Category Archives: Featured

Is It Safe: When to Tell People About What You’re Writing

Right now many of you are cranking out stories for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). You’ve got two more weeks to hit your 50,000 word goal. If the words are flowing you might feel an urge to share your idea with everyone and their mom, but now isn’t the time.

It’s hard to stay on the right path when your friends say, “What if, instead, you took your story in this direction?”

It’s hard to concentrate on where your story is going if someone questions where it’s been. It’s hard to power through to a deadline when criticism derails your train of thought. Continue reading Is It Safe: When to Tell People About What You’re Writing

Use Your Darkness: How Writers’ Shortcomings Benefit Their Characters

Know Thy Self

Most of us avoid doing anything out of character. We don’t want our routines to get broken. If our lives have to change we want it to be so gradual that we don’t even notice. If we’re stuck in a rut we try to make ourselves comfortable with it. It doesn’t matter if every day feels the same, we choose to live in Groundhog Day scenarios because it’s what we know.

We predict how we’ll manage in tough spots, overlooking the difference between our ideal selves and our applied selves, between our routine self and our chaotic self.We gossip about other losers who fell apart under pressure, patting ourselves on the back for how we assume we’d react differently. We’d like to believe we wouldn’t panic from the comfort of our love seats. Continue reading Use Your Darkness: How Writers’ Shortcomings Benefit Their Characters

Spring Forward, Fall Apart: A Spoken Word Album

This is my first collection of musical spoken word recordings. Each recording puts a satirical slant on self improvement, self medicating heartbreak with humor, and dropping the mic on depression. The recordings are scored with synth melodies, backing beats, and radio drama sound FX.

How to Use Writing as a Remedy

A lot of people avoid moments of quiet contemplation for fear they’ll get stuck in them. They don’t see the therapeutic value in journaling. Some writers even discourage the practice, saying that an abstract record of your thoughts won’t enhance your ability to write narrative fiction, but what if journaling could benefit your writing and your state of mind with the right direction?

When I started journaling it looked like I was transcribing the ravings of dizzy man pacing a bus station. I switched from the past tense to the present tense without sensing a disturbance in the time space continuum. I switched from the first person to the second without warning. I started sentences with confusing modifiers. I left my particles to dangle. I was less concerned with good sentence structure as I was with getting my free floating feelings out there. Continue reading How to Use Writing as a Remedy

Slender Man’s Rival

He was born on a Photoshop forum. The assignment was to add something supernatural to an unexceptional situation: a corporate meeting, a self help seminar, or a state fair.

I found a picture of a church picnic that was perfect. It took place in a field, there was a lot of space between the subjects, and the horizon was filled with evergreens. If viewers looked closely at the tops of the trees they’d see a figure in the canopy: a silhouette formed from the crisscrossing branches. A wooden giant poised to crash the gathering and have a picnic of his own. Continue reading Slender Man’s Rival

The Best X-Files Episodes to Capture the Halloween Spirit

(This list has been UPDATED for 2018 here)

Halloween is just around the corner and high def episodes of The X-Files just hit Netflix making now the perfect time for a marathon viewing season, especially since the series is coming back on January 24, 2016.

There’s only one problem: there’s 9 seasons to sift through, with UFO mythology installments, monster of the week moments, and supernatural episodes. Which ones are right for the perfect October evening?

Here’s a curated list from an X-Files super fan, complete with promo spots, to get you in the mood for Halloween. Continue reading The Best X-Files Episodes to Capture the Halloween Spirit

The Best New Horror Comedies for the Halloween Season

This Halloween I have some new inductees into the halls of horror comedy to be placed films next to Shawn of the Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Cabin in the Woods.

Submitted for your approval: a list a of horror comedies that will that will tickle your funny bone before breaking it in half. Continue reading The Best New Horror Comedies for the Halloween Season

The Scariest Element of Any Horror Story Is…

The scariest element of any horror story isn’t the rising kill count, graphic eviscerations, or misshapen creatures skulking through door frames. It isn’t the methodically molded mythology, the slow subtle turns, or the brain bending twists, it’s the element you might mistake for the weakest link. The scariest element of any horror story is hope.

Without hope an axe wielding maniac is just a kid tearing the legs off of spiders. If we know all the  deaths are foregone conclusions we won’t be shocked when a film starts hemorrhaging cast members. Without hope the torture dungeon is just an autopsy room with screaming. If we’re exposed to too much gore our eyes will eventually adjust to the sight of red. Without hope there’s no point in rooting for anyone. The characters become sacrificial lambs that we’ve been conditioned to resent more than sympathize with. Continue reading The Scariest Element of Any Horror Story Is…

The Best New Scary Movies for the Halloween Season

This Halloween keep the classic horror flicks in their crypt. Leave Reagan locked in the room with The Exorcist. Leave that Psycho up in the Bates Motel, and leave Rosemary’s Baby in his crib. This year give some fresh freaks a chance to freak you out.

Submitted for your approval: a list a of horror options worth taking a chance on. Some of these films will get under your skin and make it crawl, while others will pull your heartstrings right out of your chest. Continue reading The Best New Scary Movies for the Halloween Season

How to Scare a Skeptic

I’ve seen the northern lights stream across the sky like a special effect, but I’ve never seen an unidentified flying object. I’ve awoken to a shadow standing beside my bed post, but I can’t claim to have seen a ghost. I’ve hiked through many a forest until my legs went caput, but I’ve never laid eyes on big foot.

I’ve met people who’ve claimed to have performed exorcisms, to have had near death experiences, and to have spoken to spirits. I want to believe everything they say, because it makes the world seem magical, but there’s something I’ve learned over the years: people say a lot of things. Continue reading How to Scare a Skeptic