Stephen King

My Kyrosmagica Review of Horns by Joe Hill

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

My review:

I began reading Horns after James Fahy Author tagged me on Instagram:  #backofthebook – Horns Joe Hill.

Horns is one of those books that captures your attention right from the  start in a spectacular way. The main protagonist Ig, wakes up after a night of drunken debauchery with more than a mighty hangover. He finds a set of horns attached to his head, and these act like antennae giving him the ability to coerce people to tell him their darkest, most deeply hidden secrets. Time and time again the result is unequivocally shocking, making the reader reel at the depths to which people will have a hidden dark side. It makes us question just how much we really know our dear neighbours, friends, and family, who we love so much. Undoubtedly, we are all flawed human beings even the ones amongst us who we look up to  are  wretched sinners.

Horns is in part a love story, a tragic one, as Ig’s girlfriend, Merrin has been raped and murdered, and Ig is the prime suspect. Through the antennae effect, we get to learn the true reaction of his family, friends and the community to his possible culpability.

Horns isn’t easy reading and at times I definitely flinched. But it’s one of those books that draws you in and keeps you reading even though you want to look away. The villain is well crafted and engagingly horrible.  If you have a phobia of snakes I don’t recommend you read this novel! It will give you nightmares!

The faster pacing of the earlier chapters gives way to a slower mid section that explores Ig’s relationship with his long-term girlfriend Merrin, who by all accounts is his soul mate, the love of his life. Given her importance to the narrative, this weightier middle section is understandable but does slow down the pace of the novel somewhat.

There is a reveal with regard to Merrin which ties some of the loose threads together in a very interesting way. But I am still a bit unsure about the ending…. perhaps this is a novel that would benefit from a second reading. I did feel that the ‘happier’ ending didn’t quite fit with the rest of the book, but I wonder if it was added as a device to make it less grim and more marketable – particularly with regard to a potential film contract – the film was released in 2014.

I’d definitely read more from Joe Hill, and it’s not just because he’s Stephen King’s son! This is ‘my first,’ Joe Hill novel. With this introduction, I can see that he weaves a wonderfully enthralling tale that explores the darker side of humanity, which continues to fascinate me.

Would I recommend Horns? Yes, most definitely but only if you like novels that explore the darker, murkier side of life.

My rating: 4.5 stars.

Bye for now,

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My Kyrosmagica Review of Stephen King’s Revival

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe. 

My review: 

Revival is without doubt a very good read –  it’s bound to be – but somehow it falls a tiny bit short of a great read which is a bit of a disappointment for a Stephen King novel. Of course there is wonderful writing a plenty, particularly with regard to first love, loss, heartbreak, and death, but the slow middle section makes the narrative drag a little. The conclusion’s on the right track but ends up being so bizarre, (even though I could see what King was trying to say,) that I couldn’t quite take it on board at first reading. The ending benefits from a second reading if you can stomach it!  I’ve read through various reviews debating the final conclusion – what lies beyond death – a lot of readers found the ending pretty disturbing. In my opinion it kind of is, (nobody wants this outcome to be the truth,) and isn’t, because it’s verging on being too fantastical, talk about tripping! I expect that’s the point…. the final trip… electricity style!

Overall, I’d say do read Revival but be aware that it might or might not reach your exultantly high moon struck King expectations. If you have an addictive personality this book is for you! Reactions vary.  Nevertheless, Revival is certainly an entertaining read, portraying the main protagonist’s journey from childhood,  and youth to middle age, in a heady eclectic mix of music, (Jamie’s years playing guitar in a band,) family life, religion, love, sex, and loss, and Jamie’s downfall into drugs.  As well as addictive drugs we are introduced to pastor Charlie Daniel’s obsession  with electricity, his moving away from the church (after his young family die, in horrible circumstances – this is the pivotal point that shapes the story,)  resulting in his experimentation into the darker side of electricity, (with side effects that would make prescription drugs look pretty lame,) until he commits the ultimate terrible act against nature, and God.

I particularly enjoyed the dark humour reflections on getting older… just check these quotes and you’ll see what I mean:

“The three true ages of man are youth, middle age, and how the fuck did I get old so soon?”

