BAB: Battle Against Bullying

Every school has one. And some come in packs. Growing up I have learned there are different types of bullies but ALL serve the same purpose. “Preps” Attention Addicts. They dress to dazzle. If you have seen the 1985 film , “The Breakfast Club” The Prep is also referred to as,

“The Princess”

 They are the attention addicts. And do whatever necessary to fit in or gain popularity. Even if it means snitching on a friend to save their own reputation. The Prep dates the captain of the football team or go to the next guy in line who wins the reputation contest. The Prep whispers and laughs at those who are not part of their group of gossip. But when one is alone and away from their gossip group, they tend to be nice to a computer wiz to talk them into completing their homework for them. Typically, they are nice when they want something. Then you have,

“The Jocks.’

 Who you might find stuffing a Freshman or computer wiz in their lockers at the end of the day. And chances are that it is the same computer wiz who completed the prep’s homework – the jock’s girlfriend. How does a bully become who they are? Is it because of the pressure they get from home..? Or does it go deeper than that, as to learning how to accept themselves..? Whatever the case may be, they are lacking discipline or receiving too much at home. There should be boundaries when being a parent but we also must remember that each generation is different. Today’s society has more advanced technology and schools are not quite the same anymore. More children are bringing firearms to school for protection or for – in their minds, revenge. It is important to talk to our children. Set some guidelines but also and the most important is to “listen.”

One of the worst things a guardian can do is ignore. “Oh, they’re just kids. They’ll learn as they get older.” No! They Won’t! And some learn the hard way only because the parents did not have an open mind and to listen to hear what their child has to say or what changes or experiences they are going through. Whether it is about something at school or just facts of life in general. And “praise” your kids. Instead of yelling or grounding them due to getting a ‘C’ on their report card. “ASK” about the grade before you act. Either they lack concentration at school due to bullying or they may have a hard time learning that certain subject. Either way, there is lack of something, somewhere.

I remember while growing up, I was bullied ever day. Some days were good and none said a word to me, which is how I liked it. But I had lack of concentration due to bullying. And troubles at home. In school, K through Senior year in high school, I’ve had things thrown at me, chairs being pulled from underneath me before I sat down. People calling me names or using my last name to create insults. I was bullied by the best. I was the smart type but in their eyes did not dress and pass up for a Nerd. I was the one to help the Nerds back out of their lockers and didn’t play sports so I didn’t pass up for a jock. And I did not have a criminal record so I definitely did not pass to be an outcast or aka criminal.

Preps saw my artistic abilities and writing skills and tried to get me to do their homework. I refused so rumors were spread about me. I ignored the ignorance and continued my learning. I won’t say it didn’t bother me, because it did. Although I got use to it, kids today don’t. And what is worse is kids today are taking their lives due to bullying at school! :o  I must repeat, “Taking-Their-Lives!” Is that not a warning sign or flag of some kind stating this has gone on far too long!?

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I was creative and had competitive skills. I didn’t dress to ‘fit in’ and I was there to earn grades, not to earn a reputation. I didn’t have a loss of identity like others in school. I knew who I was and exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I ignored those who didn’t matter and were friends with the Geeks, Nerds, Goths and practically anyone decent. I did not discriminate.

The next in line are, “The Criminals”

Sometimes they are loners or huddle in a small groups. The Preps saw them as outcasts but once in a while you may see them hang out with the jocks. The Outcasts, or criminals, are not at school for grades but rather because they are on probation. They lay low from the cops by attending school. None is safe from these guys. They will bully anyone. Including the Special Ed students, those in wheelchairs or have a medical condition. I was a Special Ed student. I had a hard time learning Math but for some reason instead of trying to teach me something new, they kept teaching me the basics. – Which is why I had issues learning Math to begin with. Sadly, my High school has not changed and bullies stay the same. Like this student in the article below. Kudos for her bravery and I support her 100% on this matter and what she is trying to accomplish.

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This hits home for me. Not just because it was the same high school I attended or because I was a victim of bullying but another reason is both of my parents had Cerebral Palsy.

