Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holiday Season

Christmas Night by Juli Snowwhite

From All of us at Supernatrual Underground, wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season.

The Bells

Hear the sledges with the bells--- Silver Bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle,tinkle,tinkle, In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,Bells, bells, bells,---
From the jingling and tinkling of the bells.

- Edgar Allan Poe -

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Writer's Agony and Ecstasy

Hi Everyone!

I shared a version of this earlier on and wanted to bring it here too.

The good news is, I've finished another novel!

The other news is, finishing it dropped me into a well of grief.

It's happened so regularly, this emotional plummet after achievement, a kind of post-completion depression, I decided to do a little research.

Turns out, it's a thing.

The ecstasy

It started out on Cloud 9. The first draft of a new work, a YA Paranormal, was complete, working title: The Cloud Forest. Here's the guff.
Fifteen-year-old Bri Arias survives a car accident but isn’t regaining consciousness. While her body lays comatose, her spirit roams the shaded world between waking and dreaming, life and death. In a parallel version, one where the accident never happened, Bri has the worst summer possible. Her archaeologist mother recruits Bri, and her year 10 Earth Science class, for a dig in the Andes Mountains. Touched by a shamanic spell, Bri becomes a ‘carrier’, a host to souls in transition, and most of them are not human. In one world, Bri is hospitalized and treated for schizophrenia; in another, she discovers a threat to the fabric of life-after-death. The only question is, can she wake up in time to save them both.
Christian Schloe

Then came the agony

They say the Hero's Journey is a metaphor for life. The stages, twelve or so  depending on who you read, correspond to the psychological steps taken every time we step out the door, start a project, job, relationship, degree, oil change, you name it. The process looks awesome on paper. A guide.


Full Circle.

But it's not always that neat, especially at the end if the circle breaks and you spiral into the depths the 13th lost underworld.

Here's how it's supposed to go:

Step 12 - Return With The Elixir

"This is the final stage of the Hero's journey in which [the hero] returns home to the Ordinary World .... [They] will have grown as a person, learned many things, faced many terrible dangers and even death but now look forward to the start of a new life. - Dan Bronzite
Yeah, sure. Good, on paper.

But no.

Before any looking forward to new wonders of life, there is the part where you hit the pavement, face first.

The agony after the ecstasy of creative accomplishment.

You write the book, paint the picture, score the film, edit the video, choreograph the dance ... It took you a week, or a month, or two years. You give it your last tweak, mission accomplished and on comes the fanfare! Triumphant Muses! 

Ticker-tape parade!

So good on paper.

And maybe it happens like that, for some, but for me it's grief, utter and complete.

Back in the "real world," elixir in hand, and I want to curl up in some dark hollow and die.

Not so uncommon to feel that way

Sure enough, it happens to other writers.
The strangest thing about finishing a book is the incredible sense of loss -- and yes, a bit of depression - when it's over. - Jungle Red Writers on Post Book Depression

Evolutionary advantages

Apparently there's an evolutionary advantage to depression, and a plethora of scientific studies on the relationship between it and creative expression.
 ... the creative person, who spends his or her time ruminating on thoughts is likely to suffer from major depression. From an evolutionary standpoint, depression, while seemingly a hindrance to a healthy and happy life, is really a balancing act that helps us focus on the areas where we need to improve most. - Creative Something
If you look deeper at the hero's journey, it is actually there, in the "refusal to return."

Step 12b Refusal to Return

The full round, the norm of the mono-myth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom, the Golden Fleece, or his sleeping princess, back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet or the ten thousand worlds. But the responsibility has been frequently refused. Even Gautama Buddha, after his triumph, doubted whether the message of realization could be communicated, and saints are reported to have died while in the supernal ecstasy. Numerous indeed are the heroes fabled to have taken up residence forever in the blessed isle of the un-aging Goddess of Immortal Being. -The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
For me, it's not so much a fall into darkness but divine homesickness, leaving the table of the gods behind. Leaving the world behind. It lasts a day or two, then slowly wears off, like a bad dream fading away.

Only then can I begin to think of the next step, the next work, and the process begins all over again.

How about you?

Has anyone else felt this way after a creative project is completed? A goal reached? I'd love to hear about it.


Kim Falconer's latest release is out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel. Find this novel in a store near you.

You can also learn more about Kim at, the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter and the new

She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month and runs Save the Day Writer's Community on Facebook. Check out her daily Astro-LOA Flash horoscopes on Facebook

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Tis The Season -- 5 Highlights Of My 2016

Yep, that's right! It's December (how did that happen already?!), which not only means that cash registers are jingling and the goose (or turkey, but I was being really traditional) is getting fat: it's also the Season of Lists.

Published 2016!
So getting in the spirit, I thought I'd share 5 of my highlights from 2016 (to date, since there's still a few weeks of 2016 left):

January 26: Daughter of Blood, The Wall Of Night Book Three, is published -- after a 4 year "slog to the finish" for me, and wait-of-saints from loyal readers. And to date the feedback has been positive, with Romantic Times calling Daughter: "a heady imaginative tale full of Lowe's haunting prose and bold characters, that builds to a startling climax that will leave readers anxious for more."
FB Group Haarth
May: The Wall Of Night series' got its own FaceBook group, fittingly titled Haarth -- it was set up by avid readers so they could discuss the story, the characters and the world. All good fun! It led to even more fun, too, with a Q&A on Twitter at #TheWallOfNight I really enjoyed interacting with The Wall Of Night readers in realtime.

L-R: Helen; Courtney Schafer
June 5-8: Sydney -- this visit was primarily to meet up with friend and fellow SFF author, Courtney Schafer, but I also got to meet the crew at both Hachette, my Australian publisher, and Galaxy, the specialist SFF bookstore, as well as other great Aussie SFF folk.

Also published 2016...
July 6: A Twitter Q&A with Kim Falconer -- I had a great time doing this Q&A with Kim on #thebloodinthebeginning to support the release of her paranormal, post-apocalyptic fantasy, The Blood In The Beginning which stars feisty heroine, Ava Sykes. In fact it may even have been the year of the Twitter Q&A!

September 17-18: Masterclass on "Building Fantastic Worlds" -- I got to deliver this masterclass as part of the inaugural National Writers' Forum and it
was a blast. Great to talk about something I loved with a great group of people. Even better, they seemed to enjoy it, too, with one participant providing the following feedback: 

Building Fantastic Worlds
 "My highlights were Helen Lowe’s session on Building Fantastic Worlds (utterly worth getting myself out of bed on a Sunday morning)..." (The Big Idea.)

So there you are, just a few of the highlights from my year. I'd love for you to share one or more of yours in the comments -- because it is the season. :)


Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, interviewer and blogger whose first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. Her second, The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. The sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Daughter Of Blood, (The Wall Of Night, Book Three) was published this year.
Helen posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog and is also on Twitter: @helenl0we