This is Horror Podcast Interview! Episode 119.

14996534_10101309758396084_2142927969_nMichael David Wilson and Bob Pastorolla invited me on Episode 119 of the This Is Horror Podcast, and it was such a blast! We discussed NaNoWriMo, lush language, beautiful horror, and the benefits of having your roommate perform kitchen table surgery with regular utensils. I may or may not have recommend removing a kidney as a form of weight loss, and definitely as a way to raise funds on the black market.

In case you couldn’t tell, we had a good time. Great questions, discussions, a challenge from Michael that I accepted, and a lot of laughter. Please drop by and take a listen!

This is part one of the interview. If you’d like the whole thing in one shot, you can go to this link and donate $4. Not only will you get the entire interview, but you’ll support This Is Horror and earn Michael’s undying love. No, seriously, he promised that. He’ll love you forever, and eternal love is worth achieving. Do it. 🙂

I hope you enjoy listening even half as much as I enjoyed recording. It was so fun! These are nice guys doing wonderful things for the genre, and that’s pretty stellar.

 

2011 NaNoWriMo Playlist

Last year I asked everybody what should be on our NaNoWriMo playlist. And boy, did I get answers! Like 145 of them. I’m going to repost that list for this year, and invite you to contribute your favorite writing songs, as well! Let me know what you think we’re missing out on, and I’ll add it to the list. It’s almost that time. Happy writing!

1.Suicide Sports Club- ”0220 Boy”

