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Reading Good Fiction Part 2: Synopsis of “Space”

Reading Good Fiction Part 2

Reading good fiction can be a challenge these days with so many small presses and opportunities for writers – good and bad – to publish their works easily. Here in this three part series, I will share my opinions and synopsis of three short stories in Literature.

Space” by Kevin Brockmeier

This story is about love and the feeling of exile from another person. In “Space,” written by Kevin Brockmeier, the narrator is recalling his memories of a recently lost spouse. The narrator has been widowed and left with a fifteen year old son; they are both trying to cope with or forget about their recent loss.

The story begins with the narrator looking out into the horizon and gazing off into the lights which he now often does. While showering, the lights and power go out. Both the son and father are left with no distractions; all they have is a candle in the apartment and the lights far off in the horizon of the city. We slowly learn about Della, the recently deceased wife, through inner dialogues that the narrator shares.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like the “Writer or Prophet? Did Jules Verne Predict the Future?”

All items and spaces within the house remind him of her. He thinks back to the funeral of three months ago which took place during the Winter. He recalls the “slow willowy hands” of the funeral guests comforting him at the funeral home. This is how we learn about Della and what it is that the two are grieving. Then a bird is heard outside, which is annoying to the teenage son, but serves as a memory for the narrator. It’s the same bird that was heard when they first purchased the house. All the narrator recalls is his wife Della’s response to the bird: “Well, if there’s holes in our tree, at least birds will be nesting in the.”

Author of “Space,” Kevin Brockmeier

In reading good fiction we learn that it is these small memories and emotional energies associated with their living space which drive the story. This becomes extremely powerful during a blackout because there is no TV to distract the teenager. The narrator is aware of the inevitability of the human mind to forget and move on so this is also troublesome. The narrator doesn’t want to forget his wife so he recalls her childhood memories. The memory we are left with is Della’s imagination of sending light to a planet without light. Ou narrator finally lets go at the end and imagines that her light of life has finally reached another planet without light and that her spirits in now filling the planet with hope. And this is how he learns to cope and let go – it has to be a happy memory.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “Faceless – 100 word short story”

Space” was powerfully written and imaginative in the sense that it uses the surroundings to transport the reader into past memories which come alive to these two mourning characters. The son is constantly complaining about not having power and not wanting to think about his mother, while the narrator cannot stop gazing out into space and forcing himself to recall her presence and energy.

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.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.

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Reading Good Fiction: “Kavita Through the Glass”

Reading Good Fiction

Reading good fiction can be a challenge these days with so many small presses and opportunities for writers – good and bad – to publish their works easily. Here in this three part series, I will share my opinions and synopsis of three short stories in Literature.

Kavita Through The Glass by Emily Ishem Raboteau

Kavita Through the Glass is written by Emily Ishem Raboteau and told by a narrator focusing on the perspective of Hassan. Hassan is a young graduate student who is currently facing remationship problems with his wife who is now pregnant. Although Hassan is studying full time for his master’s in Mathematics, their marital problems stem from culture.

His wife Kavita is an architect and they are both of Indian heritage, only Kavita is from the American East coast, and Hassan is from India. Throughout the whole story, we hear about how much in love Hassan is with his wife Kavit and how she controls all the furnishing in the apartment and has made them all white signifying blank spaces. She walks around naked while at home, even when she is cooking. Hassan relates his story to us in mathematical terms and perspectives. Hassan remembers back to before they found out they were pregnant and how happy they were. Now that the baby is on the way, the cultural influences and factors are being contributed and weighted more heavily by Hassan.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “Faceless – 100 word short story”

Reading good fiction is conflicted with Kavita’s Americanization and want for physical attention. When he finds out she is pregnant, she leaves for a few hours and Hassan calls to consult his father but his father only argues with him because h ethinks that Hassan should have married the young twelve year old from India who had been pre-arranged for marriage with Hassan.

Kavita then builds up a habit of disappearing at night which leads Hassan to become nervous and eat a lot – he ends up putting on atou twenty pounds and recalls eating up to five hungry man breakfasts in one week!

One night, Hassan follows her and sees her enter the art and architecture building. He doesn’t go in; he only recounts his love for her. He follows her a second time and notices her hugging a blonde white male with blue eyes which infuriates him. He still doesn’t say anything.

On the third adventure of following his wife, he finally builds up the courage to enter the building and see what she is really doing. He walks into a classroom to find her at the center of it. She is naked and students surround her; they are painting her body.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like the “Writer or Prophet? Did Jules Verne Predict the Future?”

