you will. This trick that Star Trek: The Next Generation staff writers used can help you keep on truckin’.

I do this all the time. I once had a character named Mr. French Name.

Courtesy of Lifehacker.

Sarajevo City Guide: Were to Eat, Drink, Shop and Stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Capital

This previously war-torn city suffered the longest siege in modern history during the 1990s conflict, but today there’s much more to Sarajevo than battle scars. Nearly 25 years on, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is undergoing a radical transformation and boasts modern glass shopping centres, boutique hotels and a magical old town that feels like you’ve travelled through time.

Courtesy of The Independent.

Netflix Orders Vampire Drama ‘V-Wars’ to Series, Ian Somerhalder to Star

Netflix has given a straight-to-series order to a series adaptation of the “V-Wars” book series written by Jonathan Maberry.

The streaming giant has given the drama series a 10-episode first season order. Ian Somerhalder will star as Dr. Luther Swann, who enters a world of horror when a mysterious disease transforms his best friend, Michael Fayne, into a murderous predator who feeds on other humans.

Courtesy of Variety

How the New England Vampire Panics Worked (Podcast)

In the 19th century, in isolated villages and godforsaken towns in rural New England, people began to suspect their deceased family members had become undead. Thus began everything we know today about killing vampires.

The story of the New England vampire panics was one of the inspirations for my short story “Prudence Black” in my mini collection Mischief Madness Mourning.

Courtesy of Stuff You Should Know.