Just when I thought all the snow might melt and I would see my lawn, it snowed again. Luckily, I’ve regained some of my writing time lost to shoveling a corner lot by investing in my first snow blower. There isn’t a lot that slows down people in Montana. Nothing stops or shuts down when it snows here, and we’ve had snow on the ground since before Christmas. Which, having grown up in Texas, is an incredible feat to me. The kiddos in town did get a snow day this week though after the Monday holiday, not for snow, but for the relentless cold. The temperature that morning was somewhere around -15F and the wind chill was about -39F—much too cold for kids to walk or wait for the bus.
However, this did mean that the gym was bustling more than on the usual weekday. Wanting to read, I eventually retreated to the sauna where it was quiet. There, I learned the hard lesson that if the sauna gets too hot, you may just have a few pages come loose from the binding. Noted.
The feeling of going from somewhere 140F+ to negative weather got me to thinking about the uniqueness of the feeling, the clash and the energy that happens between the heat and the cold.
I’m sure most of you have probably seen the videos people make of throwing boiling water into the air in negative temperatures and the amazing display that comes out of it. I think sometimes that’s how stories are in horror. I don’t think it’s always the case; sometimes it feels more like a pressure cooker that’s you’ll never escape. But in some stories, there’s a complex intertwining of an experience that’s both out-of-this-world and directly, smack dab in the middle of the world that’s so out of place it makes for something wonderful.
The question then becomes, what makes the story that you’re reading or writing horrifying? Is it the sudden explosion of energy boisterously making its presence known before dissipating out of existence? Or is it the frigid void siphoning vitality from unlucky passerby in the dark?
Is it the sudden explosion of energy boisterously making its presence known before dissipating out of existence? Or is it the frigid void siphoning vitality from unlucky passerby in the dark? Click To Tweet
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