Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good will and good wishes

To every one of every faith, Happy Holidays, whatever you may celebrate. May next year be fruitful and good. Enjoy your families, revel in love and be merry for this is a season of joy. Let all matters go and love one another because love is a universal language. One that will never die.

Peace & Love, to every one...

~E

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow falls and Good People...

It snowed here yesterday. I had an adventure. Busy stuff.

I went Christmas shopping, for though I am an Atheist, I still celebrate holidays for my own reasons. Christmas is, for me, a time of charity and being with family, for appreciation of the year passed by. My children and husband are not Atheists, I do not impose my belief systems on them, and this celebration of togetherness gives us good holidays. So anyway, I was in the middle of my final bits of Christmas shopping. It had started snowing a little when I got there, nothing big... what we folks in West Virginia call "a snowflake an acre".

I shopped for about an hour and was heading from one part of the store to the next, from toys to clothes as it were, and passed by the entry doors.

Holy sheep shit, there was three inches of snow out there! I hurried through the rest of my shopping and checked out. We headed home.

Now, I live a good 30-45 minutes from the nearest city. I live in the country and the small towns nearby are lucky to have a gas station. So shopping days are hours long trips. I left the store at about 4:00 p.m.

Our little car crept through the snow and slush covered roads, through bumper to bumper traffic, slipping this way and that. Between the city and my house, there are five mountains to crest. Oh yeah. Fun.

We start up the first mountain, and at the steepest part our little car started spinning. And not moving.

Now, I'm a strong willed, strong minded woman. But I'm not possessed of much physical strength. I can carry an arm load of wood or a fifty pound bag of potatoes, but beyond that... that's what guys are for.

We were stuck, with a line of traffic behind us. So, I got out and started pushing the car. My husband was with me and he got out to push too. We got to the top and hopped in the car.

Got stuck on the second mountain, we pushed it uphill again. We were barely getting the car to go. I'm pushing with all I have, cars trying to pass by us on roads now covered with six inches of snow. Snow and ice pelting into my face, me with no gloves and my jacket hood full of ice. My husband is to my left. I slide and hit my head and shoulder on the back hatch (the shoulder has a nicely sore bruise for my troubles). Then, someone is at my right and he says, "We'll get you up to the top. I'll help." I look over at him and a teenage boy, couldn't be more than 13-15 years old, in nothing but a sweatshirt hoodie, starts helping push the car. Once it got going good, I told him to go back to his car and get warm, with my thanks. He nodded and lagged behind. Crested the top, on we go.

Third one, stuck again. I got out and started pushing. (My brother was driving us in his car. I can't drive and my car needs an alternator. My husband's car needs a windshield and back glass, thanks to some vandalism. Doesn't something like that always happen near the holidays?) The car takes off faster than we expected and we couldn't catch up. Knowing my brother would wait at the top of the hill for us, we start walking.

An SUV stops in the middle of traffic and asks if we need a ride to catch up with our car. They saw us pushing it, knew we'd been left behind. The hill still had better than half a mile to the top and they say we'll freeze. We accept, more than grateful, because I was freezing, wet, my fingers and feet going numb. They drive us up to the top and offer to follow us through the next few mountains--they were going the same direction we are. We say thank you and go to our own vehicle with them following behind.

Ass holes abound and pass the people following us. With no four wheel drive, we have to keep moving just to keep moving. We start up the next mountain and get stuck, yet again. Damn it!

We get out, start pushing again. A man pulls to the side and helps my husband push from the back while I push from the open passenger door. A volunteer fire department worker turns on his emergency lights and also helps push from the back. This is the next to last hill. Only one to go; if we can just get over this one, we're home free. The snow is up to seven inches.

We get going again, and faster this time. My husband, the man helping him push and the fireman all fall back, but we can't stop. It's not too far from the top. I get in and at the little knoll just before the crest of the hill, we slide again. And I'm the only one to push the car.

Knowing it's a front wheel drive, I open the passenger door and start pushing. It was slow going, I'm only one small woman, but I got it up to the top. By this time, I'm shaking all over and even with the heater on full blast, I can't get warm. We wait for my husband to catch up and on we go. My brother says fuck this and takes the next hill, which has a nice flat and straight stretch before the ascent, at high speed for nearly eight inches of snow. This time, we don't have to push.

We finally get to our little one lane road and start in. But where we live, in a little valley between two huge mountains, we get drifts from both sides. There's over a foot of snow in front of us and it flies up over the windshield. We can't see. The little car won't make it. We can't get any further than maybe 50 feet from the turn off. We're stuck and no amount of pushing would make the car go.

Neighbors come by in their big truck and offer to help us get the car to the side where it wouldn't get hit by other drivers, and to take us and our things home.

What should have been a thirty to forty minute drive turned out to be more than 5 hours. We didn't get home until nearly ten o'clock. It was an adventure, but I don't want another like it in the near future.

But for those who helped us out, you have my gratitude. There are still good people in the world. I knew not a single one of those that helped us, but they helped anyway. They didn't have to. Four people who were strangers to me, thought enough of me and my family to help when they didn't have to. They deserve to be told about. These are a rare type of people in today's society. Out of hundreds of vehicles that passed us, only those four bothered. There should be more people like these in the world.

Hopefully, someone will read this and decide to be.

Peace & Love, y'all
~E

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Children Are Marvels (A pondering of boys and their antics)

Trouble is unavoidable most times; it always seems to find one at some point or another.

What about my children? All we can do with our kids is hope they listen, but let me say I make it hard for them to avoid knowing what they do. I make a point to show my kids what they are doing to someone else when they act selfishly. I'll tell my sons to look at their sister, who is crying over some silly spat between them... and then I ask them how angry they would be if someone else made her cry that way. Then I ask them what gives them the right to make her cry that way. I'm not going to coddle my children into yet another bunch of self-indulgent nothings. I don't just require that they grow up. I require that they grow up right. It doesn't matter. Let them be hurt by their actions. Let them know the consequences. Point them right to it and say "Stand up and take what you get."

I'm not talking about punishments. Those are more for atonement than anything. They have to know what the hell it is that makes it wrong, not just that it is! I'm talking about teaching responsibility and a sense of right and wrong. And how my boys make me ponder how the hell I can make a lesson out of some of the fantastic crap they do.

As mothers, parents in general, it's so easy to say, "Not my child." Oh man, I've wanted to. I've wanted to not believe something my son has done at school, trust me. A food fight in the middle of the office, with another little girl's project (made out of cake!!) was something I'd have never dreamed I would be getting a call from the principal about. I was dumbfounded, I mean... I could see either of my boys getting into a fight. A fist-fight. But a food fight baffled me. I never thought my child, at the age of 10, would throw food when he was already in detention in the first place.

I wanted to say No way. I think I even asked the principal if she was kidding me.

So my son was suspended from school. He did chores throughout the day and made up his classwork. I made him write an essay about respecting others (destroying another kid's project, which counted as 5 grades, was unreal.). I wondered what made him think that would possibly be an okay thing to do.

Then I thought about it. It was fun at the time. Daring. He's 10. He could be doing worse things than throwing a cake.

But no matter how hard I tried to justify it, it came back to the same thing. My boy was out of line and I didn't go easy on him. I made his life miserable with grounding for two solid weeks and didn't let up. He didn't talk once on the phone, he didn't have his DS or his computer or his ipod shuffle. A 10 year old's version of hell, according to him.

Still, a week before Thanksgiving, the boy tries to piss on two other kids.

So am I doing something wrong? I start to doubt my methods.

But it's consistency. It's sticking to my guns. So, another grounding with extra chores for the entire week. Lecture... yawn. The kid ain't listening, y'all.

So I'm tripping. My son's behavior is progressively worse, I'm out of my head trying to find what will work for him.

But like my personality, my rules, and just good morals in general, are set in stone.

I fully believe in there being shame involved in consequences.

I hear people say, "You shouldn't shame your child, it'll damage their self image."

You got to be kidding me. If my child causes hurt in another, I am ashamed of them. So much used to depend on a good family name and now that it doesn't, what is it? What have we gained from cutting shame out of how we raise kids? They should be ashamed of themselves for even behaving that way.

A world without shame will be a scary motherfucking place. You watch and see.

I'd rather teach my child to be shameful of wrongs done and actually be sorry when they do so... than raise men and women that will never be sorry for anything they do in their whole lives. There is so much hurt going around already, I want my kids to be remorseful when they add more. I want them to give a damn about others. I do.

I dunno about other people, but I don't think compassion is a bad trait for anyone. If I can instill this in my kids, I'll die a happy woman someday. If I manage to make my three kids into caring, humble people, aware of their own self worth without giving up their sense of right and wrong... I'll even throw a party when I go.

So I ask my son, "What's going on with you? You're acting like a hellion."

His universal answer is always "I dunno."

Yay me. Another battle won, y'all! I'm getting somewhere--he's not shrugging and rolling his eyes anymore.

