Archive for Stephen King

All Hallows Read…

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2015 by Mj Rains

A cool way to start Wit’s 13 days of Halloween… Give a scary book to a fellow book lover on Halloween.

Suggestion: The Shining by Stephen King. Classically huge volume filled with perfect psychological breakdowns, a kid with psychic abilities, ghosts, and a writer who can’t write. Add isolation and a mega snowstorm and that’s what I’m talking about. (Movie is great too!!)

On Writing…

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2012 by Mj Rains

So, I’ve been writing this week, which is why I’ve been a bit lax on the posting this week, which I guess is a good thing, right?

Here I am  writing away yesterday…it was bit cool so fur was a must along with my vintage desk and typewriter (seriously, I’m finding typewriters now, thanks to Robin Coyle,  as well as bicycles…call me a freak…).

So I’m editing and revising the novel I’m writing and it’s going well so far. A good thing. I took a moment to open a book on writing, a thing I try not to do too much, or too often, because then I end up reading more than writing, but I love when I open to a page of inspiration, a page to keep you on track.

Here’s a segment from On Writing by Stephen King. Whether you’re a fan of his work or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s one of the best damn books on writing a writer can read.

I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2,000 words. That’s 180,000 words over a three-month span, a goodish length for a book – something in which the reader can get happily lost, if the tale is done well and stays fresh. On some days those ten pages come easily; I’m up and out and doing errands by eleven-thirty in the morning, perky as a rat in liverwurst. More frequently, as I grow older, I find myself eating lunch at my desk and finishing the day’s work around one-thirty in the afternoon.  Sometimes, when the words come hard, I’m still fiddling around at teatime. Either way is fine with me, but only under dire circumstances do I allow myself to shut down before I get my 2,000 words.

I don’t know how to apply the 2,000 words a day to revision and editing, but I’ve been sticking with a chapter a day, which is working out fine. But I love SK’s goal of the ten page day. Four to six has always been mine.

What are some of your writing goals? Pages? Word count?

Winter Reading: Under the Dome

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by Mj Rains

So it is a long winter for the Wit Continuum, and what better way to pass the long cold dark nights than reading the latest Stephen King book, Under the Dome.  The perfection: this book is 1072 pages long….did I mention it was long? The premise of this story that Mr. King has had in mind since 1976 goes like this: An invisible dome covers a small town and its inhabitants and what happens in the time afterward when this community is cut off literally from the rest of the world. Interesting note: two people can talk  through this clear barrier and hear each other easily, yet it will stop anything from passing through, including 60 mile an hour traveling vehicles.

So far in the beginning what I’ve read is: one woodchuck cut in half, one small plane crash with body parts falling around, one horrifying murder in detail, one 18-wheeler carrying a trailer of tree logs smashing into edge of dome and bursting into flames, one decapitate deer, and one poor woman who bleeds to death in her husband’s arms after losing her right hand…all due to the dropping of this invisible dome over a small town in Maine by forces yet to be revealed…and it may take a long time for said forces to be revealed I think.  In any case, this Wit is totally intrigued so far. Not all the text is mayhem, and the introduction of characters is flawless, as per Stephen King-ism, and as many Constant Readers will attest to.  I give myself three weeks to get this one under the belt. Will update more later. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought without spoiling the events and ending. Thanks.

Found this interesting web-site dedicated to the book. Check it out if interested. Link

Another book…another scare…

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2010 by Mj Rains

Yes, I know, Halloween is well over, and I was late in picking up a good scary read for the season….but I have to say I’m not disappointed.  Let the Right One In is the scariest read since Duma Key by Stephen King.  Writer John Ajvide Lindqvist has been proclaimed the King of Sweden. I can see why. This is a true vampire story without the sickening crap, smoldering glares, and teen drama trauma to hinder its brilliance.

Though the story left some mysterious mysteries hanging….like that strange gold egg puzzle of Eli’s and what ever happened to the intern guy who got half eaten…he should have perhaps attacked quite a few people in the morgue later….

So it wasn’t prefect, had a lot of extra detail, but the last half of the book is so frightening we don’t care a wit.  The extra sexuality I can do without. It was unnecessary to enhance the story.

Yet to see either Swedish or American versions of Let Me In….will fill you in when I get my wits up see it.

I leave you now with the opening text of Part Five: Let the Right One Slip In:

Let the right one in
Let the old dreams die
Let the wrong ones go
They cannot do
What you want them to do

– Morrissey, “Let the Right One Slip In”

Feel the chill…

Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Mj Rains

This week’s read for Books Read in 2010 is a collection of shorts called American Fantastic Tales, Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now, edited by Peter Straub.  This a great collection to give the chills…and with tales from classic authors like Ray Bradbury, John Cheever and Shirley Jackson it is quite a ride.  Though I found some of the stories too dull to find out what the creepy chill was all about, some sent me over the edge.  A few I’d read previously, like Shirley Jackson’s Daemon Lover, and an especially strange story, which over the years I’ve always called “the rabbit story” call Stone Animals by Kelly Link. (this story has nothing to do with Easter, I warn you, but plenty to do with haunted houses and haunted rabbits).

One of the best surprises, and perhaps the scariest short story ever written was Prey by Richard Matheson.  I remember this story made into a short horror film for a TV series called Trilogy of Terror in 1975.  It is one of those movies that you see as a kid and always remember.  It starred Karen Black (a cool horror actress around that time, boy could she scream!) as the main character, Amelia, who buys a creepy looking Zuni Warrior doll as a gift for her boyfriend.  It is said that the spirit of the warrior is locked in the doll.  You can probably guess what happens–yeah, it comes to life and tries to kill her.  I actually found the film on YouTube but I cannot get the link to work, so if you’re interested just type in Trilogy of Terror on You Tube home page.  It will come up in 3 short parts.  It seems a bit cheesy now, but when you’re a little kid, you know?…. The written story was better and I even jumped when the phone rang as I was reading it…

Other best stories to note:   Jack Finney’s I’m Scared,  Joyce Carol Oates’ FamilyThe General Who Is Dead by Jeff Vandermeer,  Nocturne by Thomas Tessier,   and my favorite short story by Stephen King called  That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French. (This is a suspenseful story that is obviously about deja vu, and after reading it the first time in King’s collection I thought it was so well written I seriously wondered if any writer could top it.  I still wonder.)

If you feel the need for a chill…pick this one up or check your local library.

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