So you can read my books

Monday, April 14, 2014


"But human pride
Is skilful to invent most serious names
To hide its ignorance."
   - Percy Bysshe Shelley (Queen Mab)

This is most certainly an OUTLAW DATE:

On this date in the year 911, Pope Sergius III dies after a turbulent reign

in which he ordered the strangulation of two competing Popes and fathered an illegitimate son, the future Pope John XI.

Abraham Lincoln was shot on this day in 1865, dying the following morning.

Walt Whitman’s diary records his frequent sightings of Lincoln in Washington during the Civil War.

One of Whitman’s entries describes the President passing by with his cavalry guard, dressed “as the commonest man,” his face “with the deep-cut lines,

the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression.”

1912 - The Titanic, running at full speed through the icy North Atlantic, struck that infamous iceberg, rupturing its hull.

“Black Sunday,” one of the worst of the Dust Bowl storms, occurred on this day in 1935.

"In the roads where the teams moved, where the wheels milled the ground and the hooves of the horses beat the ground, the dirt crust broke and the dust formed.

Every moving thing lifted the dust into the air: a walking man lifted a thin layer as high as his waist, and a wagon lifted the dust as high as the fence tops, and an automobile boiled a cloud behind it…."

      - from the opening chapter of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

L for Outlaw Me is for Lovecraft --

Lovecraft became a prolific letter writer and by some accounts wrote 87,500 letters during his lifetime.

He was also in the habit of dating letters 200 years earlier than the current date.

Although now considered one of the greatest early American writers of horror, Lovecraft never received his high school diploma.

Lovecraft was friends with many contemporary writers of his time, including Conan creator Robert Howard, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber.

Lovecraft was once "killed" by fellow writer Bloch in the short story "Shambler from the Stars" and later killed Bloch in turn in a story called "The Haunter of the Dark."

Lovecraft ghost wrote a story called "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" for Harry Houdini, who later commissioned Lovecraft to write a book debunking superstition (which was never finished due to Houdini's death).

Although Lovecraft is most famous for creating the Cthulhu Mythos,

he himself never used that term. Lovecraft referred to his own series of interconnected mythos stories as the "Arkham Cycle."

Lovecraft's favorite author was Edgar Allan Poe, of whom he said "Poe was my God of fiction."

Lovecraft in turn influenced numerous writers that came after him, including Stephen King, Cliver Barker and Neil Gaiman.

King called Lovecraft one of his biggest influences and "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."

Lovecraft only truly became popular after his death, when friend and fellow writer August Derleth founded Arkham House publishing to help keep Lovecraft's work alive.

Lovecraft isn't buried under his headstone, even though hundreds of people visit it each year to pay homage to him.

(His body is buried nearby.)

Although dead, Lovecraft has a Facebook page with more than 122,000 fans.
“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.”

“The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”
― H.P. Lovecraft


  1. Love that final quote - and would agree.
    A dark day to remember, but I love that you leavened it with Lovecraft. Thank you.

  2. Hi Roland I'd never heard of Lovecraft - but have learnt a little about him today - and how interesting that he is still so revered, yet forgotten during his lifetime.

    We used to sit near a Titanic Plaque in Church .. and it always made an impression on me .. the list of names and the date .. I know more about the ship and rigours now .. but then I could just imagine as I sat in Church ..

    Cheers Hilary

  3. HI, Roland.

    I never heard of him either. BUT WOW... he influenced some major talent.

    Loved the Steinbeck excerpt. So vivid and atmospheric!


  4. Interesting he never called it a Mythos. I believe Derleth continued writing Lovecraft stories as well.

  5. That Dust Bowl movie looks very depressing. I don't like reading about those times. It shows how ephemeral our existence is.

    I've read Lovecraft, but he's not a fave of mine. Poe's work, I do like. S. King, I've read some of his best, but not very many.

    The Titanic is such a sad story as is that plane that they are searching for in the South Pacific.

    Is the outlaw trail in the Shadowlands? It seems that way. . .a place where time doesn't forget.

  6. I had no idea today's date was so full of bad mojo, but at least get got Lovecraft from it. :)

  7. Wow, this really was a day full of tragedy.

    I didn't know Lovecraft never received his high school diploma. I like knowing that as someone who has their GED. :)

  8. Elephant's Child:
    Dare to end with Lovecraft! :-) Yes, it is a dark day indeed with so many tragedies in its past.

    Steinbeck could write of those days and the people so well because he lived for a time with the migrant Oklahoma harvest workers and saw the tragedy first hand.

    Derleth did indeed write mythos stories as did Robert Bloch and Robert E Howard!

    Our world is, indeed, fragile and has a shelf-life. Like you, I don't like depressing stories which is why I do not read Steinbeck's fiction -- instead I read his non-fiction: his magazine articles, his travels across America with his dog, Charley, and his letters.

    There are certain works of Lovecraft I like. I like Robert E Howards Mythos tales better. Of course Poe -- which is why I have him be a major character in THE RIVAL (actually HE is the rival: for the hand of Alice Wentworth.)

    King's DUMA KEY is my favorite of his novels.

    And yes, the Outlaw Trail run through the Shadowlands where pain and love are ever with us.

    Quite a day, right?

    Louis Lamour wrote that learning was a journey that never ended and many a frontier man became lawyer, doctor, and teacher from merely reading extensively.

    A GED is something to be proud of. You care about your education, and I bet you are still learning. :-)

  9. Hi my friend, On this date in 1938 my parentS wed ~ it didn't work out too well, although they stayed together until death parted them. On this date in 1965, my first husband and I married. That didn't work out so well either. Maybe I should have checked the historical events before committing myself this wedding date.

    And I never heard of Lovecraft, but if he liked Poe, I'm sure he was a good guy.

  10. Inger:
    So the 14th of April is your family's dark day, too? How eerie. Lovecraft is an acquired taste. His Old Ones make an appearance in my novels, too. :-)

    Even Poe has a staring role in my THE RIVAL. :-)

  11. I always learn so much when I come here.

    I am not a big horror fan, so I am unfamiliar with Lovecraft and his work. I find it amazing that anyone could/would/did write that many letters. Isn't it interesting how so many people only became "famous" after they are already dead? I suppose that should inspire us all to keep after our passion. We might never live to see its success, but that doesn't mean that there never will be any.

  12. The Titanic and assassination of Lincoln caught my eye. Strange how so many tragedies happened on the same day.

  13. How moving--Whitman's description of Lincoln.

    122,000 fans long after his death? I hope Lovecraft knows about this.