• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Welcome Home, Anna Conda

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Greetings and Salutations honorable readers of the blog,

I hope you didn’t miss last week’s blog, Robert Louis Stevenson came for a visit to discuss The Body Snatcher, and The Strange Case Of Dr. Jeckyll And Mr. Hyde. It seems that doctors in fiction are much maligned. There was Dr. Moreau;  from The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G.Wells; Dr. Frankenstein; from Mary Shelly’s, Frankenstein; Dr. Herbert West; from H.P. Lovecraft’s, Herbert West Reanimator; and who could forget Dr. Hannibal Lecter, from The Silence of The Lambs, by Thomas Harris. These are but a few of the more renown doctors of horror. There are countless tales of doctors whose experiments have ended badly for people. Sometimes the balance of the world is at stake. That is not to say literature presents all doctors in a negative light, but in the realm of horror when a doctor enters the scene, it’s time to duck and cover. 

Speaking of doctors, please welcome one of the Swamps more celebrated residents Dr. Anna Conda. Anna has starred in such films as Anaconda, Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid, Anaconda 3: The Offspring, and a myriad of National Geographic’s specials. Harvard Law has just bestowed her with an honorary degree for her contribution to maintaining the reputations of snakes everywhere.

“Hey Anna, welcome home. Will you be staying a while or do you have to jet off to another thrilling film location?”

“Thanks for that warm welcome everyone. No Eerie, I won’t be leaving for a while. I’m taking some time off to recuperate.”

“Great, it will be a pleasure having your smiling face around the place for a change. What can you tell us about this honorary degree?”

“I don’t know that much really. My agent called and said something about Harvard Law’s alumni working in Washington D.C. as politicians and lobbyists. Then something about me being a famous snake. The next thing I know, I’m staying in a beautiful suite at The Charles Hotel in Boston.”

“So this had something to do with politicians, lobbyists, and snakes. I see the connection now. Will you be called on to perform any public speaking engagements?”

“My agent said anything of that nature would be negotiated by him. Have you met my agent King Cobra?”

“I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure.”

“Well King, made sure I was treated like royalty during my stay in Boston. They gave the cutest little hat with a tassel and everything.”0511-0703-2014-1738.jpg

“I’m very happy for you. What are you plans for your stay at home?”

“I thought I’d catch up on my water colors. I can never find the time to paint when I travel.”

“I heard they’re having a welcome home party for you over at The Slice Your Own Deli tonight.”

“Yes, I’m very excited to see everyone. I’ve missed you all so much.”

Mischievous Raven appears in a noisy rustle of ebony feathers. “Hey Anna, How you doin‘?” Mischievous tries to arch his eyebrows. (Which is comical if you’ve ever seen a raven be seductive.)

“Hi Mischievous,”Anna, all but purrs, (can a snake purr?) “Are you coming to my party tonight?”

“Wouldn’t miss it, Baby. Maybe you and I can get a little alone time later.”

Anna moves close and wraps around Mischievous. “I’d like that Sugar.”

“Not to tight baby.” Mischievous squirms.

“Sorry Sugar, sometimes my passion gets away from me.”

“Save it for later. I heard Maggot Brain is performing tonight in honor of your return.”

“That’s wonderful. I love their song I”m infected for you? It’s a real mood setter.” Anna puts another wrap on Mischievous.

“I know the one.” Mischievous does a little grind.

“Hey hey, this is a family show, You two ought to get a room.” I use my hat to conceal my eyes.

“I’d better go shed my skin so I’m ready for tonight.” Anna, slithers off.

“Whew, she’s hot.” Mischievous shakes out his rumpled feathers. “I better go.”

“I thought you were going to tell our guests about your visit to the Left Coast?”

“Later, I got things to go, places to see, and people to do, my man. Later.”

Sorry folks, it’ looks like it’s that time again. As is our custom, I leave you with Prince.

“There’s a dark side to everything.”
Prince

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf Aka Dave Benneman

Haunted By Literary Ghosts of Horror

Greetings and Salutations noble readers of the blog,

Tonight we are in the unconsecrated graveyard of the old Catholic Church. If you’ve accompanied me to this location before, you know you are in for a special treat. Tonight’s guest is not specifically known as a horror writer. His vast body of work includes, travel logs, poetry, historical observations, letters, novels and short stories. His best known work is Treasure Island. With no further ado, please give it up for, Robert Louis Stevenson.

“Welcome Robert, please make yourself comfortable.”

