The Keeper Experience


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Variety is the spice of life apparently and, I have to say, I agree with that particular sentiment. You see, I’m always looking for new ways to bring a smile to the glorious faces of my readership and flat refuse to grow stale or, worse yet, predictable. Only yesterday, I scribed a piece called Four Failed Auditions & A Rogue Tampon and, if you’re wondering where the inspiration came for that little oddity, don’t ask as I may struggle to provide a bona fide answer. Horror was the common thread that brought us all together back in 2013 and continues to play a significant part in my work three years later. However, there are so many different ways to express oneself, and I’m always on the lookout for fresh and inventive ones. This article is intended as something of an introduction to those unfamiliar with the Grue and, for anyone who has undertaken this pilgrimage alongside me step for step, should serve as a reminder of some of our most incalculable moments together. Of course, links will be provided for any of the highlights discussed, and I aim to reveal a smattering of my own proudest achievements as Keeper of The Crimson Quill.


So there seems no better place to begin than with #Stalker. This was a social experiment from January, 2015 and inspired by The War of The Worlds. I was too young to ever fall for his cunning ploy but dug on the way that he fooled millions into believing that the planet was under imminent threat from extraterrestrials. What a prankster he was and I couldn’t resist trying my hand at similar trickery. That said, the world is a different place now to 1938 when it originally aired and it needed a fresh approach to work. Social networking came to my aid and Twitter, in particular, provided the ideal platform to pull the wool over a few eyes. With co-pilot by my side, I created a mock account and meticulously fashioned tweet after tweet to give the idea that my well-being was about to be soundly compromised. We engaged in back and forth banter on a live Twitter feed and each of these tweets were then captured and woven into an overarching piece. It worked a treat as many actually feared that my life was in danger and, while not in the habit of freaking folk out for my own sick amusement, I wanted this to be an experience unlike any other. I am immensely proud of #Stalker as it reminds us that there is far more to fiction than simply words on a screen and audience interaction is something I will always openly endorse.


Choose Your Destiny: The Challenge offered another example of my desire to operate outside of the box. I had recently scribed a three verse fiction sequence by the name of Bunker and it had proved popular so I decided to do something a little left-wing and throw it out for anyone who wished to pick up the baton. I have no intention of acting precious towards anything that I create as my mind is a veritable smorgasbord of design templates and I’m more than happy to donate for the greater good. I wrote an introduction to a tale that continued the story and left it wide open for interpretation. It fascinates me to see what picture another mind can paint and the results were more than encouraging. I may return to Bunker in due course and provide another outing but, in the meantime, look out for an upcoming piece of fiction called Plexus and I shall say no more at this point. Togetherness is key here as I have no intention of sitting atop a pedestal like some loser who believes his shit doesn’t stink. Gifts are far better shared and this can assist us all in breaking down those barriers. No boundaries, just infinite possibility.


I’m also looking to take this one step further and have written the prologue for a fiction sequence by the name of Sweepstake Massacre which I plan to unleash in due course. This promises to be one of my most intricate and interactive works as it involves placing virtual bets on the survival of its protagonists. Having grown up on a staple diet of slasher movies, I see huge potential in a scenario such as this, although no money will be required to change hands. It’s my way of involving my readership to such a degree that they have a vested interest in the safekeeping of their chosen pawns. Moreover, it proposes a comeback for a hulking juggernaut whose name, Olaf Lund, will be familiar with anyone who read my On Ice sequence. Think of a Sasquatch of sorts and you won’t be far off, although this particular yeti is decidedly mean-spirited and any demises spearheaded by him will be anything but hospitable. Like I said, audience involvement is critical to the Keeper experience. Sweepstake Massacre will provide a healthy dose of that and, should betting not be your bag, then I shall endeavor to tell a tale worthy of your time.


