Wednesday Weirdness: A Love of Creatures

pathway between large, gnarled trees with wacords "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over imageHi, friends. I was thinking about creatures the other day. No big surprise there. My mind often wonders that way. I’m a wuss when it comes to haunted houses, ghosts, and most things supernatural (despite writing about them), but creatures are another story. Leave the demonic slant out and I’m a fan girl.

Looking back, it started with the old soap opera Dark Shadows. Yeah, I’m dating myself. Everyone knows Barnabas Collins, but I was thoroughly smitten with Quentin Collins. I was six years old and captivated by the idea of someone turning into a werewolf. The thought of the moon altering someone’s behavior held me enthralled. Small wonder, the first book I had published was a werewolf tale.

Early photo of author, Mae Clair standing beside a large wood carving of a bat with folded wings

A creature I discovered in Rhode Island, late 1990s

A few years later, I saw Night of the Gargoyles, a movie that introduced me to flying creatures haunting the southwest. Around the same time, I watched a sci-fi movie with my parents. I have no idea what the name was, or what it was about. I just remember a huge insect like creature being emblazoned against the sky (still vivid in my head). Let it be known I detest 95% of insects, but this was a creature. An alien, most likely.

In my tweens and teens I discovered dragons, unicorns, and all manner of beasties from myth. That led to a love of reading and writing epic fantasy. In my thirties, I drifted away from fantasy into magical realism. The creatures became more subtle, sometimes wrapped in human guise. After that I fell in love with the bizarre. Stories of curiosities, creatures from cryptozoology, tales of visitors from other worlds.

Author, Mae Clair, beside the Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, June 2013

With the Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, 2013

Do I believe this stuff? Well, that’s as much a mystery as the cryptids, isn’t it? Let’s just say I’m mostly a skeptic who loves the possibility of “what if.” Despite all the logic and rationality of the world, the detailed facts unearthed by science and technology, I never want to lose the wonder and magic of childhood when everything carried the gloss of “what if.”

Creatures aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But for all the hairy-winged-scaled-hunched over-misunderstood creatures out there, I’m a fan girl. What about you? Have you got a favorite.

61 thoughts on “Wednesday Weirdness: A Love of Creatures

  1. Love this post and the creatures you’ve come across. Your fascination with them shines through in your writing. I don’t have a favourite, but I do beleive more exists than we necessarily come across in our everyday lives. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  2. I loved Dark Shadows, too! I don’t have a favorite cryptid, though I have published a short story about Big Foot and I do watch a lot of specials about that particular entity. Then again, I watch a lot of specials about weird things. Kindred spirits (like I even needed to say it). Great post, Mae. (And I love the pic of you with Mothman.)

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  3. I’m probably more of a skeptic. For instance, despite the numerous people who have claimed to see a sasquatch, there has never been a single documented case of someone finding a body. But like you, I don’t want to lose the magic of childhood. And I do believe there are thing that happen which can’t be easily explained.

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    • Of course the people who believe in Bigfoot, also have an explanation for that….and all the blurry images, because not one of them is in focus 🙂
      I’m probably a skeptic at heart, but I like to hang onto the magic of possibilities.They make for excellent discussions!

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  4. I do enjoy exploring the possibilities of “what if”. Unicorns are a favorite and Gargoyles intrigue me. I love that they are guardians. And I definitely watch more than my fair share of vampire, witch, and werewolf tv shows. Which all started for me with Buffy the Vampire Slayer – the movie, then later the show. 😊

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    • Gargoyles and unicorns were always personal favorites of mine too, Tessa, along with dragons. At one time I had a large unicorn and dragon collection. I still have several unicorns–in fact, I’m looking at three as I type this.

      I missed the whole Buffy era but have watched my share of vampire shows and movies…and werewolves, of course. 😉

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  5. Last night I just read about a thing that smelled bad, was hard to describe by the victim as anything human or animal. The point that got me IT HAD WINGS. Yeeeoooowwwww. Forget its ability to inflict deep cuts IT HAD WINGS. Nothing like a winged creature all up in your face. This book is by a terrific writer, by the way. You may know her. Did I mention IT HAD WINGS?

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  6. I might not believe in them, but I love the POSSIBILITY of them existing. It lets your imagination take off. And I loved the story you wove of how the Mothman came into being. I felt so sorry for the poor thing. You did a great job on him!

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    • Thanks, Judi. When I started my Point Pleasant series, I wasn’t entirely sure where I was headed with the Mothman. Carrying his story over three books allowed me to really focus on the creature’s development and background, touching a side I never expected. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And also that you’re on board with the possibility of the strange things that inhabit folktales. I’m the same way!

