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.


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.)

SniderWriter Receives Versatile Blogger Award

Ava/Jordanna from Journey of Jordanna East nominated SniderWriter; a big thanks to her! She’s writing a novel right now, and mentioned that the person who nominated her is, too. We’ve got quite the chain going here.

There are a few rules I have to follow to claim my award, the first of which is sharing seven pieces of information about myself. We all know I love talking about myself, so here they are:

1. I live in Canada, and I do have a Canadian accent. I DON’T say “aboot” (unless I’m mocking the stereotype) but I DO say “eh”.

2. I’ve been married now for almost a year, but was with my husband for ten before we did the city-hall thing.

3. We have two black cats, Jade and Zoey. Jade is named for her green eyes, and Zoey is named for Zoe Bell, the stuntwoman in Deathproof. My best ladyfriend also has Deathproof cats.

4. My favourite colour is grey.

5. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but have also thought about being a nurse, a pathologist, or a mortician. (Can you tell I like guts?) I don’t do any of those things for a living, but my job does involve a lot of blood.

6. My three favourite books are Harriet the Spy (see tattoo here), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Atlas Shrugged. The last often brands me an asshole, but I’m not. Mostly.

7. I am in love with bats. We have them in the backyard, and I love nothing more than sitting in the back watching them flit through the trees at dusk.

I could have done that all day, I’m pretty sure.

The second bit is to nominate another 15 bloggers for the award. Here’s my confession: I don’t get to spend much time reading blogs these days. Between DayJob and writing and family and knitting I’m busy 95% of the time (I sleep the other 5%). I’m kinda out of the loop.

BUT I would like to take the chance to recognize and nominate some of those lovely folks who take the time to comment on this blog. So, thank you to the authors of the following blogs:
butimbeautiful, Journey of Jordanna East, BeckysBlogs, Tonya Kerrigan, Fiercely Yours, Heather Underground, Joseph Pinto, Sore Sport Movies, Underground Walls
(Holy shit! I got all that HTML right the first time!)

Thanks again, Ava/Jordanna, for the nomination. It’s my first blog award ever, and it made my day.

Workouts For Writers

Brew coffee.
Hop from one leg to the other while waiting for percolation completion.
Open the cupboard. REAAACH. Grab the big mug, the one meant for soup.
Fill that bad boy up, and lift. Be careful, here, to put your back in to it. Full mugs are heavy.

Now to the stairs! (don’t forget to count the nine steps from the kitchen through the living room)
And climb. And climb. Clench those buttocks! And climb. Where the hell did all these stairs come from? Whose idea was it to buy a house with a million stairs?!

And dowwwwwn the long hallway. And pullllll out your chair.
Shove the cat off. Shove the cat off. Shove the cat off.

Sit. Get back up for notebook. Sit. Get back up for sweater. Sit. Get back up for music.

Return. Shove the cat off.

Crack knuckles. All of them. Maybe go over them a second time, just in case.

Tense muscles, and PUSH thumb drive in. And PUSH. And PUSH. And LIFT laptop and realize you had it in upside down.

Set laptop down. Breathe. Shove the cat off your lap.

And LIFT coffee mug. And LIFT.

Type for exactly fifteen minutes. Realize you left some notes downstairs. Shove the cat off…