I went in for a sinus surgery on Friday.
In the two days leading up to this, I went on a magical quest to find a fax machine, which was how wizards communicated with one another in a bygone age (Target had one), and the appropriate paperwork I had to fill out to show I had permission to be sick. Paperwork is the bizarro form of writing, in that while it’s technically writing it’s from the evil mirror universe where everything you write is tedious and boring. Turns out, I had to let a lot of people know my incidentals and where to find me before I was allowed to disappear.
Then, I had to make two “quick” hour long phone calls where I had to go over my entire medical history in a parking lot. Then there was the surgery itself and, as mentioned before, my furnace died.
The days sort of got away from me.
The reason I’m including this here is this: After realizing I sort of generally underestimate the time it will take to do things, I’m starting to doubt I’ll be able to use my entire recovery time just to write. And I need to spread the love around before I forget, because I’m worried I will forget otherwise and you deserve to know about these writers.
Also, if I just spend all my time focusing on my mustache and the various things it is trying desperately to hold onto, I’m just going to gross myself out.
Just shaved it off.
See? If you lose focus, stuff multiplies.
Back to writing.
I grow deeply, deeply uncomfortable when someone in my real everyday meat-space life expresses any knowledge of my work. Basically, if someone I know in real life knows I write, it’s like my version of being outed as a CIA agent who has been living for years deep undercover trying to expose a terrorist network. So, if someone suddenly asks “Hey, did you write that?” I have to do an immediate shoulder roll, jump out a window, and commandeer a vehicle to make my getaway. I like to live a very mild-mannered and boring life where I part my hair to one side and talk at length about obscure and bland facts, so I’ll do absolutely anything to avoid an awkward conversation about where I got my inspiration for something-or-other.
That’s left the online world as my only outlet.
For the most part, the only people I’ve ever interacted with about writing online have been readers. Since discovering NoSleep, I’ve had the opportunity to make the e-quaintance of other writers. They’ve been amazing. Here are some of them.
One of my new internet friends is Caitlin Spice, author of over a hundred scary stories on NoSleep.
She also writes my favorite kind of Fairy Tale: the kind where the fairies are amoral, other-worldly shits who need to appeased, avoided, or beaten over the head with iron. In other words, these aren’t the kind of fairies that are going to make you cookies, or mend your broken shoes, so much as they’re the kind of fairies that will place a curse on your entire bloodline and demand at least one unborn child every year at Christmas. Fairies who will trick you into playing games where you don’t know all the rules or even which piece you’re supposed to be moving. Fairies that will do all kinds of terrible, mystical shit for no reason other than just to be an unknowable dick, whose strange motivations will forever put you on dangerous grounds.
She’s also much, much better at plot than I am. She’ll take a sprawling backstory and get it moving in a few paragraphs. She’ll describe an old British pub in a few sentences and it will suddenly have existed for several hundred years.
Here’s the best recommendation I know how to give: I had absolutely no time to read her book, the Silver Path. Between household responsibilities, writing responsibilities and professional responsibilities I simply, literally, did not have the time to read it even if we had become well e-quainted.
Somehow, I still read it. I have no idea how. It just happened.
It was that good.
You know when you meet someone who wears a lot of red and black and talks about evil a lot, but you’re like “Yes, however they are still a really good person at heart.” That’s Colin Harker in some kind of hellishly artistic nutshell. When she isn’t winning fancy contests or running a really, really good twitter feed where she displays way more knowledge about horror films and literature than any other person alive on the planet earth, she also writes a mean story.
My favorite thing about Colin, however, is that she possesses an ability to write exactly like a very strange and wealthy old British man of noble blood from a hundred to two-hudnred’ish years ago. The kind of stories where you read it and it’s really good and compelling but you’re also wondering to yourself “Wait, what is going on with this brother and sister? I think this is BDSM- but do they know it’s BDSM? Holy shit, is this place haunted or is that guy just crazy? I mean, people in the town know it’s weird, right?” In fact, when I first read Colin’s website I assumed she was a strange and wealthy old British man of noble blood from a hundred to two-hudnred’ish years ago. Which is as false a way to think as when people think I’m some serial-killery dead-eyed Russian sea-trawler captain… well, actually maybe that’s not a good example.
If you want to read something eldritch and haunting, and like it’s from the past even though it was written today, you have to check her out.
I really enjoy “The Cost of a Rose” and you should check it out as well.
I was going to write a thing about why CK Walker is great here, then realized I’d already done it several blogs ago. She’s still amazing. I feel like she’s some kind of secret wise old wizard horror writer who lives on top of a mountain who will scare the shit out of you whenever you think you’ve finally learned the scariest thing and return you to a state of humility. Go buy all of her stuff here, or go live a happy life full of sunshine unbridled by horror.
Anyway, I have to go regret shaving off my mustache now. I feel like a child, seriously. Big mistake. Without the mustache, it looks like I bought a fake beard at a costume shop and put it on as a joke.