7 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

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Photo courtesy of http://araugustyn.com

It happens to the best of us. If you’re a writer, you’ve at some point dealt with the dreaded Writer’s Block. Every writer has struggled with this at some time in their lives, but there are methods of overcoming this dreaded obstacle rather than wallowing in self-pity and allowing months turn into years and finding yourself even more in the tunnel of no return than before. So don’t be that writer. Below are some suggestions on how to push through the block and be one with the muses once again.

  1. Read poetry. – This can put you in a certain mood and allows the creative juices to flow.
  2. Go for a walk. – Even if you’re just going around the block with your dog, sometimes the movement and being out in the open air allows our brain to refocus.
  3. Play a game. – Not a video game that can suck up eight hours of your life without noticing, but a true hands on game, whether it’s a round of cards with friends, a board game, or chess, sometimes doing a different activity other than writing will help your thoughts regenerate.
  4. Paint or draw. – I personally love to draw using charcoals. Sometimes when your brain is doing something creative in a fun setting (you’re not agonizing to be the next Picasso) you find that it opens up the doors of your writing brain too.
  5. Listen to music. – If you wish to be in a certain mood to help create the setting and atmosphere of a story, then I listen to music and many times just listening gives me ideas for prose. Jot those ideas down.
  6. Keep a dream journal. – I know this seems so cliché, but it works! When I first started writing my YA novel CUT HERE, I began with Lena’s backstory of how she had lost her mum. That backstory was inspired by a nightmare I had in the summer of 2008 when I dreamt of seeing a fur coat splattered with blood and later seeing a book entitled CUT HERE. I wrote that odd dream down and didn’t use that idea till the winter of 2011 when I began writing the novel, so what may seem like an irrelevant dream or idea now, could be useful later on! You never know!
  7. Write pitch ideas down. – You may end up not using them at all, but thinking up plot pitches for a book may just get you out of the writing funk and excited about a new project!
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Photo courtesy of www.bang2write.com

Whatever you do, just remember that NOT WRITING isn’t a solution to overcoming Writer’s Block! You need to be proactive and willing to put the effort to get out of the tunnel rather than wait for the muses to come and rescue you from writer’s hell. So after doing any of the suggestions above, just write. Whether it’s about the activity, your day, or writing ideas, just write. Because the only way to truly overcome Writer’s Block is to start writing. You can do it!

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Asia Argento: “Jimmy Bennett raped me.”

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Asia Argento and former child star Jimmy Bennett

The saga between Asia Argento and Jimmy Bennett seems to be one of those train wrecks that we can’t bring ourselves to look away from. One of the reasons is because every day new allegations and discoveries are made that the truth is slowly getting muddied up in drama.

To recap, Jimmy Bennett claims that Asia Argento sexually assaulted him when he was seventeen and for several months had been extorting her for money (which the late Anthony Bourdain gave in hopes of keeping him quiet and from disclosing a very incriminating photo).

The photo was recently disclosed which depicted Argento in bed with Bennett, both of them looking blissful, basking in the afterglow of their recent romp.

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This photo discredited Argento’s claim that she hadn’t had sex with Bennett at all (which even if consensual could still be seen as statutory rape because he was 17 at the time, and she was 37, and the age of consent in California is 18).

To also discredit Argento’s claim was non-binary model Rain Dove’s leak of their texts where Dove asked Argento if she had sex with the minor and she replied with, “Yes, it felt weird. I didn’t know he was a minor till the shakedown letter.” This was enough proof for Italy’s X-Factor to fire Argento from her judge role and for CNN to pull any episodes of Bourdain’s Parts Unknown where the actress appears.

Rose McGowan, who is dating Dove, has distanced herself from her former friend and urged her to tell the truth and act the way she wished disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein should’ve acted. Argento and McGowan are no longer on speaking terms.

In retaliation, Argento called Dove a “monster” for selling her private texts to TMZ, and McGowan a “liar.”

Now, Argento’s attorney is claiming that the actress was actually the one to be sexually assaulted by Bennett (which is something she DID say to Dove in the leaked texts where she wrote, “The horny kid jumped me,”). Although when Dove questioned to clarify in the texts if Argento had been raped she wrote back, “It wasn’t rape but I was frozen. He was on top of me. After, he told me that I had been his sexual fantasy since (he) was 12.”

