That Time I…

Happy 2021, folks! Time for new beginnings and new musings. I had a moment of contemplation the other day that took me down a mental rabbit hole and it was pretty darned cool, so I thought I’d share it with you. 🙂

Have you ever let your mind wander and then been surprised by how you ended up in a place filled with purple trees and hippopotamuses being walked on leashes like family pets? It was during one of those daydreaming sessions that I pondered the concept of the theory of relativity—not deliberately and definitely not in those terms, of course, but that’s what it boiled down to—and how something like that could actually happen. What that something was, I was unsure about. See, when I started thinking about it, I realized I didn’t actually know what the theory of relativity was. I always thought it was what is actually called block universe theory—whatever, brainiacs… don’t judge me—which I will talk about below, but still the theory of relativity has one interesting component that plays well with the rest of my wayward imaginings: the concept of bending time.

What if Einstein was right about gravity bending time, time running at a slower pace where gravity is strongest, time-dilation and all that? And now I’m diving into concepts that are highly sci-fi intensive, and I do not, I repeat DO NOT, claim to be an expert about any of this at all, but what if there was a big formation like that Arcturus monstrosity in all those universe comparison videos or a planet we don’t know about (hmmm…. that’s a conversation for another day) that sits on the foam that is space and time and warps it (this is actually a very loose interpretation of the geodetic effect, if you wanted to look it up)? Then what if that same formation drifts away at some point. Maybe an asteroid destroys it, the gravitational pull changes and it dislodges, insert your plausible or implausible reason here. If that happened, couldn’t the imprint remain and the two sides of it might create a bend in space and time…where you could conceivably exist in two planes simultaneously?

Right? (I’m nodding in the way that people who want you to come along with them in their fantasy nod encouragingly at those who have been kind enough to hear them out.)

But seriously…right??

And that was just the beginning! Check out the rest of this incredible mental jaunt at DWASF.

What are you reading right now? I just started My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and it’s a lot of fun so far. So far there’s been much about hiding bodies and controlling urges – my kind of story!

Are you listening to anything new this year? I am enjoying Kai’s new release, Mmmh, as I type. Very smooth and soulful – slow and groovable.

Have you watched anything new? I just watched Fatale, Michael Ealy’s new movie. The pairing with Hillary Swank worked really well and the story moved at a pretty fast clip. In short, cheating will get you nowhere. I also just finished The Guest, a mini-series about possession, and it was flipping outstanding. I didn’t want it to be over – really. Next up, Cobra Kai (how can anyone who saw The Karate Kid in the movie theater when it was originally released resist watching this show? Daniel and Johnny are at it again!).

Did you set goals for yourself this year? I prefer this over resolutions because I rarely keep my resolutions (facts). I have a few goals this year, one of which is to finish writing a series I have been working on. I am excited about it because I already know what I want to do with it – I just need to start. No spoilers, hahaha!

Do you need fresh books for your TBR list? The Realm is a fantastic one to add to it. A reader said this about it on Amazon, “The writer, has the most amazing character development in this book. I find it rare In the horror genre to see such well developed characters.” Come check out Patrick and the gang!

How ever you do it, I hope you enter 2021 with hope in your mind and joy in your heart. Onward!

Until next time,

L. Marie Wood

The Gore You Never Asked For:

The Scary Shit we do in Real Life, Part 2:  Santa Claus

Santa Claus.  Kris Kringle.  Jolly Old Saint Nick.  Father Christmas.  St. Nicholas, the real-life 4th century bishop who gave gifts to the needy.  You’ve likely referred to the gift-giving rosy-cheeked man in red by one of those names in your lifetime.  You probably also know the 1823 poem titled “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore – if you’re of a certain age, you likely know parts of it by heart.  But have you ever stopped to think about what you’ve (ok, we’ve) recited year after year as you sit and contemplate your Christmas tree?  Have you ever thought about the actual words?  Let’s.  Just for a little while, let’s.

Moore talks about a lovely night; the kids are asleep and a simple man and his wife have just laid down to close their own eyes when a sound jolts him from his sleep, causing him to investigate.  You know the rest – flying reindeer, one of which has a glowing nose, a bottomless sleigh of gifts, and a portly old gent who breaks into the house to see what’s what… Twilight Zone-level stuff.  Spooked yet?  No?

Wait… there’s more.

If the idea of someone puttering around your house while you sleep isn’t enough to scare you silly, think about what song writers have added to the lore over the years.  The holiday ditty “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” admonishes children to keep a stiff upper lip and be good because Santa is coming to town.  It goes on to remind them that he sees kids when they are asleep and that they’d better be good… for goodness sakes.  “Here Comes Santa Claus” cautions kids to get into bed and cover their heads because Santa is on his way.

