Tag Archives: horror

World War Z – book review

I finished reading World War Z on Wednesday by Max Brooks and I have to say that it was incredibly thought provoking and the best example of world building I have come across in a long time!

There were things in this novel that I would never ever have dreamed of thinking as possibilities in a zombie infested world that I found very clever.  You understand that zombies are considered undead or dead people reanimated but do you really understand what that would really mean if it were real?

Think about it, what could the dead do that we could not if they happened to have become ravenously hungry reanimated autopilot predators?

Terrifying things actually!

They could survive climates and places that we as living breathing human beings would struggle with!

The story is absolutely amazing and without giving you too many spoilers I can’t really say much more than this… if you want a horror in a dystopian world and you want to be taught near perfect world building and keeping things real, then this is a must read, whether you like zombies or not!

This is how world building is done folks!

Happy reading!

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Imagination from the shadows

The shadow world surrounds me and inspires my heart

Stories to tell and wondrous art

Fantasy, horror, I love them all

They dance in my head in their raucous ball

I sit and I write about courageous fights and dragons protecting their nest

I write about angels betraying God and I think I like those the best

But the thing I love more than all of these things

Is the fantasy that someday I may inspiration bring

To other writers and artists like me

To help and set their imagination free

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Stephen King’s Dark Tower Multiverse?

I am planning a long reading project specifically focusing on Stephen King’s Dark Tower series; however, there is more to the Dark Tower series than meets the eye, so it seems.

When it comes to Stephen King I am a slow reader, because I find his books very long most of the time, it takes me an average of 3 to 6 weeks to finish a King novel, yet here I am, planning to read approximately 19, could be more!

Because I know my attention span is almost non-existent in almost every context of my life, I know that this reading project will probably span over 5yrs for me – that is realistic, because knowing me, as I do, I know that I will not just focus 100% on these books, there will be other books thrown into it as well as I have a heavy penchant for non-fiction and anthologies and my goodreads current reading list has 13 books in it, some are non-fiction reference books I started two years ago.

There is a YouTube video I watched the other day which tells you in order to better understand the Dark Tower series you should really do further reading between books of the series to understand the novel more; why?  Because a lot of the characters and things within the Dark Tower books can be found in other non-Dark Tower books by Stephen King.  What I find strange is in my opinion this is not a comprehensive list, because according to the YouTuber they mention that “The Shining” is mentioned in these books as well as Carrie White, yet these books are not part of the list he gave.

Here is the video if you are interested… https://youtu.be/4pmxpfPfzOw

Now before I jump in and read his recommended list I will be researching other people’s suggestions as well before making my decision where I will start.  No doubts at the end of this project I will have created my own list of recommendations because personally I think I know Stephen King novels like the back of my hand, I have been watching most of his movies and reading his stuff since I was 8yrs old, I have just got slow with reading altogether since 2006.

Also I was extremely hasty in 2009 when I wanted to run away from my parents’ house, I gave away half of my unread Stephen King collection to charity, because I was downsizing to the point I could take almost everything with me if needed.  However, I never had to do that and if I had known that before I gave away the 200 books I had from other people as well, I would never have truly given them up willingly and the DVDs too for that matter!

This memory makes me extremely sad because I had almost completed the collection for the Green Mile at the time too!

Anyway the above list was shown as this, to be read in this order;

  1. Salem’s Lot (seen the movie)
  2. The Stand (owned read to page 40 on average before weirdly getting the flu, this happened on 4 separate occasions I read the book – spooky!)
  3. Dark Tower – gunslinger (owned never read)
  4. Dark Tower – Drawing of the 3 (owned never read)
  5. Eyes of the dragon
  6. The Talisman
  7. Black House
  8. Everything’s eventual (not the title story yet but everything else)
  9. Dark Tower Wastelands
  10. The Dark Tower Wizard of Glass (owned never read)
  11. Insomnia (owned never read)
  12. Bag of bones
  13. Dark Tower wind through the keyhole
  14. Dark Tower the wolves of calla
  15. Dark Tower song of Susannah
  16. Everything’s eventual (the title story)
  17. Hearts in Atlantis (the 1st story)
  18. I.t (owned, read halfway before mastoid surgery made me forger to finish it, seen the movie too)
  19. Dark Tower

As you can see there are at least three books missing from this list if we were to include other mentioned characters from the Dark Tower.  There is no recommendation to read Carrie, The Shining or Doctor Sleep.  So those who are not au fait with Stephen King but want to read this epic fantasy series, really would not get the idea behind the mention of “The Shining” or Carrie White, how much more has this YouTuber left out I wonder?

