Bullet Journal Basics| The Daily Log

Bullet Journal Basics- The Daily Log TitleColor me unimpressed with my own ability to keep a schedule when it comes to this series. I hope the rest of May will be much better.

What Is A Daily Log?

The Daily Log or daily list is a staple of the system as shown on the official website. A place to keep things you want to get done that day, appointments, notes, tasks that come up, minor tracking, and even journal-like entries.

It can be as simple or complex as someone wants and has many variations.

Using The Daily Log

Using the Daily Log is simple. For one that looks like Ryder’s from Bulletjournal.com, all you have to do is place the date and possibly day of the week at the top of a page or below the last Daily Log. From there you just use rapid logging and the occasional longer entry until the day is done.

Get a new story idea while working on something else? Just note down the idea with the right symbol and you’re good to move along with what you were doing.

Feel like writing a diary entry at the end of the day? Just write whatever symbol you’ve devised to signify those entries start the entry right under it.

Food tracking? Just find a spot that works log it with the appropriate symbol.

The more you use it, the more aware you become of what you need it to do for you.

Variations In The Daily Log

It seems like there are as many variations of the Daily Log as there are people who use the Bullet Journal at times. That isn’t wrong, there are a lot of variations. So many I couldn’t even begin to list everyone and the tweaks each person makes to them. However, this series is about the basics of Bullet Journaling. So it seems fitting that I cover three basic and minimalist variations to the system. Split pages, timelines, and pre-drawn Daily Logs.

I would’ve also chosen to cover the Ryder or Traditional Daily Log, but that can easily be found on the official website and I have a post coming up within the next couple of months detailing how that style can benefit Bullet Journalists. So let’s get the show on the road, starting with Split Pages.

Split Pages are a variation not because there are any special changes made to the original Daily Log itself, but because the pages are split as the name hints at. They lend themselves really well to the continual nature of the Traditional Daily Log. If you run out of space all you need to do is continue the Daily Log in the next column and go about your business.

This makes Split Pages a no muss, no fuss style. One that can fit in easily in a range of sizes from A4 down to B6. However, this variation is hard to do in A6, pocket, and other small notebooks. Most people find that there just isn’t enough room.

Timelines on the other hand, while used by many, require a bit more forethought than Split Pages. For one, they take more time to set up. That’s just a fact. It may be a few seconds or a minute for the simplest ones, but it’s still more time. So they aren’t for people who dislike spending time setting up their Daily Logs. But where they may fall flat on setup time, they excel in customizability.

They can be as simple or as complex as the Journalist wishes them to be. Color coded to high the stratosphere or simple changes in crosshatching that allow the Journalist to use one pen. Even just lines connecting tasks/appointments/events to the time slot in which they were done. They can go across the top of a page, be a box on a page, and be done vertically either to one side of down the middle of a page.

However, like Split Pages, it can be a bit hard to implement Timelines in smaller setups.

This leaves us with the last variation, Pre-Drawn Daily Logs. Pre-Drawn Daily Logs are a hybrid between Daily Logs and Weekly Logs. Some even think of them as being a Weekly Log style and not a type of Daily Log.

They can span two or more pages in a Split Page style or include Timelines. They can be vertical or horizontal. For people who don’t tend to vary the amount of space their Daily Logs take up, they’re a great way to get things done without spending time worrying about setting up Daily Logs during the week. But using them does mean the person needs to set up extra space if they run out of room. There’s also a lot of wasted space if the whole section isn’t used or the Journalist skips a day entirely.

What I Use

Out of all the variations, I find that the Traditional Daily Log is the one that works best for me.

It’s a no muss, no fuss sort of setup. A few minutes to look over what I did the previous day and look over my weekly log for tasks that can be broken down into small chunks, then 30-seconds to write the daily heading and I’m good to go. However, I am toying with the idea of a Timeline when I feel I need. Variety being the spice of life is more than a simple cliche, it helps me to find variations on the standard Bullet Journal format which work for me.

You can find me on Twitter and facebook. Come over and visit. Until next time.

My Gothic Minimalism Guidelines

Gothic Minimalism Guidelines Title

Last time we discussed Gothic Minimalism, I talked about my own story surrounding being a Gothic minimalist. Today I would like to talk about my personal minimalist guidelines.

Why Have Guidelines?

