Thanks to Daniel Powell's recommendation, I picked up a copy of Crucified Dreams. Funny subtitle on that book... I'm not sure many of the stories qualify as Urban Horror, but that is beside the point.
The point? Some of the pieces in Crucified Dreams are "grab you by the throat" awesome. I slapped myself for never reading Harlan Ellison's amazing "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" before. Slapped myself hard. Ellison's a little crazy (okay, a lot crazy), but he writes with passion and wit and life.I want even one-tenth of that for myself.
I woke hours before the rest of the family on Saturday, read Ellison's piece, and immediately wrote pages of handwritten notes and prose for a short story--the first time in months I felt that inspired to write a short. "The Tiger Yawns" now stands at 2,100 words and I should finish today around 3K.
Thanks Uncle Harlan. Thanks Daniel. Thanks to all the tigers locked up in the zoo. This story is for you.
They're even scary when they yawn.