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Our guest Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson's Grave on Mt. Vaea Samoa

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Grave on Mt. Vaea Samoa

 

“Thank you so much for having me. My impression was you wanted to talk about my more fanciful work.”

“That’s true, but I can’t begin without first telling you what an impact Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Black Arrow had on me as a boy. I’ve fancied myself a ‘Young Jim Hawkins’ on more than one occasion. Hiding in the apple barrel, or keeping a weather eye out for a seafaring man with one leg.”

“It’s kind of you to say sir.”

“To your point, we here are most interested in your tales as they relate to the unexplained. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde for example.”

“A most interesting tale of a good man, who in the name of science, commits atrocities.”

“The doctor over reaching is certainly a recurring theme in literature. Mary Shelly’s Dr. Frankenstein is possibly the most well-known.”

“Quite, Mary’s concept of man subjugating the Creator has always been one of my favorites. How I would have relished a summer on Lake Geneva with the likes of Percy and Mary Shelly, Lord Byron, Dr. Pollidori.”

“The good Doctor Jekyll creates an elixir that separates good from evil in a man. Is this a discourse on the dual nature of man?”

“Exactly, it illustrates how our good, tempers our bad, by showing what our natures are like when isolated.”

“Some will point to this story as an example of an individual suffering from mental illness. Dissociative Identity Disorder, Manic Depression, Schizophrenia, and Psychosis are the most closely related diagnosis. Did you know someone who suffered from any of these illnesses?”

“Of course, we all encounter people in our lives who suffer from disorders of the brain. The earliest physicians recognized that there are illnesses that they could label, but not treat.”

“Speaking of doctors.  Dr. Jekyll is not the only antagonist doctor you’ve written about. Of course I’m thinking of Dr. Toddy Macfarlane. The Body Snatcher is one of my favorite short stories. One I often read  when the I’m moved to scare someone.”

“I too, am quite fond of that tale.” His broad smile reaches past his eyes lighting up the night. “‘Did you think me dead? We are not so easily shut of our acquaintance.'”

“Very nice Robert, I don’t suppose you’ve memorized every line of every thing you’ve written.”

“Hardly sir, but at least one telling line from all the fiction to be sure. And much of the poetry. It seems in my current state my faculties have remained sharp. Oh, but if I could only write something from grave, the stories I could tell.”

“What keeps you from it?”

His countenance darkens at my question. “There are powers to be reckoned with. Formal Federations that must be abided. They do not take kindly to one who would disregard their authority.”

“We had a visitor who simply walked away from here into the world of the living. That must be against the rules.”

“Yes, quite, to remark that the regime was distressed by that act of indifference would be to understate the obvious.”

“I’m getting the wrap it sign Robert. Can you stay a while after my guests have gone?”

“I’ll stay until I get the hook as they say on the stage.”

“Wonderful, give me a moment.”

“Folks I suggest you make your way from the cemetery while the spirits are protecting us. Mr. Stevenson has agreed to hang around a while for those who are willing to risk it.”

Next week I expect Mischievous Raven will be back from his business meetings on the left coast. in the interim be safe.

As is our custom, I leave you with this quote.

“hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…”
― Van Morrison

Writ On,

Eerie Dwarf, AKA Dave Benneman

P.S.

Mr. Stevenson kept us through the night until dawn broke telling tails of his life on Samoa and sailing the South Pacific. I say this as an explanation as to why this did not get posted last night. My apologies for any inconvenience.

E.D.

 

 

The Monastery of The Werewolf Monks

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Greetings and salutations distinguished readers of the blog,

Please keep your voices down some of the intrepid visitors who joined us last week for our adventure into the Impenetrable Forest are still recovering. Sadly some did not complete the trip, but that’s what we call acceptable losses. If everyone made it through it wouldn’t really be dangerous.

last remains of one of our followers after the piranha hummingbird attack.

last remains of one of our followers after the piranha hummingbird attack.

This is the famous monastery of the monastic order of The Werewolf Monks. They have made us feel very welcome. As to the reason we’re visiting, to be honest, they weren’t as much help as I’d hoped. They won’t help with the horde of hungry, shambling, zombies. (I know too many adjectives, but every once in a while you have to cut loose.)So rather than go home to a bunch of angry neighbors, I thought we’d hang out here for a while. Brother Lawrence has agreed to give us a tour.

“Grrrreetings folks and welcome to the monastery, if you’ll all follow me. I hope you don’t mind stairs we have many of them. We’ll start with one of Eerie’s favorite places.”

