Monday, October 29, 2012

The Ghost Behind You....

Ah haunted houses.  No matter what you believe they are pretty fun for the imagination.  I thought I'd talk about both haunted houses as in really haunted houses with ghosts and poltergeists, and haunted attractions which I have a special fondness for.  Personally I do believe in ghosts so that's the slant that I'm going with here.  Hey, anything is possible in this world. 

So we all know about haunted houses.  Those places where someone or something is showing itself to the people who live there or visit there.  Most of us probably have memories of that one house in the neighborhood that all the other kids swears is haunted.  Haunted house lore has been around for as long as anyone can remember.  Hauntings in general are a lot more of a common belief than most realize.  Locations that claim to be haunted are usually places where violent death has occurred.  Unfinished business keeps these spirits here or they're the residual energies of those who lived and died there.  Haunted locations can be anything from houses to battlefields to cruise ships. 

There's all sorts of arguments over whether or not some place is haunted or not.  It's the same arguments for whether or not ghosts exist.  I tend to keep an open mind about everything.  Like I said before I do believe in ghosts in whatever form they take, and I also think that there is never a simple explanation.

The haunted attraction plays off this.  You take all the elements of horror to create an interactive experience to scare and entertain people.  It's a dream job, getting paid to scare people...seriously how awesome is that?  It's not an easy job and every year you have to come up with new material to keep people interested.  Going to haunted house attractions is the highlight of Halloween.  It's basically the chance to live a horror movie without the actual threat of death and dismemberment.  Doing a bit of research no one really knows where the tradition of haunted houses came from though the oldest haunted house seems to be from about 1915 and they came into real popularity starting at about 1960 or 1970. 

The people that I was always impressed with were those who literally created a mini haunted house on their own lawn/homes.  It was this extra added treat to Trick or Treating that you always hoped for and of course once you know who does it every year that's the house you always make a point to go to.      

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Light

All right day one of my Halloween series.  I know I said seven days before but I've decided to condense it down to five.  Again life just won't provide me more time.  Plus the specific nature of what I want to write about just doesn't allow for stretching out over a week.  I wanted to talk about a few things that I connect for the most part to Halloween.  I'm not going to write about ghosts or vampires or werewolves, those are pretty much year round.  I picked five things that I thought it might be cool to explore.  Tonight's topic is Jack O' Lanterns.

Honestly I've never really thought about why we carve pumpkins for Halloween.  It's one of those things you just grow up with and assume it will be like that forever.  So far, so good anyway.  But doing some light research has come up with some interesting stuff.

The original legend of the Jack O' Lantern comes from an Irish legend.  I won't go into major detail, and there are many variations, but basically Stingy Jack decided that he was smarter than the devil and managed to trick him.  The deal they struck was that the devil would never take Jack's soul.  Turns out the catch is that Jack's soul was doomed to walk the earth forever in darkness.  The devil through him a bone, or in this case an ember that would never die and would help light Jack's way through the darkness.  Jack's favorite vegetable was turnips and he had one in his possession at the time.  Jack carved out a hollow in the turnip and placed the ember in there creating a makeshift lantern. 

Those from Ireland, Scotland, and England would also carve turnips, potatoes, rutabagas, and beets and make them into lanterns to ward off evil spirits.  The images carved into them would sometimes represent certain ghosts and spirits.  They'd place these lanterns in their windows or on their doorsteps to keep those spirits out of the home.  Pumpkins being used as jack o' lanterns has American origins, started by some of the first Irish immigrants who came to the New World.

No matter how you look at it or what you decide to carve into your own Halloween pumpkin it's a fun tradition that brings back great childhood memories.  It just isn't Halloween without a jack o' lantern sitting at your doorstep glowing brightly in the night.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Favorite Time Of Year

Oh October.  Love this month and this season.  Fall is lovely and I wish for it year round.  I also love Halloween though in the past few years I haven't really done much to celebrate it.  Life always gets in the way and though really it's not a great excuse it is never the less what happens. 

