Friday the 13th

Although for many the thought of Friday the 13th brings to mind that of a serial killer wielding a hockey mask (talk about branding there), for others this day, often considered unlucky, is the day when innocent animals are tortured due to their coloring, and sacrificed on homemade altars.

For me, well, this day is another one that I look forward to. It’s not a holiday, per se, but it is a day when we enjoy darker themes in fiction, movies, and multimedia. I’d even say that it is a day when we embrace the darkness (but those  who trade in stocks might just notice a lower yield, which is known as the Friday the 13th Effect).

But what about the history of this day? Why are we so superstitious?

I scoured the internet to find the origins, and found three interesting sites for you to check out.

  • According to Snopes: „The reasons why Friday came to be regarded as a day of bad luck have been obscured by the mists of time — some of the more common theories link it to a significant event in Christian tradition said to have taken place on Friday, such as the Crucifixion, Eve’s offering the apple to Adam in the Garden of Eden, the beginning of the Great Flood, or the confusion at the Tower of Babel.“
  • Continuing on that note, the National Geographer makes a point that it could lie with an ingrain fear of the number 13, called  triskaidekaphobia, And in reference to said number, „The taboo against the number 13 spread with Christianity and into non-Christian areas, noted Phillips Stevens, Jr., an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Buffalo in New York.“It became extremely widespread through the Euro-American world, embedded in culture, [and] extremely persistent,“ he said.
  • On the DeutscheWelle site, they have a great article that provides a little more reasoning behind this. The fear of the number 13 has spawned many things including the missing 13th floors in hotels, the 13 Club (where if 13 are together no one can die), the Norse Myth of Loki, to even changing language to depict the madness that the number 13 can bring with it (for example, the German expression, Jetzt schlägt’s dreizehn — which means now the 13th hour has come,“ refers to something surprising or maddening.)

I learn something new everyday! So, happy to share all of this. Well, for me, I choose to embrace the 13th (and I just might have to adopt the German expression).

If you’re looking for something to read, feel free to check out these new mysteries.

What does it cost to be a writer?

This past weekend, I was happy to be a part of the Written Word Festival for Chesterfield County, and in doing that, I had the opportunity to meet so many aspiring and novice writers. They exuded so much energy and had hopes for their future, but there was one thing that bogged them all down: not finishing their story.

It’s too simple to say that writers write. We do more than that. We bleed on the page. Our tears are sacrifices to the gods to breathe life into mere figments of our imaginations. We sweat and bear within our bones the cinder to start a spark — through our words we convey emotions and hopes — and if we are lucky, at the end of a story, we’ve entertained.

But to be a writer, it still comes down to the task of writing. It doesn’t matter on the genre, the beats, the tropes or themes used. Nor does it matter if one is successful or not, for success is not a standard but an achievement based on perception.

Writing a book is no small feat. Hours spent in front of a glaring monitor, and as life in this world continues on, we reveal to the world that which we understand behind closed doors, and in the recesses of our minds. Each word put upon the paper reveals a little more about us, the authors, and each scene carries a little of our souls.

So, at the conclusion of our greatest tome, we do a jig and wait, hoping that our imaginary friends will play with the reader, and that they will enjoy the tales that we’ve crafted. We stand there metaphorically naked, and bask in that it means to have accomplished a dream, but also to be on display.

For the books  we’ve created carry pieces of our souls; our heartbeats, our dreams and goals. Each character represents a part of us, through the darkened glasses often colored in varying tints.

What does it cost to be a writer? Writers write, but we do more than that — we tap into human emotion and offer an escape for the wearied soul. We teach — through hours spent doing research, and entertain. We counsel, console, and introduce concepts. We create bridges to cultures, and people, humanizing them in an often inhumane world. We reveal the nuggets of truth, and at the end, if we’ve done our jobs correctly, we’ve inspired someone, and made their lives a little bit better, a little bit brighter, a little bit more enjoyable.

This calling of writing is no easy task. It is filled with its own struggles, self-doubt and negativity, but it is knowing that our words have power that make writing such a great responsibility and reward.

I write because  I can’t imagine a world without stories, and I love the research. So, if you want to be a writer, the first thing you need to do is just simply, write; place your butt in your chair, and finish your story.

Monday Magic: All about the research

Today, I’m starting a new blog series about my research. I’m quite hands on, and to help make A Dragon’s Destiny pack a punch, I wanted to make sure toe include some church history. Don’t worry — what’s coming up is not a sermon, but some interesting facts from Church History and how magic was regarded in the Middle Ages.

