Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quoth the Raven



During this time of year I like to read some of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest poems and short stories. Poe really was such an amazing writer, his work was so haunting and eerie, yet eloquent and beautiful. Unfortunately I feel like my first exposure to Poe’s writing was on a Simpson’s tree house of horror episode (admit it…you’ve seen that episode too). Bart Simpson was masquerading as the raven yelling “Nevermore, Nevermore,” while Homer played the tormented narrator.

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I feel like during Poe’s life he never got the credit he deserved for his writing, like so many authors. I’m sure you know some of his most classic tales, but if you’ve never done so, read his work (maybe not alone though. Even though it’s over 100 years old, it’s still scary).

Because it’s fall and I can’t physically give you a handful of Twix, Reese's, and Kit Kats (Okay getting off subject slightly), I will instead post for you a couple of my favorite parts of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven.

THE RAVEN

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!

[http://www.eapoe.org/works/info/pp073.htm]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Haunted


The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite movies, but I think that’s pretty normal. Who doesn’t like masquerades, hidden passageways, and stalker phantoms? Okay, well maybe people aren’t necessarily in love with the idea of a half-masked stalker, but rather the mystery of wondering whether the opera house is haunted or not.

With fall upon us, I can’t help but surround myself with wonderfully scary tales, treats, and d├ęcor. There’s something so enriching and memorable about ghosts, witches, and haunted manors—as long as it’s not so scary that I have to pretend I’m not really afraid of that creepy tree that scratches my window when the wind blows.

In my novel, The Shapeshifter’s Secret, Julia Levesque lives in a castle called Lockham. The castle is old, traditional, and home to a large and mysterious ballroom. Even though Julia is skeptical, the ballroom is rumored to be haunted (dun dun dun). And Julia learns more secrets about the ballroom as the truth becomes uncovered.

Growing up I was always fascinated by creepy old fashioned buildings that were home to spooky mishaps. Writing about a haunted ballroom was very captivating, even though I do get scared rather easily (cue my dogs barking at something outside).

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been sneaking in early Halloween decorations...however, I won't make you confess. Instead I'll settle by you leaving your favorite spooky tale :]