Ain’t no blog, it’s a podcast hub!
Ain’t no blog, it’s a podcast hub!
Just finished up the Carrie episode of my new Stephen King themed podcast with Todd Chicoine of Asylum House Images, which is entitled There Are Other Worlds Than These.
I was struck by the amount of times Margaret White talks about how “they,” will “take you,” in “road houses.” And, of course, Todd made a bunch of Swayze jokes.
Carrie gives me hope as a novelist, because frankly, it isn’t amazing all the way through. Todd also told me it’s King’s fourth novel, and let me fact check… yup, according to the wiki (which are always one hundred percent accurate), it is in fact his fourth novel, but his first published. Well, cool, that means I get a pass on three more novels, until I have to release one semi-good one.
The story was originally started as a short planned for the now defunct men’s magazine Cavalier. Most of them went the way of the Dodo, but back in the 70s, and beforehand, they’d let you send in stories, which they would pay you a decent amount for, and publish. King had many early stories published in men’s magazines. Apparently it was also started as a dare, because a lady told him he couldn’t write about women.
Surprisingly, neither Todd or myself had ever read Carrie before, despite our obsessive dweeby proclivity to devour his published works. When the episode goes up, I’ll link it somewhere above this post, but I figured I’d write something brief about the novel, since it’s still fresh in my mind.
There are four films based on Carrie. I watched the 76 and the 2013 before recording the podcast episode on Carrie, to cover my bases. However, I have never seen the made for television version of Carrie, or The Rage: Carrie 2. I might watch them, at some point?
And no, Carrie has nothing to do with that other lady from Sex and the City.
Oh yeah, and Cemetery Dance is releasing a fancy pants special edition of it soon.
This was fun.
Check out Izzy Lee’s Picket, and Legitimate at the Boston Underground Film Festival!
My first ever live Random-Ass Interview… or series of questions… what the fuck ever.
Like many writers, I get preoccupied with monetizing my hours of work. It only makes sense; you bust your ass, you expect to get a reward for it. Yet, I’m here to tell you that the writing might end up being the only reward you get.
Sure, you might get some fans, might get some people who enjoy reading your stuff. But, the bottom line is, don’t expect to become a millionare, or even a thousandare, from this. It’s a difficult thing to hear, and to accept, but your writing might not lead you anywhere. You might not see fame or fortune in your lifetime from the thing you spend hours doing.
This of course raising the next obvious question. If all of this hard work might not lead to anything, then why do it at all? Now, we get to the heart of this. Of all this.
H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe are two of the most, if not the most, influential writers on the horror genre; the genre which I love, and am proud to be a fan, and contributor to. Neither of them saw much money, or fame in their lifetimes. Yet, their vision continues on, and their work has influenced more writers than I can name.
There are still days when I forget my own advice, by the way. Days I get angry I have to stay at a retail job I hate to make money. But, you need money. And there isn’t a great chance you’ll make a living wage being a writer. So fuck it. Write because you love it, because it makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something. But, there’s no shame in trying this out, and realizing it isn’t for you. If you love it, do it, and if not, go do something else that makes you happy. Because at the end of the day, life is about trying to find your own personal place, in which you are content. I’m getting there. It’s a slow process.
There are still days when I forget my own advice, by the way. Days I get angry I have to stay at a retail job I hate to make money. But, you need money. And there isn’t a great chance you’ll make a living wage being a writer. So fuck it. Write because you love it, because it makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something. But, there’s no shame in trying this out, and realizing it isn’t for you. If you love it, do it, and if not, go do something else that makes you happy. Because at the end of the day, life is about trying to find your own personal place, in which you are content.
I’m getting there. It’s a slow process.
True Detective follows Rust Cohle (Mathew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) as they attempt to solve the murder of a woman in Louisiana. It contains many elements, from classical horror stories, to modern horror stories, and from old and new horror films and shows.
There are many references to the classic Robert W. Chambers series of horror stories, “The King in Yellow.” The main reference is through the visual use of something somewhat similar to “The Yellow Sign,” on the victim in the first episode, though I’m not sure yet whether or not this show is in a universe where the stories were published. The first victim in episode 1, former prostitute Dora Kelly Lange, has something that appears to be “The Yellow Sign,” on her back.
However, when looking for a picture of the design on Lange’s back, I discovered an article which says it is actually derived from the Illuminati. I know nothing about the Illuminati, so I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to make your own judgement call on what the sign is supposed to be. It could easily just be a spiral, representing the cyclical nature the killer thinks life and time exist within.