Some bullies grow up and adult life changes their perception. But some remain bullies until their golden years. Sometimes experiences can change a person for the good or the worse. It does not matter if you are fifteen or fifty, a bully is as a bully does. And size does not matter when it comes to a fight. Here’s a little story for you.

Once there was a six year old kindergartner. She was bullied by a third grader for most of the year. Until one day the six year old girl got tired of the boy who pulled her hair, called her names and did anything to be annoying. She always walked away. Until, this day. Just when the boy thought she was going to walk away, she quickly turned around with her fist and ..persuaded him not to do it again. The boy did bully many kids on the playground but she was his favorite to bully. The rumor had spread all the way until the girl entered high school, that he was not only defeated by a kindergartner but- by a girl.

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The teachers whom saw the boy’s actions of bullying watched and did nothing. Not even so much as a warning. Although after she had broke his nose, they punished her. The little girl’s brother, although proud, he explained to her the dangers of hitting someone and how easily it can be fatal. This was the type of girl who wouldn’t so much as kill a fly. But after seeing all the blood and learning how easy you can kill someone with a single punch… – I got scared and never lifted my hand again to anyone, regardless how badly I was bullied.

Violence is not the answer, (even though his nose has not been quite the same since) children today are taught not to fight but yet no teacher or any adult figure will step in and approach the RRR (Recognize, React, Repeat) So, what is the child suppose to do? Each school and every school should create an awareness about bullying. Some teachers and parents take on the subject too lightly and don’t speak to their kids about bullying because they ‘believe’ their child does not do that. Bullies are taught, not born. Parents need to set an example and remember that their children are mockingbirds and whatever you say or do around your children, they will be the result of your actions.

Thank you for taking the time reading, “BAB Battle Against Bullying” – Siranna Bast 2014

[This Blog Is For Educational Purposes ONLY. Images created by Lady B. 2014]

What happened to horror!?

As an 80’s child, it was fun growing up with nightmare slashers, dolls that talked and puppets that came to life. Werewolves, Zombies, Vampires…OH, MY!

What was it that made me love them so…? They made me believe and opened my imagination to other possibilities, and I don’t mean just the creations but their creators. I find it ironic that since that time and with today’s advanced technology, it seems that the older I grew, horror films were not worth watching anymore. And not just horror films but many films with various genres. Why? I hear that very same question from many disappointed fans. And the answer is simple. – Lack of art.

Making films is productive art. Making movies is an art form. From selecting the cast to make-up effects. In every aspect it takes time hard work, patience and passion. And results, never lie. CGI, (Computer-Generated-Imagery) may help speed up the process a bit but the results cannot hold a candle compared to ‘taking the time’ to be creative with every fabric into making the film. For instance, an make-up artist takes the time to make his or her craft believable and the outcome looks more different verses someone using CGI for make-up effects.

Granted, CGI would be good to use in some cases but the overuse really kills a film. Take “American Werewolf In London” for example. Would the film be as popular if the werewolf transformation were done in CGI?

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“American Werewolf In London” 1981

Of Course Not! Rick Baker made that transformation come to life and made viewers feel like they were sitting in a chair and watching the whole transformation from man to beast in first person. I felt like I was really there witnessing the agony and pain David was experiencing. That is what I love about well processed and developed films. The creative craft of FX make-up, good acting with an intriguing storyline is what makes a film a fantastic piece of craft.

The werewolf in “Van Helsing” with Hugh Jackman, although looked pretty cool, you can tell it was done with CGI.

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Van Helsing 2004
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“Twilight” 2008

The video above is from the film, “Twilight” Another source of CGI work. I did not see any of the “Twilight” films. Because…well, to be honest, I’m picky. You can’t beat ‘the believable’.

