Random Thoughts

Discussion of “IT”

*Minor spoikers ahead. Proceed with caution.**
The thoughts expressed here are mine.

This was written in response to the discussion posted by Tyson Adams.

I was a fan of the Goosebumps books when I was six. So naturally I thought I was perfectly capable of handling the “It” miniseries when it was released. To say I was terrified was an understatement. But I was hooked. I dropped those Goosebumps like a bad habit and started reading Stephen King.

It, the book, was quite engrossing, but not so much scary. I liked the way the news reports were presented, and even the narrative of Pennywise gave us a new way of seeing him. But the chemistry with the Loser’s Club was really the core of it. Of course, there was that strange scene near the end of the kid’s journey that unified them and allowed them to become adults all in one go. Let’s just say, King’s voice of how was quite the odd method of achieving that goal. But otherwise, I rather enjoyed the story.

I’ve seen the miniseries from time to time over the years and remember those frights with fond appreciation. But I waited to watch “It” again in favor of having a somewhat cleansed palette. The theatrical version was so far beyond what I’d hoped for, that I saw it again a second time this past weekend. (Trust me, having C-PTSD and carefully planning an excursion into a dark theater full of people wasn’t easy.) The new Pennywise isn’t like Tim Curry’s portrayal, where he was apt to start cracking jokes, playing on actual clown humor around the few “scary” moments where he appeared as period-specific monsters.

Bill Skarsgard’s version is childlike in nature, but he has a deep hatred for kids. You can tell from the first, and notably more infamous “Georgie” scene. The way he terrifies his victims before attacking them is almost like marinating his food just the way he likes, and when the kids are good and terrified, he’s ready to save them for hibernation time. And he does this in various forms, depending on the individual fears of that child. For instance, rather than seeing Pennywise as the wolfman, Ritchie is just afraid of clowns, and naturally gets stuck in a room full of them. This adds a bit of timelessness to the movie. But when It is ready to take them for good, he toys with the kids in an almost animalistic way, much like a lion might play with a gazelle before ripping out its throat. But when he does this, his movements, voice, and abilities to shift reality are erratic, sometimes disturbingly fast, and very unpredictable, which is ultimately what makes this Pennywise so terrifying.

Of course, after my second viewing of the new movie, I went back to watch to miniseries. I have to say, the miniseries doesn’t do the movie justice. I spent most of my time rolling my eyes at the horrid acting (aside from Curry’s portrayal) and wondering how I was actually that scared at all in the first place. But the eyes of a young child, see much differently than adults. I can’t imagine how kids will react to this movie. I’m certain I won’t be allowing my son to see it until he’s at least the same age as the Loser’s Club.

© Sarah Doughty

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Random Thoughts

Gravity by Rana Kelly

The lovely Rana Kelly has a new book called Superstition, available at Amazon. It’s the first book released by Sudden Denouement Publishing. Be sure to check out her novel, Until Her Darkness Goes. For now, read “Gravity.”

My Heart is an Island,
Safe away from society and succor
my Soul is the Sand. Tiny crushed pieces
of earth and skeletons.
Time and death and birth,
endless cycles of
creation and destruction
cushion for your bare feet.
Truly loved and known
Only by the Sea
Surrounding me
See, I am not adrift.
My roots run deep
Under Mariana
And pressured waters
That could crush
Skulls like soft bugs,
The weight that I bear
Hides my core.
It takes millions of all kinds of
Tiny and huge things
Before you can see just my sand
There is no patience
In highways, nor aeroplanes,
I’m here with time.
You may live on me, bury your toes,
Burn your skin,
Cool your fever in my shallows,
Laugh your weekends away
But you go home.
And here I am,
Alone. While my own heart
Pulls in
Pushes out
Intimate only with the far off moon.
And Universal Forces
That are foreign to me.
Do you think it beauty?
Do you think it balm?
I am trapped.
The waves rush in and ebb out
Bring me nothing but vastness
Silence
and
slow erosion.
Yes,
God Knows
My Heart is an Island
My own currents
pull me apart
Drag me under
Drown me.
Enjoy your holiday.

