Archive for November, 2012

Smoking Outside

smokey witchGood Morning my darklings.  There’s a new rule at my house.  If I want to smoke, I have to go outside.  I think my husband is trying to make me quit and given that it’s 26 degrees outside, the smoking in the morning at least has slowed down.  But there is the fact that I did have office jobs before and it wasn’t like we could smoke in there so I’m used to inhaling a cigarette quickly when it’s cold.  Not like I haven’t done it before. 🙂

But there are a few things that I like about going outside to smoke at night or especially in the morning even when there’s ice on all the cars.  It’s very quiet and it’s too cold to let the kids come out so I have time to think about what I want to write.  And then there’s the moon and stars to look at which just makes me think about writing even more.  I can watch the shadows and wonder what could be hiding in them or form from them.  The sounds, or really lack of them, that only come when the houses around me are all still asleep.  I was actually thinking about this blog while I was out there earlier.  And I was outside freezing in the cold waiting for my daughter’s bus when the idea for Brimstone Blues came to me.

My favorite thing, though, it when there’s a bright moon.  I love the shadows it casts on everything.  I can’t do it anymore because we’ve moved, but in our old house, the moon would shine right into our bedroom windows.  I would open the blinds, especially if my husband was on night work, and let the moon shine into the room and I would feel so safe and comfortable surrounded by the blue for some reason.  It was comforting like the first time in spring when you can sleep with the windows open or you can listen to the soft patter of a gentle rain storm.  Silly, right?  I’d stay awake to watch the shadows move across the room and, since I write paranormal/dark fantasy, I would compose in my head how my characters would notice the moon.  How beautiful and unending the moon was even if there was some dire situation, even if they only noticed it for a moment.  Or how the moon was so bright they could find their way through a forest, or see the enemy or fear that a hiding place would be easily discovered as if by a spotlight of radiance.  Does the moon effect their powers?  Are they stronger night then they would be in the day?  And, of course, vampires aren’t coming out unless the moon is in the sky.  There are no daytime, sparkling vampires in what I write. lol


One Line of a Song

Good morning my lovelies.  Music plays a large part in the inspiration of my writing process.  Just as much as reading or having something happen in my life that I can twist into my story.  I’m pretty sure it does for a lot of you as well.  Even when I’m working at a normal office job, my style of music is always playing to help me survive the day.  I was a bookkeeper and had to handle literally millions of dollars without the benefit of a computer.  I did it all in one of those old time, huge ledger books with the yellowed pages.  Panic could set in very quickly when numbers didn’t match up and it was only me and a calculator to figure it out.  lol  Not that that matters anymore.  It was a long time ago now.  Housewifing and writing are my jobs now. 🙂

Anyway, my point was music.  Or really one line of a song from the band Metric that I think touches on me, my characters and writing.  The line is:  Nothing I’ve ever done right, Happened on the safe side.  Writing isn’t safe.  You pour words onto a page and hope that someone somewhere loves them but risk that rejection.  I can only speak for fiction since that’s what I write, but we put our beloved characters in some tight situations, pit them against nasty and powerful adversaries and occasionally we have to let one go for the plot.  That’s not easy to do after we’ve created them and made them real people to us.  I don’t think I’ve ever completely offed a good guy, bad guys, sure, but I think the worst I’ve ever done to a main character is have things not work out for him or her.  I wrote a horror story once that ended with a demon gone, but the possessed girl insane and a priest quitting the priesthood to seek out and kill them man who had sent the demon to the girl in the first place.

The group in the book I’m working on now are about to have a run in with the big bad guy of this novel.  I can honestly say I’d never want to run into him in a dark alley.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  My characters are properly powered but not knowledgeable enough to deal with this situation without some damage.  I don’t know how it’s going to work out because I don’t usually plan ahead as I write.  That may be the least safe thing I do with my writing (besides editing because I’m not great at that lol).  I don’t go by an outline.  Sometimes I’m not ever sure how it’s going to end.  I just write until it’s finished and all the most of the loose ends are tied up, just in case another idea pops into my head for another book to go with the Brimstone Blues and this one, which I’m calling A Familiar Nightmare.

But I don’t mind any of that stuff because I love to write and that’s just how I do it.  And when I get stuck, because it will happen, I’ll have some music to lead me through my dead spell and back whether it’s safe for me and my characters or not.