At the top of the stairs Brother Lawerence opens a narrow wooden door banded with iron straps. Once inside the guests are treated to the stunning three-story library.

“We have books, manuscripts and scrolls that date back to 1,200 years BC. This room for example contains the renaissance period. A most prolific time for men to put their ideas down on paper. For instance we have the largest collection of Leonardo Da Vinci’s work including diagrams of machines that wouldn’t be built for two more centuries. Through that doorway is Eerie’s favorite room of study. It contains writings about vampires, witches, fairies, dragons, trolls, leprechauns, elves, dwarves, and all the creatures that are today thought to be mythological.” 

10404508_814719525212964_1708668224599247983_n“Excuse me Brother Lawrence, but shouldn’t you share these precious works with the rest of the world,” a guest asked.

“Grrrrrrrr, the rest of the world does not deserve these works. Nor would they take them seriously. You would do well to remember you are a guest here.” Brother Lawrence salivates.

I move quickly insinuating myself between my visitor and Brother Lawrence whose nails have already begun grow. “Sorry Brother Lawrence, they mean no harm they are only human. Allowances must be extended.”

“Of course you right, Eerie, but it’s been a while since I’ve fed, and I have no patience for such impudence!”

“Why don’t I finish showing them around?”

“Very well, keep them out of the basement. We’re pressing a fresh crop for the new wines.”

“Yes of course. No basement.”

“Bother Lawrence comes from a long line of Werewolves, his family name is Talbot.”

Folks if you’ll follow me, I show you to the chapel. Down that corridor are the monks sleeping quarters and the room where they take their repast. Silence once we enter the chapel. I’ll answer any questions you have when we leave.” The smell of incense is strong when we enter the chapel. The light passing through the stained glass windows is diffused into rainbows. The altar is simple and dominated by a stone carved into a large table with a depression designed to drain fluids to the end where a collection barrel sits.

“I hope you got a good look at the windows. Each one depicts the many stages of the moon throughout the year. Of course the best known panel is the Blood Moon that dominates the chapel at the center of the altar. The stain glass work dates back to the 12th century.”

“What was that table for on the altar?”

“That is where they prepare the Eucharist.”

“Which is what exactly?”

“You would have to make an application to become a monk and go through years of training before you will learn the secrets of the Holy Sacraments.”

“It looks like–“

“Like we’re almost out of time. This way. Come along. No stragglers please. This is the complimentary wine tasting area and gift shop. Please sample some wines and browse as long as you like. You can purchase any of the wines to take home with you. I’ll see you all next week.”

Whew, I thought that guy would never shut up. It’s been a long day, I think we better wrap it up and I have a wrap it up quote ready for you.

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.” H. P. Lovecraft

Write On,

Errie Dwarf  AKA Dave Benneman

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to The Swamp

Greetings and Salutations Discerning Readers of the blog,

My sidekick Mischievous Raven said he would join today , but alas, he is either late or not coming. Not unlike his moniker, which he comes by honestly, I’m sure he’s up to no good wherever he is. I thought we’d take a moment and meet some of the other colorful residents of The Swamp. On the right where all the packing boxes are stacked up is the shack of Wicked Dwarf, (whispers conspiratorially) she moves often. I wouldn’t mention it to her though she’s sensitive about her gypsy blood. When she’s not packing or unpacking, she’s chasing down the Prankster Duo, keeping the Knight in Slightly Muddy Armor in check, or writing.

As Jami Gray her Kyn Chronicles will take you behind the curtain where you will discover your sharing the planet with some pretty foreboding creatures. And you thought it was all fairy tales. Shifters, Witches, Fey, and yes, even Demons are walking amongst us. (Even Demons, that’s kind of catchy. But I digress.) Not all of them are good sharers, and that’s where the trouble begins. Within this unsavory group there is an elite squad of Wraiths who police the Kyn community and keep us barely drooling humans safe. When her muse comes calling we generally clear out of the neighborhood. Mischievous is especially frightened of her.

A sudden rustle of wind and a flash of ebony. “Did I hear my name mentioned.”

Ahh, Mischievous, good of you to join us. We’re just doing a little tour.

“Is Her Deadliness here?” He points one quaking wing at Wicked’s door.

No, I don’t think so. Wicked is taking a short break. I’m sure her muse is off sharpening her knives and swords.

“Oh yes, one must keep the tools of the trade sharp, even if that trade is killing things.”

