March 28, 2015

Should Dracula Be Sexy?

As more and more books and movies are being made about vampires the one thing that has always made me wonder about the evolution of the monster.  

Why are vampires all of a sudden sexy? 

First and foremost, vampires are monsters. 
They are undead, feed off the living and commit murder. 

All points to call them monsters.  

Monsters we know to be are normally hideously ugly and live up to the title of monster. 

But Hollywood, and modern fiction, have taken this monster stigma away and given them flowing locks and toned bodies. 

If I was a vampire I would rather blend in with a crowd. Not be the hot one in tight leather being noticed by everyone. 

By making vampires eye appealing are we taking away some of their animal instinct? 

If women or men are drawn to a vampire because of their visual appearance this takes away the hunt. It is always referenced that "vampires hunt at night'. If the people are just throwing themselves at vampires the thrill of the chase is gone. We have just taken away one of the defining elements of being a vampire. 

In Interview With A Vampire the film with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, vampires had humans that ran about the day doing their daylight tasks and would be their source of food when they awoke.  
Or the television show True Blood. Sookie Stackhouse was more than willing to let Vampire Bill feed on her. Yes they were in a relationship, but the fact that is that a young woman was in a relationship with a vampire that has done some horrible things in his lifetime. Then lets him feed on her is beyond normal monster/human roles.   

No hunting. 

What about the ability to Mesmer? The ability to command others with their gaze. If the vampire is good looking is this talent not overkill? Having a talent to woo another with a look in your already dreamy eyes, that rest above your perfect nose, your soft lips and your dimpled chin seems irreverent. 

For an example just look at the way Bella Swan looks at Edward in the Twilight movies (spawned from the bestselling teen series by Stephenie Meyer). If Robert Pattison was really a vampire, people would line up at his door. 
No need for Mesmer. 

What does a vampire have left? 

The vampire doesn't need to hunt, food just walks up to you like delivery. And one of your cool super powers is really redundant. A vampire is no longer the top monster. Something not to be truly feared.  

They have gotten lazy as society has warped their story, warped their reason of being. 

What can we can we do to save the true essence of a vampire? 

Do we have to look back at some classics like Nosferatu from 1922? The last movie that depicted Dracula as the horrible beast he is, was Dracula in 1992. That's over 20 years of making the vampire into the hot package that he or she is today. 

I would like to see a proper monster movie that Dracula or vampires in general are their ghastly selves. Not of fangs that pop out like in True Blood or the wrinkled, predominant brow in the Buffy The Vampire/Angel television series.  

I would like to escape from the Team Edward/Team Jacob craze from Twilight. 

When I see a monster movie I would like to be truly fearful of the main character, not want to be his girlfriend. 

I tried to search vampire movies that are coming out this year. Atlanta Vampire Movie staring Chelsea Howard lands on Halloween of 2015. It's dubbed a comedy/horror. Meaning this is not the vampire movie that I am looking for. 

All in all, Hollywood you have disappointed a huge horror fan.  

I would like to see a film maker do the monster movie genre proud. Making a true vampire movie would draw huge crowd and be an instant hit, and let people remember there is a place, Transylvania, Romania. 

But who in Hollywood would be brave enough to take on a legend? To create a true vampire movie and not a reboot.  

All I have to say is when this hypothetical movie does get made I will be the first in line to buy a ticket. 

Until then, I guess the undead eye candy will have to do.

March 25, 2015

The City of Brasov, Romania

where is bran castle
Brasov and Bran Castle

Brasov, Romania is one of the largest cities in the country, and it is one of the many cities whose history is as unique as the land it is a part of.  

Due to its location close to Bran Castle, most tourists miss the gem of a city on their way to 'Dracula's Castle.'  Sadly they go to Bran Castle without knowing there is a a link to Vlad Tepes there as well.

Brasov, known by many as the city near bran Castle is in its own right a wonderful place to tour and to see.  it was known by many names, all roughly translated to 'crown city' the Germans who lived in the city called it Kronstadt, the Hungarians, call it Brasso. The most interesting is the medieval Latin which the city was referred to with two names: Brassovia and Corona.

the black church
The Black Church in Brasov
During the years of 1950-1960, Brasov was called Orasul Stalin, or Stalin city.  This is the only time where the city was named after a person, Joseph Stalin, although Kronstadt and Corona do mean Crown.  There are many books written about this city.

Brasov has a mixed population, but like many cities in Transylvania, and the ones which are closer to the south, Romanians make up 90% of the population, followed by Hungarian and Germans.  This is in keeping with the fact the Saxon population of Romania considered this city to be one of the 'seven cities.'

One of the highlights in the city is the Black Church, and many people have commented on its unique history in the city.  It was originally a Roman Catholic Church, known as the Church of Saint Mary.  After the Lutheran reformation, it became a Lutheran Church under the influence of Johannes Honter.  This was the focal point for many religious services in the city.

map of transylvania
Brasov county boarder what was Wallachia
Another important church in the city is the Romanian Orthodox Church- St. Nicholas.  It was built around the same time as the Black Church, in 1495, and would survive the fire of 1689, which would destroy much of Brasov.

This fire would not only destroy much of the growing town, but kill nearly 3,000 people, the fire was so powerful it would burn the "black church" thereby giving it its name.