Me: Why are you trying to pee on people?

Him: I wasn't.

Me: You were caught with your doodle in your hand and aiming, son, I don't think it was a mistake.

Him: I was just goofing around.

Hmm...

Pause for reaction y'all. Epiphany forthcoming.

I'm over reacting, maybe. He was goofing around with a couple friends. He still shouldn't do it, but my kid isn't losing his mind. He's just getting into mischief.

Him: They put some on my shirt, Mom. It's gross.

And the boy opens his mouth!

See, he wasn't goofing around. He was actually going to urinate on those two boys. As if, by some mysterious thing, balance would be restored by him pissing on them.

For fuck's sake. How am I supposed to point out to him what pissing on someone would do to the ones on the receiving end? I mean, I'm not going to invite him to do so just to teach him what he needs to learn?

This is one of those wonderful times I just have to let it ride with punishment. You got to pick your battles too.

I totally got off track and have no idea what I was talking about, so I'm done. But yeah... there you go.

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On the mill...

I have another story up at the Piker Press!

This one is short--not very long at all at 700 words or so. But, it delves into grief and guilt, and maybe even responsibility. I guess that depends on your point of view.

That's all I got. I don't blog nearly often enough, but I try when I have the time. But for now...

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Emerald Tales Special Edition Now Available!

Emerald Tales newest issue, the special edition of "Masks (Appearances Can Be Deceiving)" is now available for purchase from Scribblers and Ink Spillers LLC in both electronic and print formats. My poem, "Terrible Beauty" is included in this edition, the sci-fi, horror, fantasy special, and costs 5 US dollars. Subscriptions can also be purchased for 24 US dollars. International subscriptions are a bit more. Be sure you get Volume 1 Spec. 2, as that's the one I'm in. Of course, if you want more, buy more!! I'm sure Diana (owner and editor) won't mind a bit.

You can stay up to date on what's happening at Scribblers on Diana's blog:

The Scribbling Sea Sprite!

Stay tuned, more poetry and fiction will be available from me this month. More updates to come.

But for now,

Peace & Love, y'all!
~E.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween... and fall is almost over!

It's that time, y'all. I promised pictures of my little slice of America and here they are.

So, what kind of spooky things have I for you? Well, they aren't all spooky and scary, in fact none really are to me, but you know how that is. I'm jaded. So... first up is the fallen log.



I love downed trees. Especially ones that have fallen naturally. I like the moss that grows on them, I like how they almost always look like they are telling a story.

This one is not far from my house, out in the booger woods maybe seven miles from me. I just love how it looks. It makes me wonder how many kids have walked across it to get to the bigger trees on the opposite bank so they could swing on the vines in those trees.

I just love it.


So now, fall foliage! My area has gorgeous autumns... most years. This year we had an odd thing happen with the leaves and since it wasn't as beautiful as it normally is, I wanted to share how strange it was instead.

First, the leaves started falling before the trees actually changed colors. Odd yes, but not unheard of.

This little country back road goes nowhere--literally, it starts off the side of the main road and goes on for a mile or two, then stops. It leads to nothing but more woods.

What like about this little stretch of road is that you never, ever see any vehicles on it, but it still doesn't overgrow. ot that there aren't any vehicles that go down there, but really, why would they? There's nowhere to go.




So what's up next?



Ah! Tree roots that just make me giggle. These things are all over the place. When you live in the mountains, you get used to seeing tree roots that have grown above ground, usually on the side of a steep incline on a mountain. These kinda look like teeth, I think, but my imagination has artistic license here. I'm sure they don't really look that way to other people.

Foliage!!!!


After the first leaves fell, we got a little gold and yellow, but it wasn't special like most years. Most autumns around here are fan-fucking-tastic. But, with all the rains we've had and the strange weather of this summer and fall, I guess it just wasn't going to happen.

I got cheated, I tell ya!

There are some colorful pics in here, but there aren't many. You shall see, I promise.

This is down the road a stretch from my house.




And this thing is a tree.

Or was, anyway.

Just a rotted tree stump but I dig it. It sets my imagination going.

Wonder why things rot the way they do? Why they make those different shapes and such. It's wild, that's for sure.

Anyone else think that this looks like the perfect place for a mouse to live? I don't know why, but I just think it looks like a mouse house.

Nothing really special, but you know.





AND LOOK AT THIS!!!





It's a frigging headless grasshopper!



Technically, anyway. The head is laying beside the body, completely separated. I just had to include it.









Remember earlier when I said some leaves fell before the trees turned? Well, here's some turnage, but it's nothing great. A little gold, a little orange. This is the view from my kitchen window.

And just as the trees did turn to the brighter colors I know and love (like to the left here)... they all fell off. Like, within two days of fully changing color.

I.

Was.

PISSED!

I love walking through the woods when the trees are gold and maroon. But instead.





I got one color, then another.



Instead...



THIS IS ALL I GOT!!

By the time the maroons came out, there was no trace left of the incredible golds and oranges that are normally there.

That sucks!


And this....


This is the house next door. It's up the hill from my house and when I was a kid, my best friend and her family lived there. I've slept in that house and yes, it was creepy and scary. It still is.


Of course, it didn't look quite this bad when I was a kid. So, I've watched this house go from being a family home to an abandoned house, to a falling down wreck. And is it haunted, you want to know?

Yes. It's always been haunted that I know of. Way back when, in the beginnings of the 1900's, a young mother died in the upstairs giving birth to her youngest, and fourth, son. Five years later, her oldest son (by then he was 16) murdered his father on the front porch with an axe. I've actually heard the woman talk upstairs, and my friend's mother said she could feel people get in bed with her, but you know.






Sorry about the slight glare and bad quality of the photo. I took it from a moving vehicle.

Just trees and mountains. More colorful leaves!!!















Both pictures, same tree. On the left is from early July.

















The right is from last week.









It's wild seeing how much a few months can change something.


And lastly, vines that look like a giant spider. I love these... they're just too neat.



Oh... and before I forget. I had, repeat, HAD pictures of the old graveyard up the road. But, with my old pc going on to that big motherboard in the sky, I no longer have them. I'll have to replace them and share, along with the story of the graveyard.

So anyway, that's it. That's fall around my place. Hopefully next year will be a bit brighter and I can show y'all how beautiful it truly gets around here. Oh... and...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New story up at the Piker Press

Hey everyone.

Go read my story, TEDDY, available now at the Piker Press. Also, a big thank you to the managing editor, Sand Pilarski, for being her. She's a great person to work with, easy going and just does an all around bang up job over at Piker.

So, that's my update. More to come soon--I'm working hard on the photos for Halloween. Coming at you soon!

Peace & Love, y'all.
~E.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Coming soon to... well, my blog.

Okay, so this is a blog post about an upcoming blog post.

Yeah.

I'm just giving everyone notice ahead of time that on Halloween, my blog will explode with all sorts of beautiful, creepy, wicked and spooky things. I've been traveling around my home and surrounding areas for about a month and a half now, taking pictures of all the fall foliage, as well as some of the stranger things I've run across, creepy places, odd natural formations that look somber and macabre. I'm just having fun with it.

You, my friends, will have the pleasure of seeing the little things that fascinate me and set my mind on fire. I'll be sharing these pictures with you, as well as some of the funny stories behind them or explanations of what they are etc. on October 31st, 2009--Halloween!

So, keep that in mind and check back on Halloween. It'll be good. (I hope!)

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Friday, October 2, 2009

To revisit an old work?

Okay, so work on the current novel has all but stopped. When you only manage thirty words in two days, after a long silence on that front, it's time to give it up--at least for a while. It's that thirty thousand word wall. Sometimes, it takes a bit to scale it and climb down the other side. I will get there. I just need time away from the current work in progress. I'm causing a brain freeze with it, so it's time to step away.

What to do with my time, other than writing short stories?

Well, I'm going to revisit my short novel, The Seventh Sister. The story is actually a knock-your-socks-off kind of tale. I just haven't bothered to perfect it yet because it's only fifty thousand words (roughly). One person has read this book, my friend Angel Rose Darke. I sent it to her a while back. Well, I'm thinking it may need some revising. Why?

Although the story is there, it still needs some polish. I wrote The Seventh Sister last year after I completed The Spider. By the time it was done, I was so deep into editing The Spider that Sister got left in the lurch. The fact that I hacked The Spider to pieces and turned it into something not even publishable by a Kindergartner's standards is beside the point. It's time to go back and see what Sister is all about and what needs doing with it.

Hopefully, there's not much.

Knowing me, it needs a total rewrite.

But, I'm happy to go back to it. I like the story, as all writers should with their own work, but this novel is one of my favorites by me (Funnily enough, I'm the only person who has read all of my novels, so I'm biased heh) and I think it deserves some attention. At last.

But for now...

Peace & Love, y'all.
~E.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Should I or Shouldn't I?

I've had a couple of people tell me "you really shouldn't say this or that on your blog in that way" for different reasons. To that, I say...