I’m sure you exaggerate.

“I think not, do you remember when she commented on what a lovely black feather boa I would make. Or that time on Troll mountain when she suggested raven stew for dinner.”

She’s probably teasing.

“Uh huh. and the pope wears a spinner beanie. When she teases you about making you less of a man, with that gleam in her eye, while she slides her finger along a shiny blade and then licks blood from the cut, (Mischievous takes a deep breath) Call me. I want to be there.”

Okay I get it. Relax. Say hi to our visitors.

“Hi, have any of you seen a cranky crocodile moping around?” Turning his head 180 degrees he looks back.

What have you done to C.Rock Adile, now?

“Someone had to shut him up. I was at the Slice your own Deli for breakfast and he was going on about how important he is, having worked for the crown and all that. You know what a blowhard he is.”

Yes, but you can’t expect the whole world to be quiet because you were hung over.

“It wasn’t even noon yet. Something had to done, so I slipped a laxative in his Swamp Juice. He suddenly had to go, and go, and go. Hahaha.”

I hope he doesn’t figure out what happened, for your sake.

“He’s always grouching at someone. Speaking of the Deli, today’s dinner special is Toad Tacos.”

We best go then you know how crowded it gets. I guess we’ll continue the tour nest week. Your welcome to join us at the deli for dinner. The Toad Tacos are one of their specialties.

If you’re looking for something to read this summer Check out www.Jami Gray.com

Shadows Edge Cover Shadows Moon CoverShadows Soul Cover

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If you have slogged through all this, may I direct your attention to the SWAMP TALES tab above. Each of the Evil 7 writes a piece of a story picking up where someone else left off.

This weeks quote comes from Jungleland, By Bruce Sringsteen

“And the poets down here
Don’t write nothing at all
They just stand back and let it all be”

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf AKA Dave Benneman

Friday The Thirteenth

Greetings and Salutations distinguished readers of the blog,

Welcome to the Swamp. Your humble servant Eerie Dwarf here to help guide you through another Friday the Thirteenth. This is not just any Friday the Thirteenth however. On this Thirteenth day of June 2014, we will also experience a full moon. Now a full Moon has its own qualities that will cause a prudent person to take special precautions.

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For instance during a full moon one should steer clear of altercations as they will leave lasting effects, especially with family and neighbors. The sick must not look directly  on the full moon or their illness will be long-lasting. Never sleep under a full moon because this will bring sickness and even death. The moon seen over the right shoulder brings good luck, however if viewed over the left shoulder bad luck will abound.

This alone is reason enough to hide in a cave today. Factor in the additional hazards of a Friday, which has been considered unlucky since the fourteenth century and the number Thirteen, and you have the hat trick of bad luck lurking over your shoulder.

Let’s begin with the basics. You should not change your bed on this day because it brings bad dreams. If you pass a funeral procession on this day some one will die on the following day. If you cut your hair a family member will die. Trim your nails and bad luck will surely follow. Never start a journey, a business, set sail, or consult an astrologer on this day. If you were unlucky enough to have been born on Friday the Thirteenth you should pick yourself out a nice cardboard box and live under a bridge.

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While we are exorcising caution, I must also warn the more common faux pas are multiplied ten fold on this day. For example if you break a mirror forget seven years, you’re in for seventy years of bad luck. See a pin, you best pick it up. Always leave through the door you enter from. For the knitters out there, you should not leave a project unfinished or the intended recipient will have bad luck. I could go on here, but you have your own superstitions and I will let you wrestle with those as best you can.

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If you are of the camp scoffers, allow me to run some numbers by you.

More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor.
Many airports skip the 13th gate.
Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue
In France, socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the U.S. are affected by a fear of this day.

If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil’s luck. Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo and David Benneman all have 13 letters in their names. I ask you, is this all coincidence? I fear not.

So while you are merrily reading this post I will be safely hunkered down in a cave, inside a circle of salt, sleeping with my head to the north, clutching a rabbit’s foot. My clothes will be worn inside out to keep evil spirits at bay. I will abstain from using any and all technology on that day. Cars, computers, phones, and the internet are certain paths to the destruction of your soul. Even two cans and a string can lead the forces of evil to your door on Friday the Thirteen with a full moon. I’m risking a fire in the cave, but rest assured I’ll be knocking three times on each piece of wood I sacrifice to the gods of warmth and light.

I advise you to take heed, unless you are the seventh son of a seventh son, today will test you.

