An Update On The Potential Closing of LaCreeperie Website and Etsy Shop and New Categories

I thought I'd address this issue on a wider scale here, simply because I've had a lot of questions and shocked responses about my potentially closing the Etsy Shop and Website. First off, please know that this is not a decision I've come to lightly. Also, this has been a long time coming. I am in no way trying to be overly dramatic, or looking for sympathy sales, or other such nonsense. I have been in this volatile business for 15 years, and it has always been a bumpy road, with many, many extreme highs and extreme lows.

The fact is, the last couple of years have been mostly extreme lows, which I believe are in direct response to the current socio-political climate of pretty much the whole planet. Small businesses struggle from time to time, that's a given. And this was a chance I was prepared to take on back when I started this whole venture in 2003, when I had 3 jobs. Yes, THREE separate jobs. No one can ever accuse me of being lazy, that's for sure. But I digress....

Yes, I am a bit burned out. Yes, I am very, very tired of struggling financially, especially at my advancing age. So these are two very real reasons why I'm looking to close up the shops and move into other areas.


In a last-ditch effort to keep the shops open for at least a few months yet, I will be opening up three new non-book-related categories on the website in the immediate future. These will be:

The Witch's Jewels - Fun, witchy, gothy type jewelry for glamour ghouls of all kinds.

The Magickal Toolbox - Tools and accessories for spellcraft, altars and adorning your magickal space.

The Apothecary - Potions, herbs and oils for multiple uses.

'Isn't this counter-intuitive to your closing the shops?' you ask? Well, many of you have responded positively toward the occult section of the shop, and have asked if I would ever expand upon it. This is my response to that, and we'll see how it goes. But I wanted to post this to keep you up to date on what I have planned, all while I try to find lucrative work on the side.

Stay tuned!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 13: The Lost Episode - Remix Rebellion

If there were ever a time that I would beg you to read this blog, it would be NOW so that you can listen to the "lost episode" of the podcast which was never aired. This episode is vastly different from the previous 12 in that THERE'S NO TALKING!

This is a continuous play collection of some of my very favorite remixes, so prepare yourselves for some seriously synthy, seriously sexy, seriously bootyshakin tunes without the interruption of voice.

This beauty took 2.5 hours to record, and it's the very first time I've ever created a continuous play track, so I'm rather proud of it. You should also know that every track was recorded from vinyl, I've been dying to put my 12" singles collection to good use! I really hope you enjoy it.

LaCreeperie Around The Web: You Tube Channel

Being in the age of viral video, it's almost unheard of for a business not to have a YouTube channel, or at least be uploading tutorials or video of some kind pertaining to said business. As I've said before I'm a bit of a late bloomer, but I also like to do things my own way.

I thought it was time for LaCreeperie to have a YouTube Channel, and I'd figure out what to put on it later. Well I've put a few things up, and will be actively adding more videos on a regular basis. There will be an ever-growing list of themed playlists, and perhaps one day I'll get brave enough to make some videos of my own. But if you happen to follow me on Instagram, you know I'm not in the habit of being in front of the camera.

Featured below is a fun playlist of spooky spoken word videos by the likes of Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. This was a fun one to put together, and I'll definitely be adding more to it soon. Hope you enjoy it and subscribe to the channel, because you never know what will c-r-e-e-e-p in.

Be sure to check out the newly installed Dungeon Synth list of favorites. I'm continuously adding to it, so there will often be new sounds to check out. You'll be glad you did!

Dungeon Synth Delights - An Ongoing List of Favorites

  A while back, I briefly mentioned how Tony of The Damn Fine Network got me hooked on a subgenre of synth music called Dungeon Synth. This includes nomikers like Dark Ambient, Medieval Synth, Neo classical Darkwave, and several others, but you get the idea. Over the last year, I have been dipping a toe into the moats, as it were, but there is SO MUCH of it out there, it's mind blowing! More recently, I have really gotten into a few specific bands (are they bands? One-man-bands? I don't really know) and I wanted to share them with you here, in case this is something you might like.

Because I have recently given up the podcast, I have more time to write, and read, and Dungeon Synth is the perfect accompaniment, especially when reading medieval fantasy, historical fiction or anything with magic and sorcery in it. Also fantastic to fall asleep to, particularly if you have insomnia, or are a chronic night owl, like me. Hoot! Pull out your favorite audio apparatus and have a listen:

By far, Lord Lovidicus (how great is that name?!) is one of my very favorites. Every single playlist or album I have listened to is truly magical stuff.