Good morning darklings.  I’ll admit that I’m not nearly as impressive as the witch in the picture who seems to have a lot of everything under control, but I’m proud to say that with all my whinning about time and stuff to do, I actually got a little of everything done.  Some things more than others.  Unfortunately, cleaning was one of them but I just can’t write or do spells when the house is a wreck around me.  It’s hard enough to concentrate with just the kids around me.  Hell, it’s hard to concentrate when it’s just me and my attention span of a gnat. lol

So, after the cleaning, I’ve managed to write a chapter and a half roughly, order some Christmas presents, do two spells and make a charm bag.  Of course, when you have a bunch of kids running around, the cleaning part comes everyday.  Mine are especially messy because, well, I’m really messy too I guess. 🙂

But the good news is that it’s Sunday and this happens to be a day work at the firehouse for my husband.  So I’ve got a bunch of time to do stuff.  Then when he comes home and steals the television for football, the kids will probably scatter to their rooms (which they’ll mess up again), when he starts hollering at the television and I’ll get to sit here and write without anyone taking notice that I’m not around.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to watch football.  I just like writing better and my husband likes to watch football alone so he can scream at the television.  Like I’m a weirdo for talking to a horror movie and it’s normal for him to talk to the players.  They’re not going to hear him anymore than the stupid boy/girl who thinks the best place to hide out from whatever monster/demon/ghost whatever is in the basement. 🙂

Anyway the point is to keep getting some of everything done.  So if I get my butt off of here I can maybe accomplish getting a little more of everything done and have free time to write to my heart’s content by late afternoon.  That sounds like a plan.

Good morning my lovely darklings.  We have now officially moved into the madness of the Christmas season.  ‘Tis the time that I will probably be forced to hide away my weirder things to make room for the normal the rest of the family likes so much.  It’s for the kids really so I don’t mind it too much for a little while and I have to admit I do like the way a dark room looks when lit only by the lights of a decorated tree.  I don’t see why the lighted strands of skulls, bats or ghosts can’t be used though.  Maybe I can talk the family into a Nightmare Before Christmas themed Christmas. 🙂

Anyway, the point is, how much does the holiday season really cut into your writing time?  Is it the same or do mad runs to over crowded, too hot malls with kids screaming everywhere kind of suck the inspiration out of you too?  I guess I shouldn’t complain too much since I was once one of those kids crying about sitting on Santa’s lap.  It goes back to my fear of clowns, I think.  Easter Bunny costumes are a no-no by the way too.

But you spend all your time searching on-line for the right gift, braving the malls, going to the grocery store and moving your schedule around for school Christmas parties.  We’ve got firemen in our family so sometimes they’re working, sometimes they’re not, sometimes their schedules are opposite and you have to find a way to fit Christmas day somewhere actually in Christmas Day.  And practically the whole time I’m just wishing that I could be home at my computer writing something.

Maybe I should set up some kind of reward system for myself.  For every Christmas activity that I accomplish, I get an hour on my book.  That would probably keep me from my normal procrastination.  I could still get some writing done while I’m working on it and then be done early enough that between decorating and buying presents and then getting ready for however we’re going to have to schedule Christmas dinner this year, I won’t have anything to do but my normal stuff and write.  Now it’s a matter of sticking to the plan.  Do any of you have ways of dealing or do you just give up for a month and recharge?  Maybe your ideas would work better for me than mine and I can borrow them if you don’t mind.  🙂

Friday’s Witch

Good morning my darklings.  I hope everyone got their tummy’s stuffed yesterday.  I know I did and I’m still paying for it in cleanup, you know pre, post and post-post cleanup?  I’m in the post-post stage thank goodness.  And good luck to those of you who headed out into the cold for Black Friday.  I did that once and that was enough for me to learn my lesson to never do it again.

Fridays have a different meaning for me though.  As weird or morbid as I am, I’m still one of those people who is in love with love.  I adore the feeling of leaning into my husband and feeling like there’s nothing better in the world than his arms even after more than a decade.  I still love his kisses and looking in his eyes.  I’m one of those suckers who for better or worse, really meant it forever.  And if you want to cast a love spell, to spice things up, to stabilize things when they’re a little rocky or if you want to try to draw your soul mate to you, dream of him, enchant or entice the one you’re with, Friday’s your go to day.

