Pia shares Her Dark Half - Issue #23

Don't fear your idle hands!

Remember that scene in The Shining when dude types “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? Do you ever feel like that? I sure as hell do, especially these last few months. I need a vacation! Not a staycation or a weekend getaway. I mean, a REAL vacation away from it all. Like Hawaii or New Zealand or the Bahamas, with that tropical drink in hand, doing the touristy stuff!

Yeah, not gonna happen any time soon.

As an artist constantly hustling to find financial independence and also working part-time in the ‘real world’, there just isn’t enough paid time off and extra cash for that big vacation trip. Not yet, anyway (trying to stay positive). I could go on about unforeseen expenses, but you get my point. I just want to get off that hamster wheel for a little bit, gah!

Hit that pause button

So, what to do when there’s no relief in sight, at least for a few more months? You have to recharge your batteries somehow, at least a little!

Luckily, I don’t live too far from the beach and it comes in handy for that walk or hike whenever I can squeeze in the time. I love meditating and being in the moment with the ocean sounds/breeze and scents. It is a luxury (and we’re paying for it dearly in California) and not all my readers live on the coast. So, what are other options if there’s no nature nirvana near you; or you’re not the hiking or meditating type?

Find your own little bubble!

Escape into your own little world. Crawl under your rock. Hide and shut out the real world!

But whaaat? That’s not healthy, you say! Idle hands are the devil’s workshop! You’re supposed to be out there, be social and part of the community and blablabla!

Nonsense! I’m not talking about making “living in your own bubble” a constant thing. Just for a few days. In my case, I just need to hide away from other humans. If you work in spaces where you’re constantly around many people, sometimes in tight spaces, you know exactly what I mean. Hibernating has its benefits for me, at least in the short run.

As a creator, sometimes you need to take in, absorb and digest other creations. Let them inspire you, change your mind or try something new.

I used to feel guilty when I spent a day just watching movies, reading or binging a tv show; and I would try to do other chores while ‘indulging’ in entertainment. But oftentimes, I’d just have to rewind part of a show because I missed something important. I finally came to the conclusion to just let it go and friggin’ sit down and pay real attention. I’d allow myself to get into it and escape into another world. Then, afterwards, while doing chores or other mindless tasks, I could digest, analyze, learn, make notes and re-energize my creativity. Doing this also stops the endless chatter/self dialogue in my brain and I’m really in the moment. It’s almost like meditation…well, almost. It is a nice break from responsibilities and worries, though. It may not be a vacation, but it helps release that pressure valve until you finally do get out of town.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.

Albert Einstein

What is your escape of choice (not including booze or other questionable methods)? Figure out what is best for your situation. Find that time in your schedule. Maybe it’s a day of binging old comfort shows/movies. Or read the book that’s been sitting on the shelf forever. It’s time you finally get around to it. Paint, write, listen to your favorite music. Sleep and dream. And don’t look at the clock. The world will still be there when you emerge from your cave…


In other news

I want to thank you for sticking around to celebrate the One Year Anniversary of my newsletter, yay! I can’t believe it’s already been 12 months of consistent writing. I hope I’ve learned a thing or two and it is still my goal to keep you inspired and/or entertained! As always, I encourage you to drop me a note if you have questions/suggestions or comments! Thank you from the bottom of my dark little heart.

A quick shoutout to my witches and/or those of you jonesing for Halloween, which is still six long months out. Don’t despair - there’s always Walpurgisnacht to tide you over. It starts the evening of April 30th and lasts until the evening of May 1st. It has recently caught on in other countries and I have seen small events organized in some U.S. cities. Walpurgisnacht (or witches’ night) comes from old German folklore where witches meet on the Brocken Mountain and dance around a huge bonfire. Brocken is the highest of the Harz Mountains in Germany. There’s also a phenomenon called the Brocken Spectre that I have yet to witness. You can read more about Walpurgisnacht here and here. Are there celebrations in your area? I dare you to go, mwuahaha.

One of my old drawings from way back..can you even tell what it is?

