Posts Tagged ‘Stephen King’

The first time I emceed a big awards ceremony, I was given a script and clear instructions: announce award, nominees, winner, present it, shake hands, pose for picture, next award. Simple, right? So I take the stage in front of about 400 people. Following my handy script, I present the first award to a narcissist named Cross. He accepts it, we do the picture thing, and instead of going back to his seat, he sits on the edge of the stage and waits. Because he figures he has more of those babies coming (which he does). I look to the event coordinator for direction and see her impersonating Munch’s “Scream” offstage so I decide to wing it.

“Could be a long wait, are you comfortable over there?” I ask.

“Fine,” says Mr. Cross who is now spotlighted (how did he wrangle THAT?).

“Get you a pillow? Maybe some water?” I’m an accommodating host.

“I could use a drink.” He waves to his fans (i.e. the unfortunate crew that works for him).

“Couldn’t we all? When the waitress comes by, order me a little something, too, could you? Heck, just get a round for everybody. Thanks. “

The crowd roars. I go on to emcee that same ceremony for four years in four different cities and they never give me a script again. Because when it comes to recognizing others for the amazing things they do, I like to wing it. So here goes. Some weeks ago I was thrilled to be nominated for the Most Versatile Blogger Award. Many thanks to Lynnette Dobberpuhl of “Wordtabulous” for the honor. To fulfill the nomination, the nominee must:

  1. Give credit to the person who nominated you and create a link to their blog in your post (coming up so watch for it!).
  2. Create a list of 15 blogs that you enjoy most and link to those as well. You must then tell those bloggers you have nominated them for the award. If you don’t have 15, you can’t do this step. If you can’t do this step, you can’t claim the award.
  3. Finally, you must create and post a list of seven things about yourself.

I know this looks suspiciously like a script and instructions and we’ve already established that I’m an off-the-cuff kind of girl but there are some fantastic blogs out there you could be reading and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you about them. Here are my “Fave 15” in no particular order:

The Surfing Pizza http://thesurfingpizza.com/

A slice of pop culture with extra cheese! Pizza riffs on everything from 1980’s vending machine toys to taking dance lessons before his recent wedding. It’s the kind of crazy every day stuff that anyone can relate to. Delivery is free.

Ramblin’ Christian Gypsy  http://kierstenwarren.tumblr.com/

In addition to being a talented actress, Kiersten Warren is also an amazing writer and photographer. Funny, sentimental, quirky, thought-provoking…you never know what she’s got hiding in that closet of hers but it’s worth opening the door to find out.

I’m On the Bandwagon  http://imonthebandwagon.com/

“Spinal Tap” meets “Still Crazy” (a 1998 Bill Nighy/Billy Connolly comedy about a 1970’s rock band). Bandwagon follows the hilarious conversations of an unnamed British band and Jowett, who is chronicling them on the road. Be you roadie or groupie, don’t miss the tour.

Jeff Goins, Writer  http://goinswriter.com/

When I’m looking for writing inspiration, how-to tips, or validation that even on my worst day of writing, every word counts, Jeff Goins is my go-to guy. Great guest posts, too.

Renee Weatherbee and Meaningful Mementos  http://www.reneeweatherbee.com/

I “met” Renee in an online Starving Artists Club organized by a mutual friend, but when it comes to talent, her plate is more than full. She’s a skilled photographer, poet and observer of life.

Pithy Pants  http://pithypants.com/

I’ll admit it was the blog name that drew me in but it’s the sharp witty writing that keeps me coming back. A quick, fun read.

So Then SHE Said  http://dobberpuhlthompson.wordpress.com/

A moment of shameless self-promotion: She Said is a joint blog between myself and my BFF which celebrates those conversations you can only have with your chick circle. We’re just growing the blog so stop in and see us (dudes are welcome, too).

Halfcnote  http://halfcnote.com/

Imagery is a huge part of writing and halfcnote celebrates the special connection between what you see and what you think. I love the Weekly Photo Challenge!

What I Wore  http://whatiwore.tumblr.com/

When it comes to fashion, if they made Garanimals for grown-ups, I would totally buy them. Jessica Quirk would not because she doesn’t need to. Her blog features the daily outfits she’s worn for the past four years. The girl’s got sass and style!

Terrible Minds  http://terribleminds.com/ramble/

We all have that one nasty “oh, no he didn’t” blog that you don’t want to admit to reading. This one’s mine. Self-proclaimed “pen monkey” Chuck Wendig can be irreverent, razor-sharp and funny as hell.

Tinkerbelle  http://laughteriscatching.com/

Things I like about this 20-something Londoner: she doesn’t take herself too seriously, she’s got a great cast of supporting characters, and her light, witty writing style is just fun to read.

Misadventures with Andi  http://www.misadventureswithandi.com/

This is a new blog find for me but if you’re a traveler, you’ll appreciate this one. Fantastic photos, travel musings, awesome guest posts – the virtual vacation you’ve been looking for.

Jacob Murphy’s Photoblog  http://jacobbmurphy.wordpress.com/

Jacob hasn’t posted in awhile but I hope he gets back to it because the kid’s got a good eye for subjects and a great gut for what makes a compelling picture. His street portraits are especially good. Jacob, where are you?

