Not Quite Being a Paranormal Writer

I applied for the Paranormal topic at About.com today. But, I tried 3 times over the afternoon, the site keeps giving me a 404 error when I send the application. So, for personal posterity, here is what I sent.

Time travel, mad science, aliens, cryptozoology, the supernatural, lost worlds, the unexplained, weird science, history, and magic absorb me. I would enjoy exploring and writing more about these topics and others for About.com. Of course, it isn’t possible to write about anything without burying yourself in it and exploring your way out again, eventually. Getting lost is part of the adventure and with anything paranormal getting lost is expected. We don’t have all the answers, if we did it would all just be science.

I am an urban explorer, photographer, history geek, Pagan, artist and I’ve just joined the local archivist group in Barrie, Ontario.

I love history and old places. I’ve been interested in the paranormal since I was a kid but I’ve grown to be skeptical about a lot of it. I do believe there are mysteries and unexplained things we just are not able to understand with our current knowledge. I like theories and I will read about pretty strange, unexplained and unusual stuff but I like to make sense of it in some way. I also like reading theories I don’t agree with because we need to hear from both sides and, often, you can find something that does make sense or gives you better insight from those who disagree with you.

I believe in ghosts and I believe places can be haunted, but I am not a ghost hunter. I have a friend who runs a ghost hunting group in Colorado but I don’t think it is really possible to make contact with ghosts or spirits on our level of existence. I do believe in reincarnation. I do believe places can be haunted but not by ghosts who can interact with living humans. I don’t think anyone is going to be having a social cup of tea with a ghost. Ghosts are something leftover from life. I prefer to think we don’t hang around after death but get recycled/ reincarnated and move on to something new instead. Possibly not always a human being, people seem to take that for granted.

I photograph old and abandoned houses, mostly in rural Ontario. I’ve been doing so for more than 10 years now. I’ve never seen a ghost or felt a presence. I did get attacked by bees, birds and once I think I stepped on a frog – that was the grossest thing. Afterwards I couldn’t find it but it still squicks me (gives me sick shivers). I’ve also seen my share of mummified animals. But, it’s the living animals which usually keep me from entering an abandoned house. I also don’t like the idea of trespassing beyond what I feel is polite. I am Canadian.

I have been a Pagan since my college days, officially. I always questioned religion but didn’t do much about it until I was out in the world, on my own. I think of myself as an Atheist Earth Witch because I don’t believe in gods but I do believe in life, nature and people. I’m a quiet Pagan, a lot of what I do is personal, just for myself. But, I do like to help anyone who is interested in learning more.

I read about issues involving ecology, history and science. These seem very connected to me. If I could go back in time (and not die right away) I would like to be an alchemist. They didn’t just get stuck at turning things into gold. They were early scientists in the time of herbalists and Witches. No doubt they had thousands of great theories which didn’t get written down somewhere – or more likely did get scribbled out somewhere, had something spill on it and wound up being used for kindling.

Looking forward to getting started!

Laura

Social Media:

I am an editall editor at dmoz. I’m careful about how I use this but it does enable me to at least list my sites.
Twitter is my favourite social media but I do have Facebook and other sources, like Scoop.it. I have three active blogs, two of those are listed on Alltop, Writing and History topics.
http://laurabrown.ca/
http://wordgrrls.com/
http://wreckyratbird.com/
http://asciiartist.com/
https://twitter.com/thatgrrl
https://www.flickr.com/people/thatgrrl/
http://thatgrrl.tumblr.com/
http://pinterest.com/thatgrrl/
https://www.facebook.com/ThatGrrl
https://ello.co/thatgrrl
http://www.scoop.it/u/laura-brown
http://www.dmoz.org/editors/profile/view?editor=shedragon

What do you Think about De-extinction?

carrierpigeons

De-extinctioning is a movement to bring back species humans have killed off

Scientists are working to revive passenger pigeons, woolly mammoths and other species

Conservationists worry if extinction isn’t forever, efforts to preserve habitat and species today will lose steam

via Should we bring back the passenger pigeon and the woolly mammoth?.

There may be reasons (other than human hunting or over population) which has caused a species to become extinct. I don’t know how science could be sure which species would have gone extinct naturally.

Primeval: Science Fiction with Dinosaurs

primevalPrimeval is a science fiction TV show featuring dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles, mammals, insects, etc. who wander into the modern world by way of anomalies.

Nick Cutter, professor of Palaeontology and evolutionary zoologist, and his team track down the anomalies try to control the prehistoric creatures while believing there is all something bigger to it.

The team includes: Stephen, Cutter’s lab technician, Connor, an uber-geek palaeontology student and Abby, a zoo keeper.

The Research, the Anomalies and the Apocalypse

Cutter starts out researching how some prehistoric creatures appear, disappear and then reappear at different time periods. His wife, Helen, is also a scientist in the same field but, Helen has been missing 8 years and is presumed dead. Only she isn’t dead at all.

As it turns out Helen has found some part of the answer to Nick Cutter’s research. But, her point of view is different. They believe the prehistoric creatures aren’t all from our past, some of them could be our future. They think humans are headed for their own extinction and will become some of these creatures in a future time. Helen and Nick both take different slants on how to solve or fix the problem which seems to be caused by these anomalies.

