• 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

 

 

 

 

 

The Impenetrable Forest

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Greetings and Salutations Insightful readers of the blog,

Sorry about the interruption last week. I hope the zombies didn’t eat too many of you as you made your way here. The muses only rounded up 20 of our missing zombies last week. Mischievous is meeting with the producers of The Walking Dead today. He will try to appease them after we shorted the order by 5 zombies. The muses got distracted when they were searching around Dreamer Dwarf’s cottage. It seems the pretty flowers she grows do more than provide a colorful backdrop. Some of them can be ingested for medicinal purposes. The muses aren’t sick mind you, unless using Dreamer’s flowers for recreational use is an illness. In short, last weeks search was abandoned by the muses for more nefarious motives.

Today we will be embarking on a dangerous excursion through the Impenetrable Forest to seek the assistance of the Werewolf Monks. They live in the monastery on the other side of the forest. I hope their extensive library and knowledge can help us with the zombies. Who currently have The Swamp surrounded. They’re scaring away visitors and eating everything in sight.

While in the forest keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. In the event we lose cabin pressure a mask will drop down from the overhead compartment, place the mask over your nose and mouth and… sorry wrong script.

15 YARDS TO THE IMPENETRABLE FOREST TURN BACK NOW

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Pay no attention to that sign. it’s there to scare you away.

10 YARDS TO THE IMPENETRABLE FOREST YOU ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER

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Stay close together now. If you get separated from the group blow the whistle that I handed out earlier.

5 YARDS TO THE IMPENETRABLE FOREST YOUR DEATH AWAITS

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Stay alert it is mating season for the Piranha Hummingbirds, they are especially hungry during this time of year. When the Piranha Hummingbirds attack the only way to identify your remains is through dental records. They pick your skeleton completely clean.

WELCOME TO THE IMPENETRABLE FOREST

WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR BRIEF VISIT

HAVE A NICE DAY

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It is most important to be silent as we venture in. The Killer Koalas are vicious, but slow. We will stay in a tight formation. Hold hands with your neighbor. Don’t scream under any circumstances. Human screams drive the Giant Vampire Tarantulas crazy. Does everyone have a partner? Good.

Any questions? Listen up people, the question is, what happens if Killer Koalas attack? If you’re attacked by Killer Koalas, trip the person next to you and run like hell. Don’t Scream.

Next. Don’t worry about The Piranha Hummingbirds. They are to busy finding mates, they shouldn’t be a problem.

All right one more, then we’ve got to go before it’s gets dark. What if someone screams?  Good question. Get down on the forest floor, tuck your head between your legs, and kiss your butt goodbye. If your remains are ever found, a dry husk will be all that’s left. Giant Vampire Tarantulas drain every last drop of moisture from you. Then they use your dried carcass to build there nests. Nothing gets wasted in nature.

Let’s review the rules. Don’t scream. Stay together. Don’t scream. Watch for Piranha Hummingbirds . Don’t scream.

Let’s go I’ll see you all on the other side.

One last thing, this weeks quote, it may be the last.

This one come from Tom Waits. The song Mr. Siegal

“Where they live hard, die young
And have a good lookin’ corpse every time”

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf AKA Dave Benneman

 

 

Free Range Organic Zombies Abound

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Greetings and Salutations most reputable readers of the blog,

(deep, intimidating voice of announcer) Eerie’s message has been preempted for this important announcement from Dave Benneman.

If you are a returning visitor to The 7 Evil Dwarves blog site you are accustomed to the chaos the reigns supreme here. We are a critique group from various backgrounds and experiences. We started our joint blog several years ago on a whim. The idea is to keep fresh content up 7 days a week. The fly in the soup is of course that we have no rules. So on any given week you find discussions about honing the craft, or someone sharing a recent experience at a conference, or it may not be related to writing at all. Our content is as diverse as our group. I say this here to encourage you to keep coming back because I’m certain you will find something for you.