2. Muse-”Starlight”

3. Emily Bindiger-”Aura” (.hack soundtrack)

4. Breaking Benjamin-”Evil Angel” “Diary of Jane” (acoustic version)

5. AFI- ”Silver and Cold”

6. Placebo-”Infra-red”

7. Rayzd-”Sora”

8. Celtic Music

9. Sigur Rose () album

10. Big Band Music

11. Zoe Keating’s “Natoma” album

12. Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, 2nd Movement

13. Hans Zimmer soundtracks (Pirates II)

14. Bach’s cello suites

15. Pantera “10s”

16. Kittie “Spit”

17. Misfits “Bullet” “She”

18. Amanda Palmer “Runs in the Family”

19. Less Than Jake “How’s My Driving Doug Hastings?”

20. Gogol Bordello “Start Wearing Purple”

21. Sweaty Nipples “Coma”

22. Sneaker Pimps “6 Underground”

23. Carbon Based Lifeforms

24. Aes Dana (not the death metal band)

25. Cell

26. HUVA Network

27. Solar Fields

28. Lustmord

29. Tim Hecker

30. Vibrasphere

31. Ludo “Love Me Dead” “Broken Bride”

32. Locksley

33. Faded Paper Figures

34. The Kooks

35. The Bravery

36. Imogen Heap

37. Metric

38. Meatloaf

39. George Thoroughgood

40. Nickleback

41. Evanescence

42. Portishead

43. Queens of the Stone Age-”Nobody Knows”

44. Bodyjar-”Hazy Shade of Winter”

45. Dresden Dolls-”Coin-Operated Boy”

56. Bob Dylan-”It Ain’t Me, Babe”

57. The Strokes-”Last Night”

58. Them-”It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”

59. Tex Perkins-”I Know You Know I Know”

60. The Meat Puppets-”Back Water”

61. Brian Eno “On Land” “Another Green World”

62. Robert Rich-”Stalker”

63. Neverending White Lights

64. Jeff Buckley

65. Nick Drake

66. Peter Bradley Adams-”Longer I Run”

67. Bon Iver-”Skinny Love”

68. Good Old War-”Weak Man”

69. Murder By Death-”Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue”

70. Pink-”Funhouse”

71. Ingrid Michaelson-”Be OK”

72. Rodrigo y Gabriela-”Diablo Rojo”

73. Lady Gaga-”Poker Face”

74. Ewan McGregor-”El Tango de Roxanne” (Moulin Rouge Soundtrack)

75. -Rachmaninoff-”Allegro Scherzando” piano and cello duet

76. Yo-Yo ma-”Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major”

77. Pink Floyd-Dark Side of the Moon

78. Roxy Music-Avalon

79. Beatles-Love

80. Ludovico Einaudi- “Divenire” Primavera”

81. Pearl Jam-”Jeremy” “Black”

82. Ryan Adams- “Two” “I Taught Myself to Grow Old”

83. Rob Thomas-”Cradlesong” “Fire on the Mountain” “I Am an Illusion” “All that I Am”

84. Tyrone Wells-”Sea Breeze” “In Between the Lines” “More”

85. Hurt

86. Garfield Mayor-”Softly Softly”

87. Darren Hayes-”Words” “Walk Away”

88. Brendan James-”Early Morning April” “Green”

89. Black Stone Cherry-”Things My Father Said” “Blind Man”

90. Leona Lewis-”Take a Bow”

91. Bon Jovi-”One Wild Night”

92. Fleetwood Mac

93. Asp

94. Project Pitchfork

95. Bella Morte

96. Faith and the Muse

97. IAMX

98. The 69 Eyes

99. Deathstars

100. Eisbrecher

101. Oomph!

102. Das Ich

103. Kaizer’s Orchestra

104. The Exploding Boy

105. A Perfect Circle-”Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums”

106. Starflyer 59

107. Black Signature

108. Mew

109. Angelspit

110. Ego Likeness

111. Rammstein

112. Megaherz

113. Tumor

114. Porcelain and the Tramps

115. Marilyn Manson

116. Cruxshadows

117. Steinkind

118. Wumpscut

119. Cattletruck

120. Front 242

121. Miss Kittin and the Hacker

122. Oaeeene-89

123. Ministry

124. Drowning Pool

125. Kaizer’s Orchestra

126. Corrosion of Conformity

127. Collide

128. Collide

129. Blutengel

130. Arritmic

131. Dead Can Dance

132. Autumn Tears

133. Nightwish

134. Sufjan Stevens “Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois” “John Wayne Gacy Jr.”

135. The Horrors-”She is the New Thing”

136. Emily Bindiger-”Fake Wings”

137. Elbow-”The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver”

138.Saudade-”I Have Come to Claim My Throne”

139. Beirut

140. Gogol Bordello

141. Man Man

142. Balkan Beat Box

143. Andrew Bird

144. Sarah Blasko

145. Clint Mansell’s score to “The Fountain”

In Which I Obsess Over Star Candies

Tonight was The Night of Writing Dangerously, and it was super fantastic! First, I have two pics! 

Number one: I finally had my first Shirley Temple with extra cherries, the official assassin’s drink.  It was delicious. Yes, I’m holding two. Don’t judge me.  😉

And number two: I was utterly charmed by these adorable star candies! Did anybody else think Spirited Away and the soot monsters when you saw this?  I actually asked the photographer to take a picture of them, and he said he caught some great shots of the candies falling from the scoop into the bowl.  He’ll email them to me later.  I can’t wait.

Goodnight, my friends!

The Night of Writing Dangerously

Tomorrow my friend Laura and I are flying to San Francisco.  We’re going to bundle up, eat clam chowder out of bread bowls, see the sights, and then attend the ultimate NaNoWriMo experience: The Night of Writing Dangerously.  The best part?  It’s a noir theme, and we’re dressing appropriately.  Black dress, flowers in my hair, red lipstick, and sky high stilettos?  Okay, so it’s pretty much my every day dress, but suddenly it’s glamorous and wonderful, and I’ll be surrounded by dashing writers wearing the same thing.  Mason set me up with a writing soundtrack that just spills ambiance.  I’m prepared for six straight hours of working on my story, and I can’t tell you how excited I am.  My husband is taking a day off of work to watch the kidlets, and this is truly a vacation with a good friend. 

For more about the event, you can check out this link.  Have a great weekend, everybody!

WIP Wednesday: NaNoWriMo Begins! And Holy Heck!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have just stepped off the train into Crazyville. I thought, “NaNo would be the perfect time to pause in the memoir and write Stormlight.  Wouldn’t that be swell?”

