31 Days of Blogoween Wrap-Up

Happy Halloween, my fellow haunts!!!

I can’t BELIEVE IT!

31 days straight of posts- all focused on spooky, twisted content and you all held in there! 😀 We even made some more friends, too! We learned about some awesome new things that tied in to reading- like which horror movies go with which books, and which books were inspired by real haunted locations, for example.

WHAT a month, though! I was busy pretty much every weekend, so I’m truly astounded I managed to post every single day without fail. I am so happy that you all stuck around and hung out with me through it, even though there were some events that I decided to skip because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to post as much (A Meet-and-Greet will definitely be in the near future, too)! I know the horror genre isn’t as much of a draw-in for some people, but I think Blogoween was really fun and actually brought out more of the horror community around here 🙂

As kind of a wrap-up, I managed to read all of the books in our reading challenge as well as some on top: I finished Goldenhand by Garth Nix a couple of days ago… I simply couldn’t put it down… and I also listened to The Green Mile on audiobook. I thought, hilariously, that I’d take a break from spooky books since I TRULY had enough scary stuff going on this month, but for my birthday I got a book called Ghosts of Salem that I started reading the other day and I also am finally working my way through Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts. Which is an amazing anthology!

So, basically my TBR list is ridiculous!

But I’ll tell you guys all about that in my November TBR post 🙂 because, now we are back to the regularly scheduled posts on The Drifting Paige!

Well, as regular as possible with NaNoWriMo taking off >_< Are you guys doing it this month too? Are you ready for tomorrow???

I hope you guys liked Blogoween, tell me what you thought about it if you’d like! I’m so happy to see some new faces in here- feel free to introduce yourself below if you guys all want to chat and bond over horror lol

Thanks for sticking around and participating this month, you guys are all amazing!

 

Live,

Morgan Paige

Favorite Spooky Creatures (in Religion and Mythology)

You guys may be pretty tired of my ongoing “favorites” lists that I’ve been posting, but I really think these are some of the most fun and easy ways to discover new parts of horror that you otherwise might not have known. It’s created some great dialogue amongst us and I really think it would be fun to do one last “favorites” post… for favorite horror myths/beliefs/legends!

I absolutely adore some recurring characters from religion or mythology that tend to inspire fear rather than hope. It’s these creatures that bring some depth to older stories and also make you wonder, how did they come up with this??? What inspired this story?

So, below I’ve listed some of my favorite characters/beings, and I’ve tried to be clear which ones are just creatures of mythology and which ones people believe in. So go ahead and see which spooky creatures in lore could still keep you up at night and which ones might just inspire your next short story!

 


Nattmara: In Scandinavian folklore, this creature is described as a woman with a white nightgown, long dark hair, and pale skin, who climbs onto a person while they sleep and “ride” them, thus causing nightmares.

Basically, she’s one of my favorites because she blends typical Japanese horror ghosties with my beloved Scandinavia. When my brother went to Norway for winter, he came back with some strange, unexplained stories from the woods, so I feel like a lot of weird things remained unexplored up there.

 

Slenderman: A tad bit controversial because of the infamous Slenderman murder of the poor teenage girl back in 2014, but before the misguided actions of those girls, I was playing games and reading ALL the stores based on slenderman.

An entity who dresses in a dark suit with loooong, sometimes numerous arms and a blank, white face, Slenderman is known for stealing children and for being unshakable once he gets you in your sights. If you play any games based on him, you’ve probably had some heart attacks when you try running from him and he suddenly appears RIGHT BEHIND YOU AH


Baron Samedi: Inspiration behind a lot of the best mainstream villains (James Bond movies and Tim Burton’s villain in the Miss Peregrine movie to name a few), but he is actually a spirit from Haitian Voudou. He is a part of the group of spirits called Loa who are intermediaries between the Gods and humans, and he belongs to the Ghede spirit family.

