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Ho, ho, ho! It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Christmas Evil is more like it. I am participating in the Christmas Evil Readathon this month with an ambitious reading goal. Strategically, I picked a couple of books that could count for numerous prompts, so if I cannot read all of the books on my list, I can at least complete the bingo board. I am currently reading Crooked House by Agatha Christie for the Slay Bells prompt and Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil by Al Ridenour for the Krampus prompt. In addition to reading books throughout the month, there will be movie watch parties, photo prompts, and a virtual Christmas party that includes singing zombie Christmas carols.

I am also participating in the Cloak and Dagger Christmas Readathon, wrapping up Melissa’s 7th Grade Book Challenge, and reading the first book selected for the #fomobookclub. I know, I know, dear reader. Like I said, it is ambitious. Thankfully, Crooked House by Agatha Christie can also count for both Cloak and Dagger and Melissa’s challenge. Additionally, I am reading Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige which will tie up Melissa’s challenge nicely with a bow, and it could technically count for the Santa’s Little Helper prompt.

If you want to hear more about my reading goals for December and the prompts for Cloak and Dagger Christmas, please check out my video with all the details. You’ll get a preview of one of the zombie Christmas carols we will be singing at the Christmas party on Saturday, 17 December.

Yuletide Movie Marathon

My Yuletide movie marathon is underway and the first two movies I have watched thus far have been duds. I watched The Gingerdead Man and Ugly Sweater Party with the Christmas Evil folks on discord, and they were both AWFUL. However, I have to admit The Gingerdead Man was better. HA! Watching both of these terrible films with a group of people on discord while chatting throughout the films made both experiences less painful on my eyeballs and more fun overall.

I always start my Christmas movie marathon with 12 horror movies set in winter or around the Christmas holidays. Except for the two terrible movies I have already watched, I think the other 10 movies on my list will be enjoyable. The Thing (1982) and 30 Days of Night are both rewatches for me and are a guaranteed good time. It has been quite awhile since I have seen them last, so I am looking forward to rewatching them. They are both awesome horror movies set in extremely cold temperatures. Violent Night is currently in the movie theaters, and my plan is to see it this week.

After I watch all of the scary movies, I watch 12 traditional Christmas movies plus two annual Christmas films that I love, Elf and Love Actually. All of the movies on this list are new watches for me, and I am excited to give them a whirl this holiday season. Unlike my books which will strictly fulfill my December reading goals, the movies I have chosen will more than likely bleed into next month. Technically, the Christmas season ends in early January. Sometime after watching our holiday movies, Kelsi and I are planning to have a chat to discuss the movies we watch during this festive season.

Reading books and watching movies at Christmastime are just a couple of the ways to make the holiday season more special for me. I will be sharing my Winter Fun List soon. I am slightly behind with my writing because I have been reading a great deal and creating weekly content for my new YouTube channel. Hopefully, I will get caught up this next week. What are your plans for the Christmas season, dear reader? Do you create a winter or holiday fun list? Let me know in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Happiness!

“Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day. It’s a frame of mind.” ~ Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street

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I am running a bit behind on some of my blog posts since I launched my YouTube channel back in October. Nevertheless, I am a finisher (rarely do I throw in the towel) and since I finished my Halloween movie marathon, I wanted to share my thoughts with you, dear reader. I watched a total of 15 movies during the spooky season. I replaced Mr. Harrigan’s Phone with The Babadook because I did not have enough time to read the novella in the If It Bleeds collection by Stephen King prior to watching the movie.

I enjoyed most of the movies I watched this year. I will not go into much detail about any of the films because I do not want to spoil them for anyone who has not seen any of these movies. There were four highly anticipated films on my list, Trick ‘r Treat, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Hocus Pocus 2 and Terrifier 2.

Trick ‘r Treat was on my list last year, but I was unable to watch it because of availability. So, I was super excited to watch it this year, and it was worth the wait. I LOVED it! It includes four stories woven together that take place on Halloween. The one constant thread running through all four stories is Sam or Samhain, an immortal Halloween demon who enforces the rules of Halloween. It was my only 5-star watch this season, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a terrific Halloween horror movie.

