My Top 10 Songs in 2020

Long time followers of the blog know that music is my gateway drug to creativity. In the past, I’ve posted a top ten list of favorite soundtracks for video games that were released during the year. Since I’ve been out of touch with a lot of the soundtracks released this year, I decided that instead, I will just list my ten favorite songs that I discovered this year and why. These songs may not have been released this year. Discovering music is something I love and there is so much of it out there to be found and loved.

How do you find so many kinds of new genres, artists, and songs, you ask? Having a Spotify Premium account gives me access to the Discover Weekly playlist, which brings up a list of thirty or so songs that the algorithms have deemed I might enjoy. I have found SO many of my favorite songs from this. Several of the songs featured on my list this year were also uncovered this way.

Let’s dive in!

10: Heartbeats by The Knife


So, I feel super dumb about this one because the song was originally released in 2002. I had actually heard the song before as a cover by Jose Gonzalez but never realized it was a cover. The original song came up on my Discover Weekly playlist this year and I immediately recognized the lead singer’s voice as Karin Dreijer, otherwise known as Fever Ray. I’ve been listening to Fever Ray for a while. Dreijer’s voice is so distinctive and pairing it with a synth-pop beat really made me fall in love with this song.

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2021: A Look Ahead

The end of the year is almost here! Don’t know about the rest of you but I’m looking forward to ringing in the new year with some prosecco, and some hopefully good resolutions. This is chronically a time of the year where people pledge to become completely different people in the new year and rarely keep to all of the ideas they’ve put before them. I have definitely been this person before. That being said, I’m keeping my list of resolutions to three things. Before I go into detail on what these things are, I’d like to take a look back at a couple of the good things that happened in 2020.

I finally got my office renovated and set up for future use! All of that time home during the beginning months of the pandemic actually paid off by giving me time to work on this space. I painted, put up decor, redid the ceilings with PVC tiles, installed trim and painted that gold, and have used that space diligently in the months since. Granted, now that it’s winter, that is one of the colder rooms in the house. I do have a small space heater there but when it makes more sense for me to work downstairs where it’s warmer, I do that. I’m looking forward to using this space more in the coming year, adding more art, and perhaps installing a few items to also make it a potential podcast area? That is still a thought in progress.

Towards the end of the year, I was published in the Horror Writers of Maine’s inaugural journal, rife with dark and spooky tales in Maine! My story, “The Night We Met” is featured as the last story in the journal and leaves you with a bit of a lingering pall of sadness and mystery at its conclusion. I’m grateful to be featured next to some of Maine’s heavyweight of talented horror writers and look forward to seeing content for future journals.

I launched my creative writing consultation business this year. 2020 was a rough year to start a new endeavor which makes me especially grateful to those individuals who contacted me and asked me to do services for them. Looking ahead, I’m excited to see what new projects 2021 will bring. For anyone interested in the services I offer, you can find a list on my website here.


Those resolutions aren’t going to make themselves. A mere three resolutions, you say? You might be laughing as you jot down your checklist of 574 new experiences to try, places to go, and people to meet (once a significant number of us are vaccinated of course…). But I’m not getting carried away. These resolutions are all about bettering my selfcare and boosting business. In no particular order, here’s what my resolutions are:

Exercise. It’s that simple. This year, the worst thing that 2020 dealt me personally was a significant weight gain. I’m not pleased by how inactive I’ve become and what my daily diet looks like. Not only that, but my tension headaches have been exceptionally bad because of pulling muscles in my shoulders and back. As part of the new year, I’d like to get into a daily habit of stretches, a good stint on the elliptical or outdoor running, and more hiking than I did previously. This also comes along side calorie counting. It is amazing how many calories a person can consume in a day and not realize. I did this for a short time last year and know this is a key step in bettering my body.

Last year, I read more books than I have in many years. While I didn’t finish my Goodreads goal of 25 books, I read some phenomenal pieces and am looking forward to all the books I’ve yet to read in 2021! I’ve compiled a list of books to read next year. These will be in addition to whatever else I decide I just can’t pass up next year. You can find this list here.

The last thing in my resolutions? Blogging more! In 2020, I blogged more than the three years previous. Getting into a routine of publishing dark book and film reviews will be only one of the regular posts in store. I’d also like to give more of an insight into the upcoming publication of my new book, “The Wild Dark” scheduled for a spring/summer release. I’ll also potentially be trying to do more interviews with other Maine authors in my genre and more on writing dark things in general.