A love spell can be worked any day of the week but certain days are best for working certain spells.  Friday is ruled by the planet Venus and we all know Venus was the Goddess of love so it only makes sense love spells.  When I want to plead with my Muse, I go for another day but that’s a different story. 🙂   So today I think will be some love spells.  Little gentle ones just for the cause of making an over tired man remember he’s still in love and maybe one other I found that was interesting and will finally give me a chance to use some of my graveyard dirt. 🙂  And, last, but not least, my love charm bag.  I need to make a new one with a little more focus and detail.  I’m always thinking about my husband when I make them, but magic has its own agenda sometimes, especially if you’re not specific enough.  I went for some oomph on that one too and got a lot of attention I wasn’t looking for.  This time I’ll go for simple yet slightly intense.  Hopefully the occult store I go to will be have some Black Friday sales too. 🙂

A post like this might seem odd for a writer, I guess, but it’s my blog so I can write what I want, right?  And when someone reads a short story, or eventually one of my books, even though I may have taken some liberties with the practice and how things really work, they’ll know that I actually do know what I’m talking about.  🙂





Tired Writer

Good morning darklings.  I have a lot to write about but I’m a tired writer today.  Not for my book exactly, but for my blog.  There hasn’t been much writing getting done because I’m having a hard time fitting it in with my mongrels off of school all week and things like 3 parent/teacher conferences today.  Thanksgiving is at my house now and looming which means extra cleaning.

That does not mean the story isn’t moving forward in my head though.  I’m at least 3/4 of a chapter ahead of what I have and if I don’t get some of it down soon, my head might explode like something out of the movie Scanners.  I’m even dreaming about it.  If that’s not my characters telling me to get off my butt and write something, I don’t know what is.  I understand.  I’d hate to be stuck in the same scene on page while the story is racing along somewhere else, especially when almost everyone is in place and things are getting ready to happen.

I can see me ending up like this guy over there in the picture.  I’ll have a cigarette dangling out of my mouth, my eyes bugging out behind my glasses as try to make my fingers keep up with what’s in my head with as few typos as possible, funneling coffee into myself like human fuel.  The kind of sad thing is that I can’t wait to get there.  And I’m afraid that once I finally get a chance to have a chunk of time large enough to write instead of blog, that the words won’t come because I’ve been holding it all in so long.  So this blog is serving two purposes for me today.  One, it’s my blog, lol, and, two, I’m trying to loosen the hold I have one the story so it will flow when I’m ready.  I just hope it doesn’t flow out of my ears. lol

I’ll have to power through these meetings, pay attention and not wander off into my little world.  That’s hard for me on a regular day but put me in a school, even now, and my mind reverts to, What else can I think about while I’m stuck here?  If we didn’t have to sit in alphabetical order, I was always the girl in the back corner either closest to the door for escape or the window so I could look out.  But today, I feel half in my book already.  This is for the kids though and their only 20 minutes a piece, which still adds up to at least an hour in school, most of the meeting run over so you have to wait so it takes longer.  So wish me luck that I can stay focused and get home so I can write.  I may have to just break it down into chunks of writing to get it done even though I just want some silence and time alone with my characters.  Maybe a nice Pixar movie when we finally get home will do the trick.  That should be about 90 minutes of free time.  Free time that should be spent doing something else, but will be spent doing what makes me happy.

Ode to The Prince of Darkness

Good morning gothlings.  Today is about one of my most favorite horror movies, The Prince of Darkness.  Yesterday I got my hands on the latest issue of Rue Morgue with the talented and missed Donald Pleasence in his role as The Priest.  If I hadn’t seen that from the corner of my eye, I may have not even noticed the magazine sitting there, spotlighting The Prince of Darkness with an excellent interview with John Carpenter, you know the guy who did The Thing and Halloween?