Next Friday we’ll visit my neighbors in the Swamp so that you can get to know them. My trusty sidekick Mischievous Raven has promised to make himself available as well. By the way the old crone who lives with us in the Swamp is having a sale on charms and spells for the holiday. I bought this warthog tusk from her. It may not be pretty, but she guaranteed it will keep me safe.

Todays Quote comes from the blues song Born Under A Bad Sign, lyrics penned by William Bell.

“Born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all”

Thanks for dropping by. If I missed any of your favorite superstitions please leave them in comments.

Good Luck

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf AKA Dave Benneman

 

Tortured Characters

Greetings and Salutations most noble readers of the blog,

Last week I saw this on Facebook.1794568_10152309172540934_1781001103_n It got me to thinking. As a writer, I put my characters through some really awful crap. Then I dangle the diamond encrusted carrot, leading them to think the worst is over and SLAP, they find themselves back up the creek without a paddle, or a canoe for that matter. They’re so gullible. It’s so much fun to toy with their emotions. So back to this Facebook post. As I said it got me to thinking, what if I’m a character in some sadistic bastards head. WOW!!! Chew on that for a bit. Has the excrement impacted the spinning blade apparatus lately, or are you waiting for that Doc Martin to thump to the floor.

Who is writing your story? Charles Dickens, Stephen King, Christopher Moore, Amber Kallyn or Jami Gray?

More importantly what genre is your story in? Romance, Urban Fantasy, Humor, Literary, or heaven forbid Horror.

Is it a series, insuring that you misery will drag out before the publics critical eye for decades to come? Or is it a stand alone in which your seemingly endless torment will surely end within 120,000 words or so.

Maybe you’re the fatally flawed heroine who gets the handsome sensitive man in the end.(romance) everyone say it with me , ahhhh. Or are you’re the pathetic geek who does everything to guarantee the right couple get together in the end, insuring your own anguish forever.(romantic tragedy) ouch.

If your the comic hero in a Christopher Moore novel it may not end well for you, as in It’s a Dirty Job. Or you could end your days laughing your Fool head off while debauching everyone else like Pocket in The Serpent of Venice. (coming in April)

If your in a Stephen King novel, well let’s just say there is very little hope for your eternal happiness, IF you survive you will be endlessly haunted by your trials.

If Chuck Dickens is writing your story it could go any number of ways, so my best advice is hold on tight, you will get a good ride either way.

If you find yourself in one of Amber Kallyn’s Paranormal Romances you will be surrounded by exotic creatures, heart throbbing drama, and challenges galore, but you always get the studly, sensitive, funny, guy in the end. It won’t be easy so hang in there.

If Jami Gray is twisting the blade in your back you’re in for one hell of a ride in a world full of fantastical characters with political agendas that make Washington DC inhabitants look like boy scouts. As a Kyn you get really cool powers and monsters who abuse them.

So I’ve posed a lot  of questions here today. As for me I haven’t decided what genre my story is yet, but I’m going to give it some thought before next week.

Here is my challenge to you. Click the little comment bubble and tell me what genre your story is and, if you’re feeling especially verbose, who do you think might be pulling your strings. Fabulous prizes await, okay sorry, that’s a bold face lie, there are no prizes.

We usually end with a short snappy quotation. This week I’m going to share the last paragraph of a short story by Tobias Wolf, called Bullet In The Brain.

The bullet was already in the brain; it won’t be outrun forever, or charmed to a halt. In the end it will do its work and leave the troubled skull behind, dragging its comet’s tail of memory and hope and talent and love into the marble hall of commerce. That can’t be helped. But for now Anders can still make time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, they is, they is.

For the rest of Bullet In The Brain visit your local independent book store and ask for Tobias Wolf’s The Night In Question. 

Thanks for stopping by,

Write On,

Dave Benneman AKA Eerie Dwarf

Friday the Thirteenth

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Greetings and Salutations,

I know many of you think it’s ludicrous to hide in a dark cave completely isolated from the world because of the date.  You certainly have the right to draw your own conclusions.  I’ve experienced several very nasty consequences as a result of ignoring specific signs and warnings.  You shouldn’t mess with the unnatural  laws of the cosmos.  Friday the Thirteenth is in fact a very serious force to be reckoned with.  There are many precautions to be taken, like never use any form of technology.  Internet and cell phones are guaranteed paths to the destruction of your soul.  Even two cans and a string can lead the forces of evil to your doorstep.  I don’t even use fire.  Too risky.

