Pia shares Her Dark Half - March Edition

Procrastination or: How to overcome your inner Schweinehund

Spring has sprung and we’ve had the Academy Awards, my birthday, the Ides of March, Wondercon in Anaheim, more rain in California (are those reservoirs full yet?) and finally, some creativity outside my comfort zone. So, what the hell do I mean by “overcoming your inner Schweinehund”? That’s what you tell someone in Germany when they need to stop being a couch potato, more or less.

This was my month of procrastination perfection. I would find everything and anything else to do, instead of tackling this painting I had in my mind. Why? Because I knew the image in my head would never translate onto that paper on my desk and I was not ready to face creative ‘failure’. I also had some crazy vivid dreams this month and I’m still trying to figure out how to translate those into art. Not all were bad…there was this magical dream with two white buffalo playing on a beach. I heard that’s a pretty good omen; and I swear I was not taking any drugs, lol!

No more Schweinehund!

At some point, though, I had to face my fears and heed my own advice about that assumed “failure as an artist.” I also knew it was time to break out of my comfort zone again, because it’s been a while and I was just coasting. I bought a few new markers, ink, brushes and different kind of papers that all just begged to be tried out. So, to ease into unknown waters, I allowed myself to just experiment and explore and even “fail”. There was no set plan of any kind and I stopped obsessing about the image in my head. The time for that one will come…eventually.

I had to allow myself to just go with the flow again, to just let it happen and see what shows up. It’s freeing and playful. I remembered to just trust myself and started freewheeling. To my surprise, I didn’t hate it. Once I got started, it just snowballed from there. Here are two of several creations…at least the ones I don’t mind sharing.

My Spring Spawn

I figured it was a teaching moment that I could pass on to you, especially if you feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut or you’re procrastinating. Maybe it’s time to try something new and get out of your comfort zone too! Step out of the stream and hop back in when you’re ready and then tackle whatever you’ve been avoiding.

Your turn

First of all, turn off the news. Turn off the TV. Silence the notifications on your phones and tablets and computers and whatever else wants your attentions. I mean it. These distractions are a creativity killer - that is, if you can get started in the first place. And there’s nothing worse than being in the creative groove and then hearing that ping on your phone that you just have to check, because, you know…”it could be important”. It’s not. 99% of the time it is not. And you have just interrupted your flow.

Also, when you’re fighting procrastination and really making an effort to overcome your inner Schweinehund, any distraction only becomes an obstacle that you still might secretly welcome. It’s true, admit it! I (unfortunately) know all about this stinking thinking.

Second, re-read my some of my previous editions to get you motivated. I mean…that’s the whole point and why I write this newsletter. To remove another excuse for any procrastination, I recommend this one because it suggests how to make your space more conducive to creativity.

If you’re tired of reading and the walls are closing in on you, go for a walk and get some fresh air. While at it, take a camera with you and follow the suggestions from my January edition! You just might come across something that inspires you. Like a strange totem thingy that some mysterious stranger (not me) assembled from dead things and a few sticks…

Weird “dead lobster top on a stick” art found at Torrey Pines Beach - love it!

Seriously, what is that thing?

Now, go and do it! Right now. You can finish reading the rest of the newsletter later.

Well, what did you come across? Lemme see!

I hope this helps you get unstuck and kick off some creative projects. Feel free to share this newsletter if you think it could help someone else, too.

Moving on.

Share-worthy stuff I saw or found out about:


I didn’t start any new shows, but I finished watching the first season of ‘The Last of Us’ and can’t wait for the next one. “Pokerface” finished its season and I loved it as well. So, my previous ratings still stand and I highly recommend both shows.


One of my distractions (better word: procrastination) was going to the movies with my filmmaker friends. A whole bunch of us met up beforehand for some liquid courage; and then we went into the theatre to see Cocaine Bear (directed by Elizabeth Banks). Yep. It’s exactly what you’d expect. A bear finds a brick of cocaine in the wild and eats it. He goes on a rampage and a few people get in the way. Some more deserving than others. Several familiar faces that surprised me - and I don’t want to spoil it for you. I never watched the trailer so I didn’t know about the cast. The movie was stupid funny, over the top, hysterical and much gorier than I expected. By now you can stream it; so gather a bunch of friends and watch it together, the more the merrier! I give it 3 out of 5 severed fingers.

Emma Bell in ‘Frozen' by Adam Green

I was perusing Amazon Prime the other day and came across an underrated horror movie that should be on a lot more “must watch” lists. I first saw it when it came out in 2010; and since I had just seen a movie about a coke-crazed bear, I decided to revisit Frozen, because it has, um, animal moments as well. It starts out typical enough, with three college kids looking for some sneaky fun on the ski slopes. But then, after some miscommunication and people just being oblivious, they find themselves in a most heinous situation and the movie poses that “what would you do” question. Dumb decisions are made and people die. Very gnarly gore that made me wince - and that should tell you something, lol. Directed by Adam Green. 3 ½ out of 5 snapped bones.

Chai Fonacier in “Nocebo” directed by Lorcan Finnegan

Now on Shudder, I really dug the mystery/thriller Nocebo. The movie’s synopsis says it well: “A fashion designer with a mysterious illness receives help in the form of a nanny who uses traditional folk healing to reveal a horrifying truth”. I’ll watch pretty much anything with Eva Green, and her performance had serious Penny Dreadful vibes (another TV show I highly recommend). But who really shines in this story is the nanny character played by Chai Fonacier. There are some clues in flashbacks that helped me figure out pretty quickly what the background story is and where it all was headed, but it was still engrossing enough to watch it all conclude. Not quite the folk horror I expected, but still a creepy and intense film. I give it 3 ½ out of 5 potions.

Graphic Novel:

What would you answer if some stranger at a party asks you: “How do you think the world will end?” and then, years later, he invites you to an incredible house on a lake for a group vacation? I read Volume 1 of The Nice House on the Lake last year and was instantly hooked on the suspense and horror, the smart and original story. Volume 2 finally came out and I devoured it. I loved it. The story could continue or it could stop there…. We shall see what the powers that be decide to do and how they let things unfold. It’s a limited series by DC Black Label, created by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno and Jordic Bellaire. I give it 5 out of 5 straight razors.

When I told a friend of mine about it, he let me borrow another graphic novel by James Tynion IV called Something is Killing the Children. I just started reading it. So far so good!

I made this!

Since Easter is around the corner, I had some art prints made from my original, “related” paintings. I mean…it’s a bunny! Size is 5" x 7", on smooth high quality card stock paper. Frame it, give it as a gift, or use it as a postcard! Just in time for the egg hunt…

“Easter Skulls” print from original ink & watercolor painting

There’s also a “Found Easter Egg” bookmark for you “Alien(s)” geeks out there!

Bookmark inspired by ‘Alien’ and Easter

That’s it for this month - don’t let the bunny get ya!

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Thank you from the bottom of my black little heart!

Dark Greetings,


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