An unusually sentimental post

Or “Sometimes my little, frozen black heart does things that require being broadcast, especially since I write about ending the world a whole lot”.

A writer, I think, can only be as good as their support system. Like any other art-form, it’s a grueling, time-consuming labor of love, and there are days when I, like many, many others, would be all right with saying “Fuck it, I’m done,” (special apologies to my mother, grandmother, and any other relatives who maintain the belief I don’t use that word and its various conjugations)¬†and closing up the proverbial shop for good. Staring at a blank document, an idea in my mind, and being unable to produce anything of substance is extremely stressful.

Thank god for my iPod in those situations, or I’d probably have gone mad by now. Continue reading

Why misadventures in fiction?

Once upon a time, not particularly long ago in the bigger scheme of things, I started a WordPress blog named Phil’s Misadventures in Fiction. It happened because I had an idea for a story, which would eventually (still very tentatively) end up named Joshua’s Nightmares. In moments of pride, I would insist on calling it my web site and not my blog. I would post frequently, and then I would drop off of the planet because of other obligations. And then I would do absurd things like force myself to keep active while binge-writing a novel in under three months. I even shelled out some money so my WordPress could be listed as misadventuresinfiction.com (a fact that will never fail to make me smile for some reason).

Why misadventures, though? Why not adventures? Quests? Journeys, even? This is something I failed to consider, largely choosing misadventures because it felt right. It had that little bit of silly humor to it, and Misadventures in Fiction just sort of rolls off the tongue (or, perhaps, it awkwardly clunks off of the tongue). The title happened, it stuck, and I grew to love it as time marched along, as any creator often does (while spending much time in self-loathing for other things). Continue reading

There are days I just don’t feel like writing

Or “How I’m keeping my promise to myself that I’d write every day while still something something words. I’m not feeling well, I’m tired, and I’m grumpy, damn it.”

There are days I can’t stop myself from writing. If I did stop, I know the worlds and their respective characters would build up to the point my head would break open and let those many oddities spill out. The whole thing would be a terrible mess, really, so I choose to write instead. However, and despite my best efforts, there are still days something in my brain just says how this writing just isn’t working out. At all.

This is one of those days, and it’s probably one of the biggest bothers I know. I hate it, because I could easily justify skipping sleeping, meals, and social obligations (and if you’re one of my closest friends, you’d be the sort of person who would understand and encourage such unfortunate binge-writing sessions). If I didn’t get so damned loopy after going a day without sleep, I think my choices would be obvious here.

Naturally, today’s one such day where I can’t seem to get any creative thoughts. They’re on hiatus, maybe. Or perhaps they’re waiting for later on, once I go to bed, which is not a thought I’m entirely okay with given my subconscious’ tendency to go all-out with nightmares. No, thanks.

On the plus side, and perhaps this is some misplaced optimism of a sort, I don’t feel burnt out yet. I’ve been writing, even if only just a little, every day since I made the promise to myself I would, and I’m still feeling pretty good about that. I’m not getting anywhere in terms of publishing yet, but I will.

However, I should be getting some sleep because I’m sick. Not until I pick which Hogwarts house I’d reside in, though. Priorities, people. I’ve got serious priorities.

Revisiting the frozen north, and thesis seminar presentations

Or “I named the MS Word file ‘edinboro_nostalgia’ because I couldn’t think of a better title, as evidenced by the title of this post.”

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I think this bit of writing speaks well enough for itself. Also, it’s been an atrocious day and I’m feeling lazy (so sue me). Unrelated aside: The Bloggess followed me on Twitter today, which makes today the starstruck equivalent of Christmas.

Moving along…

Continue reading

A necessary bit of the heebly-jeeblies

Or “I don’t care if you think that’s not how it’s spelled, Chrome; I’m calling them the heebly-jeeblies” and “It’s open-window weather, which means it’s time to think creepy thoughts and deprive myself of sleep.” This post was brought to you in part by me posting a picture of Horrifying Houseguest (also known as Shadowlurker) on Facebook. Take a moment and Google it.