The number 13 alone is a serious threat, hotel owners leave entire floors out buildings. Clearly they understand the threat. In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, whereas the number thirteen is considered irregular, transgressing this completeness.

Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s.  According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the U.S. are affected by a fear of this day. I ask you, can they all be wrong?

Of course there are other things that must be avoided as well. Break a mirror and you’ll have seven years of darkness filling your life.  Allow a black cat to cross your path, I shudder to think of it. Do you have any idea how many mothers suffer from back aches because their children ignored the step on a crack rule.  I mean really the statistics are staggering.  Walk under a ladder?  You’d have to be suicidal.  Spill salt, evil eye.  I could go on (some might say I have, but those who know me best know I’ve gone off the deep end long ago.)  My slogan is superstitious and alive is better than not and well…not.

Here’s the good news.  Throw some salt over your shoulder to cancel spilled salt. Carry a rabbit’s foot in your pocket to ward off the evil eye.  Turn yourself around in a circle seven times to cancel out bad luck. This four leaf clover in my lapel isn’t a fashion statement you know.  If you wear your clothes inside out it insulates you from bad luck.  For some things you must buy spells from the old crone who lives deep in the forest.  She’s a little pricey, but she’s good.  I bought this warthog tusk charm from her.  It has saved my bacon on many occasions.

I’ve got to catch the last bus to the caves, so until next week, I’ll leave you this quote from Alfred Hitchcock

“Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”

 

Write On,

Dave Benneman AKA Eerie Dwarf

Fright-days welcomes, drum roll please, Howard Phillips Lovecraft

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Greetings and Salutations,

Today we are back at the unconsecrated graveyard to visit with another author. I’ve been hoping for weeks that our next guest would grant us an interview. I am very excited to have him with us.

He is a writer who is widely seen as the most significant 20th century author in Horror Fiction. At the time Weird Tales Magazine was building a reputation, he was a regular contributor, he turned down an offer of the editorship. Some of his most celebrated tales including The Call of Cthulhu, canonical to the Cthulhu MythosHorror, fantasy and science fiction author Stephen King called him “the twentieth century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale.” Graham Harman said, “No other writer is so perplexed by the gap between objects and the power of language to describe them, or between objects and the qualities they possess.” So with no further a due, I present, Howard Phillip Lovecraft.

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HP; Thank you, Bob warned me the accommodations were less than ideal, but he assured me the warm welcome would make up for it.

You’re referring to Robert Bloch?

HP; Yes, he convinced me to come. I tried to make two weeks ago, but something happened on our end and some other guy jumped through ahead of me. A Richard Baitman, or something? He was too big for me to argue with.

Richard Bachman.

HP; That’s it, Bachman. He wasn’t a very nice fellow.

That was very unsettling for us all. He hasn’t returned either. I do hope that fellow Steve Brown, and Stephen King are doing alright. He made some thinly veiled threats as he left. Enough about him please let’s talk about your influences.

HP; Of course Edgar Allen Poe was very big. Arthur Machen’s tales of ancient evil returning to the modern world. Joseph Addison and Jonathan Swift. My own vivid nightmares are certainly a contributing factor.

E.A Poe and yourself have many biographical details  in common. Like Poe your work was out of step with your time. You both passed on at a young age and you were both penniless when you did so.

HP; The loss of our parents, bouts of deep depression, self-imposed isolation, the list goes on. 

You must be happy with the high regard with which you are held today and the endless list of authors you have influenced.

HP; Happiness is not something experienced in the plain where I exist. It would have nice if all this veneration presented itself in my life time. It does me little good to know that I am appreciated years I died a painful, lonely, penniless death.

Sorry I brought that up. One of your reoccurring themes is the mysterious information stumbled on by unsuspecting characters.

220px-Weird_Tales_March_1944220px-Cthulhu_sketch_by_LovecraftHP; Ahh yes usually with a Promethean ending. You say unsuspecting character, yet they are driven to learn knowledge that is forbidden them. Their curiosity, ambition, and the temptation of acquiring power compel them to open Pandora’s box and unleash the evils within. They are not naive dupes as you suggest. on the contrary they often make choices without consideration to the consequences. hence the person who acquires the knowledge is utterly destroyed.

Of course you’re right, but the reader identifies with the character as somehow being coerced or deceived into making those choices.

