Category Archives: Social

Tasting His Cherry Chapstick…

try-or-die1_fa_rszdSo my first kiss in the year 2018 was shared with a guy, which is totally fine – we should all strive to experience new things, while we are still young enough to enjoy them – and although it is true that he was a better kisser than most of the girls I have had the pleasure of interacting with since my lips began actively seeking out others, this is not really what I meant when I internally concluded that this year I wanted to expand my horizons.

Still… I’ve had worse starts to the year.

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An Odd Parallel…

When I turned twenty-five I dumped the seventeen year old girl I was going out with because she had never seen my favourite movie, Die Hard.

Now I’m forty-one, and the twenty-five year old girl I was with today has also never seen my favourite movie, Die Hard.

What is wrong with you people? Please end this cycle. Go and watch my favourite movie, Die Hard.

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Shame is the Price of Passion…

Dementia is more than just a room full of elderly men and women sitting in orphaned armchairs around a television that’s been cranked up so loud that you feel the volume coming through the soles of your shoes.

It’s more than the old man with medals pinned to his chest, who speaks to me as if we are lifelong friends – even though I have never seen him before. He asks me if I know why his wife hasn’t been to visit him for years, and with the very next breath he tells me that she died during the war.

It’s more than the old woman who taps my shoulder every day and continually asks me for a pen so that she can write down the seven digit number that she just keeps repeating over and over and over, until now, it’s something that I’m sure will bounce around inside my head until something else pushes it out.

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One of the first three paragraphs is entirely fiction. I made it up. Call me an unreliable narrator… because dementia is more than all of those things. Dementia is also material, for whatever I happen to be writing at the time, or perhaps something I haven’t even started yet. And while that sounds extremely brutal and self-serving, to use a phrase that I absolutely loathe: it is what it is.

Being around the disease daily – I’m ashamed to admit – stimulates the creative juices within me. I love the random and unique conversations I overhear or become a part of while visiting my grandma; nuance and detail that I otherwise may have missed. Nursing homes are (ironically) extremely deep wells of experience, and rich with the history of the individuals who live there.

Now, I’m not advocating a field trip to your local old folk’s home if you don’t have a relative or friend there who you care about, but those little moments have become a crucial side effect of the excursion.

So whenever I doubt myself or try to dismiss the blood, sweat, and tears that I’ve put in to my words over the years, it’s guilty moments like these that remind me: yes, motherfucker, you are a writer.

And if I’m doing all that while I’m there, I guess I really must be.

And Many More…

kingStephen King turned seventy years old today.a3c5ede143cc4dda46bc7d2e615e2fff--stephen-king-books-stephen-kings

Wow.

Yeah, we all grow up; we all get older. One day we all die. We shouldn’t ever be taken by surprise by these things, yet somehow there’s always one that catches us off guard. I still think of him as the guy on the left… although he’s now closer to this guy on the right.

Stephen King has been a part of my life for over twenty-five years – his words, his ideas. He has influenced me as a writer much more than I would care to admit. Hell, for a while all I was doing was a bad impression of him – at least, that’s how I saw it.

I feel like I know him just a little bit, even though I don’t actually know him at all. Never met him; never will. And that right there is the genius of a great writer. King’s ability to make an ordinary situation, extraordinary, and his knack for building characters that feel so real, you would not be surprised to turn the corner and bump into them, is something I have admired from afar for many years. That’s the power of imagination. Being able to harness that and making it a reality – even a fictional one – is worthy of applause.

My relationship with King has had its ups and downs over the years, for sure. He has written some stuff that has not done much for me – I’m not the kind of narrow-minded fan who can’t admit that. The Talisman. Dreamcatcher. And as much as it pains me to say, even most of The Dark Tower series. None of those set my world on fire. But when he gets it right, which he does more often than not, his words have the ability to soar. The Eyes of the Dragon. Misery. Needful Things. And many others. Classics.

Go read them.

Happy birthday, sir.

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This is What’s Under the Bed…

I’ve written hundreds of stories in my life, over a million words (you’ll have to trust me on that one). I’ve written comedies and thrillers. I’ve written romance and drama. I’ve written sci-fi and fantasy. I’ve written westerns and stuff for kids. I’ve even penned some erotica (much to my mother’s embarrassment), but what I’m writing now is possibly the first real monster story I’ve tried… well, ever.

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I mention this only because for the longest time – in my head – I was a horror writer. I think somewhere in there I still am. I read horror and that’s what I wrote, or so I thought. But looking back over those hundreds of titles and those million words, it turns out that very little of it would actually fit in the boundaries of the genre. Maybe ten percent; fifteen at a push.

I’ve always wanted to write a pure, no-nonsense monster tale – one that doesn’t necessarily live in the real world, and doesn’t feel the need to apologise or explain itself either. Sometimes horror just is and creatures just are.

This may just be my first time.