Inner Darkness

Christine Sutton

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A little peek into my brain. Mind your step.

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The Plan: A Burkheart Witch Saga Prequel

Posted on October 8, 2015 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Lou sat on his front porch, rocking slowly in his favorite chair, drinking a bottle of cold beer. He tapped the toe of his cowboy boot on the dusty floor as he watched the couple unpack the contents of their shiny SUV and haul it into the cabin across the lake.

The thirty-something man was tall and thin with a fair bit of muscle, but nothing to write home about. He had that hair that was styled for hours and made to look like he just jumped out of bed. That hair pissed Lou off and made him want to rip it right off the yuppie’s head.

The woman, though. She was a sweet ripe peach of a thing. Her long brown hair fell over her shoulders and landed lazily across her ample chest. She was nice and meaty, but fit. Her tight jeans hugged her curves in all the right places. His mouth was watering just watching her lift bags and boxes. She was definitely a nice plump mouthful and he was going to savor every last bite.

When they had the last bag of marshmallows and chocolate bars loaded into the cabin, the two stopped outside on their front porch and embraced. Lou chuckled deep in his throat as the two nuzzled and kissed each other, his arms laced around her waist. She giggled and batted her eyes, behaving like a coy schoolgirl. It made him want her that much more. The evening would be theirs to enjoy. He would bide his time until the full moon. That’s when the real party would begin.

“What are you looking at, Son?” His mother asked as she stepped out onto the porch to join him.

“Tonight’s dinner,” he replied with a smile as he scratched at the scruff on his cheek.

“You have new neighbors, huh?”

“For a while I do,” he drained the bottle in his hand as he took the fresh one she had brought out for him.

She took a long swallow of the vodka twist she had made herself and placed a hand on her son’s head, petting his dark hair.

“That’s my good boy. I have to get back to the city tonight, so you’ll have to tell me all about it later.”

“Do you have to go, Mama?”

“Yes I do.”

“Because of her?”

“You know we have a plan in place. We have to see it through, and that means that I have to deal with her. Don’t be jealous. You know you are my favorite.”

“I’m not jealous,” he lied.

“Soon, my sweet boy. Soon it will all be done. Your father, may he rest in peace, would be so proud of you.”

Lou smiled and took a long swig of his beer.

Soon.

~*~

 

Jenny took the last bag into the kitchen of the cabin. She and Jack were planning on having a rustic dinner, roast some marshmallows, drink some wine and then make love all night long.

They had been together for almost a year now, and she loved him more than she even thought was possible. She knew that she wanted to marry him, and she seriously hoped he wanted that, too. Jack was the one that suggested this weekend getaway, so that was a good sign in her book. A romantic trip to the woods, snuggling up in front of the fireplace seemed like the perfect opportunity to pop the question.

‘Fingers crossed,’ she thought to herself, smiling.

“What is that big grin for?” Jack asked as he entered the kitchen and put his arms around her waist.

“Oh, nothing much,” she purred. “Just thinking about the handsome guy I’ll be spending the weekend with.”

“Wait, what?” He said as he pulled away slightly, looking around. “Who is it? I’ll knock him out.”

Jenny laughed, throwing her head back.

“You, silly. I can’t think of anyone else I would want to be with,” she said as she kissed the end of his nose.

“Not even, um, Brad Pitt? Or Channing Tatum?”

“Well, he was pretty hot in that Magic Mike movie.”

“Oh, now the truth comes out! I know you have the hots for him!”

“You are such a goofball,” she chuckled.

He pulled away and started dancing like a male stripper, lacing his hands behind his head and crudely pumping his hips.

“What does he have that I don’t?”

“Well, off the top of my head, rhythm.”

“Oh, ouch. That was cold,” Jack laughed as he grabbed her up and held her off the floor, kissing her neck.

“Put me down, you loon,” she laughed, not really wanting him to put her down at all.

Jack carried her to the couch and fell into the cushions with Jenny on top of him.

“You know I love you, right?”

“Yes I do, and I love you, too. Even if you can’t dance for shit,” she leaned down and kissed his lips.

“You just hit me right in the feels, you know,” he smiled, placing a hand over his heart. “I am never gonna dance for you again.”

