Passive and Active engagement with your passions…

Now, this might be a massive generalization, or it might be accurate, I don’t really know, but talking to people, reading about people, I get the feeling that at some point in all of our lives, we feel stuck, or sense that we have a lack of purpose.

The common scenario I’ve noticed is we do what we see, what we were programmed to do. Grow-up, find a partner, get a job, have kids or don’t, and just settle in until you retire and then die. And at the beginning, all of this can be exciting. You’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, what your friends are doing and you get to talk to them about it, comparing lives and congratulating each other on your successes and supporting each other through failures. And this is fine… at the beginning.

Then the job you were so jazzed to get starts losing its shine. Maybe getting out of bed to go to work becomes a battle everyday. Maybe you look in the mirror and think, how the hell did I get here? But what can you do? You have people depending on you, depending on your income and you love them, and your problem shouldn’t be their problem so you get up, and you go to work and the next day, you do it again ad infinitum. But that’s not it. Well, it doesn’t have to be.

For me, I didn’t start writing until well into my late thirties. Before that, in order to quit smoking, I started racing in 5K runs, then a half-marathon, then triathlons, and when the quitting smoking finally took, I was like, now what? (Over the past two summers I finished a marathon and an ultra-marathon- I will not be doing either again). It is obvious now I was looking for something extra. Something to occupy my brain and body. I needed stimulation outside of my work. And you know what? This is a great time to live in. If I had been born just a decade earlier, some of the options available now would have passed me by.

I started writing and submitting stories online to magazines and book compilations and bam! Published (after many rejections, of course).

Years ago, you’d have to type out a manuscript, mail it off, and wait for weeks on end for the acceptance or rejection letter to arrive in the mail. It’s called snail mail for a reason. And it was considered bad etiquette to send out your story to multiple places. You had to send to one, wait, and then if rejected, send to another and wait. Ugh. How disheartening!

But for me, at the time I tried to give writing a go, all I had to do was write it, attach it to an email and click send. And the answers came within days, weeks, but not months. Perfect.

And this is not just applicable to writing. There are so many people out there who are returning to what they are passionate about and trying to turn that passion into a reality. You can create your own online store, design T-shirts, 3D print products to sell, create a YouTube channel where people watch YOU play a video game or critique a movie, a book, or you could start a micro-brewery, I mean, the options are limitless! For the first time, in a long time, the options truly are what you can imagine.

And it’s the trying that’s important isn’t it? Even if I had never been published, I know I’d be writing, and like now, trying to get better everyday. I went from passively wishing to actively pursuing my passion for horror and it’s paying off.

What obstacles are in your way? I know it’s cheesy, but I found the only real obstacle to any of my goals had been me. Just me. And I’m still learning to get out of my own way.

I don’t know a lot, but I do know that you shouldn’t hold back. You get one shot at this incredible thing called life. I’m sometimes blown away at the idea of it. I mean billions of years, billions of obstacles, billions of evolutionary changes that created you, in this moment, in this time. Enjoy it as best as you are able. Chase your passion (cheese, I know, but no less true).

John Hunt is the best-selling author of Doll House, The Tracker, and Off The Grid. His newest book, Murder Run, is also available on Amazon.

Horror Stories and Fun. All right here.

Creative and crafty horror people… The Doll House sequel is rolling along, and of course, more Murder Run reviews… Bam!

I have a little corner in my room, right by the window, that has my desk, my monitors and is my place to write stories and listen to music when I have the time. And I’m looking to decorate my little corner of bliss with what I like. I am not the type of person who thinks a Spartan atmosphere prevents distractions. My brain is the distraction, and when I decide to write and focus, I usually have no problem doing so. I actually like to have images, phrases, or art to inspire me. Hence, my search for decorations.

So, I turned to Google, and Google sent me to Etsy, and Etsy sent me to these pages, with these images:

Cool stickers for the laptop.

Crocheted dolls!

Cross stitchin’!

And 3D signage!

What do I choose? Help! Pretty cool what your interests can do for you. Here are a bunch of people, clearly passionate about horror, making something out of nothing, and sharing it with the world. Love it.

If you love this sort of stuff, I suggest you check them out. You just might find something for your wall.