A note written to Argento by Bennett using the hotel’s stationery from the day of the infamous encounter reads: Asia, I love you with all my heart. So glad we met again and I’m so glad your in my life. – Jimmy (ending with a smiley)

The saga gets even more intricate when recent discoveries have been made where Bennett’s ex-girlfriend had issued a restraining order against him in July 2015 due to stalking. His ex-girlfriend hadn’t gone to the police just for the stalking, but also because she wanted to press charges against Bennett for having sex with a minor (she was 17, and he 18) and child pornography. She explained that Bennett had talked her into having sex with him and that he had manipulated her into sending nude photos of herself in which she stated, “Caused me emotional harm by leaking them via Snapchat.” The ex also confirmed that she feared for her safety when she got back with her ex-boyfriend because Bennett threatened to “get back at her,” if she did.

Bennett who blames Argento for his lack of employment due to the trauma that she caused him by having sex with him, probably doesn’t want to acknowledge the simple truth that as a child actor transitioning into adulthood, like many others before him, he probably just didn’t make the cut.

So what can we learn from said train wreck of a saga? That Argento most likely did get raped by Weinstein. That Bourdain did pay Bennett to keep him quiet because he didn’t want a scandal to erupt. That Argento and Bennett did have sex. That Argento denied having sex. That most likely said sex was consensual between the two parties, but Argento being the adult in the situation shouldn’t have partaken in any sexual activities with a minor no matter how much he may have seemed consensual at the time. That Bennett was facing harsh economic issues due to his parents having spent most of his child acting money and now blames Argento for his lack of adulthood success.

Maybe if both parties would begin to say the truth then perhaps this mess could actually get resolved. But as it stands, this scandal is going to keep on piling on nuances worthy of the best soap opera.

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Empties Post – First One Ever!

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Ever since the internet went crazy with “Empties” posts, I’ve been wanting to write one for this blog. The only caveat? Being able to accumulate enough used up products to write a post about. Seems simple, right? Not when you have far too many products and keep switching from one to another, and the guilt of throwing out something you’re not crazy about seems almost wasteful. So for me, using up a product and thinking about repurchasing the same item again means that I need to have thought it was absolutely AMAZING and willing to go through the experience all over again.

So without further ado, here are a few of my empties:

Honest The Younger Eye

I wrote a full review of this product here if you wish to read more details about it. What can I say? I absolutely LOVE this eye cream! It’s everything an eye cream should be and I think it has greatly improved the skin around my eyes tenfold.

Would I repurchase: HELL YES!

Everyone Face For Every Day Tone

I included this product in my skincare routine post. This is one of my favourite toners because not only is it lightweight, but it leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean. It also has contributed to keeping my skin acne-free!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer

Even for this, I wrote a full review of this product here, if you wish to read a more detailed description. I’m usually not a huge fan of moisturizers cause even the most lightweight ones tend to make me break out, but this one lived up to its claim of being gentle for acne-prone skin, and I fell instantly in love!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye

This cream is a restorative eye treatment for undereye skin. I like that the cream was thick and emollient, and did work in diminishing fine lines caused by fatigue. I didn’t find anything NOT to love about this cream, but at the same time, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as I did with the Honest eye cream.

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Skin & Co. Roma Truffle Therapy Eye Concentrate

I was sad to see this finish as I added this as one of my favourite eye creams that I recommend. This cream feels luxurious and incredibly hydrating. Even a year later I still love it!

Would I repurchase: YES!

Pixi Beauty Sleep Cream

This cream was just a little too much on the thin side for my liking. I’m more into creams that feel very moisturizing and this was a little on the light side, however, it DID keep my skin hydrated and didn’t cause any breakouts. If you want to read a more detailed description, check out the review here.

Would I repurchase: Maybe

Clinique Moisture Surge

I know this is the holy grail of moisturizers for many people, especially if you’ve got oily skin. I was given this cream as a sample by one of the Clinique reps at a cosmetic shop with the promise that I would love it. Well, sorry to burst anyone’s bubble but this is simply too watery for my taste. I guess the lightweightness of it is what makes it perfect for oily skin, but I kinda love thick creams.

Would I repurchase: No

Medusa’s Makeup Grapefruit Astringent

I’m a big fan of toners and this one simply smells amazing! It left my skin feeling refreshed, and kept it from becoming oily too soon.

Would I repurchase: Yes, but they have two other scents (Rose and Cucumber) and I’m curious about the cucumber version.