HP; That would be naiveté on the part of the reader. Just as in the Cthulu stories the antagonist is an alien being who is indifferent to humans at best more often hostile, and yet they are worshipped by clans of humans as Gods. You may see the worshippers as poor savages, Where as my view is they bring this on themselves at the hope of becoming the beneficiary of the god like powers.  They are not innocents, they are greedy, manipulating, and selfish. They perpetuate a modern era decadence, and they receive their just deserts.

What of, The Rats In The Walls or The Alchemist, surely you make exceptions where a character gets punished through no fault of their own.

HP; Inherited guilt is something of a paradox. Where the fortunate circumstances of the character are due to the misdeeds of a forebear and yet they themselves are innocent. The piper must be paid, Mr. Benneman, better he is paid in this life than in the next.

I see my flame is burning low, so allow me to leave you with one thought. Support living writers and artists now, while they are among you. Do not wait until they have long passed on to acknowledge their commitment to society.

Whooosh

“Wow that was a pretty dramatic exit. I didn’t get to ask him about all the films based on his stories. OH, well. What an amazing guy.

Let’s close with a quotation from the man himself.

“It is only the inferior thinker who hastens to explain the singular and the complex by the primitive shortcut of supernaturalism.” H.P.Lovecraft.

Thanks for stopping by,

Write On,

Dave Benneman

  

Fright-days Welcome ???

Greetings and Salutations,

We’re continuing our interviews of famous authors today albeit they are from beyond the grave. Normally I know who is coming so I can prepare myself for the interview, but this week there seems to be some confusion, or maybe the spirits decided to surprise me. Last week Robert Bloch promised to put in a word for me with H.P. Lovecraft. I do hope Mr. Lovecraft is coming and true to his nature, he is being mysterious about it.

A nearby gravestone overturns and from the mist walks…

“I’m sorry, I was expecting someone else.”

“I’m sure you were old hoss.” He said with a smile that never reached his eyes. “But I’m who you get.”

“Yes,” my voice shook. “And you would be?”

The apparition stepped in closer. Too close. “It’s going to be like that is it, old hoss?” His voice was smooth, calm, and intimidating.

“I don’t mean to offend, I really don’t recognize you.” I back up a step to create some room between us and to escape to pungent odor he carries with him..

“Why I’m Richard Bachman. You know me now?

RichardBachman

“Ahhh, but you aren’t real your just a–

RB; “Don’t go losing your happy thoughts there hoss, you know what happens when you lose your happy thoughts, don’t you?”

“If memory serves me right, you fall out of the sky.”

RB; “That’s right old hoss, see now, I think we’ll get on just fine, you just keep them happy thoughts.”

“Very well.” He can smell the fear on me, I know it. “let’s start with your body of work. There was Rage, The long Walk, Roadwork, and the The Running Man. Four stark and chilling novels.”

200px-Roadwrk1-191x300-1200px-Bachman_Long_Walk-198x300

Runningmanbachman

Thinner1-1

TheRegulatorsRB; “Let’s not forget Thinner, one of my favorites. Then The Regulators and Blaze. There are others too.”

“I’m not very well prepared for this interview I do hope you will bear with me.”

RB; “Of course Davey boy, I don’t want to hurt you.”Blazecat-197x300

“Good to know. So back to Thinner, yes, I remember it very well, the strawberry pie, wow. That was a brilliant ending. The Regulators and Blaze were both published postmortem as I recall.”

RB; “About that, you see, that’s kind of why I’m here. I was cut down in my prime. Lot’s of good stories left up here.” He taps his temple with a finger. “If you catch my drift? I plan on telling them too. I’ve just have to get Stevo’s attention.

“How do you plan to get his attention? Surely, you don’t think Stephen King reads my blog.” This elicits a soft terrifying laugh.

RB; “No Davey boy, Our Mr King is much to important to be reading this fluff. Although if he knew I was coming, maybe. No, of course not. First things first, there is a thing to square away with that bookstore clerk. Mr. Steve Brown and me, we have a little settling up to do. After that I’ll be getting in touch with Stevo.”

“I say this with the up most respect Mr. Bachman, sir, how exactly are you going to do anything, you are as the say passed on? I believe you succumbed to are rare form of pseudonym cancer.”

RB; A pearl handled straight razor flashes in front of my face. “I’ll show you what a pseudonym can do to that ugly mug of your’s if keep it up Davey boy.”

“Maybe–we–should–get back to your writing and save this other stuff for another time.” The moon light reflects off the blade as it whispers past my face. “Or not.”