My day is Friday. On Fridays you will join Eerie Dwarf and his ragtag band of misfits on a variety of adventures. This is always written off the cuff with much tongue in cheek, strictly for entertainment. Friday is about getting in touch with the my creative brain and your inner child. I hope you get a an opportunity to laugh out loud at Eerie’s antics. It is all in fun.

Sunday is the day we update Swamp Tales, which is a round robin style story where each writer picks up where the last writer left off. It is total chaos with 7 different styles and voices all steering the story for a few paragraphs. Sometimes we will feature guests who want to toss in their two cents. To check it out, click on the Swamp Tales tab.

Because we are writers and insecure by nature please click like if something tickles you. If you’re really moved leave a comment. When you find yourself dumbstruck, tell your friends. If any of these things happens regularly you might want to become a follower. This is the only way we can learn what you like.

(Announcer, a little less intimidating this time) Now returning to the regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.

“I’m coming as fast as I can Mischievous, not all of us were born with wings you know.”

“Not only do you not have wings, you were short-changed in the leg department too. If I were you I’d hire C.Rock Adile to sue for Legligence.” Mischievous flies into a tree he’s laughing so hard. “Ouch, that smarts.”

“It serves you right for making fun of my stature.” Eerie looks up to see his guests have finally arrived. “Oh hello folks. Give us a few minutes there seems to problem with our herd of zombies.”

“Hurry, you can see the corral from here.” Mischievous hops up and down pointing.

Eerie stops in his tracks. “What happened here? Where are the Zombies?”

“I don’t know. They were here last night. This morning I found the gate unlocked.”

“This is terrible.”

“I know I have an order to ship tomorrow for The Walking Dead. Where am I going to get 25 Free Range Organic Zombies (registered Trademark) in time to ship tomorrow.”

“I think your missing the bigger picture. When did you feed them last?”

“Yesterday, why?”

“So we have how many hungry Zombies wandering around.”

“There were 97  yesterday.”

RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED

RESERVATIONS SUGGESTED

“This is bad. This really bad. Go check that new Zombie restaurant that opened last week. If they’re hungry, maybe we’ll catch them there.”

“And what do you propose I do if I find them. Now that they’ve tasted freedom, so to speak, I don’t think they’ll come back because I ask them nicely.”

“You keep an eye on them. I’ll gather the muses. If anyone can get them back in the cages it’s them. Now go. What are you waiting for.”

“Your not getting HER too, are you?” Mischievous’ voice shakes.

“Of course, if Wicked can spare her. Don’t worry, she was kidding about needing a new feather pillow.”

“Maybe the zombies will get the best of her, then I won’t have worry at all. Although I bet she’s too tough for our Free Range Organic Zombies taste.”

“Stop stalling, the sooner we get them back where they belong the better.” Mischievous alights in a rustle of ebony. “As you can see folks we’re kind of busy today. I’ll issue you all free passes to return next week. In the mean time, be careful on your way home. Zombies abound.”

As is our custom on Friday, I leave you with a quote. (some weeks it may be the only thing worth showing up for).

“Let’s do what you fear most
. That from which you recoil
, but which still makes your eyes moist”  Lou Reed

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf AKA Dave Benneman

 

 

 

 

 

Hellos and Goodbyes…

It’s been awhile since we’ve visited the Swamp and her inhabitants. Today I thought you might like to take a peek into our little farewell get together for Mighty, who shall remain with us via the technology gods until her return, and meet our newest member…

Wicked: *shoving Might’s duffle on to the back of the lopsided jackass*  Why the hell are you going to the Windy City? Between the Werewolf Monks and Eerie’s Free Range Zombies, I would’ve thought we had enough drama for you.

Mighty:*stashing her Staff of Bull Shark Repellent*  You know how it is, money’s a little tight and those Bull Sharks aren’t going to leave the lake any time soon. I’m just going to make sure they don’t pass beyond where they’re allowed.

Snarky: *lazily curling and uncurling her whip*  I can whip them into shape.

Mighty: *look of indulgent disdain*  Your whip is not going to reach.

