Much horror fiction involves some sort of supernatural agency visiting despair, terror, and suffering on the living. Most of the rest features depraved mortals whose love of torture and sadism borders on the fantastic. It’s cathartic for the reader and writer both, letting the fear and worry and stress that builds up during the course of everyday humdrum human existence relieve the pressure. Stephen King’s Danse Macabre does an excellent job exploring horror in this light – if you like horror at all, you should read it; it’s fun, funny, and informative – and talks about some of the everyday anxiety that ends up being expressed through popular movies and books. For example, he posits that the reason The Amityville Horror was such a success when it was first released is that it hit a nerve among people going through the financial instability of the inflation-crazy 1970’s (what if your house was haunted and you couldn’t sell it? The horror!). He also talks about the 1950’s era of giant bug movies (fear of living in the Nuclear Age) and alien invasions (fear of the Soviet Union). Basically, it forms a road map of national anxiety as expressed in horror films and books up to the early 1980’s. The book came to mind after this morning. Read the rest of this entry
I’m struggling today to do just about everything. I’m struggling with forcing myself to work. I’m struggling with making myself write (although I did pen a little addition to “The Space“, a small scene which has wedged itself into my brain and refused to let up until I wrote it down, so I did and will be updating the story as it’s posted here just after I finish this). Hell, I struggled putting up a blog post. I wanted to put something up (probably related to some interesting programs I watched looking at the Old Testament through the eyes of a military historian which absolutely fascinates me, but evidently couldn’t be less interesting to everyone I’ve tried to talk to about it over the last few days), but struggled with what to say and how to say and if I’d offend anyone with it and wondering why I care about that at all and blah blah blah. Instead I’ll just write what I’ve been thinking half-heartedly about this morning. Read the rest of this entry
1. Yesterday was too soul-crushing to write a new post. Nothing noteworthy happened, just the standard work-day stuff on a Monday when you’d give anything for one more day at home with your wife. It was enough to destroy any literary ambitions for the day, even ones as feeble as this.
1. Lady Aravan and I bought Bioshock 2, Mass Effect 2, and Dragon Age yesterday. We were going to buy our own copy of Mass Effect as well, but they were sold out. With the prospect of a coming snowstorm, fond hopes of a day off filling with gooey Xbox action floated around, right up until 9am when it was determined that I had to come into work. Where less than half the staff actually came in. Curses.
1. There are few things more joyous than remembering you brought a Raspberry Zinger to work and left it in your desk, but forgot to eat it at lunch, just before you go home. It’s like a reward for surviving yet another drab workday.
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1. I’ve written 20,000 words of my novel in 12 days. I feel very good about that milestone and the story in general. How I feel about it when time and perspective are applied, I don’t know, but I hope I’ll still like it. I think I will. The zombies are about to make their first appearance, and I’m excited and nervous. I’ve enjoyed writing a fantasy novel so far, and I hope I like writing zombie novels too.