A Beautiful Garden Poem by Emerson

The following poem “My Garden,” was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1866, published by the Atlantic.

“My Garden”

If I could put my woods in song,
And tell what’s there enjoyed,
All men would to my gardens throng,
And leave the cities void.

In my plot no tulips blow,
Snow-loving pines and oaks instead,
And rank the savage maples grow
From spring’s faint flush to autumn red.

My garden is a forest-ledge,
Which older forests bound;
The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge,
Then plunge in depths profound.

Here once the Deluge ploughed,
Laid the terraces, one by one;
Ebbing later whence it flowed,
They bleach and dry in the sun.

The sowers made haste to depart,
The wind and the birds which sowed it;
Not for fame, nor by rules of art,
Planted these and tempests flowed it.

Waters that wash my garden-side
Play not in Nature’s lawful web,
They heed not moon or solar tide, —
Five years elapse from flood to ebb.

Hither hasted, in old time, Jove,
And every god, — none did refuse;
And be sure at last came Love,
And after Love, the Muse.

If are enjoying reading these lovely sets of words from Ralph Waldo Emerson, you should check out the Writers Corner at the Ritual Blog.
Keen ears can catch a syllable,
As if one spake to another
In the hemlocks tall, untamable,
And what the whispering grasses smother.

Æolian harps in the pine
Ring with the song of the Fates;
Infant Bacchus in the vine, —
Far distant yet his chorus waits.

Canst thou copy in verse one chime
Of the wood-bell’s peal and cry?
Write in a book the morning’s prime,
Or match with words that tender sky?

Wonderful verse of the gods,
Of one import, of varied tone;
They chant the bliss of their abodes
To man imprisoned in his own.
A Beautiful Garden Poem by Emerson

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Ever the words of the gods resound,
But the porches of man’s ear
Seldom in this low life’s round
Are unsealed that he may hear.

Wandering voices in the air,
And murmurs in the wold,
Speak what I cannot declare,
Yet cannot all withhold.

When the shadow fell on the lake,
The whirlwind in ripples wrote
Air-bells of fortune that shine and break,
And omens above thought.

But the meanings cleave to the lake,
Cannot be carried in book or urn;
Go thy ways now, come later back,
On waves and hedges still they burn

These the fates of men forecast,
Of better men than live to-day;
If who can read them comes at last,
He will spell in the sculpture, “Stay.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist, poet, and founder of The Atlantic. He was a leading figure in the transcendentalist movement and a noted advocate of individualism and emancipation.

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Beast – Movie Review by Horror Author, A.R. Braun

Beast Movie Review scored a 5 out of 5 hatchets from Horror Author, A.R. Braun.

This film is not to be confused with The Beast, which came out in 1975–a shocking, excellent horror film—but the 2017 movie has a great story and character arc, plus a strong plot.

Teenager Moll (Jessie Buckley), a tour guide and troubled girl, is looking for meaning in life. She has a reputation, for she stabbed another student when in high school. If she’s not under attack from her controlling mother, Hilary (Geraldine James), she’s being upstaged at her birthday party. I know the feeling well—it’s always about someone else—so I can relate to her. Her sister, Polly (Shannon Target), tells everyone at the party that she and her husband are going to have a baby. Big deal. Save it for the dinner table.

Beast Movie Review for Mind on Fire Books

That night, Moll says screw that and goes clubbing. She meets a young man there and dances the night away. When the sun comes up, the boy makes his move, and when she tells him she just wants to go home, he tries to rape her.

Enter Pascal (Johnny Flynn), a bad boy who champions her, holding a gun on the rapist, who runs away. Pascal then patches up a wound Moll gave herself, and bam! She’s infatuated.

Upon arriving home, she’s read the riot act by her mom for staying out all night. Moll invites Pascal to her house to do some repairs, since he works with his hands. When Pascal’s invited to dinner, he stands up to her controlling mother and Moll’s brother, for it was his fault, not Moll’s, that her niece was left alone. He was late picking her up.

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “66Sick,” here.

