Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

March Madness: It begins!

Today’s Brew:  All the coffee

KRISTEN

You may or may not be relieved to find this post has nothing to do with college basketball. Julie’s husband came up with a great concept for the month of March:  March Madness.  Julie and I will be exploring all that is creepy–haunted stuff, insanity, mental institutions, deviants, and scary old buildings.  On Manic Mondays, check in for short stories.

This Old House

Julie and I were obsessed with this house when we were kids.  It looks much better now than it did then.  It’s previous owner had let it fall into disrepair to the point we thought they had abandoned it.  You may have a hard time believing this, but we were bold little kids, and we had no problem going right up to the windows and sticking our faces in. Today we would realize the old owners were just  hoarders, not the killers we assumed.  We’d see yellowing newspapers and moldy boxes of Cheese Its.  I don’t remember, but Julie says she say someone sleeping on a bed inside.  (Side note by Julie: I was almost certain that person was dead. They so weren’t, of course, but I was convinced.) That didn’t stop us from peaking in, seeing what we could see.  Both of us credit that house with our current fascination with abandoned buildings in disrepair. Sometimes I photograph them.  I like to call them wreckage.  Even more fascinating is that some of these dilapidated buildings are still in use!   I stopped to take pictures of what I thought was a closed business in a neighboring town one day, shocked to realize that it was very much still in operation.

JULIE

March Madness gives me a reason to play with insanity, a terror I hold near and dear. Kristen and I are excited to toy with the creative genius and their madnesses. The best works are reflective of the inner lunatic, I believe. I’ll work on insane vampire myths and stories, as well as plenty on asylums, which I am particularly psyched out of my mind for. I will be researching OCD this month, too, for my Trent from The Animal, so I will keep you updated. You may get to see something from my favorite vampire serial killer, Chris Lynch, also, if you’re lucky.

Strap up that straightjacket, friends, for some decadently dark stuff this month.

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19 thoughts on “March Madness: It begins!

  1. I’ve an uncomfortable feeling my own house looks a lot like one of your wrecks. I like how insanity used to be considered an illness that people caught, rather like flu. It was called Maze, and it spawned the word ‘amazed’ which originally meant affliction with Maze. Things like that fascinate me. I love that house, by the way!

  2. That house looks gorgeous now. I had to shoot it through the trees to get any feeling of creepiness.

    Kristen

  3. Can’t wait. My husband is OCD, so not excited on the part but can’t wait for the rest!!

  4. Looking forward to it! I particularly love shorts with unstable MCs (in case ‘Teeth’ wasn’t enough of a clue). I think writing as a mental patient comes naturally to some people. I’ll try not to think too hard about the implications of that.

    Your short is the grand finale on the SS feature, by the way. People will love it!

  5. I think it is important to write about mental illness with respect. So many people function with it every day, it would be more odd not to write about it. We talk about physical illnesses all the time. There are certain things that we all feel and instead of feeling shame because it’s “taboo” it’s much more liberating to know that you’re really OK.

    K

    • Yes to you, Kristen and yes to this. There’s a reason mental illness is one of the great fears of our society….it’s nearly impossible to fully understand. Which also makes the stuff of great stories, writers, and other artists.

      –Julie

    • Agreed. I have this whole issue with whether actually labelling the illness a person has just intensifies the perception of them as something ‘other’ – I can’t help feeling that if some people weren’t labelled, their existence would be entirely as though they weren’t suffering from any illness. Although, it does help them to receive necessary attention, so it’s swings and roundabouts. I’m pretty sure I’m a borderline manic-depressive, and I’m not making light.

  6. Labels are important. Not to single people out but to group them together so they can have the understanding and treatment that they need. People were mistreated, neglected, and killed before we had these labels. Now people with the same conditions lead very successful lives.

    There’s no reason to be afraid of being ourselves.

    K

    • I agree with you that they can be beneficial in that respect. Sadly, the flip-side is that too often they can be used in a negative way, as an excuse for discrimination or to single people out. I suppose a good thing about them is that they help others to understand situations which as you rightly said may have led to hurt or pain previously due to ignorance.

  7. We all fit under some label.

  8. This is going to be EPIC!

  9. Elisaueens on said:

    You two scare me.

  10. ElisaQueens on said:

    I knew that you two were up to something creepy.

  11. Hey Ladies,
    I’ve awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award
    You can go here for the rules. http://mariwells.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/the-versatile-blogger-award-2/

    You can email me if you want some info on OCD. I’ll help with the kinds he has.

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