Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Books with Teeth!

With Halloween creeping up on us, this is the perfect spot to slip in a post on creepy books.

Here’s the thing though. I don’t read “creepy” books. Or rather, I don’t think I read them. I would extend this to add I don’t write them either, except if only I hadn’t written Lock Box… a paranormal mystery… and was told on a number of occasions that the story is really, really very creepy.

Honest to goodness, that was not my intention. I just so happened to be musing on extraterrestrial life, and the next thing I knew, I got caught up in this story that took all of a few weeks to write. At 70,000 plus words, Lock Box was one of the easiest stories I’ve written. And while I’m singing on that note, let me add, I also call it my best work. The story is so paranormal that it still amazes me.

And yet, I did not write Lock Box with the intention of making the story extra creepy, or even creepy for that matter, which herein lies my question.

Are really, really very creepy stories consciously written with the intent of being really, really very creepy?

The question sort of reminds me of one of the first rules comedians learn; not to intentionally try to be funny. The second rule I’ve heard is not to laugh at your own jokes, at least not before your audience has a chance to laugh.

Guess I’ll drift on over to one of the King’s lovely sites to see what their take on all of this is, since I don’t plan on dipping into any of the books listed below. Oh wait, one title down there I just bought. But I was told the book was really touching. Oh well, there goes one more book I won’t be reading.

These are the books that keep showing up on a number of REALLY creepy lists.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
IT by Stephen King
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
Ghost Story, Peter Straub
Drood by Dan Simmons
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin
The Amityville Horror, Jay Anson

** And oh, I updated my to-read list. ** Extra note: I just read a really adorable collection of short stories. My thoughts here. & Sigh... I’m already a few books over on those I'll be selecting from to create my top 10 books read this year.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Definition of a Page-Turner Book

I’m writing this post because I am hungering for a true page-turner. A book I can curl up with and can’t put down, which wouldn't it be, on Columbus Day I would make this discovery.

Finally! After all this time I now realize why it is so difficult to distinguish what sets page-turners apart from unquestionably great books.

There are five distinctive characteristics ALL page-turners I’ve read share. Hostage by Laurie Davies, Gift of a Lifetime by Sue Batton Leonard, Farewell, My Beijing by Chi Newman, Doing Germany by Agnieszka Paletta, I Didn't Ask to Be Born by Bill Cosby, The Big Belch by Kay Wood… just to call out a few… each share the following qualities.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quoting the Greats!

This post was inspired by a quote I caught the other day on LinkedIn. “The Cream Shall Rise to the Top” my now latest favorite quote.

That phrase has been tangled up in my spirit, ruminating in my mind, resonating deep in my heart and wreathing above my head like a dancing halo vying to keep me looking up.

One thought led to the next, and the next thing I know, I’m thinking it would be a great idea to update my blog with great quotes; all those quotes that come to me without having to go anywhere searching and digging them up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movies Show * Books Tell

You've heard that phrase, 'don’t tell, show,' as in don't tell the story, but show the story.

Of course you have. I know you have, because if I heard it, I know everyone has heard it. I'm just like the rest... when I first heard the snazzy line, I was hooked on the rhyme of the words too... like something I'd caption in one of my stories over and over to death. Instantly I bought into the inanity of the colloquialism; in full sight of everything I was reading and hearing, persisting on telling me a story.

Friday, October 3, 2014

BIG WORDS: Picking the Tome, Making the Time

The very first book I read, or tried to read, was The Red Pony by John Steinbeck. Don’t know if I finished the book given how every other word I was asking my mother what did this word and that word mean.

“Look it up,” she kept repeating, which excavating the words trolling over the tip of my tongue...words my mother would have twisted and pinched off my lips had I let them go, had me instead grumbling, “there was no point in reading a book if I had to keep looking up every other word!”