Baron Samedi is one of the most badass depictions in religion and he functions as an escort for the dead. He brings spirits to the Realm of the dead, and also is responsible for resurrection and healing. However, he is as much a trickster as he is a drunk, and loves to drink, party, and be loud and raucous. He is actually a huge inspiration behind what I’m writing for NaNoWriMo, so I’ve done a ton of research into Haitian Voudou. I’d definitely recommend reading up on Haitian lore and the relationship they had with the Christian French. It’s an enlightening read!


Krampus: A being derived from pagan, possibly Germanic, folklore, he is essentially the antithesis to Saint Nicholas. He is the spirit who goes around and punishes the bad little boys and girls on Christmas night. He either eats them, transports them to hell, or drowns them, all while wiggling his chained wrists at St. Nick in annoyance.

I found out about Krampus through Brom’s book, Krampus: The Yule Lord. It is a BEAUTIFUL book and I earnestly plan on reading it to my cats and boyfriend every Christmas. It’s like the twisted tradition of Santa’s story.


Nephilim: I’d like to thank my boyfriend for educating me on these creatures from the Christian bible! They are the children of God and Man, the offspring of what happens when a mortal lays with an immortal. Although there isn’t anything written about them in the bible that makes them seem particularly bad, they are called “the dead ones” and were touted as the reason why God flooded the Earth.

So, not so great of a reputation.

Also, they are described as giants and were intimidating, and since not much is known about them, there’s been some awesome Nephilim interpretations in modern day media. I’d suggest Richard Kadrey’s book series, Sandman Slim, if you want a story about what it would be like to live as a Nephilim in the modern age.


Djinn: I LOVE DJINN. They are snarky and sneaky and cunning and witty… they’re so much smarter than the average human being, they have “infinite cosmic power” and they are beings from the spirit world. The Islamic translation implies they are beings of fire and smoke and are beyond the power of our industrial world.

This isn’t to be confused with genies, who are essentially the watered-down, “good” version of a djinni. My favorite interpretation is Bartimaeus from Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy, and I just think these powerful tricksters are some of the most fascinating beings in Islamic lore.

 

What are some of your favorite not-so-nice creatures in mythology and religion? I’d love to learn more and be inspired by more. There are some amazing Japanese creatures and some REALLY creepy Egyptian and Scandinavian creatures out there. It was honestly quite hard to narrow it down lol

I hope these provide some food for thought for future stories! [and not nightmares 😉 ]

 

Until next time,

🔥

Live,

Morgan Paige

Best Horror Blogs/ Websites

Hello, fellow haunts!

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the horror scene since it’s pretty much the opposite of mainstream, so I thought I’d put together a list of amazing websites that cater to all your HORRifying interests 🙂

From movies, to books, to style, to news, these websites have it all. The communities are usually super accessible, too, which is one of the reasons why I love horror as a genre. I’ve connected so much to people within these sites purely because of equal interests in the same book or film.

So have fun reading through these, and let me know in the comments if there’s another place you’d suggest!

 

Fangoria

The #1 Horror Website, around since 1979. Very active with all aspects of Horror!

Dread Central

Kind of the #2 horror website, similar to Fangoria but has a lot of indie shoutouts.

Bloody Disgusting

As mainstream as horror can get- this website is a little more accessible to people who love all genres and covers more popular events and news in the horror community.

Horror Novel Reviews

A growing blog that I personally love, this website is LEAPING into popularity. Not only does it cover books, but authors, interviews, and movie adaptations as well.

Horror Society

Pretty much completely indie, this covers articles as well as posting short horror films and other mediums made my horror enthusiasts all over the world.

Popcorn Horror

If Horror Society is indie, Popcorn Horror is totally under the radar. But that’s part of its charm. They post movie shorts, comics, reviews, and even now they’re posting up fun Halloween costume tutorials that are bound to scare the poop out of your friends.

iHORRORdb

If there was a wiki for horror, it would be this website. It’s focused mostly on movies and has a database for most popular horror directors/themes/etc.