There’s a satisfying feeling of completion when you get to the end of a product, and I think this is why Empties Posts are so popular. Do you have similar feelings? Would you try out any of these products?

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Review: Medusa’s Makeup Afterglow Facial Serum

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I’ve been a fan of Medusa’s Makeup for awhile, because not only are their products edgy looking and all around awesome, but they’re vegan which is always a plus in my book. They recently debuted a Facial Serum, and being heavily into skincare I was happy to find it in my September Beauty Box.

Packaging: A cute glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.

What It Does: Keeps skin hydrated, use morning or night.

Active Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil and Grapefruit Oil

Benefits: Grape seed oil is non-comedogenic, treats acne, tightens skin, helps diminish dark circles around the eyes, moisturizers, and reduces scars. Grapefruit oil can help curb hangovers, headaches, mental fatigue, and depression. It is also known to treat acne, prevent oily skin, and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Verdict: This serum is amazing! Especially if you have oily or acne prone skin as myself. It is lightweight enough that if can be worn under makeup in the mornings, although I prefer to use it at night before going to bed. It’s never sticky and smells fresh, so if used in the mornings, it feels very refreshing. I find that this serum helps curb my oily skin, leaving glowing but NOT oily skin, looking youthful and fresh-faced. I absolutely recommend this especially if you have problem skin and wish to keep your skin hydrated without clogging up your pores even more so.

Price: $16

Where To Buy It: Medusa’s Makeup Site

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10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

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A candid photo from when I got talked into modeling for Back to School attire (P.S. that’s vegan leather so no worries!) 

  1. I’m bilingual. I’m fluent in Italian and English.
  2. I was born on a Thursday, January 8, just like David Bowie.
  3. I drink every beverage with a straw, and yes, this also includes hot tea and coffee. (Method to my madness, drinking from straws lowers your chances of damaging your teeth and staining them).
  4. I studied piano for close to ten years. I had a love/hate relationship with it, as I love music and loved playing it, but hated the long practice time (over an hour every single day) of it and being forced to study Bach by my teachers (when I preferred Beethoven, I actually decided to learn to play the piano because I was obsessed with his music).
  5. If you only know me through blogging, then you may not know that I’m a writer, and have several books up for sale on Amazon including a paranormal urban fantasy: CUT HERE, a collection of short stories: DOLL PARTS – Tales of Twisted Love, and an anthology I edited: MY AMERICAN NIGHTMARE – Women In Horror Anthology.
  6. My first celebrity crush was Leonard Nimoy who played Spock on Star Trek when I was two, and yes, I did prefer him because of his quirky ears and thus began my path of crushing on odd dark-haired men.
  7. My favourite city in the whole world is London, England. I love it so much that I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it.
  8. My love for lipstick started at the tender age of three when I begged my aunt to leave me one of her lipstick tubes. I haven’t stopped wearing lipstick since.
  9. The historical figure I’ve been obsessed with since I was three is the last French Queen Marie Antoinette. Watching the anime Lady Oscar – The Rose of Versailles for the majority of my childhood did have a hand in that.
  10. My four favourite novels are novels I’ve read more than once (which I often don’t re-read novels as I have a good memory and find it hard to reread something I already know everything that’s going to happen) are: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), Interview With the Vampire (Anne Rice), 1984 (George Orwell), and A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens).                                                                                         White and Pink Strikeout Cosmetics Beauty LogoDid you enjoy what you just read? If yes, then FOLLOW THE BLOG, give the post a like, or leave a comment! New posts are up every Tuesday & Thursday!

ScareLA – Summer Screams

pumpkinscareDo you love horror? Do you fall in that group of people that wished Halloween wasn’t just one night a year? If you answered YES to both these questions, then ScareLA is the perfect convention for you! It celebrates the horror genre, but also the spirit of Halloween with frightening haunts and mazes. I managed to snag Press Passes for this event, and took The Inkblotters to the appropriately darkened convention for some spooky fun!

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The event took place during the weekend of August 25-26. As soon as you entered you were immersed into the scary realm of darkness with a zombie pandemic haunt, which was the only interactive fright zone where we were told that if touched by the zombies, then we were considered “infected.” Luckily, I managed to survive the zombie apocalypse, but the same fate didn’t befall my boyfriend and friend who were both brought into a separate room to be “executed.”