“On the way home I remembered a bit of old folklore about how to boil a frog. You put it in cold water, then start turning up the heat. If you do it gradually, the frog is too stupid to jump out. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I decided it was an excellent metaphor for growing old.”

“When I was a teenager, I looked at over-fifties with pity and unease: they walked too slow, they talked too slow, they watched TV instead of going out to movies and concerts, their idea of a great party was hotpot with the neighbors and tucked into bed after the eleven o’clock news. But—like most other fifty-, sixty-, and seventysomethings who are in relative good health—I didn’t mind it so much when my turn came. Because the brain doesn’t age, although its ideas about the world may harden and there’s a greater tendency to run off at the mouth about how things were in the good old days.”

See what I mean, King really does understand how the body ages but the brain stays forever young. Cruel or what?

Music outlives us all…. see this quote and you’ll know what I mean…

“Music matters,” he told me once. “Pop fiction goes away, TV shows go away, and I defy you to tell me what you saw at the movies two years ago. But music lasts, even pop music. Especially pop music. Sneer at ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ if you want to, but people will still be listening to that silly piece of shit fifty”

My rating:

A difficult one to rate, on first reading – 4 stars. Might benefit from a second reading – the more I think about this one the more it intrigues me!

Have you read Revival? What did you think of it? Are you a fan of Stephen King?

Bye for now,

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday & BeWow: Editing

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It’s been a while since I joined in Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday & Ronovan’s BeWow. I have a pretty good excuse as I have been editing my manuscript getting it ready for self publishing. With that in mind I’d like to do some quotes about this process. Editing is the hardest part of writing for me, the ideas flow fairly easily whilst getting the story down on paper but the editing is fraught with difficulties.

“There Are Two Typos Of People In This World: Those Who Can Edit And Those Who Can’t”
Jarod Kintz, There are Two Typos of People in This World: Those Who Can Edit and Those Who Can’t   

Perhaps that’s me! I’m that typo person….

I just find it so time consuming. A prison of my own neuroticism so to speak:

“While writing is like a joyful release, editing is a prison where the bars are my former intentions and the abusive warden my own neuroticism.”
Tiffany Madison

It gets to the stage when I just don’t want to look at my work any more, I’ve had enough, my  heart is bleeding, and I’m leaping over the precipice…

“Edit your manuscript until your fingers bleed and you have memorized every last word. Then, when you are certain you are on the verge of insanity…edit one more time!”
C.K. Webb

Don’t even begin to mention the word grammar to me…. this one will make you laugh!

“Making love to me is amazing. Wait, I meant: making love, to me, is amazing. The absence of two little commas nearly transformed me into a sex god.
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Dark Jar Tin Zoo, Love Quotes for the Ages. Specifically Ages 19-91.

Sometimes you get to the point when you are doing more harm than good. Your stories start to play hide and seek with you.

I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me.”
Jeanne Voelker

And never mind editing in your pyjamas it can have unknown effects on your underwear.

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”
Patricia Fuller

I’m not sure about this breeding lark, Dr. Seuss really must have been in the grips of editing torment when he wrote this:

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
Dr. Seuss

Yes, its making me want to kill someone… those words on the page are about to be machine gunned…

Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

So today I’m taking a well deserved break, phew, and sharing some wonderful quotes with you about editing from some incredible authors, because I need that little spur to keep on going…. to push through the pain…

My favourite has to be this wonderful quote from Stephen King:

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“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft   

My forest is beginning to appear… it sure looks different than when I started!

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I do hope that these wonderful quotes will inspire you to push through the editing process to reach your final goal, if like me you are editing your manuscript.. Keep on going…. big smiles…

Do join in with Colleen’s WQW and Ronovan’s BeWow here are their links:

http://silverthreading.com/2016/02/24/writersquotewednesday-bewow-victor-hugo/

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/10-respect-quotes/

Bye for now, hope you liked my trio of trees that I photographed and edited from my previous post. Yes, even photos have to be edited sometimes….