Some people thrive on an organized type of chaos, having a mental list of guidelines at most. Or they like to go with the flow.

I’m a planner. I like things to be orderly and to have a personal code to follow. So, when I came across minimalism as a lifestyle, it seemed quite natural that my the Bullet Journal® would house those guidelines. At the time, I was in squared Moleskine Classic Notebook in Large. Seems odd now as I’m slowly moving into a pocket-sized Traveler’s Notebook, but that was what I was in and I still recommend it for a Bullet Journal or a normal journal.

All that said, let’s move on to what those guidelines are.

My Guidelines

My personal minimalism guidelines are separated into various sections. General, Clothing Related, Personal Care, Books and Movies, Office Supplies, Sewing and Crafts and a catch all for anything else. While this may seem like a lot of sections, and it is, I’ve found having them divided up like this makes the list itself easier for me to navigate. If I can’t navigate the list, then I can’t use it and there would be no point to having written it down.


  • Goth can be minimalist.
  • All possessions should add value to my life.
  • Hobbies can be part of a full life.
  • There’s nothing wrong with my gothy space showing my pride as either an LGBT person or as a mixed person POC.

Clothing Related

  • I do not want to own more than I can comfortably care for.
  • One off items should be very limited.
  • Each item having a Gothy vibe is a must.

Personal Care

  • No more than four perfumes, two masculine/gender neutral and two feminine at a time.
  • One lotion or body butter with a neutral scent.
  • Hair care items must fit in a medium basket.
  • One neutral deodorant to go with everything.

Books and Movies

  • The movies I own should only be ones I truly love and will rewatch.
  • Two bookcases and no more.
  • All the novels I own should be ones I love.
  • All the non-fiction books should be relevant to my writing and interests.
  • Nook or hard copy only, not both.

Craft and Sewing

  • Paper crafts should fit into one basket.
  • Yarn should also fit into one basket.
  • Crochet should fit in a small basket.
  • All fabric should fit in a medium size storage tub.
  • Needles and hooks should fit inside a handsewn needle roll.
  • All sewing patterns should fit in a binder.
  • All sewing notions should fit in a medium-small box.
  • One project basket for ongoing projects, whether handcraft or machine.
  • Only one knitting, crochet, notebook making, or sewing project at a time.

Office Supplies

  • Paper must fit into one basket.
  • Printer ink, paper clips, and other small items must fit in one basket.
  • Only the current year’s writing should be living in my desk.
  • Items not in use should be put away.


  • I only need three sets of black sheets.
  • I only need three blankets for the various times of the year.
  • I only need two throw blankets.
  • More than four towels, two for my body and two for my hair, isn’t something I need.

Using The Guidelines

Now that I’ve bored you to death with my guidelines, I should say that these are a work in progress and individualized. Some people make need more towels for example. However, my hair is kinky-curly and I don’t wash it more than once or twice a week. My scalp tends to get oilier much quicker when I overwash and detangling my hair becomes, surprisingly, much more difficult for me to do.

Other people also don’t need to the mixed and LGBT part of my guidelines. I’ve found that the reminder is invaluable to me. Keeps me grounded when people say I can’t be Goth because I’m mixed, Goths aren’t gay, Goths don’t ever listen to certain types of music and other asshattery.

The biggest things I want people to take away from this blunt and honest list? Find what works for you. If that is not having a concrete set of guidelines, then that’s perfectly fine. If you need a set like I do, then that is perfectly OK as well.

On Wednesday I will, hopefully, be on time with a review of a fabulous writing craft book. Join me if you want to know what I think about K.M. Weiland’s Outline Your Novel. The book can be found in hardcopy and e-book formats on Amazon for those who want to start reading now and comparing our opinions. Minim

In the meantime, please feel free subscribe to the blog and mailing list, and to join me on Facebook and Twitter. I enjoy chatting with people and it’s nice to know people are enjoying the blog.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate in links. All that means is that I may receive a small commission if you click on a link from a product I’ve recommended in this post and purchase/subscribe to one of them. I’ll only ever recommend products I’ve used and enjoyed myself.Thank you for supporting my dorky little corner of the internet!

Gothic Minimalism

Gothic Minimalism Title

The word minimalism originally came from the art world as a slur against a certain style art. Its main dictionary definition to this day being:

A style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.