Then there's equally mystical Thangorodrim, found on The Dungeon Synth Archives Channel which specializes in "old school" Dungeon Synth. I haven't quite figured out the differences of old school vs new, but it just doesn't matter. Every track is a winner, I tell ya.

Finally, (for now) there's Witches Moon, in particular, the Tear Off Your Wings - Meditations  really caught my attention. I swear, the titles alone of these things will make you want to listen to them all. Honestly, I haven't really heard anything I didn't like from any artist, band, or whoever it is that makes these wonderful, ambient tunes. I'm just really glad they do.

I will be adding to this list as I happen upon more favorites, but you can also visit my Dungeon Synth Playlist via my YouTube Channel, which is where I put all of my favorites. Enjoy, and keep checking back!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 12: All Around The World

Well kids, this is it. This is the FINAL episode of the podcast. Rather sudden, some of you may think, but I've actually been waffling about whether or not to continue almost from episode 1. Only because this little experiment was so out of my comfort zone, and I am woefully self-conscious when it comes to new endeavors I know next-to-nothing about.

I have also made the life-altering decision to close the bookshops, as time she is a tickin', and I am nowhere near publishing anything. But more importantly, these disastrous times we are living in have taken their toll on the online retailing world, at least for me, and it's become increasingly more difficult to keep my head above water. Besides all of this, I have been in this game in various forms for the last 14 years (think before Facebook!), and I'm getting mighty tired of begging for sales, the constant self-promotion, and many other facets of this incredibly volatile business. It's never been dull or predictable, I can say that much.

Anywho, I'm not here to whinge and complain, just giving you all a few reasons why I decided to end the podcast, and the shops. As for closing the shops, this will take some time, as I have a lot to liquidate, and I need to find another line of work before I can move on. So I'll still be around hocking my wares, at least for the next few months. I will, however, be keeping the blog going, as there are a few things cooking in the Bermuda Triangle that I will want to share here. But when the time is right, the Fakebook, Twitter, Tumblr,  Etsy Shop and most likely the website will all be closed. We'll see how I feel about things when the time comes as to whether I'll give Instagram the boot as well, or not. Stay tuned!

Author Spotlight: Florence Stevenson

 This cover is one of the best I've seen of late 80's, lurid horror covers. And I don't even care that it's rather misleading. Despite having not yet finished reading this gem, I'm fairly certain the horror element will not quite reach the heights that this coverart suggests. I care not.

See, Florence Stevenson was mostly a Gothic Romance writer, and a playwright even proceeding that. What I especially love, is that most all of her books have an element of the Occult, witchcraft, black magic, devil worship and the like. Sounds like fun, huh? It is! She writes with, at times, the tone of a man, but with the slightly softer touch of a woman, particularly when describing the most provocative scenes. Which makes for a very enjoyable read, in my opinion. I have had the good luck of featuring several of her books in the shop, only now I wish I had kept a few of them. For example, her Kitty Telefair Gothic Series, which includes 6 titles, are the most desirable--and difficult--to find. Below are the two that have previously been in the shop:

This is the first in the series, of course the most rare of the bunch...

And this is the third volume in the series...

And #4!

And most recently, this beauty, which is (as of this writing) still available here!

Told ya, most all of her writings involve witchy shenanigans of some sort or other, great stuff! 

I highly recommend searching out any of her books in your book hunting travels, and I will continue to carry her titles whenever I can. Happy reading!

Big Changes Afoot: Reaching Up & Taking Chances

If I've learned anything in the last 14 years of online retailing (a fancy term for selling things on the internet) it's that being flexible to change is absolutely imperative if you want to stay in the game.  So it's time for yet another change...

I am in the process of adding several facets to the blog, and will eventually be offering sponsorship to artists, authors and more who would like to advertise here. You will soon be seeing promotions of some of my favorite artists, authors and fellow online retailers to get things going.

This will be an ever-changing, on-going process, so I hope you'll check in often to see what's new. In the last six months, it seems the blog has only been a deposit for podcast episodes, which is not what I had ever intended. I wanted the blog to be a place where all facets of my brand were featured, but that has yet to happen. With all the demands of an online business and social media practices, some things just get lost in the busy shuffle. (That and I'm a one-woman show here, with only so many hours in the day.)

