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A Few Wise Words from Horror Authors


It’s 2020. The theme of this year among my friends and the world at large is “New Year, New You.” I have to say I like that idea a lot. A fresh start. A letting go of old negative beliefs and past hurts. I mean, why not give yourself a fresh slate? You’re alive one way or another. You might as well enjoy your life.

Now, as much as I love Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, and Joyce Meyer, this is a horror blog. Wayne, Tony, and Joyce just don’t fit in. But, I wanted to share some uplifting quotes this week, so I did a little research and found out that the horror community does have a positive thing or two to say about life.

My selection of authors may have scared you in the past, but today, they will bring up your vibe to the max.

Clive Barker

You may know him as the creator of the Hellraiser series, but I love him for the creation of one of my favorite books of all time, Imajica. I swoon just thinking about how much I love that novel. In fact, can we have a moment of silence to reflect on how great that book is? To call it just a fantasy novel doesn’t do it justice. Clive skillfully weaves mythology, suspense, and romance into what I would call a masterpiece. Think of it as fantasy plus.

I usually stumble across books at the thrift store, but not with Imajica. My father recommended it to me and I’m glad I took him up on it. I’m ready to reread it, but I have to find another copy. I lent mine out and never got it back. What was I thinking?

If you’re reading this Clive, please give us Imajica part two. The story needs to go on.

Here are two quotes by Clive Barker that you are sure to enjoy:

“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.”

This quote immediately reminded me of the passing of my grandmother. During a break from planning her send-off, my dad took me, my sister, and my brother to a peaceful park and together, we walked around and explored the beauty that surrounded us. It was one of my first experiences of being able to feel two emotions at once, or at least being able to put my sadness on hold and enjoy the moment. My dad has and always will be a man with real heart.

“Horror fiction shows us that the control we believe we have is purely illusory, and that every moment we teeter on chaos and oblivion.”

While I would hope that I don’t teeter on oblivion on a daily basis, I do agree that control is just an illusion. To believe that I have control of other people, places, or situations is not a recipe for success. I have learned that I only have control of my actions and how I choose to respond to any situation. If you want to test this theory, start getting incredibly angry at a red light. No matter how much you yell and scream, it won’t make the traffic light turn green any faster.

Stephen King

I have a confession. I began reading The Shining and stopped because I was distracted by life in general. I also read a good portion of Nightmares and Dreamscapes, but did not finish because I was too frightened. A pattern in my life? Maybe, but enough self-analysis for now.

The point is even though I have yet to finish any of his works, my admiration for his literary creation is unwavering. Stephen is something like an American treasure. While I have some catching up to do on his books, I do not lack in viewership of the movie adaptations of his novels.

There’s a reason I started reading The Shining, and that’s because I think it’s one of the best movies of all time. I still don’t quite understand the ending. Was Jack delusional or was he at the mercy of a haunted hotel? Perhaps the answer lies in the book.

Here are the two Stephen King quotes I liked best:

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

This is very simple, but very true. You either are going to participate in your life or it’s going to pass you by. As The Rolling Stones say, time waits for no one and it won’t wait for me. There are going to be days that are harder than others, but just do your best to do what you can. Not sure where to start? Just do the next thing that needs to be done.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

Another simple truth from Stephen. Yes, the unknown is scary, but don’t let that fear paralyze you from doing anything. You have to start somewhere. If the task before you is stressing you out, just remember that even an elephant can be eaten one bite at a time. So, make a list of tasks that you need to do to accomplish your goal and start doing them one by one. Be compassionate to yourself and start doing a few things on that list every day.

Edgar Allan Poe

You may love Edgar Allan Poe for The Tell-Tale Heart or The Masque of the Red Death. Again, this is a horror blog. But, I’ll be the first to admit that I love him for his poetry. I’m a romantic at heart and one of my favorite stanzas comes from “Annabel Lee”:

We loved with a love that was more than love—

Here are two quotes to contemplate when you need a boost of positivity:

“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.”

For me, I find beauty and peace in nature. I like to go to a park and breathe in the fresh air and feel inspired by the beauty that surrounds me, especially the flowers. If I can’t get to a park, I like to go to my local grocery store and look at all of the flower bouquets.

“Man’s real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.”

I believe Edgar is talking about hope and that can carry you a long way when everything seems to be going wrong. If you aren’t where you want to be right now, ask yourself where you want to be in a year. Then you can start making plans and take actions in faith that things will turn out well.

So, there you have it. Your daily dose of hope, courtesy of horror authors. It just goes to show you that you can find inspiration anywhere. You just need to know where to look. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t come from the self-help section at Barnes and Noble, but rather a stack of horror books.

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