The whirlwind romance carries Moll away, but there’s a killer on the loose. And the townspeople suspect Moll’s boyfriend; therefore, they give her hell, even at the funeral of a girl when Moll tries to pay her respects.

As the tale weaves, the viewer has a hard time figuring out who the villain is. Moll claims the stabbing at school was self-defense. When she tries to make amends, the girl now a woman throws her out of the department store the latter works at. Pascal treats Moll like a queen. Surely he couldn’t be the killer. But somebody’s murdering all these people.

Beast Movie Review for Mind on Fire Books

Is Pascal a serial killer, or are the townspeople falsely accusing him because he’s a bad boy? Is Moll crazy and the real serial killer (Polly tells Pascal at dinner that Moll’s a wild one)? Or will Moll find out it’s Pascal and stop him, or fail to? All these questions will be answered on viewing Beast, on Amazon Prime Video.

My only complaint is that it’s supposed to be set in New Jersey, but they’re obviously non-Americans who drive on the right side of the vehicle. But it doesn’t ruin it. And I don’t like most movies. This one captivated me.

About the writer

A. R. BRAUN is a horror author with fourteen publication credits, one a dark poem, including “NREM Sleep” in the D.O.A. anthology; “Freaks” in Downstate Story magazine; “The Unwanted Visitors” in the Vermin anthology; “Coven” in the Heavy Metal Horror anthology; “Remember Me?” in Horror Bound magazine; “Shades of Gray (the Symbiosis of Light and Dark)” in Micro Horror magazine; and “The Interloper” in the Bonded by Blood 2: a Romance in Red anthology, among others.

You can reach him on Twitter as @ARBraun and on Instagram as a.r._braun.

The Witch Movie Review

The Witch scored a 5 out of 5 hatchets from Horror Author, A.R. Braun.

This film is so nasty and dark, it left me stunned. In this abominable plot, a Puritan family is cast out of their village and must live in the forest because English settler William, the husband and father of the family (Ralph Ineson), argued against the church. Can anyone say “Tears of Korah”? (Tourniquet song)

The Witch movie review on mind on fire books by A.R. Braun

In the woods, strange things happen. While the eldest daughter, Thomasin (the gorgeous Anya Josephine Marie Taylor-Joy), plays peek-a-boo with the infant of the family, Samuel (Axtun Henry Dube), the baby disappears. Soon, we learn there are witches living in the forest, and one of them has kidnapped the newborn to do terrible things to it. Let’s put it this way: She did the same thing to the infant as the male witch in The Warlock did to a little kid.

Devastated over Samuel’s loss, the wife and mother, Katherine (Kate Dickie), weeps and prays, for little Samuel wasn’t baptized. Katherine blames Thomasin for Samuel’s loss.

Thomasin finds her little brother, Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), checking a trap in the forest. They spot a hare, which sends their horse into a panic. Their dog, Fowler, follows, and Caleb chases. Then he becomes lost in the woods and finds a hovel, where a beautiful young maid becomes a crone and reaches out and grabs him.

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his Dark Fiction masterpiece, “66Sick,” here.

William brings Thomasin home and Katherine chides her eldest daughter. Later, at night, Thomasin finds Caleb naked, sick, and delirious outside the home. The next day, the twins, Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson), sing songs with Black Philip, the family goat. William accuses Thomasin of being a witch. When Thomasin milks the nanny goat, only blood comes out, proving him right. When Caleb wakes, Katherine urges the family to pray, but the twins act like they’ve forgotten the words. Caleb proclaims his salvation by giving his heart to Jesus before dying.

Things go haywire from there. William locks Thomasin and the twins, who he believes are all witches, in the goat house. Thomasin denies being a witch, but the twins have no words. William has his new come-to-Jesus moment when he repents for being prideful and leaving the church. Katherine has a vision of Caleb holding Samuel. She tries to breast-feed, but a raven pokes at her breast, leaving her bloody.

The Witch movie review on mind on fire books by A.R. Braun

William wakes, but the stables are in rubble, the twins are gone, and Thomason is unconscious. When she wakes, William says he’s going to take her back to town to be tried as a witch, but Black Philip gores him to death. Enraged and mad as a hatter, Katherine blames Thomasin for everything, but the latter kills her mother with a bill hook.