Speaking of writing more blog posts, I’d like to post my top ten songs of 2020 (songs I discovered in 2020…not necessarily recorded and released this year). If I get that up before the new year, great. If not, I’ll see you ladies and gents in 2021!


Shark Week 2020: Maine’s First Fatal Shark Attack

Photo by Elianne Dipp on

Here it is: Shark Week 2020. This has long been one of my favorite times of the year, mainly because I have an excuse to profess my undying love for sharks for an entire week. Though this year, the week has been tainted by a sad and unfortunate tragedy in Maine’s waters. No more than a couple weeks ago, a woman was swimming off of an island in southern Maine with her daughter and was attacked by a great white shark. The undisputed theory behind the attack was that this woman was misidentified as a seal because of her wet suit and its exploratory bite caused enough damage for her to die of blood loss. It is Maine’s first fatal shark attack on record.

The media exploded around this event. While most articles published do a good job of explaining the rarity of not only being attacked by a shark but also the regularity of sharks visiting our waters and how normal this has become, there have been other articles that have sensationalized the attack and painted a negative portrait about sharks. It’s no secret that when Jaws was released as a summer blockbuster in 1975, it created waves of terror with the concept of a large predator stalking innocent people at beaches. People were afraid to go in the water. Others chartered fishing boats in order to go out and catch sharks in an effort to cull their own fears about these ancient beasts. It practically destroyed the great white shark population in the north east Atlantic ocean and has perpetuated acts of “shark culling” in several other countries, namely parts of Australia, and South Africa.

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2019 in Review (Hello, 2020!)

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A new decade is officially upon us. With it, I’d like to announce some upcoming changes to my business and the blog as well as upcoming releases to get excited about. But first, I’d like to talk a little bit about 2019.

Firstly, 2019 was a year of stepping outside of the box for me. There were a lot of firsts for me (including first tattoo!) and a few lasts. I’ve decided that I don’t want to apologize any more for not getting things up on this blog. I have a lot of intentions. I get excited and my ambition causes me to get carried away with what I’d like to accomplish. I also forget to take care of myself when I do this. That means that I ignore giving myself time to exercise, time to sleep, time to get ready for work on time…

2019 was a year of anxiety for me. I had many beautiful, blessed moments with friends and family this year. I also had several where I realized that I don’t take care of myself nearly as much as I used to. Being able to balance myself means that I can write, and go to work, and occasionally write on the blog, and update my website in a timely fashion. I can play with my cat, pay my bills on time, take my garbage to the dump… all without feeling this terrible weight pressing on me, telling me that I’m doing it all wrong.

Without giving away too many details, I have decided in 2020 to launch new services from my website. I have decided to offer freelance creative writing consultation to writers in the speculative fiction genre. Speculative fiction encompasses everything from fantasy, horror and sci-fi as well as all sub-genres in those main categories. While the details are still being fleshed out, I will be updating my website in the coming weeks with details of what aspects of writing my consultation will include. I’m excited for the opportunity to branch into this part of writing. I’m never more inspired and happy when I feel like I’m helping people with their creative endeavors. This is my answer to giving back to a writing community that has been so helpful to me since entering it.

Along with this news comes upcoming title release news! I’ve just finished writing my novel “The Wild Dark”, a project I’ve been working on since 2013. It’s an apocalyptic thriller with heavy ghost influences and monsters. While this manuscript has a lot of work ahead of it, I’m hoping for a release date in September of 2020. Further details are sure to come.

Last but certainly not least, I want to say that I know I have been very fast and loose with my promises on this blog. I’ve wanted to write so many things this year and haven’t. I wanted to make changes immediately, only to find I lacked energy and follow-through and hadn’t left myself nearly enough time to achieve the goals. I will not be able to continue things like Inspiration Through Music and Cooking Adventures because I don’t have the same energy that I had before when I started those two series. They will always be special and wonderful additions to this blog.

But we must move forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about what will be happening with The Writer’s Abditory as well as the coming changes to my business. I’ll also be posting more writing-related posts here.

For now, I want to say thank you for riding through the decade with me and here’s to 2020. May you bring happiness, radiance, and color to our lives!