Trendsetter to Know: S. Elizabeth

Name: I write under S. Elizabeth, but those first initial monikers are awkward, right? I mean, what do you do with that? Let’s not make it weird. Call me Sarah.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mlleghoul 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ghoulnextdoor 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ghoulnextdoor/ 

Website: https://unquietthings.com/ 

Age:  I’m going to totally misquote Fernando Pessoa on this one and just say “I’ve been me for a long time.”

Title: My titles on social media would suggest I’m a Frou Frou Fantôme & Frill Seeker & Goth Radish. What does any of that mean? Who knows? I’m also an author/blogger. 

Married/Single: I’ve got a fabulous partner.

Kids: None, no thanks!

City you live in: Bikers and NASCAR fans and Spring Breakers, oh my!

A typical day in my life includes ridiculously early intense pre-dawn reading, distracted  reading during 10-minute telephone hold-times with my bank or internet provider, furtive reading in the middle of Zoom meetings, ill-mannered reading at the dinner table, etc, etc. My days all look very different, but they typically include as much reading as I can possibly jam in there

I was born… to an astrologer in the wee hours of the morning in a town I can no longer find on the map.

My favorite thing about Arizona …believe it or not, a sushi restaurant I went to in 2002 or so, called Sushi Kee. It was the best sushi I ever had! I wonder if they are still around…

I’m listening to… Beyond the Mirror’s Image by Dream Division. If your ideal sonic soundscape is traversing a long, dark nightmarish hallway that is simultaneously echoing and reverberating with the sounds of 70s Italian horror scores, 80s slashers, dark synth, and 70s prog rock, I think you are going to really dig Beyond the Mirror’s Image.

My family… is very small. In the past few years, I’ve lost my mother, my aunt, and all of my grandparents. It is just my sisters and me now, and it’s strange and a little scary to think there are no adults around anymore and all of the big decisions are up to us. I mean obviously, we have been adults for quite some time now, but somehow it never really feels like that!

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be my grandparents. They practically raised my sisters and I and took great care to ensure we had everything we needed. I would love to have the opportunity to prepare one last meal for them to tell them how much I appreciated their love and dedication to us. 

One thing I cannot live without …if you recall my question about my typical day, I think this is an easy one! BOOKS. Now and forever.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer. Though I had a brief fling with the idea of wanting to be a marine biologist? Growing up in Florida, internalized a lot of Sea World advertising, I guess!

I’m inspired by so many people! Artists and writers and creators who make their dreams manifest is my go-to answer, but honestly, right now in the times we find ourselves in, anyone who gets out of bed in the morning, and puts one foot in front of the other over the course of the day is a champion if you ask me. 

The one person who motivates me is…I can’t pick one! I’ll go with two: my sisters. One is a librarian who is fiercely dedicated to her profession and the standards she sets for herself within that context (and everything else, really!) and the other is a mental health counselor in a school district that needs all the help it can get, and I have never seen a soul more dedicated and empathetic to the needs of her students and their families.

Here is a thing about me. A few years ago I created a wildly popular thing called Skeletor is Love, about a megalomaniacal cartoon villain on a mental health journey. It was inspired by my sister.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be to endow everyone with greater gifts of empathy. I can think of so many specific issues that need addressing, but humans possessing more empathetic hearts would be an ideal place to begin with regard to probably 100% of those problems.

The perfect day would be… breakfast reading with bagels, dinner reading with sushi, and in between, time spent with my loved ones.  

My first job was…at a fast-food restaurant when I was 14. Thirty years later, I STILL dream about that place!

My favorite escape…a well-loved book. There are not many books I will read more than once. There are maybe four. Dracula and Rebecca, as well as Heidi and Harriet the Spy. Ha, I know! They couldn’t be more different! But they all provide such wonderful escapes for me!

Alternately, I love to lose myself in art. Gazing at an artwork, researching an artist or their inspirations or the various techniques used—I become utterly enrapt! I am not an artist myself, but I sure do love to take it all in.

My life…is exactly where it needs to be.

I’m currently working on I’ve got a few interviews in the works with various contemporary artists whose works were included in The Art of the Occult, and you’ll be able to see those on my personal blog in the near future. I also write for a gothic lifestyle blog called Haute Macabre, and I’m always sharing reviews and interviews over there.

Oh, and this is the year I started my YouTube channel! I love to peek in on people’s lives and see them go about their days but YouTube seems to have a marked dearth of individuals that I felt I could relate to. “Why not be the weird you wish to see in the world?” I thought. And so I started my own channel for this purpose!

Always tell the people you love and admire how much they mean to you, how much they’ve inspired you, how marvelous you think they are.

Never drench your French fries in ketchup. Dip them in the ketchup, people! Or better, use mustard. Or mayo. Or honey. Whatever! Actually, never use ketchup at all. It’s really, really gross.

Favorite Quote…“The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own”—Fernando Pessoa

Biggest Dream…I might say that I’ve achieved it with the publication of The Art of the Occult…but I think the biggest dream would be to write book no.2!

My Pet Peeve(s)…Hoo boy…you might not want to get me started on this. But it has to do with people sharing art and imagery on the internet or social media and not bothering to credit the artist.

Blog content across all platforms runs rampant with imagery shared out of context, sans artist credit or relevant source data (and no, I’m sorry, but “sourced from Pinterest” does not count!) I guess it must be hard to believe that artists as creative beings actually exist, right? Artists deserve credit for their work, and the more their art is shared, sans context or credit or creator, the harder it is to eventually find all of these pieces again.

Sooner or later, it’s lost entirely. Digital Archivist, Digital Curator, and Art Consultant Samantha Levin shared with me, “As [image curation websites] disappear or change over time, we’re looking at losing our history,” and I think it is more important than ever that we bolster and keep alive this conversation and the push-back at this lazy lack of artist sourcing and citing, and the responsibility of giving credit where credit is due. 



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