Hassan recalls that her belly lay there as “big and as round as the sun… only this hurts twice as mush as staring directly at the sun.” Hassan flips out and directs his anger towards the white blonde male with blue eyes. Clearly, this has become about culture and race in his eyes. After this event, the two do not speak for nine days.

On the ninth day, Hassan views her through some glass pieces that had been won in a contest. Hassan wrote a slogan for a company in which he was describing his wife. He views her through the glass and realizes that he doesn’t know how to make her happy.

He brings up the topic of namin their daughter after his mother. This is another cultural push to which Kavita responds, “Do you realize, you never look at me, I can’t rememnber the last time you even touched me.” Hassan’s immediate response to this is “but Kavita, you are all that I look at, you are all that I see.”

This was a very powerful ending because it is made clear throughout the story that Hasan is madly in love with his wife; they just have different ways of showing it. Kavita has been American ized so she is much more physical while Hassan grew up in INdia, so he is used to the more traditional sense of spirituality and respect for the woman’s privacy oher body.

Author, Emily Ishem Raboteau

“The pieces of colored glass were smooth and flattish and oblong, shaped like teardrops roughly the size of robin’s eggs.” Again, “the size of robin’s eggs” does not just tell us about the size, but also shape and texture and fragility. This image combined with “teardrops” makes me think of the color blue. “Teardrops” implies that they are translucent and glassy. It also impacts the mood of the piece, bringing in a sense of sadness.

“Kavita Through Glass” by Emily Ishem Raboteau:

The main focus of this story is definitely on the marital problems experienced by this couple. The origins of the problems do no t appear to be at all connected to the husband’s work as a mathematics grad student, rather, their communication problems stem from differences in culture and gender. So, in a sense, it is completely beside the point that he is a mathematician. But, that is the role that the mathematics play in the story. Mathematics is the thing in his life which is not affected by his personal problems, and for some real mathematician, mathematics does offer that sort of ‘escape’ from daily life.

Reading good fiction is hard to find, but reading Kavita Throught the Glass, is a must. It is beautifully written, and even thought I do not get the feeling that the author is particularly knowledgable about mathematics, the apprearance of mathematics is also well done.

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.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.
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“District 10” Moves Forward as Details Arrive for the Pandemic-Shot Film

"District 10" Moves Forward as Details Arrive

Bursting onto the scene in 2009 with his Best Picture-nominated District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s follow-ups Elysium and Chappie didn’t quite ignite the same response but the South African-Canadian director is plotting his return. After developing  Alien and RoboCop films that never saw the light of day, he’s now shot a supernatural horror film during the pandemic and is returning to the world of his breakout film.

First up, details were spare when his pandemic-shot project was initially announced last year, but thanks to a tip from a reader who received a test screening invitation we have an idea of the plot. Revealing the cast features Carly Pope, Chris William Martin, and Michael Rogers, the test screening invite used the name Unlocked, but ScreenDaily has reported the new title is Demonic. Check out the plot below for the film that will likely be rated R:

UNLOCKED follows Carly, a young woman living her small-town life under the infamy of her mother committing a heinous murder spree committed when Carly was a child. When a mysterious scientific endeavor asks for her help in an experimental tech that would allow her to go into the mind of her now-comatose mother, she agrees despite the wishes of her close friends. As she continues in the process, the lines of reality become blurred and the intentions of those conducting the experiment become clearer as Carly finds out the terrifying supernatural force at the root of her childhood trauma.

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.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.
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The Impact of Race and Identity in Native Americans

The Impact of Race and Identity in Native Americans is represented in Leslie Silko’s novel, “Ceremony.” The impact on the ideology on the thinking of Leslie Silko’s character, Tayo, produces much inner anxiety for the native character due to having to juggle multiple ideological agendas, constantly barraging Tayo at a feeble point in his life. The fact that “ideology is the thing that entices you to forget that meaning always happens in a context” and that “ideology is the making natural of a cultural phenomenon” is what causes so much distress in Tayo’s thinking. Tayo is constantly questioning his surroundings and beliefs due to there being multiple cultural expectations of him that stem from his ancient native past; his white man’s education and his military experiences up until the end when Tayo finally decides which path to pave.

One way to look at Tayo’s thought process would be to think about each ideology as a layer of clothing, such as a shirt. He begins his journey with many shirts on at the same time and his thoughts are constantly weaving in and out of cultural context until the end of his journey when he finally finds jus the right shirt, size and all, which provides him with the proper ideologies and subjectivities to perpetuate his existence within his surroundings.

Dealing with the Impact of Race and Identity

As stated, he begins his journey with three cultural ideologies which can be broken down into his military past; his experiences in the white man’s world and what he thinks he should be – and then we have the cultural ideology with which he grew up in, which is that of Native American ancestry.

