Happy Halloween! Or: I Just Can’t Help Myself.

I’m a horror writer. You’d think I’d only listen to death metal (or at the very least, hard German rock). But this Halloween I’m confessing my own dark secret: I love super-catchy, cheery, pop-y music*. And, what with Halloween making me giddy (it’s the horror-kid’s Christmas!), I thought I’d post something cute tonight.

Happy Halloween! May your night be long and creepy, may the clouds fog the moon, and may you avoid the razor blade in your apple!

*I do like heavy rock, though. And some dubstep. And blues. And classic country…

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.

MLP: Friendship is Witchcraft

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the new incarnation of My Little Pony. The cartoon series is called Friendship is Magic.

Cute rainbow ponies, sure, whatever.
Then the spoof, Friendship is Witchcraft happened, and suddenly this darling little series isn’t so innocent.

Leave it to the internet to take something that’s way off my radar and retool it into something fantastic.

What do you think?

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.

Beyonce And the Illuminati

Guys, I think I’m in the weird part of the internet again.

May I present: Beyonce – Single Ladies (Reversed With Illuminati message)

I honestly can’t tell if this is meant as farce or if this video’s creator believes every crazy-ass bit. What I can say is that watching Beyonce do a jerky, backwards chicken dance is WAY better than the original.

(PS – Yes, I know that “Beyonce” has a little accent on the E. However, two things:
1. I’m too lazy to find the character map right now and
2. This way you can pronounce it Be-YONCE in your head, which is way more fun. You’re welcome.)