Anyone who knows me will be only too aware that I adore pushing the boundaries of good taste to the absolute hilt. The Vaginosaur sequence offers a prime example of my desire to disgust as it centers around a young lady with a rather gnarly set of fallopian gnashers. At the time of writing, I hadn’t watched Teeth, but I loved the concept and decided to give it a different spin. Amusingly, the title derived from a conversation I had with a loved one about vagina sores (don’t ask), and the grey matter soon put two and two together and came up with six. Vulgarity may well play a part in a piece of fiction such as this but I’m always looking to give it heart as turning stomachs is just one way of encouraging a reaction from your readership. Whorewolf trod similar boards and I guess we have Roger Corman to thank for such outrageous titles. Having grown up with his vast catalogue of B-movies, it was inevitable that a little of that would rub off eventually.


Critic was an article that simply had to emerge at some point as my pilgrimage began with film appraisals and I wished to enlighten my readership about what drove me to start in the first place. I loathe the term “review” and also have my gripes with numerous critics who believe they have the right to play God with another’s art. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel played a monumental role in my filmic upbringing and, while their opinions were often way off-kilter, I liked the fact that they adopted a different approach than other “critics” plying their trade at the time. My angle was soul and, the fact that I write autobiographically, means that I can supply a different vantage than those wastefully set in their ways. Ebert died in 2013, just as I was finding my voice, and I would like to think that he would approve of my heartfelt blathering. To be fair, it would likely end in heated debate, but friendly discussion is not something to be sniffed at. We all have our own subjective viewpoints and I’m not looking to be some Dalai Lama of movies. Just a regular guy who happens to adore film.

Corporation of One The Real Life


Poetry has never been my thing as I find it restrictive and far from my comfort zone. That said, I have been known to dabble on occasion and Bequeath may well be my proudest ever achievement as a scribe. Written in fifteen minutes, during a particularly dark hour in February, 2015 and left it in the capable hands of my dear friend AnnThraxx for further development. She then recruited the gloriously gifted Adam Ginsberg on narration duties and Sean Wilson for the all-important optical accompaniment. The result was off the chain and Ginsberg’s delivery of my prose was a thing of darkest beauty.


We collaborated a second time on Traumatique later that year which was a tribute to Emilie Flory’s Trauma Dolls and, once again, his sensational tongue helped elevate it to a whole new level. I am not averse to a spot of reading either and hope to implement this further in 2016 as my prose is designed to be delivered vocally and, with acting experience now under my belt, I feel the time is nearing to step things up some.


While everything I scribe is introspective to a degree, I am rarely more content than when working on essays that others may be able to relate to their own experience. The term “essay” seems so humdrum and reading should never become a chore so I look to spice things up in whatever way possible, ordinarily humor, and do away with monotony. Highlights here are numerous as I have explored many themes through introspection over the past three years but Attack of The Drones, Come Fly With Me, Snakes & Ladders, and Waiting To Die are four personal darlings that spring to mind instantly. The Articles link of the Rivers of Grue homepage contains a full A-Z of any single verse literature I have released and each link within is categorized accordingly for ease of navigation. There is no feeling finer than that of somebody else saying what you may always have thought, but not necessarily vocalized. Ultimately I just love locating that common ground and having a little fun with the formula while I’m at it. Indeed, audio and visuals are critical here to providing an experience that engages more than just the solitary sense.


Censorship is something that I have no desire to facilitate on the site and Keeper’s Grue Banquet is one such example of my disdain for setting boundaries. It also demonstrates my penchant for providing secret pleasures for the more inquisitive as it closes with a gallery, one of many tucked away at the foot of my literature, comprising numerous pictorials and gifs designed to sicken and appal respectfully. Crumbling Under Nightmarish Truth adopts a similar approach and tackles the dreaded C-word in the process. Those easily offended would be advised to give this one a wide berth, particular given the X-rated imagery at its tail-end. However, I am never looking to ruffle feathers and, while the naked form is something I will always celebrate openly, it has to be tasteful as, censorship or no censorship, my personal preference is for showcasing beauty in all its forms, not simply lowering the tone just to get a reaction. Okay, maybe just occasionally. Should you see Mature Content at the commencement of an article then, chances are, you may not wish to peruse in your workplace.


