Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Found My Character

I've been, not only, neglecting my blog, but my writing has lapsed severely.  There are no excuses, as writers we have heard or whined them all. 

My sister-in-law, as a Christmas present, typed out a jar full of writing prompts for me.  This not only made me feel horrible about not writing, but it also, gave me the motivation to get my ass moving.  Especially, when you know that my sister-in-law is a Pentecostal preachers wife, and she wrote out a jar full of horror prompts.  Does she rock or what?!

I have had a story idea for awhile now, but have been struggling with my main character.  I have my notes for my idea sitting beside my bed and every now and then I take a look, but...nothing.  Then today, on my way to work, my protagonist came to me.  He was an unexpected delight.  The great thing about these moments are not only that they come sometimes unexpectedly, but that the character is not at all what I had thought of originally.  He's better. 

I am a firm believer in having a relationship with my characters.  I can love or hate them, but if I have no feelings at all, then the paper remains blank.  I wrote a few lines at work, when no one was looking, shhhh.  And then, on my way home, I had another break through.  I rushed in the house and went straight to some paper to write everything down.  It feels good to be writing again. 

Honestly, I was feeling a bit lost for the past year.  My characters, are awakening and thinking up some dark and devious deeds.  As for me, I'm starting to find my way again. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I suffer from this horrible disease called procastination.  How about you?

I honestly think most writers have a problem with this from time to time.  But, what if it becomes habitual instead of just being every now and then?   That's when, for a writer, it can become deadly.  I think of it as self-induced writers block.  I think it sounds better than just plain laziness.

Now the real question.  Is there a cure?  Some will say, sure just get off your lazy ass and start writing!  Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.  For me, this deadly form of writers block can be crippling.  I still have ideas raging through my head, sometimes I'll even write a few down in one of my fancy journals.  (This always makes me feel better.)  But, what am I really accomplishing, absolutely nothing. 

Great, so you wrote down an idea or two.  Now what are you going to do with said idea.  Procrastination will undoubtedly rear it's ugly head, snarling and hissing until you set your journal or piece of scrap paper aside, and you end up playing a game on your computer, or whatever your demon may be.

I'm not here to give a miracle cure for this sickness.  I'm just here to call it out.  I'm just here as a fellow sufferer.  In fact, to your dismay, I'm not sure there is a cure for procrastination.  Maybe, disguising itself as a product of human nature is its sly way of slithering into our brains, where it can sink its scaly talons deep into our pyches.

Ok, I can tell your not buying it.  You still think it's cause is unadulterated laziness.  Fine, but next time you want to tweet instead of gather ideas, blow up zombies instead of outline, or watch reruns of The Golden Girls instead of write, remember you are the one that believes this disease can be conquered.

So, go ahead quit being lazy.  Pick up your pen, that mighty weapon and defeat procrastination before it destroys you.  Because, hey, at least I'm writing...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas & Horror Writing

A few years ago I wrote a series of Christmas horror stories.

Let me start at the beginning.

About four years ago, I was doing readings at a local coffee shop. A few months before Christmas, Stephanie, who was in charge of putting the readings together, decided she wanted to do a writing assignment for the holiday. She had us pick a Christmas themed word out of a hat. My word was "stocking".

I felt the challenge calling to me. So, I set upon writing a few fun tales. These were my objectives:
a. extremely short stories
b. humor
c. shock and disturb my fun, but church going family(my brother is a Pentacostal youth pastor).

The stories were a hit at the Christmas reading that year. Although, I have to be honest, only a few people showed. And three of them were teenage boys, who weren't there for the reading, but were doing an art project. My stories were a huge hit with them. I guess the horror demographics are correct. The following year, Stephanie asked me to read the stories again. There was going to be a much bigger crowd. As a writer of the macabre, I have learned at times we must explain a bit about our stories before we read them, you know, to prepare people. So, I explained to the crowd, (mind you they were all writers), how I came about writing Christmas horror stories. Then I read the stories. I heard a few chuckles in the crowd, but when I was finished reading and looked up, I saw many horrified and dumbfounded expressions staring back at me. Instead of detering me from writing anymore of these silly stories, the experience convinced me I was doing exactly what I had set out to do, disturb people.

The stories were meant to be read aloud, and they were meant to be fun. Every year I try and add to my holiday themed nightmare. In fact, I have compiled the stories and have titled them The Stalking Tales: A Christmas Nightmare. I tried to keep a "stocking" in each story. This, unfortunately, did not happen. A few of the stories took a life of their own, as they like to do. One of the stories "Frostbitten" even creeps me out a bit. It involves Jack Frost and I always found him scary, but I'll save that for another day.

 Reading the stories on Christmas Eve has become a tradition at our house. My family likes to indulge me. Afterwards they ask me if I could write something a bit nicer. So, of course, I don't.

For the holidays I wanted to share my stories. Here is the first one I wrote called, "Reindeers Revenge".  I hope you like it. If the story is well recieved I will share a few more as Christmas comes hurtling towards us.

Reindeers Revenge
Vixen was pissed.  Pulling the fat mans sleigh, working one night a year with no benefits, living in a crowded stall with seven other mangy reindeer, fed old straw and stagnant water, she couldn’t take it anymore.  This was not the glorious life she was led to believe it would be.
The fat man and all his ho-ho-hoeing was getting on her nerves.  The jolliness the mortals were so convinced radiated from his rosy cheeks was nothing but a lie.  He had a heavy hand when it came to whipping them through the skies.  A cat-o-nine tails can damage a tender flank.  Vixen watched as Prancer limped his way to the watering hole and Blitzen, with his one remaining eye, sustained after a horrible candy cane incident, stumbled towards his stall.  She was enraged, she had had enough.
A secret meeting was called, something had to be done to put a stop to the fat mans tyranny.  As the reindeer came together on that Christmas Eve morn they gathered supplies, hiding them among the stocking stuffers, knowing he would never look in there.  The stocking held no glory for the fat man. 
They heard the murmuring and the skittering scuffle of the elves as they began stuffing gifts into the giant red bag.  The reindeer stomped their hooves in anticipation. 
The red suited monster shouted them away into the night.  With breath coming out in frosty pants, their sore and tired legs flying as they had never flown before, the eight tiny reindeer saw through the clouds the pointed peaks of village houses.  Whip in hand the fat man lashed them down to a halt on the first rickety rooftop.  They watched as he jumped down the chimney. As the slurping sounds of Santa sucking down his milk and cookies came up the chimney shaft, the mob of enraged deer gathered their weapons and surrounded the chimney hole. 
 Vixen gripped the handle of the shiny steel blade between her teeth.  The other reindeer stood in position eyes rolling and mouths foaming in excitement.  As his pointy red cap emerged, Vixen began to swing. The blade sang in the frosty air. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hello, everyone!

My name is Mara and I am an aspiring horror writer.  I wanted to start this blog and use it as a creative sound board for ideas, and hell, just for fun.  If you can't mix fun in with what we do, what's the point? 

I have discovered in this age of technology, which by the way I kind of suck at, that there is no way out of creating an online persona. If you're not all over the net then you don't exist.  Well, here is me trying to exist. I hope you all will be patient with me as I learn my way around this great abyss we call blogging.

Looking forward to crawling out of the deep and wending my way into the hearts and minds of all who take the time to read what I have to say.