© Rana Kelly

Source: “Gravity” from Rana Kelly’s Book Superstition from Sudden Denouement Publishing

Random Thoughts

Spectrums Of Writing

This was written as part of a discussion with the lovely Mandie Hines.

I think spectrums are everywhere, involving a great many things. When I started down this path of sharing my writing, I did it with the “fake it till you make it” idea in mind.

Outside of a few random pieces in high school and university, I’d never been published professionally before. But I wanted people to know I was serious about what I was doing. Yet, my confidence was very low. Showing that vulnerability wouldn’t quite be faking it, would it?

So I kept my head high and pushed through the anxiety that came with every post. Eventually, as I worked on my first novel, and my number of followers was growing, that anxiety eased. Eventually, it stopped. Several published (albeit free e-books only) books later, I feel I can safely say that I’m a writer now.

However, my confidence level hadn’t really changed much. Sure, I can see when people are just starting out, or if English isn’t their first language, but that doesn’t mean they can’t grow and learn. And when people do approach me, often on Instagram DM, they ask for advice or help because they see me as an authority figure. Or that I’m famous. A household name. But I’m no Stephen King. Even he, a repeating member of the #1 New York Times Bestseller club, says he’s the “literary equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries.” If that’s true, I’m the moldy cheese underneath a toddler’s carseat in a minivan.

I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, and I certainly don’t put myself in the category of being pretentious. There are several writers on Instagram that share parody pieces that is not only meant to insult readers, but the writers with a similar style. I cannot stand it when people do this, and I’ve spoken out against it before a few times. Art is subjective and not everyone is going to love a writer’s work. The same goes for Stephen King. Or J.K. Rowling. I see no reason why I should think I’ve hit some arbitrary milestone that makes me better than anyone else.

© Sarah Doughty

Random Thoughts

Couple Things

Hello lovelies!

I’m here to make a brief announcement, or divulge a bit of news, if you will. Well, perhaps more than one.

First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you for you unwavering support. I’m honored to know that you are here.

Ever since the end of March, I’ve had a migraine. Yes, you read that right. A little over two months later, I still can’t kick it. I may have some days where I’m semi-functional, but for the most part, I’m in pain. Lots and lots of pain.

Because of this, I’m not commenting as much as I should (please forgive me for that), I’ve completely missed my next novel deadline and have resigned myself to letting it remain that way until I can safely say, all is well. My next poetry book is also moving along much slower than anticipated. And finally, I feel more and more with each passing day, how much my lack of participation is weighing on me.

I thrive on writing. It helps keep me centered and somewhat in control of my uncontrollable complex PTSD. And these past few weeks have been especially hard on me. I miss it. So much. And I hope to come back to it sooner rather than later.

Though I have managed to keep writing poetry, I’ve only barely been keeping up. And I’m now bleeding my Mental Awareness Month discussions about Thirteen Reasons Why into June, and possibly, at this rate, into July. If you’re still reading them, thank you for your patience as I try to get them written with some semblance of logic.

I have a couple days before I have to prepare the next newsletter, and I’m already dreading it. Not necessarily because of my head, but partially. With this migraine (and terrible cold/bronchitis/asthma fiasco) I’ve been to the ER several times and have had multiple appointments with several different doctors and other officials that could offer me some relief. I’m simply not sure if I’ll complete that newsletter on time. But, alas, I’m still trying my best.

Lastly, I wanted to note that the WordPress reader is acting up, and I believe it has been for a few weeks now. Rather than telling me that more posts from blogs that I follow can be loaded, it’s just continuing on as if I haven’t missed a thing, but I know I have. To those of you I’ve missed, I sincerely apologize. Please let me know if there was something important that I didn’t see, and I’ll catch up as fast as I can. Same goes for comments left fore. I know I’m not as quick to respond as usual, and I apologize for that.

There you go, I think that about covers it.

Take  care everyone, and I hope to be up to full speed soon.

© Sarah Doughty

Random Thoughts

Eloquence In A Question #3

After an impromptu Q&A session at Instagram, there were a few questions that really stood out to me. Since this is the third installment of the series, feel free to jump back to the first and second.

Here’s how it works: Have a look at the question, read my answer, and then do one or both of the following: tell me your response to the same question, respond to my answer with thoughts of your own.