The Office of Letters and Light  http://blog.lettersandlight.org/

Those crazy people who bring you National Novel Writing Month (which is actually what I SHOULD be working on right now because my word count is dismal) and Script Frenzy (I’m still waiting for the SyFy Channel to call me on my amazing offering for that).

And last but not least…

Wordtabulous  http://wordtabulous.wordpress.com/

This personal blog is written by Lynnette Dobberpuhl, my BFF of 26 years and the supportive amigo who nominated me for this award. From humorous to spiritual, her posts will just make you feel BETTER.

Alright, gang, those are my 15 blogs. Now, for my…

Seven Things About Me

  1. I’ve been playing the banjo since I was 13.
  2. As a 23-year-old editor for United Press International, I reviewed Stephen King’s “Four Past Midnight” for Time magazine. Like an idiot, I lost the galley proof right after reading it.
  3. I have a self-designed “angel on my shoulder” tattoo.
  4. I’ve been on the air at the same radio station for nearly 23 years.
  5. My culinary specialty is breakfast.
  6. My first motorcycle was a 550cc hardtail chopper with a six-foot front end.
  7. Most humble writer moment: meeting the family of a deceased Army nurse who served in Vietnam whose story I included in a commemorative publication I wrote for the dedication of a Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial.

There. Obligations met, new badge posted. And to the “Fave 15”? Your turn, kids!

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Never trust a clown. Always be nice to nerds. Because at your 30-year reunion, the nerds will be saving the world…from a clown.

Loose Morals is an ongoing feature on “Hot off the Wire” that shares the lessons learned from favorite books and stories in 30 seconds or less. Got a Loose Moral – funny, serious, insightful – that you’d like to share from one of your favorites? Post it here as a comment, or message it to me on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/#!/Kellyth2011) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1397365611&sk=info) and I’ll be happy to post it for all to read. “Hot off the Wire”: where having loose morals won’t get you arrested, put in therapy or sent to the principal’s office…

I’ve long been a reader of stories that scare the hell out of people.  My first horror story was Robert Lory’s “The Beat of Leather Wings”. It had me up all night with the lights on at the age of nine.  It was one of a number of equally scream-inducing short stories in a fantastic 1975 paperback titled “Boris Karloff Presents More Tales of the Frightened” which I checked out one fateful Friday afternoon from the school library. Now, what a book like that was doing in a Catholic elementary school library I have no idea but to the imaginative librarian who decided it belonged on those shelves, sir or madam, whoever you are – I salute you.

From then on, if a book had dismembered limbs, ghostly figures, or an unusually large amount of blood on the cover, I read it. If the title included the words “vampire”, “zombie”, “ghost” or “unholy terror”, it was on my top ten list. Edgar Allan Poe, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, John Saul, Peter Straub, Richard Matheson – my go-to team. 

My fascination with horror stories isn’t based entirely on how MUCH they scare me but more HOW they scare me.  A horror writer takes all the familiar elements of a story – setting, characters, mood, dialogue, plot – and twists and slashes and dumps them in a cauldron, stokes up the brimstone and brings them to a boil. Finding the right ingredients for a blood-curdling brew can be a challenge these days when reality is sometimes scarier than anything a King or a Poe or a Matheson could scream up.  

I’m working on a short horror story myself these days, what I hope will end up to be a delightfully dark little tale called “Jingle”.  While the cauldron’s more on simmer than boil at the moment, now might be the time for my group of readers to catch a few extra Z’s.  Because hopefully after they read it, the lights will be burning all night long.

I’m no stranger to rejection. I went to a high school that held an annual Sadie Hawkins dance which I attended once in four years. When I graduated from college, I sent out 65 resumes and demo reels and got just two job offers amidst a towering stack of “not interested” letters. And then there was the refused wedding proposal. Oh wait, I guess I was the one who refused. O.K., that one probably doesn’t count. But suffice to say I’ve had some experience with the “Nope, don’t want you” scenario.

My last two writing submissions were both recently rejected, but in different ways and under different circumstances. The first was a flash fiction contest entry. At first I received a cheerful email excitedly informing me that I had made it through the first round eliminations. I was cautiously optimistic; I’d been down this road before. While it was great to make the first cut and still be in the running, I wasn’t popping the champagne cork until I knew for sure I was a winner. Which it turned out, I wasn’t. So I filed the email, drowned my sorrows in a glass of wine instead, and began looking for another place to submit that story.

The second rejection was for a 3,000 word fiction piece I submitted to a literary magazine. I was feeling pretty confident going in: the story flowed the way I wanted it to, my trusty group of readers had given it a thumbs up, I was sure I had hit it out of the park with this one. Turns out, I barely made it out of the batter’s box. I was informed by a one-sentence email that they wouldn’t be able to use my submission for their publication. So the search for a new market began.

While I’m familiar with rejection in many facets of my life, it’s still new to me when it comes to writing. It’s not that I’m such a prolific writer that everything I’ve ever submitted until recently has always been accepted. It’s that for the majority of my writing career, I’ve worked on assignment. Any article or radio commercial or publication I’ve written has been at the direction of someone else or my own idea as an editor. But to put yourself out there and share your original ideas is to open yourself up to rejection and every writer goes through it. Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen King, George Orwell, even Dr. Seuss all weathered rejections before achieving success. And to be in company like that is not such a bad place to be at all.