I am who I am and I will not pander to anyone for anything. I like me, for the most part. I'm not hard to get along with, I'm not snide or rude. I'm sarcastic and firm in my opinions, but that doesn't mean I feel others should see only my side. I'm comfortable with the fact that some people will not agree with me.

One comment here on my blog, said by a friend with only my best interest at heart, said I shouldn't say something because it might make me seem hard to work with. Well, I'm not hard to work with if people are reasonable. And talking about a personal thing (not even with someone in the writing field as it were) that bothered me, and would bother anyone in that situation, shouldn't effect how an editor or publisher should see me. If that one, tiny bit out of everything else on here is a deal breaker, then so be it.

I am who I am.

Why must we pander to others to be considered easy going? I am a passionate person by nature and can't help my own sense of self from coming through if one gets to know me. I don't--and won't--revise myself to make others see me as what they want. My personality is set in stone. Sorry.

So here's the question. Do we, as people, feel so much that approval means success that we have become a lying bunch of pseudo-selves to gain what? Money? Who needs money, really? There's nothing in this world we can't do without, except food and water--and really, if we weren't such a big bunch of pussies, we could get those without the assistance of modern convenience. What are we so afraid of? That this one, or that one won't "approve"?

Fuh-uuh-uh-uuck that.

Does that make me hard to get along with? No.

Does it make me a better person? I'd like to think so. Especially when people think you have to be "this" way to make sure your ass doesn't end up in a sling.

But, but... Daddy! The sling is just so much fun!!!

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Music and why we love it (Part 1)

I haven't been posting regularly. Once every few weeks isn't as often as I'd like, but most times I haven't the time. Eventually, I'll get around to it.

Today, we're talking about music. I love music of all kinds... well, except gospel and new country. I can't get into any of the new country artists. It all sounds so cheap! No disrespect intended, but it does. And gospel is... well, gospel. My aunt is a gospel artist and has several albums out. I own none of them.

I love everything else. Old country-- like Marty Robbins and Ernie Ford, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Sr., and of course, Johnny Horton. Rock--anything. I'll listen to it all.

My favorite artists are few and far between, though. I admire musicians with musical genius. I myself play guitar and sing, but I'm not a musician. I don't compose or write lyrics, I just enjoy the hobby of playing. I know music isn't where my true talent lies so I leave it to the ones who have that talent.

To me, musicians who make it an art form are rare. There are just so few that go beyond what sells albums and make it truly amazing. Today, I'm going to talk about those.

First and foremost--Elton John. I swear, I think that man was born to play a piano. His music ranges from polka to pop, and it's all stellar stuff. I could listen to him for hours and hours. He has a soothing voice, even in songs like "Saturday Night's All Right (for fighting)" or "Crocodile Rock". "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon" are my favorites from him. He's just wonderful.

Second, the Finnish band, HIM. I can't get enough of these guys. Ville Valo has the best vocals in the industry, period. I could stand a new album from them twice a year. Valo composes for the band, and his musical composition blows my mind. Soft melodies blend with that hard, rock my socks off guitar playing of super sexy guitarist, Linde. And Valo's vocals? They touch the soul, baby. How could people not listen to these guys? They are incredible. No bones about it--buy their albums.

I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Metallica, at least a little bit. You can't be 26 years old (yes, I told my age. So sue me) and not be a fan of Metallica. I grew up on Metallica and Nirvana (I'll talk about them in a minute). I've heard the dulcet tones of this band since I was a kid. The last album wasn't all I hoped, but every band has that one album, right? I love the rest of them, especially Master of Puppets. These guys will always be on my playlists. Always.

Nirvana... damn I wish there could have been more from them. It's a bit nostalgiac, yes, but I love their music too. I can sing just about any one of their songs at any given time, without Kurt Cobain backing my vocals (you know... singing along with the cd). Nirvana was another that fed me musically when I was a kid. I still love them, to this day. And still listen to them.

Nevermore; not such a mainstream band, but still genius. Warrel Dane is amazing. I can't even begin to describe their music, but progressive metal would be about as close as I could get. Dane's vocals aren't the greatest--he sounds a bit like an American Version of Boris Karloff-- but his voice is very dramatic and sets the right tone. The music behind his vocals is perfect and it just... works. You'll have to hear them to understand.

I'm stopping there, as I don't have the time to finish right now. I have some work to do, stories to edit and so on.

Oh! And before I forget, I have another two pieces coming out. In October, a short piece titled, "TEDDY" will be available from the Piker Press. In November, a piece titled "TERRIBLE BEAUTY" will be available from Emerald Tales. I have another piece coming out in November from Piker as well, so be sure to keep a check back. I'll link you up as soon as the pieces are out.

But for now, and as always...

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Incredibly incredible credibles and other nonsense

So, this is a fly by the seat of my pants post. I have no idea where it's going or what I'm going to say. You have been warned.

First, my poem "Addicted" is up at Short Story Library. Stop by, take a read.... subscribe to the journal. There's some good fiction and poetry on that site. You're missing out if you don't go take a look-see.

Second, my son will be celebrating his tenth birthday this month. Ten years, the boy has been alive. It doesn't seem like it at all. I can't believe that this tall, manly thing wandering around my house is the tiny baby I brought home. It's amazing, seeing your children grow up. Mine are growing too fast. I need a ton of bricks to put on their heads... slow 'em down a bit.

Maturity in children has gotten me thinking. When do we, as parents, need to stop and say 'You're still a kid'. My oldest boy is obsessed with girls and cooking (he likes to cook). My kids have been cooking for a long time. I'll not have sons who need a woman to do their cooking for them. Anyway, the point is, with all the forward movement in society, when is it time to stop and just let kids be kids? I'm always talking to them about how it's my responsibility to prepare them for the future, but it begs the question.

When is the right time to let the future take care of itself and just let the kids be? I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that.

Being a horror writer with children is so funny. My kids are always asking me to read them something I wrote. And most times, there's nothing I *can* read to them. I don't write your grandfather's horror story. My work is graphic--not blood and guts, but truly fear inspiring (Well, what's the point in being a writer if you can't admit what you are good at?). My kids being interested in what I do is wonderful, I just wish I could share more of it.

However, it pains me to see that when I do find something they can read, something that isn't mine but is age appropriate, they aren't interested. I love to read--I'd read anything you put in front of me, good, bad and ugly. My kids don't share this love of the written word, though and it bothers me. How can I get my kids to read? I've tried assigning them daily reading, which doesn't work. I've tried buying them books in subjects they show interest in. Still, nothing. In the age of images, words are just boring. This is sad. There are so many worlds to be explored. And a writer whose children don't like to read? Talk about a horror story...

Getting your child to read isn't as easy as it sounds. With movies and video games, not to mention texting and IM's, Myspace and all the rest, how are kids supposed to want to read books? Maybe if I sent it to them page by page as a text message...

Well, that's about it for now. I can't think of anything else, so for now....

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interesting Story Formats

Recently, I've noticed some interesting story formats. By recently, I mean in the last year or two. 100 word stories, Hint Fiction (click here for a call to submissions) which is a story of twenty-five words or less. These are intriguing little snippets that can be downright disturbing.

I find these little tales fun to write. I've been writing them for a long time--not with publication in mind, though. I use it as a outline, actually. Three sentences; a beginning, middle, and end. I'm not major on outlines, I have very little use for them, but I have to get my ideas down or I'll lose them. So, I started writing out the beginning, middle and end in a single sentence for each. I called them snips for a while.

Anyhow, just a cool little tid bit (yes, pun intended). Check y'all lata.

Peace & Love, always
~E.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Talking seriously about horror

Many people consider horror the bastard genre. That's just how it is.

"Oh, I can't read that! It's scary!"

Yes, yes it is. Fear is powerful, almost too powerful. The most powerful of those fears is the fear of being afraid. Most people do not want to feel fear because it is sheer, raw emotion that they can control no more than they can control their breathing or heartbeat. Human fears are inexplicable, like why the Earth is round or why twenty-four hour convenience stores have locks on the doors. We humans like to be in control. We like to know that we are in charge. But when fear is involved, our own power is stripped away and instinct for survival kicks in for some, or they huddle in a sobbing, squeaking mass of uselessness for others. Fear is uncontrollable. You can't just stop being afraid of spiders or snakes or the tooth-fairy.

When considering what fear is in it's self, a person is most times stuck for words. It seems undefinable. Inexplicable. But it's not. It's really not. Fear is a beautiful emotion. Some may argue that it isn't an emotion, but that is totally untrue.

Fear, for me, starts as a physical reaction. Breath quickening, heart pounding. Blood rushing in your ears. Sound familiar? Does anger not do this to you? Does love or lust? All emotions, remember.

Fear starts out physical, but eventually moves on to mental. Again, sound familiar? The mental aspects of fear are the ones I like to explore the most. The thoughts, the half-formed things we wouldn't dare to allow ourselves to think. Going beyond our boundaries and into the unknown areas of our hearts and minds. Fear is a sickness, an emotional reaction. Fear is physical, mental, emotional.