RB; “We can talk about my new book after I take care of some personal business, but right now I’ve got to travel.”

“Where are you going Mr. Bachman?”

RB; “Endsville, where all rail service terminates.”

But you can’t leave the unconsecrated graveyard. This is–

RB; “Wrong again old hoss, I can and will be leaving here. So, all you good folks out there keep a weather eye out for my next book it’s going to be a killer.” He let’s loose that sinister laugh again and walks away. His tall hulking form and broad shoulders obscuring the moon light.

“I don’t think he’s a very nice guy. If any of you can reach Stephen King, tell him, the starlings are flying.”

I hope Mr. Bachman returns soon. In the meanwhile I’ll leave you with this quotation from, Stephen King, On Writing.

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

Write On,

Dave Benneman

http://www.davebenneman.com

Fright-day Welcomes M.R. James

banner1revised

Greetings and Salutations,

Did you like the tour of Wicked’s writing cave. I did notice one glaring thing missing– THE WRITER. While Wicked is busy procrastinating, the rest of the vertically challenged are hiding somewhere, as is evidenced by their no shows on this locale. I believe Snarky’s whip needs a good work out. I’ll see what I can do about that.

In the mean while, I have been busy coaxing our reticent guest to sit down with us for a chat. He is an academic of enormous stature,recipient of the Order of Merit, holds a Master of Arts from King’s College Cambridge, and the FBA from the British Academy for his work in the social sciences. Served as Provost at King’s College Cambridge and Eton College. He is best remembered for his ghost stories. Please welcome al the way from the afterlife Montague Rhodes James.

MR Thank you for that massively boring introduction.th-4

Yes, sorry about that. First let me ask, is it true your ghost stories were mostly written and even published on a whimsy?

MR Quite right, my first obligation is always to my situation,whether as an Antiquarian, museum director or Provost. I often wrote these tales as Christmas Eve entertainment. Nothing better than a good ghost story told with your back to the fireplace, a brandy in one hand, and a cigar in the other.

What do you feel is most important in telling a good ghost?

MR First you must put the listener into the position of saying: If I’m not careful something of this kind could happen to me.

Yes, empathy for the protagonist, but how do you achieve that connection?

MR Two things, the atmosphere and the nicely crafted crescendo. We must first  see the actors in a placid way, going about their ordinary business, undisturbed by forebodings. Into this calm environment let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first. Then more insistently, until it holds center stage.

So, you shift the story from the actor as you say to ghost.

MR The supernatural should be told with reticence, the narration should be alluded to through implication and suggestion. Allow the listener’s imagination to fill in the details. Concentrate on the mundane, this throws the grotesque into greater relief.

You say use reticence, and yet many of your tales depict scenes and images of savage and disturbing violence.

MR Allow me to clarify, your ghost must be malevolent and odious. Amiable or helpful apparitions are very well in fairy tales or local legends, but I have no use for them in a fictitious ghost story.

Reticence may be an elderly doctrine to preach, yet from the artistic point of view, I am sure it is a sound one. Reticence conduces to effect, blatancy ruins it, and there is much blatancy in a lot of recent stories. They drag in sex too, which is a fatal mistake; sex is tiresome enough in the novels; in a ghost story, or as the backbone of a ghost story, I have no patience with it. At the same time don’t let us be mild and drab. Malevolence and terror, the glare of evil faces, ‘the stony grin of unearthly malice’, pursuing forms in darkness, and ‘long-drawn, distant screams’, are all in place, and so is a modicum of blood, shed with deliberation and carefully husbanded; the weltering and wallowing that I too often encounter merely recall the methods of M G Lewis.

Without naming names, sir, your point is well taken. When asked if you believe in ghosts you wrote, “I answer, that I am prepared to consider evidence and accept it, if it satisfies me.” Given your current circumstances, have you reviewed the evidence? and does it satisfy you?

MR Do not be coy with me young man. More to the point, what are your feelings on the matter? And those of your audience, what do they believe given the current circumstances, as you say.

Mr. James? Monty? Are you still here?

A distant voice echoes, “I’m awaiting your responses.”

Well folks, it seems that Mr. James has left the building. But let us not disappoint him. Do you believe in ghosts. Leave your answers in the comment box and I’ll pass them along to Mr. James.

This weeks quotation comes from William Shakespeare; Hamlet act 1, scene 5: (when they encounter the ghost)

Horatio:
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

Hamlet:
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Write On,

Dave Benneman AKA Eerie Dwarf

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