Question:

What made you come up with such beautiful poems and stories? Sometimes it’s like you’re sitting next to me, giving advice. (*Slightly paraphrased)

Answer:

Initially, I didn’t have much of a response other than gratitude and that I draw inspiration from everywhere. But then I saw a post by my friend Kindra here and felt I could elaborate appropriately.

Dealing with complex PTSD, constant anxiety, depression, and frequent migraines is like a living nightmare, but it’s worse when the people around me don’t understand what I’m going through. Oh, how many times have I heard, “You’re over reacting.”

Yes, I know my father is dead and won’t just show up in the middle of the night to prey on me like he did all those years when I was a child, but you know what? My body still thinks otherwise. Sometimes it’s hearing irrational thoughts: the worthlessness, failures, and over analyzing. But really, I’m battling years of learned behavior. Not even sleeping pills can convince my body that it’s okay to relax at night. Because, if I let down my guard for one second, if I’m not vigilant at all times, someone — no, some thing will get me.

Most people in my family didn’t fully grasp the severity of what I deal with until I was blindsided at a wedding reception in a restaurant’s wine room. A full on panic attack with tears and shaking hit me like a truck, and then finally they started to see how much something so small can end up pushing me over the edge. It was an eye opener for them.

Anxiety is no joke, and when you or someone you know is dealing with it, real support means everything. Which brings me to why I write, and why I give it away for free. So many people feel alone in their struggles. And they shouldn’t. Simple as that.

People feel as though I’m writing to them because they connect with my words on a level that, to them, feels very personal. And that’s because it is.

How about you?

Stay tuned for the next question.

Random Thoughts

Announcing – Mailbox Eulogies

The Mailbox Eulogies Newsletter has arrived!

**Edit: Today is the last day to sign up before the first poetry edition is sent out tomorrow (April 10th).**

You know that old saying, slow and steady wins the race?

It’s taken a few weeks to iron out the kinks and devise a plan to move forward with the newsletter I spoke about before. Considering the complicated nature of what I do and how I envisioned this to roll out, it was necessary to take things one step at a time. With luck, this approach will be enjoyable for everyone.

While between book projects, I’ve developed the proposed newsletter templates, sign ups, and all the fun things that need finalizing before the launch.

The day has come to release Mailbox Eulogies upon the world. I hope you’re just as excited for it as I am. If you’re anxious to sign up, feel free to jump to the bottom of this post or click here.

Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

Subscribers choose what they want to receive and can update their preferences at any time.

  • Everything (all listed below)
  • Important news, like book releases only.
  •  Poetry Newsletter
    • Updates
    • Curated Poems/Books
    • Poetry Advice Column
    • Poem & Prompt
    • Poet Interviews
    • Book Reviews
  • Fiction Newsletter:
    • Updates
    • Fiction Advice Column
    • Snippet from current WIP
    • Author interviews
    • Book Reviews
    • Cover Reveals
  • Depending on preferences, subscribers will receive an exclusive digital chapbook and/or an erotic romance short once they are ready to be released. Once they are released, new subscribers will receive them immediately.

What about the course?

I’m glad you asked! This is in the works right now. I’m hashing out the number of “days” required to cover each course: Online Presence, Plotting & Research, Writing, and Self-Publishing. This might take some time because I want to release courses for “registration” once they’re completed. So stay tuned on that.

MailerLite

Random Thoughts

Eloquence In A Question #2

This is the second of, hopefully, a series of insightful question/discussion posts. See the first here.

Here’s how it works: Have a look at the question, read my answer, and then do one or both of the following: tell me your response to the same question, respond to my answer with thoughts of your own.

Question:

If there comes a day when you don’t see tomorrow, what’s something that you hope to leave behind? What would your legacy be?

Answer:

When the day comes that I’m no longer here, I hope people, especially my family, will remember me. I will leave behind an amazing little boy that is wiser than his years, who has been empathetic since before he was born. I will leave behind a husband that adores his wife and does everything he can to help me and make me happy. In the end, what will truly remain of me — a part of my soul — will be left in my words. Every poem is a little piece of me. Every piece of fiction, every book, every narrative thought, came from my essence. No matter how fantastical the story, deep down, there are real problems to solve, real issues at stake, real thoughts, emotions and trials to face. These are all things I will leave behind in this world, and I hope they will continue to inspire others and give hope, where there otherwise may not be.

