Edit Fest – I Have Gremlins

May 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm (writing) (, , , , , , , , )

In today’s high tech world, no writer wants gremlins, but I’m plagued by them every day. Just a few examples? Yesterday morning I got in the elevator with another woman. She pressed her floor button and it lit up. I pressed mine, directly below hers, mine lit up and hers went out. She had to press it all over again – and I’m sure it was my fault. Two microwaves I used often died in rapid succession of one another. I haven’t ever been able to wear a digital/battery-operated watch as they die within a couple of months after I start wearing them (but a clockwork watch I had to wind to operate lasted seven years.) Both Kindles I owned died within three months of their receipt, the electro-magnetism in their screens malfunctioning in exactly the same way. My netbook crashes without warning on a regular basis – the error message telling me it’s a hardware issue – and has since practically day one. My computers at work glitch out for no reason, much more than anyone else’s. My cars never behave quite the way they’re supposed to. I refuse to own a cell phone. Given my history with technology, what’s the point?

My publisher tells me it’s gremlins, and I’m tempted to agree with him. If you think the above mentioned problems are bad, they can be worse -enough at times to make me want to go back to an old-fashioned typewriter. I make a point to back things up threefold, but I still ended up pulling out my hair out over a format file that went missing the other day. I searched for the original and all three back-ups many times over (we’re talking hours of hunting), but it had disappeared from everywhere. I couldn’t explain it. After doing what I had decided would be my last full search of my netbook, which proved to be unsuccessful, I was preparing to start the work on the file over from scratch, when suddenly, the file was there again. I immediately backed it up my usual places.

How did this happen? Where did the file go and how did it manage to come back again?

All I can do is scratch my head. My best guess? – – – I have gremlins.

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Genre for the Holidays – Christmas De-Gore

December 9, 2012 at 1:55 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , , , , )

I just finished writing a horror short story, working title Deck the Halls, set during the Christmas season and it was my first attempt at holiday horror. I think there’s something a little more jarring about Christmas horror, just like horror involving the mistreatment of children, seniors or cute, fuzzy animals seems umpteen times more disturbing. Most people see those things as particularly vulnerable and needing more protection, almost untouchable, just as they see Christmas as being something associated with happier memories (unless you have an especially dysfunctional family or celebrate a different holiday.)

There’s plenty out there to inspire this kind of scary Christmas tales. I can still remember the terrible Santa story in the Gremlins movie. The Grinch is a pretty chilling character as well. If you dig around you can find quite a bit on the legend of the naughty children-eating Christmas devil, the Krampus. There are dark humour-filled animated features like The Nightmare Before Christmas or live action gore-fests like Black Christmas. The holidays can be scary, if you are willing to tread that taboo-ish territory.

Once I have my story typed in I’ll post an excerpt. I stretched the taboo beyond making Christmas ugly and included the mistreatment of a senior as well (the guy’s elderly mother – yikes! – but don’t worry, he gets it in the end.)

More tomorrow J

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