Monday, June 18, 2018

WHEN THE FAMILIAR BECOMES TERRIFYING


I think that's what the basis of Stephen King's genius was, turning horror on its head. Showing us the familiar can be fraught with nightmares!

Salem's Lot: No need to go to Translyvania for a good bloody dose of vampires. No! They come to a town that looks familiar, a town you kind of 'know.'

You start to wonder about that. About some monstrous being arriving on the proverbial doorstep. Your mind spins off into all sorts of directions as you think monsters can be anywhere! They can be on the train you take late at night. Perhaps in the last car. When will they come forward?

Creep comes to mind. A young woman finds herself locked in London's Underground Tube Station late at night. There are some horrific goings on there and the worst nightmare she can imagine.

I do remember an earlier film than Creep though. Death Line or Raw Meat (US). The gist of this grisly horror flick was there were cannibals existing on London's Underground.

Frankly this film was more horrifying (I thought) than Creep. A very interesting film if you haven't seen it.

The idea of something being out there, something dangerous, lethal--horrific is horrifying. And when it can be in your town or city it is terrifying.

Vampires next door? Zombies waiting to get you as you walk your dog. Maybe they're hiding in the back of the car. That's right check the rear view mirror now!

Creatures like Pinhead might be lurking in the washroom at work. And let me tell you if you ever pulled a night shift in a hospital or hotel it's damned scary and if you are a horror fan your imagination might cause you to think of some horrible things!

pinhead photo: pinhead pinhead3.jpg
Is there something under the bed in an empty hosptial room, waiting for you? Are you sure those are security guards and not zombies?

I think the fear of something lying in wait for us within our own environment is the most terrifying nightmare I can imagine.

But, hey! That's silly, right? You never would think twice about opening a closet or turning the lamp off and going to sleep. You didn't really hear anything outside your door. It's the house settling.
That's right, just go to sleep.  
HAPPY DREAMS!         


Monday, June 11, 2018

New Writers, Some Good Advice!




I was inspired to do this post. Please read the source of the inspiration: ORGANIZATION AND THE 500 CLUB

It's the best advice I've seen in a long time for new writers. Each step in the journey to getting your work out there is a challenge. Just writing for yourself, no matter how good you are isn't going to get your name out there.

What the post suggests, is to write 500 words of first draft quality--in other words 500 words that are nearly good enough to submit. Not 500 words that aren't up to that.

I am finally, after two years of zero, getting 1k-2k words daily that go into my work in progress. When I first tried to get back on my feet following my husband's death, which was about a year and a half later, I found I not only couldn't write, I found whatever I did, I had to nap after 20 minutes on my laptop. I was exhausted.

Being new to writing, is also difficult. A person builds up to it. The more you work at it, the more proficient you will be and the more likely to achieve your goals. Forget about rejection, that comes later, but!!! there is acceptance too!

Go for it, writers! Try the 500 words, get into the habit and don't deviate. You'll get there!
Best of luck!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Horror, Murder And Madness, Prophyrias Lover


I think we can find horror in the least likely of places. There is great darkness in Robert Browning’s Porphyria’s Lover. It is a tale of madness and murder; a tale offering so many interpretations it will obsess you!

One important note: porphyria is a disease but it was not identified as such when the poem was written.

Robert Browning wrote one particular poem that I find to be haunting! It is not only a work of dark beauty, it is also a puzzlement, you turn it one way in your search to unlock its awful secrets and just when you think you’ve solved it, you discover another explanation for its meaning, all of them valid.

Some background:

Porphyria’s Lover is a poem that was first published as "Porphyria" in the January 1836 issue of Monthly Repository. A possible inspiration for the poem is John Wilson's "Extracts from Gosschen's Diary", which is based on a lurid account of a murder published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1818. Browning's friend and fellow poet Bryan Procter acknowledged basing his 1820 "Marcian Colonna" on it, but added a new detail; after the murder, the killer sits up all night with his victim.

You will see that in this poem as well! Excited? Well, here we go:

Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning:

The rain set early in tonight,

The sullen wind was soon awake,

It tore the elm-tops down for spite,

And did its worst to vex the lake:

I listened with heart fit to break.

When glided in Porphyria; straight

She shut the cold out and the storm,

And kneeled and made the cheerless grate

Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;

Which done, she rose, and from her form

Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,

And laid her soiled gloves by, untied

Her hat and let the damp hair fall,

And, last, she sat down by my side

And called me. When no voice replied,

She put my arm about her waist,

And made her smooth white shoulder bare,

And all her yellow hair displaced,

And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,

And spread, o'er all, her yellow hair,

Murmuring how she loved me — she

Too weak, for all her heart's endeavor,

To set its struggling passion free

From pride, and vainer ties dissever,

And give herself to me forever.