Fear... is powerful.

And I love it, my god, do I love it!

There are irrational fears that take a person back to childhood. A fear of heights or the dark for example. Both fears of mine.

The lights go out and I'm useless. I may cry, I may scream, I may mumble incoherently until someone turns on a light or strikes a lighter. It's incapacitating. And I can't explain it any better than the next person.

When I die, I'm being buried with a flashlight.

Now, how has a post about horror morphed into a post about fear?

Well, to write horror, the writer needs to understand fear on it's most basic level. Some argue that fear is one thing or another; reaction versus emotion, as I mentioned earlier. None of that matters in the least.

Fear, in its most basic form, is all encompassing. There's a loss of control, over body and mind. Panic, hysteria.

I'm not talking about running from a spider or getting the willies over a clown painting. I'm talking about, "Holy SHIT! I'm either going to die or go crazy," type of fear. Real fear. Hardcore, baby, hardcore.

Horror plays on fear. All things macabre and horrific... all things that drive you crazy with fear. The unknown? Perhaps. But really, what is more fear invoking than the possibility of loss of life, limb, loved ones? What is greater than that? Loss of mind? Oh yes. My worst fear is going insane.

Which brings me to another point. I write quite a bit about mental defect. It's a fear of mine and one most people can share, even if they refuse to admit the possibility of insanity frightens them. Imagine being in a mind that is no longer your own. In a frame of mind that has no end to the thoughts that intrude and provoke strong emotion. Imagine not being able to control the one thing that makes you who you are. THAT is what I write about, most times, in one way or another.

Scary? Oh yes, it can be. Being bipolar, I can write about the places in the mind that others dare not go. Those insane little places that are more screaming chaos than actual cognitive thought. I can do it. It just takes me a long time. I'd rather not go there more than I have to. Would you blame me?

Now, the fun part. I want some participation. Tell me about the side of fear that you don't like to look at. I don't want to hear about mice and spiders and snakes. I want to hear a deep thinking analysis of how fear manifests its self in you. And not just what makes you afraid... I want to know how you deal with fear. No mantras, please.

So? Tell me. How do you deal with fear? How do regain control? And is there, in some tiny part of your mind, a place that quietly whispers that this will never end? That this temporary insanity will become permanent? And if it does... does that little thought drive you closer to fear induced hysteria... or does it ground you and help pull you back to reality?

Think about it. Talk to me. I want to know.

But for now,

Peace & Love...
~E.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Release Dates and LINKAGE!!!!!!!!!

So, it's that time again. But this time, I have links and dates for you, so you should be happy.

Short Story Library will be publishing my poem, titled "ADDICTED", on August 30, 2009. You can subscribe for their free newsletter for updates.

The Piker Press has my story, "TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE", set up for release on November 9, 2009.

Now, on to other things.

I'm writing a lot of short stories lately. Work on the novel has slowed, but it's still percolating. These things take time. I had a self-set deadline (along with some of my lovely friends at AW) for September 1, 2009, but I don't think I'll finish it in time. Since it's not a publisher-set deadline, I'm pretty okay with that. I'll finish it. This is the novel, I think. The big one. It's gone so smoothly for so long, I was bound to hit a snag, and I did, but this book just won't let go. I'll keep you updated. I promise.

For now guys, I'm out. I need coffee and cigarettes. And of course, I have some writing to do.

Peace & Love, y'all.

Always love.

~E.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

No longer unpublished? Oh the HORROR!

Well... unpublished doesn't quite fit anymore. Semi-published? Can I get away with that one? Would y'all forgive me for being semi-published? Can I still blog on The Life of an Unpublished Writer if I'm no longer "unpublished"?

Why, fuck yeah I can!

So, by now you've figured out that I'm having something published. Two somethings, actually. One is a poem, the other flash fiction (which is very short short stories). I'll provide links once they are up on the web-based magazines. I promise I will. There's time enough for waiting, don't you think?

So, what to write about? Well, on my writing front, there's the short stories, as always. There's the novel I'm not writing. I'm supposed to be writing it, but I'm stuck. The bells aren't ringing right now. I have a feeling this novel is one I'm going to have to take in sips. If I write for too long on it, I start going nuts. I wrote all day on it once and when I went to bed that night, my ears started ringing. Anyone who knows what the novel is about will understand the reference.

In other news, on my last post, I told you about my recent rescue, Chancey. She is a darling. Gaining weight and muscle... she looks good. Much improved. Very happy, as well. She loves me to death. She follows me around the house, always close to where I am.

It's getting close to school time again, so school shopping will start soon.

Oh joy of joys. I have to shop for three kids. It is never, ever fun. School shopping bites a big weiner. A really big one. A footlong even.

I really don't have much to talk about, so I think I'll leave it at that. For now...

Peace & Love, y'all.
~E.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

When Just Rescue isn't Enough


Here's another insight to my life that my readership may not know. I'm a big dog lover. I love dogs of all kinds. St. Bernard's are my favorite breed, but the ones that really hold my heart like no other are pit bulls.

I have a four-year-old male pit named Sarrow. He's red and white, red-nosed and too gentle to bite at flies. He's been in my family since he was three weeks old, and been a complete joy from the moment we brought him home. He's a beautiful dog, weighing in right at 70 lbs. A good weight for a medium sized pit. He might be a tiny bit fat. I can't help it, I have to spoil him.

That's him above, in his play area outside.

Today, though, my heart was broken. I met a beautiful little girl pit named Chancey. She is only three-years-old, tawny and white. She seems gentle and has taken right up with my children, my husband and I.

Chancey, though, hasn't had such a happy life. For a long time, she was left on a mountain top with no food or sufficient water. She received no human love or attention--no one even lived at the place where they left her chained, outside, with no dog house or cover. She's full grown, as tall as my Sarrow, but poor Chancey can't weigh but 25-30 pounds. Every bone she has shows through her skin. She has no muscle mass, no fat stored on her body. She literally is skin and bone. The pads of her paws hang from her feet, even the joints of her toes knob through the skin and fur. I nearly cried when I saw her in the condition she is in. Her neck and legs have abrasions from being chained for so long with no slack to play on. Can you see the difference in the sheer size of these two dogs? Can you?

Well, what could I do? I brought her home with me. When a friend of mine and my husband's called and said he knew where a neglected female pit had been left, I had no idea how bad it was. I've seen neglected and abused dogs, rescued my fair share, and I've never, ever seen a dog this thin. My friend wanted to keep her himself, but he knew he couldn't afford to feed her. So he called me. And now, my family has grown yet again. Do I mind? Hell no, I don't mind. If I could, I'd rescue every animal I see that suffers neglect and abuse. I'd take them all.(And I'll post new pics of her once she's healthy again. This one doesn't show how ghastly it looks up close, but you know)

But it makes me wonder if rescuing is enough. There are times, as is the case with sweet, gentle Chancey, that it's never going to be enough. Will she always wait until she's alone to eat, so that nothing can take her precious food away? Will she always ache for attention, as I can see in her liquid green eyes that she aches now? When I held her, loved on her, she just leaned on me--like her frail frame could barely stand without my support. Her tail flicked back and forth with each stroke of my hand on her head, but it never reached a full wag. She just didn't have the energy. And when I took my hand away, I saw her lean under it, trying to make the gentle touches stay. She has missed being loved.

She will not miss it again.

I can't keep every dog. I know that. This will make my third amid a veritble menagerie of pets. Turtles, frogs, fish, birds, cats and dogs. I have some of every one of those animals. I can't take on all the abused dogs I see. Though I'm a horror writer, my heart is so big that if I could afford it, I'd give every one of them a home and the special attention they need. Because no one else will. Especially for a pit bull.

These dogs have been given a stigma that nothing but caring and understanding will out-do. These animals want only to be loved, like any other breed. They are not fierce killers, but gentle darlings who are forced to kill by the bastards who use and abuse their awesome strength. If they will not kill, they are left to starve, as Chancey was.

So next time, dear readers, you see a thin dog with sad eyes--stop. Take a chance, as I've done with this sweet girl Chancey. You may get a trusted friend... and you may instantly become a saving grace in a life that, before you, had no meaning beyond the three feet of chain that held it down.

There. I'm fairly certain I've destroyed my hardened image, but I don't care. Sometimes, it's good to be soft too. To love. Chancey has a chance now, and that is all that matters.

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oh, you sexy BEAST you!

I'm so sick of this new fad that has vampires as protagonists. They shouldn't be protagonists. I think ALL of these vampiric romances are gimmickry. Bland blah romance story, so what do we do? We make one half of the couple a vampire who hates themselves. COME ON!

Let me ask this. Would you date someone who drank blood? Would you find Hannibal Lecter (fictional) or Jeffrey Dahmer (very real until his death) sexy? Ooh baby, ooh baby. Would you lay beside someone who could, at any point and time, roll over and take a chunk out of your throat?

