Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back on the wagon

Yep, quiet blog month from me.

I've read a few books but nothing screamed for a post. I'll probably try a catch-all summary if anything. Other personal things are keeping me busy.

The writing wagon. Get back on it.
Part of that busy-ness is writing. Specifically, establishing a daily writing habit. I know the lack of a daily writing habit is my Achilles' heel. I've finally leveraged my cat's help.

Yes, seriously.

She wakes us up way before the morning alarm, now that the days start early. Instead of being tired, grumpy and half-sleeping my way until the alarm rings, I've decided to leverage the issue in my favor.

I am now writing in the morning, first thing (after I feed the cats) before my regular day starts. I write for 40-60 minutes, with a daily session goal of 750 words. I never thought of myself as a 'morning person' but the fact is, waiting until evening is real hit-or-miss. Half the time I can't motivate myself to write.

The morning slot is working. I output an average of 700 words or so nearly every morning last week. I finished a rough draft short story in that time.

My motivational coach
If I go to bed an hour earlier now, so what? It's generally not an hour I used for writing. Most of that hour is just spent online or watching news, anyway. No loss there.

The other neat thing is that once I've done 750 words, I don't feel guilty if I can't get anything more out in the evening. On the other hand, after you've done 750 words 300 doesn't seem so hard and on some nights, I can push to that goal and have a 1000 words for the entire day.

And, if I can't reach the 750 in the morning, I can get some portion done and it seems much more manageable and believable that I will complete at least the 750 by bedtime.

I also know that I probably need outlines to do this. Part of my initial success was knowing what a scene needed to do. That early in the morning, I do need that.

Once the days grow shorter, and the cat stops her morning obnoxiousness, I will switch to using the alarm. By then I hope to have my habit firmly established.

A daily habit will be the only way to get novel(s) done, and I know I need to get there.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

recent read; The Monster Club

One of my favorite horror movies filed under "far from a classic - campy - but I like it anyway" is the anthology flick, The Monster Club. Despite its goofy tongue-in-cheek framing device, it contains one of my favorite all-time creepy tales. The story involves a stranger driving into a lost village which he eventually comes to realize is populated by ghouls.

I finally read the book by R. Chetwynd-Hayes. As with collections spawned movies, only two tales from The Monster Club book (and the framing device) were used in the movie. Other material came from other Chetwynd-Hayes tales from other sources. Fortunately, the ghouls story was one of the stories included in The Monster Club collection. It goes by the title "The Humgoo" which is unfortunate - it is much better than the title. The title comes from the half-breed girl in the story, a human/ghoul. In fact, all the stories in The Monster Club deal with cross-bred monsters and their strange powers.

R. Chetwynd-Hayes includes more than a bit of humor in his tales, and some of his stories are played for laughs. Some are played straight with humorous moments. Either way, he still manages to convey some good chills even in the more humorous stories.

Thanks to yet another informative introduction by Stephen Jones, I now know that there is another movie of Chetwynd-Hayes tales, From Beyond the Grave. I'll be seeking it out, along with more Chetwynd-Hayes story collections. Right now, the only two in print are The Monster Club and Looking for Something to Suck (I just ordered the last Amazon print copy yesterday!) R. Chetwynd-Hayes appears in a few (or more) Mammoth Book of horror anthologies, too.