The Wicked Library – You Can Be Always

Super excited about my latest piece of flash fiction! You Can Be Always is a Halloween themed piece, part of The Wicked Library’s Tricks and Treats Halloween collection. I’m proud to share this episode with many talented authors, both those I’m familiar with and those I’m not.

Tricks and Treats is an audio drama with 17 pieces of flash fiction told by a collection of phenomenal narrators, accompanied by awesome background music for ambiance!

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How I Found Horror

I’ve been doing some horror movie articles and reviews on my blog, and while I don’t do them as often as I’d like to (too many other projects to work on) I want to continue the process, and attempt to regulate it so that there’s some consistency to when I post them. That got me thinking about why I write them, how I discovered horror movies in the first place, and where and when I was exposed to some of my favorites.

Before setting a plan to post these articles I wanted to go back to the beginning, remember where it started, and how my obsession with horror grew. I wanted to know how and why I became a horror writer.

Exploring the past is difficult. Memories are faded, distorted, untrustworthy. But some clear pictures can be retrieved.

The first horror movie I ever saw was The Amityville Horror on TV when I was no older than 8 or so. There was one scene in particular that frightened me—the part when there are eyes staring in the window from outside in the darkness. I’ll always remember that first feeling of dread seeing that scene as a child. After that I saw The Exorcist. From then on, I was hooked.

Every time my parents took me to the grocery store they’d let me rent a movie (This was back when supermarkets still had video rental sections). I’d go for whatever had a cool picture or a horrible title. I had no idea which movies were good and which weren’t. I’d only seen the two, so I was dosed with random movies on a weekly basis. Some of the first movies I can remember renting were Dead Alive, The Ice Cream Man, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, Psycho Cop, Night of the Comet, Night of the Living Dead, The Fly, The Fly 2, The Gate, and many more.

None of those movies frightened me. I laughed through most of Evil Dead.

The only movie that scared me other than that one scene in The Amityville Horror was Fire in the Sky. I know it’s not technically a horror movie, but nothing before or since has ever actually scared me in a horror movie. When I saw that as a kid I slept with the lights and TV on for almost two weeks. Monsters, demons, killers; none of that bothered me. But aliens scared the hell out of me.

My love of horror led me to discover a book I’m sure most are familiar with. ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ by Alvin Schwartz. The artwork on the cover was what drew me to it. I read all three of those books with great enjoyment. And I even read them to my own kid as bedtime stories (Horror runs in my family—4 generations now). That led me to reading more horror, which ultimately brought me to the realization that I wanted to write things I hoped would be terrifying.

Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear what horror movies have scared you the most!

 

Progress in Reverse

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Sometimes progress isn’t going forward, but going in reverse. There are times when we must stop, back up, maybe even print out that manuscript and set it on fire. I wouldn’t recommend that last part, but hey, whatever works.

I’ve been struggling to write a story with a rapidly approaching deadline. My muse finally decided to arrive, but rather than fill my head with beautiful prose, I was motivated to delete the three pages it took me all week to trudge through.

The choice was difficult. I worked hard to write those three pages: I was getting closer to the required word count, the story was moving along, and it was leading where I ultimately wanted it to go. But it didn’t feel right. The character seemed to stumble wherever I put him. I was giving him bad ground to walk on.

Frustrated and in remorse of wasting a week’s work, I shook it off and kept at it. In one night I replaced those three pages with plenty more and my writing mojo is back in full swing. The character is walking through the story with ease, no longer tripped up by the events obstructing his reality.

I took three steps back and dashed forward with the speed of a raging (some creature I haven’t thought up yet).