DOLL HOUSE SEQUEL

The Doll House sequel is surprising me. The characters are taking me for a ride. That Olivia is the most surprising of the bunch. I’m loving it, and I know you will too. In case you missed it, the link to the book is below. 934 Amazon reviews and a 4.3 star rating. Get it!

MURDER RUN

Oh, and how is Murder Run doing? Raking in the four and five star reviews, that’s how. So, what are you waiting for? For the price of a coffee and a donut, muffin, cookie, whatever, you can have hours of terrifying entertainment. And let me know what you think. I can’t get better without your insight.

Horror stories and fun, all right here.

My Review of Mike’s Book Reviews of his Top Ten Horror Books…

Reviews are essentially opinions, or reasons why you like or dislike something. Unless the review is based upon an objective measurement, then the review is subjective.

Book reviews, for the most part, are subjective. So, really, the reason why you like or dislike something isn’t wrong. Your reason is your reason and the events of your life and how you see the world can impact your view on your likes and dislikes which is unique to you.

I stumbled upon this horror book review and I liked it. I liked the reasoning behind the decision as to why he placed each book in his top ten category. I think you’ll like it too, if you like horror, and I’ll link the video down below. Now, on to the list.

In tenth spot, RING by Koji Suzuki, the book the movie series was based upon. Now, I have to admit, I have never read this book and I intend to rectify that immediately. I have no comment on this choice as of now, but that will change.

In ninth, JAWS by Peter Benchley. Once again, this list is subjective. I did not like this book. At all. To me, it read like a weird love story with a vicious shark as a backdrop. I was hugely disappointed with this book. That could be because I saw JAWS before I read the book and the movie, well, the movie is a masterpiece.

In eighth, I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson. I love, love this book. If you like horror, or really, any book exceptionally well-written, then READ THIS BOOK! Ridiculously influential, and just a powerful, emotional read. Get on it!

In seventh, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, by Shirley Jackson. Mike cites the writing style as a big reason he enjoyed this book. I agree. Well written, great story, but top-ten on my horror list? I would have to say no. But a great book nonetheless.

In sixth, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, by Anne Rice. Holy cow, this is a great book. This book inspired a whole new world of vampire fiction, some good, some not so good. I don’t really feel sorry for immortal beings whining about how they can’t be loved or that they are monsters, and why oh why can’t people just understand them! This is before that trend of sparkling, crying, murderers. Anne Rice paints a haunting, dark, and vicious tale of vampires. I was enthralled by this book. Hell, I still am.

In fifth, THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE, by H.P Lovecraft. I have read many H.P Lovecraft stories. But not this one. Mike says it’s a great read so I feel compelled to read it.

In fourth, PET SEMETARY by Stephen King. Man, a great book. This is the dark Stephen King. The no-happy-endings Stephen King. It reminded me of the stark, cruel darkness of THE RUNNING MAN. I loved that short tale, too.

In third, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, by Ray Bradbury. Ok, I know he’s Canadian and so am I, but that has nothing to do with what I think about his work; he was a huge talent. Monumental, in fact. His work, his narrative is smooth, like that first sip of your favourite IPA. Love it.

In second, DRACULA, by Bram Stoker. Of course. That’s all I have to say. Of course.

In first, IT, by Stephen King. And if any book by Stephen King should be in your top ten, it is definitely this one. My personal favourite is THE SHINING. That one and IT are truly the only two books that ever raised the hair on my arms. Mike comments on this in his video, about how after a certain age, books don’t really scare you, which I thought was very accurate. These two books, in my opinion, are the exceptions.

These are great books to have on a list (except for JAWS IMO). They are all well-written and influential in their own way, and if they aren’t right now, they will be classics. I would be interested in contemporary horror that Mike likes. We seem to have similar tastes. Does he like Adam Cesare? Jack Ketchum? Or maybe not so contemporary, but a fun writer, such as Richard Laymon? He probably has answered this in one of his videos. I’ll be sure to check more out.

Here’s the video. It’s worth your time.

John Hunt is the bestselling author of Doll House, The Tracker, and Off The Grid. His newest novel, Murder Run, is now also available on Amazon. Link is below.