The late Dick Smith and Tom Savini, are also Masters at the craft of make-up magic.  My motto is ‘It takes detail to make retail.’ I remember the first time I watched, Peter Blatty’s 1973 horror classic, “The Exorcist” and George A. Romero’s 1978 horrific film, “Dawn of the Dead”. I was not born until 79’ and I was still in my single digits before I saw these films. But while viewing those films for the first time, I asked my Brother, (who introduced me to horror) “Did this happen?” And “Is this real?” After he laughed at me he then explained to me what FX make-up was all about.

From that time, I was hooked and instantly became a horror fanatic. And critic. I say, ‘critic’ because when you have been spoiled by the best, you can’t help but to be a critic to everything else simply because nothing else can compare. I am also a writer and artist. Maybe not an FX wizard, but like any artist or writer, we take the time to show others how we see inside the core of our imaginations. And studying every frame and angle of letters as a child (an artist in the works) it was only common for me to pick up the detail and beauty of FX art.

So, how can horror films improve today? We established the difference between make-up magic and CGI, but what else could bring in cash flow to the box office?

Image Created by Lady B. 2014

Remakes are for the birds. To remake a classic and modify it to this generation’s technology could be such a No-No. (Waving finger)  One remake, is too many. “Amityville Horror , “Nightmare On Elm Street” and now I hear there will be a remake of “The Exorcist.” The list goes on and on when counting remakes. So many remakes…so many mistakes. When I heard George A. Romero’s 1978 classic, “Dawn of the dead” was going to be remade I just knew deep down it was going to be a disappointment. Because you just can’t compete with a classic. I had no interest in watching the trailers for the new “Dawn of the dead” or the new “Nightmare on elm street.” But, as a movie buff, I forced myself to watch the trailers anyhow. …and wished I changed my mind beforehand. As a Freddy fan, I got a glimpse of the new Freddy. And my heart sank. Did I miss something? When did Fred Krueger become a manikin?

Okay, so it’s bad enough they did a remake, but the worse part is going back to what I discussed before, the make-up effects. Fred didn’t look real, nor was he scary. His face looked a cross between mummified and melted plastic. And there are very few characters who can pull off being spooky while being made out of plastic.

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“Bride Of Chucky” 1998

And…

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“Puppet Master” 1989

If the photos above do not look familiar to you… maybe it’s time to start collecting some dolls…? ;)

I loved the “Chucky” films, up until “The Seed of Chucky” which I didn’t care for. “The Puppet Master” films by Full Moon Entertainment, I enjoyed. Blade happens to be my favorite, but don’t let the others’ hear you say that… they might take it personally.

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“Puppet Master” 1989

As it stands, old films are being remade and it seems like Hollywood is out of writing material. New fresh ideas is what the film industry needs today. Me, including others, have been working together to bring back that spark. Good ol’ fashioned, realistic horror. I am in the process of having scripts read while writing more. Updates will be posted on my FB page. Thank you for taking the time to read “What happened to horror!?”

“Be calm, stay spooky.” – Siranna Bast 2014

[This Blog Is For Educational Purposes ONLY. ALL Images Came From A "Fair Use" Source or Created by Lady Bast.]

The Blog Of Bast: The Mysterious Madame Siranna

(c) 2014
SB Photography. Photographer & Model: Lady Bast (c) 2014

 

Welcome to, ‘The Blog Of Bast’!

My name is Siranna. Many of you know me from Facebook, LinkedIn.com and other networks. And some of you don’t know who I am at all. The purpose of this blog is to let ALL of you know more about Moi. What I do professionally, my viewpoints, concerns and …just a little bit of everything. At this time I am pursuing many career opportunities as well as returning to college to become an Art Therapist.

On the side, besides being a Fiction Writer, Font Designer/Specialist and Photographer, I also do community work for the City of Bangor. I have helped the homeless and have helped various of people within the Bangor Community. I also am working on a project for the Writers and Artists (WAARM: Writers And Artists Relief Maine) within the Bangor Community. I know so many people who have a gift for writing & art and should not have their work go unnoticed.

How the project will work is each participant who signs up will have to meet certain qualifications before becoming a final nominee.  If nominated, the participants have the choice of taking their fund money and put it towards a college course to further their passion into a career or towards publishing their work. I am working towards that goal. It would also get people off the streets and away from troubled crowds (problems with addictions), to help better their lives!