Share-worthy stuff I came across:

Boy, did I get into TV the last few weeks…for reasons explained above. Let’s get right to it (click on each title for links to trailers):


The 2nd season of Yellowjackets (on Showtime) is out and five episodes in, it does not disappoint. The show is about a high school girl soccer team, whose plane crashes deep in the Canadian Wilderness on the way to a competition. As time passes on and winter is coming (see what I did there?), their fight for survival becomes more and more desperate. In between, we see some of the survivors in today’s time (there’s a bit of jumping back and forth) and the now middle aged women are finding themselves dealing with new challenges related to their past. If you haven’t seen the first season and you’re a fan of Melanie Lynski, Christina Ricci and Juliette Lewis, you need to get on it! It is dark and mysterious and checks all the boxes for horror TV. Stellar writing, editing, cinematography, not to mention the raw talent of the whole cast and a kick-ass soundtrack. I give it 5 out of 5 antlers.

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

You just know things can’t end well for people in a show called Swarm (on Amazon Prime). A young woman obsessed with a big time pop star? Hellz to the yeah! I was positively surprised by this bloody satire inspired by some real life incidents; and it doesn’t hold back on the violence. Dominique Fishback shines as a very disturbed fan called Dre; and at first you don’t know if you want to root for her or send her to the looney bin. It also has a really fun and deadly episode with a bunch of strippers that makes me want to see a spinoff just for them. I think this show is contained to just one season. I give it 4 out of 5 sledge hammers.

The Power (on Amazon Prime). I was skeptical about this series at first, thinking it’s another super hero show. Also, it’s not really horror, but more of a disturbing drama based on the novel by Naomi Alderman. When I found out that the cast includes Toni Collette (love her and still think she was robbed of any awards for Hereditary), Toheeb Jimoh (from Ted Lasso) and John Leguizamo (he’s on a roll lately) I had to give it a shot. Love it so far! I think it’ll piss off some people, mostly men, but maybe they should check it out and learn why many women are so pissed off these days! The series shows an alternate world where women suddenly develop the power to electrocute at will, leading to a reversal of the power balance globally. The season is still ongoing and so far I give it 4 out of 5 electric arcs.


For some reason, this nugget of a movie called I see you was trending #1 on Netflix a few weeks ago. I don’t know what gave it that bump, since the movie already came out in 2019, but I’m glad it got more exposure. I was happy to re-watch it, knowing about the twists to come and still enjoyed it immensely. The trailer makes it look like a paranormal thriller and you think you know what you’re about to see. Then the movie takes a really exciting and quite unnerving turn half way through and adds another twist in the end. I can’t say much without spoiling it, just watch the trailer. I highly recommend it and give it 4 ½ out of 5 pocket knives.

I see you (2019) directed by Adam Randall

I also had a chance to see Evil Dead Rise (dir. Lee Cronin) in the theatre and it definitely delivered on the blood and gore. Serious and unrelenting horror without any campy Bruce Campbell-ish humor (I was hoping for it, tho). This is the fifth movie of the franchise and this time two sisters unite briefly before one of their kids finds a mysterious book below their L.A. apartment. Flesh-possessing demons are unleashed and the fight for survival begins. Lots of really creepy moments and great performances by the whole cast, especially Alyssa Sutherland (who you might remember from Vikings). I’ll never look at a cheese grater the same again. I give it 4 out of 5 maggots.

I made this!

I’m excited to announce that I will bring brand-new original paintings to the San Diego Comic-Con Art Show again, yay! Only my Patreon members have seen some exclusive previews so far, but I thought I’d let you in on one sneak peek since it’s my one year newsletter anniversary. The event is in July and I’ll remind you again in June, fear not, haha! I already have a few pieces ready and more paintings in the works. They will be part of my little warrior series, which is all about mental health awareness and conquering your demons. It all started oh, around 2016, and if you want to read the back story, check out my older blog post “Art for healing".

Ok, that’s it for today - thanks for reading to the end! Have a great weekend and don’t forget to send out Mother’s Day cards!

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Dark Greetings,


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