Short Excerpt from My First Fictional Horror Story

The following was written promptly upon waking at 4:36am, after a horror dream I had last night. Most likely, this was my brain's direct response to reading H.P. Lovecraft's Beyond the Wall of Sleep before I went to bed. Although my hubby says it sounds more like Clive Barker. Hmmm...now I'm gonna have to explore him too! Enjoy....if you can...

[The thing sprang out from the partially open closet door, taking a fierce nip at my ankle. As I stood there awash in horror, it let out a frightening screech, while a woman's head and torso burst out of the dog-like body. It hobbled away from me, dragging its upper body by its half-formed arms and leaving a trail of blood and viscous substance behind. Within a few feet's distance, the thing suddenly turned it's freakish, glistening bald head toward me and let out another blood curdling sound, while its lactating nipples shot out streams of milk. Then it was gone..]

Haha! Reading it now, I can think of at least three different horror movies this could be from; The Thing, Lifeforce, Hellraiser...among others, but I have never experienced anything quite like this while in a dream before. Interestingly, maybe this thing about reading voraciously will really work. Certainly, I need to devote more time to reading, having neglected that passion for so long because of desperately trying to earn a living. Well, no more I say! Feeding my creative desires and fueling my abilities with inspiration is long overdue. Who knows, I just may add to this scary snippet, making it into some sort of short story, so stay tuned! Happy (horror) writing!

New Things I've Learned While Hunting for Writing Gigs

Today, a couple of things have sunk in past my hard, thick head that I wanted to share with you...

1).Previously, I mentioned that between the inspiration of H.P. Lovecraft and the power of dreams, I can begin to create fictional stories from my fiction-less mind, perhaps with less struggle than I thought. Using my dreams as springboards for story ideas is probably such a simple equation to most people, but for someone like me who is so steeped in the truth of experience, this is a novel idea. har...har (novel idea, indeed). Additionally, Lovecraft is teaching me that horror fiction can be 'beautiful' to look at, by means of flowery descriptions of the abominations I choose to concoct.

So, this means I need to begin writing down my dreams-no matter what. Lovecraft has stories that are referred to as 'dream stories' or 'dream cycle stories', so how much more encouragement do I need here??

2). While applying to a staggering number of writing gigs (20 in the last five days), I also learned that every single element of my writing (blogs, profiles, social media interactions, as well as previous writing experience) all count as little pieces of my portfolio. I hadn't really realized the importance editors and writing employers were putting on having your own blog...and I have two! This led me to discover that both of my blogs have a DA or PA well over 30, which is good news...whatever that means. Actually, I believe it just means that the content I am providing has been found to be accurate, true, and coming from a reliable source. I think. Any insights on that one, anybody?

Lastly, (and this isn't something new I've learned, just a continual work-in-progress), I am working hard on staying focused and positive. Projecting to The Universe great feelings of gratitude for the upcoming financial stability I will receive from my writing, fueled by passion and perseverance. How's that?!

Embracing Fiction with H.P. Lovecraft and The Power of Dreaming

All my life, any writing I've done has been in the form of journaling, writing down song lyrics, dabbling in poetry and various other forms of non-fiction creative writing. These days, I find myself more intrigued with the idea of writing fiction of all things. Although this idea completely freaks me out, I think I'm beginning to see a little light shed on this path, to figure out how it can be done--at least for me. As I've said in a previous post, I only know how to tell the truth--that is--to reiterate what I have already experienced. Now I'm beginning to break down the colossal mystery of 'telling a story', and actually understand how it can be done: Why not use the power of my sometimes devastating dreams to fuel 'stories'? Because I can assure you, I have been blessed with a surprisingly vivid imagination, and the power to recall minute details of nearly every dream, right down to the mood in the air, emotions, thoughts, the weather...you name it. A lengthy process to be sure, but if my half-German/Gemini mind is beginning to grasp this concept, I just may be able to make this a reality.

H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction
I have touted the mastermind that is Stephen King, a writer I relate to so strongly not because of what he writes, but because of his simple way of 'telling the truth'. That I understand.That makes sense to me. And recently, I have connected with another mastermind writer; H.P. Lovecraft, thanks to the genius that is Neil Gaiman. Already being a Poe fan (Edgar Allan, that is), this is a natural progression, albeit a delayed one. But as I've said before, I'm a very late bloomer. Poe can be daunting at times, as the language he uses is very hard to decipher when one is not used to Victorian era English. Lovecraft however, 'speaks' flowery, yet clearly, which for horror fiction I find a most interesting dichotomy. Along with his excellent (and sometimes hilariously gruesome) style of description, his stories scream the truth to me, and I feel as though I have truly found a friend and co-conspirator. Incidentally, if you want a complete Lovecraft collection in a digital format, the biggest bang for your buck (literally) is The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft  ebook for Kindle (or Kindle app on the iPhone) which was graciously compiled by Ruth at CthulhuChick.com.

Hopefully, between my crazy ass dreams and the inspirations from Mr. Lovecraft, I just may be able to come up with something worthwhile. Stay tuned to find out! Happy writing!

What to Write?? Musings From My Fiction-less Mind

What to write?? I have the world at my fingertips, yet I haven't a clue what to say. It would be so much easier if I could make up stories, but I only know how to tell the truth. Yet again, Stephen King says, "Write whatever you want, but always tell the truth." I've got that part down, but I don't know how to make up stories that aren't my truths...or at least things I have experienced. But I understand how things look and feel, why can't I just create a world in my mind--it can look like anything I want, and I know I am capable of describing it perfectly. Just as my dreams are so vividly detailed, I could transfer these dreams to the page as well. I have been blessed with an incredibly imaginative mind, I need to start using it in my writing.

