Chillingly Bizarre Podcast
I was inspired to write short stories by a lesson that I watched from Brandon Sanderson’s class. If you don’t know who that is, he’s a Fantasy writer who’s been on the bestseller’s list multiple times. He’s also a professor that teaches a creative writing class in Utah. One day he had a short stories writer by the name of Mary Robinette Kowal and she taught the principles of a short story. I wrote some practice short stories and from there that’s how I started the Chillingly Bizarre podcast.
Episode One – The Last Resort
I was inspired by watching the Twilight Zone and by a book I read at that time titled Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I was intrigued by the strangeness of the Twilight Zone and by the folkloric references from the novel. Which you can see by hearing the story I was more influenced by the novel than the show. The title of the story is sort of a play on words. The couple stay at a resort, obviously and the way it ended was something they had to do because it was their last resort.
Episode Two – The Hidden Beast
For the Hidden Beast short story I was inspired by a snow hike I did in Breckenridge Colorado. It was a beautiful hike, yet I couldn’t help notice how eerily quiet it was; except for the crunching of the snow underneath my snow shoes. So, this eeriness manifested into this creature in my mind, but I didn’t want the story to be so clean cut. Hence, I added the notion that perhaps its all in the main character’s head or maybe not. The title also came from that idea of whether it’s something hidden inside his mind. You can decide for yourself if it’s real or figment of his imagination.
Episode Three – A Wail in the Night
This inspiration came from an old story I had collecting digital dust in my laptop. My original story was about a couple who move into a new home, and it turns out that it’s haunted. I read the pages that I had and yawned. It felt like a troupe, so I chucked into the waste basket. But I did take ideas from it. I asked myself some questions about the characters and came up with A Wail in the Night. The title is part of the climactic scene, where we come to find out what all the ghostly events mean.
Episode Four – And Still I Write
With this tale I took inspiration from myself and countless other writers who struggle to get their work out there. The setting is in South Florida, which I’m quite familiar with since I grew up there. The title is a play on the title from Maya Angelou’s novel “And Still I Rise.” It’s an inspirational title that I hope resonates with writers and pushes them to persevere.
Episode Five – Dog’s Instinct
This story is inspired by my dog who has the uncanny instinct of providing much needed cuddles when I need them. I find dogs to be quite compassionate and loyal to no end. I thought to myself what would happen if we ignored a dog’s instinct when all they’re trying to do is help?
Episode Six – It Came in From the Wind
I dreamt of a tall, dark figure approaching me, I didn’t know who they were and what they wanted. I created the story around this figure and gave him some character. It was fun trying to figure out what the devil was like.
Episode Seven – Midnight Shift
This by far is my favorite story. It was fun inventing Marty and Raffie and their food truck. I had gone to a food truck festival and for some reason I thought what if a food truck catered to monsters and ghouls? I find the story to be quirkier than the others.
Episode Eight – Knowing is Fearing
Knowing is Fearing was inspired by a carnival scene I saw in a movie with a huge, haunted house. It was set in the 1940s. My imagination kicked into gear, and I thought what if there were real monsters in the haunted house, but the riders didn’t know it? It was fun finding the sound effects for the story.
Episode Nine – Don’t Look
For this story I took a cue from riding a roller coaster. I was so afraid when I was riding it that I kept my eyes shut during the entire ride. Afterwards, I thought of how it felt being afraid and shutting out the world. I started thinking what if someone was traumatized by an event that they never open their eyes?
Episode Ten – Flowing Fear
At this point the last story took me into the realm of phobias. I came across Oenophobia, which is the fear of wine. I thought what does a person do, who has this fear, when they are invited to a party? I wanted to address the fact that phobias are a real thing and that it’s not something that can be ignored, even if others would find them strange or funny. It’s not for the ones who are suffering from them.
Episode Eleven – Digital Sleep
Digital Sleep was inspired by a time that I was struggling to stay awake in front of my laptop. My head would dip forward almost touching the screen. Staring at it, I thought of someone entering the computer world and encountering strange scenes as if they were in a dream.
Episode Twelve – Totem
Totem was a flash fiction that I wrote for a writer’s association competition. I liked the story but felt that it needed more to it. The first and very last short paragraph are the original story. It required some research of the locales.
Episode Thirteen – The Shakedown
I wrote this during the slowest day I have ever worked, so it’s kind of a true story, except the whole mobster part. During that time, I was watching The Irishman. It took me a couple of days to watch it because it’s quite a long movie.
Episode Fourteen – Leshii
Leshii is a type of Slavic folklore monster who lives in the forest. I was so upset over the war in Ukraine that I imagined monsters joining the fight. I did some research of Slavic monsters, and I came across Leshii. I combined it with the news of an abandoned shipping vessel found in a clearing and came up with this graphic story.
Episode Fifteen – Taking Place
Taking Place was inspired by a story I read where a character wanted to jump off a bridge. The character was convinced by a random person not to jump. In my mind, I twisted that story into a ghost influencing the main character to do it, for their own gain.
Episode Sixteen – The Girl of Your Nightmares
Somewhere I saw this line, I think it’s more like a tagline for most romance novels and movies. Not that there aren’t any stories about nightmarish dates and/or lovers; I decided to take a shot at it.
Episode Seventeen – Gaping Maw of Hell
I recently got over Covid and for the first few days I had this terrible pain in my throat. It was quite hellish. It burned and ached. It came to me during my aspirin and cough medicine fueled days the story of having Hell’s gate in my mouth.
Episode Eighteen – Cheating Death
This episode was based on the story trope of being able to cheat death, but I incorporated having the character see her own death in her dreams every night.
Episode 1 Season Two
New season starts off with an absurd idea on a zombie story. Similar to the novel titled “Warm Bodies” I thought about how a zombie who can be able to revert back to being human as long as they can afford it.
Episode 2 Season Two
I was thinking about how cats have such a bad rep for being nasty pets and wondered about the connection between humans and cats.
Episode 3 Season Two
I wrote this story some time ago and was inspired by this real event that happened in California where a woman got into a car accident, left the scene, and jumped off a cliff to her death. It stayed with me as to why she would do such a thing….