What horror and fear mean to me

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I am a child of the ’80’s. I watched Nightmare on Elm Street on VHS, saw Freddy’s Dead in theaters with the 3D glasses, and horror was my escape.

I was home alone a lot and staying up late watching scary movies on HBO was my favorite thing. My mom jokes about me watching Children of the Corn and Halloween and how it didn’t scare me much. I think it unnerved her that it didn’t scare me, which I understand.

But for me horror has been something I’ve always gravitated towards and while I’ve talked of the reasons on this blog, I’ve still never narrowed it down. I’m sure it has something to do with dealing with trauma. There was plenty of yelling and screaming in the house before my parents divorced in ’85. That yelling and having one parent belittling me constantly about my weight left scars that will always be there.

I have a couple of stories that deal with that stuff that I’m shopping around, but I may hold onto them for something else.

When I was a kid I knew that I wouldn’t make it past 40. I don’t know why I knew this, but I did. Now I’m 45 and after living with that for so long everything is easier. I was worried the whole year leading up to 40. Anytime I was in the car I felt unsafe. It was a weird feeling to believe you would die. I was completely absorbed in the concept, though I never told anyone.

There are other things that I think about going back to my childhood that float around in my head, but that’s a bigger one.

When you believe you’re not going to make it past 40 you don’t try that hard beforehand, at least I felt like I didn’t.

Today I feel like I’m working harder to make something of myself because after believing you’re going to die at a certain age, things afterward are different. You look at life in a certain way. Nothing that happens, even today as I sit in the bedroom isolated from my family, none of this feels hard and while I’m pissed that I got Covid, it’s just another thing to get through and I’m okay with that.

I was a horror movie fan long before I started reading horror. My first experience with reading horror was King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes and Four Past Midnight. I got them from my big sister and while I loved them, I didn’t read any horror for a while after that.

There was always a stigma around reading horror, especially growing up in Utah. If you read horror there was something wrong with you mentally. I’ve read quite a bit of King since and other older authors like Algernon Blackwood, Lovecraft of course and I’m making my way through the shorter fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Guy De Maupassant, and F. Marion Crawford.

I told myself I would read more classical horror, authors of color, and those in the LGBTQIA+ community this year. I have few books by authors in those categories as well but I’m always looking for recommendations.

I’ll leave you with this. No matter how hard things are I’ve always found peace in reading and watching horror. Fear is not the creature in the woods, the killer with the knife, or anything else. It’s the tricks your mind plays on you when you’re trying to get through the day.

A bit different

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I’ve been sitting in my bedroom the last few days after testing positive for Covid-19 on Saturday morning.

I come to the blog a bit pissed as I’ve been cautious with everything but obviously not cautious enough.

There are many things not say but as I’ve been away from my family in the bedroom my wife and I usually share I think that I’ve realized my health needs work, and it’s not because I’m terribly sick. I have a cough, had a fever earlier in the week, but I need to get in better shape and eat better.

When it comes to writing I have to make good a promise I made to myself. I have to get busy on figuring out how to make my own covers and not just shitty ones I’ve made to my needs.

I have goals this year and I’ll not be held back by anything.

I’m tired of existing. I’m going to live.

Navigating in new waters…

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When I set out to write the new project, I wanted to use an outline. There are many reasons for this, but the greatest among these are, the five stories I’ve written that are still out, were outlined.

The leads me to believe that when I outline the story comes out better. Because of that, I’ve decided to outline this story and anything else I write during 2022. I know this will be a transition from writing without an outline, but I know it will bear fruit, as it has so far.

Now that I’m doing this I have to understand how to outline better, and while I won’t follow everything, my writing and the story will have a better core and cohesiveness that it hasn’t had, except for the stories that are out.

I talked about music the other day, but the outline, and having a roadmap for the story will help a ton.

I know this is a short post, but I had to tell you what’s going on. I have a review on my other blog for The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 13, on my review site. I didn’t go as deep into the 24 stories, novelette, and poem as I wanted to, it would have created a larger article than I wanted, but here’s the link to that blog.

Finding the right music is the first thing.

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I’m working on two projects, one of them a collection for later this year, the other is a story that had initially been with this collection, but it wanted to be longer. The latter I’ll be turning into a novel or novella. I haven’t written anything over 36k in a while and It’s frustrating the hell out of me.

My process starts like this, idea, create a writing playlist, start writing. This is how I’ve always done it, but I think outlining is where I need to go, and I’ve touched on this numerous times. But as the works I’ve outlined are still out for consideration and others are not, I’m going to lean hard into that.

The idea for the collection came from interaction on Twitter. I wrote a list of 30 story ideas with the theme I selected for the stories. I wrote or used stories I’d already written that fit with the theme of the collection as well.

I used Spotify to create the playlist for the collection and am working on creating one for the novel. It won’t be the creepy music I have for the collection, but more along the lines of music the works for the story. I know it’s weird, but that’s how my brain works.

Now that I have the music or most of the music I need to create the story, I think it will move fast. If you like the playlist, look at the others I have, some of them have quite a few listeners.

But I digress.

I know what I’m doing better than I did a year ago and I owe that to a lot of people, but mainly that I am a better writer than I was a year ago.

Have a good day and I’ll see you on this blog Friday. I have a review site that I’m working on. It’s about horror reviews. Mostly books, but I’m doing movies and sometimes I’ll do a video game.

What things may come…

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I’ve been away for a while and during that time I’ve realized a few things.

1. I love to write but get distracted by the world too easily

2. The world is loud and I focus too much on what others are doing.

3. I may have written and submitted more in 2021 than any previous year, but this is not that year anymore and I have to improve my writing by doing more of it, taking more classes, and devoting more time to it than anything else.

These 3 things are the crux of my intentions for the coming year. Yes I am on social media, but I spend too much time on there and will be taking intermittent breaks for my writing as well as for my mental health.

My focus should be on what I’m attempting, not what others have done or said and I have trouble with that constantly.

I love the friends I’ve made on social media and they’ve helped me grow as a writer more than anything else aside from the actual writing.

We move through the world thinking of where we want to be but forget about the difficulties of doing those things.

So as the year starts, I speak of what things may come of this.

Good writing is my goal and I hope you’ll follow along.