Tagged horror

On reading: We have always lived in the castle by Shirley Jackson

Title: We have always lived in the castle

Author: Shirley Jackson

From the back: Living in the Blackwood family home with only her sister Constance and her Uncle Julian for company, Merricat just wants to preserve their delicate way of life. But ever since Constance was acquitted of murdering the rest of the family, the world isn't leaving the Blackwoods alone.

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Creative Input: Dystopian Times

I just love a little bit of dystopia.

I think I might have an addiction.

But it’s a damn good addiction – one, incidentally, that can be enjoyed while eating enough chocolate to make you sick over a bank holiday weekend. Just saying.

And here’s how I’m currently drowning myself in dystopia – in the thoughts and dreams of what happens when things go wrong.

When humanity goes wrong.

When we forget to safeguard the good things.

Reading: I picked up Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro yesterday. I’ve barely scratched the surface of it yet but I’m already hooked – the conversational tone, the way he folds in back-story, the delicate and gradual reveal of what ‘current times’ are like. Also, when you’ve got someone like Margaret Atwood quoted on the blurb as saying “A brilliantly executed book by a master craftsman who has chosen a difficult subject: ourselves, seen through a glass, darkly” then how could you not give it a go?

Watching: Well of course it’s The Walking Dead, right? I mean, I might have mentioned before that I really love a good zombie flick, but I mean The Walking Dead just takes the festering pieces of animated flesh and runs (staggers, flails, gurgles through decaying lips) with it. I love it, and although for me the start of the current series was a little slow going, it’s picking up pace and I am glued. I am, however, saving the last three episodes of the series to watch in one big hit, so if you want to chat about it then *la la la la la la la la*

Listening: I discovered that The Chrysalids by John Wyndham is playing on BBC Radio. It won’t be there for much longer (think you’ve only got a couple of days to catch the first part) but, seriously, go and do it. The Chrysalids was by far and away one of my favourite books as a kid, and is on my list to re-read in the next few months. And whenever I think about it, I feel a knot of horror twist deep in my belly.

And with that you have my current dystopian input, but what’s yours?

And please don’t say the news. Because the news, at the moment, pretty much makes me want to cry, or punch someone.

An offering of festive cheer

I will, officially, admit that it’s pretty much ok to talk about Christmas now.

And that being the case, ’tis time to wish you a wonderfully merry and festive seasonal greeting. I hope the cockles of your hearts are warmed, your glasses are full, and your fires are lit well enough to keep the zombies away…

*ahem*

Sorry, about that, pesky zombies get everywhere these days.

Anyway, it’s that time of year when the kids are probably overexcited and won’t go to bed and when they do they bleeding well won’t go to sleep… because… well… IT’S CHRISTMASSSS (and has Santa been yet? Has he been yet? What about now?)

So, in the spirit of Christmas, I’m offering up some festive cheer in the form of a poem. I wholeheartedly suggest reading it to children to ease them into a good night’s sleep.

A Christmas Visit

Night settles over the house. A dark,
stark blanket, cold in its icy touch. There –
stare for a while through the door, swinging, slightly open,
token light glowing from red ladybird plug. Do you see it?
A split in the shadows. Something waving,
raising gnarled and bony hands to the door,
floor creaking under black-booted feet.
A discrete tapping, scratching – nails raking down wood.
I should stay quiet if I were you –
too many children are lost on Christmas Eve,
believe me. Pull the sheets up tight now, hide
inside the feather covers, make sure you snore
before it realises you’re awake. Have you been good?
Could you have been better? Too late now! Nothing for it but
to shut your eyes tight, cross the fingers on your hands
and hope that Santa thinks you’ve been alright.

Happy Christmas and associated festive greetings, y’all.

Merry Christmas