Jenny sat up and caught a glimpse of movement outside the large front window.

“Someone is outside.”

“I’m not gonna dance for them either.”

“No, seriously Jack. Someone is watching us,” she said as she rose from the couch.

“Probably just a deer or a Deliverance cast member. Nothing to worry about.”

“Can you please just check it out?”

“Of course I will protect you, fair maiden. Do not fear, your handsome prince is here.”

“Hey Prince Charming, your fly is open.”

“Oops,” he smiled as he zipped his jeans and headed out the front door with Jenny right behind him.

As they stepped out onto the front porch, a man stepped forward from behind a pile of brush.

“Howdy neighbors,” the man smiled, displaying a mouth full of bright white teeth that barely fit in his mouth.

He seemed out of place in the lush woods. His faded blue jeans with rips in the knees fell over a pair of dusty, worn cowboy boots. The button down shirt with the sleeves ripped off lay open across his hairy chest, and it looked like he had a scruff on his cheeks that was well manicured to give just the right air of roughness. He would have fit in at a rodeo or a hardcore cowboy bar, not a lakeside cabin.

“Hey there,” Jack waved at the stranger.

Jenny smiled warily from behind him and waved slightly.

“I’m your neighbor just across this inlet here. Not too far but not too close, ya know what I mean?” He laughed heartily, his teeth gleaming. “Name is Lou.”

“I’m Jack and this is my girlfriend, Jenny. Good to meet you,” he stepped down, extending his hand.

Lou looked at Jack for a moment before taking his hand in a firm hold.

“Soft hands, you must be from the city,” Lou smirked. “Just the two of you out here?”

“Yep, a romantic weekend, you know.” Jack smiled.

“Yeah, I getcha,” Lou winked. “Getting yourself a nice plump mouthful, huh?”

“Um, yeah, I guess so,” Jack looked back at Jenny and rolled his eyes comically.

“Well, no disrespect meant, but she is quite a peach.”

“Yep, she sure is a peach,” Jack floundered. “Well, hey listen, Lou, we were just about to start dinner, so…”

“Oh yeah, of course. Don’t let me hold ya back. I just wanted to say hi and make sure y’all weren’t looters from the city or something worse,” he smiled again, wider than before.

“We appreciate it, right hon?”

“Yes, thank you,” Jenny replied sheepishly.

“Well, I’ll be on my way then. Y’all have a goodnight,” Lou turned and waved behind him as he headed off around the lake to his own cabin.

“Goodnight.”

Jack turned and walked back into the cabin with Jenny right behind him.

“Wow,” Jenny said as she shut the door behind her.

“I know, right? He was a strange ranger for sure.”

“I don’t think anyone has ever called me a peach before. Or a plump mouthful,” she nervously chuckled.

“Well, I don’t know about the plump part, but I am definitely planning on eating you up tonight,” Jack grabbed her again and kissed her lips.

“My, what big teeth you have,” she laughed and kissed him back.

Dinner was obviously going to have to wait.

 

~*~

Lou made his way back to his cabin in the dusky twilight. He looked up at the moon, for now just a silhouette in the dying sunlight, and allowed a low growl to escape his throat.

He was getting hungry. It was the type of hunger that only the sweet flesh of a little long pig could satisfy. He would definitely satisfy that hunger, but he would have to wait until he was at full power. He could change at will, but his real power came with the full moon. It gave him an extra charge that made him virtually invincible. He was getting excited thinking about ripping the muscle from the bones of those two pigs. He would take out the man first, and then he would take his sweet time with the girl. She would beg him to finish her, but her screams would only fuel his hunger.

It was time to go and say goodnight to his Mama. She would be able to calm him down, as she always did. They had a bigger purpose and this little snack was just practice. Soon it would be time to visit that woman, the goody two shoes witch that had caused his Mama so much heartache and grief. He would take special pleasure in ripping her to pieces and he would definitely take his time. Meat always tasted better when it was really afraid.

“The deeper the fear, the sweeter the meat,” he whispered to himself as he walked up the steps of his own cabin.

“Oh good, you’re back,” his mother said with a sweet smile. “I was just about to take my last bag to the car.”