But passion sometimes would prevail,

Nor could tonight's gay feast restrain

A sudden thought of one so pale

For love of her, and all in vain:

So, she was come through wind and rain.

Be sure I looked up at her eyes

Happy and proud; at last I knew

Porphyria worshiped me: surprise

Made my heart swell, and still it grew

While I debated what to do.

That moment she was mine, mine, fair,

Perfectly pure and good: I found

A thing to do, and all her hair

In one long yellow string I wound

Three times her little throat around,

And strangled her. No pain felt she;

I am quite sure she felt no pain.

As a shut bud that holds a bee,

I warily opened her lids: again

Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

And I untightened next the tress

About her neck; her cheek once more

Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:

I propped her head up as before,

Only, this time my shoulder bore

Her head, which droops upon it still:

The smiling rosy little head,

So glad it has its utmost will,

That all it scorned at once is fled,

And I, its love, am gained instead!

Porphyra’s love: she guessed not how

Her darling one wish would be heard.

And thus we sit together now,

And all night long we have not stirred,
And yet God has not said a word!


I don’t know about you but I find the poem dark and deeply disturbing.

The themes I see are madness and murder, the death by strangulation of a beautiful young girl by her deranged lover.

The gist:

There is a storm raging and Porphyria comes into the room where there isn’t even a fire.

Her lover has been sitting there, what in the cold? And if so why?

She sits down next to him and speaks to him although he doesn’t answer her, I see her as then trying to play up to him a bit by putting his arm about her waist.

She bares her shoulder; she then snuggles up to him so that his cheek is on her hair.

He knows she is his and just at that moment he strangles her, carefully assuring the reader that she felt no pain and that she smiled.

R for rationalization, I say!

He goes on to tell us she never cried out! Hard to I think when one is being strangled.

He further tells us she felt no pain but then qualifies it. "I am quite sure she felt no pain."

I imagine him possibly also thinking: “At least I hope she had no pain...”

He’s killed her, she’s dead so what does he do?

He opens her blue eyes and is pleased ‘they don’t look ‘strained.’ He then spreads her hair about her neck and gives her a ‘burning kiss’ (?!)

Charming!

He then goes on to tell us he props her head up and lets it rest on his shoulder.

And if this isn’t weird enough he lets us know that he sits with her corpse.

But it’s all okay apparently because ‘...God has not said a word!’

Please read:

I warily oped her lids: again

Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.

And I untightened next the tress

About her neck; her cheek once more

Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:

I propped her head up as before,

Only, this time my shoulder bore

Her head, which droops upon it still:

The smiling rosy little head,

So glad it has its utmost will,

That all it scorned at once is fled,

And I, its love, am gained instead!

Porphyria's love: she guessed not how

Her darling one wish would be heard.

And thus we sit together now,

And all night long we have not stirred,

And yet God has not said a word!

I mean I like to think of myself being as religious as the next person but what does Porphyria’s lover think, does he really believe God would have made his displeasure known by telling him?

It may be of some interest to know that in Browning’s My Last Duchess a woman is also killed by the man who loves her.

Pardon my glibness but I wonder what Elizabeth Barrett Browning thought of these works.

I do agree that there are many valid interpretations; I however feel that Browning was writing about a madman who rationalized the murder of his lover.

He does this powerfully having us witness all of it through the murderer’s eyes. I find that very moving indeed to see what Porphyria’s lover saw, from his own point of view.

I also then see a deliberate choice by Browning to call the poem, Porhyria'sLOVER as it is her lover who extinguished her life, motivated by his own mad reasoning.

So in essence, Bronwning, I think, has us witness the murder of a beautiful young girl who might have only chosen to love the wrong man. A man who after killing her is still so drawn to her, so obsessed by her that he sits with her corpse by his side, unable or unwilling to let her go!

One wonders just when he does let her go.

I do not see an end to this poem either, but a terrible continuation because somehow in my writer’s imagination I see him sitting there still, in a cold, darkened room for there is no longer a fire—chilled but happy to be near his long-dead Porphyria.

But along with this I hear the sound of a battering ram. I hear too the wood splitting apart as the door is being broken down and the terrible secret of Porphyria’s Lover is about to be revealed!

 (the end)! 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

SO HOW'S THE BOOK COMING!



Firstly, I had to put this image in beecause I hate auto correct! I particularly hate it on Facebook! Ever write to someone and all of a sudden a moronic thing comes up that turns the person's name into some group or page! Okay, that aside, today's post!

SO, HOW'S THE BOOK COMING!

Well, it wanted to fly in, you know, to save time, but the airports were crowded. So, instead  it is taking a train. Of course, it does like to drive, but only if it's a scenic route. On the other hand, I did have a book that came by rowboat once, no outboard motor or anything!

