Archive for October, 2012

Yes Virginia, There ARE Vampires!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 28, 2012 by dcmclaughlin

Every writer needs to write a story that sings to him or her. Sometimes it’s easy to know what sort of setting to put the characters into. Sometimes the tale seems to write itself and the author is taken on a rollercoaster ride into a land they never knew they would venture into.

My vampire story did that to me, it possessed me, took me over and wrote itself. (Such a vampiric thing to do!) But every writer, even a writer of fiction, has to somewhere in his or her heart, make the characters believable, even if the characters are complete and total fiction. If the characters are not believable to the writer, how is the reader going to accept them? Or is the writer just a charlatan, weaving a lie for us all to get swept up in?

So I guess where I’m going with this is leading to an eventual question.

Do I believe in vampires?

Hmmmm. Let me think about this one for a minute.

Okay, I’m done thinking.

Yes, I do believe in vampires.

Now before you stop reading this because I’m talking like a madman, let me clarify my previous sentence.

There are many kinds of vampires.

Do I believe in the kind of vampires that sleep in graves and only come out at night to bite you on the neck to suck your blood?

No, I do not.

But vampires are real and they do exist. Some may even be reading this right now. And you all, every single person on this planet, has met a vampire. That is unless you live under a rock. Many people have vampires in their immediate families. Many people work with vampires. Some have even had romantic relationships with vampires.

I myself have worked with vampires on many occasions. I’ve even slept next to one for seven years.

Let me clarify further.

A vampire is any person who sucks the life out of you.

Let me give you an example. You finally accomplish that task you’ve been struggling with for so long. All you can think about is going up to your friend and crowing about it. You tell them and they wave you off like its nothing, or say they mastered that in one day, or they just don’t have time to hear you. You feel crushed, deflated, your bubbly mood has just been drained completely out of you and you feel the opposite of just a few seconds before.

Well congratulations! You’ve just been sucked dry by a real world vampire!

Another example. There’s a person in your family that you’re always trying to please. You’ve bent yourself over backwards doing all kinds of things to try to get them to notice you. All they ever seem to do is criticize and demoralize you. They’re never pleased with whatever you do. Getting a compliment out of them is like pulling teeth the old fashioned way. They also seem to know every single button to push to upset you and are more than happy to do it every time they see you. Every time they speak to you, it hurts and you die a little more.

Again you’re dealing with a toothsome bloodsucker.

Is the face of a certain person beginning to form in your mind? Maybe their name is coming to you.

A real world vampire is anyone you have to deal with on a pretty predictable cycle that every encounter with them just seems to suck you dry of all enthusiasm, joy, pride or self-accomplishment. It’s stressful just dealing with them. No amount of talking this out with them seems to help and they have absolutely no sympathy for your situation. You leave every encounter feeling tired and drained and you dread having to deal with them ever again.

These are the vampires we have to deal with in our everyday lives. They are real and their numbers are vast. I have dealt with them in the past and there is probably a very good bet that I will still have to deal with some in the future. The truth is vampires are an insidious breed, difficult to avoid completely. How do I deal with them? Well I try not to. I know that is no help to anyone reading this but I really do not have the time to deal with someone who will only bring me down. I deal with them when I have to (and many times I do have to) but if I can avoid the bloodsuckers, I will.

There is another way to deal with them though that I find most enjoyable. As the character of Geoffrey Chaucer said in “Knight’s Tale”, “I will eviscerate you in fiction.”

I love that line! I wish I had written it myself. It says what I feel so beautifully.

Let the vampires you deal with live out their pathetic lives in your stories as a character, a villain or anyone else you choose. Put a literary chain around their neck and jerk it as many times as you feel the need. Let them give your story zest. Make them your unforgettable characters.

So I guess I am promoting literary murder when I say real world vampires definitely deserve to be eviscerated in a most memorable way. But it is certainly more preferable…and healthy…to deal with them in this fashion. Stress must be dealt with and released in some way and weaving a tale of fiction from the stress we all must deal with is certainly a very enjoyable way of dealing with it.

Now just make sure your real world vampires do not recognize themselves in your stories.

D. C. McLaughlin


Mykhalo Made Me Do It!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 27, 2012 by dcmclaughlin

If you had told me ten years ago that one day I would write a vampire novel, I would have laughed myself silly. That’s not what I write. I write fantasy stories, hero epics with a great bit of attention paid to magic, swordplay and horses. I certainly don’t write vampire stories!

And then I met Mykhalo.