The city of Brasov, was culturally very different in 1850 when there was only 21,000 people, and 40% of the population was German, and 40% was Romanian.  Over the years this would influence much of the area, as this would be a city where many cultural and economic enhancements would happen, particularly during the inter-war period.  After the war, there was the deportation of the German population to the Soviet Union, and many who would return would leave for Germany.

Before the fall of communism in Romania in 1989, Brasov was the home of the 1987 rebellion.  This would erode the confidence in Nicolae Ceausescu and his economic policies.  This was because during the time when Romania was a communist country, Brasov became a powerful industrial city, and this would lead to the rebellion due to the fact there was food rations and other cutbacks during this time.

The city of Brasov, Romania is historically important, and a place to visit as both a tourist and people who have roots in Transylvania or Romania.

March 21, 2015

Writing About Transylvania, Romania

I write, because I enjoy the process of writing, which is also the reason why I published a book. Writing about Transylvania, Romania, now that's a bit different.

writing with a pen
Writing about Transylvania
The most important part of my writing process is knowing I can create something that matters to people.  In this case, I was focused on what would work for my audience, Transylvania, Romania.  It's about knowing the history of the people, and the culture of the land. This is true when blogging or writing.

In a sense, Transylvania is unique because it is fairly peaceful given it has so many cultures which are a part of it history.  It is possible because it was part of a reasonably stable area of Europe in the 1800s and  the early 1900s.  As much as the area surrounding it was going through upheavals, notably the slow decay of the Ottoman Empire, because Transylvania was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary it was not faced with as much change.

One can write about Romania, and its history, but they would be incorrect in making the statement that Romania was a country before 1859- and then it was known as the United Principalities of Romania under the leadership of Alexandru Ioan Cuza.  He was not the king of Romania, but rather the prince or  Domnitor of this land.  Carol I would become this until 1881, when he became King of Romania.

Even with all this change, Transylvania and its population of people whose majority would be Romania in cultural origin, was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary.

While this gave the land stability, it did not give freedoms to the minorities of the area.  After 1919, it was a part of Romania.

This leads to challenges when writing about Transylvania, since much of it is oral history, and much of it is part ancient history.  It is a land where writing about Dracula is the most popular thing, and yet this area itself has no connection to Dracula, or rather Count Dracula.  It has a warlord who lived in Transylvania known as Vlad Tepes, whose life was the foundation of Stoker's novel.

Writing about Transylvania, Romania?

writing about history
Blogging and writing about Transylvania
There is not as much challenge if you want to write about travel.  There is a challenge when writing history because even in this small area, there is cultural history and even religious history which affected parts of the population and not others.

A good example is the effects of the Second World War.  Northern Transylvania became a part of Hungary, the Southern half stayed in Romania.  For the Germans, Romanians,Hungarians and Jews of these areas their history during this time was very different.

It is as true when blogging about this area, because one post can lead to people believing only a part of the history because of it.

March 17, 2015

Blogging About Transylvania, Romania

blogs and transylvania
Changes and blogs
Bloggers who write in a niche market such as Transylvania, Romania, want to have a blog which will stand the test of time, and be valuable long term. You want to get traffic from Google, or be seen by Google, but often that is a small problem in comparison to this. Blogs need to change and grow and build their audience, which is part of the reason why this blog is now about Transylvania, and Romania.

The truth is that this is still a niche market, and as much as people know about Transylvania, and its history, they know only parts.
There is also the challenge of continuing to blog, when the topic is hard to get information from, and you will need to do more research.  A blog post shouldn't be this challenging but it is.
You might start to write and then you get distracted, you have three or four book you might want to quote from, or have your blog topic in mind, but your can't find the right things to say.  In a sense, writing about Transylvania is easier than blogging about it.
A few things have helped me with how I can connect with the writing in me when I'm blogging about Transylvania, and how I can improve on the nature and the feel of a blog.
Set a Time: 
It's not about the time of day it's posted, but rather the fact you develop a rhythm and a passion for writing.  I could write about Dracula, but I'm not as passionate about this.  I can write about the churches of Transylvania, but some times, I'm not excited about these, or there isn't as much information to go on.
The important goal is to set a time where you simply blog.  It can be about the history of Transylvania, such as the fact it has only been a part of Romania since 1919.  Or, the fact that Hungary has had a profound influence on the politics of the region, and there is a large population who are culturally Hungarian.  It can be about the natural resources of Transylvania, where the Romans, when they were in Transylvania built the city of Alba Iulia because of the gold in the area.

Writing a blog takes passion:
I'm not a pop culture type of a writer, but I am passionate about some movies and Hotel Transylvania is one of them.  It's become a biota a passion for me, and I've begun to wonder if I am more interested in the history of Transylvania, or some of the fun cultural aspects of the area.

It takes passion to be blogging about Transylvania, since there is always a lot of new topics to explore.  For many, blogging is a means to expand their knowledge of the land and its people.  Part of a blog is to grow and to provide more information.

Blogging about Romania means there is an opportunity to expand and build and become more relevant, people know about Dracula, and they know about pop culture, and they are willing to learn about the history of the land if your passion can take a hold of them.

A blog, and a blog in a niche market requires commitment:

be better
Yesterday, now be better.
It's not as fun as blogging about blogs or making money, but it allows a writer to show more commitment, finding small facts and expanding on them, and creating a blog which is better for people to come and read.

It's about how a blog can grow when there is only so much information, but the simple addition of 'Romania' has expanded this- especially on this particular blog.  There are a lot more changes to come but it requires a lot of commitment to do this on the part of the writer.