*Overhead Mischievous calls out*:  Hey Mighty, you ready to lose a few fingers and toes?  The temps over there will keep you in deep freeze.  *He cackles at his lame attempt at humor*

Mighty: *rolling her eyes across the road. Picks them up and puts them back in*:  That bird would be great fried.

Wicked: *grinning in agreement, even as the Prankster Duo comment on Mighty’s gory trick*  Yeah, but I think Eerie might take exception to our meal plans.

Eerie: *taking his Free Range Zombies for a walk with chains and a pointy stick*  What meal plans? The Werewolf Monks have been promising me a new vintage, I could pester them for it.

*A cloud of smoke drifts over* Smokey: “Just took down a mastodon over by Swamp Thing’s place. It’s been smoking nicely for the last few days. I’ll have my Spicy Bit bring it over. We don’t want you heading off without a full belly, Mighty.

Quirky: *practicing knots with some newly purchased ropes*  The Muses headed out a few hours ago, so we could probably hang over at Filet Your Own Deli without worrying about another knock down drag out argument over the use of details or lack thereof.

Dreamer *arms full of colorful blooms and Angel Boy fluttering around her ankles*  What about your cabin, Mighty? Do you need someone to pop in and keep an eye on things for you?

Mighty: *the smirk we all know and love but have learned to be wary of appears* Nah, I forgot to mention I found someone to cabin sit while I’m gone.  That way it’ll still be standing, Zombie Free, when I get back.

Dreamer *beatific smile appears* It’s so nice to have new blood in the community.  So much to play with…*a small blush*  I mean, perhaps they’ll have new playmates for Angel Boy.  *Turns to Wicked and Snarky*  No offense girls, but I believe your progeny may be perhaps a bit too adventurous for mine right now.

Wicked & Snarky exchange high fives.  

Wicked: None taken…

Snarky:  So this new peep.  What’s the deal? Who are they? Where are they from? Most importantly, can they pass the Swamp Entry Exam?

*A loud pop and a blue telephone booth appears and settles in the road. Red Dwarf steps out

Red: Good eve, all, I thought I’d pop in before tea to bid Mighty adieu.  

*A small blond races from behind Red and joins forces with the Prankster Duo, where upon a discussion of how Yoda took down Darth in this year’s Star Wars March Madness*

Red: Did I hear something about an entrance exam? I thought we’d straightened that out months ago.  Besides, I don’t see any dead bodies lying around. Everyone’s here–Snarky, Wicked, Smokey, Quirky, Eerie, Dreamer, Mighty, myself…doesn’t that put us one over?

Eerie *capturing a wondering single hand and wrestling it back in line*  Even though you’re over the Pond and Mighty will soon be in the Land of Winds and You-betchas, we’ve decided to allow one more individual into the group.

Quirky:  We did? When?

Wicked: It was during the brawl over at the Kilted Ferret pub when we had to hold off that damn Molly and her two henchboys from Eerie’s Three Misfiteers.  

Quirky: *flying fingers and rope pause before continuing their dizzy dance*  Oh yeah.  So, who is the new person?

Mighty: *tossing another package on top of the lopsided jackass* I’d introduce you all, but she’s been here the whole time, so I ‘ll let her do the honors.

*All seven dwarves start checking out their surroundings*

Eerie: Short? Tall? Gnome? Troll? What exactly are we looking for here? And a name would be good.

*Mighty smiles and continues to finish her packing*

*From behind him a shadow separates and forms into a petite, lithe form*  Names are not to be given lightly, small man.

Eerie: *huffs up to his full three foot one inch height* Who you calling small?

Wicked: *arms folded so knives are in easy reach* Nice move there, I need to introduce you to Raine.

Snarky: *lets her whip snap, crackle and pop*  And you would be…

*Shadow girl drops a very elegant bow* I am called Ninja Dwarf.

Quirky: *looking intrigues*  Wow! Totally cool, we get our very own ninja!