 

Reading Wrap-Up

PHEW

What a month! I haven’t updated you guys much with how my readings been going, I just kind of half-assed tweeted about it every once in a while. But, in all honesty, this month has been SUCH a struggle to keep on with my reading goals that I posted at the beginning of October.

WAY too many good books came out this month and I genuinely put off reading them in order to finish my October TBR list. This is serious dedication, because my favorite author Garth Nix released a book in early October called Goldenhand. I started it of course… but I had to make sure to leave some time for The Shining lol

And the dedication paid off, because I did manage to finish all of my books, therefore completing the challenge! I read:

 

The Shining by Stephen King

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Goth by Otsuichi

 

And let me tell you, my impression of these books have absolutely blown me away. I thought I was going to be able to devour Frankenstein, but it was honestly the slowest read out of the bunch. I loved it, but it wasn’t nearly as captivating as the rest. I went into Frankenstein and The Sandman with expectations and they were both completely exceeded. I love Gaiman as it is, so I’m not surprised I loved The Sandman so much. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who loves witty dark fantasy.

As for The Shining and Goth, I’ll admit I thought they wouldn’t be anything special since I have seen the actual The Shining movie, and I thought Japanese horror would be pretty basic to what I’ve seen so far in the movies (and honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the Eastern translated novels I’ve read so far… they’re all very predictable in style and technique). But, my god.

The Shining is completely different from the movie and should be considered a different story entirely. I love both versions because they’re phenomenal in telling their own separate story, and I never thought I’d find a new favorite Stephen King novel, but this is definitely up there. Goth, however, has become one of my favorite novels ever. I’m serious. I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it because of my stupid, stupid fear of Japanese horror, but this book absolutely blew me away. Every time I thought I knew what this book was about or guessed at what was going to happen next, Otsuichi pulled the rug out from under me and shook his head in disappointment. I highlighted the shit out of the book because some of the lines he wrote are the most disturbing, most psychologically intuitive lines I have ever read. He was so honest and his main character, who has no name, is the most terrifying, unhinged character I’ve ever read. You want to like him, hell, you do like him, but he’s probably the most messed up in the head out of all of the characters. And then you question your own sanity for being charmed by this level-headed school boy.

Oh my gosh, it is a trip.

So, overall, a very successful reading month! I also finished The Green Mile by Stephen King and I’m not ashamed to tell you I cried. It was a powerful book, and now my boyfriend is chomping at the bit to get me to watch the movie. He says it is amazing with incredible actors, and all I know is I’m a huge fan of Tom Hanks. So, sign me up.

So, my reading challenge is complete, I finished 5 books and started three more o_O And now… next month’s TBR is going to be stupid because SO MANY good books have come out. Ah. I wish I could control time and just read for half my life in silence lol do you guys ever wish for that?

Let me know what books you finished this month! Did you find anything unsettling? Try and read a horror novel that ended up scaring the pants off you?

Let’s chat!

Until next time,

👻

Live,

Morgan Paige

Horror Book Suggestions for Horror Movie Fans

Hey friends!

So, we’ve gone over favorite Horror Movies and Favorite Horror Books, but why not both?

😀

I’ve put together a list of some popular horror movies, and thanks to an awesome suggestion by my BF, I’ve decided to do a “If you like ____ movie, read ____ book!” suggestion list!

Granted, these are all of my own personal suggestions based off of themes or characters in the movies that I thought were the most compelling .For example, I’m sure people who loved the movie Chucky would initially think, “wheres the book with the possessed serial killer doll?”… but I took it in a different direction… and instead focused on the villain and his origins (crazy magician anyone?).

So, I hope you agree with my suggestions and find something worth reading in this list. I’ve read most of them, but also did some research on the rest (or got suggestions from people who have read them). Let me know if there are any other book/movie combos you’d suggest for us readers!

 

If You Liked… You Should Read… Because…
Nightmare on Elm Street NOS4A2 by Joe Hill Men who haunt your dreams? Fear of never escaping the horrible killer who has you in your sights? This book has every great element of Freddy Krueger mixed with amazing characterization and growth.
Dracula Carmilla by J Sheridan Le Fanu

Or

Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin Gormenghast

Inspired Dracula

 

 

Inspired by Dracula!

