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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Is Just Around the Corner.

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When I was a small child, something about Christmas unnerved me.

Last year I wrote a short story called Memories of Christmas Past about a woman who didn't like Christmas. It was cathartic.

When I had small children , I tried to hide my feelings about everyone else's favorite holiday.
(Mine has always been Easter, but that is a story for another day.) We had a tree in the living room, went to late service on Christmas Eve and helped Santa with his chores while he was in the house.

The day after, I took the tree and all the decorations down and replaced them with New Year's paraphernalia.
Now I have grandchildren, and since we go there for Christmas, I don't put up a tree. I do wrap a string of lights around the mimosa tree in the front yard so no one refers to me as the grouchy lady down the street.

To the people I interact with on a regular basis, I send a card.

For years I have wondered why am I so weird about Christmas? Since it was not an acquired dislike, I have to think something happened when I was a child that traumatized me during the Season.

Maybe it was Santa. He was at the grocery store, church, the mall, on TV, standing on a corner ringing a bell and a dozen other places all at the same time.

How could that be? His hair was long, short, curly and straight. He was fat, portly, skinny, smelled wonderful or rank, yet people tried to tell me he was one guy who was going to come down my chimney on Christmas Eve and leave me presents. Really?

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He never disappointed. When my brother and sister and I woke up on Christmas morning, there were toys, candy and every sort of thing to make a child smile.

I might have been a weird child, or something as simple as that. But I am better now so I would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or Festivus, or whatever you celebrate.

I send you the love, and light and hope for peace and prosperity for all.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Idea for the Twisted Mind of Cletus Compton

This summer, for the first time in years, I had a schedule. This put me on a long, dark (more like pitch black), lonely road to my home  several nights a week.
Being a writer, I should be able to describe to you what made the hair on the back of my neck stand up as I drove.
The road goes between one small town in the Ozarks to an even smaller farm community with only one viable business, a convenience store.
About a mile down this road you lose the light from the first town and the light from the quick stop ahead of you is not yet bright enough to be visible. All you have to guide you is your headlights.
There is no shoulder on the road. On one side, the back of fence of several farms flashes in the headlights. The other side is a hill goes up and disappears into the shadows, just past that is the railroad track.
In the last ten years, I have driven this road a thousand times, but this summer it triggered a recurring nightmare.
In my nightmare, I as drive down this road I spot something. I slow down to  take a closer look. I spy a large wooden crate made of sassafras sticks tied together with yellow baling twin.
I turn the car toward the box so the light shines on it and slowly get out. The box is about 20 yards away. Should I go see if anything is in the box or should I stay close in case it is dangerous?
Something moves and I jump, trip over a rock and land on both hands and knees. From that position, I can see there is a small human chained to the crate.
At that point, I wake up.
I had this dream every night. It got so I hated to close my eyes.
One night when I woke up from my scary dream, I jumped up and went to my office where I wrote it down. That was at 2 am. At 6 am I was still writing and I was on chapter 6. That is how the Twisted Mind of Cletus Compton became a novel.
The funny thing is, after that night I never had the nightmare again.
Hum... leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Where did the dream come from? Why did it go away so abruptly?