Tag Archives: horror blogs

Do You Believe in the Mysterious?

‘It’s night.

It has been night for a long time. Hours pass— yet it’s the same hour. I can’t sleep.

My mind is fractured like broken glass. Or a broken mirror, shards reflecting shards. I am incapable of thinking but only of receiving, like a fine-meshed net strung tight, mere glimmerings of thought. Teasing fragments of “memory”—or is it “invented memory”?—rise and turn and fall and sift and scatter and rearrange themselves into arabesques of patterns on the verge of becoming coherent, yet do not become coherent.’

Want to read more? This is from Joyce Carol Oates’ blog Celestial Timepiece.

https://celestialtimepiece.com/2017/04/09/the-collector-of-hearts-new-tales-of-the-grotesque/

 

This is her latest collection of short stories. Twenty-five Gothic horror tales.

 

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“We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have.

Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.”  

Henry James.  This quote hangs above Oates’ writing desk.

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Filed under dark fantasy, Dreams, fiction, ghost stories, ghost story blogs, horror blogs, literary horror, literature, occult, psychological horror, Reading Fiction, short stories, short story blogs, tales of terror

GREYLOCK – The Grandeur and the Gloom: Book Cover Reveal

GREYLOCK

Herman Melville lived in a farmhouse at the foot of Mount Greylock in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The author observed the mountain every day through his chamber window. One winter’s day he visualized the hump of a sperm whale on Greylock’s hillocks and hills, “a grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.” He wrote most of Moby Dick at his farmhouse, named Arrowhead.

Greylock is a mountain with a sea of forests, crests, and slopes—greens and blues quietly cruising out. Thoughts might float here, might sail out to the wilderness, might find safe harbor, or sink into the darkest valley.

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In GREYLOCK, darkness pervades Alexei Georg, a classical pianist who cannot live without music. This darkness attaches to Alexei. From Boston, it tracks him to the White Sea of Russia where the beluga whales sing at the bottom of the sea. It follows him to the summit of Mount Greylock.

GREYLOCK‘s book cover design is by award-winning Gina Casey (GinaCaseyDesign.com). This designer truly captured the story elements of secret truths, lies, and betrayals buried inside an all powerful lurking darkness.  Thunder clouds bear down upon Greylock’s peak. Only through Alexei’s journey upon the brooding mass of Mount Greylock, can he confront his own dark reality and discover the true source of his music.  Casey’s design emphasizes the grandeur and the gloom of the mountain—the rise and fall of the grey tones swaying and dipping, flowing like a symphony in itself.

This image of Mount Greylock is adapted from a photograph by William Tague (copyright permission from the Irene L. Tague Family Trust).  William Tague was a photographer for the Berkshire Eagle (Eagle Eye) from the 1950s to 1990. His book of photography Bill Tague’s Berkshires can be found on Amazon.com. Mr. Tague’s original photograph is an intriguing play of energy and form, a memorable portrait of a stunning mountain possessing beauty and mystery.

Do you see the waves and swells, lifting and drifting at the forefront? Melville may have envisioned Greylock as a roiling white-capped mountain with a great white whale sailing its terrain. Alexei Georg says he sees the mountain  “… rolling like a series of hunchbacks with secret clefts. Makes one wonder what secrets are buried here.”

October 15, 2015

… when the leaves fall.

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  Murder. Music. And the Phantasm.

Four murders in Boston, an intoxicating romance, beautiful betrayals and lies, and the flickering phantasmagoria. Inside the supernatural realm beats sinister music. Just ask violinists Paganini or Tartini about their deals with the devil for their virtuosity.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost. This faceless menacing presence follows Alexei from Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia, where Alexei seeks the songs of the beluga whales for a symphony. There, a Siberian shaman “sees” the trilling black entity clinging to Alexei’s soul. Hunted and desperate, Alexei goes to live on the summit of Mount Greylock, fleeing the suspicion of the Boston murders. But he cannot flee the unstoppable sonata he has delivered into this world. Alexei must find a way to halt the dark force within the music, or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power in an ever-expanding abyss.

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Flying Over Greylock

October! Are the leaves falling? This is launch month for my supernatural thriller GREYLOCK. Watch for my book cover reveal post to come next week. In the meantime, did you know …

Henry David Thoreau visited Mount Greylock in 1844 and after spending the night there sleeping under makeshift wooded plants on the summit, he woke to an “ocean of mist.”

“As the light increased
I discovered around me an ocean of mist,
which by chance reached up to exactly the base of the tower,
and shut out every vestige of the earth,
while I was left floating on this fragment
of the wreck of the world,
on my carved plank in cloudland;
a situation which required,
no aid from the imagination
to render it impressive.  —Henry David Thoreau

Volkh Vseslavich as a falcon by Ivan Bilibin_edited-1

“Cloudland … an ocean of mist.” Mountains are dreamy, eerie, tinged with magic, and full of feathery winged creatures. For the moment, imagine yourself flying over Mount Greylock. Picture yourself soaring across the mountain like a bird, winging up into the great blue expanse. What kind of bird are you? Maybe you’re a falcon.  A black merlin. Is there such a thing as falcon-magic? This illustration is the bogatyr Volkh Vseslavich (Russian folklore). Vseslav the Sorcerer shape-shifts into a falcon. Artist is Ivan Bilibin (1927).