Lou reached over and picked up the bag, heading out toward the car. After he placed it in the open trunk, he turned to face her as she waited by his side.

“Are you sure you have to go, Mama? Can’t you just stay tonight?” Lou pleaded with her.

“Now listen here,” she said as she placed her hands on his broad shoulders. “I need you to be strong for Mama, son. You are my good, sweet boy. I trust that you are going to do a great job tonight, and I know that you’ll be ready when it comes time to take on that little bitch.”

“Yes Mama, I’ll do you proud. I promise I won’t fail.”

“No, you will not,” she took him by the chin and raised his lowered eyes to hers. “You know Mama loves you, right?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he smiled at her.

She leaned in and pressed her lips to his, placing her hands on either side of his face. Her kiss lingered and she let her hands fall to his chest.

“I love you, Mama,” he said when they finally separated.

“I love you, too my sweet baby boy. I’ll be back tomorrow night after I get the spell set up and see that she’ll be on the road before the next full moon.”

“I’ll do you proud, Mama,” Lou repeated as she got into her car and drove away.

He turned and went into the house to prepare for his late meal.

~*~

 

“Wow,” Jenny said as she sat up. “That was amazing.”

“Not too bad,” Jack replied breathlessly.

“Average, at least?” She kidded as she got up from the floor, slipping his shirt over her head.

“Maybe a little above,” he smiled.

“Oh good, then I’m improving.”

“We’ll have to practice more,” he smiled as he slipped on his jeans and joined her in the kitchen.

They picked out of the salad bowl that she had prepared before they left, munching on pieces of radicchio and raw mushroom. Jack took two glasses from the cabinet and opened the bottle of wine they had brought from home. He poured both glasses to the halfway mark and handed one to Jenny.

“So much for our ‘rustic dinner’.”

“I think this is plenty rustic,” Jack smiled, taking a bite of lettuce and a sip of chardonnay.

Jenny’s laugh was interrupted by a sharp scraping sound coming from outside the cabin.

“What was that?” She asked, stepping toward the window and pulling the curtain open slightly.

Jack joined her, surveying the dark landscape. A silvery glow from the full moon had replaced the daylight, creating shadows and glares that made it impossible to see anything of value.

“Must be an animal.”

“What kind of animal makes that noise?”

Before Jack could answer, a loud howl filled the night air. He continued looking outside, trying to see anything at all. When he was finally able to focus, he thought what he saw was a trick of light. Just past the Jeep that they had driven up in, the shadow of a man was silhouetted by the stark moonlight.

“Do you see that, guy?” He turned to Jenny.

“Wait, is he…naked?”

Before Jack could refocus, the man dropped to his knees and arched his back, the moonlight gleaming off his bright white elongated teeth.

“Holy shit, that’s the weird dude from across the lake. What the hell is he doing?”

The convulsing man outside arched his back again and howled a deep, guttural cry that made Jenny jump. Rain began to lightly fall outside as the couple watched the man reach out with a hand now tipped with long dark claws and slash the back tire of the jeep.

“What the hell?” Jack asked.

He watched as Lou moved and writhed on the now wet ground, crying out like an animal in pain. His back broadened and it looked like a carpet of hair was suddenly covering his entire body. His face twisted in the brightening moonlight that allowed the two watchers to see everything more clearly. Lou’s jaw snapped and pulled away from his morphing skull as a long snout replaced his mouth and nose. His back legs cracked as his knee joints suddenly bent and his haunches grew. A tail sprouted from his bare backside and grew to no less than two feet long. His yellow eyes focused on the couple as he gave out another blood curdling howl.

“Jack, what the hell is that? What the hell is it?” Jenny cried out, panicking.

“Honey, calm down,” he said as he ran to lock the front door. “Get the phone, Jenny.”

Jenny stepped across the living room, grabbing her jeans on the way to the phone. She suddenly felt very vulnerable. She picked up the handset on the wall as she stepped into her pants.

“It’s dead,” she cried out to Jack.

“Get your cell phone then.”

“We didn’t bring them. Remember, no interruptions for our romantic friggin’ weekend.”

“Shit, shit, shit,” Jack chanted as he paced back and forth across the floor. “Was that what I really saw? I mean, was that a damn werewolf?”