The final girl, Thomasin thinks she’s alone…but she’s not. A malevolent spirit has taken a shine to her, his chosen. Wickedness abounds in the woods. The ending will flip your lid!

This is one of the best—and most sinister—horror films I’ve ever seen. You’re cheating yourself if you miss it!

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Biography

A. R. BRAUN is a horror author with fourteen publication credits, one a dark poem, including “NREM Sleep” in the D.O.A. anthology; “Freaks” in Downstate Story magazine; “The Unwanted Visitors” in the Vermin anthology; “Coven” in the Heavy Metal Horror anthology; “Remember Me?” in Horror Bound magazine; “Shades of Gray (the Symbiosis of Light and Dark)” in Micro Horror magazine; and “The Interloper” in the Bonded by Blood 2: a Romance in Red anthology, among others.

You can reach him on Twitter as @ARBraun and on Instagram as a.r._braun.

Top Seven Virginia Woolf Quotes

All of us literary nerds are familiar with the name, “Virginia Woolf.” We have also heard that we are supposed to fear her, and not simply because of her name, but because of her tenacity to stand up against the patriarchal mind, and also the mental paradigms of her own time.

Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th century authors and also a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device.

Here are the six best quotes we could muster:

  1. ‘Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.’
  2. “When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?”
  3. “Books are the mirrors of the soul.”
  4. “I enjoy almost everything. Yet I have some restless searcher in me.”
  5. “I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.”
  6. “In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to details around us.”
  7. “You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”

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Horror Book Review, “The Reddening” by Adam Neville

The following review on “The Reddening” was written by Horror author, A.R. Braun.

We have not evolved. Old gods and savage murders are still happening in Brickburgh, England. Katrine, a lifestyle journalist, escaped from horrors of the past by moving to a coast. Seaside holidays and the beauty of nature, what could go wrong?

Human remains and prehistoric artifacts are found in said Brickburgh, making Katrina’s life a nightmare.

Single-parent Helene lost her brother, Lincoln, six years ago. And there is a tape, recorded by Lincoln himself, of strange noises, exactly six years ago, in the caves off the water. In said caves, early man butchered each other sixteen thousand years ago. On the cave walls lurk drawings of their nameless deity. The worst part is, people have been disappearing from these remote locations for years.

There must be foul play.

And now there are sightings of drug plantations and the red folk. In this bucolic setting, strangers are not welcome. An insidious power looms underneath the earth, a supernatural being only the desperate invoke.

To save their lives and for Helene to find Lincoln, Katrine and Helene must confront the evil and investigate. The drug fields—also the killing fields—await, along with the murderous red folk, ready to destroy all that invade their coven.

Will Helene find her brother alive, or dead? And will she and Katrine be next? Or will they triumph after a bloody battle with these friends? One thing’s for sure, they’ll be forever scarred, if they survive, by the Reddening by Adam Neville.

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A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his latest short story, “Little Ghoul,” here.

Hereditary: Film Review by Horror Author, A.R. Braun

The following film review on “Hereditary,” was written by horror writer, A.R. Braun, author of “Little Ghoul.”

This is the film that restored my faith in American cinema. Previously, I felt one had to watch a foreign flick for a good scare. Ari Aster is my favorite writer/director, the only American making shocking films right now. And this film WILL scare you. Also important is Toni Collette, who gives a lights-out performance, as always, just intense as can be. (The lead actress from The United States of Tara.)

Miniature model artist Annie Graham (Collette) has lost her weird, eerie mother, Ellen (Kathleen Chalfant). At the funeral, Annie is surprised by how many people show up, a staggering amount, and she’s never met any of them. When Ellen’s grave is desecrated, Annie sees her ghost.