Troll Mountain Retreat

Greetings and salutations loyal readers of the blog,

I’m glad you all made the effort to meet us on Troll Mountain. As you can see the vistas are spectacular. You’ll have to pardon me if I’m inattentive. Sleep is a rare commodity, because our hosts hunt us every night. Mischievous Raven and I must keep on the move. Mischievous is sleeping, he has to keep his wits sharp in case we encounter trolls at night. It’s his job to out riddle them. Trolls are fond of riddles, but they don’t like it when they get out riddled. Last night, the biggest troll I’ve seen on this trip cornered us. He was grayish-green with a large snot bubble that kept inflating and deflating with each rattling breath.

He snatched me up in his filthy hand. “Not a whole meal but you do for starters.”

I nearly blacked from the stench emanating from his mouth.

Mischievous flapped his wings yelling obscenities before he threw down the gauntlet.” That is my dinner, thank you very much. Give him back.”

“How can it be so when I’m holding him?” The snot bubble coming ever closer to me as I dangle in mid-air.

“Perhaps a game of riddles will decide the rightful owner,” Mischievous challenged.

“What does a bird know of riddling?”

Mischievous starts. “I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space. I am essential to creation, and I surround every place. What am I?”

Snotty Troll laughed, bursting his snot bubble, “That’s EEEasy. It’s the letter E. It walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs in the evening. What is it?”

“Is that all you got? Man or dwarves if you prefer the current example.” Pointing a wing in my direction. ” I never was, am always to be. No one ever saw me, nor ever will. And yet I am the confidence of all, to live and breathe on this terrestrial ball. What am I?”

“The future.” A new snot bubble is reforming, but his grip slackened slightly. “What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?”

Mischievous paused scratching his head. “A river, yes that’s it.” Strutting around doing his Mick Jagger impersonation. “At night they come without being fetched. By day they are lost without being stolen. What are they?”

This time Troll scratches himself, I won’t mention where in mixed company. “Give me another.”

“If you can’t answer I win.” Mischievous strutted about again. “I’ll take my dinner now, if you please.”

“Not so. You started, so I get ask you one.”  Troll frowned in concentration. “The more you have of it, the less you see. What is it?”

“Tricky one indeed” … Mischievous hummed.”

“Your answer bird, now,” Troll growled.

“All right all right. It is darkness. I win I win.”

“You must give me one more.”

“Do not.”

“Do so!”

“Not.”

“Yes you must.” Troll yelled, dropping me in the process of reaching for Mischievous.

I ran as fast as my short legs would carry me, this was not going the way I’d expected. Mischievous performed and inverted roll in mid air.

“The person who makes it, sells it. The person who buys it never uses it and the person who uses it doesn’t know they are using it. What is it?” Mischievous said as he led Troll in the other direction. Allowing me to escape we rendezvoused eary this morning.

Well enough of my adventures here in the land of the Trolls. We were going to talk about fictional characters this week. Since the sun is low on the horizon indicating our time is at hand I will be brief and we can pick this up again next week. In E. A. Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the main character is never named. The story, told in the first person starts with his denial of his own madness. Instead he claims a clarity, or a sharpening of his own senses. In three pages we see this madman go completely off his rocker. Killing the old man and hiding his dismembered body below the floor boards. All the while crying his sanity, claiming that the old mans evil eye drove him to it. His denial of his own madness continues right to the end when he admits his crime to the officials. The man with no name tells a story of madness so intense and personal you can’t, not be drawn into the tale by him.

I’ve clearly run too long here, so have a great week and please tell me who your favorite fictional characters are in the comment box. We’ll talk about them next week.

This weeks quote comes from Cindy Williams.

“Dreams are the souls pantry. Keep it well stocked and your soul will never hunger.”