Let's all face the music here. I'm not ranting, but I'm gonna make my point. Vampires don't like humans except for as dinner. If a vampire male or female took an interest in a human of the opposite sex, they would turn the human. Humans are the vampire's natural prey. No way around it. Does a tiger fall for a gazelle? Would a lion love a zebra? (Although, I do have to mention, I did find my cat having his way with a squirrel once, but he was one of those that would have his way with anything... we called him the rape artist)

These vampire romance things are ridiculous. It's time to move on from the vampires and let them be the horrifying, disgusting monsters they are supposed to be. Vampires do not have souls. No soul. They are things, creatures. They do not feel. RESEARCH! My god, if you can use google, you can find out what constitutes a real vampire.

I wouldn't kiss a dead man. I wouldn't kiss a man who wanted to drink my blood. What is so sexy about a killer? Before you (general you) start screaming "my vampire doesn't kill anyone", I'll go ahead and say it. If he doesn't kill, he's not a vampire. Or she, since we could be talking about the female here.

The sexy enchantment everyone is bastardizing is supposed to be frightening, not admirable. The animal magnetism has been part of vampire lore since it's fledgling days. However, the "enchantment" wasn't by a sexy guy who just happened to have fangs and suck blood. It was like hypnotism--the one on the receiving end had no control over themselves. They went like a lamb to the slaughter... because there was no way to stop it. And in all actuality, that particular trait of the vampire was borrowed from snakes, of all things. Want to kiss a snake?

I'm not trying to stifle creativity. But just because your story has a vampire in it doesn't make it horror anymore. The vampire is just the new forbidden fruit and to be honest, it disgusts me. The things we used to fear are becoming acceptable and desirable.

Does anyone know what happened in the 17th to 19th century to people who were thought to have the "vampire virus"? Anyone? If they do, I'll eat my hat. Does anyone even know what the "vampire virus" truly was? Tuberculosis. Let me put on my history hat and instruct...

Throughout Europe and the colonies, a sickness struck. Those afflicted would weaken, grow pale, feeble and frail. Their skin would eventually take on a translucence that could only be explained by old folklore. Vampires. Many times, after the death of one person with the sickness, their family members would become ill. The more widespread the illness, the bigger the fear grew. It became the belief that if one died, the corpses were reanimating and coming after their families in the night while they slept. One after another, family members would die. Immediately after their death, their cheeks would grow rosy, as those with TB or the plague do, feeding the belief that the corpses were rising from the grave.

To stop this "vampire affliction" it became practice to mutilate the bodies. Remove the head, burn the heart and mix the ashes in a tea to feed the living but ill relatives, saw off the arms and cross them over the remains. Pretty gruesome, huh? But this is all sexy. This is romantic.

I admit it, I'm pissed. Every single vampire romance out there is a fraud and bull shit and I don't mind people knowing how I feel about it. These are the monsters of my genre, but suddenly, they aren't monsters anymore. They're just "misunderstood". Sure, sweetie, come on. I don't care if you kill me by ripping out my throat, because it's you and I LOVE you.

Fuck it.

I'm done with this. I can't keep going or I'll just get angrier.

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

White dresses and burning candles


Today, I watched my husband's youngest brother get married. Ben and Amanda have had a short romance, but I think they are well suited. I'm not one to say whirlwind will end in disaster. My husband and I'd been together for two months when he moved in with me, so I am living proof that whirlwind can turn out good. Wonderful in fact.

I'd never been to the church the ceremony was held in. There wasn't much to it, the place was positively tiny, but the home-like structure held a certain Southern charm that larger religious structures are incapable of having. Beyond the walls of the tan exterior, a comfortable room sported only two rows of pews and small stage. A minuscule flight of stairs descended from the immediate left of the door. Candles burned on the stage area, no taller than the rest of the church, but set off by lovely wooden banisters.

Ribbons of royal blue and cream floated down from the top of each pew. Two candelabras sat a bit behind and on either side of the pulpit. Their glow would soon encircle the couple about to join their lives.

Ben stood in front of the guests, maybe forty to sixty people in all. His nerves were all over his face too. Poor boy. He looked like he'd swallowed a few fistfuls of Mexican Jumping Beans, the way he looked. Like his insides were taking a go on a tilt-a-whirl.

The music started and the wedding party came in. The music was a simple accompaniment to the party, rather than leading the show. The party was small, only the best man and maid-of-honor and the intendeds' parents.

After a short pause and little jingle of the piano, Amanda came up the stairs and took her father's arm. She was spectacular too. I'm not sentimental, or one to tear up at weddings. I don't normally form an opinion of them. I think most of the time, they're a big waste of time, energy and mental well-being. Not to mention money. The dress, the hair, the decorations, flowers, cake, the tuxes and dresses for the bridesmaids. It's ridiculous.

This wasn't. The wedding was simplistic and of tasteful elegance. Amanda didn't look like the brides in magazines, but in every way, she was far more beautiful. Her face nearly devoid of make up, just a bit of eye liner and a pastel shadow that only sparkled on her eyes lids, but she didn't need even that.

And it made it all perfect when she walked into the reception hall and told her maid-of-honor to "Please bring me my flip-flops". I don't know why, but that was the funniest, sweetest thing in the world.



I just wanted to share this. I'm not a sucker for weddings, but this one was truly magical. I have a new sister to add to my family. And she's a spit-fire. Of which, I wholly approve!

Good luck Ben & Amanda.

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You know that certain appendage on a brass monkey...

Balls. Do you have them? Anatomically, I don't.

But in my work, I definitely do.

No matter what I'm writing, I'm willing to take chances. I'm willing to pay to play. I'm definitely able to write good stuff.

So why the hell don't I?

Well, a couple reasons. I am not pounding out publishable prose on the first draft. Unless I somehow become a genius in the next twenty-four, I don't think I ever will. That doesn't mean it's not good, just not publishable on the first go around.

When will it become publishable, you ask? Fuck if I know. I'm not a big believer in faith, no "It'll get better" for me. To me, it's shit, will always be shit. It's never perfect enough.

This holds me back? Sure it does.

My problem, not yours... unless you want to read, and then you're fucked. Double fucked.

But I'm trying! I'm sending out short stories to different magazines, getting good--no GREAT-- feedback. Will it ever happen? Maybe. Probably. Does this mean I'm better?

NO! A big, giant, resounding NO to be exact. It's hard work, writing a good story. People say, "Anyone can write a story."

Yes, yes they can. But I don't just want to write a story anymore. I want to write a good one, one to be proud of, one I can point at and say, "I did that!" without a big, fat face full of red shame. Okay, okay, I know my face isn't fat, but still...

So, what does that make me?

It makes me a writer. We all want our works to be better. That's why we edit non-stop. Yeah, that's loads of fun. But in truth, it really is fun. It's a blast. But it's frustrating, confusing, and intimidating all at the same time it's being fun, too. It's a roller-coaster.

It's a drive through the mountains.

It's a day without a night.

It's a beautiful spring morning.

It is... whatever I want.

So, why can't I get it right?

Answer: Because no matter how perfect I want to be, I am as fallible as any other. I have flaws, for fuxake!

I am beautifully flawed.

Imperfectly perfect.

Pessimistically pessimistic.

Incredibly gorgeous... Oops! Didn't mean to type that one. Oh well, it stays.

Really, this is just a post for the sake of posting. I really just wanted to say that a person needs to have a pair. Other than that, I have no idea what I'm saying here.

Do I ever?

Peace & Love, y'all
~E.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Description

Today, we are talking about descriptions. This was a recent discussion on Absolute Write and it got me thinking. When you are in school, they teach you to over-describe and put adverbs and adjectives everywhere. It's not good practice for fiction anymore. You can't get away with it. So, put it out of your head, for now. No adverbs. They are cheap and easy. I don't write cheap and easy, well, at least I try not to.

Sometimes, it's easy to get into lengthy descriptions about surroundings. But let me just say, unless your readers are from Mars, then they know what an oak tree is. They know what most kitchens and bathrooms look like. So, what about description?

Well, for the most part, it needs to be interweaved with the story, not thrown down in long chunks of prose. Build your world slowly, in sips. It's more natural.

Your characters don't notice their surroundings constantly, so why should the readers? Most human beings take their surroundings for granted, especially the familiar ones. By all means, if this is the first time your character has ever seen a certain object/place/person, describe a little. But only a little. Don't over-do. Since it was the subject of the conversation on AW, let's use the kitchen as an example.

I don't describe the kitchen or anything else unless I have to. I describe the things that are important. I mean really, how many ways can a kitchen be? If you let your readers get to know your character well enough, they know what color the kitchen is. Or a rough estimate. World-building isn't descriptions. It's making your character, and through them your readers, interact with it. They know it's there. It's safe to assume that if they are getting coffee, that they have a coffeemaker (or instant coffee). We don't need to know anything more than the character's actions. If they are painting a room, fine. Mention the color. Have the characters talk about it. Why are they painting? Why did they pick this color? But always ask yourself if it's important. If it's not, then there's no point in it being there. If they are just painting the room to be painting it, do they discuss something that helps with the plot? That's always an option. Does something happen while they work? It's not always about painting a picture. In fact, it's not painting a picture at all.

