How to Overcome the Fear of Failure

I recently rediscovered the joys of swimming in the ocean. In Northern California, this means plunging into the Pacific, which is bitingly cold. The water when it first hits your feet is almost unbearable, and it takes patience to go deeper—skin tingling as the salty waves reach your belly and then your chest and your shoulders.

On my most recent trip to the seashore, I waded into the dark blue waters until I was neck deep. …


Synchronicity is a concept I knew nothing about before watching Hellier, a documentary show about a several years long investigation of Kentucky goblins and other strange events. According to the investigative team, synchronicity is what drew them to the investigation and provided an impetus to keep going, even as they faced challenges along the way. In fact, the word “synchronicity” is mentioned so often on the show that my friend and I once joked about turning it into a drinking game.

Hellier has renewed my interest in the paranormal and the weird, leading me to want to explore more about…


In my recent conversation with Sarah J. Sloat for the New Books in Poetry podcast, we discuss her new book Hotel Almighty (Sarabande Books), her process of discovering erasure poetry, and how the poetry form is really an expression of love for reading and books themselves. She notes,

“When I was young I thought poetry was something that belonged to the gods. Everyone who did it must be doing it exceptionally well. It’s like when you start to paint and you think, Oh, my god, I can’t paint. I’m not going to do it. But realize, everybody has to start somewhere.”

You can find links to listen to the podcast and read a sample poem here.


Interview with Meg Johnson, authors of Without, in which she discusses illness, persona, and the performance of poetry:

I worked in the performing arts for many years before I was a writer, so I often approach poetry with that mindset. Since poetry feels so much like performing to me, I feel unafraid writing most poems. There is a nervous energy to it, but it’s mostly positive energy. Embracing the idea of performance as a poet makes it easier for me to generate poems. It doesn’t matter if the poem is revealingly autobiographical or if the voice of the poem is odd and the opposite of my personality. Taking risks with poetry feels good because there is a sort of buffer. I feel keenly aware of the absence of such a buffer when writing nonfiction, but I have worked to become more comfortable with it.


I'm not a Souls player myself, but my brother is and he loves these games and persevering through them. I think you expressed some of the same things he's talked about with me.

In general, I've avoided these games, because they've seemed too punishing for me. But maybe I should give one a shot sometime. I mean, i thought I would never be into horror games and now RE2 Remake is one of my favorite games ever.


A woman in white wakes alone in strange cavern. She crawls over boulders, climbing out into the light, and begins to run — facing a world of monsters all seeking to destroy her.

Stela is a side scrolling puzzle adventure game from SkyBox Labs, available on iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Macintosh. Playing as the woman in white, the player transverses various dark and unsettling landscapes, encountering various obstacles they need to get around — rocks to climb, traps to evade, puzzles to solve.

Some of the most dangerous obstacles are the creatures you encounter along the…


“It’s a folktale, a myth.”

The Jersey Devil
Written by Chris Carter, directed by Joe Napolitano
Season 1, Episode 5

Recap

While driving down a wood enshrouded road in 1947, a family is surprised by a sudden flat tower. The father gets out to fix the tire — when something plunges out of the woods and drags him off into the dark.

The next day, a team with dogs searches through the woods for the missing man. They find him — partially eaten.

They also find something else, a creature said to be tall as a house. They begin shooting as it rushes toward them. …


The Haunting of Bly Manor — director Mike Flanagan’s follow up to The Haunting of Hill House — is framed around the art of storytelling, specifically the campfire delight of unravelling a good ghost story, the kind that gets under your skin and makes you jump at shadows. In the opening scenes, a group of family and friend gather for after-dinner drinks. The conversation drifts to the possibility of ghosts, leading inevitably to the telling of tales.

The ghost story at the center of The Haunting of Bly Manor is loosely based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry…


“The boy is the key, Scully.”

Conduit
Written by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, directed by Daniel Sackheim
Season 1, Episode 4

Recap

A family camps by a seemingly peaceful lake. A young boy and a teenage girl sleep by a campfire, while the mother sleeps within the camper nearby. Inside the van, the mother is suddenly jerked away by the violent shaking of the camper and a blinding white light. She scrambles to reach her children, who she hears calling for her outside. Grabbing the door knob, her hand is instantly burned by the hot metal.

Outside, her son tells her that Ruby (his sister) is…


It’s a minor miracle that any movie gets made at the best of times. This is all the more true when the filmmaker attempts something as ambitious as crafting an apocalyptic fantasy on a micro-budget.

For Sharon Lewis, the process of adapting Nalo Hopkinson’s novel Brown Girl in the Ring was a nearly two-decades long journey.

The novel is set in Toronto, Canada, following an economic collapse that causes it to dissolve into such chaos that the central city, known as the Burn, is abandoned by Canadian government and walled off. The people of the Burn are left without proper…

Andrea Blythe

Author of speculative fiction and poetry. I love storytelling, horror, pop culture, gaming, and more. (She/her.) Newsletter: tinyletter.com/andreablythe

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