Friday, April 03, 2009

The horror ...

Reading: Writing Horror, edited by Mort Castle
Writing: too soon to tell
Coffee units: 1 cup
Notable nibbles: none, cereal being too boring to note

[No idea why the bullets didn't work today.]

One day, after writing two novels and some shorter stuff, I realized that the best parts of everything I wrote was either gory, terrifying, eery or horrible. And I also realized that no matter what kind of project I was working on, writing those parts was best part of the writing. So since Nanowrimo wrapped up, I've been letting myself explore my horrible side.

I believe that the main reason I like horror so much is because of my childhood and where I grew up. See, I lived at the end of a very long, very windy road. Highway 38, a two- or sometimes even three-lane highway following the curves of the Umpqua River, gave way to the infinitely narrower Loon Lake Road. Our road. It hung from a cliff face, its other side mouthing a sheer ravine that at points looked bottomless. At others, particularly in winter, that side of the road went straight into the creek. After a storm, the creek would ride high, floating foam and entire bodies of trees and sometimes loose boulders. After a lot rain there were points where the water came right up to the white line. Each trip along that road scared the shit right out of me.

It was a half hour drive to the grocery store, and we usually went once a week. So imagine being a quiet, introverted, carsick child experiencing a good 52 hours of absolute terror every single year. Combine that with loneliness, no tv and a love of books?

I was doomed to become a horror writer. The great thing is that after many years' denial, I am now willing to admit that I love horror and anything scary. Thanks to my virtual godfather (after reading On Writing by Stephen King, I have adopted him as a kind of bibliographical family member. And hero. ), Stephen King, I am no longer afraid to be a speculative fiction writer. It was like he gave me permission to write what I liked after all the college years of shame. I might never be part of the canon, but what the heck. At least I'm having fun!

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