Posts Tagged ‘ideas


What Is There To Say?

Blogging is hard.

I know, that sounds like such a stupid, whinging thing to say, but it is. It’s hard to think of something to say every day – or nearly every day – just to keep your site moving, to keep getting those little dinging bells that say “You’re on a streak!,” to keep people around and justify the money you spend every year to keep your butt parked squarely on your domain name and not fade into complete obscurity.

It’s compounded when you feel like anything you have to say is useless, or has already been said a hundred times before, or will get you cancelled or one someone’s naughty list. Add in a dose of depression, a soupçon of paranoia, and a dash of terror and you have the recipe for why I go silent for long periods of time.

But then, brilliant mind I, figured out what to do… let’s ask the readers! So for those twenty or so brave souls who regularly stop by and click the “like” button every so often, what is it you’d like to see me talk about? What topics would keep you coming back, and what would drive you off? Let us know down below! (Please?)


Breaking Dreams

Something I – and many other artists, I imagine – struggle with is the feeling of worthiness. That my ideas matter, or might be of interest or value to someone else. I can’t speak for everyone of an artistic bent, but that feeling is compounded for me by numerous mental issues.

I do tend to believe that artistic folks tend to have a greater incidence of mental illness, but that’s probably a topic for another day.

But those issues pile up, combine with self-esteem problems, and the constant wondering if the work is good enough and the desire for input so you don’t feel like you’re creating in an echo chamber.

That’s when I get the most discouraged. I’m sure I’m not alone, here. You have what sounds like a really cool idea. You need a little input, or an opinion, or maybe just a sounding board to talk it out with so you can clarify it in your own head. You go to a loved one, a friend, a message board or whatever, and before you’ve even finished articulating whatever it was, someone whips out a hammer and crushes it.

Now, those people may not have known what they did. They may not have done it maliciously, or even meant to be harsh at all. But in my own depressed, fragile, constantly doubting mind that quick dismissal is like a knife shoved between my ribs. It kills discussion regarding that idea, and frequently reverberates through later ideas, shattering them before they even have a chance or form or subjecting them to “well, the last one didn’t fly so why bother with this one?”

For those like myself, those rejections and dismissals become grains of sand around which black pearls form, tended and brooded over for years after the fact, often receiving far more attention than the idea that led to them until they are so large there is no room for any actual creativity. It’s not healthy, but it’s true. Again, I’m pretty sure I can’t be alone in this line of thinking.

Two that I remember: While mulling over Ioudas and where it needed to go, having started with the premise that the concept of “sin” was a type of “energy.” Attempting to determine where that energy would need to go, and how one would ultimately get rid of it, I commented “So Jonas would have to fight literal, physical manifestations of the Seven Deadlies.” I got that far before I was cut off. I had more; images of what those sins would mean to Jonas, how those manifestations would be dealt with, almost a whole story complete and ready to go. Before I could do so, however, the person who I was speaking with said “Oh, the Seven Deadlies. Really fucking original.”

Ioudas has been sitting at 25% complete since then; about three years. Every time I open the manuscript and think about working on it, I hear that voice again and slam the iPad shut, snarling.

The other was in reference to “Little Miss No Name.” Now, she’s fared better than Ioudas, with actual progress occasionally being made, but she hasn’t had the exposure she deserves because of it, and the greater world hiding behind her remains a few scraps of paper at the bottom of the desk because of it. Someone asked what I was working on and I said “It’s a story about a doll who…” Instant cut off.

“Sounds like crap. Like Annabelle. Who gives a shit?”

That person then went on to explain how a real good story would involve JFK time-traveling and killing dinosaurs, which really puts in the wheelhouse of “Consider the source,” but that’s never been my specialty. It left a scar, one that I still pick at and worry at, and rub salt into, far more than any of my physical self-mutilation injuries.

One can always go back to “grow thicker skin” commentary. Certainly an option. But that’s not something that magically happens, or makes every previous wound just vanish.