The Ring The Summer of the Ubume by Natsuhiko Kydgoku

Or

Ju-on by Kei Ohishi

Or

Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Akinari Ueda

Popular Japanese horror with a female villain/ghost.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Suspect Zero by Richard Kadrey A book about a serial killer who goes in search of another serial killer, but like the movie, there is always more to the actual antagonist than meets the eye… he is always one step ahead.
Frankenstein Kane by Karl Edward Wagner Kane is the anti-hero, much like the Frakenstein monster, and the antagonist is very much the puppetmaster.
Chucky A Deadly Game of Magic by John Lowery Nixon This is a bit unconventional, but I chose this book based on its premise of the villain being a magician. Fans of Chucky know he’s a magician who has trapped himself inside of a doll after being hunted for committing murders. So, if you fear magician, rabbits-out-of-a-hat villain, this is a good go!
Halloween

Or

Friday the 13th

The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue These three have in common the fact that the villain is a young boy… who suffers from psychotic episodes. The people around him are tortured and fear for their own sanity.
The Devil’s Rejects The Black Company by Glenn Cook A book about family, hilarity, and madness, this book is as shocking and amusing as the horror movie. And lo and behold, the family is not the good guys in the story.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016!

Hey all!

I have an announcement to make, and I’m pretty sure that you all either saw this coming or aren’t entirely surprised.

I’m going to take part in NaNoWriMo this year!!!

[Cue the confetti]

I took part last year for the first [official] time and am so happy that I managed to succeed in hitting the 50,000 word mark. I didn’t finish the book that month, but since I had worked so freaking hard on it, I was motivated to actually finish the first draft. It was my first completed story ever (I have a few novels that I’m about ¾ of the way through), and I am really looking forward to tackling this challenge with a novel/storyline that I am even more proud of.

Here’s the synopsis I put up on the NaNoWriMo website:

The City of Sundown (working title)

The day she watched her sister walk through Sundown’s iron gates in exile, Remy turned her back on the people and the Gods of her city. She formed a plan to not only find Mara, now lost and wandering the Wastes, but to also exact revenge on the overpowered demi-god who had marked her twin’s soul with darkness. In order to save her sister from imminent death, she will have to take on the Baron himself and only the race against time could stop her.

But as she gets closer to finding her sister, Remy finds that the truth may not be as it seems. In a world where even your dreams are trying to kill you, Remy discovers that the waking world may not be so forgiving.

It’s a dark fantasy novel with a lot of nods to Haitian and French religion. It will have an air of Southern charm with some creepy back-woodsy elements, and I genuinely cannot wait to officially begin writing it. Honestly, I have started it twice, but I am going to restart it fresh with some added notes from my outline. I haven’t gotten too far (as I’ve only hand-written it so far), but I honestly think I will continue to hand-write and then rewrite each chapter on the computer when I finish. It will be a LOT more time consuming, but I am SO dedicated to this story and this character that I want to dedicate this month purely to writing.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200

I can’t honestly tell you how often I will post this month. I will definitely need breaks to get my mind refreshed if I’m spending so much time in the world of Sundown, but I hope you guys will be okay if I lessen my posts just for this month. I know Blogoween is a bit crazy, 1 post a day!, so I can’t really compete with this lol but I’ll definitely keep you guys updated with my work in progress!

How does that sound?

Also, let’s be writing buddies if you’re going to do NaNoWriMo, too! Join me here: The Drifting Paige NaNoWriMo

We’ll need a good support system I think 🙂

Yay! It’s almost writing time! Gotta countdown to Tuesday!

Horror Magazines: Where to Publish

This whole month has been basically an intro course into the awesomeness that is horror and the genre as a whole. I think I’ve pumped you guys full of information on how to ingrain yourself as deep into the horror genre as I am lol

I think now we’ve finally gotten to the point where I should share with you some writerly tips that I’ve compiled on where to actually get your horror stories published. The Horror genre is super niche, we all know that, but there are some places that specifically look for twisted, compelling stories that make the readers question reality and their own way of thinking. A ton of short stories within the horror genre actually get picked up for prizes like the Nebula Awards and have their own specific nomination categories like The Bram Stoker Award or the Mary Shelley Award.