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf

Free Range Organic Zombies are Afoot

Greetings and Salutations loyal readers of the blog,

As reported last week the herd of zombies my friend Mischievous Raven and I were raising to supply various industries with Free Range Organic Zombies (trademarked) escaped.  I mentioned that some companies were suing us because of breach of contract.  The entertainment industry is especially blood thirsty it seems when you don’t deliver your product on time.  To add insult to loss of income there are rumors of all the Kings men and all the Kings horses heading our way because some people have lost loved ones to a zombie feeding frenzy.  Now, while I am responsible for the afore mentioned  shamblers escaping, no one can convince me that they can discern one of my Free Range Organic Zombies (trademarked) from the more common feral dead heads that populate the realm.

Just the same Mischievous and I are planning a retreat to Troll Mountain We’ll wait until the public clammer for our heads on a pike to settle down.  You laugh–I tell you they were combing the swamp with torches and pitch forks last night.  It was a scene right out the famous documentary, Young Frankinstien.  Not so funny when it’s your head they have in mind for the end of the pike.  Plus as you may know dwarves are not fond of heights, and that pike is very long.  I’m afraid my head would get dizzy.

Of course the Trolls are no treat to deal with either.  My hope is that we will be able to out riddle them until such time that we can make our way home.  Mischievous is particularlly adept at riddles and his wise cracking nature should keep us safe for a time anyway.  I’m happy to report that The Three Misfiteers have been appeased by my most recent efforts to get their story published.  That at least is a little good news.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the extraordinary Lynn Rush.  She was gracious enough to vist our steamy swamp yesterday and answer all Wicked’s questions and autograph books for fans.  My muse was impressed with her speedy transportation although he prefers bulk over speed. His fully armored and armed HUM-V are proof of that.  His love of all things mechanical had him drooling over the speed she could squeeze out of two wheels.  He tried to hide it from me, but rumor has it he made Mischievous Raven get Lynn’s new release Violet Dawn autographed for him.  Sorry Lynn, but my muse has a tough guy reputation to maintain.

Violet Dawn

Next week we’ll pick up our talk about characters and what makes them click for you the reader.  I will be asking for you to contribute one of your favorite fictional characters so start thinking about now.  As usual I’ll leave you with a quotation.

This one come from the movie Silence Of The Lambs in honor of yesterdays guest Lynn Rush.

Hannibal Lecter: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf

Chandler Klang Smith

Greetings and Salutations loyal readers of the blog.

If you were up early this morning looking for the Friday edition of Swamp News I apologize.  Things have gotten a little out of hand this week.  It seems my stable of Zombies went rogue this week.  Yes you heard it here first hundreds of Free Range Organic Zombies are on the loose.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is Mischievous Raven and I are being sued for orders of zombies we are unable to ship.  I’ve hired C.Rock Adile as our council to represent us.  He was the only reptile willing to take the case.  So needless to say things are beyond business as usual.

In our continuing effort to include some content on the craft of writing (and being too busy to write something myself) this week I’m reposting Chuck Sambuchino’s column 7 THINGS I’VE LEARNED SO FAR.  from Writer’s Digest March 20, 2013

Click on the link for giveaways and comments.http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/7-things-ive-learned-so-far-by-chandler-klang-smith?et_mid=610051&rid=149100502

Please say hello to Chandler Klang Smith whose wisdom far exceeds her years.

 

Goldenland-Past-Dark      Chandler-Klang-Smith

Chandler Klang Smith is a graduate of Bennington College and the 
Creative Writing MFA Program at Columbia University, where she 
received a Writing Fellowship. She lives in New York City. Her March
2013 novel GOLDENLAND PAST DARK is about a hostile stranger 
hunting a ramshackle travelling circus across 1960s America. Learn
more about the book here.

1. A novel is a kingdom that you alone can rule. As author, you have the divine right to do anything you want in your fiction, even over the objections of your most trusted advisors. But as they say, “Heavy is the head that wears the crown” – you aren’t without obligations to the work just because power over it is yours. To the contrary, you are both totally free to make whatever choices you please, but also totally responsible for the consequences. At times, no one else may be able to articulate what’s wrong or missing from your book, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is. You cannot sit complacent in your castle, relying only on the view from your balcony. You must spend time in the alleys and on the backroads, listening to the whispers of secret voices. You must know the people and landscapes of your private country better than anyone else does, or you’ll never properly reign over them.