 

If you really want to experience flying over Mount Greylock, come along with with Lee Minardi for a spectacular view.

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GREYLOCK

Four murders in Boston, an intoxicating romance, beautiful betrayals and lies, and the flickering phantasmagoria. Inside the supernatural realm beats sinister music. Just ask violinists Paganini or Tartini about their deals with the devil for their virtuosity.

Pianist Alexei Georg harbors a dark secret—he finds an old Russian sonata in a 19th-century sea chest. When Alexei plays this handsome music, a creature of darkness appears in the audience, in the aisle, and on the stage with him. This is no ghost. This faceless menacing presence follows Alexei from Boston’s music society to the White Sea in Russia, where Alexei seeks the songs of the beluga whales for a symphony. There, a Siberian shaman “sees” the trilling black entity clinging to Alexei’s soul. Hunted and desperate, Alexei goes to live on the summit of Mount Greylock, fleeing the suspicion of the Boston murders. But he cannot flee the unstoppable sonata he has delivered into this world. Alexei must find a way to halt the dark force within the music or become prisoner to its phantasmagoric power in an ever-expanding abyss.

    

Latest Review from author Michael Schmicker.

“Tchaikovsky meets The Shining in Gothic Readers Award winner Paula Cappa’s newest supernatural thriller – an intricate symphony of music, madness and murder. If you’re looking for an imaginative, sophisticated read, you’ve found it. Five stars.” 

Michael Schmicker, best-selling author of The Witch of Napoli.

GREYLOCK

A supernatural thriller … October 15 … when the leaves fall. 

 

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Digging Up the Dead

One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce  (1892)

Tuesday’s Tale of  Terror   July 21, 2105gravediggerimgres

Bitter Bierce, as author Ambrose Bierce was known because of his satirical wit in his vivid fiction. Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and A Horsemen in the Sky are considered his most popular and finest literary achievements. This short story, One Summer Night, is a little twisty and perfect for a July summertime  mystery read.

“It was a dark summer night, shot through with infrequent shimmers of lightning silently firing a cloud lying low in the west and portending a storm.”

Here we meet Henry Armstrong. “The fact that Henry Armstrong was buried did not seem to him to prove that he was dead: he had always been a hard man to convince. That he really was buried, the testimony of his senses compelled him to admit.”

 

Being buried alive was not uncommon in the 1800s. In John Snart’s Thesaurus of Horror, he recounts the true story of the premature burial of Mr. Cornish, the mayor of Bath. In fiction, we all know Poe’s famous The Premature Burial (1844).

ambrose_bierceAmbrose Bierce is admired for his well-plotted, dark and imaginary tales. He defines the imagination as ‘a warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.’ The Devil’s Dictionary (Bierce’s witty book of social commentary disguised as definitions).

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Read One Summer Night at EastoftheWeb.com

Listen to the audio version on YouTube.com

 

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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Looking for a Horror Blog?

We love to browse  for just the right horror blog to suit our tastes. I look for ones with substance and quality in this genre and have been reading HorrorAddicts.net lately and loving it. Check out my guest blog post on HorrorAddicts.net  “Where do stories come from?”

http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/paula-cappa-on-horror-writing/

 

Lots of other great posts and recommendations on this highly rated horror blog!

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Sinister Snow, Silent Ice

Conrad Aiken vs. Haruki Murakami

Tuesday’s Tale of Terror    August 12, 2014

What do you fear most about snow and ice? Fear of being buried in snow so deep you can’t breath? Fear of snow trapping you far away from others? Maybe you have a  fear of ice freezing you to death. Or what about the horror of  falling through the ice? And maybe these are just symbolic of other fears like a loved one freezing you out, or loneliness, insanity, emotional imprisonment.  I don’t often do themes, but this week I grew thirsty for something chilling for August’s dog days of summer. So, let’s cool down with some secret snow and a very compelling ice man.

Two shorts for you this week: one old and one new by very different writers—Conrad Aiken who brings you into the inner world of the mind, and Haruki Murakami who brings you outside the world of reality. Both stories explore life as it freezes and isolates. Both stories disregard realism, but not reality.

 

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Silent Snow, Secret Snow   by Conrad Aiken (1934)

Young Paul Haselman, twelve years old, is daydreaming about snow. He becomes obsessed with the falling of snow, the silence of it, and its mysterious secret world. He thinks a lot about the Arctic. When his bedroom begins to fill up with snow, the mystery goes deep, challenging reality and imaginary worlds. This story is filled with symbolism and operates on several levels of psychological complexities, imagination, and madness. Have you ever walked in the snow with muffled steps? That eerie sound of being alone in a deep white world? Here is a taste of Aiken’s unforgettable prose:

The snow was laughing: it spoke from all sides at once: it pressed closer to him as he ran and jumped exulting into his bed.