„Monday Magic: All about the research“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: A Taboo — Cannabalism

WARNING: Welcome to this month’s Murderer’s Market column.This post deals with the topic of cannibalism. If you are squeamish, don’t read any further.taste like chicken

This is not my usual in-depth post, in that I was very much grossed out by the topic. If anything, it is a cursory introduction to the topic. Recently, I was asked to dive into the topic of cannibalism. We’ve all heard tales from New Guinea, of tribal wars and losing tribe members being cannibalized, and even about those who’ve thought to immortalize their victims through the eating of their opponent’s flesh. There are several different forms of cannibalism, as to the reasoning behind the practice. Today, I’m diving into the topic of the sexual paraphilia of cannibalism, called Erotophonophilia. „Murderer’s Market: A Taboo — Cannabalism“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: Understanding Psychopathy

BrainDuring an interview, Ted Bundy, a notorious serial killer and necrophiliac, once said, “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.”

I am fascinated by what creates monsters, and today, murderer’s market delves into the darkness, in hopes of understanding it.

During a conversation at a brunch this past weekend, I had the opportunity to discuss psychopathy, and all though all psychopaths or those suffering from psychopathy are not murderers, I find that giving my characters true characteristics and traits, helps to create three-dimensional characters. As such, when I write, I try to create well-rounded characters that speak, and it is then necessary to understand my character’s traits and personality, or it can turn into a gazelle being trapped with a lion type of situation. „Murderer’s Market: Understanding Psychopathy“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: Psychic Driving — Falling Prey to the Puppeteer

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The lengths people have gone through to control the human mind, and the experiments and torture many have experienced under the name of research is heartbreaking. Many have been manipulated from within, where their thoughts are not their own.

In doing research for my latest work-in-progress, and in my desire to not repeat myself, I’ve been looking at experimental psychiatry, and specifically brainwashing. „Murderer’s Market: Psychic Driving — Falling Prey to the Puppeteer“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: Not One More — Why are spree killings exploding around us?

Welcome to this month’s Murderer’s Market, and today, we’re dealing with the topic of spree killings. As a crime fiction writer, I’m peeling back the curtain on some of my research to share with you. Come along for the ride as we delve into this dangerous topic.

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The ever increasing aggressiveness of mankind against each other rocks daily headlines, as individuals fall victim to spree killers, who snuff out their lives often with little to no prodding, as if human life has such little worth. Why are we suffering from an extraordinary amount of spree killings?

This question has plagued me over these last few days, and while my fingers have done many searches and I’ve listened to a multitude of data, there doesn’t seem to be a clear and concise answer. „Murderer’s Market: Not One More — Why are spree killings exploding around us?“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: Stalking (and Talking to the Dead)

Before contemplating creating this post, I sent out requests for stalking victims to share their personal tales with me.The stories provided me with a simple glimpse into the normal everyday things that can serve as springboards of when adoration leads to obsession. I was surprised at how easy  things began between the stalker and victim and also encouraged by how these victims regained their freedom.

“When I met him, I was with a group of girls, and he offered to buy me a drink. His smile lit up his handsome face, and that night, we hit it off. But, although for me, it was something casual, for him, it was so much more.” –M.

What is stalking? „Murderer’s Market: Stalking (and Talking to the Dead)“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: Talking to the Dead

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Many consider Halloween to be the Day of the Dead; a day when the spirit world reaches over into our realities, having another chance to touch the living. Many believe that a spirit board is needed to talk to them. Yet, for me, Halloween is every day. I talk to dead to solve real life mysteries.

When I first began my career, I was stunned by the mountainous loads of paperwork. Part of my job required me to look through the files, to scrutinize every page, letter and outline. But there is one thing you never forget – the Xeroxed image of a deceased on a slab; lifeless, brutalized and often staring into the beyond.

Gruesome images of causes of death combined with detailed images of autopsies, I learned to stomach it all. For with the cause of death before me, I can then begin working backwards to locate the truth regarding the assumed culprit. „Murderer’s Market: Talking to the Dead“ weiterlesen

Murderer’s Market: Don’t be a kidnapping opportunity

e2804-picturesfromcanonpowershot137The statistics of crime are staggering, and often we hear of women being sexually assaulted, taken from one location to another to be defiled. Today’s Murderer’s Market is going to provide you with the tips you need to stay safe, and hopefully aware of the predators among us.

I am addicted to crime television. Maybe it’s because I don’t get enough fodder from my everyday world. Yet, when I am analyzing case law, reviewing the facts surrounding violent crimes or attempting to assess a matter for further investigation, I must not only scrutinize the named perpetrator’s statements, but also the evidence as provided, and keep in mind that of the how the crime occurred.

Recently, while watching Investigation Discovery a case hit too close to home. A young woman was attacked and kidnapped while shopping at a store. In broad daylight, she was taken. Unfortunately, and tragically, she did not survive this attack. „Murderer’s Market: Don’t be a kidnapping opportunity“ weiterlesen