On the other hand, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, was a HUGE disappointment and the polar opposite of Trick ‘r Treat. Kelsi and I watched it together at her house, and we were both downhearted with this screen adaptation of Grady Hendrix’s beloved novel of which we are both fans. Underwhelming is the best way to describe it.

Hocus Pocus 2 and Terrifier 2 are on completely different ends of the spectrum; however, I liked them both for different reasons. Hocus Pocus 2 was a terrific trip down memory lane as my friends and I revisited the shenanigans of the Sanderson sisters, who are resurrected when the Black Flame Candle is lit by a couple of high school students. While it is not as good as the original, it is still a good time in my opinion, and I thoroughly enjoyed the magic, mischief, and mayhem. Terrifier 2 proved to be even more terrifying than the original. Thankfully, Kelsi and I watched it together in the theater. Art the Clown is the most off-putting and sinister villian who sadistically kills people on Halloween. In this latest installment, Art is resurrected and sets out to destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother. It is definitely much gorier than the first film, and there is an added element that proves to be even more terrifying than Art. Who would have ever thought it possible? This film has more of a storyline than the first with a protagonist you can root for as she battles the demonic clown.

Five of the films on my list are supernatural horror films that I consider slow burns: Umma, No One Gets Out Alive, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, The House of Usher, and The Babadook. Generally with slow burns, I like to revisit them because sometimes I miss the deeper meaning of the story, or I want to delve a little deeper into the film’s social commentary. I will eventually revisit all of these films, except The House of Usher which I thought was a boring retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” I enjoyed the other four films and think I might like them a bit more when I watch them again. After watching No One Gets Out Alive, I discovered it was based on a book written by Adam Nevill. I would like to read the book, do some research on the mythology included in the story, and then rewatch the movie. After watching The Babadook, I discovered it was based on a short film called Monster by Jennifer Kent. I want to watch Monster, do some research on the Babadook creature, and then rewatch the movie. As for Umma (haunted by childhood trauma) and I Am the Pretty One That Lives in the House (atmospheric; gothic vibes), I plan to rewatch both of them when the mood strikes me.

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is an entertaining movie geared toward kids. It is kind of cool to imagine there is a secret society of babysitters who protect the children in their charge by battling the Boogyman and his monsters. Like Hocus Pocus 2, I enjoy throwing in a couple of family fun Halloween movies to break up the doom, gloom, and creepy vibes. It also gives me the chance to watch movies with friends or family members who are not fans of horror.

The remaining five films on my list worth checking out include Hellfest (serial killer blends in at a horror theme park on Halloween night), The Rite, a rewatch for me (demon possession), The House of the Devil (atmospheric, creepy, and love that Greta Gerwig is in it), Suspiria (directed by Dario Argento, visually spectacular, atmospheric, and eerie), and Countdown (be careful which apps you download on your phone because you may end up dead).

You can hear more of my thoughts about the movies that I watched in common with Kelsi, as well as our rankings (top 6 movies for me) in our latest livestream. As always, we hope you enjoy it and appreciate you taking the time to watch our video. Please consider giving us a thumbs up if you like it, and share it with a friend who likes listening to chats about horror movies.

That’s a wrap on the movies I watched during the spooky season, dear reader. It was a fangtastically good time. I will be releasing my list of movies that I plan to watch for the Christmas season shortly. My movie list will include both horror movies for the winter season and Christmas Classics. You can also follow me on Letterboxd @ KittyKatAttack and check out my lists of movies. Happiness!

“Samhain, also known as All Hallows’ Eve, also known as Halloween. Pre-dating Christianity, the Celtic holiday was celebrated on the one night between autumn and winter when the barrier between the living and the dead was thinnest and often involved rituals that included human sacrifice.” ~ Rhonda (Samm Todd), Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

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Kat’s Novel Adventures

This past week has been an incredible week for creative folks, including myself. As you know, dear reader, I have been collaborating with Kelsi on her channel, Slime and Slashers – Books, Movies, & Nostalgia, for the last two years. We talk about books, movies, and activities we participate in during the holidays and months with special themes. In 2022, we decided to do a year-long Year of King project where we read a Stephen King book or short story each month and watch its screen adaptation(s). Then, we follow up with a monthly livestream to chat about our experiences. Additionally, I have been following several book tubers’ channels. It is no secret that I LOVE books, and reading is my favorite pastime. Watching bibliphiles talking about books and the stories they are reading is my idea of a good time.

