Storytelling, Uncategorized, Writing Inspiration, Writing Tips

The Horror! The Terror! The Author!

Many thanks to author, blogger, and my long-time friend Jon for visiting this week and creating this guest post. Are you ready for THE HORROR???!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the strangest creature in all creation! Just two bits and you can step out of the midway of this fine, fine fair and into our private viewing room! Thank you sir, ma’am. Right this way. Watch your step, please.

Now, prepare yourself! Those with weak hearts may wish to look away! Behold! Come, view the writer! Here he is, in all his glory! Gasp! Shriek! Oh, little boy, sorry, no refunds.

I know. It’s terrifying, isn’t it? Those bags under his eyes? That vacant expression! But wait!

Oh, he’s looking at you now, little one. You’ve clicked some idea off in his head, and there’s no telling where you might end up now! Perhaps that coat you’re wearing reminded him of a day in his youth when he had a crush on a girl who told him know, and now the emotion is sending in sliding into a story! Maybe the cut of your hair made him wonder what would happen if we all just shaved our heads and there was no fashion industry. Perhaps you just happen to be standing there when random neurons connected, and now he’s chasing after that story about how a dragon kept breathing books instead of stories.

It’s not your fault. You just happen to be in his presence.

Yes, sit and stare at Jonathon Mast, the author who has more than once stared at my tall, tall hat and declared that it gave him the idea that would finally get him that big publishing deal! And as amazing as my tall, tall hat is, it has yet to get him in the doors of any traditional publishers!

And maybe I am Jonathon Mast. Maybe everyone in this blog post is.

Yes, little girl, try not to gasp too hard. I have just rent the fourth wall asunder and revealed the truth of your reality. You do not sit in the freakshow of the midway. You are merely pixels on a screen as someone reads a blog post!

A blog post, guest-written, far from home!

Yes, ladies and gents, welcome to this guest post, written by Jonathon Mast, who does not in reality own a tall, tall hat, though he wishes he did.

But back to our fictional freakshow!

You see, this author is a dangerous beast, and not to be trifled with. In fact, you should beware any writer. Beware! But he looks so harmless, you say! Look at those atrophied muscles and weak eyes! True, he likely won’t attack you and grind up your spleen for goulash, nor will he rend your fingernails from their resting places. What the author does is so much more dangerous.

He takes your life and cuts it up and uses the best parts in his story. Just like he did to this little one here. A bit for that chapter, a snippet for this character. He’s always on the lookout, always prowling, always dangerous.

And if your father happens to be a writer?

See some authors, like the immaculate Anne, might only steal naptimes from their children, purloining moments of ecstatic writing and research. (But even Anne is a thief, snatching at history and melding together a story of her own creation. But thieves are such fascinating people, aren’t they? Don’t be afraid to admit it. And the only thing she steals is reality, not moments.)

But this writer, this jolly Jon Mast? If he happens to be related to you by blood? Perhaps if you have the misfortune of being his progeny?

Oh, your childhood is doomed to be dissected, ripped apart, used as grist for his unholy mill. That time you scraped your knee? How you made him feel when you refused to play with him? How he felt when he refused to play with you? It’ll all be there in ink and pixels, kneaded into a character or a moment for everyone to read about and cry or laugh or shrug noncommittally.

And the author? Oh, he feels terrible about it. Maybe. As much as he writes about emotions and all that sensational codswallop, it’s hard to get inside his own head. Maybe he feels guilty. Maybe he feels proud. Or perhaps he just feels a little indigestion.

It’s best not to gaze on the horror too long, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve got enough for the two bits you paid to enter. Time to move along, now, move along. You can buy tickets to the next show if you want to come back.

Don’t worry. Most of you have escaped unscathed. I don’t think he watched you too long to take anything from you.

But you never know.


Jon Mast’s wife and children tolerate his writing. He is also a pastor. He shares his journeys of writing discovery over at Wanted: One New Earth. If you’d like a look at his fantastic speculative fiction, you can find links to his published short fiction here. 

Thanks for stopping by!

8 thoughts on “The Horror! The Terror! The Author!”

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