Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Women in Horror Month

Welcome to February and Women in Horror Month.

I will tell you a little bit about me. Growing up, my mother was a huge fan of the show Dark Shadows. I'd come home from school, and we'd watch it together. On Saturdays, it was Chiller Theater, with old Hammer films and movies loosely based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe.

As I got older, she'd let me read her paperbacks from Stephen King and Peter Straub.

I cannot speak for everyone, but horror just makes sense to me. How, you ask? Taking ordinary people and putting them in peril, what could be better? Of course there aren't any monsters under the bed (right?), but what would you do if there were...

That's always been the question for me. As I got older, I wanted to make up my own stories, too. I wasn't a boy like Poe, and King, and the rest, but as I read more from people like mary Shelly and Anne Rice, I realized I didn't have to be.

And this is the important idea behind Women in Horror Month, Black History Month, and all the others. Yes, in a perfect world, we shouldn't need these things, but we need the reminder that 1) you don't have to be a white guy to make art, or anything else, and 2) everyone, and I mean everyone, benefits when more people of different backgrounds joins the party.

I'll get into this more as the month progresses. Feel free to jump in, but remember to play nice.

For the month of February, I'll be posting my thoughts on women, writers, and horror, both as an author in the genre and as a life-long horror fan.

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N. M. Scuri

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Joyous Holidays!

Please join me in 2017. In the meantime, I hope your holiday season is filled with love, laughter, and peace.


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N. M. Scuri

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Writing. Life.

Life can be, well, unsettling. From world events, to the private battles each of us fight, even day to day existence can be a challenge.

One of the great, I want to say super, powers of writing is the ability it has of taking us to a different time and place. As Uncle Stevie te4lls us "books are a portable magic." They allow us to imagine a life of a daredevil British secret agent, or a queen in the middle ages, all without leaving our seat in a doctor's waiting room.

It can also let us examine the issue we deal with on a day to day basis. Literature allows us to look at conflict at a distance. Because it is happening to a made up character in a made up scenario, we can examine events more objectively. In doing so, we can work through them.

What books let you get away from it all? What helps you pull yourself together? Let me know in the comments.

In the name of logistics, I'll be updating up my NaNoWriMo word count and regaling you with my adventures once a week here. Want to follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo page? Join me here.
Want the latest news on +TwoSentence Horrors+N. M. Scuri, and +byron rempel? Sign up for your weekly newsletter here or subscribe to N. M. Scuri's weekly newsletter for all things writing and editing, including upcoming live workshops and editing consultations here.
N. M. Scuri

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Is Your Life Feeding Your Art?

We love writing (for the most part). maybe we don't love writing all the time, but when the writing is good, that can make for a happy day.

It's easy to get wrapped up in the writing-as-lifestyle trap. Past the workshops, writer's groups, and other trappings, we can get caught up in the idea that life is little more than the fodder for art. "How can I use this in my novel?" shouldn't be the first thing that pops into your head when something happens.

Get outside. Stay in the moment. Be present.

The right things will show up for your stories all by themselves.

In the name of logistics, I'll be updating up my NaNoWriMo word count and regaling you with my adventures once a week here. Want to follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo page? Join me here.
Want the latest news on +TwoSentence Horrors+N. M. Scuri, and +byron rempel? Sign up for your weekly newsletter here or subscribe to N. M. Scuri's weekly newsletter for all things writing and editing, including upcoming live workshops and editing consultations here.
N. M. Scuri

Monday, November 7, 2016

How to Be Uninvited This Thanksgiving: The Election Day Edition

I cannot wait to see the tail end of this presidential election season. I have seen the disintegration of friendships. I have seen families stop speaking to each other. I have seen couples break up over party allegiances.

Now, I do not support hate, bigotry, or any other type of asshat behavior. I also don't really care who you want to win.

This post is about writing. And about truth.

For writing to come off the page and interact with the reader, it has to be real. I'm not talking about the details. I don't care if your brother was named Tony or Steve. That doesn't really matter. What matters is the anger you felt when he stole your girlfriend from you when you were 17, just because he could, and he always wanted what you had, even if he threw it away 5 minutes later.

The feelings, the stuff underneath the details, has to be true. That can make people uncomfortable.

Go go back to our elections for a moment. A lot of the anger I'm seeing that is not directed towards our candidates is based on our disappointment in the other person. Who knew that Uncle Robert was such a racist? How could Suzie be OK with such a liar? We're seeing things in other people that aren't in line with our beliefs and reacting accordingly.

So what does this have to do with writing?

Our job as artists is to get past the facade and get to the real issue of a situation. As we've discussed, that can make people uncomfortable, especially if they see themselves in the story, even if that was never the intention of the artist. The closer the person is, the more likely they are to react based on their perceptions.

You cannot control this, and you cannot let it stop you.

Mind, this is not carte blanche to be a self-centered jerk.

This is simply a reminder that not everyone will react as you expect. Do what is true, and keep going.

And vote.

In the name of logistics, I'll be updating up my NaNoWriMo word count and regaling you with my adventures once a week here. Want to follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo page? Join me here.
Want the latest news on +TwoSentence Horrors+N. M. Scuri, and +byron rempel? Sign up for your weekly newsletter here or subscribe to N. M. Scuri's weekly newsletter for all things writing and editing, including upcoming live workshops and editing consultations here.
N. M. Scuri

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Are You a Professional?

Art is a weird thing.

Many of my creative friends tell me how angry they get when someone has no problem with asking for free art/writing/music/photography. They argue, and rightly, that on one would dream of going into the office of a doctor or lawyer and asking for free services (but think of the exposure...), so why do people think it's OK for other professionals.

It's not, of course.

Unfortunately, we cannot always change the mindset of those around us, but we can control our thoughts and actions. If we want to be seen as professionals, we need to think and act more like professionals.

So what do professionals do?

One thing they do is show up. They show up when it's time to study. They show up when it's time to practice. They show up when it's time to work.

Not when they feel like it. Not when the spirit moves them.

Another thing they do is look for mentors, teachers, and feedback.

They know that when they get constructive criticism, it doesn't mean they are bad or wrong, only that they can get better.

What would you add to this list? Does the professional mindset help or hinder the arts?

Let me know in the comments.

In the name of logistics, I'll be updating up my NaNoWriMo word count and regaling you with my adventures once a week here. Want to follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo page? Join me here.

Want the latest news on +TwoSentence Horrors+N. M. Scuri, and +byron rempel? Sign up for your weekly newsletter here or subscribe to N. M. Scuri's weekly newsletter for all things writing and editing, including upcoming live workshops and editing consultations here.
N. M. Scuri

Saturday, November 5, 2016

If You're Going Through Hell...

It's been an interesting week. I thought I had my story idea set, but I didn't. I thought I had my schedule down, but I didn't. I thought I didn't have to worry about my electronics. Well, I'm sure you can figure out how that went.

Despite that, I'm at just over 2,000 words, not counting today's writing. Certainly not great, but I'm moving. And as the old saying goes, you're still running a better race than the guy on the couch.

I'm going to look at where I am and what I have, adjust my plan, and keep moving.

How are you doing? Let me know.


In the name of logistics, I'll be updating up my NaNoWriMo word count and regaling you with my adventures once a week here. Want to follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo page? Join me here.
Want the latest news on +TwoSentence Horrors+N. M. Scuri, and +byron rempel? Sign up for your weekly newsletter here or subscribe to N. M. Scuri's weekly newsletter for all things writing and editing, including upcoming live workshops and editing consultations here.
N. M. Scuri