Um… what?

On its face, the lyrics are disconcerting; it’s easy to catch stalker vibes a la the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” but think about it for a second.  Let those lyrics resonate…

What kind of otherworldly, omniscient, shapeshifting (because how does he get into houses without a chimney, I ask you?  How’d he get past the home security system?  How’d he…) weirdo is looking inside your house, your very room –  everyone’s room – to know when you are sleeping?  Following you, peeking into your mind to find out what you’ve done and to whom, waiting to mete out punishment for the “bad” deeds? 

Keep it going – what kind of magic does Santa possess to make it to the house of every kid in the world and leave them a gift before Christmas morning… in every time zone? 

How’d he find you if you weren’t at your own house for Christmas? 

And we’re ok letting kids believe in this home-invading conjurer – so much so that we feed him too?

 It’s ok…

Maybe he only practices the good kind of magic…

M-maybe the stories about getting a lump of coal in your stocking for doing bad things is the worst of it…     

L. Marie Wood

It’s Officially Christmastime!

Really! December is here! If you’re like me, you just started celebrated on Dec. 1st – I try to give all of the holidays their just due so I wait until after Thanksgiving to get into the spirit. So, now that the season is here, that means it’s time for holiday movies… and by that I mean horror movies!

Must-See Christmas Horror Movies

Snow on the ground.  Hot chocolate in steaming mugs.  Christmas lights twinkling on the tree.  Pick your song and cue the music (“Baby, it’s cold outside,”, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,”), and sway… don’t forget to sway.  This scenario is as familiar as they come.  It represents the making of memories, the ones you call upon throughout the year to bring you joy, a sense of belonging, and love.  It is also the default scene for many Christmas horror movies and those of us who like that kind of thing get nostalgic just thinking of cold winter nights with a good slasher film on the TV.  Ah, the holidays.

If you’re looking for a good (and that’s a relative term, mind you) Christmas horror movie, check this list out.  It this goes beyond Gremlins, A Christmas Carol (because… ghosts), and The Night Before Christmas, folks – they are must-see Christmas horror movies in their own right, but you knew that already.  So settle in, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate, and pull the covers around you real tight… because everyone knows that the covers hide you from what’s lurking in the shadows, the thing waiting in the shadowy place just beyond the flickering lights on your Christmas tree… right?

Black Christmas – Don’t mess with girls in their sorority house… period.  The 1974 original stars Margot Kidder pre-Superman fame and is a slasher movie through and through.  Halloween may have put slasher movies on the map, but Black Christmas is the precursor in the genre.  Alert – there was a remake of this movie in 2019.  There was also one made in 2006.  Compare and contrast, if you dare!

Silent Night, Deadly Night – The beginning of a franchise, Silent Night, Deadly Night might be the most recognizable title in the Christmas slasher genre.  A boy, traumatized at a young age, is triggered later in life to reenact his parents’ gruesome murders.  And then the bleeding commences. 

Krampus – Don’t believe in the spirit of Christmas?  You’d better get yourself in gear before Krampus comes to visit.  The antithesis of Santa Claus, Krampus punishes those who misbehave in the most terrifying of ways.  Kind of sheds new light on the lyrics of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, doesn’t it?

Being a little spooked inside the confines of one’s own home is not relegated Halloween – stories of home invasions frightening us out of our sleep and hallucinations of flying animals attest to that (you know, ‘Twas the… I know you know).  So, give in.  Add a little Christmas fear with your Christmas cheer!

L. Marie Wood

“I am the female Blade” and other golden nuggets

Yes, I said it. I am the female Blade. If you want to know why, you’ll have to check out this interview over at HorrorAddicts.net. It’s worth the read, I will say that! LOL!

So, what have you been up to since the last time I sent out blog post? Nothing? Everything? Both at the same time? Yeah, I get it – same here. This week went by incredibly fast. I can hardy pick out the stuff I did… well, I mean there are a few things:

