Finally Found Inspiration!

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Gooooooooooood Morning, Horror Lovers!!! How are we today?

I figured I’d take a step back for a minute and talk about this massive pain in the ass I’ve been struggling with. I’m talking about that bastard known as WRITER’S BLOCK!

I’ve been having trouble getting back into the gory battle that is Horror Writing. At first I thought that it would be nice to take a break and focus on other things. I love you all but I do have a life outside of this blog and twitter. I was focused on finding a job, making sure I had the requirements to go to grad school, helping my mother out with her errands, church, etc. Suddenly I realized that I hadn’t written anything is so long. It got worse when I realized that the flash drive where I stored ALL of my work and been corrupted.

That felt like a punch to the lady nuts! Ouch! I had short stories, novellas, and ideas for novels stored on that thing. I wanted to cry. But I figured that there’s nothing I could do so I left it. I figured that maybe it was an opportunity to start fresh and create some new stories. That didn’t work out either. I just kept thinking about all my unfinished work trapped in a corrupted file. If there’s one thing I absolutely hate, it’s an unfinished project.

Since there was nothing I could really do, I decided that maybe now would be a good time to pick up a book and get lost in it. Damsel Cannibal has often recommended H.P. Lovecraft to me but I never got around to it. So the next time I headed to Barnes & Noble I picked up the first volume of the comic book HELLBLAZER and THE CALL OF CTHULU AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES. I must say I was hooked! I haven’t finished the whole thing yet but so far THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLPH CARTER is my favorite. I also didn’t realize that the ’80s movie REANIMATOR was based off of a Lovecraft story. I have seen that one and I think I’ll review it later.

Anyway, I was reading Lovecraft’s dark tales when all of a sudden I found it. I found my inspiration! Queue “You’re The Inspiration” by Chicago! I realized that while my finished works on my flash drive were gone…I still had the first drafts written down in notebooks. That’s how I like to write. I love taking a pen and putting it on paper. It also allows me to make notes and doodles in the margins. So I pulled out everything I’ve ever written and started marking what I wanted to edit and what I wanted to scrap.

I’m happy to announce that I’m back in the game! I’ve been going back to the short stories that I really loved and giving them the proper attention that they needed. Maybe losing all my work on the flash drive was the Universe saying that it was crap and I could to better. So I’ll be squeezing in time to write and send out submissions.

How about you guys? Have you ever had to wrestle with the Writer’s Block Monster? How do my fellow writers and artists stay motivated?

The Year 2017!

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Alright, bitches! It’s time to start the year over and think about what the fuck we’re going to do with ourselves. While 2016 might’ve kicked some of us in the nuts we’re going to brush ourselves off and enter the new year like a boss!

I actually like setting New Years Resolutions for myself. I have them pinned on my door next to my calendar. So far I have write more often, practice my French and Spanish, learn how to cook, and cut back on the TV.

And, of course, update more often! We’ll see how the year goes and what the horror genre has to offer us!

You guys got anything planned for 2017?

 

This Way Darkness (anthology review)

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Supernatural creeps and bizarre creatures lurk behind the pages in “This Way Darkness” written by indie horror author, Latashia Figueroa. I was hunting for a well-rounded horror anthology to read this summer–y’know something spooky, well-written but short. Like waiting-for-your-pedicure-to-dry short. (Doesn’t everybody read axe murderer stories at the salon? No? Just me? ‘Kay) These three spine-tingling stories were just the little perk I needed.

Wrapped in Small Flesh and Bone | Figueroa opens the anthology with a tale reminiscent of The Omen; a familiar and predictable storyline, however entertaining. Unable to conceive, a desperate husband and his wife visit a mysterious witch. The husband realizes their mistake when the witch refuses to touch his crucifix necklace. Predictably, the wife becomes pregnant a short time after meeting the witch and then their child, Jenny, is born. Jenny is a lot like Damien. She talks to “imaginary friends” and always seems to be near or at the scene of a crime. I won’t spoil the ending. Ha, if you’re familiar with The Omen I don’t have to. Although I knew how the story would end, it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. I think creepy kids are adorable.