Since the end of last year, I have been toying with the idea of creating a YouTube channel where I could talk about the books I am reading and maybe some of my other interests and creative pursuits. Therefore, back in March, I chose my channel’s name and created some components of my channel (banner, about information, added a link to my blog). And, there it sat quietly, waiting for me to take the next step which was to create an actual video. I planned to launch my channel with an introducton video the weekend after Labor Day. Crickets! Then, I decided to include it on my Fall Fun List. So, on Friday morning, I LAUNCHED my YouTube channel with my first video. I am thrilled to officially be on the YouTube platform and part of the Book Tube community.

Dear reader, if you have two minutes to spare, please check out my channel’s introduction video. Many, many thanks to Kelsi for helping me make this dream a reality. Thus far, I have received lots of kind and encouraging words since I launched my channel. I look forward to this new adventure.

Contingency

Friday was also a HUGE day for my friends Brian and Maria. The three of us started improv together back in January of 2020. They are both talented improvisors and actors. With Slice of Dat Productions, they participated in the creation of a short film called Contingency which was submitted as an entry in the 48 Hour Film Project for Chicago 2022. Basically, their team worked together to make a movie in ONLY 48 hours. On Friday afternoon, Contingency debuted to the general public on YouTube. I think the cast and crew did a remarkable job. The film is gritty, nerve-racking, and thrilling.

“Let’s Do the Time Warp Again”

One of my favorite movies is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is not a particularly good movie, but it is a cult classic and has a fantastic soundtrack. The film is a great deal of fun to watch with an audience because the audience interacts with the film. Two years ago, Barry and I had a Rocky Horror Date Night where we had a blast reliving the film after not seeing it in theatres in over 30 years. Well, the Columbia Theatre showed it again this year, and we went to see it last Saturday with Shelly, Kerry, and Helen. Our evening started off with dinner at Cate Street Seafood Station. Then, we walked from the restaurant to Columbia Theatre where we were surrounded by creative audience members who were dressed amazingly as characters from the movie. I always say I am going to dress up as Magenta one year, but it has not happened, yet. Helen was a virgin going into the film because she had never seen it. There was a talented shadow cast dressed as the characters who performed terrifically on stage along with the movie. We each had prop bags (Barry shared with me) with various items to use throughout the film. My favorite part of the film is standing up and doing “The Time Warp” dance which is loads of fun. What an enjoyable evening with friends!

Lots going on in the world of entertainment, dear reader. Whether we are talking about books, music, films, or theatre, there is literally something out there in the world for everyone. I am thrilled I not only can enjoy being entertained, but I can also be a part of entertaining others. Life is truly full of adventures, some big and some small; some ordinary and some extraordinary; some experienced alone and some experienced with others. What creative adventures or endeavors are you a part of, dear reader? Happiness!

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” ~ William Feather

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Dear reader, the fall season is here, and I could not be happier. Autumn is my favorite time of the year! It generally brings cooler weather (currently in the 90s in my neck of the woods), seasonal traditions associated with two holidays I celebrate, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and cozy activities that can be enjoyed with family and friends.

My Fall Fun List includes activities that I want to take delight in throughout the entire season; however, there will be an emphasis on the spooky season since Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year.

  • Do some baking. Since the weather will be cooler, I want to do some baking. In addition to baking Autumn Pumpkin Cake, I plan to bake Caramel Latte Bread. I’d also like to try some new recipes that are not overly complicated.
  • Send greeting cards to family and friends. I love sending cards to my family and friends. It is a wonderful way to let your favorite peeps know you are thinking of them. I decorate the outside of my envelopes with stickers, holiday return address labels, and holiday stamps.
  • Decorate for fall/spooky season. I went decor shopping for the fall season again with Kelsi. We had a terrific time. I have also gone shopping with my hubby and my friends, Shelly and Helen. Everything is still in boxes and bags; however, this weekend the decorating begins.
  • Carve a pumpkin. I have a strong desire to carve a pumpkin this year. It has been ages since my family has carved one. I might even carve two.
  • Hang out with friends. It would be nice to do some fall-related activities with friends. Maybe, we could sit around an outside fire with a fall-related cocktail, roasting marshmallows or hotdogs.
  • Read spooky books or books with autumn vibes.

