Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Horror in the Vines

Well, no, the photo over yonder doesn't really show horrors or vines or any such things. That's just my little fiber-optic Christmas tree, brightening up one dark corner of Casa de Rodan. The horrors and vines and such may be found in my latest short story, "When Jarly Calls," which I finished writing and sent out to the editor this weekend. It's about things that go amiss at a rather bizarre winery — for which I might say I conducted extensive research. If editor is happy with tale, you may get to read that sucker before you know it. It'll chill ye worse than an icy winter wind, it will.

Spent most of the weekend at Mum's in Martinsville, and the better part of that pounding out the story. I also helped her get her Christmas tree set up, the final result being a bit more impressive than little fiber optic tree shown here. Then it was writing the afterword for James Robert Smith's collection of short fiction, A Confederacy of Horrors, slated for release from Hippocampus Press in 2014. (Some of you may recall that Mr. Smith used to write reviews and assist with the fiction editing for Deathrealm back in the day, and a few years back, we co-edited the anthology Evermore for Arkham house.) It's a fine collection of horror, full of ghosts, blood, vengeance, and obsession, with numerous stories that linger long after they're put to bed. I'll post a note here when the book is in release.

On Saturday, I had intended to go geocaching in Roanoke with Todd "tbbiker" Briggs, but nasty weather prevented it. This morning, though, I hit Anglers' Park in Danville to grab a new cache on my way back to Greensboro, and who should I run into but Mr. Briggs his own self. Not quite the big hiking trip we had anticipated, but it was fun enough, and a cache is a cache. In fact, heading up to Martinsville on Friday night, I went up through Caswell County to replace a cache for Mr. Stumpwater Dunn, near Yanceyville, and while out in those rural wilds, I thought I might be witnessing the eye of Azathoth in the sky — a brilliant orb, far smaller than the moon but every bit as bright — burning through a thick layer of clouds. Turns out, it was the planet Venus, which I've seen countless times, but never so brilliantly as this. Quite the little spectacle on the drive along those lonely back roads, it was. And a delicious sushi dinner waited for me at Tokyo Grill in Danville.

Some stress about the day job put a little damper on some of my enthusiasm over the weekend, but by and large, it was a productive and generally enjoyable time.

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