Well, sure it would.  Except that I can’t seem to turn off my brain. Yesterday I wrote 1800 words on Stormlight and then 1200 on the memoir.  Then I wrote my author’s notes and bio for “The Container of Sorrows”, which will be joining a very lovely collection that I’m extremely excited about. I turned all of that in.  Oh, yeah, and I’m beta reading a kickbutt memoir by the lovely and super-snarky Pauline Campos.  AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.  Like, five chapters a night.  Go, girl power!  And then I have a short project due tomorrow.  (Written, needs polishing.)  And another short project due by Saturday. (Haven’t even started it yet.)  But I’d better have it in by Friday, because on Saturday I actually have a reading alongside the superstar Mason Bundschuh at the Las Vegas Book Festival.  (What will we be reading?  I’ll show you on Friday!)  Shock Totem slush doesn’t stop coming just because it’s NaNo. Not to mention my installment of Stilettos and Shirley Temples that goes up on Monday. We’re winding it up, and everything is going to go up in smoke, soon.  That’s a fairly accurate description, knowing us.

I remember my first NaNoWriMo. I had a vague novel idea and lots of time on my hands. That isn’t the case anymore, and things are busier than ever.  I kind of like it, though.  Not when things get TOO out of hand, of course, but I like that I have all of these delightful projects up in the air.  I’m doing what I love and it makes me happy.  I’m a very lucky woman. 

How are you guys doing on your projects?  😀

2010 NaNoWriMo Playlist


Last year I asked everybody what should be on our NaNoWriMo playlist. And boy, did I get answers! Like 143 of them. I’m going to repost that list for this year, and invite you to contribute your favorite writing songs, as well! Let me know what you think we’re missing out on, and I’ll add it to the list. It’s almost that time. Happy Halloween, and then happy writing!

1.Suicide Sports Club- ”0220 Boy”