The stack of books I want to read this fall is already substantial; however, I have not even added my book club selections for the next two months or a nonfiction selection for November. While there is a possibility I might not get to everything on my autumn TBR, I will definitely read Needful Things in October and The Dead Zone in November because both books are part of my Year of King project with Kelsi. In any case, I have chosen some terrific titles, and I cannot wait to dive in to some spooktacular stories.

  • Participate in the #moremontgomerychallenge. I have been following Mitzi on booktube since the beginning of this year and decided to participate in a challenge she is cohosting this fall. The focus of the challenge is to read more works by L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. Mitzi inspired me to read Anne of Green Gables a few months ago, and I absolutely loved it. So much so, that I immediately bought the sequel, Anne of Avonlea, which I am currently reading for this autumn challenge.
  • Watch spooky movies or movies with autumn vibes. I have picked out 15 movies I want to watch during the spooky season. Kelsi and I are watching My Best Friend’s Exorcism together at the beginning of October. Since we both loved the book by Grady Hendrix, we are extremely excited to watch the screen adaptation. I am also pumped for the new releases, Hocus Pocus 2 and Terrifier 2.
  • Launch Kat’s Novel Adventures. I am one video away from getting my YouTube channel up and running. I have been collaborating with Kelsi on her channel, Slime and Slashers, for almost two years, and it has been a great deal of fun. Although my channel will focus mainly on book-related content; I also plan to create videos focused on some of my other interests.

In addition to everything on my Fall Fun List, I will be performing in an Improv Showcase on October 16th with my classmates. I have tickets to see Greta Van Fleet in New Orleans on November 1st. I will be attending the play, The Jungle Book, at the Columbia Theatre either November 12th or 19th. I have to buy tickets soon. I am thrilled about all three events.

What a fun time of year! As you know, dear reader, I love having a plan for each of the seasons. It enriches my life and helps me appreciate the joyful activities each season has to offer. What is on your fall fun list this year? Happiness!

“Autumn … the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~ William Cullen Bryant

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Happy Zombie Awareness Month, dear reader! I am ready for some zombie fun which will last ALL month long. ZOMBIES are my jam! I have created another Zombie Fun List just for this year. It will include anything related to zombies, such as movies, television shows, books, short stories, articles, cocktails, and clothing. Kelsi will also be joining me for a zomberific good time, and when it is all said and done, we plan to chat about our rotting good time with reanimated corpses.

Zombie Fun List

Movies

Television Shows

  • The Walking Dead
  • Fear the Walking Dead
  • TWD: World Beyond
  • All of Us Are Dead
  • Kingdom

Books, Short Stories, and Articles

For more information about zombies, check out the Zombie Research Society. They have awesome articles about the living dead, including a recent article called “Digesting the Living: Zombie Stomach Acid” which was posted on 09 April 2022 by Luke W. Boyd. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Additionally, for all you readers who are on the fence about zombies, check out Kelsi’s latest video, 10 Zombie Movie Recommendations for People Who Don’t Like Zombies! on YouTube. Kelsi loves horror, but zombies are not her favorite horror genre. However, she does admit that she has found some undead gems since celebrating Zombie Awareness Month with me.

I am thrilled to be celebrating zombies throughout the month of May. If time permits, I will sprinkle additional zombie posts throughout the month. Of course, dear reader, if you feel the compulsion to join us, we would love to know what activities you will be engaging in during the month. What does it take to become a zombie? Deadication. Happiness!

“You can’t negotiate with a zombie. They have only one impulse – that’s to eat us or our brains.” ~ Stephen Graham Jones

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Daylight Saving Time begins TODAY! I am thrilled, dear reader. Crossing this threshold of the year is the kick in the pants I need to get moving and grooving, especially after the challenges of COVID, Hurricane Ida, and the dark, wintery season. I am ready to tackle the remaining days of this school year, to get back walking on a more regular basis, and to announce some changes in my life that will be taking place soon. Frankly, I could not be more excited about the time change.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Helen and I went to the movies to see The Batman. This is the film where Robert Pattinson plays Batman and has to outwit the Riddler. It was awesome, and I love Pattinson as Batman. Do you know what is more awesome than the movie? Helen has officially moved back to Louisiana after living out of the state for 12 years. YES! In addition, she lives in Hammond, which is super close to where Shelly and I live, so we get to see her all the time. We have all been friends since high school.

