Real-Life Horror: Man Eats Man’s Face

Did you guys hear about this? What the HELL.

From abcactionnews.com:
“Several vehicles, including buses and even three bicyclists, went past on a Miami street as a naked man chewed the face off a homeless man Saturday in what has been called a zombie-like attack, video footage posted by the Miami Herald shows.”

Read the article here. (It goes without saying that information and pictures at this link are disturbing.)

I just…I don’t even have words. Zombie attacks are only cool when, y’know, they’re not really happening. Jesus.

It’s Our First Anniversary!

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One year ago I married my best friend.

We’ve been together for eleven years now, and we knew each other before that, in high school (ask C about how I stalked him). We did a lot of our growing up together, and we get each other. We often joke about how we can’t ever break up now, because we’re the same kind of weird, and we’re ruined for other people.

For example, not everyone would put up with this:

We first started dating when we were both 19. One day we decided to do some cutesy couple stuff together — this was still in the first few weeks, when everything GLITTERS and the very birds SING OF YOUR LOVE. We decided to buy colouring books and crayons. So cute! So quaint! His was Scooby Doo, I think, and let me take a moment to assure you it was the most manly of colouring books in the whole dollar store. Mine was some generic girly thing: unicorns and bunnies and…dolls.

We sat there for a while, colouring away. Looking back, he should have known something was up when I raised my book up on my knees and wouldn’t let him see it. He was busy colouring the Mystery Machine or something, while I…I had other plans.

The time comes that we decide to exchange pictures. (Adorable, right?)
He passes me his, and maybe it had a ghost or a cartoon monster, I don’t remember, but I do remember it was normal.

I began to have second thoughts. Now or never, I think, and I hand him what I had done.

The pretty little ragdoll now had green skin. She had red button eyes, and a bloodied swastika on her forehead, and I had written in my best crayon-held-in-clenched-fist style “I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVERRRR” across the top.

He said “Oh. That’s uh, interesting.” Then he took it with pinched finger and thumb and put it on the deck where it couldn’t touch him. But the fact that he stuck around, that I didn’t spook him, was pretty telling. I knew I’d landed a good one, a dude who can put up with my strangeness.

He stuck around, we fell in love, and last year we finally did the City Hall thing.
I honestly couldn’t be happier, and I’m incredibly lucky to have found such a great man.

Love you Dude. xoxoxo

Writing Game: Get in Their Heads

Pick someone you loathe.

Come on, everyone has one. Yours could be someone famous, I suppose, whose morals or actions you disagree with. But that’s no fun. I want you to think of someone in your real life that drives you batshit. It could be a family member. A neighbour. That one woman at work whose voice makes you want to pull your own ears off so you can more easily stuff something, anything inside the holes and finally have some blessed silence.

I mean, if you know someone like that, you could use them for this game*.

Okay, so you’ve got your loathee picked out. Your job is to get into his or her head. What do they do at night? What’s their guilty pleasure? What’s in their bank account? How do they view themselves? What’s their secret? Set up shop and poke around a little.

Now experience an obstacle, as your loathee. The plumbing has burst, and there’s a jet of water shooting across the room. The car broke down, and the next paycheque isn’t due til next week. And by the way, that promotion went to someone else.
What does your loathee do? What are they thinking? What’s their mood like? Do they lay blame, and if so, on who?

You can play this game in two ways:
1. For the greater good.
Maybe by imagining what’s going on in this person’s life and thoughts will help you to understand them a little better. Maybe you’ll learn to let old grudges go, to be more accommodating to the quirks and nuances of someone you never much cared for. You’ll better communicate with someone you understand.

OR

2.Sweet, sweet evil.
That weird smell your loathee gives off? That’s because he sacrifices cats by the light of the full mooon: what you’re smelling is singed fur. And the reason she doesn’t listen is because she’s stuffed cork in her ears to compensate for a tragic deformity wherein her brains leak out if she tilts her head (which also explains why she’s so dumb). Run with it, ascribe any horrible fictional trait you like, but base it loosely in fact. Flex your imagination.

But why someone you don’t like?
Picking someone you don’t like gets you outside your comfort zone. It’s easy to imagine someone just like yourself; simply plug in your own ideals and reactions and it’s done. But often the people we don’t like are the people we don’t get. There’s the challenge: you have to get out of your own head before you can get into anyone else’s. (Like, oh, I don’t know…a character? They can’t all act/think/speak just like their authors, if the story is any good.)

(This is the part where writing books would tell you to write this shit down. Why? So you can relive it later? Nuh-uh, this is a GAME, and it won’t be FUN anymore if you make it too much like WORK. Besides, if you play only in your head, you can play in public…this broadens your target candidate base exponentially. Mwuahahaha.)

Give it a shot, and let me know what you think.

*Why “game”, when most people call it a writing “exercise”? Because one of these things sounds like way more fun than the other, that’s why.

Never Give Up

I was sitting here, frustrated with how the story is going (or not going), and I got a notification on Facebook.

My dear ladyfriend LP sent me this:

…completely unbidden, not knowing how cranky I was. That’s what an awesome friend does. An awesome friend just knows.

It’s been printed, and now one copy hangs in my office and one copy is the front page of my Filofax.

I’ve said it before: how badly do you want it?

You’ll Float, Too

It’s a beautiful day for horror writing: thunder is booming outside and the wind is whipping the branches into my office window. The sky is grey and it looks like dusk at 1 PM. It’s cold, for spring, and it sounds like winter.

When I looked out at the street I saw a small river rushing down the gutter…

I think I’ll stay inside today.

Upcoming Stephen King: Doctor Sleep

From StephenKing.com:

“Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.”

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, The Shining is one of my favourite King novels. I think it might be interesting to revisit Danny and see him grown up; how does he cope with his psychic powers as an adult? What kind of psychological damage may have been caused by his father’s breakdown and death? I’m excited to find out what happened to one of my favourite King characters.

On the other hand, it feels a little gimmicky. Now, I adore Stephen-King-the-person AND Stephen-King-the-writer. He’s a big part of why I love horror. It just makes me a little preemptively disappointed to revisit the same topic (psychic children) in a next-generation format. I’m worried it will turn out to be just another reboot; I’m not sure this story will be new enough to be as good as The Shining.

I’ll be buying it on release day (January 15, 2013), like I do all his others. And I’ll be putting in long nights reading. I’m just hoping against hope that this one lives up to my expectations.