I also have plans in the future to move to New York.  I am a team member of Forte Films Entertainment as a Font Designer/Specialist and Writer. Once I have relocated to NY, I will be aiming towards the goal as a horror TV host . On the show I will be having Filmmakers, Directors, Producers and…everyone horrific enough will attend. The idea of the show is to help bring creators and fans together and talk-horror.  Hosted by yours truly.  ;-)

I have been asked by my viewers, some very interesting questions. With this blog, some (hopefully all) questions will be answered.

To start off, here are several questions I have been asked ( a lot)…

Q. #1 Viewers: “As a horror fan and Writer, what scares Siranna?”

*A. [ Siranna] “Reality. Many watch the News. I don’t. Not because I don’t care, because I do. But I also know I can’t change -what is. You see more negative reports than positive, of course sometimes it varies between the two, I agree but I am a positive person. Negativity drains my positive energy. I do pray for those I hear about or read about on Facebook , or other sites. I even pray for those who have done me wrong. ‘Why?’ Some ask. Because…      I am Siranna and that is what I do. I don’t need the News to know what sickness spreads through our society.

Q. #2 Viewers: “You dress Goth, do you have a preference in religion and are you religious?”

*A. [Siranna] “I am Goth/Christian. You should see the heads that explode with confusion when I tell people that, lol.  I am Goth, I dress Goth, although you may see me with a Marilyn Monroe shirt on and 80’s stylish jogging pants, or if I am relaxing at home, you may catch me wearing a Type O’ Negative T-shirt, Family Guy boxers and my Sylvester the cat slippers on.  I don’t dress according to “What the Media thinks”   Siranna is persuaded by her own opinion and own style of clothes. I dress according to the occasion.  As for the Christian part, just because I dress dark does not mean my heart is the same.

Nor does it mean I worship Satan, far from it! The black represents death, of the living and the passed. Representing the ones I love who have passed and those, I never met. We all were born into a beautiful dark world and have a dark side. Just some of us are better at expressing it. I do it through my Art and Writing.”

Q. #3 Viewers:  “What is your favorite horror movie?”

*A. [Siranna] “Gee, if I had a nickel for every time I was asked that one! It is so hard to answer that because growing up in the 80’s, I have been spoiled with fantastic horror films.  But I also love the classics, Bela Lugosi’s “Dracula” and the classic “Wolfman” with Lon Chaney. The list goes on and on.

Classic-Horor-Movie-Monsters-horror-movies-6019898-485-524

 

The easiest way to answer that question is I love anything “realistic”.  And the story has to interest me as well. I am picky when it comes to horror films. There has to be more than just gore.  And if you’re going to make a horror film- make it right. True horror fans pay attention (including me) to detail. I know the difference between fake blood and what I call “lazy” blood.  With horror films today, you are better off making your own horror film and making homemade blood than to watch what they release for “horror” films. I do have to give props to Rob Zombie’s films because he did fantastic with “Halloween”. Other than that, I fall asleep with anything else. The early 90’s had some good horror films but as of today… ‘yawn’ Unless you get Rick Baker or Tom Savini, now you’re talking fantastic work! They are Masters at what they do because it looks “real.” When my Brother introduced me to George Romero’s, “Dawn of the Dead” when I was younger,  it blew my mind! The effects were just amazing. So, anything realistic, and I am hooked!”

Q. #4 Viewers: “Do you believe in the paranormal? And have you had paranormal experiences?”

*A. [Siranna] “Yes. To both of those questions. A few times I have experienced the paranormal.  I remember, I was was around six years old. It was bedtime and after my parents had kissed me goodnight, I couldn’t fall a sleep but tried. When I opened my eyes I saw a silhouette of a man. Only it was a dark figure, shadow-like. No eyes, just a shadow. All I could do was stare. I closed my eyes hoping it would go away but when I opened them, the shadow was closer to the foot of my bed.  Just standing there.

