Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallows Story

Thought I would share the inspiration for my NaNoWriMo project this year since it fits the Hallowe'en feel. Hope you enjoy it!

Most children have monsters in their closets. They may appear fuzzy and harmless enough, but their true nature always appears with glowing eyes, lolling tongues, and the needle sharp teeth. They feed off fear, but there have been no casualties yet.

I am not one of those children. I used to rest in my bed, staring up at the shadow shifting ceiling, waiting for anything to give me that thrill. I wanted to clutch my blanket and relish the unrelenting pounding of my heart. Instead, I would wake up in the morning to the simple songbird that had a nest near my bedroom window. All appeared well in my world.

Soon, I was too old. There wasn’t a monster that would want a child my age. I would think of the other children in my first days of school. They didn’t have enough sleep judging from the weight of their eyelids, or when they happened to jump at any little sound. I would ask them questions, but not enough for them to suspect that I was monsterless.

“My monster won’t let me dream. Are dreams real?” one girl asked.

“My monster sits at the foot of my bed and tears the pages out of my books. The teachers don’t care when I tell them it ate my homework. They tell me to hide it better,” a boy told me once at the bus stop.

“They like their reflection in my mirror,” I would lie.

© Natasha M. Heck

Happy Hallowe'en!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Different Kind of NaNoWriMo Challenge

It almost November, the month of pie and breaking out the winter jacket. It is also the month of NaNoWriMo!

I haven’t participated in NaNoWriMo for the past few years for various reasons that I don’t need to babble on about because this sentence is already long enough, right? The thing I am focusing on is now and what I can do this year. I want to participate since I would like to do a bit of writing and attend the write-ins with my local writers. However, I know that I am unable to do the full word count and keep up with the daily 1,666 goal. I need something smaller, and less manageable.

That is when I found out about InkyGirl’s Challenge. It can be done any time of the year, and it is perfect for what I can do while revising my novel, working a full time job, and being in denial about the weather. I can stay involved with NaNoWriMo, accomplish some writing, and possibly start another fun project. I am already using the free Windows trial of Scrivener to begin a bit of outlining, create characters, and imagine the settings. I usually don’t plan this far ahead, and am terrible at sticking to outlines, but that will not spoil this creativity.

I encourage people to do something this November. If a challenge seems to big, why not try something that you think you can do? Don’t become discouraged, but just break out. It is a great exercise to help find your way.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Horror Movie List

Every October, we love to bring out the horror movies more than any other month. Where we live, October tends to live up to the atmosphere to watch horror movies with cool weather, scattering leaves, and cloudy days. I love the neighborhood that we live in right now with all the big old houses with many untold stories. Right down the block, on the corner, is one of the best houses to imagine a horror movie taking place. It is never lit up, and it almost stares back at you with its tall windows.

I don't know why we enjoy horror movies. It might take us out of our safety zone, but it has us ask ourselves the big question: What would I do in that situation? Or better yet, Would I do that

One of my friends asked recently for some horror movies that he might not have seen. I thought I would share the ones I told him about and maybe include a list of some other goodies. Click on the links to watch the trailers.

1) Mr. Vampire- We found out about this movie from The Onion AV Club. It is a Hong Kong comedy horror. Once you see the trailer, you will see why my husband had to watch this movie. (Spoiler after this point). Hopping vampires that can't see you if you hold your breath. It is odd, and not traditional, but it is meant to be campy fun.

2) Ravenous- Another black comedy/horror movie set in 1840s California. The scary element of this story is cannibalism. They have two great actors, Robert Carlyle and Guy Pierce, headlining the 1999 film.

3) The Troll Hunter This is a new favorite among my friends. It is available right now on Netflix Instant. It is a Norwegian mockumentary of movies that we have been seeing, but is really, really good. It bears the question that I see coming up that CGI isn't as scary as puppets we have seen in the past. However, this movie uses the elements that puppet monster movies do and makes it work for me.

4) The Host- This has nothing to do with Stephenie Meyer's book. This is a South Korean film monster flick. It follows a family who is thrust into the middle of these events, and I was deeply impressed when the credits rolled. Out of all the films listed here, this one is definitely my favorite of the bunch and I would watch it again!

Do you have any movies to add to this list? We are always looking for new ones to watch and share with friends.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Taking the (Writing) Challenge

I've returned from my wonderful vacation to San Diego/Disneyland/NYC with my mind refreshed and ready to tackle my writing/editing. I don't think I can put in the effort that I would like to see in NaNoWriMo, but decided to take a smaller challenge. Over at Inkygirl, she came up with the idea that can be used anytime of the year where you can chose to write 250, 500, or 1000 words a day. The rules are pretty much up to the writer, but helps with motivation to have goals. Be sure to check out the challenge page with the "rules" and different word trackers.

Before I left on our adventures, I finished up doing the small editing in my manuscript. I have an idea of things that I want to change during the revision. There were a few ideas that I need to strengthen that finally came together. I also finally drew out a map of my character's world in Rockefeller Center in NYC while we waiting for the rain to stop. I have a notebook that I doodle notes, sketches, and tape in pictures that I took with me everywhere. I can't wait to page through it to rediscover the directions this novel needs to undertake.

Anyone else doing or have done NaNoWriMo or other challenges?


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Winner of the All Hallow's Read Contest

Today is October 1st so that means the All Hallow's Eve Contest has ended. I used a Random Number Generator to decide, and the winner is of an Audible version of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is....

Cory Putnam Oakes!

Congrats to Cory and thank you all for entering my very first contest on my blog!

I also want to point out that a month from today, on November 1st, Cory will be releasing her first book, The Veil. I know that I will pick it up the first chance that I get! Go over to her website to learn more.

Thanks again everyone! Remember to celebrate All Hallow's Read with your family and friends and to keep an eye out on the blog for a few upcoming book reviews and contests.


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