 

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https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

 

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge #72: Life and Give

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This week Ron’s words are Life and Give. I was struggling with these two words but this morning I had a eureka moment, which was quite strange considering I had a few too many glasses of wine last night and I didn’t expect to wake up full of ideas! Amazingly I didn’t have a hangover, in fact I felt quite clear headed, strange indeed. I made myself a cup of tea and then I looked at my birthday cards sitting by the windowsill, and my friend Christine’s card caught my eye, with these cheeky words:

“The Older you Get The Better You Get Unless you Are A Banana.”
www.urbangraphic.co.uk

Typical Christine she likes to have a giggle! Well I’m grateful for her funny card reminding me that I’m getting on a bit, as it has given me an idea for this week’s haiku words, Give And Life. Her card is very appropriate too as I happen to love bananas, but having said that there is nothing quite as unappealing as an overripe banana. This squirrel knows he’s munching away at a very tasting looking banana, but could it be his last banana? Do any of us know when our time will come? So enjoy every mouthful of life that’s what I say, don’t just nibble half hearteningly go at it with a big bite!

 

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Banana Love

Give me one big bite
Before your jaws clench honey
Adios sweet life

Poor squirrel I hope I didn’t knock him off his happy munching spot, he looks pretty healthy so I’m sure he will munch his way through many more tasty bananas.

The next haiku is not cheery in nature perhaps its the result of my reading The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King, my current read.

If you’re interested in writing a short story here’s a link to the Stephen King Guardian Short Story Competition, closing date is 18th December, 2015.

 http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/oct/30/stephen-king-short-fiction-competition-send-us-your-stories

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Car of death

I can’t embrace life

This car gives death bites

I’m a murderer.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

My mind really does work in mysterious ways! All this from a birthday card, it’s amazing where inspiration can take you to, so keep an eye out for those unexpected sources lingering everywhere.

Here’s the links to Ronovan’s blog to join in the haiku fun:

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-72-lifegive/

And his excellent advice on how to write a haiku, I like to refer to this from time to time to refresh my memory:

https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/how-to-write-a-haiku-poem/

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving

Here in the UK we don’t celebrate this which seems a bit of a shame to me as I love any excuse to celebrate and to eat a hearty dinner! Enjoy your turkey, save me some pumpkin pie, have a wonderful time, and thereafter the very next day don’t forget that it’s Black Friday, shopping day, for those on the look out for bargains.

My two main things to be thankful for at the moment are my new job working at John Lewis (this means I won’t be out shopping on Black Friday as I’ll be working,) so I’ll have some spare cash for Christmas, and for book marketing/book cover design in the New Year.  Also I have heard back from Hilary Johnson Author Advisory service, they have made some wonderful suggestions regarding my manuscript so now I can take some of these ideas, and get editing…. At last, I feel that I have some direction, and know what to do next. That’s definitely something to feel thankful for.

So a tip, if you need some advice about your manuscript do try Hilary Johnson, don’t procrastinate for ever like I did. Here’s the link to find out more: http://www.hilaryjohnson.com/

So I am going to be a very busy bee, or should I say partner, that’s what John Lewis call their employees!

Have a fun packed Thanksgiving.

 

Bye for now, I’m off to put my feet up and read a book.

My current read is Stephen King’s The Bazaar of Bad Dreams!! I shall be telling you all about that soon, I just hope it doesn’t give me bad dreams tonight, there is a particularly vicious car in the short story collection which I don’t like the sound of one little bit! That car is hungry…. just make sure you aren’t its next dinner!!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

All About Writer’s Groups Plus On-Line Writing Resources

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I found this quote on Pixabay and it seemed oddly appropriate to my intention today which is to share with you some information and advice about joining a writer’s group, and to inform you about Virginia Bergin’s forthcoming scheduled talk at Cambridge Writers, in December, debut author of sci-fi, apocalyptic/dystopian horror-thrillers, The Rain, and The Storm.

Writing Tip: Don’t wait for the storm to pass, don’t wait for the writer’s groups and opportunities to come to you, go out and find them, even if it is pouring with rain and you’d rather stay in and watch telly! Go out, switch the telly off, learn new skills, discover new friends, dance in the rain if need be, sample all there is on offer!!

I am very fortunate, as there are several Writer’s groups here in Cambridge. I joined Cambridge Writers over two years ago, and I’m so glad that I did, I have found it a wonderful source of help and support.  I’m coordinator of the Children’s Writing Group, and the go to person if you’d like to find out more about the group: http://www.cambridgewriters.net/members/51_marjorie_mallon

So with this in mind I’d like to share with you my twelve reasons why I think it is important to join a writer’s group.

