Articles, Blog

Savouring The Tears In The Writer

tears in the writer source: claudia dea
Photo: Claudia Dea @Flickr

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

― Robert Frost

This famous quote has pushed many an aspiring writer to improve their work. It is a perennial piece of writing advice, simply because it’s true: you can’t impart on others what you don’t feel yourself. Even a liar must be convinced of his own lie if he is to persuade others to believe it. And what are fiction writers but professional liars?

A convincing story is delightful because it feels real. But that conviction comes at a price – for both the writer and the reader.

Articles, Blog

Taming Dragons: Jealousy

Our dragons lurk in the darkest parts of our mind, heart and soul. They go by many names, take on many different forms. But while they may be fearsome and dangerous, they needn’t be our enemies. Today’s dragon is called: Jealousy.

jealousy taming dragons
Photo: Carlos Andres Reyes @Flickr

We all know how those birthday parties go. Someone asks: “So, how is business going these days?” and immediately your cousin tells about their new car, that promotion they got, and the tour through South-East Asia they will be going on next month.

You listen, dreading the moment they will ask: “And how about you?” Because your car is ten years old, you’ve had to put in extra shifts to increase your wages this month, and your summer holiday will be a camping trip.

Your innards churn, your throat constricts. “Why them, and not me?” whines a voice in the back of your head. Life isn’t treating you badly. Not at all, and you know it. Still, you feel sick at heart.

That is Jealousy for you. She is a vicious dragon, but you needn’t put up with her antics.

Articles, Blog

Omnipresent Ghosts: Even Your House Is Haunted

ghosts and hauntings
Ghosts and hauntings are like climate change. The facts that indicate its existence are omnipresent, and denying them won’t make it go away.

When it comes to subjects we don’t understand, humans are a cowardly species. We rather deny the existence of elephants entirely than acknowledge the one in the room with us.

So it is with ghosts. Even so, chances are that while you read this, one is reading over your shoulder.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Hauntings are more common than you think. Once you learn how to recognise their presence, ghosts are every bit as apparent as elephants.

Articles, Blog

The Monsters You Never Recognise

Dark Monsters - Frenchy25 via Flickr

Picture yourself in a dark alley. There, in the shadows, the glint of bloody jaws. Something moves, its disfigured limbs crawling too fast to be natural. What is that?  You freeze, back up. Then, nothing. Did you imagine it? You listen, you watch, until you see something in the corner of your eye and—!

What makes monster stories so appealing? And why are we so inapt to recognise those very monsters in real life?  

Articles, Blog

Of Love Stories And Corrupted Fairy Tales

Guest Post by Cael Kalbrandt

Today, all across the globe we herald Valentine’s Day in a splash of crass commercialism. A perfect opportunity to share some little-known details about the origin of romantic love stories.

Prepare to have your pink bubble burst.

love stories cael kalbrandt valentine's day

The Roots of Love

Our trip into history takes us back to Europe in the 12th and 13th century AD. This is the time in which the stories of King Arthur appeared: the heydays of noble knights, fair ladies, minstrels, and the celebration of platonic devotion to one’s One True Love. The time of courtly love at its purest.

Or so we like to believe. A closer study of aforementioned minstrels crashes that party but good.