So until I have watched a few more videos and viewed a few more blogs based on other reader recommendations, I will have to keep this project on hold, because I don’t like to miss a trick wherever possible and no, I don’t like spoilers!

Happy Reading!

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Learn to improvise tried and tested themes

There is one thing I dislike about reading stories and that is, I get confused about whether it was a movie or a book years later.  Sometimes there is a movie and a book out and I get confused because the actors are different to when I visualised it when reading. 

I also have the same problem about my own novels I write; were those my ideas or did I see the movie somewhere before?   Sometimes I have to actually make notes about where I have seen other things that I am imagining for my own stories, because I am paranoid about coming across as a copycat, I often google even characters and fantasy creatures, just to be sure.

Funnily enough, doing this has shown me how unoriginal many seemingly original stories are by other people.  At least I have learned how not to be cliché.  For example, I had an idea about a giant spider in a forest for one of my dragon novels, but then this has been done many times before, not just Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings! 

Let me tell you the others;

Conan the barbarian – the tower of the elephant

Arachne in Greek mythology

Arachnos from Dr Who

The Cthulu mythos

The wonderful wizard of Oz

Arachnophobia

There is a whole lot more – in fact giant spiders are overdone in three genres, horror, fantasy and sci-fi.

It is reasonable to think that it would be a popular choice along with rats, wasps, snakes, being buried alive because all of these are mankind’s greatest fears, so it can be a useful if overdone tool for creative writing.

But does that mean that you can’t include these overworked themes in your own writing?  Maybe not, but no one is going to write it like you, you can put a unique stance to the story, something that certainly hasn’t been done.  Maybe instead your spiders are friendly, vegan, mages, aquatic, who knows the options are many!

For your information, there is such a thing as aquatic arachnids, spiders that can live both on the land and in water, they can breathe under water, now your nightmares can really begin to grow!  What will you do with it?

So, although it is good for me to be paranoid about originality, originality in fact does not exist.  Only your stance of what already exists can feel unique to those who may never have come across something like that before and the likelihood of finding people like that is at least 33%, well I am not mathematician, so I wouldn’t really know, but the chances are, people will like your perspective on the subject or theme.  So get at it, but always be aware that you are not as original as you think – this shouldn’t stunt you, in fact, it should help teach you to think outside the box, improvise or innovate, you know?

Happy reading!

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Nox Arcana Art Influence

Another task I am setting for myself this week is to try and find as much art from the Nox Arcana albums I can throughout the internet and perhaps put it in Pinterest, because a lot of the songs and art of Nox Arcana inspire me a lot!

I saw two pictures quick-fire today and they melded together in my mind, I made a crap picture myself based on those images and a story is forming in my head.  I really don’t need new story ideas, but the artwork was beautiful, not mine, theirs. 

They have influenced a lot of my stuff, particularly the dark fantasy and horror stuff.

Also to do the artist of these pictures justice, I really need to find out who they are, that’s one thing I haven’t got around to doing yet. Shame on me, really! I think it’s Joseph Vargo, but I don’t really know.

Happy reading

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Reflections of consequence

Upon reflecting at my notes for new stories, I realise that around a third of everything I plan to write is vampire based.  So this is a revelation because I thought I wrote vampires more than any other subject, but no, it is second to fantasy.  Horror is actually not within the top three subjects I write about but is actually fourth, behind dystopia. 

The poetry I write is really just a means to fulfil the frustrated composer and song writer in me.  Poetry is a way in keeping me sane from the loss of composing music via Cubase, I no longer have Cubase and there is a void in my heart because of it.  I can’t read and write music properly but I have been trying to learn recently, so I can try and learn to cope without Cubase, as I miss it a lot.  I have no desire whatsoever to be a singer though; I just love making music and writing lyrics.

I think about music as much as I think about my stories, but I have learned to give up music for various reasons.  Occasionally ignoring it can make me go literally insane enough that I have to blurt out poetry just to shut the thoughts up in my mind, but it is starting to get quite loud in my mind lately.  Not sure how long I have before I will give in and sell stuff just to get another type of music software to help me.  I bought a glockenspiel last year hoping to sate my need for music and around once every eighteen months I notice I buy a new instrument just to try and sate the musician in me, but I think my brain is getting wise to these distractions.