Magazine publications are hit-and-miss in the actual book publication market, but most agents tend to be happy to see some of the more “well-known” magazines in the industry. Below, I’ve listed some of the places where you can submit your short stories/poems (just be sure to check that they’re actually accepting submissions at this point). There are a lot of resources out there that point to other publications that are either not as esteemed or have closed down completely. Always keep an eye out for other places to publish, submitting is better than not, but keep these in mind… they’re some of the best 👍

 

 

Nightmare Magazine

Strange Horizons

Uncanny Magazine

TOR

Dark Moon Press

Apex Magazine

Paste Magazine

 

Most of them also include fantasy and science-fiction submissions, and there’s a good variation in annual publications in there. Nightmare is monthly, Strange Horizons is weekly, and Apex is monthly as well. I’d suggest you guys read some of their published magazines/stories before you submit your own, as each magazine has a certain feel to them. It doesn’t hurt to try, just be sure you’re showing them something you think that’d fit with their public persona.

Let me know if you guys plan on publishing anything or have published horror stories in the past! If you know of other websites/magazines/publication spots, list them below so other writers can see 😊

I hope this helped some of you!

 

Until next time!☕️

Live,

Morgan Paige

Horror Graphic Novels

Do any of you guys read graphic novels?

This is a fairly recent development on my end, and I have to give full credit to my GM Guru friend, Arthur (check out his blog here if you’re interested in roleplay games!). The first graphic novel I ever read was one of his copies of Mouse Guard, which has itself spawned a roleplaying game and a cult following, and I have since read most of the editions that have been published.

I stumbled upon my first horror graphic novel after I read a couple of Joe Hill’s books. I didn’t realize he was first-and-foremost a writer for graphic novels, namely the Locke and Key series, so since I loved his actual novels so much I figured the graphic novels were worth a try.

This trickle-down effect has led me to discover some frighteningly addictive graphic novels out there in the world, and though I’m not NEARLY as learned as most readers are, I found that these are some of the most easily accessible (as in, easy to find in stores or online) and best intro books to the horror graphic novel scene. These are… graphic… for lack of a better term. Definitely not for youngsters or the delicate-hearted. But if you want an immersive, mind-blowing world to dump yourself into, I definitely recommend picking these out!

 

Locke and Key by Joe Hill

Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. Home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all…

 

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

In 1916, Dream is captured and encased in a glass globe in a failed attempt by a fictional Edwardian magician (very much in the vein of Aleister Crowley) named Roderick Burgess to bind Death and attain immortality. Dream bides his time for decades until Burgess dies. Afterwards, his son Alexander becomes Dream’s new captor. Finally, in 1988, Alex’s guards grow careless and the guards watching him fall asleep in his presence, allowing Dream to use the sand from their dream to his benefit. When the guards awake and break the seal Dream was in, he is then able to escape. Dream punishes Alex by cursing him to experience an unending series of nightmares. The rest of the story concerns Dream’s quest to recover his totems of power, which were dispersed following his capture: a pouch of sand, a helm and a ruby…

 

Wytches by Scott Snyder

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.

 

Outcast by Robert Kirkman

NEW HORROR SERIES FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREATOR ROBERT KIRKMAN! Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it.

 

Monstress by Marjorie M Liu

Steampunk meets Kaiju in this original fantasy epic for mature readers, as young Maika risks everything to control her psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, placing her in the center of a devastating war between human and otherworldly forces.

 

 

 

Blurbs taken from Goodreads.

Let’s Chat: The Mix of Rock Music and Literature… and Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize

Is anyone else here a rock music fan?

No?

