I’m really not your typical girl…

Upon hearing that I write psychological horror or build sets and scenes for haunted attractions or incorporate skulls into my home decor, people often respond with, “But you’re too pretty…”. To which, I semi-appreciate the compliment, but not fully, because it’s rather backhanded and insulting. Are pretty girls only supposed to be pretty and do girly things, like shopping, gossiping with their girlfriends at cafes, or pampering themselves? What does the way I look have anything to do with who I am as a person?

What I am is happy-go-lucky and just all around bubbly, but with a dark and twisted side. I’m the chick that does like to get mani/pedis, but then blow shit up. I’ll take bourbon neat before something sweet, pink, and with an umbrella. I prefer the feel of cold hard steel in my hands over a credit card or a latte. Put revving, warm leather between my legs instead of the passenger side of a luxury car. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty or greasy or covered in paint and stain…or blood. I find solace amongst the eternal resting and find true beauty in the dark, the macabre, and the otherwise frightening.

“ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE, AND ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS: THEY HAVE THEIR EXITS AND THEIR ENTRANCES, AND ONE MAN IN HIS TIME PLAYS MANY PARTS.” (As You Like It ~ William Shakespeare)

It would seem that I have lived many lives in this production of mine…

I was born in the historical town of Charleston, South Carolina, but grew up suburbia Orlando, Florida.  Even as a child, I was anything but a typical “little girl.”  Instead of playing house with Barbie or other precious dolls, dressing in pastel shades of pink and purple, and staying far away from that icky dirt, I would spend every sunlit second of the day exploring the deepest and darkest parts of the swamps and woods that surrounded my home, chasing insects and reptiles, digging up earthworms, and building makeshift forts.  A good Barbie, in my opinion, included a fire and mopping sauce.

It had to be disappointing to my family to see their young daughter, granddaughter, niece, or cousin wearing ripped up jeans, tattered and muddy sneakers, and holding a four foot Red Rat Snake in her hands like it was her best friend, but that was me.

The age of nine proved to be a blossoming year for me in both storytelling and art. I began writing poems and short stories, mainly about Halloween, ghosts, and monsters, and I really began stretching my artistic skills with sketches, pastels, and watercolors. It was also this same age that I watched my first horror movie, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I immediately became hooked to horror films of all subgenres from Slasher to Psychological Thriller.  Craving more, I found my own imagination to be more terrifying than any movie (in most instances) once I began reading works by the masters of horror: Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, and Robert Bloch, to name a few.

Looking back at my school years, I wonder if I “raised red flags” with any of my teachers. While studying the history of the United Kingdom in school, most of the class would seek out doing their reports on the more popular landmarks like Big Ben, London Bridge, and Buckingham Castle, resulting in what I thought were boring and unimagined reports.  I would focus my projects on darker subjects: Stonehenge, complete with occult usages and Wiccan beliefs, Jack the Ripper, the Bubonic Plague, the witch trials of Salem…I think you get the point.

I’ve dabbled in all artistic mediums from sketching to painting, from crafts to fine cuisine, from acting to singing, and from playing the bass guitar to writing fiction. I have always likened my brain to continuously going in a million different directions and at the speed of light. Creativity is vast and endless, and often hard to control. While I’m passionate about forms of creativity that I engage in, all of them, writing is my true love. And just like love, writing, for me, is a fickle thing.

Writing is my medicine
for every ill I find
and it is my smooth potion,
the healer of my mind.