But minimalism, like so many things, has evolved beyond the original confines of the definition to include a type of lifestyle. The minimalist lifestyle. One that has seen a recent surge is magazine coverage both praising and looking down it.

I love seeing other people’s minimalism stories. That said, I would like to talk about minimalism in the context of being a Goth.

My Goth Story

Like everyone else, I came to Goth in a way both unique to me and fairly common. As a little kid, I had been interested in some pretty odd things such as Horror movies and Anne Rice’s vampire novels. I can remember reading Vittorio The Vampire at nine-years-old and asking for another scary movie after my aunt forced me to watch Bride of Chucky when I was eight.

But I didn’t really get into Goth until I was twelve-years-old. One of my grandmothers was dying of cancer, so I started to dive deeper into the darker side of things as a way of making me feel better. I read Horror stories and Edgar Allan Poe and watched a lot of The Addams Family. Tupac Shakur, Jazz, and Blues were joined by the Punk band Good Charlotte and much more obviously gothy H.I.M.

Death and its reality at that age, where things are already in a constant state of change, can feel like it is gnawing at you from the inside out. As if your emotions and your body are trying to slit your throat when you sleep. Or at least, that is what I felt at thirteen-years-old when my Nana passed.

After she passed, darkness and Goth became like a sanctuary for me. It made me feel better and cope, as much as a kid that age can cope with death, better. And when the freshness of the grief was gone, I found that my childhood’s dark inclinations had solidified into something which is still a part of me today. Though, I do admit that many other Goths seem to find it strange that I still love Jazz, Blues, and other types of music not typically viewed as Goth in addition to much more obviously gothy music like Nightwish. I simply see it as part of my being a fully realized human being. I like what I like and happen to be more drawn to the darker side of things in terms of music, art, literature etc. so I’m Goth.

My Minimalism Story

I have to admit that I never pictured myself as being a minimalist until I discovered it nearly a year ago. But I do know when it started. Somewhere during late June of last year.

On that hot summer’s day between watering the chickens and spending time with a couple of my nieces and nephews, it hit me. I wanted to spend more time enjoying life, both in the context of my life as a fully realized person and in the context of being able to enjoy living in a multi-generational home.

So I started researching minimalism and found out that it wasn’t about how many possessions you started with, I didn’t and don’t have even a quarter of what others start with after getting rid of a lot during an intense move, but about being able to enjoy life and making room for enjoying life instead of worrying about stuff. I may not have come to minimalism with a number of possessions others had, but it became clear pretty quickly that it was exactly what I needed.

Combining Goth and Minimalism

So I had the Goth and I had the minimalist, next came finding out how to combine the two in a way that was aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for my life. I’m still on that part of the journey.

I invite everyone reading to follow me and see how the journey goes. Maybe it will inspire you to try minimalism for yourself, maybe it won’t. Either way, it is sure to be fun.

Join me on Wednesday for the first in a series of posts about researching fiction. First up, Historical Fiction. And don’t forget to join me on Friday for my normal Bullet Journal post. This week I’m, once again, continuing with Bullet Journal Basics by talking about the Future Log.

In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Or you can subscribe to my mailing list if that fits better.

Scare Yourself First: A Horror Writing How-To

scare-yourself-titleHorror seeks to scare, terrify, and disturb. It can do this in a variety of ways, each exploiting things both readers and writers find terrifying.

Yes, you read that right. I did say the writer.

You see, the easiest way to terrify the reader and by doing so get the genre’s desired effect is to scare yourself first. To plumb the depths of your mind and soul to exploit your own fears, or twist the things you love into something you find terrifying.

How To Scare Yourself


It may seem redundant to have a graphic reinforcing the theme of the entire post, which I already talked about in the introduction. But grasping this type of thing can be really difficult for people new to writing Horror, and any good Horror writing how-to should, in my opinion, make this type of advice clear and give plenty of chances and time for the reader to slowly absorb it.

So, how do you scare yourself so that you can better terrify your readers?

1) Look for things that scare you.

This bit of advice relies on the idea that you’re reading the genre. If not, go and read some Horror. It’s really hard to write an effective and, in this case, terrifying story if you’re not familiar with the expectations of the readers. What they’ve seen a lot of, what they haven’t seen much of, what they want to see more of as readers etc. To try to in any genre, but especially an emotion-based one like Horror, is to shoot yourself in the foot.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot when you can start writing with an advantage over those who underestimate the genre.