Big Trouble in Modern History

By the end of the second season Stephen has been eaten by prehistoric creatures. Being the security type of guy on the team is hard work. The next security guy is another tall, dark and handsome lad, Captain Becker who has survived so far.

By the end of the third season Nick Cutter himself is deceased. Helen, his dead again wife, is killed by a raptor dinosaur in the next season.

Sarah Page was a good character who joined in season 3 but didn’t come back for season 4. They say she was killed during an attempted rescue mission, trying to find Abby and Connor. Sarah Page became a favourite character when she travelled back in time to help a knight and a dinosaur who looked like a dragon. I was sorry her character wasn’t there when Primeval got picked up for season 4 and 5.

This TV show has a way of losing main characters, getting temporarily cancelled and yet still coming back with an interesting story and a continuing theme of fixing those anomalies. As of yet, they are not fixed.

My Primeval Favourites

The characters of Abby and Connor have a quiet romance. At one point Connor confesses his love while holding Abby’s hand (keeping her from falling over the edge of a steep drop). Later he can’t admit he said it and they both let things slide. In later episodes they end a season by having Connor and Abby lost in the time of the dinosaurs, together and unable to get home. Of course, they do get home at the start of the next season.

Even though on and off romances tend to ruin most shows for me, I can’t help liking the characters of Connor and Abby as they continue on in their mixed up, quiet romance.

The other character I really enjoy, who has stuck through every season of the show, is James Lester. He’s the real stiff upper lip type with a heart of gold. No matter what he is always behind the team, even when he pretends not to care. He isn’t the typical leading man and yet he does have many of the usual qualifications in an offkey kind of way. Still, James Lester is the character I like most of all.

The Future for Primeval?

I looked and looked online but there is no hope for a new season for Primeval UK. I didn’t read a true, definite ‘never’, but it looks like it will be a good long wait before we see a return of the UK Primeval crew.

Primeval New WorldPrimeval: New World, filmed in Vancouver, BC, Canada had one season before being cancelled.  I’ve seen fans protesting, trying the petition route. But, I have a feeling it won’t get a second chance. As a fan of Primeval, I liked seeing the story continue and a couple of the UK characters put in appearances. Actors from Eureka got another science fiction TV show too. But, it was very US-ian. Watching the show I forgot it was Canadian made at all. In that way it was disappointing. I’d still watch if it were back on. I watched every episode of the first season because I wanted to see where they would take the story. So, I would like to see it get more time.

Links to More about the Primeval TV Show

Primeval: New World (The New Version)

Primeval Primeval Primeval Primeval

The Ancient Science of Folklore

Originally written for The Crying Clown Zine (c. 1998)

Folklore is not an old wives tale, mere superstition or fairy tale. It is more than that. Folklore is a way of doing things not based on scientific fact. People relied on folklore before the invention of science. Those who want to practice magick should begin with the study of folklore.

The word folklore literally means “the learning of the people”. W. J. Thoms coined the term folklore in 1846 replacing the old term popular antiquities. My definition of folklore is a habit or tradition based on knowledge from a less than official source, such as modern science.

Folklore covers a wide area including traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs and sayings. Beliefs concerning nature (animal, plant and mineral), human nature and inanimate objects, magick, charms, luck and disease and death. Customs and rites such as marriage, childhood and adult life, festivals, warfare, hunting, farming, and fishing. Old myths, legends, folktales, ballads, songs, proverbs, nursery rhymes and riddles keep folklore passed along in cultures all over the world.

Folklore comes from every culture on the planet, current and extinct. However, folklore must be taken with a grain of salt. Look it with a slightly suspicious mind and a practical, scientific nature. Explore each custom and belief. Dig deeper and find the mechanics of the idea, what made it work, if it really worked at all. Some customs may have worked once and then just been taken as truth.

Pagan and Wiccan magick are rooted in folklore. Read about herbs, divination, tree magick, astrology, animal guides, weather magick and you are reading folklore. Any magick you look at will be full of old ideas which science is only recently looking at. Do some research and find which old wives tales are having a second wind and are already available at a drug store near you. Not enough for you? Look at a modern wedding ceremony and list the customs that do not seem based on logical scientific thought. Start with throwing rice or catching the bride’s bouquet. Does rice guarantee children? If it did over population would be a much bigger issue!

So, why throw rice? How and why did that custom start? Find out! To really understand and work your own magick you will need to know the thoughts and theories behind it, its roots. To step in and attempt to create magick without studying the how and why is like skipping the whole beginning of a book.

Divination is a good place to start looking at folklore. Divination is a belief/ custom based on folklore, early ideas of science. Every tradition from tarot, dowsing, crystal gazing, scrying to reading the bumps on a head can not be proven to work by science. Still, divination in all its varied forms is a very popular form of magick.

Of course, some folklore is truly a fable or superstition. It will be up to your own explorations and common sense to dig deeper and decide which are fable and which are facts. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty when you get your feet wet, most of all, have fun!