Reasons why you should join a Writer’s group:

  1. It enables you to meet with and share ideas with other writers on a regular basis.
  2. There are often special evenings with visiting authors coming to discuss their novels/writing.
  3. As well as this you might find there are discussion sessions on particular topics which may be of interest to you.
  4. You will meet with a wide range of people, this is a certainty, writers tend to be an interesting bunch of people!
  5. It tends to be a supportive environment, with more experienced writers, (some of whom have been published,) giving invaluable advice and help to new writers.
  6. Yes, Positive criticism is offered, but it will be done in a way that is constructive and helpful rather than upsetting and demotivating.
  7. You have the joy of reading out your masterpiece in front of a small select audience of fellow writers who listen attentively and then pass comment.
  8. No 7. may sound a bit daunting. I have to confess this was a bit scary the first time I read out my story  but you will soon find that it doesn’t bother you anymore. It is such a confidence building exercise!
  9. Often there are differing groups which you can attend, depending on the size of the writer’s group. Cambridge Writers caters for poets, writers of long prose, short prose, travel writing, and children’s writing. You may try forms of writing that you have never tried before, in my case I am now finding myself drawn to short prose, travel writing, and I’ve even written a few pieces of poetry!
  10. There are all sorts of ways to get involved, in my case I have taken over as coordinator of the children’s writing group. In my new role as coordinator I have been able to use my social media contacts to find a speaker for the next author’s event, Virginia Bergin debut author of The Rain,  and The Storm is coming to speak at Cambridge Writers on Tuesday 1st December:  http://virginiabergin.com/
  11. It is fun! You will meet new friends, drink lots of tea and coffee, consume a ridiculous amount of biscuits, cakes, and crisps, and might even go to the pub afterwards!
  12. It is far better than watching the telly, if you join I promise that you will never be bored again! Boredom what is that?
If you are in the vicinity of Cambridge, do come along to meet Virginia. Here’s a link to find out more: http://www.cambridgewriters.net/meetings
As well as this we are also very fortunate to have a wonderful script writing group in Cambridge that you can get involved in if drama is your thing. I have been along to this a few times and sampled what they have to offer and have to say I was very impressed. I even had a go at some acting, which was such fun: http://www.writeon.org.uk/

There are also a plethora of on-line writing groups too, one that comes to mind is Rachael Ritchey’s Weekly Writing Blog Battle.  I’d definitely recommend this friendly bunch of Blog Battlers, do join in the fun:  http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Esther Newton is a writing tutor that I met with in person this August at the Bloggers Bash event in London. She has a great blog with lots of writing prompts, a weekly writing challenge, and writing competitions, and markets for writers. Check out her current Flash competition, get your skates on if you want to join in, the deadline is this Sunday, 15th November: https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/flash-fiction-competition-2015/

Sacha Black, one of the principal organisers of the Bloggers Bash, also has Writespiration prompts, writing tips, and resources on her blog. Here’s the link to her current writespiration prompt:  http://sachablack.co.uk/2015/11/11/writespiration-66-2-sentence-horror-story/

Via Esther Newton and Sacha Black I found out about the Guardian Stephen King Short Fiction Competition, up to 4,000 words. The closing date for this competition is 18th December: http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/oct/30/stephen-king-short-fiction-competition-send-us-your-stories

Dan Alatorre offers a Flash Fiction Challenge which you can get involved in: http://danalatorre.com/2015/10/09/flash-fiction-challenge/comment-page-1/#comment-2547

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has a Friday Fictioneers event, a 100 words writing challenge: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers-2/

I’d recommend popping over to see The Secret Keeper’s wonderful blog and Writing challenges: http://thesecretkeeper.net/writing-challenges/

A flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch, this one has been recommended to me by fellow WordPress blogger Geoff at Tangental:  http://carrotranch.com/2014/11/06/flash-fiction-rules/

If you are inclined to writing poetry there are also lots of ways to get involved.  I’d recommend Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge : https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/category/haiku-prompt-challenge/

Ronovan is also starting a new prompt this Friday, Friday Fictions Challenge, I must be psychic!! Here’s the link to his blog to find out more about this too : https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/friday-fictions-challenge-1/

Also there are sites such as Wattpad, a free writing community for writers and readers: https://www.wattpad.com/

Describli, too, an online community “that uses writing prompts to spark creativity and connect readers and writers.”  https://describli.com/

And of course there is Nanowrimo, which I must confess I have never done!! One day perhaps, here’s the link to find out more about this online National Novel Writing Month: http://nanowrimo.org/

So what are you waiting for!!! No excuses there are lots of ways to get involved, either to start writing or to progress your writing.