I have now scribed almost 600 film appraisals and understand that this is not everyone’s personal bag. However, each of them is tackled in a different manner from the last and, while some primarily talk shop, others tackle far more than surface topics. American Beauty digs way beneath the epidermis and was a massively personal endeavor for me, as it manages to prise a solitary tear from its Keeper each time I view it. Soon I shall release an appraisal for Leaving Las Vegas and this one resonates on a truly intimate level. Meanwhile, great works such as Pulp Fiction are tackled in a tongue that pays direct homage to its indisputable swagger and I’m always searching for a unique manner in which to celebrate such works. Look out for Deadpool on the horizon as this one is particularly avant-garde and anyone familiar with this glorious techno masterpiece may well dig the approach taken to heralding its majesty. No boundaries, just infinite possibilities to stray from the norm.


Spotlight articles are also commonplace on Rivers of Grue and I am never happier than when polishing another person’s tuba. Matt Horwich: Multiverse Surfer is an affectionate tribute to one of the finest individuals I have ever had the privilege of meeting and Emilie Flory: A Macabre Compulsion offers insight into the beautiful mind of one of the most gifted and unique souls ever to grace us with their presence. Likewise, Love Letter To Linnea pays respect to one of the true eighties scream queens, Linnea Quigley, The Amplas Effect honors a true personal hero of mine, the great John Amplas, and my allegiance to the cause of T.O.K has been demonstrated on too many occasions to tally.


The Orphan Killer link on the home page is stuffed to the gills with content, celebrating the wonders of this true independent slasher marvel. In the summer of 2014 I embarked on a seven-week quest to Los Angeles, during which time, I was involved in every facet of production with a marvellous group of like-minded souls whose sole desire was to make a kickass movie. I chronicled the entire shoot from action to cut and TOK Murder Crew: Walk of Life was my parting gesture. This shoot was a massive turning point to me and I trust that comes across through my prose.

kept_annthraxx_rivers_of_grue (3)

Written collaborations are something that I seldom take part in as it doesn’t suit my personal style of writing. That said, I am immensely proud of Kept which I wrote during the harsh winter of 2013 and was pretty much illegible before Annthraxx suggested she lend a hand in resurrecting it. I have dabbled from time to time and Masquerade will soon be upon us. This work of fiction is a joint effort with Phoenix Feiry and is currently reaching its conclusion.


While I would never say never, collaboration is not a pursuit I plan to explore again in the foreseeable as it goes against the way I choose to create. Off the cuff works best for me and I often have no idea where a story is headed at the offset. However, What’s In The Box? and The Last Waltz adopt an altogether different approach to team play as Emilie Flory embellishes said tales with her own optical flavor and this is set to continue with the aforementioned upcoming space horror fable Plexus. What interests me more than collaboration is empowerment for others to forge their own paths forward and take full ownership of the glorious results.


For The Sake of A Soul and Walking The Rose Trail are two examples of my positive mindset in action. Channeling inner turmoil into something of stark beauty has helped me through some of my darkest hours and I will always search for the silver lining in any given situation, no matter how hopeless that may appear at the time. I find pessimism incredibly unbecoming, outside of a dash of harmless sarcasm, and have no inclination towards peddling hatred or negativity as there is too much of that shit in the world already. Pieces such as the above are designed to resonate with each individual on an intimate level and be interpreted in whichever way suits you. However, one thing I will never be culpable of doing is launching personal attacks and, should anything be taken to heart, then I would suggest reading again from a fresh perspective. Ultimately, they are simply gifts. If one solitary person is touched, then it has never been in vain.


Anyhoots, I could rattle on all day, but will leave it there for the time being. For anyone new to the Grue, venture into any of the numerous rabbit holes on the site and a veritable wonderland awaits. I cannot promise that every piece will resonate as no two articles are the same and I cover a vast range of themes throughout. But I can guarantee this: I am an open book and will never impart anything less than 100% of my soul in anything I scribe. Every word is designed to count, each emotion showcased derives from my deepest vault, and honesty is paramount to the Keeper experience. For those of you who have kept the faith through my turbulent journey as a scribe, hold tight, as I will never stop believing that words can make a difference and will uphold this until my very last breath. Whether this entail tears, belly laughs, fear, arousal, or the encouragement of lunch paying an unforeseen revisit, I’ll forever keep on keeping. Of that you have my word.

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