So you can read my books

Sunday, July 17, 2011


{"Men of broader intellect know
that there is no sharp distinction
betwixt the real and the unreal."

- H. P. Lovecraft.}

Ah, you say. The ghost of H. P. Lovecraft.
Now, he will tell us if what he wrote was true.

Short-sighted mortals. I dare not say. I can not say.

I will but put forth this : my imagination was too stunted,

my words too feeble to paint what lies beyond.

Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life,

and that our vain presence on this terraqueous globe is itself

the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon.

Then, what brings me to Roland's blog?

I was wandering Thalarion, the City of a Thousand Wonders,
where many have passed but none returned,

where walk only daemons and mad things that are no longer men,

and the streets are white with the unburied bones of those
who have looked upon the eidolon Lathi, that reigns over the city.

Abruptly, the ghosts of Samuel Clemens, Raymond Chandler, Will Rogers, and Ernest Hemingway (all heavily armed) made their cautious way to me.

And well they should have been careful,

for I am no longer altogether ... human.

I watched them from the shadows with some amusement. They stepped warily around shards of marble that thrust up from the misty ground.

The shards gave the illusion of ancient bones of some grotesque corpse protruding from an ill-made grave.

The ruins projected a diseased aura as if the very stones were cursed.

Clemens approached me. "You can roll around in your horrors like they were catnip for all I care, Lovecraft. But you owe Roland."

"Indeed I do. What would you suggest?"

"Write a piece for his ... computer newspaper."

"How quaint. On what exactly, Clemens?"

"Why the blue blazes you chose to write what you did."

"It chose me, Clemens."

"Then, write that. And try to remember what it meant to be human while you're doing it."

I fought down the gibbering darkness. "You are lucky I owe DreamSinger, ghost."
So I am here. Why did I come? I came because of my lost childhood :

There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth;

For when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts,

and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life.

But some of us awake in the night

with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens,

of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas,

of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone,

and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests;

and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates

into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.

Enough of me. I ask : Did your genre pick you?

I know mine did.

My reason for writing stories

is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly the

fragmentary impressions of wonder which are conveyed to me by certain
ideas and images encountered in art and literature.

I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best -

one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve the
illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations

of time, space, and natural law which forever
imprison us

and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces
beyond the radius of our sight and analysis.

These stories frequently emphasise the element of horror because fear is our deepest and strongest emotion,

and the one which best lends itself to the creation of Nature-defying illusions.

Horror and the unknown or the strange are always closely connected,

so that it is hard to create a convincing picture of shattered natural law
or cosmic alienage or "outsideness"

without laying stress on the emotion of fear.

As to how I write a story - there is no one way. The following set of rules might be deduced from my average procedure :

1.) Prepare a chronological order of events.

2.) Prepare the narrative order of those events if you are beginning in the middle or the end.

3.) Write out the story - rapidly, fluently, and not too critically.

4.) Revise the entire text, paying attention to vocabulary, syntax, rhythm of prose, proportioning of parts, niceties, and convincingness of transitions.

5.) One last note : Prime emphasis should be given to subtle suggestion.

Imperceptible hints and touches of selective associative detail

which express shadings of moods and build up a vague illusion
of the strange reality of the unreal.

Avoid bald catalogues of incredible happenings which can have no substance or meaning

apart from a sustaining cloud of colour and symbolism.

**And so now I ask you again :

Did you pick your genre, or did it pick you?

Why has this genre captured you?

Do you have a blueprint you follow when you write your story or novel? Let me know. The remnant of humanity still clinging to me is interested.

And remember :

"Pleasure is wonder —

the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability.

To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral;

the past in the present; the infinite in the finite;

these are to me the springs of delight and beauty."
Now, Clemens would have me insert this photo to keep a pledge to Laila Knight. Since, I, in my own way, am an old world gentleman. Here it is :



  1. Ah Lovecraft, he definitely had a way with words. He will always be a cornerstone in the horror genre. And great choice of photos! ;)

  2. Lovecraft is amazing. This one took my breath away. It sunk me deep and sent me spinning. However did you know I love all that metaphysical stuff? My God, you've got some prose on you.

    "For when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts,and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life."
    (That was way cool.)

    You know, I never considered the idea that our genre could be choosing us and not the other way around.

    Ah, picture...woohoo...beefcake! I can overlook the fact that Eric's not naked. Many thanks. Looking forward to your next post.

    FYI-Love Like Death is awesome so far. :)

  3. Heather :
    Yes, Lovecraft created his own genre with prose that flowed from Poe and Lord Dunsey -- but it worked for H P!

    I'm glad you liked my effort to channel Lovecraft! LOL.

    Laila :
    I very pleased you like LOVE LIKE DEATH so far.

    Sookie wasn't naked either. LOL! Leaving something to the imagination was something that Lovecraft advised ... in prose.

    I'm glad you liked my metaphysical channeling of Lovecraft. I really do think our genre chooses us ... unless we're cold-blooded about it like John Locke.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of LOVE LIKE DEATH. Its sequel, THE PATH BACK TO DAWN is coming soon. Soon-ish at the very least. :)

  4. (= What a guy.

    "Fast and fluent" is the way to go with first drafts. I always write best when I let it flow out and then mess with it later.

    I plan on jumping back into my writing when my crazy summer is over. I have a feeling it will gush out because I have been thinking about my story a ton.

    I haven't been online as much lately. It's good to stop by your place and have a cuppa Ro. (=

  5. Thanks for posting the video. I liked watching it. I've tried to read Lovecraft but most of his stories just have too much of the inner dialogue going on that I find it tedious to swim through.

  6. Jo :
    Always good to check in and see a comment from you here. I wish you luck on your new writing. Come back, hear?

    Michael :
    Like Neil Gaiman said in that documentary (I don't know if he said it in the trailer), Lovecraft gets a little getting used to. He hardly writes sparse or in simple sentences! LOL. Thanks for visiting, Roland