Long Trail

How Now, Snarly Yow?

The Snarly Yow is a legend told ’round South Mountain Maryland and the West Virginia Panhandle. It’s a legend that takes its roots from the grim spectral dogs of Wales and the British Isles, that came over the ocean with the miners and laborers who settled in the area, padding through land that saw some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the Civil War. Terrified hunters have sprayed it with shotgun blasts, and baffled motorists have struck it on lonely highways, only to turn and watch it lope off, unharmed, into the darkness. A vast black dog with a red mouth, glowing eyes, and a supernatural resistance to bullets or bumpers, it has never been known to harm a soul or cause any sort of damage apart from the need for cartridges to be refilled, or pants to be changed.

The exception is when the Snarly Yow came to Clear Holler, West Virginia.

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Fiction, Long Trail

Jack Tales: A Sneak Preview

What happens when you combine listening to too much true crime and a fondness for cryptozoology? Our next novel, for one. Jack Boone, podcaster of the paranormal, for two. In the Appalachian town of Clear Holler, armed only with a microphone, an EMF detector, and a dangerously open mind, Jack is on the hunt for high strangeness – and a murderer. Even if the only person available to help her solve the mystery is the ghost of the victim herself.

Jack’s story is still in process, but her tracklist is available for snooping.

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Rants and Reviews

What’s Dead Should Stay Dead: A Supernatural Retrospective

Quarantine is the perfect time to rewatch old favourites. Or dwell on past sins. And with the end of the road finally, finally in sight, what better time to revisit Supernatural? 

If you’re reading this post, you probably don’t need an introduction to the show, or its fandom. Two hot brothers battle monsters and daddy issues while crossing a desaturated America (Vancouver) in a cool car. It was part of the Superwholock trifecta in Tumblr’s heyday, the show that launched a thousand reaction gifs. There was shipping, obviously, and a conspiracy theory that the two lead actors were secretly in love but the network was forcing them to keep it secret. The show acknowledged its fanbase and their deep investment in Wincest and Destiel through an in-universe fandom and never ever making anything canonical.

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Rants and Reviews

BoJack Horseman, The Good Place, and intra- and extratextual goodbyes

What is this, a crossover episode?

Two critically acclaimed shows about bitter, cynical people struggling towards redemption ended this week and, after watching them both, what stood out was how the ways the characters say goodbye to each other mirror how we as an audience say goodbye to them. Here be spoilers.

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Rants and Reviews

a completely objective and overarching ruling on the quality and value of bbcs Dracula based on watching one episode and then rage quitting

Vampires are a metaphor. What they’re a metaphor for – the parasitic aristocracy, predatory sexuality, Mormon celestial marriage – may shift with the anxieties of the era, but they always represent something.

When Sherlock Van Hellsing asks a cadaverous, sore-covered Jonathan Harker if he has had sexual intercourse with Dracula, you can only wonder if Moffat and Gatiss have made a horrific and tasteless AIDS analogy.
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making sausage

Take Your Inspiration Where You Find It

Sometimes it’s hard to know where and when an idea that transforms your work – transforms your life, even – had its genesis.

Sometimes you can go back over your Google hangouts history and see exactly why you did that, laid out in black and white.

And then sometimes you decide it’s not embarrassing enough that you know; the rest of the world should know too.

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Rants and Reviews

Hot and Wuthered

Wuthering Heights is a gothic romance that stirs controversy as intense as Cathy and Heathcliff’s passion. Or so I spent almost thirty years believing. Then I sat down and actually read the damn thing.

‘It’s not really a romance!’ isn’t a fresh take, but it’s still shocking to see how utterly the pop culture narrative around the text has been distorted. The book might be a capital R Romantic novel but it isn’t a romance. Unlike the self-possessed Jane and moping Rochester from sister Charlotte’s magnum opus, Cathy and Heathcliff are fucking assholes and the only reason you want Cathy and Heathcliff together is so they’ll stop inflicting themselves on everyone around them. And then Cathy dies like halfway through the book and Heathcliff spends the next twenty years emotionally and physically abusing everyone around him including his wife, assorted children, and a puppy just for the hell of it. And he does it, not out of Rochester’s weakness and hypocrisy, but out of a clear-eyed determination to be an absolute fuckhead.

The Hark, A Vagrant strips aren’t comedic exaggeration, they’re just literally what happens in the book.

There’s a lot of good analysis out there about how people have confused romantic and Romantic, and about how something that would have been deemed ‘gothic horror’ when written by a man gets turned into a ‘love story’ when written by a woman, and how distilled and Hollywoodized movies have compounded the misconception. But some people have presumably actually read the book – hell, it’s required English lit in many schools – and I can’t FATHOM how anyone with a few braincells to rub together could read it and be like ‘awww, rootin’ for those kids! #relationshipgoals’

It almost makes you want to create an entire website dedicated to the notion of debunking this story as anything but a fucking nightmare. 

Jane Austen was certainly no fluffy bunny, but lumping this in the same category as her smart, charming, and equitable romances is like calling Cormac McCarthy family-friendly. The dead babies beg to differ. 

Rants and Reviews

Return of the Return of the Obra Dinn

A topical post about a game that’s been out for almost a year! But I’ve got the desperate urge to play it again and despite how fucking excellent this game is, the replay value is basically nil and I’m sad about it. I’ve also got the desperate urge to make more people play it (there’s only one fic on AO3 and that’s a goddamn tragedy).

Related image

This is an amazing game for people who don’t play many games (I know because I am one of them) – and it’s one where watching an LP can’t really replicate the experience of piecing the story together for yourself. If you love The Terror and internet speculation on the cascading mistakes that led to the Franklin Expedition’s awful fate then buddy, have I got a game for you .

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