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, HOW IS THE BOOK COMING?
DID YOU EVER TRY TO WRITE ONE!

Seriously, books tend to come when they darn well feel like it. They're a great deal like cats. My cat comes or doesn't according to her own wishes. She's her own woman and nothing I can say will change that.

I am working on something that I like. Liking what I'm writing is crucial. I open up the files and might cringe--but that's until I get going. Something takes over. I think of it as my work having a voice and telling me off or praising me. STICK TO IT, DON'T SLACKEN. AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES, DON'T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING, LIKE THE MULE GOING BLIND, THE WEATHER, IF I GAINED WEIGHT, LOST SOME, OR WHAT I SHOULD MAKE FOR DINNER.
DON'T THINK ABOUT PEOPLE I KNOW, THAT WISH I DIDN'T KNOW OR THOSE I'D LIKE TO KNOW, BUT DON'T!

I used to just sit down at the laptop every day and write. I am finally back to that. And that's good.

I've read widely over the past year, different sort of books, and what I've read has influenced me. No horror for me, I went through enough when I lost my husband.

What I'm writing is giving me pleasure because it's different. A lot of it is funny, poignant and special I think. It will appeal, hopefully to a certain target readership. In other words, I'm writing a book I'd have wanted very much to read! Yes! I finally understand what that means and I'm one of the readers that is interested in this particular genre. Here I go!

SO NOW TELL ME, HOW'S YOUR BOOK COMING ALONG!  JUST KIDDING!
:)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

HOW TO BE TICKED OFF!



Just checked on a group I'm in for book promotion, only allowed to advertise your book ON THE RELEASE DAY! Holy moly! Vot good is dot???? I was first published 7 years ago so each of my seven books had one release day! That's terrible! It precludes promotion of a special offer. I get them periodically, scheduled by  my publisher.

I've been in this group for years! Just don't post there. I'll probably leave, as any published author will agree, I am sure, that one release day does not constitute a marketing strategy. I would feel just as happy to jump off a tall building than to wait for a book to be finished so I can put up a link there. I am writing a book now, and it's taking long as I'm still recovering from a life-changing loss. Heck! I had two releases of already finished books when my husband died. Those were the two releases! Oh cripes! I missed my chance! Darn it! There is nothing I can do about it.

Pardon the sarcasm but it really is called for. I think I'll write a book about sarcasm! Should also have bits of irony.

One questions the motives of a group like that. Could it be hostility against authors in general, published that is.

Oh! And by the way, the group IS NOT CALLED NEW RELEASES, I guess because that would have made sense.

See ya!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Time is Precious



You know what? We don't have all the time in the world. I learned that over the past two and half years. But because I was wrapped up with my own grief, I didn't look beyond that,  I wasn't able to really. I have only in the past few months, surfaced as it were. I'm seeing things clearly and differently.

For example, a dear friend of mine and so many others, passed away this last Christmas. He ran a page on Facebook for me and the page became his. He was Dorien Grey, a very talented musician and the best admin one could ask for. He supported me when my husband passed suddenly. He was the sort of person we need more of.

Now, I just found out, someone I wasn't in contact with for quite some time, passed away. It shook me! We shouldn't lose touch with people. But we do, we're busy, distracted--wrapped up in ourselves, often for unavoidable reasons. I barely knew this person. I'm sorry I didn't know him better, he was trying to make a difference--people say that but he really was.

Sadly, we operate in our own little bubbles, oblivous sometimes to what's happening around us. We should at least poke our heads out once in a while to check on things, because the proverbial curtain falls and people are gone forever. Life throws us nasty curves sometimes. If you don't think so, I hope you get a little smarter.

Don't put off things, do them! Every minute we have is precious. Enjoy things now, before they become memories to be dusted off in the future.

With love

Friday, April 27, 2018

Every Day Horrors


Did you ever stop and think about the routine horrors you endure? Waiting at the bus stop and the driver doesn't stop, but sees you and the other mortified, but powerless victims, alongside you?

I always imagine they are laughing as they do that, perhaps pounding the steering wheel with mad glee as well. Those people are nuts and sadly, psychopaths make up a small percentage of the popuation. They might never kill but...they are nuts! As in different, with their own agenda.

There are also people that are odd, that are friendly and not friendly, depending on their mood. I dislike people like that, especially when there's no reason to be like that. I've grown a thicker skin and find things that bothered me no longer do, they make me laugh, if anything, because the moody blue people are so predictable.

I used to really care about people liking me but when I suffered a profound loss, I changed. I knew I would, friends said I would and I did.


Someone once said, 'don't audition for the people that don't like you.' I listened and stopped. Now I dance for those that like me and care about me.

You can't make people like you and even if you could, why would you?!

***
p.s. I have a promotion Fri and Saturday!
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