2. Muse-”Starlight”

3. Emily Bindiger-”Aura” (.hack soundtrack)

4. Breaking Benjamin-”Evil Angel” “Diary of Jane” (acoustic version)

5. AFI- ”Silver and Cold”

6. Placebo-”Infra-red”

7. Rayzd-”Sora”

8. Celtic Music

9. Sigur Rose () album

10. Big Band Music

11. Zoe Keating’s “Natoma” album

12. Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, 2nd Movement

13. Hans Zimmer soundtracks (Pirates II)

14. Bach’s cello suites

15. Pantera “10s”

16. Kittie “Spit”

17. Misfits “Bullet” “She”

18. Amanda Palmer “Runs in the Family”

19. Less Than Jake “How’s My Driving Doug Hastings?”

20. Gogol Bordello “Start Wearing Purple”

21. Sweaty Nipples “Coma”

22. Sneaker Pimps “6 Underground”

23. Carbon Based Lifeforms

24. Aes Dana (not the death metal band)

25. Cell

26. HUVA Network

27. Solar Fields

28. Lustmord

29. Tim Hecker

30. Vibrasphere

31. Ludo “Love Me Dead” “Broken Bride”

32. Locksley

33. Faded Paper Figures

34. The Kooks

35. The Bravery

36. Imogen Heap

37. Metric

38. Meatloaf

39. George Thoroughgood

40. Nickleback

41. Evanescence

42. Portishead

43. Queens of the Stone Age-”Nobody Knows”

44. Bodyjar-”Hazy Shade of Winter”

45. Dresden Dolls-”Coin-Operated Boy”

56. Bob Dylan-”It Ain’t Me, Babe”

57. The Strokes-”Last Night”

58. Them-”It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”

59. Tex Perkins-”I Know You Know I Know”

60. The Meat Puppets-”Back Water”

61. Brian Eno “On Land” “Another Green World”

62. Robert Rich-”Stalker”

63. Neverending White Lights

64. Jeff Buckley

65. Nick Drake

66. Peter Bradley Adams-”Longer I Run”

67. Bon Iver-”Skinny Love”

68. Good Old War-”Weak Man”

69. Murder By Death-”Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue”

70. Pink-”Funhouse”

71. Ingrid Michaelson-”Be OK”

72. Rodrigo y Gabriela-”Diablo Rojo”

73. Lady Gaga-”Poker Face”

74. Ewan McGregor-”El Tango de Roxanne” (Moulin Rouge Soundtrack)

75. -Rachmaninoff-”Allegro Scherzando” piano and cello duet

76. Yo-Yo ma-”Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major”

77. Pink Floyd-Dark Side of the Moon

78. Roxy Music-Avalon

79. Beatles-Love

80. Ludovico Einaudi- “Divenire” Primavera”

81. Pearl Jam-”Jeremy” “Black”

82. Ryan Adams- “Two” “I Taught Myself to Grow Old”

83. Rob Thomas-”Cradlesong” “Fire on the Mountain” “I Am an Illusion” “All that I Am”

84. Tyrone Wells-”Sea Breeze” “In Between the Lines” “More”

85. Hurt

86. Garfield Mayor-”Softly Softly”

87. Darren Hayes-”Words” “Walk Away”

88. Brendan James-”Early Morning April” “Green”

89. Black Stone Cherry-”Things My Father Said” “Blind Man”

90. Leona Lewis-”Take a Bow”

91. Bon Jovi-”One Wild Night”

92. Fleetwood Mac

93. Asp

94. Project Pitchfork

95. Bella Morte

96. Faith and the Muse

97. IAMX

98. The 69 Eyes

99. Deathstars

100. Eisbrecher

101. Oomph!

102. Das Ich

103. Kaizer’s Orchestra

104. The Exploding Boy

105. A Perfect Circle-”Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums”

106. Starflyer 59

107. Black Signature

108. Mew

109. Angelspit

110. Ego Likeness

111. Rammstein

112. Megaherz

113. Tumor

114. Porcelain and the Tramps

115. Marilyn Manson

116. Cruxshadows

117. Steinkind

118. Wumpscut

119. Cattletruck

120. Front 242

121. Miss Kittin and the Hacker

122. Oaeeene-89

123. Ministry

124. Drowning Pool

125. Kaizer’s Orchestra

126. Corrosion of Conformity

127. Collide

128. Collide

129. Blutengel

130. Arritmic

131. Dead Can Dance

132. Autumn Tears

133. Nightwish

134. Sufjan Stevens “Concerning the UFO sighting near Highland, Illinois” “John Wayne Gacy Jr.”

135. The Horrors-”She is the New Thing”

136. Emily Bindiger-”Fake Wings”

137. Elbow-”The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver”

138.Saudade-”I Have Come to Claim My Throne”

139. Beirut

140. Gogol Bordello

141. Man Man

142. Balkan Beat Box

143. Andrew Bird

144. Sarah Blasko

145. Clint Mansell’s score to “The Fountain”

The Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo

It’s that time of year again!  *trills*  Time where we live on nothing but caffeine and leftover Halloween candy while pounding out 50,000 words in 30 days.  It’s time for NaNoWriMo.

This will be my fifth year participating in NaNo.  Last year I wondered if it would be my last NaNoWriMo, but earlier this year I decided to throw myself back into the fray.  Why would I swing between the two extremes, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you, with a short list of the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo.

Pros

1) It’s friendly.  Being a writer can be lonely, especially if you don’t have close friends who are writers. It’s a life that a lot of people don’t understand.  NaNo is great because suddenly there are literally thousands of you racing for the same goal, and everybody can be a winner.

2) It diminishes the fear of writing a novel.  This is especially true if you’re new to novel writing and the mere concept of a novel breaks your brain.  And once you realize that writing a novel is an attainable goal, the whole world opens up. 

3) It gives you a clear, concise goal.  “I will write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, starting on November 1st.  I will achieve this by writing 1,667 words a day.”  Well, there you go. You know when you’ll start, when you’ll finish, and what your daily word goal is going to be.  Contrast this with the famous “I’ll get to it someday” mindset, and you can see how NaNo makes it a little more realistic.

4) Motivation.  NaNo is very public.  You have an author’s site, writing buddies, and a progress bar. If you don’t want the entire Internet to see you fail, you’d better finish NaNo.  That’s pretty motivating.

5) It’s a productive break from your current WIP.  We all know that a change is as good as a rest.  Perhaps you’re already working on a WIP, but a new idea keeps popping up.  NaNoWriMo is a great time to put the first Work in Progress aside and write the guts out of your second one.  You spend a month on the new idea, get it down, and then go back to your original WIP.   Both projects get to breathe and you aren’t “trapped” with any one piece.  Golden.

Cons

1) Quality vs. Quantity.  While one of the main themes behind NaNoWriMo is to stop stressing and just write the darn thing already, the truth is that we want a little bit of quality in our work.  I don’t want to write 50,000 words that I’ll have to immediately toss out because they’re drivel.  Sometimes the writing can be really, really bad just because you’re trying to hit a word count, especially if you decided to write a 150,000 word novel in 30 days instead.  Trust me, this does happen, and while I’m certain there can be exceptions, I haven’t seen a good 150,000-in-30-days novel yet.