For me, description is only a little bit of information to allow the reader to assume the things you (the writer) want them to. That's all it needs to be. You needn't add into the story that the cocker spaniel has brown eyes. All cocker spaniels have brown eyes. It's unnecessary. We writers need to stop assuming everyone else on the planet isn't as smart as we are. In truth, they're are probably quite a few that are smarter.

My point is, describe what needs a description. Loading down your manuscript with pointless words is only going to make your job harder when it's editing time. Editing, however, is for a different post.

That's it for now guys.

Peace & Love
~E.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

sex & sexuality

Hehe. Bet that got your attention, huh? Now, as you may have figured out, we are going to talk about sex today, but not like you probably think. I'm making my comments not for shits and giggles, my friends. This is a serious post. Sorry.

I'm so sick of people treating sex to different extremes. There's the: Sex is like the plague! extreme. And then there's: Sex is just a thing. Have a lot of it with a lot of people.

My view? I think sex is personal and intimate. I think this world was a lot better of a place when people thought sex and sexuality were best left where they should be: behind closed doors.

Opinions on sex vary and have varied in society for years. It's gone from something to be discreet about, to something shameful and nasty to something all people should indulge in with anyone they wish. And we all wonder why disease runs rampant.

Way back when sex was something special that happened after you were married is strangely the same damn time period when people had some fucking respect for themselves. I don't know about anyone else, but my worth will not be measured by how good a lay I happen to be.

I am worth more than how fuckable I am. I have standards. I have respect for myself and my body. I've been fucking the same man since I was 15 years old. Maybe I was too young to have sex. I dealt with the consequences. I am raising my children with their biological father, so I figure my choice in partner was pretty damned accurate... even if we were just kids.

I think discretion with sex is a needed thing. Can we stop acting like it's nothing? Are our children nothing? Didn't think so. Strange, though, how we treat the very thing that creates a child with such flippancy.

Sex is not just another thing to do. It is not a cure for boredom. It's a naturally occurring phenomenon between two people that is wonderful and can have wonderful results (You know... like having a KID!). But, unless we want brothers and sisters having children together, we must stop acting as if sex is just a meaningless act. Want me to prove it? Fine, mother fucker, fine, as someone once said.

Woman A has spontanius, wild, drunken sex with man A. Woman and man A use no protection. Man A and woman A never see each other again. Baby boy is born to woman A.

Meanwhile, Man A goes on to marry Woman B. They have baby girl.

Woman A marries Man B. Man B decides to adopt baby boy so his birth certificate no longer has a blank line after "father's name".

Baby boy grows up. Becomes man C.

Baby girl grows up to be woman C.

Man and woman C both go to same college.

Man and woman A were too drunk that night to remember who they procreated with.

Man and woman C fall in love, get married and have children.

Now, does this sound like responsible people? No. Does it sound realistic? Hell yeah, it does. It's sad, and it's sick, but fucking true. And what about all the adopted children? Think about it. There really are only so many people in the world and unless you are having one night stands in another country...

Being responsible doesn't mean making sex shameful. But teaching our children to respect it for the beautiful catastrophe it is might be a good thing.

I tell my daughter that her body and virginity are treasures, precious. I'm teaching my children that sex comes with responsabilities. They are not too young to know what sex is. They understand the mechanics of it, and the results and risks. I firmly believe that my kids will make the right decisions.

But then again, I bet my mom thought that too.

In an age where young girls think desirability means looks and wildness, "Just how far will she go, I wonder" I fear for our society. I fear for our children. And our future. Why? Because as little as sex means now, imagine how desensitized the next generation will be.

I don't remember a time when you only fucked who you married.

I don't remember a time when a grown man still felt fear if he thought his daddy was going to catch him touching a kid the wrong way.

I don't remember a time when sex was special.

I don't remember a time without AIDS.

I wish like hell I did.

Peace and love, y'all. I hope.

~E.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Horror Hound

Finding others like you is no easy task, especially if you are a writer with a very... different turn of mind. We all know what I write. (Horror! Yeah!!) We know why. What you don't know, is how I got there. Well, now is as good a time as any to tell you.

My mother taught me to read when I was 3. She would read old Louis L'Amour westerns and teach me a bit from each chapter. By the time I was 5, I was not only reading books for myself, but I had started telling people little stories I made up. My parents called them my "tall-tales".

My mom had this book with a shiny silver cover that I wanted to read just oh-so-bad. But she told me no. In fact, she told me if I read it, she's ground me for a month. I was 7 then. She handed me, instead, JRR Tolkien's works, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings set, and the Silmarillion. My 8th birthday was about two weeks away; she had bought me the books as a gift and told me once I could read those, she'd let me get adult fiction from the library and school. So, I hatched a plan.

I read the books, but by the time I got done with them, summer had arrived and the school library was closed. So I waited. The big library ended up in me not getting the book with the shiny cover--Mom was always with me-- getting it from school was my only chance. That fall, I turned 9 and the Book-Mobile started it's rounds.

It was just too easy. The lady that drove the big van with the books inside simply asked me if I was sure I wanted it. I told her I was absolutely sure. She looked at my card, saw my mother's signature at the bottom of a scribbled permission for higher level reading material and signed the check-out card.

That evening, I went home with Stephen King's The Shining carefully hidden in my book bag. I didn't sleep that night, but not from fear. I gobbled up that book the way a greedy kid would do candy. And I fell in love. Every time the Book-Mobile came around, I checked out another King novel. With my allowances, I bought his books from the Book Exchange, where you can get used hard and paper back books for a couple of bucks.

I'd already been writing for my own amusement. But it wasn't until much later that I actually realized that writing horror was for me. I started writing seriously when I was 12 years old, as some of you may already know. But, I didn't write a single horror story for a long time.

I started writing horror when I was 17. I had been writing for about 5 years, taking stabs at different things to find my literary home. After a YA romance, a western romance novella, and quite a few fantasy attempts, I tried out thrillers. It wasn't so bad. I got mid-way through my new thriller, then I had to stop.

Another story was poking at my brain and, at the time, I hadn't learned to compartmentalize my thoughts so I could keep things in their place. I stopped writing my thriller and started on a novel entitled "Blood and Water". As soon as I began, I felt normal. I felt like I was at home. I knew that this was the place I belonged, a love I'd had since I was 9.

It wasn't a bad novel, considering I was 17, had quit school the year before and was writing on nothing more than passion. Reading it now, I can see the naivete in it, but it's the first horror piece I ever wrote and I love it as much then as I do now.

I've since wrote Science Fiction and other speculative genres, but I am a horror gal. It's what I write, what I love. And believe it or not, it's what I'm good at. Looking at some of my other stuff, I can see for myself that they are no where near as strong as my horror works. But, that's okay.

I'm happy to write horror, happy to be a hound of the macabre. The Absolute Write Horror Hounds have given me a place to feel welcome and I've found others with minds as sick and twisted as mine is. It makes me feel all cold and moldy inside, like we horror people should (That is just a joke... the whole warm and fuzzy thing).

So, my friends... let us get under your skin. Let me and my fellow Horror Hounds tickle the scare gland in your brain. You can find many of them in local bookstores or online (You won't even know it, but they are there, I promise). Let us scare you. It's what we do. Maybe what we were meant to do. You won't be sorry... or who knows? Maybe you will be.

Peace and Love, y'all
~E.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The bells, the bells...

You know what I love? Having an unconventional, but extremely good, idea. I have one. Just one, mind you. For now.

But my bells have started ringing and I think this is my breakout book. No, not in publication, I'm just breaking out a bit more myself. Sorry, no pubs from me for a while, but when I do, people, you'll almost be the first to know. Surely at least the third... or fourth... I'll let you know eventually, I really will. I even promise, how's that?

Right now, my current WiP (which means work in progress, c'mon get with damned program already!) is going fairly well. I'm on the third chapter already and have only been writing for two days. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I usually take a lot longer to get past my first two chapters. I'm making progress. Maybe not good progress, but I'm working on it.

Now, this is a very delicate matter. Wait for it... I haven't even started yet, people, sheesh! Anyhow, I want to ask you something. Listen close now...

Do you hear them? Can you hear the awful sound of the bells? That terrible, terrible clash, reverberating through your entire being? If you don't... well, maybe someday you will.

Ding dong, ring a ding ding and the whole schlemiel.

I'll be talking about this quite a bit, so stay tuned.

Peace and love, y'all
~E.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gone

Shivers run
up and down, up and down
Cold grows closer, closer
and even closer still
Rampant imaginations run free,
back and forth and back again
Dreaming things that never lie,
never die, will never go away
Leaving all behind in a hateful
wake of insanity
Lost never to return to the place
they once called home
They are now and always will be
Gone.

