Tag Archives: dracula

Irrational Fears

Hi, Scribelings. Suze here, talking about irrational fears.

We’ve all got them. Things we’re afraid of even though the chances of them happening are remote, maybe even impossible. Today, I will share with you some of mine.

th[7]Vampires. Yes, I am afraid of vampires. I’m pretty sure I know where this fear originated. I saw the movie Dracula starring Frank Langella about eight times at our little village movie theater l when I was a teenager. I blew a lot of babysitting money to see the first hot movie vampire over and over. He was no old, creepy, cartoony Bela Lugosi or weird, scary Christopher Lee. Langella was dark and sexy and irresistible to my young self. My bedroom had a tall window, and my bed was right next to it. Seriously, Dracula could have flapped up to that window and come in any old time he pleased.

Unless it’s insanely hot, I still sleep with the covers pulled up around my neck.

th[4]Rats, Mice and Other Vermin. This also stems from a traumatic childhood movie experience. I saw the movie Willard on television (not sure why my mother allowed this!). I still shudder every time I think about it. Rats swarming everywhere, gnawing and chewing, their obscene naked tails undulating as they kill Willard at the end. Oops, that was a spoiler. Well, if you haven’t seen it, don’t make plans to watch it, or the sequel, Ben. Save yourself.

Now, as an adult, I don’t like vermin for other reasons, such as sanitation issues and, oh yes, that little thing called the Bubonic Plague. I have never allowed my son to keep a pet mouse or hamster. (Don’t feel too bad for him–he’s got a cat and fish and kept a hermit crab alive for 6 years) I don’t care how cute and furry and soft those pet vermin are. If they got loose in the house, I might have to move out. Although the cat is a pretty good mouser…

Feral Pigs. But Suze, you say. Those things only live down south in Texas and Arkansas, far away from your New England home. Well that’s true now, but according to a documentary I saw, they’re moving north. Pigs are such prolific breeders that it’s almost impossible to keep their population under control in the wild, and they’re expanding their territory. Have you seen the tusks on those vicious things? Their nasty brown hair? Their evil, beady eyes? Watch this but only if you dare. Remember Jody the Pig in Amityville Horror? I rest my case.

150px-Communion_book_cover[1]Alien Abduction. I’ll admit I’m not as afraid of this as I once was, now that I’m physically incapable of gestating an alien baby. And I no longer think that every weird mark on my body is the site of either an implanted tracking device or the extraction of a tissue sample. As a kid I read a lot of UFO material, including the famous Betty and Barney Hill case and the Whitley Streiber accounts, and I still can’t resist the documentaries. Add to that the fact that my junior high social studies teacher claimed that he had been buzzed by a UFO while driving along a lonely stretch of road in his Gremlin and, well, you’ve got a recipe for a lifelong phobia. I still get a little freaked out driving alone at night. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced an episode of missing time–I think.

Confession time! What are your crazy fears? We’re all friends here.

What is in a name?

Hello Scribblers!  J Monkeys coming atcha from inside a snow globe.  Or at least that’s how it looks from my office window.  A fresh batch of snow fell last night and everything in view is covered – trees, roofs, even the sky is white, matching the gently falling flakes.  Quite a contrast from the book I’ve been reading this morning.

How do you select a book at the store?  Usually, it’s one of two things that prompts me to pick something up – either a cover that attracts my attention, or the author’s name.  When it comes to authors, naturally, it’s repeat business for me – I’m buying books by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed.  Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux.  Sometimes it’s a new book written by a friend or acquaintance – especially when they are written in a genre that isn’t typically my cup of tea, but where I know from experience that I’ll enjoy the ride – Kristan Higgins’ contemporary romances, Katy Lee’s inspirational romances or Casey Wyatt’s urban fantasies, for example. 

This morning, I’m reading a book that I chose based on the author, but it isn’t an author whose work is familiar to me.  In fact, the book I’m reading is his debut novel.  Nor was the book/author recommended to me by a friend.  I’m reading Dracula the Un-Dead written by Dacre Stoker – great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.

dracula-the-un-deadI’m almost exactly to the half-way point in the book and it’s a delight!  It’s not scary, which is a good thing for me because I do NOT like scary stories.  Mr. King’s The Shinning still haunts me 25 years after I read it!  While I loved The Stand, there were parts that I found creepy – I remember reading it while sitting in a corner, hidden from any ghouls lurking in the ether.   But Dracula the Un-Dead seems more like a drama than horror as I think of it today.  It’s written as a sequel to the original book.  In truth it’s co-authored by Dacre Stoke and Ian Holt apparently written (according to Wikipedia) “Because of the Stokers’ frustrating history with Dracula’s copyright, Dacre with encouragement from screenwriter Ian Holt, decided to write “a sequel that bore the Stoker name” to “reestablish creative control over” the original novel.”  What an interesting idea.  I don’t know the extent to which it would reestablish copyright – but hey.

But if you’ve enjoyed the rise in vampire stories in the last decade or so, you might want to take a look at this homage to the original.  It’s well done (at least the first half!) and worth a few of your hard earned dollars.  And, again according to Wikipedia, they wrote it based on Bram’s original notes and stuff pulled out of the original novel.  Again, a cool idea. 

Today’s secret: Dracula is Un-Dead and available at the bookstore once again.  :)  Oh and by the way, they have begun filming season 6 of True Blood, speaking of popular vampires.  The delightful Mr. Skarsgard has revealed a spoiler-ish something from filming.  Click here to find out what.

Today’s question: how do you decide to buy a book?  What changes you from a browser to a buyer?