Dealing with the Impact of Race and Identity by Willy Martinez
The Impact of Race and Identity in Native Literature by Willy Martinez

Through out this novel we see the impact of race and identity with Tayo trying to conform to a “pet ideological agenda.” The idea of ideology is itself paradoxical so this also adds to the confusion in Tayo’s mind. All his thoughts contradict themselves along with the way that he was brought up so this is another layer that author, Leslie Silko adapted to her character. Silko plays on the Man versus Self contradicting paradox – Tayo is battling his own different selves and questioning each one’s argument and one example of this conflict would be when Tayo questions Rocky about drinking the freshly hunted deer’s blood right after they have killed him. Tayo then remembers what he and his best friend, Rocky, learned in school about bacteria and refrigeration and then questions his Native American heritage on their practices in contrast to the white man’s beliefs.

So this would lead the reader to understand that Tayo’s first ideological foundation or ‘shirt’ is with his Native American ancestry. He grew up on a reservation and it is actually an old scalp ceremony that begins Tayo’s quest for his ‘self’ once he has returned from war as a sick Veteran. He had been in the hospital for quite some time in California but upon his return to the reservation is when he tries the scalp ceremony even though the white military doctors had advised against it. The reader then witnesses the debate between two ideologies upon the question of healing and medicine.

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Cultural Ideology

A second cultural ideology that was weighting on Tayo’s thinking was his white education that contradicted his ancestry. He had grown up believing that the world was all one and that that was the way the world “should be”, but then the new world had become “entangled with European names” and that “Christianity separated the people from themselves… because Jesus Christ would save only the individual soul. Now Tayo has to deal with religious ideologies that negate each other. IN his adolescence, Tayo grew up with a firm belief in his past even though his best friend Rocky was a believer of the white man’s ways even though it was “Indian witchery that made white people in the first place.” Tayo has been lead to believe that he is living in a white man’s world, yet it is the Indian who created the white man? it’s no wonder he is confused.

Tayo was taking bits and pieces of his military lifestyle or his “third shirt” and mixing them with the civilian world, which again come from the impact of race and identity. in the military, Tayo was a well trained infantry Marine with objectives and surroundings very distinct from his lifestyle back home in New Mexico. Tayo had trouble code-switching between the two cultures due to one experience leaving him with a scarred painful memory of watching his brother dies in war. For example, when he first got home, he would just lay in bed all day thinking about Rocky while throwing up. The room he slept in reminded him of what used to be and not what he had become; he remembers growing up with Rocky in that same room, but just Rocky isn’t there anymore. In his mind, Tayo has flashbacks of watching Rocky die but this is out of context with what is actually around him.

Dealing with the Impact of Race and Identity by Willy Martinez
The Impact of Race and Identity in Native Literature by Willy Martinez
If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like the 15 Best Quotes from “Fahrenheit 451”

After analyzing each ideology and making the comparison to layers of clothing (shirts), one can understand that Tayo has the option of wearing whichever shirt best fits him. Tayo struggled not only to reduce the amount of shirts he wore, but also figuring out which shirt to wear. He had begun his journey with multiple shirts and never really knowing which one to wear, but in the end he has finally chosen a shirt or cultural ideology – his Native American ancestry.

In the end, Tayo is freed from the impact of race and identity and battling his belief system by what we would automatically assume is “his escaping the past” but according to The Theory Toolbox, the task is “not to escape cultural ideology but to account for it’s working in the seemingly disinterested and neutral presentations of culture.” So in other words, Tayo learns to “accept each day as a natural fact: Things are the way they are; case closed.” Yet the paradox remains – has Tayo finally chosen a shirt that he feels comfortable in, or has he chosen not to wear any shirt and just let it be?

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.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.
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Perverse or Folly? Is the “Goblin Market” Really a Kids Poem?

After reading the “Goblin Market” poem, I was left with an uneasy feeling between the perverse and folly; I was left pondering the multiple end meanings of the poem. Christina Rossetti, the poem’s creator, embodies these two feelings by punning on the sexual/temptation of experience, and the foolish/folly of child archetypes. As an adult I was left with mixed emotions because of having experienced the innocence in folly, and at the same time, fully understanding sexuality and temptation.