I do believe that if you are creative and you have many outlets, to ignore any one of those outlets for too long can both make you go nuts, but also seep into your other creative works and make you resent the attention you give them, because you are ignoring the other.  All creative outlets are both food and poison for the other ones, depends on whether or not they feel neglected or not, a bit like a polygamous lover, you know?

I am an Artist, Gardener, Musician, Writer; I do sing and I used to like acting in drama classes at college, I do voices too.  It is strange that since I totally gave up practising my voices, that I have been getting a lot of illnesses that affect the throat, some spiritual healers tell me they are not surprised, because it is the throat chakras way in responding to this creative neglect.  I suppose too then, that when I don’t write for a while, the migraines I get in my head are to do with the stories having a civil war in my mind too?

I’m very spiritual, so to me, everything happens for a reason and I believe that sickness can be caused because you are neglecting a spiritual or creative part of you.  I think love and freedom has a lot to do with a person’s overall health and I suppose that it is this reason that I am ill.  I don’t have much love and I never had much freedom, I don’t mean to sound whiny but it is true and therefore, it is unsurprising that I have autoimmunity issues.

I am very unsurprised that a vast majority of my illnesses are ear, throat and stomach related.  Because throughout my life I have heard things I do not like to hear, I have never spoken about what has happened to me and I hold back when trying to stand up for myself verbally, I also ate things I never wanted to.  So when you reflect on things like this, you can plainly see how it can all make you ill in those parts of you.

I find myself a lot, saying to people I don’t want to hear this, it is not kind, I don’t want to hear this, it is too negative.  I am such a sensitive person, I don’t like hearing negative things spoken all the time, I don’t like hearing another person’s distress.  I lost my hearing when I was a teenager in my right ear, because I kept hearing things I didn’t like, now I still hear things I don’t like and gradually I am losing hearing in the left ear too.

I either have to become harder and more tolerant to what I hear, or completely isolate myself from society altogether, lol.  If I chose the latter, it will surely affect the health of my heart due to a lack of connection and love?  So I will have to learn to harden up and become tolerant to the negativity around me, I don’t know how I will do that, but it needs to start happening soon, or I won’t be able to hear music anymore, let alone play it.

Anyway, happy reading and I will post again tomorrow, thank you for being here!

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5 movies that made me cry

Bambi

I think most people would put this one down in their list, if they are sensitive to animals and loving nature etc.  So this just speaks for itself really.

Paulie

I love the movie Paulie it is in my top 100 all-time favourite movies, but it is emotionally hard going for me.  The poor little blue crowned parakeet, had a tough little life, but initially his life was good, he loved a little girl with severe speech impediment and helped her along.  But then one day her father came home from the army and demanded the bird be sent away, because he was getting the girl into dangerous trouble. 

The bird goes from person to person over many years and always, his personal goal was to go back and find his little Marie, the little girl he always loved.  The movie has all sorts of drama and adventures in it for the little parakeet; some are hard going for an animal lover like me.  But I loved this movie nonetheless, but if you are like me, you must expect a whole host of different emotions throughout the movie consistently and it is a big rollercoaster ride, let me tell you! 

Marley and Me

This is the most recent movie I have watched that made me cry, I watched it only a few days ago, it was the first movie I had watched in four months.  Again, an animal made me cry!  I just can’t stand sad movies where animals die!  But I keep watching them anyway, because my most favourite kind of movies is those with animals as main characters, children or vampires.  So, yeah, quite contrasted mixes!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Look, I know you are confused here right now, but you really have to know me, in order to know why this cuts me up big time!  I just find some vampire movies very romantic, with this whole, reincarnation and love re-discovered concept and how people are willing to literally sell their souls for love.  I know, it’s screwy, but stop being judgemental here, we’re all different right? 

I cried when Dracula died and she was clasping at him broken hearted and in a catch 22 situation where she was literally torn between the dark and the light side; the best for her and the worst for her.  Being wholly human and experiencing as many emotions as a person can possibly handle all at once, all the for the sake of having to choose which love to love and which love to let go.  Yeah, I’m weird, who cares?

I.T (1990)

I can’t even watch this one for five minutes before my tears start!  Little baby Georgie, that was so gruesome and I have to admit, I very nearly didn’t watch the rest of the movie because of it.  I just hate that scene, yes; I watched the movie before I read the book when I was 15.  If I could magically jump into the TV and save the kid I would have… violently!  But I am sucker for being shocked and disgusted and for pushing my own boundaries in an oftentimes vain attempt to try and harden myself up to the worst aspects of humanity.

The amount of times I have often gone back to the scene in my head and it is me who is mind fucking the clown to death, not him getting away with it!