 “Listen to us!” it said. “Listen! We have come to tell you the story we told you about. You remember? Lie down. Shut your eyes, now—you will no longer see much —in this white darkness who could see, or want to see? We will take the place of everything . . . Listen—”

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Listen, the author says. Can  you hear snow falling? Is it soothing or threatening?

Read Silent Snow, Secret Snow at VQRonline.org.

 

You can watch the film (Rod Serling’s Night Gallery). This version is on the Twilight Zone Network, produced by Gene Kearney.

 

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Conrad Aiken (1869-1973) was a poet and novelist, not known for horror literature, but this story certainly fits as one of the most mysterious tales and has been widely anthologized in many horror and fantasy books.

 

 

 

 

The Ice Man   by Haruki Murakami (1991)

 

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In this short story a young woman falls in love with an ice man. When stories have a magical power like this one, you won’t forget it.

“I first met the Ice Man at this ski resort hotel. I guess that’s the kind of place one ought to meet an Ice Man.” …

Don’t you ski? I asked the Ice Man, trying to sound as casual as possible. He slowly raised his head. He had an expression on his face like he could a hear the sound of wind blowing from incredibly far away. He looked at my face with eyes like that.”

It would a crime to reveal any more about this amazing story. Surrealist fiction can sweep you away into a delicious world. I’ve featured it here today because while this is not horror, it is about the present, the past, and the future in a fantastical and highly mysterious way. The complexity of loneliness, and becoming ‘frozen’ are themes that this author Murakami handles with such beauty, I found myself in awe. There is no missing the fear growing inside the complexities.

You can read The Ice Man here at Tab.spyang.com

Want more of Murakami? His collection of short  fiction is in Blind Willow, Sleeping Willow on Amazon.com

The Ice Man was published by The New Yorker in 1991. Murakami is an award-winning contemporary Japanese author, his works translated into fifty languages. In an interview at The Paris Review (The Art of Fiction) he spoke about his writing:

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“The good thing about writing books is that you can dream while you are awake. If it’s a real dream, you cannot control it…. In my books and stories, women are mediums, in a sense; the function of the medium is to make something happen through herself.”

 

His latest book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is newly released by Knopf.

 

HERE’S SOME NEWS …

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My latest adventure has been to review books on Amazon.com. I now have over 50 book reviews of fiction, horror, short stories, and nonfiction. Stop by if you like to read reviews. And if you like my book reviews, be sure to hit the YES “Was This Review Helpful to You” button.

My reviews are not plot synopses or character sketches. They are usually short capsules of my personal experience with a story.

 Paula Cappa Reviews on Amazon

I also post on Goodreads. I invite you to friend me there!

 

Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Bibliophilica

Horror Novel Reviews    Hell Horror    HorrorPalace

 Monster Librarian  Tales to Terrify       Spooky Reads

 Lovecraft Ezine      Rob Around Books    The Story Reading Ape Blog

 Sirens Call Publications

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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True Detective HBO Series: Plagiarism or Fair Use?

FYI, for my readers:

The debate about plagiarism vs. artistic license is  often a dicey situation. I loved HBO’s True Detective, and when I learned that the character Rusty Cohle was based from the writings of weird fiction writer Thomas Ligotti, I was even more intrigued. But I only learned about Ligotti’s influence in the script from an interview of the screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto, not from watching the show, since there’s no reference to Ligotti in any episodes or credits.

Recently, I came across a fascinating post about plagiarism concerning True Detective. This is a really heated debate about what is legally plagiarism, morally wrong, or fair use.  Check out these two posts on August 4 and 5 on Lovecraft Ezine:

Just how much borrowing of words and phrases from a copyrighted published work is considered fair use? What do you think?

Aug 4: http://lovecraftzine.com/2014/08/04/did-the-writer-of-true-detective-plagiarize-thomas-ligotti-and-others/

Aug 5: http://lovecraftzine.com/2014/08/05/nic-pizzolattos-homage-to-ligotti-right-and-wrong-vs-the-law-and-the-courts/

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I have a particular interest in this kind of thing since in my own work, The Dazzling Darkness, I have two characters exploring the philosophies of Ralph Waldo Emerson, speaking Emerson’s words and taking on his thinking. In every case, I cite Emerson as the source and was advised to do so by legal counsel: if the text is in the public domain (which all are), I could use it noting the source. And if not in the public domain, I would have to get (pay for) permissions. So, how does Pizzolatti get away with his character Rusty Cohle spouting (or in some cases paraphrasing) Ligotti’s thinking, words, phrases from his book The Conspiracy Against the Human Race (which is likely not in the public domain)? Hmmm. Curious, don’t you think?

 

If you are interested in reading a short story of Thomas Ligotti, check out Mrs. Rinaldi’s Angel here on my March 11, 2014 Tales of Terror post. Ligotti is a iconic American writer, winner of  Bram Stoker Awards, British Fantasy Award, and had published numerous stories, screenplays, poems and nonfiction (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race).

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