If you are a Horror reader, think about the things that scare you when reading Horror. What genre tropes do you like? What was the most terrifying story you ever read?

By examining the things terrify you in your own reading adventures, it allows you to use those things to terrify readers with similar tastes to you.

2) Write About Your Fears.

Another easy way to write a story that terrifies both yourself and your readers by extension is to write about the things which you already know terrify you.

Are you scared of ghosts? Write a ghost story. Scared of the dark or deep waters? Write a story featuring either or even both of those fears.

The idea behind this bit of advice is that, like other bits of advice before and after in this Horror writing how-to, you’re trying to lend a hard to master and indescribable quality to your writing. To create the impression for the reader that your heart raced, palms sweat, and flight or fight response was in overdrive while you were writing.

3) Turn Something You Love Into Something Scary.

The aim of this isn’t to ruin your enjoyment of the thing you love, but to ask yourself…what if? What if you have a character who enjoys drinking tea or coffee as much as you do that is going to be killed by a monster, serial killer, curse etc. as soon as they finish their cup? What if you have a romantic scene with cuddling, but one of the people cuddling is a flesh eating demon or a serial killer?

4)Take A Happy Memory And Apply It To A Horrifying Situation. Try Writing From The Monster’s Viewpoint.

Happy memories invoke many feelings in us. Therefore, it stands to reason that turning those memories into terrifying situations is an effective way of creating a truly terrifying story.

Think of something like a baby shower, a birthday party, your first kiss etc. What would that first kiss be like if you were a monster that ate their victim’s soul via kiss? What would a baby shower look like if the people holding it were demons or flesh-eating aliens? A birthday party that is normal and then, at the last minute, turns terrifying when it becomes obvious everyone is going to die?

5)Try Writing From The Monster’s Viewpoint.

A lot of Horror stories are from the point of view of the victim. The person being pursued by the demonic stalker, being followed by the werewolf, trying to outrun the serial killer that is after them and things like that.

Less common is the same situation from the point of view of the monster, which is what makes it so effective. By writing from the viewpoint of the monster, you immediately put the reader at a disadvantage. They’re being forced to identify with someone or something a writer normal doesn’t ask them to. The monster, in essence, no matter how monstrous, becomes human to the reader for the duration of the story.


This is also a great place to go for little-known monsters instead of something everyone else is doing. How many people are writing from the viewpoint of a ghoul just coming of age? Someone who is an unusual strain of vampire? A serial killer that isn’t Dexter-like in their channeling their murderous impulses for the greater good?

While the number is insignificant, it gives an advantage when done right.

Another way to give yourself this advantage is to read books on the craft of monster creation and writing Horror. I recommend the follow books:

Writing Monsters by Philip Athans (Amazon link.).

On Writing Horror (Amazon link.).

Horror Upon Horror by Suzanne Ruthven (Amazon link.).

Until next time.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and the blog or check out my Facebook page if that is what you prefer. I hope anyone reading this has been able to get something out of it.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate in links. All that means is that I may receive a small commission if you click on a link from a product I’ve recommended in this post and purchase/subscribe to one of them. I’ll only ever recommend products I’ve used and enjoyed myself.Thank you for supporting my dorky little corner of the internet!

A Child’s Dreams of Xena

When I was little, I wanted to be Xena. Yes, Xena from the TV show Xena: Warrior Princess.

What can I say? I liked the show and I liked Xena and her trusty companion, Gabrielle. They were both awesome, kick-ass women with goals and emotional lives of their own and they always had each other. The subtext surrounding their relationship and whether it was romantic or fell into what is now called the Heterosexual Life-Partners trope vital to my understanding of myself as I came to realize my attraction to other girls/women. The show also had strong Characters of Color from time to time, which was again, awesome for me to see as a young Black child. Especially when those characters also happened to be female.

Don’t get me wrong. The show wasn’t perfect, there was certainly some issue in the show like in any bit of media. And I would dare anyone to find a book, movie or TV show that does everything right or right all the time. We’re imperfect and so are our creation.

But I should probably get to our topic because Xena is not the whole of our topic for today. What I really wanted to talk about was what Xena gave me as a kid, though often in an incomplete way. Representation. You see, it is my firm belief representation matters. Not only for people in marginalized groups like LGBT+ people, religious minorities, POC, and women. But also for the majority as a way of exposing people to the fact we’re just like them, that our lives, hopes, and dreams are no different from everyone else.

