The other day my husband remarked that horror films and books, as clever and dark as they are, usually don’t write about the mundane things that really scare and disgust people – aging, speaking in public, listening to people chew, answering telephones, bananas… all the seemingly normal things that get to us in our day to day lives.
So what I would love to see is this:
pick one of your everyday fears – or if you are truly fearless, try to imagine what it would be like to be afraid of a commonplace thing – and write a poem about it in the vein of real hauntings-and-monsters-and-slashers horror.
It doesn’t seem right having this weekend retreat so close to Halloween and not include an opportunity for some Horror writing.
Writing Exercise #4 – Mysterious/Scary
A murder has taken place in a cabin in the middle of a snowy field. Your character finds three sets of footsteps entering the cabin, but none leaving. Apart from the victim, no one else seems to be there. What is going on?
I wrote a piece especially for 42 this month, it was a bit of a rush because I spent the morning dealing with car insurance and the afternoon washing my car (caked in mud from River Cottage) before its MOT.
I tried to stick to the theme, wrote a very short fairy poem and then after researching got side-tracked by folklore. I became engrossed in discovering new knowledge of stories, traditions and superstition.
I started by trying to write a poem, it turned into prose and ended up a narrative poem. I was unsure about performing it as it is the first draft, but feedback was positive and it was an enjoyable experience.
I had a great night – quite a few poets turned their hands to prose and there were people who haven’t been for a while – it was good to see a mixed crowd and a bigger audience.
Then at the end of the night I was told that Sue Thompson (who was at Andrew Owens’s book launch) had posted her final artwork online, I couldn’t wait to check it out, I was sitting at her table so was lucky enough to see some preliminary sketches. They are great – look out for them on a new post.
The next 42 is a Worcester LitFest special and I am happy to have one of the eight floor spots.
Had a great night at Drummonds 42, some spectacular stories and poems! I had written 2 Zombie poems, to fit the theme. I was wondering how I would manage as this is not a favoured genre.
You know sometimes when you are trying to write something, the universe just delivers? Last Friday whilst I was at the Quiet Compere, Mr G was playing a new game on the playstation and I arrived home to a screen full of Zombies, it inspired to write ‘My Non-Existent Post Apocalyptic Zombie Plan’ and ‘Carnage’. I left these poems to soak and came back to them today to edit. Which took the best part of an hour.
My day of writing is going well – I am using my self disciplined invisible time-table! Today is a National Teacher Strike and my school is closed. I won’t get paid for supply, I havent had to do any – I welcome this day to write and catch up with my life (as a writer!), like I mentioned in a social media status – on one hand I don’t make any money today and on the other hand, well the other hand is the one I write with!
Mr G made sure I was up early – he forgot I wasn’t working today. After the post event adrenalin of last night – I went to Poetry Bites, an evening of fantastic poetry booked and hosted by Jacqui Rowe (Editor Flarestack Publishing) a group of us went to support Sarah James, who was one of the booked poets, I then found out you could book a floor spot and couldn’t resist sharing a couple of poems. It was a fantastic night and of course when I came home I found myself wide awake to begin with, it was about 1a.m when I rolled into bed, so I could have done with a bit of a lie in and my pink eyes tell that story!
I made a coffee, grabbed the 3 issues of my writing magazine that I am still attempting to find time to read and headed back off to bed to do my Admin.
3 hours later, I have emerged (still in PJs) but now online and upright. I had a diary full of writing tasks and now I have an A4 to do list in order and am about to hit the ground running with an edit and final re-write of the poems written especially for tonight’s 3rd Anniversary of Drummonds 42. The theme is Zombies and although I don’t do horror, I have enjoyed attending 42 each month since Halloween and sharing the darker thoughts of my mind which would never be shared in public without events like this. Tonight though – it is special (I feel I should be baking cakes, but I am definitely far too busy writing to do that or clean the kitchen (Mr G)…) in honour of the anniversary I am using the theme and have managed to write 2 post apocalyptic zombie poems… I enjoyed the challenge.
My writing diary, which has been littered with weekly post-it notes has now got extra pages taped in and is looking fairly full until the summer. I have 8 writing tasks today – I think that is OVER AMBITIOUS to say in the least especially as I have to make it to the library before closing to collect my Art Network Poetry Display (which came down last week) and then get out to the 42 Gig…
My 1st writing task before editing the Zombie poems is to write a short Bio – for the Born Free Anthology – I struggle with these as I never know what to put and can feel my ego smugly pushing me out the way to get to the keyboard. Elaine needs it a.s.a.p so I promised her it would be my 1st online job of the day.
Better get some work done now then, the sun is shining – I am happy, have my 2nd coffee of the day – had I been working I would still be without a break and over 3 hours in! Bliss. I cannot wait for the flat sale to go through so I can afford at least a few of these writing days a month.
I accepted the great challenge of writing material which would be suitable for this event – as I am such a scaredy cat that my over active imagination struggles to keep any grasp on reality. Sometimes I challenge myself to read books from this genre but cannot read them after dark!
Anyway I knew I had written some poems this year that would be suitable and I set about writing a few new ones.
I know that often poet’s perform the same set or parts of it – I like the fact that signing up to a new event forces me to write new material.
1 month – 5 events in Leamington, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Birmingham and Worcester.
And my confidence is high – audiences are so kind and other poets are great at giving feedback.
*Mid spooky verse
Thanks to Andrew Owens for making me feel so welcome and using my blog tag line in the introduction!
I also saw a writer I met back in April at Keith Lindsay’s Writing Workshop. We got talking and he leant me a book – about writing – will help me through NaNoWriMo for sure!
So thanks for trusting me with it James.
I had a fabulous night, heard a mixture of stories and poems and had some great feedback on my set.
The adrenalin is surging!
The only sad thing – is about 20 minutes before I was due to leave for the city – I found out that it was optional fancy dress. In previous years I have loved dressing up for Halloween
and this year we hadn’t made any plans to. The only party/ gig we have been invited to clashes with a gig we have already booked so until a few weeks ago I had no need for a costume. Unpacking my fancy dress wasn’t a priority and it is still buried somewhere in the 3rd bedroom (which we will tackle later this week!) … I did have skulls on my dress…. and at least I didn’t have to worry about my make up running!
A spoken word event was the perfect way for me to include Halloween into 2013.
The next one is a Flash Fiction event, so may need to work on some material for a while!
Well the embers of the campfire glow on into the summer night. I could almost forget I have boxes ruling my life! Thanks to people who helped me this evening. Your knowledge is a much appreciated source and you will be listed in publishing credits. The list has begun! I went old school 600 words in tonight… I actually decided to plan the story … Turns out it may not be as short as 1st thought!
Nano Stats Day 3 1716 words today 4827 Total (trying to make up for unpacking time!) 30173 Words to go (not even thinking about it!) 29 Days left If I continue @ this rate (uhuh!) finish by 22/7/13
Need to check a few references for current nano short story. Vampires; To obtain a new member they have to drink vampire blood? Rather than be bitten? Other than stakes, crucifixes, garlic, holy water and sunlight is there anything that can repel a vampire? Does the head vampire have a special title? Do they eat anything or just drink blood?
Thanks… I guess I should have spent less time behind the cushion!