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  7. I like a good gargoyle every now and then, although I’m not a fantasy/sci-fi person. I tend to think dragons are cool, but that’s probably because my Chinese Zodiac fall under the dragon! 🙂

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  8. Interesting! I am more of a realist and associate “what if” with people around me. I like nice friendly creatures and scary ones give me nightmares. I’ve never seen werewolf movies, even Avatar seemed illogical to me. 🙂 and Star Wars encourages fights, even my 5 year old grandson loves imaginary fighting with those characters he has accumulated. When I ask him why do they keep fighting, he says because they like to!! I shudder at the influence of such movies and stories.

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    • Oh, I love a friendly creature….cats, dogs, birds, etc, but I am enamored of folktales and legends and most things of an unusual or curious nature. Maybe in those imaginary battles, your grandson has good triumph over evil.

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  9. I loved Dark Shadows and the saturday night Creature Feature show. I still love all those B movies. I was sympathic to werewolves and still am. The “what-if” is what keeps me going!

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    • I don’t know. Robbie. I think ghosts are scarier. Maybe because I know they’ve passed, while a creature would be living. Isn’t weird how we view things? You’ve given me food for thought. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

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  10. First – I love the ‘happy snaps’ of you and your creatures… so much something I’d do!!
    Second – I love creatures too! This is something people will find out IF I ever publish my own WIP 🙂
    I think my soft spot is for vampires….

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  11. You caused me to fall in love with the Mothman in your Point Pleasant series. I felt so sorry for him because he seemed trapped and sad. Not that I’d ever want to come face-to-face with him, but he touched me. 🙂 As for believing strange creatures exist. Yes, I do! The world is full of strangeness that can’t be explained.

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    • I’m so glad I brought the Mothman to life for you. I’m not sure I would ever want to meet him face to face either, but I really liked developing his story and backstory. I’m so glad you enjoyed the PP series, Jan.
      And I love all the strangeness in the word that brings a sense of wonder and fun discussions. Thanks so much for visiting!

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    • The Mothman statute was really something to see. it’s huge, and smack in the center of Point Pleasant. Off to the left of that statue is the “world’s only Mothman Museum.” Naturally, I’ve been through it–more than once.
      Yes, I’ve been fascinated with creatures since childhood, and I love the possibilities of “what if.” Thanks for visiting!

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    • Hi, Sarah! It’s wonderful to have you drop by and visit my corner of the blogosphere. From what I’ve seen, you and I share some of the same interests. And I am all about that skeptic/what-if approach. Happy monster sightings! 😉

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  12. While I love reading about all of these creatures, I’ve never seen or experienced anything in my (long) life that couldn’t be explained. I’m willing. Mostly. But so far, no Bigfoot down here in our local swamps. Big gators, yes. Big birds, yes. Big-A$$ed creepy looking spiders, YES! *shudder* But nothing unnatural. Still, I’m always open to possibilities, and I do love cryptids in books. In the meantime, I’ll keep an eye out, and you’ll be the very first to know if I see something that “just don’t look right to me,” as they say. 😀 Great post, Mae! 🙂

    Sorry I’m late, but Life has been pushing and pulling me in too many directions at once these days. Always running behind, it seems. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marcia, I know you’ve had your share of obstacles lately, and I’m delighted you took the time to visit my blog with all you’ve had going on. Thank you!
      I’m glad you love crypto’s in fiction, because I will probably trot out a few more of them in stories in the years ahead. Plus they make for great discussions and speculations.

      And the thought of those spiders you mentioned? Eeesh….definitely shudder-worthy,

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  13. Quentin Collins is my favorite! Recently I started watching Dark Shadows again, although Hulu begins the series at the time when Barnabas appears rather than all the Victoria Winters mystery episodes. I had forgotten just how terrifying Barnabas was– keeping Maggie locked away in that room, trying to brainwash her to believe she’s Josette, enforcing his will on her. It seems scarier and more sinister to me now than it did as a young teen.

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    • I haven’t seen it in ages, FLossie. I do remember when I caught a few reruns years ago I was surprised by Barnabas’s character. I’m thinking perhaps they changed him as the series went on to make him more sympathetic to viewers. He certainly wasn’t that way at the start. Another blogger recently told me there are conventions for DS in LA and NY. Pretty big happenings from the way he described them.

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  14. Dark Shadows. Yes! You and I are obvious baby boomers. I remember it well. Had a huge crush on one of the co-stars. Yes, I started young. I

    have never really had a favorite. The moment I think I do something else comes along. Whatever triggers my imagination is good enough for me.

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    • Yep, I’m a baby boomer, showing my age with my love of Dark Shadows, LOL!
      Creatures are so cool before there are so many of them, and they’re all so appealing. I’m partial to the Mothman because of the amount of research I’ve done, but there are so many good ones out there, all great for sparking imagination.
      Thanks for visiting, Bryan!

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  15. i think I’m a skeptic who would like to believe a Nessie exists or Sasquatch, just to prove we don’t know everything. I don’t really have a favorite, but I love to read about the less-common monsters. And gargoyles? Kim Harrison does a great job using gargoyles (and pixies and fairies) in her Hollows series.

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