Wanting her strange-and-creepy thirteen-year-old daughter, Charlie (Milly Shapiro), to enjoy her life, she manipulates her sixteen-year-old son, Peter (Alex Wolff), to take her along to a party he’s going to. Problem is, Charlie’s allergic to certain foods, and when she eats cake with nuts, she goes full-tilt into anaphylactic shock. Peter then rushes her to the hospital, but his driving’s erratic, and Charlie, not being able to breathe, sticks her head out the window for fresh air . . . and her head’s decapitated by a telephone pole.

Scene from Hereditary film for Mind on Fire Blog

Things go downhill from there.

At a grief-support group, Annie meets an older woman named Joan (Ann Dowd), who lost a son. At first, the friendship seems innocuous, but after a beat Joan shows Annie how to conjure up the departed loved one, and when you hear that creepy music and things start moving seemingly by themselves, you know you’re in trouble. In fact, I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw Charlie, who’s really strange looking, and uses bird’s heads for her action figures.

From then on, you are not safe. If the scenes that follow don’t freak you out, you’re probably dead.

Why is Joan trying to exorcise Peter from his own body? Why does Charlie persist in being alive? Where did all those people at the funeral come from?

Hereditary Film Review on Mind on Fire Books.

The scares amp-up until you think you can’t take it. I mean, ghosts being naked when they’re dead, I don’t need to see that!

And human spirits aren’t the biggest worry. Annie’s mother Ellen was a demon-worshipper, and those people at the funeral are her coven.

I highly recommend this one to those who think they can’t be scared by a film . . . and especially those that can.

Hereditary Film Review on Mind on Fire Books.
A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. Check out his latest Novel, “Only Women in Hell,” here.

A.R. Braun will also be featured on our anthology Mad Men, available for presale now.


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The Manitou – Horror Book Review

The Manitou is definitely Graham Masterton’s bread-and-butter, the series being the best books he’s ever written. He went on to write many great novels, a total of 101 in all! Book review written by horror author, A.R. Braun.

In 1976’s The Manitou, based in San Francisco, something is growing on the back of an attractive woman named Karen Tandy’s neck—perceived as a tumor—which baffles her doctors.

Desperate for help, the good docs bring in a charlatan psychic named Harry Erskine—an unlikely hero who’s the perfect protagonist—as a paranormal investigator. Erskine helps the doctors discover that an ancient Native-American medicine man named Misquamacus, the most powerful Shaman ever, is back to seek revenge against the white man for stealing his country, as well as other atrocities. Reborn from a neck, the Native American is squat, has stunted limbs, but is none the less powerful.

Able to call up the most powerful demons in the world who can’t be exercised by Christianity because they were before Christ, the shaman’s chief demon is a squid spirit and, yes, I believe it’s Cthulhu.

This infernal medicine man is feared by all as the body count rises. Everything in the world has a Manitou, a Native-American spirit, and Harry and the good doctors call upon a modern-day Shaman named John Singing Rock for help, definitely less powerful than Misquamacus. They battle and wrack their brains to come up with the best modern Manitou to fight the insidious shaman.

Will they be able to stop the carnage so vehement it’ll be mass-murder? Or will they end up butchered, like the cops in the elevator?

This novel was ten times better than I expected it to be, and I highly recommend this gem, plus the sequels, which are all great. You’d better hope Native-American spirits don’t come looking for revenge!

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A.R. Braun on Mind on Fire Books

Review by Horror Writer, A.R. Braun. You can check out his latest Novel, “Dogman of Illinois, here.

A.R. Braun will also be featured on our anthology Mad Men, available for presale now.


Henry Miller Shares 11 Writing Commandments

In this post, we share the American writer and painter, Henry Miller’s 11 Writing Commandments.

Henry Miller was an American writer and painter. He was born 26 December 1891, and died 7 June 1980. His autobiographical novels achieve a candour—particularly about sex—that made them a liberating influence in mid-20th-century literature. He is also notable for a free and easy American style and a gift for comedy that springs from his willingness to admit to feelings others conceal and an almost eager acceptance of the bad along with the good. Because of their sexual frankness, his major works were banned in Britain and the United States until the 1960s, but they were widely known earlier from copies smuggled in from France.

The 11 Writer Commandments From Henry Miller

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. ConcentrateNarrow downExclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

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On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.