He felt like he was going crazy. There was no way in hell that thing outside could be a werewolf. It wasn’t even possible. Jenny broke his internal monologue.

“What the hell else could it be? You saw him change.”

Jack covered his eyes and leaned his back against the wall next to the door.

“Jenny, I…”

Before he could finish his sentence, his eyes widened and his hands moved to his stomach as if he felt nauseous.

“What’s wrong, Babe?” Jenny asked in a tone just below a scream.

Jack opened his mouth and instead of an answer, what came out was a stream of blood that dripped down his chin and covered his bare chest. Jenny screamed as she watched something in his stomach moving just under the skin. Within seconds, the taught skin split and a fur covered paw burst through her boyfriend with bits of internal organs dripping from its claws.

“Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod!” Jenny screamed as she watched Jack die in front of her.

Before his final breath, Jack looked into her eyes and mouthed one word.

“RUN!”

She wasted no time, and took off running for the bedroom. She shut and locked the door behind her. She started to lean against the frame and suddenly thought better of it. Jenny moved to the end of the large dresser and strained to push it against the door. It scooted with a loud scrape. She cursed as she continued to strain against the dresser. A sharp knock on the bedroom door made her cry out.

“Little pig? You better come out of there,” Lou said from the other side. “Don’t make me come get you.”

“What the hell are you?”

“I’m the one that’s gonna huff and puff and blow your little house in, bitch.”

“I have a knife,” she lied. “I’ll use it, I swear.”

“Ooh, I’m damn near shaking in my boots,” Lou taunted. “If it ain’t silver, it ain’t gonna do you no good. Don’t you ever watch the movies?”

“Just leave me alone!”

“Oh, okay then. My bad.”

The house suddenly went silent, save for the heavy breathing coming from her own mouth. She didn’t trust that he had left, so she carefully placed her ear against the door, listening for any movement. After a few minutes, she knew she would have to make a run for it. Maybe she could drive the jeep a few miles with the flat tire and get away.

“Keys, keys, keys. Shit. Think,” she said to herself.

The luggage. Jack kept spare keys in his bag. She picked up the small black duffle and put it on the bed, struggling with the zipper. Once she got the bag open, she dumped the contents out on the cream duvet.

Her eyes welled with tears when she saw the small black box next to the keys to the jeep. She picked it up with shaking hands and held it to her chest. She didn’t want to open it, but she had to. Her need won out and she pulled the box open.

Inside was a small silver ring with a single little diamond in the center. A folded piece of paper fell out onto the bed. She picked up the note and unfolded it. Her heart broke.

I know it isn’t much, but I promise you that every year I will love you more than the year before. I hope I can show you with a bigger ring someday, but for now I hope this will do. Will you be my wife? P.S. – I know you are allergic to gold, so I had them put the diamond on a sterling silver band. Love, Jack

“Oh God, Jack. I’m so sorry. I love you,” she cried as she looked up, feeling as though she was drowning in grief.

She put the ring on her finger and wept for him. After a minute, she came to her senses and remembered that she had to get the hell out of the cabin. She took the keys off the bed and walked to the door. She slowly moved the dresser, listening for any signs of the monster outside. When she didn’t hear anything for more than a minute, she carefully unlocked the door and peeked into the hallway.

No one was there.

Maybe he left, she thought to herself.

Jenny tiptoed down the hallway toward the front door. When she rounded the corner, she tried her best not to look at Jack’s crumpled corpse. She reached for the knob, but the door wouldn’t open. To her horror, she realized that Jack was propped against the frame, blocking it from opening. With silent tears, she bent down and pushed his lifeless body over so she could get out.

“I’m sorry baby.”

She opened the door and carefully stepped out into the chilly night air. The rain had subsided, but had left the path to the jeep slippery and muddy. She decided to take a chance and ran for the jeep, slipping a few times along the way. She quickly gained her footing, her bare soles aching with every sharp pebble and twig.

When she got to the vehicle, she fumbled with the keys trying to unlock the driver side door. Finally, she was able to get the key in the lock and jump in. Before she could shut and lock the door, Lou reached in and grabbed hold of her hair. He seemed to be in the middle of transformation. He still had hands, but his snout had formed and his eyes were a burning yellow. His body was covered with fur, but he still stood upright.

