Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2010

No rest for the weary, no holiday for the wicked, no hope for the fallen....

Tonight marks the completion of another round of contest-entering. Two stories were submitted, one to the Once Written website, for their Midnight Hour "Halloween" short story competition....the other was a Flash Fiction piece submitted to the WOW! (women on writing) Website.

After the initial rush that I had hit the "submit" button and could in no way retrieve what I had sent out, the realization that other contest deadlines were impending invaded.

As I pulled 3 more stories out of my pile for the next 3 contests--- all of which have an October 1st deadline--- I suddenly realized something about my writing.......

I have an increasingly morbid fixation on death....

Every story I've ever written, ever thought of, has been centered around death---- the tragic death, the lonely death, the vengeful death, the grievous death, the hopeful death--- if there can be a "hopeful" death....

I'm not sure where my writing disposition comes from, but, it is clea…

There and back again....and what happened after.....

Funny how life throws you for a loop sometimes. You think you have everything under control, you have the last detail planned, and then suddenly you're off doing something else and you can't figure out why. You can't even figure out when you changed directions.

You're certain, positive, without a doubt, for sure, that you want to do one thing with your life, but then, some morning you wake up with a completely different vocation in mind---- a vocation that you've done no working toward, but one that feels like your whole life has been working with only that goal in mind.

I guess, though, life really is just one big circuitous plane of existence--- one obstacle leading to another goal leading to another obstacle. Seems that life isn't so much a straight path of survival so much as it is a spiral path always leading you back to your original self.

It's a pretty lofty thought that everything we do in life, though it seems to be leading us farther from what we …

And so it is written, and so shall it be....

Seems no matter how hard you try, how carefully you plan, life has a way of intruding, of sticking its big nose in the middle of things, throwing more than just a wrench into the works.

Dreams of where you'll be in 5 years, in 10 years, these seem so achievable.... at least they seem achievable at the time of their inception. But, let little things like a couple of weeks or a few months get in the way and suddenly those dreams aren't so easily reached:

---- I'll be married by the time I'm 25
----I'll have a career (i.e. Published Author) by the time I'm 30
----I'll have a family by the time I'm 35
----I'll have a house by the time I'm 40

Funny how time, life, opportunities, etc changes things....

So, here I am--- 31 years old---

I did get married, though I was 26....
I am currently still unpublished, but hoping that will change shortly, maybe this year...
So, if I'm to follow my current average, I should back plan for everything to take at l…

The unseen, the ever-present, the inevitable, the unwelcome....

Death.

The end. The final curtain call. The endpoint of our finite existence. The one thing we want the most to avoid, but the only thing from which we cannot escape.

It is the one thing we can have absolutely no control over-- and this uncontrollable aspect is what produces the immense fear that overcomes us all when we are at last faced with its coming.

The death of a loved one, a family member, a friend, brings so many things to the surface that for so long may have been hidden-- the regrets, the betrayals, the guilt, the anguish. We are at once reminded of our own mortality...our own tenuous hold on life...our own fragile finger-hold to this life, slick with sweat, sliding away from us with every breath.

Death will always be there for us, waiting around the corner, holding a place for us at eternity's table.....

"Because I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--"

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor...

The rhyming games of children, the innocent divining the future....
Known to be darker than at once imagined--- the so-called "haunting children's rhyme".

Most divining rhymes are counted out--- the number of buttons on a dress, the number of daisy petals plucked, the number of skips a stone makes, the number of uninterrupted turns of a jump rope. "Whom shall I wed? Whom shall it be? Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich man, Poor man, Beggar man, Thief?"

Most are innocent, or intended to be innocent.....

Yet, there are those rhymes that are believed to be innocent, until the darker histories are revealed. Case in point-- "Ring around the Rosie"

 Who hasn't heard the connection of this "innocent" rhyme to the Great Plague or the Black Death?? The symptoms of "rosy rings", the need of posies to cover the stench of death, the violent sneezing episodes before the falling down of the dead.....

There is such a desire from adults for…

Horror that is seen or the unseen horror....

What is more horrific....seeing that which terrifies you most, or imagining what terrifies you most though you cannot see it???

There are varying degrees of terror in any manner of horror flick...everything from the most gruesome, gory, flesh-destroying monster to the psychological torturer bent on crushing a person from the inside out.

The success of the horror genre is its ability to terrify individuals to the point of panic. The best horror brings the strongest of us to tears. The fear is palpable, the sweat is real, the blood pressure spikes and plummets, you have to remind yourself to breathe. Your heart pounds as if you've just finished a marathon, gasping, you are left reeling, trying to pull yourself back into the reality of the non-horror world.

