Bukowski Quotes For The Soul

Some argue that Charles Bukowski may be the next best craftsman of the single sentence since Hemingway. And there’s truth in these words. Make sure you’re sitting down when you read these next 21 Bukowski quotes. If you begin to feel light-headed, take a breather. You’ll want to brace yourself for this prose.

Charles Bukowski Quotes For The Soul on The Ritual Blog
  1. An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
  2. Find what you love and let it kill you.
  3. Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside – remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.
  4. I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.
  5. The nine-to-five is one of the greatest atrocities sprung upon mankind. You give your life away to a function that doesn’t interest you.
  6. My beer drunk soul is sadder than all the dead Christmas trees of the world.
  7. The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it – basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them.
  8. He asked, What makes a man a writer? Well, I said, it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.
  9. I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.
  10. We drink our coffee and pretend not to look at each other.
  11. Human relationships were strange. I mean, you were with one person a while, eating and sleeping and living with them, loving them, talking to them, going places together, and then it stopped. Then there was a short period when you weren’t with anybody, then another woman arrived, and you ate with her and fucked her, and it all seemed so normal, as if you had been waiting just for her and she had been waiting for you. I never felt right being alone; sometimes it felt good but it never felt right.
  12. People were usually much better in their letters than in reality. They were much like poets in this way.
  13. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, forced-fed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
  14. But then if you lied to a man about his talent just because he was sitting across from you, that was the most unforgivable lie of them all, because that was telling him to go on, to continue which was the worst way for a man without real talent to waste his life, finally. But many people did just that, friends and relatives mostly.
  15. That’s what they want: a God damned shows a lit billboard in the middle of hell. That’s what they want, that bunch of dull inarticulate safe, dreary admirers of carnivals.
  16. I saw a beautiful blonde girl embrace a young man there and kiss him with what seemed hunger and I stood and watched until they broke away.
  17. I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me.
  18. She was desperate and she was choosey at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn’t have quite enough going for her to become what she imagined herself to be.
  19. In the sun and in the rain, in the day and in the night, pain is a flower, pain is flowers, blooming all the time.
  20. All people start to come apart finally and there it is: just empty ashtrays in a room or wisps of hair on a comb in the dissolving moonlight.
  21. It is hard to find a man whose poems don’t finally disappoint you.

If you liked reading these Bukowski quotes, check out the Writers Corner at the Ritual Blog.

About Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. Charles Bukowski was a prolific underground writer who used his poetry and prose to depict the depravity of urban life and the downtrodden in American society. A cult hero, Bukowski relied on experience, emotion, and imagination in his work, using direct language and violent and sexual imagery. 

Charles Bukowski was born August 16, 1920, and died of Leukemia on March 9, 1994.

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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.

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.

A History of Memes

In this post I would like to address the history of Memes through the lens of a discourse theorist, tracing their roots back to Western antiquity.

A History of Memes for Mind on Fire Books by Willy Martinez

A meme can be defined as an opinion given as judgment or advice, or as a contrived conclusion about what we all agree to be true. And it’s true that Aristotle once said that country folk are more prone to speak in Maxims or Memes and readily show themselves off. In the age of internet memes, does that make us all country folk in the eyes of Aristotle?

In classical Roman rhetoric the term “enthymeme” was used to describe a feeling, judgment or opinion.  But the word doesn’t begin with the Romans, the origins of the word and etymology of the word traces back to the Greeks as a tool analyzed by Aristotle.  Since the terms true sense varies from culture to culture, we can study rhetorical treatise to gain a more comprehensive view of how the word may have been thought of within a particular culture and audience.

Greek Roots

During the first sophistic, the Greeks made use of this term as being a ‘gnome’ or ‘maxim’.  Literally, gnome means “a thought,” usually an opinion given as a judgment or advice (Aristotle 1645).  To take a step back and look at the bigger picture, Aristotle says that there are two common modes of persuasion which can be used in all three species, and those two are the paradigm and the enthymeme.  A Maxim is actually a part of an enthymeme, or ‘meme’.  To Aristotle, a maxim serves as the conclusion to an meme.

A History of Memes for Mind on Fire Books by Willy Martinez
A History of Memes for Mind on Fire Books by Willy Martinez

There is a time and age requirement in order to deliver a successful maxim, as prescribed by Aristotle – “Speaking in maxims is appropriate to those older in years and on subjects with which one is experienced, since to speak maxims is unseemly for one too young” (167).  Aristotle follows up with the claim that country folk are more prone to speak in Maxims and readily show themselves off (1678).  Because these maxims touch upon ‘truths’ common to many, the orator sharing the maxim is revered as having a moral character.  The maxim reinforces persuasion on the speaker’s ethos.  In the footnotes, George Kennedy relays to us that it was tradition in Ancient Greece for sages, poetry and Greek tragedy for these gnomes or maxims to be used.  Aristotle provides a couple of examples below (165):

“it is never right for a man that is shrewd, to have his children be taught to be to wise”

“Best for a man is to be healthy, as it seems to me”

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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Roman Roots

A History of Memes for Mind on Fire Books by Willy Martinez

After Aristotle comes Cicero on our list of classical rhetoricians.  But Cicero and the Romans referred to maxims as sententia.  In book 2, of On the Ideal Orator, Crassus tells his audience that employing “sharp-wittedness, together with economy in [their] use of witty sayings will distinguish the orator from the buffoon” and that it will aim to “achieve something, while buffoons go on all day without any reason at all” (189).  Sententia/memes, can be defined as an opinion given as judgment or advice, or as a contrived conclusion about what we all agree to be true.  Both of these words are tied to wisdom.  The delivery of this wisdom continues to be arranged at the end of the statement.