You see, it is my firm belief representation matters. Not only for people in marginalized groups like LGBT+ people, religious minorities, POC, and women. But also for the majority as a way of exposing people to the fact we’re just like them, that our lives, hopes, and dreams are no different from everyone else. Once someone sees that you’re the same, denying that you’re also human and deserve the same rights and ability to reach your goals that they have becomes more difficult. Plus it is just more realistic all around to depict the world as the diverse place that it is.

However, there is another thing to consider when it comes to representation in the media. Especially genre media like Horror and other forms of Speculative Fiction, Romance, Thriller/Mystery/Suspense, and Historical Fiction. That of the intersectionality of a character. Some people seem to think that having a character like Xena or the strong POC characters on Xena: Warrior Princess is sufficient representation. And for some people it really is.

But people, readers, generally aren’t only one thing. They’re not just Black, LGBT, Jewish etc. but possibly all of those things or some other combination. That is where I feel representation comes in in this day and age. We’ve done a lot to normalize people that fall into one potential category for marginalization in society but, in my opinion, there’s still a lack of adequate representation when it comes to characters who stand at the crossroads between two or more possible points of discrimination.

And that is important because it helps people both inside and outside of marginalized communities see others who may be the same in one way but different in another as people equal to themselves. Which changes public opinions, whether quickly or slowly, and can influence all areas of people’s lives.

Some tips for including intersectional representation…

  • Don’t be afraid to take a character that is marginalized in one way, say being LGBT, and making them also Muslim, Jewish, Black etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to do your research/extra research! Research is fun and helps make the story more believable to readers.
  • Do be aware of the boundaries of a group you may not be part of. Straight, Gay, Black or White writing about societal groups to which you don’t belong tends to mean you aren’t working with all the variable. Being aware of what those variable are means a potentially better story and the ability to choose not to cross a particular boundary out of lack of sufficient knowledge to do it justice, or possibly out of respect.
  • Do treat your characters the same as if you had chosen to write them as only Black, Jewish, LGBT etc. They’re still your character and their story is still their story. Some things about the story will change, but the way they’re treated in the narrative and by the writer shouldn’t.

My next post will hopefully be the anticipated post on vampires as Byronic heroes/heroines. So, keep an eye out for that.

Goals & The Writer

It seems fitting that the second post on this blog and my first post of the year should be, in the grand traditions of evaluating what we want to accomplish during the coming year during New Years, is about setting goals. Something I come to think every writer should make the time to do at the end of one year and early in the next, and something I’m doing this year myself.

What are goals anyway?

People tend to make resolutions this time of the year. I’m going to join the gym and get in shape, I’m going to eat healthy, I’m going to write that novel I’ve always wanted to write etc. And all those things are fine. But, and this is something that finally dawned on me one day after years of not meeting my resolutions, they’re not the same thing. Resolutions are often treated as intangible, someday I’m going to do what I set out to.

Goals are tangible. Not pipe dreams of writing and getting a novel trade published in a year. It’s not that going all in is a bad thing, it’s awesome to shoot for the stars. But they should be things that are both challenging and achievable such as writing that writing that novel, whether it be the draft for one person or 1st draft to query letter ready in a year for another. Reaching too high, particularly in an unrealistic way— the trade publishing world moves kind of slow compared to other industries— just means we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

Recognising and picking goals…

I think it goes without saying, despite my blunt tone, that the goals we set ourselves for the year should be things that we would be proud to achieve and genuinely want to accomplish.

The easiest way I can think to do this is to sit down and write a list of things we want to do writingwise this year, no matter how much of a pipe dream as long as it makes us proud. Once you have the list, ask yourself the following questions about all the items on it:

Is it realistic but challenging? 

Can I break it down into small, manageable chunks?

Am I willing to put in the time to and effort?

Anything that isn’t realistic should be struck off the list, allowing us to let go of the item. To in a sense tell ourselves that it is completely OK we can’t do whatever that item is at this point in time. After all, there’s no use beating ourselves up about the things we can’t do instead of doing the things we can.

Look at what remains. Is there anything that you aren’t willing to devote time to this year or can’t be broken down into manageable chunks? Cross those off the list as well.