Here's the first thing you'll ever read written by me. Enjoy.

Peace and love, y'all
~E.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Upcoming... no, don't get excited

Hello. For all my blog fans out there, if there are any, I've decided to put up some of my dark poetry and flash fiction that I'm not hoping to publish for your reading pleasure. No, not in this post. But... stay tuned. They're coming... soon.

I've been gone a while, so let's catch up, huh? I've completed a few more stories, which I now no longer have. That'll teach me not to back up my files, huh? Thankfully, I had my important works backed up, so no big thing. I can always write more. It's late and I'm tired, but I wanted to update. Soooo, for now...

Peace and love, y'all
~E.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Reconsidering publication... maybe

Times are hard. I need to get my ass in gear and start subbing some work out. I really need to.

I'm not sure if I will... yet.

I feel like I'm grasping at straws. The horror magazines I know of probably wouldn't take my hack work. I need a paying market. I think my work is worth less than any paying market will offer.

What to do?

Fuck if I know.

I've never published before. I say it a lot, but I'm not ashamed of being unpublished. It's even in my blog title. You know what you get when you get here. Not a pro, not even semi-pro. Not even sure of myself.

Maybe that's the problem.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, well, I'm talking about being scared. Should I be scared? Yes, I should.

I have an acquaintance on a WD who is a published author. He recently told me that enjoys reading my work. That's quite a compliment.

I have another friend who also enjoys my work. (She's read my novels and several shorter works) She is an unpublished writer as well. She tells me I have natural talent.

And yet another on AW who wrote a story because mine gave her a spark. That's something I felt very touched by. It's usually only published authors who give that kind of inspiration to a reader.

I'd like to believe these people... but I can't.

I've been told by another that my work was unprofessional, not suitable for any paying venue anywhere, and that my writing construction was terribly amateurish. This, all from one person. And for the life of me, I can't get her comments out of my head. It makes me hesitate.

Why?

Because I feel that my writing isn't suitable for a paying venue. I feel that it's unprofessional and amateurish. And I don't know how to fix that. Because I really do feel that way.

So, I'm thinking about a venture out. I might try to shop some of my short stories around. If no one wants them, then I'll have my answer. I'll know what I need to do.

Learn.

Peace and love, y'all
~E.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The ups and downs of writing *gasp* Horror

I enjoy what I write. I always have. Hearing people say "Oh my god, you write horror?" in just that way makes me giggle.

I can write some sick, twisted stuff. I can. For that matter, anyone can. Everyone has a little psycho within. I just have a lot.

Does that mean I'm weird? Yes. Yes it sure does. And know what? I like my weird.

Does that mean I'm sick? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I'm not telling you.

I love writing enough to stick it out, no matter who laughs at me, says I'm not a writer until I'm published, says my work is shit. So what? I'd rather sit all day, write shit and enjoy myself than have a bunch of poky old academic types tell me what's wrong with my work simply because it's genre fiction. Don't like it? Don't read it, shit for brains.

I write Sci-Fi as well, but not as much. My sci-fi attempts come out scarier than sci-fi is supposed to be.

Wonder when speculative horror will become a sub-genre? Hmm...

Love those things that make me go "Hmm."

Sci-Fi and Horror fans are much the same audience, though not all members of one or the other like both. Me? I like it all, mwahahahahaha.

I've been told that "People only write horror because they can't manage anything better." Boy, was that the wrong thing to say to me.

Now, simply because a person is a horror writer does not mean we are stupid. We are not.

Koontz. Stupid?

King. Ignorant?

Lovecraft. Imbecile?

Poe. Hack?

I think NOT!

For those who like to horror bash, chew on this, amigo.

What are your nightmares? Why do you feel creeped out when you are alone? Why do you ride a roller coaster? Why do you go in the haunted house at Halloween? Why do you watch scary movies? Why do you always feel like you are being watched?

That's your horror trying to come out, fuckstick.

On a lighter, happier note, I've recently bashed out a short story I'm proud of. It's on Absolute Write, part of the April Prompt. Met some good people on there and they've helped me a lot in the short time I've known them. Haggis, Aggy B., Cranky, Kerr, Donkey, Soapdish, IdiotsRUs, CACTUSWENDY, dgiharris, Linda Adams, y'all are great. Here's to you.

My friend and fellow writer, Angel Rose Darke, has been helping me with grammar and the finer points of syntax and I owe a lot to her. She's a gem. Without her, my novel THE SPIDER would be full of extra apostrophes and commas and repeated words.

I have a thing for apostrophes and commas. My fingers must like to type them or something.

So, why do I write horror?

Because I love to be scared and to scare people. Because I want people to go "Oh my GOD!" when they read something I've written. Because I love being able to get inside people's heads and make them check their locks. Because all the fat fucks out there that like to tell me I shouldn't, can't, dear God, not horror! At least I know I'm an accomplished, talentless, professionless hack. I've written a book or two. They're not great, but they're mine. What have you done today, hmm?

Basically, what I'm saying is this. You don't have to like what I do. You don't have to read it. But, mother fucker, you WILL respect it. At least I'm trying to hone my skills and become better. Would you rather I give up? I bet you would, cause then you'd be right. I would be nothing.

Just...

Like...

You.

Now, those who love horror and sci-fi as much as I do will appreciate the fact that I'm trying. And for those that do, you have my eternal gratitude.

That's enough rant, for now. I'm happy again and I feel vindicated. So, now I can finally say and mean...

Peace and love, y'all.
~E.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On my writing front

Ever tried writing out of your comfort zone? Tricky business, that stuff. When what you are dealing with is the fantastic, bending reality is part of the fun. Creating something that isn't quite like anything else is amazing. But a few moments of genius in an otherwise forgettable scene doesn't make a good piece, no matter the size. It all has to work just so... and if you aren't comfortable with something, you play it safe. You hide. You start telling.

I've found several scenes in my novel that revert to this because of the discomfort with where my characters ended up. I held back. I only see that fact now because of a few people who pointed out some problems with a single scene. I'm going to have to go back through and do another rewrite, but I don't mind.

I'll have to move things around in my day to find the time, though. I've let this lay for so long that I'm already near the end of another one. I can't always write more than one at a time, depends on which I'm more interested in on any given day. I can't seem to give them the full attention they seem to need, so maybe just revisions of current scenes that are problem areas and trimming narration. Either way, I'll figure it out.

Peace and love.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sending Out Queries

I queried a few agents today and a publisher. I'm thinking it's going to be a no-go on all accounts, but here's hoping I'm wrong. I'm probably not wrong, though. Rejection comes with the territory. I'm used to the idea of it and have no problem being told no. If I couldn't hear the word no, I'd be in the wrong business. Fortunately for me, I take rejection with a grain of salt, sure in the knowledge of... oh who am I kidding? I'm not sure of shit. All I know is I've written books and I need someone to publish or represent them. But that is like looking for a needle in a haystack... and this is one big ass haystack!

Now, I know I'm not the Next Great American Author. I know I'm not the best there ever was. Not even close. I'm only just, after writing for nearly fourteen years, getting around to publishing... or hoping to. Until a few months ago, no one had ever even read anything I've written. Those who have read my works have made comments ranging from "This is fantastic! I loved every second of it." to "You were born to write. A natural. Don't let anyone tell you different." to "Sheesh, what is this junk?" and "Why do you write that way?" Opinions vary, I guess. But... It would suck to find out all that time I spent writing was for nothing. But it wasn't, really. My life isn't focused on publishing. I'm a writer, not a publisher. My business is words... their business is the printed page. I'm going to focus on what I do. But being a writer also means you have to sell what you write, if you want it to do anything more than collect cyber-dust on your hard drive, that is.

So, how to sell it? I have to make it sound good. I have to make them want to represent me. How? Well, I'll be damned if I know. I've spent a lot of time at Writers Digest Forums trying to find out how, though. It's helping, or at least it seems to be. If you come by, I'm registered as ecoll, drop me a line to say hi and tell me where you know me from (I might just think you're a cyber-stalker if you don't). The people of the forum are wonderful and range from authors with multiple published works to new authors looking for guidance. No one is mean-spirited about what they say, although some have a sarcastically-funny nature, they mean well. I've gotten more help there than anywhere else. Made some friends as well. I highly reccomend the forum and website. Good stuff, good people, good advice... who wouldn't reccomend it?

Querying agents can be daunting and I'm seriously procrastinating. I've queried three agents and one publisher... and that is it. I think I might still be a little afraid of the entire endeavor. And rightly so. How am I supposed to know what agents and publishers want? What are they looking for, exactly? Their guidelines give basic answers, but nothing specific.

