…I have two pretty creepy stories, "Quilting" and "The Cost of Quitting" up at MicroHorror and also here under "Words in Print." My very first two stories were published by MicroHorror back in May of 2009. The publishing of these two stories brings my total since then to 218.
…About the two stories... People who've read them, people who know me physically and not just virutally, have said that not only do the stories scare them but me having written the pieces scares them. People don't say that to Stephen King, do they? I doubt it. Where do the stories we write come from? Who knows. Or maybe; it's different for each writer. Yes, sure, it has to be different. Sometimes a word or phrase or picture, a smell or sound or memory fragment will trigger something that makes me need to put it in print. It doesn't necessarily mean I've lived that experience or want to. If all serial killer novels were only written by actual serial killers, the planet would be one big slaughter house.
I admit that it's easier for me to write dark things. Do I have dark places? Of course. More than most people? Maybe, probably, but if you pry my jaws wide and are brave enough to look down my throat past my gullet to my soul, it wouldn't be complete blackness. There'd be patches of light, some of it sunny, walk-in-the-park radiance, even, not all, but some. Lots. About the same as in you.
My new novel is happy and funny (or so I think.) There isn't much darkness in it. Well, a little. This is the thing I'm writing for NaNoWriMo i.e., "Write a 50,000 page novel in the Month of November." I am massively behind as it requires an average of 1,700 words a day to keep pace. I will attempt to catch up as soon as I sign off from here, and then all day tomorrow. Already, however, it reminds me of those times when I've been in a (literal) marathon and start slipping off my race pace a few seconds on mile 12, then mile 13, etc., to the point I can't ever get it back. The good news, though, is even if I don't catch up to my word count, I'll still just about have the novel finished, which is better than if I'd not done NaNoWriMo in the first place.
…I no longer have a full-time job. I read about people like Matt Bell and CL Bledsoe and Roxane Gay who all teach, yet blog and do readings and run literary magazines, write reviews, read reviews, share reviews, write oodles of flash fiction or poetry and read every book and still write novels and I admire them immensly, but I am also jealous and envious. I have no excuse. I have other things I do that eat up my time, but I do not have that one big elephant called a career.
…Switching gears without the clutch…In the mail today, from my favorite place on the planet, I received the following
Florence and the Machine
The Cinematic Orchestra
"Miracle Boy," by Pinckney Benedict
and "Lean on Pete," by Willy Vlautin
I love Willy Vlautin. His "Motel Life" is one of my favorite books. Read it, and it will be yours as well.
…I like these two quotes:
"Every story is a war." Richard Bausch
"Every book ever written started out as a flawed first draft." (Can't remember where I read that.)