Hanging Out with Horror Writers

Since there has been a number of entries this week with pictures from Necon, I thought it would be nice to read an author’s blog entry written while they attended Necon 32. Author and Co-Chair of the NEHW Stacey Longo wrote such a blog. Author Jeff Strand (Pressure) even stopped by and commented on her blog.

Please enjoy this author’s current blog entry.

Hanging Out with Horror Writers

by Stacey Longo

I’m writing this in my hotel room at NECON, the Northeastern Writers’ Conference. I have to admit, it can be a little intimidating walking in to a conference center filled with some of the sickest, most twisted minds that horror has to offer, but I like to come prepared. Before I come to one of these events, I write up a list of fun topics and conversation starters in case I find myself face-to-face with F. Paul Wilson and can’t interest him in the pictures of the time I met Duran Duran. Here was my list for this year:
1. Brush up on your serial killers. Many writers base their novels on real-life events, and find this subject fascinating. I found myself on the first day sitting next to Dallas Mayr (Jack Ketchum) and was able to successfully entertain him with tales of a serial cannibal I once knew. These kinds of sure-fire conversation starters are key to any horror convention.
2. Pick a side: Lovecraft or Poe? You just can’t be ambivalent about this topic. If you’re going to go to a convention of writers, you’d better love one and hate the other, and be able to defend your side vehemently. Otherwise, Darryl Schweitzer will peg you as an imposter faster than you can say “Cthulhu.”
3. Watch as many obscure scary movies as possible before attending. The only thing horror writers like more than a creepy story is a scary movie. There also seems to be a tendency among this group to find the most ambiguous film ever made and make you feel like a giant lump of stupid if you haven’t seen it. Heard today over lunch: “You haven’t seen When Hell Comes to Frog Town? It’s only Rowdy Roddy Piper’s best cinematic performance of his career. I’m sorry, I can no longer continue speaking to you, you giant lump of stupid.”
4. Be prepared to have your favorite Stephen King novel completely skewered. Another popular activity for horror writers: espousing on why Stephen King is a hack. You thought The Stand was fabulous? Blind meadow voles could sniff out a better novel. Did you find Bag of Bones entertaining? You are an incompetent boor who should be eaten alive by blind meadow voles. Why on earth would you be so foolish to think that the most popular author on the planet could actually write a good story? (I suspect this is such a favorite activity among horror writers because they might be a tad jealous. However, this has not prevented me from trashing Under the Dome in select circles.) There you have it: a primer on blending in among horror’s literary elite. I would write some more tips, but I am currently being dragged outside and tied to a stake so that I can be eaten alive by blind meadow voles.

Moments after admitting that I kind of liked Stephen King’s Insomnia, I realize I’m a dead woman.

Facebook 101

This funny take on learning about Facebook comes from the blog of  the Co-chair of the NEHW, Stacey Longo, which can be found on her website.

Facebook 101

by Stacey Longo

My sister finally gave in and joined Facebook this week, or, as she succinctly put it, “I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.” Tasteless Jim Jones reference notwithstanding, I was crazily excited to have my sister on Facebook—which is a little bit ridiculous, really, since we talk on the phone every day. But now I could talk to her online, too! And put up photos of shamrock shakes and tag her in them! Oh, the possibilities were endless! I spent two hours walking Kim through her first tentative Facebook steps. She navigated her way through the privacy settings, discovered how to leave her wall and successfully return to it later, and even gave the search bar a shot. “I can’t find O____ B_____,” she complained, trying to look up an old friend from high school as I sat with the phone propped up to my ear, tagging photos of her. “Don’t worry about it, she just found you,” I said, watching as O.B. ‘liked’ the picture of Kim I’d just put up and left a comment. Within moments, Kim had a friend request. “That’s a little scary,” she admitted. And it is. Which is why I’m offering these tips to my sister and the other 36 people in the world who are just now joining the Facebook nation:

1.  Remember that creepy guy from high school, the one who wore plastic vampire fangs to class and stared at you all day? Yup, he’s on Facebook too, and he’s about to send you a friend request so that he can finally confess to you that he was in love with you 30 years ago and that you are still just as beautiful today. Feel free to ignore his friend request.

2.  Remember your younger cousin, the one who set off firecrackers in the chicken coop and it caught on fire? He hasn’t changed. Ignore his friend request, too.

3.  People will tag random pictures of you. They do not care if you were thirty pounds heavier in that photo or had just had your hair done like Gene Simmons of KISS for a costume party. They also don’t care if your mother is on Facebook and will not find it as hilarious as your friends do to tag you in a picture of a bong shaped like Elvis’s head. You do have the power to un-tag yourself in those photos. Do it.

4.  Good news!  Your mother is not on Facebook. Yet.

5.  Some of your Facebook friends are quite vocal about their political views or feelings on social issues affecting our nation. Some of these people are, in fact, crazier than fruit bats. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes it’s better to just bite your fingers instead of commenting.

6.  Yes, if you post something on someone’s page, all of their friends can read it. So if you want to tell your friend Jeanie that you still regret not marrying John Taylor of Duran Duran, send her a private message instead of posting it on her wall where your husband might see it.

7. Of course Duran Duran has their own Facebook page! You can only ‘like’ it once, though.

8. Don’t keep updating your status every five minutes. Honestly, nobody cares if you just found a great deal on toilet paper at Target. (Wait. How great of a deal was it?) Also, why do you want creepy vampire fang guy to know where you are at all times? Facebook can be a little scary for newbies. Personally, I’m thrilled to have my sister on there with me, mostly because my cousin Lori keeps ignoring my Farmville requests, and I want someone to play with me. Plus, it’s better that she figures Facebook out now…before her children do!