This weekend, our area experienced a cold snap after weeks of warmer temperatures. Normally, I would be bummed, especially since I just put my plants back on the porch last weekend. However, it gave us a pleasant opportunity for my hubby to build a fire in our fireplace. This is the first weekend, this entire winter season, that we could enjoy a cozy fire in the fireplace. When Hurricane Ida caused the tree to hit our house, it knocked off our chimney stack. We just got it reinstalled this past Tuesday. What an unexpected treat!

The day is young, and I am looking forward to accomplishing a few tasks, attending a Baby Sprinkle for my friend Melissa, and going for a walk in the beautiful sunshine. What are your plans on this Sunday, dear reader? Whatever you choose to do, I hope it brings you some joy. Happiness!

“With the coming of spring, I am calm again.” ~ Gustav Mahler

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We are in the middle of the winter season, and I am counting down the days until spring. As you know, dear reader, I have to work hard to fight off the winter doldrums. This winter season seems particularly harder than past seasons with continuing to deal with COVID conditions and the aftermath of Ida on top of a holiday season that flew by so quickly my face feels chapped from the wind burn. I know, a bit melodramatic. However, the festive season came and went with a flurry of activity, followed by more flurries of activity, leaving Kelsi and I no time to really stop to catch our breath. Hence, why my Christmas Fun List wrap up post is late. I almost decided to scrap it; however, my bestie Shelly encouraged me to write it because, after all, someone might want to read it. Without further ado, this is how I spent my Christmas season.

MOVIES: Classic Christmas

In the month of December, I watch 24 Christmas related films, 12 are Christmas Horror and 12 are what I consider Classic Christmas. Kelsi and I already wrapped our Christmas Horror movies topped nicely with a bow. You can check out my blog post and YouTube chat with Kelsi if you are interested in the horror films we watched earlier in the Christmas season.

I had a terrific time watching the movies on my Classic Christmas list. My top three films were all movies I have seen several times but really, really love. To be fair, I generally watch Love Actually and Elf every Christmas, so I probably should not even include them on my annual fun list. The Holiday is a delightful romantic comedy and was fun to revisit this year, especially because of the dreamy Jude Law. Surprisingly, this year was the first time watching It’s a Wonderful Life. This FABULOUS movie is about being grateful for your blessings, not taking your life for granted, and getting second chances.

All four movies are 5 stars in my book. I could watch them over and over, and it would never get dull. Pottersville: A Magical Life rounded out my Top 5 films with 4 stars. It was my first watch and definitely a good time. The main character Maynard gets mistaken for Bigfoot after he is caught wallowing in moonshine and cavorting around town in the middle of the night. The Holiday Calendar (another Hallmark-esque romantic comedy), right on the heels of Pottersville, is about a magical Advent calendar that shows the main character Abby that dreams can come true in unexpected ways. The Night Before (adult humor), The Christmas Chronicles (kids catching Santa off guard), and Rise of the Guardians (holiday representatives come together to solve a problem) all received 4 stars as well for pure enjoyment. Rise of the Guardians was another rewatch and every bit enjoyable as the first time I watched it with Andrew in the theater many moons ago. My 3-star movies included Holidate (more adult humor mixed with a Hallmark vibe), Surviving Christmas with the Relatives (British comedy), and Unaccompanied Minors (kids catching airport officials off guard). Unaccompanied Minors replaced Almost Christmas since I could not get the DVD in time from Netflix. All of the Classic Christmas movies on my list this year were enjoyable, and I would recommend all twelve of them.

Books/Short Stories

I read my first Fear Street book, Silent Night, by R.L. Stine. Kelsi gifted me a copy for Christmas. I loved the thematic setting at Christmastime blended with a mystery, murder, and mayhem. The other books that I read this season were Robot Santa (sequel to Santa’s Twin) by Dean Koontz, Wraith (prequel to NOS4A2) by Joe Hill, and He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus (collection of 12 short stories) edited by Kate Wolford. All of my books received 5 stars

because they are all awesome, in my opinion. What a great reading season! Kelsi and I talk more in depth about our books and movies in our wrap up chat which you can watch at your leisure. I have included our video below for your viewing pleasure.