Perverse or Folly? By Willy Martinez on Mind on Fire Books

To begin with, Rossetti attracts both child and adult readers with epanalepsis: “come buy, come buy” (line 4). The repetition continues throughout this work, setting a playful tone; the conflict in interest lies when epanalepsis is used to reiterate something sexual: “She sucked and sucked and sucked the more Fruits which that unknown orchard bore; she sucked until her lips were sore” (134). Clearly, this is borderline sexual. Laura sucks fruits from the goblin’s unknown orchard until her lips became sore – this orchard represents a tree, shooting out of the earth, offering it’s seeds. The orchard tree can be viewed as the goblin’s sexuality, and her sucking on the fruits can be viewed as her enjoyment in sensual seduction.

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If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “Faceless – 100 word short story”

Yet, in accordance with the ‘innocence’ of the potential reader, assuming we all experience innocence at one time, the poem still reads as jubilee and silly with a quick rhythm. Could only an adult mind see it as perverse and folly?

Another manner in which Rossetti concocts this scheme is by leaving the end open. In the last stanza, she jumps from Lizzie and Laura being young, to both of them being mothers. An explanation is never dispelled for the exact antidote that Lizzie brings to Laura. Perhaps it is because as adult readers we are just expected to know what the cure is, since we have experienced life, which might be one explanation for the two sisters handing down their knowledge, from the experienced to the innocent. But “Goblin Market” never distinguishes what really cured Laura, leaving the reader to wonder and at the same time still have an idea of what occurred. Rossetti plays on both realities to conflict what is really going to the adult reader.

Perverse or Folly? By Willy Martinez on Mind on Fire Books

To the child reader, the scenes are seen as comical or colorful but to the adult reader, whose knowledge would also include the child reader, the scenes can be seen as explicitly sexual with euphemisms. These sexual euphemisms serve as visual guides to the perverse and folly. “Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices” are not normal words one would find in a child’s poem.

If you are enjoying this article, perhaps you would like “12 Things to do on a Bookstore Date

Within the poem, “Goblin Market,” the sexual is sublime and it’s childlike folly is apparent for us adult readers. Rosetti has fused both of these elements to seduce both, our experience and our innocence, and once again, question ourselves about what is learned in our very own lives.

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.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.
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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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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Babysitter Wanted Movie Review by A.R. Braun

Babysitter Wanted Movie Review by Horror Author A.R. Braun

Babysitter Wanted scored a 3 out of 5 hatchets from Horror Author, A.R. Braun.

This one actually has a pretty good plot, but still comes off as a slasher. The story revolves around Angie Albright (played by the luscious Sarah Thompson), an innocent eighteen-year-old going off to college. Her Christian mother, Linda Albright (Nana Visitor) warns her to stay away from Satan, and Angie says she’s sure they’ve got plenty of churches there.

She’ll soon to have a lot to pray about.

Babysitter Wanted Movie Review by Horror Author A.R. Braun

Angie keeps running into a helpful stranger her age who gives her a ride to her babysitter job and fixes her car: good-Samaritan Rick (Matt Dallas). Then it turns out he’s Catholic, too—was an altar boy—and they become close.

At the house, the parents, Jim and Violet Stanton (Bruce Thomas and Kristen Dalton), make Angie feel welcome and introduce her to the boy she’ll be sitting, Sam (Cai Caster), a child who hardly ever speaks and always wears a cowboy outfit, along with a cowboy hat. There’s a reason for the latter.

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

Sam’s parents show her in the ‘fridge which Tupperware meals Sam can eat—along with buttermilk—for he’s on a special diet. When Angie finds out it’s raw meat cut into cubes, she thinks this more than strange, but warms it up in the microwave and serves it up nonetheless.

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Throughout the movie, Angie is stalked by a strange-looking, shaven-headed man with eerie scars. When he breaks into the house Angie’s sitting, she calls police chief Dinelli (Bill Moseley, of Rob Zombie horror-movie fame, particularly House of 1,000 Corpses and the sequels), who she’s been complaining to about the perp. He promises to drive out and check in her. While looking for a weapon, Angie finds evidence of Satanic worship. That’s weird, and things get even weirder. Angie fights for the kid, and one would think the murderer would win effortlessly, but she gets the best of him. Angie grabs a weapon and takes him out, but why is he a priest? In the struggle, Sam’s cowboy had come off, for the priest was after the boy. Angie’s eyes google when she sees Sam has horns.

Babysitter Wanted Movie Review by Horror Author A.R. Braun

This explains a lot.

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

Sam’s parents arrive home. Angie is bound, about to become the next tub of Tupperware.

Will Angie escape, or become Sam’s food? Will the sheriff rescue her from the Satanists? Or—after Angie kills Sam’s parents—will Sam make her his new grind-up-virgin-girls mommy? These questions will be answered upon viewing Babysitter Wanted on Amazon Prime Video.

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.

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The Witch Movie Review

The Witch Movie Review

The Witch scored a 3 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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.