So you will begin to see these changes almost immediately, as I attempt to get a real blogging schedule in place. This is something I have made many attempts at over the years, but I'm not ready to give up just yet. Maybe this time it will stick. I hope you'll come along for the ride, I promise it won't be boring. Stay tuned!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 11: Dark Carnival

Here we are at episode 11! This time I wanted to take you on a ride to the Dark Carnival. Complete with scary clowns, fortune tellers, roller coasters and more. Come along, won't you?

As usual, there is a lot of my favorite music in this episode, and maybe there is for you too. My goal for every episode is to bring awareness of at least one new song to at least one person. I suppose I'll never really know if that job is accomplished, but luckily I have more than one goal for this podcast.

This episode's theme was changed at the very last minute, due to a computer meltdown. If you're following me on Instagram, you have seen my shameless self-promotion to afford a new computer. See, I don't use credit cards anymore, so I can't simply go out and buy a new one. However, miracles do sometimes happen, and I managed to resurrect the old computer from the dead. This is no way reflects on my computer skills, I just got lucky.

Anywho, I hope you enjoy this week's episode. As always, feel free to ask any questions or comments on my Instagram, or via the contact link within this blog. Happy listening!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 10: The Monster Club

Awww yeah...thrilled to be discussing such a rare film, soundtrack and rather unknown book of the film The Monster Club on the latest episode of the podcast. This episode was really fun to put together, and if you're not familiar with the film, I think you're in for a real treat. Without further ado, here's The Monster Club...

So as promised, below is a shot of a few of  R. Chetwynd-Hayes titles. There are several more in my collection, but since I didn't talk about them, I thought I'd save the rest for a spotlight on the author, to come at a later date. If you're looking for a new horror author to get into, you could do far worse than R.Chetwynd-Hayes, and he was very prolific, so there's loads out there to choose from.

I also promised that I would show a clip of the animated "stripper" scene from the film, because it's hilarious and awesome, so here it is...

I hope you enjoyed this Monster Club episode, and I hope it inspires you to watch it whether you've seen it before or not. Stay tuned for Episode 11 coming up on March 14. Thanks for listening!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 9: The LOVE Episode

I knew this episode was going to air on Valentine's Day proper, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the show somehow, but I wasn't gonna play a bunch of crappy love songs. So I took a stroll through my vinyl collection, and began to find a common theme within my soundtrack section. Easily, I found nine completely different soundtracks that all had one obvious similarity; they were all love stories. And within them, every single one had a song with the word "love" in it. I had so much fun discovering this, and a blast putting everything together for this episode, I hope you enjoy it.

This episode is a little different from the previous 8 in that it's alllll about the music. That's no surprise, as music is and always has been my first love, and I wanted to showcase it within this episode all about love.

Below is a shot of all the soundtracks featured in this episode, and I couldn't recommend each and every one of them highly enough. Feel the love, yo!

Stay tuned for episode TEN (holy crap, already??) where I hopefully, finally, will premiere my first guest episode. Thanks as always for listening!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 8: Ghost World

This film appeals to many different people on many different levels, I think. Whether you're a punk-spirited youth or a cranky, middle aged record collector, there's something to connect to in this dark comedy. Enter into episode 8 and Ghost World...

As I mention in the podcast, this film resonates with me in a lot of ways, and judging by the amount of interaction my Instagram pic got when I posted about the film, it resonates with A LOT of people, and I really like that. It's what prompted me to feature the film in its own episode. And if it prompts someone out there to watch the film if they haven't previously seen it, then my job is done.

Below is a shot of the books I talk about in the episode. I confess I'm not really a comic book or graphic novel reader, but I pulled out a few gems that might keep me from getting kicked out of the cool kids club.

I hope you enjoy this episode, I had great fun pulling the audio clips of my favorite parts (sorry for the less than stellar audio on them, I did my best!) and playing a few songs from the soundtrack. I only wish the soundtrack had gotten a vinyl release in time for this episode, but I'll let you in on a little's coming!

Episode 9 has an air date of VALENTINE'S DAY and I have something really special planned for it, so I hope you'll tune in. Thanks for listening!

Book Review: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

  If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know how much I love (and talk about) Neil Gaiman; writer, dreamer, human. He inspires the writer in me unlike anyone else--although Stephen King is a close second. Which is why I am unabashedly dedicating yet another blog post to him and his most recent of books (for me, anyway) with The View from the Cheap Seats.