To find out more about an agent, I like to look at the books they have represented. It gives me a slightly better feel of what they like. They tend to only take books they like... after all, who would attach their name to a crappy project, right? I wouldn't. If I thought my book was crap, I wouldn't be trying to sell it. I'm my own worst ciritc, but I don't think they're crap. I'm just not sure if they're any good. Does that make any sense? Probably not, knowing me but oh well...

I like the process though. Finding an agent or publisher, that is. It's interesting and I'm loving going through and reading all the information I find on Query Tracker, Preditors and Editors and of course, the person in question's own web page. It helps. If they have a blog, I read a bit of it too, just to get a feel for the person. I don't want to work with an ass-hole. Does anyone? Anyhow, my kids are home from school, so for now... peace and love, y'all.

~E.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Joys of Parenthood

Children. Kids. Rugrats.

I have three. My oldest son, Dakota, is a sweet, good boy with a lot of anger problems. He is an introvert, much like myself, but he got his father's explosive temper. Not a good combination. Not a bad one either, though. He's highly intelligent. His teachers have shown me (on a silly chart graph, as if I were too stupid to understand the difference between above mark and below) how high his reading ability is. In school, they will only let him try up to a fifth grade level. At home, he reads at a college level. I don't interfere with my kids trying to read. If they want to read, then by George, they freaking will! I try to help my son with his anger issues. Being bipolar, I feel like I should understand. He refuses to listen to what I have to say, complaining that I just don't get it. The problem is, though, that he won't listen to his father either. So, where does that leave me? In the lurch, with all the others stuck in the happy nation I like to call "Clueless Parentton". He's only nine, but I'm afraid that my son is slowly rolling toward that avenue no one wants to see their kid on. And what can I do to stop it? Nothing. Not a damned thing.

My daughter, Savannah, is an 8 year old drama queen. Everything is the end of the world. Everything makes her cry. Everything is all because no one wants her to have anything or any fun and we're just mean, mean, mean! I'm sorry, but my eight year old daughter is not going to be dropped off at the movies with her little "boyfriend" and left with no adult supervision. Not going to happen. Not when you hear about 11 year old girls having babies on the news. In fact, when I was having my daughter, there was an 11 or 12 year old who came in the hospital. Her water had broken a week before her c-section was scheduled. She was screaming at the top of her lungs "I WANT TO GO HOME TO MY MOMMY!!!" 11 years old. Screaming for her mommy. About to become a mommy herself. Oh, huh-huh-hell no. Not my daughter. No way, not happening, not while I draw breath into my lungs.

My youngest son, 6 year old Nicholas, brought home his last report card, which was covered in a happy little note saying that he has difficulty paying attention, can't focus for more than 3-5 minutes on a subject, making noises, actions with his hands. I admit, I got angry. My son is very boisterous, very imaginative. He certainly CAN focus on a task; he does it ALL the time at home. I have no problem with my child having a vivid imagination. I have no problem with him wanting to use his imagination to occupy himself when he has finished his work ahead of everyone else. His grades are excellent, yet she claims he is "not preforming on grade level". How can a child receive high 90's in all his subjects, but not be on grade level? Sounds a trifle bull-shitty to me.

Okay, so I don't have perfect kids. I don't expect them to be perfect. How could I? I started having kids when I was 16 years old and stopped when I was almost nineteen. Yeah. I had a kid a year. I was the mother of three before I was twenty. Soooo??? What have I done wrong? Nothing, exactly. I just didn't know what I was doing. No one does, their first time around. Unfortunately, all of my times at the "mother-board" (sorry, small attempt at humor) occured at about the same time as my first go around. There is only two and a half years between my oldest son and youngest, with a daughter thrown in between. I was a kid and yeah, I screwed up. A lot. All new mother's do. But now, I have a child who has been thrown off the bus for destruction of property, a daughter who thinks she just isn't anything unless she can show her tummy off a bit and another son who crawls along the floor chasing fuzz when he should be doing math worksheets. And guess what? I still don't have a clue. I don't know what to do because no matter how old they get, I will still not have any experience. Each year brings new and exciting worry because I just haven't been there yet. If I had a baby, along with the other three, the baby might have a chance at having an experienced mother. Might. Know why?

Because no matter how many kids you have, you'll never be an expert. All three of my children are intelligent and have ample opportunity to become decent adults that actually contribute to society. I'm afraid, though, that one or all of them will end up like me and my husband. I quit school to have a baby; my husband quit to support it. He's a coal miner, but with the economy, he's laid-off for the moment. Not sure when he will get the chance to go back. I have no college education, I've stayed home and taken care of kids since I was 16. I've worked, but only for two and a half years at a restaurant. My dream was to be an author. It still is. I have three completed novels that I'm too scared to try and publish, forty or more short stories and several novellas that I'm also too scared to try and publish. I keep telling myself that I'm not scared, but in truth I am. I've had more than a few people tell me that I'm a wonderful writer (people other than my family... family doesn't count) and I just can't bring myself to try. But, I also have three children who depend on me. They look to me to make their lives better.

As a parent, I have a responsability to my children, to guide them and teach them everything they need to know to care for themselves as adults. I don't think it's wrong for them to have chores and be taught how to cook. My youngest son, in fact, won't eat scrambled eggs unless my daughter is the one to cook them. He says hers taste better than mine. At least she will be able to cook for herself when she's grown and makes a home for herself. But, I also have to make sure they do the things they are supposed to do. Like their school work. If they want to go to college, they have to make the grades and behave themselves. They have to get into college. But telling a nine year old that he needs to try harder is like telling a man who can't hear that he needs to listen a little better. It's useless. And I'm lost. I don't know what to do. And for some reason, I don't think I ever will. Kids are like opinions. They're all different.

I suppose I'll just have to hope for the best and do what I can. Isn't that what we parents all do? Try our hardest and just hope it comes out okay? I'll have to settle for that because it's the only thing I can do. Just keep trying.

Peace and love, y'all.
~E.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Beware the Bad Boys

As a writer, especially a "new" or "unpublished" writer, it can be hard to determine which agents or publishers are legitimate and which are scams. There are quite a few that, while they may look great, sound great, act great are usually just cons in publishers clothing (or agents clothing, depending on the scam). How to know who's the real deal? Well, there are hundreds of thousands of websites devoted to telling you just that. I'm not going to tell you it's easy. It isn't.

The most reliable source of information on a publisher is, of course, Amazon. If you go to a publishing house's website and they claim credit for, in example, author Mr. Dean Koontz's novel, The Door to December, go to Amazon and search for the book. While some novels will be published by more than one house (Mr. Stephen King's "The Shining" has been published several times by different houses), you will find ALL of them on Amazon. (Good Reads is another good place to search for books a publisher claims to have sold) The good thing about these websites is that they offer all the information you need to know. If you go to Amazon.com and search out "The Door to December" by Dean Koontz, you'll get back results for every publishing house that has it in print. If above said publisher who claims to have sold it is not listed, then THEY DID NOT SELL IT!! I conducted a search on Amazon just so I could report this correctly to you. Koontz's "The Door to December" gets 49 results on Amazon, though not all listings in these results are Koontz's work, most were. Clicking on each one of these results will tell you this book was published by Signet books in 1985 (and other dates), authored by Dean Koontz (AKA Richard Paige), gives information on the product such as an ISBN, paperback, hardback, date published etc. If a publishing house claims books they didn't sell, my advice to you is run away as fast as you can.

If, however, the publishing house is listed for Mr. Koontz's work, you still probably need to look elsewhere. Larger publishing houses won't usually take work from an author with no agent. That doesn't mean small presses won't take it, though. The term "small press" has nothing to do with how reputable a publishing company is. It just means they work on a smaller scale and usually only publishing a few titles a year. This can actually be a good thing.

Some of the other websites you can read and use to your advantage while you are separating the wheat from the chaff are: Preditors and Editors , Writer Beware , The AAR , among many, many others. I AM NOT vouching for all the information found on these sites, but I use them myself, if that tells you anything. As I have yet to publish, that may not mean a whole lot, but there you go.

Now, agents are a different matter altogether. There are literally hundreds of thousands of scam artists, with only a few thousand true agents. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? It isn't. Imagine a small town. Now imagine a large country. Large country= cons and scam artists, Small town= literary agents. Now which sounds like a lot? The same websites listed above also list agents (Actually, the AAR lists nothing BUT agents) and can be a help no matter what you are seeking. The articles on these sites are informative, they don't ask for money or membership, although it is an option (the membership part, not the money part), and in fact, Writer Beware states very clearly that they DO NOT accept donations. Why would they offer free information such as this? Because too many aspiring authors have been duped by the bad boys that are giving publishing a bad rap. One it doesn't deserve.

If you still want to publish your book after reading the articles on these websites, then go ahead and start looking. There is no time like the present. Procrastination doesn't sell books anymore than I do. What are you waiting for? Go get 'em, tiger.

Oh, and just one more thing; research, research, research. You can never, EVER, do enough research on a person or establishment that you are considering. After all, these people are reading your heartfelt work. Make sure they are worthy, okay? Peace and love, y'all.

~E.