Halloween has also provided for some great inspiration.  My zombie story was prompted by something that happened not around Halloween but by a friend.  Said friend was given this story as a present for Halloween since it seemed the best time to finish it for her.  It's the same story I've published here on my blog.  Plans for celebrating the holiday are up in the air at the moment.  It really depends on how the universe decides to treat me and how I decide to react to it.  I'm getting geared up to try and kick it's ass into submission so we'll see how that goes :)

'The Haunted Life' first segement is nearly done.  It's taking me longer than I thought to fine tune it but I should be done by the end of this week.  As I type this I have my handy dandy red writing journal next to me and I'm jotting things down as I go along.  So far it's pretty fun stuff, both to write and read or so my writing group has told me.  Great bunch of people they are. 

Taking a que from the A to Z challenge I'm going to make a little challenge to myself.  The week of Halloween I think I'll do a post a day revolving around something that's usually connected to Halloween.  I'll do  the research on the lore and myths and write about it.  A nice little seven day challenge, and I might learn something in the process which is always fun.  Plus it might be fun to be able to geek out on a few things for a bit and not focus on my novel and story writing.  It's times like that that sometimes provide my brain the best opportunity to wander and come up with new stuff.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Technology Sucks...Sometimes

Blogger has an app...the most glorious words that I could have heard yesterday.  Thus my improtu post today on my phone of all things.  This is kinda awesome.  The interface is simple and easy.  What more can a person ask for?

I thought I'd touch a couple of points today really quick since I now can.  The previously unnamed project has a name.  The title is now 'The Haunted Life'.  I think it's quite appropriate and I'm very happy with it.  I'm almost done with the first segment so I'll be posting it on here for everyone to read.  I hope to get some feedback on it and if not I just hope people are reading it.

That brings me to my next point.  I am being a very bad blogger.  The A to Z challenge taught me that blogging is a very social sport.  It's not just about people reading your blog and commenting/loving/hating it.  I also have to do the same and I'm ashamed to say I am horrible at keeping up.  Also I end up reading a lot but I don't always leave comments and that's my next goal.  Keep up with my blog list and open dialogues with people. 

So I'd like to take just this moment to say to all of you out there with or without blogs that you're all awesome and keep up the good work.  I appreciate all your support and all of your awesome thoughts that you put out there into the universe :)

And smile, it's Avengers day!  I'm so going out and picking up my preordered copy!  Here comes the geekfest!

Monday, September 17, 2012

New Worlds

Despite my motto of not doing more than one project at a time, I've found myself taking on another project.  I'm still working on my novel but an old idea looked at in a new way has caught my interest.  Last year around Halloween time I came up with a haunted house story idea that just didn't go anywhere.  Basically it was a what if idea about real life monsters and creatures living in a haunted house and earning a living by scaring people.  This haunted house was owned by a young man who basically took care of everyone there.  I decided to look at it in a different point of view.  Instead of starting in the middle of the story I've decided to start from the beginning.  How did this guy come to own the place?  What's his story?  Thus my newly minted untitled project.

I was thinking it would be a great story to write then turn into a movie script.  Others have said it would make a great television series or mini series.  I guess we'll see.  Depends on how much material I can come up with.  In the meantime I've decided that I'm going to write it as a series here on my blog.  Keeps me attached to the blog and keeping it up to date, and gives people something more to do than just listen to my ramblings, not of course that that's a bad thing ;)

I still need to come up with a title and how I'm going to format it.  It'll be nice getting some feedback and hopefully it'll also generate some traffic here.  Part of keeping up traffic is also keeping up with the blogs that I want to read.  So much blog reading to do and so little lack of internet connection...and I can't do that sort of thing at work normally so it'll be tricky.

I like the new story idea and it's being done in the first person which is a great challenge.  Not very many people like writing in the first person and it makes you so much more aware of how you're writing.  I don't know about anyone else but third person past tense is so natural it just happens.  You don't think about it and it falls trippingly off the tongue, or pen, or keyboard.  That being said I think this story wouldn't come off well if I did it third person past tense.  It just seems to scream first person present tense.  Nice little exercise all around.

