Sleep Paralysis: A Writing Prompt

“Imagine waking up to find you can’t move a muscle. It’s dark, but you’re sure you feel a presence in the room, hovering near your bed — or perhaps sitting on your chest, crushing the breath out of you. This weird phenomenon is known as sleep paralysis…”

–Stephanie Pappas, “What Makes Sleep Paralysis Scary

Sleep paralysis is a terrifying condition rife with dramatic possibilities. It’s already inspired countless horror films, stories, and paintings. Many artists have used devices like alien abductions, astral projection, and even possession in their attempts to translate the terror of sleep paralysis. How would you translate such an experience?

For more inspiration…

Can’t Move – The Sleep Paralysis Prompts,” Marie Lightman Prompt Response Blog

What Makes Sleep Paralysis Scary,” Stephanie Pappas, Live Science

31 Truly Terrifying Tales From People With Sleep Paralysis,” Dan Dalton, BuzzFeed

The Nightmare, A sleep paralysis documentary, Dir. Rodney Ascher

Feature image credit: Henry Fuseli (1781)

Good News & Great Writers

Plenty of beautiful spring weather here in Baltimore, as well as plenty of great news!

51Q7MRxaY6L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_First, let me start by saying that I’m not including myself in the “Great Writers” portion of this post’s title. Rather, I’m referring to some amazing artists who I’ve only just discovered thanks to H.L. Nelson and Joanne Merriam’s anthology Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up to No Goodas well as to the terrific new publication Witch Craft Magazine.

In Nelson and Merriam’s anthology, they’ve got some classic, big league writers like Aimee Bender and Joyce Carol Oates as well as some less-well-known but undoubtedly terrific authors like xTx (here’s her website) and Andrea Kneeland (here’s an interview with her). Definitely worth reading and then rereading!

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In Witch Craft Magazine (issue one; I haven’t yet received my copy of issue two), I was thrilled to find story after story and poem after poem that I simply loved. I fancy myself as a rather picky reader, but the entire first issue struck me as a precious gem. Authors I’m now particularly excited about thanks to this issue are: Chelsea Laine Wells, Nicola Maye Goldberg, and Anna Lea Jancewicz.


Now, on to more of the good news (drum roll, please; thank you–alright, that’s enough! End drum roll already!):

I’m thrilled to announce that my story “The Spyglass” will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Cease, Cows and that my flash fiction story “Shelf Space” has just gone live in the latest issue of Literary Orphans!

Here’s a little teaser of “The Spyglass”:

I always felt empty as a kid, and some nights I feared I might wake up on the ceiling, floating like a hollow barrel on a dark sea. My Aunt Theo often tried cheering me up, but it wasn’t until I happened upon one of her secrets that it finally did any good.

And a little teaser of “Shelf Space”:

And though Rose’s moods and body soon recovered and returned to normal, her newfound connection to the fridge only ever intensified. …

 

Happy Reading & Happy Writing, everyone!