The Alternative | The second story has more gore and violence. I thought the rape scene was the predominant horror element…but no. Hell no. This story took a direction I didn’t expect at all! If there’s such a thing as a fate worse than rape, Figueroa presents it here. There’s a religious thread throughout all of her stories, but this one was the most interesting and dare I say philosophical? “The Alternative” explores the Christian perspective of death and the afterlife. Traumatized by the death of her mother, the main character develops an intense fear of old age and dying. She does not think death is her ticket to salvation and so she turns her back on God. Literally. The plot rambles in places. Not my favorite in the collection but I’d say it was worth the read.

The Retreat | Everyone is familiar with the secret cult trope, right? Well here it is again. Like all of the stories in this anthology, the plot is very straightforward. A dude goes off on a religious retreat for self-empowerment only to be tortured and terrorized by his fellow campers. Their camp leader convinces his flock that everyone is their own god and therefore are above human laws. First the campers kill a deer. Then a priest. There’s even a homicidal vegetarian who goes apeshit. What an entertaining romp! I knew where the story would go, but I enjoyed the author’s route.

All in all I’d give this anthology a solid 4/5 stars. No, the book wasn’t inventive…and yes, it relied heavily on well-worn horror tropes. But still I found the anthology to be funny in some places and easy to read. I would recommend this delightful anthology for horror lovers who are looking for a light summer snack. It’ll fly by quickly–but you won’t be bored while reading it!

The Gathering: A Review

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You’d think I’d get tired of zombies but I’m still ready for more. What I found interesting is that this particular story is that it is set somewhere other than LA or New York. This was actually set in London and me being an Anglophile I was pretty excited. Anyway this short story run parallel to Marik’s novel End Storm.

This story focuses on a few people when the zombie apocalypse hits London. We see a mysterious cloud, a boom/earthquake, people collapsing, then getting back up and attacking people. We see Mr. Shah, James, James’ dad, and Alice. Each has their own perspective on the zombie disaster.

Since it’s a short story I don’t want to mention too many scenes otherwise I’ll ruin it for you. Anyway, I just loved how it started! With James running for his life in the woods. At first you think that the zombie apocalypse has already started or we’re right in the middle of it! But it turns out James is running from his dad because he thought it was brilliant to vandalize his headmaster’s car. Oooh! Good trick. They later witness the zombies’ rise on their way back to London. In London we see Mr. Shah going through another day at his shop. This slowly start to escalate as people collapse, get back up, and attack.

The mayhem was scary to read because of the mass panic, you know with people running everywhere and not knowing what to do. I thought Marik did an excellent job describing the being of this apocalypse and how the people reacted to it. I thought that Mr. Shah was a believable character and that’s how I like them.

This short story leads to two more and I will have those soon. I promise! But if you don’t want to wait for me why not go ahead and check them out for yourself. I got mine on my NOOK for free and I look forward to starting Marik’s End Storm saga once I get the chance.

Check out his website at: http://mazmarik.weebly.com/

Fever: A Review

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I think I might be a vain writer. I was lucky enough to have one of my stories selected to be the anthology “Under the Stairs” edited by Jessica A. Weiss, but I never took the time to see what other lucky ones are in this book. So, while I was getting a pedicure, I flipped through and picked one that I would review.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Here is “Fever” by Christine Rains. The story centers around a kind-hearted nurse who is thrown into a possible epidemic scenario. What makes matters worse is that the disease itself is a mystery and not only does she have to worry about her ailing patients, but she has to worry about her own life.

Wow! One of the things I look for in a story is how believable that world is. This short gem is centered in a hospital so medical terminology is important. I was impressed because it wasn’t complicated terminology, but it wasn’t random gibberish either. I was also to follow along quite well. It was also an intense ride because diseases are scary. To me anyway. Especially when the news always features a news catastrophic illness (bird flu and swine flu).

So it played with a realistic fear and was able to make you believe in the world of that story. I’d suggest looking into anything else that Ms. Rains has to offer. Check out her website at http://christinerains.net/index.html