Thematic Potpourri

In addition to amazing books and several terrific movies, I wore Christmas socks and pins. I added gnome socks and a Grinch t-shirt to my Christmas clothing collection. On the subject of gnomes, I bought a few to add to my Christmas decor. I am officially obsessed with GNOMES. My affinity for these small mythical creatures happened quite by accident when I found a couple of them at Hobby Lobby to add to my autumn decor.

I am also collecting little birds that reflect the season. You will notice them popping up here and there in my pictures. I received one a few Christmases ago, and since this last fall (again shopping for autumn decor), I am noticing them for other holiday seasons. In addition to buying Christmas decor, I bought Christmas cards to send out to my family and friends. I love sending cards to my favorite people for Christmas and for other special occasions. Funny enough, I picked out my cards way before I knew I was joyspotting in 2022.

No fun list is complete without thematic adult beverages and food. Unfortunately, I did not do any baking this year for Christmas. However, I enjoyed two new cocktails. The first concoction was a Mistletoe Margarita that I made for our family get-together on my husband’s side.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups Silver Tequila
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 cups Cranberry Juice
  • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Simple Syrup

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to large pitcher.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour into individual glasses over ice.

That is sugar on the rim of the glass.

The second concoction was a Cherry Ripe Martini that Kerry, Shelly’s husband, made for my hubby and me on Christmas evening, one of our favorite drink nights to spend with awesome friends. This year, my two boys came over and hung out with all of us.

Ingredients

  • 30 ml White Creme De Cacoa
  • 30 ml Cherry Liquor
  • 20 ml Vodka
  • 100 ml Coconut Milk

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to large pitcher.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour into individual martini glass over drizzled Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

I also bought a “happy” for myself. OwlCrate, a YA book subscription box I have purchased in the past, offered a 12 Days of OwlMas box for the holiday season, and I ordered one. Starting on Monday, 13 December, I opened one gift each day for twelve days leading up to Christmas Day. I recorded my unboxing each day through pictures on my Instagram account (katherineloyacano). It inspired me to make a 12 Days of Christmas “happy” for Kelsi with all kinds of little gifts related to pop culture that she loves. I had a blast gathering the gifts, wrapping them, and writing out the clues on each tag. I love this project so much that I want to do it again next year and plan to expand it. Plus, I have all year to gather the little gifts instead of just a couple of weeks.

December was a fun-filled month that made my life merry and bright. I spent time with amazing people, participated in awesome activities, and received some great gifts. As I mentioned before, dear reader, creating a fun list for a holiday, a month, or even a season adds a happiness boost to your life. It can be as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be, but the goal is to add a little extra fun to your existing plans. Stay warm, dear reader. Happiness!

“Christmas,” says Santa,” is about living your life with love and a spirit of giving, friendship, compassion, peace, and bright hope.” ~ Dean Koontz, Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin

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As you may already know, dear reader, I am a HUGE fan of Stephen King’s extraordinary storytelling. The “Master of Horror” made an indeliable impression on me way back in the 8th grade when my Uncle Robert’s girlfriend at the time gave me her paperback copy of The Stand. Stephen King caught my attention and captured my heart with his character-driven story set in a post-apocalyptic world. Since then, I have read at least 40 of his novels (some of them more than once) and several of his short stories.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that Kelsi and I decided to spend each month of 2022 exploring King’s extensive body of work by reading a novel, a novella, or short stories written by him, then watching the screen adaptation of it afterwards. Subsequently, we will host a monthly livestream on Kelsi’s YouTube channel to discuss our thoughts on both the written work and the movie. Back in October, Kelsi and I had one of these chats where we discussed Cycle of the Werewolf and Silver Bullet. We had a blast!

Our January selection is Misery. I am more than halfway through reading this incredible novel and will be watching the movie later this week. Our livestream for Misery is scheduled for Sunday, 23 January at 2:00 pm CT on Slime and Slashers – A Nostalgia & Horror Channel.

For those of you who are interested in joining Kelsi and me on our journey through Stephen King’s universe throughout 2022, I have created a list of our selections for the entire year. We will encounter fanatical fans, menacing monsters, ghastly ghosts, the devil, and so much more, making this year frightfully fun.

