Category Archives: Daily Words

Post-Michigan Trip

So me and the boys got back from our Michigan trip on Saturday. We were winter camping in da’ U.P. until someone (this guy!) got food poisoning and caused us to leave a day early.

Only creepy thing to really happen to me was when we got there we found bear tracks (it IS black bear country). So 1:30 AM when I wake up sick the first night, I hear something move through our campsite. It wasn’t the wind, because I could hear it move from point to point slowly, like it was exploring.

I was lying in my sleeping bag, very warm but nauseous and with a pounding headache. My rifle was lying next to my pack inside the tent, and all I could hear would be some of our outside gear move. The metal cookware drag, yet all of the food was untouched the next morning. Even the stuff just sitting out. Then it stopped, and was replaced by the wind and normal rustling sounds.

There was no fingertips on the tent fabric or anything like that, but what scared me was the lack of any animal footprints surrounding the site. So it’s either a magic bear (most likely explanation), my sick fever brain imagining things, or the Wendigo, since I chose earlier that night to tell stories about it. So, I tell stories about the Wendigo and get sick from the meat I cooked. Seems too much to be a coincidence to me…

5 Mysterious Disappearances

There have been many mysterious disappearances throughout history. A lot of the strangest ones have been thoroughly debunked, but many still have a basis in fact. I decided to keep some of the more famous ones off this list (everyone knows the Mary Celeste,) and tried to stick to those that haven’t been probably debunked (sorry WW1 Lost Battalion.) Below are some of my favorite, and creepiest, disappearances.

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Creative writing: He said she said

Wanted to take a wee break from my horror writing and focus on practicing something I desperately need to practice – realistic  emotional tension. It’s rough around the edges, but I’ve never really written this much back-and-forth before. Hope you guys enjoy my little experiment.


“What does this mean for us then?” The question hung over the table as she waited for the answer. The diner continued as though nothing life-changing was happening. It didn’t matter, each table had a story, and this table’s story wouldn’t impact anything for the rest of the patrons anyways. The diner was busy, the diner didn’t care.

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Write or Die

Oh I had too much fun with this site. Write or Die is a website and writing program that force you to write. Just keeps you on task to make sure you hit out those 500 words in 15 minutes or whatever other goal you set for yourself. The program is $20 to buy, and can be tried on their site with limited settings for free.

Write or Die forces you to keep pace with your chosen WPM by flashing color whenever you slow down too much, and playing startling sounds once you’ve breached the barrier. It forced me to just write. I had to free form as quickly as possible, and it did actually get my heart rate up. I’m not sure if I’ll buy the software or not yet, but I recommend everyone give at least the trial a try (no download, straight through your browser.) Unfortunately I lost my first attempt, but it was amazing how much it kept me on task. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! I’ll try and write another entry on a stricter time frame and see how the results work.

The fear of winter

I set a lot of my horror stories in the winter.

That’s not intentional, it’s just something I noticed today. I love spring and summer. The vibrant greens and signs of animal life and growth just make me happy in the most basic of senses. A lot of people love autumn, but the dying trees and cold just remind me that winter is coming. Yeah I just did that.

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Mysterious Places: The Lost Dutchman’s Mine

If you’ve read my ‘The Map’ entry about the Superstition Mountains, than this entry might sound somewhat familiar. Among the things that I love are not just the strange creatures that go bump in the night, but the places around the world that have stories attached to them that defy explanation or raise the hair on the back of my neck.

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I keep restarting my novel, and I hate it

So I’ve run into a bit of an issue with my novel. I’m sure others have had the same problem, but I’m kind of curious as to how you proceeded.

There’s two separate ways I can see my novel starting, but I like them both. I know usually the advice is to start in the middle, but the beginning kind of informs the majority of my story. I’ve written and re-written both the opening and portions of the middle multiple times, but can’t seem to find my center.

I guess it’s kind of like writer’s block, but instead of me not being able to write, I can’t commit as to what to write. I’m bad at outlining and like to write a bit more free form, but has that helped any of you in the past? Should I write both and see what stands out down the line? I really have no idea, but I know most of you reading this are writers and editors, any advice as to how to get past this reoccurring hiccup?

As always, thanks everyone!

