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Be disturbed by supernatural storytelling, twisted tales and eerie encounters!

Spooky season is upon us, however, we horror fiends don’t need a special occasion to be thrilled and unnerved. In fact, if you’re anything like me, we are ravenous for anything frightening. Here’s a list of 6 sPoOky podcasts to listen to this Halloween!

Note: These recommendations are intended for adult audiences, so please check ratings and trigger warnings for content and language.

People can be quick to label themselves as a creative or uncreative person. But what does it really mean to be creative?

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Creativity can be expressed in many different ways: through art, music, photography, writing, engineering, architecture, choreography, performance, film, and so much more.

I don’t have a creative bone in my body.

That’s not true at all!

I’ve heard it many times but I don’t believe you. Creativity, expressed simply, is “imaginative problem-solving”. We all have an imagination, right? I sure hope so! Albert Einstein said it best:

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Here’s another definition. Professor Margaret Boden from the University of Sussex has been researching the science of creativity for more than 30 years. This is what she says about creativity:

“Creativity is a fundamental feature of human intelligence in general. It is grounded in everyday capacities such as the association of ideas, reminding, perception, analogical thinking, searching a structured problem-space, and reflecting self-criticism. It involves not only a cognitive dimension (the generation of new ideas) but also motivation and emotion, and is closely linked to cultural context and personality factors.”

Nobody promised you it was going to be quick or easy or straightforward or even fun. You’re learning that it’s slow and challenging and curly and tedious. But you must push through.

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Ideas present themselves with speed and momentum, faster than you can write them down. Then all of a sudden you’re stuck, frozen on an elusive word or concept or detail or purpose.

A small change here, the flap of a butterfly’s wing, and the storyline becomes upended in a typhoon.

Agatha Christie was a pioneering mystery writer in the 20th century. According to Guinness World Records, Christie is the world’s best-selling fiction writer with estimated sales of over 2 billion.

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Throughout my lifetime I have read the majority of her novels and plays. I’ve also seen the numerous mini-series and movies based on the books. The Mousetrap is the world’s longest-running play. Every year, my local theatre company performs a Christie play. On-screen, there’s no doubt in my mind that actor David Suchet is far superior in his portrayal of Poirot. However, I’m not here to discuss the screen adaptations. Below, I have compiled a list of my top five Agatha Christie novels.

I distinctly recall, at about nine years old, scouring our family bookcase for something different to satisfy my ravenous appetite for reading. Between Alfred Hitchcock’s Tales of Terror and Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe, was the Agatha Christie novel Halloween Party. My penchant for ghoulishness was gratified in the first half of the book, which featured a homicidal apple-bobbing incident. As a youngster, I was less interested in the “boring” investigation part so I skimmed through Poirot’s evidence gathering and interrogations to arrive at the juicy, triumphant revelation of the culprit. …

Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2015, tells the story of two teenagers trying to navigate and survive the devastation of World War II.

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Marie-Laure is a blind girl in the Nazi-occupied French town of Saint-Malo, under the care of her great-uncle and his housekeeper. She is guided by the lessons learnt from her absent father, a skilled locksmith. The precious gift she carries with her holds a secret that makes her an unwitting target.

Werner, a German orphan, is intelligent and talented. Destined to work in the mines where his father met his fate, he makes an unexpected discovery which offers him a promising future in the Nazi army.

Ultimately, the lives of the two youths intersect in unexpected ways.

The writing style of All the Light We Cannot See is lyrical and moving.

Scenes are captured in rich detail, perceived by all senses. Often the setting is animated with a quality of personification, as though it was a character in itself. …


Raven Books

Welcome to Raven Books with Alissa! This is my writing blog for reading habits and goals, book reviews, stories, creative projects and more bookish things.

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