2. A novel is the dark space under your bed. You know without looking that there are things in the shadows that scare you, things you don’t want to see. But it is your job as the novelist to shine the light past the dust bunnies and lost socks, into the teeth of the monster. In Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, he makes this darkness literal – his characters have to descend into a void that’s opened up in the center of their home. But even if your book doesn’t turn to horror, there will be questions you raise that you don’t want to answer, topics that come up that you wish to avoid. It’s a temptation to write around these things, and people do, but your fiction will never be amazing if it doesn’t face the fear and threat it generates head-on.

(Writing Critiques — how to deal with them.)

3. A novel is an undertaking for the writer, but also for the reader. I loved going to an MFA program, but one thing an MFA program does not prepare you for is the fact that, outside the context of a classroom, you are not entitled to have someone sit down and read your work thoroughly cover to cover just because you finished a draft. Your instinct may be to react with indignation when agents, editors, or even friends give your book a cursory read, or never reach the end. And sometimes it’s true that they’re simply lazy or overworked. But it’s important to remember that someone’s passionate attention, in art as in life, isn’t something you deserve just for showing up. It’s something you have to earn.

4. A novel is a house (not a storage shed). Novels seem roomy, with space enough for anything you can imagine, but if you’re a hoarder, no mansion will accommodate all your newspapers and cats. If writing a certain passage bores you, it will bore anyone who encounters it. Throw away the clutter, the parts that you would skip over as a reader. “But what if I need a transition to get me from point A to point B?” you may ask, at which point I’d direct you to the “Time Passes” section of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. That passage takes a pedestrian narrative aim – marking the passage of ten years – and turns it into a breathtaking meditation on the nature of existence and mortality. Make every page of your novel a space worth lingering in.

5. A novel is a fractal. Though fractals might appear to be nothing more that random paisleys or swirling blobs of tie-dye, they are mathematically generated to be self-similar at every scale. That means that, as you zoom closer and closer in on a fractal image, you’ll see that the same pattern is constantly repeating itself everywhere, even at a level that’s invisible to the casual viewer. Novels should operate the same way: the obsessions of the book should assert themselves even in seemingly inconsequential scenes and details, in minor characters and metaphorical language. If an element is crucial to your conception of the work, it isn’t enough for it to come up once, at a dramatic turning point. It has to be present everywhere, all the time. The king of fractaled writing is Thomas Pynchon, whose novels often employ a host of wildly diverse characters and subplots but nonetheless continually return to the same focal elements: the animate vs. the inanimate in V., the parabola in Gravity’s Rainbow, boundaries that divide above from below in Mason & Dixon, etc.

(How to support authors and their book releases.)

6. A novel is a love letter. I don’t believe that thinking about “audience” in the traditional sense is helpful, at least not if your aims are artistic. Soft drink commercials are for a demographic; literature is for individuals. But I do believe that considering the individual you’re writing for – his knowledge, his concerns, his likely reactions – can help clarify what you’re doing on the page. Writing is an act of communication between humans. It’s not a transmission blared out into the void. If you think of yourself as writing your novel for someone who cares (either an actual person or a hypothetical ideal reader), in a sincere attempt to connect, you’ll be more generous, more truthful, more expansive in your vision.

7. A (finished) novel is just the beginning. When I finally completed the last edits on Goldenland Past Darkand sent it off to press, I felt many things, but one was a crushing sense of disappointment in myself – not because I thought the book was bad, but because the whole process taught me so many new things about writing that I’m only just starting to put to good use. “I should have waited to publish,” I thought, “until I knew what I know now.” Then it occurred to me that if I continue to grow and develop as a novelist, I’m going to feel this way at the end of every project for the rest of my life. I don’t know if that’s a depressing or hopeful thought to end on… I’ll leave it to you to decide.

This weeks quotation comes from Bruce Springsteen’s ThunderRoad.