Cicero suggests that the disposition of the orator should be quick witted humor, but only when appropriate, thoughtful and disguised.  An interesting understanding on where these witticisms lay in respect to other functions is repeated in the categories of the humorous when Crassus reminds us, “for as I said earlier, while the subject matter of joking and of the serious are different, [but] the system of their categories and commonplaces is the same” (195).  Blending of the commonplaces between the two also allows the Romans of the time to place humor and wisdom together as Sententia.  But before we blend the two, take a look at the table below to see where sententia fits in respect to its classification in the humorous.

Cicero goes on to break up the categories of the humorous: jokes either derive their humor from the words themselves or from the content. 

Jokes and Memes Categories

Jokes depending on words: seldom promote as much laughter (191)  Jokes depending on content: more numerous and more likely to be laughed at (196)
Slight alteration of a word ( from Mr. Noble to Mr. Mobile)Insinuation
Funny interpretation of nameIrony
Taking something literally on purposeCalling something disgraceful by an honorable name
 Mocking
 Censuring stupidity
 Inconsistencies
 Sententia (pointed remarks, Cicero 202, 203)
 None are as funny as the unexpected turn

Sententia is classified under the section of jokes depending on content.  The content in this case would have to be attached to wisdom or advice.  Usually this advice comes towards the end and it summarizes the conversation.  Below are some modern examples:

“if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”, “actions speak louder than words”, “better safe than sorry”, “you can’t tell a book by its cover”, “too many cooks spoil the broth”                           

“If we could first know where we are and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’”
                                                             — Abraham Lincoln, 16 June 1858

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After the Roman Empire

The next rhetorician to say something about memes is Quintilian in his Institutes of Oratory.  Since Quintilian plans out the education for a Roman male growing up, there are different lessons at different times of the pupil’s life.  Under his outline for his version of the progymnasmata, the retelling of fables and Maxims comes third on the list of a child’s education in oratory.  Subjecting children to the memorization of maxims may be as an ode to the Greek tradition of repeating maxims or sentential at public events. 

            Maxims become Sententia.  Sententia later become proverbs, and these sententiae can also be defined as aphorisms.  These are all, rhetorically speaking, tricky little devices.  Essentially though, the device is used to strengthen your argument; insert a enthymeme at the end of your statement to seem more credible since these sentential are already commonly accepted ‘truths’ and remember that “from all types of urbanity we must take bits of witticism and humor that we and sprinkle, like a little salt, throughout all of our speech” (93). 

If you liked this article, we have similar content studying communication from discourse theory, here.

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.

Reading Good Fiction Part 2: Synopsis of “Space”

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.

Reading Good Fiction: “Kavita Through the Glass”

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.

Birthday eBook Giveaway for Dark Fiction Lovers!

Yes you read that correct, Free stuff!

In observance of my Birthday weekend, beginning today, I am giving away TWO FREE EBOOKS! I’m giving away my non-fiction collection of essays, “On Writing Horror” and classic haunt collection, “Gothic America.” Click here for the Download links to choose what file versions you want. You must click on the “On Writing Horror” link first to be taken to the 2nd book download as well. Enjoy 🙂

All I ask is that you take the time to leave me some positive reviews for my “Mad Men” fiction anthology in return! And if you like dark fiction, make sure to purchase it as it is only $2.99 and support indie horror!

For Apple Store, click here.

For Barnes and Noble, here.

For Amazon, here.

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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.

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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15 of the Best Quotes from “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

Quote by Ray Bradbury. Used for Mind on Fire Books

I fell in love with the book from the first line: “It was a pleasure to burn.” There aren’t many books that have pulled me in so deeply with just a few words but this was one of them. With those six simple words the author, Ray Bradbury, conveys Montag’s obvious satisfaction with his life as a fireman. The exposition of this novel depicts a dystopian future where the vast majority of citizens live in numb contentment.

I could go on and on about this lovely short novel, but I will save that for another post. Here I would just like to share about 8 of the best quotes from the book that I think every reader should know.

1. “It was a pleasure to burn.”

2. “He was not happy. He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.”

3. “We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” 

4. “There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” 

5. “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon.” 

6. “What is there about fire that’s so lovely? No matter what age we are, what draws us to it?’ Beatty blew out the flame and lit it again. ‘It’s perpetual motion; the thing man wanted to invent but never did.” 

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There are books to remind us what asses and fools we are. Used for Mind on Fire Books

7. “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.”

8. “If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”

9. “We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.”

10. “Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.”

11. “The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”

12. “The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”

13. “I don’t talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things.”

14. “See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security.”

A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Used for Mind on Fire Books

And last but not least:

15. “Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic that any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,’ he said, ‘shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.” 

Also, were you aware that HBO recently adapted a film version of this book? I must admit that I actually enjoyed the film (don’t hate me.) It was rather strange, just as strange as the book was. The film had it’s expected differences from the book, but honestly, I liked how they were able to keep me entertained since I already knew how the book ended. If you ever find yourself chilling at home on a cold evening, throw on that film adaptation of “Fahrenheit 451,” and hopefully it will entertain you as much as it did me.

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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.

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.