The Prince of Darkness came out when I was about 9 and the way you became possessed was if the huge vial that contained the liquid form of the Prince squirted you or one who had been squirted got you.  I can remember going to bed and being afraid my mouth would open up just enough that some of that evil liquid could get in my mouth. lol

It is a scary movie.  There’s the building sense of dread that what’s containing the Prince is obviously opening and he has power over street people, led by no other than Alice Cooper,  who surround the church awaiting him and thus trapping the people inside the church to wait and see what happens once he’s out and how many of them get turned or just bite it.  There’s the synth music that adds so much as it does in The Thing.  It’s there, working on your nerves and you barely notice it’s happening.  But there’s science in the movie too and I think that was the downfall.  Critics didn’t take the movie and see it as a frightening possibility of the end of the world and the horrors going on in and outside the church.  They just ripped it apart for being, I guess baseless uppity science-y horror with no backing.  There is a branch of science which Carpenter uses in the film and melds together with religion and horror.  I couldn’t write something like that.  Could they?  Could you?  I could do the horror aspect, maybe touch on religion to make my horror work but not all three.

And the ending, even though I’ve seen the movie countless times and I know what’s coming, am actually seeing it in my head as I write this, still scares the crap out of me.  The scariest parts to me are the messages that come from the future, but I won’t go into that for those of you who haven’t seen the movie and might be a little inspired to watch it now.  I have two horror movies waiting for me today.  Insidious, which I’ve already seen but is worth a second look and Back from Hell which is a new movie, as in new and new to me.

You may find this weird, or maybe not if you read my blog at all regularly, I find it easier to clean and do laundry when there’s a horror movie playing in the background.  🙂  It gives me a reason to rush so I don’t miss anything good.  So anyway, here’s to a happy 25th birthday to an excellent, yet underrated childhood favorite.  May it hit cult classic. 🙂

Starting Again

Good morning my gothlings.  I’m on time today, or at least, my time which never really seems to match anyone else’s.  Always late or early, never just on time.  You should see me in the morning trying to write this and get everyone ready.  Not pretty.  Anyway, I’m sliding away from the point, yet another thing I do.

If you happened to read my Halloween blogs about the strange things I’ve done or that have happened to me, you might have read the first one about three ghosts I believe I have in my house.  That’s why I picked the picture of the ghost girl.  If her hair was dark, she was in my hallway and had her brother beside her, that would be her.  If you never read it, I’ve only seen her once without the boy.  I’m guessing it’s her brother the way he stays protectively with her.  That was the longest I’ve seen her.  Her reflection was behind me in the my bedroom mirror but when I turned around, she was gone.

The boy and the dark shadow thing, I haven’t seen for a while and nothing has happened until recently.  Bruises and scratches from nowhere are starting to show up again.  Before though, they were on my shoulders, legs, stomach or back.  Now the bruises are on my arms and the scratches aren’t long, they’re small and on my hands.  These scratches heal faster than the others, of course maybe hands just heal faster.  I don’t know.

But the night I saw the girl in my bedroom mirror, we’d hired a babysitter and my husband and I were going out.  In the mirror it looked like she was beside me but by the bed, watching me get ready to go out like any other little girl would do.  I used to watch my mom get ready all the time.  And now I’ve been writing a lot more.  The story has been picking up speed in my head and I’ve got to keep up with it before I lose any details.  I’m not so preoccupied with the uninvited spirits that had decided to go quiet after Halloween.  I thought maybe once the veil between the living and the dead closed, they went away.  But now I’m wondering if they’ve just been quiet or if the little girl just stayed here with a family with three kids around what age appears to be.  I’m beginning to wonder if I have a jealous little girl ghost who doesn’t like me spending so much typing and not so much time trying to figure her out.  Or maybe I’m crazy.  Okay, I’m a little crazy but that’s not the kind of crazy I’m talking about. 🙂

Meant To Be

Good afternoon my darklings.  I know I’m later than usual but I had things to take care of and I’m here now.  I woke up this morning to a Nightmare on Elm Street.  Not a bad way to start the day.  But I wondered, not for the first time, about my love for horror movies.  From the time I was little until this point, and I can’t imagine it ever ending, ghost stories, haunted houses, disturbing books and anything that would scare me have drawn me to them.  Just like being a writer has always been what I’ve been drawn to express myself, and freaky, weird imagination.

I actually remember when my brother an aunt rented the VHS version of the original Nightmare and I begged them to let me watch it too but of course they wouldn’t let me because I was too young.  But here I am now, married to a man whose gave me the last Krueger, a horror movie Icon.  And I’m a writer.  So was it meant to be?  All of this?  Can your destined path be set for you when you’re so young?  I think it was.

Maybe my path was just set on a long road of nightmarish, dark fantasy beginnings that are waiting for their endings so I can start the path again, only a little further down the way this time.