Weekly Writing Update 5 + A Note on the Pandemic

A Lovely Verse: Currently on brief hiatus. I will return to this project this summer, most likely.

“Communion”: So this short story follows the demonic possession of a woman’s girlfriend after they come in possession of an antique mirror. I’ve just finished the third draft on it, and it’s looking better and better. I will be submitting it to my class workshop, but that won’t be for another few weeks while my college’s courses move to online courses due to the pandemic.

Note: Just a brief reminder: On the topic of the pandemic, please try to stay calm and limit contact with other people. I know quite a few people who would be in trouble if they caught the coronavirus, and I’m worried for them, but panicking will get us nowhere. Be courteous and kind to those around you. When all of this is over, they will remember unkind actions and words. And you’ll likely feel the sting of your own selfish behavior or words if you choose to act insane. Try to be understanding of others in their desire to self-quarantine as well.

“Order, Chaos, and Diaries”: So the feedback I got on this essay was spectacular. My professor really feels I’m going somewhere with my revisions. I will be reading over it a few more times to look for other possible revisions, then it’s off to magazines!

Place/Travel Essay: I’ve finished the first draft of my essay, and I’ve titled it “Safe Spaces in Wicked Places.” My essay explores the idea of the “safe space,” and how sometimes the places we deem safest (mental health institutions, for example) are sometimes more unsafe than anything else. In my essay, I encourage you to develop your own safe space. I will be submitting this for workshop in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

Untitled Horror Short Story: Still in the early phases on this one. Haven’t even completed a full draft of it.

Readings for class: Night to Dawn issue #36 (horror), That Which Grows Wild by Eric J. Guignard (horror), “In the Hills, the Cities” by Clive Barker (horror)

Personal Readings (I know this list hardly changes, but personal reading is difficult thanks to class readings): The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (horror), The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin (horror, dystopian), Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (fantasy), The Rose That Blooms in the Night by Allie Michelle (poetry), Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (audiobook, science fiction), An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison (mental health, memoir)

Finished: “It Only Comes Out at Night” by Dennis Etchison (horror, read it), “The Function of Dream Sleep” by Harlan Ellison (horror)

Stay tuned for blog entries on topics like From the Mouths of Dogs by B. J. Hollars, Michael McDowell’s Southern Gothic novels, what it’s like to be accused of being possessed by demons.

And here’s a writing prompt for fun: Amethyst

In the wake of all of this insanity, don’t forget to keep writing!

The Weird is one of my textbooks for my Speculative Fiction: Horror class. It contains some really creepy and scary tales. If you see me mention a short horror story I’m reading, it’s from this anthology.

Published by Keily Blair

Keily Blair is a creative writing student at UT Chattanooga, where her nonfiction won the Creative Writing Nonfiction Award. Her fiction has appeared in Nth Degree, Five on the Fifth, and is upcoming in Trembling With Fear and Night to Dawn. Her creative nonfiction is upcoming in Breath & Shadow. She is currently at work on a fantasy novel and a collection of essays about being a person with bipolar disorder. Her goal is to help other writers let go of stress and anxiety so they can reach their full potential.

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