The wolf-man pulled her from the jeep and dropped her on the ground at his feet. He knelt down and finished his transformation as Jenny shook her head, trying to stay conscious. As he turned, his voice changed from a growl to a throaty howl.

“I was going to treat you so good. Now I’m going to rip your limbs off and eat them while you watch.”

The oversized wolf snapped its jaws at her as she struggled to get to her feet. She put her hand out, trying to ward him off. She felt teeth close on her fingers. As she closed her eyes and looked away, she heard a loud yelp.

The wolf had chomped down on her engagement ring, and apparently the silver had burned its mouth. Jenny took the opportunity to get up and run away, smiling to herself.

She ran along the path around the lake, looking for anyone that might be able to help her. She heard the wolf behind her, gaining ground, but she dared not look. She saw a white Cadillac parked up ahead, and a woman stood next to the open trunk, loading a duffle bag. She found a burst of energy and ran even faster toward the woman.

“Help me,” Jenny called out. “Please help me. There’s a monster after me.”

She ran up to the women and took hold of her arms.

“What is it, dearie? My lord, what is the matter?” The woman asked.

“Please, there’s a monster chasing me. We have to go,” she begged.

“Slow down now, honey. Tell me what is after you?”

“A wolf,” she cried, not wanting to tell the woman that it was a werewolf chasing her for fear the lady might leave her there.

“Oh child, that is nonsense. There are no wolves out here!”

“Listen to me, lady. There is a wolf. It killed my boyfriend and it tried to kill me. Please!”

“Oh you poor child. That isn’t a wolf after you. That’s my sweet baby boy,” she smiled as she clamped her hands down on Jenny’s wrists, holding her in place.

Jenny screamed, “Let me go, you crazy bitch!”

“I can’t do that, my boy is hungry. And I’m a witch, not a bitch,” the woman turned her around and pushed her toward the waiting animal that immediately clamped its jaws around her throat, pulling her flesh away in a large wet clump.

He turned and stood up, his flesh moving and changing. He stood naked in his human form over the dead body of the young girl.

“I’m disappointed, son. It’s a good thing I forgot my other bag and had to come back. She might have gotten away if I hadn’t.”

“I’m so sorry, Mama,” he said, tears streaming down his bloody face.

“Don’t cry, sweet boy,” she said, wiping away his tears. “It was just a fluke. You’ll be ready to take her on in time for the next cycle. Just make sure you learned from your mistakes.”

“Yes, Mama. I’ll do better when it comes time to get her.”

“Well, the time is coming soon. For now, let’s get this mess cleaned up. You can eat your dinner, and by the next full moon, you’ll be on the road.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said as he grabbed the girl by the arm and dragged her dead body up the stairs behind him. “I’ll go back for the boy later.”

“I need to get back on the road, son. Enjoy your meal. She looks quite tasty,” she smiled. “You’ll need all of your strength when the time comes, or else she might be able to take us all down.”

“I won’t let her do that,” Lou said, puffing his chest.

“She’s a more powerful witch than even she knows. You’ll have to be stronger and smarter, and hopefully luckier.”

“I swear, I’ll get her out of the way.”

“I hope so, Lou,” she said as she got into her car. “Just remember though, she is my daughter so she’s no wilting flower.”

“Don’t you worry, Mama, Kayla won’t stand a chance.”


Get the rest of the Burkheart Witch Saga at the links below:


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Burkheart-Witch-Saga-Box-Books-ebook/dp/B00X39C332/

Audible: http://www.amazon.com/Burkheart-Witch-Saga-Box-Books/dp/B015QECY12/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/burkheart-witch-saga-books-1-3-box-set-christine-sutton/1121859278

 

Kayla Burkheart's Fairy Tale Life

Posted on August 22, 2015 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

My name is Kayla Burkheart, and I have a very interesting life. I didn’t used to. I was your garden variety run of the mill alcoholic pill popper. I had no real direction in my life at all. I just wandered between crappy jobs and even crappier friends, looking for any way to dull the pain that I felt inside.

My world changed when I was in my twenties. I was at a bar with some friends that were not very good friends at all. We were celebrating something meaningless, any excuse to go out and get wasted, and I walked out to the alley to have a smoke.