 

 

The next haunt we checked out was an asylum dubbed Nightmare Clinic, which wasn’t too creepy unless you fear clowns and tiny spaces (I wouldn’t recommend the maze portion of the haunt for those that suffer from claustrophobia as all your red flags will be flashing wild). The last haunt we checked out was a medieval one called Descension Castle, that had a banshee on the loose. I appreciated the amount of detailed work that was put to create a castle in the middle of the convention floor.

 

 

Besides the haunts, ScareLA offered virtual reality, panels, live shows, photo ops, short film viewings, zombie ballet, and many other horrificly fun amusements. Out of the three short films I viewed, my favourite was Holy Fatman’s Please Love Me Forever, wherein a surreal Tim Burtonesque world, Lili 14-year-old albino lives with her strange scientist mother, Claudie, who is constantly replacing aging parts of her face with new younger parts. When Lili declares her love to her handsome neighbor, Lyesse, and he doesn’t reciprocate, Lili decides to take out his heart to understand why the boy doesn’t love her back. The movie was visually stunning and ended with such a bang that I totally recommend watching it!

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Dreadful Little Things

Another major component of ScareLA were all the vendors. There were shops for anything your macabre heart desired from custom-made corsets and hats, FX makeup, feral kitty adoptions, and rare international horror DVD’s and comics. My favourite shop hands down was Dreadful Little Things, where old dolls were repurposed for a new life. The dolls found in that shop were utterly creepy, making Annabelle look like Barbie in comparison.

 

 

Once you got tired of all the walking, you could relax in the lounge area where you could order drinks (I got a cocktail appropriately named Radioactive Embalming Fluid garnished with a gummy eyeball), and rent headphones for free to get in your zone.

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Here I am with George C. Romero

I had a chance to chat with George C. Romero who told me that Rise is going to be a prologue (not prequel as he corrected me) of the Night of Living Dead franchise, that he was hoping to work together with his father George A. Romero, but who sadly passed away. It should be out by November 2019. I also had a chance to interview Robert Mukes of the Rob Zombie House of 1,000 Corpses who was exceptionally nice. I asked him if filming horror movies is more difficult than normal movies, as Robert Englund has always mentioned the struggles horror movies bring to an actor in regards to the makeup and physicality of roles (running, jumping, etc.). However, Mukes stated that for him, he hasn’t noted the difference as he hasn’t had to do extensive makeup like Englund, and that usually his height (a whopping 6’10”!) has been enough to make him appear scary. He’s got a score of movies coming out soon, one of them being a zombie flick entitled Valentine DayZ. Linda Blair of The Exorcist fame was also at the con, but she didn’t seem that keen on wanting to chat, so I didn’t approach her.

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All in all, ScareLA is an immersive experience for those that live and breathe Horror, and I recommend checking it out if you have a chance, you won’t regret it!

For more info check out: SCARELA

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Photos by David Hanger

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6 Skincare Secrets to Beautiful Skin!

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Photo courtesy of advanceantiagingskincare.wordpress.com

Exfoliate lips using a toothbrush.

One sure-fire way to keep chapped lips at bay is to exfoliate lips using a toothbrush. I usually do it in the morning, you can use either a lip scrub with it or a pinch of Vaseline and gently scrub your lips. You can either scrub in circular motions or horizontal.

Use a Peel to brighten your skin tone.

Peels are extremely easy to use and can remove dull skin cells from the surface, which in turn helps brighten up your skin tone. Since most peels have acid, I’d suggest once a week usage. I suggest my fave here.

Invest in a good eye cream.

Most people will say that you can use regular moisturizer around your eye area, but they are wrong. The skin around your eyes is thinner and absorbs product much faster, so I recommend using a cream specifically made for the eye area, as it’s easier to cause irritation if you use ingredients that are too harsh for the delicate skin. Need ideas? Here’s a list of some of my favourite eye creams.

Use ice to reduce a pimple.

If you have to go out and have a huge raging red pimple, here’s a quick-trick. Hold an ice cube wrapped in a washcloth against your pimple for fifteen minutes. The ice will help reduce the inflammation and redness, allowing you to apply concealer much more easily. For added benefits, make ice cubes out of rose water for an extra skin-soothing treatment!

Don’t remove eye makeup with a makeup wipe.