So what's stopping me?? Surprisingly, it's not fear. I guess it's partly not knowing what to say/write that hasn't been written/said a ba-zillion times before. But no one can read everything (just as in music, no one can know every band/song) so as long as it's good, what does it matter? Maybe if I look at this like I look at my blogs; there are a ga-zillion blogs, yet I have two of them, which people read and enjoy and find informative. That's a great way to look at it, right?? Right. Enough questions, get to it Lisa.

Moving Forward with LinkedIn Groups

As mentioned in a previous post, LinkedIn is the newest site I have joined for networking and connecting to those with like minds. It's much more than a social media site, it looks to have some real potential for future freelancing gigs, not to mention hooking up with current friends and colleagues. And as we all know; it's not what you know, it's who you know that can make all the difference when moving along on the path to your dreams, right??

There are many, many groups related to various interests that you can join and get to know other people who are into the same things. For example, there are a mind-boggling 2000+ writer's groups currently available on LinkedIn. Now, I don't know who has that much time to devote to joining groups, but this is an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing, particularly when you're stumped for a subject to write about. So far, I've found fellow users to be very friendly, helpful and generous with tips and knowledge, which is important to me.

Your profile is extremely important at LinkedIn, as the information you add is how you will come up in searches. Filling out my profile was at first a bit intimidating, as there isn't much relevant information to add--in my mind, that is. But as my friend Joe of Freelance-Zone.com constantly reminds me; all of the writing I've done literally my whole life is relevant, and not to discredit it. I'm working on that... Of course the beauty of your profile is that you can change it at any given time, to reflect whatever subject you're currently diving into, or to include your latest job, gig or any other activity you wish to include. Just remember to keep it professional, but don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. Good luck!

Help from the Masters: Writing Tips from Neil Gaiman & Stephen King


Neil Gaiman
It is with some amount of embarrassment that I sheepishly admit to having not-yet read anything by Neil Gaiman. However, I am, at this moment, listening to him read Stardust via audiobook, and enjoying it very much. I am not usually in the habit of forgoing books for audiobooks, but his voice is soothing and inspiring me greatly. But his books are not the reason for this post. What is more important here, is his seemingly unfailing willingness to help/acknowledge/promote fellow writers, which astonishes me. It is so rare, particularly in this day and age, for a celebrity of Neil's status to spend his precious time assisting us un-knowns, eager to set a tentative foot inside the writer's world.

The following is a prime example of what I mean. This caught my attention the other day, prompting me to act upon the curious desire to find out more about Neil, his writing and his life. It comes directly from his blog, and as you can see, reblogged here with kind permission:

                       Reposted as something that can be reblogged. ON WRITER’S BLOCK.

I’ve seem to be hitting writer’s block far too often now. My grade in my creative writing class is suffering because i don’t turn in anything because i’m never really satisfied with anything i do. all my good ideas seem to turn into bad ones once i write it down. How do you get pass writers block?

whimsyrachy


You turn off your inner critic. You do not listen to your inner police force. You ignore the little voices that tell you that it’s all stupid, and you keep going.

Your grade isn’t suffering because your writing is bad, it’s suffering because you aren’t finishing things and handing them in.

So, finish them and hand them in. Even if a story’s lousy, you’ll learn something from it that will be useful as a writer, even if it’s just “don’t do that again”.

You’re always going to be dissatisfied with what you write. That’s part of being human. In our heads, stories are perfect, flawless, glittering, magical. Then we start to put them down on paper, one unsatisfactory word at a time. And each time our inner critics tell us that it’s a rotten idea and we should abandon it.

If you’re going to write, ignore your inner critic, while you’re writing. Do whatever you can to finish. Know that anything can be fixed later.

Remember: you don’t have to be brilliant when you start out. You just have to write. Every story you finish puts you closer to being a writer, and makes you a better writer.

Blaming “Writer’s Block” is wonderful. It removes any responsibility from the person with the “block”. It gives you something to blame, and it sounds fancy.

But it’s probably more honest to think of it as a combination of laziness, perfectionism and Getting Stuck. If you’re being lazy, don’t be. If you’re being a perfectionist, don’t be. And if you’re stuck, figure out where the story went off the rails, or what you got wrong, or where you need to go deeper, or what you need to add to make it work, and then start writing.

                                                                  *****


This gives an uninitiated writer hope and courage to muck through the sticky bits of writer's block, self doubt, fear and whatever else we allow to stand in our way of our craft. I suppose even respected writers feel these things from time to time, but perhaps need fewer reminders than the rest of us.

Stephen King
Like Neil, Stephen King is another highly celebrated writer who gives of his time and expertise generously as evidenced in his book, 'On Writing'. I highly recommend picking this up, because the first half of the book is autobiographical (although he says it isn't), and the second half is all about the craft of writing itself.

Stephen is a former teacher, which, I believe, is not just an occupation one takes while waiting to make it big as a writer. To this day, both Neil and Stephen continue to teach us in their own unique way, and I'd like to believe both of them love their craft so much, they still feel compelled to teach.

Both of these brilliant writers comfort me in times when I allow the darkness of my own mind to get the better of me, and keep me from 'just writing'. They inspire me to continue on this writing path; trusty lantern in one hand, journal in the other, to wherever I wish it to go. Care to join me?