If you're lucky, the return is uneventful, peaceful even, a wondrous reminder that your own life is not, in fact, a horror film. You go about your daily activities just as you did before watching/reading the latest in the worl…

Friday the 13th...unlucky for some...

It's always intrigued me, the superstitions that we as humans hold true--- even after decades of time and scientific advancement have proven they are, in fact, not true. Of course, most superstitions have their ORIGINS in fact....it probably only took a few people getting injured from items falling from ladders for it to be deemed unlucky to walk under them.

But, triskaidekaphobia? How is somebody hurt by a number?? The fear of the number 13 runs so deep that some buildings refuse to have a "13th" floor...evident by the lack of "13" in their elevator numbers---- there's a 12 and a 14, but no 13. Forget the fact that the floor just above the 12th, though it is labeled 14, is in fact the 13th floor.....

And to further the query.... where did the fear of Friday the 13th originate? Friggatriskaidekaphobia, to quote the technical term....Most beliefs of the "unlucky-ness" of Friday the 13th seems to stem from Old Christian thinking. Christ was crucifie…

If I can't see you, you can't see me....or, what to do if you want to be the first one to die in a horror film....

Were you ever one of those kids, like me, who knew that as long as you kept your eyes open at night, the boogeyman wouldn't get you---- because the bad things only come out when the lights go off and you've shut your eyes. So, you lie in bed, heart pounding at every sound, your eyes wide and drying out, terrified that once you close them, the nasties in the night will have the chance to pounce. Or, worse, you're petrified of closing your eyes when you're washing your hair for fear of what might be standing in the shower with you once you open your eyes again.


Of course, this might just be me and certain memories from childhood movies.....


The other school of thought follows the philosophy that so long as you keep your eyes shut tight, nothing will ever get you. As long as you can't see the spookies, the spookies can't see you.


This idea never worked for me, I'd seen too much to the contrary....weren't the unsuspecting snatched from their beds when they …

Guilty of being....human???

Emotions that make us so-called "human" could just as easily be used to define us as "in-human".

Fear, cowardice, anxiety....all the emotions that drive our mechanism of self-preservation, can just as easily be used to point out our weaknesses and failings. How strong are we if we stand by and watch someone else suffer or die because we are too afraid to step in and help....too afraid that we might be the one suddenly suffering or....dying? Does this in fact make us weak? Does being human automatically make us guilty?

Are we just as guilty as the villain who pulled the trigger?

Is a dead hero better than a living coward?

What of the opposite attributes? What makes someone's strength, bravery, self-sacrifice outweigh their need for self-preservation? What gives someone the courage? strength? fear? to die for someone else?

Surely, on their own, those willing to sacrifice themselves for others would have just as strong a drive for self-preservation...what is it ab…

...nothing the matter with his eyesight, he's wearing shades cause he's cool....

Funny how certain things...certain completely random things...can suddenly be considered "cool"--- or whatever generational term is synonymous with "cool". How are these things determined to be the new status indicators???

Shades....clothing(or lack thereof) ....body art....jewelry....body modification....

Obviously there are trend-setters...celebrities, artists, etc. But what makes these trend-setters decide which items in the world are worth trumpeting as the new "in"-thing?? And what is it about these celebrities, artists, etc. that has given them the authority to be the trend trumpeters???

Fashions and fads have a way of being either extremely functional or beyond weird, but far be it for the fads to be intentionally functional--- this, of course, is the complete antithesis to fad-worthiness!

I've never given any intentional thought to keeping up with the fashions of the day. As quickly as fashions and fads change, it would be a full-time career t…

A time to every purpose under heaven....

So, I've been pondering an idea for a "short" fiction competition in December. There won't be any word about the last contest I entered until October, so what better way to pass the time than by preparing another piece for the next contest.

I've never really limited my writing by classifying it to any specific genre, but I have found that most of what I write has a definite bent toward magical realism....more specifically, the darker side of magical realism. Is there such a thing as the macabre magical realism genre???

I don't normally consider myself overly preoccupied with death, but it does have a strong role in most of the themes of my writing. I've mostly attributed it to my upbringing. There aren't too many children that I know of that spent their formative years wandering the halls and rooms of a skilled-patient nursing home. But the lonely, pathetic halls of such a place is exactly where my brother and I spent many an after-school hour, waitin…