Any time you hear about “The Yellow King,” or “Carcossa,” or even “The Black Stars,” that’s the show drawing from “The King in Yellow.” Indeed, “The King in Yellow” was before it’s time. First published in 1895, most of the stories revolve around a fictional play, aptly named “The King in Yellow” that drove readers to madness.
As the show progresses, Cohle’s character grows increasingly unsettling. We start to really question his sanity. This doubt fits perfectly with the theme of the most influential of stories in, “The King in Yellow,” namely that of “The Repairer of Reputations.” In “The Repairer” a man named Hildred meets with Mr. Wilde, who has a book that contains shocking truths about lots of people. Mr. Wilde uses this book, with its secrets, to blackmail individuals, makes his money in this fashion. I’ve talked about these stories on one of the podcasts I contribute to, Miskatonic Musings, on the episode entitled The King of Creol
so if you want to hear more about my thoughts on the stories, listen to that.
Recently, I was thrilled to read in an interview at The Wall Street Journal with Nic Pizzolatto that he is a fan of the work of Thomas Ligotti, and indeed some lines in the show are almost word for word from Ligotti’s books. Pizzolatto even references other modern day weird fiction writers I’ve yet to even take in. It’s a really great interview, and has made me an even bigger fan of Pizzolatto, and even more excited for the next season of True Detective.
Visually, there are of course other influences, which dare I say are borderline derivative. The devil’s Trap is a Southern thing, I haven’t checked yet whether they are a legit thing, but they remind me an awful lot of the little stick designs and people from The Blair Witch Project.
There’s also the glaringly obvious comparisons to be made between all the antler stuff on True Detective which also features prominently in Hannibal.
And, the use of the gas mask on Ledue reminds me of the character Bing from Joe Hill’s Nos4a2. The description of Bing as a gas mask wearing killer is a hard one to escape, when you compare him to the gas mask wearing killer in True Detective.
No matter what, the show True Detective is great for horror. It is just police procedural enough to draw in the mainstream audience who wouldn’t normally indulge in these horrific things (Well, save for the Hannibal crowd), on their own. It combines the mystery and thriller genres with horror in a seamless and beautiful blend. And at the end of the day, who cares what the genre is classified as, as long as it’s good.
Many years have gone by since I first got the idea in my head to be a published writer, in the public sphere. And with those years, undeniable and ever-present problems have haunted the house of my mind. Simply put, I have a lot of trouble not worrying while writing.
These fears run the gambit, from coming off like an uninformed idiot, to my very style itself. I’m not dense, and am aware that I read like a coked-out, distracted narcissist a lot of the time. I’m all too aware of my abuse of the first person pronouns, and of my lack of vocabulary. My word repetition is staggering, and sometimes it’s on purpose, but a lot of the time it isn’t. Don’t get me started on my fluctuation from incomplete, to long run-on sentences.
Over the years, my idea of what this site and these articles should be has changed. When I started, the plan was to have it be a blog chronicling my attempts to make it as a published horror novelist. Of all the trials and tribulations of finding an agent, and shopping a first novel around.
And then I finished my first book. And I don’t know, many factors kept, and still keep me from publishing it. Many people told me to self publish it, and I just don’t want to do that. But, I’d be lying if I said last summer, I didn’t go through a couple editors. I’d be a liar, if I didn’t tell you I got a friend to make me a cover for the book, so I could in fact self-publish it.
But things just didn’t feel right. I tried to change the style of the book, to add dialogue after an editor’s request, to what was on its first draft always supposed to simply be a letter. A serial killer’s letter, and who on Earth writes a letter, and adds in dialogue complete with “this type of shit,” he said. In its first form, it was supposed to read like something you’d find hidden in a guy’s sock drawer. A really long letter, that was a confession, of sorts. Other factors came into play. Not feeling like the character described the 18 states he visited enough, and a lack of faith in my own editing, and the ability of others to edit my first novel, means that yet again, it will stay a thing I send to friends every once and a while. I’ve moved on.
Yet, I still had this site. I’d paid for a domain that intentionally had my name in the title.As I was writing the first book, it was always my plan to have reviews on this site. To showcase my interests, and influences. To tell people about the real stinkeroos, and the gems. But, after the first book was trunked, suddenly all the site seemed to be about was reviews. Oh, sure, every once in a blue moon I’d throw a link to a short story I got published. But, I lost the fire I once had. And, so, for about a year or more, this site has been left by the wayside.
