Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Zombie New Year

Maybe its this horrid chest cold I have that makes me think about zombies.  They seem to be everywhere, just like the common cold.  The question is "Why?"--- the zombies, I mean.  It's a myth without legs.  Zombies have a fairly limited mythology.  Which some may see as limiting, but I see as a semi-blank slate.  Since the 60's they have become rotting, shuffling (okay they can run now) things that not even a mother could love.  While I could imagine a New Year's Eve smooch with Eric or Bill or Lestat or any number of vamps, weres and shapeshifters, the image of the usual zombie doesn't have me puckering up.  Has anyone read or written anything that elevates the zombie from prop or target practice?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow and Frankenstein

Today I left the house, trudging several blocks, not miles as it shall become in a later version, to the main road to catch a ride to work.  We had been shut in for a mere 48 hours, our street had still not seen a plow and my car was imprisoned in the driveway.  The writer in me began to imagine life a century or more ago, when people could be snowed in for entire winters with no other company but themselves.  Is that why we still jam supermarkets stocking up on milk, bread and eggs? Today our isolation is interrupted by tv, movies, cellphones, Facebook, and other distractions. 

 I then recalled the story behind the origins of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  The novel was birthed during what she described as a “wet, ungenial summer” where rain kept them confined to the house for days at a time.  It was during these long hours where they read to each other, talked and imagined that she first envisioned Frankenstein.  Was it the confinement or the company that fueled her imagination?

I’d like to believe that I could adapt to such circumstances. In fact, I occasionally yearn for the less cluttered life, for time alone my thoughts, especially as it pertains to my writing.  Ideas often come at the oddest moments, flashes and fragments.  To give them form and life, I try to retreat to a quieter place, sometimes alone, sometimes with just the electronics shut off, computer excluded.  Visions of me yelling “It’s alive!”  play on my mental movie screen.   

I have heard and read where others can write in Starbucks or other high traffic locations. I know there is no right way but I always learn about myself by learning from others.  When an idea starts to grab you, when it becomes more that a spark, what works for you? How and where do you find your creative space?  Is it an exterior thing or an interior thing?  How formed is your idea before you thrash it out with others or does the conversation come first?  Do you have your inner circle, like Mary Shelley, to share your imaginings with? 

At least I can say that the December 2010 blizzard gave birth to this blog. 
Have I created a monster?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blizzard update

The next morning
For those in warmer climes, here is a photo update of my patio.  That small dark crescent to the left of the lantern is all that is visible of the chairs from yesterday's post.  They have declared a State of Emergency which means my office is scheduled for a one hour delay.  So much for getting additional writing done.  Where's Jack London when you need him.  I think I hear the wolves howling, Or is it the wind?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Jump on a New Year's Resolution

2 hours later
People say I have a lot to say…

Usually I say a lot when I’m trying to avoid doing.  In this case, I am procrastinating on my current manuscript, that always needs editing, and the next manuscript, which is just a gleam in my mind’s eye.  Oh, and those query letters for a manuscript in search of an agent.

So…it was time to start blogging.  After all, it’s still writing.  Right?

Besides, I was going to make this one of my resolutions for 2011.  We are snowed in today by a raging blizzard—see photos.  No time like the present.

Like most writers, I have a J-O-B.  Writing is a passion, an addiction; I don’t know how to stop.  It doesn’t pay the bills, yet.  In fact, it doesn’t pay at all.   I know there are a lot of us out there pouring our words out on paper or screen.  I wanted to create a place to ramble about the writing process, ideas, books, movies and all those things that writers wonder about including real life.

Christmas Day, my daughter flipped through the guide on our TV and noted that there was nothing to watch except multiple versions of The Christmas Carol.  At the same time my son was excited about the premiere of the Dr. Who version of The Christmas Carol.  Christmas is about hope and redemption.   But do we have the tendency to take a good thing (a story, a theme a trend) and beat it to death.   I hope not.   Paranormals are my passion, ever since I was in grammar school and raced home everyday to watch Dark Shadows or curled up under a hand crocheted throw in a dark room with my grandmother as images of Bela Lugosi, John Carradine and Lon Chaney (Sr. and Jr.) flickered across the television screen.

So for 2011, I will continue to pursue my passion, hopefully publish and get this blog thing figured out.  Did I mention the twenty pounds I must lose by mid-March?