"Shadow Man"
Not actual photo but similar to the shadow man Siranna saw that night.

I closed my eyes for the third time and called out for my Father, as he was always the Hero in my life. When I opened my eyes, he disappeared. I looked all around. Nothing. Never saw anything like that ever again.

Inspirations
Siranna at 6 years old and her Father in 1985

The second time, didn’t involve a ghost or silhouette but it was comforting and I must share. After my Father had passed from being hit by a plow truck in February 2000,  that summer a familiar ‘whistle’ was in the air. My Dad use to whistle to songs playing in his head and I know that whistle anywhere. I was standing out back on the patio at home. Feeling sad about my Father’s passing, it started out faint but then it came out clear. I heard that familiar whistling. I looked out into the wooded area, hoping to see something. No signs of my Dad but his whistle has comforted me and has helped me cope with his dead a little easier. I remember when he told me as a child, “I won’t be around forever. But just because you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I am not there.” He kept his promise. ;-)

My third experience, I was visiting family for a few days. After my visit, my ride came to pick me up. I grabbed my overnight bags and headed out the door. The next day I get a call from my brother & his girlfriend. My brother had asked me if I felt or sensed anything unusual last night before I left.  I asked why. Apparently a little girl wearing a dress with long pigtails had followed me from the front door to the car. I was alone, just me and my ride that night…but apparently I was not ;-) A ghost, in the form of a little girl felt the need to be at my side that night. Just wish I  knew how to help her. But I guess she wanted to help me with my overnight bags.”

Q. #5 Viewers: “How did you come up with the name, Siranna Bast?”

*A. [Siranna] “Actually, it wasn’t that easy and partially by mistake. For a while I knew I would need a professional name or pen name. I wanted it to be unique.  There is a story I have yet to finish and the main character’s name is ‘Siranna’. That name sort of just came to me. I liked it so well that I thought, “What the heck. I made it, I’ll use it.” As for ‘Bast’ growing up and to this day, I have a had a spiritual bond with cats. So, that being said, I use the name ‘Bast’ after the Egyptian Goddess.  I used Bast until I thought of something different but it sort of stuck with me and viewers dig the name. So, I kept it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastet

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Q. #6 Viewers: “How do you over come writer’s block and how long have you been writing?”

*A. [Siranna] “To over come writer’s block, I go for a walk, watch a movie or work on a different project. Writer’s block is a way of telling my brain, “Hey, you need a break!” This only happens to me when I work on a project for too long. I know how it is to ‘get in the zone’ once the ideas flow through your mind, but it’s important to take breaks too. Find something to do to help rest your mind for a bit. Otherwise, you may burn out your brain and that leads to frustration. As for writing, I started at the age of eleven. So, this year would make it twenty five years. But I started letter art before the age of eleven.”

Q. #7 Viewers: “What is a Font Designer or Specialist? Explain that profession.”

*A. [Siranna] ” I started learning basic cursive handwriting at the age of five. Kept practicing throughout the years and by high school I have various Font styles and Calligraphy designs.  The letters or (Fonts) you see on a computer when writing a document, like ‘Ariel’ or ‘New Courier’, with the combination of cursive, calligraphy and my own personal techniques, I design Fonts for the computer, computer graphics and on items such as journals, notebooks, stationary and practically anything with a surface.  I fell in love with the art of lettering and handwriting when I was a child. And because my work is unique from other Fonts and calligraphers, I earned the name, “Lady of Letters” and became a member of the Forte Film Entertainment as a Font Specialist. – Also Writer.

I don’t consider to be a pro or expert at what I do because I still challenge myself to  create newer styles and techniques with my letter art. – And there is always room for improvement. I see ‘specialist’ as a way of saying what I do is ‘special’ in it’s own unique way.

[Examples of your common Font styles already seen in a computer system: Photo Below]

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[Example of Siranna's Font Art. Photo Below]

(c) 2012
For a FB Fan, Larry Kaelin (c) 2012
(c) 2012
Created by Siranna Bast 2012 for Robert Paul Chaney FX Artist
(c)  2012
“Zombie Nation” created by Siranna Bast (Aka; Heidi Furlong) this was just an experiment with ‘blood spatter effects’ all done with, pencil and calligraphy markers.

