About me

I've been writing stories for years. I think I'm a good writer and I'm willing to bet you'll feel the same way. So here they are. Enjoy them, comment on them, tell your friends about'em, reblog them, retweet them, reread them. I have four stories in my archive so far:
"One day on the Mountain", a story of Lycanthropy, a father, and a son.
"The Boy", a story of a very ambitious and sociopathic fifth grade boy.
"The Easy Girl, A story of infidelity and unpaid sexual debts. This story is very dark.
"Brick The Mighty", a story of an aging superhero.
Although this is primarily a blog of horror, I also write about things that are important to me. I have more stories tucked away; they just need editing. There's even a few novels. There will be more to come.
PS. Feel free to leave a comment. I love comments.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My first encounter with horror

    When I was little, I had trouble reading. I didn't have a learning disability; I think it my bad home life more than anything else. My parents were fighting (which is a polite way of saying I witnessed domestic abuse) and I had a fruitless year in french immersion, where I learned to speak English with a french accent. I was behind and had to rely on girls for help. Gradually I learned but I was never comfortable with reading. 

    One weekend I was up country, visiting my grandparents. My papa had been a military officer, and I spent afternoons playing with his unloaded .22's, .45's, and even two .303's. (This was in the mid-seventies: years later Papa turned in his weapons under an amnesty program, save for the twenty-two.) He also had a shelf full of books on history, marine life, and birds. On the bottom shelf there was always, inexplicably, a horror novel.

    The first horror novel in Papa's study that I picked up was The Dark, by James Herbert. Up until then reading was a sweaty ordeal: I was made to read shit about dragons waltzing through flower gardens as my father glowered over my shoulder. Reading sucked.

    But I started reading The Dark because of that bearded black demon on the cover. I was astounded: people were butchered in this novel. Some poor woman has a shotgun inserted inside her and is blown up from the inside. A little old man is raped by a fat naked woman before she strangles him with her hair. There's a riot at a football game; about twenty thousand people perish. All written with quite graphic detail, I might add.

    This astounded me. You could read about this shit? Words could describe literally anything? All you needed was to be able to read and the most unspeakable vistas would open up? Keep in mind I could read these books in front of my family as they had dinner and chatted; I think that was the most attractive feature of horror. No one else knew just how sick horror could get.

   From then on I was hooked. I would haunt the old used bookstore on Barrington street and buy all the horror I could find. I read a lot of crap. But in months I was the best reader, the fastest reader, in the school. My teachers thought I was faking, in the fifth grade I could read faster than they could.

   So here I am. I'm writing it, reading it. I don't think I'll ever give up on horror, even if it seems to have given up on itself. If I have to single-handedly resurrect the genre, I will.

     Does anyone want to help?


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  2. 'The Dark' is one of my favorites of all times. I began with 'The Rats', of course. Herbert was the first modern horror author I ever read. I'd read a few Poe tales before then, but that was it. For several years, Herbert and I(I was a teenage schoolboy) exchanged letters, and he was a great inspiration. I met him and had underaged drinks with him and his publisher when he promoted 'The Jonah' in Melbourne. His style is unique, and I've never had a problem with the structure of his early novels where he focuses (for several pages) on the life of an intended victim and wipes them out. I applauded him for acknowledging that they were a human being, not just a meat cut.

  3. You knew the man? I have an odd fantasy in which I win a stoker, and right before my acceptance speech I learn he is in the audience. My carefully planned speech goes into the crapper and I give a tearful, off-the-cuff tribute to James Herbert and how he gave me refuge during an awful childhood.
       Funny: a lot of people loved The Dark. But it came out so long ago that you have to remind them. 

  4. Mac, as a follower of your blog I'd be interested in hearing more about your bad childhood and what it was like to grow up around domestic violence. The darker side of life intrigues me, always has, for some reason. Anyway, that's a blog topic(s) you may want to look into for the new year.

    I'm also curious as to why you learned to speak English with a French accent and if you speak that way today.

  5. Terri, in Canada French is an official, federally-protected language, and in Quebec, the provincial gov't is allowed to discriminate against English and English speaking people through what is called a 'notwithstanding clause.'

    All provinces have french immersion schools, and they are an unofficial private school for parents who want their children to be challenged, to be with smarter kids, and to avoid having their children go to school with immigrant kids who are still learning English as a second language (This includes established immigrant parents who don't want *their* kids to go to school with FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) kids). The large cities in Canada are the most diverse in the world and sometimes things are complicated.

    Each year in French immersion, a few kids drop back into English school because they can't handle the extra effort. I was one of those kids, and perhaps I should have been clearer: I already knew English - the only thing I got from French immersion was the accent, and not the language.

    As for the abuse, that's complicated. I've written a tonne about it already, but it's locked away in my laptop. The person who did the abusing is very much alive, and... well, read 'One Day on the Mountain' for a limited glimpse into what happened.

    There's a lot more, and maybe I'll get into it one day, if I run out of ideas. I write under a pseudonym, so I do worry about whether my family might find out this other part of me. But it's an idea, and thanks.