No doubt numerous other bloggers offer word prompts and a range of ways to get involved, so if I haven’t mentioned you here and you would like to be on this list do leave a message in the comment field below, and I’ll add you too.

Hope you found this list of resources and advice helpful.

Bye for now, I’d love to hear from you!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

Stephen King, I write like him! A WIP of him!

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Absolutely agree with Stephen King’s quote. Books have this amazing quality about them, they transport us into another world, a world in which anything is possible. Well with this in mind, let me tell you about a bit of fun I had yesterday,  I posted the first few lines of my novel in this website: http://iwl.me/ I write Like.  My writing was analysed. I have to say I was astonished when the website matched me to Stephen King. One, I don’t write horror! There are scary bits in my book, and parts of it have frightened me. Though I am easily scared by my own writing.  I have too vivid an imagination not to be! This is a bit of a hazard. Two,  Stephen King is a legend, and I’m just well a bit of a work in progress, yes a WIP.

Anyway, I now have the I write like Stephen King badge, why not! Nice to collect a few honours!

http://iwl.me/b/b3a26720

So I thought I would share  some of my favourite Stephen King quotes with you:

“If you liked being a teenager, there’s something really wrong with you.”

(Oops, I loved being a teenager, what can I say?)

 

“A short story is a different thing all together – a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger.”  SkeletonCrew

(And a short story is so difficult to write! It kills me every time, the kiss of death.)

 

“The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.”  Night Shift

 

“Sometimes being a bitch is all a woman’s got to hold on to.” ― Stephen KingDolores Claiborne

 

“Humor is almost always anger with its make-up on.”― Stephen KingBag of Bones
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“Friends. They aren’t any such thing as good friend or bad friend. Maybe there are just friend. People who stand by you when you’re hurt and who helped you feel not so lonely. Maybe they are worth“Maybe there aren’t any such things as good friends or bad friends – maybe there are just friends, people who stand by you when you’re hurt and who help you feel not so lonely. Maybe they’re always worth being scared for, and hoping for, and living for. Maybe worth dying for too, if that’s what has to be. No good friends. No bad friends. Only people you want, need to be with; people who build their houses in your heart.”― Stephen KingIt
(I have a mega, enormous fascination with time, and so does Stephen King):
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“Time takes it all whether you want it to or not, time takes it all. Time bares it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again.”
“Time’s the thief of memory.”
– The Gunslinger.
(And I can identify with this Stephen King quote so much):
“I tend to scare myself.”― Stephen King

 

 

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“FEAR stands for fuck everything and run.”  Doctor Sleep

 

“High school isn’t a very important place. When you’re going you think it’s a big deal, but when it’s over nobody really thinks it was great unless they’re beered up.”― Stephen KingCarrie

 

“It’s strange how pain marks our faces, and makes us look like family.”― Stephen KingThe Green Mile

 

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“Calling it a simple schoolgirl crush was like saying a Rolls-Royce was a vehicle with four wheels, something like a hay-wagon. She did not giggle wildly and blush when she saw him, nor did she chalk his name on trees or write it on the walls of the Kissing Bridge. She simply lived with his face in her heart all the time, a kind of sweet, hurtful ache. She would have died for him..”― Stephen KingIt

 

“You want to remember that while you’re judging the book, the book is also judging you.”
― Stephen KingNight Shift

 

“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.”― Stephen KingDifferent Seasons

 

“If I have to spend time in purgatory before going to one place or the other, I guess I’ll be all right as long as there’s a lending library.”― Stephen King

 

“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”― Stephen King

 

“Reading a good long novel is in many ways like having a long and satisfying affair”― Stephen King