Lol who am I kidding… with the expansiveness of rock as a genre, there’s bound to be a million fans on WordPress alone. There’s alternative rock, hard rock, classic rock, and, my favorite, metal!

So, to kinda kick today off the right way, let’s chat about some killer music and horror combos that have made an impression in the mainstream rock industry. Some of the most well-known metal bands/singers out there are:

 

Rob Zombie

Iron Maiden

Black Sabbath

Metallica

Anthrax

 

And all of them have written songs inspired by literature! Not just any type of stories, either, but horror stories 🙂

It must be a given, but many song writers are literary at the heart of the matter. Poetry and prose come from the same creative outlet that song lyrics come from. So it should be no surprise that so many musicians love to read and write as well! Song writers have a special spot in this whole mixture, though, because it is up to them what they want their music to be about. Here, I have put together a list of some of the most well-known hard rock bands and the songs that they have written that were inspired by books.

 

Band Song Inspired By
Anthrax Among the Living The Stand by Stephen King
Black Sabbath Behind the Wall of Sleep Beyond the Wall of Sleep by HP Lovecraft
Demons and Wizards Crimson King The Dark Tower by Stephen King
Iced Nine Kills Communion of the Cursed The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Iced Earth Dante’s Inferno Dante’s Inferno
Iced Earth Dracula Dracula by Bram Stoker
Thrice Doublespeak 1984 by George Orwell
Iron Maiden El Dorado El Dorado by Edgar Allen Poe
Metallica For Whom the Bell Tolls For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Poe Haunted House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
Motion City Soundtrack Invisible Monsters Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
Anthrax Misery Loves Company Misery by Stephen King
Rob Zombie Never Gonna Stop A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Ramones Pet Sematary Pet Sematary by Stephen King
Metallica The Thing That Should Not Be The Call of Cthulhu by HP Lovecraft

 

 

So this is just a small, though varied list that cover some of the more popular musicians in the rock scene that have been influenced by literary works. I love seeing Iron Maiden do so many inspired retellings (their song Flight of Icarus is one of my favorites!), which must have something to do with them being my favorite band lol

Do any of you guys have any favorite bands or songs that were inspired by books or poems? This kind of brings to mind the fact that Bob Dylan just won the Nobel Prize in literature. A lot of people are saying that song writers are not the same as authors… but honestly, what’s the difference? A writer is a writer… whether you put it into a song or a book (which Dylan has indeed done as well), you are still a creator. I think Dylan deserves the literary prize because he himself has actually written books. The fact that he also writes music, albeit primarily, is just an added dimension.

Let me know what you think of his award and whether or not he should have been considered for it to begin with. Do music and literature go hand in hand? Specifically, does a certain genre of writing affect the kind of bands you listen to? Like the rock bands mentioned above, do you find that a certain genre (like horror) crop up in their music more than others? Let’s chat!

Until Next Time,

👻

Live,

Morgan Paige

 

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_that_retell_a_work_of_literature

Horror Prompt

You’re alone at home, where evening has fallen and the only sound in the living room is the ancient buzz of your television and the crunch of popcorn between your teeth. The TV spews wordless noises back at you, when suddenly you find yourself shaken from monotonous observation when a great, banging sound rumbles through the room. It felt like a cataclysmic shift as the ground shudders beneath your feet, settles, and then quivers again as another deep boom rings throughout the room like a harkening. It’s a rhythmic bang as if someone is knocking on the front door of the universe, and you stand unsteadily to look out the shifting curtains of your front window.

Dawn is falling, and with it the landscape around your house has changed. Same buildings, same grimy road, but directly across the street where the grass-less park had been, was now a steeple-topped building with dark stained windows. A church.

It’s oxidized paint and spider-cracked windows cast shadows where there shouldn’t appear to be any. Harsh architectural lines rise like the hands of the forsaken and you can see, there in the doorway below, a hooded figure with palms held forward. You can’t see the worshiper’s face, but you can see that the black robes it wears are faded and there is a brand painted over where its heart would be.

Will you explore? Will you approach the worshiper? Have you seen this church before? Let’s write!