Okay, first y’all need to go check out Scott Nicolay’s podcast. It is fucking amazing. While you’re listening to that, go read this story by Kristi Demeester. I just started reading that magazine on the pro tip from a friend and I really enjoy it.
Now I feel the need to nerd.
I’m going to talk some more about what I’ve been doing with my The World and some other stuff.
Now I took this photo in the stairwell of my apartment building (I took them originally to talk about poverty but that’s too depressing) here is the first one:
A view of how The World and the world fit together.
This is very close visually to what I want to create texturally. The light of the world we all live in and walk around in, the darkness where The World is and where some of us live and walk around in and then those areas where, the two mix together and make the thin places I’ve referenced in a couple of stories.
I look at this view every night when I get home and the feeling I get as I move through a bright, nice light that welcomes me home, up towards semi darkness, then into pitch blackness with some respite from the streetlight on clear nights, that is what I want to put in those stories.
What is on my mind right now is where I want to take these stories. Originally I wanted them to be kind of traditionally linked stories I could put together in some form to end with some good old school hypertext big story type deal. I am undecided about what I am going to do with them as of yet.
The other thing on my mind is where do they fit in terms of genre?
We know I kind of hate that, but I’m thinking about it anyway.
If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that often my writing surfs genre in ways that make my work not always the sort of thing that fits easily or smoothly within the constraints of whatever general genre I’m working in.
After listening to the aforementioned podcast and doing some reading I’ve settled on these works being Weird Fiction. Why? Because I fucking said so essentially.
I feel like I’m working in a tradition that has space for my slipstream, real/unreal stories. I like that idea. It feels comfortable. It feels like I could expand The World into neo-noir places, some fantasy type things etc, without feeling that underlying pressure to do Horror.
I think a lot of that internal pressure is coming from the knowledge of how far away, I backed from genre fiction for so long. I still have the lingering hesitancy to engage with the community because I’ve been burned.
There is so much racist and other fuckery in my literary life, I still have that desire for horror et al to be my safe place. That is where I want to play and not be writing about racism in music scenes I like (uh, yeah, I went low key viral, see it on huffpo I don’t want to talk about it right now) or having to deal with yet more White men/other men who take time out of their days to follow me around and tell me how much I suck. I need respite from all that shit so bad I don’t want to engage with another sector of the lit community that might become unsafe.
So here I am yammering about it in my blog.
Back to The World.
This is the other photo I took, consider it the view from inside The World peeping out.
This view is how I feel it is to peer out of The World.
I have been note taking and there are more places I want to explore and inhabit in The World. I want to explore injecting POC culture into it, find some beauty, some sex, I want to explore more ways to involve childhood and development as a natural part of both worlds that make both worlds fucked up.
Is this still weird fiction?
I feel like yes it is.
Is it horror?
Eh, yeah, I think so.
I think my ultimate goal with these stories is to explore more of this method of unsettling. More of the subtle shifts in tense, gender pronouns and even POV to make the reader uncomfortable without trying to do HORROR BOO! I want to be intimate with you reader, skin to skin until you want to crawl out of yours. I want to have more people tell me, fuck I thought of this thing you said in this story like three days later and it was creepy as shit.
That is where I feel like my horror writing is going to blossom. It’s where I want to play. Rather than epic I want intimate. I want in your car and in your bed and in your shadow.
That’s what’s on my mind right now. It’s what I’m doing to self soothe after too much bullshit. I’ll talk about the bullshit soon. I can’t right now.
Hopefully at some point I will collect and maybe do more with The World. Or maybe I will use what I’ve learned about my process to write something else creepy.
So there it is.
Next week I’m going to review Ken Liu’s book Grace of Kings. And a couple of other books. It will get nerdy, so hold your butts.
Lastly, before I run away to do stuff, come check out my latest teespring campaign.