Standing there in the dirty alley behind Smitty’s bar in Olympia, Washington, I had a sort of epiphany.

I had the sneaking suspicion that someone was watching me. When I turned to look down the alley, I saw what it was. A large grey wolf stood no more than fifty yards from me, but he made no move toward me. He just stared, cocking his head as if he was really interested in what I was doing.

What I was doing was resisting the urge to wet myself and run away screaming. Luckily, I managed on both counts. I stood perfectly still, watching the huge animal, ready to bolt at the slightest movement. He took a step toward me and I took a step back. A low, inquisitive mewl came from him and I thought I would die of fright.

After a minute or two of this standoff, my cigarette had burned down and was about to set my fingers on fire. I dropped the butt when the cherry burned my fingers. Immediately, I looked back up, expecting the wolf to be in mid run to eat my face off.

Instead of the wolf, a man stood in his place. He was casually slipping on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. Within what seemed like no more than five seconds, he was standing next to me sniffing the air around my head. I was still like a statue waiting for him to try something even weirder than what he was already doing.

He smiled a large toothy grin at me and spoke.

“You had better get a move on girl. You need to change your life and you need to do it now. You got powerful enemies, and they are more than happy to see you piss drunk and helpless. You need to show them that that ain’t what you’re all about. You have power of your own and you need to let it out. Otherwise you’ll never be nothin’ but a drunk that could have been something special.”

“Who in the hell are you?” I asked him, scared out of my mind.

“I’m just a lone wolf that ain’t nothing like the rest of the pack. I’m a friend to you because we have a common enemy. I was like you once, and I let my vice overtake me. All that got me was cursed. Trust me, you don’t want that. Get right with yourself, Kayla.”

With that, he held out his hand, offering something to me. Against my better judgment I reached out and took it from his palm. I looked down and saw one small bean. When I looked up again, he was gone.

I stood there trying to catch my breath and deciding if any of what I saw had actually happened. When I got back inside the bar, hearing the hoots and hollers of my drunken friends, I just felt alone.

I looked at the bean in my hand and walked out of the bar. When I got home, I emptied my pockets, placing the bean on my nightstand. I went to sleep, wanting the day to just end.

When I woke up the next morning, I didn’t have the foggy hangover that I had grown so accustomed to. I felt good. As I rolled over to get out of bed, I saw that the bean had sprouted two small green leaves.

I made the call to the rehab center that morning, enrolling myself in the eight week program. I got myself sober, met David and fell in love. After I got out and moved back into my mother’s house, I took the now large plant that had sprouted from the single bean with me, setting it up on the kitchen table.

It was dead within a day. I should have known something wasn’t right.

Thus began my fairy tale life. Not the kind of fairy tales you are thinking of. Sometimes I get a happily ever after, well actually more like a happily for now. Something else always comes up. If it isn’t my psychotic family trying to kill me, it is some other fairy tale creature that wants to steal my powers.

I forgot to mention that. I’m a witch. A pretty powerful one at that. My mother and father were witches, my aunts and uncles were witches, and my kids will all be witches, etc. Quite a bit of information to find out about yourself, all the while battling werewolves, vampires, and every other evil monster you can think of.

So far though, I’m doing okay. I’m getting a handle on these powers, and I have a new family that loves me and I love them. So, I think overall I’m gonna be all right.

Continue to read all about my adventures. You’ll have a front row seat to my fairy tale life, and hopefully you’ll be able to see a few pretty good happily ever afters. Or at least a few good happy for nows.

 

I Am Who I Am

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Everyone that knows me can tell you that I am the same online as I am

in real life. I am an unapologetic flirt, a big mouth, I have a warped

sense of humor, and I often laugh reflexively when I see people fall

down.


They will also tell you that I am generally a very nice person. I sob like a

schoolgirl when I watch The Green Mile. I believe in helping others as

much as I can, trying to always do the right thing, and never doing

anything that I would be ashamed of if people found out. Embarrassed

maybe, but ashamed...no.


This brings me to the point of this blog. Yes, there is in fact a point.

(Other than tooting my own horn, as it appears in the first couple of

paragraphs.)