2) Goodbye, Family.  In order to write a good, coherent novel in 30 days, you’re going to spend an awful lot of time writing.  Not only writing, but thinking and planning. You’re going to live and breathe this book for 30 days, and that means that you’ll have to disappear from your family for a bit more than usual.  Spouses/significant others/Mom will have to pick up the slack while you’re busy, and it’s difficult for everybody.

3) The stress is astronomical.  Really, it is.  Writing a novel takes work, no doubt.  Characters, conflicts, romances, gritty fight scenes.  It’s difficult enough to write a novel, but then you put an extremely intense deadline on it, and it just ramps up the tension.  Make sure it doesn’t kill you.

4) November is a busy month.  That means that NaNoWriMo kickoff parties take place on Halloween night.  A lot of us in the US travel for Thanksgiving and that really throws a wrench into both plans.  I can’t tell you how many Thanksgivings I spent stuffing my face and then running to the hotel in order to pound out my word count. Oh, wait, yes I can.  Four Thanksgivings.  This will be five.

5) If you’re already a serious writer, it’s unncesseary.  While it’s fun to get together and enjoy the meetings, discussions, and chats, I found it more helpful as a beginning writer. Now that I’m actively living a life in the arts, I don’t need the push that I used to.   The meetings in particular eat into my writing time.

That’s my list of pros and cons.  That said, I decided to do NaNoWriMo again this year because I like the comradery. I’m doing it with my friends, and NaNo has always worked well for me in the past.  I’m looking forward to putting my WIP aside and focusing on a completely different story for a month. I also owe NaNo my gratitude for two other reasons: I wrote my very first novel with NaNo, and I found my agent based on a different NaNoWriMo story.  It motivates me and I like the out-and-out literary brawl that NaNoWriMo becomes.

Are you doing NaNo this year?  What do you think are the pros and cons?

WIP Wednesday: Writing (and migraine) Updates!

It’s been a while since I could look at WIP Wednesday without guilt.  Usually I’m thinking, “Man, I’m so behind! I didn’t achieve anything,” blah blah blah.  But today I’m completely satisfied.

My goal is to have the Williams Syndrome project in the hands of my agent by Halloween.  This gives me incentive to push and finish it, and it also gets it off my plate so that I can focus on NaNoWriMo.  Yes, I know…last year I thought I was finished with NaNo, but darn it, NaNoWriMo, I can’t quit you! 

I also wrote two chapters and made some executive decisions regarding The Bright, Shiny New Novel which is tentatively titled “Stormlight”.  It’s the first thing that I’ve ever sat down and plotted out before.  I’m definitely not an outliner, but I wanted to try something new.  Anyway, I was doubting my sanity about this one.  The story wants to veer away from its intended course and add all kinds of weirdness to it!  Suddenly it became spec fic, and I was trying to purposely steer away from that.  I was ready to throw in the towel when my writer’s group came to my rescue.  They liked the story, they liked the ideas that I wanted to play with, and they advised that I rein it in and see what I could do.  I wrote a pivotal scene in my head on the way home from the group, and that rocks!

Migraine wise, I’ve been eating clean for a week now.  (I blogged about that last week.)  I did really well, although not perfect.  For one thing, I realize that I munch on whatever I’m feeding the kidlets without even realizing it.  And I didn’t account for days when I’d be doing hours and hours worth of errands!  But I’d say that I stuck to it 90% of the time, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with my sweet tooth, that is an amazing feat indeed.  Migraine-wise?  I haven’t had one for the last two days.  Whether it’s diet related or because I tackled my overwhelming To-Do list with a fury known only in legend, I don’t know.  I’m working on managing my out-of-control stress and removing possible food triggers, so we’ll see where this leads.  Huzzah!

How is your progress?  What are you working on?

I Wrote A Song. It Has A Lot Of Clapping.

So does everybody remember how KM Walton challenged me to a NaNoWriMo challenge, and I lost?  For the first time ever?  I owe her a song.  It’s going up Monday.  It’s absolutely terrible. 

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Check back tomorrow for our “Be Mysterious: Writers in Masks” series! Not only is he a very, VERY pretty man, but he’s a writer, rocker and a gentleman. Swing by and support him.