Coffee and Contemplation: Studies in Supernatural Storytelling

As promised, I am changing up how I approach the weekly Coffee and Contemplation segments. Think of this as the introduction post. This will kind of be like reviews but focused on the spooky things. This may include films, television, and various other things. My main focus will be on books. As I want to be a writer of supernatural horror, speculative fiction, and magical realism, these are the kinds of books I’ve been reading for the past couple years. I plan to go through them one by one offering my opinion of the works, saying how spooky they are, and perhaps something I learned about writing in this genre.

I can tell you one thing I’ve learned already. The best supernatural horror stories have some real-life horrors included. I mean things that actually have or could happen such as genocide and rape. I will offer and overall rating of the work between one and five stars like so many other rating systems. I will also include a Spooky Spider Scale. I will rate the level of scariness in the book between one and ten spiders. I don’t scare easy. For example, a children’s book might have some scary bits for kids but not for adults. These might be one or two spiders. The average horror novel might get 5 or 6 spiders. It’s too scary for kids but teens and young adults won’t get too scared.

I may need to perfect this scale as I start writing about these different novels. I have read many and have many a book on my To-Read list. I try to keep my list updated on my Goodreads profile. Follow me or friend request me there to see what I’m reading now. And feel free to offer suggestions or comment on what you thought about whichever book I discussed on a certain week. These posts are intended to be a conversation and I want to hear from you all. I hope to have lots of fun with this new approach to my Sunday posts. I’m already excited. Will you join me on this journey into spookiness?

The Hobo Spider…Man!

portland-spiders-chartOf the many spiders in the world, there are a small number whose bites are considered clinically significant.  This means the bites are very harmful to humans.  The two most well known are the Brown Recluse, also known as the fiddle back, and the Black Widow, sometimes called the southern widow.  The third lesser known is the Hobo Spider.  A bite from the Hobo Spider is not as severe as the Brown Recluse but on rare occasions, victims can display other symptoms.  Mainly, they can mutate and turn into the Hobo Spider-Man.

The Hobo Spider-Man is a most interesting creature.  He scavenges trashcans and dumpsters for food and alcohol.  He will often stand on street corners asking for change and if the person is unwilling to give, he will use his webbing that he shoots from his arm to restrain them long enough for him to search their pockets and run off with whatever he finds.  He has been known to build webs in alleys to catch rival hobos so he might have no begging competition.

When police chase after him, he scales the wall of a building with ease to avoid imprisonment.  Yes, the Hobo Spider-Man is a menace to society, so be cautious and steadfast so that you don’t get bitten and become the Hobo Spider-Man.