Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mason’s Road Literary Journal: Interview with Paula Cappa

I’m happy to announce that Mason’s Road Literary Journal at Fairfield University, Connecticut (Issue 10) is featuring my latest interview about my creative writing, especially The Dazzling Darkness, my supernatural mystery or “quiet horror.” I encourage you to read through this extraordinary journal for insights on craft, drama, poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. And just in time for Women in Horror Month beginning February 1st.

 

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http://www.masonsroad.com/issue-10/fiction-issue-10/q-a-with-paula-cappa/

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Filed under fiction, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, Night Sea Journey, quiet horror, Reading Fiction, The Dazzling Darkness, Women In Horror, Women in Horror Month

Into the Darkest Valley

Valley of the Spiders   By H. G. Wells (1903)

Tuesday’s Tale of  Terror    January 27, 2015

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Into the darkest valley. Shadows go before them through the trails of the mountain path. Three men are on an adventure in the wilderness: a gaunt man with a scarred lip, a man riding a silver bridle, a dreamy little man on a white horse. They are pursuing a girl with a bleeding foot. They ride for four days, with a shortage of water, and finally come upon a wild dog. This is the first sign. Not long after, they come upon ragged floating globes, cobwebbey, that begin to descend across the valley.

 

imagesWhat do you do when you see a spider in your bathtub? Are you apt to kill it or scoop it up and send it to the outside world where it belongs? Next time you see a spider, wish on it and gently blow it away. They are cute little buggers, right? Not according to H.G Wells.

 

 

imgresWells’ descriptions of gigantic spiders have the makings of a real nightmare. There’s no scooping these guys away. Wells crafts a classic drama about cowardice and pride and the power of nature.  He is considered a visionary and the most prolific writer in science fiction–he wrote over fifty short stories. It is said that all were written quickly and virtually at a single sitting each. He said of his short stories “I found that taking almost anything as a starting-point and letting my thoughts play about it, there would presently come out of the darkness, in a manner quite inexplicable, some absurd or vivid little incident more or less relevant to that initial nucleus. Little men in canoes upon sunlit oceans would come floating out of nothingness, incubating the eggs of prehistoric monsters unaware; violent conflicts would break out amidst the flower-beds of suburban gardens; I would discover I was peering into remote and mysterious worlds ruled by an order logical indeed but other than our common sanity.”

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Read Valley of the Spiders at Online-Literature

Listen to the audio version on YouTube.com

 

 

Next Month, February, is Women in Horror Month!

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, supernatural, tales of terror

Southern Gothic: Macabre and Grotesque

A Rose for Emily   by William Faulkner (1930)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   January 20, 2015

Most know Flannery O’Conner to be the queen of southern Gothic literature. William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily has all the ingredients of the traditional macabre and then some.

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When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral.”

Spinster Emily Grierson lives in a decaying old house in the town of Jefferson, Mississippi during Civil War time. She used to paint china cups and taught young women to paint china cups. Then, tragedy strikes.  As she grows old and sick, the townsfolk would see her sitting at her downstairs window “like a carven torso of an idol in a niche, looking or not looking out …”

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Artist George Frederic Watts

 

Faulkner writes a moody tale, forbidding, with palls of dust and shadows slathering his prose. Death is the central character in this story where the past and present coexist. Most of the story is told in flashbacks as we go forward and backward in time in Emily’s life. And it’s all done in Faulkner’s seamless and provocative narrative. I especially like how his descriptions mirror the psychological complexity of Emily. She is the relic of a once grand family.

180px-Rose_for_emily_2The title A Rose for Emily is allegorical. There is no rose in the story, only presence of the color: ‘the valance of curtain of faded rose color, upon the rose shaded lights’ in the bridal chamber. (See Faulkner note.)

Some readers find Faulkner’s novels too stream of consciousness, his syntax heavy, making his writing thorny to follow. If you’re not a fan of Faulkner or have not experienced his writing style (and I’d wager that most horror and supernatural readers are not big fans), this is a story that is easy to follow and will invite you into Faulkner’s world. His writing conjures up vivid images and emotionally delicate but grotesque elements.

 

Faulkner once advised his readers to reread his novels to get it. You won’t have to reread Emily. Once is enough for this short story. And if you do read it, I’d love to hear your reaction to this Gothic short story by an American literary giant. search

Read the text here at Eng.fju.edu.tw/EnglishLiterature

Listen to the audio (done in a Southern accent) here at YouTube.

Might I suggest you listen to the audio as you read along for heightened southern flavors.

 

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

HorrorNews.net     HorrorTalk.com

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, literary horror, short stories

In Every Way Ghostly

 The Ghostly Rental   by Henry James (1876)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror   January 13, 2015

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A rambling old house on a lonely road. A drooping elm beside it and a stretch of apple trees all gnarled. A deepening dusk. As the last of the sunset disengages, the fading light touches the small window panes and twinkle there fantastically.

“The house is simply haunted.”

The idea of being haunted by a house is a curious one. And deeply curious is our protagonist, a divinity student who carries Pascal’s little book of Thoughts in his pocket. He is intrigued by this stately house that he just happens to stumble across on his evening walk.

Subtext: the immortality of the soul. Henry James’ ghost stories are psychological stories and apparitional. We all know Turn of the Screw where James infers we do not always know what we see or see clearly what may be the truth. James wrote The Ghostly Rental before he wrote Turn of the Screw (1898) and it reflects a lot about the modern spiritualism of that time. There is a real ghost here and you will meet her.

 

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But first, we meet Captain Diamond. Are you fond of walking in cemeteries?

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This is a creepy rocking-chair read and perfect for a gray winter’s day.

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Read the short story (PDF) at Encyclopaedia.com/ebooks.

 

This story was produced into a film in French and Russian (1965). You can visit the website at Klubkrik.ru/2012

 

 

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications   HorrorNews.net  

HorrorTalk.com   Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify    

Spooky Reads   Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under fiction, ghost stories, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories

A Half-Choked Scream

Man Overboard   by Winston S. Churchill (1899)

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    January 6, 2015

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True or false: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill wrote a horror story. Most people know that Churchill, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, won the Pulitzer Prize for The Second World War. He has a long list of publications from 1896 to 1961 but few know that in 1899, The Harmsworth Magazine published his short story Man Overboard.

 

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I call it a horror story because even though there is no supernatural power going on, it is a grueling emotional account where fear and despair play leading roles as does the will to survive. Suspenseful and chilling, you will not forget this tale of terror. Churchill was a painter and he paints this story vividly with his words. This is a story about dying. And the grim ghostly approach.

images-2We are on a steamer ship in the Red Sea. There is music and gayety among the passengers. A man falls overboard. A loud splash … but no one hears.

 

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Read Churchill’s  Man Overboard, PDF of The Harmsworth Magazine (a brief 1087 words) with illustrations by Henry Austin at SkullsInTheStars on WordPress.com:

http://skullsinthestars.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/manoverboard.pdf

 

 

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Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica       Lovecraft Ezine     HorrorAddicts.net  

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

HorrorSociety.com       Sirens Call Publications

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free Tales of Terror classic authors.

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Filed under fiction, horror, horror blogs, quiet horror, short stories, suspense, tales of terror