I stopped laughing.

Now first let me clarify that Mykhalo is a fictional character. He exists nowhere but in my own overly active imagination.

Except that Mykhalo Von Ludwig is very real.

Both statements are absolutely true.

There was a time before he came into my life, a time when I was happy to write my fantasy novels and snicker at vampires and those who loved them. But then vampires never ask permission to be your friend or your lover. It just kind of happens. They rarely knock at the front door. They always either slide in the back door or through a window you forgot to latch. When you turn around, there they are smiling at you and you suddenly find yourself unable to kick them out. They are so sinister and yet so appealing that before you know it, you’ve become enchanted with them and you couldn’t get rid of them if you tried. They’ve already taken up residence in your mind and in your heart, moved all their dark things into your house and they are here for the long haul.

Lovely! Just what I always aspired to, living with a predator and loving it! How in the world did that happen to a sensible, strong-minded woman like myself?

But then again Mykhalo was never like any other vampire in any other story I’ve read or movie I’ve seen. He never wanted to be a vampire. He wanted to be the hero on the white horse, riding in to save the day. Instead he is the villain and he hates it.

And so I listened to his story. I learned to make coffee because Mykhalo really likes coffee. And I fell head over heels in love with the tormented guy. I guess I’m a sucker for any intelligent tall blonde man I run into that actually talks to me. I’d like to think of myself as better than that but there it is.

At least I still reflect! Even if that reflection is a little darker than I’m usually comfortable with staring at, it still exists. I’m still real.

What Mykhalo is I’m not quite certain. But he’s got a story to tell and you’re going to need a very comfy chair and a tall mug of some bracing drink to get through it. You might also want to read this in the daylight.

D. C. McLaughlin

Introduction To My Blog

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 26, 2012 by dcmclaughlin

Hello. My name is Devon Claire McLaughlin. Welcome to the castle of my stories otherwise known as a ‘blog’.

Some areas of my castle are still under construction. Well let me be truthful, all of it is! Stories are the decorations in my rooms and that I am quite comfortable with. Building the blog, well now that is the daunting role. I keep wondering at the end of my first year blogging how many blocks I will want to start over with how I chiseled them or just replace them altogether, wishing I had never chosen that particular chunk of rock to build with. Be patient and forgiving and I will endeavor to try and grow into my blogging skin. I’m a new mason here.

Let’s start the castle tour on the bottom floor shall we? That means we’re going to the dungeon first. The dungeon is where I keep all my vampire tales. Behind those heavy oaken doors Mykhalo Von Ludwig rules the dark. Most of my vampire tales revolve around him and his adventures. He is a three hundred year old Bavarian vampire who likes his beer and his coffee but much prefers the blood of the living. Soon I will release him to the library of the world. He is now being groomed and schooled for his debut. I promise not to surprise you all but to give you fair warning when that date is. I do have a deadline of Labor Day 2013 but I also believe he will be out in the world long before that date. Make sure that cross you wear is not just a simple piece of jewelry.

How strong is your faith?

The next floor we come to is the main floor of the castle. The drawbridge is normally down but well guarded and ideas for new stories come and go like postman. This is a difficult area to keep clean. Those damn postman’s horses keep crapping everywhere! The grooms are constantly busy running about with their pitchforks and wheelbarrows because the mess keeps renewing itself.

There is one major fantasy story that is being groomed for its debut party here. But it is much younger than Mykhalo and still needs to pass its finals before advancing any further. It is done growing but still needs work. This story has to do with everything I love; horses, magic, women with swords, a big ole’ dragon and great plot twists to confound the reader. This is a story for the daylight and for people who like happy endings that they weren’t quite expecting.

My husband also says there are more ‘done growing’ stories here but they are much further away from their coming of age parties.

The next several floors are closer to heaven and still need much work. These floors are where the unfinished stories and the new ideas land and either take root or fizzle out. The newest and shiniest bird in this lot is the story about the haunted carousel. It’s still just a skeleton with really pretty iridescent feathers fluttering in the wind. I’m waiting to see if it wants to stay put. So far it really likes the food I put out for it. I think if the chef keeps up his magic in the kitchen, it may choose to stay permanently. At least I hope it does.

So let us make our way back down to the make courtyard. Be careful on the stairs. They are so new they’re slippery. And be careful not to step in the road apples. That would be a lousy way to end a tour. I hope you enjoyed the tour to my castle…erg…blog and I am looking forward to your next visit.

Please don’t be a stranger.

D.C. McLaughlin