Thus, my biggest work in progress has been reading from Ellen Datlow's new anthology, Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror, in the wee hours of the night. This book, in many ways, was the inspiration for yesterday's post.
Some may remember my thoughts upon reading Peter Straub's lost boy, lost girl. All in all, I was unimpressed. Straub's entry in Darkness, "The Juniper Tree", is nothing short of brilliant. The prose is tighter in the short story, the imagery more startling, the narrative voice dead on. I felt more uncomfortable reading "The Juniper Tree" than any bit of lost boy, lost girl. (When one reads dark fiction, one should feel at least a little uncomfortable, right?)
When I titled yesterday's post "Why I Will Never Earn a Living as a Writer", I didn't intend it as a bleak surrender. Quite the opposite: I meant it as a rallying cry around the art of writing, even in "horror". If I could write one story, just one, with the brilliance and efficiency of "The Juniper Tree", I'd die a happy writer. That's my goal, folks. That's the dream I will not surrender. It may not make much money or even be read all that widely (compared with the oft-mentioned in yesterday's comments section Twilight)--but I will gladly die trying.
On another, semi-related note, Necrotic Tissue #10 landed in my mailbox yesterday. There's a delightful little ditty ("Hostile Takeover") by KV Taylor, a short-short by Jeff Strand, and yes, "The Distillery" by yours truly. Hop on over and grab a copy (or subscription). Happy reading.