Today I woke up about 5 a.m. – out of a bad dream. Normally this would not concern me as I know they happen to all of us. But this is the third day in a row and none of them have been the same. The funny thing is how my mind works in minimizing the dream.
Monday: I had a dream about a that friend who shafted me earlier this year. It was weird, he just showed up in town one day at a place I was hanging out at. He showed up and acted as if he had done nothing wrong and needed no processing. The weird thing was there was this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach and I didn’t trust his being there. I know I woke up with the thought and feelings of waking from a nightmare, but cannot remember what happened to provoke those feelings. One of the funny things was when we were sitting and catching up – I saw an old mutual friend of ours walk into the room (I think we were in a bar/resturant type place) and pointed her out. He yelled for her and she ignored him. He yelled again and she turned from him. As she was leaving he tried one last time and she turned and glared at him – pointing her finger she told him that he was a ‘sick f@*!’ and not to ever talk to her again. She then looked at me and asked what I was doing – that I knew the problems he brought.
Tuesday: This nightmare wasn’t even really a nightmare as I look at it now and when I put it down it will seem all the more ridiculous. Yet I know, I woke in terrors and glad that I had pulled myself out of the dream. I was at my current workplace and we were in a meeting where they kept increasing the paperwork – not to the point of ridiculous stacks of paper sitting around in my dream, but enough that I could feel my blood pressure rising at the amount of excessive and unnecessary paperwork they were creating. I woke with those same feelings of anger and could tell that my blood pressure was a little out of whack.
Wednesday: This is the dream that I had to fight to come out of. I was in my home and I don’t remember how or when it started, but a noise called me downstairs. Since I live alone, I did not go, but instead put on my coat and shoes and headed to the back door – I remember locking the front door as I tend to do that ever since the break in and oddly it comforts me. i live with the idea that if I can’t see someone sneak into the door because I am out of it’s line of sight. It needs to be locked. I walked to the backyard and saw that the cellar door was open. Now truth be told, I don’t have a cellar door, but I did in this dream. I heard another door slam, but it wasn’t like the front door. So oddly I ran to the front door and it was still locked. I quietly let myself in cursing myself for not having carried the phone out of the house with me. When I got in the house, it was obvious someone was in the house as the basement door was open. I grabbed the phone and started dialing. The struggle came as I kept being drawn upstairs as I was dialing, but I could not dial 911. There house was pitch dark and for some reason I was scared to turn on a light, I don’t remember trying but I remember fearing anyone knowing I was home which makes no sense that I was focused on calling the police but remaining in the home. When I reached the top floor there was an attic. I remember thinking – I am no longer in my home – why am I had Grandma’s? The door to the attic was open and I started to climb. I woke up. It took me over two hours to even slightly feel drowsy again, and then it really was time to wake.
I am one of those people who believes our dreams mean something, and while I am not sure what I need to figure out, I did like the feelings that it provoked in the sense of needing to figure out how to get that on paper – which my thrillers and horror stories, I want them to evoke that kind of turmoil.
I am focusing on reading these three authors right now. Well, I finished Joe Hill‘s Locke and Key this evening and loved it. I am expecting and hoping for more. I have to admit that I am new to the whole graphic novel thing, but could easily become a fan of them. The artwork is amazing and the story the same. I love that it is obvious that there will be more. Thank you, Joe Hill.
I have been listening to Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book – another one of his horror stories that is written mostly for the younger crowd. It is amazing, I love these characters and the story. I am really hoping that we do not have to wait long to see this one on screen. I highly recommend this book.
And finally, I am still reading Robert McCammon’s Boy’s Life. I am about halfway through the book and there is so much going on. I am not completely aware of when we are going to get back to what I think the mystery of the story is about, but it is coming. The way this man writes has blown me away. There are a couple of scenes which have taken me to my own childhood and made me wish not just the imagination we have as children but the belief and faith in our imagination that we had.
Another week gone by. I have to admit that this was a fairly productive weekend…not in writing. I got most of my home winterized and brought in my passion flowers and Cannes bulbs. I did also work on transferring my latest short story to the computer. Usually I wait awhile to do this 1. because it is considered my first re-write and 2. because I have stepped away from the story long enough to let my right brain kick it around a bit. I am not sure I like the direction the second draft is going. The first was all about horror, gore and mystery. The second has a tone of sarcasm and humor that I wasn’t expecting and am not sure that I want. I am going to finish with the re-write this week (hopefully tomorrow) and see what I think at that time – either it will go back to the original tone or I will keep it in the direction it was going. Ideally I was hoping to get it done in time to enter it into the short short contest at Writer’s Digest, we will have to see.
In the last couple of weeks, I have been really taken by short stories. I am not only reading them, but I have been thinking a lot about them. I have these novels that I am working on and between chapters I seem to be writing a short story. In my writer’s group there has been a lot of talk about finishing things and the whole thought that we cannot be published unless we finish what we are working on. I agree with this and have been kind of beating myself up about it. The truth is, I do finish things. I enjoy writing short stories. I enjoy the amount of information that can be put into a small piece of work and the thought it can provoke.
I mean look at a story like Shirley Jones’ The Lottery. Who doesn’t remember reading that story in school. I remember reading it in middle school, high school and college. Each time I read it, it haunted me. It’s a short story that affects whomever reads it, or at least it did me. What writer doesn’t want that story (not necessarily The Lottery, but the story that stays with the reader) to be theirs. I know I do.
With the Halloween season just ending, I found myself curious of what my Top 25 Horror books are. I went through some of the books I have read and tried to figure out what are my favorites. I looked at other lists and found some books that I will be checking out. However, here is my list (I am sure it will change the more I read, but for now – here’s what I have.)
- The Traveling Vampire Show – Richard Laymon
- Salem’s Lot – Stephen King
- Misery by Stephen King
- The Amityville Horror – Jay Anson
- Frankenstein – Mary Shelly
- Interview with a Vampire – Ann Rice
- 20th Century Ghosts – Joe Hill
- The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
- The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty
- Ghost House – Claire McNally
- Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
- The Shining – Stephen King
- Interview with a Vampire – Ann Rice
- Darkness Tell Us – Richard Laymon
- Coraline – Neil Gaiman
- The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman
- Sybil – Flora Rheta Schreiber
- Dracula – Bram Stroker
- The Lord of the Flies – William Golding
- Heart Shaped Box – Joe Hill
- Where Are The Children – Mary Higgins Clark
- My Sweet Audrina – V.C. Andrews
- The Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
- The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
A few weeks ago, I went on my second writer’s retreat with the people in my writing group. We had cabins out at Mahoney State Park. It was a great week for writing, there were times that were so peaceful. I did a little writing and editing. I worked on some new stuff, but mostly refined pieces I had written and transferred handwritten pieces onto the computer. That really seems to hold me up since I seem to do so much better with handwriting my stories first, yet I type so much faster? (I am going to check out a pen that Target has on sale that supposedly keeps track of what you have written and will send it to your computer – worth checking out in my mind).
I had a story that I was considering while I was at the writer’s retreat, but every time I worked on it – I only got as far as what I had already completed. I am proud to say that last week I was able to write it – pen to paper. Normally, it can take months (years) before I then get it transferred to the computer, now I feel good enough about this story, I plan on getting it into the computer this week. I am even thinking of considering entry into the next Writer’s Digest contest, but I might not as I want to start submitting it. I am actually very pleased with it, so we shall see.