How about you?

Stay tuned for the next question.

Random Thoughts

Eloquence In A Question #1

This will be the first of, hopefully, a series of insightful question/discussion posts.

Here’s how it works: Have a look at the question, read my answer, and then do one or both of the following: tell me your response to the same question, respond to my answer with thoughts of your own.

Question:

How does it feel when your muse runs his fingers through your hair, resting his palms bare on your crown?

Answer:

My muse is androgynous, taking on the form of whatever is necessary to fulfill the task. But when it comes out, it’s a rather strange feeling. It’s like my thoughts cease and words begin to form in response to some form of stimulation (one or more of the five senses, sometimes including synaesthesia). When I’m writing my fiction, I transcend myself and become whoever it is I’m narrating. It’s freeing and relaxing, and it is definitely something that I cannot live without.

How about you?

Stay tuned for the next question.

Random Thoughts

To Do Or Not Too

How did you like that little play on words? Apparently, I can be clever at times.

Remember when I talked about newsletters? Well, I’m in the process of creating them and I’m almost ready to open up subscriptions. Yay! I’m back with another poll for you lovelies. If you’d rather not read my thoughts, feel free to jump to the bottom and answer my poll, I’d appreciate it.

I know it’s taking forever, but I’m juggling several projects at the same time while trying to deal with all my issues. The last thing I want is waste people’s time if they subscribe, so I’m trying to iron out as many kinks as possible before everything begins.

That brings me to the point of this post. Some authors like to give away exclusive freebies to subscribers. I thought perhaps I’d do the same, as a thanks for joining. But before I dive in head first, I wanted to test the waters, so to speak. Ask how everyone feels about it.

I mentioned before doing a divided newsletter where people can choose any combination of the following: updates, poetry-focused issues, and fiction-focused issues. Depending on what people set for their preferences, I can offer a small chapbook, and/or a short book. In terms of the book, I’m unsure about the final length, but I’m thinking novelette or novella, and the genre will be romance (no paranormal aspects like the Earthen Witch universe). If there’s no interest, I can set those projects aside and come back to them later.

So, tell me, my friends, would you like to receive exclusive freebies?

If you have reservations or alternative suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

Random Thoughts

Dealing With Offensive Writers

In the last article, I talked about reader dramatics. Now, I’m going to cover conflict among peers.

I know my choices are not what most would consider, let alone implement, but that’s okay. Writers can choose whatever path works for them. I hold no grudges towards anyone for their choices, just as I hope no one does for me. Sharing everything for free is what works for me.

But writers all share a commonality. Our online exposure helps us find readers. Unfortunately, one of the downsides is that we don’t always encourage and support one another.

The drama writers can stir up is worse than a high school filled with exploding PMS. It’s best to avoid them as much as possible, especially when friends are battling each other.

Pretending nothing is happening is the best course of action. But, every now and again, someone will try to pull others in on purpose. The key is to back out before they do any damage.

But then there’s strangers or people who are not at all who you thought they were. They could be feeling a wide array of emotions, such as jealousy at (or threatened by) what you do, angry they can’t do it, a belief that their talent is superior, or they’re somehow repulsed at your thinking, beliefs, or life choices.

Whatever the core reason, they’re miserable and feel like this behavior will somehow empower them, while belittling someone else. If I see it happening, or someone starts to bully me, I don’t engage. I block them.

But sometimes, I notice writers talking in general about how “some” will do something they feel is wrong or an insult to the craft. Unless they start mentioning people by name (especially if my name is dropped among the list, which, luckily, doesn’t happen often), I’ll treat it as though I never saw it. Engaging in a debate often results in a war between the writers, and any readers that want to jump in to defend their beloved author.

Generally, I follow my instincts and choose the best course of action. I won’t tolerate someone attacking or spamming people that I spent a long time and effort to earn as readers. And I will defend it to the best of my abilities.

So far, WordPress continues to be free from this type of behavior, but maybe I’m one of the few that hasn’t seen it.

Tell me about your experiences with this. Do you have any thoughts to add?