“There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned out Chevrolets”

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf

 

Two Out The Three Rs, Reading and Writing

hwabuttonGreetings and Salutations Loyal readers of the blog,

If you stopped by yesterday you got to meet Faith Hunter.  She managed to reduce my friend Mischievous Raven to a blubbering mass of black feathers.  He was acting like a teenage girl at a boy band concert.  I’ve never seen him quite so overcome.  He kept calling out Jane , J-a-n-e, Jaaaaannnnnne.  I’m pretty sure he was confusing Ms. Hunter with her fictional character Jane Yellowrock.  Of course as he pointed out last week, fictional characters can take on a life all their own.  Which is the topic of my absolute favorite Stephen King novel The Dark Half.  Of course when I meet Mr. King I won’t become an incoherent stumbling fool.  Okay maybe I will.  All right, I’m sure I will. But I won’t start calling him Thad Beaumont or worse George Stark.  I’m pretty sure.

The mention of The Dark Half had me going into the shrine and pulling it off the shelf.  Lately I’ve been rereading some of my favorite books, most of them from my childhood.  There are so many books to read, it’s overwhelming when you consider.  Most of them are quite good and certainly worthy of my time.  The fact that I will never be able to read them all may be my only regret.  I enjoy a diverse or some may say eclectic list.  Old Classics, Science Fiction, Literary, Humor, and even the occasional Romance, but Horror is where my heart lies.  When the world as we know it, is reflected back to us from a fun house mirror our view gets distorted.

What Stephen King and his contemporaries do so well is present us regular Joes, or the girls next door, in a way that we identify with.  We either know these characters or, in some cases, we are these characters.  They do regular things, in a regular world, in the regular way.  They covet what they don’t have, some take the moral high ground and some are content to justify the means with the end.  Characters we know and love, or in some cases love to hate.

Then they put these regular Joes in situations that are irregular.  They imagine them into predicaments that in some cases could happen to us all and in some cases (Thank God) cannot.  But because we identify with them from the outset we go along for the ride.  Deeply imbedded into this impossible situation we struggle right along with them.  When their car overheats and they stroll up to that farmhouse that is all to conveniently near by.  We are glad they won’t have to spend the night on a deserted road.  At the same time we want to scream, tell them no.  This is a bad idea.  And when a little old lady answers the door and invites them in for tea we are relieved.  Her deformed middle-aged son who lives in the basement sharpening scythes all day won’t be up until later.  Not until it’s TOO LATE, for them anyway.

Authors who can pull us into the mundane world and turn it ever so slightly.  Just enough to raise the hair on the back of our neck, but not so much that it is unrecognizable, these are the masters of horror.  These are the men and women who cause me to regret I have but one lifetime to read all there is to read.  This is the joy of reading.  And of course these are the authors who I emulate in my own writing.

I was going to add a short list of my favorites here and realized that it would not–could not ever be short.  In fact the longer I write this blog more great books come to mind.  Books that seized me by the imagination and never have let go.  I still know the names of characters I read long ago.  Why?  Because they impacted me in way that refuses to slacken their grip.  From the black-hearted Montresor in E. A. Poe’s, The Cask Of The Amontillado, and young Jim Hawkins of Robert Louis Stevenson’s, Treasure Island, to Joe Hill’s Judas Coyne of A Heart Shaped Box and Christopher Moore’s Charlie Asher of It’s A Dirty Job, all these characters have rented rooms in my memory and there they stay.  The fictional character boarding house is getting crowded.  But I’ll put on an addition, if need be, to accommodate the next wave of great characters surely to come into my life.

Thanks to all those authors who willingly wear their hearts on their sleeves and sleep with the lights on.

Don’t forget Blood Trade Faith Hunter’s newest Jane Yellowrock novel is available now at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. blood-trade-cover

Today were traveling with Mr. Peabody in the Way Back Machine for this weeks quotation.(If you know this pop culture reference you’re old, just saying)

“The level of our success is limited only by our imagination”  Aesop

Write On,

Eerie Dwarf

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