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.

If.

Honestly, I never much cared for poetry. I tried writing it myself as an angsty teenager (who hasn’t?), but it never really spoke to me or, ¬†frankly, interested me much.

But I’m a believer in happy coincidences, and believe me, this one caught me at just the right time. Let’s just say there’s a lot of sky-is-falling going on in my life right now. I could use some bolstering.

It’s not horror, it’s not dark, it’s actually inspirational and beautiful…but rest assured I’m still working on good ol’ blood-n-guts behind the scenes. You haven’t lost me to the light side just yet.

“If”, by Rudyard Kipling.

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Saturday-Afternoon Occult Haul

I spent the afternoon at Chapters with a good friend and came away a very happy little weird girl.

The Vampire Tarot looks fantastic! I used to collect a lot of Tarot decks, but had kind of fallen out of doing readings. This is the first deck in a long while that caught my attention, and it was in the discount section for seven bucks. I’ll be doing a more in-depth post of this one later. In the meantime know that I kept squealing at the genius of various cards and forcing C to admire them, wherein he said “mmhphfh” a lot, which probably means he loves them.

The books are about strange and secret things: alchemy, magic, and the weird shit that authors get up to. I find I tend to go in phases when it comes to the arcane, and I’m in a big one right now. These books ought to slake my hunger a little.

And the skull? He’s just a little poufy sticker I came across at Michael’s, and he’ll be keeping me company on the cork-board in my office. He sparkles.

3 Of My Favourite Writing Books

Any writer worth anything should be in love with books. If you know me, you know that I have a bit of a book…obsession fixationhabit. I can’t imagine a life not surrounded by books.

So it should go without saying that I’ve amassed a number of how-to writing books, and thought I might share a few of my favourites. The ones I like best are the ones that go beyond the mechanics and add a little humor, or offer a peek into the lives of authors and writers.

The first I want to mention is one I’m reading now: How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors. It’s a wonderful book, one of those that should be sitting as inspiration on your shelves. The editors asked authors to name what it is that inspires them, what keeps them writing. Some authors chose to share their spaces: the specifics of desk and chair and view. Others tell about the little totems they keep to bring them luck or appease their muse.

The second is Page Fright: Foibles and Fetishes of Famous Writers. Harry Bruce has unearthed all kinds of interesting little facts about some of the most well-known authors. No matter what bizarre little writing habits you’ve picked up, I guarantee this book will make you feel normal. (Or at least a part of a big, crazy tribe.)

And third, you must, and I can’t stress this enough, check out Chuck Wendig. Start with 250 Things You Should Know About Writing and go from there. Read his books, all of them, and never look at writing (or being a writer) the same way again. (All I’m going to say is that this is the man who once wrote a recipe calling for “a dick of carrots”. You’ll have fun with these.)

Famous Authors Before They Were Famous

It’s no secret that someday I want to make my living at writing. Nothing on this earth would please me more than waking up at 3AM with a great idea and being able to write it without worrying about work in the morning.

Some days it seems closer than others. It’s hard to remember that everyone had to start somewhere.

I found a great list on the blog at Publishers Weekly that helps to put things in perspective. Did you know that Douglas Adams thought of Hitchhiker while working as a security guard?

Read on to find out where some of the greats started.

101 Tips for Writers

OnlineCollege.org has compiled a list of 101 Tips from the World’s Most Famous Authors. You’ll find everyone here, from Hemingway to Stephen King.

My favourite?

Dr. Seuss. Be responsible for your own success. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

What’s yours?