I have been chastised by some for being "inappropriate" or "not curbing

my opinions". "I mean after all, you are a published author, and there

should be a level of decorum in your online dealings." Or so I have been

told.


Well, pardon the expression, but.....fuck that noise.


I say let your freak flag fly. Be yourself. 


I am the same whether you meet me in a Facebook group, or whether

you meet me on the street. I may not start tossing out F-bombs at our

first meeting, but I am who I am.


If you have read any of my work, you will get a good idea of who I am. If

you take the time to talk to me, you will have an even better idea.


If (fingers crossed) I ever get to be rich and famous, I want to retain my

real personality. I do not want a plastic representation of what my

publicist thinks that people want to see.


If Stephen King were to compromise his personality, we would not have

his wonderful quotes that flood the internet. You know, the ones that

compare Twilight to Harry Potter, or the one that says James Patterson

is a no-talent hack.


If Mark Twain had been afraid to offend people, we would not have his

amazing nuggets of humor and wisdom that are still quoted today.


I am not saying that I personally will be quoted for the masses one day,

(again, fingers crossed) but I like the idea that I can be, based on my

actual thoughts and opinions and not on a glossy, galvanized, PC

version of myself.


If people are inclined to not read my books because they don't like the

fact that I think certain memes are funny, or that I support equal rights,

or that I donate to the ASPCA, then so be it. Or probably more

accurately, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.


Therefore, I will continue to flirt, (at my discretion) use the F word (at my

discretion), laugh at people stumbling over their own feet (and then help

them up...remember I am a nice person). I will continue to let my online

friends and colleagues know that I am firmly against animal abuse and

discrimination of any kind, and I might just make a few people laugh, or

think, or feel better about their crappy day.


So, if you find me to be "inappropriate", or "lacking decorum", I am

terribly sorry...but I can go to sleep at night knowing that I was 100%

true to myself. Today, every day past, and every day forward.


If you want to get to know me, my contact information is splattered all

over this website, and if you see something written in this blog that is

quotable, just give me credit when you repost it. Maybe one day, I will

appear in a book of quotes alongside Mark Twain or Stephen King,

(Stop laughing) or maybe I will appear in a book of quotes from me

alone. (Seriously, stop laughing. It's not like I fell down or anything.)


One thing that I will always be sure of...no one will ever be confused

about who I am, warts and all.


 

The Power of Positivity, or How to Lose a Reader in Ten Ways

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (2)

It seems that everywhere you turn on the internet these days, there is an independent author making total and complete asses out of themselves. I have seen more hissy fits, posturing and downright embarrassing behavior online than most kindergarten teachers see in a year. The biggest problem with that is the fact that many readers are unable or unwilling to distinguish between these authors and the rest of us that are simply trying to do what we love. When the average reader sees this behavior, they are loaded with images of radical fruit loops writing stories that are poorly edited, and barely cohesive. They see the dollars that they work hard for, being potentially wasted on drivel. These mental images are only perpetuated by the bad behavior of some writers. A little positivity goes a long way.

The truth is, as an author, artist, actor, singer, or whatever; you are putting yourself in the public eye and asking people to please like you or what you have done.

Here is a news flash: Not everyone will. If they do not like you, it is not because they are jealous, or because they have no taste, or they are out to get you. It is because the product that you have produced is not to their liking. Simple as that.

So, what is an author to do?

Take it. Throwing a fit, hurling insults, and telling everyone about your thousands of Twitter followers, or your hundreds of Facebook friends that all said they loved your book, does absolutely nothing to change that fact. If you receive a "bad" review, the best thing to do is read it. If there is something written in the review that you feel might be valid, and may improve your craft, take it. If the review bashes your skills and refers to you as an amateurish high school level writer, take it.

Then quietly let it go.

If you are at a stage play, and someone boos the performance, the actors do not stop what they are doing to tell the person that they "are jealous" or are "out to get them". They simply do their best to continue entertaining the rest of the patrons. Not once in my lifetime have I ever heard of an artist threatening to take his or her toys and go home because someone was being a big mean doodie-head.

By getting your panties in a bunch, you only make yourself look stupid and childish. Stomping your feet, and listing your credentials will definitely not help your cause. Ranting and raving for the whole world to see is the last thing that you want to do. Trust me.