Makeup wipes are too harsh when trying to get rid of mascara (especially if you’re scrubbing your eyes, a major no-no since it promotes premature wrinkles and wreaks havoc at the delicate skin). What I do is break up the makeup using Johnson’s Baby Lotion by placing it on a cotton ball and gently applying it to my closed eyes. I let the lotion soak in for a few seconds and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Not only will your eyelashes be moisturized, but it’ll also cause less breakage. Added bonus: this method removes all of your eye makeup in less than ten seconds!

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Concert Review: She Wants Revenge at the Discovery Ventura

she wants revengeThe last time I saw Justin Warfield on stage was with Placebo when he rendered his rapping skills for the song Spite & Malice. I never had a chance to see Justin with his band She Wants Revenge till recently. It was said that the duo (the other member being Adam Bravin) hadn’t done a gig in years, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that as the band opened the show with Red Flags and Long Nights, demonstrating an energy and verve that few bands have live nowadays. Everything about the performance was raw energy and even the audience could detect it as they danced with abandon.

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She Wants Revenge Live at the Discovery in Ventura, California

As the night progressed with These Things, Out of Control, and True Romance, the audience got wild. The energy was palpable, and you couldn’t help but dance. Just like a lover, Warfield teased the crowd with his music, growing to a slow crescendo until the explosive finale was inevitable. The band closed with the always sexy Tear You Apart (its popularity sparked again when American Horror Story used the song in an opening scene for the premiere of Hotel). By that time, the audience was in Warfield’s hands, willingly subjecting to his every whim, and although sweaty and breathless, we couldn’t help but long for an encore.

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Asia Argento: When The Victim becomes the Perpetrator

asia5An obliterating bomb exploded last Sunday when The New York Times published a piece about Asia Argento claiming that the Italian actress reportedly paid $380K to former child star and co-star Jimmy Bennett for an incident that occurred at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina Del Rey, CA in May 2013. The young actor was 17 at the time of the alleged sexual assault by Argento, who was then 37.

The two first met when Argento cast Bennett as the young version of Jeremiah for her movie adaptation of JT Leroy’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. Throughout the years the two had remained close and would be seen interacting with one another on Twitter and Instagram.

On May 9, of 2013, the two agreed to meet up in Marina Del Rey, CA, their meeting was captured by a series of photos that the actress posted on Instagram where the two looked visibly happy to be in the company of one another.

However, Bennett claims that Argento had him drink alcohol for then to have her perform oral sex on him, which later lead to sex. Bennett at the time this incident was 17. The age of consent in California is 18. Long after this encounter, the two were seen interacting on social media, similarly to how she remained still in contact with her own abuser, Harvey Weinstein.

 

So what does this all mean in light of the #MeToo movement? I don’t think the actions of one individual should be used as a way to discredit the work that many of the other survivors have been doing in the past few months. It also doesn’t change the fact that Argento herself was a victim of rape, however, it also doesn’t give her a free pass to essentially assault minors. And that’s where the problem lies, because whether or not Bennett at the time of the incident had either consented or not (he hasn’t
come out with a statement in regards to these accusations), he was still a minor at the time of the incident and that in itself is legally a crime.

The #MeToo movement was initially started to help women of color who had been sexually assaulted and turned into a worldwide movement when actresses Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette, and Argento herself became the most prominent voices behind the movement in light of the Harvey Weinstein rape scandal.

Now, many are distancing themselves from Argento, whilst her friends McGowan and Arquette are showing their support. But this double standard can be harmful to the movement, making people erroneously believe that such a movement is riddled with hypocrisy. But that can only cause harm to victims if we’re going to discredit a movement simply because one individual’s actions were appalling.

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A photo of Bennette that Argento took on May 9, 2013, the day of the alleged assault at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey, CA

The bottom line is: adults should never use their position of power to coerce or persuade a minor into sex, no matter what their history or relationship with that person may be.

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*At the point of publication of this post, Argento was said to have told freelance journalist Yashar Ali that she had “Never had any sexual relationship with Bennett,” and was “deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false.”

The actress also went to point out that Bennett was “undergoing severe economic problems,” and that he knew that her boyfriend, TV chef Anthony Bourdain, “was of great perceived wealth.”

The New York Times story was based on documents that they received from an unidentified source via encrypted email.

What does this all mean? That clearly this case is going to have more twists and turns so keep your seatbelts on.

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Poetry: Broken Doll

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Love has treated me
Like a toddler treats
Its toy.
That’s why my hair is tangled
and my limbs are broken.

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