  • I got about halfway through Invisible Chains by Michelle Renee Lane, which is saying something because finding time to read is difficult for me these days. Invisible Chains is a vampire tale set in the antebellum south and it is imaginative and beautiful, engaging and definitely a great way to spend your time. I can’t wait to crack it open again this weekend.
  • I wrote about 10,000 words in part 2 of a novel that you haven’t even seen part 1 of yet! 🙂 I can’t wait for you to see this new series. And… guess what (!?!??!?!)… it’s a romance! Well, ok, a romance/sci-fi/psychological horror magical soup and I am kinda (READ: TOTALLY) pumped about it. But you’ll have to wait for that, at least for a little while… (mischievous grin)
  • I’m pushing around the bits and pieces for a textbook that will accompany a horror course that I have created. 2021 might see that come to life – stay tuned, horror writing fans.
  • I am about to OFFICIALLY bounce up and down in my seat about the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Lynne Hansen doing not one, not two, but FOUR covers for me! She will be reimaging my vampire novel, The Promise Keeper, and my short story collections, Caliginy, Phantasma, and Anathema. All this amazingness is scheduled to come out in February 2021, so, more on that later.
  • I read a different portion of The Realm out loud earlier this week and felt absolutely giddy about it!!! How far along are you in the story? Comment here and let me know! Did you finish it and love it? Did it keep you up at night? Are you afraid to walk into a dark room alone? Yeah!!!! *clears throat* I mean, excellent. 🙂 Please post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Do you need a copy? (Because yeah, you really do neeeeeed Patrick and his horror/sci-fi goodness in your life) – pick one up at Amazon!
  • I am trying to put together a 3D projector puzzle because, you know, I write screenplays, and I wanted to put this on my mantel but it is winning right now… all these little pieces, I…
  • I watched His House (a horror movie centered around the plight of a Sudanese couple) and yes, it is really, really good – substantive in ways you don’t expect… and very creepy.
  • Started on the One Missed Call series, because Japanese horror movies are my jam.

Hmmm, that’s actually a decent list. What did you do this week? Give me some suggestions for next week!

Until next time…

L. Marie Wood

It’s Friday the 13th!

Shhhshhhshhhshhhh…

Ahhhahhhahhhahhh…

I know how corny that was – whatever! But how can you resist doing it today, the one day when you can walk around making strange sounds and people smile and nod, instead of looking at you like you are crazy? Well, this Friday the 13th, you are making that sound from behind a mask… and that might still get you the side eye…

Have you ever stopped to think about why Friday the 13th is such a weird day? Long before Jason Voorhees terrorized people at Camp Crystal Lake, there was some superstition about this day. Learn more about it here , if you dare!

Looking for something to do on a Saturday night? Come hang out with me at ConTinual! My author spotlight starts at 7:00 pm EST on 11/14 and I’ll be doing a reading, talking about spooky stuff, and signing books for you!

AN ASK:

Do you use Goodreads? If you do, would you add The Realm to your “Want to Read” list or “Currently Reading” if you are in the thick of it, maybe even add it to the reading lists that the site has, like Horror Novels, Horror Novels by Women, etc.?

OK, ANOTHER ASK:

If you have read The Realm, would you share your thoughts? Post a review at Amazon and Goodreads, share the news with your friends, gift a copy of the book to them so they can get to know Patrick and run alongside him. Your words matter.

Alright, folks. It’s Friday the 13th. There have been, what, 12 Friday the 13th movies? None of us know if Jason is really dead. Stay safe out there.

Got plans on Thursday night?

So… whatcha doin’ on Thursday night? If you have some time, why not join us at The Realm’s Book Launch party? There will be readings and a discussion between myself and horror fiction-loving clergy about the afterlife (such fun!), and maybe even (absolutely for sure) a giveaway!

So, yeah, come check us out!

The party is at ConTinual on Thursday, 10/29 and it is gonna be awesome!

See you there at 8 pm est!

Something to listen to, something to read, something to watch

Hey you guys! The scary season is in full swing and, you know, if you forgot the thing I have been talking about nonstop, allow me to remind you here that my novel, The Realm, is coming out NEXT WEEK!!! (WOOOHOOO!!! Excuse me… I digress.) As we inch toward that momentous date (LOL!), let me supply you with something to listen to, something to read, and something to watch.

Just… all the things.

Should hold your interest for a bit! 🙂

To Listen To:

I sat down with Dicey Grenor and Chantell Renee to talk about my short story, “The Dance”, which appears in the newly released anthology SLAY: Stories of the Vampire Noire, as well as some other sexy and horror-type stuff.

To Read:

A blog post… a short story about Gate Night… a preview of The Realm… Amazing stuff in this Halloween Haunt posted on the HWA’s Halloween blog.

To Watch:

Check out the book trailer for The Realm. It’s pretty cool!

By the way, have you preordered your copy of The Realm? I would… I DEFINITELY WOULD! Author R.J. Joseph said, “You need this book,” on her Twitter feed. I tend to agree! Learn more about it here or just go for it and grab your copy here!

Thanks! Live love and prosper… wait, wrong genre.

🙂

L. Marie Wood