By now you should have a, hopefully, much smaller and easier to handle list. The best part, IMO, as a lover of lists. Because now you have total freedom. Freedom to use all the things on the list that you’re left with as goals, or to pick one, two, however many of the items that remain which you genuinely feel you can accomplish, would be proud to accomplish and are willing to work towards.

Reaching your goals…

It feels a bit ironic to me that I’m talking about reaching goals, as I’m bad at it. But maybe we can get better at reaching our goals together. Who knows.

Maybe we will, maybe we won’t.

Either way, it’s time to take that list and turn it into a plan to help us reach our goal(s) for the year. Having goals without a plan often turns out just as badly as making a run of the mill resolution. It doesn’t have to be a paper plan, but I’ve found that having even a mental plan helps. And for me, planning on paper is even better than a mental plan because I can’t ignore it unless I deliberately delete the file or lose the paper/notebook my plan is in. Do whatever works for you, be it Gannt chart, the major tasks in list format, or something like a Bullet Journal.

It doesn’t have to be a paper plan, but I’ve found that having even a mental plan helps. And for me, planning on paper is even better than a mental plan because I can’t ignore it unless I deliberately delete the file or lose the paper/notebook my plan is in. Do whatever works for you, be it Gannt chart, the major tasks in list format, or something like a Bullet Journal.

Plan in hand, it’s time to follow through with the plan. Work towards the goal in some way every day or however many days a week you realistically have time for, and take the time to reevaluate and see how much you’re progressing. Seeing the progress will help to inspire you to keep going when the goal seems far away, gives you the chance to say “yes, I have made progress and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far.”

My goals for the year…

It doesn’t seem fair to me to have you sit here and read my blabbering all about goals without letting you know what my 2017 goals are.

This year I hope to…

  • Create a thriving blog.
  • Finish my current novel and get it query-ready.
  • Write and submit 12 short stories, with one of those stories hopefully being accepted somewhere.
  • Participate in a personal poetry writing challenge and submit 12 poems, with one or more of those poems, again, hopefully being accepted for publication.
  • Write two novellas.

It’s not a huge list at only five items long, but they’re all things I know that I can do if I chip away at them. Maybe I’ll even get to start another novel or the research for it!

Feel free to join me in my next post where I will be talking about how Bullet Journaling can be a great tool for writers.

The Beauty In Horror

I debated long and hard about what the first post of this blog should be. Did I want to blog about representation in the media and why it is important for marginalized groups such as LGBT people and People of Color? Do a book review of on one of my favorite stories, the Gothic novella from 1872 that was written by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla? Perhaps I wanted to dive right in and analyze Carmilla as Queer Fiction, or talk about Bullet Journaling?

All were good topics and ones that I will definitely be covering, but the thought occurred to me the other day while reading an Erotic Horror story during little breaks I took as I reread Carmilla for some upcoming review and analysis posts. Horror is among my favorite genres; one which holds, dare I say it, a beauty that many people don’t see.

It is a diverse genre in which the writer must expertly play on the reader’s emotions like a master pianist to get the desired brand of scared and/or disturbed that fits their specific story. Someone writing Romantic Horror or Erotic Horror may need to manipulate their readers so that cannibalism is sweet/sexy, using the very things that normally draw people to the erotic or romantic against them. A cannibal that falls in love while the reader watches on both repulsed and pulled into the story by romantic gestures that suddenly become disturbing because of the nature of the character; a relationship involving a vampire or a serial killer where the love interest knows and accepts the vampire/killer for who they are. Maybe a sweet but terrifying story about a frustrated demon mother, who much like a human may have trouble weaning their child off of breastfeeding or formula, is having trouble weaning her child off of her flesh and onto human flesh.

The possibilities are endless. All equally able to strike fear into a reader when done right, creating a pervading sense of dread and horror for the durations of the story.  I can describe a romantic if slightly childish scene where two people carve their initials into something but have the people be a pair of serial killers and have the something being a struggling victim. I can write a sex scene if that is my wish, have the characters be deeply in love, but have the characters quite literally consuming bits of each other. I can write a normal slasher story or a monster story if that is what my heart is set on writing

And it is that wide open galaxy of space for writers to play to their heart’s content as long as they do the job of disturbing, scaring, or horrifying their readers that makes this genre so uniquely, dementedly beautiful in my eyes as a reader and a writer.