I hopped from site to site, writing freelance. And I’m still welcome to contribute at a couple, I’m pretty sure. One not so much, but I ain’t got time to dwell on that bullshit.
I have changed the name of this blog, (at least the header), many times. From Spooky Sean’s Sinful Bloggery, it was shortened to Spooky Sean’s Bloggery, and then to simply, Spooky Bloggery. I changed the theme and overall design of the site, and it was a bitch and a half. I got rid of my links, because the new theme didn’t look great with them, but I’m thinking about adding a few back to the side of the page.
Which brings me back to why I’m writing this. I guess in a way I do want this to become about Sean M. Thompson the fiction writer again. I started writing for a site called Adventures in Poor Taste, so I have a great venue to showcase my nonfiction reviews, and articles. I don’t want to stop writing reviews and write-ups for this site entirely. But, I’d prefer to steer more towards analysis of multiple works on here. Because let’s face facts, my traffic is in the gutter, and I don’t give a fuck anymore. Why not make this a place I vent? Why not make this an actual blog?
I still worry while I write. I worry I’m not writing the right thing. I worry I sound stupid. I worry that my style sucks. I worry that maybe I should just give up on this site, and just write for Adventures in Poor Taste, and maybe I should give up the fiction entirely.
I stretch myself very thin. I’m currently doing a review of every single episode of Community, I do at least 1 comic review a week. I contribute to my own podcast, which in a fun and unexpected way stopped being merely a plot to get traffic up for this site, and started being about interviewing people I am intrigued by. I started as a co-host on a podcast known as Miskatonic Musings. I’m still attempting to help the crew at AIPT get their podcast off the ground. And, starting soon, I’ll be one of 2 hosts on a Stephen King podcast.
But, when does that leave me time for the fiction? This question plagues me. The logical part of me knows it’s obvious; Sean, you write for the sites people read, and you contribute to the things that people take in. And, going with that, I would only contribute to AIPT, and Miskatonic Musings.
But nonfiction is not why I started this journey. I realized last night that I need the fiction. I remembered last night why I started my first book in the first place. I am a man with a lot of problems. I’ve suffered from depression for my whole life. I’ve suffered with social anxiety disorder. I have Attention Deficit Disorder. And with all this comes a lot of pain, a lot of sharp memories, which bleed me internally every time they rear their ugly heads. I have a lot of anger, and I have nowhere to direct it. So, for better or worse, writing a book as a serial killer helped me to channel some of that anger. The most fucked up individual you can think of, namely the character from my first book, was a great way to express all the hatred, and sorrow in my heart, without having to come out and say “I am Sean M. Thompson, and I am fucked.”
Because I am not “fucked,” as glamorous as that would be, and as easy as it would feel to just accept that. I have my problems, sure, but I am a caring and compassionate human being. I am a good friend to many, a good boyfriend (I’ve been told), and above all I am a person that wants to help people. You, reading this, I want to entertain you. I want to make you go through emotions. I want you to have a place you can go to help you when you don’t know how to deal with your own life. I want to make you think, laugh, cry, what the fuck ever. As long as I’m entertaining you. As long as I’m giving you what I so desperately needed all my life; a safe outlet, and a place to escape to forget about all the bullshit inside.
Bottom line is I don’t give a fuck anymore what I write for this website. I just want to write. And if you’ll indulge me, I’m going to tell you about what I have going on from time to time. Because this is a place where I can truly be me. Where I can interview artists I respect, and where I can tell you about my attempt to create my own art, even if sometimes it drives me nuts.
I started what I think will be another book a few months back. And the other day, I decided that even if I have to scale back contributing to some of the sites and podcasts where people actually read me, or listen to me, I want to give it another go.
I want to prove to myself that I can write another book. Ideally it won’t take another two fucking years, lol.
I’m not going anywhere. So even if this will just be a place where I practice writing, and my main audience is me, I don’t give a shit. Because creation is better than nothing. And because writing this made me feel a lot better, made me feel like I shouldn’t give up.
To all the people who have been here since the start, thank you. And to all you new people to come, I’d like to welcome you. Because I’m here for you. If you’re going through some shit, I want to hear it. I’m linking the Facebook page for this blog below. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.
You should never give up on your dreams. I’m not giving up on mine.