This is what I love about Stephen King though; he knows how dark reality really is and he doesn’t shelter his readers from it like some other more (supposedly) considerate horror authors.  There is no nannying when he writes.  Sometimes the vocabulary is vulgar as is in life, people are vulgar as in life, things get twisted, as in life, it is all real, it is brutally real his stuff, despite it being fictional, the general concepts are real things.  Death, brutality and murder, war, disease is not a pretty thing and should not be romanticised at all, he does this wonderfully, he takes the poetry out of death and that is good, because it shouldn’t be glamorised!

You get authors who write about TB for example and they gentle tell you about the coughing of blood in the tissue like they are dying elegantly; But if Stephen King were to write it, he would talk about the ear hacking coughs, the phlegm and the retching of the patient and the dribble down their chin stained with coarse dark blood and their loved ones, scared for their relative, recoiling and choking on the smell oozing from their loved one.  That sort of thing and that is good writing, it is realistic! Who wants TB glamorised gently?  Aren’t books supposed to be educational?  Stephen King definitely gives you an education!

But yeah, generally, my heart breaks when a kid or an animal dies in movies.  I even cry for some monsters because they are misunderstood, not Pennywise though, but I have cried for a couple of King’s monsters.  Lol.

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My week of writing 4 and updates

I have not had a good week regarding my immune system this week.  Everything has decided to play up again, my ears, my throat, ache in my bones, my cough is getting bad again and before you all start to panic, no it is not the corona virus!  Though I’m scared to go anywhere near a doctors surgery right now, despite a bad chest infection brewing. 

Talking of which I have had the news of 12 individuals I personally know dying of this damned disease this week!  One of which has left a family of 6 children under the age of 19 without a father, it is very sad.

Also recently my mother wrote me a letter trying to get back into contact with me again but failed to mention my uncle (one which raised me off and on a lot throughout my childhood) had also died of the corona virus just three weeks ago, after being admitting to hospital shortly after Christmas.  So that’s how much she cares about re-establishing contact with me where it actually matters; You see, people don’t matter to her, they never have – I mentioned in a previous post about how cold towards sentimentality she is with people and how people can be as easily discarded as items by her.  This proves it; even with her favourite sibling she is indifferent.  I don’t know how people can be that way?

Although I am very disappointed with my word count for the week, the whole fact I did anything at all is amazing, considering it has mostly been a bed bound week for me again. 

I have also had a brand new idea for a horror novel which I am excited about because I think it isn’t something that has been done before, but what will I know?  Anyway, the idea came at me whilst I was reading World War Z which is amazing really because the idea is not zombie based at all.

I am thinking about going into the planning stages for that book between now and April, because I am thinking about perhaps, health permitting, I may join NaNoWriMo.  I found out NaNoWriMo does an April and a July thing too, so I may do the April one this year, whilst this new idea is very fresh in my mind!  I am going to name the project “Bones” whenever I talk about it, so you know what I am on about from time to time. 

I have also decided against a YouTube channel because I have heard rumours than an average 10 minute video can take 7 hours of editing and I hate technology so I won’t enjoy that editing process at all.  Sorry for the disappointment guys!  On the bright-side, I may start posting pics on Instagram finally, well, soon, anyway. 

My word count has been very small this week.  It is as below…

Words towards blog posts           –             1334

Words towards novels                   –              6240

Words towards plans for novels –             647

Words towards poetry or songs –              79

Words towards essays                   –              0

Words towards other                     –              678

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The shadowlands part 2

To me the shadows blanket me from the woes of mortality

I can watch, but I won’t feel

It is a blessing to be what I am

A creature of the shadows

I sit and watch in anticipation as the shadowlands cover the world to sleep

Babies cry in their mothers arms, cradled by helplessness

I could almost pity them

But I do not

The city falls slowly to sleep

As the shadowlands bite its way to my door

I open the door eagerly awaiting an embrace

The vines of darkness coil around my body mind and soul almost crushing me

But they know their own

Their grasp loosen and I feel kissed

Come play with us the shadowlands call

And I heed them

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The Shadowlands part 1

The shadowlands swamp the world with its biting shadowy glaze

Covering the mortal realm like a blanket with a cold sharp wind

Frozen to the bone the mortal men pray for the darkness to be vanquished by sunlight

But the darkness just keeps biting

Biting the tears of the mortal men as the tears drop onto the cheeks of the men and groan

Will the darkness ever cease?

I hope not, for I call it home

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