 

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want for nothing. He makes me lie down in the green pastures. He greases up my head with oil. He gives me kung-fu in the face of my enemies. Amen”― Stephen KingThe Stand

 

http://stephenking.com/

Oh and I found this fun Stephen King quiz: . http://www.shortlist.com/quizzes/stephen-king-quiz

Do you have a favourite Stephen King quote?  If so, do let me know in the comment box. 🙂

 

 

 

Writing is About Enrichment

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Writing Get Happy

 

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

I found this quote on the blog of ontheroadtoinkrichment, http://www.inkriched.wordpress.com, and it just sums it all up, doesn’t it?  The majority of us, just don’t make a sack of money from writing. There are exceptions of course. So why do we invest all the time and effort, if money isn’t our goal?

Enrichment. One simple but powerful word. It holds the word rich in its grasp, but means so much more.

 

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So on the subject of Enrichment let me share with you my road to enrichment! I have been practising Taoist Tai Chi for several years and it never ceases to amaze me how I am always learning something new. The original Tai Chi master of the group that I belong to, Master Moy Lin Shin, was a sickly youth, who was sent to a monastery, with ill-health.  There he trained in the teachings of the Earlier Heaven Wu-chi sect of the Hua Shan School of Taoism and regained his health. He studied the religious and philosophical side of Taoism and acquired knowledge and skills in Chinese martial arts. In 1949 Moy moved to Hong Kong, there he joined the Yuen Yuen Institute, in Tsuen Wan district in the New Territories, continued his education and became a Taoist monk.

Moy was sent overseas with a mission of spreading the understanding of Taoism and its practices. After some travel, he settled in Montreal, Canada, and in 1970 began teaching a small group of dedicated students. In those early days, Moy taught both the health and martial arts aspects of Tai Chi. Upon moving to one of Toronto’s “Chinatowns” a few years later, he changed his focus, emphasising the health and personal development aspects of Tai Chi, although Moy still placed a strong emphasis on Tai Chi push hands practice and sometimes demonstrated other self-defense aspects of Tai Chi as well.

Moy started with a standard Yang-style t’ai chi ch’uan form, and mixed in elements of other internal arts, and taught it to enable students to learn Lok Hup Ba Fa later. Moy called this modified form Taoist Tai Chi. Moy emphasized the non-competitive nature of his style of teaching and of the form.

A teacher of Taoist Tai Chi is asked to conform to and live by Moy’s

“Eight Heavenly Virtues”:

Sense of Shame
Honor
Sacrifice
Propriety
Trustworthiness
Dedication
Sibling Harmony
Filial piety

We are often told Master Moy’s life story at classes. One particular story remains with me. Master Moy
did not place much emphasis upon the importance of money, in fact he had very little. He would sometimes come to class with not enough money in his pockets for his bus fare back. His pupils would gladly give him money so he could get home.

He began practising Taoist Tai chi as a means to manage a severe health problem. He succeeded, and not only did he improve his ailing health but his legacy is an organisation that is now in multiple countries across the globe. His original Tai Chi set has been handed down, more or less in its original form, and teachers give their time for free, volunteering to teach pupils Tai Chi. There is a spirit of cooperation, and friendship, within the whole Taoist Tai Chi culture. I so admire this ideology and the selflessness of the instructors. This means that each local group works together doing the Tai Chi set as a team. As I said, Master Moy didn’t have much money but I expect he was happy and fulfilled. The older I get the less I think we really need. I know that some people may say, you have more than most, and I would say this is true, but I don’t believe that material things make us happy. All we really need are the basic things in life:  a roof over our head, enough food to eat,   and the knowledge that our families are safe, in good health and above all else enjoying a full, and happy life. Everything else seems immaterial.

 

Here are some links which you may find interesting:

Master Moy doing the Tai Chi Set:

http://www.taoist.org/about-us/our-founder/

Taoist Tai Chi Society of Great Britain, Canada, and USA:

http://www.taoist.org.uk/
http://www.taoist.org/canada/
http://www.taoist.org/usa/

Well, as you can see Stephen King is right, enrichment is the goal.  Oh and if you take up Tai Chi, and write, I can definitely say you will be happy! I know I am. Go for it!

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