So you can read my books

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


{"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 to write to you struggling writers?

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 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 for his writing friends

"How quaint. On what exactly, Clemens?"

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

maybe a rule or two on how to write well."

"It chose me, Clemens, and their are no rules in this mad universe, only signposts."

"Then, write them. 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 Roland, 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 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."


  1. I love your imagination!
    I just had a conversation with my wife about my insecurities with writing.(I was working on my IWSG post)
    Thanks as always for you words.

  2. David:
    My mind is a crowded place sometimes! LOL.

    All writers are insecure. It goes with being creative. Ernest Hemingway was insecure. Mark Twain. Raymond Chandler. William Faulkner couldn't even cash a check from a movie studio in his hometown when struggling. Now, that will breed insecurity!

    Thanks for dropping by and staying to chat! :-)

  3. To be honest ROland, I don't know if I have a genre. I didn't pick my story or characters, they picked me. LOL, I have been corrupted by my environment.

  4. Fantastic post. I think my genre picked me. But then again, we are influenced by what we like and relate to, so it's only natural that it would manifest itself in our own subconscious.

    For me, it is stories of the weird and fantastical.

  5. Not sure who picked who, but I just wrote in the genre that best captured a sense of adventure. And the one that harkens back to the classics of my childhood.

  6. Siv:
    So you're a bit like Lovecraft, then! :-) He'll like that. He has a quiet eye for pretty ladies.

    Like you, I think our environment and our responses to it influence what we write. Looking forward to the 8th and 9th.

    I'm very glad you liked my post. I, too, like stories of the weird and fantastical -- just look at this post!

  7. Alex:
    I think we are all influneced by what we loved in childhood as you and Lovecraft wrote. :-)

  8. I agree, Roland, creative work seems to go hand in hand with insecurity. And now the insecure have a home of their own - with Alex's new site for the group!

    You've got a busy month lined up, so good luck with all your endeavors. I'm reading Lucifer's Orphan now.

  9. D.G.:
    All of us more often than not feel as if we are faking in some form or fashion -- that others feel secure -- when the truth is that to be human is to be insecure.

    Yes, I do have a busy month lined up. I am the busiest least bought author out there. LOL.

    Thanks for reading LUCIFER'S ORPHAN. I hope you enjoy it some. :-)

  10. HI, Roland,

    I was always into the magical genre, but my love for details and atmosphere bring me to many genres that I enjoy writing.

  11. Brilliant post, Roland.

    I definitely don't write to genre. That single realization was an epiphany for me. It was at the moment I stopped believing I was "writing it wrong," and started believing I was "writing it different."

    Lovecraft's "Pleasure is wonder—" quote hit's home. For me, writing is all about surprise and the unexpected. I want to be surprised and that's what I want for my readers.

    VR Barkowski

  12. My genre definitely picked me. I'm not sure I know how to write anything else. I love being immersed in other worlds where things are not normal, lol.

    Looking forward to the Great Beyond Bloghop!

  13. VR:
    To surprise my readers is what I aim for. Or at least to keep them in suspense or in stitches! :-)

    Perhaps you write literary fiction which is above genre. We must write what is in our hearts and imagination.

    Yes, THE GREAT BEYOND BLOGHOP will be a lot of fun!

    So you, Siv, H P Lovecraft, and I are a lot alike?

    Harlan Ellison said that if you can write one genre well that you can write them all well. I know you are talented enough to live up to that! :-)

  14. Clever post, as always, Roland! Did my genre pick me? Hmm. I have to be honest. I believe it's still picking me. Or I'm subconsciously fighting it. Sooner or later, I'll figure it out. At least I hope so. :)

  15. Candilynn:
    The ghostly has always appealed to you or is that you have always appealed to the ghostly, considering some of your life experiences you've written about. :-)