Year of King Schedule

  • January: Misery
  • February: Gerald’s Game
  • March: “Langoliers” (Four Past Midnight)
  • April: The Dark Half
  • May: Pet Sematary
  • June: “The Mist” (Skeleton Crew) and “1408” (Everything’s Eventual)
  • July: It
  • August: Cujo
  • September: “Lawnmower Man,” “The Mangler,” and “Graveyard Shift” (Night Shift)
  • October: Needful Things
  • November: Dead Zone
  • December: The Shining

Needless to say, dear reader, #13 on my 22 for 2022 list is not going to be difficult to accomplish this year. Let me know if you are a Stephen King fan or may consider joining us on this literary adventure. Happiness!

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” ~ Stephen King

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Ho, Ho, Ho! It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in my neck of the woods which means it is time to reveal my Christmas Fun List. I recently purchased some new Christmas socks with gnomes on them from Cracker Barrel in Hammond. I will be wearing Christmas socks and pins to work again to show my Christmas spirit. And, talking about spirits, the Christmas season would not be complete without mixing a Christmas cocktail. I have my eye on the Sugar Cookie Martini. I will try my hand at making a Christmas dish or baking a Christmas treat. I subscribe to a bunch of magazines that feature holiday-related recipes this time of year, so I am sure I can find one that is not too complicated. Additionally, my hubby and I will be attending a play with friends, Shelly and Kerry, on Saturday evening. Our friend Karen is performing in the musical, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, at Slidell Little Theatre. It is based on the wonderful children’s novel by Barbara Robinson about the havoc six misfit children cause when they decide to perform in their town’s annual Christmas play. We also plan to have dinner and cocktails prior to the performance.

Reading is definitely on my Christmas Fun List again this year. As of this moment, I have four books on my list that I will be reading along with Kelsi throughout December. Kelsi Kringle is gifting me a copy of Silent Night by R.L. Stine which will be my first Fear Street read. It is about a spoiled brat that gets her comeuppance when she acts naughty during Christmastime. Another book on my list includes Robot Santa by Dean Koontz. It is the follow-up to Santa’s Twin that Kelsi and I read last season. Bob is up to his old tricks again, causing Santa to have another stressful Christmas Eve.

I read the terryifying NOS4A2 written by Joe Hill last December; therefore, it should be no surprise that the graphic novel, Wraith also by Joe Hill, has made it onto my TBR list for this month. It reveals the “twisted beginnings” of Charlie Manx, the monstrous antagonist who feeds off the souls of children after luring them into his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith that takes them to Christmasland.

Happy Krampusnacht! Today is the celebration of Krampus, the dark and hairy, horned beast who wanders the streets on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas, scaring children who misbehave. I will be reading another collection of short stories edited by Kate Wolford that centers around the Christmas demon. The anthology includes twelve tales and is titled, He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus. Kelsi has already finished it and tells me it is FUN.

12 Days of Christmas Horror

While I am on the subject of Krampus, I have included a film about the horrifying creature on my 12 Days of Christmas Horror. Movies are a HUGE part of my Christmas Fun List. I will watch all 12 of my horror movies for the first half of December. Kelsi and I have five Christmas horror movies in common that we will be chatting about on Sunday, 12 December. I watched my first movie (Mercy Christmas) last night, and it was a terrific way to start off my holly, jolly horror movie marathon.

12 Days of Classic Christmas

For the second half of December, I will be watching Classic Christmas movies leading up to Christmas Day. Not everything about Christmas has to be horror-related. Elf and Love Actually are two of my favorite Christmas movies, and I must watch them at least once during the holiday season. Kelsi and I only have one film (It’s A Wonderful Life) in common for this half of the Christmas movie marathon.

Last but not least, Kelsi and I are having a Christmas Evil Challenge that kicked off on December 1st and will last until December 22nd. She and I have been debating the merits of the film, Christmas Evil, since we both watched it for our movie marathon in December 2020. She ADORES it! I DESPISE it! Therefore, we thought it would be fun to reach out to our friends, family, and online communities to settle this debate once and for all. Additionally, there is a giveaway and an Instagram activity connected to the challenge.

