Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Little Book of Horrors

I have been spending a little more time over on Pinterest and with the recent changes - they have been recommending a ship load of writing prompts / memes and inspiration and it was there I stumbled across this pin...

The original pin is here
I followed the pin to tumblr (HERE) and wowsers - a whole treasure trove of writing inspiration for the average horror fan!

Aside from sending shivers down my spine - I sat with pen and paper late yesterday afternoon and out flowed a furious explosion filling three pages based on those two lines.

She swung high on the ancient wooden swing set, the creaking of never before oiled hinges grating as gravity pulled the swing into a backward fall. Momentary silence. Then it squealed as she swept forward through the air. Her pale white hair fluttering behind her like a leaf on the wind.
Beside her the empty swing rocked forward sharply, picking up pace and falling backward from the sky. Then forward once more. 
The small blonde girl turned her face toward it and smiled, "Mummy says I don't have a sister!" she spoke earnestly. "Why did you lie to me?" she added plaintively. 
"I didn't lie!" exclaimed a raven haired girl, sitting upon the empty swing. 
The two girls swung higher still, their hair contrasted like the keys of a piano, trailing behind them. Following the peal of their laughter as they talked. 
"Mummy went crazy one night and after she drank every last drop from that box, she walked unsteadily to my room. I cowered in my bed, afraid to move. Scared she would yell at me again." 
"But MY Mummy said," the smaller of the two girls interrupted once more. 
"She lies. She has always lied," said the bigger girl in a hushed voice. "She even lied to the policeman after it happened. She told him she found me like that. I was standing right there watching her lie to him."    

A little story, based on those two sentences, meandered down a dark path and after much scrawling and crossing out on the third page, I put my book aside lest I keep myself awake at night.

This little exercise made me wonder - how do writers of horror and crime turn off after they have written. For me - when I attempt to write something horrible, it feels as though I am exposing a dark side of my mind. I feel like I am stripping myself to the core and standing before you in all my natural glory. I am afraid to let go of the normal and really lose myself in the story. Gosh only knows what people would think should they discover my stack of writing books, filled with snippets like the above (yes I admit the above is relatively tame... it was the words that followed that made me feel eerie.)

Had mummy found me like this?
Except I remembered distinctly the look on her face as she staggered above me. Her too hot breath singeing my face. A fine spray of spit landing in my eye as she hissed at me, "You are not my daughter. You don't even look like me."
Before there was nothing. Sweet oblivion. No more pain. No more warmth. Nothing.

I am a relatively kind and caring person - yet I am able to write words that freak me right out. Perhaps they are not polished nor publishable (is that even a word?) - but something continues to lure me back into their tale of woe. I guess it could be likened to watching a horror movie and that need to watch till the end to see who the murderer was / who escapes death, even if every hair on my neck is standing up and I am only half seeing what is on the screen before me, peeping behind my hands (seriously that will totally save me should the bad guy jump out of the TV screen!) scared to watch on, but fearing I will never have closure if I don't!

Together we sat in the dark. In silence. Until lights of red and blue pulsed a pattern on the walls around us. 
"You were there too." 
What do you think? Is it possible for writers to jump genres? Personally I am still on the eternal search for the genre that "fits" me. I have attempted historical based on true life, dabbled in romance, explored fantasy worlds and a splatter of horror on the side (okay horror minus the blood and guts... perhaps these excerpts are more suited to the paranormal thriller style - is there such a thing?)

Tell me - what's your preferred genre?  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Barely writing

I approached this year with grand plans - writing would feature heavily in my daily life and I started the year well. I really did.


Life has other ideas. Armed with a brand new diary / journal. The first week I filled it with hobonichi style pictures / words but quickly realised it wasn't working for me. I yearned for page after page of words.


I became terrified of the blank page & imminent failure so I neglected to do any writing. Page after page remained unblemished by my pen. I consoled my failed self with notions of it only cost me $5. After 10 days of stagnation I picked up that journal and I started writing. I wrote of how it very nearly ended up in the bin and while that may seem like something completely left field-obscure to read; I wrote it because this book I started reading again resonated with me.

My first entry I wrote "In this $4.99 foxy journal. A place to explore the darkest places of my mind and draw them upon the page in a rainbow of words. Just words. No more no less." I don't censor my grammar (this is so freeing) and I am exploring a deeper level of writing (not darkest as in something "bad" I meant darkest as in those corners of my mind that are never fully explored!)  "Yet today as I stood in those bunkers viewing the guns (models) lurking beneath the concrete overhangs; as cool, moist air rolled about my ankles in the partly underground tunnels - I heard voices. Words. People. Telling me their stories and I stood fascinated" {Side note: I did NOT hear voices per say, more I stopped long enough to appreciate the people of the past and let my imagination run wild} 
Even Jack and Emmy have found a place to lie their history down - two main characters from the novel I started writing back in November. This excerpt does not belong in the story, however it was  a small exercise to explore their history and help them to come alive a little in my mind. It was the first piece I have written for them since November and that mad rush to 50,000 words! I would love to say I am writing in my foxy journal every single day - alas I am not! Having a little outlet to be creative without the words needing purpose (be it for a story, my personal journal, future blog posts) is a most wonderful thing indeed.   

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Welcome to a New Year!

2015 is here. It is hard to believe that the anniversary of my first ever blog post is in 5 short days! Four years, 320 blog posts - mostly filled with moaning and groaning and sprinkled with some awesome snippets of writing! 

I have been contemplating (as I do every year) the direction in which to take this blog. Partly because I have huge plans to combat my health issues this year and I am hoping that once the dust settles and I work my way through the associated emotional upheaval (brace yourself, I intend on sharing snippets of my path) after it is over, I will be left with a gaping hole. 

I do plan on continuing with my  writing and though I haven't spent much time in the past year sharing my actual writing as in previous years, I am endeavouring a return to a few weekly prompts to get my creative side working.

Or perhaps I will just let this space take me where it wants to. More often than not, this little platform has a tendency to bounce me into the stratosphere and usually I tuck and roll and enjoy the adventure. That is one thing I like about this, writing whatever is at the forefront of my mind and not having to tick all the correct boxes.  

Does that bug you - coming here not knowing what to expect? Or are you happy to continue reading my nattering on any given subject? 

Most of January was spent on "holidays" (I did work but I was mum first, worker in the space between) since School is now back and I no longer have dreaded studies hanging over my head - I spent much of the month dreaming of what could be. I am still in the process (of dreaming) and I think until I remove my head from the clouds that have descended over me, my feet will never touch the ground and I will spend the entire year dreaming rather than doing. 

THIS year I would dearly love to re-structure my novel I started about my Nan's life. I hit a rough patch last year (grief is a dreadful thing) and the story was relegated to the bottom draw until such time I had a grip on my feelings. Rather than mope about never finishing it, I started something new (I am fast becoming the work in progress QUEEN!) I am also wanting to revise and finish that new story as well. Plus I want to return to a daily writing system where I am writing something every day. For some reason I have not managed to find myself on the correct path (I am writing - but its sieving off my mind - rather than a set structure ahead!) 

The same back to front way is happening in pretty much all aspects of my life at the moment. While it is a heady feeling to be so lack-sa-daisy in my approach to everything, it is also high time I enforced a little more focus and start doing one thing at a time.