Friday, March 18, 2016

Crediting the Idea Factory

Last night I was doubting my imagination. I'd just finished a new short story, which was the conclusion of a premise I came up with fifteen years ago. My last three short stories were ideas I'd had for decades. Weary from pain, I worried the only ideas I had left these days were the creations of my younger self.

In my malaise, I started backing up my computer so I could rebuild it this weekend. My writing folder was full of unfinished drafts that I had to open to recognize. They were tens of thousands of words of plots, many I'd created in the last couple months but had been so busy I'd forgotten I'd written.

The idea factory was still open. It just wasn't getting credit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Guest Post: Great and Terrible - 8 under-used, seriously scary monsters

Today I'm proud to present a guest post from author Tam MacNeil, who's just launched her paranormal thriller Salt and Iron. It's about the youngest member of a monster hunter family trying to make his way in the world - while the world is crawling after him, looking for a bite. To commemorate to the book, Tam wants to introduce us to some of her favorite monsters that you've probably never seen in a novel or movie before.

Monsters are one of my favourite things. Like pantheonic gods they often represent some aspect of human life - fear of mortality, personification of tragedy, unutterable pain, or mental illness. They are expressions of the uncertainty of human existence, which makes them familiar, and that is part of what makes them so proudly horrible. -Tam MacNeil

Gashadokuro - Japanese

One of my old Greek History professors once told me, “History is a body count,” and she was right. Anywhere you’re standing, odds are good somebody’s spilt somebody else’s blood, either through murder or neglect. Well, in Japan there seems to be some social anxiety about that, because Japan has the gashadokuro, the colossal ghost-skeleton.

Usually to be found stalking the unwary traveller with a broken-down car or hurrying home through the countryside at night, gashadokuro are voracious ghosts made up of the bones of those who died violently or of starvation. "Ravenous" is an inadequate little word for these colossal creatures, which are said to devour anyone found on the road at night.

Since they’re said to be invisible, the only way to know if there’s a gashadokuro in your vicinity is by a sudden ringing in your ears. What do you do when your ears start to ring? Run. And hope you’re running away from the monster.

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