Friday, September 30, 2016

“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

Traditionally, Fascination with Fear has done a month long blog-a-thon each October in celebration of the holiday season. But I feel it's important to let the few readers I still have the facts. This year has been a very difficult one personally, as my mother is very ill and it has been a serious challenge to find the time to write. In fact, she's just had another hospital admission this week and it's left me convinced that my time is just too strapped to consider any seriously wordy posts.

Hence, I've decided to adapt the "Wordless Wednesday" feature into "A Wordless October", where I will post some of my favorite creepy pics. Some of the pictures will be taken from previous posts here and there and some will be new to the blog.

First though, an explanation that may ramble off course but is as sincere as it can be.  This has been a very rough year, and going forward I'm unsure how much time I will have for one of my favorite escapes, which is writing, and in turn, this blog. But it will stay up and always be here for me to add to when I am able or feel compelled to do so.  I'm still watching horror and enjoying all the genre has to offer, especially this time of year. Horror has always brought me great comfort, which I know sounds insane. But when I've had an exceptionally trying day or week, nothing brings me more comfort than throwing JAWS or FRIDAY THE 13th in the Blu Ray player and settling in with some tea or a hefty glass of straight-up bourbon. The familiarity of hearing the same lines and watching the same scenes I've seen dozens of times somehow makes me feel like all is right with the world. I can escape from all the worries of the day.  Being horror fans, many of you can relate to this I'm sure.

Many times over I've been asked what does horror mean to you? Well folks, that's it: comfort.  It's something I've been coming to since I was a youngster watching Godzilla movies on Saturday afternoon or reading Stephen King under the covers with a flashlight when I should have been sleeping on a school-night. It's the joy of the terrifying written word and the bliss of the scary story on the screen, be it big or small.

This blog has been around almost a decade of my life.
I used to take great pains and spent countless hours trying to post at least every few days and at the blog's most prolific point was sometimes posting daily. When I would skip several days it felt like something was missing. I likened it to being a movie or rock star, if you don't keep making movies or singing, they forget you. Sounds stupid but it's generally a true statement. I HAD to keep writing.

When I started out back in 2008, there were several of us horror bloggers in it at the same time, names I became familiar with soon advanced into friendships, many of which I still cherish and have to this day. It was fun times! But as the years pass fewer and fewer of my friends were still hanging in there and writing on a regular basis. Some got other horror gigs that occupied their time, some found other things in life that became more important, some got married or had kids and literally had no time, and some quit all together. Some moved on to writing books or screenplays, some are acting and directing. A few even tired of the genre all together.  I miss the camaraderie of guest posting on each other's blogs, chatting on AOL (there's me dating myself) about horror, of emails and Facebook messages and just getting to know each other as friends. One by one, a lot of the blogs from that era have closed up shop. And I get it, I absolutely get it. I love writing about horror and am grateful for the opportunities that this genre has provided me. First of all, it's made me a better writer, editing and proofreading and growing as a writer just came naturally after all these years. I was even able to write for publications such as Fangoria and Paracinema. I received free films and books in the mail to review, I've met authors I respect and admire. I've even been nominated for Rondo awards. But most of all I've made lasting friendships.  And I want to thank all those horror pals for all they've written in the past for my and countless others' enjoyment. You guys rock, and continue to do so. Love you.

The thing is, and I feel it is the same with many of the other friends of mine in the horror community, life gets in the way. It goes on. It pulls you in different directions and swirls with the unexpected challenges we're meant to face to make us better. Other things take up too much time and we find ourselves struggling to find a few hours just to WATCH a film, let alone review it. It can take so much of the joy out of watching when you end up trying to concentrate on everything you want to write in your review. It's nice to just simply enjoy a movie as the entertainment it is. And unless we're actually getting paid as we are in our real jobs, it just becomes less important to document every detail for the twenty people that read your blog on a daily basis. There is life out there folks, beyond the Wordpresses and Bloggers of the World Wide Web.  Would I like to make a living writing about horror? Sure, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want that. But with a 40+ hour a week medical management job filling my days, it's just not possible to expend the energy necessary to keep up. I applaud those who can, I really do, but I'm just too fucking tired. And hey, I've actually found time to read again! It was always so hard to finish a book because I'd lay it down for days at a time so I could write on the blog. RIF, kids! Reading is fun!

My writing cohort, Marie, has gotten married and started back to school, so she is finding it equally as difficult to keep pace with what the world throws her, leaving little to no time to contribute anything either. Like I said, life gets in the way, sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes totally planned.

And you know, at first I thought it made me a failure-- for not finding the time to post reviews or lists or even just a random "Sunday Bloody Sunday". I worried that others were moving on to more important things: writing books, making movies, contributing to big name horror sites - some of them even making money doing it.  And that's all fine. But then I finally realized I could only be ME. I am who I am.  I didn't really want to move to Hollywood and be a screenwriter. I've no desire to make movies. I don't want to talk about the latest Funko horror toy to the masses. I don't even need to meet Kane Hodder or Robert Englund at the nearest convention to respect and appreciate their work. I just want to enjoy horror. To have that escape waiting for me at the end of a shitty day. To go to a horror flick on the third weekend and sit in a darkened theater alone - not to go to the crowded first weekend just to raise numbers. To sit quietly and read the new Stephen King novel without someone wanting me to hurry and critique it.
Life is too short not to just love yourself and do whatever the hell makes you happy.

So for now, please forgive the brevity of the posts coming at you this month. And enjoy it, as it might be a while till my next offering.
Thanks so much for reading.


*Quote used for the title by none other than Stephen King. 

2 comments:

ShellHawk said...

I find myself in similar straits. There just isn't enough time in the day, or energy to make everything happen. I'm not 22 anymore, dammit, and I've been "spinning plates" for long enough that some are going to wobble, fall, and break. I'm trying to be OK with that.

Bottom line, your mom is more important! While we'll miss you here, she needs you most, and for you to be there for her now is top priority.

Hugs from afar, Sister in Horror!

Wes said...

I've just discovered this excellent blog in the last few days and I'm looking forward to exploring. My own blog started off as a review site as well, inspired by the likes of Video Watchdog and Mondo Digital but I grew tired of it for all those sensible reasons you mentioned in your post. What started off as an amusing experiment to pass an afternoon took on an unruly life of its own and I devoted far too much time analyzing film rather than enjoying it, just so I could turn in an interesting review on the blog. The whole thing became a chore.

I considered pulling the plug on it, but not wanting 4 years of work to slip into the sea, I simply decided to have fun with the blog and make it a catch-all for all my interests, not simply Horror or Exploitation Cinema, but music, books, art, design, photography and so on. The amount of people who visit my blog could still comfortably fit into a telephone booth but these days I'm not so burdened as I once was by weight of expectations after posting something.

Someone recently mentioned on Facebook that the golden age of blogging has had its day, that blogs are curling up like autumn leaves and with that in mind I've decided to take more time to visit all those hard workin' blogs, and leave feedback, get involved, let someone know that there's another voice out there in the dark who appreciates their strange and mysterious need to write...