We Are All Dead in a Parallel Universe

“There was a time when I thought you wouldn’t come back,” my mom told me one day, years after a series of major psychotic episodes that I had in my twenties.  “I started to believe that you would probably just never be the same again,” she said.  I think I cringed when I heard this.  I can’t tell you exactly why I hate these conversations, but I do, and I have ever since I (mostly) regained my sanity.  My college years were bumpy, but according to my personal timeline, I went completely mad for the first time toward the end of my second year of teaching, when I was 24 years old.  I am 38, now.

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We Are All Dead in a Parallel Universe

What Scares Us? My First Fright (Part One) – The Insidious Chipmunk Song

Chipmunks 1This may alarm you (in fact, you might want to sit down to hear it), but I wasn’t always an intrepid pioneer who sojourned through the world of horror with ease, grace, and relative peace of mind.  I know: you thought I was born unflinchingly brave and are now trying to deal with the shock of finding out that even I, your humble Just Dread-Full writer, used to scare easily.  But when I say “easily,” you might not understand just how easily I scared.  To paint you a vivid picture of how far I’ve come in my (almost) 32 years of existence, how much bolder and more brazen I am, I’ve decided to tell you about one of my first scares (I’ll probably tell you about the other in a second part of this segment). Long before I sought the adrenaline of a tasty jump-scare, I used to quiver, quake, and cry at sudden upsets to my calm surroundings.  I was, to be truthful, kind of a baby.  You may gather that this is true when I tell you my earliest scary memory.

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What Scares Us? My First Fright (Part One) – The Insidious Chipmunk Song

Writing Horror

When I prepare to write a review of a story or movie, it goes something like this:  I scribble some notes, on a tablet or in the margin of the book.  Usually, I use these notes to prompt larger points.  More ideas flow as I write.  It’s highly exhilarating; I just started writing reviews for a blog, but I love it.  At the same time, it doesn’t seem particularly hard.  Indeed, it’s easy to discuss how I feel about something I’ve read.  Sometimes, it’s easy to analyze it on a deeper level, especially if I apply a handy academic paradigm.  Paradigms make all analysis easier.  I went through four years of liberal arts schooling and two years of an English Master’s program; I know how to break things down and analyze them.  My point?  I find it relatively stress-free and enjoyable.

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Writing Horror