Horror Movie Review: Mercy (2014)

I’ve been on a Netflix/HBO/Amazon Instant horror binge over the past few days, and have to say most of the movies I watched were ‘meh’ at best. It’s really hard finding horror movies that stand up to a viewing or repeated viewing without it becoming an instant classic. I wrote about ‘The Babadook’ last week, and that’s something that stands out to me as a modern classic.

I watched ‘Mercy‘ not expecting much. The cover art is a creepy kid sitting in the middle of some kind of ritualistic circle. Creepy kids and possession movies are a dime a dozen at this point. The only way it could hit the trifecta of current horror movie trends is if it was also found footage.

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2014 In Review

Whelp, if you’ve checked out the blog roll lately, it’s the end of 2014! I am shocked I’ve been able to keep up this blog for this long. I started in May, and I’m still excited about every post I make and every person I meet!

First, a few things I’m thankful for:

1. My friends and family who have continued to read my blog long after they were obligated to

2. Scrivener for keeping my crazed thoughts in one place

3. The WordPress.com community. I still remember the first like and first follower I received, and I was so nervous about following and linking etiquette. I have yet to run into anyone on here who isn’t amazingly unique and interesting. Special applause goes out to those who write about things that I’m scared about. You guys all rock!

Now that I’m done sucking up to you wonderful folks, I figure I should choose a top 5 lists of my favorite posts. Posts by me that is. Shameless self-promotion. I love this time of year!

Honorary Mention: Adventures in the waking mind

I still hate my stupid brain.


5. My Top 5 Scary Stories on the Internet

I love this post because all 5 of these sites have inspired not only my writing, but my confidence in putting it out there. All of them are masterfully plotted and still give me chills. I hope it helped some aspiring horror writers by giving them something to creep them out as well.

4. Making People Uncomfortable: My Love of Horror and My Inspirations Pt. 1, 2, and 3

I think this is the first time I really opened up about myself and why I love horror writing. It also focused on scary incidents from my childhood and the haunted farmhouse I loved growing up in. Really personal stories to me, and some of the first I felt truly comfortable sharing.

3. Cowboy Boots Are Cool: Some thing’s I’ve learned from my father

Great to write about my family, and I can still see how far I’ve come in changing and not giving too much of a shit about what people think. Dedicated to my dad and our mutual love of hidden and unexplored pieces of Earth. I hope you all have found your own cowboy boots, and wear them proudly, whatever they may be.

2. Strange Happenings with Bailey

One of the first creepy things to happen at my new house, and with my new puppy to observe it to boot. She’s not much of a reliable witness, but I’m still convinced we were surrounded by something malevolent. I don’t scare too easy from weird one-off things, however this time was something special. I still get creeped out by stepping foot outside in my perfectly normal subdivision at night.

1. The Deer, The Map Part 3

Probably my favorite post I’ve written, and my favorite part of The Map series. If I could only keep one of my stories for the rest of my life, it’d be this one. I’m not trying to toot my own horn with this, really, but this is the entry that was the most challenging yet most rewarding for me to write. It works well as a standalone story, and as part of The Map, and I’m proud of that.


So there you have it. I hope you all have enjoyed reading my writing as I have putting words to keyboard. Please, in the comments below, feel free to share your favorite posts from your own blog! If you don’t have one, any blog posts that have meant a lot to you, mine or anyone else’s, are welcome as well! I love seeing what everyone treasures.

(Thanks to Don Charisma for the Post-Your-Own idea! Check him out!)

The Wendigo

So it has been confirmed. Myself and the other members of ItsInTents.com are going to be winter camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Right now it’s -2 Fahrenheit up there, with 4 inches of snow on the ground.

It’s going to be awesome!

Some of you may remember me mentioning the farm (farmhouse pictured above) in past posts, because it truly is one of my favorite places. It’s welcoming in the summer during the day, and eerie at night. It gets so dark up there, and the fields so open, that your fire can be seen for miles. One year a friend of ours brought up a thermal scope. Thermal scopes pick up traces of heat and render them into visible images. This was a military grade scope, and the landscape lit up all around us at night with the terrain definition of the fields and distant buildings that are lost when sitting by the firelight. It really does bring home just how alone you can be up there and how empty the fields are.

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