Some may see a bad review or a criticism as a personal attack, an injustice that must be righted through blog posts or web forums. In 99.999% of cases, this is simply not true. Most often, it is simply an opinion. It may or may not be right, but that person is still entitled to it. If you don't like it…oh well. Suck it up, buttercup. That is after all only your opinion.

 

To be, or not to be? That is the question.....

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been arduously working on a new project. I don't have a title, or an outline, or a clear idea of where this story is going. I am flying by the seat of my pant on this one.
The thing is, I really like this story so far. Even though the main character is a whack-job of the highest degree, he is MY whack-job. I have been pouring my heart into creating a person that is violently flawed, and hopefully, mildly sympathetic.
What is sort of freaking me out, is the fact that it has been pretty easy for me to describe violent, terrible acts that are perpetrated against the victims with impunity. I have actually sort of been enjoying it, while simultaneously surprising myself with my own level of viciousness and malice as portrayed on the page.
I know, as a writer that it is important for me to somewhat immerse myself in the project that I am working on, but to what level? Do I start people watching? Do I begin thinking of the best way to get away with it? Does my brain begin to develop my own personal modus operandi?
When does fiction begin to mirror reality? When does reality bleed into fiction?
Now, slow your roll, people. I am in no way confessing to any hidden desires or mental issues. I am not currently considering killing any hookers or homeless people, or any other people for that matter. I actually consider myself to be a tiny bit more sane than many people that I encounter. But then again, isn't that exactly what a crazy person would say?
I apologize for my random meanderings, but I really do have a point.
As a reader, how important is it to your suspension of disbelief that the characters on the page be totally authentic? Would it be better for an author to gloss over some of the more grisly details, or would you rather be right in the thick of it, so to speak?
I sometimes find that I consider censoring myself in my writing, because I am momentarily troubled by the idea that I have written something that might offend. Now, I'm not talking offend as in "Ooh, that was a bit offside." , I'm talking offend as in, "What the fuck am I reading? Why isn't this crazy bitch locked up in a looney bin somewhere?".
I have never released anything to date that really qualifies as the latter, but this upcoming release might just fit the bill. Some of my loyal readers might be a little bit surprised, but then again, maybe not.

So, this brings me back to my original question. What is more important, grisly realism or a horrible story glossed over and wrapped in a neat little bow? Is the story better if you know that the author pours all of their own angst, pain and discomfort into the tale they are telling? Do you, loyal reader, feel cheated if your writer is not immersed in the method, but only writes for profit, fame or notoriety? Does it make them a fraud or a phony? Would it dampen your enjoyment of a story if you knew for a fact that the author in question was cavalier in their attitude towards writing? Or do you even care?

 

Virgin Territory

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (1)

 

So here I am, jumping into the present. I sometimes feel like a bit of a dinosaur, because I am often out of the loop on these new-fangled things like "smart phones" and "blogs" and "podcasts". I still have absolutely no idea what instagram is, and I am not so sure that I want to. Ok, so none of these things are actually new, but like the most dedicated thrift store shopper, I will say that they are new to me.

I am an author of horror; therefore, I spend most of my days thinking about dungeons, torture chambers, scary basements and abandoned farmhouses. As you may know, cell phone reception is never good in those places, and they rarely have Wi-Fi.

I have however, become one of those people that have their nose buried in their cell phone or laptop constantly writing, editing, networking and promoting, so I have suddenly seen the light as to why these devices are a necessity of daily life.

Since I recently upgraded to a smart phone and bought a new laptop, I figured it was definitely time to jump on this blog train. After all, I have a lot to say. Just ask anyone who has talked to me. They will tell you that I say a lot.

You can look forward to posts at least every week, covering a variety of topics related to horror and writing in general. If I am lucky, there will also be some guest posts showing up soon! (Fingers crossed!) So keep yourself tuned in and become a member of this page. I will do my absolute best to keep it entertaining and informative.

Check out the links page for some great blogs and pages from my friends and colleagues, visit the forums for some interesting discussions, and of course, check out the rest of the page to find out what is happening with my small piece of the literary pie.

Explore this virgin territory with me, and I promise it will be fun!

 



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