Kelsi put together a video explaining the challenge, the rules of the giveway, and how to show your team spirit on Instagram. If you participate on Instagram. please include the hashtag #ChristmasEvilChallenge along with your picture. Team Kat wears green and is a NO for Christmas Evil. Team Kelsi wears red and is a YES for Christmas Evil. And, for those of you who are on the fence about the film, wear white to show that you really don’t know how you feel about it. A livestream is scheduled on Thursday, 23 December at 6:00pm CT where the winner of the challenge will be revealed. We hope you consider joining the challenge and our livestream. It should be a great deal of fun.

Of course, like all of my fun lists, I am open to adding activities if something fun pops up throughout the month. I am open to reading more Christmas-related books, short stories, or articles if time permits. What activities do you have planned for the Christmas season, dear reader? Share in the comments or email me at katloyacano@gmail.com. Maybe something you plan to do will strike my fancy, and I can add it to my list this year or maybe the next. In the meantime, ’tis the season to be jolly. Happiness!

“Christmas,” said Santa, “is about living your life with love and a spirit of giving, friendship, compassion, peace, and bright hope.” ~ Dean Koontz, Robot Santa

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It is the last day of November, dear reader, and I am finally wrapping up the spooky season which was a HUGE success. The only activity I was unable to do on my Halloween Fun List was the New Orleans Zombie Run which was an extra activity that I thought would be fun to do if my schedule permitted. However, I just could not fit it into my schedule once I accepted the role of Eleanor Slides in the play, The House on Haunted Hill.

Kelsi and I participated in our first Halloween ReadaThon which was successful. Even though I had to rearrange my original TBR list, I still completed all of the prompts and read some fabulous books and short stories. In fact, I read one more book this season than last season. As for short stories, I read three this time around which was two less than last season.

Horror movies were also on my list, and I was able to watch 20 movies this season which is amazing. I only watched 13 movies last year. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch Near Dark or Trick ‘r Treat because they were both unavailable; however, I replaced them with The Halloween Tree and Dark Was the Night.

I accessorized my work wardrobe with Halloween/Fall earrings, pins, and socks. My hubby bought me a Halloween t-shirt which I wore on Halloween Night for when I handed candy out to trick-or-treaters. Ironically, it has the face of a creepy clown on it, and clowns freak me out. I added some Halloween decorations in the reading area of my bedroom, but unfortunately, never added any to my fall decorations on my front porch. Kelsi and I hung out together the first weekend of October and vlogged about our wonderful day having lunch, shopping for Halloween decor, and more. It was definitely one of the highlights of the spooky season. Two activities that I left off my list was sending out Halloween cards to a few of my friends and posting a daily Halloween-related Snoopy picture on my FB story. I even received a Halloween card from Kelsi. Happiness Boost!

I tried a new spooky adult beverage called the Drunk Witch Cocktail. It consisted of Vodka, Grenadine, and Blue Curacao topped with Sprite. I enjoyed it, but it was strong, so drinking one was quite sufficient. I also drank fall flavored coffee throughout the month. And, I baked an Autumn Pumpkin Cake from a recipe featured on the blog, It’s a Charming Life (itsacharminglife.com.). It was simple to make and tasted delicious.

Kelsi and I had several wonderful chats about all the enjoyable activities we did during the spooky season. Our final one was a Halloween 2021 Wrap Up Chat where we discussed our thematic activities, including The House on Haunted Hill. What an exciting opportunity! I had the best time performing in the play and will eventually share my incredible experience with you.

That’s a wrap, dear reader. As Kelsi mentioned in her description of our chat, “we put a bow on the 2021 Halloween season.” Kelsi and I could not have asked for a better spooky season, especially following the turmoil of Hurricane Ida. Planned activities for a season or surrounding a specific holiday boosts happiness, creates fond memories, and enriches one’s life, especially if you share those activities with a friend, a family member, or your significant other. Do you plan activities for a season or surrounding a specific holiday? If so, please share in the comments. In the meantime, I need to finish my Christmas Fun List. Happiness!

My Halloween decorations I bought while shopping with Kelsi along with the Halloween card I received from Kelsi.

“Make a commitment to having fun. See your best friends and make time for your hobbies and passions.” ~ Robert Holden

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