My own (belated) Nanowrimo: Day 2, Part 2: “Annie, You’re Dead”

Yesterday I decided that since I skipped Nanowrimo, I would do my own Nanowrimo, over a month later.  I read that the purpose of the project was not only to write a novel, but to just put your ideas down and write, so you’re not overanalyzing what you’re writing, and kind of harboring your own inner genius that way.  I really liked that notion, because I struggle to write fiction.  “What if,” I thought, “I just sat down and wrote whatever words came to mind, without really pausing to consider?”  Yesterday, thus, the first installment of my prospective novel, “Annie, You’re Dead,” was posted on my blog.  Today I’m posting the second part.  I’m trying to write 1,700 words a day.

I didn’t provide any background, yesterday.  I have a friend, whose name I’ve changed.  She died two and a half years ago, though I won’t say why, because I hope that will be revealed later in the story.  I used to have dreams of her coming back to life to hang out with me, so I decided to change those dreams into a novel.  I can’t say this is the result, exactly, because this will, I’m sure, require a lot of revision.  This, thus, is the early byproduct of those dreams.  Today is my second day of writing.  Here is the first part of the to-be-novel, from Day One. Continue reading “My own (belated) Nanowrimo: Day 2, Part 2: “Annie, You’re Dead””

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My own (belated) Nanowrimo: Day 2, Part 2: “Annie, You’re Dead”

The Blue Man – Or, This is Not a Horror Story

True to the title of my piece, this is not a horror story.  Although, what I see now that I didn’t see when things like this happened was just how much my friend and I wanted it to be a horror story, how much we enacted the things that we read in our Fear Street books and our horror movies, and made the world of horror come alive, if, simultaneously, to our delight and our chagrin.  Again, this is not a horror story.  This is a childhood memory – a childhood memory I share on an overcast day in early November, when my frenetic, two-and-a-half-month mania has dwindled and I’ve suddenly fallen into this shifting state that fluctuates between focused, positive energy and complete depression and self-loathing.  This is not a horror story—at least, I hadn’t intended it to be so.  But, maybe it will turn out that way as I keep writing.  One never can predict the end of the story, after all—or, at least, I can’t—when one’s merely writing the beginning.  Continue reading “The Blue Man – Or, This is Not a Horror Story”

The Blue Man – Or, This is Not a Horror Story

Confronting the Other: Contemplating District 9

District 9 5Ridley Scott once asserted that if another life form came to visit earth, it’d be best to flee immediately, because the life form’s intentions assuredly wouldn’t be good.  One the one hand, this premise seems contestable, like a sort of specie-ism that naturally pits “all against all” and relies on a narrative of innate hostility, in which the alien “other” is necessarily a dangerous, malicious being.  On the other hand, it would, presumably, be a long journey from the unknown planet to earth, and what might motivations for that journey be?  Far be it for us to assume extra-terrestrial intentions would necessarily be negative, but one can see how Scott’s line of reasoning is defensible.  I watched District 9 last night and, I think, it situates itself with a bit of ambivalence, but mostly on one side of the narrative.  District 9 suggests that an extra-terrestrial “other” who arrives on earth need only be hostile if we make them so, and even then, perhaps the alien-other isn’t as hostile as those skulking around the next corner, waiting to mercilessly obliterate him or her. Continue reading “Confronting the Other: Contemplating District 9”

Confronting the Other: Contemplating District 9

Early Encounters, Part I: The Horror of Bloody Mary

Mirror Ghost OneA year ago on my blog, I began a series called “My First Fright” which sought to examine the things that scare us most when we’re children, to re-situate us in those moments when we first encountered feelings of fear.  Upon consideration, it has occurred to me that a first fright, or a first confrontation with the feeling of fear, can be, and often is, much different than a first encounter with something – a story, experience, movie, and so forth – that may typically be considered part of the horror genre.  While I may have experienced fear listening to the dreaded chipmunk song or watching Large Marge’s face contort during Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, those horrifying moments were far different than early moments I faced that constituted my first encounter with horror.  And while I can’t decide, with certainty, what qualifies a work or a story for membership in the horror pantheon, and what my definitive first-horror moment is, I very much recall hearing the story of the formidable Bloody Mary, the violent mirror witch-ghost, for the first time.  To that end, I’ll delight in re-living my first encounters with the Bloody Mary myth, and how she partially initiated me into the genre during my early years of childhood. Continue reading “Early Encounters, Part I: The Horror of Bloody Mary”

Early Encounters, Part I: The Horror of Bloody Mary

Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books

By Michael J. Miller

Locke & Key 1
Photo Credit – IDW Publishing

This is a special post for a few reasons.  First, as someone who’s loved reading comic books and delighting to the adventures of superheroes since 1986; Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, and Jay Fotos’ Locke & Key is THE FIRST REAL HORROR COMIC I’ve ever read.  I broke brand new genre ground here and it was…an experience.  Second, this series came highly recommended by Nancy (half of the awesome twosome Nancy & Kathleen who run the wonderfully geektastic comic blog Graphic Novelty²).  Locke & Key is one of Nancy’s all-time favorites and she’s been urging me to read it for ages.  I made a lot of excuses because, well I can be a baby with horror stuff sometimes :).  But I did it!  Lastly, this is special because regular readers will notice Kalie’s been super busy with her PhD work of late so, sadly, that means less time for her to write new content.  I decided to write this guest post for her today in celebration of our three year anniversary.  Yep, three years ago today was the day we first met!  Awwww…let’s mark this special occasion by talking about the gruesome, macabre, and haunting tale of the Locke family shall we?? Continue reading “Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books”

Locke & Key and Horror Comic Books

A Very Deadpool Nightmare on Elm Street

with Michael Miller

Well, Michael and I sat down to write our second genre mash-up.  Instead of placing the original Ghostbusters in The Shining’s Overlook Hotel, we chose to work with the hugely popular, always hilarious Deadpool and placed him in the dreams of Nancy Thompson, main character of Nightmare on Elm Street, to help banish the infamous Freddy Krueger.  We have yet to determine what our third series installment will be, but since this was, again, very fun to write, we’re very much planning on creating more!  If you’d like to check out our first genre mash-up on The Shining and The Ghosbusters, feel free!

Continue reading “A Very Deadpool Nightmare on Elm Street”

A Very Deadpool Nightmare on Elm Street

The Just Dread-Full Poetry Corner: Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s “The Witch”

witch poem 5
Preparation for the Witch’s Sabbath: D. Vivant-Denon

I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to analyze poetry on this blog, especially since one famous Edgar Allen Poe made macabre poetry so popular.  (By the way, stay tuned for an examination of some Poe poems to come this summer).  Still, I held fast to films, with the occasional graphic novel, short story review, or miscellaneous essay.  Then, one fateful Wednesday evening during my second semester of PhD course work, my Victorian literature professor assigned a thick chunk of lesser-known female poetry from the Victorian Era to read.  There is, to be sure, an entire world of often unacknowledged brilliance in my Victorian Women Poets anthology, but one work, about the depths of evil shrouded in complete innocence, struck me as particularly apropos for this blog.  We have Mary Elizabeth Coleridge, great grand-niece of renowned Romantic-era poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, to thank for this subtle work of unnerving literature, an 1896 poem entitled “The Witch.” Continue reading “The Just Dread-Full Poetry Corner: Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s “The Witch””

The Just Dread-Full Poetry Corner: Mary Elizabeth Coleridge’s “The Witch”