So if any of you out there are close to an author, a painter, a designer, a creative of any stripe, and they start sharing an idea… please, for just a second, pause and consider your response. I’m not saying you can’t be negative… maybe even mean. There are times when we need those things. But there’s a difference between negativity to a bad or malformed idea and offhand dismissal without even knowing the nature of the idea, and the latter is what rankles me and leaves me awake at night, brooding over the grim treasures spawned from such dismissals.

If you have a creative in your life, let them finish their thought. Ask a question or two, if only to give the impression that you were actually listening. Don’t just break out a verbal hammer and crush it straightaway or – worse – throw up a wall and walk away without a thought.


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Living Planets

What if we were to consider, just for a moment, the idea that planets were alive?

Not “alive” as in “there is life on them,” or that “life comes from them,” but rather that they were a form of sentient life. Perhaps like eggs, waiting for their time to hatch into either benevolent gods or merciless monsters? Who’s to say that dread R’lyeh is not actually Earth itself, and one day it will crack as Cthulhu laughingly once again ascends to the stars?


Of course, my mind tends to favor the latter. Amoral (or potentially actively evil) demonic monstrosities beyond space and time better suit my mindset than anything shiny and happy or indifferent to us in a non-harmful way. Of course, the idea of our planet cracking in two to birth any kind of behemoth is liable to be fatal to us anyway so the distinction may not matter.

I’ve no idea why this idea burrowed into my head in the late hours of the evening, only that it did. It’s something I’ve noted for possible use later, though for now “Riptide” and Believe Me are the focus of my creative attention by virtue of necessity. Stretching too thin is liable to destroy any viability either of them has.

But what about you folks out there? Have you tinkered with the idea, or drawn inspiration from contemplating it now? Feel free to drop a link or a synopsis of your own tales of living (or unliving) planets and their shenanigans down below if you like.

Until next time.

KA Spiral no signature



Stories_and_Dreams_banner.jpgThe question authors are probably asked most is “Where do you get your ideas?” (The second is probably “What’s wrong with you?” at least if you write horror novels.)

I was planning on doing a video on the topic today, but between my lungs not cooperating with me and my modem apparently deciding it wanted a vacation, that wasn’t particularly feasible. Still, I’ve had a good run of over a week with at least one productive thing done per day and I didn’t want to break the streak when the new year is only 11 days old. So just posting some of my thoughts here. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and situation; I’m sure every writer would have a different answer, and any given answer may not be the whole story. Frequently we just spew out whatever sounds deep and interesting at the time.

For me, a lot of my recent work has to do with dreams. The dreams I’ve had, the ones I used to have, and the ones I don’t know I had. At least I think that’s where some of them come from when I just wake up and have some idea burning in the back of my mind and set forth to scribble it down. Or at least try to; several of those are languishing in the depths of the “recently opened” history of Pages.

The current projects, Believe Me and “Layers,” stem from that. Believe Me was the result of too many episodes of Psychic Detectives and Forensic Files being played while heading to sleep. Pretty simple. What if a fake psychic staged crimes for her to “solve” and thus gain fame and fortune? The kicker is that afterward, she actually ends up showing some psychic ability, but no one believes her until it’s possibly too late. I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy “Cry Wolf” stories, and this is my attempt in that style.

“Layers” is, on the other hand, a more personal piece. It’s taken me a long time – and a lot of urging from my shrink – to decide to actually put it down on paper (digital or otherwise.) Like Ben Mears from ‘Salem’s Lot, it’s sort of an attempt to exorcise the demons of my childhood through writing. Hopefully, it doesn’t twist in my hand and try to bite, as Mears’ relationship with the Marsten House and what dwells there does.

I’ve been plagued by recurring nightmares since I was at least 5, and probably before that. “Layers” is the semi-fictionalized version of one of those nightmares. I just hope those of you out there are enjoying the story, and don’t consider it so much egotistical garbage. I know I am… at least significantly more than the nightmares that led to it.

What about those among you who are writers or other artistic types? What drives you to create the things you do? Where do your ideas come from? Feel free to share them below.

KA Spiral no signature

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