Now full disclosure, I only received this book yesterday, and yet with the dozen or so entries I have read thus far, I know like I know like I know this is most definitely going to be my most favorite book I've read of his to date. I have said before in previous posts and in the podcast that although I am more a fan of the man Neil Gaiman than I am of his works, this in no way means I don't enjoy his writing because I most certainly do. I am enamored of his generosity as a gifted writer in the way that he offers help and insight to us fellow writers, but also the generosity of his truth in his non-fiction works--which by the way, The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of non-fiction by way of essays, book introductions he was asked to write, personal observations and articles written for various and sundry magazines, newspapers and such. It is absolutely enthralling.

So far, I've only read one essay that didn't resonate with me, and I'm sure there will be others, but that's simply a matter of taste (i.e; I'm not a comic book reader or a Tori Amos fan), however I suspect I will still find lines of interest within these brief essays/articles/intros. And not that I want to sway your opinion on the pieces I have read, but I have found the following especially poignant and touching: (note that I am currently reading this book in no particular order)

The Dresden Dolls: Halloween 2010
The View from the Cheap Seats (about his evening at the Oscars)
Make Good Art (which I previously bought when it was published as a standalone piece)
Harlan Ellison: The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World
Banging the Drum for Harlan Ellison
On Stephen King for The Sunday Times
and many more...

Normally I would not write a book review about a book I had not finished reading, but I promise you now, if you are any level of a Neil Gaiman fan, you will greatly enjoy this wonderful collection. It came out over a year ago, but I always have to wait for a softcover edition, which I prefer. The above links will take you to the softcover edition, but the hardback is available there too. Hell, buy 'em both. Enjoy.

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 7: New Year, New To Me aka EARGASM

My goodness, a New Year is here. Time for renewal, reassessing and reevaluation. And I think we could all agree that the entire planet is in great need of all of these things. So while we work on all of that, I hope you'll enjoy an hour's worth of new-to-me tunes and books that maybe, just maybe you haven't heard of yet.

This episode solidified my desire to enter the production world, in whatever way I can make it happen. Be it another podcast, editing someone else's podcast, voice-over work etc. This is actually something I've had a secret desire to do for going on 25 years now, maybe even longer, but never knowing just how to get into this line of work, or having the guts to pursue it. So I'm trying to embrace the fact that it's never too late to change your career, and you're never too old to try something new. We'll see how it goes.

I'm excited to say that with episode 8, I will have my first guest! Guest episodes will alternate with regular episodes, and I hope it will bring a vastly more intriguing tone to the podcast. Also, as I say in this episode, there has been a small change to the schedule and A Shadowed Path will air every other Wednesday, with episode 8 airing on Wednesday, Jan. 31st. I hope you'll tune in!

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 6: A Magickal Holiday

The Holidays and New Year are upon us, and with it comes episode 6 of A Shadowed Path. In this episode, I show a bit more of my witchy side, but not to worry, it's not scary...

Beginning with this post, I am no longer going to do a visual of all the content included in each episode. Frankly, it's far too time-consuming, and not many of you are actually reading these posts (sorry to disappoint all 5 of you) for me to carry on. I will, however, still be writing posts for each episode, for those who prefer to listen this way.

Each New Year, I think of a motto that encompasses the changes I want to make. My motto of this New Year is "Work smarter, not harder." Meaning many things in my daily routine will need to change if I'm to accomplish the necessary leaps forward I desperately want to complete.

One of the "presents" to myself this holiday season, was to switch things up within my own household. So after 14 years in one very tiny, cramped room, my office is now twice the size it's ever been, and comfortably located in our basement studio alongside hubby's monster-making workshop. And my bedroom is now not only mere steps away from the bathroom (what a concept!) but also on the same floor as the rest of our living space, instead of in the upper story which has no air ducts for heating and cooling. Needless to say, it was a brilliant switch, but no small feat. My entire inventory had to be moved down a flight of stairs, bookcases and all. Along with my very sturdy solid wood desk, shipping station, and much more.

Moving forward, I feel like I know how "working smarter, not harder" can be done, and am excited to begin on a couple of new projects I have in the works. Stay tuned to see which ones see the light of day, and which ones get kicked to the curb. Only time will tell!

I hope you enjoy Episode 6 of the podcast, Episode 7 (and the first of 2018!) will air on Jan. 15th, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Thanks for listening, and Happy New Year everyone!