Halloween is coming up and I can't wait.  It's a great time of year and it seems to gear up the creative juices.  Not just for horror stories either.  I don't know what it is about the holiday but something just puts me in a creative mood.  It's so much fun and of course it's Fall, my favorite time of year.  I just feel so much better right about now.

Not giving up on Harbinger of course, that's my pride and joy baby right there.  Doing both stories and I made a deal with myself.  For every page or paragraph or sentence that I write in the new story I have to do the same in the other.  It's only fair.  All of your kids need the same amount of attention, even if you know that one of them is definitely your favorite.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Found Lacking

No this is not a post where I go into a babble about how I personally am found lacking.  I am found lacking in the technology department which is why posting is so hard.  My random accesses to the Internet at work are few and far between, but now and again I find I have an hour to waste so here I am :)

Many apologies for not writing here much, but hey life happens.  Between work and some serious blockage in my writing it's been difficult.  A lot of soul searching must be done before I can proceed with what I feel I must do with myself.  I don't feel like writing, but I feel that I really need to.  My list of things to do right now consist of cleaning my house, fixing my car, and finishing my book.  Also to stop obsessing over certain actors and casting the movie of my book in my head.  Again, before the book is even finished. 

Steamfest was fun and interesting even if things didn't turn out the way I wanted them too.  There was a great turn out and I reconnected with people that I had met at CONduit and LTUE.  The League of Utah Writers Roundup is coming up but unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to make it to that one.  Too bad too since Brandon Sanderson is due to make an appearance. 

I recently had an interesting moment in my head while trying to get myself to write.  Ever since I started this project I was pretty set on it being the only one of this universe I wrote.  Unfortunately that universe has other things in mind and I've got the beginning of the second book though I have no idea what it would be ultimately be about.  It was as if the characters decided that they wanted to further the journey.  On one hand I figured out the ending to my first book....on the other hand I know have a second project to do.  Both have their pros and cons.  I've taken to just writing randomness and seeing how it goes from there.  So far it's helping the juices to flow, even if it is slowly.  But hey, better slow than nothing at all. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

White Noise I've been gone...for a really really long time.  I apologize for that.  So much has happened in the last few months that it's been really hard to sit down at the computer.  Couple that with work and problems with the internet and you got a situation that makes me want to tear my hair out...though I promise I won't cause...that would make me look funny...funnier :)

Anyway, seems I didn't make it through the whole A to Z challenge, but for my first time I did a lot better than I thought I would.  Next year will definitely work out better and I'll come up with a better gameplan.  That seems to be the key, especially for me.  I made a list but not much more planning beyond that.  Anyway it was a fun challenge and I loved seeing what others wrote.  Greatest part of the challenge was meeting other bloggers and learning stuff from them. 

CONduit was excellent this year and I can't wait to go again.  I was able to pass out all the preview pamphlets of my book and I hope I get some good responses.  If not, well I'll just keep on plugging and hope for the best.  Same goes for finishing my book.  I hope to be done by the end of the year, if not sooner.  After that it's a matter of cleaning it up and making it look pretty.  The second draft work is going to be hard since it means possibly cutting out things and rewriting.  Necessary though terrifying. 

I really enjoyed doing those themed posts about random geek topics.  I think I might fill in the time with more of those even if they don't have to do with my writing.  This is a geek girl blog after all and I am supposed to ramble.  Already have something in mind for my next post.  Something my friends are getting sick of hearing me rant about I'm sure. 

The only other new thing going so far is the Salt City Steamfest going on in a couple of weeks.  I'm making up a costume as we speak and hopefully I'll be able to post up some pictures.  It's the first time they've done it here in Salt Lake City so it should be interesting.  And really, who doesn't love steampunk in all it's forms?  I won't be promoting my book there, this is a purely fun trip.  There's some interesting panels on character creation and steampunk storytelling.  Can't wait!