Q. # 8 Viewers: “What do you write about?”

*A. [Siranna] “I write a little bit of everything. I started out writing mystery and ghost stories. Then onto fantasy, horror and science fiction then poetry. From there, Memoirs and Quotes. I started a few projects over the years, one called, “Poetic Dreams” a book full of random poems wrapped up into one big book. It contains Dark poetry, Inspirational and various genre selections.  “Visions” is another series of short stories. All were created by a single thought- or ‘scene’. I listen to music and certain verses from songs give me scene ideas- like out of  a movie. I take that scene and transform it into a short story. That is how “Duvessa And The Beast” was created.

Photography: Siranna Bast: Model: Siranna Bast
Photography: Siranna Bast: Model: Siranna Bast

“Duvessa and the Beast” is about a werewolf who falls in love with a very mysterious lady character. I can’t explain much more than that but the ending has a very unusual twist. The only genre I have yet worked on is Children’s stories. But eventually that will be another project. Like the photo above, I take my own photos and use them for my writing projects.  I live in the city now but once I have all of the necessary photos, “Duvessa and the Beast” will then be complete. I need more country-setting photos for “Duvessa and the Beast” and for some poems to add to my “Poetic Dreams” book. Where each poem will have it’s own  unique photo. I also study Etymology. I like to look up various names for my characters  to make my stories more distinctive. “Duvessa” is an Irish name and means; Dark Beauty.” Here is a link for your convenience.
**Read more: http://www.meaning-of-names.com/irish-names/duvessa.asp#ixzz388LHsDhg

Q. # 9 Viewer: “What inspires you to write?”

*A. [Siranna] “Life experiences, music, nightmares and my dreams.”

To learn more about Siranna and read samples of her work, you can visit her at http://www.facebook.com/ladybast1

Q. # 10 Viewer: “Have you been published? And if not, why?”

*A. [Siranna] ” Some people don’t understand that writing and art is much more than hobbies. I do it because it makes me happy. In the beginning, to get published was not a priority. Writing and art have been my outlets to escape the negativity in the world, plus, my therapy. It wasn’t until a few years back I decided to share my work with the public. Several years ago a few people stumbled across some of my writing samples including stories, quotes and letter art. They encouraged me to share my work to the public. I hesitated at first because I wasn’t seeking opinions from others, it my therapy since childhood and a part of me was not ready to share. But after given highly compliments of inspiration, I then thought about my parents and how they inspired me. It’s not that I was selfish, I just didn’t need feedback on what made me happy after all these years, but then, I had a change of heart. I shared some of my work and got positive feedback right away. The first time I got published, it was in the sixth grade. I was part of a reading group who created the story, “The Mystery Road.” I volunteered to be the writer for the group and added my own touches to the story. It became such a hit that the entire reading group (including myself) had our picture taken and we became an article in the Bangor Daily News. The headline for the newspaper had quite the touch as well. It read, “Stephen King, Watch Out!” It was then I knew what my heart desired. Published or not, I was meant to be a writer. However, I DO plan to publish which those updates will be posted to my Facebook page.

SB Photography Model: Lady Siranna 2014
SB Photography
Model: Lady Siranna 2014

I would like to thank all the friends and fans on my Facebook and on my About.Me.com website.

--
Lady Siranna
http://about.me/SirannaABast

I never would have thought I could inspire and touch the lives of others like I have. So many have supported my work and have been so dedicated. If I decided to never set foot on Facebook, I would have never met Kevin Forte and so many awesome people. Nor would have I had so many opportunities and offers to take my work further.  I would like to thank Kevin Forte, John Ginder, Briana Blair, Robert Paul Chaney and many others who have ‘encouraged’ and inspired me to put more of my work out there.  You all are radical! You can view these radical people by visiting me on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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