“Looked in my laptop, what did I see?
A flashin’ message says Today Therapy”
-Jimmy Buffette, “Vampires, Mumies, and the Holy Ghost”

And so ends the first night in my week n’ a half of WRITING MADNESS. I finished reading the below mentioned (few posts down) interview with writer Alan Moore. Very interesting interview (lots of writing advice). Mr. Moore is a Brit writer who’d roughly the size of a yeti and looks roughly like Rob Zombie’s wet dream of himself. He had strange/fun things to say about writing…

“Language itself is such a fantastic phenomenon with it’s own fantastic history, you can get involved in writing to whatever depth you want, but the thing is that really you have to kind of remember the best way to do it, with all this that I’ve said about the dangers of madness, treat writing the way that you would treat a god. If you believed in such things, if you were going to devote yourself to a particular god, then that’s the best way to treat it. Treat it as if it’s not just some abstract idea of a god, treat it as if it was a real god that will maybe, if you do right by the god, will maybe grant all your wishes, will maybe lavish nothing but success and wonder upon you and, if you don’t do right by the god, will begin to fuck with you in ways you cannot even begin to imagine. Treat it like that, and you won’t go far wrong. In effect, that’s what you’re doing.”
-Alan Moore

Running has, in little bat winged increments that flutter at the ear, evolved into something that is less about me getting in shape, and more about wearing the shit out of me so that the little writing voices in my head stop long enough for me to sleep. This is helpful when you are going over the frightening details of the scene in your epic poem that shows the place in the underworld where all the unborn children go and the chattering horrors that ensue. This portion of Alan Moore’s interview really struck home…

“Writing will consume your life, because so much of writing happens in your head – you don’t need to be ‘at work’, you don’t even need to be awake. You’re not gonna get a respite from writing when your head hits the pillow, you’re not gonna get a respite from writing when you go on a holiday caravan to Great Yarmouth, or anywhere – the moon – you can’t get away from it, it’s in your head. And if it’s working properly, it’s probably obsessive. If you’ve got a story on the boil, and if you’re a writer you probably will have, you’re probably thinking about problems with that story, good things about it that you wanna enhance and make even better, and you’re probably thinking that all the time. You might be thinking that when you’re having sex. You might be thinking that when you’re eating dinner, you might be thinking that on public transport. This is something that will take over your life. Surrender. Surrender to it right from word one. Don’t fight. It’s bigger then you are, it’s more important than you are, just do what it says. Even if that seems to be completely ruining your life, do what it says. Even if it tells you to do something stupid – if it tells you to jump off a cliff, do it.”
-Alan Moore

“Had a dream last night took a time travellin’ ride
Back to my childhood where those monsters reside
They snack on innocence and dine on self-esteem
But I like to be in touch with what makes me scream”
-Jimmy Buffette, “Vampires, Mumies, and the Holy Ghost”

So the other night, in my journal (buy leather bound journals kids…it improves writing), I was writing up my voodoo priestess’s (Mama Nancy’s) Grimoire…that is, her little voodoo cook book as it were. I went over all my notes and sources and put down all the little rituals, tidbits, and dressings into one place…that way I can flip to it – say, when I get to a point in the story where she has to heal a sick child…I’ll have that at my finger tips (or at least something comparable to help me make it up).

Well, I got to the chapter on vevés. These are little sort of drawings that the priest(ess) makes with a handful ash or cornmeal or some other granular substance. It’s really a very skillful process; the drawings are complex. There is a different vevé for each Loa (the voodoo pantheon of saints and spirits). The drawings are considred powerful magic. Where the dancing and drumming in a ceremony is designed to coax the spirits to attend, the vevé obliges them to show.

Well…I like doodling in my book, so it seemed the logical thing. I drew in the vevés for the two most important Loa in my story (there were sample drawings in the book), Papa Legba and Ghedi. Papa Legba is the crossroads keeper (his saintly counterpart is St. Peter). He gets prayed to at the beginning of every ceremony, as he is the one that opens the gate to the spiritual world. I drew his first. Ghedi is the Loa of graves and death…but he’s more mischievous than morbid and is also the Loa of birth and healing (and sex…which makes sense, the psychological connection between funerals and procreation and all). I drew his.

I think I did a pretty good job. It makes the journal more interesting to look at…and maybe, in the back of my mind, I wanted to tap into something (even if it was just more creativity).

“Vampires, mummies and the Holy Ghost
These are the things that terrify me the most”
-Jimmy Buffette, “Vampires, Mumies, and the Holy Ghost”

I went to sleep that night, and had one of those dreams you have, just before you get into an actual deep sleep, the ones that are full of motions and make you jump and jerk awake again…before you go back to sleep (they’re really more of a blast of sensory input than they are full dreams).

What made this more surreal is that the dream had me in same place, in the same position as I really was (laying on my stomach, on my bed, head on my pillow), so I never really noticed that I started dreaming. This made the rest all the more frightening.

Some of the most frightening dreams are not frightening for what happens visually or narratively. A scene full of zombies can strike you as funny. It’s more of a mood, and indescribable mood or dread that suddenly hits the dream. I can’t put it in words, and really on the fact that you’ve all had dreams and so know the unexplainable aspects of them.

So I’m in my bed, in the dark, when this above mentioned dread hits me, turns the surroundings into evil, even though they don’t look any different, like a horrifying soundtrack playing, even though there was no sound. I had this immenent feeling, that SOMETHING BAD, was about to happen, something was coming for me. NOW.

In the dream, I clutched my scapular and said a prayer of protection (the Catholic kind, not the voodoo variety). And just in the middle of repeating it, something hovered behind and over me (the cause of the BAD feeling). I didn’t get a chance to turn, I just felt something buffeting and slaming into my back and head, like swatting arms, or wings.

Swat swat swat.

Scared shitless, I woke up with a jump…which was made weirder by the fact that my waking self was in the same place as the dreaming self, and so it was less like waking and more like everything going mundane again (and the sun was coming up).

I don’t remember if I actually woke up clutching my scapular.

Freaky. Chalk it up to drawing voodoo vevés in one’s journal (in the correct order no less)…or an diseased imagination on thesis overdrive…

Time to go to sleep again.


“It’s not the tales of Stephen King that I’ve read
I need protection from the things in my head”
-Jimmy Buffette, “Vampires, Mumies, and the Holy Ghost”