There’s a small, twisted part of my brain that is actually pretty okay with being scared. Plenty of things scare me, and I’d be willing to guess if you’re a living, breathing person, reading this post, there are plenty of things you are scared of as well. I’m not talking fear of rejection or how any college graduate is (reasonably) scared out of their minds about student loan debt. I’m talking about the things that occupy the space just in the corner of your vision, lacking clarity but still holding enough form to unsettle. The serial killers who may or may not be lurking in your basement this very moment, waiting until the lights are out so they can make their move. The creepy creatures who you might catch glimpses of just as you drift off to sleep.

You get the idea. Everyone’s afraid of something different, too, which is truly interesting. In terms of pants-wetting, high-pitched-shrieking terror, few things creep me out as effectively as distorted human faces and forms. I’ve got a rudimentary understanding of the psychology behind it; how something familiar, twisted, is a reasonable trigger for fear. It’s how horror movies manage to scare the bejeezus out of me when nasty specters with blacked out eyes and elongated mouths fly out of nowhere (jump scares are to horror as puns are to humor, as far as I’m concerned). Even though I can rationalize and dissect what about those things creeps me out, they still (almost) always manage to get my heart racing. It’s why much of what is featured in creepypasta stories (why, yes, I have read various creepypasta stories, and feel no shame in admitting it; some of them are pretty damn scary) manages to creep me out so much.

In any event, it’s been a fun night of thinking about scary stories, and the creepy things that inhabit them, and so I figured I’d write a post. Naturally, I must pose this question: what scares you? Name some of the things that really get your hair standing up on end, make your heart beat a little faster, and are cause to run to turn the lights on the moment you enter a room. Maybe sharing some of your favorite things that go bump in the night will discourage them from visiting? Or maybe it’ll just draw them a little bit closer.

Oh, and remember: it’s silly to be afraid of the dark, but perfectly reasonable to be afraid of what the darkness may conceal.

The age-old question: why do you drive on the Parkway and park in the driveway?

Or “I had no idea what to name this, but I’m waxing oddly nostalgic about things and couldn’t justify proper story-writing this weekend for some reason.” Or “Here’s a driving/travel post because I’m visiting Carnegie for Easter.”

Once upon a time, a long time ago in my grandmother’s dining room, the title of this post was posed to a much younger me. Mrs. Ott, a friend of my Grandma June, asked me this question, and I had no idea how to answer it. Sure, there are plenty of answers I have for it now, and I’ll get to those. However, I want to address the Parkway itself, first, because I get oddly sentimental over things that probably don’t merit such strong emotional responses. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that, I’d be significantly more well-to-do than I am now. Continue reading

A rather sad changing of the guard

Or “I have a dozen other things to be doing, but this is a mental health day and I’m making my way through it on my own damn terms.”

Yesterday was not a particularly good day for me, and I’ll spare the details because this is where I write about writing, and sometimes other artsy things that catch my eye. Maybe other odds and ends here and there. I will say that I am woefully behind where I’d like to be with Warpt Factor, and I largely blame the dreary gloom that’s settled in both in terms of weather and my moods. I apologize for that much because it’s been fun to write, and I certainly hope it’s been fun to read so far.

My Dell Studio laptop, named Satellite 5 (because Doctor Who, of course), blue-screened on me a couple times recently. Upon rebooting my nearly four-year-old laptop, it gave a different reason for the fatal errors, but none of them were particularly good or easily fixable. This is all particularly upsetting because Satellite 5 has been my trusty companion through much of my most difficult academic writing, as well as some of the hardest, best work I’ve done on my fiction. It’s what I used to make many–most, in fact–of the posts on Misadventures In Fiction, and it’s the computer from which this site was started. Needless to say, it’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decided it’s time to give Satellite 5 some much-needed rest. It’ll certainly see use, still, but not so much with its nearly useless battery, its replaced charger, and so on. Continue reading